PATRICK LAWRENCE: Brighter US-Iran Prospects – Consortiumnews

Iran Sends Diplomatic Signals

Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Javad Zarif, respectively Iran’s president and foreign minister, both signaled last week that Tehran is open to new talks under certain conditions. On the U.S. side, Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did roughly the same. “We are not looking for regime change. We are not looking for that at all,” Trump said Tuesday. “We’ll see what happens. But a lot of progress has been made.”

Two days after those remarks, Politico reported that Trump had accepted Sen. Rand Paul’s proposal, advanced during a round of golf the previous weekend, to represent the White House in talks with Iranian officials. The Kentucky senator is noted for his vigorous opposition to military adventures — a position in keeping with the president’s ostensible views. It is not clear who Paul might meet, or where and when any such encounter could take place. But Trump’s decision to accept Paul as his emissary is a savvy move to circumvent the hawks among his foreign policy advisers, chief among them National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has in the past called for regime change in Iran.

Bolton, often (but not always) with Pompeo’s support, has pressed for a highly confrontational Iran policy since he joined the administration last year. It now emerges that he played a leading role in conjuring the Gibraltar incident out of thin air, effectively using Britain as an unwitting tool to advance his hyper-hawkish Iran agenda.

The marked drift toward diplomacy last week represents an important, potentially decisive setback for Bolton and the White House’s hawkish factions. Washington’s hawks sustained another blow Saturday, when The New York Times published the astonishing remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former fire-breathing, often objectionable president who preceded Hassan Rouhani. “He is a businessman and therefore he is capable of calculating cost-benefits and making a decision,” the hardline Ahmadinejad said of Trump in an hour-long telephone interview with the Times. “We say to him, let’s calculate the long-term cost-benefit of our two nations and not be shortsighted.”

Read more: PATRICK LAWRENCE: Brighter US-Iran Prospects – Consortiumnews

Official Launch : Want More? Need Less.

Welcome to Gabracadabra Studios.

The Psychedelicatessen is now open. My name is Gabrielle and I’ll be your server.

Greetings old friends and new,

Thank you for being a part of my journey even if we’re not speaking currently. I’m grateful for souls that left me upon the path with beautiful memories and even the scars; many of them have healed along the way — making me stronger than before.

There are other scars — old ones — the wounds we all carry around on this spaceship earth…whether we acknowledge them or not. Human suffering *and joy* is what makes us family; those most common experiences. We too often neglect the joy of living when we don’t allow space or conditions for it to thrive.

It isn’t hard to see that joy tends to take a backseat in the current political climate.

For those who are new here, I’ll preface this post with some backstory. I’ve had several homes on the internet doing business and creative media projects as the web evolved with me. I was an early adopter and I have seen many changes, both good and bad. I’ve met amazing friends in cyberspace on many sites. A handful of the more recent sites are collapsing thanks to their disregard for free speech, fear of open source information, and pesky ‘sticks and stones’ called opinions [gasp!]. Of course, it is also collapsing due to exposure of the incestuous corruption with Big Brother agencies and their stranglehold on popular social media outlets. More on that in posts to come.

Let go or be dragged. ~ Zen koan

90b69-previews-of-coming-attractions1copyWe always forget that change is the only constant. Especially in America. It is never as expansive as we imagine it could be — but instead something packaged and sold; narratives like “hope and change”.  Real change happens only when we decide to change our hearts and minds. That’s what [r]evolution looks like. This is uncomfortable for those who’ve become extremely comfortable with a system that gets its wealth by exploiting us at home, while investing in Wall Street’s global war machine abroad. The Matrix media continues to seduce the populous with vapid consumerism, causing good people to look the other way when they should not.  True [r]evolution comforts the disturbed, the downtrodden, the peaceful, the anti-war activists; the emapths. Remember them?

What would John Lennon do?

How can we possibly learn if we do not remember our past mistakes, seeking humbly to correct them and thereby attain redemption? Redemption is meaningless if no hardship is presented for us to overcome. America got too comfortable in its easy chair without reminders of what it has lost. We’ve approached what Martin Luther King called, ‘a spiritual death.’

For those of us who have paid attention since 9/11, it has been humbling to bear witness to unfolding history. We’ve held on to our integrity. Now we must hold sacred space.

Huntress Hits Her Mark?

I want to share a personal experience from last October, a month after I moved to my new home. It is one of the better experiences I can name in my life, and it surprised me as much as anyone who witnessed it. It is equal parts known and mysterious but definitely a human induced catalyst of my own making. One I’m compelled to share on my new website, with a new and deeper understanding about how my experiences fit into what feels like uncharted territory in collective history. Without a map maker, or a trusted guide, I’m left to rely on my inner compass and taking leaps of faith. That good, ol’ self-reliance that Emerson wrote about.

“ne te quæsiveris extra” · seek not yourself from outside yourself

The following story began in the year 2011 when I created the list of intentions below. It was October 11th, on a full Hunter’s Moon night.

Fast forward to last October when I stumbled upon it while unpacking, a few days before last year’s full Hunter’s Moon night. I literally had to sit down.

After thoughtful consideration and a nudge of encouragement, I decided to share the list and the story of my journey with — wait for it — my new intentional community, around a fire that Hunter’s Moon night exactly seven years later…in Bloomington, Indiana. We sat in a circle after weekly community dinner and I burned the list after sharing the story.

Of course, I had to take a photograph of it.

Today, almost six months later, I can no longer say I ‘live’ at Green Acres Permaculture Village — I thrive here. Bloomington, Indiana is a college town I’d lived in a few years before. I often visited throughout my youth to see friends, lovers, and live shows. But I was drawn to move to this part of southern Indiana for vastly different reasons than my younger, naive self could have imagined before 9/11.

