Social media posts featuring the Raam bearer bonds circulated in the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP) are going viral. The video claims that 'Raam' is a currency issued by the GCWP and is used in the United States and Europe.
The viral video talks about the Global Country of World Peace, which is located in Iowa, USA. The video also talks about the “currency” issued by the GCWP, which features the image of the Hindu god Lord Ram. The video claims that one ‘Raam’ is equivalent to ten dollars in the US and ten euros in Europe.
The video is viral with the claim, “GCWP is a borderless Hindu Country located in Iowa, USA. The country's currency is RAAM with pictures of Prabhu Ram, and 1Raam = 10 USD. The currency is accepted in US and Europe.”
It is being widely shared on social media with a similar claim.
The Logical Indian Fact Check Team received a request to Fact Check this claim on our helpline.
The GCWP’s website refers to itself as a “consortium of educational organisations” founded by spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 2000. Tony Nader currently leads it and works to create an era of “peace, progress and prosperity.”
As per the Contact Us page of the GCWP, the organisation is headquartered in Vlodrop, Netherlands. However, the organisation does describe itself as a “borderless Hindu country” in the USA's Iowa. The website notes a city in Iowa, USA, referred to as the Maharishi Vedic City, which has its own by-laws but does not call itself a country.
The Raam is the currency issued by the GCWP in 2001 as the Global Development Currency. The ‘currency’ bears the photo of Lord Ram and is issued in denominations of one Raam, five Raam, and ten Raams.
The organisation aims to remove poverty through the RAAM development currency, as per the website. The Raam is identified as a “catalytic global development currency” that can facilitate the development of “unused fertile agricultural land available in the nation to produce pure nourishing food” for export.
“The RAAM currency will provide the means to start the many productive projects that would otherwise not start for lack of money in the government treasury,” the GCWP website reads.
We conducted another keyword search for the currency ‘Raam’ and came across a report from Hindu Business Line titled, ‘A bit on the virtual currency’ published on September 12, 2013. As per the report, the Raam is circulated in parts of the United States and the Netherlands. The Raam is issued by the Stichting Maharishi Global Financing Research (SMDFR), a charitable foundation.
We also came across a document published by the SMDFR which notes that the organisation is the issuer of the global development currency or RAAM. The RAAM will be offered to people residing in the European Union as per the document.
The document adds that the Raam is in bearer form and will bear interest from 31 December of the year of issue at the rate of 3% per five years (a simple interest rate of 0.6% per year), which is not a feature of a currency.
We also came across a report by the BBC titled, ‘Dutch give nod to 'guru currency' published on February 5, 2013. The Dutch government reported that Raam had not violated Dutch law as per the country’s central bank. The notes had been accepted in over 100 Dutch shops and around 30 villages and cities, as per the BBC report.
In the BBC report, the Dutch Central Bank told the BBC that the “Maharishi movement” had followed the law but stated that the currency could be used as long as the notes were “not used as legal tender” and it stayed with “a closed-off circuit of users.”
Reportedly, some Dutch shops accepted the raam notes/bonds at a fixed rate of 10 euros per raam. An India Today report was published on September 23, 20223. “County officials have rejected the currency, and business houses in Vedic City are more than ready to back the holy currency.
We found that the GCWP is a “consortium of educational organisations” headquartered in a village called Vlodrop in the Netherlands. This consortium is based in Iowa, USA, called the Maharishi Vedic City, with its own by-laws. The currency of Raam is not officially recognised as legal tender by the World Bank. Some places in the Netherlands and USA’s Iowa have adopted the currency as bonds, but not legal tender.
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