Updated: Dec 21, 2021
What American has not played the game of Monopoly? It’s a game that withstands the test of time. I remember playing it as a kid and my kids still play it today. There’s a story behind the game that is fascinating. It was actually created by a woman named Lizzie Magie in 1903.
She was frustrated at the imbalance between the rich and the poor and the overreach of the monopolies that took hold at the end of the 19th century and reigned supreme at the beginning of the 20th century (Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, to name a few). Her intention was to show the competitive nature of humans and our obsession with accumulating wealth.
Lizzie actually created two sets of rules: one showed what happened when wealth accumulated in the hands of a few and the other was an anti-monopoly set where all were rewarded when wealth was created. She developed the "Landlord Game", which was taught person to person for decades on the East Coast. One night, Charles Darrow was introduced to the game. Desperate for money, he asked the friend who taught him to write down the rules and he took “The Monopoly Game” to Parker Brothers, all but erasing Lizzie Magie.
After reading this story, I wonder if a board game could be responsible, at least in part, for our culture's obsession with billionaires. It makes sense. Kids begin playing the game around six years old and are trained and rewarded for buying up as much property as you can while bankrupting others. I wonder too what would have happened if Lizzie’s second set of rules had made it into the popular culture as she intended. What would the outcome of that cultural indoctrination look like? What would a culture based on rewarding all when wealth is created look like?
I’ve spent a lot of time researching and contemplating John D. Rockefeller’s vast oil empire. He was a master monopolist, buying up oil fields, manipulating the price of transporting oil via railroad to oust his competitors, and finding ways to turn the leftover product from the oil refineries into consumer products. In contrast, a contemporary of Rockefeller’s named Henry George was an economist and journalist that Lizzie admired. He proposed the idea that economic value derived from natural resources should belong to all. Eureka! This makes sense. In addition, Lizzie’s original set of rules included a “Labor upon Mother Earth wage” inspired by the idea that wealthy landowners should be taxed more heavily.
Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly was based around, well, oil. The world’s oil was created millions of years ago by algae, plankton and other plants that fell to the seafloor at the end of their life cycle and were then crushed under pressure. I definitely think this qualifies as a natural resource that should belong to all. Land ownership in general doesn’t make much sense to me. But buying up land, pillaging the earth beneath it, and hoarding the money from the product really makes no sense. Can you freaking imagine if the money from all of the oil that is produced went back to the people? Not only would we all have enough, but the incentive would not be to take more than we need. We would find alternatives to oil because it is a finite and non-renewable resource. Unless you want to wait around a few million years.
Rockefeller’s oil empire led into the pharmaceutical industry. He hired scientists and built labs to turn leftovers from refined oil into products, one of which was pharmaceuticals. He, together with Andrew Carnegie, then funded an effort to standardize medical education via a report known as the Flexner Report in 1910. The report declared pharmaceuticals as medicine and Rockefeller began to fund schools that would teach pharmaceuticals only. The report also led to the closing of many naturopathic and alternative medical schools. This is how the billionaires of the early 20th century parlayed their oil and steel monopolies into the medical monopoly we have today.
Just as in the game of Monopoly (at least the version we all know!), to create a real-life monopoly, you also have to squash your competition. And the Flexner Report along with the American Medical Association did just that. Throughout the 20th century, beginning with a genius doctor named Dr. Albert Abrams, the medical monopoly sabotaged anyone who came up with alternative medicine that threatened the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Abrams was the first to apply Einstein’s theories to medicine and he had great success. Dr. Abrams was able to diagnose and treat disease, including viruses and cancer, based on the frequency found in the blood sample of a patient. Have you ever heard the idea that you can break a crystal glass by singing at the same high pitched frequency that binds the crystal together? Dr. Abrams medicine worked the same way. If each disease has a frequency, measured in hertz, then you could destroy the diseased cells by delivering microcurrent at the same frequency. Dr. Abrams trained over 3,000 physicians using his new techniques before he was sabotaged.
In 1922, Upton Sinclair, the famous author of The Jungle, visited Dr. Abrams lab and wrote an article called the House of Wonder, describing the marvels of Dr. Abrams methods. Unfortunately, within a couple of years, Dr. Abrams students had their medical licenses revoked, his reputation tarnished in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the regular, and he was written off as the biggest medical quack in history. Can you imagine what we might have today if Dr. Abrams' work was not only celebrated but funded and promulgated? It’s not too late to right the ship. There are brave practitioners who have carried Abrams' methods forward to today.
I’d like to thank Lizzie Magie for her vision, Dr. Abrams for his genius and tenacity, all those who practice energy medicine for their courage, and those unknown heroes working to share the world’s wealth with us all.