On a beautiful spring day of 1782, Gretel was sitting on the grass in front of the newly-built Green Castle watching a gentle brook trickling down into a pond. The deer, and the swans paddling around the water lilies, completed the idyllic landscape. Mayer was by her side, her boisterous children were running around chasing the strange creatures that populated the marvelous gardens, and she was overwhelmed by a feeling of well-being. But even though Mayer owned the property, it was part of the goy world, a world that Gretel preferred to avoid.
The castle had two annexes hidden from the castle, one to house the castle staff, and the other, the ground staff. The neoclassical structure made of fine white stone had a large two-story centrepiece with two three-story wings. Peter Heinrich von Bethmann, who fronted Mayer’s operations, was the official resident and lived in the east wing with his family. The west wing was reserved for Mayer’s private use. The many offices needed for the considerable office staff along with the reception areas were located in the centerpiece. With young Carl Friedrich Buderus, his assistant, in the counting house in Hanau, and a very able Moses Kuhn running the Fahrgasse office in Frankfurt, Mayer was able to spend ever more time at Green Castle, the undisclosed head office of his fast developing international banking network.
The children loved to come to Green Castle and the castle staff was always happy to fuss over them. And because the boys were interested in their father’s business, Mayer let them roam around freely. The boys would soon be an integral part of his banking operations, and it was never too soon to start their education. Amschel was already nine years old and spoke German fluently. Eight-year old Salomon was a quiet boy just like his brother, and he was also doing well in German. Five-year old Nathan, on the other hand, was a real pest. He never stopped asking questions and was never satisfied with the answers the staff gave him. He opened drawers, wanted to learn to use everything lying around on the desks, but especially, he wanted to know what was in the basement vault.
Since Gretel saw the sumptuous Green Castle as a threat to her family, and Mayer proceeded to reassure her. He told her that though their children would know a different world, the family’s roots were so deep, its values so time-honoured and its commitment to honesty so true, that the children would never forget their upbringing. The boys were sure to become powerful men and live with goys, but they would always remember their roots and their values. Tthough their children would know a different world, the family’s roots were so deep, its values so time-honoured and its commitment to honesty so true, that the children would never forget their upbringing. The boys were sure to become powerful men and live with goys, but they would always remember their roots and their values.
Mayer was right, thought Gretel, Judengasse may have been a narrow sunless street but it was the artery that had brought life, love, and joy of living to them all. Nobody who had lived there could ever forget the bonds that held the community together. But now that Mayer’s bank, the Bank of North America, had been accepted as the official bank of the United States of America, Gretel wondered if he had plans for the boys.
Mayer repeated that the boys would know a very different world, but for now, what was about to take place in Hanau, was his main concern. Prince William was hosting a meeting in Wilhelmsbad, and the participants were coming from all over Europe. The Illuminati, or Enlightened Ones, as they liked to call themselves, were preparing to free mankind from the yoke of the Holy Roman Empire. The Huguenots businessmen with the Sephardi bankers in London and Amsterdam wanted to destroy the Ancien Regime, and that meant France, the cornerstone of that antiquated political regime.
The Huguenots and Sephardim had originally been motivated by deep-rooted hatred when they got together and created the East India Company in 1600. Their first order of business was to demolish their enemy’s stronghold, France. The first thing they had done was isolate the French King by financing the construction of the Chateau de Versailles. Now, a century later, they were getting ready to topple Louis XVI. However, in order to infiltrate France, they needed a communications network. Masonic Lodges had been implanted in France since 1773, and the bankers had even recruited the King’s cousin and made him Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France. The idea was to have the Grand Orient of France break off completely from the Scottish rite where members had to swear on the Roman Catholic bible. They wanted to have a lay institution that would serve as their network. Prince William had been very sympathetic to this idea, and had allowed them to hold a meeting in Wilhelmsbad near Hanau.
Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, a very prominent and well-respected French Freemason, was the one who organized the meeting, but violent men like Adam Weishaupt also participated. This Weishaupt was heard to say that his only hope was to one day see the last priest strangled with the guts of the last king left standing. This did not augur well for France who would no doubt be subjected to a great deal of violence. Regardless, for the time being, the intent was to transform freemasonry by doing away with the Scottish Rite that governed it.