Since my arrival at Green Acres, I’ve been working on several projects. Right out of the gate, I began working with marketing interns from the local college the first week. I’m doing web work for an amazing non-profit [which you’ll hear more about soon], and doing social media outreach for the village. Several of my new friends here are now excited that I’m once again flirting with hosting house concerts.

Two years before I made that list in 2011, I had a local non-profit that co-sponsored, promoted and hosted house shows to raise awareness for two national music charities. It was called The Road Home. A labor of love I once thought would be a musical gift to the city of Indianapolis. However, the sweet momentum of that project was short-lived.

The Road Home ~ A Long And Winding Tale

The Universe taught me a huge lesson at that time, about what community meant and where not to place my trust. I’m still not certain whether it was fear, jealousy, or just competition that caused people to behave so terribly, but the consequences of my trusting nature and a simple miscommunication became a sudden typhoon, seeing me lose my project, two months of future photography income, my sense of place, and my home — where my child and our cat also lived.

In literally less than 24 hours, I went from respected photographer and music promoter with prospects, to searching for a home and a regular job. To say that this experience was devastating would be an understatement. That it was caused by hearsay and rumor was worse. I managed to keep my head up and fought for my integrity. All I had left was my family and my professional reputation. I had to defend both from what ensued.

People who shall not be named began to share ludicrous rumors — which eventually got back to me in a text message full of gleeful snark. This person was literally laughing at my misfortune while I was scrambling to find income and a roof for my family. Others later engaged in cruel remarks without ever asking me directly what had happened.

Still others felt it was a perfect time to dump their emotional and relationship problems in my lap. Empaths will recognize that tune: the curse of kindness. Even if I had any time to spare for another soul, I simply didn’t have the energy. I gently set a few them straight. Some needed to be told to fuck off. I put myself and my family first and you’d be surprised how many took that personally.

After this harrowing experience, nothing going on in the city interested me. I kept receiving dozens of invitations a week to live shows, and being asked to take professional photographs for bands [for free] — to “get exposure.” I realized I needed to get out of this city and lift the bar higher than bar culture. I’d had enough.

You tell me: why would anyone with any self-respect stay in a city full of mean girls and cliques hellbent on social climbing, rumors, backstabbing, and pretending to like you because they think they’ll get something out of it? What that something was, I’ll never know. It was just another bad reality show that had played itself out.

I’d rather walk on by and let ’em get on, get on, get on with what they’re doing. ~ Want More, Need Less, Lyrics by Toni Halliday.  Band, Curve.

Two months later, I was spending Christmas with family. I received an email informing me that my former music project was featured in the holiday edition of the Jeff Buckley International Newsletter. I was floored. That was an incredibly bittersweet moment of validation that brought me to tears. I was humbled and grateful. I did have something fine and it accomplished something meaningful that was also meaningful to others…and my fellow Buckley fans around the world.

The city got my backside. And I’ve never looked back.

A lot of things transpired in the two years before I made my Hunter’s Moon list. But the short of it: I was highly motivated to get away from uncivilized civilization and manifest something meaningful again. This was never about people I used to know [or thought I knew]. No drama. No names. None of that matters. What did matter was that I learned a valuable lesson about the shadow, and the collective unconscious. I moved on; always seeking to treat others, and myself, better than I was treated by that ‘scene’.

Not long after, there was news of the devastating Haiti earthquake. I witnessed in real time the incredible value of social media as a tool for sharing news. A friend asked me to co-sponsor a musical event to raise funds for Haitian earthquake relief and I was glad to assist with promoting. On the heels of that show, news of the BP Oil Disaster unfolded in the Gulf.  From that moment, everything seemed less important than a need to learn about what was happening to our world — and the ecosystems we depend on for survival.

The BP Oil Disaster wasn’t just a catastrophic event for the people of the Gulf, who were already struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. It was a major catalyst that irrevocably changed how I viewed the world. For me, it was like a second 9/11.

Little did I know how strangely prescient that thought would prove itself to be. What I have learned since that time cannot not be unseen.  I took the red pill.


Show flyer for The Road Home’s last public event in Indianapolis.

We’re All Not Guilty, We’re Responsible

So sayeth the late poet and native activist, John Trudell.

I will be the first to admit when I’m wrong when enough facts are presented. I will not, however, have things decided for me based on rumor, hearsay, or magical thinking from elected officials telling me to stay calm [like when poisoning the Gulf of Mexico]. I didn’t ‘hope’ for change — I decided to change. It is our own thinking that has to change first. Only then do we choose to no longer be victims. To ‘free my mind’, I chose to be a warrior, not a worrier. It also meant owning my choices…and living with the outcomes, both good and bad.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So yeah, sometimes I worry! Though I no longer feel the need to scream into the void of cyberspace. I observe. I meditate on information presented. Then I aggregate news I feel is relevant to discourse.

That is what I have chosen to do since I slayed my own Jabberwocky of cognitive dissonance. I felt a responsibility to pay it forward through journalism. Choices made every day are ill-informed due to corporate media alone. I’m now at a point where the choices I make are, more often than not, well-informed leaps of faith.

Leaps of faith are about trusting your gut — your instincts — your Self. We can guess outcomes based on a little bit of information, but America doesn’t realize it has been flying blind much of the time by relying on a corrupt media. Informed or ignorant, when you take chances, the idea is: a lesson gets learned from the outcome, regardless.

