View Full Version : Thrive (a movie & a movement)

Ed Jewett
11-17-2011, 11:35 PM
Thrive Movie: new documentary exposes criminal New World Order of the 1%, solutions
Posted on November 16, 2011 by Carl Herman
(source article)

The Thrive Movement and Movie explains and documents the CRIMES we witness that engage in wars and crushing control over the 99%. [ http://thrivemovement.com (http://thrivemovement.com)/ ] It also provides solutions.


Ed Jewett
11-17-2011, 11:38 PM
My copy of the movie has already been ordered along with Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0853459916/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details) and a book on "Military Mind Control" by Colin Ross.

Magda Hassan
11-18-2011, 03:16 AM
Very slick pre-packaged and marketing. Which clearly shows there is some money and an organised group behind this. I'd like to know more about who is behind it and what their interests are. Despite that it looks interesting though and I'll watch the movie later. I have seen the trailer but the movie is around the internet too.

Ed Jewett
11-18-2011, 04:10 AM
Interesting observation and questions. (Some of the 9/11 videos meet the same criteria. The very first one arrived unrequested.) I don't have immediate answers; I'll write more when the DVD arrives in a week. [In a world with a lot of excess cash in the pockets of people who want to be very influential, in an age of media saturation and psy-ops mind wars of the synapses, we need to sharpen and speed up our abilities to see and discern those things.] It is still easy to fall prey... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpi2IAec9Ho&feature=player_embedded

Magda Hassan
11-18-2011, 06:13 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI2LGmZ_EP4Might get deleted

Ed Jewett
11-27-2011, 03:38 AM
My copy of the movie has already been ordered along with Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0853459916/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details) and a book on "Military Mind Control" by Colin Ross.

I watched the DVD tonight; the principals and principles are fully explained in it. I am about 40 pages deep into "Open Veins". I was right about Magda, and she was right about the book. The Colin Ross thing has been started as well.

Magda Hassan
11-27-2011, 05:35 AM
He's a beautiful writer and it is a subject he handles well and you will get much out of it as not many gringos know this history though millions live with it today. You might like his book on sports, or is it soccer?

The maker of the 'Thrive' video is the grand son or great grand son of the Proctor and Gamble money. So that's where it comes from. Pro Libertarian which is why I put it in Governmental systems.

Peter Lemkin
11-27-2011, 09:32 AM
My internet security program warns me when I go to the webpage published on the first post above and that it is an unsecured page which could be trying to get information from me and my computer. Just to let others know. My program can't tell if it actually is, only that it seems to have that potential.

Peter Lemkin
11-27-2011, 09:34 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI2LGmZ_EP4Might get deleted

I get a message that the video has been removed by the user.

Ed Jewett
11-27-2011, 04:51 PM
My internet security program warns me when I go to the webpage published on the first post above ...

Peter, was that on the link to the thrive movement web site or the one linking to the George Washington" blog?

"George's" works are hard-hitting, especially on the economy, Wall Street, the Fed & OWS. Many of them are mirrored at GlobalResearch.ca. The "movement" thing is home base for the Gamble husband-and-wife team's project.

I'm not intimately familiar with the family and businesses of their predecessors; the people noted in the film are themselves published and noteworthy. I don't claim to be an expert in Ludwig von Mises or libertarianism, though the "Free State" movement is in nearby New Hampshire, and I have an audio CD of "the scholar's edition" of "Human Action". Fitts is well-known and has her own web site, blog, history, etc., all of which are easily found. Being a DVD, it is of course viewable again, and the web site for it can be browsed at leisure.

I take note of the tremendous wealth of 'information' about the history of the Fed, the banksters' families, etc. I haven't looked at the "back-up" at the web site; I have seen it directly with my own eyes, and can quote the sources and the books, many of which are easily found on the Internet. I find them on my bookshelf.

The point about Internet freedom is right on.

The core foundation of the movie theme about Tesla free energy I'll leave to the scientists, engineers and experts; however, it all resonates with me and what I understand. I suspect if there is cyber-interference, we can probably assume pretty correctly as to the source of that interference. We are going so see more and more of it for those who choose to criticize the government, its wars, the Fed, and their main "movers" in the real political world. Indeed, the process will probably ratchet up in the future and move beyond mere annoyance; they have set the stages, drafted the legislation, practiced the techniques. Gamble's point about the incremental nature of their process ("totalitarianism by tiptoe") is right on the money.

I was interested to see Gamble's explanation of the Hegelian dialectic, his short brush past "secret societies' and their role and influence, etc.

I was especially thrilled and amused to see the reference to Morihei Ueshiba. I have been a student of his discipline (mostly at the cognitive level) for well over a decade, and I am on my way back to the mat. I have a substantial library; his grasp of non-violence is seminal.

I am also especially interested in Gamble's narrative comment about the role of the individual versus the collective, the needs of the whole versus the needs of the individual. This is a very deep philosophical understanding (certainly cause for argument and discussion as the discussants come embodied from within their own development, world-view, and understanding). I took my cue on that subject a long time ago when I read Tim Galley's series on "The Inner Game" as part of my "Summon The Magic" project. It is the same understanding that emerges from within the field of somatics, and is expressed in books by aikido practitioners who bring other backgrounds (I think particularly of Heckler's works, as well as others from people in Heckler's circles of colleagues and friends).

The moneyed elite are demonstrably against the development of an individual, for it is through that development and exploration [whose primer is Eric Booth's book "The Everyday Work of Art"] that an individual gets to see through the maze and haze of propaganda, Hegelian games, etc., and begins to take responsibility for his own self.


Galeano's book is an example of superb writing and translation, and Magda is correct in saying that most people are not familiar with the history he portrays. Few of us have had the direct visceral experience. And most (especially the media) "maintain a silence closely resembling stupidity".

Peter Lemkin
11-27-2011, 05:30 PM
It was to the first listed and the first you asked me about - to the Thrive website.

Ed Jewett
11-28-2011, 02:29 AM
It was to the first listed and the first you asked me about - to the Thrive website.

What data did you observe? What inferences do you make?

Ed Jewett
11-28-2011, 02:32 AM
Dr. Nick Begich:

HAARP, Secret Sciences & High Tech Mind Control 1/5


See the opening description with hand gestures by Begich (after intro by Alex Jones) for an understanding of why this film and its topic may be related to the film "Thrive"... as well as other topics.

Peter Lemkin
11-28-2011, 07:21 AM
It was to the first listed and the first you asked me about - to the Thrive website.

What data did you observe? What inferences do you make?

I do not draw any. They have an unsecured website or page. They could have done it by accident or on purpose. A third party could also have compromised it. I was just pointing this out. My IS Program warned me that data on my computer COULD [not would!] be accessible to that website. Computer programs can also give false positives. I'd suggest others see what their security programs say. Mine is Norton.

Ed Jewett
11-29-2011, 02:32 AM
It was to the first listed and the first you asked me about - to the Thrive website.

What data did you observe? What inferences do you make?

I do not draw any. They have an unsecured website or page. They could have done it by accident or on purpose. A third party could also have compromised it. I was just pointing this out. My IS Program warned me that data on my computer COULD [not would!] be accessible to that website. Computer programs can also give false positives. I'd suggest others see what their security programs say. Mine is Norton.

Yes, well, warnings are always good. But in an era of a rampant uptick on governmental or special interest cyber-crime and information suppression, cyberwar becomes a sub-section of deep politics and deep political thinking.

I note that Che and Alberto rode a Norton, but I had the same cyber-security package on an old laptop which was fried ... twice. I had an IT friend of mine re-build it twice but the process was not worth the effort or wear and tear on the wallet or the friendship. And Norton is one of those that has a pre-engineered back door for use by anyone who has the key. Norton was dropped like a hot potato. But I am not an expert in IT or cyber-security and this is not advice, so consult thy own.

