Viewing entries tagged
due diligence

"Are you not ashamed to mingle domestic crops with blood and gore?"

"Are you not ashamed to mingle domestic crops with blood and gore?"

image: MIT homepage of Dr. Stephanie Seneff (specific image link).

Many ancient philosophers presented philosophical arguments against the consumption of animal flesh and for the adoption of plant-based diets in one form or another, among them PlutarchOvid, and (at least according to long-established tradition) Pythagoras.

In one of his surviving treatises on the subject, Plutarch argues that resorting to the consumption of that which is (in his words) "contrary to nature" is a form of slander against the gods and the earth, implying that they cannot support us with their bounty. He asks:

Why slander the earth by implying that she cannot support you? Why impiously offend law-giving Demeter and bring shame upon Dionysus, lord of the cultivated vine, the gracious one, as if you did not receive enough from their hands? Are you not ashamed to mingle domestic crops with blood and gore?

A previous post from 2012 noted that, while Plutarch was applying these arguments to the consumption of flesh in an age long before the direct injection of foreign DNA into foodcrops, the same arguments could be applied with equal force to the creation and distribution of genetically-modified organisms for human consumption, a practice that has appeared only in the past two decades of human existence but which has increased exponentially since these GMOs were first introduced into the food chain.

Not only is it questionable and completely unproven to assert that the earth and the gods simply could not support human life without these newly-devised GMOs (and, Plutarch would say, slanderous and impious to say so, as well), but in light of data being presented by credentialed researchers, it may be that those who have been pushing GMOs into the food supply are also mingling domestic crops with, if not "blood and gore," a widespread increase in terrible neurological diseases and health problems.

Here is a link to a talk given on May 24, 2014, by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT who has focused her research in recent years on correlations between nutrition and health. The talk is long but critically important. In it, she presents evidence arguing that the sudden introduction of new, genetically-modified, herbicide-resistant corn and soy crops into the US food chain in 1991, and the corresponding massive increase in herbicide application on top of these food crops (see chart above) correlates almost one-to-one with the rise in autism diagnoses in the US (the red "line graph" or "mountain chart" line represents chemical herbicide applied to soy and corn, in thousands of tons, and the yellow "bar graph" columns represent the rising number of children identified as having autism). 

Her data further indicate a potential harmful synergy between this newly-prevalent herbicide and the increased exposure to aluminum, primarily through vaccines.

This previous post examines some of the powerful forces at work to marginalize anyone who questions the safety of the increased vaccine regimens for children, and the possible connection vaccines may have with autism.

Early in her talk, she also states that the lack of exposure to sunlight among children who now for various reasons may be spending too much time indoors and staring at screens instead of running around outside may also be a contributing factor, leading to dangerous deficiencies in natural vitamin D production from sunlight exposure on the skin and through the eyes. Interestingly enough, the health benefits of basking in the sun were known to the ancients and written about by various ancient authors and philosophers as well.

Dr. Seneff states that she has spent the past several years examining possible environmental factors that may be contributing to the rise in autism shown in the chart above. She notes that there is an argument that autism is only genetic, and a contingent of people who apparently do not want to take the time to examine hypotheses which include possible environmental contributors to this and other health problems. Beginning at about 0:00:40 into the talk, Dr. Seneff says:

So, people keep saying "Oh, yeah -- it's genetic; autism's a genetic disease." They're not spending the money they should be spending looking for environmental factors. And as much as you could try to think of increased diagnosis or whatever, you've still got a huge part that's unexplained, unclear, and that is almost surely environmental. I don't think this audience would disagree. So, I've been studying autism for about seven years now, reading extensively in the literature, and looking one by one at all the  different environmental toxins and all the environmental factors that might be involved in autism. And I've identified several. Certainly sun, insufficient sunlight exposure to both the skin and the eyes, was something I identified early on: people in northern latitudes have increased autism, for example. And poor diet I think is something that people are aware of. Nutritional deficiencies. Vaccines is something  this community's very are aware of. But there's another factor that I didn't recognize until about two years ago. I went to hear a talk by Don Huber, who's a professor -- retired professor -- from Purdue,  expert on plant physiology and plant pathology, who's been going around the world talking about the dangers of this, Roundup, and the damage that it's doing to our nation's health. And once I heard his lecture, I became a changed person, and I spent nearly all of my time studying this chemical, and understanding how it works biologically, and linking that to very many diseases and conditions that are plaguing us today: things like diabetes, and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, various cancers, and you can see a very strong connection between this chemical and those diseases. 

Immediately after this, Dr. Seneff says that it is her hope that everyone listening to her will be convinced to investigate the evidence for himself or herself. This approach is a major differentiating factor between those who are encouraging real analysis (which I argue here and here to be an antidote to mind control) and those who argue that there is nothing to investigate, the issue is already settled, and their interpretation is the interpretation that must be accepted -- on faith, without doing your own research (which is the kind of argument that typifies those who seek to control others, exemplified in the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie by the  characters of Dr. Zaius and the orangutans).

The safety of the food supply, and the application of honest, open-minded analysis of the evidence regarding the safety of the modifications and ethicality of giving genetically-modified foods to people largely without their knowledge, their consent, or their awareness of the potential health hazards that may be associated with such foods, is a subject of such fundamental importance that it demands all of our attention. I hope that everyone will take the time to listen to Dr. Seneff's presentation linked above (here's the link again).

We simply must engage our critical thinking and do our own analysis when we see data such as that shown in the graph and discussed in the talk, or we risk "mingling crops with blood and gore," as Plutarch puts it.

No one who does military analysis before a military operation would ignore such data points or dismiss them as not worthy of further investigation. No one who does stock analysis before investing in a stock would see so many red flags in the data and argue for buying it anyway. When the health and safety of others is on the line, we do not have the luxury of just sleepwalking forward with our eyes shut.

Dr. Seneff has bravely presented evidence and a hypothesis, based on seven years of research and a host of data -- of course, those who wish to offer a different hypothesis can and should do so along with their arguments of why their hypothesis might be a better fit for the data.

Here is an article from October of 2014 discussing Dr. Seneff's research.

Here is another article, published yesterday, also discussing aspects of Dr. Seneff's research.

For those who might ask what this topic has to do with the topics usually discussed in this blog, the answer is: plenty. 

First, and perhaps foremost, there is the question of natural law (or, as it might be better labeled, natural universal law). The doctrine of natural universal law argues that the prevention of violence to another's person is fundamental, that we always have the right (and in fact the duty) to stop violence being done to ourselves or to another human being, and that it is for this purpose that governments are established.

Related to the question of natural law is the important subject of "mind control" -- used in a broad and general sense in this case (there are other, narrower, and more technical uses of that term which are also valuable but not necessarily in view here). In this broad usage, we can define mind control as the propagation of illusions and ideologies which are primarily designed to mask or even try to legitimize the violation of natural universal law, often on a grand scale. In fact, some have argued convincingly that mass-violation of natural universal law is always necessarily accompanied by forms of mass mind control.

Further, as intimated in the opening paragraphs of this post, this question is by no means unrelated to the questions treated by the ancient philosophers, especially those prior to the arrival of literalist Christianity, who clearly saw food as a proper subject for philosophical discourse, and a topic with deep moral implications.

Finally, the debate over this subject, in which there is a consensus view being promoted and a clear marginalization of those voices which challenge the consensus view, directly parallels the pattern found in the subjects most-often examined in this blog and in my research. There is a clear failure among conventional academia to seriously consider the overwhelming evidence pointing to ancient trans-oceanic contact between the "Old World" and "New World," for example, or the abundant evidence that consciousness may in fact be independent of the physical body, and many more subjects which are just as critical to our health and well-being as is the question of what foods are best and most healthful and safest for us to eat.

