Winter Oak

Winter Oak
20 Sep 2023 | 9:55 am

1. A spiritual warrior against the empire of greed

[Reposted from the organic radicals site]

"We must be governed by the guide within rather than by the opinions of men"

Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was in many ways the epitome of an organic radical inspiration.

On the one hand, he was a fiercely determined opponent of the global imperialist system, like Mohandas GandhiBharatan Kumarappa and J.C. Kumarappa serving time in prison for his resistance to the British occupation of India.

On the other hand, he was a fine metaphysician, whose teaching did not steer people away from engagement with the world, as is too often the case, but instead stressed the spiritual imperative of using our physical existence for higher good.

Aurobindo played an important role in the struggle for swaraj, self-rule, and, before being imprisoned for a year in 1908, he edited a daily nationalist newspaper, Bande Mataram, which has been said to have "changed the political thought of India". [1]

Sri Aurobindo Bande Mataram

Mocking his "moderate" opponents, who referred to his own movement as "extremist", he wrote: "To wish for our eternal serfdom is prudence and peacefulness. To think ourselves irremediably unfit is wisdom and moderation. To imagine ourselves a nation is madness. To love our country is superstition. To work for its emancipation is treason. To harbour any such sentiment is sedition". [2]

The servile mental condition of so many educated Indians appalled him: "There is no longer any room in the Government schools for any but slaves and the sons of slaves". [3]

And he declared: "If we are indeed to renovate our country, we must no longer hold out supplicating hands to the English Parliament, like an infant crying to its nurse for a toy, but must recognise the hard truth that every nation must beat out its own path to salvation with pain and difficulty, and not rely on the tutelage of another". [4]

The sheer brutality of the British occupation angered him: "The Romans created a desert and called the result peace; the British in India have destroyed the spirit and manhood of the people and call the result law and order". [5]

But his call for "popular freedom" [6] for Indians was also born of his keen awareness that the occupiers were operating on behalf of commercial interests and "employ Indian labour, not out of desire for India's good, but because it is cheap". [7]

Edward VII emperor

He added that "exploitation of India by the British merchant" was the principal reason for bureaucratic colonial control. [8]

He identified a "a radical and congenital evil" at work: "The huge price India has to pay England for the inestimable privilege of being ruled by Englishmen is a small thing compared with the murderous drain by which we purchase the more exquisite privilege of being exploited by British capital". [9]

Having grown up in industrial capitalist England, Aurobindo had there experienced at first hand "social degradation and an entire absence of the cohesive principle". [10]

He approvingly referred to English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold's description of this "modernised" and thus debased society as consisting of an aristocracy materialized, a middle class vulgarised and a lower class brutalized. [11]

Aurobindo then expanded on this analysis, at eloquent length.

"We may perhaps realize the nature of that unsounder aspect, if we amplify Matthew Arnold's phrase: — an aristocracy no longer possessed of the imposing nobility of mind, the proud sense of honour, the striking preeminence of faculty, which are the saving graces — nay, which are the very life-breath of an aristocracy; debased moreover by the pursuit, through concession to all that is gross and ignoble in the English mind, of gross and ignoble ends: — a middle class inaccessible to the influence of high and refining ideas, and prone to rate everything even in the noblest departments of life, at a commercial valuation: — and a lower class equally without any germ of high ideas, nay, without any ideas high or low; degraded in their worst failure to the crudest forms of vice, pauperism and crime, and in their highest attainment restricted to a life of unintelligent work relieved by brutalising pleasures". [12]

sri aurobindo animation

In contrast to this lowness at the rotten heart of the empire of greed, Aurobindo wrote of the lofty values represented by India's ancient civilization.

"India cannot perish, our race cannot become extinct, because among all the divisions of mankind it is to India that is reserved the highest and the most splendid destiny, the most essential to the future of the human race". [13]

"Ours is the eternal land, the eternal people, the eternal religion, whose strength, greatness, holiness, may be overclouded but never, even for a moment, utterly cease". [14]

In order to free India from the dark forces of the global money-power, Aurobindo urged India's traditional spiritual warriors to come to the fore.


He said: "It is high time we abandoned the fat and comfortable selfish middle-class training we give to our youth and make a nearer approach to the physical and moral education of our old Kshatriyas or the Japanese Samurai". [15]

"Politics is the work of the Kshatriya and it is the virtues of the Kshatriya we must develop if we are to be morally fit for freedom.

"But the first virtue of the Kshatriya is not to bow his neck to an unjust yoke but to protect his weak and suffering countrymen against the oppressor and welcome death in a just and righteous battle". [16]

Although Aurobindo supported boycotts and parallel structures as a tactic, [17] he rejected the fetichisation of any particular form of resistance and favoured a flexible approach.

"Resistance may be of many kinds, — armed revolt, or aggressive resistance short of
armed revolt, or defensive resistance whether passive or active: the circumstances of the country and the nature of the despotism from which it seeks to escape must determine what form of resistance is best justified and most likely to be effective at the time or finally successful". [18]

There were limits to passive resistance, he said, and the moment that physical coercion of the people was attempted, "active resistance becomes a duty".

Sri Aurobindo Bande Mataram book

He continued: "If the instruments of the executive choose to disperse our meeting by breaking the heads of those present, the right of self-defence entitles us not merely to defend our heads but to retaliate on those of the head-breakers.

"For the myrmidons of the law have ceased then to be guardians of the peace and become breakers of the peace, rioters and not instruments of authority, and their uniform is no longer a bar to the right of self-defence". [19]

Aurobindo continued to convey this outlook through the philosophy of Yoga which he developed in French-controlled Pondicherry during the second half of his life, alongside Mirra Alfassa (referred to as "The Mother").

Spiritual warriors, he said, can become "the channel in our mind and body for a divine action poured out freely upon the world". [20]

Although this involved shedding the ego to become aware of universal belonging, the individual remained crucial, not just eventually as a physical tool for divine action but also as the means by which this gnosis might first be accessed.

"We must be governed by the guide within rather than by the opinions of men", Aurobindo wrote. [21]

"Individualism is as necessary to the final perfection as the power behind the group-spirit; the stifling of the individual may well be the stifling of the god in man", he warned.

sri aurobindo the synthesis of yoga

"There is continually a danger that the exaggerated social pressure of the social mass by its heavy unenlightened mechanical weight may suppress or unduly discourage the free development of the individual spirit.

"For man in the individual can be more easily enlightened, conscious, open to clear influences; man in the mass is still obscure, half-conscious, ruled by universal forces that escape its mastery and its knowledge". [22]

When the individual realised his power to channel and express the light of the universe, he could allow the life force which had always animated him to take on a new meaning as "an indispensable intermediary" [23] between above and below, said Aurobindo.

This was a way of enabling the highest truth to become present and active in the physical world.

Rather than suggesting that when we have become aware of our cosmic belonging we should withdraw from the "illusion" of the physical reality we have previously experienced, Aurobindo insisted that, on the contrary, we should return to the fray in a renewed form.

This was the very essence of his "integral and synthetic" form of Yoga, he said.

"An absolute liberty of experience and of the restatement of knowledge in new terms and new combinations is the condition of its self-formation.

"Seeking to embrace all life in itself, it is in the position not of a pilgrim following the highroad to his destination, but, to that extent at least, of a path-finder hewing his way through a virgin forest". [24]

[Audio version]

Sri Aurobindo old

Video links: Sri Aurobindo: A New Dawn. An Inspirational Hand Painted Animation Film (28 mins), The Transformation: a documentary film on Sri Aurobindo (54 mins).

[2] Bande Mataram, The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo (Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 2002), p. 485.
[3] Bande Mataram, p. 113.
[4] Bande Mataram, p. 10.
[5] Bande Mataram, pp. 219-20.
[6] Bande Mataram, p. 140.
[7] Bande Mataram, p. 133.
[8] Bande Mataram, p. 222.
[9] Bande Mataram, p. 271.
[10] Bande Mataram, p. 42.
[11] Bande Mataram, pp. 32-33.
[12] Bande Mataram, p. 43.
[13] Bande Mataram, p. 84.
[14] Bande Mataram, p. 315.
[15] Bande Mataram, p. 223.
[16] Bande Mataram, p. 238.
[17] Bande Mataram, p. 300.
[18] Bande Mataram, p. 299.
[19] Bande Mataram, pp. 294-95.
[20] Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga (Pondicherrry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1973), p. 43.
[21] Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 316.
[22] Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 185.
[23] Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 162.
[24] Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, p. 50.

Winter Oak
18 Sep 2023 | 9:11 am

2. Wisdom natural and divine

by Paul Cudenec

I have been greatly interested by a book that I was kindly sent by a friend, The Speech of the Birds by Farīdu'd-Dīn 'Attār. [1]

This is an English-language presentation, by Peter Avery, of a masterpiece of medieval Persian literature.

Mantiqu't-Tair, to use its original title, explains and illustrates the Sufi tradition's Path of Love to spiritual enlightenment with the help of numerous allegorical tales, mostly involving birds.

For instance, we learn of the hoopoe:

"A crown there was of the Truth upon his head.
Swift of perception was he, having entered the Way:
Having of good and of evil become aware".

A strong moral code sets the direction of the path ahead, with a reference to Moses' advice in the Qur'an to "act uprightly, and follow not in the way of those who cause corruption". [3]

Authenticity is key and Avery explains how one bird tale is taking aim at the general type of the fake ascetic, "the devotee who uses a show of piety to attract worldly gain, and, instead of seeking seclusion and occupying himself in private prayer, hobnobs with rulers and men of influence, whom he sets out to impress with his sanctimonious bearing". [4]

Declares 'Attār:

"So long as you are left in self-conceit and self-delusion,
Far from the Truth, far far away you are left".

A focus on material possessions forms part of this self-delusion, with the Sufis regarding lack of worldly goods as "a sign of readiness for the receipt of mystical knowledge", [6] Avery observes.

The text states:

"So long as you do not divert yourself from power and property,
Not a moment will mercy show its face to you.
Turn your face at once from all,
To become, like the brave, free of all".

And in a message, from 800 years ago, to those who today have the hubris to imagine that their wealth and power will last for ever, 'Attār warns:

"Though all the world might seem securely yours,
It vanishes in the twinkling of an eye".

The prime task in the Way followed by Sufis is to free themselves from the grip of the nafs, the carnal soul, which they believe is the equivalent of the devil within us. [9]

"Grant the annihilation of my dark, carnal self". [10]

The means by which this can be achieved will vary enormously between individuals, as Avery sets out.

"Individuals perceive and express the reality of existence in a manner personal to themselves.

"Consequently conflicting views on form and substance arise, but the Sufis believe that by the Path of Love these conflicting views and contradictions can be cancelled out and the individual, freed of them, realise eternity without beginning (azal) and eternity without end (abad) as one". [11]

Sometimes this spiritual process is presented as a reduction of the ego to the bare minimum.

"When your person becomes as slender as a hair,
There will be room for you among the locks of the Friend".

But often it is depicted as a metaphorical death of the lower self, which will free the transcendal self to gain eternal life. [13]

"Become nothing, so that you might be suffused with Being:
So long as you are, how can Being enter into you?"

"Be lost in Him. This is the infusion.
Whatever is not this, that would be superfluity".

"Since all is one there are no two:
Neither does an I arise here, nor a You".

"If you're a whole man, lost to the whole.
Seek the whole. Be the whole. Become the whole. Choose the whole".

While this pursuit of oneness with the divine is evidently the main subject of The Speech of the Birds, there is a fascinating sub-text around nature, as can even be seen in the title.

Birds are presented individually, in the context of the various allegorical stories, but also collectively and mythologically in the shape of the Símurgh, which Avery tells us is a name of the mythical Iranian Phoenix.

"The word can be read as a compound of , 'thirty', and murgh, 'bird(s)'. The Símurgh comprehends but also transcends all the birds of creation". [18]

He cites Reynold A Nicholson's finding that "in Persian mysticism the símurgh represents God or the soul as a mode of Divine being… and is supposed to dwell on Mount Qaf". [19]

Nature is much more important to the Islamic tradition than many in the West might imagine, as has been confirmed by Sufi perennialist philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr. [20]

He said in a 2014 radio interview: "The Qur'an addresses not only human beings, but also the cosmos. It is much easier to be able to develop an environmental philosophy.

"Birds are called communities in the Qur'an. Human beings, bees, it is so easy to develop an authentic Islamic philosophy of the environment". [21]

Referring to the Prophet Muhammed, 'Attār writes of:

"The call of living creatures when he revealed,
His witnesses the calf and the lizard were".

Avery remarks in his commentary: "The allusion is to the miracle attributed to the Prophet in his avoidance of being poisoned when a roasted calf containing poison was offered him and he stopped eating after consuming only a morsel because, as he told his companions, the dead animal had spoken to him and warned him that its meat had been poisoned to cause the Prophet's death. There is also a legend that the lizards conversed with the Prophet". [23]

Cats also make an appearance in the birds' tale, with a reference to the companion of the Prophet Muhammed known as Father of the Kitten because he used to sit in the Prophet's presence with a kitten on his shoulder or head.

Adds Avery: "There might also be allusion to stories of cats owned by Sufi Shaikhs, which passed into legend on account of actions that were taken for miracles inspired by God. Because of Abú Huraira's love of cats and the Prophet's tolerance of being accompanied by a cat, Sufis cherish them". [24]

'Attār further reflects that Sufi feeling for the feline when he notes:

"Sometimes He makes the road revealed by a cat". [25]

The spiritual closeness to nature displayed in the text goes beyond birds and animals to include vegetation.

Avery describes how, according to tradition, the Prophet Muhammed used to preach while leaning against an old date palm trunk, until this was replaced by the minbar or staired pulpit.

"On his adoption of the pulpit, the tree-trunk's lament resembled that of a woman hankering for a lost lover, husband or child…

"The tree was in fact treated like a mortal: it was buried as a human would be and the legend has it that on the day of the Resurrection it will be resurrected and allowed to flourish forever 'among the green trees of Paradise'". [26]

The Speech of Birds also gives a nod, in the following verses, to one of the oldest mythological characters of the Middle East, Persia and India, known as Khizr, Khidr, Pir Badar and Hızır, among other names.

"If you come in and come out of the self,
The way towards the inner meaning you'll find through wisdom.
When wisdom conducts you towards spiritual meaning,
Khizr will bring you the water of life!"

Avery writes: "Sufis see in Khizr an example of the Perfect Man, holy in the sight of God and exemplar of all ages, to be a guide to those who take to the Path in quest of the Divine, hence the allusion in 'Attār's verse to how the Ring Dove might through Khizr have access to the water of life.

"In popular belief, wherever this forever youthful holy person, whose name, Khizr, means the Green One (the 'Green Man'), places his foot, verdure will sprout". [28]

One of the birds' voices we hear in the book is that of a green parrot:

"I, in this iron prison left encased,
Am from desire for the Water of Khizr pining.
I'm the birds' Green Man. Hence I'm green-clad.
Would that I were able the Water of Life to drink!"

I took a close look at Khizr, and his links to the likes of Hermes, John the Baptist and St George, in my 2017 book The Green One, (available here as a free pdf). [30]

I identified behind all the diverse forms a mythological manifestation of the vital spirit of nature and life.

Now I can also see an obvious connection to the Símurgh, that "mode of Divine being" in nature. Writes Avery: "The magical power of his feathers, when strewn on the ground, caused trees to fruit, and grass to grow". [31]

The Símurgh's reputed dwelling-place, Mount Qaf, is "the mountain which girdles the world and is said to be of emerald, so that in the mornings when the sun shines upon it, it emits green rays". [32]

When we also consider the "green mantle" in which the Prophet Muhammed reportedly usually slept, [33] we can glimpse the truth in Nasr's claim that authentic Islam is a "green religion".

But the great themes of The Speech of the Birds and, in general,

"The valley of gnosis, a valley without beginning or end", [34]

are, of course, not unique to the Sufi tradition.

Avery stresses: "A Christian saint has said, 'All mystics speak the same language, for they come from the same country'.

"So much is this true that startling parallels between the utterances of western and eastern mystics seem to make, certainly at least in this context, the epithets oriental and occidental superfluous". [35]

Or, as, 'Attār puts it:

"All is one Essence but in varied categories:
All one language but of differing idiom".

The central shared spiritual insight is that we humans are part of the greater cosmic whole and also, within that, part of nature, which is a physical manifestation of that one indescribable all-embracing entity.

Our belonging is thus to something beyond our immediate senses and our immediate sense of subjective identity.

"However much you haunt external forms, you're on the quest of imperfection.
Beauty is in the Unseen. Seek you beauty from the Unseen".

For Sufis, true being is sourced in zát, the essence which they regard as the reality of the universe, with sifát being the superficial, ephemeral "attributes" of that essence, such as our sense of individual identity.

"The difference between zát and sifát is that zát is not subject to change, but the attributes are", says Avery. [38]

Understanding of zát, of this underlying essence, is often condemned by modern thinkers as the thoughtcrime of "essentialism".

The reason for this, I would argue, is that the idea of innate natural order is anathema to those who limit our grasp of reality so as to more easily rule over us.

The universe is one living organism and thus has its own underlying structure, an eternal and unchanging essential pattern which, while itself invisible, is made manifest in everything from the behaviour of animals to the innate human sense of ethics.

The moral code that sets the direction of the Path of Love arises from the collective unconscious that we can all access when we free ourselves from narrow egotism.

Societies founded on this moral code, the human interpretation of the natural and cosmic pattern, find cohesion and organic order from below: in their culture and customs, their ways of thinking and living.

Not only do they have no need for self-appointed "authorities" setting down artificial laws and restrictions to shape society in the way that they see fit, but their very existence amounts to resistance against any such imposition.

While, in reality, such societies are never perfect, their moral code explicitly condemns as unacceptable the outlook and behaviour of those obsessed with gaining material wealth and social status, thus limiting the activities and influence of such rogue individuals.

One of the great long-term projects of the global criminocracy has therefore been to destroy these traditional societies and their beliefs, to deny the existence of natural harmony, wisdom and ethical values in order to justify and impose their greed-driven work-camp world of disempowerment, destruction and dictatorship.

