Monday, March 31, 2008

Out of the Perilous Forest

A moving essay. One to give courage and hope to those whose hearts have become almost too heavy to bear. You are not alone. The path is there to be found.

Blue Ibis

SOTT Special Correspondent
Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:44 EDT

©William Kentridge

"[...] the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you [...]" Character V, from V for Vendetta

Yes, V is right. There is something terribly wrong with this country - and this could be referring to almost any country on the globe, since Pathocracy has taken global control. It actually makes sense for psychopaths to act as they do as such is their nature. But what about the rest of us? How is it that "fear got the best of us", and why is it that a paralyzing fear descends upon us when we consider resisting? Why is it that thoughts of "them" coming for us and locking us away, overshadow our truest human desires for Freedom, Love, Truth?

There is, in fact, a reason. It is called Learned Helplessness. One can find various websites on the respective experiments with dogs done by psychologist Martin Seligman and his colleagues in the 60s. But I'll quote from Clarissa Pinkola Este's book, Women who run with the Wolves, which sums up the experiment quite nicely.

We all were conditioned to this helplessness from our earliest days, and it is possible that those of us with the innate need to know and the ability to resist, defend and actually do something at some point in the future were particularly targeted in order to really embed this helplessness so as to keep us frozen in inaction.

In my daily life I interact with so many people who are confident, mobile, and intelligent, people who have ideas and speak up for themselves, but I always wonder why it is that they are not out there voicing their opposition to the corruption and criminality of big government. These people can't be blind to the state of the world because the evidence is all around them, yet still they remain complacent in the face of a very grave threat to us all. They are content to live out their lives within the restrictive limits set them by the political and corporate elite of this world.

So the task of speaking out is left to us 'neurotics', despite all our fears and scars, we still have that burning desire to know, to understand, to see, and then see what we can do about it - to DO something about that which is causing our fear is the only way to alleviate it. And once we discover, once we understand something, we feel the need to share it, to pass it on to those who, like us, are searching.

Because frankly, what are we going to do with everything we learn if we keep it to ourselves? There's a Greek folk song that says "life not shared is a stolen life". I would argue that also "knowledge not shared, is stolen knowledge".

If you think about it, it's the not speaking up, the submission, the not sharing of our discoveries, the not pointing out that the emperor is naked that allows the psychopaths in power to continue their predatorial ways and for the situation to continue on its downward spiral. As with so many problems in life, the problem here is one of fear-based faulty thinking. People fear that "they" will come for them if they speak out, but the paradox is that by not speaking out and facilitating our continued slide towards "Armageddon", people vastly increase the chances that a jack booted agent of the Pathocrats will one day kick down their door. Because when "they" seek to imprison us, defame or attack us in one way or another, their first targets of choice are always those who speak out against "them".

But I digress, here is the experiment:

In the early 1960s scientists conducted animal experiments to determine something about the "flight instinct" in humans. In one experiment they wired half the bottom of a large cage, so that a dog placed in the cage would receive a shock each time it set foot on the right side. The dog quickly learned to stay on the left side of the cage.

Next, the left side of the cage was wired for the same purpose and the right side was safe from shocks. The dog reoriented quickly and learned to stay on the right side of the cage. Then, the entire floor of the cage was wired to give random shocks, so that no matter where the dog lay or stood it would eventually receive a shock. The dog acted confused at first, and then it panicked. Finally the dog "gave up" and lay down, taking the shocks as they came, no longer trying to escape them or outsmart them.

But the experiment was not over. Next, the cage door was opened. The scientists expected the dog to rush out, but it did not flee. Even though it could vacate the cage at will, the dog lay there being randomly shocked. From this, scientists speculated that when a creature is exposed to violence, it will tend to adapt to that disturbance, so that when the violence ceases or the creature is allowed its freedom, the healthy instinct to flee is hugely diminished, and the creature stays put instead. [Estes, 1995]

This is the case with every single feeling person on this planet. We've been so battered emotionally, physically, mentally; we are so injected with terror and fears since day one, that all our natural instincts for survival have vanished. We no longer are able to stand up, speak up, and defend that which matters most in our hearts. We are scared to even dream or hope for anything better than ponerized world that "they" have crafted for us. So passivity becomes our modus operandi.

Restin Wells and Barbara O'Brien in their published personal accounts of the psychological journey to healing, Deep Therapy in the Fast Lane and Operators and Things (both invaluable reading for every person honestly searching to understand their inner world), found and shared the fact that what saved their sanity, ultimately, was feeling angry at their condition and its causes.

If you see yourself in the same position as one of these dogs in the experimental cage, receiving the administered shocks and staying put while the cage door is open, can you not feel angry at those administering the shocks, for making you like this? Would you not want to inform the other "dogs" in the cages of what is really going on as soon as you figured it out?

It is true that we are not many and we are all scared, but by uniting and combining our efforts in this battle we may overcome our fear and present a force for freedom in this world that is much greater than the sum of its parts. In doing so we give our selves the chance to carve out a new and different future. But as you sit there, reading these words, if you understand nothing else, understand this: if we do not act and give a voice to the Truth in this world, our future and the future of all decent human beings on this planet will be dictated by the psychopaths that have brought us to the edge of the precipice on which we now stand. Understand, make a choice and then act, in however small a way. Do it for yourself, for others, for the Truth.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gaza: The Death of Industry -- Signs of the Times News

Saleh al Naeimi
Asharq Alawsat
Sat, 22 Mar 2008 02:26 EDT

Mock cemetery
A mock cemetery set up in Gaza City to symbolize the death of the economy due to Israel's crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip

A 'cemetery' in the neighborhood of al Rimal in Gaza is attracting the attention of motorists and pedestrians alike. Set up last Tuesday in al Katiba Square, this symbolic cemetery is comprised of 'graves' symbolizing hundreds of factories that have been closed down as a result of the economic embargo.

The forty 'graves', which have been adorned with flowers, each have a tombstone that bears the name of the factory and the number of employees who have lost their jobs in the aftermath. The Popular Committee for Resisting the Siege (PCRS) in Gaza is responsible for the creation of this cemetery as a protest against the economic blockade that has been imposed on Gaza following the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006.

According to the General Union of Palestinian Industries, the embargo has caused the closure of 96 percent of industrial enterprises (3,900 enterprises), which has resulted in the redundancy of 140,000 employees. Presently, the number of factory employees does not exceed 1,500 workers.

[This is out of a population of 1.5 million!]

The census has also indicated that the Palestinian industrial sector is divided into four main divisions: furniture factories, foodstuff factories, textile mills, and factories manufacturing construction materials. Ninety percent of furniture factories have been closed down while 95 percent of timber workshops are out of business.

Statistics also indicate that in the furniture industry local products and those manufactured for export have been damaged as a result of being stored for long periods of time in storehouses. These products are normally exported to the West Bank and Israel using an estimated capacity of 400 cargo trucks. The goods are valued at approximately US $8 million. The closure of furniture factories has cost over 6,000 employees their jobs and the estimated losses over that period in the furniture industry are believed to be US $12 million.

