by Alain Pilote
The very first issue of "Vers Demain" (in English, "Towards Tomorrow") was published in Canada in September, 1939. The journal, the French-language edition of MICHAEL, was founded by Louis Even and Gilberte Côté, founders of the Pilgrims of St. Michael. The English-language periodical, now called MICHAEL, was first published in 1953. So the reader can appreciate that the "White Berets" have been bringing their message to the world for almost 85 years, travelling all over Canada and the world teaching the economic reform principles known as Economic Democracy.
Clifford Hugh Douglas, who devised the financial proposals of Economic Democracy, was a genius, but it can be said that God used Louis Even and the Pilgrims of St. Michael to bring Economic Democracy to a wider audience in the light of Church teaching on social justice. If there had been only Douglas' writings, the man's ideas would have largely remained on a shelf, and few people would hear them today.
Mr. Even was a religious, a Brother of Christian Instruction born in France. He was an educator with a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. The good Lord used all this in Louis Even to found a great enduring movement of pilgrims spreading the teachings of Economic Democracy in light of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Mr. Even was a genius who immediately understood the implications of Douglas Social Credit, but he could have chosen to say, "That's all very well, but I'll leave it to others to make it known." No, Mr. Even also had an apostle's heart and a great love for the poor. It was all this that made him conclude: "Social Credit is a light on my path everyone must know." His dedication was so great that, even with the responsibilities of a wife and children, he left a good job in the midst of the Depression to give himself totally to the cause, trusting in Divine Providence which did not fail.
Louis Even and Gilberte Côté had given the new periodical launched in 1939 the name "Vers Demain" (Towards Tomorrow), because its aim and purpose was to secure a better future, a better world.
Vers Demain and MICHAEL continue to this day to promote Economic Democracy out of our Rougemont, Canada, headquarters. You might ask, "Is monetary reform enough to achieve a better world?" After all, we need a world that is morally better; one that recognizes and submits to God's will. Indeed, the founders did not call their periodicals "The Social Credit Journal", because for a better world we must address not only monetary reform, but also keep with the teachings of the Church.
Moreover, Mr. Even understood from the beginning that by wanting to correct the current financial system, he was attacking not only the bankers, but a satanic power. Money is indeed one of the main instruments used by Satan to corrupt souls. St. Paul wrote: "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). And Our Lord said: "You cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve both God and money" (Luke 16:13).
Money, which should be an instrument of service, is rather an instrument of control and domination. The devil uses the current money system to enslave the whole world, so that people idolise money instead of worshipping the good Lord.
Louis Even was himself a great Catholic, and he was convinced that a better world could only be built on the eternal principles of the Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, headed by its visible head on earth, the Supreme Pontiff.
The objectives of MICHAEL are clearly stated on page 2 of each issue of the publication, just above the Table of Contents. It reads: "A journal of Catholics patriots for the Kingship of Christ and Mary in souls, in families and in nations." And also: "For social justice through Economic Democracy, in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, through the vigilant actions of heads of families, and not through political parties." This means, among other things, that the Social Credit philosophy that is referred to in MICHAEL has nothing to do with political parties, not even so-called Social Credit parties, but is an economic reform that could be applied and endorsed by any party in power. (You may have noticed that we increasingly use the term "Economic Democracy" to refer to the financial proposals of Scottish engineer Clifford Hugh Douglas to avoid confusion with the political party system and to avoid confusion with the Communist Chinese Party's surveillance and control system that is known as Social Credit.)
MICHAEL is therefore a periodical of Catholic patriots that endorses a model of economic reform. Some might ask: "What does this have to do with religion?"
If the Church intervenes in social issues and has developed a set of principles known as the "Social Doctrine of the Church", it is essentially because, as Pope Benedict XV said in 1920, "It is in the economic field that the salvation of souls is in danger". His immediate successor, Pope Pius XI, also wrote:
"It may be said with all truth that nowadays the conditions of social and economic life are such that vast multitudes of men can only with great difficulty pay attention to that one thing necessary, namely their eternal salvation." (Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931.) Throughout the centuries, all the Popes have spoken in a similar fashion.