The problem with an ill-informed ‘democracy’ is that it will learn the hard way and often when it is too late to do much about it. We require a little ‘tough love’ since corporate media ‘fails upward’ by design. There is not much left for it but to trust your own mind and do your own research.

Magical thinking about what media and government functions actually are has, unfortunately, caused the country to lose its ability to tell its own stories, or to learn from past mistakes rather than repeating them every election cycle. We have pitifully few examples of daring that inspire. [I’m hardly inspired by corporate culture darlings or sports figures pimped as ‘heroes’, selling razors, soda, or mini-vans].

I find myself looking further into the past for information and inspiration. Uplifting stories about courageous folks, like those Howard Zinn wrote about in A People’s History of the United States. Yet there are many who would see this book banned. Why? Because the truth about real history isn’t profitable. There is nothing in it for Wall Street or the political elite to have resources widely available that would empower everyday people. The system wants good, obedient consumers of soda and mini-vans and war…not people speaking truth to power…or finding out exactly who holds the real power.

It’s US. We, The People.


Originally published in 1957. A winner for an audio archive!

We’re better off reading an out-of-print book or getting a tarot reading than opening a newspaper these days. [Psst: the two former offerings I plan to share here.] From the ‘leap of faith’ Fool tarot card to The Universe or The World card, these archetypal symbols tell a story about the journey toward self-liberation.

Governments cannot give you that, you have to obtain that through sacrifice. [What my yoga teacher called: ‘going through it to get to it’.] The path to freedom, or what Carl Jung called the individuation process, doesn’t look like a ‘free-for-all’ of consumption, has nothing to do with french fries, or getting more stuff from [I’ll say it again] a corrupt government that has to pay for the ‘stuff’ by illegal and unconstitutional means.

Welcome to the real world, Neo.

Quit Your Whinging

We need to raise our own bar and practice good words and actions. Healing wounds and breaking cycles of abuse that perpetuate shaming, co-dependency, gas-lighting and coercion. The very cycles of abuse that have been in human systems from religion to state power for thousands of years. You can call that patriarchy if you like but the enemy is not men. It is maybe 1% of them — owning nearly every damn thing, including ‘too big to fail’ banks and the corporate media.

America can’t afford to sleepwalk through world history, expecting decent outcomes without first acknowledging it HAS a collective shadow. As a double-Gemini, I have learned to respect language, communication skills and know that words are powerful. Of course, they are co-opted by the state, organized religion and political ‘foundations’ because they know words are powerful. Systems wield them with surgical precision because they have a manual for that. It is actually titled, Propaganda. 

Written by Ed Bernays, who happened to be Freud’s nephew, it is a manual for corporate psychological warfare. We call it something far more palatable now: Public Relations. So when I see more snark in politics and “sticks and stones” thrown by people needing ‘trigger warnings’, Bernays’ handiwork isn’t difficult to see. Folks who are too easily manipulated by emotions do more harm than good in a democracy; especially to the first amendment. An emotionally triggered populous could conceivably bring down a country founded on principles of liberty and freedom.  Right out of Ed’s playbook!

brace-yourself-backstabbingPeople will have to miss me with trigger warnings in the arena of politics. If words hurt people, they should get rid of their televisions! Otherwise, they are choosing to pay to be manipulated, gas-lighted, and coerced by psychological warfare. Aren’t we upset by that? We certainly should be — but it is difficult to realize, let alone admit when we’ve been duped, suckered or bamboozled. We all have control over our actions and reactions. Why choose to allow strings of letters to own us?

It’s time to graduate Jr. High and punk rock something. Rock ‘n roll looks and feels more like democracy than the current incarnation.

I decided 7 years ago to ditch cable television. I didn’t want to pay for my own lobotomy after reading Catherine Austin Fitts’ chilling forward in Crossing The Rubicon. I also didn’t want corporate buzz words bouncing around in my head when I decided to sit down and write. When our words are not our own instead of regurgitated doublespeak from car show models on the idiot box, we purchase a one-way ticket straight to the place Orwell and Huxley warned us was the end of the line for democracy — and critical thinking.

Imagine a place completely opposite of what I have just described to you. That is the exactly the kind of place I set out to find when I made that list on a full moon night in 2011. But I won’t lie to you. Each year, the things I listed became increasingly difficult to find.

I’m incredibly grateful that I did. I’ll not take those blessings for granted.


Seven years of hard-won education through media work, travels, loss, and personal heartache later — I am here. I’m alive and enjoying life with a beautiful group of co-creative human beings. Sometimes we get what we ask for and then some. My mentor, Mike Ruppert wrote in the acknowledgements of his book, Crossing The Rubicon, that “Miracles can happen without our permission.”

I certainly gave my mine!

Three days after I made my intention list, a whirlwind of activity commenced. I’d acquired a PC to host an internet radio station. The same week, I was booted out of a house share due to some BF/GF housemate psycho-drama. I didn’t panic, though. It occurred to me immediately, ‘Of course! I had just sent my intentions…here we go!’

New friends rallied, coming to my aid. Many were grateful for the writing and news analysis I had done. One of my UK readers mailed me a beautiful silver coin with a note of gratitude. I still carry that coin today. A published author who followed my work at the time, sent money for a decent hotel so I could decompress and meditate before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The following week, I got the invitation to fly to Portland for an Occupy media tour down the west coast, visiting parts of the country I’d never visited before. It was on that trip that I met and interviewed Mike Ruppert in Sebastopol, California.


Hunter’s Moon List 10/11/11 to 12/17/11. No coincidence. It was synchronicity, brother.