As for the textiles and clothing sector, estimates indicate that all the enterprises operating in this sector have been closed down; over 960 factories that used to produce 5 million garments annually of which 95 percent is exported to Israel. Textile mills have reported a US $10 million loss in terms of actual value, in addition to approximately one million articles of clothing that had been manufactured for the summer season and ready to export to Israel. Sewing factories are believed to have 25,000 employees, however manufacturing clothes for the local market is likewise paralyzed as a direct consequence of the shortage of fabrics and the cost of materials required for sewing. The estimated losses impacting this sector are believed to be US $20 million.

As for the foodstuffs factories in Gaza, they currently only operate 30 percent of the original capacity which is why production is limited and moreover cannot be imported to the West Bank and elsewhere. The three major carbonated beverages factories that previously had a workforce of 900 laborers are now closed down since Israel bans the entry of carbon dioxide into Gaza - an essential ingredient in the carbonating process. The beverages industry has suffered the loss of an estimated US $3 million. The General Union of Palestinian Industries has stated that the blockade has resulted in the closure of all construction factories, which include 13 tile factories, 30 cement plants, 145 marble factories, 250 brick factories - all of which has resulted in the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Samih al Haddad who owns Al Haddad Factory for Electrical Appliances told Asharq Al-Awsat that he has not purchased the required raw materials for the past eight months. He added that the factory, which he part-owned with his brothers, has suffered the loss of US $1 million as a direct result of the economic embargo and another million in goods and supplies that have been seized and held in Israeli port warehouses. Al Haddad explained that before the blockade, he had 63 employees, however today he only has 20 workers who work part-time shifts. He said that he was pessimistic and added that he expected the situation to deteriorate even further.

Mohammed Abu al Owf who owns a tissue paper factory told Asharq Al-Awsat that prior to the embargo his business was flourishing and that the company was producing 150-200 tons of tissue monthly. Today his company manufactures one kilogram of tissue per month. Abu al Owf revealed that he used to have 45 employees before the embargo and that today he has three accountants.

Abu al Owf who participated in the inauguration of the symbolic cemetery in al Rimal last Tuesday, 18 March, said that if he had the means he would erect symbolic tombstones for the tens of thousands who had lost their jobs and the only source of livelihood as a result of the closure of hundreds of factories. "These people are miserable and have become dead after they lost the ability to live and provide for their families. That is the real tragedy," he said.

Like all the other factory owners and traders, Abu al Owf also has goods that have been confiscated and stored in Israeli warehouses that he cannot reclaim because of the blockade. He said that the goods are worth US $600,000 and added, "But what complicates the matter even further is the fact that the dollar has plunged in value, which means that we have endured even greater losses and our situation has become a lot worse."

[more like STOLEN]

Abu al Owf believes that Israel is bent on stifling the economic situation and pushing it towards total disaster. He added that the factory owners are going to press litigation charges against the Israeli government in the Supreme Court of Israel not only to lift the blockade and restore working conditions for factories, but to save thousands of families who have been devastated after the embargo.

Yousef Shumar, the owner Shumar Foodstuffs factory, which produces a variety of biscuits and confectionary, said that the main obstacle facing his factory is the shortage of raw materials. He revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the main problem was not the lack of basic foodstuffs, such as flour and oil, but rather it was the absence of packaging material like cardboard and plastic.

Shumar disclosed that to overcome this problem, he has been forced to distribute his product in packets and boxes that do not carry the company's name. Sometimes he uses the boxes of other products, which in turn affects sales among consumers.

But Shumar highlighted a graver problem; the shortage in fuel. He told Asharq Al-Awsat, "Often times, only a quarter of the distribution rounds are completed for lack of available fuel for the vehicle to continue its rounds." He revealed that the blockade had led to the reduction of Gaza's industrial capacity by 90 percent, which was what compelled him to let go of the majority of his employees.

Faisal al Shawa, head of Al-Shawa Contracting Company, which manages a number of factories, is pessimistic. He said that the situation cannot get worse than what it already is and revealed that everything had hit a standstill. Al Shawa who is also the Secretary-General of the Businessmen's Association in Gaza said, "Businessmen have gone bankrupt, they have endured huge losses. No businessmen or businesses remain, the disaster has affected everyone indiscriminately and we do not know who will compensate us!"

One of the chief problems facing the owners of factories that have been closed down is their considerable debts with banks. According to Fadl al Garwe, "Like other factories, we secured loans from banks but when we suffered huge losses the banks started to demand the money we had borrowed back. These are significant sums that will take a long time to be paid back and we do not know when and how we will be able to do that."

Meanwhile, Amr Hamd, the head of the General Union of Palestinian Industries stressed that Gaza has reached the point of no return warning that it will be an increasingly difficult feat to attract or convince investors to invest in the Gaza Strip, he said, even if the blockade is lifted.

Hamd added that there was an "erosion of capital" in the industrial sector. He said: "When Israel used to block the border crossings and factory owners faced crises, they used to sell miscellaneous tools - however now, the situation has become very grave."

Rami Abdo, an economic expert stated that the collapse in Gaza's industrial sector has had a negative impact on the private sector, which provides 53 percent of job opportunities. The industrial sector has been hit hard with industrial capacity at 11 percent having sharply declined from 76 percent.

Abdo told Asharq Al-Awsat that the trade sector relies on the industrial one and disclosed that over 43 percent of private sector establishments have halted all trading activities, while the rest had decreased trading activities by nearly 75 percent.

For his part, Jamal al Khadri, head of the Public Committee Against the Blockade told Asharq Al-Awsat that unemployment has risen sharply and that 140,000 employees have been made redundant - their families undoubtedly impacted by it. He said: "If we assume that the average family is comprised of five to six members then that would mean that 700,000 Palestinian citizens have been harmed by the closure of factories."

Al Khadri confirmed that power outages, shortages of materials, fuels and capital, in addition to the inability to purchase machines or repair and maintain the ones available, have taken their toll on the industrial sector. He stated that the losses have been estimated at US $500 million, in addition to another US $150 million, which is the estimated worth of goods confiscated and stored in Israeli warehouses. He also stressed that the blockade has disrupted countless projects, business ventures and construction and infrastructure projects in the Gaza Strip.

Omar Shaban, the prominent economic expert, rejects the idea of converting the serious problems that have struck the industrial sector into figures and percentages and stated that it does not reflect nor diminish the manifestation of these crises. He also pointed out a critical factor, which is the repercussions of the Palestinian industrial sector's isolation from Europe, Israel and the Arab world, in addition to the loss of importers whom it had taken a great deal of time and effort to win their trust and confidence.

According to Shaban, even after the blockade is lifted it would take huge efforts to restore confidence in Palestinian products. "The loss of confidence in Palestinian products by foreign importers cannot be estimated at any price," he said. Shaban also stressed that what has befallen the industrial sector is part of the ongoing and determined Israeli plan to strike the Palestinian industrial sector and regress it back to decades of underdevelopment.

