Bonn General Anzeiger July 3 1999
The exciting adventures of the engineer
By Christina Martinstetter
Caption: There are many opportunities in which the exchange ring can
help you.
Picture caption: John Turmel who had said he wants to battle with the 
banks and the state is now, together with his wife Pauline, on a
European Tour. Photo Max Malsch.
Say hello to an illustrious guest from Canada: John C. Turmel is the 
founder of many exchange rings in his homeland. And he told us about 
his multi-faceted and changing life.
     BONN-BEUEL SCHWARZRHEINDORF - Guerrilla lawyer" "Blackjack king" 
or "the World's richest pauper" are some of the nicknames which John 
C. The Engineer Turmel has gotten from the different media. The 
Canadian was responsible in his homeland for many headlines and 
newspaper and TV stations keep showing the same picture: Turmel with 
the white hard-hat on which is written in big letters "The Engineer" 
with a Bible in one hand and the picket sign in the other which 
demands the abolition of interest. On Wednesday evening, this shining 
person was the guest in Beuel.
     As a young engineer, he had declared war against the banks and 
the state because those institutions drive people into debt through 
interest and taxes. In this effort, he is the persevering supporter 
and founder of many local employment trading systems (LETS) which are 
known in Germany under the name "Tauschringe". These are based on the 
principle of exchange, work for work, and not for cash payment. 
Meanwhile throughout the whole federal republic of Germany, there now 
exist 229 with new ones sprouting. 
     Turmel and his wife Pauline are now on an European tour. This 
tour now takes the singular couple to the sunny side of Bonn to visit 
the newly-founded in February 99 LETS "Schdl-Sick-Tauschring 
Bonn/Rhein-Sieg e.V.". Though the visit was very short, it was 
informative and interesting. For nearly 3 hours, nearly 20 LETS 
members who had assembled in the "Hotel Mertens" at the Rheindorfer 
Strasse listened to the words of their illustrious guest.
     He enthralled his listeners with his ardent and insistent life 
story because the Canadian's story would come under the title "The 
incredible life story of John C. Turmel" at the top of the best- 
selling list of popular literature. Turmel also is aware of this. To 
underline his credibility and the truth of the reports of his singular 
steps in life, he documented everything with newspaper articles. 
The Canadian had collected hundreds of articles in newspapers from 
many different countries in a single publication which had the 
colorful title "The Adventures of John "The Engineer" Turmel."
     And they were really captivated. John C. Turmel saw the light of 
day on the 22nd of February in 1951 in Rouyn Quebec. After a very 
successful school career, he enrolled at Carleton University in Ottawa 
Ontario in electrical engineering in 1974. Also there, this 
young man dedicated himself in a course given by Professor Walter 
Schneider called "The Mathematics of Gambling" where he was as a 
"star" student with extraordinary interest and engagement. This was 
the first and only course of its kind in the whole of Canada, said 
Turmel. I finished it with an "A+," the best possible result of all.
     His passion was awakened and it changed his life. "From 1975 
until 1978, I was a professional gambler. Meanwhile, I was Professor 
Schneider's Teaching Assistant," said Turmel. During these years, he 
went on more than 50 4-day junkets to several casinos in Las Vegas but 
for those casinos, the Canadian was more successful than normal 
Blackjack players and for that, was quite an unwanted guest. Turmel 
was barred.
      It is very difficult to come to a conclusion on his ongoing 
changeful life so far. In any case the following: 1976 he ends his 
studies but he gambles further. In 1979, the Canadian believed he 
could fight better for his big aim to legalize gambling by running as 
a candidate for Parliament on this platform. His attempts to be 
elected as a Member of Municipal and National Parliaments brought 
Turmel two entries in the Guinness Book of Records: he has taken part 
in 47 elections to date. Record #2: just as often, Turmel is the 
world-wide record holder for losing too. The Canadian opened two 
casinos in his life. Several times, Turmel had to go into prison for 
his gambling passion.
     Until today, the couple lives from the winnings which the sly- 
headed Turmel gains from the Blackjack game. On that basis, the two 
Canadians travel around the world and visit exchange rings and LETS of 
all countries. To the Beuel LETS exchange, the engineer said on their 
way "Take care of your LETS ring. There are so many ways it can help 
The Schaal-Sick-Tauschring has changed its meeting place. The 
following meetings are on Wednesday July 21, August 18, and September 
8 at 7:00p.m. at "Mertens Hotel", 134 Rheindorfer Str. 53225 Bonn-
Further information available from Brigitte Guenther-Sun on 
Tel./Fax:0049-228 47 97-345 or e-mail:


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