Ed Jewett
12-22-2011, 05:25 PM
Response to Charles Eisenstein's Critique of THRIVE (http://solari.com/blog/response-to-charles-eisensteins-critique-of-thrive/)Catherine (http://solari.com/blog/category/catherine/), News & Commentary (http://solari.com/blog/category/catherine/news-commentary/) on December 21, 2011 at 9:12 am
By Foster Gamble
Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, has written an article,”Synchronicity, Myth and the New World Order (http://www.realitysandwich.com/synchronicity_myth_and_new_world_order)“, and a critique of THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take? (http://www.realitysandwich.com/thrive_story_wrong_spirit_right) , that have engendered much discussion. I welcome this opportunity to have a broad and public conversation to look more deeply into some very important issues that he and my film [/URL]THRIVE (http://solari.com/blog/) raise.
Continue reading the article . . . (http://www.realitysandwich.com/gambles_response_eisensteins_critique_thrive)

Synchronicity, Myth, and the New World Order

Charles Eisenstein (http://www.realitysandwich.com/user/charles_eisenstein)
http://www.realitysandwich.com/sites/realitysandwich.civicactions.net/files/imagecache/large/nwo.jpgThis week we take a break from the serialization of Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition (http://www.realitysandwich.com/homepage_sacred_economics) to present an article inspired by the recent anniversary of 9/11. We will resume with Chapter 11 of Sacred Economics next Thursday.
Looking out upon the horrid ruin we seem to have made of the planet, in spite of the kind hearts and good intentions of the vast majority of human beings, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some nefarious force has hijacked civilization, driving it towards ends that serve almost no one.
If we are headed for a future that no one would consciously choose, it stands to reason, some say, that we are not choosing; that something else, unfriendly to human welfare, is choosing for us.
Deeper study of certain pivotal events in history strengthens this conclusion. The official explanations of the Kennedy assassination or 9/11 are riddled with contradictions that are difficult to explain. Ominous coincidences pile up and make patterns, pointing toward a conscious agency orchestrating these events toward sinister goals. Diving deeper, one discovers patterns of patterns that ultimately coalesce into an alternate history of the world.
The alternate history explains world events as resulting from the machinations of a powerful, dark cabal of secret organizations comprising the global elite: the banks, wealthy families like the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, non-official organizations like the Bilderburg Council, organized crime, shadowy agencies within the government, secret societies like Skull and Bones and the Freemasons, and so on. Behind them all is a group even more secret, comprising the true rulers of earth, who count even prime ministers and presidents among their puppets. Some theorist say that these Illuminati who hold the reins of power are human beings; others say that they have extraterrestrial allies, or that this group is controlled by, or consists of, ETs. Their goal, it is said, is to impose a New World Order (NWO) in which their dominion is complete.
In addition, the dark cabal that rules the earth is purported to have powerful secret technologies at its disposal. Weather control, mind control, energy weapons, artificially created diseases like Lyme and Swine Flu, and other near-magical technologies enable them to destroy any opposition and control us in ways we barely suspect. Always they are seeking to impose new forms of tyranny, to extend their dominion over mind and matter.
The purpose of this essay is not to debunk conspiracy theories or uphold the dominant historical narrative. Rather, I will advance a third explanation that respects and transcends both. Most critiques of conspiracy theories dispute the author's evidence, logic, and sources, and impugn his sanity, intelligence, or integrity. I will not do that. While such critiques often have merit, they tend to go after the low-hanging fruit: the sloppiest authors, the weakest points of their theses, the most easily explained of their evidence. Giving the best of the genre a fair reading, however, the impartial reader realizes that something strange is going on.
Moreover, the NWO conspiracy theory, whatever its flaws, bears some important truths. For one thing, it speaks to our sense that there is something deeply wrong in the world, something that is right in front of our faces yet that we are too blind to see. The NWO hypothesis feels validating and liberating. In the end, though, many people find it to be disempowering; as I shall describe, it subtly feeds into the mentality behind the very same conditions that it aspires to change. It robs us of our power and helps maintain the status quo. How does this happen, and how can its liberating potential be realized? To answer this question, let us begin with a meta-level critique of the NWO thesis, and conspiracism in general, a critique that opens the door toward integrating both the NWO and the dominant narrative into a larger framework.

The Futility of Control
Are there really ultra-intelligent, ultra-competent people on top whose plans actually work and whose technologies actually succeed in molding the world to their plans? Or are the elites of our civilization as confused and scared as the rest of us, responding to events that, at every turn, take on a life of their own? The futility of control is written into the fabric of reality. Complex non-linear systems such as a body or a society are inherently unpredictable. Of course, those in power try to maintain control and often wreak awful damage in so doing, but generally speaking it is events that control them, and not the other way around.
Conspiracy theories ascribe a degree of competence, foresight, and efficiency to the controlling organizations that is generally foreign to human institutions. We live in a civilization built on control, on the idea that we can order the world through material and social technology and, once we perfect those technologies, win the war against nature, against disorder, against uncertainty. But in fact, the world is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable, and no matter how tightly we attempt to orchestrate events, control slips through our grasp like mud through a clenched fist. We are immersed in an ideology that says that with the next technological revolution, with next medical innovation, or the next set of comprehensive regulations, finally we will get all the messy variables under control and live in an orderly, secure world.
The conspiracists agree with a defining precept of our civilization: that the world is fundamentally amenable to control. They think that this power to control has been turned toward evil, but do not dispute the technocratic doctrine that society and the material world can be endlessly improved through the methods of science: gathering information, making plans, eliminating variables, applying force, and so on. To believe that the NWO conspiracy is even possible is to conform to one of the primary motivating and justifying beliefs underlying totalitarianism. The NWO believers are not as radical as they think.
We have been betrayed. After centuries of sacrifice on the altar of technological development, we harbor a deep disappointment and anger. We export that anger onto the Illuminati, or whoever it is that has robbed us of The Future. Surely this technological utopia exists - it has only been withheld from us, and the technologies of paradise turned toward nefarious ends. But the real problem is deeper than that. It is the paradigm of control itself that causes us to sacrifice everything in pursuit of a mirage.

The Dynamics of Command
A staple of conspiracy theories is the idea that "President Obama is a puppet" or that, "Even David Rockefeller is taking orders from higher up." So let us look into the social dynamics of hierarchies. For someone to obey orders, either the command-giver must have direct physical power over the subordinate (for example, a literal gun to the head), or both commander and commandee must be embedded in a social institution that legitimizes and enforces the command. An obvious example of the latter is the army. When a colonel gives an order to a major, the latter obeys not because he is afraid the colonel will beat him up if he refuses, but because both are part of a web of (mostly implicit) agreements. Ultimately, if he doesn't comply with the order, someone (say military police) might beat him up or imprison him, but that happens as well because the web of agreements includes consequences for violating them. We could say that colonel, major, military police, and the rest all share a common "story of the army".
What about the global conspiracy? What social institution exists that would legitimize orders issued to David Rockefeller or Barack Obama? The story of the army is embedded in larger legitimizing stories that ultimately encompass the legitimacy of the government, the value of money, an interpretation of history, a system a values and morals, and more. What infrastructure exists that would allow direct hierarchical control over Obama or Rockefeller? Hierarchies cannot exist in a social vacuum. They require a system of indoctrination and acculturation along with numerous supporting institutions.
Consider, for example, the idea that the World Trade Center towers fell due to demolition charges placed inside the buildings by government operatives. For them to be willing to do this, they would have to exist nearly in a separate social universe, inculcated with values very different from those of the rest of society. Contrary to the impression given by Hollywood movies, people don't commit acts like this out of pure unreasoning evil. They do so in conformity to a culturally-embedded world-view. I could see how Islamic Jihadists, inflamed by radical imams and outraged by the devastation that American imperialism has wreaked on their society, could hatch a plot to strike a blow at the "Great Satan". But what would it take for American demolitions experts to commit mass murder against their own compatriots? What would it take for you, dear reader, to do it? What kind of alternate education, acculturation, indoctrination would you have to go through to commit and then keep secret such an act? Who would administer this education? How would the operation, and the whole educational and support infrastructure around it, be kept secret from the rest of society? Are the low-paid works in building security, or the majority of decent folks at the CIA or NSA in on it too? Basically, for a conspiracy of this scale to exist, there would have to be an entire parallel society hidden within our own, complete with a full set of parallel institutions to create people with a very different culture among us.
Reread that last sentence through a metaphoric lens for a hint of where this essay is headed.