"The Palestinian people cannot restore the situation to what it once was except with monumental and powerful efforts, however it is clear that we do not have a strategic plan to counter such attacks in light of the internal Palestinian division," he concluded.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Modern Easter Story

Jerry Ghinelli
Information Clearing House
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 20:47 EDT

banksy christ

"For God so loved the world..." he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.

Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ - and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.

Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named "Liberty" and "Church" in New York City, located at what has come to be known as "Ground Zero."

Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.

Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable - breathtaking, you might say - in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan.

Songs like "Jesus Is Just All Right With Me," "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.

Martin Luther King's "dream" was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, "red staters" and "blue staters," even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.

The media frenzy was unprecedented.

It was "all Jesus all the time": round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.

Mel Gibson, who produced the film "The Passion of the Christ," was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson's identical twin was married.

The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, "60 Minutes." And for good reason: This was to be "the greatest story ever told."

On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a "miracle of faith," and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, "Let freedom reign and God bless America."

Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

The clock in the corner of the TV screen read "Countdown to Jesus" as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted.

At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, "deafening" silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named "Trinity Place."

Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.

"Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you," he offered.

"I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where over four years ago, at this exact moment, man's inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to.

"Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as 'believers,' but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act," said Christ.

The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of "hallelujah, hallelujah" sent goose bumps up people's arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.

For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.

Christ continued. "But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.

"To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America - or any country, for that matter - which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago."

On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in "shock and awe" at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior.

A few cheered, but Christ's condemnation of America's response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush - the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth - drew immediate and harsh disapproval.

Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.

Fearing that Christ's message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to - as they term it - "swift-boat" Christ.

"Swift-boat" is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning "to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom."

A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth."

Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, "set the record straight."

They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of "love your enemies" was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.

"George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack - even pre-emptively attack - our enemies. Notice that I say 'attack,' not 'love'," said Judas.

Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus' "love your enemy" message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm's way.

"Let he without sin cast the first spitball," Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.

The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney's clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum.

One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term "Let he without sin cast the first spitball," embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling "have you hugged a terrorist today" teddy bear wearing a little turban.

On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh - the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of "ditto heads" - asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.

According to Limbaugh: "Thorns can only cause flesh wounds, and nails in your hands and feet are not lethal."

Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, "should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth . "What's next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?" Limbaugh mocked .

Immediately after the show, on sale at were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of "thorn-resistant" "holy" garden gloves, and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves ever fail.

On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ's "meek shall inherit the earth" remark as "communist infiltration and extremism."

He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values.

Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question "perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?"

President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will.

"Christ is my brother," Bush emphasized, "and brothers often have differences of opinion, that's all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas - dead or alive," he said to applause from his troops.

"Semper fi," shouted Bush.

Bush declared, "Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander - in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that... all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can't stand our freedoms," Bush said, to a standing ovation.

Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of "The Lord's Prayer":

Our Father, Who art in heaven,

Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come.

Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

And never forgive the terrorists,

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into appeasement,

and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.

The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act." .

Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to - as they term it - "Bork" Jesus.

Like "swift-boat," "Bork," taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning "to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats' single issue of abortion."

Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, "Jesus did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

With Clinton's declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ's message that "the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.

They added that "to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.

Jewish groups, fearing that Christ - who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine - would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.

When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to "self-hating Jew."

Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church's sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.

President Bush's press secretary has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question "when did Christ stop beating his gay wife."

Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle.

Ann Coulter, the "angelic"-looking "Republican Party Doll," appeared on The O'Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O'Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of "Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz." However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the "wicked witch of the west" when she said: "...with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden." O'Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.

But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth," approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern - born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda.

Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah.

With silver selling today at about $16.81 an ounce, thirty pieces of silver - about $504 - just doesn't buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for his "fifteen minutes of fame" instead.

He is scheduled to appear on "Oprah" tomorrow, "Larry King Live" at night and "Good Morning America" the next day.

President Bush has invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for some spiritual guidance. Judas, it is expected, will assist the President in "clearing brush" at his sprawling Texas compound this Easter weekend .

All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas's agent at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.

With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the "disciples for truth" that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location.

The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ's incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: "We wash our hands of this case."

The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of former WorldCom (MCI) C.E.O. Bernard "Bernie" Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated.

Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero's welcome in his hometown. Signs of "Give us Bernard" appeared everywhere.

Outside the court at Christ's hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read "crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free." He was immediately arrested.

Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances.

His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a "high-tech crucifixion." The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.

Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing.

"Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, once again, for they know not what they do."

Jerry Ghinelli writes essays exclusively for Information Clearing House and contributes his time and efforts as a private citizen, with the hope of encouraging readers to think more broadly about the important issues that threaten the peace and security of the world community. Positive feedback should be sent to or visit his website for more information.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saving Free Speech on the NET

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Thu, 06 Mar 2008 11:31 EST

In response to my last article, Letters From The Edge, which included a recent missive from Victor Clube, author of The Cosmic Serpent and The Cosmic Winter, I stated:

We aren't talking about a giant asteroid here that is going to create a global wave of firestorm destruction like the movies depict! It's not Planet X or Nibiru! It's NOT the End of the World (at least not for everybody, but certainly for those who aren't prepared and happen to be in the line of fire!) But yeah, it might be somewhat like the Black Death with the loss of half the population of one or more continents, or the great Chicago Fire or Tunguska or even all of these rolled into one; but all of those events were survivable had the victims been informed and prepared. Yes, there are those who, even had they been informed and prepared would not have survived in any case, but we choose the optimistic path: Knowledge Protects. And we are trying our hardest to give you that knowledge.

One reader commented on the article as follows:

What I've picked up so far is that the formation of true community where people share perspective, information, knowledge and material resources such as pooled labor and the fruits of such (cash) is one of the main ways that persons can create the situation where they can survive such a cosmic disaster. Knowledge of what's really happening being another--which among other potential benefits, prevents paralyzing fear and panic--enabling persons to Think in real time as some thing happens. Therefore, sharing and spreading knowledge of what's really happening to encourage greater awareness and the formation of such community groups being another.

Would you please write an article/articles where you share other ideas/suggestions on how to survive such a possible/probable cosmic event as described?

Needless to say, we all need to help SOTT stay online for such an article to come out.

I'm trying to get there.

What's so interesting is that I was also doing that in the Wave Series when the attacks from another pack of cyberpaths began. Coincidence? Not likely, even if the attackers are unaware of what is driving them. As we have pointed out, people's emotions can be used to drive them anywhere a clever manipulator wants them to go. That is not to exclude conscious "agents of attack and diversion" either, but let's keep it simple and assume that most people are unaware of how easily they can be - and are - controlled.

