The Gold Conspiracy Never Ends

I see that my old boss Ron Paul wants an audit of the nation’s gold holdings to make sure the gold is really there and isn’t lead bars covered with gold paint or something. This reminds me of a conversation I had with then-congressman Phil Crane many years ago.

Crane told me that one day he happened to be in Louisville, Kentucky and he had some time to spare so he drove out to Fort Knox. He went to the guard, introduced himself, and said he wanted to see the gold. The guard said that wasn’t possible because he didn’t have an appointment and a bunch of other reasons.

So Crane asked if he could use the phone and he called the Treasury Department and asked to speak to Bill Simon, who was then Treasury secretary. Because Crane was an important Republican congressman on the House Banking Committee, Simon took the call. According to Crane, Simon asked to talk to the guard and he told him to let Crane see the gold.

So Crane was allowed into the facility. But he was told that there wasn’t one vault, but many vaults. And they were all on timed locks with different timers for security purposes. Apparently, there was only one vault that could be opened that day. It was opened and Crane inspected the gold but didn’t have a test kit with him to be able to test it to see if it was genuine gold.

Over the years, I have heard various conspiracy theories about the gold that may have this incident at their core. One is that there is only one vault that has any real gold in it. If forced to show the gold to some official, this one vault is always the only one that can be opened that day. I’ve also heard that the real gold is on some sort of conveyor system and moves around from one vault to another depending on the timer system, so that the real gold is always available in whatever vault may be opened that day.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. The world’s gold supply is known to experts within a small margin of error. If the gold in Fort Knox had been secretly sold it would create double counting that would become known. Also, the revenue would have to turn up somewhere in the budget. And it’s hard to believe that vast quantities of gold could be removed without the soldiers guarding it knowing about it.

Unfortunately, I know from experience that when someone is committed to believing a conspiracy theory, no matter what evidence is presented against it, the result is simply to further confirm the original theory. I also know from experience that Ron Paul is very conspiracy-minded.

I recall one occasion when I was working at the Treasury Department and he was out of Congress, publishing an investment newsletter. He called to say that he had heard that the Treasury was building a new facility to print money with different designs and colors. The idea was to call in all the old money in order to catch drug dealers, tax cheats and so on. Ron told me that he had heard that a new high-speed currency printing plant was secretly being built in Texas.

As a courtesy to him, I actually looked into this. I was told that there were no such plans and that such a scheme would be impossible to implement without congressional authorization. I told this to Ron, but he published a piece in his newsletter saying that it was true. Of course, in the 20 years since the Treasury still hasn’t implemented its secret plan. Maybe it’s just waiting until it has enough black helicopters to confiscate all the guns at the same time.

Anyway, it seems that Ron is still on the same kick.

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About Bruce Bartlett 76 Articles

Affiliation: Forbes

Bruce Bartlett is a columnist for, the online side of Forbes, the nation’s premier financial magazine.

He served for many years in prominent governmental positions including executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Deputy Assistant Secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush Administration, and as a senior policy analyst in the White House for Ronald Reagan.

Bruce is the author of seven books, including the New York Times best-selling Impostor: How George W. Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, and thousands of articles in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Fortune and many others. He appears frequently on CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN and Fox News, and has been a guest on both the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.

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8 Comments on The Gold Conspiracy Never Ends

  1. Even if the gold is there it doesn’t mean that it isn’t under an agreement to a foreign country, the IMF or maybe even private organization that has special priviledges with the FED. Even Bernanke said in a testimony the only thing they refer to in regards to gold is about selling it, so you rant about it not being a possibility really carries no water.

  2. If all the gold owned by the U.S. government is acounted for, why is the U.S. government opposed to an audit of the gold reserves? Secrecy naturally and rationally leads to suspicion. History and our founding fathers have taught us to be wary and suspicion of government promises. Thus a full audit of the government’s gold is not only proper but long overdue. Castigating proponents of this common sense measure as conspiratorial loons is just a cheap ad hominem attack masquerading as a mainstream thinking.

  3. ” . . . Knoxville, Tennessee and he had some time to spare so he drove out to Fort Knox”

    When I read that, my first thought was, either the columnist or the politician are lying. Ft. Knox in in Kentucky. So no one went to Ft. Knox.

    But after I looked at the columnist’s web site, things got more complicated. The version on his own web site says Louisville, Kentucky, not Knoxville, Tennessee. That is evidence of a conspiracy, probably from the same people who sold off the gold and replaced it with painted Legos.

    Either the column originally was written with Knoxville (the lie) but was changed at the origin site to cover it up (the conspiracy) – or someone at the wall street pit web site changed it from Louisville to Knoxville (a lie) in a nasty attempt (conspiracy) to undermine the credibility of the columnist – or the original said Louisville – oh wait, I already said that.

    Hmmm – you see this is how conspirators work. They did this confuse me.

  4. One does not need to believe that there is or has been a conspiracy to commit fraud (or any other criminal act) in order to understand that periodic and thorough audits of the nation’s gold holdings are appropriate and necessary.

    Inventory control and audits are necessary regardless of what’s being verified, for reasons that I think should be obvious.



  5. The Gold could be there or it may not be there. It could be real or not. The truth is, that there is a higher power that knows for sure as there have been far to many secrets throughout history that have been revealed long after they happened. Even if the gold was not there, there is to great control over our America’s people to do more than to stir up a few protests that will fade with time. There are far to many people out there that do not understand the significance of gold being there or not to make a change in the System!
    Article was well written but does not prove anything one way or another!

  6. What is the point of having timed vaults anyway!!? It seems like a good excuse for the Clerk at 7/11 to tell a Robber that walks in to rob the place, that the vault is timed so he can’t get in it! But to have timed vaults at a Place Like Fort Knox!?

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