You’ll notice that I put Bloomington at the top of my list. That’s because this city had at one time, a peak oil task force. I’d also learned it was home to a growing permaculture community with teachers who are internationally published and recognized in their field. I had scouted communities on the west coast during the Occupy tour, seeking people who were energy literate and practicing resilience; but I was both amazed and relieved to discover that it wasn’t much further than my own back yard!

There’s a helluva lot more to this story which I will share in future installments. The point I want to make? Mike Ruppert was the first person I heard utter the word permaculture. I’d studied his work during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, trying in earnest to learn how the oil industry ticked. A great deal of understanding about currency, oil economies, i.e.; my energy literacy, came from listening to Mike’s early lectures and reading Crossing The Rubicon. Make no mistake, this book is not just about oil. I’d also learned just how long corrupt NGO’s and ‘foundations’ had been looting other countries under the guise of humanitarian aid, like Haiti after the earthquake…and what we’re now seeing unfold in Venezuela.

Again, these are things that cannot be unseen…and should never be forgotten.

Since Mike’s passing, I was named official archivist for his important book. The bell that resonated so deeply and changed the course of my destiny, however, was upon viewing the documentary in which he starred, called Collapse. Even after reading Rubicon, it was Mike’s earnest storytelling that convinced me to dig deeper and take action.

If not for Mike, I wouldn’t have made that list. Of course I’m sad that he is not with us but his spirit is absolutely present. I thank him often. Mike was quick to thank others who taught him so he could pass along knowledge he acquired. I want to return the favor.

I learned a lot about responsibility and honor from a good man, and an honest cop. But he was more than that. He was a good ancestor. We should all strive to be one.

End of The Deep State: Brought To You By The Letter Q?

I am relieved to find others discussing Qanon where I live! I made several videos about it last year that will I’ll share here soon. People in this movement understand what I’ve come to learn through Mike’s work. I firmly believe he would have been following this phenomenon. Much of what he’d written about in 2004 is linked to current events. “Future proves past”…for those familiar with the nomenclature.

“Until you change the way money works, you change nothing.” ~ Michael C. Ruppert

Mike’s oft-used quote was actually more of a mantra. And it does appear that things might actually be moving in that direction! However, we must consider the words of Gil Scott-Heron, “The revolution will not be televised.” Epic moments are indeed numerous but they are certainly not being sponsored by razors, soda or mini-vans. Let Bernays roll in his grave!

I’ll post new Rubicon book excerpts from my Youtube channel, and much more about Green Acres, the intentional community I call home. There will be plenty of audio/visual delights that tickle my psyche as well. I have aggregated 7+ years of such posts in the categories listed on the right. Happy browsing!

Please note: you may discover Youtube videos missing from older posts due to censorship — not just from this country. Those posts will remain unchanged and archived for posterity, just in case some social media giants get broken up like the banks [yes, I still give my permission for miracles].

And now for something completely different: The Official Doomer Disclaimer

You're-angry.-Sometimes-anger-makes-people-do-unfortunate-things.Bonus GoT Nerd Disclaimer: Arya is my favorite.

I no longer talk of extinction.**

**unless we’re talking about pollinators that we rely on for food, desertification of soil, lack of clean water, or comet impact theories from Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock [also a friend to Mike]. Discussion of human extinction due to “human induced” climate change wastes valuable human energy for no return on psychological investment. I’m no longer on the fence but I am done talking about the sky falling. Globalists are doing enough fear-mongering for all of us, thank you very much.

Like the Game of Thrones character Jon Snow said, “I’m here to fight for the living.” For me, that includes the living planet. It does not include, however, fighting for or defending rude, childish behavior from the self-righteous who refuse to discuss ‘how’ the planet is warming. I want to focus on solutions, not parroting Chicken Little globalists.

I have taken in as much climate evidence as I can stomach. I’ve seen people wallow in grief, despair and self-pity. I did it myself until I took my power back from others who were parroting the same things globalists are squawking. Some have since become grief counselors because they are convinced — by those globalist sources — that we’re fucked. [*insert spider and fly analogy here*]

It is this kind of despair that ultimately drove an already deeply wounded Mike Ruppert to take his own life. I refuse to defend faith in data from globalists [who have that handy manual for emo-manipulation] but who simply can’t be bothered to discuss or debate said data, show up to support a pipeline protest or stand with water protectors.

Frankly, I find that truly fucked.

I’ve concluded, as anyone who has done any research will tell you — the planet is warming. I’ve never argued that point. However, by looking further into the past, I’m convinced that the planet has been warming — and cooling — for the better part of 12,000 years. That simply isn’t going to be stopped by co-opting the Green Party ‘new deal’ by a fresh round of energy-illiterate neoliberals…no matter how cute they are in pantsuits.

Permaculture is the wisest, least expensive and less energy intensive course of action. It needs to start locally, but I could see it happening en masse like the effort of the national Victory Garden campaign during WWII. That would take some political will, but efforts like this can also start locally and ripple out.

Collective energy is best focused on local solutions for viable soil, clean water and the mental/spiritual health of future generations that will be caring for all three. I’ve no interest in engaging in politics or dogma, instead of actual science; which leaves room for error and the humility that comes with that. If we’re all agreed that the planet is warming, it leads to the same conclusion and solution for the energy literate: more people learning, practicing and teaching permaculture. As outreach specialist for Green Acres, I aim to make that knowledge more accessible to the curious and uninitiated.

You can start in your own backyard. And there’s no need to become morally elitist  about it because the planet doesn’t care how you feel! But she will take care of you if take care of her. Try that instead of caring what other people think. You’ll be surprised how far that will get you!

