Category Archives: Surveillance

Wither Encryption: What Operation Trojan Shield Reveals

My, were they delighted!  Politicians across several international jurisdictions beamed with pride that police and security forces had gotten one up on criminals spanning the globe.  It all involved a sting by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led in conjunction with a number of law enforcement agencies in 16 countries, resulting in more than 800 arrests.  The European Union police agency Europol described it as the “biggest ever law enforcement operation against encrypted communication”.

The haul was certainly more than the usual: over 32 tonnes of an assortment of drugs including cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and methamphetamines; 250 firearms, 55 luxury cars, and some $48 million in cash, both tangible and digital.

Operation Trojan Shield arose because of a grand dupe.  It involved recruiting an FBI informant who had developed an adulterated version of the encryption technology platform Anom, to be used on modified cell phones for distribution through a range of organised crime networks.  The platform included a calculator app that relayed all communications sent on the platform back to the FBI.   “You had to know a criminal to get hold of one of these customised phones,” the Australian Federal Police explained. “The phones couldn’t ring or email.   You could only communicate with someone on the same platform.”

The users were none the wiser.  For three years, material was gathered and examined, comprising 27 million intercepted messages drawn from 12,000 devices.  This month, the authorities could no longer contain their excitement.

While the criminals in question might well have been mocked for their gullibility, the trumpeting of law enforcement did not seem much better.  A relentless campaign has been waged on end-to-end encryption communication platforms, a war against what policing types call “going dark”.  To add some light to the situation, the agencies pine for the creation of tailored back doors to such communications apps as WhatsApp, iMessage and Signal.

Few could forget the indignant efforts of the FBI to badger Apple in 2016 to crack the iPhone of Syed Farook, the San Bernardino shooting suspect.  Apple refused.  The battle moved to the courts.  In what has become something of a pattern, the DOJ subsequently dropped the case by revealing that it had “successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance of Apple Inc.”  The DOJ then requested that a court order of February 16 demanding Apple create software with weakened iPhone security settings be vacated.  By refusing to reveal how it had obtained access to the phone, government authorities had thrown down the gauntlet to Apple to identify any glitches.

In 2020, a number of international politicians with an interest in the home security portfolio released a joint statement claiming to support “strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.”  A casual glance at the undersigned would suggest this to be markedly disingenuous.  Among them were: Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary; William P. Barr, US Attorney General; Peter Dutton, Australian Minister for Home Affairs.

Having given nods of approval for encryption as “an existential anchor of trust in the digital world”, the ministers took aim at the various platforms using it.  On this occasion, it was the “challenges to public safety” posed by the use of encryption technology, “including to highly vulnerable members of our societies like sexually exploited children.”  (The battle against solid encryption is often waged over the bodies and minds of abused children.)  Industry was urged “to address our concerns where encryption is applied in a way that wholly precludes any legal access.” This would involve companies having to police illegal content and permit “law enforcement to access content in a readable and usable format where an authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight”.

Cases like Anom demonstrate that there is seemingly no need for such intrusions, bells of alarm, and warnings about safety.  The police have sufficient powers and means, and more besides.  As with such matters, the danger tends to be closer to home: police zeal; prosecutor’s glee; a hatred of privacy.  Joseph Lorenzo Hall, senior vice president at the non-profit Internet Society, is convinced of that fact.  “When law enforcement agencies claim they need companies to build in backdoors to help them gain access to the end-to-end encrypted communications of criminals, examples like Anom show that it’s not the case.”

John Scott-Railton of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy makes the same point.  “What this case shows is that global law enforcement is perfectly capable of mobilising a multiyear caper to get around exactly the kinds of problems about encryptions that they’ve been talking about without breaking the encryption of the apps that keep you and [me] private.”

The Australian wing of the operation had even greater extant powers of access to encrypted messages.  The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 is one of those beastly instruments many law enforcement agencies dream about.  It might also suggest why Australia, a nominally small partner, might have been asked by the FBI to be involved in the first place.  When asked if this was the case, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested that the question be put to US authorities.  For him, the AFP’s hardly impressive technical efforts were to be praised.

None of this is enough for the Morrison government, which is intent on further pushing the surveillance cart in such proposed laws as the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020, and the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 (IPO Bill).  The former would permit the AFP and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to issue a new range of warrants for combating online crime; the latter would create a system by which Australian agencies would be able to access stored telecommunications from identified foreign communication providers in cases where Australia has a bilateral agreement.

Operation Trojan Shield has again shown that calls for weakened encryption are to be treated with due alarm.  Almost silly in all of this was the fact that the FBI and fellow agencies made it a demonstrable fact, undercutting their very own arguments for a more invasive surveillance system. The next play is bound to come from the criminal networks themselves, who, wounded by this deception, will move towards more conventional encryption technologies. The battle will then come full circle.  In countries such as Australia, where privacy is a withering tree, the encryption debate is a dead letter.

The post Wither Encryption: What Operation Trojan Shield Reveals first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Tech giants help Israel muzzle Palestinians

Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sought to shut down all use of the popular video-sharing app TikTok in Israel last month.

The attempt to censor TikTok, details of which emerged last weekend, is one of a number of reported attempts by Israel to control social media content during last month’s military assault on the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu tried to impose the blackout as Israel faced an international social media outcry over its 11-day attack on Gaza, which killed more than 250 Palestinians, and the violent repression by Israeli police of Palestinian protests in occupied East Jerusalem and inside Israel.

Government law officers are understood to have resisted the move.

Benny Gantz, the defense minister, also lobbied senior officials at Facebook and TikTok to crack down on posts critical of Israel, labelling them incitement and support for terror.

The tech giants responded by agreeing to act “quickly and effectively,” according to a statement from Gantz’s office.

The revelations follow widespread reports last month that social media corporations regularly removed posts that referred to the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Israel recently stepped up moves to force out Palestinian families and replace them with Jewish settlers.

Social media users and digital rights organizations also reported censorship of posts about the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Threats of expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah and an invasion by Israeli soldiers of al-Aqsa were the main triggers causing Hamas to fire rockets into Israel last month. Israel responded by destroying swaths of Gaza.

Shadowy cyber unit

Israel’s success in manipulating social media last month follows warnings from Israeli human rights groups about the longer-term threat of Israeli censorship faced by Palestinians.

Adalah, a legal rights group in Israel, said a shadowy Israeli government “cyber unit” – which works hand in hand with tech giants like Facebook and Twitter – had been given “a blank check” to police social media and muzzle online dissent.

Israel’s supreme court ruled in April that the cyber unit could continue its often secretive operations from inside the justice ministry, arguing that its work contributed to national security.

Since 2016, the cyber unit has removed many tens – and more likely hundreds – of thousands of Palestinian social media posts in collaboration with global tech corporations.

The posts are erased without any legal oversight and usually without notifying users, Adalah pointed out. In many cases, users’ accounts are suspended or removed entirely, or access to whole websites blocked.

The vast bulk of those being silenced are Palestinians – either those under a belligerent Israeli occupation or those who live inside Israel with degraded citizenship.

The cyber unit was established in late 2015, part of a raft of measures by Israel purportedly intended both to identify “terrorists” before they strike and to curb what Israel describes as “incitement”.

Given the opaque nature of the process, it is impossible to know what content is being taken down, Rabea Eghbariah, one of the Adalah lawyers who filed a petition against the unit to Israel’s high court, told The Electronic Intifada.

