Winter Oak

Winter Oak
26 Feb 2024 | 9:12 am

1. Fake terrorism and the genocide agenda

by Paul Cudenec

The criminocracy is in danger of losing its carefully-constructed shield of invisibilty as it accelerates its deranged bid for total and permanent global control.

It is therefore obliged to ramp up its attacks on those who dare expose its existence, its crimes and its lies.

While Julian Assange is the most famous victim of its war on real journalism, another important case is that of Richard D. Hall.

Iain Davis writes: "UK independent journalist, researcher and documentary filmmaker Richard D. Hall faces conviction, sizeable damages and an injunction that could potentially end his career and his livelihood.

"The High Court of Justice has denied Hall the opportunity to present any kind of meaningful defence. This travesty of justice has potential implications, not just for Richard D. Hall, but for all journalists who dare to question power".

The overall situation is that Hall is being sued by two alleged victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena "bombing", which he convincingly argues was nothing of the sort, but a manufactured psy-ops.

In a recent video, Hall describes in detail the issues involved and wonders whether the case against him is really being instigated by the alleged victims or by other, hidden, forces.

He mentions in particular Marianna Spring, the BBC's first ever "disinformation specialist and social media correspondent", who has been actively seeking to discredit his work.

Kit Klarenberg writes on The Grayzone site that there are "troubling questions" about Spring, who appeared out of nowhere to take up the newly-created thought-police post in March 2020, at the tender age of 24.

She played a leading role in "diminishing and discrediting sizable anti-lockdown protests that engulfed the streets of central London" and depicted them as "comprised almost entirely of fringe lunatics", he writes.

Klarenberg points to Spring's links with the extremely dodgy "think tank" the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which I described in this recent article.

As I explained, the ISD was co-founded by ardent Zionist George Weidenfeld and enjoys an "institutional partnership" with the even more ardently pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League.

A 2022 episode of the BBC's Panorama programme presented by Spring featured ISD boss Sasha Havlicek discussing "how and why people come to believe that terror attacks are hoaxes".

Hall's admirable forensic investigation into the Manchester event was presented as evidence of a supposed "mainstreaming of extremism, hatred and conspiracy", with Spring and Havlicek stressing "the impact these conspiracy theories have on the survivors of terror attacks".

The ISD's Zionist affiliations are particularly pertinent here, since the Manchester "bombing" is officially regarded as having been the work of "Islamic extremists".

Wikipedia describes it as "the deadliest act of terrorism and the first suicide bombing in the United Kingdom since the 7 July 2005 London bombings", also blamed on "Islamist terrorists".

The same familiar enemy is said to have been behind pretty much every big "terrorist" attack of the 21st century, starting with 9/11, and pesky "conspiracy theorists" have been asking questions about all of them.

There is certainly historical evidence to suggest that terror attacks are often not what they appear to be.

Gianfranco Sanguinetti wrote in 1980: "I have never said that the secret services were behind every single attack, given that these days even a Molotov cocktail or a workplace sabotage are considered to be 'attacks': but I have said, and I have been saying for nearly ten years now, that all spectacular acts of terrorism are either remote-controlled, or directly carried out, by our secret services".

He was referring to the terrorist attacks, in Italy and across Europe, which are now known to have been co-ordinated by NATO under what is often termed Operation Gladio.

The aim of that wave of killing – which was not faked but very real – was seemingly to push scared populations into the arms of the security state and to discredit radical groups falsely accused of being responsible.

The first of these aims is most likely still true today – who, since 2020, can seriously doubt that deliberate fearmongering plays an important part in keeping populations under control?

But the second aim must be slightly different now, because the "terrorists" involved are said to be "Islamist".

Why would the system feel the burning need, one might ask, to create fake or false-flag events to discredit Islamist groups that do not present an obvious domestic political threat to the governments of the various countries targeted?

The answer, I suspect, lies in the way in which our political institutions have been systematically captured by elements favourable to, and often funded by, Israel – a reality that has become all too obvious since the onslaught against Gaza began.

We might also consider a document published by Jerusalem Summit nearly 20 years ago. The Acorn reported in 2016 that the leadership of this Zionist organisation included Daniel Pipes, the pro-Israel and anti-Islam US commentator, and Britain's Baroness Cox, described by Craig Murray in 2014 as "a prominent supporter of organisations which actively and openly promote the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians from Gaza".

The document in question envisages "relocation" of Palestinians from their homes in Israeli-controlled territory "to allow them to build a new life for themselves and their families in countries preferably, but not necessarily exclusively, with similar religious and socio-cultural conditions".

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been in the limelight in recent months, accusing Israel of crimes against humanity and, in turn, being depicted as a tool of Hamas by Israel and its supporters.

Interestingly, the archived Jerusalem Summit document declares that "the dissolution of UNRWA is an essential prerequisite for any comprehensive, durable solution of the Palestinian issue".

Also, crucially in the context of this article, it states: "The de-legitimization of the Palestinian narrative becomes a vital prerequisite to any comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue".

How exactly could that "narrative" be delegitimized – thus allowing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, by whatever means necessary, to go ahead without too much global opposition?

One way would be to associate Palestinians, in the minds of the international public, with terrorists who have been attacking their own communities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long been trying to make this link, claiming back in 2014: "ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. When it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common".

He made the same claim in October 2023, declaring: "We have always known what Hamas is. Now the whole world knows. Hamas is ISIS… We will defeat [Hamas] precisely as the enlightened world defeated ISIS".

With many people pointing out that Hamas was created and propped up by Israel itself, insisting that ISIS is "a US-Israeli creation" and wondering if the October 7 attacks were a false-flag event, a disconcerting possibility emerges.

Could it be that all or most of the big "Islamist" terror attacks of the first two decades of this century were fake or false-flag events, designed to whip up hatred and fear of Muslims and thus of Palestinians, to demonise and dehumanise them in order to achieve the "de-legitimization" of their cause, as recommended by Jerusalem Summit?

Was this all part of a long-term plan to pave the way for the ethnic cleansing horrors that we have seen unfolding in Gaza since October 2023?

If so, is this why the Israel-linked IDS is so keen, through its boss Havlicek and her sidekick Spring, to shut down all investigation of the truth behind these events and the genocidal agenda they were designed to advance?

[Audio version]

Richard D. Hall's videos about the Manchester Arena "bombing" and other subjects can be viewed here.

Winter Oak
23 Feb 2024 | 8:26 am

2. Our Quest for Freedom: Meaning

by Paul Cudenec

[This is from my latest book Our Quest for Freedom and other essays]

Something that has disappointed me for many years now is the flatness of the language with which would-be radicals try to attract support to their cause.

One common type of article reads like a school essay, carefully shying away from anything that might sound like strongly-held opinion or emotion.

Another type is just stuffed full of jargon (whether woke or workerist) which is guaranteed to repel anyone who has not already been inducted into their particular agitcult.

I suppose this is because "radical" movements today are not really what they purport to be. The criminocracy has such enormous financial resources, in addition to its control of the state and its policing and intelligence forces, that it is quite capable of hijacking and then controlling any dissident movement that emerges.

Its representatives – full-time and trained for the task – will then be able to direct not just the content of the material published by the group in question, but also the tone in which it is expressed.

Flat, dull, lifeless prose, stripped bare of all poetry and dreaming, will only ever appeal to exactly the kind of flat, dull, lifeless individuals who are the perfect recruits for a movement whose aim is not to ignite revolt, but to bury it.

Our communication cannot remain on the surface of this society, trying to convince others on the basis of reality as defined by the system, using the system's logic, the system's language, the system's syntax.

We need to go deeper, speaking to our fellow human beings through the invisible, underground, mysterious nervous system of our collective organism.

We need art! We need poetry! We need music! We need myth!

We can talk without fear of interruption or censorship here because the system is too dead to understand this intuitive and intangible living language of the World Soul.

This is why, incidentally, it cannot allow a work of art to speak for itself and always requires endless words, from the artist or by critics, to reduce to its limited understanding something that could only ever be said otherwise.

When I say "myth", you are probably thinking of the ancient kind, which tell stories which apparently refer to persons and deeds belonging to the distant past.

But, in truth, these myths were simply formulations, in story form, of the archetypal needs and yearning of the human soul.

In different cultures, these naturally take on different superficial forms, but, as the likes of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and Mircea Eliade have shown, there are core themes that are universal.

Just as myths can take on different appearances depending on geographical or ethnic context, so can they take on different appearances depending on the era in which they emerge.

New myths are currently being born to carry us through the great battle for human freedom which lies ahead.

Fellow dissident thinkers like Crow Qu'appelle and W.D. James are telling us that we need these myths and they are absolutely right.

We need them in order to go beyond all the realising and explaining and proposing and to turn our yearning into doing.

Most of us are looking for a meaning in life and for many of us the contemporary "meaning" of material success, wealth or comfort just doesn't do it.

In the same way as we see this degraded modern world through the eyes of the archetype we remember within, so do we regard modern pseudo-meaning.

Without necessarily being able to identify this, let alone express it, what we want is the meaning inherent in the human soul, the meaning that has been choked and held down by all those layers of psychological control.

This is a meaning that lives in the very essence of our potential as an authentic human being.

This same meaning was, long ago, expressed, shared and handed down to future generations in the form of myths.

We can often recognise our selves – our deep selves, our lost selves – in these stories when we hear them today.

They are not set in the physical world we know, but in a world that at the same time belongs to the past and to eternity.

This archetypal reality, this mythological reality, can act as the template on which we can create meaning for our own lives.

Of course, this sort of thinking is very much frowned on in today's society, in which all sense and depth have been demolished and replaced with a postmodern shopping mall selling safe off-the-peg identities with which we can label and define ourselves in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

All the more reason, then, to embrace it!

Our shared myth is the story of a people suffocated. A vast, odious, stinking giant has enslaved us, destroyed our land, consumes our children with barely-concealed sadistic delight.

The people are scared of the giant. When the earth begins to tremble with the sound of his approach, they scuttle into their huts and huddle together in silence, afraid of attracting his malevolent attention.

This sorry state goes on for years, and all the time the giant becomes worse and worse, fatter and fatter, uglier and uglier, as he tightens his control and exploitation.

Then, one day, a strange thing happens. A small girl suddenly can take no more. While everyone is hiding from the giant, as usual, she suddenly pushes her way out from under her mother's skirts and makes for the door of the hut.

"Wait! Come back!" call her parents, but it is too late.

She strides out into the village square, looks right up at the giant and, hands on hips, shouts as loud as she can: "Go away, giant! I hate you!"

What happens next? Does the giant crush her with his rainbow-coloured jackboots? Do other children, or young men and women, rush out to her defence, to join in this seemingly impossible act of defiance and resistance?

We don't know, because the story has not yet been written.

But, in any case, the small girl is a hero. And she always will be.

She has stepped out of the realm of archetypes, the realm of potential, the realm of right versus wrong and good versus evil, and she has incarnated the values of that realm – made them physically real – in the world in which she lives.

With that act, she has become something. She has become herself. She has become what she was always meant to be. She has become both truly human and truly alive.

[Audio version]

Our Quest for Freedom and other essays can be downloaded for free here or purchased here.

Winter Oak
22 Feb 2024 | 8:54 am

3. Martin Luther King, Tyranny, and Natural Law

by W.D. James

On April 3, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and other civil rights organizations, commenced a planned campaign of civil disobedience aimed at targeting the segregation laws operative in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. The campaign would include lunch counter sit-ins, marches, and a boycott of downtown businesses. The civil authorities obtained an injunction against the protests. King and other leaders of the movement consciously chose to violate the injunction, risking arrest and incarceration in the process. Arrested protesters had their bond posted by movement funds until those were depleted. At that point, King and other leaders stepped up to violate the injunction, knowing that if they were arrested and jailed, they would be spending a considerable time behind bars. On April 12 King was arrested. It was Good Friday. What better day for a Christian minister to undergo persecution? Not bad messaging either. How stupid can tyrannical regimes be that they would provide their opponent such a gift of timing? They can be plenty stupid.