This deliberate and self-interested cancelling of age-old knowing and understanding, and of the deep sense of morality innate to our species, has to be ended and then reversed.

Humankind needs to again pay heed to the voices of the birds, the animals and the green trees of Paradise; to return home to nature; to become once more a simple hair in the locks of our divine and infinitely wise Friend.

[Audio version]


[1] Farīdu'd-Dīn 'Attār, The Speech of the Birds, Mantiqu't-Tair, presented in English by Peter Avery (Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1998). All subsequent page numbers refer to this work.
[2] p. 65.
[3] p. 465.
[4] p. 477.
[5] p. 262.
[6] p. 465.
[7] pp. 185-86.
[8] p. 196.
[9] p. 464.
[10] p. 25.
[11] p. 466.
[12] p. 354.
[13] p. xix.
[14] p. 382.
[15] p. 19.
[16] p. 332.
[17] p. 78.
[18] p. 441.
[19] p. 473.
[21] Islam and the Environment, CBC Radio,
[22] p. 29.
[23] p. 434.
[24] p. 426.
[25] p. 11.
[26] p. 442.
[27] p. 63.
[28] p. 469.
[29] p. 75.
[30] Paul Cudenec, The Green One (Sussex: Winter Oak, 2017).
[31] p. 472.
[32] p. 470.
[33] p. 458.
[34] p. 311.
[35] p. xviii.
[36] p. 14.
[37] p. 201.
[38] p. 434.

Winter Oak
11 Sep 2023 | 5:10 pm

3. Converging Against the Criminocrats: a new free book

"It is important to say loudly and clearly that one single worldwide criminal network, the criminocracy, is, behind the scenes, running everything from the WEF to the WHO, the UN to the EU, BlackRock to the World Bank" – Paul Cudenec, Converging Against the Criminocrats

by Paul Cudenec

I am happy to announce the publication of my latest book, Converging Against the Criminocrats: Essays and Talks for the New International Resistance, a collection from my 2023 output, thus far.

The theme of international resistance to the global system has featured in my online writing since the very first day of 2023.

On that occasion (January 1, 2023), I reported for The Acorn bulletin on an event I had just attended here in southern France, launching a significant special edition of the review Écologie & Politique.

This focused on the threat posed to humankind by biotechnology, eugenics and transhumanism and several important fellow campaigners addressed the meeting, including philosopher Renaud Garcia; Silvia Guerini of the Italian network Resistenze al nanomondo; writer Bertrand Louart; editor and academic Jacques Luzi and representatives of Alpine technocritics Pièces et Main d'oeuvre.

The issue of the journal was so powerful that it had come under attack from what I called The Voice of the System, here making itself heard by means of four pseudo-environmentalists who, it turned out, all worked for the French state and/or European foundations promoting vaccines and smart cities.

This familiar tone or technique, I said, "never argues with those who challenge its so-called truths, nor does it present its objection in terms of a disagreement. Instead, it invariably condemns the objects of its hatred as morally bad and connected to everything else that it has already declared to be beyond the political pale".

Anyone who fundamentally opposes the system is likely to be rebuked by this voice, as I was to witness time and time again in the months to follow.

Indeed, only three weeks later, in Ramping Up the Global Inquisition (January 21, 2023), I described more instances of this mendacious smearing in the UK and New Zealand, explaining that this was not something confined to one country or even to one continent, but "a worldwide assault on free speech".

I pointed out that one of the smearing techniques often used by the global inquisitors was to attempt to contaminate one person's reputation by linking them to another person whose reputation they had already contaminated by some dishonest means.

"Each lie they tell therefore becomes a launching pad for further lies and can be used to attack heretics without the need for any further 'incriminating' evidence".

In Fighting Off The Encroachment (February 8, 2023) I again turned to the subject of resistance and concluded that all the varied campaigning with which I had been involved throughout my life had in fact been directed against one single phenomenon, "an expansion, an accumulation, a malignant growth", which was "always encroaching, confiscating, stealing, developing, destroying".

I added: "They just won't leave us in peace, to live our lives as we wish. Our horizon is permanently darkened with the menace of their next state of emergency, their next all-changing war, their next technological advance, their next fake pandemic, their next Great Leap Forward, Five Year Plan, thousand-year Reich or Great Reset.

"To oppose this invasive process, which we might term the Encroachment, is not to be a disruptive anti-social trouble-maker but to be a defender of what we already have, what we used to have and what we deserve to have again".

In Anarchy, Alchemy and Awakening (March 8, 2023), I marked the tenth anniversary of the appearance of my first book, The Anarchist Revelation, by looking back on its message and the reaction it sparked in various quarters.

And I found great relevance for today in words that I originally penned in 2013: "An awakening is required on a scale never seen before, an awakening that will spread like a tsunami around the globe, sweeping away the machineries and mindset of hateful oppression and denial.

"It is not so much a revolution that is needed, but a revelation – a lifting of all the veils of falsity and a joyful rediscovery of the authentic core of our existence".

The report on London's Secret Smart Stations Roll-Out (March 13, 2023) was only possible because a friend inside Transport for London slipped me a "restricted" internal document detailing the testing of SMART infrastructure (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) at a tube station in the English capital.

I explained that the prospect of real-time surveillance, monitoring people in terms of named categories, suggests an entirely predictable link to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and impact capitalism, the 21st century digital slave-system which is in fact the driving force behind the whole smart cities agenda.

And I concluded: "The agenda is clear. The very fact that it is being hidden from us shows that the Global Public Private Partnership knows full well that it is not something we welcome".

Unauthorised Fragments of Freedom (March 19, 2023) introduced a piece of fiction which I wrote 17 years previously and which described "an England of curfews, timed travel restrictions, limits on the number of people that can gather for a party in a private home".

I noted: "A great sense of sadness imbues the book, a sadness that is also a kind of suffocation, a feeling that the walls are slowly but surely closing in on human freedom, with most people seemingly unaware of what is happening".

But, then and now, I like to stress the possibility of resistance and the main emphasis of the work was on "ordinary people's courage in refusing to obey the system's diktats, in testing the actual limits of its apparent total control by just saying 'no'".

The WEF are Life-Hating Liars is a talk I gave to a conference in London on March 25, 2023, organised by my friends at Real Left, who are playing an important role in helping build the new international resistance movement.

I warned that the global system aims to advance its control agenda with the active support of the left and "the language and general tone of the left is weaponised against the very values that the left is historically supposed to defend".

But, of course, this is all lies and posturing aimed at disguising the reality of the same old venal and destructive industrial racket.

"Painting it green and draping its infernal machineries with rainbow-coloured bunting changes nothing".

In Targeting the Enemy (April 11, 2023), a piece for The Acorn, I described the ongoing revolt against the Macron regime in France and how it had been met with military-style repression.

I commented: "This looks less like a 'liberal democracy' than a colonial government of occupation, determined to 'put down the natives' at any cost. And this, of course, is exactly what it is! France is not run by representatives of the French people, but by representatives of the global money power, the criminal gang which owns pretty much everything, everywhere".

In the same Acorn, I assessed a dismissive label that has been applied to my political views for decades now and asked: Who are the Real Extremists? (April 11, 2023).

I also supplied the answer, identifying "those who are already extremely rich but want to get even richer; those who are extremely deceitful and dishonest in their dealings; those who have an extreme disregard for the lives and well-being of others and an extreme fear of real democracy, along with a deeply unpleasant propensity to use extreme violence to protect and expand their power".

In Remembering Who We Are (April 18, 2023) I explored the power we find within ourselves when we become aware of our belonging to something greater than our individual being. I argued that this power, which I called "with-energy", is our greatest weapon against the criminal ruling class.

I wrote: "When we come together and feel with-energy, we connect to that reality. When we understand what this with-energy is, we are remembering that reality. When, together, we consciously use our with-energy to reclaim our belonging to that reality, we will become so strong and so free that no system will be able to hold us down".

The article When Protest is Branded Terrorism (April 25, 2023) was sparked by the French government's use of the term "intellectual terrorism" to describe the opinions of its critics and by the deployment of "anti-terrorism" legislation to ban people from banging saucepans in protest at Macron's presidential visits, as well as by the detention and questioning of a young French publisher by British police under Section 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, purely on the basis that he had attended anti-government protests in his own country.

Recalling that I myself had been detained under the same law in 2013, I noted: "The term 'terrorism' has been deliberately twisted out of all recognition in order to smear political dissent and to judicially enable police-state repression of protest".

Macron's bankster regime was again the focus of my writing in Adieu to the Illusion of Democracy (May 2, 2023), in which I reported and reflected on the massive Mayday protests in France, which had been met with brutally violent repression.

"France, like so many other countries I might mention, is not an actual democracy but a plutocracy which has, until very recently, managed to pass itself off as a democracy. The only interests that matter are those of Big Money, of Capital. The opinions and well-being of the people are of no interest to Macron and his former employers, the Rothschilds".

I mentioned a new slogan, Travail, Ordre et Progrès, which seemed to have been adopted by the regime to replace Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, and I followed this up in a subsequent piece entitled Work. Order. Progress. (May 15, 2023).

Drawing on research I had carried out for The Great Racket, I provided historical insights to explain the connection between the Macron regime's proximity to the Rothschilds and the fascistic tone of its politics.

I remarked: "What better way of ensuring 'order' and sustainable prosperity for the ultra-rich than by banning troublesome trade unions and left-wing political opposition, sourcing prison camp labour for private gain, embarking on massive industrial and military spending and remodelling human life to answer the needs of their greed machine?"

The Worm Behind the Facade (May 23, 2023) was not so much an essay as a piece of creative writing, imagining our resistance to the corrupt global system as an attack on a vast parasitical grub, long hidden behind the facade of nation-states.

"Again and again you struck and as you did so you were joined by others, dozens of others, hundreds and thousands, all using whatever weapon they had come across to stab at the worm, some even tearing at its flesh with their bare hands.

"Others set about ripping the tubes from its body so that it could no longer grow fat from the flesh of their children".

An important point in the evolution of my personal political terminology came with the publication of Criminocracy and its Lies (June 26, 2023).

Discussing how best to describe the gang that rules the world, I wrote: "These ultra-rich are not rich by chance or because they work harder or better than the rest of us. They are rich because they are criminals, who have, like dry rot, gradually taken over the whole structure of our societies. The system under which we live is therefore a criminocracy, rule by criminals".

Referring to the dishonest language with which this gang invariably attacks its opponents, I observed: "In the inversion that is so typical of the system, exposure of their criminal activity and associated lying is, itself, defined as 'criminal'".

This issue was again to the fore in The Money Behind The Smears (July 5, 2023), a contribution to The Acorn.

I explained that I myself had been denounced by the inquisitorial voice of the system, which on this occasion had issued forth from the mouth of a supposedly anarchist website in Quebec.

"So why the attention now, three years after I was first excommunicated by the High Priests of the Central Global Church of Woke Pseudo-Anarchism?

"I think a clue lies in the reference to other like-minded thinkers with whom I have been collaborating both in the English-speaking world, partly via Nevermore, and also in France and Italy.

"The article warns of 'a transnational echo chamber of conspiracists who have been embracing increasingly reactionary, transphobic, and antisemitic ideas'. In other words, they are worried that we are coming together and regrouping outside of the controlled woke-left mind-prison to begin to form a coherent long-term international resistance movement!"

The Church of England: Enslaving God's Children (July 12, 2023) addressed the hypocrisy of this supposedly Christian entity in apologising for its historical collaboration with the transatlantic slave trade, while being involved in its contemporary digital equivalent, namely impact capitalism.

I concluded: "We should remember that this state institution is, after all, headed by the man who launched The Great Reset in 2020 and whose family has, for generations, acted as an important link between the British Empire and the private financial interests to which it is still entirely subservient".

The article BRICS in the Wall of Global Greed (July 17, 2023) was primarily aimed at those who, like me, oppose the British-American plutocratic empire but who somehow imagine that the "multi-polar" version now being wheeled onto the global stage is new, different and less dangerous.

Drawing, again, on previous historical research, I showed that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had all long been in the grasp of the criminocracy and that they were spearheading its current insidious agenda.

I warned: "A world order is still a world order, whether or not it terms itself 'multi-polar'. The poles in question are merely geographically diverse manifestations of the same overall network and any 'shift' in power towards BRICS can only be regarded as a manoeuvre, an internal reorganisation within the public-private global governance".

Shining Light on the Climate of Manipulation (July 29, 2023) was a talk I gave to fellow resistance campaigners in Italy.

Referencing the work of Cory Morningstar and Jennifer Bilek, as well as my own research, I explained how various aspects of "woke" dogma were being used by the criminocrats to impose their global agenda.

I remarked that in the contemporary "labyrinth of lies", it had become very difficult to distinguish fact from fake, reality from spin.

"The best indication of something or somebody's integrity is that they are denounced as criminals by the system and the strongest warning sign of misinformation is when a certain proposition is presented as sacred truth, protected from contradiction by a special taboo status".

And I stressed: "We urgently need to see the emergence of a new international movement of resistance against this toxic entity, given that it has successfully disabled and recuperated so many existing 'radical' groups".

The starting point for Cogs of Corruption and Control (August 15, 2023) was a social media post from a business in Rwanda, East Africa, promoting "mobile money services" leading to "financial inclusivity" and "economic & social gains".

My investigation into Vanguard Economics Ltd of Kigali shed much light on the new wave of corporate-colonialism targeting Africa, which is based on impact capitalism and the closely-related UNSDGs.

I remarked: "While its direct ownership may be hidden from public view, the firm's list of 23 'partners and collaborators' not only gives us a clear indication of its allegiances, but also helps us identify some of the cogs that make up the corrupt contemporary machine of global greed and control".

For a Convergence of the Uncorrupted (August 28, 2023) was a heart-felt call for a reshaping of the political landscape, for a coming-together of all those whose outlook is based not on self-interest and obedience to power, but on the deep, innate values naturally shared by decent human beings of all backgrounds.

"Imagine if all these people could shake themselves free from the constraints of political or religious allegiance, or from their hesitation to step forward! Imagine the power of a convergence of all these streams of uncorrupted thought, united in their rejection of the global dictatorship and in their demand for a free future!

"The essence of their individual ideals would not be lost in the process, but embraced within one mighty river of righteous revolt".

Finally, while all the links in the articles were valid at the time that they were published, there is a growing tendency, that other researchers have also noted, for inconvenient material to disappear from the internet, even from archive sites, and by the time you read this, some of them may no longer work.

I regard this, along with the increased stifling of dissident views on social media, as being not only an inevitable stage of our struggle against the criminocrats, but also a telling sign of weakness on their part.

They know that we have seen them. They know that our resistance is under way. And they are frightened of us!

[Audio version]

You can read Converging Against the Criminocrats: Essays and Talks for the New International Resistance as a free pdf or as a physical book.

Winter Oak
10 Sep 2023 | 10:02 pm

4. Walking With Goats: The Cuckoo’s Wings

by our regular guest columnist Walking With Goats

Five ducks hobble slowly down the path that winds between the twin lucerne plantings, the line they form bespeaking their differing phases of experience. Beyond the gate – hung within the fenceline I finished when this year was just beginning – hollow yellow rattle waves amongst the uncut grasses. No window has come in which we might take the hay. So far this summer, the meadow goes to seed.

Its diverse slope rises until it meets the lane which then winds on steeper, topping the hill that our house and its eight acres shelter under. As you top that rise yourself to look down at us, the curious shapes my wooden fences delineate – straddling streams and enmeshed between still growing trees – surround the dilapidated white stone in an awkward embrace, all elbows and swollen fingers.

The fences erected by previous generations here – my grandfather's efforts and the working lines of the property's earlier, farming owners – wrack and huddle their skeletons in corners. Sometimes I try to hoist them into life with props and bailing twine and cable ties. Some lines are slumping, some are already subsumed. And beneath them of course, the hedgerows' humps – roots growing over stone walling that's lost to the touch now – hint at the age of this meadow, with its spring water source and shielded rocky plinth for dwellings. They're interleaved – the layers of effort and the growth that's overwhelmed them, the next generation's trials. Moss-covered, it's impossible to tell any difference between.

This is a story of generational belonging; of the tools we use to shape our world and of how it shapes us in return. It's a subject of exigent importance. Here, we live in several staggered generations, each of us trying, in our own way, to make this place a better one. Outside it, events roll on with increasing rapidity – and growing bearing on the choices we make.

I am writing – as is consistently the case – with my earplugs in and my ear defenders on. And when I say writing, I mean of course processing celery. The cast iron pan on the Rayburn stitches me into a three minute circuit, my chaotic notebook is weighted open on the countertop, my mother and my little girl weave in between – passing pans over shoulders and gliding around hips – making two separate lunches and loudly and intermittently reading Agatha Christie, while at the kitchen table (inexplicably occupied, for the most part, by a massive bone saw) Woef sits at his laptop, his solar radio spewing Jeremy Vine in a novel and profane form of photosynthesis, still indomitably – as Woef does everything – attempting paperwork.

Soon Fran's due to jump through the door as she takes a break from retrofitting suburbia to eagerly announce the birth of her first meat guinea pigs. Baked peelings of potatoes are emerging as surprise guests from the oven – goat bound. Fountains of celery as yet unprocessed shoot from the sink. Buckets of further peelings and leaves and unidentifiable lumpy mud are scattered across the already fairly narrow kitchen floor. I haven't exaggerated the general ambience that surrounds my attempts to put words on the page by one iota. But no one has fallen over anyone else. No one has shouted – today.

"It's so…" an old friend told me, visiting this week, "…so fucking Waltons."

The Waltons, I responded circumspectly, did not eat guinea pigs.

No, this is the twenty first century. In fact, we're already twenty three years in. Only this week, the first video of an enthusiastic shopper paying at the checkout with her palm scan hit Twitter – to do battle with the hashtag competition of #CarbonTax, #WW3 and #DiseaseX.

What curiosities have been produced by the tools that humans make.

Successive generations, razing, rebuilding, sculpting, honing, have shaped our environment beyond recognition and recollection. Yet our landscape, now no more than the workshop and playground of our lives, sees new threats emerge regardless, no longer wild in nature.