Psychological addiction
I have noticed that conspiracy theories have a very strong emotional appeal -- at least to some people. Believers like to think that they are impartially choosing their belief because they are more rational, more intelligent, or more open-minded than all those benighted, deluded "sheeple" out there. Two people look at the same set of facts and draw different conclusions. Is that choice a function of intelligence and reason? Or could it be that we choose interpretations to meet psychological and emotional needs?
One indication of the emotional appeal of conspiracy theories is their addictive nature. When I visited the conspiracy state of being some time ago, I found myself constantly checking certain websites, and feeling a kind of gratification at each discovery of some new outrage. Other than that, it was a very dark and heavy state of being that I visited, full of gloomy cynicism and a superficial feeling of superiority that didn't even fool myself. I've heard from people for whom this became a full-fledged addiction. They spend hours every day reading about the machinations of the New World Order, and go through intense withdrawal whenever they miss their "fix".
Believers spend lots of time getting "informed", but do they really act upon that information? Some do, I suppose: they move to an armed compound in Idaho or hide gold coins in their basement. But most go on with life as usual. How are they any different from their neighbors? Their eyeballs linger over Alex Jones' website rather than NPR's, but to what end? They may believe themselves to be among the canny, righteous few, fighting against evil on behalf of the ignorant masses, but mostly they do nothing. Like any addiction, addiction to conspiracy websites or the closely related end-of-the-world websites disempowers people, and actually helps maintain the status quo.
Belief in conspiracy theories is not one of several emotionally coequal world-view alternatives. It is part and parcel of an emotional, psychological, and spiritual state of being. That state of being is a victim state. The belief that events are controlled by malevolent people far more powerful than ourselves, that any attempt at change is futile in the face of the tremendous powers arrayed against us, leaves no alternative but to carve out a small, safe realm of rebellion-in-private. If there were indeed a global conspiracy, it would be quite happy with this result. Paradoxically, then, we might say that the idea that there is a global conspiracy is itself a lie propagated by the global conspiracy.

One of the most common criticisms of conspiracy theories is that they are non-falsifiable, since any contradictory evidence can be written off as a fabrication, a false trail, or so forth. A conspiracy, moreover, must be well-hidden -- lack of evidence is itself evidence! What is less frequently acknowledged is that the alternatives to conspiracy theories are very nearly non-falsifiable as well. Anyone who comes forth to expose a conspiracy can be labeled a fraud or a madman, and nearly anything can be written off as coincidence. We are faced, as we are so often in life, with two narratives that can, with perhaps a bit of stretching, account for all of the facts. How then to choose?
Much as we would like to think otherwise, evidence and logic cannot bring certainty. Nor, as numerous social psychology experiments demonstrate, are they the primary determinants of our judgments and choices. Despite the epithets hurled back and forth, neither side of, say, the 9/11 conspiracy issue is stupid. Critics of conspiracy theories paint their proponents as naïve, unsophisticated, and guilty of obvious selection biases and a host of elementary errors in research and logic. I have found such critiques unsatisfactory. They certainly apply to the worst of the genre, but not always to the best.
Reasonable people can, depending on their vantage point and life situation, look at the same set of events and form different beliefs about them. These beliefs then become a filter that determines what they see and, indeed, what they look for. It is as if they enter separate but parallel realities. As we shall see, there is more to this appearance than meets the eye.

The War against Evil
Among conspiracism's psychological payoffs that it provides someone to blame, to hate, and perhaps to fight in a world of otherwise incomprehensible injustice and horror. Paradoxically, even though it casts us as victims of super-powerful conspirators, it also provides a kind of control. After all, if the source of evil in the world today is the conspirators, then the solution is quite clear: expose and remove them. If there is no conspiracy -- if, for instance, evil is endemic to the world or an emergent property of organizations -- then we are even more helpless. Even if as a practical matter we cannot hope to defeat the conspiracy, at least we understand why things are the way they are. We know a solution, even if it be out of reach.
That solution, to put it succinctly, is to conquer evil. Conspiracism offers an external evil and thereby exculpates us from our own complicity in the awful things happening on earth today. We can think, "If only I were in charge, I would run things very differently than the New World Order Illuminati, because I am a decent person, not evil like they are."
The paradigm that sees human affairs -- and even cosmic processes -- as a war between good and evil has deep roots, originating with the first agricultural civilizations. It was then that the concept of evil arose, mirroring the growing oppositional relationship to nature implicit in the taming of the wild. Rather than being seen as integral parts of the whole, such things as weeds, wolves, and locusts became threats to human well-being and the object of extermination campaigns - campaigns that are still with us today. The chaotic forces of nature were identified with evil, while good was associated with the bringing of order to nature and to human affairs. If only, someday, our control over nature and society could be complete, the thinking goes, then good will reign on earth and suffering be minimized or even, with nanotechnology and neuro-engineering, eliminated. Evil will have been conquered.
When new political movements come to power, they often bring with them the idea of eliminating evil. Whether it is the Nazi Holocaust or the Stalinist purges, the result is usually bloody, regardless of how evil is identified. In other words, the idea of evil begets evil. We may add, then, a second paradox to the one above. In the war between good and evil, a great weapon of the forces of evil is the notion that there is a war between good and evil.
Conspiracism gives new guise to a very old thoughtform (that the horror of our world is caused by forces of evil) that is becoming obsolete. We can see its obsolescence both in our changing attitudes toward nature, which no longer hold it as an object of conquest and exploitation, and in newly ascendant spiritual beliefs that emphasize the integration and transcendence of dualities. In social psychology as well, a new movement called situationism contends that the totality of our external and internalized circumstances, rather than some disposition toward good or evil, determines our choices.
In fields as disparate as physics, psychology, ecology, and spirituality, people are understanding that what happens "out there" is intimately connected to what happens "in here"; that self and world are interdependent and mutually co-constructed. A dark conspiracy controlling world events mirrors the same inside ourselves. When I say "ourselves" I don't mean some people and not others and certainly not us good guys. I mean you, me, and everyone.
Herein may lie an important truth encoded in conspiracy theories: not a factual truth, but a mythological truth. There does seem to be a conspiracy running inside my psyche that keeps me enslaved to fear and greed; that indeed possesses technologies of mind control; that presents the whole world through a filter of lies; that is associated somehow with the reptilian part of my brain; that manipulates me to serve an agenda inimical to my authentic happiness. Everything that the Illuminati are purported to do to the world, we do to ourselves. Could it be that when we see an evil cabal controlling the world, we are actually seeing the projection of our own egos?
And, because our collective institutions mirror the prevailing psychodynamics of our time, could it be that story of the New World Order conspiracy, despite its flaws, gives us a window onto some important truths about our society?