Examples in the Israeli media, however, suggest that Israel regularly targets posts critical of Israel’s belligerent occupation or express solidarity with Palestinians.

The court petition to end the cyber unit’s work was filed in November 2019 by Adalah, which represents 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of Israel’s population.

According to Adalah, the unit’s methods violate “the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and due process”.

In approving those methods, Adalah observed, the courts had conferred on the Israeli state the “unchecked” power “to govern online speech” and had allowed private tech companies to usurp control of the judicial process.

Eghbariah said Palestinians could rarely challenge their silencing on social media. The tech companies do not reveal when Israel is behind the censorship or what “terms of service” have been violated.

In court, Israeli officials defended their sweeping suppression of online content by arguing that ultimately social media companies like Google and Facebook were free to decide whether to accede to its requests.

News sites shuttered

However, Israeli officials have previously boasted that the tech giants almost always agree to remove whatever content Israel demands. In 2016, the justice ministry reported that Facebook and Google were “complying with up to 95 percent of Israeli requests to delete content” – almost all of it Palestinian.

Eghbariah told The Electronic Intifada that some 80 percent of Israel’s referrals for removing content relate to Facebook and its other major platform, Instagram, both of which are heavily used by Palestinians.

The next most targeted site was YouTube, where Palestinians often post videos showing attacks by Jewish settlers illegally taking over Palestinian land or Israeli soldiers invading Palestinian communities.

The accounts of Palestinian news agencies and journalists have also been repeatedly shut down.

Eghbariah noted that submissions by Israel’s cyber unit to social media platforms had skyrocketed since it was set up. In 2019, the last year for which there are figures, some 19,600 requests to remove content were submitted – an eightfold increase on three years earlier.

He added that each referral to a tech company could relate to tens or hundreds of posts, and that the removal of a whole website typically counted as a single request.

“What’s noticeable is the increasing cooperation rate of the social media platforms,” he said. “In 2016, three quarters of Israeli requests were complied with. By 2019 that had risen to 90 per cent.”

Distinctions blurred

Human Rights Watch is among those who have criticized Israel for blurring the distinction between legitimate criticism made by Palestinians and incitement.

By contrast, the Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh has noted, Israel rarely takes action against Israeli Jews, even though they are responsible for posting racist or inciteful material roughly every minute.

And the politicized nature of Israel’s crackdown on social media is often hard to disguise.

In December 2017, Nariman Tamimi was detained for incitement.

She had streamed a video on Facebook of her then 16-year-old daughter, Ahed, confronting and slapping an Israeli soldier who was invading their home in the occupied West Bank moments after his unit shot her cousin.

Dareen Tatour, a poet from the town of Reine, next to Nazareth, spent years either in jail or under strict house arrest for supposedly glorifying violence in a poem.

Experts said the lines had been misunderstood by Israel’s security services.

Indeed, errors in translations from Arabic have been regularly evident. In a case in October 2017, a Palestinian laborer was arrested for supposedly threatening a terrorist attack on Facebook before it was discovered that the Arabic expression he used meant “good morning.”

In 2019, 7amleh reported that fears over this online crackdown had left two-thirds of Palestinians worried about expressing their political views on social media.

Normalizing censorship

Other governments may look to the Israeli court’s decision in April as further encouragement to adopt a more aggressive role in censoring online content.

Eghbariah said that the UK, France and the European Union already had their own cyber referral units, although unlike Israel’s those units were explicitly authorized by legislation.

In a sign that Israel’s politicized approach to crushing online dissent could become normalized worldwide, an architect of Israel’s cyber unit was appointed to Facebook’s new oversight board last year. Emi Palmor was the justice ministry’s director-general at the time the unit was established.

The board is supposed to oversee what content should be allowed on Facebook and Instagram.

The Israeli cyber unit’s increasing efforts to remove content from Palestinians, labelling it “terrorism,” “disinformation” or “incitement,” are the latest stage in more than a decade of moves by Israel to control and manipulate its image online as social media has become more central in most people’s lives.

Israel stepped up its digital activities after its large-scale attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, which killed large numbers of civilians, including children, and shocked much of the world.

During the attack, the Israeli army established its own Youtube channel, the first army to do so, offering a model that the US army quickly sought to emulate.

At the same time tech-savvy youngsters were recruited to pose as ordinary web-surfers as they secretly promoted foreign ministry talking-points.

Several “cyber warrior” teams established in the following years, including one that recruited former officers from Israel’s military spying unit 8200.

Erased from maps

Since then, Israel has expanded its digital operations, not only promoting hasbara (propaganda) online but intensifying its silencing of Palestinians.

At a conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2018, local representatives for Google and Facebook conceded that the companies’ priority was to avoid upsetting powerful governments like Israel’s that could tighten regulation or constrain their commercial activities.

The tech giants are also unlikely to be neutral between the claims of the Israeli state and ordinary Palestinians when they are so reliant on Israel’s hi-tech sector. Technologies developed using the West Bank and Gaza as a testing-bed have been eagerly bought up by these global corporations.

Incensed by Facebook’s censorship, a Palestinian campaign of online protests was launched in 2018 under the hashtag #FBcensorsPalestine.

In Gaza, demonstrators have accused the company of being “another face of occupation.”

Google and Apple have also faced a wave of criticism for colluding in Israel’s policy seeking to erase Palestinians’ visible presence in their homeland. The tech companies have failed to identify many Palestinian villages in the West Bank on their online maps and GPS services while highlighting illegal Jewish settlements.

They have also refused to name the Palestinian territories as “Palestine,” in accordance with Palestine’s recognition by the United Nations, subordinating these areas under the title “Israel.”

Jerusalem is presented as Israel’s unified and undisputed capital, just as Israel claims – making the occupation of the Palestinian section of the city invisible.

• First published in Electronic Intifada

The post Tech giants help Israel muzzle Palestinians first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Left-Wing Psychotherapy Cults: Sullivanians from Hedonism to Group Terror

Photo Image:  FilmDaily

Orientation

My Purpose

A few months ago, I wrote an article titled “Political and Spiritual Cults“. My purpose was to show the commonalties among all cults, whether they are political, spiritual or psychological. In this article I want to narrow the focus to discuss a left-wing psychological cult, the Sullivanians, a countercultural organization that made its mark on the Upper West Side of New York City between 1970 and the early 1990s. Why bother to do this? Because as a socialist I have to face that any socialist organization I join, whether it be social democratic, Leninist or even anarchist has the potential to become a cult. The more we know about the conditions under which cults emerge, the more we can combat them.

Overcoming Media Biases Against Cults

When mass media compares cults members to the general population, cult members are portrayed as:

  • Mentally unstable
  • Less educated
  • Lonelier
  • From the poor and working-class backgrounds
  • Physically intimidated into joining
  • Brainwashed
  • Drawn from criminal elements
  • Less moral as people

Research has shown none of this to be true.

Plan of the Article

For the most part I will be following the architecture I built in my previous article, including what is a totalistic institution; the ten characteristics of cults; the stages cults go through; the mechanisms of control in each stage; why people stay; what kind of qualities the leaders have and what is the impact of leaving on cult members.

I will be adding a short section on the theoretical assumptions of the Sullivanians at the beginning. For each of these units I will say something about how it applies to the Sullivanians. Besides my article, I will be referring to two books on the Sullivanians: Amy Siskind’s sociological analysis, The Sullivan Institute/Fourth Wall Community: The Relationship of Radical Individualism and Authoritarianism and a book by a participant, Artie Honan How Did A Smart Guy Like me….For my general understanding of cults, I owe the most to Margret Singer, Janja Lalich, Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad.