What comes next?

We few here are equipping ourselves for the future with the tools of the past; scythes and pitchforks, stirrup pumps and cast iron wheels are amassed between the battery powered chainsaws. Here on the farm, with The Waltons 2.0, it's year number four of assembling the architecture for some effort towards a replacement society.

Walking with Goats exists as a sightseeing tour of its brick walls, pitfalls and – of course – numerous cultural highlights.

Thank you, as ever, for joining us on the ride.

I had a smart phone for three days last month.

After more than a year without one, the need to drive to a variety of unknown urban locations across the UK led me to 'upgrade' from a monthly payment that rented me absolutely nothing to a monthly payment that rented me long periods of enraged misery. After those three days, I posted it down the back of a radiator.

'There you go!' I declared in pyrrhic victory. "Now I don't have you anymore!'

Goats, of course, don't use tools. They've taken an entirely different approach and hired staff – which has proven to be a particularly successful tactic because their humans, by contrast, are unanimously excited about the wide variety of equipment they've contrived amongst themselves.

Things are changing though.

Almost unnoticed amidst the imperturbable momentum of man's advancing dialectic with the use of tools, a key milestone was passed just last month for instance, from which there can be no returning: the AI generated Heidi trailer can never be unmade.

Arriving, as it has done too, at a watershed moment in my own personal relationship with the tools of rural life, I am left devoid of any choice but to inaugurate this episode of Walking With Goats with the ebb and flow of its Alpine aria.

Steel yourself before clicking the link.

While the one and a quarter minutes of existential horror engendered by this pastoral Frankenstein makes it difficult to credit ex Google VP Geoffery Hinton's warnings about AI's imminent takeover, it should at least give humanity some pause for thought.

Is AI a tool, or is it our evolutionary progeny? Or our girlfriend? If it's our life-coach, can we trust a single thing it has to say? Will it soon step up to a new role as parent, teacher, or overenthusiastic security guard? It seems very soon there'll be nothing AI doesn't do.

In fact, unfortunately, the question isn't any longer whether we can use the word 'sentient' to describe a form of intelligence that blithely weaves together clouds and dog grooming and grandpa lips and floating cows and children suffering from tortuous hysteria into one bucolic acid trip from hell. The question is: what's dinner going to taste like when that's what's making it?

Eager to divest ourselves of the work that underpins our own survival, everything from food to health to individual cognition will soon be placed into AI's entirely metaphorical hands. The Swiss Army Tool of Everything is here.

And worse:

As I received in depressing riposte from a close family member of one the world's leading designers of AI, asking whether it was likely to usurp our planet: will Artificial Intelligence actually – regardless of all aforementioned flaws – do a better job of running it than human beings have?

The greater the exactitude with which we've learnt to analyse and measure our habitat, after all, the more disconnected we've become from it. And the greater our disconnection, the more damage it's suffered at our hands.

As AI robs the final vestiges of truth from our known world therefore, this episode of Walking With Goats is wrought as an effort to turn back the cuckoo clock. To step down from the cloud and put our feet back on the ground.

This is Nettle:

Nettle was contrary. As daughter of our Queen, Thorne – and denied her milk, unlike her brother – it was necessary for her to be more contrary than any other Baby Darling, and she achieved it. Princess Nettle disagreed with everything.

Here she is, for instance, watching television:

Here she is refusing to go outside:

Nettle's cry was the ejection of a tightly knotted matt of unfriendly consonants. Her horizons were a low and panoramic target range.

"I'm not sure I like this baby," I hesitantly admitted to my mother.

Nettle didn't care.

Everything inside Nettle wrote a plot of rebellion against the social structure she'd been born within. I despaired of her then.

I have a different opinion now.

Ted Kaczynski, AKA The Unabomber, rebelled against the social structure he was born into as well. Embittered child of the C20th century, after he'd hoiked it out to Montana to skin red squirrels and bolt together lethal devices compact enough to fit into a regularly affordable postage category, he sat down to gift the world his 'Manifesto.'

Our tools, he contended, were restructuring us.

Technology was innately at odds with human freedom – and it could not be moderated or reasoned with or resisted. Tech was a colonising force. It could be defeated only through revolution.

And, while Industrial Society and Its Future's several hundred thousand million words of politically polarising – albeit bullet-pointed – diatribe stands out as an absolutely rubbish Christmas present for anyone, it does have a few good points to make on the subject of technology's inclinations.

As the giggling owner of that excitingly recognisable palm print could attest to – without having to go through the inconvenience of thinking anything herself – technology succeeds by mimicking then appropriating what Kaczynski describes as The Power Process; the human's own need to succeed. This it does by enabling humans, facilitating decreasing effort (and aptitude) on the human's part. The human becomes excited. They now only need to readjust the angle of their little finger to watch a nuclear bomb go off in high definition, order spaghetti carbonara for dinner or communicate the ephemeral nuances of their innermost feelings to a thousand mile away loved-one by accenting an image of a sparkly heart with a circular face.

'That was easy,' the human thinks to themselves with great satisfaction as they sit back, continuing to evolve the soft, receptive synapses and decreasingly opposable thumbs that enable their enormous success. 'I must be very clever.'

And the proliferators of their enabling technology wholeheartedly agree. Musk's designing the logo for the agreement notification right now.

What does the tech itself think? I certainly shan't be the one to ask it – although of course I could now.

Whether Kaczynski's views were a result of the CIA's MK Ultra experiments (or indeed whether he sent the bombs at all) I'll leave for others to debate. What remains true regardless is that the once handsome, solitary mathematical genius and 16 year old Harvard entrant recognised a pattern in tech's reproductive behaviour which we would be wise to take note of ourselves.

Beneath the façade of uplifting humanity, technology remakes its environment to pave the way for itself. It behaves in just the way that humans used to.

The apple never falls far from the tree. It needs, however, to roll a certain distance in order to throw down any roots at all.

Nettle refused to be trained to live alongside her mother. She wanted more – and moreover, could jump higher – a little short in the leg (like Elizabeth Taylor) as Queen Thorne is. The nearest corner of the large and – I contend – luscious pen that I had fashioned for them behind the house was an old stone wall; an object of telic adolescent goat challenge. And for that reason, of human challenge too.

I am not a particularly large human, as much as I might shout or jump up and down, and the lifting and transportation of boulders is beyond me. Nor did I have access to any of the machines that might have solved my issue.

For – still half built – object of beauty that it was, it was also half fallen down, and the parts that had fallen added weight to Nettle's side not mine. Easily she could climb – and pirouette and leapfrog – from one old boulder to the next, until she topped what was the left of that wall, and saw beneath her my lovingly pruned, tenderly fed young greengage tree – positioned with perfect symmetry but imperfect logic just outside.

Until that moment, my solution to the stone wall problem had been one of my greatest small-human achievements, or so I thought.

Using what I had, I felt I'd done very well. Weaving leylandii boughs and alder lengths in between the ladder rungs that constitute the Waltons' 2.0 Guide to Guttering (thank you, Woef), I'd been ready to revel in my marriage of good looks and practicality.

You will notice, however, the marked absence of a greengage tree.

Divested of its perfect pompom of glossy dark green leaves and promising rose pink buds, the tree that Princess Nettle left behind was a scrawny stick embellished with the odd half chewed scrap of spit covered foliage, and she herself stood beside it as I walked into the garden, gazing imperiously back at me in order to convey her disagreement with orchards in general.

Sobbing and shouting, dragging her back through the gate, I regressed to the age of a six year old and took out our 'Loppers,' (an extremely useful set of longhandled ratchet secateurs) to divest myself of the misery of greengage stump ownership.

Then I picked up the phone and divested myself of Nettle ownership too.

My neighbour needed company for her own lonely goat, Ella.

Nettle wasn't great value socially, but that day I said yes.

The 'Loppers'

Immediate ground clearance. Tackles anything still clinging onto life. Fast and concentrated for total control.

The Scythe

Cordless, brushless and with a variable speed control. Ergonomic and lightweight all-terrain cutter. Endless run time. (Winner 2023 Best At-Home Meditation Device – beating Hand-Crafted Carbon Fiber Wind Chimes and Temu Authentic Bronze Chime Bowl)


Best of the Best, Chicken Incubation Unit. The EMILY 24 Chicken Egg Incubator is complete with Automatic Humidity Adaption Check (requires pond access). Takes the guesswork out of the egg-hatching process. Rich in features. During non-hatching periods, the EMILY can perform ditching and watercourse clearance. Universal flock adaptor.

The Stair Gate

At 91cm high, the Safety 1st GOATGATE is taller than most, helping to maintain an adequate feed level for your goat throughout the night. With a U-shaped frame and 4 pressure points, it offers two-way opening to remove all old branches and an extra security double locking option preventing your goat from seeking out particularly tasty, deeply contained leaves that might lead to floor-dump.

The Retail Bread Basket (Circa 1984)

Sunblest Bread continues to be the UK's leading supplier of convertible groundwork-ready retail bread baskets. Capable of containerising up to 50kg of aggregate within its hard-wearing plastic, and ideal for long-lasting drainage, no path, culvert or bridge is (hastily) complete without one.

The Baked Bean Tin

Keep your goat happy and healthy with this challenging all-in-one snack delivery and entertainment system. For outstanding cognitive, emotional and social development.

The definition of the word 'tool' in the Nuttals' Dictionary (itself an invaluable one in my view) is an 'implement or instrument for effecting or facilitating mechanical operations,' or 'a person used as a mere instrument by another.'

It is sometimes said that they have no intrinsic nature.

It would have been nice, I think sometimes when I sit upon my lawn, if the 'Loppers' had dissented, fought against my hands that day. Asked to sever, instead they might have inverted the mechanism that activates their formidable jaws – to feed perhaps, or somehow guard my little tree. But a tool can't rebel. It distils the intention that gave it life.

There is a photo pinned to the board that hangs behind of my latop, of my daughter's face when she was nearly two. Everything is there; the seeds of the person she's becoming now. She's getting a joke, you can see, that someone off camera has only just told. And – looking out from a set of features the genes of which could be shown on a family tree – a spark of life fills her eyes, unique and all her own.

I get it – and I reckon I could give it right back, those eyes say.

It was a long time ago that I came back to Mid Wales – and I struggled with it for a long while after. My father became disabled very quickly; rheumatoid arthritis, which took him from chainsawing to not being able to hold a fork over the course of about three months. There were long periods that he improved and wasn't bed – or chair – ridden, but fundamentally he never really got well again in the next eleven years and he died before he reached the age of seventy.

I didn't want to be here, though I felt I had to come. I still railed against it. I didn't want the rural life, not at twenty five years old.

I'm forty four now.

In the hay meadow, in the wake of Storm Betty, I slowly work to clear the hedgelines of low hanging branches and reinforce our failing fence with the electric rope I've accumulated, suspending it from the willow's knuckles. I think about my father trying to teach me to use tools when I first came back, and how I didn't want to learn.

In the dappled late summer sun, alongside the irrepressible voice of our little stream, I reposition my body behind the handsaw the way he once showed me – and couldn't himself for the last part of his life. And I think of him telling me how it wants to cut straight.

No telling whether this fence will keep them in. Goats don't like to be contained. Thorne crosses the Yummy Field to which access has been denied for so many months, swaying regally herself – the way she does – between the hay that Storm Betty has so far denied as harvest.

She reaches her nose towards the clear white line that I've have already strung.

'New Fence will be Hurting soon,' I warn her.

Looking at me steadily, she proceeds towards my wheelbarrow then, where loose hanks of the electric rope still lie waiting to be hung, takes one frayed white end into her mouth and begins to chew.

I am losing the use of my own hands now.

Next to the photograph of my daughter, there are two letters pinned, which my father wrote to her and posted, so that she could experience being the recipient of a letter herself. One of them invites her to tea next Tuesday. The second's an invitation as well – to go to the seaside with him and my mother. It's the same handwriting, you can see, but each line is a little less steady. That second letter was much harder work.

I drop things now as well, pens and cutlery, the way he used to. Sometimes I struggle to hold tools like the Loppers or my own ratchet secateurs. My relationship with tools is changing in many ways though. It's not just a process of loss, though this is hard to explain.

I was out the other evening, cutting branches for the goats' stair-gate mangers – and I was crying because my hands were very bad – and it was raining down into my face, like the sky was crying into me too. And reaching up, I saw how each of the branches that I cut was suffering the loss of its leaves. Eaten away, I think, by some bug or alder beetle, so all that was left within their shapes was a filigree of bones and veins – and up beyond that lace, I saw a sky full of luminous, pearlescent grey.

Sigfried Giedion's unparalleled and exquisite history of technology, Mechanization Takes Command, offers up, in fragments, the narrative that underlies tech's evolution. It also contests – I feel – the argument made by so many transhumanists: that artificial intelligence represents humanity's child.

Beginning on the subject of movement (as an architect, Giedion's historical constellations were all mapped in Cartesian space), the book charts how mechanization was first enabled by an inventor named Étienne-Jules Marey.

Marey's obsessive ambition was to capture, represent and so comprehend the fluid movements of a bird in flight, and his success in this endeavour marked the inauguration of the mechanized era. Such movements, he complained, were beyond the human eye's ability to interpret. And so he devised a machine capable of rendering the shapes of a dove's transforming wingbeats onto the medium of a smoked glass cylinder. The three dimensional understanding he gained would come to inform novel images, sculptures, and eventually the automatons that so fascinated nineteenth century gentry. Its groundbreaking approach would subsequently birth the scientific management of production and, in the end, the assembly line.

The robot bird breathlessly advertised over recent months is its direct descendent, as are Sophia's synthetic hands. Relentlessly imbued with the imperatives that birthed it, mechanization now takes command of the world so enthusiastically mapped and measured by its makers. Devoid of their inimitable contrariness though. Technological fruits bear only the seeds that bear themselves.

And what were those imperatives, which we once implanted? What underlying force looks back through Sophia's eyes?

The exploration of man through science has demonstrated an unquenchable lust for knowledge – rendering our quest on every inch of the natural world. But what is caught in multifarious minutiae can still be blind to simple truth . Whatever we capture, it is no longer free.

The only actions Marey's machine was ever capable of describing were those of a harnessed bird. Strapped to the armature and its automatically illustrative pen, Marey's dove flew in circles. Every wingbeat drawn was an attempt to flee.

On the second day of September, as though by proclamation from above, the sun arrives and we are able to take the hay.

In the lucerne patch that leads out to the field, my five ducks seek and weave, finding worms and ditching the streams I've dug since moving back. In boggy soil – as there was behind the house when I arrived here with my London clothes in boxes – the deep lucerne roots would rot and fail.

We know it as alfalfa for the most part; sprouted and plastic-packed in our health food shops, Crouch End or Hackney. Left to grow perennially though, alfalfa's intricate rooting network will reach depths of fifty foot beneath the soil.

Through the kitchen window, Dilys spots me.

First of our female ducks – and grandmother and great grandmother to many others – she raises her elegant white neck and opens and closes her mouth to me through the window. I can never say no to her. Dilys knows which side her bread is buttered – and where the dog bowl lives. The quiet patter of feet across the kitchen floor follows any open door. Barriers have been erected to prevent her sorties into the house, but Dilys runs like a metronomic torpedo. Forget to close one for a moment and Fifi's supper's gone.

She's comfited herself in the abundance of our home and yard, Dilys. She'll never leave. I cracked her first baby from the egg myself; Lemonade. A prideful and commanding daughter, who now rivals her mother for her clutch size each year – on principle.

Clara, then, was Lemonade's first daughter. But Clara was different again; less forceful than either of her predecessors, yet freer – and braver too. Each summer her forays were wider and her boundaries lighter – until this year, when she took her own favourite daughters and was gone.

Nettle will be coming home soon. It turns out that my neighbour's goat – side by side with her own daughters now – would really rather prefer her lawn Nettle-free.

I visited – and called out to the now sizeable Princess through the gate – and she came running up. My fingers between the bars, I stroked her forehead and sang her the So Beautiful song that she grew up with, and Nettle looked back me, very still.

One day soon, when we live in a world where all human emotions are depicted by 1) eating lunch in the park, 2) mutually engaging in light outdoor pursuits, or 3) concernedly frowning over a letter, we will wait with longing for any curve ball.

Though after buying Mechanization Takes Command, eBay does decide to offer me The Kama Sutra.

In the hay meadow, under the deep and remarkable September heat, I lie and drink a pint of Woef's homemade cider, The Haymaker. I turned the field by pitchfork over eight or nine hours, after our kind neighbour cut it for us with his tractor. I've met a scything group this year – but no one's diary quite revolves around these few, precious hot days in the same way mine does.

The view from the meadow fades to blue, like the sea I took my daughter to this year, to camp along with our friends. I remember watching them walk in silhouette before me down to the shoreline; all their differing heights like the turrets of a castle.

From the meadow, I can see the raked lines of many generations' lifework – and in the midst of them, white windmills too. For good or ill. All of it, for good or ill.

Whatever future we want to build, we must be prepared to pick up the tools ourselves.

My little girl runs between the rows of gold green hay in the texture of the summer evening, pulling conkers down from the horse chestnut tree.

All day long, the boom of the military range thirty miles from us has shaped the air. Running over, she gives me one and she asks me if they were named after the word to 'conquer.'

And I say I don't know, lying there in the cut grass and holding it, like a tiny world inside my hand.

Images by Francesca Swift and Woef.

Portrait of Nettle by Neal Atkins

Winter Oak
9 Sep 2023 | 10:00 am


by Jordan Henderson

Brief recap (skip if the previous essays are fresh in your mind)

We've reviewed in this essay series historical infectious disease mortality, and the introduction (or lack thereof) of widespread vaccination for various diseases in England and Wales, in Australia, and in the USA (we reviewed this in Part 2: Apostasy).

We've seen how the historical data available for these countries directly contradicts the messages preached by the Vaccine Evangelists (we reviewed their preaching in Part 1: The Evangelists).

We went on to explore the major differences between mortality and morbidity data, and we deconstructed our first case example of Vaccine Apologetics in Part 3: The Red Herring a Tour of the Motte.