The Matrix of Synchronicity
The aforementioned shortcomings in the New World Order (NWO) hypothesis are not cause to dismiss it entirely, for the nature of the flaws points to some deep truths. The conspiracists are onto something, something that is actually even more radical -- and far more hopeful -- than they imagine. So let us consider a riddle: If there is no conspiracy in the normal sense, then how to explain the evidence pointing to one? Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. When you look into the Kennedy assassination, or the history of suppression of unconventional energy technologies, or the cancer industry and the criminalization of alternative therapies, or any number of other issues, it sure can look like a conspiracy. If there isn't one, then we must discover some third explanation that doesn't turn a blind eye to some very incongruous events.
You may not think there is any such evidence. You may think that the well-documented human capacity to make meaning and perceive patterns where none exist is sufficient to explain the conspiracists' conclusions. After having read a fair amount of the literature with an open mind, I find that explanation too quickly dismissive. Even discounting the considerable selection bias that filters the evidence presented in conspiracy books, many of the coincidences remain striking. Moreover, there is something uncanny about the facility with which certain events lend themselves to conspiracy hypotheses. It is as if they are begging for it; for example, Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald before he could talk in court about his motive for assassinating President Kennedy. It looks like a conspiracy. It smells like a conspiracy. But is it a conspiracy?
In the last section I suggested that perhaps when we see conspiracies, we are seeing a reflection of something inside ourselves, building stories and imposing patterns onto reality. But perhaps there is more to the story: What if, in addition to predisposing us to see patterns that aren't there, our emotions and beliefs actually attract experiential data that fits them? What if, for example, the psychic energy beneath conspiracism organizes events to fit into a conspiracy pattern, so that it looks like a conspiracy even if there are no actual conspirators?
Consider some of the events surrounding 9/11: numerous military exercises that very day that tied up and confused a military response; blatant contradictions in official accounts in the near aftermath of the attack; suppression of the air traffic control logs for the flights; suppression of contradictory news broadcasts and their removal from news site archives; the miraculously quick identification of the hijackers despite the fact (at least according to some websites) that their names never appeared on the passenger manifests; the subsequent anthrax attack using anthrax from a government bioweapons lab; the 9/12 "Bin Laden Airlift" that evacuated members of the family from the United States, and so on. Each of these, on their own, admits to an innocent explanation. But to say that their confluence is mere coincidence strains credibility. One is tempted to conclude that these events must have been orchestrated somehow.
But what if they are coincidence -- but coincidence isn't what we think it is: Perhaps coincidence is not random, but orchestrated (not by a conscious human agency) into patterns that conform to certain belief systems and meet certain psychological needs. As illustrated earlier, people with certain emotional or psychological needs are attracted to conspiracy theories. Well, the reverse might also be true: patterns of events that look like conspiracies are attracted to needs that exist in human society. Together these form what we might call a "matrix of synchronicity" that is grist to the conspiracy mill.
This possibility opens up even deeper problems, however. For one thing, it inverts traditional scientific notions of causality, resting wholly in the realm of the Aristotelian "final cause," the teleological explanation of, "It happened in order that..." That a constellation of events could just happen, without design, yet accomplish something seemingly purposive, is profoundly disturbing to the reductionism-steeped mind. For there to be design, we think, there must be a designer. From this perspective, conspiracism is actually not very radical at all. While appearing to occupy opposing poles of opinion, conspiracy believers actually agree with their conventional counterparts on a deeper issue: that overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy means there is probably a conspiracy. They merely disagree whether such evidence exists. My disagreement with conspiracism is of a different sort. I accept (at least more than the skeptics do) much of their evidence, and I accept that it looks like events have been orchestrated by a conspiracy. But for the reasons given, I find the New World Order myth just as unsatisfying as the conventional point of view it merely draws specious signals from random noise.
I want to emphasize just how radically mind-twisting the matrix-of-synchronicity explanation really is. I am saying: "These patterns of events are drawn to history because we need them to flesh out conspiracy theories and give expression to the psychological energies driving those theories." It is as if events organize themselves around some kind of field that makes them appear to have a causal linkage even when they do not.

Shadow Realities
A second and related problem that the matrix of synchronicity opens up is, if anything, even more deeply challenging to our way of thinking. For here is another thing on which skeptic and conspiracist secretly agree: that there is an objective fact-of-the-matter as to whether a conspiracy exists. One side thinks it does and the other thinks it doesn't, but both agree that either it does or it doesn't. Both, in other words, agree on the doctrine of objectivity: that there is a reality out there, a set of events that actually happened, and that while our knowledge of them may be incomplete, the events themselves happened or did not happen independent of our knowledge of them. It is only a matter, then, of finding out the truth, the facts.
That both skeptic and believer share this doctrine is unsurprising, for it lies at the very foundation of the scientific method. We try to find out the way things really are, what really happened. Such locutions reveal the unquestioned assumption of objectivity. But what if this assumption is false? What if there is no independently existing reality "out there"; what if reality is a dialogic construct between self and other? I will not go to deeply into the philosophic history of this idea, except to say that I am not propounding solipsism and am well familiar with the classic refutations of it. For the present purpose, suffice it to say that perhaps conspiracies occupy an intermediate ontologic state, what one might call a shadow reality. They exist in a realm less real than, say, the U.S. Congress, but more real than Batman or Santa Claus.*
The realm in which the New World Order (NWO) conspiracies exist has its own history, its own logic, its own emotional complexes, its own experiences. The more one enters that belief system, the more experience confirms it. These confirmations can be very tangible: illness from chemtrails, sightings of black unmarked helicopters, discoveries of unidentifiable implants, anonymous death threats, and so forth.
I once had a conversation with a leader in the 9-11 Truth movement, a very credible, emotionally stable, down-to-earth woman, generous, broad-minded, intelligent, and full of good humor. She related quite a few strange experiences that happened at the peak of her activism. Once, she was pulled over on the highway by a squad of seven police cars, taken into custody, and then released hours later with no charges, no explanation, and subsequently no admission that it ever happened. She also received a strange package in the mail filled with Russian documents. We would like to think, either, that these events were orchestrated by some New World Order operative as a warning, or, that she is confabulating or consciously lying. What I'm saying here, however, is that perhaps these events were attracted to her because she had entered quite deeply the reality in which such things happen.
Let's take it further: What of the secret operative? Does he exist or doesn't he? Well, perhaps he too has a shadow existence: he exists in the shadow reality of the NWO, but not in the broadest consensus reality. What if the operative is, say, an insurance agent, who sometimes blacks out or is taken over by an alternate personality and does inexplicable things like take his grandfather's Russian papers from his attic and mails them to a random address that just so happens to be my friend's? A leading conspiracy writer, David Icke, comes close to saying this when he states, "...often the most significant operatives in the Illuminati hide behind apparently 'ordinary' lives while dictating the agenda and attending human sacrifice rituals." Could it be that these operatives are hidden, by their ordinary lives, even from themselves?
What if you went to ask the police officers who pulled her over, and they claimed with all apparent sincerity to have no memory of it. But suppose one says, "That's funny, something you said sounds familiar - I think I had a dream about this." Then, under hypnotic regression, he recalls just the incident the woman describes. Is this a "real" memory? You inquire further and find that several of the officers had a "missing time" episode that day. It seems like they pulled the woman over and then forgot about it. Was there some conscious agency that compelled them to do so? Or was it just a piece of the aforementioned matrix of synchronicity?
Following such questions, we eventually might develop doubts about what it means to say that my friend "really" was pulled over by seven police cars. We might look at the police record -- did such an incident happen? We find no record. Of course not -- it has been expunged. But maybe we do find a record, that disappears the next time we check. Maybe we, as investigators, get sucked down the rabbit hole: the more we investigate, the more evidence we find, but it is only ever enough to confirm it to ourselves, not to others. When we try to convince others, the documents we need are unavailable, key sources mysteriously disappear or change their story... We begin to wonder about our own sanity. We seem to be living in a world in which the conspiracy exists for us, but not for most other people. Yet it is not all in our heads - real things are happening to us.
It is as if the events are happening for you, but not for me; that in one universe, the police raid really did happen, and in another universe it did not -- and both these universes coexist on earth. Steeped in the doctrine of objectivity, we would like to think there is a "fact of the matter", an absolute reality in which it either did or did not happen, independent of our knowledge. But perhaps reality is not like that. Perhaps reality is relational, co-created, and never just "out there."
The shadowy nature of these down-the-rabbit-hole realities comes through in certain conspiracist writings that refer to reptilian alien races, the true puppet masters, who control the Illuminati from the fourth dimension. This reference to the "fourth dimension" encodes an implicit acknowledgment that these beings don't "exist" in the three-dimensional Cartesian matrix of our objectivity-based worldview. They occupy an intermediate state, again, somewhere between Michael Jordan and Santa Claus.
Another clue lies in the common NWO belief that a gigantic network of tunnels, secret bases, and entire cities lies beneath our own, a whole parallel world. Is their existence literally subterranean, or is it, rather, subconscious? Or neither/both? When you go looking for them, you find them; or perhaps they come looking for you if you are in the right psychological state. You find mysterious maps, ominous references, eerie stories from retired Department of Energy officials. But, if you approach the matter from a different mindset and a different state of being, you find nothing unexplainable. The maps have other interpretations, the former officials seem not credible. For you, there is nothing to find. You occupy a universe in which it doesn't exist. Paradoxically, the conspiracists and the skeptics are both right.
In most organizations I have encountered there is a conspiracy of silence that hides the organization's true goals. This secret, shadow organization is nearly coextensive with its visible constituency, meaning that we are each members of the conspiracy to enslave humanity; we are victims and perpetrators both. At one time or another, all of us have contributed to the "reptilian agenda" of maximizing power and control over others. This agenda has a personal and a collective dimension. Personally, it is the egoic, even psychpathic behavior projected onto the secret rulers of the world. Collectively, it is the propensity of organizations, even those founded with great and sincere idealism, to succumb eventually to the service of their own survival interest. Their stated mission becomes an afterthought, a justification for their secret purpose of self-preservation. Certainly on a metaphorical level, the New World Order hypothesis is true. Follow it down the rabbit hole and it becomes not only true, but also real.
The divergence of reality and truth is confusing to the objectivity-steeped mind. To further confuse matters, shadow realities can have effects on each other. It is just like a quantum experiment in which each possible state of a particle has an effect on an observable system, even though when a measurement is taken, the particle is found to occupy only one of those states. In other words, the mere possibility of it occupying a certain state has physical effects.
In a similar way, perhaps our world occupies a superposition of states, one of which is the NWO state, and we can see the interference effects of that state even without its being "real". Its reality, and that of the conventional explanation as well, is indeterminate. It is only when we begin to investigate that we collapse the wave function and enter into one or another shadow reality.