Natural Law

Bail money would be gathered for King's release by April 20.i In the intervening eight days, he penned the now famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, addressed to his "Fellow Clergymen." The clergymen in question were those calling for the protesters to obey the law (ie, stop the protests and acts of civil disobedience). This is a fine text, despite the conditions under which it was written. Or, perhaps, because of them—the number of great texts written while the author was imprisoned is remarkable. Perhaps the unhospitable circumstances and threat to one's future do something to sharpen one's ideas and facility of expression.

One can fruitfully approach the Letter from a number of directions. It is a key document in the history of non-violent civil disobedience, laying out a theoretical basis for it. I have taught the text as an example of political rhetoric; it could hardly be more masterful in addressing its targeted audience (though clearly it is also meant for a larger audience) with continual reference to intellectual authorities whom they are bound to recognize (including Martin Luther and Thomas Jefferson). Here, however, I would like to focus in closely on King's appeal to natural law theory.

The Western natural law tradition (there are others) developed out of classical sources like Stoicism and the thought of Aristotle and Cicero. It was developed further in the medieval period and largely brought to perfection in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. It continued on (in a somewhat thinned down version) in the Protestant 'resistance to tyrants' tradition and on into the modern liberal political theory of John Locke and the Declaration of Independence. In what follows, I will outline the basic structure of natural law theory as developed by Aquinas, then look at King's use of it, and finally, arc back to implications of the theory that I think King was well aware of but left unstated.

All law, for Aquinas, is an appeal to reason. It calls us to recognize just claims. That is, law for Aquinas never had the character of arbitrary command: it is always the voice of reason speaking to us at various levels of specificity. His natural law theory recognizes four basic types of law, all arranged in a hierarchy of authority. This point might initially concern some of us, but we'll see why it is absolutely necessary, and in fact serves the purpose of providing justification for resistance to unjust authorities (powers), like the courts of Alabama in King's case.

Let's lay out Aquinas' four types of law schematically, then look at them in more detail in turn:

Eternal Law The law as eternally present in 'the mind of God'
Divine Law The law as revealed by God in scripture
Natural Law The aspects of eternal law as grasped by human reason
Human (positive) Law The law as promulgated by political authorities

Eternal law is the fundamental rational ordering principle of all that exists. It is essentially the same thing that other philosophical traditions have called the logos or the Tao. As law it includes the most abstract moral principles conceivable such as good is good and we are to seek the good and spurn badness or evil. As we saw in my 'Deep Resistance' essays, it was faith in this that allowed the Stoics to trust that the cosmos was a cosmos and was providentially ordered to bring about the good.

Divine law has less of a correlation in the classical natural law tradition. It depends on trust that in sacred texts God has made his moral will known with greater specificity than in the eternal law. The Ten Commandments would be a prime example. Seeking the good and avoiding evil entails such things as respecting one's parents and not murdering. As the Greeks (and Confucians for that matter) demonstrate, you can hold to a natural law philosophy with this aspect of law left out. Aquinas was a Christian and he includes it.

Natural law is the level of law which is in principle knowable to our unaided human reason and which outlines what is required if we wish to fulfill our human nature. It includes things like self-evident first principles of practical reason (this is where Jefferson in the Declaration comes up with the language of 'self-evident' truths). This would include things like the propositions that it is good for human societies to reproduce the species, nurture and educate the young, and act justly within social interactions, including things like paying a worker a just wage. It will also contain natural rights, like Locke's rights to life, liberty, and property.

Human law, or positive law, is the laws written down or otherwise promulgated by political authorities such as obey the speed limit, murder is a felony, there will be a tax on tea, and blacks and whites in Alabama will operate under codes of racial segregation.

Now, back to that hierarchy of authority issue…. The cool thing about a natural law tradition is it allows one to make moral and legal challenges to human laws, the laws of governments. Each level of law in the above schema is dependent on the levels above for its legitimacy. If we focus in on natural law and human law (where natural law thinkers usually spend most of their time) we can see how this works in practice. Let's say there is some law of the government exerting power over us which we don't think is right. The very idea that we have a notion of 'right' that transcends the actual laws suggests there is in fact a natural law of which we are aware.

If we choose to do that, we can proceed in a couple of different ways. If we can argue that a given positive law violates a discernable principle of natural law, or a discernable natural right, we have an argument that the human law is unjust. Alternatively, we can rest assured that the natural law, by definition, is consistent with human wellbeing, human flourishing. So, if a given human law is not consistent with this overall function of natural law, we can also argue that it is unjust. Hence, any law that is oppressive or dehumanizing is by definition contrary to the natural law.

Within this tradition, human laws gain their legitimacy by being in accord with the higher forms of law (that is, by according with genuine morality and metaphysical reality, not at all because the government has the power to impose laws). Further, any human law which can be shown to violate natural law (which is in effect immoral) is no law at all.ii The government still has the power it has, but we have no obligation to obey it.

King's use of natural law theory

In response to his fellow clergy's admonition that we should obey the law, King reminds them: "There are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'" Notice what operating within a natural law tradition is allowing King to do here. He is not left with just saying 'I don't like that law' or 'that law is opposed to my interests.' He has an ethical and judicial basis from which to claim that the realm of positive law does not necessarily correspond to ethics, that 'lawful' does not automatically mean 'just'. Arguments will not always win the day. It is, nevertheless, good to have them on your side.

He goes on to explain his position: "A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality."

Thus King the logician:

Human laws which violate natural law are unjust.

Segregation laws violate natural law.

Therefore, segregation laws are unjust.


Rock on Dr. King!

Now, let's notice a very peculiar thing about the overall structure of natural law theory in its political operations (as distinct from its use as a resource for structuring our own moral vision, conscience, and life path). Levels one and three of the hierarchy are meant to be coterminous with reason. Level one rests on the assumption that the universe is rationally and well ordered. Level three is meant to represent the voice of human reason as a manifestation of that overarching reason. Level two is fairly specifically Christian, but it too is understood as an expression of rationality (hence, revelation must be interpreted in ways consistent with rationality). Human laws will then be validated or invalidated based on the rational apprehension of their conformity to human nature and justice in general. Laws are not valid because they stem from a particular political authority or because they are backed up by power. So, on this scheme, governmental laws are always at the theoretical disadvantage. They must always justify themselves.

Let's look at that in practice and see how the metaphysical hierarchy in which natural law theory is grounded provides the basis for undercutting human hierarchies! Imagine the government issues a law which our reason, conscience, and natural moral intuition all approve. Will we have any problem obeying such a law or feel it is oppressive? Probably not. Really, if we're fairly reasonable and decent people we didn't even need it to be a law except for convenience sake (should we drive 20 or 25 miles an hour past a school while the kids are out playing? Well, just pick one and that's what we'll do). On the other hand, let's assume the government promulgates a law that is irrational, violates our consciences, and/or our innate sense of moral fairness? Well, natural law theory gives us good ground to stand on in opposing such a law. See what has happened? Natural law theory will tend to counsel obedience of those laws we already would have been fine with obeying (even without a law) and gives us ground to challenge all the laws which we would not be fine with.


The mode of resistance to unjust law that King defends to his contemners is explicitly non-violent civil disobedience. I think King well knows that (partly for strategic reasons, partly out of an abundance of caution to not violate Christian moral principles, and partly out of the strategic objective of ultimately achieving a reconciliation with the segregationist white folks he and the movement are opposing) this places two restraints on their tactics that are not called for in classic, Thomistic (not to mention Protestant and classical liberal) natural law theory.

First, there is no prohibition on the use of violence. Within classical thinking (along the exact same lines as 'just war theory'), the main restraint on violence is that it be proportionate to the level of threat encountered so that the moral priority of life is preserved. If someone is threatening to take a small portion of my property and otherwise is not posing any danger to myself or others, I should only employ sufficient violence to dissuade them, but am probably not justified in taking their life. If someone is actively shooting all the kiddies in a school, I should use all the violence at my disposal to stop them, so as to preserve as much life as possible. By adopting non-violence as an overarching strategic principle King is limiting his movement's right to use violence beyond what is mandated by natural law theory.

Second, King has limited the scope of confrontation to civil disobedience (the non-compliance with an unjust law with the aim of bringing to public attention its unjust nature with hopes that society as a whole will wish to change it). Already, with Aquinas, in certain circumstances, natural law theory justified quite a bit more when confronted by a tyrant imposing laws that were unjust. Aquinas had justified, at an individual level, the right of an individual to kill a tyrant as a consequence of their right to self-defense. Further, he had justified the right of a group of people to engage in revolution if they were prepared to take on the legitimate duties of government to administer genuine justice.

Rock on Aquinas!

Aquinas had justified all of this in the 13th century. It is true that his overall philosophy is complex and there are virtually infinite qualifications one would need to apply in a given situation to determine what exact level of resistance was justified. Three or four hundred years later when we get slightly more militant Protestant theory and the theories of people like Locke who would play directly into our own American revolution, the main gain that I am seeing in the natural law tradition's theory of resistance to tyrants is the explicit right of preemptive action. If we see the tyrant preparing the chains with which to bind us, we need not wait till they are fastened upon us. Not to mention that much was lost by the Protestant and liberal turn toward metaphysical nominalism.

Nevertheless, rock on Locke and Jefferson!

Modern people have largely fallen out of love with natural law. I think the basic issue is that it entails the notion that there is a human nature and that right and wrong go deeper than what the positive law states. King's Letter helps us remember that natural law is a strong resource in opposing unjust positive laws and can provide a basis for a community to come to moral and legal agreement on issues.

i One assumes that if the primary national leader of the civil rights movement had wanted to be released more quickly, money could have been obtained. One senses that King meant both to lead by example (in that bail money for every possible arrestee could be gotten together so quickly and that the longer he was behind bars, the worse it looked for the authorities. Perhaps he only moved as quickly as he did because his personal appeal was essential to gaining donations to support the overall cause.

ii Over the past several decades, the US Supreme Court has explicitly stated that it will not entertain arguments from natural law in particular cases, especially cases related to gender ideology and sexuality. From a natural law perspective, the perspective from which our right to revolution and to establish ourselves as a separate people and country from Great Britain was justified, as soon as the supreme legal authority of a government states that its laws are beyond natural law, that government is a tyranny, by definition. Just saying.

WD the logician:

Positive law that is in accord with natural law is legitimate

Positive law is the will of a government

Therefore, if the will of a government is not in accord with natural law, it is not legitimate

Our government's will is not in accord with natural law

Therefore, our government's will is not legitimate


Rock on WD!

Winter Oak
20 Feb 2024 | 8:34 am

4. A crucial moment for humankind

by Paul Cudenec

I've lost count of the number of times that I have warned, especially since 2020, of the enormous danger currently staring us in the face.

Looking through the latest Acorn bulletin, published yesterday, I am struck by the realisation that the situation really is as bad as I have been saying, if not even worse!

There is Giovanni Pandolfini pointing to the "perverse and diabolical path" by which small farmers are being forced into debt and off the land in favour of the biggest, most capital-backed, hi-tech and predatory agri-businesses.

There is Escapekey explaining how the fake-green global "climate" operation is nothing other than fraud and theft, "a colossal public transfer to the privileged few".

There are Lynn Davenport and Alice Linehan pointing out that "investors" are making money from our children's schoolwork, thanks to software that turns educational data into yet another source of profit for the financial parasites.

Then there is Toby Rogers warning that "lockdowns" represent "the most extreme form of enclosure in human history"; Kate Mason describing how the "far right" label is being systematically used to crush dissent; reports that "rhetoric seeking to undermine confidence in solutions to climate change" is being presented as the latest variant of "climate denial" and news that draconian new legislation in France criminalises criticism of Big Pharma and its jabs.

We also learn that not only is the UK arming and approving Israel's genocidal ethnic cleansing in Gaza but that, as Lowkey reports, "pro-Israel forces currently have control of NHS, Foreign Office, Home Office and Ministry of Defence data".

I can only agree with Craig Murray when he says: "Sometimes the blindingly obvious is worth saying out loud. Whether I am fighting for Julian Assange, fighting to save Palestinians or fighting the massive wealth gap in western society, I always find I am fighting against precisely the same people and forces".

These people and forces are quite obviously currently making a big move towards their long-cherished goal of a totalitarian world state in which people and nature alike have been reduced to nothing but assets, owned and exploited by the sociopathic ruling class.

