Muenster Zeitung July 20 1999
Exchange rings as an alternative
by Fueser
John Turmel visited LoWi e.V.
Picture caption: John Turmel protests against the power of the banks 
and he is committed to exchange-ring-systems as an alternative 
economic system.
     Muenster (MAF)- "Exchanging instead of paying!" is the basic 
principle of LoWi e.V. (local economic initiative) of the exchange 
ring for Muenster that was founded in March 1996 to try out "a new, 
fair and social system of work, trade and market." The Canadian John 
Turmel who is dealing with this issue since 1984, told of developments 
and far-reaching possibilities of exchange rings also on an 
international level.
     The engagement of this enigmatic personality goes back to the 
plan to legalize the game of chance in Canada. To bring an influence 
to bear, the former owner of a casino and professional gambler (still 
today) ran for political positions. In addition there was his protest 
against the power of the banks who rule the economic system with 
interest and indebtedness. During 20 years he took part in 47 
elections and lost them all. There is not only an entry in the Guinness 
Book of Records for Turmel, which he laughingly reported, but there 
were many insights into economic system. 
     According to him interest and mortgage result is getting the rich 
richer and the poor poorer. "I refuse to pay taxes for debts of 
interest!" the Canadian vibrantly emphasized with examples from the 
bible and history that such interest (usury) should be condemned. The 
only possible (interest-free) alternative: "LETS" local exchange and 
trading systems, how Tauschrings are called in the Anglo-American 
     These initiatives have spread on a local level with great success 
worldwide, whether as organized neighbourly help or as a greater 
joining together where the community is involved and where even 
special "exchange money" circulates. The english town Bradford was 
even granted EU-Funds for such a project. Turmel recommended that as 
an example and presented an application form right away. 
     In the United States, exchange and trading systems are taken much 
more seriously. Many social problems could be defused, unemployment 
could be included and many more things. Now should be the time to link 
the whole internationally, also for the benefit of the third world. An 
electronic way of payment and use of the internet will soon be proved. 
Promising aspects according to Turmel's thinking. He enthusiastically 
wished the people of Muenster an enjoyable development of their 
     Turmel's Internet site is
     Contacts to LoWi e.V.: monday 16-18 Uhr wednesday 17-19 Uhr, 
Umweltzentrum, Scharnhorststr. 57, Muenster Tel.0049-0000-53271, 
meeting every first friday of the month at 12 Uhr in the 


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