Over the past 20 years or so, I have learned a lot from those types of individuals, painful though those lessons were, and what I have learned is that, when possible, it is important to continue to focus as completely as possible on putting the needed information together and getting it out there for you, our readers, while giving as little air time to the attackers as possible. One has to have nerves of steel and be free of all self-importance in order to be able to ignore the attacks and attackers. Of course, those attacks have had an impact on us, personally - including our health - as well as the website. Think of how many people will have a knee-jerk reaction and refuse to read the very information that could save their lives because of the accusation "cult"?! A cunning slander that does more damage to the people it puts off than it does to us, actually. It's also very sad that the very people that we seek most to help - the masses of normal, decent human beings, the lost sheep of society - can be so easily sidetracked and diverted from their own best interests and induced to serve the interests of a pathological elite structure that cares nothing for them, their children, or their future. As Andzrej Lobaczewski wrote:

A normal person deprived of privilege or high positions goes about performing some work which would earn him a living; but [pathological deviants in power] never possessed any solid practical talent, and the time frame of their rule has eliminated any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the law of normal man were to be reinstalled, they and theirs could be subjected to judgment... they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of this kind of sacrifice, the survival [their rule over humanity] becomes a moral idea. Such a threat [their exposure and overthrow] must be battled by means of psychological and political cunning and a lack of scruples with regard to those other "inferior-quality" people. [...]

[True majority rule] is a nightmare vision [for the pathological elites].

The biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority is thus a "biological" necessity. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule. Once safely dead, the soldiers will then be decreed heroes to be revered in paeans, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy. [Ponerology: The Science of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes]

But, there are times when it is simply necessary to mount a defense.

Miyamoto Musashi, also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke, or by his Buddhist name Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman famed for his duels and distinctive style. Musashi, as he is often simply known, became the legendary founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū or Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship and the author of The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today. My son recently wrote about the present situation:

Musashi never backed down from a fight, whether he knew he could win or he knew he could lose, and it doesn't matter who, what, when or where, there is no such thing as an unimportant battle.

Ideally you should choose your battles, but sometimes, the battle chooses you. A mosquito might be a small creature, easily squashed, but it can carry a lethal disease, it can kill, regardless of its size. So some might argue to ignore the mosquito, let it bite you and others, as usually it can be more or less harmless, but sometimes, it can kill, and so, in times when a lethal diseases that is carried by mosquitoes is rampant, you should squash a mosquito, to protect yourself and others.

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children."

He is right. This is not just about This lawsuit could set a precedent for everything that everyone says and does on the internet. Do not underestimate the power of a precedent that may be set in Federal Court. The freedoms of every single forum on the net are threatened by this suit. The freedoms of many alternative websites - if not most of them - are threatened by this law suit. If they don't realize that, then they aren't paying attention. If they do realize it and still do not come to our aid, I think we can safely assume that they are not on the side of Freedom and Truth. It's not even necessary for any of them to agree with anything we say to support this battle against Suppression.

I don't agree with my attackers, but they have the right to say what they want about my work. Unfortunately, most of my attackers don't really talk about my work, they attack me personally, vindictively, and even illegally, in the sense that they DO defame and libel me in a way that is not just an exercise of their right of Free Speech.

I don't want to go too far in that direction at the moment. Suffice it to say that, as long as we have an attorney who can take care of such things for us, giving us a modicum of peace of mind, and the financial support to pay that attorney and survive, I will be able to concentrate, to do the research and present it in clear, understandable articles for everyone. We are thankful for all the support thus far, but we have by no means reached the "comfort zone." We hope that all of you will spread the word on the net in every way you can and let people know what we are trying to do here, that we are totally reader supported, and everything we research and write is made available for free to everyone. We don't carry advertising, we don't have "pay per view" material, and we cater to no one and nothing but the Truth, or as close to it as we can get.

I'm confident that our readers will do all that is necessary to keep the lighthouse burning and the next installment of the Comet Series is underway, good lord willing and the creek don't rise!

New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection

The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets

Cosmic Turkey Shoot

Wars, Pestilence and Witches

Thirty Years of Cults and Comets

Comet Biela and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow

Tunguska, the Horns of the Moon and Evolution

Monday, March 17, 2008

Free Speech Bully - Eric Pepin

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Fri, 14 Mar 2008 12:41 EDT

Today I'm going to write a letter; a letter to all our readers. I'm also going to include a transcript of a very interesting letter has received from Prof. Victor Clube. I hope that these letters will change your life, your future, and mine as well.

Here at, we have been pretty busy working on our legal defense, as if you couldn't guess! I'm sure that everyone notices that we are nowhere near our goal for having enough funds to cover this expense. All of you just remember, if 1,000 people can donate $100.00 each, we are in the clear. If 2,000 people donate $50. each, we are in the clear. And certainly, with over 10,000 of you reading this site every day, we ought to be able to do that!

Just keep in mind what you would be missing if we were gone! Who else would spend days, weeks, months and even years digging down to the deepest levels of our reality to bring you reports and analyses of what is really going on? After all, it is not just a matter of the political chaos out there; there are cosmic reasons for that chaos and historical cycles demonstrate clearly that times such as these generally manifest other symptoms that we all need to be aware of. For example...

Did you catch this one? Antartica: Mysterious Meteorites Stymie Scientists Followed by this one: Meteorites may be remnants of destroyed dwarf planet ? They are both about the same meteorites and the suggestion that there was once another planet in the solar system that was destroyed at some point is something that we here at have speculated about for years now.

Speaking of missing planets, did you read this one: Mission to the Forgotten Planets? Amazing how long it takes science to catch up with "inspired utterances" isn't it?

Speaking of science "catching up," have a look at this: Utah Crater Mystery Cracked where we read:

"The very controversial debate about Upheaval Dome's origin has lasted nearly a century, over the course of which extremely different hypotheses (gradualism versus catastrophism) have been proposed," report Buchner and Kenkmann.

The debate has, in fact, reflected a historical divide of ideas in geology over those decades.

On one hand there were the "gradualists" who adhered to the idea that just about everything we see on the planet today is the result of gradual processes still at work -- glaciers moving, rains falling, rivers flowing, etc. Gradualism was considered heretical when it was proposed by James Hutton in the late 18th century because it implies the Earth was tremendously older than some Biblical scholars had claimed.

These Biblical scholars cited such catastrophes as Noah's flood to explain such geological oddities as marine fossils atop mountains. These early "catastrophists" tended to ignore evidence that went against their Biblical interpretation of the geological record. In other words, they weren't very scientific.

As a result, geologists are trained to tread very carefully wherever extraordinary events are being called on to explain geological features. The trouble is, of course, there are some things like Upheaval Dome, which are, as we now know, genuine creations of extraordinary -- albeit non-Biblical -- catastrophic events.

Wow! Who'da thunk it? Catastrophes?