They are, to a great extent, throwing caution to the wind in doing so, and are arrogantly revealing their agenda in a way previously unimagineable.

This is the moment to act! We cannot let them get away with their twisted project, even though the vast reach of their corrupt power makes this a challenging proposition.

I have been discussing how we might best resist the criminocacy in my series of articles from Our Quest for Freedom, but here I'll leave the last word to our friends over at The Stirrer.

"One thing we are doing our level best to do is to encourage people to start quietly withdrawing their consent for the system to carry on functioning as it is".

[Audio version]

Winter Oak
19 Feb 2024 | 9:11 am

5. The Acorn – 91

Number 91

In this issue:

  1. An ABC for opposing the criminocracy
  2. The Great "Green" Fraud
  3. A story for farmers in struggle and the citizens who support them
  4. Smelling Flowers in the Rain
  5. John Ball: an organic radical inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1. An ABC for opposing the criminocracy

by Paul Cudenec

If we wish to fully understand – and thus to effectively oppose – the global criminocrats, we need to stop thinking in terms of "politics" as currently known.

They couldn't care less about questions of political ideology and values, about "left" or "right", "red" or "blue", "capitalism" or "communism".

Yes, these are useful devices in their divide-and-rule strategies, but they have no interest at all in the political content.

This is because they are, quite simply, criminals whose sole aim is to expand and protect their own ill-gotten wealth and power.

They were just as happy to make money in the USSR and Nazi Germany as they are today in fake Western "democracies" or Eastern oligarchies, whether or not currently labelled "communist".

The only thing that matters to them is that the regime in question facilitates Business as Usual for their nefarious activities.

Basically this amounts to:

A. An ever-ongoing flow of money-making opportunities under the guise of "progress", "development", "innovation", "economic growth" or "modernisation". They lend the money to governments for allegedly crucial "infrastructure", they win the contracts, they exploit the labour, they supply the raw materials, they build the machinery, they sell the product, they rake it in. If this gravy train ever slows down a little, all it needs is a convenient war, "pandemic" or other "crisis" to kick it back to full speed.

B. A means of imposing their domination on the population. This historically means the state, which, by direct and indirect taxation, makes people pay for the mechanisms by which they are repressed. Police, government bodies and the military/intelligence forces are all there to protect criminocratic rule and racketeering from dangerous outbreaks of real democracy. As institutional power is globally centralised, international bodies like the EU, the WHO and the UN are also playing this enforcement role.

C. Ensuring their own invisibility. This is very important for the criminocracy because they are all too aware that they are a tiny minority – a few thousand core players against a global population of more than 8 billion. If large numbers of people understood that the criminocracy existed, and what it was up to, the resulting revolt could not be held down, even by the resources available to the criminocracy. A particular worry would that be individuals currently unknowingly working for the criminocracy might switch sides if they understood the real stakes. So the criminocrats encourage limited and misleading versions of history, tightly control media output and systematically deploy the term "conspiracy theorist" to discredit anyone who points in their direction, implying stupidity and borderline insanity with, for added effect, smears such as "extremist", "reactionary", "far-right", "fascist", "terrorist", "hate criminal" and "anti-semite".

In view of this, we can see, emerging from the fog of "political" confusion, the only dividing line that really matters.

Resistance to the criminocracy needs to involve:

A. Opposition to its money-making "development" racket.

B. Opposition to the institutions that impose its central control.

C. Exposure of the existence and activities of the criminocracy to as wide a global public as possible.

Any "resistance" not built on these foundations can achieve nothing.

[Audio version]

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2. The Great "Green" Fraud

by Escapekey

What you see happening around you has been planned for generations. We're now in the final stages, and the distractions will become increasingly outrageous.

Rather than get distracted, let me summarise what's actually taking place, on how they plan to wrap up their multi-generational efforts to impose a technocratic, global government.

It's about controlling the right to emit carbon dioxide. Because those who do, control economic activity without which you won't be able to do much. And, in this regard, the role of the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 cannot be overstated.

There are two core components to this scam. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity, aka the CBD. The former declares that we must not increase temperatures above a certain – arbitrary – threshold. To stay within said – as claimed by the UNFCCC – we have to control emissions. This creates a scarcity of carbon dioxide emissions, which can then be exploited financially.

When a farmer works his field to produce food, or a power plant generates electricity, both will soon be required to 'offset' their carbon dioxide emissions. In this equation, anyone emitting is considered a carbon source, and the flip side of that coin is called a carbon sink. Carbon sinks comprise anything that absorbs carbon dioxide; we here talk about the likes of forests, and wetlands like mangroves.

And while the UNFCCC creates the scarcity, the CBD's stated aim is to increase the pool of allowable carbon dioxide emissions – ie, alleviate said scarcity – through the restoration of biodiversity.

Consequently, when governments set out to spend trillions of your taxes to improve forests, mangroves and so forth, the stated aim is to improve biodiversity, which will lead to an increase in carbon absorbed by said forests, which consequently will increse the pool of (allowable) carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions, in this regard, are a type of 'ecosystem service'. And those are rendered by a 'natural asset'. You might have heard this expression before, likely due to the NYSE 'Natural Asset Company' rule change, temporarily put on ice.

These are a type of holding company which has lease on a sustainably exploitable resource, or in their terminology – an 'ecosystem service' – which futher count the likes of fresh water (think Nestle), Eco-tourism, or timber from a forest. However, this exploitation is only allowed provided that the 'natural asset' rendering said 'ecosystem service' is not damaged in the process.

This 'Natural Asset Company' will then in turn be floated on a stock exchange. Once floated, the imperative shifts exclusively to profit generation from the artificially scarce resource – carbon credits – translating into far higher prices for 'carbon sources' – such as farmers and power plant – who will have no option but to increase prices on the end consumer – and that would be you.

Large corporations and opaque financial constructs were in a rush to buy up aquifers and forests a few decades ago. This is why. Most of those investment opportunities were front-run, because the insiders knew where we'd be some 20 years down the line.

However, buying large tracts of land turns expensive, and consequently, under the guise of 'conservation', a great many nations set aside 'nature reserves', and submitted these to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve program, which at present holds an area of the world comparable to the size of Australia. And these reserves span a great many forests, and other areas of considerable worth from the perspective of monetising carbon credits.

And that's where the Global Environment Facility enters the stage. What they do is to structure 'blended finance' deals for 'ecosystem services', using a 'landscape approach'. And while you should be aware of the former, the latter – the 'landscape approach' is a description of an arbitrary geographic range.

This, along with a duration – ie, a number of years – and the 'ecosystem service' requested, will be presented to the Global Environment Facility, who will structure a such-blended finance deal. The outcome is a lease for an ecosystem service, which will promptly be transferred to a holding company, and floated on the stock exchange as a 'Natural Asset Company'.

Blended finance deals are named as such, because they comprise public (taxpayer), private (billionaire class), and philanthropic capital. Thing is, however, the latter contribute virtually nothing. Their inclusion appears entirely motivated around taking credit.

The private invests 5-20% depending on interest on offer, also depending on geographical region. In Africa, for instance, they have little to no interest, and consequently, the taxpayer contributes practically all in this regard.

What this does, however, outline is that there is fundamentally no reason why the private investor should be involved whatsoever, because their meagre contribution could just as well be picked up by the public (taxpayer).

That's where the structure of these deals enters the stage. Because in spite of being much smaller, the private is 'senior' to the public, meaning in the event of bankruptcy, the private is in effect shielded; the public taxpayer will lose their money before the private will lose a penny. Think 2008, and CDOs – but this time, with your taxes as the sitting duck. Typically, this additional level of risk is compensated for through a higher interest rate, but not so in this regard.

In fact, per GEF itself, it is not uncommon to find the private investor receiving 2-3x interest rate – while, as said, simultaneously running much less risk. In short – all of this is a colossal public transfer to the privileged few. It's a way to continuously squeeze every nation, and every person and business into bankruptcy, one after another, leaving only a few standing at the end. And all of this, under the guise of 'saving the planet'.

And the central banks are in on this. Those CBDCs they currently seek to push through in an obviously coordinated manner? Yes, an increasing amount of documents outline how these will be coupled with carbon emissions down the road, meaning that almost certainly, you will receive the same 'carbon credit allowance' as everyone else, much like how the economy broadly worked – or rather, didn't – in the Soviet Union. This approach is furthermore clearly outlined by One World Trust's 'Charter 99', where said OWT was founded in the wake of WW2, and included the likes of Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill.

Thing is, the whole thing is based on fraud, and that is no exaggeration. There's a large reliance on the 'Contingent Valuation Method', which in no uncertain terms means asking a range of people what they would pay for a given item, and then valuing said on that account. Yes, really. But not only does this 'ecosystem service valuation' depend on this utter guesswork, but assigned values include deeply subjective values, such as valuing a stroll in a forest, regardless of how completely absurd that might appear.

The sheer quantities of information, further, is practically unlimited. To solve this problem, they propose a range of 'approximations' in a way comparable to improving neighbouring squares to cities, when playing a game of Civilisation on your PC.

We can then consider assigning carbon credits to a forest in the first place, which is nothing short of pure guesswork, and highly likely to be distorted in the direction of those insiders attempting to push through this system in the first place.

And then there's the carbon consensus itself. No such existed in 1979, but was the result of a handful of ICSU cherry-picked climate scientists, clearly evidenced by the resulting conference proceedings hinting at extraordinary levels of bias, plus the long-term planning of society in general clearly laid out through said proceedings.

In fact, the quantity of papers pertaining exclusively to carbon dioxide itself was in a minority, which safe to say is a little odd, given that the event took place just 3 years after Bert Bolin – a primary driver of the narrative – unilaterally declared in front of the US Senate that the only thing they knew for sure, was that an increase in carbon dioxide led to increased plant growth. When asked if this led to global warming, he added this was 'his personal opinion only', and he further concluded by stating that professional climate scientists are the least likely to make predictions.

But, of course, as soon as this carbon dioxide narrative was established, annual temperatures suddenly went from being completely unpredictable, to rising in an almost linear fashion. This narrative was fabricated along the way with help from the ICSU and associated scientists, and their committees, which include the likes of SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment).

Incidentally, it was also SCOPE which set the course for the global surveillance they have progressively rolled out since 1972. But though that's a story in itself, it does deserve a mention as this initiative – through GEO BON and GBIOS – will be used to uphold the Convention on Biological Diversity's centrally stated purpose. Restoring biodiversity.

Which private actors then turn around and monetise.

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3. A story for farmers in struggle and the citizens who support them

by Giovanni Pandolfini

A few years ago I found myself talking to a farmer, a colleague, who ran his family cereal farm in the fertile and flat lands of the Milan-south park area. He was very concerned about the future of his business, which had supported his family economically for several generations.

The accounts no longer add up, he said:

"Expenses are always rising, as are bureaucratic obligations, tax obligations, workplace safety regulations, environmental sustainability regulations, regulations for upgrading facilities, regulations for purchasing and maintaining the machinery needed to work the land, for seeds, for cultivation treatments (herbicides, fertilisers and pesticides) and for the transport of products, not to mention the cost of energy, agronomic, legal and commercial advice that I absolutely need in order to work and to feel at least in order and not to take risks. "

Complaining further, he added:

"On the other side of the costs there should be adequate revenues but the harvest raises prices that barely cover current expenses when everything is running smoothly, without considering the thousands of possible hiccups that are becoming more and more frequent, new adversities such as invasive pests, particularly strong fungal attacks, damage from game such as ungulates and many others, long dry periods without rain, periods with too much rain and floods, hail and heavy storms with destructive winds, unusual temperatures with daily temperature ranges of around 20° and many others, our only salvation is CAP subsidies and concessions for machine purchases such as capital grants from the psr (i.e. non-refundable, non-returnable) and conduction credits such as agricultural promissory notes that banks renew without too many demands.

"The trade association advised me to specialise, to modernise my company, to innovate my equipment, to invest more decisively in my business, to believe in myself and to rely on them for financial advice, to untangle the jungle of contributions and the swamps of legal obligations.

"On the other hand, they are always the ones who have the cooperatives and consortia that sell me everything I need and then collect the product from me in their processing and storage centres, so I cannot disregard them.