Here in Part 4, we'll broaden the picture even further and add another country to our analysis. We'll look at historical infectious disease mortality for Spain.

~ End of Recap ~

Spain has national, detailed cause of death data from the year 1900 onward. As with the other countries we have looked at, a drastic plummet in deaths attributed to infectious disease occurs in Spain in the 20th century. For Spain too, we can see that clearly vaccines could not have been the primary reason, nor one of the primary reasons for this decline. The central misconception of the Doctrine of Salvation Through Vaccination* is preached in Spain just as it is almost everywhere else, yet it is just as untrue for Spain as it is for the English speaking world.

For many of the major diseases, including the deadliest diseases in Spain during the 20th century, there was no vaccination. For many other diseases the vaccine came after almost all the decline in mortality had already occurred; only for a small portion of the diseases are the relevant vaccines introduced in Spain before the majority of the decline in mortality had yet to occur.

An interesting feature of the Spanish data is that many vaccines were introduced later in Spain then in the English speaking countries (especially compared to the USA and Australia which were early adopters of many vaccines). For example: routine whooping cough and diphtheria vaccination began in Spain in 1965; that's around 17 years later than in the USA; measles vaccines were introduced in Spain in 1978; that's 15 years later than when they were introduced in the USA. This means, as we will see, that an even greater portion of Spain's 20th century reduction in mortality for certain infectious diseases occurred before widespread vaccination.

For those short on time feel free to scroll through this essay and peruse the many graphical layouts of the Spanish mortality data to take it in at a glance.

(* The central misconception of the Doctrine of Salvation Through Vaccination being:

The belief that vaccines played a primary role in causing the drastic decline in deaths attributed to infectious disease in general, and many major diseases in particular, that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially as this relates to the plummet in infant and child mortality rates; and also the corollary belief that, these diseases would return with comparable devastation if we stopped vaccination against them.

See Part 1 of this essay series [The Evangelists] for extensive examples and documentation of Vaccine Evangelists promoting the central misconception of the Doctrine of Salvation Through Vaccination, as well as the second section of this essay installment)

Introductory Notes:

1. Numbering of figures in this essay installment starts at Figure 26 as the last essay installment left off at Figure 25. Labeling of exhibits of Vaccine Evangelism starts at Exhibit M in this installment, as our first exhibition of Vaccine Evangelism in the Part 1: The Evangelists left off at Exhibit L.

2. I previously stated that this fourth installment of this essay series would review mortality data across multiple countries in mainland Europe, but have decided to focus this installment on just one country, Spain, so that the analysis presented can be more methodical without being overly long (by covering more diseases in one country rather than fewer diseases across multiple countries).

Table of Contents for Part 4 – Spanish Death Data

1. Putting the Spanish Data Into Perspective

  • Should we look at the data as the actual number of recorded deaths or as the death rate per 100,000 – what gives us a clearer picture for Spain? Plus population and yearly number of births over time for Spain.
  • Infant Mortality Rate for Spain.
  • The diseases ranked from most to least deadly for 20th century Spain.

2. Vaccine Evangelism in Spain

  • Whooping Cough Mortality and Vaccines in Spain – Exhibits M through P
  • Child Mortality in Spain + a Lifespan Lecture – Exhibits Q through T.

3. Graphical profile of 20th century mortality in Spain for individual diseases, and coverage of their respective vaccines or lack thereof

  • Diarrhea and Enteritis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Meningitis
  • Flu
  • Measles
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Diphtheria
  • Whooping Cough
  • Scarlet Fever

1. Putting the Spanish Data Into Perspective

I want to provide the reader a big picture view of Spanish mortality and mortality data before we look at the details. These are some basic things I myself wanted to know in order to paint a bigger picture to provide context and perspective when viewing the mortality trends of the individual diseases.

Should we look at the data as the actual number of recorded deaths or as the death rate per 100,000 – what gives us a clearer picture for Spain? Plus population and yearly number of births over time for Spain. (Nerd Warning! This is a fine point that matters to me, but might not to you; If this question you find dull, go ahead and skip ahead to the Infant Mortality Rate for Spain)

For some of the Spanish data, source documents provide the data in two forms giving us the option of looking at it as the actual number of recorded deaths, or we can look at it as the rate of death per 100,000 living people.

In certain cases the rate per 100,000 gives us a more accurate picture because the population of Spain more than doubled during the 19th century, from 18.6 million in 1900 to 39.4 million in 1999.

Figure 26

Figure 26 is a screenshot from page 36 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA

But in other cases the rate of death per hundred thousand could distort the picture slightly, because while the population of Spain doubled in the 20th century, the number of children did not. The graph below, figure 27, shows us the number of births per year in Spain over the 20th century.

Figure 27

Figure 27 is also a screenshot from page 36 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA

From 1900 through the 1970s between 600,000 and 700,000 children were born in Spain each year (with the exception of the Spanish Civil War [1936-39] and the years immediately after it).

The rate of death per hundred thousand living would slightly distort the picture for diseases that primarily affected children because the growing adult population would dilute the death rate even though the number of children being born each year was holding relatively steady across an 80 year period.

So, for diseases that were primarily associated with child mortality, we will look at the actual number of recorded deaths per year over time.

For diseases that were associated with mortality in adults, as much or more so then children, we will look at the death rate per 100,000 living over time, as this will take into account the doubling of the population.

Infant Mortality Rate for Spain.

Figure 28

In figure 28, I included the historical infant mortality rate for the United States so as to give us a point of comparison for the Spanish infant mortality data (Though the US birth data isn't as old because the United States birth registration area wasn't established till 1915).

We can see that the infant mortality rate was substantially higher in Spain than in the United States in the early and mid 20th century, but also that Spain surpassed the United States and had a notably better/lower infant mortality rate by the end of the 20th century.

The plummet in the 20th century Spanish infant mortality rate is interrupted, and reversed in a major way twice; the first interruption and reversal is concurrent with World War I. I've read that despite Spain's neutrality Spain's population experienced hardship and a subsistence crisis due to World War I.

The second interruption and reversal of the plummet in the infant mortality rate is during the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) and the years of famines and food shortages following it.

(Also note — that spike in the infant mortality rate for Spain in 1975 is probably not reflective of an actual spike in 1975; the source document mentions that one-day-old deaths had previously not been included in the infant mortality data and had instead been grouped with stillbirths, but were included in the infant mortality beginning in 1975)

Major diseases arranged from most to least deadly in Spain for the first five years of the 20th century

To aid in visualizing the comparative deadliness of each major disease in Spain for the early 20th century, I added up the deaths attributed to each disease during the five years 1900 to 1904, (and 1901 to 1905 for dysentery for which 1900 data was unavailable) and lined them up side by side in the graph below.

Figure 29

Here we can see in figure 29 the deadliness of the major infectious diseases relative to one another for the first five years of 20th century in Spain. Deaths attributed to diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, and pneumonia top the list, which are the same three (though in different order) that topped the leading causes of death list for the USA in 1900 (which we reviewed in Part 2: Apostasy). Here, though, we see bronchitis* also at the top, right after diarrheal diseases and before tuberculosis and pneumonia.


*Bronchitis is divided into acute bronchitis which is conventionally considered to have an infectious cause, and chronic bronchitis which is generally not considered to have an infectious cause. So preferably only acute bronchitis would be included here, but the only continuous series of data that I could find for bronchitis mortality in 20th century Spain was for both types of bronchitis combined.

However we can see that in early 20th century Spain, for the years 1912 to 1920 over two thirds of the recorded bronchitis deaths are for acute bronchitis. Having a list for only acute bronchitis would move bronchitis down the list of leading causes of infectious diseases deaths, though it would still be near the top; it would probably come right after pneumonia and before meningitis.


Let's now look at the single worst year for each major infectious diseases in the 20th century (please note; I don't intend to endorse the belief that all these diseases necessarily have infectious origins – I refer to them as infectious diseases simply because that's what they are conventionally considered and categorized as).

Figure 30

The year 1918 dominates the chart with the deaths attributed to the flu of 1918, but it is also the highest 20th century year for the mortality of four other major infectious diseases in Spain.

To get a picture of how mortality from these diseases stacks up relative to one another outside of the anomalous years of 1918 and 1919, let's look at one last comparison; same graph as figure 30 but this time excluding the years 1918 and 1919.

Figure 31

This concludes the overview. After a brief review of some vaccine evangelism in Spain we'll look at death data attributed to each disease so that we can view the trajectories of mortality from each disease individually in Spain. We won't hit every single one; specifically I won't be going over smallpox or polio which as I noted in Part 2: Apostasy each demand separate at length discussion to the point that they could easily hog the whole essay series if I didn't intentionally set them to the side.

2. Vaccine Evangelism in Spain

In the first installment of this essay series (Part 1: The Evangelists) we reviewed numerous examples of Vaccine Evangelists in the English speaking world in which Vaccine Evangelists preached messages that promoted the central misconception of the Doctrine of Salvation Through Vaccination.

Before we look at the mortality profiles of the major infectious diseases in Spain, let's first immerse ourselves in some Spanish Vaccine Evangelism, and compare the impression that we get from these Vaccine Evangelist messages with the historical mortality data that we are about to look at.

Spanish Vaccine Evangelism is hardly any different then English Vaccine Evangelism, save that, of course, Spain is more often used as the case example for Spanish Vaccine Evangelists.

Whooping Cough Mortality and Vaccines in Spain – Exhibits M through P

Here we have a selection of examples in which a specific, iconic disease is being discussed, in this case whooping cough, and in each example the implication is given that vaccines are the primary reason for whooping no longer being a major cause of child mortality in Spain.

The statements that we are about to review are not fabricated lies, they are lies by omission.

In each one of these examples the authors do not inform the reader that more than 98% of the 20th century decline in Spanish whooping cough mortality occurred before whooping cough vaccines were added to the Spanish vaccination schedule in 1965 (as we will see a little later in this essay); they leave you to think that a vaccine was the primary reason for the reduction in whooping cough deaths in Spain.

Exhibit M

"Whooping cough was one of the most common childhood diseases and one of the
most important causes of mortality in children before the introduction of
vaccination programs in 1965."

-That's from the 2009 Situation of Whooping Cough in Spain, by the National Epidemiology Center: Carlos III Health Institute.

Exhibit N

"Pertussis is an acute bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis. It was one of the most common diseases and one of the most important causes of mortality in children before the introduction of vaccination programs. In Spain it has been a notifiable disease since 1904. The vaccine was included in Aragon's children's calendar in 1965."

From a 2023 article Public Health detects an outbreak of whooping cough in Zaragoza with at least 24 cases from the Spanish newspaper paper Heraldo de Aragón.

Exhibit O

"Whooping cough was one of the most common childhood diseases in Spain and one of the most important causes of mortality until the introduction of systematic vaccination in 1965 against Bordetella pertussis, the bacterium that causes the infection."

Whooping Cough is not Child's Play article in – a 2014 article in El Mundo – a large newspaper in Spain.

Exhibit P

"In Spain, following the introduction of the whooping cough vaccine in 1965, mortality was reduced until the decade of the 90s, deaths from whooping cough were barely reported; going from approximately 130 deaths annually before the introduction of vaccination to 4 deaths annually in recent seasons."

That's from the 2020 – Study of Seroprevalence in Spain, page 110, by the Spanish government's Ministry of Health.

Child Mortality in Spain + a Lifespan Lecture – Exhibits Q through T.

Here we have three examples which give the reader the idea that vaccines are the main reason for infectious disease no longer being the main cause of infant mortality in Spain and developed countries in general (exhibits Q, R and S respectively), followed by a Lifespan Lecture in which vaccines are credited for nearly forty years of increased longevity (exhibit T).

Exhibit Q

"Before the introduction of vaccination schedules in Spain, infectious diseases were
the main cause of infant mortality (Table 1) and epidemics were frequent."

That's from Important Reasons to Vaccinate Children which is the title of a four page vaccine promotional by the Spanish government's health ministry.

They back up this assertion with two infographics; a polio notification of incident graph and a table that shows you the number of deaths for one year for selected diseases during a time before vaccination for that disease in Spain, and then they show you the number of deaths for each disease in 2008. Evidently we are supposed to assume that the difference is attributable to the vaccines, and that vaccines are the reason for infectious disease no longer being the main cause of infant mortality.

Exhibit R

"Before the introduction of vaccination schedules in Spain, infectious diseases were the main cause of infant mortality and epidemics were frequent."

That excerpt is from a 2015 Europress article concerning HPV vaccine coverage in Spain with a section on vaccines in general. This was also reported by Redacción Médica, and there they list the Spanish government body, the Council of Ministers as the source.

The only attempt they make in this article to defend their implication that vaccines are to thank for infectious diseases no longer being the main cause of infant mortality is this paragraph which immediately follows the excerpt above:

"As an example, the year of maximum incidence of pertussis occurred in 1985 with 60,564 cases, in 2010 cases dropped 722; diphtheria cases had their highest incidence in 1940 with 27,517 cases registered; in 1983 there were more than 301,319 cases of measles and more than 161,772 cases of rubella, in 2010 there were 274 cases of measles, while only 10 cases of rubella were counted."

How does that prove their point? The pertussis example is especially counterproductive to the point that they are trying to make; the year of maximum incidence they give as 1985. 1985 is 20 years after widespread pertussis vaccination in Spain.

Exhibit S

"Prior to the introduction of vaccination schedules in developed countries, infectious diseases were the leading cause of infant mortality (tetanus, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, measles). rubella, parotitis) and epidemics were frequent."

That's from the 2018 article Reasons to Vaccinate Children, written by a pediatrician, for the Spanish magazine Guía Infantil.

Exhibit T

"The reality is that people can afford to be anti-vaccine because vaccines have been very successful. A century ago, life expectancy in Europe was 47 years. People died of diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox and cholera."

"Anti-vaccinationists exist because, thanks to vaccines, they have never seen these diseases. Our life expectancy is 85 years and they take it for granted, but if we live 40 more years it is because we have conquered these microorganisms."

"This is one of the greatest conquests that human beings have ever made. We are the luckiest generation ever on this planet, the first in three million years to have the luxury of living 85 years. We have failed to communicate and educate about this conquest. Young people should be aware that these microorganisms are not gone, save for small smallpox, and if we stop vaccinating they will return. We can go back and live again for 47 years."

These excerpts in Exhibit T are from a 2017 article Opponents of vaccines have forgotten that before vaccines we lived 47 years which is the title of an interview with Rino Rappuoli, published in the Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial.

This is of course yet another example of the Vaccine Evangelists' Lifespan Lectures, such as those we reviewed in the first essay installment of this series (Exhibits I through L).

Rino Rappuoli is a prominent vaccine developer. Here are just the first two paragraphs of his biography on the Royal Society to give you an idea of his accomplished career developing vaccines:

"Rino Rappuoli is Chief Scientist and Head External R&D, GSK Vaccines. A PhD in Biological Sciences he has served as visiting scientist at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. His past roles comprise Head R&D, Sclavo, Head Vaccine Research and CSO, Chiron Corporation, and Global Head R&D, Novartis Vaccines.

Major achievements include development of CRM197 used in H.influenzae, N.meningitidis, and pneumococcus vaccines; an acellular pertussis vaccine containing a genetically detoxified pertussis toxin; the first conjugate vaccines against meningococcus; MF59 adjuvant for influenza; the meningococcus B genome-derived vaccine."

3. Graphical profile of 20th century mortality in Spain for individual diseases, and their respective vaccines or lack thereof

Let's now view the trajectories of mortality from each major and iconic infectious disease in Spain beginning with the deadliest.

The leading cause of death in the infectious disease category in early 20th century Spain was diarrhea and enteritis (enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine; can have multiple causes but is commonly attributed to pathogens) so we'll start our review there.

Diarrhea and Enteritis

Figure 32

Figure 32 is a screenshot from page 108 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA

Here we are looking at the single biggest category of infectious disease death for 20th century Spain and there are no vaccines to speak of for it during this time.

According to the authors of Analysis of Health in Spain Across the 20th Century, of the 75,000 diarrheal deaths in Spain in the year 1900, 40,000 of those deaths were in children under the age of two.

Notice how the mortality profile of this disease category is very similar to the overall profile for infant mortality in Spain (Figure 28).


The chart below is the pulmonary and non pulmonary tuberculosis deaths expressed as a rate per hundred thousand, and the BCG vaccine (the vaccine for tuberculosis) doses per year in millions, using the tables from ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX.

Figure 33

The data for this graph you can find on pages 226, 227, 237, and 238 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX.

We can see the plummet in tuberculosis mortality is reversed during the years leading up to and after World War I, which is similar to what we saw in the infant mortality graph (Figure 28), and the trend is reversed again during and after the Spanish Civil War, which is also similar to what we saw in the infant mortality graph. Interesting as here in the tuberculosis death rate we are primarily looking at mortality in adults.

The author's of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX attribute the near sheer drop in pulmonary tuberculosis deaths beginning in 1950 to several drugs developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I wouldn't buy that explanation without first applying careful scrutiny to the claim, but I'm also not willing to part with the potentially considerable amount of time and energy that might be necessary to evaluate that claim, so I'll leave it be for the time being.

What we can definitively see from this graph is what did not cause the dramatic 20th century decline in pulmonary and non pulmonary tuberculosis deaths in Spain; vaccines did not cause the decline; vaccines can logically be ruled out.

The recorded vaccinations before 1965 amount to very little coverage for a nation the size of Spain and most of the decline in pulmonary and non pulmonary tuberculosis deaths occurs before BCG vaccines are administered in great numbers in the late 1960s. Spain abandoned routine immunization of infants with BCG vaccines in the 70s and 80s.

Notes for Figure 33

1. Whether tuberculosis or pneumonia should have come second in our review is really a toss-up because while more deaths were being attributed to tuberculosis than to pneumonia during the first five years of the 20th century in Spain as we saw in figure 29, we could also see that the worst years for pneumonia surpassed the worst years for tuberculosis (as seen in figures 30 and 31). I went ahead and ranked tuberculosis second based on it's slightly greater prominence over pneumonia as a cause death in early 20th century Spain.

Bronchitis for the reasons given earlier should really probably come fourth, after tuberculosis and pneumonia but before meningitis.