Speaking of catastrophes then and since and future, take a look at this one: "Giant Fireball" Impact in Peru Upends Meteorite Theory and this one: How The Peruvian Meteorite Made It To Earth. The latter article informs us:

Scientists have determined the Carancas fireball was a stony meteorite - a fragile type long thought to be ripped into pieces as it enters the Earth's atmosphere and then leaves little more than a whisper of its journey.

Yet the stony meteorite that struck Peru survived its passage mostly intact before impact. "This just isn't what we expected," Schultz said. "It was to the point that many thought this was fake. It was completely inconsistent with our understanding how stony meteorites act."

They thought it was a fake! And in the case of Upheaval Dome, they've spent a century debating it. It all sounds like nobody really knows what they are doing, doesn't it? But then, why are they doing this: No, it's not a joke! Plans for 'doomsday ark' on the moon

I've been saying for years now that "Something Wicked This Way Comes." I find it curious that this lawsuit comes at exactly the time when I am getting deeper and deeper into the research for the series of Comet articles:

New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection
The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets

Cosmic Turkey Shoot

Wars, Pestilence and Witches
Thirty Years of Cults and Comets

Comet Biela and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
Tunguska, the Horns of the Moon and Evolution

In this series, we have learned that there is a lot of evidence that our planet undergoes cataclysmic bombardment a lot more often than the general public thinks or believes.

Awareness of the possibility of large impact events on Earth, although long present among a handful of the most imaginative thinkers, has come of age in this century as a result of studies of Arizona's Meteor Crater and the Tunguska fireball of June 30, 1908, in Siberia, spacecraft observations of cratering on Earth and other rocky bodies, and astronomical surveys of the near-Earth asteroid and comet populations. Appreciation of the effects of large impacts has developed in response to these studies and to the unclassified literature on the effects of large nuclear weapons. [...]

[T]he most intensively studied impact phenomenon, impact cratering, is of limited importance, due to the rarity and large mean time between events for crater-forming impacts. Almost all events causing property damage and lethality are due to bodies less than 100 meters in diameter, almost all of which, except for the very largest and strongest, are fated to explode in the atmosphere. ... Since explosions greater than 1 gigaton TNT are rare on this short of a time scale, we are forced to conclude that the complex behavior of smaller bodies is closely relevant to the threat actually experienced by contemporary civilization. [...]

[T]he large majority of lethal events (not of the number of fatalities) are caused by bodies that are so small, so faint, and so numerous that the cost of the effort required to find, track, predict, and intercept them exceeds the cost of the damage incurred by ignoring them.

(John S. Lewis, Professor of Planetary Sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Co-director of the NASA/University of Arizona Space Engineering Research Center, and Commissioner of the Arizona State Space Commission in: Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth, 2000; Academic Press)

The above statement by John Lewis pretty much sums up the conclusions of all the research into Comet and Asteroid Hazards that has been going on in a frenzied way for the past 14 years or so. The ones we really have to worry about, the ones that will kill people on the planet in random, unforeseen disasters, probably can't be seen and are too numerous for it to be cost effective to try to find and deal with them. In other words, the public is abandoned to their fate. Not only abandoned, but a deliberate policy of concealment of the facts is clearly in place.

As I have mentioned before, considering the nature of the topic and the obvious efforts to marginalize it, to cover it up and transfer it to the realm of "crazy conspiracy theories" or worse, we had some concern about Professor Victor Clube, author of The Cosmic Winter and the paper addressed to the European Office of Aerospace Research and development, dated June 4, 1996, entitled: The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets who seemed to have sort of "disappeared." I wrote in Part Four of this series:

As I have continued to dig into this subject triggered by reading Victor Clube's paper: The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets, it sure appears that I have opened a can of worms. I can report two things at this point: 1) there is a lot of covert research going on about this subject; 2) Victor Clube, himself, seems to have disappeared. We've got some researchers digging on that right now and I'll report back later. It could be the guy just retired, but for the moment, it does seem a bit mysterious considering the things he has written on the topic to hand.

It turns out that Victor Clube HAS retired. One of the SOTT editors who is a climate researcher at a major U.S. research facility undertook to try to find Clube and eventually received a FAXed letter from the good professor which I am quoting here in part:

2008 Feb 15

I note that my health is questioned and I hasten to admit its comparative rudeness! ... In fact I still like to think my apparent inactivity is not quite as total as a google search might be indicating!

First, I should say your references to the (cosmically complacent) paleoclimate community and to my otherwise unread narrative report to the USAF european office strike a very considerable chord with me. After all neither Ms Victoria Cox nor your good self can be aware how very much Bill and I had reason to appreciate the timely injection of USAF funds at a time when the line of research we championed appeared to be successfully closed down by the UK scientific establishment. Thus we were both in turn obliged to relinquish our career posts at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh on account of this line of research - which gave rise to our reincarnation at a more tolerant haven namely my alma mater (Oxford).

Also, whilst I broadly accept your commentary regarding the role of "national elites" in the face of near-Earth threats, I am quite certain the elites in practice currently know VERY "much LESS than they let on" and that the situation for humanity is dire. Any comfort you may draw from the opposite opinion seems to me to be entirely misplaced. Thus although the globally modest efforts to assess the NEO threat with telescopes by a few semi-enlightened national administrations (eg USA) or by a few private enterprises (eg Gates) are certainly to be commended, I look upon this aspect of the NEO threat as basically intermittent and therefore more or less symbolic so far as generally more urgent and still largely undetected low mass NEO flux (which is demonstrably climatological in its effect) is concerned. This particular threat (evidently responsible for our planet's evolving glacial/interglacial condition during the past 3 million years) is of course _fundamentally_ ignored by the current Body Scientific and hence by most of humanity as well.

Why is the Body Scientific so misguided? Basically, in my view, because many these days are unaware _two_ secular versions of natural philosophy have arisen since the West's renaissance when Plato's works were reintroduced, essentially substantiating a zodiacal circulation of gods apparently ancestral to the european elite. Following the invention of telescopes and the undigested revelation that zodiacal gods appeared non-existent (Galileo), the elite began to invoke transcendental divinity whilst rejecting any material circulation or "unmoved mover" occupying interplanetary space. Newton however delved behind Plato to reach Pythagoras etc. and revived the claims for a material circulation in the zodiac (diminished in luminosity) whose encounters with our planet remained a source of recurring providence. With advancing technology and the improvement of telescopes, the zodiac then revealed the first near-Earth comet (P/Encke) and the first not-so-near asteroid (Ceres) thus re-opening the question whether the ancient zodiacal circulation comprised near-Earth comets. An ensuing but very severe crisis then emerged within the Western elite which was resolved ca 1830 in favour of the preferred secular version of natural philosophy (Galileo's) as opposed to the other (Newton's). I now believe this turn of events was clearly initiated by the Royal Astronomical Society's official charter in Britain (top nation!) as soon as it agreed _not_ to publish observations of P/Encke even though its namesake had already received the Society's highest commendation. Arising from the political interference, Newton's unpublished papers were to remain concealed for at least another century whilst climatology (like many other branches of knowledge) was never properly integrated with Newtonian astrophysics and geophysics.