"Of course, in order to benefit from the subsidies, which they always help me to obtain, purchases for innovation and development of my farm must strictly be made with new, increasingly expensive and sophisticated machines. In the past, I used to repair tractors and equipment myself with a small workshop, a welder and a hose, but today mechanics has merged with electronics and I have to turn to specialised workshops that cost a fortune.

"The bank has granted me loans, overdrafts, and advances on invoices because I make the money go round, but now they are telling me that my business is no longer all mine but a little of theirs, and so if I really believe in my business, as they have believed in it, I cannot refuse to sign a guarantee with my real estate, house and land, everything we have, everything my family has built with so much work and toil over time.

"My hands are tied. I don't know what to do anymore, I have to work more but I need more land, I have to increase my business and contributions".

At the end of his reasoning he came to a conclusion :

"I only have 150 hectares, and today with 150 hectares of arable land you can't feed your family, you would need at least twice that amount to be able to live comfortably."

Incredible and completely absurd. By what contortion of thought can one arrive at such a conviction?

The reasoning of the poor modernised, specialised, industrialised agricultural entrepreneur who is more or less in step with the minimum degree of 'legality' required for his activity, is more or less this:

In order to work the land, service the crops, harvest and store the products I obtain, I need to activate many investments. Their amortisation costs me disproportionately to what I can achieve by selling the fruits of my labour on the market, at current prices (assuming everything goes well and with the risks borne by me). My activity only becomes 'possible' if to the saleable product I add a share of subsidy from the agricultural incentive system put in place by the European Community with its complicated allocation mechanism.

And since the main delivery mechanism for CAP funds refers to a premium per hectare, I need a 'minimum' surface area to make my enterprise economically profitable. One understands that those who own an area of land below this limit cannot meet their production costs and if they have not already done so, they have to stop, close down their business; those who are close to this limit risk a lot, work a lot and earn little, while those who own ten or twenty times this limit have much more peace of mind and profit entirely provided by the European community drawing on the tax levy of millions of workers.

Have you ever seen a more unfair mechanism?

I need such an area that allows me to invest more and more in technological innovation and greater use of energy and cultivation inputs so that I can get the most I can out of my land as quickly as possible, while at the same time drawing on the investments that the system offers the most profitable at the time.

Have you ever seen anything more dangerous for the environment and the healthiness of food?

The level of this minimum amount of land required for this type of survival is extremely variable from year to year with the tendency to increase and to favour large companies to the detriment of smaller ones.

A perverse and diabolical path destined to lead to the ruin of almost all practitioners in order to make only a few emerge, the most structured, the most capital-backed, the already large, the most predatory, to the detriment of all the others.

This relationship between surface area and economic sustainability is most evident on cereal or fodder specialisations, but we can extend it to all other more intensive agricultural specialisations such as horticulture, fruit-growing, viticulture, etc. etc., up to animal husbandry with its mega-industrial farms.

Intermediaries and the large-scale retail trade have everything to gain from such a system, and the agricultural producer, who will invariably find himself with a large mass of almost always perishable product at a precise and limited time of the year, is the weakest link in the whole system.

Have you ever seen anything more dangerous?


150 hectares are, for those unfamiliar with the proportions of cultivated areas, a field of 1 km by 1.5 km, roughly equal to 215 football fields.

How is it possible to argue that with such a large area of good fertile lowland land with sufficient water in a temperate climate such as ours, albeit a changing one, one cannot achieve sufficient income to feed a family?

In 150 hectares, approximately 180 to 200+ people could live and work and produce food for themselves and 800 others, with minimal mechanisation and almost complete self-sufficiency in energy and raw materials.

This would only be possible by practising agro-ecological peasant agriculture .

With a system of local and direct distribution of one's own products, without intermediaries, without consultants, with the direct assumption of one's own environmental and social responsibilities, with a simple and effective mechanism of participatory guarantee of the healthiness of one's own products at a local level, with a self-managed credit system, with the possibility of transforming and preserving one's own products in small artisanal plants, with rules different to those of the agro-industry, one could also obtain a decent income without too much effort and without self-exploitation.

What has happened and what is still happening in our countryside? Why does a farmer go so far as to sustain the paradox that he cannot feed himself and his family on 'just' 150 hectares?

It is useless to ask and demand more investment from the institutions, more attention to the workers in the primary sector, more dignified sales conditions for their products, an income sufficient to their expectations and needs – they will always respond with more bureaucracy, more technology, more specialisation and more subservience to their system.

It is necessary to get out of the condition of agricultural enterprise in a globalised market and build a local and decentralised community fabric that can autonomously dispose of its territory, control it and defend it.

A thousand and one village autonomies that through the production of their own food can represent the most economically and ecologically sustainable and humanly pleasant way of being in this world.

Have you ever seen anything easier?

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4. Smelling Flowers in the Rain

A dystopian future is depicted in a new film due to be released in June 2024.

A trailer for Smelling Flowers in the Rain, a Spy My Studio production, can already be found on social media.

The story, set in 2040, explores the rise of an extraordinary young man (Flynn Faroe) amidst a background of repulsive realities and raw repression that leaves him no alternative than to rise up and revolt.

Explain Spy My Studio: "No path to emancipation is ever easy, it's built on the bones of the brave and the bold. Flynn Faroe dreams of utopia but lives in dystopia, something has to give, and it will.

"He gets his kicks from downing drones and bashing bots. It is a spontaneous naive reaction to his cards of life. Just when he thought life could not get any worse, it does as he becomes an unwitting victim of the tongue of treachery.

"Flynn Faroe has a choice, get out of Thraldom or face a fate far worse than death. But how to escape from the most surveilled confinement city in the empire?

"His face adorns electronic billboards across a city where many would gleefully turn his carcass in for less than the price of a chemical coffee. Few could remember a manhunt of this intensity.

"The stakes are high. His antagonist, the sinister Chief AGI who was programmed by a sadist, is chomping at the bit to get him strapped into his dreaded interrogation chair.

"Infamy has a price to pay. It also opens unexpected doors that lead to unimaginable outcomes… and Melissa Moore.

"In a plot with more twists than a hangman's noose, the protagonist navigates an uphill battle against all the odds to finally discover a Utopia actually exists but its days are numbered, unless…"

More info here.

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5. John Ball: an organic radical inspiration

The latest in our series of profiles from the orgrad website.

John Ball

"When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?"

John Ball (c. 1340-1381) was a wandering radical preacher, a "hedgerow priest", who came to the fore in the medieval Peasants' Revolt in England.

He was thrown out of his job as a priest in Colchester in 1366 and started travelling around medieval England, spreading the word of revolt. He was thrown in jail on several occasions.

In 1381, when 100,000 rebels marched into London, capturing towns and castles on their way, they freed him from prison.

Ball preached to the crowds at Blackheath and it is here that he asked the famous rhetorical question: "When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?"

George Woodcock identifies Ball as one of the figures of the English and German peasant uprisings who first voiced "the kind of social criticism that was to end in anarchism". (1)


The fragment of his speech which was preserved for posterity by French chronicler Jean Froissart "attacks both property and authority and implies a link between them that anticipates the arguments developed by the nineteenth-century anarchists", adds Woodcock. (2)

Ball said: "Things cannot go well in England, nor ever will, until all goods are held in common, and until there will be neither serfs not gentlemen, and we shall be equal.

"For what reason have they, whom we call lords, got the best of us? How did they deserve it? Why do they keep us in bondage? If we all descend from one father and one mother, Adam and Eve, how can they assert or prove that they are more masters than ourselves? Except perhaps that they make us work and produce for them to spend!" (3)

Ball told his medieval contemporaries that their serfdom was unjust and that the time had come when they could "cast off the yoke they have borne so long and win the freedom they have always yearned for". (4)

Ball's radicalism was very much inspired by the dream of a Golden Age, the idea of a natural, organic, egalitarian society which had been stolen from the people.

Talking about the weeds ("tares") in the Bible that had almost choked the good grain, he declared that the tares were the great lords, the judges and the lawyers. They all had to go, so that the people could all enjoy equal freedom, rank, and power, and share all things in common. (5)

When the authorities had crushed the revolt, Ball was tried and executed in the presence of Richard II.


Ball has been an inspirational figure for countless generations of English radicals. He appears, for instance, as a character in an anonymous 1593 play called The Life and Death of Jack Straw and would have been familiar to Gerrard Winstanley and the other radicals of the 17th century English Revolution who took up his call for an England where all things were held in common.

In 1888 William Morris published his novel A Dream of John Ball, in which a time-traveller updates Ball on the end of feudalism and subsequent rise of industrial capitalism. The radical priest realises that his hopes for a free and egalitarian future have yet to be realised, five hundred years after his death.

In 1999, an article in Green Anarchist declared that Ball's message was "not of moderation, not of putting limited demands for financial improvement, but of the revolutionary desire for authenticity and true human community that underlay them, of the courage to fight for ourselves and our visions". (6)

Video link: The Thoughts of John Ball (5 mins)


1. George Woodcock, Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979), p. 38.
2. Ibid.
3. Woodcock, p. 39.
4. Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism (London: Fontana, 1993), p. 91.
5. Ibid.
6. John Connor, 'John Ball – Primitivist: The Peasants' Revolt and the State of Nature', Green Anarchist #57-58, Autumn 1999. theanarchistlibrary.org


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6. Acorninfo

"Pro-Israel forces currently have control of NHS, Foreign Office, Home Office and Ministry of Defence data. Your data". Some shocking revelations from rapper and journalist Lowkey in this must-see 8-minute video.

* * *

"The day will come when everyone will deny they were a Zionist. They will say it was a difficult time, and how could they have known about the horrors it caused. Zionism has had its day. A truly awful ideology that shames everyone who supported it" – so says UK artist and dissident Daniel Fooks. Meanwhile, for anyone who wants to take action against companies in the UK arming Israel's genocide, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has released an interactive map of locations where F35 jet components are made.

* * *

"The United Arab Emirates is not just a totalitarian state, but part of a new imperial axis with the Zionist state", warns academic and journalist David Miller. He adds: "Part of the reason some anti-imperialists still cling to outdated ideas of the Zionist project and Gulf states as simple US satellites is this major blind spot about the importance of the UAE-Israel relationship and how its black ops are changing the world around us, from Europe to Africa to India".

* * *

An extremely sinister new law was agreed on February 14 2024 by the French state, aimed at criminalising opposition to Big Pharma and its jabs. Article 4 of new legislation, previously dropped because of its controversial nature, creates an offence of "provoking the abandonment of medical care", carrying the possibility of three years in jail and a fine of up to 45,000 euros. President Emmanuel Macron is a former Rothschild banker.

* * *

"Are you questioning the Climate Change modelling, the measures governments are putting in place under the guise of Net Zero, or that enormous amount of money that is going into global corporate hands? You're a Far Right Extremist!" Kate Mason writes from Australia on the way that the "far right" is being used by the criminocracy as a device to justify totalitarian crushing of all dissent. All across the world, they are using the same trick. The global thought police have even apparently decreed that a new variant of "climate denial" has emerged – merely involving "rhetoric seeking to undermine confidence in solutions to climate change". They really can't stomach us questioning their racket!

* * *

"What appears to be the case is that important decision-making positions within a government or a public sector body can now be occupied by people who are working for private interests". Sophie Cooke writes on the Real Left website about corruption, BlackRock and the 'public private partnerships' that are the basis of criminocratic rule.

* * *

"Sometimes the blindingly obvious is worth saying out loud. Whether I am fighting for Julian Assange, fighting to save Palestinians or fighting the massive wealth gap in western society I always find I am fighting against precisely the same people and forces". Former UK diplomat Craig Murray draws attention to something many of us have noticed…

* * *

Winter Oak's Paul Cudenec has been busy sharing his views in recent weeks and can be seen and/or heard talking to William Ramsey Investigates, Grimerica Outlawed and Rick Munn of TNT radio.

* * *

"It's up to the 'progressive left' to start actually listening to what people outside the M25 (London's ring road) and the ideological walled gardens embodied in places like The Conduit are actually saying. Not what they think we are, based on polling and prejudice". Ben Rubin's video report from the pavement outside a London event is well worth watching.