2. Pulmonary and non pulmonary tuberculosis was associated with mortality in both adults and children but more so in adults than in children. You can see the age distribution of tuberculosis deaths by going to the older statistical yearbooks of Spain where they have the number of deaths broken down by cause of death and age of the deceased; here is a PDF of the oldest relevant one I could find on – 1905, and here is a PDF for the next year 1906.

As we discussed in the first section of this essay installment, the overall population for Spain doubled in the 20th century, even though the yearly number of live births remained remarkably steady until after the 1970s. So for diseases such as tuberculosis that are associated with deaths in adults as much or more so than children, we will get a more accurate picture by looking at the death rate per 100,000 rather than the raw unadjusted number.


By consulting the same early 20th century records for Spain showing the breakdown of deaths by age group (1905 Here, 1906 Here) we can see that pneumonia deaths were recorded most heavily at both ends of the age spectrum in the over 60 and under 5 categories. So to get a clear idea of the mortality trend across the 20th century we will want to again look at the death rate per hundred thousand living, so as to account for the doubling of Spain's population during this time.

Figure 34

The data table I used for this graph can be found on page 295 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX.

The source document makes no claims about vaccines causing this drastic decline in pneumonia deaths. They do claim antibiotics were responsible for this decline. Why we should attribute the decline to antibiotics rather than to the end of wartime and postwar conditions they of course do not explain.

I can neither find anyone claiming that this steep drop in pneumonia deaths in Spain was due to vaccines, nor can I find evidence of relevant vaccines being administered widely in Spain during this time.* We can add this to the list of major infectious disease causes of mortality in 20th century Spain for which the steep mortality decline cannot be attributed to vaccines.

* It looks like conjugate pneumococcal vaccines came into widespread use for adults and children in Spain in the 2000s. The Hib vaccine was authorized in Spain in 1994 and introduced to the vaccination schedule in Spain in 1998.


Figure 35

Figure 35 is a screenshot from page 262 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA

We can see that Spanish bronchitis mortality plummeted in the first half of the 20th century. I can find neither evidence of relevant vaccines being widely used during this time period, nor can I find claims that vaccines played a role in this decline. This is yet another major plummet in infectious disease mortality for which vaccines are out of the picture to the point that even the vaccinationists aren't trying to give credit for this decline here to vaccines.

Notes for Figure 35

1. As mentioned earlier in this essay – bronchitis is divided into acute bronchitis which is conventionally considered to have an infectious cause, and chronic bronchitis which is generally not considered to have an infectious cause. So preferably only acute bronchitis would be included here, but the only continuous series of data that I could find for bronchitis mortality in 20th century Spain was for both types of bronchitis combined.

However we can see that in early 20th century Spain, for the years 1912 to 1920 over two thirds of the recorded bronchitis deaths are for acute bronchitis, so this category is primarily comprised of acute bronchitis which is what we want to look at.

2. In the breakdown of bronchitis deaths by age groups (1905 Here, 1906 Here) we can see that the most all of the acute bronchitis deaths were in the infant and under five categories. Chronic bronchitis deaths conversely were mostly in the over 60 category.

As mentioned in the first section of this essay installment, for diseases which primarily affected the very young the actual number of deaths will give us a clearer picture than the death rate per 100,000 (because the yearly number of live births remained remarkably steady in Spain from 1900 to 1980).

So for bronchitis the raw unadjusted number of deaths instead of the rate I judged best since acute bronchitis accounted for over two thirds of the bronchitis deaths in early 20th century Spain and almost all the acute bronchitis deaths where in young children.

3. I think that this Spanish bronchitis data set is good enough to see that bronchitis mortality plummeted mid 20th century, but other than that this bronchitis mortality data is a pretty abysmal data set: according to Analysis of Health in Spain Across the 20th Century (page 261) Spain used to have separate categories for acute and chronic bronchitis, but then they lumped them together after 1931, and then in 1965 they threw asthma and emphysema into this category too.


This inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, the meninges, is most often attributed to viruses and bacteria. By far the largest meningitis category in the Spanish mortality data is simple meningitis, which is the category for meningitis that hasn't been categorized as some more specific form of meningitis (the next biggest meningitis category in the Spanish data is tubercular meningitis, which I can't provide a graph of because I cannot find the tubercular meningitis mortality data past the first few decades of the 20th century).

Most all the deaths in this category in the early 20th century show up in the infant, 1 to 4, and 5 to 9, year old age groups. So then let's look at the unadjusted actual number of yearly recorded deaths.

Figure 36

Figure 36 is a screenshot from page 290 of ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA

Once again, the relevant vaccines were introduced long after this steep decline in mortality* and so we have yet another major 20th century Spanish mortality decline for which vaccines can be ruled out.

* What are the relevant vaccines? Meningitis is blamed on all kinds of things, but for each of these alleged infectious causes of meningitis the vaccines came late to Spain; Pneumococcal vaccines 2001, Meningococcal vaccines in 1997 (according to ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX page 155), the Hib vaccine was authorized in Spain in 1994 and introduced to the vaccination schedule in Spain in 1998. Here in the US the CDC claims that measles, mumps, chickenpox and influenza can lead to viral meningitis too, but those vaccines also came late to Spain; measles and influenza in particular we will review momentarily.


Figure 37

Yet another major mortality decline in Spain for which vaccines can be logically ruled out*

* I have not found detailed data for flu vaccines administered in Spain as is available for many of the other vaccines administered in Spain. However all accounts I can find say the introduction of flu vaccines in Spain occurred in the early 1980s: According to this published paper the flu vaccine was introduced in Spain in the early 1980s. This document published by a collaboration of Spanish medical, pediatric, and vaccination associations says the 1980s (page 9) as well. And finally here, in the Ask an expert section of the Asociación Española de Vacunología the question is asked as to when exactly the first flu vaccine campaigns occurred in Spain and the author of the well documented answer couldn't offer an exact date other than the early 1980s, noting further that more extensive flu vaccine campaigns occurred later in the decade (implying by this I presume, that the campaigns in the early 1980s weren't all that extensive).


Figure 38

Yet another disease for which it could hardly be any clearer that vaccines were not responsible for the drastic mortality decline in Spain; they could not have been the primary reason, nor one of the primary reasons.

1901 was the worst 20th century year for measles mortality in Spain with 18,463 recorded deaths. By the mid 1970s Spain was averaging 43 deaths per year. That works out to a 429 fold reduction in measles deaths in Spain before the introduction of the measles vaccine.

Or we could state it as a 99.767 % reduction in 20th century Spanish measles mortality before the vaccine.

Notes for Figure 38:

1. Measles deaths occurred overwhelmingly in the very young (1905 Here, 1906 Here) so Figure 38 is in actual number of deaths not a death rate for the reasons discussed in the first section of this essay.

2. The vaccines in hundreds of thousands of doses shown on the chart takes into account both measles vaccine by itself and the measles vaccine doses as part of the combination MMR vaccine (page 238 of this document).

3. I used the statistical yearbooks of Spain as my source document for deaths up till 1979, which is the last year for which I could get that data through the yearbooks, and then I used ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX for measles deaths from 1980 to 1990 (the table on page 190). But I did find a couple discrepancies in the later document including that it records 81 measles deaths in Spain for 1981 which I suspected was a mistake. I couldn't verify it through the statistical yearbooks as they don't offer detailed cause of death after 1979, but I was able to find Spanish measles mortality for the 1980s in papers such as this one which confirmed my suspicion that 81 deaths in 1981 was a typo, it's actually 19 recorded measles deaths in 1981, which is what I used in Figure 38.

Typhoid Fever

Figure 39

Typhoid fever was the eighth deadliest of the infectious diseases we saw in our comparisons earlier in this essay of 20th century infectious diseases in Spain (Figures 29, 30, and 31).

This illness is said to be caused by types of salmonella bacteria; sustained fever, and stomach pain are listed as symptoms. Typhoid fever is associated with poor sanitary conditions/contaminated water.

This is the first disease we've reviewed for Spain in which the relevant vaccines are introduced early enough that the vaccine could have hypothetically played a significant role in the mortality decline.

That doesn't mean that typhoid fever vaccines did contribute significantly or at all to the typhoid fever mortality decline; it just means that we cannot so easily and definitively rule them out as we can for other diseases where the vaccines clearly come on the scene well after almost all the mortality decline.

To their credit the vaccinationists themselves generally do not hype typhoid fever vaccines with grandiose claims of their miraculous properties as they do for the other vaccines. The vaccinationists even generally recognize water quality as a substantially more important preventative factor for typhoid fever than vaccines.

Despite the graphical evidence for typhoid fever in Spain being logically much less clear cut than for the other diseases, it does nonetheless contain three pieces of information that are modestly unfavorable to the vaccine:

Firstly, we note that the single greatest decline in typhoid fever mortality for 20th century Spain occurred in the first decade of the century, before the vaccine was introduced.

Secondly, we see that typhoid fever mortality went up after the introduction of the vaccine. This reversal of the decline in typhoid fever mortality is not surprising, it is very similar to the reversal of the mortality decline in the other diseases that we have reviewed so far. Evidently the years during and after World War I were harsh years for the Spanish population with conditions conducive to disease.

This is nonetheless moderately unfavorable to the vaccine because typhoid fever for which there was a vaccine during this time experiences a spike in mortality comparable to the many other diseases for which there wasn't a vaccine during this time.

Thirdly, as you can see in Figure 39, the number of vaccines being administered plummets later in the century, without any corresponding spike in mortality. This is not what you would expect if the vaccines were actually a major contributor to the mortality decline.

These three reasons all indicate that typhoid fever vaccines were not a major contributor to the decline in typhoid fever mortality (I doubt that that they contributed to the mortality decline at all, but the graphical evidence presented here of course cannot be used to logically rule out these vaccines entirely; they were present and usedearly on in Spain and so could have hypothetically done something).

Notes for Figure 39

1. Typhoid fever deaths where primarily recorded in adults (For the age breakdown see 1905 Here, 1906 Here ) so for the reasons mentioned in the first section of this essay installment I presented the mortality in the graph using the death rate per hundred thousand data.

2. Typhoid fever vaccines were introduced in Spain in 1913 with vaccine campaigns in Madrid that same year, and campaigns in Vigo the following year 1914 (see this paper, pages 110, and 111). And over here in this doctoral thesis on historical public health and hygiene in Valencia, we can read (on page 112), that the royal public health council in Spain approved and officially recommended typhoid vaccines in Spain in 1913.

3. In the two documents linked to in the above paragraph I can find various information indicating at least somewhat widespread use of typhoid fever vaccines in Spain in the early 20th century, but I can find no hard data for actual numbers of vaccines administered nationally, or coverage rates before 1945. Yearly vaccines administered data for typhoid fever in Spain is available though beginning in 1945 as shown in figure 39 (data source – this document pages 237 and 238)


Figure 40

With diphtheria mortality in 20th century Spain we see the familiar pattern of steep decline in mortality marked by two reversals with major spikes in mortality, corresponding roughly to the First World War (and evidently the years immediately preceding it), and the Spanish Civil War.

It is plain to see from the mortality profile juxtaposed with the vaccination data, that most of the reduction in diphtheria mortality occurred before widespread vaccination against it, and almost all the reduction in diphtheria mortality, over 99%, occurred before Spain achieved high levels of diphtheria vaccination through routine childhood vaccination efforts beginning in 1965.

Notes for Figure 40

1. Most sources that I find list 1945 as the year that diphtheria vaccines were introduced in Spain (see Here on page 88, or Here on Page 4). Though some sources list 1943 as the year of introduction such as on page 115 of the Carlos III document.

It is regularly acknowledged that despite a 1945 law which made diphtheria vaccination obligatory in Spain, diphtheria vaccination coverage remained low or very low until the introduction of routing childhood DTP vaccination in Spain in 1965.

2. The overwhelming majority of diphtheria deaths were recorded in children (For the age breakdown see 1905 Here, 1906 Here ) so for the reasons mentioned in the first section of this essay installment I presented the mortality in the diphtheria graph using the actual number of deaths rather than the death rate per hundred thousand.

(Smallpox – Parenthetical Statement –

– As mentioned earlier in this essay series, smallpox is being left to the side for the time being. Besides the Spanish data we are using for our graphical analysis of 20th century disease mortality in Spain isn't near old enough for juxtaposing smallpox mortality and smallpox vaccines as smallpox vaccines are the oldest vaccines and were introduced in Spain in the year 1800 (see page 10 of the PDF linked too/page 86 in the original), which is100 years before national, yearly, cause of death data is available for Spain.

I'm including this parenthetical statement here simply to acknowledge that smallpox was the tenth deadliest disease in 20th century Spain in our comparisons (figures 29, 30, and 31). This is where we would have reviewed smallpox if we had old enough national data for Spain to do so, right after diphtheria which we just reviewed and before whooping cough which we are about to review.)

Whooping Cough

Figure 41

Spain added whooping cough vaccines to the infant immunization schedule in 1965 (page 21). That very same year, 1965, Spain administered nearly a million and a half whooping cough vaccines (See page 238 of this Carlos III document for vaccination data).

Impressively high vaccination rates right from the beginning of the program notwithstanding, it is clear that whooping cough vaccines were not, and could not have been the primary reason, nor one of the primary reasons, for the plummet in 20th century Spanish whooping cough mortality, almost all of which occurred before the introduction of routine infant whooping cough vaccination in Spain.

Note for Figure 41

1. The overwhelming majority of whooping cough deaths were recorded in children (For the age breakdown see 1905 Here, 1906 Here ) so for the reasons mentioned in the first section of this essay installment I presented the mortality in the whooping cough graph using the actual number of deaths rather than the death rate per hundred thousand.

Dysentery, Puerperal Sepsis, Typhus, and so Forth.

We've moved a long way down our list of deadliest infectious diseases in 20th century Spain (Figures 28, 29 and 30), with each disease accounting for smaller and smaller fractions of the total infectious diseases mortality. At this point it is quite clear that vaccines were not and could not have been the primary reason, nor one of the primary reasons, for the drastic decline in infectious disease mortality in 20th century Spain. If you wish to work your way further down the list then don't let the end of my graphical analysis of these diseases be the end of yours! The fabulously handy document ANÁLISIS DE LA SANIDAD EN ESPAÑA A LO LARGO DEL SIGLO XX contains graphs and tables for:

Dysentery – Pages – 119 to 191

Puerperal Sepsis – Pages – 193 to 195

Typhus – Pages – 209 to 211

Tetanus – Pages – 205 to 208

Polio – Pages – 177 to 180

And much more! The only one of these diseases with a mortality profile for 20th century Spain that when juxtaposed with the vaccine data is highly favorable to the vaccine (if the data is taken at face value) is polio.

While scarlet fever mortality was not all that high for 20th century Spain compared to the other diseases reviewed (14th on our list after, dysentery and puerperal sepsis, but before typhus, and tetanus, and still significantly higher than polio), I do want to provide a graphical review of scarlet fever for comparison with the other countries; we have previously reviewed scarlet fever mortality for the USA, England and Wales, and Australia, so we'll briefly look at its mortality profile in Spain too.

Scarlet Fever

Figure 42

Generally Spanish vaccine information websites (government run or otherwise) make no mention of scarlet fever vaccines, or simply state that there is no scarlet fever vaccine. The most I've found on this is some information on pages 248 and 249 of the 1946 February 15th publication of Revista Clínica Española (download link here), there they review various attempts at scarlet fever vaccinations in other countries, and conclude with an acknowledgment that widespread scarlet fever vaccination was currently not feasible in Spain.

So in Spain, as much as in the English speaking countries, scarlet fever is yet another infectious disease with a steep mortality decline that cannot be attributed to vaccines.

Note for Figure 41

1. The majority of scarlet fever deaths were recorded in children (For the age breakdown see 1905 Here, 1906 Here ) so for the reasons mentioned in the first section of this essay installment I presented the mortality in the scarlet fever graph using the actual number of deaths rather than the death rate per hundred thousand.

Up next: Part 5The Platitude of Vaccines and Water

The platitude of vaccines and water is yet another grandiose and popular form of vaccine evangelism in which vaccines are claimed to be second only to clean water in terms of lives saved.

Only clean water has saved more lives than vaccines.

We'll look at some examples of this very popular genre of vaccine evangelism. We'll drill down to see what basis if any there is to this claim. Then, to put the platitude of vaccines and water into perspective, we will consider some of the factors that are probable candidates for having historically played a major role in the drastic reduction in infectious disease mortality.

Jordan Henderson lives in Washington State in the Northwest of the United States. He works in oil paints, and charcoals. A portfolio of his works can be viewed at either of his websites: Original PaintingsFine Art Prints

Winter Oak
6 Sep 2023 | 9:52 am

6. The Acorn – 86

Number 86

In this issue:

  1. BRICS: same old same old
  2. China: a SAFE bet for global finance
  3. The Good in Our Hearts
  4. Ivan Aguéli: an organic radical inspiration
  5. Acorninfo

1. BRICS: same old same old

The stark reality behind the apparently refreshing rise of the BRICS nations against US/European imperialism is becoming increasingly apparent.

The historical and contemporary evidence presented on this site in July does not seem to have been enough to curb enthusiasm for a rebranded, modern, enlightened, multi-polar version of the new world order amongst the entirety of our broader readership.

So we would direct these hopeful individuals to the BRICS declaration signed by member states after the recent summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a bracing shower of geopolitical cold water.

To give a flavour of the thing, the term "sustainable development" features no fewer than 21 times in the document and "inclusive" 17 times!

The new kids on the BRICS bloc commit to "upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as its indispensable cornerstone" and thus pledge their allegiance to the established global criminocracy.

They double down on this by adding: "We reiterate our commitment to enhancing and improving global governance".

So that's very clear – more top-down global control – and they even go on to declare that this should be carried out in the "agile" way specifically recommended by Klaus Schwab of the WEF in his 2018 book Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A Guide to Building a Better World.

The BRICS declaration echoes the global industrial mafia's insistence that human rights include something called "the right to development", and that such "rights" should be implemented "on the level of global governance".

They're not hiding their world-state agenda!

