David Astle
The Babylonian Woe

The author commenced a sea career at sixteen years of age. During the following years he travelled most of the world's great trade routes, and visited its principal ports. He served as an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II, seeing service in many theatres of war.

After he left the sea shortly after the conclusion of this war, he informs me that it soon became clear to him that the British Empire and everything he believed had been effectively upheld through the achievement of victory, seemed to be literally melting away before his eyes, and many unexplainable factors, totally destructive of the "will-to-be" of the European peoples, were apparently entering the current of life.

In 1961 he was fortunate enough to encounter those who were able to give him the information necessary to enable him to see in what direction he should guide his studies so that he would be able to better understand the true significance of this swiftly passing sequence of apparently chance events ... "THE BABYLONIAN WOE" is one of the results of these studies.

In this scholarly work, true-born Anglo-Saxon David Astle, stylist in the greatest traditions of his people, has presented to the world a history of the effects of monetary mechanics in very ancient times, with emphasis on Ethno-psychology. It illustrates how, even in the earliest times of which written record remains, the days of Babylonia or before, a so-called monetary science undoubtedly existed; being then, as in today, never more than an instrument by which its secret and cynical controllers wittingly influenced the destinies of individuals, Nations, and Empires as to (temporary) glory or (final) disaster.

I strongly recommend this important and well-documented work as a most useful reference book; complementing any study of Economic or Monetary history. It will be a great asset to learned societies, top-management, and self-teaching individuals in all parts of the world.

The bibliography is a MUST for any who seek to understand the significance of monetary creation and emission in relation to human destiny and ultimate fate.

Paul A. Gwinner, Ph.D.

"One of our members, David Astle, has just finished writing one of the most erudite, extensively researched and interesting books that has come past this Editor. ...

... One expects it would be of particular interest to those with an interest in the finances of the world, or in (very) ancient history, going back to the time of "money's" beginnings in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The author is not gentle in dealing with the effect of the major financial manipulators, whether they be nefarious Egyptian King-politicians, the advisors to Charles of England, or even to today's dubious banking-influence wielders. ... His scholarly documentation of sources make it a textbook in its own right."

Newsletter of the Naval Officers Association


For money has been the ruin of many
and has misled the minds of Kings.
Ecclesiacticus  8, Verse 2.

When I originally approached my study as best as I might, dealing with the growth in pre-antiquity and antiquity of what is known as the International Money Power, and the particular derivative of the money creative activities of such International Money Power that might be defined as the Life Alternative Factor, I did so with some diffidence.  Perhaps I was overly conscious of what seemed to be the inadequateness of my preliminary training in these matters and that in no way could I describe myself as deeply conversant with the languages of ancient times, or, in the case of Mesopotamia, their scripts.

However, in my preliminary studies involving checking through the indices of a number of those standard books of reference dealing with the ancient civilizations, I soon found that any feelings of inferiority in so far as the adequacy of my scholarship relative to my particular subject was concerned were unwarranted, and that qualms in these respects were by no means justified...

In almost all of such books of reference, except those that classified themselves as economic or monetary histories, was practically no clear approach to the subject of money and finance, or to those exchange systems that must have existed in order that the so-called civilizations might come to be.  In the odd case where the translations of the texts might reveal some key clue, no more special emphasis was placed herein than might have been placed on the mention of a gold cup, a ring, a seal, or some exquisite piece of stone work.

In Jastrow’s Assyria there was no reference to money at all;  in Breasted’s History of Egypt a volume of six hundred pages or so, only brief mention on pages 97-98.  In A History of Egypt by Sir William M. Flinders-Petrie, in the records of Sir John Marshall and E.J.C. McKay in respect to the diggings at Mohenjo-Daro, and in the writings of Sir Charles L. Woolley and others on their findings from their studies of the exhumed archives of the city states of ancient Mesopotamia, little enough information exists on the matters referred to above.  In Christopher Dawson who wrote widely on ancient times, particularly in the Age of the Gods which dealt with most cultures until the commencement of that period known as antiquity, there is only one reference to money, casual and not conveying much to the average reader;  this reference to be found on page 131...  In King’s History of Babylon there was practically nothing on these matters.

Thus in almost all of the works of the great archaeologists and scholars specializing in the ancient civilizations, there is a virtual silence on that all important matter, the system of distribution of food surpluses, and surpluses of all those items needed towards the maintenance of a good and continuing life so far as were required by climate and custom.

In all the writings of these great and practical scholars, the workings of that mighty engine which injects the unit of exchange amongst the peoples, and without which no civilization as we know it can come to be, is only indicated by a profound silence.  Of the systems of exchanges, of the unit of exchange and its issue by private individuals, as distinct from its issue as by the authority of sovereign rule, on this all important matter governing in such totality the conditions of progression into the future of these peoples, not a word to speak of...