The question of the safety of our food is one we really do not have the luxury of ignoring. I believe that for various important reasons, the others discussed on this blog are equally pressing. 

The possibility that the creation of what came to be known as "the west" (and that is today embodied in governments and other institutions that can be seen to be descended from the western Roman Empire) might have involved the deliberate creation of illusions and the adoption of ideologies that now threaten the entire food chain and entire ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest (see for instance the discussion in this previous post) is certainly one of those issues. It may well be that this ideological pattern, which I believe began with a mistaken literalistic approach to ancient scriptures, which led to a deliberate rejection of the ancient wisdom as well as a false separation between human beings and nature, is directly related to the adoption of agricultural practices that could turn out to be very harmful to nature and to ourselves.

Thomas Jefferson and Immanuel Kant on reason, analysis, and mind control

Thomas Jefferson and Immanuel Kant on reason, analysis, and mind control

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

While we're on the subject of the vital importance of critical analysis as an antidote to mind control, it is difficult to pass up the opportunity to cite a rather famous quotation from Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) in which it can be argued that he stresses this very point.  

In letter dated March 13, 1789 addressed to Mr. Francis Hopkinson, Jefferson responds to earlier correspondence from Hopkinson who apparently noted that Jefferson had been "dished up [. . .] as an anti-federalist" and wrote to ask Jefferson if such a characterization "be just" (as in, "is such a label justified?"). Thomas Jefferson responds:

My opinion was never worthy enough of notice to merit citing; but since you ask it I will tell it you. I am not a Federalist, because I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.

He then goes on to discuss the relative merits or demerits of the federalist and anti-federalist camps, which is interesting but not part of the scope of this discussion, which will focus on the sentiment expressed in the declaration: "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself," that such "outsourcing" of the duty of thinking for one's self is "the last degradation of a free and moral agent," and that he would go so far as to proclaim that if he "could not go to heaven but with a party," he would not go there at all.

This ringing endorsement of the importance of thinking for one's self as "a free and moral agent" rather than submitting one's opinions on the important matters of religion, philosophy, politics and indeed every single subject in which it is possible to examine evidence and form one's own opinions is unfortunately absent from the teachings about Thomas Jefferson in the conventional schools (I personally managed to get through thirteen years of K-12 education in the US school system, plus four more years of undergraduate education at the US Military Academy [founded in 1802, while Jefferson was president], plus another two years of post-graduate study sufficient to earn a masters degree, without ever once encountering it or hearing it discussed by any teacher or professor), and it is probably safe to say that it is a far cry from the way most adults in the country of Thomas Jefferson form their opinions on important political matters (and some of the other areas he mentions) in many cases today.

Note that I do not exclude myself from that criticism: I can think back with chagrin at many times in my life in which I was as guilty of "submitting my opinions to the creed of some party" as anyone else.

Many reasons could perhaps be offered for the tendency to allow others to dictate our responses to important subjects such as those Jefferson mentions and the many others that he does not mention by name but alludes to with his reference to anything else in which we should be capable of thinking for ourselves. 

It is evidently not simply a "modern" or "post-industrial" problem, since Jefferson is writing about it as early as 1789, although the level to which we tend to "specialize" and develop expertise in one specific area and rely on others to be "experts" in everything else on our behalf may well be exacerbated in "modern" or "post-industrial" society. But it was very much a subject of the 1780s as well: it is in fact a subject that was addressed specifically by the "enlightenment" writers of the very same decade, including Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804) in his famous 1784 essay "An answer to the question: what is enlightenment?

There, Kant gives an answer which is very much in keeping with Jefferson's answer to the question, "Are you an anti-federalist?" In his own answer to the question of "What is enlightenment?" Kant writes:

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude). "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the enlightenment. 

The word "nonage" is literally the state of being "underage" (of "non-legal-age"), or being a "dependent." Kant's phrase "self-imposed nonage" is sometimes translated as "self-imposed immaturity," which is the way I am accustomed to seeing it. Either way, it is quite clear that Jefferson is expressing much the same opinion when he states that looking to the opinions endorsed by some party or another on any subject in which one is capable of investigating and making up one's own mind is a form of surrender of the responsibility to act as an independent agent and that it is a sort of self-imposed "degradation" or reduction in rank from the status of free actor to the status of a dependent.

This temptation, which Kant bluntly labels as a product of "laziness and cowardice," leads directly to being controlled and led about like (in Kant's own words) "stupid domestic cattle." In other words, failure to analyze for one's self leads directly to mind control. It can also be said from the tenor of their writings that Kant and Jefferson would both agree that critical analysis in which the individual spends the energy to examine, evaluate and decide for herself or himself forms a powerful antidote to such mind control. 

And yet we can all (probably) think of several recent events in which we formed an opinion (perhaps we should say "subscribed to an opinion") without taking the time to fully examine the available evidence for ourselves, to ask ourselves "what are all the possible explanations for this evidence" and then go looking for the additional "data points" (or "clues," in a mystery story) that would help us determine which hypotheses seem to best explain the evidence, without initially rejecting any of them outright simply because "the authorities" had already told us how we should decide. 

This tendency makes us very easy for others to lead around (by manipulating our minds and our opinions), just like Kant's "stupid domestic cattle."

And it is not just through our reactions to current events that we can be manipulated like cattle, even though immediate events are the most emotionally charged and the most demanding of our attention: I would argue that this tendency to, as Jefferson put it, "submit the whole system of our opinions" to others can and does operate in the realm of history, of past events, events of recent decades and even of history going back hundreds and even thousands of years. 

It may be unusual to think that manipulating our opinions regarding the shape of ancient history could enable others to "lead us like cattle," but in fact our opinion of history has an enormous impact on our analysis of the present: an excellent metaphorical illustration of this concept can be seen in the classic 1968 original film version of The Planet of the Apes, in which the orangutans deliberately foisted an artificial version of "ancient ape history" which obscured the existence of technologically-advanced human societies -- a false version of history that was considered so important, the orangutans were willing to blow up evidence and even to kill in order to protect the historical illusion which formed an important part of the foundation of their power (and their system of mind control).

Thus, it may be that our understanding of history (whether history from twenty, thirty, fifty or seventy years ago, or history from many centuries ago) is one of those areas which Jefferson did not name specifically but which is included under the "anything" in which we are capable of thinking for ourself. This is not to say that we should not make use of the analysis of specialists in history, experts in one era or another, professional historians and researchers and academics. But it does argue that we should not simply submit our duty to use our own reason to the power of another, and that their valuable work should really be seen as helping to provide some of the possible hypotheses and helping to provide the "clues" and the "data points" of evidence, which we carefully consider as we weigh all  of the possible hypotheses and analyze which hypotheses the multiple data points seem to best support.

Jefferson's final assertion in the quoted passage above raises one more very important aspect of this subject, and one that both Jefferson and Kant addressed directly in many of their writings, and that is the role of "religion" (broadly defined) in mind control. First, Jefferson specifically names it as one of the areas (along with philosophy and politics) in which every individual has an obligation as a free and moral agent to think for himself or herself, rather than simply submitting to the opinion of some group or some party. Then, Jefferson delivers a line which carries a considerable bit of shock-value: "If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."

While perhaps this is hyperbole, especially if Jefferson himself did not believe in a literal heaven or literal hell, it nevertheless frames his position in some of the strongest terms available. He is declaring that if getting into heaven required blind subscription to the opinions of a group, he would prefer not to go to heaven at all (which is to say, he'd rather be damned, although it is more polite the way he chose to phrase it).

By choosing to use such phrasing, and to put it this way, Jefferson implicitly seems to be bringing up the undeniable fact that the promised reward of heaven, and the threatened eternal punishment of an afterlife spent forever in hell, was often used in his day as a means of bringing others to submit their opinions to the opinions promoted by some group -- and although times have changed in the two hundred-plus years since Jefferson's letter was written, such tactics are in some cases still used to this day. 

