by Tom J. Kennedy

LETS (Local Employment Trading Systems) and SDI (Self Directed Incomes) - both of which are based on human relationships and good communication - may not antithetical if we identify USURY as the greatest genocide in the history of mankind.

Our present obligation to work forty or more hours weekly for wages insufficient to pay our burden of taxes and interest (which ought to be correctly called USURY) is directly related to our passive acceptance of the debt- money system and its immorally repugnant element of USURY. We of the working class have become conditioned to slave for other people for 40 to 50 years of our working life. Too many of us have also been conditioned to work for various levels of government where absolutely nothing is produced in the economy.

We work at one or more jobs for fixed hours each day and our effort earns far more for our superiors than for ourselves. Many of us complain to each other but we do not take any action to break out of our economic bondage. Our status as employees within the traditional pyramid structure of diminishing opportunity severely restricts our ability to advance. Very few workers on the bottom of the traditional pyramids have an opportunity to advance to higher earning positions.

We therefore resign ourselves to being small and our doing so does not serve humanity. We ought to manifest the glory of God that is within us and should seek to liberate ourselves from USURY which for generation after generation effectively keeps us all in economic bondage.

We are conditioned by years of formal education to blindly accept our subtle economic enslavement. Those who are brilliant, talented and who dare to challenge the sacred cow of USURY are ridiculed and/or called kooks by our insecure fellow wage-slaves who are influenced by the media. We purchase our homes by foolishly signing impossible contracts agreeing to pay back interest (USURY) which is never created. When we are loaned money by a bank only the principal is created and our friendly banker exacts USURY from us on each monthly mortgage instalment. By siphoning off an amount of USURY equivalent to twice the cost of our home we are forced to pay for three houses while owning only one after 25 to 30 years.

If we fail to make our payments, the banker forecloses on our home, sells it below market value to one of his inside connections and throws our family out into the street. This element of USURY makes our money system immoral. All of our other loan and credit card contracts also exploit us in similar fashion largely because of our complacency. Is this our accepted and passive lot in life - to carry this yoke of economic iron on our backs and pass it on to our next generation with an exponentially increasing amount of USURY?

By accepting this enslavement curse we are supporting an economic system that is an antithesis-to-love and contrary to any system based on standards acceptable to a God of love. We need a new love-based money system based on interest-free economics and a new distribution or marketing system to foster, network and expand this honourable system everywhere on planet earth as quickly as possible.

Both of these new systems have already been created and refined during the latter half of this 20th Century. If we take action to implement and link them, we will create a new synergism and will have "Peace and Plenty by 2020" as predicted by Buckminister Fuller. The evolving money system is LETS (Local Employment Trading System) and the evolving system for the distribution of goods and services is the SDI (Self Directed Incomes) industry formerly known as MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) or Network Marketing.

Despite the negative media coverage, each of these innovative concepts has been gaining recognition in the past two decades. The pioneers of each of these concepts have been mocked the mainstream media which in turn has influenced the public. Charlatans in the SDI Industry (formerly MLM) have commanded so much negative media coverage that this concept is often incorrectly dismissed as a "pyramid scheme" by those unaware of changes actually occurring in the distribution of products
and services. Activists within the LETS movement have been so unfairly portrayed that fellow citizens will not read LETS material just because certain activists write it.

Each of these concepts has evolved through intense growing pains. It is now clearly time for pioneers, long time supporters and neophytes to work together to develop creative ways to mutually accelerate the growth of LETS and SDI so we can pursue our mission to throw the iron yoke of (USURY) off our backs.

It is indeed time to twin the growth of LETS and SDI worldwide by using the internet as our communication tool. Ideally, SDI is a co-operative effort consisting of one person building a network of sales persons (associates) with everyone receiving fair and honest commissions on any business they generate. Ideally, LETS too is a co-operative effort with one trader building a network of traders and everyone receiving mutual benefits when they engage in fair and honest trade. In each case, the more one shares, the more benefits one receives.