* * *

"Are math software programs in place to teach our kids math, or to monetize their scores for expected outcomes investors are looking for? Interestingly enough, investors are making money on their scores. Within this shift away from a focus on reading, writing, math, and history, to formative assessments that monitor children through every click, data is collected and sold". This Social Impact Podcast with Lynn Davenport and Alice Linehan is very useful for anyone trying to get their head around the criminocracy's impact slavery scam.

* * *

"What's significant about Covid is that it represents the most extreme form of enclosure in human history… Lockdowns are a form of enclosure — putting an imagined fence around your home and turning it into your own personal ghetto", writes Toby Rogers on his Substack blog.

* * *

"One thing we are doing our level best to do is to encourage people to start quietly withdrawing their consent for the system to carry on functioning as it is". The Stirrer points to the way ahead in a February 14 article.

* * *

"Antifa are not anarchists", explains this clear-thinking British YouTuber. "They want to be able to silence free speech and they're against bodily autonomy. They're authoritarians".

* * *

Acorn quote:

"Corporations seek not only to influence legislation and regulation but also to define the agenda – what it is legitimate for government to consider and what can be discussed in the political arena – thereby rendering those groups who have other agendas ineffective". Sharon Beder.

(For many more like this, see the Winter Oak quotes for the day blog)

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Winter Oak
16 Feb 2024 | 8:58 am

6. Our Quest for Freedom: Explaining and Proposing

by Paul Cudenec

[This is from my new book Our Quest for Freedom and other essays]


As well as describing to other people the horrific reality in which we find ourselves today, we also need to explain to them how it was that we got here.

It is astonishing how many simply imagine it has always been like this.

The system fosters historical ignorance and even a falsified history that depicts the encroachment of criminocratic domination as a positive phenomenon.

We are told that everything that has happened to us was somehow inevitable and right. 2024 could only ever have looked the way it is today and 2050 can only be the way the criminocrats tell us it is going to be.

Over the last decade, I have tried to shed some historical light on how we came to be where we are today, particularly in The Stifled Soul of Humankind (2014) and The Withway (2022).

The key, indisputable, fact is that humans were once free, in the way that all wild living creatures are free.

The condition into which we have sunk does not really show humankind as being the cream of creation or the peak of evolution.

Animals often eat each other, of course, and can take a primal pleasure out of killing for the sake of it. Let's not romanticise them.

But have you ever seen a fat adult crow sitting on top of a tree, having his food brought up to him by a dozen other birds who seem to feel the need to obey his commands?

Have you ever seen a young deer frolick happily through the sunlit woods but then suddenly stop short, check the time on its digital antlers, and go trotting glumly back to a dark cave to spend the rest of the day tapping figures into a computer database?

Have you ever seen a fish in the water approached by burly fish bailiffs and told that if he doesn't cough up the river-rent he will thrown up on to the bank to die?

Layers and layers of control have been built up over the years to crush the human spirit, layers which are not just physical, but psychological.

We find it quite normal that we are slaves, cut off from our natural and communal belonging and at the complete mercy of a gang of powerful criminals.

We regard it as quite acceptable that any signs of resistance to that state of affairs are quickly hammered into invisibility by the iron fist of illegitimate "authority".

We consider it inevitable that future generations, our offspring, will continue to be herded and prodded and abused and milked and medicated and culled and consumed by those with all the power that money can buy and all the money that power can provide.


Once we have explained to people that our freedom has been stolen from us, it seems logical enough to propose that we take it back!

But it only works in that order. You have to dig the foundations before you build the house.

When we have realised what kind of world we are living in, and heading further into, when we have remembered that notion of a different way of being and felt our yearning for it, when that has prompted us to expose the ill-doing of power and to share the history of how it came to dominate us, then – and only then – can we suggest that we do something about it.

Otherwise, what sense does any of it make? How can you ask someone to help make a better world if they have not understood what is wrong with the world in the first place and what factors were responsible for that?

Change for the sake of change is not good change. Change for the sake of change is often the kind of change favoured by the criminocrats themselves.

The tightening of their control is always a "reform" and they know no better way to grab more power than by means of a "revolution".

Our quest for freedom does not start in mid-air, or in the pages of some dry book of theory masquerading as radical truth.

Our quest starts from our guts, from our souls, from our memories, from our brains, from our hearts.

What we propose is a return to freedom which is not a turning-back in time but a rediscovery of the way we are meant to be, the archetypal way of being.

We propose the pursuit of our yearning, a nostalgic search for a future we had and lost, a deep desire to live once more in line with everything we know to be right and true and natural and beautiful and just.

[Audio version]

Our Quest for Freedom and other essays can be downloaded for free here or purchased here.

Winter Oak
14 Feb 2024 | 9:52 am

7. Enemies of the People: Profiteering from War After War

We are meant to believe that history unfolds randomly and chaotically. But, if we look closely, we can see certain repeating patterns reflecting the way in which major world events are frequently manipulated behind the scenes. As the drums of war grow louder in 2024, we present, by way of warning regarding the agenda concerned, this chapter from Paul Cudenec's essay on the history of the corrupt Rothschild empire.

There was a period in the 19th century when the Rothschilds gained a certain reputation for defending the peace in Europe, but with hindsight this appears to have been yet more expediency on their part.

When their self-interest in the form of their investments required stability, they were against the disruption caused by war, but this was never a moral principle.

Indeed, the whole success of their dynasty was founded on the way in which they exploited the opportunities presented to them by the wars that followed the French Revolution of 1789.

Ferguson writes that "the Rothschilds were presented with undreamed-of business opportunities by the revolutionary wars", [60] while Bouvier defines the Rothschilds as "that family of merchants made rich by the long European war of 1792 to 1815". [61]

According to historian Egon Caesar Corti, "it was in the profits made from war at that time that we can find the real origins of the subsequent enormous fortune of the House of Rothschild". [62]

The Rothschilds made money out of war in a range of different ways, not all of which were entirely legal. "The disruption of established patterns of trade and banking created room for ambitious risk takers", as Ferguson puts it. [63]

In their home city of Frankfurt they took advantage of food shortages and spiralling prices to operate on the black market and sold provisions to armies at a considerable profit. [64]

From 1808 onwards, Nathan Rothschild (pictured) exported English guineas to the continent. Ferguson describes this as a "lucrative line of business" [65] and Bouvier adds that "the profits were no doubt proportionate to the risks". [66]

British goods, including cotton fabric, sugar, indigo and tobacco, were also transported across the Channel, via the Rothschilds' warehouses, in defiance of Napoleon's blockade. [67]

Close to Wilhelm IX, the Elector of HesseKassel, Mayer Amschel Rothschild was involved in his purchase of thousands of mercenaries to join the British-led fight against the French forces. [68]

Wars are expensive affairs and the financing has to come from somewhere. "As the scale and cost of the conflict between France and the rest of Europe rose, so too did the borrowing needs of the combatant states", says Ferguson. [69]

"The defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars had been financed to a large extent by British loans and subsidies to Austria, Russia and Prussia. With their establishments in Frankfurt, London and Paris, the Rothschilds had been in a uniquely good position to facilitate these transfers". [70]

He says that their activities at this time ushered in a new era in financial as well as political history.

"The Rothschilds stretched their credit to breaking point, sometimes losing sight altogether of their assets and liabilities, gambling everything they owned for the sake of governmental commissions, interest payments and speculative gains from exchange rate and bond yield fluctuations. In 1815 alone, Nathan's account with the British government totalled close to £10 million, a huge sum at that time". [71]

Particularly striking is the way in which Nathan Rothschild used funds entrusted to him by Wilhelm IX as if it was his own capital, investing in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of British government bonds and thereby securing the proximity to the British state for which his family is still known. [72]

The Rothschilds' network of agents across Europe also famously enabled them to be the first in London to have news of Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo in 1815, which, says Bouvier, perhaps enabled Nathan Rothschild to pull off a spectacular coup at the Stock Exchange. [73]

Writes Ferguson: "The Rothschilds emerged in 1815 as sterling millionaires. Almost at once, Nathan embarked on perhaps the most successful transaction of his career: a huge investment in British government bonds (consols) whereby he rode the upswing caused by the government's postwar financial stabilization, taking his profits just before the market peaked. This was Nathan's supreme Meistergeschäft, realizing profits of more than £250,000 at a stroke". [74]

Financing wars became something of a speciality for the Rothschilds; they loaned £1 million to Brazil to fund its war with Argentina and Uruguay in 1851, for example. [75]

A couple of years later, they were back in action floating the British Government's Crimean War Loan, [76] a reflection of the near monopoly enjoyed by Rothschilds over British war finance. [77]

Their involvement in this 1853-1856 conflict torpedoes the idea that they had a vested interest in maintaining the peace.

Ferguson insists: "Far from weakening the Rothschilds' position, the Crimean War had precisely the opposite effect in that it emphatically reasserted the Rothschild houses' primacy in the field of public finance.

"Indeed, it demonstrated that the Rothschilds had for years been exaggerating the financial dangers of war. In reality, wars – and especially short wars of the sort which characterised the period from 1854 to 1871 – created financial opportunities which they, with their distinctive multinational structure, were especially well placed to exploit". [78]

As well as lending Britain a total of £26 million for the Crimean War, which was added to the £782 million existing national debt subsequent to the Napoleonic Wars, [79] they also lent money to France and Turkey. [80]

While those two powers were both British allies in that conflict against Russia, between 1859 and 1870 the Rothschilds "would find themselves repeatedly on both sides of decisive conflicts which were to recast the map of Europe", writes Ferguson. [81]

"The wars of the 1850s and 1860s were fought by states which were, by and large, strapped for cash; this more than anything else explains the importance of the role played by bankers in the period – and the substantial profits they could make". [82]

He adds that their internal communications reveal that the Rothschilds "were calculating carefully to ensure that both sides in the conflict paid them for their financial services". [83]

Ferguson stresses that it would be absurd to argue that there was no connection between the overall profitability of the period for the Rothschilds and the recurrence of military conflict.

"Far from damaging their position as the world's leading multinational bank, the wars of the mid nineteenth-century generated unprecedented business for the Rothschilds, just as fifty years before it had been war which had set them on their way to fortune and notoriety". [84]

I will mention later the political Rothschild-linked machinations behind the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, but suffice to say here that they were involved with both sides and as a result their power in France and Europe was further enhanced. [85]

Having been lured into launching the war, which they lost, the French were landed with hefty reparations.

Of course, the Rothschilds were on hand to provide loans to the French state to pay off Prussia.

"It was, quite simply, the biggest financial operation of the century, and arguably the Rothschilds' crowning achievement", [86] writes Ferguson.

"As a percentage of GDP, French public debt was already 44 per cent in 1869, before the war, and 59 per cent in 1871, before most of the indemnity had been paid. So the total internal and external debt burden in 1871 was in the vicinity of 80 per cent of GDP". [87]

It was an "immense risk" [88] for the Rothschilds in France to be identified with paying such large sums of money to Berlin, he adds, and it is "extraordinary" how little criticism was levelled at Alphonse de Rothschild for his "great operation", as the family termed it. [89]

"Great racket" would be nearer the truth!

I have already described [90] the Rothschild connections to South Africa, where the Boer War of 1899-1902 was essentially a grab of gold and diamond resources for Rothschild interests including De Beers.

It is worth recalling that this conflict saw the first use of concentration camps, in which the families of Dutch-origin settlers were shockingly imprisoned.

A few years later the Rothschilds semi-secretly helped finance the Japanese in their war against Russia in 1904-1906 and then openly loaned a further £48 million issue to help build back the post-war Japanese economy. [91]

They performed the same role on the other side of the conflict, when "Russian industry recovered spectacularly thanks to the Rothschilds and other international bankers who poured massive loans into the country", [92] as Docherty and Macgregor note.

The Rothschilds' role in the conspiracy to start and prolong the First World War is of utmost importance, but since I have already examined it in detail elsewhere, I will not repeat myself here.

I will simply remind readers that the Rothschilds and their associates were able to profit from the bloodbath in multiple ways – through loans to finance the war and subsequent "build back better" projects, yes, but also very directly through their heavy involvement in the arms trade.