Once this thread of advancing knowledge is fully appreciated this integration may be reckoned to have only recently been attempted with the publication of an excellent interdisciplinary monograph "Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes" (Springer 2000) by Muller and McDonald (deceased). This seminal climatological work once again connects climate with a material circulation in the zodiac and can indeed hardly be faulted until it reaches its chapter 7 (Accretion climate models). Here, unfortunately, it becomes heavily dependent on a completely mistaken understanding of previously unknown dust bands in the zodiac revealed by IRAS as recently as 1983-4*. The IRAS team was a typical post-WWII scientific enterprise lasting only a decade or so and lacking a secure institutional base but inspired and funded by the top nation (USA) for the benefit of humanity. Its claims under these conditions, like those for resurrection, were endorsed far too rapidly by the Body Scientific and it was absolutely wrong to suppose _only_ low eccentricity (orbital) material could be invoked in creating these previously undetected dust bands. The IRAS team thus completely failed to associate these bands with their most obvious source namely the long term progenitor of Comet P/Encke. The upshot of all this is a succession of UK and US astronomical/ cosmological elites skillfully distracting the Body Scientific and humanity for the past 200 years from the most prominent material dominating near-Earth space and controlling Earth's climate for the past 3 million years (and a no doubt comparable period in future). The social/political outcome of all this (including the current global warming scare) could be laughable if it were not also so deep and profound. [...]

* P.S. The authors of these publications both fail to realise the conclusion between our planet's climate and it's spin-orbit differential nodal precession must arise on account of its long term orbital resonance with the accretion source (or the ancient music of the spheres). As you know, our research builds upon Comet P/Encke's proximity to such a resonance.

As I have mentioned already, everyone needs to read Clube's book if you can possibly get a copy. You may have to go to a library to do so. The reason this book is important is because it gives you a good idea in very realistic terms, of what you may have to deal with at some point in the not-too distant future... AND, that it is eminently survivable IF you know what to look for and how to prepare! We aren't talking about a giant asteroid here that is going to create a global wave of firestorm destruction like the movies depict! It's not Planet X or Nibiru! It's NOT the End of the World (at least not for everybody, but certainly for those who aren't prepared and happen to be in the line of fire!) But yeah, it might be somewhat like the Black Death with the loss of half the population of one or more continents, or the great Chicago Fire or Tunguska or even all of these rolled into one; but all of those events were survivable had the victims been informed and prepared. Yes, there are those who, even had they been informed and prepared would not have survived in any case, but we choose the optimistic path: Knowledge Protects. And we are trying our hardest to give you that knowledge.

The very fact that Bill Gates and others have invested in a seed bank, in an observatory, and all the other things we have discussed in the past and above suggest to us strongly that they (the rich and powerful), too, have this sort of future in mind. The very fact that the weather has gone berserk, that fireball sightings have increased so dramatically, and even frequent impacts are recorded around the globe, are clues that we are definitely moving into a cosmic dust stream as Clube describes, and that such a stream very likely includes some bigger objects - swarms of them - and those "in the know" have taken note and are making preparations. Shouldn't that knowledge be available to everyone? We think so.

We don't even have to worry about anything having to do with a companion star and a comet swarm from the Oort cloud which may or may not be in our future; we only have to deal with the science in front of us. The science says "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

I'm thinking about turning this series into a book, (and there is so much more to write about!) but of course, if Eric Pepin prevails in his suit against me - remember, I'm named personally as a defendant - things don't look too good for that book or future books. One might even speculate that the real intent of the suit is to try to seize all my copyrights, put me so deeply into debt that anything I write ever again will be owed to someone else who will then, we suspect, bury it forever.

That IS a possibility, you know. A real one.

In short, this lawsuit isn't just about some weird guy who got ticked off because a small, obscure forum in a backwater corner of the internet, generally suppressed by google (that's a whole other story), published some criticisms of his work and way of life - criticisms based on widely known and publicized events in that life, by the way. Nope. Eric Pepin has got to know that operates on a shoestring, that there is no gold to be gotten from this source. And, considering my age and lifespan prospects, ole Eric has got to know that even if I flipped burgers until I died, he'd never get anything.

So, yeah, this is more than just an attempt to suppress Free Speech. Connect the dots, figure it out.

And if you really want to know what is going on here on the BBM, you really need to kick yourself into action and either help us out with funds or with spreading the word about this situation because, peeps, Eric Pepin, whoever is behind him, along with the U.S. legal system, could very well snuff the lighthouse.

You gotta tell me if you want to know, and you gotta do it now. Tell me with actions, not words because, at this point, only actions will save the words I have yet to write for you, for your children, for all of us.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

When a Frivolous Lawsuit Can Do Real Damage

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Fri, 07 Mar 2008 06:10 EST

"Master" Eric J Pepin

Yesterday, as I was working on finishing up the next installment of the Comet Series of Articles, FedEx delivered a packet of mail from our corporate registered agent in the U.S. It was "Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial" filed in the State of Oregon by Eric Pepin's Higher Balance Institute, LLC. The reason? A discussion on the SOTT Forum that begins HERE.

Well, that was entertaining enough when you think about the fact that the discussion that he objects to was centered on several newspaper articles that describe his close calls with the legal system in Oregon over charges of sex abuse.

The legal document I received is 10 pages long so I'm just going to summarize it here. If you want to read the whole thing (it's hilarious beyond belief!) go HERE for the pdf.


Civil No.: CV '08-0233 HA


Limited Liability Company, dba HIGHER


California corporation, and LAURA
KNIGHT- JADCZYK, Defendants.

Plaintiff Higher Balance LLC, dba Higher Balance Institute ("HBI") files this Complaint against defendants Quantum Future Group, Inc. ("QFG") and Laura Knight-Jadczyk and alleges the following:

...defendants committed intentional torts that were purposefully targeted at HBI within the State of Oregon; defendants knew that HBI is a resident of the State of Oregon; defendants' tortious conduct cause HBI to suffer economic harm within the State of Oregon; HBI's claims arise out of defendants' activities relating to the State of Oregon; and the exercise of jurisdiction over defendants is reasonable in light of their intentional misconduct directed towards a resident of the State of Oregon.

As this Court has specific personal jurisdiction over the defendants, venue is proper in this district and division under 28 U.S.C 1391(a)(3)

General Allegations:

HBI is an Oregon-based company with over 40,000 customers from all over the world. HBI is dedicated to helping its customers relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and achieve emotional balance and spiritual enlightenment through meditation techniques. The majority of HBI's revenues are derived from the online sale of its books and CDs, which are designed to help its customers learn these meditation techniques.


Defendant QFG operates a website known as Signs of the Times ("SOTT"). QFG posts articles and sponsors forums regarding various conspiracy theories and allegedly corrupt organizations on the SOTT website.