In traditional retail marketing (and wholesaling, manufacturing and in the service industry -health, education, social services etc.) the superiors - department heads, sales managers, regional managers etc. - get their high profits from the work of the people locked at lower levels in their respective pyramid structures. In the SDI industry commissions are earned in a similar fashion with one notable exception - everyone has an open opportunity to build a network of associates who commit to working with him/her.

By unitizing good management and leadership skills everyone can advance to any level of higher earning potential they choose. There are no bosses in SDI. You are an independent free enterpriser and no one is locked in a traditional pyramid with both diminishing and limited opportunity for advancement. With both LETS and SDI, people are encouraged to investigate objectively before making a commitment to any particular exchange or opportunity.

Both LETS and SDI are advocating a co-operative effort so that everyone can benefit. Goods and services which are needed for barter and exchange are in ready supply from SDI sources in addition to the skills and talents of individual SDI associates. Whole new markets can be opened up for LETS by the first SDI company which adopts LETS and invites other free enterprisers to connect with them. This can be the beginning of economic co-operation. These elements of mutual advancement are denied to those of the working class who are resigned to accept the enslavement curse of the old form of capitalism which operates within the the traditional money system of USURY economics where interest-bearing money (cash) is often artificially in short supply though goods and services may be readily available.

The twinning of LETS and SDI has the potential to permit the working class from all over the world to outgrow the economic menace of USURY and to create abundance through economic co-operation for everyone on planet earth before 2020.

The SDI industry offers any individual various opportunities to purchase goods and services at wholesale prices. LETS offers the interest-free banking system to facilitate the trades and exchanges within the respective networks which make up the SDI industry. For ten years I have been searching for a leading SDI company which will consider adding LETS as an integral component of their marketing infrastructure. If none comes forward in the immediate future, we (SDI associates who double as LETS users) can create an SDI company to market any product or service - perhaps even to market LETS memberships, barter and other related courses.

SDI companies are commonly debt free; there are no accounts receivable, no accounts payable, and without reliance on banks there is NO USURY in the SDI industry. LETS systems, which are debt free, are the perfect model of an interest-free banking system. Interest-free credits are traded and again the banks are excluded from any economic action.

We can request local Credit Unions to administer our LETS accounts for a reasonable fee payable in barter credits. The Ottawa-Carleton Education Credit Union was approached with a request to administer LETS accounts with a former SDI company which explored the possibility of making LETS a part of its infrastructure. As a bonus, LETS members and SDI associates could transfer our cash accounts to any participating Credit Unions rather than leaving them in the traditional banks.

Neither SDI nor LETS requires one to have special qualifications, degrees, or prestige to become a member or to make advancement. With both SDI and LETS, one's progress is solely determined by the time and effort put into one's endeavours. In SDI, one works when one chooses and is free to select those with whom he/she works and there are no territorial boundaries anywhere worldwide.

In LETS one trades when and with whom he/she wishes and there is no need for territorial boundaries since we can develop an umbrella LETS to upload and download local transactions to any place in the world. SDI was developed so that the worker at the bottom of the pyramid can have equal opportunity to earn increasing, honest profits rather than limiting such privileges to the corporate executives and the corporation itself as is the case with traditional retail and manufacturing pyramids.

The twinning of SDI and LETS must be the trend of the future if we are to take action to escape the iron yoke of (USURY) which has been depriving us of our abundance for too long. Our children will be forever grateful if we take action now. Given the nature of the SDI industry and the ease of our modern technology, the LETS solution of  "interest-free" economics can be networked around the globe at a rapid speed.

LETS users and SDI associates are invited to read and ponder these thoughtful words from Nelson Mandella's inaugural address to the United Nations in 1995:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It's not just in some of us. It is in everyone. And, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

LET'S liberate ourselves and the world and LET'S create "Peace and Plenty by 2020."