One important player in this respect was wealthy international arms dealer Basil Zaharoff, deeply involved in both munitions and international politics at the time and "a Rothschild man", in Docherty and Macgregor's words. [93]

By 1914, Zaharoff sat on the boards of Vickers and Le Nickel, both Rothschild-financed and influenced. [94]

He would no doubt have agreed with James de Rothschild, who proudly told his nephews in 1866: "In a war there is money to be made from having money". [95]

[Audio version]

See also: A Crime Against Humanity: The Great Reset of 1914-1918

[60] Niall Ferguson, The House of Rothschild: The World's Greatest Banker 1849-1998 (New York: Penguin, 2000), p. xxi.
[61] Jean Bouvier, Les Rothschild (Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1983), p. 14.
[62] Egon Caesar Corti, Les Rothschild, volume 1 (Paris: Payot, 1929) p. 31, cit. Bouvier, p. 23.
[63] Ferguson, p. xxii.
[64] Bouvier, p. 23.
[65] Ferguson, p. xxii.
[66] Bouvier, p. 41.
[67] Bouvier, p. 34.
[68] Bouvier, p. 25.
[69] Ferguson, p. xxi.
[70] Ferguson, p. 455.
[71] Ferguson, p. xxiii.
[72] Ferguson, p. xxii.
[73] Bouvier, p. 46.
[74] Ferguson, p. xxiii.
[75] Ferguson, p. 68.
[76] Ferguson, p. 40.
[77] Ferguson, p. 73.
[78] Ferguson, p. 72.
[79] Ferguson, p. 73.
[80] Ferguson, p. 75.
[81] Ferguson, p. 89.
[82] Ferguson, p. 94.
[83] Ferguson, p. 98.
[84] Ferguson, p. 94.
[85] Ferguson, p. 190.
[86] Ferguson, p. 205.
[87] Ferguson, p. 205.
[88] Ferguson, p. 209.
[89] Ferguson, pp. 211.
[90] Paul Cudenec, 'A Crime against humanity: The Great Reset of 1914-18', winteroak.org.uk, October 2022.
[91] Takahashi Korekiyo, The Rothschilds and the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-06), pp. 20-21 cit. Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor, Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War (Edinburgh & London: Mainstream Publishing, 2013), p. 93.
[92] Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty, Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-and-a-Half Years (Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2018), p. 442.
[93] Macgregor and Docherty, Prolonging the Agony, p. 331.
[94] Macgregor and Docherty, Prolonging the Agony, p. 331.
[95] Ferguson, p. 149.

Winter Oak
12 Feb 2024 | 8:55 am

8. Our Quest for Freedom: Exposing

by Paul Cudenec

[This is from my new book Our Quest for Freedom and other essays]

We are not going to achieve our quest without persuading others to join us.

The initial task presented to us – one which many of us have long embraced – is to expose the existence of a global ruling system and, at one and the same time, expose its essential wrongness.

While people may well have that feeling of things not being right of which we have already spoken, it usually takes more concrete evidence to move them to action.

Their initial action will probably, indeed, be to share the information that we have brought to their attention.

It is relatively easy to find and communicate information that undermines the current system.

This is because of the very nature of the system and of those who have constructed it and who control it.

If we were living under some imaginary feudal tyranny, this approach would not necessarily work.

The question would ultimately be one of allegiance. A prince or king claims authority over the land and exercises it in the way he sees fit.

While his means may be cruel and his motives less than pure, there would still be some who supported him.

He's our king, they would say. He's a strong leader, we respect him, we love him.

An old-fashioned king doesn't even pretend to represent the interests of the serfs. He relies on a shared view of the world in which he is in charge and they simply follow.

Today's criminocrats are different, partly because they insist that they are "democratic". They have invented an elaborate coded language of virtue-signalling to dress up their agenda of control as sugary benevolent gifts to the population.

They cannot simply declare a kingly right to rule ('constitutional' monarchies don't count, here!), because they do not even own up to being our rulers.

There is thus an essential hypocrisy which is ripe to be exposed – the hypocrisy of tyrants who pretend they are something else.

A second way in which today's criminocrats are different is that they are criminals. Real criminals. Their power has been achieved through lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, threatening, blackmailing, bribing and concealing.

They have never altered this behaviour to reflect the fact that they have achieved the power they were originally seeking. They have never decided to become benevolent rulers acting in the general interest.

And they never will, because they are nothing but liars, cheaters, thieves, murderers, intimidators, blackmailers, corrupters and concealers. They know nothing else.

There will always be some ill-doing of theirs that can be exposed because their whole existence is based on doing ill.

And there will always be evidence to be had of them concealing their ill-doing, because concealment is part of their culture.

As well providing a constant source of material for those exposing their activities, our rulers' criminal nature also amplifies the deeper impact of such revelations.

For the vast majority of humankind, activities such as engineering wars to make money, deliberately poisoning people or trafficking children for sex are utterly beyond their acceptable moral limits.

In fact, we can find it unbelievable that other human beings could sink so low as to behave in such a way.

This is because our innate sense of how we could and should be living includes a moral code, a natural sense of right and wrong, which precludes this kind of behaviour.

The criminocrats have no such ethical code: they have cut themselves off from goodness and their only guiding star is their own callous self-interest.

When we become aware of this enormous divergence between our natural way of seeing things and our rulers' corrupted one, we are still further alienated from the system in which we live.

Now we know why we do not feel right in this world. It has been built according to a morality that is entirely alien to us, to our innermost beliefs.

And yet it hides that rotten core behind a glittering facade of "progressive" do-gooding.

It's those adverts on the TV again – a smarmy, smirking besuited liar holding a knife behind his back, beckoning us into a planet-sized prison sprayed with gold paint and bedecked with rainbow bunting.

What are our guts telling us about him?

[Audio version]

Our Quest for Freedom and other essays can be downloaded for free here or purchased here.

Winter Oak
9 Feb 2024 | 9:25 am

9. Forest Rebels (Deep Resistance Part 6)

The final essay in a six-part series by W.D. James, who teaches philosophy in Kentucky, USA.

Where have all the rebels gone?

Hiding behind computer screens

Where's the spirit, where's the soul?

Where have all the rebels gone?

Why don't they come out of the woodwork now?

One for the money, two for the show

It's not very rock and roll

– Van Morrison, Where Have All the Rebels Gone?i

It's now friend-enemy all the way down.

– Anonymous

Increasingly our politics devolve to the level of stark enmity and the exercise of openly repressive power. The 20th century legal theorist Carl Schmitt famously analyzed this sort of situation in terms of the friend-enemy distinction.ii Two groups opposed to one another in a posture of existential threat. A fight is in the offing and the stakes are high.

The Enemy

Who is the enemy we contend against? At this point, it would be pretty accurate to just say 'the Elites'. However, it is helpful to define who that is with more specificity and to understand why our contemporary elites are who they are and what situation they find themselves in.

I believe when the economic and political super-elite look out their windows, they see a scary world:

  • The global economy is largely stagnant, with negative forecasts for the near-term;
  • The global financial structure is in a protracted crisis that central bankers have proven powerless to correct;
  • The central banks have been able to keep the profits of private corporations high, but only at the cost of amassing staggering public debt, which cannot continue indefinitely and also contributes to the overall instability of financial markets;
  • It is increasingly clear that our industrial practices have wrecked the planetary environment and massive economic costs and disruptions will necessarily follow within the foreseeable future;
  • Reserves of fossil fuels are becoming increasingly expensive to access and 'renewables' incapable of replacing them to meet our existing and growing demands for energy;
  • In a world of decreasing resources and opportunities, elite interest can only be won at the expense of the rest of us. This is not a win-win situation.
  • Large numbers of people across the globe are actively resisting the maneuvers of the elites.

They are like powerful but wounded and cornered animals. Their strategy has to be to manage the inevitable decline in overall wealth creation, and the social and political turmoil that that will generate, while maintaining their own dominance and security.

Who our enemy is becomes clearer. It is all those at the very top of the current world system who can't help but see their interests as being aligned in the face of the challenges confronting them. The super wealthy of all nations; the political establishments of the wealthy nations; the heads of global financial institutions; the heads of the giant tech and other companies; the propaganda apparatus of these institutions, the mass media; the managerial class of all these same institutions: these comprise an increasingly self-aware network of interlocking global elites.

Their strategy relies on the implementation of expansive technological control of the world's populations. Through the elimination of privacy and the integration of all individuals into systems of surveillance and control, the elites hope to administer the decline in standards of living and growing scarcity while preempting any rebelliousness on the part of the plebs.

This is accompanied by an ideology of social fragmentation, disassociation from reality, and control through the manufacture of fear. The years 2020-2022 saw the crystallization of this ideology with the orchestrated response to the COVID pandemic, the acceleration of social fragmentation and societal self-destruction represented by the corporate and governmental cooptation of identity politics movements, and the adoption of the transgender issue (the tip of the transhumanist spear) as the litmus test for compliance with manufactured 'reality'.

The Friends

Our friends are all those who oppose this global elite and resist its machinations of technological enslavement and ideological hegemony. Hence, we are, at present, defined mainly in negative terms of what we oppose rather than in the positive terms of what we offer. However, in general, we love certain things that are under threat and, so, a positive aspect is still present within our resistance. Again, broadly speaking, we are all who:

  • Intend to and insist upon acting as political subjects; we do not plan to go quietly into the night; we insist on remaining agents of our futures, not objects of administration;
  • As opposed to the global focus of the elites, we are tied to and committed to various forms of localism; we care about where and with whom we live; we want local control over our own lives;
  • We love and intend to preserve our freedom;
  • We will not be dominated by ideological insanity and fear; we will maintain our sense of humor and foster a million little joys in our lives.

Before the watershed year of 2020, we would have found ourselves divided and spread across the political spectrum: from libertarians to anarchists, from family-values conservatives to feminists, from nationalistic patriots to left-wing populists. We saw ourselves more divided by race, gender, and nationality than by economic class. Increasingly though, we start to recognize one another as friends.

Forest Rebelsiii

In the preceding five essays, I have tried to show how the ancient philosophies of Cynicism and Stoicism provide resources for making us the sort of people capable of resistance. Among modern writers, the most insightful person I have come across in this regard is the German novelist and social theorist Ernst Jünger.

Jünger was concerned with how to preserve the human in the face of modernity's anti-human development. He did this through an analysis of several ideal-types of the individual as enframed by modern technology. He was a highly decorated and oft wounded storm trooper in the First World War. His experience in the mechanized slaughter of trench warfare formed the basis of his analysis of the 'front-soldier'. Between the wars, in the society of the total mobilization of production, he analyzed the 'worker.' After World War Two he developed the type of 'the forest rebel' and, later, the 'anarch'.

Even in the 1950s, Jünger felt that all modern states, even liberal democracies, were essentially totalitarian and aimed at controlling their populations through propaganda, automation, and statistical surveillance. Digital technology exponentially magnifies that potential. Through its intrusive mechanisms he felt that the state sought to interrogate and ultimately objectify the individual 'soul.' If an individual were to choose to resist the state, by cultivating a space of interior freedom, they would by this act constitute themselves a 'combatant' in opposition to the state. The type of the 'forest rebel' is meant to be broad enough to cover both an individual who seeks to remain below the radar of the state in a lonely act of resistance and actual forest rebels along the lines of an armed insurgency.

Likewise, the 'forest' might refer to an actual hinterland where an insurgency might form or to primordial spiritual reality outside the state's realm of control where the would-be rebel repairs to in order to marshal their strength. While it remains possible that the forest rebel may inaugurate an overt rebellion, the fundamental nature of the rebel, for Jünger, is that they maintain their interior freedom while contesting and subverting the symbols and values of the regime, and offer up alternative, antithetical, symbols and values.

At root, the struggle the forest rebel undertakes is a spiritual battle. To enter into the 'forest passage' is to engage with what Jünger calls "supra-temporal being". Metaphorically, the forest is the realm of freedom and anarchy (think of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest). Jünger accepts that within the realm of time and space, a totalitarian regime can wield control through indoctrination, punishment, and fear. The rebel must ultimately access the deep roots of being, beyond time and space, the source of all religion and spiritual being, to regain authentic freedom.