Employees and agents of QFG, including defendant Knight-Jadczyk, serve as administrators and moderators of SOTT forums. QFG employees and agents, including defendant Knight-Jadczyk, post comments and analyses in SOTT forums. These employees and agents act within the course and scope of their agency for QFG when serving as administrators and moderators of the SOTT website and when posting comments and analyses on the SOTT website.

SOTT forums are available to the general public online.

...Many of HBI's existing and potential customers read the SOTT website as a source of alternative media....

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF - Defamation - Libel

....Beginning in May 2006, QFG sponsored a forum on the SOTT website concerning HBI under the heading "COINTELPRO."

Beginning in November 2007, defendants intentionally posted several false, baseless, and derogatory accusations concerning HBI on the SOTT website including, but not limited to:

a. HBI is a "front for pedophilia";
b. HBI is a "cointelpro" organization;
c. Meditation, as sold by HBI, is an act of "falling into confluence with a psychopathic reality";
d. Those associated with HBI must be careful to avoid sexual molestation by HBI members;
e. HBI is conning the public;
f. "Fishy sexual conduct is occurring at HBI; and
g. HBI "leads people more deeply into sleep."

By posting these statements in a public internet forum, defendants have published and communicated false and baseless accusations concerning HBI to third parties, including existing and potential HBI customers.

Defendants' statements tend to subject HBI to hatred, contempt, and ridicule and tend to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill and confidence in which HBI is held by the public and by its customers.

Defendant made these false statements with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for their truth.

As a result of defendants' false and defamatory statement, HBI suffered general damages in the form of loss of reputation in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $500,000. HBI has also suffered special damages in the form of lost income in amounts to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $834,732.

Defendants defamatory statements are still available to the general public on the SOTT website and are easily found through internet searches relating to HBI. Defendants conduct causes HBI irreparable harm, and HBI is entitled to an injunction preventing defendants' continued defamation of HBI.


Defendants intentionally gave publicity to matters concerning HBI that placed HBI in a false light before the public. etc

...economic damages ... not less than $834,732.

THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF: Intentional Interference with Economic Relations - Interference with Business Relationships

Defendant intentionally interfered with many of these business relationships by communicating the false and defamatory information listed...

...economic damages ... not less than $97,299.

HBI... has also suffered damages in the form of loss of reputation ... damages .... not less than $500,000.

...Defendants conduct was malicious and warrants punitive damages...

FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF: Intentional Interference With Economic Relations - Prospective Economic Advantage

Defendant's interference has diminished the esteem, respect, goodwill, and confidence in which HBI is held by the general public, thereby hindering HBI's ability to obtain many new customers with whom HBI had a prospective business relationship. ... damages to be determined at trial...

...On its First Claim for Relief, that HBI be awarded general and special damages in amounts to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $1,334,732, and that defendants be enjoined from their continued defamation of HBI.

...On its Second Claim for Relief, that HBI be awarded damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $1,334,732. and that defendants be enjoined from continuing to place HBI in a false light.

...On its Third Claim for Relief, that HBI be awarded damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $597,299. plus punitive damages, and that defendants be enjoined from their coninued interference with HBI's prospective business relationships.

...On its Fourth Claim for Relief, that HBI be awarded damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $1,205,000 plus punitive damages, and that defendants be enjoined from their continued interference with HBI's business relationships.

... That HBI be awarded pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on all damages recovered.

...That HBI be awarded its costs and disbursements incurred in this action; ...

Harry and David demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

25th day of February, 2008.

Bullivant houser Bailey PC
Renee E. Rothauge
Chad M. Colton
Tel 503.228.6351
Attorneys for Higher Balance Institute

Whoah! That's some heavy duty stuff, eh? Sounds like we just ripped up on that poor guy for no reason at all!

But that's not quite the situation. The original article about Eric Pepin that was brought to our attention on page 5 of the above-mentioned forum thread read as follows:

A 39-year-old Aloha man who promises spiritual awakening through meditation books and CDs he sells on the Internet is facing sex-abuse charges.

Beaverton police Detective Mike Smith said Eric J. Pepin runs what appears to be a cult out of his Higher Balance Institute on Southwest Second Street in Beaverton.

Pepin was arraigned Tuesday in Washington County criminal court on one count of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct, two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, and four counts of third-degree sexual abuse. He was released after posting $26,750 cash, or 10 percent of $267,500 bail. A trial was set for Sept. 12.

Using a child in a sexual display is a Measure 11 crime punishable by a mandatory minimum of 5 years and 10 months in prison.

Jamison Dwight Priebe, 21, who works for Pepin and lives at the same address in the 19600 block of Southwest Cooperhawk Court in Aloha, also was arrested on one count each of using a child in a sexual display and third-degree sexual abuse.

Priebe and Pepin turned themselves in at the Washington County Jail last week after a grand jury handed down secret indictments. Priebe was released after posting $25,375 cash bail and is awaiting arraignment Monday.

Smith said a man who is now 20 was 17 and working for Pepin when he allegedly was sexually abused at the Higher Balance office in the 11900 block of Southwest Second Street in Beaverton and at Pepin's former home in the city.

A call to the Higher Balance Institute on Wednesday was answered by a "Personal Star Reach Coach," who referred questions to Pepin's private attorney, Sam Kauffman.

"The charges are false, and we are confident Mr. Pepin will be exonerated," Kauffman said.

Pepin's Web site claims he has located more than 100 missing persons and runaways, along with U.S. Navy submarines, through a psychic ability he calls "remote viewing."

Pepin's meditation systems, which sell for $79 to $149, help customers develop their "sixth sense" and apply it "inward to awaken a dimensional universe within the mind," the Web site says.

According to an affidavit Smith filed with a request for a search warrant, the alleged victim told police that Internet customers who rave about Pepin's teachings are men and women usually older than 35. But, the man said Pepin told him he should recruit "good-looking men" between the ages of 18 and 24 to work for him.

The court record also says Pepin knew the man was 17 when he forced him to perform sex acts.

The boy, Smith wrote, "was taught by Pepin to believe that the sexual contact was only a spiritual necessity." But after a while, the affidavit says, the boy decided he was being used by Pepin, who bought him meals and paid him $200 after sex.

The man contacted Beaverton police in January.

Smith said anyone who may have had underage sexual contact with Pepin should call him at 503-526-2280.

Smith said the man accusing Pepin told police he met one of Pepin's followers at Beaverton Town Square in April 2004. He told Smith the recruiter invited him to meet Pepin and see him demonstrate levitation.

Pepin introduced himself dressed in a robe emblazoned with the words "Master Eric" and a triangular symbol and told the victim to take off his shirt, the detective said.

"It's a cult," Smith said, "anytime you have a guy who fancies himself as the master, the leader."

In another story from Associated Press found HERE, we read:

Beaverton police Detective Mike Smith said Pepin operated the Higher Balance Institute in Beaverton. Smith said the ornate robe emblazoned "Master Eric" turned up during a search.