The fact that countless souls are lost because of the current financial system is easy to see. We need a minimum of material goods to survive our short pilgrimage on earth. God created man with an immortal soul but He also created us with material needs for food, clothing and shelter. But in order to get food, clothing and shelter, one must have money to purchase them; otherwise, goods will rot on store shelves and the pauper will starve to death.
In other words, money is the license to live for the individual. Having no money means certain death. Those who hold the power to create money — the bankers and the system they have developed — therefore literally control our lives. Pope Pius XI correctly described this in his Encyclical letter, Quadragesimo Anno, in 1931:
"This power becomes particularly irresistible when exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, are able also to govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the lifeblood to the entire economic body and grasping, as it were, in their hands the very soul of production, so that no one dare breathe against their will." The Pope added that "the State has become a slave, bound over to the service of human passion and greed."
This control of money by private interests is the greatest swindle of all times and it has brought about an incalculable number of disastrous consequences: economic depressions, wars, etc. One could not calculate the harms the crooked financial system and the chronic money shortage has done to souls. Here are only a few examples, which could be multiplied ad nauseam.
On the world scale, over one billion seven hundred million people have to search through heaps of garbage to find something to eat and stay alive. Over 100 million children on the globe are homeless and live in the streets, abandoned by their parents who can no longer support them. Every day on earth, over 40,000 children die of hunger or disease, all because of a lack of money.
Moreover, every country in the world — industrialized and developing countries alike — struggles with debts that cannot be repaid and many of these countries cannot pay even the interest on their debts. Individuals too are trapped in a debt spiral: the level of debt of Canadian households in relation to their disposable income reached a record high of 186% in 2022, which means that for every $100 of net income, Canadian families owe $186!
The Church cannot remain indifferent to situations like hunger in the world and indebtedness, both which jeopardize the salvation of souls. This is why she calls for a reform of the financial and economic systems, to put them at the service of the human person. For example, Pope John Paul II's calls along these lines were countless. In his first Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of Man, March 4, 1979), the Holy Father spoke of "the indispensable transformations of the structures of economic life of poverty amidst plenty that brings into question the financial and monetary mechanisms. Man cannot become the slave of economic systems." Also:
"Again, I want to tackle a very delicate and painful issue. I mean the torment of the representatives of several countries, who no longer know how to face the fearful problem of indebtedness. A structural reform of the world financial system is, without doubt, one of the initiatives that seem the most urgent and necessary" (Message of the Holy Father to the 6th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, September 26, 1985).
The Church therefore presents the moral principles on which any financial or economic system must be judged. And so that these principles may be applied in a practical way, the Church calls on the lay faithful — whose proper role, according to the Second Vatican Council, is to renew the temporal order and bring it in accord with God's plan — to work for the search of concrete solutions and the establishment of an economic system that conforms to the teachings of the Gospel and to the principles of the Church's Social Doctrine.
It is for these reasons that Louis Even decided to spread the doctrine of Economic Democracy — the set of principles and financial proposals that were set forth for the first time in 1918 by Scottish engineer, Clifford Hugh Douglas, to solve the problem of the chronic shortage of purchasing power in the hands of the consumers. Think of the term "social credit" to mean social money or national money, money issued by society, as opposed to the present money that is a "banking credit", money issued by the banks.
When Louis Even discovered "the great light of Social Credit" in 1934, he immediately understood how this solution would put into application Christian principles of social justice in economics — especially regarding the right of all to the use of material goods and the distribution of daily bread to all — through the allocation of a social Dividend to every human being. This is why, as soon as he came across this knowledge, Louis Even accepted that it was his duty to make it known to all.