The Mythic Truth of the New World Order
However rational and evidence-based we like to imagine ourselves to be, ultimately our beliefs are founded on faith. Few readers of David Icke actually do the footwork that would be necessary to verify his sources, and his sources' sources, many of whom, indeed, are already dead. If the NWO conspiracists are correct, then everything we have been told is wrong. For some, this is profoundly liberating; for others it is deeply disturbing. The former are predisposed to believe; the latter to reject; this predisposition then clothes itself in facts and evidence. Thus it is that facts and evidence rarely change anyone's mind - they are symptoms and not causes of our beliefs. It is only when life-changing events alter one's predisposition that room becomes available for new beliefs.
Our beliefs, and the states of being underlying them, do evolve and sometimes shift dramatically. This happens especially when for one reason or another, one's world falls apart. Because we live in a time of mounting crisis, the world is falling apart for more and more people, and the unraveling of the old certainties will only accelerate in coming years. At such times, we occasionally face a moment of choice, in which we can decide what to believe. But, recognizing that evidence alone is insufficient to guide belief, how are we to choose?
I suggest that we choose a belief, and the corresponding psychological state accompanying it, based on how well it aligns with who we truly are and who we want to become. This doesn't mean to ignore evidence, for quite often anomalous events can show us that our personal mythology is cracking apart, and that we are ready to moult. It does mean to consider how each belief-state feels, what it implies about the world, about human beings, and about oneself. How does it affect the answer to the question, "Who am I?" What needs does it meet? How does it hurt? What emotions does it evoke? You can take a few moments to sit with an article from a conspiracy website like Project Camelot or 9/11 Truth, and then with a debunking article from CSICOP, and notice the ways in which each feels gratifying, offensive, reassuring, or threatening. Then I invite you to do the same with the third alternative that I offer in the essay.
This third alternative preserves the mythic truths of the New World Order hypothesis, truths that lie outside its interpretive framework. Here are two of them:
(1) A nefarious power, inimical to human well-being, manipulates the course of human events from behind the scenes, seeking the total control of every human being.
Rather than an evil Illuminati, could that power be money? Some say that a global elite controls humanity via the money system, but could it be that it is rather the money system that controls the global elite? I'm sure many of you have known the feeling of being enslaved to money. The wealthy are not exempt, and indeed, possessing more of it, are even more deeply enslaved to its logic. It is truly an "invisible hand," a force that "makes the world go 'round." Moreover, the end toward which money compels us is one of misery and ugliness: the destruction of nature and culture, community and health, and all that is beautiful on earth.
Even those we might consider most culpable for the injustices and despoliation of our world act with little awareness of what they are creating. Whether they are hedge fund managers seeking to maximize a number (profit), or political leaders seeking to further "American interests," the reality behind these symbols is obscure to them. They are victims of their own propaganda, doing harm while sincerely believing to be doing good. It is easy to believe this of people in the middle and bottom of the pyramid, the ignorant and the duped. It is harder to understand how it could apply to people at the top, yet it is equally true - if not more true - of them. They are among the most hopeless dupes of all.
Money is not the only candidate for the nefarious controlling power. Various ideologies and their corresponding being-states, in particular those I call Separation and Ascent (http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/), are even more deeply responsible. They create a culture, and a self, that seeks to maximize security, predictability, and control; to measure and quantify the world; to eliminate risk and establish liability; to extend property rights and legal codes into every corner of life, and to monitor everyone and keep track of every thing. The destination of such a program is none other than what the conspiracists fear: a totalitarian "one world government."
We might say, then, that it is not those at the top of the pyramid that control the rest; it is the pyramid itself that controls all. But this pyramid, this Tower, built of the defining myths of our civilization, is evidently crumbling before our eyes.
I am not necessarily saying, "It isn't the Draconian races, it is the money system (or the myth of Separation)." Rather, these refer to one and the same thing, viewed through a different lens. In one reality, it is money, in another it is the ETs.
(2)We are subject to technologies of mind control that hold us in thrall.
New World Order conspiracists posit the existence of futuristic mind control based on alien technologies, beamed from the communication infrastructure, riding upon cell phone towers, television transmissions, and so on, or transmitted via occult symbology. subliminal messages, and neuro-linguistic programming techniques. There is truth in this, but the truth is deeper than the conspiracists realize. Television stupifies us not only through its content, but through the ability of the medium itself to usurp the image-making capacity of the brain and create intellectual dependency. Advertising and, more subtly, the narratives of the mass media condition our thoughts and desires, so that we become afraid of freedom and nearly incapable of rebelling. But these technologies are rather clumsy and overt compared with the way that institutions of our culture, by their very logic, limit the range and manner of our thinking. Education, science, religion, medicine, parenting, and the legal system all condition us to think in certain ways. But the most pervasive and powerful mind control technology, so ubiquitous as to be unnoticable, is undoubtedly the language itself.
Can we overcome dualism, when our language is rife with it? Can we transcend separation, when our language assumes it in its very structure? By their very existence certain words limit us to thoughts that subtly serve the status quo. For example, when I when I say that reality isn't what we think it is, by using the word "is" I reinforce the very independently-existing reality that I am trying to deny. More generally, as a system of signs, language distances us from the reality it is supposed to represent, allowing us to more easily treat the world as other. Sometimes, during meditation or mystical experience, the veil of language lifts and the richness of the unmediated world is revealed, and along with it the depth of our thralldom.
Again, even as it reaches its extreme, the system of mind control is crumbling. The devaluation of language that I discuss in The Ubiquitous Matrix of Lies (http://www.realitysandwich.com/ubiquitous_matrix_lies) has engendered a pervasive cynicism, a discounting of all speech, that renders the tools of mind control increasingly ineffective. So inured are we to a world of image and hype, that we believe little of what we are told. Switching to the NWO lens, we might say that the Illuminati are panicking, desperately ramping up their mind control efforts to less and less effect.