If the imagined reward of heaven or threat of hell are sufficient to get men and women to submit "the whole system of their opinions to the creed" of another party (and hence to renounce their status as "free and moral agents," in the areas where they no longer perform their own analysis but instead submit to the opinions given to them by another), then they can be seen to be a way of controlling men and women through their minds, and thus can be categorized as tools of mind control.

This previous post discusses the threat of eternal punishment in a literal hell as a form of mind control, as well as evidence that the scriptures which supposedly support the idea of a literal hell were never intended to be understood literally but that they are actually (like the rest of Biblical scripture and in fact like the rest of sacred myth the world over) describing celestial motions using celestial allegory.

Finally, it should probably be stated that, like everyone else, Thomas Jefferson had plenty of flaws and shortcomings and areas of his life which are open to justifiable criticism. I believe it would be a mistake, however, to use such aspects of his life to discredit the many important ideas which he expressed on behalf of human freedom, including the excellent statements regarding critical analysis vs. mind control that we have been exploring here. 

If there were a Sherlock Holmes story in which some character arrived to warn the people not to uncritically accept the story offered by any group, including the group known as "the authorities," but instead to look closely at the evidence, then it would be folly to reject that character's good advice simply because that character also exhibited human flaws and failings, no matter how egregious those might be. 

In fact, those who wanted to shut such a character up might even seize on those flaws in order to tell people to ignore the advice -- but the fact remains that this advice could be very good, even if coming from a flawed source (and, in this material realm, we cannot afford to reject a hypothesis from someone just because he or she has human flaws, because every person we meet will have human flaws of some sort).  

The full text of Jefferson's letter to Francis Hopkinson from March 13, 1789 can be viewed in Jefferson's own handwriting, in an image format online here (go to images 1168 through 1171). A type-formatted edition of the same can also be found here. Along with the essay published by Immanuel Kant five years earlier, these writings call out to us across the distance now of more than two centuries, urging us to act as fully-responsible free moral agents, and not to relinquish our duty to reason for ourselves, lest in doing so we suffer self-imposed degradation and remain in a state of self-imposed immaturity or nonage, and leave ourselves open to being led like domestic cattle.

The jury

The jury

Quotation from Lysander Spooner on the absolute importance of the jury of the people:

"The trial by jury," then, is a "trial by the country" -- that is, by the people -- as distinguished from a trial by the government.
It was anciently called "Trial per pais" -- that is, "trial by the country." And now, in every criminal trial, the jury are told that the accused "has, for trial, put himself upon the country; which country you (the jury) are."
The object of this trial "by the country," or by the people, in preference to a trial by the government, is to guard against every species of oppression by the government. In order to effect this end, it is indispensable that the people, or "the country," judge of and determine their own liberties against the government; instead of the government's judging of and determining its own powers over the people.
-- Lysander Spooner, An Essay on the Trial by Jury, 1852. Page 6 (italics in original).

No one has a right to use physical violence against the person of another. This basic truth forms the foundation of what is sometimes called "natural law," but which could also be called "universal law" or even "natural universal law."

That no one has a right to use physical violence against the person of another should be self-evident. It should need no supporting arguments in order to establish. The self-evidential nature of the right to freedom from violence against one's person is declared in the stirring opening sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of 1776: 

We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed [. . .].

The truth that no one has a right to use physical violence against the body of another is discussed in numerous previous posts, such as this one entitled "

Why violence is wrong, even in a holographic universe," and this one entitled "Does writing something on a piece of paper make it a 'law'?"

Natural law, however, does recognize that there is always a right to use force in order to stop physical violence against one's self or against another. In fact, this is the only legitimate use of force, and because life is precious we actually have a duty to stop harm being done to another. If we need help, we have a right and a duty to call others to help us to stop such harm. The Declaration itself confirms the above view when it says that governments are instituted in order to secure (that is to say, to protect) the inherent, self-evident right to life.

The way that governments protect life is through police forces who are authorized to use force to stop violence,  and through jury trials in which juries of men and women rule on violations.

But what about the danger that the government itself is the one using violence? That situation is called tyranny. The importance of the jury as a bastion against government tyranny is little appreciated or understood. It is absolutely critical. It is perhaps the greatest guardian that the people have against government tyranny.

Lysander Spooner recognized this fact, and expressed it in his Essay on the Trial by Jury, published in 1852 and cited above. If the men and women of the world have overlooked or forgotten the importance of their right to serve on juries, the events in Ferguson, Missouri should have reminded everyone.

As explained below, I believe the evidence shows that at least four of the members of the jury made a terrible mistake in the grand jury decision they rendered this past Monday.

There are a large number of people who believe that the shooting of Mike Brown by a member of the police was a crime, and not an act of self-defense. A prosecuting attorney was selected by the county to act as a representative of the people to bring before a grand jury of twelve men and women, who also represent the people, the evidence that a crime might have been committed. Regardless of the fact that it can be argued that the prosecuting team did not necessarily act out their role in complete good faith, the undeniable fact remains that no matter how biased that prosecuting team may have been, the power to send this thing to court rested in the hands of a jury.

This jury was composed of twelve men and women who could have sent it to a criminal trial, and no one could tell them how to rule: no attorney, no law enforcement officer, no senator or member of congress, no governor, no president, no judge. They had the power to rule one way or the other, based on the evidence they heard, on the question of whether a criminal trial was called for.

Under Missouri law in this situation, if nine or more of the twelve men and women on the jury said a criminal trial was called for, the case would have gone to court for a criminal trial. While there may indeed be much to criticize about the way the evidence was presented to them by the prosecuting team, who (as the prosecution) were supposed to be presenting the evidence showing that a criminal trial was appropriate in this case, ultimately the responsibility to make the decision rested with the men and women of the grand jury -- and no prosecuting attorney or member of the government should have been able to stop them from ruling on the evidence that they did hear in any way that they saw fit.

Think about that, the next time you are called for a jury: it may be the most important thing you do that day, or even that month. Maybe not all of the members of this Ferguson jury were able to see the clear evidence that should have sent this case to a trial, but if just a few of them could see it (or even just one

of them), and explain it clearly enough to enable the others to see it also, the course of history could have been very different than the situation we have now.

Those who do not think that this case should have gone to trial are generally taking the position that use of force is absolutely legitimate in cases of self-defense: that is, in stopping violence against one's person. I agree with that premise: force is authorized in self-defense, and even deadly force.

But deadly force is not justified over, for example, an insult. Deadly force is not justified over, for example, a desire to "save face" in front of a community. Deadly force is not justified if you get angry or frustrated. If there is probable cause to believe that deadly force was used in this case for a reason like that, instead of strictly in self-defense, then the case should go to trial.

Note well: One need not be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the cop in this case used deadly force for one of those reasons such as to avenge an insult or out of sheer anger (rather than strictly in self-defense) in order to believe it should go to trial. One only need believe that there is probable cause to believe that the killing could have been motivated by anger, or by desire for revenge, or even by racial animus on the part of the shooter, to send it to trial.

Note also that one need not take the position that all cops are bad or anything like that in order to believe that a specific policeman might have stepped over the line in this case. You can believe very deeply that law enforcement is a very difficult job and a necessary job, and that most of those doing it are there for honest and good reasons and are honest and good people who want to stop violence and protect other people from harm: but believing all of that does not mean you have to close your eyes to the possibility that an abuse of power could take place. Believing all of that does not require you to take the extreme position that every single member of law enforcement is always right no matter what they do.

