Move over George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt and, especially, Abraham Lincoln. There’s a new set of national leaders for America’s currency: conspiracy-monger and syndicated radio host Alex Jones, ardent Federal Reserve opponent and conspiracy-obsessed documentarian G. Edward Griffin, and 2008 presidential candidate and End the Fed author Ron Paul.
While you won’t find ATMs spitting out cash adorned with these Patriot heroes, their images can be found on silver and gold coins for sale at websites such as Silver Source Northwest and Freedom Mint (part of RestoreTheRepublic.com). Echoing a common belief within the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, these sites assert that the coins (they call them “rounds”) will retain their value because they’re made from precious metals — unlike the paper money issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve that many Patriots view as worthless. “It is critical to you, your family, and your community that you protect your purchasing power from the continually devaluing dollar,” states the Silver Source Northwest website.
But be warned: To buy these coins, you’ll still need plenty of greenbacks, also known as U.S. Federal Reserve notes (FRNs, in the contemptuous language of many on the radical right). An Alex Jones silver piece sells for $50 on the Freedom Mint site (plus $5 shipping and handling). Given Jones’ achievements — which include waking “millions to the message that our Republic is falling prey to the will of the globalist world controllers,” according to the Freedom Mint — fans may want to spring for the gold piece, which costs $2,000 (plus $20 shipping and handling). A copper piece is available for $8. At Silver Source Northwest, proponents of “voluntary barter currency,” can purchase a variety of 1-ounce silver coins, including the Jefferson Davis Dixie Dollar ($24.61), the Talk Radio Patriot ($24.61), the Dick Cheney NeoCoin ($23.61) and the George Bush NeoCoin ($23.61).
Although the Freedom Mint coins are billed as “sound money,” buyers will likely be disappointed if they try to use them at their local retail store. And the tale of Bernard von NotHaus, creator of the “inflation proof” Liberty Dollar that’s purportedly backed by gold or silver, may also give them pause. In 2006, the U.S. Mint declared that circulating Liberty Dollars is a federal crime and raided the company’s Evansville, Ind., headquarters. In a case that’s still pending in federal court in North Carolina, Von NotHaus (whose other ventures include starting the Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu) and three associates were arrested last June on charges of fraud and conspiracy in connection with their scheme to sell the counterfeit coins for profit. As part of their release terms, a federal judge barred then from distributing the pieces. A note on Von NotHaus’s website informs readers that “the Liberty Dollar is closed and not taking any orders until the trial is over. … Thanks for your support to return value to America — one Liberty Dollar at a time.”