A New Story
There are many other mythic truths, and variants of these, that could be added to the list. To me, they carry a resonance that transcends interpretation. Here are a few to play with: "The institutions of power are carrying us toward a secret and horrible destination." "Many among us have been programmed through trauma to serve this end." "The servants of the conspiracy look and act as normal people -- you can never tell who they are." (And maybe you could be one of them and not even know it.) "All that we think is real is an illusion." "Invisible shadow institutions lie hidden within the visible ones and serve purposes different from, or even opposed to, their stated purpose." The New World Order story dresses these mythic truths in its own language, and in so doing provides a valuable service, giving people access to them.
At some point, however, the story that was once enlightening becomes confining. As I have explained, conspiracy theories eventually bring most people to a kind of despair, even paralysis. When that happens, when the NWO story has run the course of its usefulness, it helps to have a new, larger story to step into.
The new story says that the abiding intuition that you have carried perhaps your whole life, and which drew you to conspiracism in the first place, is true. The world is governed by a secret power that holds us in bondage to no good end. But the conspirators are not others, they are we, you and I and everyone. A secret agenda of domination and control has existed in nearly everyone, and a world embodying that agenda has congealed around us, attracted to the dark, reptilian energies we have harbored. The good news is that these energies have nearly run their course, as the world of control breaks down and the campaign to conquer and dominate all other being founders on its own consequences. Just as Voldemort was unable to possess Harry Potter because he couldn't abide the love within him, so also is the ruling power of the world unable to abide our growing realization of our connectedness. Love, the felt experience of oneness, is spreading as the walls of separation come down. They never were sustainable. Today, even the most deluded - the power elite - are beginning to recognize that. The reign of the Illuminati is nearly over. That is seems to be reaching unprecedented heights only bespeaks the imminence of its demise, the extreme of yang giving birth to yin.
The war of good versus evil was never anything but a lie. The concept of evil is perhaps the greatest servant of evil. "Is there such a thing as evil?" I was once asked. "Before you asked, the answer was no. After you asked, the answer is yes." But ultimately, evil and its expression as the New World Order, or as I would call it, the process of Separation, has like all other things its purpose in this universe. We embark on a journey of separation in all its forms, we reach its extreme, and we come back to Union at a higher level of complexity, enriched by our journey. To adopt one last time the vocabulary of the New World Order myth, we might say that the reptilian overlords or the Illuminati have fulfilled their purpose. Though some might try to hold onto it a little longer, sooner or later they will accept that their time is over, and they will bow out of service.
The greater truth, though, which contains but does not contradict the lesser, is that the Illuminati, the Reptilians, are you and I. On this level too, what I have said is true. Can you not feel the obsolescence of that part of you, the part that endlessly seeks to control the world, to dominate others, to maximize egoic self-interest? Is it not increasingly evident that its efforts have created only misery? Is it not apparent that, no matter how hard you try to remedy its failure by intensifying its efforts, its ultimate failure is assured? For all of us, the time is coming for that part of ourselves to bow out, so that we can step into service, into trust, and, collectively, into the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
* Note to Santa and the Caped Crusader: please don't take offense. I'm only invoking your names for rhetorical effect, not because I actually doubt your existence.
Image by vasenka (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vasenka/), courtesy of Creative Commons license.


Thrive: The Story is Wrong but the Spirit is Right
Charles Eisenstein (http://www.realitysandwich.com/user/charles_eisenstein)
"What is keeping us from thriving?" asks the new movie, Thrive (http://thrivemovement.com/). The answer it gives is "the global elite," the people who control the financial system that in turn controls everything else. Operating through the power institutions of our society, this elite pursues a conscious agenda of total world dominance, purposely suppressing anything that would disrupt their power: from clean energy to alternative cancer cures.
This answer might serve to give expression to feelings of rage, hate, grief, and indignation that otherwise, in a world where the wrongness is so ubiquitous as to seem woven into the fabric of reality itself, would turn inward. Ultimately, though, this answer feeds the mentality of control that is a much deeper culprit in humanity's failure to thrive.
To put primary blame on the global elite says that the primary problem is not the system; it is the masters of the system. If only they were not such awful, greedy -- in a word, evil -- people, they would relent and create a new system. Certainly that's what you and I would do if we were in a position of power -- right? Because we, unlike they, are decent people. In other words, the culprit for the planet's woes is evil, which implies that the solution is to somehow defeat or eliminate evil (though to its credit, Thrive advocates non-violent means to accomplish this.)
The quest to create a better world through conquering evil lies at the heart of civilization as we know it. Originating in the earliest agricultural civilizations, the concept of evil first applied to weeds, wolves, locusts, hail storms, and other natural phenomena that were, before agriculture, merely parts of an interdependent whole, and not the enemies of mankind.
In the ensuing millennia, the War Against Evil developed in tandem with technology and religion. The conquest of nature extended into the internal realms and became a struggle for self-mastery, self-control, and the transcendence of the flesh. It extended into the social realm as programs of social engineering that sought to eliminate evil on a mass scale. Taken to its extreme, it took the form of purges, pogroms, ethnic cleansing, Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism. In other words, the elimination of evil lends itself to the very same dominator mindset that is part of the problem.
Thrive advocates peaceful non-compliance with the institutions of domination, except in cases of "self-defense". But when you see an enemy implacably bound to enslave you or murder you, the line between defense and offense blurs. What war of aggression in the last hundred years has not been justified as a kind of self-defense? The Indians are scalping innocent settlers! The North Vietnamese communists attacked our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin! Remember the Lusitania! The terrorist regime is producing weapons of mass destruction!
That is not to say that there aren't powerful people in the world that do tremendous damage, or that these people should not be held to account. These people, however, are produced and given power by a system that runs deeper than anyone's capacity to design. It is a system that has taken on a life of its own, a system that includes even the film's favorite targets -- the Rockefellers and Rothschilds -- among its thralls. The money system -- born of interest-bearing debt and generating separation and exponential growth -- is at its core, but even the money system rests on a deeper foundation. It rests on our civilization's defining myths: scarcity, reductionism, determinism, dualism, separation. But as the filmmaker must know, these stories have run their course, and so has the world built atop them.
The money system and its underlying mythology necessitate the roles that the power elite fill. Remove those people without changing the underlying beliefs, and new tyrants will rise to take their place. However strong our idealism, do we imagine that our revolution against evil will produce results any better than the French Revolutionaries or the Bolsheviks did? The War against Evil never ends, because it generates a limitless supply of new enemies, progeny of its own shadow.
Perhaps there was a conscious conspiracy to suppress free energy devices, alternative cancer therapies, and so forth, or maybe it was an unconscious conspiracy comprising the agents of the status quo whose careers and intellectual paradigms these technologies violate. In either case, the suppression is decreasingly effective, as the guardians and executors of the system struggle just to keep it going a couple years longer. The analogy to control-based technologies of agriculture or medicine is quite precise. You can suppress each new pesticide-resistant weed with a new chemical, but eventually the consequences of chemical agriculture pile up faster than you can invent new technological fixes to deal with them. It works great at first and yields rise significantly with very little effort, but eventually huge chemical input is needed even to break even. In medicine, you can suppress with a pharmaceutical drug the symptoms caused by the last pharmaceutical drug, but eventually the patient is on twenty medications and getting no better; synergistic side effects proliferate and the patient rapidly deteriorates. Such is the inevitable end game for any program of control. The illusion of control can only be maintained temporarily, and at ever greater cost.
If there ever was an Illuminati orchestrating world events, it has lost control. Today, the atmosphere among the financial elite fluctuates between panic and resignation. They cannot be bothered to suppress films like Thrive, like What on Earth, like Moon Rising, magazines like Infinite Energy, and all the information freely available on the Internet that is accelerating the shift of consciousness away from separation and scarcity.
The ground has already begun to shift, and that shift will accelerate as the "old normal" falls apart. It has fallen apart in many ways already, yet its afterimage lingers. The supermarkets are still full of food, the malls full of shoppers, the highways full of cars, and the ATM's full of cash. The last-ditch strategy of the financial elite, "extend and pretend", applies to our entire society. It is still possible to pretend that the world of our parents will be the world of our children, and to extend its lifestyle a few more years. But that pretense is wearing thin.
Despite this criticism, I would say that Thrive gets the story wrong but the spirit right. The dominator model is not an evil to overcome, but rather an evolutionary stage that has reached its fulfillment and is giving way to something new. Toward the end, the film touches on this understanding through the words of Elisabet Sahtouris, who likens the present historical moment to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, or to the transition of an ecosystem from headlong growth in its immature state, to symbiotic homeostasis in its mature state. I wish the film had given her greater voice, and developed the idea that the power elite are not reprehensible villains, but players of a role soon to become obsolete. This would be an attitude of forgiveness and invitation. After all, the rewards of the rich, whether measured in money or political power, do little to further their authentic happiness. The rest of us, having not attained the pinnacle of success, can at least tell ourselves that our angst would be relieved if only we reached the top of the ladder. The power elite have no such anodyne to assuage the desolation of life at the top. The system, in other words, isn't working for them either. We want to invite the 1% into a world that is better for everyone.
The film argues that if only we threw off the yoke of the tyrannical Illuminati, we would live in a magnificent, abundant, peaceful world. For example, it says, the deliberate suppression of "free energy" technology would end. Again, the film gets the story wrong but the spirit right. I won't consider here the scientific plausibility of such technology, which appears to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but will rather address the film's contention that the main reason for the misery of the Third World masses is lack of access to energy, and that unlimited clean energy would be a near-panacea for humanity's problems and would usher in an era of abundance. The story here -- call it "technological utopianism" -- is that technology is going to rescue us, create a new and better world, and solve our problems. We have heard this story many times before, starting with the steam engine, and proceeding through electricity, chemicals, atomic energy, computers, economics and political science, nanotechnology... each invention promised an age of leisure, freedom from disease, social perfection, and other wonders; two hundred years later, none of these promises has been redeemed. We work longer hours than in 1973 and, by many measures, are sicker and unhappier than a primitive tribesperson or peasant.
Why has the promise of technology never been redeemed? If not an evil illuminati consciously suppressing or co-opting the technologies of abundance, what has kept us in a state of scarcity and extreme inequality? If we don't address the reason at its root, and instead blame it on evil people, we will never redeem the promise either.
The truth is that without a change in our consciousness and in the social systems built on our consciousness, no technology will be any more successful than any of those I just listed in bringing peace and prosperity to all people on earth. Indeed, such a vision, and the technologies that are part of it, seem "too good to be true" to someone accustomed to scarcity and habituated to the responses to scarcity: domination, control, struggle against each other and against nature. When this mindset changes, no new technology is even necessary. We already have, and always have had, potential abundance at our fingertips. The scarcity that so many experience today is not the result of any fundamental lack, but rather of the maldistribution of political power and resources. What kind of abundance would we have if we didn't spend trillions of dollars on wars, guns, non-recyclable packaging, sprawling suburbs, automobile culture, consumer junk, transcontinental food, unnecessary pharmaceuticals, and every other form of waste that contributes nothing to human happiness? In one way or another, all of these things are the end products of a civilization built on separation.
A world of justice and abundance doesn't depend on any new technology, yet it is also true that new kinds of technology will emerge from a different kind of consciousness. The shift of consciousness of which I speak is from separation to oneness; from being to "interbeing"; from a discrete and separate self in an external objective universe, to an integral part that contains the whole. The new self seeks less to dominate than to cocreate, less to control than to share. It knows that the whole universe is as alive and as conscious as oneself. From that perspective, technologies that do no harm to other beings come naturally; from this perspective, it seems as a matter of course that the universe wants to freely provide what we need, rather than requiring us to wrest it from an indifferent or hostile environment. Thus we have a paradox: we do not need new technology to enjoy abundance; yet, the shift of perception that is necessary to enjoy abundance will also bring forth new technology. Or we might say that free energy technology will be a symptom that our consciousness has shifted, or perhaps an instrument for the actualization of abundance consciousness in material reality. The filmmaker understands that on some level. The spirit coming through is this: a more beautiful world is possible, right in front of our faces, waiting only for us to accept it. It is a spirit of vast possibility readily available.
Because it carries this spirit, the film has attracted a cult following despite its disjointed editing, repetitiveness, and the narrator's frequent resort to "I believe," and "I am firmly convinced" in place of actual evidence or arguments. Indeed, at times it seems that the film wants to be about Foster Gamble's personal journey to radicalism and hope. Despite its flaws, in its invocation of evil and in its appeal to technological salvation, Thrive arouses our conviction that the world isn't supposed to be this way, and that a much better world is closer than we dare think. Even if it wrongly ascribes the source of the problem and misidentifies the essence of the solution, still it will stimulate people to deepen their questioning of the boundaries of consensus reality. This is a good thing. Once the questioning starts, it will not stop until we arrive at a new story aligned with the spirit being born today.