And, in this case, despite the arguably very biased conduct of the prosecuting team, enough evidence was presented for reasonable men and women to conclude that there is probable cause to believe more may have been at work here than self-defense:

  • That discrepancy throws a great deal of suspicion onto Wilson's testimony. In addition to the discrepancies between the testimony given by Wilson and that given by Dorian Johnson, it should be enough to convince a juror that there is probable cause to send this to a trial. It establishes fairly convincingly that Wilson is lying in at least one important detail of his testimony. The explanation that Wilson somehow just slipped up in his testimony is not at all likely, if you read his descriptions during his testimony on pages 209, 231, 240, and 253-254: there, Wilson gives testimony in which he clearly portrays his awareness of the robbery of the market as an important part of the story:
  • There is one other item that the jury should have seen in the evidence that was presented (although one could argue that any one of the above arguments already presented should have been enough for a jury to send this case to trial). That is the case of the previous incident in which it was alleged that Darren Wilson beat up a black man who said something to Wilson that Wilson did not like. This evidence is presented on pages 184 - 185:
  • Of course, the above incident is described as having been completely resolved and all accusations against Wilson and the two other policemen were determined to have been "unfounded." The initial accusation was that an African-American male "used racial slurs" against Wilson, who then (along with two other cops) beat up the black man so badly he had bleeding on the brain. But the incident was resolved as having actually involved the black man "breaking in" to Wilson's car, and then running away and hitting his face when he was tackled by "one of" the policemen (who were off-duty at the time). Now, this incident may indeed have happened as described in the second version and not the first, but note the startling similarities to the incident with Mike Brown in some of the details included in this incident: there is disrespectful language by a black male directed to Wilson, followed by allegations of excessive force, and the final story is that the black male was breaking into Wilson's car.  In addition to all the evidence already seen, this introduces the distinct possibility that Wilson may have a problem with controlling his response to perceived disrespect from black men. It is certainly not conclusive evidence of that, but it introduces the possibility, and it is a possibility not inconsistent with the description of the incident presented in the grand jury investigation (especially the description as given by Dorian Johnson, one of the two black males confronted by Wilson in this fatal incident). 
  • During Wilson's testimony, one of the members of the grand jury apparently exercised his or her right to ask Wilson questions about whether he had ever used force and injured a member of the "predominantly African-American neighborhoods" where Wilson had always been assigned, possibly with this very incident (which had been recounted prior to Wilson coming in to give his account) in mind:
  • The denial by Wilson when asked directly about times that he has used force in the past appears to contradict the fact that someone was obviously injured to some extent in the incident just described. It serves to add another level of doubt regarding Wilson's testimony. 

The evidence above was all presented to the members of the jury in the grand jury investigation. Even just one or two of them should have been enough to argue that there is sufficient evidence to introduce probable cause to conclude a criminal trial could be necessary. If there is the possibility that a member of the police force shot and killed a member of the public out of some kind of animus, or simply out of rage, then that needs to go to trial. 

Again, it should be stated very clearly: one can support the mission of those whose job it is to stop violence (such as law enforcement), and still believe that the people have a duty to send to trial when there is evidence that a crime was committed by a member of law enforcement. To argue otherwise is to place members of the government or of law enforcement above the law, and to do so is to invite tyranny.

It should also be noted that one need not "convict" the officer in question in one's mind in order to argue that it should go to trial: it is only necessary to see that there is clearly enough evidence to give probable cause to believe that a crime might have been committed. The officer should of course be considered innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof is on the prosecution in such a case. The officer should and will have access to defense attorneys to help him (or her) tell his (or her) side of the story.

Lysander Spooner wrote that the jury of men and women from the people was an essential guard against "every species of oppression by the government." It is probably safe to say that very few people today understand how absolutely essential the jury is as a safeguard against tyranny. 

In fact, in many ways the right to serve on a jury is as important -- sometimes even more important -- as the right to vote (both, of course, are important checks on the government's power). If people feel that their votes do not count, then they should consider how important their vote is when they are selected to serve on a jury. And, on a jury, not only does their vote count, but during deliberation they have the opportunity to present their arguments to the rest of the jury, to point out things that others may not have noticed. 

In light of that, every man and woman should pay great attention to the importance of analysis as a general skill that is essential in daily life, and pay attention to it before they get onto a jury, so that when and if they are selected to serve on a jury they can analyze the evidence upon which enormous decisions may hinge.

The Ferguson grand jury decision should serve as a huge wake-up call to the importance of the jury composed of the people, and of the importance of good analysis.

The Michigan relics (aka the Michigan tablets)

The Michigan relics (aka the Michigan tablets)

image: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (link). Djed-column "cast down"?

Beginning in the 1850s, and continuing for over fifty years, a series of artifacts including inscribed tablets of clay, slate, copper, and stone, was allegedly discovered in Michigan -- numbering into the thousands (some estimates as high as ten thousand).  These are the so-called "Michigan relics," and they have been roundly denounced as obvious frauds beginning in the late 1800s, and it is of course possible that some or all of them are fraudulent -- but there are many reasons to be careful before rushing to that conclusion.

The tablets depict a variety of scenes, many of them recognizably Biblical -- but with important and quite prominent departures from recognized "orthodox" Christian doctrine which may be a significant clue to the mystery. They also contain what one scornful professor writing in the 1890s described as "largely a horrible mixture of Phoenician, Egyptian and ancient Greek characters taken at random from a comparative table of alphabets such as is found at the back of Webster's Dictionary" -- although this is not entirely accurate as some of the tablets actually contain evidence of not one but two writing systems not know to be found anywhere else, one of which has been argued by some analysts to be based upon ancient Hebrew but altered as if to create a code, and the other of which is sometimes described as "toothbrush" writing and has yet to be deciphered (see below for an example of "toothbrush" script):

image: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (link).

The artwork on many of them can be described as fairly crude, although the quality of the art varies greatly, and at least one piece clearly uses techniques of perspective which were not thought to have been "discovered" or "invented" until the 1400s. Other criticisms include arguments that they contain copper that has been smelted using methods that the ancients allegedly did not possess, and that the daughter of one of the main "discoverers" of numerous relics later attested that her father forged them (a confession she notably did not make until after both her mother and her father had died).

All of these objections should of course be considered, and it is certainly possible that these relics are all forgeries. Yet several reasons to consider the possibility that at least some of them might be authentic remain.

First, there is the sheer number of the supposed forgeries. One collection alone catalogued 2,700 artifacts. Another collector catalogued between 9,000 and 10,000. The production of such quantities would seem to require a large number of co-conspirators, but most of those who denounce the relics as a hoax pin the scheme on a single individual, working perhaps with one other helper. 

Further, as Henriette Mertz (1898 - 1985) explains in her examination of the relics and the controversy entitled The Mystic Symbol and published posthumously in 1986, the scripts on the different artifacts reveal evidence that they were almost all done by different persons. Henriette Mertz was a code-breaker during World War II, and later was trained in detection of forgery, which is why she was asked to look at the tablets in the 1950s. She explains in her book some of the tell-tale signs of forgery, and why she does not believe that the script in the tablets betrays the work of a forger whatsoever: to the contrary, she cites evidence in the markings that they were done by different individuals, using a wide variety of different instruments and methods, and betray different "schools" and styles of writing even while depicting the same pictogram or letter.

One of the most important aspects of these tablets which must be considered in the question of whether or not they are fraudulent is the fact that they display a "theology" which is notably at odds with -- and even strongly repugnant to -- that which is considered "orthodox" by almost all the traditional literalist Christian teachers of western civilization for the past seventeen centuries. Researcher David Allen Deal, in a series of essays and analyses which are included at the end of

The Mystic Symbol and which can be read in part here on "Google books," demonstrates quite convincingly that many of the Biblical scenes portray two figures described as the "son of the right hand" and the "son of the left hand," and that the "son of the right hand" is the "younger brother" who becomes the Savior after the previous reign of the "son of the left hand," who is the elder brother of the two and who reigns for a thousand years prior to the advent of the "son of the right hand."