The Illuminati’s ultimate goal was to have a network in order to undermine the French political structures, force the absentee King in Versailles to agree to a Constitutional Assembly, and then take control of the monetary system like they had in England, a hundred years earlier. They were already making plans to nationalize and sell Church property in order to finance the new government. To accomplish this, they had recruited a very powerful individual by the name of Mirabeau who just happened to be a physiocrat. Mirabeau believed like many French economists of the times that the wealth of nations was derived from the value of land. Benjamin Franklin had held similar ideas when Mayer had first met him, but his thinking had since changed. Benjamin was now in Paris and was keeping Mayer informed of developments. Mirabeau was putting forth the idea of printing and selling notes backed by confiscated Church property that would then be sold off at auction.
Notes backed by Church property couldn’t help but be a huge success at the outset, and the bankers in the City as well as Mayer knew that human nature being what it is, the people’s representatives would be inclined to print ever more notes based on that success. The Bank of England would then surely take advantage of the situation by dumping a gigantic amount of counterfeit notes into the French economy in order to depreciate the French currency before taking control of the monetary system and creating a Constitutional Monarchy with Mirabeau as Prime Minister.
But Mayer told Gretel that he had his own plan. He would ask François, the silk manufacturer, who had been a very successful printer and engraver in Lyon before coming to Frankfurt, to meet with him. Since his silk mill had not been doing all that well in Frankfurt, Mayer had appointed him to run the goldsmith house in Hanau a few years back. He had been teaching gold engraving while working on stereotype printing in his spare time. Printing was his first love, and since he missed France, Mayer asked him if he would like to return to Lyon. Mayer was offering to kick-start his old printing business.
If the Bank of England planned to print counterfeit French notes, so could Mayer. If François returned to Annonay, south of Lyon, and bought back his printing business, when the time came, he would be ready to print the notes as fast as the new government printed them, and just as important, he would have access to the same paper. He had just perfected a wet mat method for creating matrixes for stereotype printing, and not only would his notes be of better quality than the original ones, but he would be able to produce them many times faster at a fraction of the cost.
Gretel was shocked to hear she was about to become a counterfeiter’s wife, so Mayer was quick to explain that he was planning to set up a counterfeiting ring alright, but that his action wouldn’t hurt anybody. He wouldn’t be taking property from anyone, for the properties would already be confiscated. All Mayer would do is buy the confiscated properties at auction and sell them back to Frenchmen for gold. The English bankers wanted to destroy the Ancien Regime and make the whole world one big market economy that benefited England, but what Mayer wanted was for America, France, England and the rest of Europe to trade fairly with each other. Mayer saw this clearly and would accomplish this by accumulating all the French gold he could .
Mayer was determined to calm Gretel’s fears by telling her that he was Ashkenazi first, and a banker second, and though he was very rich, he hadn’t changed as a person. He was still Mayer, the happiest man alive, and it was not due to his business activities, but rather to his family. He admitted his ego did influence his business persona, for it was only natural to be proud when one wanted to take over the Bank of England, especially if one knew how to do it. One thing was certain, the Bank of England would be printing counterfeit notes in order to bring down the antiquated political regime of France, and Mayer would join in, but it would be to amass huge quantities of French gold in order to take control of the Bank of England itself.
Mayer started explaining how he planned to do it. He would recruit Huguenot agents who would use the counterfeit money produced by Johannot to buy the properties at auction as they come up on the block in predetermined parts of France. Speaking French and having an unlimited supply of notes, the agents would easily outbid everybody. After they bought the properties, Ouvrard would immediately start reselling them for gold at a discount. The properties being the choicest in the world, the wealthy French having lots of gold hidden under their mattresses, and with the French currency no doubt depreciating at a rapid rate, the affluent would want to invest in real estate directly and bypass the worthless notes. Mayer expected to have accumulated several thousand tons of gold by the time it was all over. The agents would receive considerable commissions, but in silver. The gold bullion would go to the City, in London, where the Goldsmid Bros. would store it in their vaults.
Mayer would not be involved directly, and there would be so much counterfeiting, the French authorities wouldn’t know which way to turn, especially once the English bankers had flooded the market with their own counterfeit notes. Once the French properties were resold, Mayer would have more gold than any individual in the world stockpiled in the City. In a few years’ time, when Nathan became of age, he would replace the Goldsmid Bros. and take charge of the English monetary system.
Gretel wondered what the City was, and Mayer was more than willing to explain. He told her that, in 1694, the English bankers, in wanting to be completely independent of the English Government, had created their own country within the country. The City became the financial district on the banks of the Thames and had the status of a territory. It had its own administration, and it was off limits to all English authorities. It was unassailable financial ground, and Mayer knew that one day soon his son Nathan would be turning it into the center of international finance.