STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did President Bill Clinton quietly sign into law an economic reform measure secretly passed by Congress and did President George W. Bush later orchestrate the 9/11 attacks to prevent the enactment of the law, commonly known as NESARA? No, that's not true: The claims about NESARA, which at the time of its introduction stood for the National Economic Security and Recovery Act, are not supported by any basic documentary evidence or credible named witnesses nor are they backed by scholarship and investigative reporting about the Bush and Clinton administrations.
The claims have appeared in many posts since the 1990s, an example of which can be found in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on February 19, 2021, under the title "NESARA GESARA LAW!" It opened:
Global Economic Security and Reformation Act
NESARA GESARA law:
Cancels all credit card, mortgage and other bank debt...Abolishes income tax...Eliminates all current and future nuclear powered weaponry.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Mar 25 15:42:55 2021 UTC)
This fact check addresses just a few of the 20 claims made about NESARA in this post, but also addresses claims made elsewhere about NESARA
Claim: NESARA-enacting legislation was secretly approved by Congress
Claims about NESARA have persisted since the 1990s, so much so that the U.S. Treasury Department issued this statement on June 6, 2002, in answer to a public written comment urging its adoption:
As you are aware, the NESARA proposal has not yet been introduced in the Congress, nor is it part of any current law. The Treasury Department is not authorized, under our political system of checks and balances, to execute or administer any part of NESARA, without the force of law as approved by Congress.
Lead Stories' searches of the Congressional Record and the National Archives and Records Administration did not identify any documents or other information related to the National Economic Security and Restoration Act or to NESARA.
Lead Stories reached out to the Congressional Record, seeking a staff review of the record. The Congressional Record replied March 29, 2021 saying it found no related records:
We searched the ProQuest Congressional database, a fee-for service database which is not available to offsite users but which allows the user the search the full text of all published congressional documents. We did not find any listings for either one of your phrases.
The National Archives replied March 29, 2021, that it was researching Lead Stories' query and would respond as soon as possible. We will update this fact check, as appropriate, when the archivists' response arrives.
It should be noted that Congress can pass legislation in secret, most always on matters dealing with national security and defense issues. This rarely happens, as lawyer and scholar Dakota S. Rudesill noted in a June 29, 2017 article in the Lawfare website:
Secret law is inevitably problematic and normatively disfavored in a republic, as I explored in my general study of secret law and summarized in blog posts at Just Security. On the other hand, there are reasonable arguments for secret law. It enables the law (and lawyers) to manage in granular detail the darkest corners of the national security black box, without compromising classified information or tipping off the bad guys. Secret law is also a limited phenomenon in all three branches. In Congress, typically less than two percent of all enacted laws per session create secret law.
Claim: NESARA-enacting legislation was secretly signed into law by President Bill Clinton
Lead Stories' searches of the National Archives and Records Administration and the catalog of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum failed to identify any documents or other information related to the National Economic Security and Restoration Act or to NESARA.
The Clinton Library also replied March 29, 2021, to a Lead Stories written request by saying it did not locate any related records:
Searching for the term "NESARA" returned zero results: https://clinton.
presidentiallibraries.us/solr- search?q=%22Nesara%22Searching for the phrase "National Economic Security and Recovery Act" also returned zero results: https://clinton. presidentiallibraries.us/solr- search?q=%22National+Economic+ Security+and+Recovery+Act%22
Claim: President George W. Bush took steps to block enactment of NESARA
Lead Stories' online search of records of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum did not turn up any documents or other information related to the National Economic Security and Restoration Act or to NESARA.
The Bush Library responded to Lead Stories' request for information with an email on March 30, 2021, saying: "Be aware that there is no released material available on National Economic Security and Recovery Act at this time."
Boosters of NESARA say Bush ran the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a "false flag" operation to prevent enactment of the NESARA policies conspiracists said had been passed and signed into law.
Claims by a variety of conspiracy theorists that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were a false flag operation have been thoroughly debunked by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, Lead Stories and other publications and agencies operating independently of one another.
Origins: The Barnard version of NESARA
The National Economic Security and Restoration Act was a set of economic reforms proposed by systems consultant Harvey Francis Barnard in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But although Barnard published his plan and tried to get Congress to act on it, the measure went nowhere. Among its many far-reaching proposals, NESARA would have canceled all debt, abolished the income tax and established a new U.S. currency backed by precious metals.
Barnard, who held a doctorate from Louisiana State University in applied science with an emphasis in systems philosophy, said in an article published by the arch-conservative site wnd.com two months before he died of heart failure on May 18, 2005, that he had "a knack for fixing things."
A blurb for Barnard's 1996 book "Draining the Swamp, The NESARA Story," tells how he got interested in the economy in the 1960s when a professor at Louisiana State University casually remarked in one of his lectures that some social and economic problems could be analyzed and solved with the same tools and techniques used to solve industrial problems.
Barnard said in the interview published by wnd.com that he used that background to analyze the U.S. economic system:
The basic problem is the equations that drive the system. It has nothing to do with the Democrats or the Republicans. It has nothing to do with the kind of government -- it doesn't matter if it's communist, socialist, parliamentary, dictatorship. The same equations drive the system, and the system basically is not stable.