The assertion that Jesus had an older brother, of course, would be considered heretical among literalist interpreters, primarily because he is the son of a virgin mother (which would imply that he could not have any older siblings, although younger siblings might be possible -- a question, it should be noted, that itself has been hotly debated over the centuries even though it would seem to be much less contentious than the assertion that he could have had an older sibling). 

The further implication depicted in the labeled illustrations on some of the relics that this older brother is the Adversary, the Accuser, or the Enemy (that is to say, the Devil) is even more heretical and would be strongly rejected by most literalists (especially, it should be added, in nineteenth-century America). There are ancient sects which held that Jesus and the Devil are brothers, but the very idea is objectionable to most literalist Christian confessions in the west since late antiquity. 

What hoaxer in the 1850s, trying to create a series of fake tablets to imply a Christian presence (or a "lost tribes" presence) in the Americas would decide to impart such incendiary doctrines into the forged artwork?

Additionally, as both Henriette Mertz and David Allen Deal discuss in their analysis, some tablets appear to show priests giving reverence to Isis and other "pagan" deities right along with Biblical scenes. This is yet another piece of evidence which is difficult to explain under the conventional theory that all these relics are the product of a simple, uneducated hoaxer in the religiously conservative midwestern United States of the nineteenth century who took his cues from Webster's dictionary (and, as Henriette Mertz and David Allen Deal also point out, even if one finds alphabets in the back of a dictionary, that does not explain how that hoaxer then forms those letters into words and sentences -- some of which are written right-to-left and others left-to-right, and still others "as the ox plows" or "boustrephedon," one going right-to-left and the next left-to-right, which was anciently done but would be very difficult to forge, as Henriette Mertz points out [she suggests an experiment in which the reader try "forging" some lines while writing from right-to-left, to see how "natural" that might look or feel]).

There are still further reasons to entertain the possibility that these relics are not forgeries, such as the evidence David Allen Deal presents that they contain calendar wheels which indicate a Saturday sabbath (as was observed prior to the official change to the Sunday sabbath instituted by the emperor Constantine in AD 313), as well as astronomical details in one calendar-tablet indicating a solar eclipse which can be demonstrated to have been visible in AD 342 from the location where the tablet was found -- both astonishing pieces of evidence which might give "debunkers" some pause (would they care to explain how the nineteenth-century hoaxers managed to get those details right in their forgeries?) (seeThe Mystic Symbol, pages 191-192 for the sabbath analysis and 193-205 for the solar eclipse analysis).

Just as suspicious, in light of all of the above counter-evidence, is the haste and the vehemence with which the professors in the late 1800s dismissed the Michigan relics as obvious forgeries. One professor wrote, "Photographs of the objects have been sent to me and a glance is sufficient to reveal the true character of the find" (108). So, "a glance" is all that is required and they can be pronounced to be fraudulent. This haste in itself is suspicious -- in light of the evidence discussed above, it is even more so. 

Henriette Mertz notes that, although all these items were proclaimed fraudulent, and pinned upon the actions of one individual, that man was never actually charged with fraud:

Did one man alone forge each and every artifact comprising this vast collection of some 3,000 pieces? During the long heated controversy, the academic world would have us so believe and isolated one man charging him with the perpetration of forgery and manufacture and sale of fraudulent material. No proofs were ever offered nor was the man brought to trial. Most of this inscribed matter has now been destroyed as a result. 122.

Many artifacts do remain, both in private collections, and in some museum archives, but many have been lost -- as a direct result of the withering scorn and ridicule to which they were subjected almost immediately by the representatives of the academic community. One extensive collection also was lost when the building which housed it burnt to the ground (9).

These tablets are dealt with in some detail in The Undying Stars, because they might constitute unique evidence that some early Christians who held to doctrines which could be characterized as Gnostic and/or Coptic -- and hence heretical to the literalist hierarchical church that slowly came to power during the period between AD 70 and AD 390 (discussed briefly here and here, and at greater length in the book) -- may have fled for their lives to the Americas during the centuries in question.

If so, this might explain the haste with which evidence of ancient contact across the oceans is immediately denied today, and the vehemence with which the very possibility is ridiculed (see for example the tone of the Wikipedia entry on the Michigan Relics linked above, as well as the many quotations from professors beginning in the late 1800s all the way up to the present cited in The Mystic Symbol).

We know for a fact that Gnostic doctrines were persecuted by the rising literalist church in the period in question -- and other archaeological discoveries from the other side of the Atlantic have provided powerful supporting evidence to that effect, most notably the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts in the 1940s.

We have also shown that there is plenty of evidence in addition to and quite separate from these Michigan relics which argues strongly for ancient contact across the oceans during or even prior to the rise of literalist Christianity. Among the information most pertinent to the discussion of the Michigan relics is the fact that the very state of Iowa (and the Native American people for whom that US state was named) bears a name which is linguistically related to the divine name found in the Hebrew scriptures.

Further evidence is found in the extensive evidence of ancient copper extraction from the Michigan peninsula, discussed here (and also ridiculed by Wikipedia and largely ignored by conventional scholars). There is also the evidence of ancient Hebrew writing found in New Mexico, which David Allen Deal has also examined and discussed, and which is featured in this previous blog post.

It is important to note that the thesis of The Undying Stars by no means depends upon the authenticity of the Michigan relics. The "Michigan relic evidence" or the idea that some persecuted Gnostic or other Christians fled to the Americas is not essential to the "Roman Empire takeover theory" originated by Flavio Barbiero -- and in fact he does not even mention this idea in his book about that theory (The Secret Society of Moses). 

Nor is this evidence essential to the argument that the scriptures of Christianity -- along with the rest of the world's sacred myths -- are constructed upon a unified system of celestial allegory (for discussions of the evidence for this argument found in over sixty different myths from around the world, including some in the Old and New Testaments, see the index found in this previous post, and there are many others discussed in my book The Undying Stars).

However, there is extensive evidence -- piles and piles of it, in all different forms -- to support the conclusion of ancient contact across the oceans, in addition to the Michigan relics (if they are indeed authentic, which I believe they may be). Many of these different forms of evidence are discussed in previous posts, some of which are linked in this post, and they include artifacts that are almost impossible to dismiss as forgeries, including the hundreds of amphorae found lying at the bottom of Guanabara Bay outside of modern-day Rio de Janeiro, the staggering array of botanical and bacterial evidence arguing for ancient trans-oceanic contact compiled by two Brigham Young researchers, and the hundreds of red-haired mummies found in Peru and other South American locations discussed in this previous post (would any professors or Wikipedia authors like to explain how a hoaxer could have "forged" all those mummies?).

The fact that the Michigan relics are collectively just "one data point" among numerous other forms of evidence arguing for ancient contact across the oceans makes their hasty and vehement dismissal even more inappropriate. For those who would like to explore them further, here are links to a couple other web sites with discussions and images (for obvious reasons, some proponents of the authenticity of the relics may be coming from a literalist Christian perspective -- although I would argue that they may be strong evidence of the literalist takeover and the driving "underground" of the original and non-literalist communities).

The Michigan relics are an important piece of evidence that may (or may not) shed more light on important aspects of human history -- and point to events whose implications have had a huge impact on nearly every family or nation on our globe: events whose implications continue to this day.

Support your alternative media information-bearers!

Support your alternative media information-bearers!

I cannot emphasize enough how important I believe the new brand of "alternative media" platform, which has developed only very recently within the past decade or so, to be to humanity at this particular juncture in history.

That's right -- to all humanity!

Allow me to expand on this topic for just a moment in order to outline the reasoning for such a sweeping statement.