In closing, please beware of those who take no time for self-reflection, who never question authority, media, or their own assumptions. Lecturing, posturing, and blaming isn’t helpful. Look in the mirror to start the heavy lifting of inner work. Turn. Off. Your. Television. Inquire within.

I’ve reflected on attitudes that have changed people after the last election. Not always for the better. They often remind me of those city folk who engaged in snark and cruelty to protect a clique. Now it’s a political party, or a candidate, or another in a long line of rigidly held worldviews. I find it harder to tell them apart. Like so many fun-house mirrors reflecting the current political climate — proven to be human induced.

We need it less. Let’s manifest something more. Time to make a new list!

I hope you’ll come back to see what’s cookin’ in the coming year, or subscribe to get some magic in your inbox. Love and rocket stoves ~ Gabrielle


An open letter to Mike Ruppert

As many of you may have heard, Michael C. Ruppert took his own life this past Sunday evening after his radio program The Lifeboat Hour aired on PRN. I sent a short version of this email to him – a busy news analyst – on November 7th of 2013. I kept the long version for a book I’m working on but today I felt inclined to share it. I hope it brings some comfort to those who loved him and respected his work, which meant so much to so many. The Refreshment Center changed significantly since I met him, but it simply wouldn’t have existed at all without his contribution & commitment to high standards in investigative journalism. He was one helluva mentor. RIP Ruppert Bear. ~ Gabrielle Price

A letter to Mike Ruppert


Greetings, Mike – I hope this finds you well. I’ve been incredibly busy on the new homestead after years wandering and trying to find my place. My time here may be short-lived but it is a welcome respite, especially now, and I am making no small plans for this place.

I’m writing in regards to your last radio show with Carloyn Baker and I was very pleased to hear the band Puscifer during the break. I’ve followed Maynard’s career for awhile and I was reminded of a post I made at The Refreshment Center in 2010. It has many more views than most, except for a short screed on anarchy that was juvenile at best when I wrote it.

I wanted to share this post with you personally, rather than on social media because it is personal to me and reminds me of a time when I had sequestered myself away from what Krishnamurti would call our ‘sick society’. I had my longest ‘dark night of the soul’ as it were. There have been others, but this one was the mother of them all. I hope you will entertain my telling a short story.

Long before Occupy, I had read ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ after the BP Disaster and later watched Collapse with a former roommate. During the film, you mentioned ‘finding your tribe and gathering your friends’ – he paused the film and told me he was very glad I was there. I was, too. We made plans and worked well together, sharing data and researching into the wee hours, planning a garden and keeping an eye on events that were just coming to light in Greece.

Unfortunately, our bond of friendship wasn’t as strong as his love of alcohol and need for repetitive fighting. It was traumatic on many levels. My daughter and I had to leave less than two months after I viewed Collapse. From that point, I had to walk away from my former life and friends because they were barely familiar. Stung by this experience before for different reasons [‘cliques’, ‘art snobs’ and ‘self-proclaimed gurus’ among them]…this experience was vastly different. Your work gave me two gifts: My freedom from mental slavery and the realization of why I was left uninspired by this culture. The things I saw and heard being passed off as art, spoke nothing about the world we actually live in. I began the hard work of decolonization of self.

After reading Rubicon, a fine work but I admit it was when I heard your voice in Collapse that the ‘bell rang’ out in my soul. It resonated with startling clarity what I had already known…that everything is connected. I felt this in the ‘inner’ before but was grasping to figure out what the ‘outer’ connection was that drew us all toward this coming shift. I credit you and your teachers for this part of my awakening. Gratitude matters a great deal to me and I’d be not worth my salt without thanking you personally for this foundation-breaking epiphany.

It was this epiphany that compelled me to sequester myself in a hotel room for six months. My daughter moved before this and I was able to make the decision to stay by the grace of friends I met online and knew your work. I had been practicing meditation a few years by that time and what I learned resonated loudly enough for me to take the drastic measure of leaving behind my comfort zone. To turn down the volume, study your methods…learn how to investigate, how to dig, how to pluck out the ice cream from the BS [as you once said]. And I’m quite sure many believed I had lost my mind.

It was also during this time that a long-distance relationship deepened. A man who knew me well and loved me deeply enough to encourage the work I was doing, whether he understood it or not. I’d never experienced this before and it was not for me to question the when or why of the gift, I simply surrendered to it. I found a love – my beloved – who encouraged me to become what I had always wanted to be: a writer. He was far away and I missed him often but I never felt lonely. Love like that made me stronger when many would have quit. I found I was not afraid of solitude. In fact, it was a blessed gift.

My time in what Bukowski may have called a palace [compared to his ‘cold water flats’] to connect more dots and develop my intuition, this following blog post was born. Occupy came soon after and a year later, it was through this rushing wave of awakening that I found myself on your doorstep, interviewing you at your home in Sebastopol, holding my signed copy of Rubicon and leaving a rose quartz in your garden.

There is, of course, so much more to this story. I hope you’ll honor me by reading it one day but please know these experiences taught me that nothing is coincidence to those who trust the path of spirit, brother. Nothing.

Heaven is for those afraid of hell – to be spiritual is to have gone through hell. I believe that as much as I believe I was led to the place I am blessed to be in now. I try to help every soul I meet that carries the heavy load of this ‘sick society’ knowing much of that suffering is illusory. The weight of shackles we do not own but many call a birthright. It’s this idea of ownership that validates the absurd notion that man can rightfully own the earth.

This ‘theater of the absurd’ is older than the Buddha. The earth is older still and we must all be her witness now. Her suffering is our suffering.

