Fact Check: Were FBI, IRS, ADL and U.S. Fed All Founded in 1913?

Among the misinformation that accompanies news of financial or business collapse, an anti-Semitic narrative is, sadly, often not far from banking crisis stories.

From the 2008 financial crash to the implosion of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Jewish banking conspiracy theories continue to proliferate centuries-old prejudices about the control of global wealth.

Now, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, these claims are appearing again, including one that connects the founding of U.S.' federal security and financial bodies with an effort to protect Jewish interests.

American gangster George Kelly Barnes (1895 - 1954), aka Machine Gun Kelly, is led away in handcuffs by FBI Agents after his arrest, September 1933. Kelly was wanted for the kidnapping of businessman Charles F. Urschel. ( FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images

The Claim

A tweet by @VeBo1991, posted on March 13, 2023, viewed 10,000 times, included a screengrab of a Telegram post by American Thinker claiming that the Federal Reserve, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Anti Defamation League (ADL) were all founded in 1913.

The screengrab included text that stated: "No coincidences."

The Facts

Stating it is "no coincidence" that the three government organizations (the Fed, the FBI, and the IRS) were founded alongside the ADL, a civil rights group that fights anti-Semitism, feeds into a persistent and toxic conspiracy that a group of Jewish people runs the world, a trope that is consistently recycled during global crises.

Beyond that, however, the claim that all these institutions were founded in 1913 is simply incorrect.

The FBI as it is known today was officially formed in 1908 when Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte, brought together 34 agents as part of a newly formed special force to investigate certain cases of the Department of Justice, per a history on its website.

Bonaparte ordered the DOJ to refer these matters to his Chief Examiner, Stanley W. Finch, who would hand the matter to one of these new agents.

The roots of the IRS go back even further, to 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln and Congress created the Commissioner of Internal Revenue position, who would enact an income tax to pay for war expenses during the Civil War, according to the IRS website.

Although this was repealed 10 years later, with the ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1913 giving Congress the authority to enact an income tax, the organization as it's known now had history far before that year.

While the Federal Reserve Act was signed in 1913, creating provisions for banks that would "furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States," the concept of a central bank dates back to the 18th century.

As stated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Alexander Hamilton spearheaded leading to the creation of the First Bank of the United States, which had a capital stock of $10 million, in 1791.

The ADL was founded in 1913 "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all."

It states that prior to its founding the "Jewish community in the United States faces rampant antisemitism and overt discrimination. Books, plays and, above all, newspapers, depict Jews with crude stereotypes," exacerbated by World War 1.

The Ruling



The FBI, IRS, the Fed, and the ADL were not all formed in 1913.

The FBI and IRS were first formed in 1908 and 1862 respectively. While the Federal Reserve Act was signed in 1913, a central American bank was first founded in the 18th century.

The only organization to have been founded unambiguously in 1913 was the ADL.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek's Fact Check team

False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false.
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