In a very tangible way, our "reality" is created by words, and by "narratives" which give us the lenses we use to view the events taking place around us, and to make sense of what we see (for a couple previous posts on this idea of the "narrative" and on the creation of "realities," see here and here).

For most of human history, at least in the centuries since the end of antiquity (and in the parts of the world which fell under the literalist narrative and became what has been broadly labeled "the West"), the ability of the average man and woman to examine the narratives was limited by several gigantic obstacles that made seeing the big picture very difficult. 

For one thing, literacy was generally very limited -- the ability to read and write was not a skill that was considered necessary for the "lower classes" who produced food and goods through hard manual labor -- nor was it considered a good idea to let these laborers have the ability to read and write. First of all, there were an awful lot of them (the production of food and other goods being very labor-intensive in past centuries), and if they could read and write they might "get ideas," which was also not considered to be a very good thing.

Only in recent centuries has there been a major change in this situation, with a wider and wider band of the population becoming literate (a product of the need for literacy as technology changed and the composition of the economy changed with it). In the past century, we have generally been able to take very high literacy rates for granted, but the control over the sources of information remained extremely narrow until even more recently, with the advent of the internet. 

Prior to the internet, it was theoretically possible to look up information and piece together an alternative viewpoint to the narratives handed down by the "official" media and the consensus of academia, but doing so was still very difficult unless you happened to have access to exceptional libraries and collections, and the time it would take to go visit special collections made piecing together "the big picture" much more difficult.

The internet has changed all of that -- and it has enabled the rise of the very important phenomenon of the alternative media platforms that are the subject of this post. Platforms such as Red Ice Creations (which was one of the pioneers of this model) and other pioneers (we are still very much in the pioneering stage of this development) such as The Higherside Chats

have an extremely important distinguishing feature that sets them apart from other media sources -- including other media sources enabled by the internet.

That feature is the fact that they are directly supported by listeners.

The importance of this feature also cannot be overstated. Consider how important that single difference is. Consider the fact that traditional media channels have usually been supported either by advertising or by direct government funding. 

Obviously, if a media platform is supported by direct government funding, it is unlikely to publish information which directly contradicts narratives supported by the government. If it does, a simple call from the government agency in charge of funding requesting (or even gently suggesting) the removal of any such objectionable information would carry tremendous weight.

Alternative media such as The Higherside Chats would not likely receive government funding to begin with (nor would such a program really want such funding, it is safe to say). But what about the other traditional method of funding a media platform -- advertising? Once again, that method places the content at the mercy of the advertisers to at least some degree, and potentially to a very large degree. 

If a young enterprising podcaster decided to make the providing of a platform where alternative views, no matter how divergent from the mainstream narrative, his or her full-time endeavor (because doing it right, with all the production as well as the preparation and research, might well take more time than someone could do in addition to working another full-time job), and decided to rely on advertising to pay the bills for such a platform, imagine what that might mean for the independence of the content being offered. 

Let's imagine that the enterprising founder of such a show manages to score a few big advertisers, and suddenly finds that the revenues from these advertisers pays for the cost of production and the people necessary to make it work. Then, one day, a guest on the show makes critical remarks about genetically-modified organisms in the food chain, and the biggest advertisers (who happen to be involved in an industry which would prefer less criticism of GMO food, for whatever reason) inform the founder of the show that if any other guests mention the topic in a critical fashion, they will take their advertising dollars elsewhere. 

We can imagine the same scenario playing out for a variety of other interests that would prefer certain aspects of certain narratives not be challenged on public forums (extremely important recent news regarding one aspect of the childhood vaccine narrative is receiving very little media attention outside of alternative channels, for instance).

For this reason, the business model pioneered by Red Ice Creations, in which about half the content is provided for free, and paying members subscribe directly and receive access to additional content, is a very important different approach. It enables providers of alternative media platforms to put in the full-time effort required to bring new and narrative-challenging content (and to take the time necessary to prepare for the interviews that help their listeners get an idea of what that content involves), and to do so in a way that does not place that content at the mercy of centralized interests.

Again, the importance of this fact simply cannot be overstated -- which is why I would personally encourage all of us who care about such content to support these platforms in whatever way we might be able to do so.

Because, as important as it is for researchers to actually go out and find the narrative-challenging information, it is equally important for those researchers to have platforms where they can present that information to the people who are looking for the clues. Alternative media channels make that connection possible. 

Not only that, but when a particular show (such as those already mentioned, and the many other excellent shows which are cropping up around the planet) has on multiple guests over an extended period of time (one after another after another after another for many weeks, months, and even years), then listeners get to hear many different perspectives, many different angles, many different theories -- some of which will contradict one another, and some of which will complement one another. This is the way that new theories can be pieced together; this is the way that mysteries are solved.

As I've said before, we all have our own individual backgrounds, experiences, areas of focus, strengths, weaknesses, subjects we are most drawn to, parts of the puzzle that we are most familiar with. Even Scooby Doo needed the different strengths and weaknesses of Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma to put the whole thing together -- and the mysteries that Scooby was solving were always pretty easy to figure out, once you'd watched a few episodes. For the kinds of mysteries that we face in the real world, it's going to take a whole lot of different personalities and backgrounds -- and one important way of bringing those different voices together is the kinds of media platforms that have developed only in the past several years.

We are living in a very important time. These types of shows were not even available just a few decades ago. We are also living in a time, as mentioned above, in which there is a very large, literate, well-educated "middle class" around the world, with the time and inclination to actually look into these things (in previous centuries, when just growing the crops took up a huge amount of labor and time, and did not really require everyone to know how to read or write, looking into these kinds of matters was simply not as practical as it is right now)*. The internet, and the arrival of this new type of directly-supported alternative media platform, arrived at a very fortuitous time in history, when there is a large number of people who may have hated a lot of the schooling they received but who can be thankful that it gave them the tools to start challenging the narrative in a way that simply was not possible just thirty or forty years ago (at least on the scale that it is possible now).

And so, once again, I would encourage everyone to try to support these new alternative platforms, or at least the ones that they themselves listen to the most (and also to try to find new and upcoming ones that seem to be worth helping to make it). One way to find them is to go to Twitter and look up a few (such as The Higherside ChatsRed Ice CreationsAlchemy RadioTruth WarriorMysterious UniverseThe Grimerica Show, and many others) and then see who those platforms are following -- often they follow other alternative media platforms, since after all they are in the same business. In this way, you can find five or ten to investigate.

You could also check out some of the platforms I'm grateful to have interviewed on, such as:

Truth Warrior (and see also The World Was Meant to be FreePure Momentum and the aforementioned THC and Red Ice.

To finish up where this conversation started -- if our reality is shaped by narratives, then false narratives which go unchallenged and unexamined can lead us down paths that go in the wrong direction and end up causing enormous harm, suffering, and trauma. Seeing through those false narratives is of absolutely critical importance -- to each of us individually but really to all humanity (we can easily go back through history and find examples of false narratives which have had negative consequences on a worldwide scale). Alternative, independent media platforms are an essential tool for the widespread examination of false narratives, and an essential tool for piecing together alternative hypotheses about what is going on in the world around us.

Please: Support your alternative media information-bearers!


* Credit to Michael Tsarion for expounding some of the argument presented above (regarding the obstacles in the past to seeing through false narratives and piecing together the "big picture," and the opportunity to do so today) during an Alchemy Radio interview with John Gibbons, as well as to Professor Darrell Hamamoto, who articulated some of the same points in a conversation I had with him this past year.

Reality Creation and The Tonkin Gulf incident, August 2nd and 4th, 1964

Reality Creation and The Tonkin Gulf incident, August 2nd and 4th, 1964

image: USS Maddox in 1964, Wikimedia commons (link).