An old Swedish proverb that holds true as much as it did when I heard it in my youth, “Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow, only half a sorrow.”  Thank you for sharing both and the courage to bear witness to the atrocities of this dying age. It has made me appreciate the beauty of all life more acutely, not just through my camera lens. I recognize the sacredness of simple pleasures. The jewels contained within a simple life.

My friend, such treasures we’ve had all along! We’re all so much richer than this paradigm wants us to know…and I found that’s where my work finally met spirit. What a blessing to get here. Some of us just have to take the long way home, I reckon.

I honor your journey and I wish you peace, Mike. For every envelope you pushed and trail you blazed, I thank you. I’m honored that spirit saw fit for us to meet upon the path.

Enjoy : Sacred Math and The Sacred Hoop [with Tool song Lateralus]

With love and respect,



Spiral out, Brother Mike. We’ll keep going.


Unholy Trinity / Part Three

Excerpts from Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
Published in 2004 / Chapter 3

The CIA Is Wall Street, And Drug Money Is King

by Michael C. Ruppert
[w/his permission]

The smoking gun

As the national controversy raged over the Gary Webb stories from 1996 through 1998, pieces of evidence started to leak into the public domain.  One piece, a 1981 letter from from then US Attorney General William French Smith to Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Bill Casey, summarized the results of a long negotiation process that changed the CIA’s obligations under the law when people who worked for it were caught dealing drugs.

It had previously been a requirement under Title 18 of the US Code that, whenever a manager or department of the executive branch discovered that an employee was breaking the law, an immediate notification to the US Department of Justice or one of its enforcement agencies had to be made.  In 1981, at the start of the Contra War the CIA had a problem.  It knew that the coming covert operations were going to witness a dramatic explosion in the volume of cocaine entering the States.  It needed not only a cover for itself but also a legal way to circumvent what was sure to be a deluge of reports (which did occur) about US government personnel or contractors who were moving drugs.

In a two-stage negotiation process, the CIA and the Department of Justice first made an arbitrary decision that anyone who worked for the CIA (whether a full-time employee or contractor or employee of a CIA proprietary company) who did not hold “officer” rank within the agency was deemed not to be an employee.  In the next stage, it was decided that “no formal requirement” for the reporting of violations of drug laws was going to be required under the newly reached memorandum of understanding.

Proof of this surfaced when a copy of the letter formalizing the agreement was sent anonymously to the office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters when she was still championing the issue.  A key sentence in the letter said, “In light of these provisions, and in view of the fine cooperation the Drug Enforcement Administration has received from the CIA, no formal requirement regarding the reporting of narcotics violations has been included in these procedures.”  With the stroke of a pen the CIA had been absolved from turning in its employees, its contractors, and the employees of its proprietary companies who were soon to be found smuggling cocaine, hand over fist, and airplane over cargo ship.

A copy of this letter was inserted in the CIA’s final inspector general (IG) report in October 1998, long after the nation had forgotten the issue and become lost in Monika Lewisky’s dress.

Click to enlarge

The smoking airplanes

Click for specs

In the 1980s and the 1990s the Central Intelligence Agency schemed to move a number of large C-130 Hercules transports from US government ownership into the hands of private contractors so that some of them could be used for covert operations that were “deniable” by the Agency.  The C-130 is a military aircraft, and it is banned from export without State Department certifications.  Under the CIA plan, some 28 of the giant transports were moved from the Department of Defense into the hands of the US Forest Service.  From there, ostensibly for the humanitarian purpose of fighting forest fires, they were again transferred into the hands of private contractors, many of whom were later revealed to have CIA connections or contracts, or established relationships with CIA proprietaries.

The scheme started to come unraveled as a number of investigators, including Vietnam veteran Gary Eitel, himself a pilot, began turning up documents in court cases showing links to the Agency.  The cases were extremely well covered by mainstream press; they prompted stories in the AP and a large series in the Riverside Press Enterprise by veteran reporter Dave Hendricks.  The problem was that many of the C-130s kept turning up in such remote locations as Panama, Mexico, Colombia, Angola, and the Middle East.  In many cases, when they were examined, they were carrying anything but fire retardant.  In fact, one of the C-130s, connected to CIA affiliate T&G Aviation of Arizona, was seized in 1994 with a billion dollars worth of cocaine on board.  Eitel’s investigation had established a connection between T&G, operated by Woody Grantham, and another company called Trans Latin Air.

The Trans Latin Air investigation led to an investigation of Aero Postale de Mexico. In April of 1998 stories in the Mexican paper La Reforma reported that the Mexican Attorney General had indicted three officials of the private freight hauling company Aero Postale de Mexico which routinely delivered mail and other goods throughout Latin and Central America on charges that they had provided aircraft to the drug cartel headed by the Arellano Felix brothers.  That investigation had commenced in 1997, and Aero Postale planes were reportedly hauling multi-thousand kilo loads of cocaine during the period.  One of the C-130s was impounded at the Mexico City airport. Purchase of the aircraft was financed by the Mexican banker Carlos Cabal, who was assured repayment of the loans by the US Import-Export Bank.  It is impossible to believe CIA would not have noticed such a transaction.  T&G sold the planes to Aero Postale in 1993 at the same time he sold the planes to Trans Latin Air.

Records of the massive cocaine bust, though suppressed by the major media, did get introduced into evidence in a major drug prosecution in Chicago that same year.