Pkease join Charles Eisenstein for his upcoming Evolver Intensives webinar, "Living Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Transition" beginning November 30: [URL]http://evolverintensives.com/upcoming/ce-sacred-economics.html . This series features extraordinary guests and expands on the subject of Charles' recent Evolver Editions book, Sacred Economics - crucial reading for the new paradigm: http://www.northatlanticbooks.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781583943984.

Image by Hammer51012 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hammer51012/3010232030/sizes/m/in/photostream/), courtesy of Creative Commons license.

Magda Hassan
08-31-2012, 03:06 AM
Disaster by Design? What’s Wrong with the “Thrive” MovementA popular new film claims that a secret elite create our most troubling problems to advance a “global domination agenda.” Why Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva, and other progressives are calling it “dangerously misguided.”

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by John Robbins (http://www.yesmagazine.org/@@also-by?author=John+Robbins)
posted Aug 21, 2012

Thrive is the name of a controversial film that asks, and attempts to answer, some of the deepest questions about the nature of the human condition and what is thwarting our chances to prosper. Lavishly funded, it features appealing imagery, beautiful music, and interviews with many leading progressives, including myself. Yet ten of us have signed a statement formally disassociating ourselves from the film.In my case, the decision was especially difficult because there are aspects of Thrive I find inspiring, and its makers, Foster and Kimberly Gamble, are old friends. Why have Amy Goodman, Deepak Chopra, Paul Hawken, Edgar Mitchell, Vandana Shiva, John Perkins, Elisabet Sahtouris, Duane Elgin and Adam Trombly, as well as yours truly, gone to the trouble of signing our names to this public statement? The statement reads as follows:

"Thrive is a very different film from what we were led to expect when we agreed to be interviewed. We are dismayed that we were not given a chance to know its content until the time of its public release. We are equally dismayed that our participation is being used to give credibility to ideas and agendas that we see as dangerously misguided.""We are a group of people who were interviewed for and appear in the movie Thrive, and who hereby publicly disassociate ourselves from the film."
"We stand by what each of us said when we were interviewed. But we have grave disagreements with some of the film’s content and feel the need to make this public statement to avoid the appearance that our presence in the film constitutes any kind of endorsement."
In Thrive, the Gambles have attempted to address some of the crucial challenges of our times. I appreciate their idealism, commitment, and passion. And I agree with them about some things they state in the movie and on their website—such as that the political system is depraved, the Federal Reserve has been used to consolidate economic power, fiat currency tends to produce financial corruption and ever-increasing debt, the tax system is unfair, and enormously powerful economic interests often collude with one another to deceive and defraud the public. I stand with them as they promote the labeling of genetically engineered foods and an end to the spending of enormous sums on war. I appreciate their support for local and organic agriculture, their passion for credit unions and local banking, and their opposition to governmental invasion of privacy. They recommend many action steps that I support.
But I do not agree with some of the core conclusions they draw. Nor do the other signers of the statement of disassociation from Thrive. Duane Elgin, one of the signers, says that Thrive “is idealistic, naive, narrow, shallow, and focuses attention away from more productive areas of engagement.”
At the very heart of the Thrive message is what it calls the Global Domination Agenda. Foster Gamble explains:

A small group of families are actually controlling virtually every sector of human endeavor… Their agenda… (is) to take over the lives of all people across the entire planet… to collapse the economies throughout the European Union… to devalue the dollar to almost zero... and to create a one-world government, with them in charge.
The Thrive movie and website also state that this “small group of families” is developing plans to radically reduce the world’s human population to make us “easier to manage.”
Could this be true?
There is no doubt that staggering wealth and power is today concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority. The combined net worth of the world’s richest thousand or so people—the planet’s billionaires—is almost twice that of the poorest 2.5 billion. I believe this disparity to be nothing less than an indictment of our civilization.
Thrive refuses to see these shades of grey and insists on attributing to the powerful a level of diabolical malevolence that makes the villains in James Bond movies seem like Mother Teresa.
It is also certain that networks exist among the most powerful that enable a remarkably few people to shape the world's economy, to determine what is known and what is not, which views are accepted and which are not, and what priorities and policies will prevail. More than most of us realize, they decide whether we will live in war or peace, and how our treasure will be spent. And they have proven to be eminently successful at enriching themselves, often at the expense of the common good. Exposing the global power elite is tremendously important work. And this, Thrivepurports to do.
But the Thrive movie and website are filled with dark and unsubstantiated assertions about secret and profoundly malevolent conspiracies based on an ultimate division between “us” and “them.” “We” are many and well-meaning but victimized. “They,” on the other hand, are a tiny, greedy and inconceivably powerful few who are masterfully organized, purposefully causing massive disasters in order to cull the population, and deliberately destroying the world economy in order to achieve total world domination.
This way of thinking has an allure, for it distracts and absolves us from the troubling truth that the real source of the problem is in all of us, and in the economic systems we have collectively produced. If the ills of the world are the deliberate intentions of malevolent beings, then we don’t have to take responsibility for our problems because they are being done to us. Thinking this way may provide the momentary comfort of feeling exonerated, but it is ultimately disempowering because it undermines our ability to be accountable for the way our own thoughts and actions help to create the environmental degradation and vast social inequity of the world in which we live. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.”