This day in history, the second of August, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf incident, which took place on August 02, 1964, and which was used as justification for a major escalation of US military activity in Vietnam.

The incident was described to the world by politicians and the media as an unprovoked attack on US Navy vessels conducting routine operations in international waters during the night of August second, followed by a second unprovoked attack on August 04. 

Based on allegations that US naval vessels which had simply been "lawfully present in international waters" had been "deliberately and repeatedly attacked," the president went to Congress, asked for and received authorization for the use of "all necessary steps, including the use of armed force." The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was signed into law by joint resolution of Congress and approval of the president on August 10, 1964. 

This grant of authority was used to initiate US air strikes in 1964 and major deployment of US conventional ground forces (in addition to the limited numbers of special operations forces that had been in the country since at least 1961) throughout 1965 into Vietnam, with over 184,000 conventional military personnel on the ground by the end of 1965.

Whether or not the deployment of military force into Vietnam was justified in order to stop the violence that was in fact taking place there, the evidence which has been uncovered in the decades since strongly suggests that any attack which took place on US naval vessels on August 02 was not exactly "unprovoked," that those naval vessels were in fact supporting covert military raids into Vietnam (a fact which Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara denied in testimony before Congress during the deliberation over the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution itself in 1964 and again in 1968), and that there was probably no second attack at all on August 04, 1964. 

In other words, setting aside the larger question of whether or not military intervention in Vietnam was justified, the evidence strongly suggests that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution itself was based upon a false version of reality which was presented to the American people and their elected members of Congress. This false version of reality led directly to the combat deployment of over 184,000 people to Vietnam by the end of the following year, a number which increased to over 500,000 at the war's peak in 1968 (see chart below, which can be found here).

This article from the 30-year anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident (in 1994) lays out some of the arguments and evidence supporting the conclusion that the facts surrounding the August 02 confrontation were completely misrepresented, and that it is likely that no actual second confrontation took place two days later on August 04, 1964.

This more-carefully footnoted essay by Professor Peter Dale Scott of the University of California, published in 2008, explains that of the one hundred twenty-two pieces of signal-data collected on the night of August 04 (from radar, sonar, and other signal-gathering devices available to government intelligence personnel), only the fifteen pieces of data which would support the picture of a second attack were passed on to the White House. 

Meanwhile, in a completely separate agency from the one which passed on that incredibly selective array of data, a paragraph stating that suggested that the data supported the conclusion that a second attack had not taken place on August 04 was removed from the Current Intelligence Bulletin "which would be wired to the White House and other key intelligence agencies and appear in print the next morning."  

Professor Scott writes that it is possible to conclude that these two actions in two separate agencies could conceivably have taken place spontaneously, based upon a certain "shared bureaucratic mindset, or propensity for military escalation."

Of course, it is also possible that these two actions, each designed to paint the picture of a second confrontation which in all likelihood never even took place, and each removing critical information in order to support that false picture, were in fact coordinated.

This possibility is further supported by the published testimony of the Secretary of Defense himself, who went on record before Congress not just in 1964 when they were deliberating over the initial Gulf of Tonkin Resolution but also nearly four years later in 1968, stating "that attacks occurred against our ships both on August 2nd and August 4th, that we had available to us incontrovertible evidence of these attacks when the decision was made to make our limited and measured response, and that these attacks were in no sense provoked or justified by any participation or association of our ships with South Vietnamese naval operations" (see remarks by the Secretary of Defense to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 20 February 1968, about half-way down this web page).

Either he was deceived as well, or he was aware of the selectivity of the data and conclusions that had been presented to the American people and their elected politicians in August of 1964 and was participating in the fabrication of a false reality designed to create a "movie" in the minds of the vast majority of the citizenry which had in its opening scenes events they could look back on and say to themselves, "well, we were illegally attacked first."

The conclusion that the Gulf of Tonkin represents an example of the deliberate creation of a false reality in the minds of a massive number of people is difficult to avoid. 

This conclusion becomes even more likely when we realize that the two ships involved in the incident, the destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy, each had a Navy captain in command, but that they themselves were commanded by a Naval officer on the flagship of their fleet, the aircraft carrier USS Bonhomme Richard -- and that the officer in command of that fleet during that critical time was none other than George S. "Steve" Morrison, the father of the future lead singer of the band The Doors. This fact is stated in the obituary of Admiral Morrison published in the New York Times from December of 2008.

In and of itself, the connection between the rock frontman and the Naval officer does not necessarily add anything the already substantial evidence that the Tonkin incident represented the deliberate creation of an illusory mental construct designed to influence the thought patterns of massive numbers of people. However, some researchers and in particular researcher David McGowan have recently presented additional evidence that many of the influential rock bands to have formed around Laurel Canyon just north of Los Angeles may also have been part of a coordinated effort to "create a new reality" and change the thought patterns of massive numbers of people.

In his recently-released book, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, Mr. McGowan argues that there was something contrived about the sudden influx of prospective band members into Laurel Canyon, many of whom (but not all) had little or no musical experience, many of whom came from military families and/or families with powerful political connections, and many of whom shot to rapid success without going through the usual path of struggling to gain recognition, play at better gigs, and eventually sign deals (he notes on page 151 that the members of Buffalo Springfield had supposedly only first met one another five days before they were playing at the prestigious Hollywood club the Troubadour, and a mere six days after that they were already on tour opening for the Byrds, "the hottest band on the Strip"). He also notes that this sudden confluence of suddenly-successful musical acts all happened to center in a self-contained canyon that also housed a secret military facility. 

Mr. McGowan points out that the initial output of all these bands coincided very closely with the buildup of combat troops in Vietnam following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, beginning  with the release of the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man  (on June 21st, 1965 -- summer solstice in the northern hemisphere) and rapidly followed by "releases from the John Phillips-led Mamas and the Papas (If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, January 1966), Love with Arthur Lee (Love, May 1966), Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (Freak Out, June 1966), Buffalo Springfield, featuring Stephen Stills and Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield, October 1966), and the Doors (The Doors, January 1967)" (13). 

Regarding the Doors in particular, Mr. McGowan presents evidence from previously-published interviews conducted by other interviewers with Jim Morrison himself that the future lead singer never went to concerts before forming the band, and in fact in his own words "never did any singing. I never even conceived of it," nor had he ever felt any desire to learn to play any musical instrument (129). Then, he suddenly formed a band with three other acquaintances who also had no previous musical background, and immediately began putting out albums filled with songs which Morrison had written himself, before even forming the band.

McGowan writes:

Morrison did not, you see, do as other singer/songwriters do and pen the songs over the course of the band's career; instead he allegedly wrote them all at once, before the band was even formed. As Jim once acknowledged in an interview, he was "not a very prolific songwriter. Most of the songs I've written I wrote in the very beginning, about three years ago. I just had a period when I wrote a lot of songs." 
[. . .]
In any event, the question that naturally arises (though it does not appear to have ever been asked of him) is: How exactly did Jim "The Lizard King" Morrison write that impressive batch of songs? I'm certainly no musician myself, but it is my understanding that just about every singer/songwriter across the land composes his or her songs in essentially the same manner: on an instrument -- usually either a piano or a guitar. Some songwriters, I hear, can compose on paper, but that requires a skill set that Jim did not possess. The problem, of course, is that he also could not play a musical instrument of any kind. How did he write the songs?
[. . .]
And these are, it should be clarified, songs that we are talking about here, as opposed to just lyrics, which would more accurately be categorized as poems. Because Jim, as is fairly well known, was quite a prolific poet, whereas he was a songwriter for only one brief period of his life. But why was that? Why did Morrison, with no previous interest in music, suddenly and inexplicably become a prolific songwriter, only to just as suddenly lose interest after mentally penning an impressive catalog of what would be regarded as rock staples? 129-130.