The heat had started to fall on the Forest Service five years earlier when the planes first started getting caught with drugs aboard during Contra support operations.  The Forest Service had their lawyers evaluate the situation in the perennial government game of CYA.  As a result, one of the most chilling documents to ever reveal the depth of government cynicism emerged into public light.  A 1989 memo (below) from a Forest Service lawyer to Associate Chief George Leonard concluded, “Apparently, DoD [the Pentagon, CIA’s name never appears on documents like this] thinks that by having the Forest Service as the intermediary, if any future aircraft are used in drug smuggling, the Forest Service and not the DoD will suffer the adverse publicity.”

Click to enlarge

The smoking Inspector General report

I could fill this book with excerpts from the CIA IG report, written by Frederick P. Hitz and released on October 8, 1988 – the same day that the impeachment of Bill Clinton began in the House.  To demonstrate what kind of material is in that report, I will include just three brief quotations.  The number in front of each paragraph refers to its location in the IG report.

490.  On March 25, 1987, CIA questioned [Moises] Nunez about narcotics trafficking allegations against him.  Nunez revealed that since 1985, he had engaged in a clandestine relationship with the National Security Council (NSC).

Nunez refused to elaborate on the nature of these actions, but indicated it was difficult to answer questions relating to his involvement in narcotics trafficking because of specific tasks he had performed at the direction of the NSC.  Nunez refused to identify the NSC officials with whom he had been involved. [Note: Oliver North was the NSC point man for all Contra support activities.]

491.  Headquarters cabled in April in 1987 that a decision had been made to “debrief” Nunez regarding the revelations he had made.  The next day however, a Headquarters cable stated that “Headquarters had decided against… debriefing Nunez.”

The cable offered no explanation for the decision.

Another key passage discussing a Honduran airline documented to be moving as much as four tons of cocaine a month found that:

816.  SETCO was chosen by NHAO [Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office, at the time coordinated by former National Security staffer, Elliot Abrams] to transport goods on behalf of the Contras from late 1985 through mid-1986. According to testimony by FDN leader Adolfo Calero before the Iran-Contra committees, SETCO received funds for Contra supply operations from the bank accounts that were established by Oliver North.

And finally, the CIA acknowledged in its IG report that it had withheld information about drug trafficking operations involved in the Contra effort from Congress, at the same time revealing that:

1074.  The analyst who drafted a Memorandum for Vice President Bush in April 1986 that related to potential Contras’ involvement in drug trafficking recalls that OGI analysts who worked on counternartcotics issues were not aware of those reports at the time – October to December 1984 – that they were first disseminated inside and outside the Agency.  However, she says that CATF [Central American Task Force] Chief [Alan] Fiers did make the reporting available to her in April 1986, stipulating that it could be used only for the Memorandum she was preparing for Vice President Bush.

1084.  1986 Memorandum for Vice President Bush.  On April 6, 1986, a Memorandum entitled, “Contra Involvement in Drug Trafficking” was prepared by CIA at the request of Vice President Bush.  The Memorandum provided a summary of information that had been received in late 1984 regarding the alleged agreement between Southern Front Contra leader Eden Pastora’s associates and Miami-based drug trafficker Jorge Morales. Morales reportedly had offered financial and aircraft support for the Contras in exchange for FRS pilots to “transship” Colombian cocaine to the United States.  CIA disseminated this memorandum only to the Vice President.

The importance of this revelation is that it had been the official position of then Vice President Bush that he had no hands-on relationship with the Contras, was out of the loop, and knew nothing. That’s the position he took with the press, with Congress, and with the American people.

[G ~ Also consider Papa Bush was Director of the CIA before he became VP.]

The smoking history

The CIA has been dealing drugs since before it was the CIA; already in its first days, as the OSS during World War II it was facilitating and managing the trade, and directing its criminal proceeds to the places of its master’s choosing.  for additional reading on the subject I recommend three excellent books The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade by Alfred McCoy, 1991, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Updated Edition by Peter Dale Scott, 1991, and Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War by Celerino Castillo, 1994.  The use of the drug trade to secure economic advantage for an imperialist nations is at least as old as the British East India Company’s first smuggling of opium into China in the late 1600s (the defense of that British practice, Scott points out, was John Stuart Mill’s motivation for writing the tract “On Liberty”).  They did that for 300 years.  When something works that well, the ruling elites rarely let go of it.

An interesting end came to the investigation arising out of the Gary Webb stories that (re)started all the controversy about the CIA and drugs.  Frederick P. Hitz, the CIA inspector general who oversaw the report’s production, retired immediately afterward in March 1998.  A graduate of the Harvard School of Law, Hitz was rewarded with a teaching post at Princeton University funded by Goldman Sacs.  His retirement, seven months before a declassified version of the report was made public, was celebrated with an entry in the Congressional Record.

One question remains.  Aside from the fact that from Afghanistan, to Pakistan, to Kazakhstan, to Colombia, oil and drugs always turn up in the same place, has there ever been any evidence connecting the oil industry to drugs directly?  And what does that have to do with 9/11?

Afghanistan and opium post 9/11

In this context it is not surprising that the US completed its invasion of Afghanistan in November of 2001 in the middle of the opium planting season.  Among the first things the US forces and CIA did was to liberate a number of known opium warlords who, they said, would assist US forces.  Opium farmers rejoiced and, amidst reports that they were encouraged to do so, began planting massive opium crops.  In December, former CIA asset and opium warlord Ayub Afridi was released from prison and recruited by the CIA to unify local leaders against the Taliban.

When the harvest of June 2002 came, Afghanistan had again become the world’s largest producer of the opium poppy and the world’s largest heroin supplier.  From a paltry 180 tons under the Taliban in 2001, according to the UN, the estimated 2002 harvest, under CIA protection, was close to 3,700 tons.  By March of 2003, World Bank President James Wolfensohn was reporting record levels of opium production and that drugs were a bigger earner for Afghanistan than foreign aid.