Theoretical Assumptions

The Sullivanian Institute was a spin-off organization that broke away in 1957 from the work of Harry Stack Sullivan. Sullivan was sensitive to the social side of psychological dynamics and among other insights blamed the nuclear family for the formation of the ideal capitalist consumer. Both Dr. Jane Pearce and Saul Newton took these criticisms of the nuclear family much further. In 1963, Pearce and Newton coauthored a book called Conditions of Human Growth. In that book they identified the family as socially isolating the individual from developing healthy relationships with friends, especially in adolescence and adulthood.

Open-ended friendships, both sexual and otherwise, were the way out of the infantilization of the nuclear family and the road to maturity. For them, friendships are the first potential of experience of love between equals. A big part of therapeutic work was to get their patients to expand their friendships as they withdrew from their families. Newton and Pearce considered the desire for the security of exclusive relationships among their patients to be a neurotic symptom. In fact, one of the first things on the agenda of the Sullivanians therapists was to separate the patients from their parents. On the whole the two foundation stones of the Sullivanians community were:

  • To break from their family of origin
  • To have non-monogamous sexual relations among friends

What is a Totalistic Institution?

Calling an organization a cult has more to do with how an organization is run than what people believe. Cults are a subcategory of organizations which includes mental health institutions, prisons, army barracks, orphanages, and religious institutions such as monasteries. As opposed to this, in what Erving Goffman calls “pluralistic institutions”, people come and go as they please in and out of various institutions throughout the day as they go from playing one role to another. Within each institution, the group dynamics and power relationships vary. An individual can have great control in one area and little control in another. What produces critical thinking within the individual is the habit, whether conscious or unconscious, of comparing one institution to another, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

In totalistic social formations, all institutions are rolled into one. Economic exchanges, livelihood, sacred beliefs, political dynamics, living situations and sexual encounters are all concentrated within a single institution. In the more extreme institutions like prisons or in the military, working and play activities are done all at the same time, in the same place with uniform expectations. Boundaries between inside and outside are rigid. The authorities are centralized and there is little room for feedback. There are surveillance systems, spying and little privacy, and this breeds insecurity and paranoia.

Sullivanians as a Total Institution

The Sullivanian community was divided into four tiers. The four therapists at the top were Saul Newton, Joan Harvey, Ralph Klein and Helen Moses; a secondary tier of therapists in training; a third tier of psychotherapy patients and lastly, community members who were friends of the people in the first three tiers. When the Sullivanians morphed into the Fourth Wall Theatre community in 1977, the fourth tier were people living in Manhattan who came to see the plays, often from poor areas of the city. The biggest factor that made the Sullivanians a totalistic institution was the collapsed boundaries between the tiers. Members of all tiers were invited to have sex with each other, including therapists with clients, clients and those in therapy training. Sleeping alone was considered an interpersonal failure. Furthermore, the therapists ignored confidentiality and talked openly about the problems of their patients. The most important people – the therapists – knew everyone else’s business and encouraged others to be spies to report on any dissatisfactions anyone had with the leadership. This led to mistrust among people in the second and third tiers as well as paranoia.

The Sullivanians were not as rigid as a prison or an army barracks. Community members worked at different jobs and they lived in different apartment buildings.  However, all households occupied most of an apartment building and each household apparently consisted only of members of the Sullivanian community. These households made enough money to hire people from the outside to cook, clean and babysit. House members had regular meetings in which they talked about household problems but also about their lives. Members also knew each other’s weaknesses and these weaknesses got back to the leadership in one way or another.

The dependency of community members on the leadership ran deep. Therapists in training were dependent on leadership economically to provide them with referrals. People were dependent personally for their identity through therapy. Interpersonally they played together, lived together and in the 1980s, did political work together. All this supported the authoritarian control by the leaders and made the Sullivanians a totalistic institution.

Ten Characteristics of Cults

From my previous article on cults, I named ten characteristics.

  • It emerged out of a political, economic or ecological crisis.
  • It recruited young adults between 17 and 24 of middle-class and upper middle-class origins who were likely to be undergoing some developmental crisis in their personal lives.
  • It has an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
  • It has a revolutionary, dualistic ideology.
  • It possesses a social-psychological array of tools for luring in new members and sustaining their commitment.
  • It lacks mechanisms for critical feedback from the membership.
  • It requires a small group of lieutenants to isolate and keep atomized the membership through spying so that no coherent opposition can form.
  • It develops rituals, myths and celebrations that allow the group to mark time.
  • It demonizes outside groups that are in competition with the cult.
  • It has rigid, terrorized boundaries that make it extremely difficult to leave.

Sullivanians’ Characteristics of Cults

It is not true that the Sullivanians cult emerged as a reaction to a political, economic or ecological crisis. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the economy was not contracting. It was possible for community members to work at low paying jobs in the arts, have leisure time and still make the rent, especially because of group living. However, the decline of the Sullivanians community in the 1980s was definitely connected to contracting economic conditions where rents skyrocketed and jobs in the arts shrank. AIDS and the nuclear reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island added to the group paranoia.

The Sullivanians did appeal to upper middle-class adults. They weren’t in any serious psychological crisis. They were relatively healthy adults who were attracted to an alternative lifestyle including art. music, theatre and dance. Sexual exploration was part of the counterculture and not unique to the Sullivanians. In Saul Newton they had an authoritarian working-class leader who was once a member of the Communist Party and claimed to have fought in the Spanish Civil War. Both men and women in the community agreed he was charismatic. Newton was also erratic and explosive and most members were scared of him. There were no institutionalized feedback mechanisms for criticizing the leadership. Complaining behind his back was dangerous because of surveillance and could easily get back to the leaders.

Although Newton was either a Stalinist or a Maoist, in the first nine years of the community, he was not heavy-handed politically. It was in the descendent phase when the nuclear meltdown occurred, the AIDS epidemic spread and Yankeedom had become more conservative in the 1980s that his Stalinist or Maoist politics became more hard-edged.  Relations between the Sullivanians and other leftists became increasingly hostile, and their political ideology became more dualistic and sectarian. Here is where the characteristic of the demonization of outsiders took place.

The psychological array of tools for drawing people in and holding them was pretty straightforward. In all cults, sex is used to control people. However, in most cults sex flows one way, from the members to the leaders. Among the Sullivanians sex among members was immediate and expected. Secondly, unlike other cults, women were encouraged to have more than one partner at a time. Besides immediate and sustained sex for both men and women, there was the opportunity to work with therapists on their problems and to do so for a low fee, compared to the much higher going rate. Thirdly, friendships were made quickly and developed through household living arrangements. Fourthly, the Sullivanians were very supportive of the members developing their creativity. Siskind points out that many of them became famous in the arts, filmmaking, and dance. The Sullivanians were also a utopian community, so joining it helped people to feel that they were a special group, superior to others, in addition to being part of a movements which was going to overthrow capitalism.

Symbolism and ritual were a strong part of the Sullivanians community. They played hard together at parties and vacations, but this was all secular enjoyment. There was no celebration of revolutionary holidays or the singing of the Internationale, as we might expect of an aspiring socialist community. Neither was there a dramatic change of identity based on change of hair or clothes that I found.

Stages of Cults

As I said in my article Political and Spiritual Cults:

In their book, The Guru Papers, Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad identify two stages of cults: the proselytizing stage and the apocalyptic paranoia stage.