Barnard viewed debt as the primary reason for stagnant economic growth and compound interest as a the main reason for debt. He came up with a set of principles that included canceling debt, abolishing income tax and replacing it with a 17% flat-rate tax, eliminating the Federal Reserve and replacing current currency with money backed by precious metals such as gold and silver. If enacted, he said his plan would cause an economic boom of biblical proportions.
He drafted a bill that he completed in 1990 and tried to find a backer in Congress to introduce it. He also pitched it to then-presidential candidates Ross Perot and Steve Forbes. No one was interested, he recalled in the 2005 interview:
Nobody in Congress wants to touch this. They are scared to death.
In that same article, a spokesman for then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, explained why they weren't interested.
I'm sure this guy has written this bill and he thinks it's a good thing to do, but no one has explained to me why contracts for home mortgages should be done away with. Don't banks have a right to earn interest?
Barnard self-published "Draining the Swamp" in 1996 and still got no takers, so he then posted his thoughts on the then-nascent internet. He got plenty of attention, but not the type he wanted.
'Dove of Oneness' Claims NESARA enacted in secret, blocked by 9/11
The NESARA posting somehow got the attention of Washington state resident Shaini Goodwin, who started posting about it under the name "Dove of Oneness." She took Barnard's original theories and embellished them with cult-like messages she posted on the internet.
She claimed that Congress passed the law in a secret session in March 2000 and that President Clinton quietly signed it into law. Furthermore, she said, the law was scheduled to be implemented on September 11, 2001, but President George W. Bush orchestrated the terrorist attack to destroy computer files concerning NESARA housed in one of the World Trade Center Towers.
Her version of the back story of NESARA, which she renamed the National Economic Security and Reformation Act, maintains that the Supreme Court issued a gag order to keep the matter secret upon penalty of death and that a group of high-ranking military and other officials she calls the White Knights have been fighting to implement NESARA.
Other adherents of a new NESARA movement have taken it a step further, predicting imminent Earth visitation by space aliens and claiming George W. Bush is one of several reptiloid aliens who secretly control the U.S. government.
Some proponents of the new NESARA also talk about GESARA -- the Global Economic Security and Reformation Act -- and the two acronyms are often mentioned together.
Goodwin cited the reason for her fervor, as quoted in a July 19, 2004, article in the Tacoma News-Tribune:
NESARA is the most important thing on the planet.
Barnard and others saw a different reason. The wnd.com article says:
Barnard mentioned that 'scam artists' have picked up use of the NESARA acronym, hoping to make a buck, or several, from gullible Americans.
'That's the rip-off,' Barnard said with a chuckle in reference to the Dove of Oneness site.
The News Tribune article points out:
Her followers don't know she has registered a business to make collection of donations easier, that she has declared bankruptcy at least once, or that she owes the IRS $12,000. Most don't even know her name ...
Las Vegas debtor/creditor attorney Jay Adkisson says he became aware of NESARA in 1999 when reading about the Omega Trust and Trading investment fraud. He wrote extensively about it in his quatloos.com website, which he titles a "cyber museum of scams and frauds."
He told Lead Stories in a March 24, 2021, telephone interview he has no doubt NESARA is a rip-off:
NESARA became a money maker for scam artists. ... I believe anybody who seriously believes that stuff has a screw loose. I believe they are certifiably suffering from some sort of mental illness if they truly believe that stuff.
Andreas Schroeder, at the time a professor at the University of British Columbia who wrote several books on confidence games and scam artists, told The News Tribune that Goodwin's success at obtaining followers and donors came from marrying Omega with NESARA.
An undated post by the Gemini Investments Research Group, which investigated Goodwin and NESARA said she:
promoted the concept of 'prosperity packages' that were going to be sent out to folks... those who invested in certain 'trusts' would be eligible for incredible sums of tax free government money. The caveat? None of this would take place until NESARA was announced.
Omega was one of the trusts she actively promoted. Gemini said:
This group was founded by a man named Clyde Hood, who was at the SAME TIME that Dove was promoting Omega, arrested and imprisoned for fraud. ... Omega Trust began in 1999 targeting Christians, promising that an investment of $100 to the trust would be rolled over into payouts of over $100 million. In some cases, Omega Trust claimed it had access to over a Quintillion dollars in funds ready to be paid out.
Jeff Scobba, at the time an investigator with the U.S. postal service in Seattle, said that Goodwin operated legally:
She has her First Amendment right to say things. As long as she's saying it's a gift or a donation to her cause, I don't think there's anything illegal with asking for money.
But, he said:
I think it would be foolish to send her money.
Goodwin maintained her efforts until her death on May 30, 2010. But her death did not end the NESARA movement. In fact, her death announcement on the NESARA site asked believers to continue contributing.
2021-03-30T17:51:32Z 2021-03-30T17:51:32ZThis story was updated on March 30, 2021, with a comment from the George W. Bush Presidential Library.