The "build back better" theme finds its way into the declaration, even if that exact phrase is avoided, presumably so as not to alarm all the BRICS fanboys and fangirls.

They say: "We call on the international community to support countries in working together towards post-pandemic economic recovery.

"We emphasise the importance of contributing to post-conflict countries' reconstruction and development and call upon the international community to assist countries in meeting their development goals".

And later they add: "We will look to identify solutions for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

Not just implementing, but accelerating, and the same term crops up in a section on industrialism – unsurprisingly perhaps since this is, in truth, exactly the same thing as "sustainable development".

The BRICS gang declare: "We commit to strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation to intensify the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) and create new opportunities for accelerating industrial development…

"We reiterate our commitment to continue discussion on the establishment of BCIC in cooperation with UNIDO to jointly support the development of Industry 4.0 skills development among the BRICS countries and to promote partnerships and increased productivity in the New Industrial Revolution".

So the "New Industrial Revolution" is another term for the Fourth Industrial Revolution – again, very much the Klaus Schwab agenda in evidence here.

The "development" path along which the BRICS nations are being led is a well-trod one.

First, expensive industrial projects have to be defined as a good thing, so to this effect the declaration says: "We recognise that infrastructure investments support human, social, environmental, and economic development.

"We note that the demand for infrastructure is growing, with a greater need for scale, innovation and sustainability".

Then, in order to pay for this supposedly essential infrastructure, they are encouraged to open the doors to foreign financial parasites and take out huge loans from the global banksters behind the whole racket.

They phrase it a bit differently of course: "We further recognise that leveraging governments' limited resources to catalyse private capital, expertise and efficiency will be paramount in closing the infrastructure investment gap in BRICS countries".

The interests driving the BRICS agenda are all too obvious with the statement that "we oppose trade barriers including those under the pretext of tackling climate change".

Again and again, the Great Reset programme crops up in the declaration issued by this supposedly brand-new and independent alliance of nations.

"We commit to intensify our efforts towards improving our collective capacity for global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, and strengthening our ability to fight back any such pandemics in the future collectively.

"In this regard, we consider it important to continue our support to the BRICS Virtual Vaccine Research and Development Center.

"We look forward to the holding of the High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response on 20th September 2023 at the United Nations General Assembly and we call for an outcome that will mobilise political will and continued leadership on this matter".

"Leadership" by whom?

Finally, we have to mention a rather strange line in the declaration linking Covid to the threat of "terrorism", stressing "the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment".

The document adds: "We welcome the activities of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group and its five Subgroups based upon the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan. We look forward to further deepening counter-terrorism cooperation".

Now, come on, all you BRICS-buddies! This is quite clearly the same old system that has been running the show for a very long time now!

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2. China: a SAFE bet for global finance

An important report was published in August by our friends at Corporate Watch UK, exposing the hypocrisy of the global financial giants who preach about "saving the planet" while continuing to profit from its destruction. One of those featured is Vanguard, which is described, alongside its Rothschildian stablemate BlackRock, as being "one of the world's top investors in the coal industry – with over $100bn (£79.3bn) invested in the sector". Here, to underline the points we have been making about BRICS, we reproduce the very enlightening section on China's Safe Investment Company.

SAFE Investment Company Ltd. is one of China's sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). It is the Hong Kong subsidiary of China's foreign exchange regulator, the catchily-named State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Its ultimate parent is the country's central bank, the People's Bank of China.

Established in 1997, last year SAFE controlled nearly $1tn in assets, coming in just behind the China Investment Corporation (CIC), one of the world's largest SWFs. China's multiple SWFs were set up in the late nineties and early noughties as the government sought to increase engagement with international markets. Seeing an opportunity, SAFE began buying into major global firms during the 2007-8 financial crisis. Among the companies it began investing in at this time was BP; by 2008 it had upped its share in the company to a potential $2bn (£1.6bn).

Its shares in Shell and BP represent the company's most valuable holdings, currently amounting to around £1.8bn and £1.2bn respectively. Besides these British oil giants, UK companies feature prominently among SAFE's top public investments. These include pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca and GSK, and mining behemoths Anglo American and Rio Tinto. It invests in Yara, among the world's largest producer of fertiliser (see Corporate Watch's profile on Yara and its role in climate chaos here). These holdings are followed by a host of major Western brands, from Tesco and Lloyds Bank, to Burberry, Next, Whitbread and Compass Group.

It owns 0.47% of the UK's National Grid – a holding currently worth £198m – and even has a stake in the London Stock Exchange.

SAFE's largest shareholdings betray a particular interest in North Sea oil and gas, China being the world's biggest importer of oil. It holds millions worth of shares in Subsea 7, an engineering firm servicing the offshore petrochemicals industry, notably North Sea oil. Subsea 7 is in turn is being awarded contracts by Norway's state oil firm Equinor – which SAFE also has a stake in.

Despite having such a broad array of investments in global companies, like other sovereign wealth funds there is remarkably little publicly available information on SAFE. It does not publish information, at least in English, on any environmental standards.

UK location: unclear if any.

Governor of the People's Bank of China: Yi Gang

The management structure of SAFE Investment Co Ltd is not transparent. However, we know that the State Administration of Foreign Exchange is led by Pan Gongsheng, currently also Deputy Governor of its parent, the People's Bank of China (PBoC). He answers to former SAFE administrator, and current head of the PBoC, Yi Gang.

Yi Gang gained a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Illinois and later taught at Indiana University, Indianapolis, which he has referred to as his "second home". Following his leadership at SAFE, he worked at the PBoC until he was appointed to the role of PBoC governor – the top management position – in 2018. He has just been re-appointed to the post for a second five-year term despite expectations to the contrary. Following an economic slowdown in China owing to strict COVID-19 lockdown measures, a weakening real estate market, and inflation hitting demand for Chinese goods abroad, this decision has been read as a bid by the Chinese state to maintain the appearance of stability.

But even a man described as "the most prominent Chinese figure in global finance", is to some extent just a figurehead. He reportedly has no role in developing state monetary policy, as is the case in many other countries. Instead he implements the decisions of a "policymaking body whose membership is a secret".

And as we can expect, any details on his interests, personal life, family connections and property remain well-hidden from public view.

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3. The Good in Our Hearts

by Paul Cudenec

Although evil rules the world from above, good survives below in decent, ordinary people like you, in the hearts of the victims of deceit even when their heads have been fully captured.

And the good that beats within you, that flows in the blood of everything alive, in the sap of the trees and the waters of the rivers, the good of nature and reality and existence, is the force that will defeat evil.

But in order to do so, it must fight the avatars of evil with avatars of good; men and women who are prepared to do the opposite to what the tyrants do.

Instead of placing self-interest at the centre of our lives, we must cast it aside in the name of principle, nature, truth, beauty and freedom for all.

We must give ourselves to good, channel good, become good to the extent that our limited human form allows.

And we must live for nothing else!

This is a speech from near the end of a short one-act play that I have just penned and which is available as a free pdf, as well as being for sale as a modestly-priced booklet via the usual commercial outlets.

Without giving too much away, The Good in Our Hearts takes place in a park in central London.

George thinks that he is alone when he complains out loud about the state of contemporary society, but he has been overheard by Jim, from underneath a nearby bench, who offers some pithy commentary.

Their conversation in turn attracts the critical interest of Denise, who is then herself confronted by an angry Trevora.

Finally, a green-robed mystic, Ashok, emerges from inside a tree to explain to the other four what has gone wrong with the modern world and what is required to put things right.

It was written with the idea of it one day being physically staged, so if anyone would like to do so, please do get in touch!

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4. Ivan Aguéli: an organic radical inspiration

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

Ivan Aguéli NEW

"It is a beautiful phenomenon, anarchism. It is for certain the most beautiful in our filthy time"

Ivan Aguéli (1869-1917), also known as Abdul-Hâdi, was a Sufi anarchist and post-impressionist artist who moved from Stockholm to Paris in the 1890s.

He has been identified as being in the same ideological current as organic radical thinkers Leo Tolstoy and Paul Cudenec (1) and played a crucial part in launching the whole perennialist/Traditionalist movement associated with René Guénon.

Writes Mark Sedgwick: "His personal impact on Guénon was major, as it was at his hands that Guénon converted to Islam and became Abd al-Wahid". (2)

Aguéli's articles and translations featured in Guénon's reviews La Gnose (1911-1912) and Le Voile d'Isis, later known as Etudes traditionnelles (1933-1946) and thus helped shape the movement's evolution.

Ivan Aguéli Gnose

Indeed, leading French Traditionalist and Sufi Michel Vâlsan (1911–74) noted in 1953 that the whole Traditionalist movement was in some ways the fulfillment of Aguéli's original vision. (3)

So what was this vision? To start with, Aguéli was, of course an anarchist. He wrote in 1893: "It is a beautiful phenomenon, anarchism. It is for certain the most beautiful in our filthy time. Imagine a sunrise and a sunset at the same time". (4)

By this time he had already visited the Anarchist Club in London and reportedly met Peter Kropotkin. (5)

His association with anarchists in Paris – he shared accommodation with Charles Chatel (1868–97), the editor of the periodical L'En Dehors and then of the Revue Anarchiste – led to him being arrested and held in prison in 1894 before being narrowly acquitted of wrongdoing in a jury trial. (6)

Robin Waterfield describes how he used his time behind bars to "study Hebrew and Arabic besides reading such writers as Fabre d'Olivet, Dionysius the Areopagite, Villiers, L'Isle Adam and, not surprisingly, his compatriot Swedenborg". (7)

Along with his lover Marie Huot, described by Sedgwick as "an anarchist, a vegetarian and an animal rights activist", (8) Aguéli achieved some kind of notoriety in the French capital and in 1900 shot and wounded a matador in a protest against the proposed introduction of Spanish-style bullfighting to France. (9)

In the French capital, Aguéli became known for his extravagant behavior. "Quick tempered and given to making lengthy speeches on unpopular subjects such as the excellences of anarchism, he frequently wore a turban or Arab dress", (10) says Sedgwick.

Ivan Agueli book cover

While living in Cairo, he was in contact with members of the "vibrant" (11) Egyptian anarchist movement.

Meir Hatina describes how his outlook embraced individual freedom, equality for all without discrimination, public education, social justice, empathy for the weak and political defiance of state structures of oppression.

"In his perception, a moral society based on mutual aid and mass education was a sine qua non in an age where the universal moral compass became indifferent and fatalist. In line with anarchist thinking, Aguéli also ruled out militarism and wars, and preached universal brotherhood". (12)

Aguéli was strongly opposed to imperialism: its centralization of power and exploitation represented the exact opposite of his anarchist ideals.

In Cairo he worked with Enrico Insabato (who later turned out be an agent of the Italian state sent to infiltrate the anarchist movement!) on an "unusual, half-political, half-theological periodical" (13) in Italian, Arabic and sometimes Turkish, called Il Convito and/or Al-Nadi.

This review, says Paul-André Claudel, "developed a very critical opinion of Western exploitation", (14) mainly singling out France and Britain, but also Germany, Austria, Russia and Spain (though not Italy!).

When the global empire of "development" destroys human community in the name of "progress", it simultaneously brands all those who oppose such destruction as "reactionary" obstacles to the inclusive and sustainable modernity which it is generously spreading across the world.

Ivan Aguéli tombs

But the radical Aguéli "was deeply involved in the struggle for Arab cultures to retain their uniqueness in their encounter with the modern European ideas that were quickly gaining entry with colonialism", (15) as Viveca Wessel explains.

Moreover, he and his comrades saw with complete clarity the way that so-called "progress" was used as a propaganda device to justify the worldwide expansion of private wealth and power at the expense of people everywhere.

They declared in Il Convito: "We are against the Europeanization of Muslim countries: the system has given bad results and we consider so-called 'progress' as a huge fraud that we must unmask. It is nothing but stupid and useless vandalism: it means the destruction of harmonies and of sentimental and architectural orders that we want to preserve at all costs". (16)

The aim here was "to encourage a return to a more traditional Islamic identity, which was considered under threat by the West," writes Claudel, (17) invoking "a form of ideological traditionalism, far from any 'modern' and 'liberal" model'." (18)

Ivan Aguéli Il Convito

The universalism that attracted Aguéli to Islam also led him to place his adopted religion within a broader context – a central theme of the perennialist/Traditionalist outlook which he helped create,

He wrote in 1911: "Islam has many points of comparison and contact with most other systems of belief or of social organization. It is neither a mixed nor a new religion.

"The Prophet expressly states that he has invented nothing whatsoever as far as dogma or religious law is concerned. He has only restored the ancient and primeval faith.

"That is why there are so many similarities between Taoism and Islam. This assertion is not mine, but one that has been made by famous Muslim and Chinese authors". (19)

In defending Islam from Western hostility in 1904, Aguéli deployed the term "Islamophobia" – possibly inventing the word. (20)

But at the same time he defended Sufism from modern reformers within Islam who, says Sedgwick, "tended to dismiss it as superstitious and obscurantist". (21)

Seyyed Hossein Nasr later depicted Sufism as the "heart of Islam" (22) and for Aguéli the heart was the centre of "universal intelligence". (23)


This belief in the belonging of the individual to a universal entity has led to some misunderstanding about the compatibility of Islam and anarchism.

Aguéli wrote: "The word Islam is an infinitive of the causative verb aslama, to give, deliver, hand over. There is an ellipsis: li-llahi (to God) is understood; al-Islamu li-llahi therefore means: to hand oneself over to Allah, that is to say, to obediently and consciously follow one's destiny". (24)

At first glance, there seems to be a clash here between the anarchist belief in individual freedom and the Islamic imperative to hand oneself over to Allah.

But when one grasps that Aguéli equates Allah with the individual's own destiny, the apparent contradiction evaporates.

"Everyone carries his destiny within himself", (25) he stresses. "The order consists of following one's destiny obediently and consciously, which means to live, to live one's entire life, which is that of all lives, that is to say, to live the lives of all beings…

"The more the life of self identifies with the life of non-self, the more intense living becomes. The fusion of self into non-self takes place through the more or less ritual, conscious, or voluntary gift.

"It is easy to understand that the art of giving is the principal arcanum of the Great Work. The secret of this art consists in absolute disinterestedness, in the perfect purity of the spirit in the act, i.e., of the intention; in the complete absence of all hope of return, of any sort of recompense, even in the world to come". (26)


Far from being at odds with his anarchism, this statement reflects the anarchist conviction that true individuality lies in finding the strength to surpass mere individualism for greater ends.

The "giving" of which Aguéli writes is nothing other than the selflessness, the desire to give one's life to "the cause", which gave a quasi-religious feel to historical anarchism, even when its adherents were avowed atheists.

It is a question of rising up from the low ego-bound condition of need and fear encouraged by the modern system and boldly accessing a spiritual potential which that same system assures us does not exist.

"The identity of self and non-self is the Great Truth, just as the realization of this identity is the Great Work", (27) writes Aguéli.

He explains that there are two types of reality: "The first is reality as it appears to ordinary people, meaning people in possession of their five senses and their combinations according to the laws of mathematics and elementary logic. The second reality is an awareness of eternity. In the tangible world, the one corresponds to quantity, the other to quality". (28)

Aguéli's role as an artist is as deeply entwined with his Sufism, his anarchism and his Traditionalism as those three aspects of his life are entwined with each other.

Essayists have described how his "aesthetic sensitivity toward nature, landscapes, animals, and of course human beings" and to the contrasting ugliness of modern European "civilization" (29) led him to understand that "what is beautiful relates to what is true, good, and ordered". (30)

There is an obvious parallel here with the anti-industrialist aesthetics of the Pre-Raphaelites in Britain, which is explored here.

William Morris and his fellow artists regarded light in art as a representation of beauty, reality, nature, goodness and purity – qualities which all went hand in hand, according to their holistic philosophy.

This theme was later taken up by Ananda Coomaraswamy, who explained, in his study of the medieval theory of beauty, how the form, beauty, goodness and truth of a thing are seen as deeply connected, almost synonymous. (31)

Art was the product of an inner universal light and the individual artist was the channel through which this light passed and made itself visible to us.

Ivan Agueli Visby

Aguéli, enthusing in 1911 about what he terms "pure art", writes: "I have seen works by Picasso wherein rays of light have crystallized into a mosaic of precious cut stones and enormous diamonds of extraordinary transparency". (32)

In a work of art, "the antithesis of line and color finds its immediate resolution in light", he writes.

"One need only consider a drawing of the old masters: despite the monochrome or the black and white it always gives us the impression of color. Their paintings, though blackened or faded by the passage of time, always appear lit by a sun created by God specifically for each one of them… an impression of luminosity that gives a work of art its life and magic". (33)

Art, for Aguéli, can offer a glimpse of "motionless time" or "the permanent presence of the extra-temporal and undying self" and the best kind "impresses itself directly, without any intermediary, through an internal material sensing of the beating pulse of life itself". (34)

These reflections, which obviously informed his own art, were very much drawn from his study of the Sufi philosophy of light.

Simon Sorgenfrei notes: "Light as metaphor for divine power and illumination has a long standing in Islamic tradition (as it does in many other religious traditions)". (35)

Aguéli ended up being expelled from Egypt in 1916 by the British colonial authorities, who regarded him as a threat to their imperialist activities in the First World War. (36) This hostile move led to his flight to Barcelona, where he died, penniless and under a train, the following year.

There is an Aguéli museum in his home town of Sala in Sweden.