In the proselytizing ascendant stage, the guru sees the possibility of realizing his ambitions. The group is touted as being at the cutting edge of new knowledge. Outsiders are welcomed although they are treated with a kind of benign superiority. In the ascendant phase, the guru rewards the enthusiasm of his followers and grants them positions which have opened up within the hierarchy. The tone of the community is celebratory. The guru is accessible to the public and is charming and playful. In terms of the recruitment, this is the “honeymoon phase”. The focus is to expand the organization and the emphasis is on the present.

The apocalyptic, paranoiac, decadent phase is when the numbers of recruits have leveled off and explanations need to be found. The public is now seen as too stupid and blind to acknowledge the merits of the cult. In the declining stage, the message becomes pessimistic, with a doomsday “I told you so” tone. Outsiders cease to be welcomed in a spirit of satisfying their curiosity. Rather they are seen as enemies out to destroy the organization. Part of the descendent phase also involves the guru making more grandiose claims while promising to invoke occult power. The membership begins to have doubts.

Sullivanians’ Stages of Cults

The Sullivanians definitely went through these stages. Siskind, in her sociological analysis of them, calls the proselytizing phase the “Halcyon Years” from 1969-1978. Siskind calls the apocalyptic phase “the Revolutionary period of 1979-1983. Between 1984 and 1992 there was a steep decline in membership. In the first period the emphasis was on the psychology of the individual and their full development, including taking classes and the practice of the arts. The full enjoyment of life through sex, friendship, creativity and community was all supported. They also had a comedy club run by a very talented member, Luba Elman who was also responsible for early theatrical productions which later turned into the Fourth Wall Theatre Company. Between 1970 and 1974 the Sullivanian community grew at a steady rate of 100 new members a year, culminating at a peak of 400 in 1974. Political relations with other leftists had some tension but that did not stop cooperation in large protests.

There were four shock waves which were scattered across the landscape of the Sullivanian community between 1977 to 1983 that turned it from growing, hopeful community into a more stagnant, paranoid and isolated community. The first was the driving out of Luba Elman as the organizer of the Fourth Wall Repertory Company and her replacement by therapist turned playwright and actress, Joan Harvey. Both she and her partner Saul were dictatorial in their expectations of the members of the stage crew and everyone else in the Fourth Wall community.

Another very dramatic event was the Fourth Wall takeover of the Truck and Warehouse Theatre. The previous company refused to leave the building although the lease was up. They were forced out in an orchestrated attack, with waves of Fourth Wall people invading the building. Some took over the stage sets, rebuilt them with the carpentry and electrical skills of the Fourth Wall community. Two hours after the initial takeover, 160 more members came to support the takeover and guard the building. Then they set up an elaborate security system to guard the building. The violent nature of the whole process must have affected the moral of people. Artie Honan, one of the chief organizers of the takeover, said: ”Looking back, I feel that this was a senseless act of violence. Something I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t been taking direction from Saul. (What’s a Smart Guy Like Me…) I doubt he was alone in these sentiments. Later he said I was preoccupied about having to organize security coverages …I had no time to reflect on the experience or to think about how it ran against the grain of my values. Lack of time to think is characteristic of all cults.

A third major event was the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979. This spread fear in the community. It led to a panic in which 200 community members en masse fled to Florida to avoid radiation. This event turned the Sullivanians into an explicitly political community as Saul’s Maoist orientation came to the fore. House meetings went from every day discussions about household and personal problems to political book readings and discussion groups. It was in this period that Saul implemented a Maoism anti-intellectual campaign in which community members would renounce their class background in group self-confession circles.

A fourth major event was the AIDS crisis of the early 1980s. This directly impacted the size of the community and the sex-economy of the organization. The Fourth Wallers were naturally wary of having sex with outsiders and limited the sexual activity to the already existing members. Since, on average, the women outnumbered the men two to one, the shortage affected the women more than the men. There was even a Male Chauvinism campaign within the community to force the men to have sex with women who didn’t have partners! Please see Table A for a contrast between the two stages within the Sullivan community

Characteristics of Sociopathic Leaders

In their book Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships, Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias identify fifteen characteristics of a sociopath that could apply to a cult leader. Here they are:

  • Glibness and superficial charm
  • Conning and maneuvering
  • Grandiose sense of self
  • Pathological lying
  • Lack of remorse, shame or guilt
  • Shallow emotions
  • Incapacity to love
  • Sensation seeking
  • Impulsivity and lack of behavioral control
  • Early behavior problems with juvenile delinquency
  • Scapegoating
  • Promiscuous sexual behavior and infidelity
  • Erratic work history of fits and starts
  • Materialistic lifestyle
  • Criminal and entrepreneurial versatility

Saul Newton as a Sociopath

As repulsive as Saul Newton might be to you and to me, he did not have all fifteen characteristics of a sociopath. I will begin by eliminating the characteristics he did not possess. We know very little of his history, so we don’t know anything about whether his teenage behavior might be categorized as juvenile delinquency or whether he had an erratic work history. From my reading I did not find instances of sensation-seeking. He put members in the Sullivanians community in risky situations, but he seemed to be sure that he and any of his wives were well-protected. It would be unfair to characterize him as having shallow emotions. He had problems controlling his anger, as in beating his wives. There is nothing I’ve read that indicated that Newton showed any deep emotion but anger. It is reasonable to say he was emotionally repressed, rather than being shallow.

Criminal and entrepreneurial creativity in cults usually means if one cult group fails and goes bankrupt, the leader wheels and deals and repackages himself with a new name and organization as Werner Erhard did. As far as I know, Saul Newton did not do this. He stuck with the Sullivanian community all his life. Lastly, a “materialistic lifestyle” is a very vague term. How many cars, boats, planes and houses does a leader have to possess to qualify as being materialistic? From my reading, I would classify Newton as upper middle-class, akin to a doctor, lawyer or architect living on the Upper West Side of New York City. He and his wives had their own chefs, childcare providers and shoppers. He owned a brownstone building. Newton lived well, but he didn’t have seven Cadillacs, as Rajneesh had. He did not own any boats or planes, nor did he buy other buildings and deal in real estate. He did not have the lifestyle of L. Ron Hubbard, Reverend Moon or Werner Erhard.

However, Newton had all the remaining characteristics of a sociopath big-time. He had superficial charm, and as I said earlier, both men and women characterized him as charismatic. He clearly was conning and manipulating the community all his life. He got them to take over a theatre building, told them who could and couldn’t date and set up an elaborate surveillance system for tracking people while convincing the members to do all the work. He maneuvered with Joan Harvey to oust Luba Elman from the Fourth Wall community and put themselves in the leadership position. He seemed to be a pathological liar, meaning he lied so much he lost track of the boundaries between truth and falsehood. There is no indication in either of the books I read that he has the slightest regret or remorse for anything he did. Neither were there any examples in which Newton claimed to love anyone. He was not loved by community members, but feared. In a small funeral gathering in 1992 not a single member of the Sullivan community showed up.

Newton definably had a grandiose sense of himself. What kind of person would have put himself at the head of a psychotherapy organization with no degree in the field or even having been in therapy himself? He was almost compulsively promiscuous. He had no problem asking his female patients for sex as part of the sessions. At the end of his life when he was suffering from dementia, he continued to see clients even when his memory was failing him. Newton was clearly impulsive (at least around getting angry) and could not control himself. However, in other situations he was extremely deliberative as he plotted and schemed to manipulate community members. Lastly, he was always blaming community members when things didn’t go right. He showed no power of self-reflection in seeing how his behavior was partly responsible for anything.