For example, Foster Gamble says that the Japanese earthquake that caused the tsunami that wreaked havoc on the nuclear plants in Fukushima was deliberately created by those seeking absolute world domination, in order to punish the Japanese for not acceding to their wishes. The catastrophic earthquakes that devastated Haiti and Chile in 2010, he says, were also intentionally created. According to this view, these earthquakes were not the result of tectonic stresses and geologic processes. They were intentional acts perpetrated by a ruling elite with unimaginably sinister intent.Thrive refuses to see these shades of grey and insists on attributing to the powerful a level of diabolical malevolence that makes the villains in James Bond movies seem like Mother Teresa.
There are many things that are terribly wrong in our world, and some of them are dire. But holding these tragedies up as the deliberate acts of a tiny group of families seeking total world domination via a global police state distracts us from the arduous work of confronting the true challenges before us.
For example, as an environmentalist, I heed the monumental evidence that global warming may be one of the most serious threats faced by humanity and many of the other species on this planet. Yet Foster Gamble and the Thrive website strongly recommend a film called The Great Global Warming Swindle, which states that man-made global warming is a “lie” and “the biggest scam of modern times.”
The Thrive website opens its climate change discussion with this question:

How does the premise of man-made global warming relate to the banking elite’s effort to transcend national sovereignty, establish global governance and create a global tax to fund their dominance?
The insinuation is that the idea of human-caused global warming is being fabricated as an excuse to create a global police state and a tax basis for tyranny. If this is true, just about every scientific expert in the world has been taken in by the hoax. A 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 97 percent of scientific experts agree that “anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases have been responsible for the unequivocal warming of most of the Earth’s global temperature in the second half of the 20th century.”
It has been painful for me to witness personal friends of mine become caught up in seeing global warming as a lie, and just about everything on earth as part of a vast demonic conspiracy. When I wrote Foster Gamble to voice my disappointment with many of the ideas in the film and website, he wrote back, encouraging me to study the works of David Icke, Eustace Mullins, Stanley Monteith and G. Edward Griffin.
Who are these people, in whose worldviews Thrive has its roots?
David Icke, who is featured prominently in Thrive, is well-known for advocating utterly bizarre theories, and claims that the entire world is run by a secret group of reptilian humanoids who drink human blood and conduct satanic rituals. In a recent interview, Icke seemed to be competing for lunatic of the year. “What I’m explaining now,” he said, “is that the moon is not a heavenly body but a construct.”
One of the signers of the statement of disassociation from Thrive, former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, has grounds to disagree. As the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14, he spent nine hours working on the moon’s surface.
Buoyed by lush visual effects and lovely words, the Thrive film has been attractive to many who know how often we are deceived and exploited by the powers that shouldn’t be.
The rest of Thrive’s primary sources aren’t much better. The late Eustace Mullins was the author of a book titled Hitler, An Appreciation. Stanley Monteith, who happens to be a neighbor of mine, has long been involved with Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, and professes that the environmental movement is a pretext for the effort to create a global police state. He and G. Edward Griffin have long been members and officers of the John Birch Society, a far-right political organization that first came to public attention when one of its founders, Robert W. Welch, proclaimed that Dwight Eisenhower wasn’t the genial war hero and popular president he seemed, but rather “a conscious, dedicated agent of the international communist conspiracy.” Welch co-founded the John Birch Society along with Fred Koch, the father of today’s notorious Koch brothers.
Both Thrive and the John Birch Society view government, in Welch’s words, “as always and inevitably an enemy of individual freedom.” And both see a small group of families, including the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, as behind an utterly malevolent conspiracy seeking total global domination. The Thrivewebsite features this statement from the second president of the John Birch Society, Larry McDonald:

The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government…all under their control… Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.
These are only a few of the ultra-right wing sources whose ideas and agendas pervade Thrive. Another is the economist Ludwig von Mises, whose words and beliefs are cited frequently and sympathetically on the Thrive website. Many Americans first learned of von Mises when Michele Bachmann, seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency, said she read his books at the beach. Von Mises’s brand of laissez-faire capitalism is hardcore. In his eyes, nearly all government intervention in the economy is strictly verboten, and taxes are a crime against freedom.
Buoyed by lush visual effects and lovely words, the Thrive film has been attractive to many who know how often we are deceived and exploited by the powers that shouldn’t be. But what is the revolution Thrivewould bring? Both the Thrive movie and website call for the end of taxation, even for the rich. Thrive’s goal is a world in which public schools and welfare programs, including social security, have been terminated. Instead of police, we have private security forces. As Foster Gamble puts it, “private security works way better than the state.”
That may be true for the rich who can pay for it. But who, I might ask, would pay to protect low-income communities if all security was privatized?
Eventually, if Foster Gamble had his way, there would be no taxes, no government, and everything would be privately owned, including roads. “It’s clear that when you drive into a shopping center you are on a private road, and almost without exception it is in great shape,” explains the Thrive website, as though a free market unfettered by concern for the 99 percent would somehow magically meet the needs of all.
I am saddened to see Foster Gamble, an heir to the Procter & Gamble fortune, so oblivious to the realities of those who do not share his privileges. If all roads are privatized, how will the poor get anywhere?
To Foster Gamble’s eyes, any form of government that depends on taxation, including democracy, is unconscionable. He writes on the Thrive website:

Democracy…which is born of and sustains itself by taking people’s hard-earned money, whether they like it or not, and calling it “taxation”—is in and of itself a violation [against life].
While Foster Gamble finds democracy abhorrent because it depends on taxation, Amy Goodman, one of the signers of the statement repudiating Thrive, has long been the host of what may be the most significant progressive news institution of our time, Democracy Now (http://democracynow.org/).
How, you might be asking, did those of us who have signed the statement of disassociation from Thriveever allow ourselves to be filmed for a movie that advances such ideas? The answer is simple. We were grievously misled about what the film would be.

In my view, the deregulation of the economy and the demolition of government programs that Thrive proposes would take us even further in the direction of a winner-take-all economy in which wealth would concentrate even more in the hands of the financial elites. This is something that I and the other signers of the statement repudiating Thrive find deeply abhorrent.I want to underscore that although I think the Gambles are promoting a destructive agenda, which they kept secret from those of who were interviewed for their film, I do not think either Foster or his wife Kimberly are sinister or malicious. I have known them to be kind people who mean well, and I have long considered Kimberly one of my closest friends. But I have found it necessary to speak out in this way because some of the ideas at the heart of Thrive strike me as frightening and misguided. They most certainly are not ones that I or the other signers of the disassociation statement can condone.
As one of the signers, evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, writes that, “without community, we do not exist, and community is about creating relationships of mutual benefit. It does not just happen with flowers and rainbows, and no taxes.”
The signers of the statement of disassociation from Thrive do not deny the evil in the world. It is here and it is real. But as one of the signers, Paul Hawken, writes, “The suffering and the despoliation of the world cannot be healed by the us/them divisions that inform Thrive.”
Our hope is not blind. We see the enormous peril our world is in today. Ours is the hope that remains open to miracles while investing the sweat and perseverance to lend the universe a hand in creating those miracles. It is the hope that is borne from knowing that it is far too late, and our situation far too serious, to indulge in the luxuries of pessimism, paranoia, and finger-pointing.
The state of the world is perilous. But it is not too late to love, not too late to work to realize our dreams, and not too late to believe in ourselves and in each other.
In the end, we are all in this together. Each step you take to lessen the amount of fear in yourself and the world brings us closer to a world reflective of the beauty that exists—sometimes buried and other times apparent—in each of us. Every act you take that increases the amount of trust and compassion in your relationships helps us move from a world created by privilege to a world created by community.