1. Anthony T. Fiscella, 'Kill the Audience: Ivan Aguéli's Universal Utopia of Anarchism and Islam', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi: The Politics, Painting, and Esotericism of Ivan Aguéli, edited by Mark Sedgwick (London: Bloomsbury, 2021), p. 93.
2. Mark Sedgwick, 'The Significance of Ivan Aguéli for the Traditionalist Movement', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 176.
3. Michel Vâlsan, "L'islam et la fonction de René Guénon," Études traditionnelles 305 (January 1953): pp. 44-6, cit. Sedgwick, 'The Significance of Ivan Aguéli for the Traditionalist Movement', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 165.
4. Ivan Aguéli, 'Letter from Paris' (1893), Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 192.
5. Viveca Wessel, 'Ivan Aguéli's Life and Work', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 22.
6. Wessel, p. 24.
7. Robin Waterfield, René Guénon and The Future of the West: The life and writings of a 20th-century metaphysician (Wellingborough: Crucible, 1987), p. 40.
8. Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 60.
9. Sedgwick, Against the Modern World, p. 61.
10. Sedgwick, Against the Modern World, pp. 62-63.
11. Meir Hatina, 'Ivan Aguéli's Humanist Vision: Islam, Sufism, and Universalism', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 146.
12. Ibid.
13. Paul-André Claudel, 'Ivan Aguéli's Second Period in Egypt, 1902-9: The Intellectual Spheres Around Il Convito/Al-Nadi, Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 102.
14. Claudel, pp. 107-08.
15. Viveca Wessel, 'Ivan Aguéli's Life and Work', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 26.
16. Il Convito, no. 19 (1904), cit. Alessandra Marchi, 'Sufi Teachings for Pro-Islamic Politics: Ivan Aguéli and Il Convito', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 120.
17. Claudel, pp. 112-13.
18. Claudel, p. 112.
19. Abdul-Hâdi/Ivan Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam' (1911), Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 230.
20. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'The Enemies of Islam' (1904), Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 205.
21. Mark Sedgwick, 'Ivan Aguéli: Politics, Painting and Esotericism', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 6.
22. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), cit, Hatina, p. 149.
23. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam', p. 225.
24. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam', p. 224.
25. Ibid.
26. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam', p. 226.
27. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam', p. 228.
28. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Universality in Islam', pp. 221-222.
29. Hatina, p. 143.
30. Simon Sorgenfrei, 'Ivan Aguéli's Monotheistic Landscapes: From Perspectival to Solar Logics', Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 58.
31. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, The Transformation of Nature in Art (New York: Dover, 1956).
32. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Pure Art' (1911), Anarchist, Artist, Sufi, p. 219.
33. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Pure Art', p. 213.
34. Hâdi/Aguéli, 'Pure Art', p. 212.
35. Sorgenfrei, p. 63.
36. Sedgwick, 'Ivan Aguéli: Politics, Painting and Esotericism', p. 3.


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5. Acorninfo

The British state privately supported the ruthless military coup against the elected government of Chile in 1973, official papers reveal. And the exchanges unearthed by Declassified UK nicely illustrate the way that the UK does not operate in the interests of its population, as it likes to pretend, but in those of the City of London. Officials felt "most British businessmen" would be "overjoyed" at General Pinochet's coup. Admitting that "our major interest in Chile is copper" – "our"? – they reported that companies such as Rothschild-linked Shell were all "breathing deep sighs of relief" that the threat of democracy and nationalisation had been crushed.

* * *

Dealers in death are currently flocking to London for DSEI, one of the world's biggest arms fairs. A number of protests are being organised against their toxic presence, including a Festival of Resistance from 12 noon on Saturday September 9, at the Eastern Entrance of the ExCeL Centre in London Docklands. Say campaigners at Stop the Arms Fair: "This is where those who profit from war, repression and injustice do business. This is where we can stop them".

* * *

A worldwide rally for freedom, on the theme "I will not comply", is being staged on Saturday September 23, 2023. The UK protest meet-ups include 1pm at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London, and 1pm in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. Meanwhile the BBC has admitted it wrongly claimed "far-right" groups had attended a London protest against the Ulez traffic restriction zone. Exactly why it did so was not made clear.

* * *

"They're fascists. They applaud the crackdown on dissent. They applaud the criminalization of dissent. They want people who offend them cancelled. They want anyone who refuses to conform to their official ideology erased", writes dissident C.J. Hopkins about the totalitarians who rule the world. And he should know – the Berlin-based playwright and satirist has been issued with a "punishment order" by the German state and a choice of 60 days in jail or a fine of 3,600 euros. His "crime"? Two tweets and a book cover that the authorities didn't like.

* * *

"It says here quite clearly that 'the COVID-19 pandemic positively impacted the impact investing industry'. Now, a pandemic alone didn't do anything, it was the government response and I don't believe that it was entirely coincidental. It increased social inequality and, as I said, and you highlighted and you saw first-hand, how it impacted families, pushing them to the brink". This fascinating conversation between Taschi and Kate Mason has now been added to our Impact Slavery page, which we encourage our readers to check out.

* * *

"I don't know that I've seen anything get such positive response from such a diverse group of people. And I think that terrifies the people that I sing about in that song", says Oliver Anthony of his viral rebel song Rich Men North of Richmond. Anarchist singer David Rovics (who has been targeted by fake anti-fascists, as we reported) and rapper Dax have since brought out their own versions of Anthony's inspiring hit. Says the latter in his recording: "That's how they attack us, it starts with the youth, if you lie enough you'll convince anybody the lie is the truth".

* * *

"What we call 'transgenderism' is really a vehicle for totalitarianism and censorship. There are four conditions that have to be put in place for that to happen, and to subvert all our institutions, especially schools, universities, and the corporate world", explains author Stella Morabito in a conversation with Nancy Robertson featured on The 11th Hour blog. She continues: "The four conditions are: 1, consolidating state power under the guise of promoting individualism; 2, sowing chaos into the language; 3, state censorship; and 4, an aggressive campaign of propaganda and agitation".

* * *

"The aims of the elites pushing for the great reset are so far away from normal, decent human values, they know that in order to usher in what they want for us, a slow evolution simply isn't going to cut it. They need a series of shocks and psyops to demoralise and disorient people to get them to the point where they'll be more compliant". Interesting reflections on the crumbling condition of contemporary society in this September 4 piece from our friends at The Stirrer.

* * *

"No national electorate on Earth has ever given their democratic mandate for the UN to create a global governance regime to serve the interests of private capital. But that is precisely what it has done". So writes Iain Davis in an excellent article which we summarised in this thread on X/Twitter.

Acorn quote:

"Pulling himself together on the border-line of destruction, the independent human being may arise, one who will take matters into his own hands and will enjoy true being" Karl Jaspers

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

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Winter Oak
2 Sep 2023 | 9:15 am

7. “Where were all the anarchists during Covid 19?”

This wide-ranging interview was conducted with Paul Cudenec of Winter Oak by two anarchist pro-freedom campaigners, MA and WS, from Brighton, England. Illustration by Ken Avidor.

WS: Please could you introduce yourself and say how you came to be a writer and create the website Winter Oak?

Paul Cudenec: I am a former professional journalist, who slogged away for 25 years on a local newspaper in Sussex, and have also been an active anarchist since the mid 1990s. Ten years ago I took voluntary redundancy to concentrate on my own writing, then moved to rural France. I initially created Winter Oak as a vehicle for publishing my books but over the years the site has increasingly become the focus of my writing activity, in particular my exposures of the global power nexus, which were lent new urgency by the Covid moment.

WS: How would you define 'anarchism'? Is it left wing or right wing or beyond both paradigms?

PC: It is beyond those one-dimensional labels. Anarchists reject authority on the basis that we are naturally capable of running our own lives and communities without top-down control from self-appointed rulers and exploiters. We extend the principle of self-determination down to grassroots level, to individuals. Power should rise up from below, in co-operation and mutual aid, rather than be imposed from above. This is not a message that is generally appreciated by either the political left or political right, which are merely two legs of the same ever-advancing body of control and exploitation.

WS: Why did 99% of the organised anarchist movement worldwide follow the Covid 19 narrative? Why totally no push back and even attacks on those who were questioning the narrative and challenging those in power?

PC: This is a question that much occupied me in 2020! I couldn't understand it at all. After several years of research I have understood the way that anarchism (like other political and cultural movements) has simply been taken over by the system, turned round and pointed in the opposite direction.

WS: You recently wrote a book on the great reset from an anarchist perspective but have in the past suffered much in criticism from elements within the anarchist movement in respect of your opposition to the great reset etc. Why is this?

PC: The criticism is ongoing, in fact. I find it incredible that self-identified "anarchists" could regard it as a bad thing to challenge the imposition, by fraudulent means, of a global corporate dictatorship! The only way this could have come about, in my opinion, is that the movement has been infiltrated and ideologically polluted on a massive scale. Those who have gone along with this merely out of compliance to groupthink cannot really call themselves anarchists. Anarchists should think for themselves, on the basis of their own conscience and not because of social pressure.

WS: What evidence may there be in your mind that certain protest groups like Antifa, BLM and Extinction Rebellion are state operations and in a sense 'storm troopers for the establishment'?

PC: The evidence is not in my mind, but very real! I have researched and written a number of articles exposing their connections to what I have taken to calling the criminocracy – the self-concealing web of foundations, charities, investment funds and national and international
institutions that controls much of our social structure. Although activists in these groups are no doubt genuinely motivated by the advertised principles, these movements are definitely being manipulated for an overall agenda tied closely to transhumanism, impact capitalism and digital public-private global totalitarianism. Not only do these controlled groups replace genuine movements and steer activists into directions favoured by the system, but they are also used to attack genuine dissidents, in a false-flag fashion, deploying the self-righteous fury of woke ideology to impose conformity to corporate-friendly attitudes.

WS: Has the anarchist movement been co-opted if not just by the state but also by cultural marxist ideology and hence become itself authoritarian? Aren't then those anarchists just closet communists or socialists? Particularly in the sphere of contemporary 'identity politics' and climate change'?

PC: I am never quite sure what is meant by "cultural marxism" but I do think that perhaps the initial assault on authentic anarchist thinking came from that direction. By absorbing too many Marxist assumptions and prejudices, such as a rather rigid economic analysis, a dogmatic attachment to industrialism as a means of emancipation, and by often labelling themselves "libertarian communists" rather than as anarchists (for reasons which I have never understood), people in the anarchist movement started becoming less anarchist, less inspirational, more pedantic, flat and boring like the rest of the left. Once this softening-up process has done its work, undermining any real instinctive feeling for anarchism, repelling real anarchists and attracting non-anarchists to this increasingly non-anarchist movement, the ground was ready for the next stage, of corruption by identity politics, by fake-green "climate" activism, by woke cancel culture and all the absurdity, narrow-mindedness and intellectual aggression that goes with it.

WS: What changed that the anarchist movement at the turn of the millennium was anti-globalisation (one thinks of the WTO protests) but now is progressively pro-globalisation (one thinks of those anarchists and leftists etc who staged a counter protest against those challenging peacefully 15 minute cities in Oxford recently)?

PC: Yes, two decades ago, anarchism was at the heart of the anti-globalisation movement that was mobilising tens of thousands of people all over the place against centralised worldwide corporate-financial control. That revolt came to a halt with 9/11, in 2001, and there followed two decades of ideological reorientation. Now "mainstream" anarchist voices condemn opposition to globalisation as "far-right conspiracy theory"! I increasingly suspect the process has been a planned and deliberate ideological dismantling of what was a powerful current of resistance challenging the global mafia's plans.

WS: In many of your books, you discuss religion and spirituality; why do you think historically anarchism is always seen as inherently atheistic and anti any concept of God, divinity, soul or spirit?

PC: I suppose this element in anarchism originally sprung from opposition to organised religion which worked in tandem with secular authorities to keep the people in their place. When this is combined with the influence of "progressive" rationalist thinking, it turns into a dogmatic rejection of anything to do with soul or spirit. What I have tried to show in my writing is that, in fact, the anarchist philosophy is a political manifestation of the understanding of the human role as expressed by all the world's spiritual traditions. Anarchists – authentic ones, anyway! – regard the individual as part of a greater whole, but insist that they must be free to follow their own innate moral compass, safe in the knowledge that this will also be the innate moral compass of the community. The anarchist faith in ethics, in the basic goodness of human beings and the way that we trust them to run their own lives without being policed by authority, stems, in my view, from the understanding that the divine is within all of us if only we would allow it to shine and guide our thoughts and actions.

WS: You appear to be a 'perennialist' in personal outlook as regards belief and faith; do you have any religious practice or particular spiritual path that you follow? How would you distinguish perennialism from the new age movement and ethos?

PC: I have not (yet) found a religious practice or spiritual path that I want to follow, but instead have evolved my own approach. I would say that this is based on my strong sense of belonging to the natural world, and indeed the cosmos as a whole, and also on a sense that the only meaning in my life is to try to do the will of that overall living entity of which I am but one tiny part. I have been inspired by medieval Christianity, Sufism, Hinduism, indigenous American spirituality and in particular by perennialists like René Guénon, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Frithjof Schuon who see a common ur-faith at the centre of the circle of superficially different faiths. I suppose the main difference with New Age thinking is that the traditional source is crucial for perennialists. You can't just make stuff up because it sounds nice. I personally have a problem with the kind of "spirituality" which promotes disengagement from the world and non-resistance to evil. As an antidote, I recommend the work of Sri Aurobindo, an anti-imperialist freedom-fighter whose spirituality embraces the necessity to become strong enough to give oneself, selflessly, to the fight for all that is good and living and beautiful.

WS: Are there any other anarchist groups that were sceptical of the covid narrative and challenged the lockdown and are active in opposition to the great reset etc?

PC: There are people scattered around the place, who are now regrouping. Nevermore Media, in North America, has been an important voice for anarchist "heresy", as has Food Not Bombs founder Keith McHenry, with whom I conducted an interview in 2022. There is also Counterpropaganda in Spain, Resistenze al Nanomondo in Italy, a group of green anarchist comrades in Croatia – pockets of resistance everywhere! In the UK I have been working with Real Left, which includes some anarchists, and The Stirrer has been a rock of anarchist authentity. Others have been in touch to say that they agree with me, but hesitate to go public. I suspect that the pro-Reset "anarchists" will be increasingly ignored as time goes on.

MA: Do you know any anarchists in France who didn't go along with the official covid narrative?

PC: One or two. There are also one or two people who didn't go along with the official narrative who have subsequently realised that they are, in fact, anarchists! But in the main the reaction was the same as on the UK anarchist scene – almost as if it was in some way centrally co-ordinated… There was one local anarchist (or libertarian communist) group here which mobilised against vaccine passports in 2021, while insisting that the "vaccines" were themselves a good thing and that fellow protesters should not challenge the science! I have subsequently found myself back on the same side of the barricades as them (and the rest of the left) over the pension reforms issue, but my faith in where their allegiance ultimately lies has been seriously shaken.

MA: How difficult was it for unvaccinated people in France during the vaccine mandates? How much non-compliance generally do you think there was in France to lockdowns and getting the jab?

PC: Well, we could still go into shops, apart from certain huge hypermarkets that I don't frequent anyway. But you couldn't drink a coffee in a café. I once stopped off in driving snow in the mountains, waited at the bar to be served, unmasked, for ten minutes in a café full of people, only to be told that without the vaccine passport I could only buy a take-away. So I had to down my espresso outside in the snowstorm! A couple of decent restaurants agreed to feed me and a friend, as we travelled across France in the summer of 2021, if we didn't stay too long, while stressing that they could go to prison for doing so! Generally levels of compliance were depressing, but I think that maybe non-compliance was largely hidden from view. People did keep holding family gatherings and so on. I have also heard about fake vaccine records. One encouraging lockdown phenomenon was flash mobs, where people popped up all over the place, outside government buildings and in railway stations, dancing to a beautiful and defiant song by HK et Les Saltimbanks. There were no major pro-freedom protests here until vaccine passports were introduced and then it really took off, to my delight!

MA: Do you think a lot of people in France feel that the terms 'left' and 'right' are meaningless now? Did the Gilets Jaunes and more recently the pension protests bring together different types of people (political, non-political, voters for different parties, non-voters, etc.)?

PC: Yes, it's been going that way, since the Gilets Jaunes achieved the seemingly impossible feat of attracting to their ranks both the "far left" and the "far right", as well as many in between. The broad opposition to vaccine passports, pension reforms and the corrupt Macron regime as a whole, has certainly helped that process along. But the system is doing its best to reinforce the old divide… The radical left opposition in parliament (the rough equivalent of Corbyn's Labour, I suppose) comes under constant attack from the corporate media, accused of being "islamo-leftist", supporting violent rioters and so on. The recent unrest may have pushed many fearful folk temporarily back into the "law and order" camp, unfortunately, prompting the question as to whether or not we are witnessing a 21st century version of the "strategy of tension" deployed by the Italian state four decades ago.

MA: In France and worldwide, what hope do you think there is that the people will unite against the oppressors and do you think many anarchists will come creeping back with their tails between their legs to join that movement, finally seeing through the lies?! How important is it that they do that; do we need them?

PC: If enough of us want, and will, such an uprising to happen, then it is inevitably going to do so. There are plenty of signs that the powers-that-be have noticed this broad revolt beginning, hence their increasingly desperate attempts to smear, censor and silence us. It would be nice to think that certain "anarchists" will have to eat their words and join us on the free side of the barricades, but, no, we don't need them. The great German anarchist Gustav Landauer said that we should never worry about a potential lack of revolutionaries, because when the revolution happens they simply emerge, miraculously, from the population. We have already seen this with the new rebels against the Great Reset. It's about time that anarchism, a beautiful, profound and powerful philosophy, had the followers it deserves!

WS: Is there anything more you would like to add or say?

PC: I would like to say that this is a very important historical period we are living through. The stakes could hardly be higher. If we don't succeed in seeing off this attempted global coup, the future for humanity and our world looks bleak indeed. It is a difficult moment to be living through, but we are also blessed with being present in it, being able to do something to change the course of history. I would urge anyone who is not already doing everything they can (and I am sure many are!) to look deep inside their heart and ask themselves what they personally could contribute to tip the scales away from evil, slavery and destruction and towards good, freedom and life.

WS: Where can one find Winter Oak and find out more about your many books?

PC: The site is at and if you go to the Books section you will find that all my work is available to download free as pdfs, as well as to buy as physical copies. I would also point people towards my parallel project, the Organic Radicals site at, where I trace the diverse threads behind what I would like to become a powerful new philosophy of opposition to the corrupt modern world.

Winter Oak
28 Aug 2023 | 11:37 am

8. For a convergence of the uncorrupted

by Paul Cudenec

It sometimes baffles me how the global ruling class, whose core is tiny, manages to hold 99.9% of humankind under its domination.