Reasons People Stayed in the Community

Why do People Stay?

Lalich and Tobias lay down the following most common reasons people stay in cults:

  • Attachment to new beliefs
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Entrapment
  • Peer pressure
  • Exhaustion from overwork allows little time for objectivity or self-reflection
  • Burned bridges separate members from their past
  • Being ridiculed and called names by cult members is very painful
  • Fear for your life
  • Guilt and embarrassment over having participated in the group to begin with

From the two books I’ve read about the Sullivanians, I would say virtually every one of these psychological conditions were operating. In the early years, the major belief centered around a conviction that their nuclear family was the major part of their problems. Giving up their belief would mean facing they were dupes who then burned their bridges and hurt their families badly. It would definitely cause cognitive dissonance. Community members were clearly entrapped. Most spend anywhere between 5 and 20 years in the community, forging deep friendships. They spent hundreds of hours in therapy and in the last years of the community, that was not cheap. For many, their livelihoods were dependent on the community and their living situations were all tied together. It is completely understandable they would not want to cut their losses.

There was a great deal of peer pressure to stay in the group. It was difficult to think clearly about whether or not to leave when they could not easily discuss openly their reservations about staying. They could never be sure if what they said would get back to the leadership. In addition, by the early 1980s, the economy was contracting, requiring members to work longer. Also, Newton was becoming increasingly demanding of members to be available for work on the Fourth Wall community. As Artie Honan says many times in his autobiography, there was little time to reflect on the big picture. Most were like frogs in slowly boiling water. They couldn’t see what was happening to them.

Unlike other leftist cults, there didn’t seem to be a great deal of name calling, but Saul Newton was brutal about getting rid of any community member he felt was too much trouble and, perhaps more painfully, community members executed his wishes. People were kicked out of the community quickly, often told they had 24 hours to leave their group housing situations. In at least one instance a person’s things were thrown in the street. Ex-members were shunned and ignored in public and the Upper West Side of New York is not a place to easily find anonymity.

Saul Newton was a violent man. He beat his wives and occasionally publicly punched a few of the men in the community. The violence he used in orchestrating the takeover of the theatre was probably never forgotten by anyone. When one of Saul’s psychological proteges decided to leave, upon Newton’s instruction he was followed, grabbed from behind and held over the subway tracks.

If members decided to leave, they had little in the way of a support system. Their families were heart-broken, angry and some members were disowned. The road back was unknown, lonely and full of doubt. There was no recovery groups from cult in those days. I don’t really know that the Sullivanian community felt a sense of guilt upon leaving the way members of other cults might. If a member got into the cult early, in the good days of the first seven years, those memories must have been breath-taking, intense and not easily forgettable compared to whatever normal life followed. It was the period from the early 1980s on they might have felt regretful about.

Aftermath for Cult Members

In their book Cults in Our Midst, Margaret Thaler Singer and Janja Lalich identify five major areas of life ex-cult members have to deal with:

  • Practical everyday life
  • Emotional volitivity
  • Cognitive inefficiencies
  • Theoretical instabilities
  • Lack of a social network

How Ex- Sullivanians Members Managed Their Lives in The Aftermath

Practical, everyday life

The two books I read on this subject do not have much information about how group members managed after the community broke up. Most of what follows will be what I would call reasonable speculation. In the area of everyday living, I believe the Sullivanians did better than ex-members of other cults. For example, Sullivanians had to find work to support themselves while in the cult and they succeeded in landing jobs in the arts or doing technical work. While ex-members who became therapists were dependent on referrals, this was not a community that was totally dependent economically. The same was true about managing money and finding an apartment. Members had practice in doing these things even when in the cult. While the Sullivanians were not provided with their own medical and health care, as upper middle-class urbanites they would not go without health and medical care as many members of other cults did. All this doesn’t mean they did not suffer. But compared to other cults, the climb back up might not have been as steep.

Emotional volatility

In terms of emotional volatility, I suspect the Sullivanians were more like other cults in that members suffered from PTSD, insomnia and dissociation at times. I don’t think difficulty concentrating or flashbacks were part of the psychological processes they had to constantly fight off because there were not that many bad experiences. I don’t believe a loss of a sense of humor was a psychological condition. Membership in households provided opportunity for play and laughter. It wouldn’t take much to bring them back. Depression over loss of the Sullivanian community and its vision must have been great. Before the community as a whole broke up, Saul‘s treatment of those who left would give them every reason to fear for themselves and their loved ones.

Cognitive inefficiencies

Many members of other cults have trouble thinking critically when they leave. Especially in spiritual cults which place a great deal of emphasis on meditation, and other altered states of consciousness, where critical thinking is frowned upon. Some young members of cults never learned to think critically. They simply did not know how to set up spread sheets for weighing the pros and cons of different job offers, school choices or romantic partners. After being in cults which for years explained causes and consequences by good and evil forces, it is difficult to reason about complex causes and intended and unintended consequences. I don’t think members of the Sullivanian community ran into these problems much. While they suspended judgment and criticality when under the spell of the leadership, they had to make analytical and comparative judgment while at work, with their partners and at house meetings when they were away from the leadership.

However, there is one area of cognition which must have been difficult and that is de-toxifying their vocabulary. All cults control their members thinking by narrowing the complexity of their language. When the leaders train someone’s vocabulary to use virtue and vice words, they are training them in dualistic thinking. Dualistic thinking makes people more controllable. This definitely went on in the Sullivanian community. It would take time to reintroduce previously “banned” vice words and repressed virtue words.

Theoretical instabilities

The overwhelming majority of cults are spin-offs from major theoretical schools in the fields of spirituality, politics or psychology. Spiritual cults might be spinoffs from Buddhism, Hinduism or Christianity. Political cults may draw from the work of Marx or Lenin. Psychological cults may have drawn from Freud, Jung or Humanistic psychology of Maslow. Upon leaving the cult, the ex-cult member is in a theoretical no-man’s-land. Does the psychological cult member whose leader drew from Freud therefore reject Freud completely or are they able to separate Freud from the cult interpretation of Freud? In the case of spirituality, can a member of the Hindu cult like the Hari Krishna’s reject the cult but hang on to Hinduism? In the case of the Sullivanians, Saul Newton was probably a Maoist. Can ex- Sullivanians separate Maoism as practiced by the Sullivanians from Maoist groups in general? Will they remain Leninists and switch from Mao to Stalin? Will they remain Leninists and become Trotskyists? Will they become democratic socialists?

A more extreme strategy is to reject the field entirely. So, a follower of a spiritual cult may become an atheist. A member of a political cult might become anti-political or apolitical. A member of a psychology cult might join a group that is anti-psychological, such as Thomas Szasz, a psychiatrist who led the movement against his own field. This may be a good choice because you are starting from scratch. This may also be a bad choice because you are starting from scratch with no infrastructure. There are no easy answers.

Lack of a social network

As I mentioned earlier, leaving a cult is devastating for a support system. Most cult members have burned bridges with their family and friends, church and clubs they were once a part of. However, relative to other cults, with the Sullivanians the situation may have been different. I can imagine that anybody who left the cult in the early 1980s when the community was still functioning well would have a rough time. However, once the community itself was disbanded, it was a different story. Why? Because the members of this cult had lived together for years unsupervised directly by the leadership. They played together, they made art together and they made love together, hard and often. These types of connections are easy to remember and hard to forget. Artie Honan says he is still Facebook friends with many former members. He also reports that in 2007, they had a reunion in Harlem. One hundred and fifty people came. Considering the Sullivanians peaked in membership in 1974 at 400, this turnout shows there is something of quality in this community that superseded Saul Newton and the rest of the cult leadership.

