Toronto Star, September 9, 1982
IMMORALITY OF INTEREST LED MAN TO POLICE STATION by Desmond Bill
Picture caption: "No Entry: Metro police made sure John Turmel, above, didn't his protest against bankers and interest rates into the meeting rooms of the Sheraton Centre, where World Bank president Tom Clausen was speaking about the plight of poor nations.
Metro police hauled away a man who stood outside the Sheraton Centre protesting against bankers. John Turmel, 31, founder of the 75 member Christian Credit party of Canada, was taken to No. 52 division police station and allowed to go free a couple of hours later. He was warned that he would be arrested for breach of the peace if he went back to the site of the International Monetary Fund / World Bank meetings and displayed his signs again. "If you go back there, you'll be back here," one policeman told him in the station.
SUPREME COURT CASE Turmel, who is trying to start a Canada-wide Ottawa-based protest against evictions, claims that charging interest is not only immoral but illegal under Canadian laws. Turmel, who says he "wants to use the system to screw the system," has already taken his case to the Supreme Court of Canada where the judges brushed off his claim. But that doesn't deter him. "It cost me $15 to go all the way to the Supreme Court," he explained. If every single person being evicted took their case all the way to the highest court in the land, we could clog up the whole system. "You'd probably die of old age before the banks could foreclose on you." Turmel says his method is not being used by William Devecseri, a 52 year-old Ottawa man, after a bank foreclosed on his home mortgage, and obtained a court order to evict him. Devecseri has filed notice to appeal the action and meanwhile continues to live in the house. Turmel is a follower of what he calls "pure Social Credit" theories of Major C.H. Douglas, the economic theoretician behind the Social Credit movement that swept Alberta in the mid 1930s and led to the first Social Credit government in the world. It held power in Alberta for 30 years.
UNSUCCESSFUL CHARGE Turmel once tried to charge Gerald Bouey, Governor of the Bank of Canada with keeping a common gaming house, arguing the bank is gambling customers will be able to repay their loans. To buttress his case, he cited the meaning of the French words from which we derive the word mortgage: mort is the French word for death and gage is a form of the French verb to wager. He said mortgage is aptly named as a deathgamble "for its requirement that the participants... repay both the principal and the usury when the banks only created the loan out of the principal." When a Justice of the Peace refused to lay the charge against Bouey, Turmel appealed to the courts for an order that Justice of the Peace lay the charge but was repeatedly turned down. He now offers free kits telling others "how to stiff the banks." Copies may be obtained by calling him in Ottawa.
Send a comment to John Turmel