The criminocrats use every weapon in the book to achieve this, from propaganda to police violence, from bribery to blackmail, from dishonesty to debt.

But one of their main ways of keeping us under control is to split us up into competing sects and camps so that we spend our lives attacking each other rather than focusing on our real enemies, the people at the top of the global pyramid of power.

The leading lights of political, social and religious organisations have all been corrupted and so large numbers of their followers are also corrupted, albeit indirectly and provisionally.

But many people in these various currents are there out of honest conviction.

Their hearts are pure.

They are the uncorrupted.

Uncorrupted anarchists

Despite the sorry state of the contemporary anarchist movement, about which I have already written far too much, I have been pleased to discover that there are still numerous uncorrupted anarchists around the world. Uncorrupted anarchists, or real anarchists, know that state-corporate control prevents human beings from living the free and happy lives we are meant to lead. They know that mutual aid and solidarity are natural human values which will flourish when the iron fist of authority is removed and when both individuals and communities are able to blossom organically, from below.

Uncorrupted environmentalists

Uncorrupted environmentalists care deeply for the natural world, our belonging to which is the source of their primary values. They have not been misdirected into the corrupted path of calling for industrial solutions to the problems caused by industrialism, but understand that the only hope for the future of humankind and our world lies in bringing an end to the profit-driven "growth" and "development" destroying everything. They often look for inspiration to the non-industrial, traditional ways of living which have been largely wiped out by the criminocracy.

Uncorrupted conservatives

Uncorrupted conservatives want to conserve what is good about society and maintain certain traditional values threatened by a general descent into ignorance and fragmentation. They have noticed that corrupted so-called conservatives are nothing of the kind and that their money-orientated outlook is not just destroying the natural world but also degrading society and human relationships. They also see the way in which the corrupted left is part of that process, in calling for change that in fact amounts to the dismantling of the structures of a decent society.

Uncorrupted leftists

There are uncorrupted left-wingers everywhere around us, although they are often invisible. They are trade union representatives, grassroots community activists, teachers and social workers trying to do the right thing and sticking up for the values that they believe in. Uncorrupted left-wingers believe in fairness, in compassion, in everyone's right to a decent life and they dream of a just and natural world in which there is no ruling class of ultra-rich tyrants to make everyone else's life a misery. They do believe that some kind of state organisation is needed in order to bring about this future – otherwise they would be anarchists – but they genuinely aim for this to fade away and be replaced by the democratic rule of the people, from below.

Uncorrupted patriots

Uncorrupted patriots, or nationalists, make a distinction between the nation-state, which rules from above, and the nation, which they see as a natural and organic entity. Unlike corrupted patriots, they are not motivated by hatred of other nationalities, or a sense of superiority, but rather by a positive love of their own homeland, culture and people. Self-determination is the key value for them and they believe that peoples everywhere have the right to decide their own destinies, free from interference, domination and exploitation by supranational or global institutions and powers. They also realise that freedom within their nation is crucial for its people's health and happiness.

Uncorrupted believers

Uncorrupted believers are primarily motivated by inner faith and values. Even though they probably subscribe to a particular tradition, and tend to stay loyal to that tradition because the notion of loyalty forms part of their faith, their attachment to a particular organisation is not unconditional. If, at any time, the line taken by the leaders of that organisation does not accord with their own personal and natural sense of ethics and religious belief, they reserve the right to set off on their own path or to join with others who share their true convictions. They feel a strong duty to defend good against evil and to always do the right thing, against all odds and regardless of self-interest.

Uncorrupted others

Politically-minded people, like me, tend to forget that the vast majority of those around us don't give themselves any kind of political label, don't subscribe to any particular set of beliefs and tend to react to any new situation in a spontaneous way. Some of these have been corrupted by exposure to corporate media and their lack of firm conviction makes them easy fodder for manipulators. But the uncorrupted apolitical will source their opinions from their own personal values and, as we saw in France with the Gilets Jaunes and everywhere in the Covid period, will suddenly step forward from the obscurity of their private lives to stand with others in defence of what they feel is natural and right. They are a powerful force against which the system finds it difficult to defend itself.

Imagine if all these people could shake themselves free from the constraints of political or religious allegiance, or from their hesitation to step forward!

Imagine the power of a convergence of all these streams of uncorrupted thought, united in their rejection of the global dictatorship and in their demand for a free future!

The essence of their individual ideals would not be lost in the process, but embraced within one mighty river of righteous revolt.

Such a convergence is, of course, the stuff of nightmares for our rulers, sweeping away as it would the false categories of "left" and "right" that have successfully divided and controlled us for so long.

Consequently, their trolls tend to smear any such prospect as something highly sinister, such as a "red-brown" alliance combining the worst totalitarian aspects of the USSR and Hitler's Germany.

But, in truth, both Soviet Communism and Nazism lie firmly on the "corrupted" side of our equation and are diametrically opposed to the convergence of the uncorrupted.

Indeed, I have often pointed out that it is the current system itself which is closest to this kind of centralized authoritarian industrialist regime, as reflected in its love affair with contemporary social-credit China.

The uncorrupted of all backgrounds entirely reject dictatorship, by any kind of entity at any level – national, supranational or global.

And what is it that positively motivates all of them, that makes this convergence feasible as well as desirable?

You may have noticed that the word "values" crops up in every one of the descriptions above.

Idealistic uncorrupted people form their opinions from underlying values, a sense of right and wrong that they source from within their own hearts.

There is often a conflict between what they feel to be the right thing and what they are told is the right thing by those they usually trust – political or religious leaders or thinkers.

Because this same kind of person often tends to be loyal to the cause they defend, they can put up with a certain mismatch, overlook it in the interests of overall good.

But if this goes too far, if they really feel that their own values are not being reflected in the movement or tradition they follow, they will walk away from it.

The criminocracy has no values: it merely pretends to have them in order to gain support – think of greenwashing, for instance.

At the current time it is accelerating its agenda towards the initial target date of 2030 and, in moving faster, is running the risk of losing the support of principled people.

We are seeing individuals all over the place deciding that their personal tipping-point has been reached and saying that they can no longer go along with what is happening.

As the agenda is accelerated still further in reaction to this, including increased censorship and repression, so even more principled and uncorrupted people will react against it, in the name of their deeply-held values.

Another term which appears in all my descriptions of the uncorrupted is "natural".

This is to be expected, because the values that we feel deep in our hearts are natural values.

They are innate values, values we have inherited and which we share with other members of our species.

In my 2022 book The Withway I write: "The Withway is an old way asking to become the new way. It is the eternal way, the human way within the natural and universal way".

And I conclude: "Listen carefully. The Withway is calling us home".

I don't think that it is a coincidence that the latest song from American folk singer Oliver Anthony, the follow-up to his viral hit Rich Men North of Richmond, is called I Want to Go Home.

Oliver seems to very much belong to the Uncorrupted Others current, having a strong sense of values without subscribing to any political ideology.

The way in which he came forward with his message to the world, and the enormous and widespread enthusiasm with which it has been heard (outside of the usual pro-system circles) is a source of great hope for me.

It makes me feel that, although I am calling here for a convergence of the uncorrupted, I don't really have to bother doing so. It will happen all on its own.

The healthy, uncorrupted, part of the human organism will, naturally, activate its antibodies to see off the sickness that has been laying us all low for so long.

[Audio version]

Winter Oak
25 Aug 2023 | 6:37 am

9. Phoney anti-fascists target the real thing

by Paul Cudenec

More shocking evidence has emerged of the way in which genuine anti-system dissidents are being maliciously smeared and "cancelled" by pseudo-leftists with a suspicious agenda.

The latest target for the trolls is someone whose work I have been enjoying for years, an anti-fascist folk singer/songwriter from the USA who also regularly tours in Europe and is a familiar figure on the anarchist scene.

David Rovics (pictured) also happens to be Jewish – but that hasn't stopped him from being publicly branded an "antisemite" by the fake-left Thought Police.

He writes: "They put flyers on car windshields all over my neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, with my picture and a picture of my car and with my home address, denouncing me as an antisemite, holocaust-denier, and harasser of homeless people, all completely bizarre and completely unfounded accusations".

David explains the groupthink by which these attacks are launched. First, an anonymous post on social media or an outlet like It's Going Down names someone deemed to be politically incorrect.

Eager unpaid volunteers then crawl through the web looking for any scrap of information, association or opinion that might be distorted and amplifed to make this person appear bad.

After the overwhelmingly anonymous members of this group of "researchers" have done their "research," the next step is contacting anyone related to the person under attack on a very regular basis to make sure they know about the transgressions in question, he says.

"So in my case this means contacting gig organizers, venues, and anyone else I might be performing with on a tour, and letting them know that I am a Nazi, an antisemite, a holocaust-denier, fascist-platformer, and other nonsense".

The campaign of harassment against David reached the point where last month he was invited on to KBOO community radio in Portland, Oregon, to discuss what has been happening to him.

But, incredibly, this discussion was itself cancelled simply because his chief accuser called the station's management and said he didn't "feel safe" about David's presence.

Says David: "Without consulting me, KBOO management told the show host to cancel my appearance on his show".

The Canceller-in-Chief targeting David is a character by the name of Shane Burley (pictured), who has positioned himself as an influencer on the American anarchist scene.

David explains that the Portland-based journalist, author, and activist "writes articles for a wide variety of publications, including mainstream Israeli newspapers, mainstream and progressive US publications, and the anarchist press as well.

"He's very active on Twitter and elsewhere online, interacting publicly and frequently with many of the anonymous accounts that attack me and others the most.

"The articles he authors range from legitimate journalistic reports in mainstream publications to verbose and academic expositions attempting to explain how much antisemitism is a problem on the left, and specifically about why I suck so much, along with others on his long list of leftists who he doesn't like".

With breathtaking hypocrisy, Burley has taken David to task for criticising "Jewish antifascist writers" (such as himself) without deigning to tell his readership that David is Jewish, as well as being anti-fascist, so that, logically, Burley himself is guilty of the very same thing!

The pretext for the war against David was that one of many diverse people that he interviewed on his YouTube channel during the Covid period, was a former white nationalist activist.

He is also berated for his association with pro-Palestinian Gilad Atzmon, another dissident Jew charged by Burley with "antisemitism".

That's all. These two points apparently wipe out the whole of David's long record of anti-fascism and make him an enemy of a certain wing of the US anti-fascist movement (who seem ideologically close to the Antideutsch movement in Germany – see here and here).

He comments: "We're talking here about thought crime. This is 1984. I am so very obviously not a fascist. So very obviously an antifascist. I have written hundreds of songs against fascism, and played at hundreds of explicitly antifascist events, for decades.

"Half my family was killed in the holocaust, my nanny lived through the Blitz, one of my best friends survived one of Franco's concentration camps. Come fucking on".

David describes Burley and his colleagues Spencer Sunshine and Alexander Reid Ross as "a marginal sect of cancellation campaigners, calling out nonexistent left antisemitism everywhere they think they've found it, attacking people for engaging in any public communication with the wrong people, and doing serious damage to activist networks around the internet-speaking world".

The inglorious career of Reid Ross in smearing any authentic resistance to the global order as "fascist creep", and his close links to the CIA, are described in the 2021 article "Fascist smears: what they tell us".

David sees his "antifa" opponents in the same light, tweeting: "This is a hostile intelligence agency if ever there was one. You don't have to be Mossad to do Mossad's job".

What we are certainly dealing with here are disinformation and intimidation specialists, professional agents setting out both to silence influential voices challenging the system to which they owe their allegiance and to break apart movements of resistance.

Although they use the vehicle of "anti-fascism", or "trans justice", to launch these attacks, and enlist the help of gullible grassroots activists, this is not where they are really coming from.

"Antisemitism" or "fascist creep" are not the real "offences" for which people are being targeted, but just weapons with which to take them out of the political game and sow division in the ranks.

We saw this very clearly with the unprecedented smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) when he was Labour Party leader in the UK.

I don't think for a moment that fears of "antisemitism", or even of criticism of Israel, were the fundamental motivation behind these attacks, but rather that powerful forces could not tolerate the prospect of even the mild social-democratic measures his premiership would have introduced – such as the promised re-nationalisation of the British railway system.

Likewise, I don't imagine that Burley and his buddies care in the least that David once interviewed a former white nationalist.

On the contrary, they must be delighted that he did so, because it gives them the perfect excuse to try to destroy his reputation and livelihood with the help of a gang of useful idiots who wrongly think that their incoherent, narrow-minded, violent, woke sect has got something to do with anarchism.

David Rovics' real "offence" is that he is, as will immediately be clear from listening to a few of his rebel songs, an inspiring voice of resistance against the global military-financial-industrial empire.

[Audio version]

A few David Rovics songs: The CommonsIceland Told the BankersReichstag Fire – Contras, Kings and GeneralsWho Will Tell the People?ResistanceWe Are EverywhereDid You Strike a Blow Against the Empire?Glory and FameAfter the RevolutionFailed StateIf I Die TomorrowThey All Sang the InternationaleJohn BrownRich Men North of Richmond (adaption of Oliver Anthony's viral hit)

Winter Oak
23 Aug 2023 | 1:46 pm

10. The people will prevail – with or without the left!

by Paul Cudenec

A timely condemnation of the way a corrupted "left" is helping to impose the new global dictatorship has been issued by veteran US anarchist Keith McHenry.

He warns: "This is a left that has abandoned class struggle and instead embraces the master's hyped-up divide-and-conquer culture wars.

"Many of my left friends have become enforcers of the program to geofence ourselves into the billionaire class's digital prison".

Keith, co-founder of the worldwide Food Not Bombs network in 1980, was spurred to speak out by a nasty and dishonest smear-attack against a local group with which he works in California.

As they state on their website, Brave and Free Santa Cruz aim to "stand together for our freedoms" and "build a large people's movement in Santa Cruz County to fight the World Economic Forum's 'Great Reset'".

They add: "We strive to create a community that is based on loving cooperation and service to each other, so that we may all thrive in a world that we are proud to pass on to future generations".

The group was set up by two local women, Diane D. Jones, a retired carpenter, and Kathleen Lynch, a social worker who has dedicated her life to feeding the homeless and opposing war, notably with Peace Brigades International.

Brave and Free Santa Cruz came to the attention of a certain Joy Schendledecker (pictured), a supposedly left-wing local figure who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year and is a "community organizer", plus a member of the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America.

Reportedly believing in "more transparency, more connection to local government and community-driven and community-led participatory processes", you might have thought she would sympathise with Brave and Free Santa Cruz's people-first politics.

But no, not a bit of it! Instead, she attacked them in terms that will be familiar to all those daring to stand up to the criminocracy, anywhere in the world.

Almost as if copying phrases from a smear-mongering handbook, she warned of "hate-fuelled conspiracy theories that harm or kill people".

As well as being guilty of having an "anti-vaxx stance", she claimed that Brave and Free Santa Cruz "employ dangerous tropes and misinformation, while partnering with people and organizations that are funded by the far-right".

Despite finding no evidence of any of this, she insisted that there was some kind of invisible sub-text which meant their beliefs were, in fact, "inseparable from antisemitic, racist, anti-queer, trans-phobic, xenophobic, anti-abortion, and decidedly reactionary movements, ideas, and individuals".

Rolling out the whole toxic fact-checking narrative, she complained that "the Great Reset conspiracy theory employs anti-semitic tropes and dog-whistles" and that "the 15-Minute City conspiracy theory… invokes the bogeymen of government surveillance, confinement, control, and scarcity".

She went on: "We must make our community safe for ourselves and all of our diversities. If a rally or meeting is unsafe for any of us, then it's not okay to keep going; or to allow those associated with hate to infiltrate our events".

Keith (pictured), in his powerful response to these ridiculous smears, remarks: "One of the most terrifying features cultivated by those in power is how close-minded people who support their agenda have become".

He rightly identifies Schendledecker's stance as being part of a general collapse of authentic left-wing principles, particularly since the Covid moment.

He points out: "Before 2020, those of us on the far left lived by a slogan 'Question Authority'. We stood against censorship, militarism, big Pharma, mass surveillance and CIA coups.

"We supported bodily autonomy, labor rights, the protection of the environment, and defended our civil liberties.

"That seems to no longer be the case for many of our colleagues, who see themselves as the 'educated class' and believe that the working class are ignorant, antisemitic, homophobic, racist rednecks".

The contemporary fake-left's fanatical defence of the globalist agenda, and venomous hatred of those who oppose that system, has particularly perturbed Keith.

He writes: "The left I have been a part of has a long history of organizing against the globalization of the economy.

"In 1992 I joined tens of thousands of labor, environmental and human rights activists in Bonn, West Germany, to protest the creation of the Euro and the European Union.

"Every year the left gathers in Davos, Switzerland, to denounce the exploitative policies of the World Economic Forum.

"In 1997, I spent two months traveling North America on the UnFree Trade Tour, speaking out against the World Trade Organization's framework of corporate consolidation.

"We formed the Direct Action Network, disrupting the WTO's Seattle summit in November 1999 and took our protest against the WTO to Cancún and Genoa.

"I worked with anti-war activist Ronnie Cummings and food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva on the Millions Against Monsanto Campaign in an effort to stop the patenting of seeds.

"Private ownership of life is one key element of the trade agreements that we have been fighting against.

"So, when the institutions that those of us had spent decades protesting against started to implement what they called Build Back Better, Fourth Industrial Revolution, and 'Great Reset', I knew I had to push back".

The most telling phrase in Schendledecker's attack on Brave and Free Santa Cruz was, for me, her claim that: "They are linked to a world-wide movement that can be incredibly dangerous".

Dangerous to whom, one might ask!

Her comment reminds me of the "left-wing" Montreal Counter Information site's warning of "a transnational echo chamber of conspiracists who have been embracing increasingly reactionary, transphobic, and antisemitic ideas".

Behind all the insults, they mean us, they mean our resistance to the criminocracy!

They are worried that we are gaining ground and that, for all their money and control, people power could yet thwart their vile plans for global digital slavery!

Let's, together and everywhere, make their fears come true!

[Audio version]

My 2022 interview with Keith McHenry can be found here.

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