How the Sullivanians Compared to the Experience of Other Cults

I have a number of reasons for suspecting that the Sullivanians had it better than other cults. In the first place, they did not emerge out of an ecological, economic or political crisis. Neither did they come into the cult at an impressionable age of late teens or early twenties. My sense is that most members were in their mid to late 20s when they joined and were probably more grounded. That meant people were less desperate when they joined the group. Secondly, unlike most, if not all cults, the sexual economy was far more horizontal. Members slept with each other, not just with the leadership, as in other cults. Thirdly, women were as sexually free as the men. Though Saul Newton was definitely patriarchal, women still had many sexual relationships with their peers, just as the men did. Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, the social networks that were built had relative autonomy from the leadership, especially in the living situations. This allowed them to form subgroups with their own experiences, independently of the leadership. In most cults, subgroups are not allowed to form. It was these experiences in subgroups that made it possible not to lose complete touch with each other after the Sullivanians broke up as an institution. It made it possible to have a reunion 15 years later.

The Socialist Political Spectrum: Which Tendencies are Most Likely to Form Cults

So, what does the fate of the Sullivanians tell us (if anything) about which tendencies on the political spectrum are likely to form cults? Are Leninists, democratic socialists and anarchists all equally likely to form cults or are some more likely to form than others? Remember earlier I said that the key element in determining a cult is not the beliefs but rather how the cult was organized. In addition, charisma, by itself is not enough to institutionalize a cult.

A good example of a socialist organizer who was charismatic but never turned his group into a cult was Murray Bookchin. I met Murray 50 years ago on the lower East Side of Manhattan and I can testify that he had a great deal of charisma and a significant following among young hippie anarchists. This continued as he moved to Vermont to teach and founded the Institute for Social Ecology.  But the Institute for Social Ecology or any other organization he was involved in did not became a cult because the egalitarian principles of anarchism blocked this from happening.

It would be unfair to characterize the Sullivanians as a pure political group. It was not a real political group until the 1980s. Yet the leader of the organization, Saul Newton, was a Maoist and during the last years of the group, he did use Maoist tactics like self-confession of the members’ class backgrounds, along with criticism and self-criticism.  In my previous article, a major focus was on a group called the Democratic Workers Party which definitely was a cult with a Leninist focus. What about other Leninists groups?

In their hostile analysis of Leninist organization, On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left, Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth identify five other Leninist groups that were either cults or might have at least cultlike characterhoods. Harvey Jackins’ Reevaluation Counseling and Fred Newman’s New Alliance Party and social therapy, Gerry Healy; Ted Grant and Gino Perente also led organizations that had cult-like characteristics which were either Stalinist or Trotskyist in orientation. Each received a chapter’s attention in the book On the Edge.

Tourish and Wohlforth summarize their book:

Each and every Marxist Leninist grouping has exhibited the same cultic symptoms: Authoritarianism, conformity, ideological rigidity, fetishistic dwelling on apocalyptic fantasies. Not all Leninist groups are full-blown cults. However, we have yet to discover one that did not have some cultic features (213).

As Lenin spelled out in 1910 in What is to Be Done, socialist ideas were to be introduced to the working class from the outside by professional revolutionaries drawn largely from the middle class. They view themselves as a chosen people, the possessor of a gnosis beyond the grasp of ordinary folk. Therefore, a separate organization is in order, tight discipline is required and superhuman sacrifice is demanded from members. Democratic centralism is required so that all members publicly defend the agreed positions of the party, whenever opinions they might hold to the contrary in private. (214) The communist front organization is particularly suited to political cult-manipulation (216).

In contrast to this, the organization of the Democratic Socialists of America has loosely associated chapters and the whole organization is opposed to any kind of authoritarian organization. In fact, they organized themselves intentionally so they would have no resemblance to Leninism.

Qualification

I do not mean to imply that Leninism is not successful as a political tendency in the world. Russia, China and Cuba have all offered working class people significant improvements in their lives by way of steady employment, good wages, safe and reasonably priced housing, free healthcare and literacy over the last 100 years. With the exception of Sweden between the 1930s and the 1970s, social democracy has not had a good track record with the poor and working class. As for anarchism, it certainly had a great deal of success in revolutionary movements in Russia, Spain and recently in Rojava. The problem with the anarchists is that it is harder to tell what successes have carried over after the revolutionary period ended.

The issue in this article, however, is not how successful each of the three socialist tendencies are in the end. Which group is most likely to use cult-like methods to get there? It is clear to me that Leninism has the most cult-like potential according to the criteria in this article.

• First published in Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism

The post Left-Wing Psychotherapy Cults: Sullivanians from Hedonism to Group Terror first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Etymological Animal Must Slip Out of the Cage of Habit to Grasp Truth

Life is full of slips.

Words slip out of our mouths to surprise us.  Thoughts slip into our minds to shock us.  Dreams slip into our nights to sometimes slip into our waking thoughts to startle us.  And, as the wonderful singer/songwriter Paul Simon, sings, we are always “slip sliding away,” a reminder that can be a spur to courage and freedom or an inducement to fear and shut-upness.

Slips are double-edged.

It is obvious that since September 11, 2001, and more so since the corona virus lockdowns and the World Economic Forum’s push for a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will lead to the marriage of artificial intelligence, cyborgs, digital technology, and biology, that the USA and other countries have been slipping into a new form of fascist control.  Or at least it should be obvious, especially since this push has been accompanied by massive censorship by technology companies of dissenting voices and government crackdowns on what they term “domestic terrorists.”  Dissent has become unpatriotic and worse – treasonous.

Unless people wake up and rebel in greater numbers, the gates of this electronic iron cage will quietly be shut.

In the name of teleological efficiency and reason, as Max Weber noted more than a century ago in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, capitalist elites, operating from within the shadows of bureaucratic castles such as The World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organization WHO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank (WBG), The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Google, Facebook, the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, etc., – run by people whose faces are always well hidden – have been using digital technology to exert increasing control over the thoughts and actions of people worldwide.  They have been doing this not only by diktats but by manufacturing social habits – customary usages – through which they exert their social power over populations.  This linguistic and ideational propaganda is continually slipped into the daily “news” by their mainstream media partners in crime. They become social habits that occupy people’s minds and lead to certain forms of behavior.  Ideas have consequences but also histories because humans are etymological animals – that is, their ideas, beliefs, and behaviors have histories.  It is not just words that have etymologies.

When Weber said “a polar night of icy darkness” was coming in the future, he was referring to what is happening today.  Fascism usually comes on slowly as history has shown.  It slips in when people are asleep.

John Berger, commenting on the ghostly life of our received ideas whose etymology is so often lost on us, aptly said:

Our totalitarianism begins with our teleology.