While it is true that the average archaeologist, in being primarily concerned with the results of the forces that gave rise to the human accretions known as civilizations, has little enough time to meditate on these forces themselves, especially since so little evidence exists of what created them, or of how they provided guidance to men in the earlier days, the widespread character of this omission borders on the mystifying.  Virtual failure to speculate on those most important matters of all:  the structure of the machinery of the systems of exchanges which undoubtedly had given rise to the ancient city civilizations, and the true nature of the energy source by which such machinery was driven, whether by injections of money as known this last three thousand years or so, or by injections of an exchange medium of which little significant evidence or memory remains, is cause for concern.  The truth of the lines as quoted herein from Boeckh’s Public Economy of Athens (p.ii, present work) is immediately clear to all and that the physical force underlying all civilizations must have been the system whereby surpluses were allocated to the people according to their place in the pyramid of life and to their need;  thus, when being controlled by the benevolent law of a dedicated ruler, maintaining at all times the true and natural order of life.

It must not be supposed, therefore, that there is lack of understanding of the importance of these matters;  nor that there is any special conspiracy of silence, even though there might indeed be temptation to arrive at such a conclusion.1  Rather it were better to accept things as they appear, and assume that these scholars merely present the fragments of fact as they unearth them;  leaving speculation of the true significance of such fragments of fact in relation to the weft and warp of life, to those considered to be particularly specialized in the various fields represented.  In the case of money and finance, the scholars concerned would be classified as economic or monetary historians.

Thus little enough seems to be available on the subject of money and finance in ancient days.  Nor seems to exist examination of the significance of such money and finance relative to the progress about which so much has been written in modern times.  Apart from that of Alexander Del Mar who wrote in relatively recent days, and apart from that of the philosophers of antiquity such as Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Zeno, etc., almost no speculation seems to be available from scholarly sources in regards to the unprejudiced PHILOSOPHY of money, in ancient times.  On the all important subject of the consequences of the creation and issuance of money by private persons as opposed to its creation and issuance according to the will of a benevolent, instructed and dedicated ruler, almost no speculation seems to exist in ancient or in modern times.  Of those forces that sought throughout history to undermine any ruler who may have been firmly in the saddle because of his exercise of that prerogative which is the foundation of the State Power or God-Will of which he is the living evincement, insomuch as he maintained firm control of the original issuance of money and its injection into circulation amongst the people as against State expenditures, almost nothing seems to be known.  Very little information is available of the means those forces employed towards this purpose through injection into circulation amongst the peoples of silver and gold, and of instruments indicating possession of the same.

Practically no information seems to exist of the growth of private money creation in the days of the ancient city states of Mesopotamia, of which, because of their records being preserved on fire-baked clay, more is known than of more recent civilizations;  and the gap must necessarily be filled by a certain amount of speculation.  Little is known of the beginnings of the fraudulent issuance by private persons of the unit of exchange, as in opposition to the law of the gods from whom kings in ancient times claimed to derive their divine origin; nor is there any information on the significance of such practice relative to the continued stability of the natural order of life in which obtained that system wherein the fount of all power was the God;  such power descending to man by way of king and priesthood and directing him as he proceeded about his everyday affairs, content that God’s in His Heaven and all’s right with the world.

The use of tools of hardened iron in the mining industry about the beginning of the first millennium B.C., together with a changed attitude towards slave labour in which the slave, so far as mining was concerned, was assessed at cost per life, must have brought relatively a very flood of silver into the circulation of the cities of the Near East.

Such flood of silver injected into the circulation largely by private business houses who no doubt controlled the mines, however distant, especially after the institution of coinage in which a piece of silver of known weight and fineness passed from hand to hand, must finally and forever have broken that control of exchanges previously exercised by the god of the city through priest king, and priest.

Thus all, priest-kings and priests, came to forget that the foundations of the power given to them from on High towards the maintenance of the right living and tranquil procession through life, of their peoples, were the laws of distribution of surpluses as written on the scribes tablet;  laws instituted by the god himself each ordering a specified dispensation from the surpluses in his warehouses in the Ziggurat, to the holder of the tablet.  They too fell into the error of believing that silver with value created as a result of its being used as a balancing factor in international exchange could become a perpetual storehouse of value... They themselves became consumed in the scramble for this gleaming metal, so conceding it, through its controllers the power to set itself up in opposition to the law of the gods;  to raise itself up in its own right, god in itself.

In its exercise, the fiat of the internationally minded group of merchants or bullion brokers that arbitrarily dictated the exchange value of such silver, being in actuality determination internationally of the value of money, placed such groups controlling silver exchanges above and beyond local law and the law of the local god, and indeed conferred on them the power to influence kingly appointment.  It made of them the servants of a one god, a god above all gods;  thereby somewhat relegating the god whose order on the state warehouses as inscribed on clay by scribe or priest, had been the law governing exchanges, to the place of their servant, the instrument...