The 2003 crop set new records, coming in at almost 4,000 tons.  And experts warned that the June, 2004 harvest might be 50 percent larger than that of 2003.  In November of 2003, Reuters reported that Afghan opium cultivation was 36 times higher than under the last year of Taliban rule.

When I learned in early 2001 that the Taliban had destroyed Afghanistan’s opium crop, I wrote that it was a form of economic warfare that might take a whole lot of money out of the world’s banking system and its cooked books.  There is always a lag between planting, harvesting, and the cash flows that show up as the heroin moves from farm, to laboratory, through several layers of wholesaling to the streets.  The positive cash flow generated by Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban harvest would not have started to hit the banking system for maybe six to eight months after June of 2002.  In the late summer and fall of 2002 the Dow Jones had sunk to nearly 7,200.  As this book is written, and even as American jobs are disappearing, corporate profits and so-called “non-job” recovery have seen the Dow again at 10,000 based upon massive consumer spending which is financed by credit that must be serviced with fractional amounts of cash by the lending agencies.  The unprecedented 2004 harvest might be connected with the fact that it is an election year.

I don’t mean to offer drugs as a complete explanation for the so-called economic recovery.  But it helps to remember Occam’s Razor.


Thus ends the Unholy Trinity series.

Originally posted at The Refreshment Center
[Jump to Part One / Part Two]
Get the full story – get a copy of Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil now.
My thanks to Michael Ruppert at for allowing me to share this historically important work.  A membership to Collapsenet can save lives and supports independent press.

You can listen to Mike’s radio show, The Lifeboat Hour from Progressive Radio Network, every Sunday night at 9pm EST.  [Archives available on Podbean.]

*Sources and footnotes are in the back of the book – it is close to 700 pages long and there are over 6,000 footnotes.  Since the publication of this book in 2004, not one word, footnote or statement has been challenged, asked to be redacted, and Mike has never been sued.
Mr. Ruppert is the publisher and editor of From The Wilderness, a newsletter read by more than 16,000 subscribers in 40 countries. (Archives are still accessible for research.) A former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics investigator, he is widely known for his groundbreaking stories on US involvement in the drug trade, Peak Oil and 9/11.~~~~~~~~~
“They did that for 300 years.  When something works that well,
the ruling elites rarely let go of it.”


It’s Sunday / Meet The New Press

This is just a portion of what you can expect to find at the World News Desk at With commentary by Michael C. Ruppert and other staffers from the U.S. to Japan; a membership to will keep you informed and the Lighthouse Directory will help you prepare for energy decline.  Collapsenet simply makes this precarious time in history easier to handle because Mike and his staff have a finger on the global pulse and have joined together a like-minded network of people that have scouted the way ahead.  Consider a membership to help prepare you and your family for the most unprecedented global shift in 100 years.
The Refreshment Center is proud to be an affiliate of and your membership helps us continue to bring you news analysis you can use [as well as laying the groundwork for a net radio station coming later in the year.]
World News Desk Headlines for January 20, 2012
All has not returned to “normal” but the signs are still good that direct military action is off the table, at least for now. But increasing economic sanctions, as opposed to the proposed and stillborn oil embargo are hurting Iran. Might the goal be to goad Iran into attacking first? I don’t think Iran will fall for that and it now has enough overtly stated support from Russia and China to ride it out, especially as many nations are scrambling to dump the dollar as a reserve currency. More on the World News Desk. – MCR
Anonymous has flexed its muscles convincingly. – MCR
It’s a training team rather than an operational team. – MCR

Powerful stuff from Marc Faber. He doesn’t see collapse but he clearly sees and understands  much of the stupidity governing markets now. Good video. – MCR

This resonates more with me than Marc Faber’s outlook but Faber has it right on the reset, which I am expecting this year. – MCR

I am seeing a much more pronounced trend towards inflation and hyperinflation lately. The circumstances driving equity into U.S. stocks are temporary while sovereign bonds are getting weaker and weaker. More on the World News Desk. – MCR

As Financial Sense recently wrote, we are leaving the debt supercycle phase. The money presses have passed the point of diminishing marginal returns. – MCR

I cannot imagine any country actually wanting to join the EU now. – MCR

Brilliant as usual. What stuck with me was that Mish clearly sees what I see, that brutal austerity measures are going to backfire big time. – MCR

A percentage that high borders on disorderly default. I don’t have a lot of hope for consensus on it. – MCR

I’ll be watching to see if the IMF finagles its trillion as the Fed announces QEIII for a trillion. – MCR
We dismembered this really flawed Op-Ed yesterday. The comments and ratings on Zero Hedge’s page pretty well sum up how this propaganda was received. – MCR
“So, despite vocal industry proponents to the contrary, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Growing, or even maintaining, U.S. oil and gas production will require an increasing level of inputs in terms of the number of wells drilled, the footage drilled, the capital investments required, and, likely, the large amounts of collateral environmental damage incurred.”
A good read in that it mostly sidesteps the environmental issues and concentrates on inputs. – RF
“Euro prices for gasoline, diesel reach record high”


There isn’t enough money in the world (real or imagined) to clean up or compensate for the damage that has been done. – MCR


About that “cold shutdown”… – RF
“Japanese negotiators on Thursday urged the U.S. to exclude domestic banks from any penalties related to the Iranian oil sanctions, citing a potentially debilitating impact on the nation’s economy.”
“The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has tentatively approved two idled reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.‘s Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture as safe to restart but had a hard time submitting the draft to nuclear experts because of hours of interference from protesters.”
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