Jünger holds that to escape the regime's matrix of control involves playing a "higher game;" that is, to enter into a spiritual struggle against the always essentially materialistic values of the regime. This entails what he calls an "initiation" into primordial being which, like all traditional initiations, involves a confrontation with and moving beyond death. For Jünger, genuine rebellion must stem from these deep places. Rebellion entails at least the possibility of martyrdom; but ultimately, as history bears witness, the cause of the martyrs often triumphs.

This is heady German Neo-Romantic stuff. I'm not really going to try to simplify his ideas and we really have just scratched the surface of them. However, I think several salient points ring true:

  • Our resistance is, at root, a spiritual resistance. It is a battle of values and different conceptions of existence.
  • As the regime perfects the technological means of control it can produce increasing conformity.
  • The sources of authentic counter-values are deeply rooted in being, in nature.
  • One must have an authentic encounter with these primordial realities.
  • This is the metaphysical root of true freedom.
  • The truly free and spiritually enlightened person is prepared to act without fear of the regime's power in defense of the genuine values they have discovered.
  • Further, movements of resistance are ultimately spiritual movements.
  • Anything short of this and one's capacity for resistance is proportionally diminished.

Spiritual Preparation

We have looked at how the ancient Cynics and Stoics might help us to prepare for a life of resistance. Jünger has wanted to look more deeply. He explicitly says the martyr is more powerful than the Stoic. Jünger is probably right. And, he can speak like that. He had evidently faced death many times in his combat experience and probably in covert opposition to the Nazi regime, though his participation in high level opposition to Hitler within the traditional German officer corps is not well established. However, the Cynics and Stoics were not mere wimps. I think Jünger is probably speaking the truth, but the truth of the Cynics and the Stoics is probably more attainable by folks like me.

However the details turn out, resistance to power always carries consequences. Some people will be prepared to bear those consequences and others will not. We will make ourselves more prepared if we intentionally engage in a process of spiritual preparation. The Cynics and Stoics can help us do that. They can help us learn to see through the screens of elite ideology. They can help us look within to our own souls, and outward toward nature and the spirit animating it, to discern genuine life-affirming values; what have been called 'the permanent things'. Further, as practical teachers of what Hadot calls a 'way of life', via their 'spiritual disciplines', they can help us grow stronger and freer.

As Paul of Tarsusiv once reminded his followers in the city of Ephesus, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."v Our real struggle is always a matter of fundamental values and orientation; in short, a spiritual struggle.

As Van Morrison chastises in the lyrics quoted above, where have all the rebels gone? COVID was a trial run for the Great Resetting Elites and for the Great Resistance opposition. According to Jünger, if even 1% of a population became committed forest rebels, that would be a sufficient cadre for the building of a regime-destabilizing movement. Let's hope.

i Listen to Van's glorious track here: Van Morrison – Where Have All The Rebels Gone? (Edit) (Official Lyric Video) – YouTube

ii For a detailed presentation of Schmitt's concept, see my essay "The Mortal God Drops Its Mask": The Mortal God Drops Its Mask – by W.D. James (substack.com)

iii In what follows, I will largely be paraphrasing, not quoting Jünger. Given the style of his thinking and writing, pulling quotes out of context would usually be the opposite of illuminating. All the ideas I discuss are presented in Ernst Jünger, The Forest Passage, translated by Thomas Friese, Telos Press, 2013 (original German edition, 1951).

iv Guy Davenport, our translator for Diogene's Fragments, detects Cynic influence in Paul's thought and states there is evidence for the presence of Cynics in Tarsus.

v Ephesians, 6:12

W.D. James's essays on Egalitarian Anti-Modernism have now been brought together in a 118-page pdf booklet, which is available to download for free here. Our complete collection of free books can be found here.

Winter Oak
7 Feb 2024 | 9:19 am

10. Telling the truth: an interview with Jay Taber

"The more integrity you have as a writer, the fewer friends you will have… If you do what has to be done, without expecting gratitude or recognition, you'll experience less grief. Telling the truth has to be its own reward; otherwise you'll be sadly disappointed".

In these dark days in which the extent of hidden corporate manipulation of all wings of the political scene – and the serious long-term implications of this manipulation – are becoming increasingly obvious, we are pleased to share Cory Morningstar's important 2015 interview of investigative journalist Jay Taber. This was originally published by the now-defunct SHIFT website, whom we thank for their permission. Now retired, Taber was, at the time of the interview, an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, and a featured columnist at IC Magazine. Since 1994, he had served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.

Cory Morningstar (CM): Juli Kearns, of Idyll Opus Press has observed that you write extensively on effective models of community education on issues mainstream America tends to be protected from, perhaps more by ignorance than any other buffer. Can you elaborate at all on this?

Jay Taber (JT): What Juli said was that I write about "effective models of community education on tear-em-up issues, the kind that shred a place and people in a way mainstream America tends to be protected from, perhaps more by ignorance than any other buffer." The quote is from a review of my post Mainstream Malice, that Juli wrote in 2005, titled shining a light on the blind spots that aid hate groups.

My post was about former FBI undercover agent Mike German, who had recently been interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, discussing his career infiltrating violent white supremacist groups. The 1997 convictions of eight militia members in Washington state, for manufacturing explosives to murder human rights activists, were a result of German's undercover operation, which was initiated in response to community-based research conducted by Public Good Project field agents, myself included.

The ignorance Juli refers to is the fact that the militias had been hosted by Wise Use Movement agent provocateurs, working under contract to the Building Industry Association, targeting environmentalists and Native Americans involved in ecosystem conservation and treaty protection that impinged on developers' public subsidies and private profits. CBS 60 Minutes did an expose on the Wise Use Movement in September 1992, titled Clean Water Clean Air, part of which was filmed in the area where Public Good Project and Agent German were involved. Two of the militia hosts were actually in the 60 Minutes segment.

By the time of the 1996 militia arrests, the local media monopoly Bellingham Herald, owned by Gannet Corporation, had actively covered up the industry-militia connection for five years. The effective model of community education our friends developed to get around the cover-up was the creation of a community newspaper, our development of a Public Good volunteer research network to obtain primary documents that could be used as evidence in court, and making contact with mainstream media adjacent to the news blackout area.

By breaking the story in Seattle, Portland and the small town of Anacortes, we were able to scuttle the political careers of militia hosts and Building Industry thugs, and start to open people's eyes to the fact there was a lot going on behind the scenes that they weren't reading about in the paper. It also got some organizations previously involved in issue advocacy to start doing investigative research on groups opposing them. That was something new for them, but it was essential to the democratic process, which is fundamentally vital to protect–no matter what your issue is.

CM: Jay, you state that "militias had been hosted by Wise Use Movement agent provocateurs, working under contract to the Building Industry Association, targeting environmentalists and Native Americans involved in ecosystem conservation and treaty protection that impinged on developers' public subsidies and private profits." How is this any different than today's industrial capitalists, whose sole goal is to protect the current economic system and further accelerate growth, targeting, and more precisely, co-opting (via funding) environmentalists and Native Americans involved in ecosystem conservation and treaty protection that could impede on the shifting of today's current power structures and corporate profits? Can such a parallel be made?

In June of this year you quoted Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp who remarked, "Our ancestors had to be good stewards of the land. Yet we seem to be paying the price for others who don't share the same values." She was referring to the difference between Fourth World conservation and First World consumerism. Currently, under the banner of environment, the NPIC [Non-Profit Industrial Complex] is pushing hard to sell the illusion that in order to "solve" our climate crisis, we simply have to switch from fossil fuel energies, to "renewable" energies with no focus (or mention) of the West's rabid consumption, and no mention of the displacement such trends are causing indigenous peoples. Can you explain why this is the case? Further, how do we open people's eyes to the magnitude of the crisis when NGOs acquiesce to the needs/wants of their funders first and foremost?

JT: Pattern recognition is one of the basic elements of analyzing social settings. Has this happened before? How did it go down? What can we learn from history?

Anti-Indian Conference, the story I broke at IC Magazine in April 2013, revealed the emergence of a national campaign to terminate tribal sovereignty in the US, organized in the Pacific Northwest by the same people who fomented interracial discord there in the 1990s. Organizational names had changed, and the Merchants of Fear building resentment against environmentalists and Native Americans are industrial developers this time, rather than commercial like before, but the patterns are the same.

If you substitute the Gateway Pacific Terminal consortium for the Building Industry Association, Tea Party for GOP, and fossil fuel export for strip mall development, the pattern is almost a perfect fit. That's why Sandy Robson's January 2014 feature story What Would Corporations Do? Native American Rights and the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Whatcom Watch caused such an uproar; she showed how SSA Marine, Peabody Coal, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad had used the resentment generated by the Tea Party and Citizens Equal Rights Alliance — "the Ku Klux Klan of Indian country" — against the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians opposing Gateway Pacific Terminal.

Sandy exposed how the consortium had funded the Tea Party PACs established by the main promoter of the Anti-Indian conference, and noted how the exorbitant fresh water demands of the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point would likely violate the treaty water rights of the Coast Salish tribes, as well as endanger federally-protected species like Chinook salmon and Orca whales. In February 2014, the Gateway Pacific Terminal public relations consultant threatened Whatcom Watch with a SLAPP suit.

What I tried to convey in my summary of these events, related to fossil fuel export on the Salish Sea between Seattle and Vancouver, is that Capitalizing on Fear is a strategy First Nations on both sides of the Canada/US border can expect from fossil fuel exporters. The Politics of Land and Bigotry escalates around shipping Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal, and Bakken Shale oil from North America to Asia.

As president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and the Quinault Indian Nation — which is leading the opposition to a major oil train terminal on the Washington coast — Fawn Sharp is in the forefront of the Wall Street v. Coast Salish fossil fuel export war.

Sharp is one of the emerging American Indian leaders on the international stage engaged in Resolving Grievances and eliminating violence against Indigenous nations, and, as such, is in the middle of the Netwar between conservation and consumerism you speak of.

Cutting Edge Analysis like you do at Wrong Kind of Green, and I do at IC Magazine, helps consumers of mass communication form their own judgment, rather than consume corporate distortions and state propaganda. Supporting Investigative Journalism for Indigenous Peoples is one way they can circumvent corrupted mainstream media and compromised NGOs.

Could it be that the meaning of left in the west has become nothing more than a trend that appeases the guilt of the privileged?

CM: I encounter many within the left spectrum who do not dispute the problems we are speaking of, and even applaud those activists and writers who are courageous enough to write the cutting edge analysis that you speak of (albeit privately in many cases) thereby exposing the ugly truths that sting … and make many who consider themselves "left" extremely uncomfortable. Shortly afterwards, I will notice they are sharing/promoting a campaign message by the very NGO or chosen/groomed/appointed eco-celeb, that they had understood undermines our legitimate grassroots work, only a week previous. This obviously lends credulity and credibility to those that deserve none. Why do you suppose such individuals knowingly dismiss such critical analysis? I have even witnessed this with those who identify with anarchism. Why do you think the "Western left" knowingly props up the very system and oligarchy that is close to destroying most all life on Earth? The same system and oligarchy that is dedicated to the complete genocide/annihilation of all Indigenous Peoples? If people understand that by "following" (hence giving power to) NGOs such as Avaaz and 350.org means upholding the very system and elites that have brought us to the cliff's precipice, yet, they still choose to do so, what does this mean? Could it be that the meaning of left in the west has become nothing more than a trend that appeases the guilt of the privileged?

This September you have noted that the People's Climate Change March, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, and the World Summit on Indigenous Philanthropy all take place in New York City. No doubt people will be flying and driving in from all over the world to partake in this circus with the belief they are going to help solve multiple ecological and social justice crises. You once wrote that physical protesting is futile if we don't have an in-depth understanding of what we are actually fighting against. In fact, such naiveté only further serves to strengthen the very systems we claim to oppose. Can you elaborate on what you were talking about?

Foundations and NGOs focus on idealistic, well-meaning yet naïve young people to further advance their goals. I believe that today's well intentioned youth are the elite's sacrificial lambs. As we've witnessed (tragically) in Ukraine, those espousing Nazi ideologies have had great success tapping into the youth. In the case of climate and indigenous people, the irony is that the youth are the very ones who will lose the most: a planet hospitable/conducive to life, along with the knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples which continues to be lost and eroded.