"I have however, kept before me as a guiding principle, in this as other historical works I have written, the maxim that the complexity of life should never be forgotten, and that no single feature should be regarded as basic and decisive",2 wrote Professor Rostovtsev, scholar and Economic Historian of renown.

It is true that while no single feature in the progression of history might be regarded as basic and decisive, it is certain that neither money nor treasure will protect the weak and disarmed in the face of a brutal and determined conqueror beyond whose successful achievements, can be no decision more final.  It is also certain that the money accumulation mania injected by fame into the minds of the people as a replacement to their concern with those natural qualities endeavouring to colour the current of human life through time, amongst which are numbered virtue, honour, and godliness, destroys equally as any other debilitating disease, and will surely and speedily drag any people down to degeneracy and decay...  A great army could not be more efficient in its power of destruction.

The main discussion of the Artha-Sastra of Kautilya, Hindu classic instructing kings and rulers as to their proper conduct towards good government, was as to whether financial or military organization came first of all as the root of strength and power in any organized state.3  Clearly in that day no less than in this day, financial organization preceded military organization;  therefore there is not much point really in discussion of so obvious a fact and truth.

While an effete people, though money as it is known, is in their hands, soon give way to vigour;  nevertheless vigour, without strict organization of its finances, which, while constituting strict organization of its labour, also enables it to create, or to obtain by purchase from elsewhere the finest of weapons, will not much avail... Thus, and it has been demonstrated through history over and over again, it is clear there is one feature basic and decisive in the progression of human life;  certainly during the latter years of which memory exists.  That feature, particularly in relatively modern societies from the bronze age onwards, and during that period of the rapid perfection of the mass production of weapons, is monetary organization, and what precious metals are available for purposes of international exchange as against. the purchase of those finest of weapons and essential materials of war only obtainable abroad, and as wages for the most skilled men at arms from wherever obtainable, abroad or otherwise...

The gates of Egypt stand fast like Inmutet
They open not to the Westerners,
They open not to the Easterners,
They open not to the Northerners,
They open not to the Southerners,
They open not to the enemy who dwells within.

Much of history as we know it is the record of civilizations to counter and evade destruction of themselves from without or within, or is the record of their efforts to destroy other seemingly competing civilizations or peoples attacking them from without or within.

War is as inevitable as is peace as the result of the exhaustion of war, and there are few peoples that escape;  but wars of the last three thousand years have not been relatively infrequent occurrences, and have been an incessantly recurring evil...  It is no chance that;  the growth of warfare into a very cancer eating into the vitals of mankind, and more particularly the white races is parallel to the growth of that other cancer which is private, and therefore irresponsible, money creation and emission...

It seems that almost none of the scholars make any serious effort to throw light on the real meaning of this matter of private monetary emission, and the disastrous effects that it has had, and in finality, will have, towards the defining of the remaining period of time of man upon this earth, as being brief and uncertain.

Those strange decisions of kings signalling the opening of wars as frightful and disastrous to the European peoples, as the last two so-called "World Wars," decisions so abnegatory of self, but more than that, abnegatory of the best interests of the peoples they represented before God, far from being the directives of benevolent force, are the directives of a force which cannot but be described in any way but as being wholly malevolent.5

The great engine which is the international control of monetary emission and regulation, driven as it was until recently by the catalytic fuel of gold alone, is now almost world embracing in the scope of its operations.  It seems there is no change in the attitude of those its guides, nor any admission of the folly of their misuse of this God- Power which they direct towards the good of themselves and their friends.  Their obsession, despite ruin for all looming on every horizon, seems to remain the same narrow vision of the day of their own world supremacy wherein they will rule as absolute lords over all;  although by now it should be apparent to them, no less than to all thinking people, that if this madness concealed within the much talked about conception known as progress is not brought to a complete arrestment, nothing remains but an end wherein shall be silence and no song, for indeed there will be no singer, nor any to sing to...

As it looks today, it may be the end for the Indo-European peoples whose diligent labours made so much of this world of today... It may be the end, final and absolute for all men for that matter... it may be the end for this our Earth, our only place and home and hope in the awful endlessness of space and time...

It should be more than apparent that in the relatively recent day when kingship and god-ship were one, so far as the simple souls were concerned, and the god and his viceroy on earth, the priest-king, were creators and controllers of the economic good, exchanges were created in order that the people might live a fuller life, and not so much to benefit any secret society or interlocked group standing aside from the main paths of mankind, but to benefit all who kneeled humbly before the Almighty, each fully in acceptance of himself as part of the god-wish, eternal and infinite;  each one in his time an integral unit carefully placed in the pyramid of life itself.

