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Executive Order 6102 Hoax

Summary: There really was an Executive Order 6102, signed by President Roosevelt in 1933, which banned gold ownership in the United States. There was also Executive Order 6814, signed by President Roosevelt on August 9, 1934, which banned the ownership of silver in some forms. However, safe deposit boxes were never sealed.

What is the Hoax?

The text of the hoax varies a bit; we have seen 4 common variations. The part in bold is real, the rest is made up. The parts in {braces} were in the original, and omitted from the hoax. The first reference we can find on the Internet is:

HOAX
Executive Order: By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section
5(b) of the Act of Oct{ober}. 6, 1917, as amended by section 2 of the Act of
March 9,1933, {entitled "An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency
in banking, and for other purposes",} in which {amendatory Act} Congress declared that a serious emergency
exists, I {, Franklin D. Roosevelt,} as President {of the United States of America}, do declare that {said}
the national emergency still {continues to}
exists; that the continued private hoarding of gold [and silver] by
subjects of the United States poses a grave threat to the peace, equal
justice, and well-being of the United States; and that appropriate
measures must be taken immediately to protect the interests of our
people.

Therefore, pursuant to the above authority, I hereby proclaim that such
gold [and silver] holdings are prohibited, and that all such coin, bullion
or other possessions of gold [and silver] be tendered within fourteen days
to agents of the Government of the United States for compensation at the
official price, in the legal tender of the Government. All safe deposit
boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed, pending
action in the due course of the law. All sales or purchases or movements
of such gold and silver within the borders of the United States and its
territories, and all foreign exchange transactions or movements of such
metals across the border are hereby prohibited.

Your possession of these proscribed metals and/or your maintenance of a
safe-deposit box to store them is known [to][by] the government from bank and
insurance records. Therefore, be advised that your vault [box] must remain
sealed, and may only be opened in the presence of a[n] agent[s] of the
Internal Revenue Service.

By lawful Order given this day, The President of the United States.
HOAX

Hall of Shame: Who Perpetuates the Hoax?

What Proof is There That it is a Hoax?

  • The timing is impossible. Silver ownership was banned by Executive Order 6814 on August 9, 1934, the earliest date such a document could have been written. Gold was revalued to $35/oz on January 30, 1934 ("Gold Reserve Act"), and the government certainly would not reimburse people $35/oz for gold coins they had not turned in earlier and would have received $20.67 for.
  • It is obviously not Executive Order 6102; there are many references to the true EO6102, and this is not it. If anything, it is something else.
  • Given that it is not Executive Order 6102, the statement "I hereby proclaim that such gold and silver holdings are prohibited" is nonsensical. FDR already said that in the April 5, 1933 Executive Order 6102.
  • All varities of the hoax on the Internet state that "gold and silver" are banned, and all have or imply a date of March 9, 1933 (or in some, April 1933). However, silver was not banned until 1934. Therefore, it is impossible that it could be an Executive Order from 1933, or the Executive Order banning gold ownership (which did not mention silver, since silver was not banned when gold was).
  • There are at least 4 variations. Executive Orders are inspected very carefully before being published, and those re-publishing are usually extremely careful to make sure that there are no changes accidentally introduced.
  • There is no evidence that all safe deposit boxes ...
  • The first known reference to this hoax (that we discovered) was a book 'After the Crash - Life in the New Great Depression' (Michael Haga, 1996). It referenced just gold, not gold and silver. Yet every reference we have found on the Internet states "gold and silver". Therefore, it seems that someone intentionally added "and silver" after 1996. And even if the hoax had been real, every reference to the hoax we have seen on the Internet has a modified version that has a very different meaning than the original hoax.
  • Executive Orders are written for all citizens. The hoax was addressed to individuals (e.g. 'Your posession ... is known to the government' and 'your vault').
  • An Internet search for the phrase "By lawful Order given this day" only produces copies of this hoax. It is nearly impossible that any standard official document (Executive Order or otherwise) normally uses that phrase. ("By lawful Order given this day" -"advised that your vault" -"gold and silver").
  • The real Executive Order 6102 lists certain exemptions (such as up to $100 face value of gold coins, including art, industry, and mining), the hoax does not.
  • The hoax does not state what the penalties are for violation of it (as opposed to the real Executive Order 6102, which states a penalty up to $10,000 and up to 1 year in jail).
  • Nobody has ever discovered any evidence of the hoax being real. No physical copies of executive orders, not in any books pre-dating the hoax, not in any newspapers or magazines, etc. On the other hand, the real Executive Order 6102 is in a number of books of the time.
  • The hoax treats gold and silver exactly the same. The real Executive Orders and related documents show that gold went to banks as reserves (with gold coins no longer being legal to use), whereas silver was used to create silver coins (which have been legal tender to this day).
  • The hoax states that states that everyone had to turn in their silver coins -- yet there is clear evidence that silver coins were in usage throughout the entire 20th century. There is no sense to making people turn in silver dimes and quarters and giving them silver dollars (which they would then have to turn in!). It just makes no sense.
  • It does not say where to turn in the gold and silver! It just says "agents of the Government of the United States". Who would that be, your mailman?
  • Nobody has found evidence that all safe deposit boxes were sealed; in fact, that would have been an enormous undertaking. And if millions of safe deposit boxes were sealed in 1933, don't you think that would have made the newspapers?
  • It refers to both "safe deposit box" and "vault". It is highly unlikely that such an important legal document would use two different terms for the same thing.
  • The real Executive Order 6012 required gold to be turned into any bank that was a member of the Federal Reserve System. The real Executive Order 6814 required silver to be turned into the U.S. Mint. Therefore, a generic document like this almost certain would not have existed without further details on delivery.