It is a duty and an obligation for every Christian to work for the establishment of a better economic system, and John Paul II indicated that "no one is dispensed from collaborating in this task." This is so even when the task is difficult, wrote the Holy Father. (It cannot be any other way, since when one attacks the monopoly enjoyed by the controllers of money and credit, one attacks the greatest power in this world.)
In spite of the lack of understanding, grievances and opposition of all kinds, there should be no room for discouragement, since the task remains "urgent and necessary."
"Anyone wishing to renounce the difficult yet noble task of improving the lot of man in his totality, and of all people, with the excuse that the struggle is difficult and that constant effort is required, or simply because of the experience of defeat and the need to begin again, that person would be betraying the will of God the Creator" (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, n. 30).
The most fundamental reason every Christian must work for the establishment of a better economic system is that we will be judged on what we have done for our brothers and sisters in need. Jesus identified Himself with those who suffer, as it is written in the Gospel: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt. 25:40). Our faith teaches us to see Christ in each of our brothers and to love our neighbour as we love Christ.
There are, of course, many ways to help our brothers in need: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned and the sick, etc. Some will send donations to charitable organizations, whether to help the poor of our country or elsewhere. These donations may relieve some poor people for a few days or weeks, but they do not fix the causes of poverty.
What is required is to correct the problem at its root, to attack the very cause of poverty, and to re-establish every human being in his rights and dignity as a person created in the image of God and a being entitled to a minimum of earthly goods. And to give to each what is his due is precisely what justice consists of.
"More than any other, the individual who is animated by true charity labors skillfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it and to overcome it resolutely. A creator of peace, he will follow his path, lighting the lamps of joy and playing their brilliance and loveliness on the hearts of men across the surface of the globe, leading them to recognize, across all frontiers, the faces of their brothers, the faces of their friends" (Paul VI, Encyclical letter Populorum Progressio on the development of peoples, n. 75).
Louis Even had discovered the cause of the misery of the people — the creation and control of money by private banks — and also the means to combat this swindle: the education of the people who would then clamor for justice.
In order to make sure that the authentic message would reach the population and, most of all, because his heart was full of great charity towards his neighbour, Louis Even left a secure job in the middle of the Great Depression, to found the "Vers Demain" Journal in 1939, and give all of himself and his time to the cause of justice. He became, literally, a pilgrim on the roads of Canada, sharing the great message with all his brothers and sisters. His examples of dedication and self-giving attracted other apostles to follow him.
The Popes have said that the transformation of the economic structures will be obtained only through self-dedication and sacrifices made for the love of one's neighbour, and this is exactly the method made popular by Louis Even and the Pilgrims of Saint Michael:
"These attitudes and 'structures of sin' are only conquered — presupposing the help of divine grace — by a diametrically opposed attitude: a commitment to the good of one's neighbour" (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, n. 38).
John Paul II spoke of the need for divine grace in this battle for justice, and this is what Louis Even understood from the very beginning: that justice is impossible without God. Moreover, Economic Democracy is more than a monetary reform system. Rather, it is a system based on God's intended order for society.
Douglas once said that "social credit" is the confidence that we can live in society, that society can provide us with goods and services. It is the trust that one will not be shot in the street or robbed by one's neighbour, etc. If God's Commandments are not obeyed, no order and no life in society is possible.
Divine assistance is especially needed when one comes to know that the real goal of the financiers is the establishment of a one-world government — which includes the destruction of the family and Christianity — and that the promoters of the New World Order are actually led by Satan himself, whose sole aim is the ruin of souls.
To sum up, our battle is a battle for the salvation of souls. This periodical only repeats what the Popes and the Church demand: a new evangelization to remind Christians of basic Church principles, sometimes forgotten, and a restructuring of the economic system. To be a Pilgrim of St. Michael is the most urgent and necessary vocation of our times. All our readers are invited to find new subscribers to help us spread the message. How great and important is the work begun by Louis Even!