And the teleology in use today is digital technology controlled by wealthy elites and governments for social control.  For years they have been creating certain dispositions in the general public, as Jacques Ellul has said, “by working spells upon them and exercising a kind of fascination” that makes the public receptive to the digital life.  This is accomplished slowly in increments, as permanent dispositions are established by slipping in regular reminders of how wonderful the new technology is and how its magical possibilities will make life so free and easy. Efficient. Happiness machines.  A close study of the past twenty-five years would no doubt reveal the specifics of this campaign.  In The Technological Society, Ellul writes:

… the use of certain propaganda techniques is not meant to entail immediate and definite adhesion to a given formula, but rather to bring about a long-range vacuity of the individual.  The individual, his soul massaged, emptied of his natural tendencies, and thoroughly assimilated to the group, is ready for anything.  Propaganda’s chief requirement is not so much to be rational, well-grounded, and powerful as it is to produce individuals especially open to suggestion who can easily be set into motion.

Once this softening up has made people “available,” the stage is set to get them to act impulsively.  Ellul again:

It operates by simple pressure and is often contradictory (since contradictory mass movements are sometimes necessary).  Of course, this dissociation can be effective only after the propaganda technique has been fused with the popular mores and has become indispensable to the population. This stage may be reached quickly, as, for example, in Germany in 1942, after only ten years of psychic manipulation.

The end result, he argues, is the establishment of an abstract universe, in which reality is completely recreated in people’s minds.  This fake reality is truer than reality as the news is faked and people are formed rather than informed.

In today’s computer driven world, one thing that people have been told for decades is to be vigilant that their computers do not become infected with viruses.  This meme was slipped regularly into popular consciousness.  To avoid infection, everyone was advised to make sure to have virus protection by downloading protection or using that provided by their operating systems, despite all the back doors built in which most have been unaware of.

Now that other incredible “machine” – the human body – can get virus “protection” by getting what the vaccine maker Moderna says is its messenger RNA (mRNA) non-vaccine “vaccine” that functions “like an operating system on a computer.”  First people must be softened up and made available and then “set in motion” to accept the solution to the fearful problem built in from the start by the same people creating the problem.  A slippery slope indeed.

But slipping is also good, especially when repetition and conventional thought rules people’s lives as it does today in a digital screen life world where algorithms often prevent creative breakthroughs, and the checking of hourly weather reports from cells is a commonplace fix to ease the anxiety of being trapped in a seemingly uncontrollable nightmare.  It seems you now do need computer generated weather reports to know which way the wind blows.

In our culture of the copy, new thoughts are difficult and so the problems that plague society persist and get rehashed ad infinitum.  I think most people realize at some level of feeling if not articulation that they are caught in a repetitive cycle of social stasis that is akin to addiction, one that has been imposed on them by elite forces they sense but don’t fully comprehend since they have bought into this circular trap that they love and hate simultaneously.  The cell phone is its symbol and the world-wide lockdowns its reality.  Even right now as the authorities grant a tactical reprieve from their cruel lockdowns if you obey and get experimentally shot with a non-vaccine vaccine, there is an anxious sense that another shoe will drop when we least expect it.  And it will.  But don’t say this out loud.

So repetition and constant change, seemingly opposites, suffuse society these days. The sagacious John Steppling captures this brilliantly in a recent article:

So ubiquitous are the metaphors and myths of AI, post humanism, transhumanism, et al. that they infuse daily discourse and pass barely noticed. And there is a quality of incoherence in a lot of this post humanist discourse, a kind of default setting for obfuscation….The techno and cyber vocabulary now meets the language of World Banking. Bourgeois economics provides the structural underpinning for enormous amounts of political rhetoric, and increasingly of cultural expression….This new incoherence is both intentional, and unintentional. The so called ‘Great Reset’ is operationally effective, and it is happening before our eyes, and yet it is also a testament to just how far basic logic has been eroded….Advanced social atomization and a radical absence of social change. Today, I might argue, at least in the U.S. (and likely much of Europe) there is a profound sense of repetitiveness to daily life. No matter one’s occupation, and quite possibly no matter one’s class. Certainly the repetitiveness of the high-net-worth one percent is of a different quality than that of an Uber driver. And yet, the experience of life is an experience of repetition.

A kind of flaccid grimness accompanies this sensibility.  Humor is absent, and the only kind of laughter allowed is the mocking kind that hides a nihilistic spirit of resignation – a sense of inevitability that mocks the spirit of rebellion.  Everything is solipsistic and even jokes are taken as revelations of one’s personal life.

The other day I was going grocery shopping.  My wife had written on the list: “heavy cream or whipping cream.”  Not knowing if there were a difference, I asked her which she preferred.  “I prefer whipping,” she said.

I replied, “But I don’t have a whip nor do they sell them at the supermarket.”

We both laughed, although I found it funnier than she.  She slipped, and I found humor in that.  Because it was an innocent slip of the tongue with no significance and she had done the slipping, there was also a slippage between our senses of humor.

But when I told this to a few people, they hesitated to laugh as if I might be revealing some sado-masochistic personal reality, and they didn’t know whether to laugh or not.

It’s harder to laugh at yourself because we get uptight and are afraid to say the “wrong” things.  Many people come to the end of their lives hearing the tolling for their tongues that never spoke freely because of the pale cast of thought that has infected them.  Not their own thoughts, but thoughts that have been placed into their minds by their controllers in the mass media.

Freud famously wrote about slips of the tongue and tried to pin them down.  In this he was a bit similar to a lepidopterist who pins butterflies.  We are left with the eponymous Freudian slips that sometimes do and sometimes don’t signify some revelation that the speaker does not consciously intend to utter.

It seems to me that in order to understand anything about ourselves and our present historical condition – which no doubt seems very confusing to many people as propagandists and liars spew out disinformation daily – we need to develop a way to cut through the enervating miasma of fear that grips so many.  A fear created by elites to cower regular people into submission, as another doctor named Anthony Fauci has said: “Now is the time to just do what you are told.”

But obviously words do matter, but what they matter is open to interpretation and sometimes debate.  To be told to shut up and do what you’re told, to censor differences of opinion, to impose authoritarian restrictions on free speech as is happening now, speech that can involve slips of the tongue, is a slippery slope in an allegedly democratic society.  Jim Garrison of JFK fame said that we live in a doll’s house of propaganda where the population is treated as children and fantasies have replaced reality. He was right.

So how can we break out of this deeply imbedded impasse?

This is the hard part, for digital addiction has penetrated deep into our lives.

I believe we need to disrupt our routines, break free from our habits, in order to clearly see what is happening today.

We need to slip away for a while. Leave our cells.  Let their doors clang shut behind. Abandon television.  Close the computer.  Step out without any mask, not just the paper kind but the ones used to hide from others.  Disburden our minds of its old rubbish. Become another as you go walking away.  Find a park or some natural enclave where the hum and buzz quiets down and you can breathe.  Recall that in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four the only place Winston Smith can escape the prying eyes and spies of Big Brother, the only place he can grasp the truth, was not in analyzing Doublethink or Crimestop, but “in a natural clearing, a tiny grass knoll surrounded by tall saplings that shut it in completely” and bluebells bloomed and a thrush sang madly.  Here he meets his lover and they affirm their humanity and feel free and alive for a brief respite.  Here in the green wood, the green chaos, new thoughts have a chance to grow.  It is an old story and old remedy, transitory of course, but as vital as breathing.  In his profound meditation on this phenomenon, The Tree, John Fowles, another Englishman, writes:

It is not necessarily too little knowledge that causes ignorance; possessing too much, or wanting to gain too much, can produce the same thing.