History over these last three thousand years particularly, has largely been the interweaving of both a witting, and an unwitting distortion of the truth, with all the inevitable consequences which have been expected6 and now are but a little way ahead.  Kings largely became the mouthpiece and sword arm of those semi-secret societies that controlled the material of money as its outward and visible symbols came to be restricted to gold, silver, and copper...  The fiat of the god in heaven which had been the decisive force behind that which brought about an equitable exchange, was replaced by the will of those classes controlling the undertones of civilization, leaders of the world of slave drivers, caravaneers, outcasts, and criminals generally, such as was to be discerned on the edges of the ancient city civilizations, and followed the trade routes between them...  The instrument of this will was precious metal, whose supply was controlled by the leaders of these classes through their control of the slave trade, since mining was rarely profitable in the case of the precious metals, except with slave labour, even after the development of hardened iron tools and efficient methods of smelting.

The power of these men, indifferent and alien to most cities as they were, relative to that power it was replacing, which was the will of the benevolent god of the city, had been made absolute by sowing in the minds of men over the thousands of years, the idea of such metals having a specially high value relative to other goods and services being offered for exchange;  indeed that they were veritable store house of value.

The law of the ruler previously exercised towards the well being of the people in that they might live a good and honourable life accordingly became corrupted.  It became merely a symbol raised before their gaze, in order that they might not look down and see the evil gnawing away at the roots of the Tree of Life itself, destroying all peace and goodness.  Nor could those semi-secret groups of persons be seen who so often were the sources of such evil.  In their contemptuous indifference to the men of the state who found meaningfulness and tranquillity through life lived in natural order under the law of the King, they constituted hidden force deeply inimical to the best interests of mankind.

Through stealthy issue of precious metal commodity money into circulation amongst the peoples, replacing that money which represented the fiat or will of the god of the city and which was merely an order on the state warehouses through his scribes, this internationally minded group from the secrecy of their chambers were able to make a mockery of the faith and belief of simple people.  The line of communication from god to man through priest-king and priest was cut, being replaced by their own twisted purposes such as they were;  not however guiding mankind into the heaven that could have been and where all would be life, and light. and hope, but into such a hell as to escape from which men might gladly come to accept the idea of Mass Suicide...


My sincere acknowledgements are due to :

1. Professor Fritz Heichelheim, and Sijthoff International Publishing Company, Leyden, for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Professor Heichelheim’s work:  An Ancient Economic History.

2. Professor W.F. Albright, and Cambridge University Press for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Professor Albright’s work The Amarna Letters from Palestine;  the same being found in Volume II of the Cambridge Ancient History.

3. G.R. Driver and John C. Miles, and the Clarendon Press, Oxford, for their very kind permission to use the rendering of Hammurabai’s Law No. 7, as given by G.R. Driver and John C. Miles in their joint work: Ancient Codes and Laws of the Near East.

4. Dr. T.B.L. Webster and Messrs. Methuen Publications for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Dr. Webster’s work:  From Mycenae to Homer.

5. Sir Charles Leonard Woolley and Messrs. Faber & Faber Ltd. for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Sir Charles Leonard Woolley’s work:  Abraham.

6. Sir Charles Leonard Woolley and Messrs. Ernest Benn for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Sir Charles Leonard Woolley’s work:  Excavations at Ur.

7. Christopher Dawson & John Murray Publishing House for their kind permission to use an extract from Christopher Dawson’s work:  The Age of the Gods.

8. Dr William Langer and The Houghton Mifflin Company for their very kin permission to use the short extracts from the Encyclopaedia of World History.

9. Dr. Charles Seltsman and the Associated Book Publishers for their very kind permission to use the short extracts from Greek Coins.

My sincere acknowledgements are also due to all those friends and acquaintances who in any way have assisted me in the present work.

1 According to Tragedy and Hope, the important and compendious work of Dr. Carroll Quigley, an outstanding scholar of liberal outlook, (as interpreted by the reviewer, W. Cleon Skousen), such conspiracy certainly exists, and is vast in scope to say the least.

2 Mikhail I. Rostovtsev:  A Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World, p. viii, Vol. I. (Oxford; 1941).

3 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles Moore:  A Source Book in Indian Philosophy, pp 219- 220. Princeton; 1957.

4 Ancient Egyptian Poem;  Christopher Dawson : The Age of the Gods, p. 148.

5 For example, the folly of Britain in letting itself and the Empire be stamped into these last two so-called "Great" wars, may be compared to that of the man described by the Emperor Augustus who goes fishing with a golden hook;  he has everything lose and little to gain. (Suetonius :  the Twelve Caesars II, 25)

6 Much of this was foretold in the Revelation of St. John the Divine.