David McGowan's work raises the strong possibility that a concerted campaign of what we might call reality creation was somehow behind the sudden rise of numerous successful bands in the Laurel Creek scene from mid-1965 through the early 1970s. In fact, he presents evidence that some of these 

band members (notably the members of the Byrds) began arriving in Laurel Canyon specifically in "autumn of 1964" (see page 135) -- in other words, immediately on the heels of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and before the actual troop buildup of 1965 (this would only be expected, if the Byrds were to release an album by summer solstice of 1965).

This fact tends to defuse the possible counter-argument that the phenomenon Mr. McGowan is chronicling was somehow an organic response to the sudden deployment of young men to Vietnam (even without the information that these band members were arriving in Laurel Canyon well before the first conventional troops arrived in Vietnam in March of 1965, there would not seem to be enough time between those first troop deployments and the sudden outpouring of albums listed above to be explained by the "organic response" hypothesis).

The thesis that the Laurel Canyon outpouring was some kind of "reality creation" is reinforced by the fact that the first album cited above, the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man, came out on the date of summer solstice, indicating the possible involvement of parties who understood the ancient significance of such dates. The possibility is further strengthened by the fact that both the Vietnam War and the counterculture movement at home which was closely associated with the music from the bands described in Mr. McGowan's book were profoundly transformative of society as a whole. It is also notable that music itself is uniquely suited to "creating realities." 

The evidence which fifty years later appears to confirm that the Tonkin Gulf incident involved the deliberate imposition of a false narrative or false mental reality upon a large number of people, for purposes of escalating military operations in Vietnam immediately thereafter. The evidence also appears to strongly suggest that at least some aspects of the sudden formation of numerous very influential bands in Laurel Canyon, California almost immediately following that incident may have also been an exercise in reality creation, orchestrated by parties who possessed the knowledge and the ability to do so, and who left clues such as the release of the first Byrds album on one of the most significant dates of the annual cycle.

The possibility that the two aspects of reality creation might be related, and even perpetrated by some of the same players, is astonishing. While it is by no means proven, there appears to be enough evidence to warrant further investigation of this subject by those whose areas of interest or expertise dispose them to doing so.

It should be noted that there is substantial evidence that the concept of "reality creation" -- which should be a positive subject, involving creativity, innovation, and the empowerment and greater freedom of individual men and women, as discussed in this previous post -- was actually at the heart of the ancient mythologies of mankind, which themselves may be a precious legacy to all human beings from an even more ancient "predecessor civilization." However, at a very specific point in history, this ancient knowledge was deliberately subverted and suppressed in a certain very important portion of the world (the western Roman Empire), and those who did so may well have sought to use that knowledge for their own purposes of control and self-enrichment, while suppressing the same knowledge for virtually everyone else (and launching campaigns to stamp it out both within the western empire and then over other parts of Europe and then the world).

The evidence which suggests that there was a historical monopolization of the secrets of "reality creation" by powers who wanted to use them for themselves alone may indeed be pertinent when examining the possibility that there was much more to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and to the Laurel Canyon scene, than people were initially led to believe.

However, even if we set all of that aside and focus solely on the evidence that the Gulf of Tonkin incident involved the deliberate creation of an illusion which was then presented to the White House, to Congress, and to the people of the world, has extremely important ramifications. 

First, when we realize that previous incidents which were used to inflame public opinion in favor of war (when the public might have been indifferent or even hostile to the idea before the incident) may have also involved elements of deception or fabrication (including the USS Maine incident at the start of the Spanish-American War, or the sinking of the Lusitania to inflame American public opinion towards participation in the First World War), we should naturally wonder to what extent incidents since the Gulf of Tonkin might fit into the same pattern. 

Second, while it is obvious that most of the individuals who actually participated in the Tonkin Gulf episode are no longer in the positions of power that they held back in 1964 (and in fact, most of them have now left the body, or at least the body they had during that incarnation), it is worth asking to what extent the institutions which participated in the Tonkin Gulf deception in some capacity (that is to say, the branches of the US military, the executive and legislative branches of the US federal government, and the more powerful participants in the national and international media) are still controlled by powers or persons who would condone or even initiate such deception and the perpetration of the creation of illusions or false realities.

Further, a sober consideration of the Tonkin Gulf incident should cause us to reflect upon the frequency with which large numbers of people can be influenced to condone or tolerate the application of horrendous levels of violence against persons who are not actually combatants (whether through the use of munitions and chemicals that caused death and suffering among the noncombatant women and children in Vietnam, or in the massacres of women and children in Native American villages during the "Indian Wars" of the second half of the nineteenth century in what is today the western US). How often is such widespread indifference or toleration accompanied by the creation and propagation of a sort of collectively-accepted "false reality" or narrative, such as "Manifest Destiny" or the false storyline created around the attacks on the Maine, the Lusitania, or the Maddox?

The degree to which the media plays along with the creation of such illusions and does not challenge them (certainly evident in the Tonkin Gulf episode) is also worthy of careful consideration. 

Finally, the possibility that certain players on the world stage understand the creation of realities on a level that goes far beyond the simple telling of lies or withholding of available radar evidence, and that they may be using techniques which were once widely seen as beneficial for human consciousness but which have now been suppressed among the wider community and monopolized by a few, would seem to be extremely important to carefully consider and not dismiss out of hand. If some version of this scenario is indeed operating in history, than beginning to understand that fact can help us to realize the extent to which our acceptance of false realities creates false limits and false chains which we let bind and restrict and limit ourselves and others.

But, as Jon Rappoport so eloquently stated in the June 2014 talk discussed in the previously-linked post above, the message of the "trickster-god" in so many ancient mythologies is that we do not actually have to limit ourselves to someone else's imposed realities, and that we can at any time choose to stop giving those realities and their artificial limits that power which they ultimately derive from our own acceptance of them.

An event that happened fifty years ago -- an entire half of a century -- may seem to be ancient history. But, as the above discussion should cause us all to realize, its lessons are profoundly important to our lives at this very moment, and to our understanding of events we see taking place around us today and this week and this year.

Welcome to new visitors from Memory Hole (and to returning friends)!

Welcome to new visitors from Memory Hole (and to returning friends)!

Special thanks to Professor James F. Tracy for posting my "Paging Dr. Zaius" essay over at his Memory Hole blog site.

I personally believe that his site and his own talented analysis are extremely important at this particular juncture in history, and that people around the entire world (and certainly those of us in the United States) owe him a particular debt of gratitude for his courage and diligence in analyzing areas that for a wide variety of reasons some people would like to cover up.

Regular readers of this blog should familiarize themselves with his work, if they have not already.

For readers coming here perhaps for the first time from his website, the following previous posts attempt to give some broad overview and contain lists of links to various subjects covered on these pages:

Additionally, visitors familiar with Memory Hole may find the following posts to cover subjects of particular interest:

They may also want to check out the recent interview on Red Ice radio in which I discuss some of the topics covered in my latest book. Posts published subsequent to that interview, which also discuss the "Roman conspiracy" include:

There is also a series of recent posts detailing the astonishing fact that all the ancient scriptures and sacred traditions of humanity -- across an incredible geographic dispersion and across centuries and even millennia of time -- can be shown to share a detailed system of celestial metaphor, including the scriptures we know today as "the Bible." For reasons related to the imposition of a system of control across western Europe (eventually spreading much farther than that), those connections have been suppressed and replaced with the dominant "literalistic" interpretations. To dive into the discussions of that topic, any of the recent posts discussing that common ancient system will contain links to many of the others -- good places to start include "Vajra: the Thunderbolt" or "Brisingamen, the necklace of Freya."

Finally, this blog is fully searchable (use the small window in the upper-left area on most devices and screens), so you can look for posts associated with keywords of your own choosing.

Hope to see you back again soon!