Well, I've been falsely accused of trying to start a cult myself, so I might ordinarily have had sympathy for Pepin, but when I read the bit about the robe, I blew my tea through my nose. I guess that's why I'm such a failure as a cult-leader (aside from the fact that I'm not interested in the job) - I hardly ever wear anything other than sweats and bedroom slippers and spend all my time working!

In any event, even though a grand jury felt that there was enough evidence to indict Pepin, he was eventually acquitted in trial before a judge as the following report informs us:

Institute leader acquitted of sex charges

HOLLY DANKS - HILLSBORO -- A Washington County Circuit judge called the leader of a metaphysical Internet sales company manipulative and controlling and his testimony unbelievable, even as he acquitted him Wednesday of charges that he had sex with an underage boy.

Judge Steven L. Price, after a five-day trial without a jury, found Eric James Pepin, 40, not guilty of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, four counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.

Also acquitted of third-degree sexual abuse and using a child in a pornographic display was Jamison Dwight Priebe, 21, who has worked for Pepin's Higher Balance Institute since he was 18.

"Everybody has stood by me who knows me," Pepin said Wednesday after hugging supporters. "They had faith in me, prayed for me. I told them I wouldn't let them down. I did nothing of what was alleged. I've been nothing but honorable and impeccable."

However, Price said it was "probable that the conduct alleged in all counts occurred," but he wasn't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. "There's a lack of strong corroboration," such as a date-stamp on a videotape of the sexual encounter, the judge said.

The accuser testified Pepin had him take off his shirt the first day they met at Pepin's Beaverton home in April 2004.

"He was going to try and fix my energy and he needed me to trust him," the accuser said. Pepin touched the teen's "chakra points" on his heart, head and lower abdomen.

"Eric asked me to tell him everything I had done in my life that I was ashamed about," the teen added.

The accuser said Pepin asked him how old he was the first day they met and that he told him the truth.

"He said students had to be 18 because he didn't like parents fussing around," the accuser said.

But within days the two were having sex, including a three-way encounter with Priebe, the youth testified. Pepin called it "crossing the abyss," the accuser said, "surrendering yourself to your teacher, your master."

Pepin testified he is gay and has had sexual relationships with most of his 11 employees, but not before they were 18. Pepin said he gave his accuser a job, even though the teen was a poor worker, and continued to be intimate with him and give him money after he was fired, to help him out.

Stephen A. Houze, Pepin's private defense attorney, called the accuser a liar more than 100 times in his closing argument and noted that Pepin was "the perfect patsy" because society wants to believe the worst of a gay man. Houze said the accuser brought the charges because he wanted to shake down Pepin.

Pepin's Higher Balance Institute, now on Northwest Saltzman Road in Cedar Mill, reached an annual high of $2 million in Internet sales of meditation CDs, tapes and books before his arrest in July.

Pepin touts himself as a psychic and "remote viewer" who has found lost submarines and missing people, and says he created the "psychic pill" Magneurol6-S that enhances brain function, heals nerve damage, heightens paranormal experiences and relieves stress for $79 a bottle.

Andrew Erwin, deputy district attorney, called Higher Balance nothing more than a sex cult run by a "snake oil" salesman who preys on the troubled.

The accuser had nothing to gain by going to police and turned down $250,000 from Pepin to drop the sex charges, Erwin said.

"I'm disappointed," Erwin said of the verdicts. "The judge wants proof beyond all doubt and that's too high a standard."

And now, Pepin wants to sue QFG and yours truly for talking about these articles, published in a newspaper and scattered across the web (though all of them are no longer on the newspaper's website, wonder what's up with that?)!!

Notice that Pepin, himself, revealed his "sex cult" practices in his own testimony. We'll be trying to get transcripts of the trial to publish so our readers can hear it from the horse's mouth; stay tuned for that.

Notice also that Pepin's attorney, Houze, accused the victim of bringing charges because he wanted to shake down Pepin even though the kid turned down 250 K hush money offered by Pepin. Well, maybe that's what gave Pepin the idea of suing me. Only thing is, he's gonna have a hard time collecting his 4.47 million because I don't own a thing, live in a rented house, drive a used car and QFG rarely has more than a grand in the bank at any given time. When we have fund-raisers, the funds are used almost instantly, repaying loans and covering basic expenses for the site and equipment.

It's also humorous that Pepin is suing QFG which only sponsors a world-wide group of independent researchers who, together, make up QFG doesn't own sott, nor does QFG have any employees nor any official oversight of anything that the researchers say or do.

But the bottom line is this: Eric Pepin is convicted out of his own mouth of being a sexual predator. I mean, what kind of teacher of meditation says that he has sex with all his employees? And all of them young men?

Nope, we aren't backing down. We firmly believe, based on available official documents and court records, that Eric Pepin is a danger to innocent people looking for spiritual guidance. Obviously, young guys just looking for sex and money and a good time will be delighted to take his pills, listen to his tapes and attend his retreats. But the wider public who are not aware of these things in Pepin's background, who are not aware that even the judge who acquitted him regretted having to do so, and that the Prosecutor of the case was also convinced that justice had NOT been done, need to be warned about this sexual predator in our midst.

Maybe Eric Pepin will take down, we don't know. We don't have money for an expensive defense attorney, we barely stay afloat. But even if that happens (and we hope our readers will help us out now as never before), there are others who know and I don't think that Eric Pepin and all his minions can track down and silence all of them.

Even if you can't give to our legal defense fund, I will appreciate letters of support during this trying time. Write to sott(at) and I will try to answer each and every one.

And thanks to all our readers for your constant support and encouragement.

Comment: Oregon police say man abused teen in cult-like operation
"Two Aloha men arrested on sex-abuse charges"
Leader of Washington County Internet company acquitted of sex abuse
Sexual predators in the religious scene

Make no mistake about it: This is an attack on internet freedom and freedom of speech, plain and simple. If Eric Pepin were to win, based on the accusations in the complaint, it would set a precedent that would reverberate across the world. It would make anyone who had a different opinion or view of the world - other than that which is approved by the PTB - subject to suppression and censure. The issues of psychopathy and conspiracy are specifically named in the complaint as well as the connection between religion and making money. If this suit were to succeed, it would significantly chill further discourse about conspiracies, pathological deviance, mind control methods and real cults, including the Judao-Islamo-Christian dominator trio. It would be a disaster.

And so, I think we can begin to notice who is and is not interested in assisting us in publicizing this threat, what so-called "alternative news" sites or "conspiracy theory" sites are willing to come to our aid in facing this threat against all of us on the net.

Certainly there are people and sites that have felt the sting of our critique and we have felt theirs more than once. This is the watershed. As Martin Niemöller said:

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

It's time for those who stand for freedom of speech, for our First Amendment Rights, to speak up or forever be silenced. Because that is what will happen if Eric Pepin and the Higher Balance Institute prevail. He will create the precedent for total suppression for the PTB masters whether that is his intention or not.