In the United States, we live in a society where consciousness is almost totally controlled by Wall Street

JT: In the United States, we live in a society where consciousness is almost totally controlled by Wall Street. Since we don't have a totalitarian form of government where freedom of travel and association are restricted, it is commonly assumed that we have freedom of thought and expression. While it is true that we can think what we want, and even say what we want within the boundaries of libel and defamation, the vertical integration of controlled consciousness sets rigid parameters on what American citizens are capable of imagining, let alone understanding.

In my editorial Moolah Boodle Lucre Simoleons, I wrote that, "Wall Street's vertical integration of controlling consciousness is based on five components: ownership of media, fabrication of news, integration of advertising with state propaganda, financing of foundations and brokerages, and co-optation of NGOs. While many well-meaning people are channeled into the latter by the concerted collaboration of all the former, the corporate agenda that determines the policies, practices and projects of these NGOs is anything but benign."

This systematic prevention of independent, critical thought — that begins in early childhood, and interferes with our ability to comprehend the world around us 24/7 — is one of the things I described in my editorial A Culture of Imbeciles, which created quite a stir around the climate change fraud promoted by Bill McKibben and 350.org. As an introduction to the work of Guy Debord, author of The Society of the Spectacle, I quoted his remark from 1957: "We have arrived at a stage of ideological absence in which advertising has become the only active factor, overriding any pre-existing critical judgment or transforming such judgment into a mere conditioned reflex."

Debord's remark was predicated on his analysis of the impact on human consciousness of the invention of television, but it could easily apply to computers, the Internet and social media today. His comments on the deepening separation of industrial civilization from reality, and loss of children's capacity to think for themselves, certainly seem apropos.

Those of us who produce coherent analysis, based on research, are actively marginalized, and even attacked, by both mainstream media and progressive activists

I also mentioned in my editorial that producing fantasy has become such a prescribed art that few even question their fantasies about such things as political power. People will literally believe anything, even that Wall Street-financed organizers like McKibben — or Wall Street-owned politicians like Obama — are capable or interested in making fundamental change in power relationships between Wall Street and Main Street. Absurd as that sounds, it is an indication of how psychological manipulation is able to create Messiahs in the non-profit industrial complex and political arena. Because almost all progressive activism is based on people's preconceptions, and what is fundable by Wall Street derivatives — laundered through brokerages and foundations — social networks, in large part, become part of the spectacle.

Those of us who produce coherent analysis, based on research, are actively marginalized, and even attacked, by both mainstream media and progressive activists. Uncomfortable truths, as you call them, are too unsettling for most people. They've built up personal identities around their fantasies about political power that are extremely difficult to break. Those that do eventually get it, are often adrift, and only come around to being effective in the public arena after reorienting to reality. This is when we often encounter people, when they happen across magazines like IC, or websites like Public Good Project or Wrong Kind of Green.

In my editorial about Cutting Edge Analysis, I discussed mainstream media and the Indigenous peoples Movement, including the concept of Netwar, a field of study pioneered by my colleague David Ronfeldt at RAND Corporation in the 1990s. I elaborated on this concept in the 2013 publication Communications in Conflict, which you helped to edit for IC Magazine. In the editorial, I linked to some examples of cutting edge analysis I had done for IC, as well as a sampling of netwar conflicts we had won.

One of my favorite books on the topic is The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico, by David Ronfeldt, John Arquilla, Graham E. Fuller, and Melissa Fuller, which you can download as a free ebook.

When people start organizing for political power outside the activist system imposed by Wall Street, volunteering as citizens, rather than as career advocates, they see how effective they, their neighbors and friends can be. Once they are no longer dependent on Wall Street funding or NGOs, the strategies available to them increase exponentially. Our job as writers is to show them that they can do that. Granted, that entails taking risks, and challenging habitual assumptions about reality, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.

Once people experience this kind of empowerment, they are less inclined to engage in protests or marches that don't lead to taking back power from Wall Street for their communities. They become more mature and confident, and have a healthier sense of identity–as opposed to one based on consuming Wall Street-produced spectacle. They become, instead, human beings whose lives have both meaning and purpose.

CMStephanie McMillan's excellent work has been described as "Uncomfortable reading for liberals". I quote: "Her impossible message is that all of the individual efforts to make things better (recycling, getting off grid, and even sharing with your friends) don't make any difference if you don't take on the structural problems of capitalism. This is the acid test for radicalism. Either you believe that you need to step out of your comfort zone and fight for systemic change against quite impressive monsters or you think personal positive actions are enough". Surely capitalism and imperialism must be fully understood if we are to have any success at all as activists, and as citizens with dignity. Despite America believing it has an "educated" populace, it is apparent that in many countries within Latin America and other parts of the world, such as Africa, although there is sometimes very little formal education, there is a much deeper understanding amongst the people of imperialism and capitalism, and politics in general. I cannot help thinking how they must laugh at our collective ignorance. Can you elaborate on this subject?

The amount of money invested and manpower mobilized to prevent human consciousness from spreading into mainstream America has been astonishing

JT: Americans of every generation have fought back against oligarchy or plutocracy and the capitalist system of rule, but the Wall Street/Hollywood/Madison Avenue combination has too much firepower for the average American to stand up to. Using my generation as an example, look at what the U.S. Department of Justice did to the Free Speech Movement and the Negro Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War Movement, and the American Indian Movement. The Burglary by Betty Medsger, and Seth Rosenfeld's book Subversives, are real eye-openers about how the FBI treated students, minorities and peace activists attempting to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The amount of money invested and manpower mobilized to prevent human consciousness from spreading into mainstream America has been astonishing. Even cynicism and smugness have been programmed into the American character in order to keep democracy down. Every emotion you can think of has been commodified in order to maintain an infantile level of awareness consistent with this popular political illiteracy.

The punishment for stepping outside the cultural comfort zone of conformity, which many of my generation did, was severe. It still is. Why would anyone want to experience that?

There is, of course, the reward of self-respect and human dignity, but that's small comfort for social marginalization, political repression, and economic suffering. Any successful movement has to be built on social solidarity, where mutual aid is organized and sustained at a community level. Otherwise, the best and brightest are continually sacrificed, and continuity is extinguished. How can you expect Americans to commit to multi-generational struggles for freedom if every generation has to start from scratch?

Mentoring has to be institutionalized in order for consciousness to grow; without a commitment to that essential project, nothing lasting can be achieved. Monitory democracy is a term sometimes used to describe a system where ordinary citizens keep an eye on what's going on in their communities, and collectively intervene whenever they see threats emerge. This is in stark contrast to the system where everyone is oblivious to nefarious developments until it's too late, and their community is thrown into social turmoil.

My friends and I used to have a camp fire club, where we invited community activists to a barbecue every Saturday night, and sat around a campfire talking about what was happening. From that club, we created a social milieu that sponsored a human rights speakers' bureau in local churches, developed a computer researchers' network, and ran independents for political office. All financed by garage sales and bake sales.

This social milieu grew from a handful of friends and neighbors into a political force that took over our city and county governments, published its own community newspaper, and began repairing relations with nearby American Indian tribes that had been abused for a couple centuries. Not bad for a group of radicals without a pot to piss in.

CM: Jay, who were some of the people that influenced you most?

JT: Paul de Armond, Public Good Project research director from 1994-2007 — my partner for eighteen years, until his untimely passing in 2013 — unquestionably influenced the direction of my intellectual pursuits and orientation toward public service. Bill Wassmuth, who in the 1990s led Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment — the most effective human rights network in the US — and passed away in 2002, demonstrated for me the importance of nurturing the involvement of people of faith in the human rights movement.

Rudolph C. Ryser, chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and architect of the field of study known as Fourth World Geopolitics, welcomed me with open arms as an associate scholar in 2005 — after completing my masters in humanities and leadership — and published my work at Fourth World Journal, which exposed my thinking to a global academic and Indigenous audience. David Ronfeldt, a senior analyst at RAND Corporation, and author of Tribes Institutions Markets Networks: A Framework About Societal Evolution, as well as The Zapatista Social Netwar in Mexico, perhaps more than anyone provided me with a top-view of communications in conflict.

Guy Debord afforded me a model for analyzing social settings essential to forming an estimate of the situation. Native American novelists like Leslie Marmon Silko, N. Scott Momaday, and Ray A. Young Bear inspired me to write more poetically, in a way that involved honoring what author Jamake Highwater called The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America. William Shakespeare and Jay Ward (creator of Rocky & Bullwinkle) rounded out my appreciation of consciousness-raising in popular formats.

CM: What are you working on now?

JT: I'd like to find a home for Church and State — my series on religious hysteria in America and the spiritual warfare of Puritanical conservatism against socialism and the Indigenous peoples Movement — in an anthology on the Religious Right, or perhaps in a special issue of Fourth World Journal. That, and A Mandate from God: Christian White Supremacy in the US — which examines Christian Identity doctrine, the driving force of the Anti-Indian Movement — would be useful for Indigenous communities and their civil society friends in understanding what they're up against.

Other than that, I spend most of my time mentoring other writers, helping them to gain a top-view of social conflict, and cultivating in them an appreciation of the theater arts involved in political pageantry.

CM: What's next?

JT:  The social netwar associated with the upcoming World Conference on Indigenous Peoples should start cranking up soon, as should the propaganda related to the People's Climate Change March and the sophistry of the World Summit on Indigenous Philanthropy. All three take place in New York between September 20 and 26, so it ought to be a real three-ring circus, especially with all the public relations puppets from the non-profit industrial complex swarming for media attention to keep their foundation grants flowing.

I'm also monitoring media for new developments in the Wall Street v. Coast Salish netwar in the carbon corridor conflict on the Salish Sea between Seattle and Vancouver, where the fossil fuel exporters plan to ramp up operations to expand shipping of Tar Sands bitumen, Bakken Shale oil and Powder River Basin coal to Asia. The coal exporters were involved in helping the Tea Party promote Anti-Indian racism and resentment there last year, so it's one of the Fourth World hot spots I keep an eye on.

One of the things I found astonishing about the Salish Sea conflict, was that the local peace and justice groups never said a word about this organized racism taking place in their community, leaving it to one of my investigative journalism proteges to expose the sordid affair. Even when CERA, the "Ku Klux Klan of Indian country", came to town, the Quaker/Unitarian milieu — people I usually associate with righteous courage — kept completely silent. It was as though they had buried their heads in the sand, wishing it would all go away.

The peace people evidently have no problem turning out crowds to protest invading Iraq or bombing Gaza, but then don't lift a finger to confront bigotry in their own hometown. I find that very disturbing.

When my referenced colleague was attacked by the coal consortium spokesman for her exposé, there was actually quite a bit of cowardly behavior by local environmental activists, including blaming her for bearing this unsettling news. Based on my experience, this is unfortunately not all that uncommon.

CM:  What advice, if any, do you have for young writers?

An inspired audience can become further educated, make efforts at organizing others, and participate in community actions for social change

 JT: Read, travel, and study. I learn a lot about storytelling, language and vocabulary, for instance, by reading mystery novels or watching a play.

Don't limit yourself to one genre to find your rhythm and voice. I switched from long-form essays when I started writing editorials. People have short attention spans; you need to grab them with your opening sentence.

Working with words is serious business. They serve as tools of social organization, as weapons of war, and as means of manipulation. Depending on how they are used, words can cause horrendous harm or great good.

Working with words can gain one respect, renown, and reward, but it can also generate resentment. Not all messages are appreciated.

Learning to use words effectively requires an understanding of the principles of communication, especially in what is termed netwar, which assumes that all communication in all its dimensions is contested. Words are meant to achieve, and as propositions in the arena of human consciousness, they will be confronted.

For those lacking a background in journalism or literature, manuals on such topics as briefings are worth looking at.

Writing is essentially storytelling; the narrative orients an audience toward a point of view or perception of reality. Based on that perception, an inspired audience can become further educated, make efforts at organizing others, and participate in community actions for social change.

Competing narratives redistribute political power.

It's also true that the more integrity you have as a writer, the fewer friends you will have. Those you do have will be worth the sacrifice, but human frailties among colleagues that self-censor, in order to avoid criticism or pursue a steady paycheck, can be disheartening.

If you do what has to be done, without expecting gratitude or recognition, you'll experience less grief. Telling the truth has to be its own reward; otherwise you'll be sadly disappointed.

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