When Could Such a Document Have Been Written?

Some varities purport to be Executive Order 6102, which was signed April 5, 1933, and some specify that date. Others specify just "this day."

The Executive Order banning silver (#6814) was signed August 9, 1934. Since the hoax refers to gold and silver, if there was such a document, it would have to have been published after August 9, 1934.

Further, Executive Order #6814 allowed 90 days to turn in silver. That brings us to the earliest possible date being around November, 1934 for such a document being written.

FDR was in office through April 12, 1945, so such a document would have had to have been written before then.

When Was Gold Required to be Returned?

Executive Order 6102 stated that all gold owned by them by May 1, 1933. It allowed for the possibility of individuals to get an extention, but applications had to be made under oath (and presumably by May 1).

Sources of the Real Executive Order 6102

What is Wrong with Hoarding Gold? Why is it Hoarding?

Many people do not understand the reason for the Executive Order.

The problem is that many people had recently withdrawn gold from banks, concerned that they would fail, as the market value of gold was going up (yet it was officially set at $20.67/oz). Many people later returned the gold, but many did not.

In order for the banks to run properly, they needed to have the gold. Without it, they could have failed. And the government did not have enough gold to cover all the gold-back notes out there.

Note that 'hoarding' was not referring to individuals who simply bought gold (like some do today). It was referring to people who took their money out of the bank, keeping it 'under their matress.'

Origin of the Hoax

The earliest version of the hoax that we have found dates to a book published in 1996, 'After the Crash - Life in the New Great Depression' by Michael Haga.

Interestingly, that version only mentions gold. It also contains several other minor variations not seen in any Internet versions of the hoax. This suggests that either [1] This book is not the original source of the hoax, or [2] It is the original source of the hoax, and someone else intentionally expanded on the hoax (adding 'silver' to it) and all Internet references came from that expanded hoax.

The earliest Internet reference we found was an Internet forum post from 1998.

However, taking some time to look at previous messages in that forum, it turns out there was a link to http://www.buycoin.com/info/reports/full/right.htm (now dead). But, using the great Internet Archive Wayback Machine, you can find it. Voila! We now know that the Kitco poster was not the source of the hoax; he just cut-and-paste it. That article appears to have been written either in 1997 or early 1998. The question then becomes whether the person who wrote that article copied it from the book 'After the Crash' (and then changed 'gold' to 'gold and silver'), or whether he found it somewhere else. A dead end.

The Actual Text

EXECUTIVE ORDER

FORBIDDING THE HOARDING OF GOLD COIN, GOLD BULLION AND GOLD CERTIFICATES

By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled "An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes," in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order:

Section 1. For the purposes of this regulation, the term "hoarding" means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term "person" means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve Bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

  (a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having a recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign Government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and bullion imported for reexport or held pending action on applications for export licenses.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered any person becoming the owner of any gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates after April 28, 1933, shall, within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of Section 2; or unless such gold coin or gold bullion is held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such gold coin or bullion, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates delivered to it in accordance with Sections 2 or 3, the Federal Reserve Bank or member bank will pay therefor an equivalent amount of any other form of coin or currency coined or issued under the laws of the United States.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver all gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal Reserve Banks of their respective districts and receive credit or payment therefor.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President by Section 501 of the Act of March 9, 1933, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates delivered to a member bank or Federal Reserve Bank in accordance with Section 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal Reserve Banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion or gold certificates by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath, addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal Reserve Bank. Each application must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this order and to issue licenses thereunder, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal Reserve Banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust gold coin and bullion to or for persons showing the need for the same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or of these regulations or of any rule, regulation or license issued thereunder may be fined not more than $10,000, or, if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.


The text can be found at The American Presidency Project. It can also be found in "The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume 2", pages 111-116. A draft can be found at Saint Louis Federal Reserve Bank. It can also be found at ... By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled "An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes," in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order --> Therefore, pursuant to the above authority; I hereby proclaim that such gold holdings are prohibited, and that all such coin, bullion, or other possessions of gold be tendered within fourteen days to agents of the Government of the United States for compensation at the official price, in the legal tender of the Government. All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed, pending action in the due course of the law. All sales or purchases or movements of such gold and silver within the borders of the United States and its territories, and all foreign exchange transactions or movements of such metals across the border are hereby prohibited.

Your possession of these proscribed metals and/or your maintenance of a safe-deposit box to store them is known to the government from bank and insurance records. Therefore, be advised that your vault must remain sealed, and may only be opened in the presence of agents of the Internal Revenue Service.

By lawful Order given this day the President of the United States.



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