I am not proposing that such a retreat is a permanent answer to the propaganda that engulfs us.  But without it we are lost.  Without it, we cannot break free from received opinions and the constant mental noise the digital media have substituted for thought.  Without it, we cannot distinguish our own thoughts from those slyly suggested to us to make us “available.”  Without it, we will always feel ourselves lost, “shipwrecked upon things,” in the words of the Spanish philosopher Ortega Y Gasset.  If we are to take a stand against the endless lies and a world-wide war waged against regular people by the world’s elites, we must first take “a stand within the self, ensimismamiento,” by slipping away into contemplation.  Only then, once we have clarified what we really believe and don’t believe, can we take meaningful action.

There’s an old saying about falling or slipping between the cracks.  It’s meant to be a bad thing and to refer to a place where no one is taking care of you. The saying doesn’t make sense. For if you end up between the cracks, you are on the same ground where habits hold you in learned helplessness.  Better to slip into the cracks where, as Leonard Cohen sings, “the light gets in.”

It may feel like you are slipping away, but you may be exploring your roots.

The post The Etymological Animal Must Slip Out of the Cage of Habit to Grasp Truth first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Jab, Star Wars, and the Bubble Net of Digital Gulags

See, hear, speak no evil!

Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil by Gavin Mayhew

And, we are the slow fish, the 80 percent:

The world’s 85 richest individuals possess as much wealth as the 3.5 billion souls who compose the poorer half of the world’s population, or so it was announced in a report by Oxfam International. The assertion sounds implausible to me. I think the 85 richest individuals, who together are worth many hundreds of billions of dollars, must have far more wealth than the poorest half of our global population.

Michael Parenti, February 18, 2014

Central African Republic: Torn Apart by Violence

Vaunted Mansions: Billionaire Homes For Sale In America

The Incredible Homes of The Top 10 Richest People - YouTube

These people do not want a free and open media, or valient press, or any real scrutiny of their holdings. And, not so ironic, — the censoring of the worldwide net, and the deeper censorship/editing out/cancelling in mainstream and left-stream “media” is more rapid than anything Fahrenheit 451 could have imagined. These people write the book on scrubbing, back end theft, surveillance capitalism.

There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.

— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, page 48

Peter Thiel speaks at the World Economic Forum in 2013, Source: Mirko Ries Courtesy for the World Economic Forum

Oh, that monster, Thiel — A Florida jury said Gawker would have to pay $140 million for publishing an excerpt of Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. For filmmaker, Brian Knappenberger, he stated he wanted to make make a documentary about it. But once it came out that Hogan’s case was secretly bankrolled by venture capitalist Peter Thiel …

Hulk Hogan, Peter Thiel, Nick Denton and Donald Trump

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (2017) - IMDb

So, there you have it — nobody outside the realm of mainstream stupidity and group think can really speak. Slap you baby — A strategic lawsuit against public participation, a SLAPP suit, or intimidation lawsuit is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

Loose lips sinks ships —

Persuasion and Influence: 'Loose Lips Sink Ships' & Co.

And this is huge, these interloping and interlinked topics, as the world burns, and the technofascists fiddle with algorithms, data centers, satellites in the air, supporting the MIC, and, alas, supporting the Big Pharma “experiment.” You have rampant killings all over the world, the murdering of Palestinians, the cabal of NATO pukes trying to encircle Russia and China, and, daily, the reality is that leftists (they aren’t left, really) scurry around like those human-like transgenic bred mice and ferrets used in the coronavirus gain of function Mengele experiments.

You (me) hit the sack at midnight, and then wake up at 5 am, with more of the good news, bad news:  disaster capitalism eroding away the brains of people, including the fake leftists. Even the real leftists have bought into the mass-chemical-jab mentality. Imagine that.

But no matter what topic I deal with here at Dissident Voice, all of what I have to critique or unravel goes through the galactical strainer of the elite, the dirty dozen, and the dirty 199:

Developing this list of 199 directors of the largest money management firms in the world, Phillips argues, is an important step toward understanding how capitalism works globally today. These global power elite directors make the decisions regarding the investment of trillions of dollars. Supposedly in competition, the concentrated wealth they share requires them to cooperate for their greater good by identifying investment opportunities and shared risk agreements, and working collectively for political arrangements that create advantages for their profit-generating system as a whole.

Their fundamental priority is to secure an average return on investment of 3 to 10 percent, or even more. The nature of any investment is less important than what it yields: continuous returns that support growth in the overall market. Hence, capital investment in tobacco products, weapons of war, toxic chemicals, pollution, and other socially destructive goods and services are judged purely by their profitability. Concern for the social and environmental costs of the investment are non-existent. In other words, inflicting death and destruction are fine because they are profitable.

So what is the global elite’s purpose? In a few sentences Phillips characterizes it thus: The elite is largely united in support of the US/NATO military empire that prosecutes a repressive war against resisting groups – typically labeled ‘terrorists’ – around the world. The real purpose of ‘the war on terror’ is defense of transnational globalization, the unimpeded flow of financial capital around the world, dollar hegemony and access to oil; it has nothing to do with repressing terrorism which it generates, perpetuates and finances to provide cover for its real agenda. This is why the United States has a long history of CIA and military interventions around the world ostensibly in defense of ‘national interests’.  Source.

Any real look at lockdowns, at the censorship, at the worst of the worst at the top ruling the 80 percent of us, well, it has to go through this investment and rentier group tied closely to the military industrial complex.

Any cogent, deep discussion about what is really going on with corona mRNA delivery loads, or how the satellites in space (50,000) to prop up the internet of things, internet of bodies with 5G and 6G tied into, well, who woulda thunk — gene therapy drugs, boosters, vaccines (sic), Covid-19/20/29 pills. Forget about just the electro sensitivity of many people who actually get sick because of all those EMFs floating around, zapping, and with 4 G to 5 G, the rate of frequencies is exponential for 5 G. In fact, 4G runs on its own frequency outputs/inputs, and 5G is its own set of applications and delivery systems. Try Googling this, and you get article after article pooh-poohing the very idea of EMFs affecting people. It is not surprising. The mass delusional media in the hands of the capitalists.

That in itself is terrible. The media, so-called enlightened press, laughs and laughs:

The BioInitiative 2012 Report has been prepared by 29 authors from ten countries, ten holding medical degrees (MDs), 21 PhDs, and three MsC, MA or MPHs. Among the authors are three former presidents of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, and five full members of BEMS.

Then, those satellites, part of the Military Intel Complex. What’s that going to do to biological systems, that space web of beams back and forth, inside and outside the human and nonhuman cells?

“If you don’t take action now, then you will be as responsible as those who have not taken care of climate change,” says Kai-Uwe Schrogl, chief strategy officer for the European Space Agency (ESA).

A new and lucrative standard in global connectivity is the impetus for these sprawling swarms of spacecraft. Blanketing our planet in satellites to beam high-speed Internet to any location on Earth around the clock could banish the days of struggling with spotty Wi-Fi and cellular connections, while also transporting the estimated three billion people who are currently offline into the digital age. If these companies are successful, the entire world could be suddenly interlinked as never before, with the Internet becoming truly omnipresent for essentially every human on the planet.

Achieving this goal requires some heavy lifting, in its most literal sense. U.S.-based SpaceX plans to launch at least 12,000 satellites, with the possibility of lofting another 30,000, based on recent filings from the company. U.K.-based OneWeb hopes to orbit about 650 satellites, possibly increasing to almost 2,000 in the future, and U.S.-based Amazon is planning for more than 3,000 satellites in its Project Kuiper constellation. Other companies and nations, including China, also have their eye on developing similar constellations, with rough estimates suggesting there could be more than 50,000 satellites in total added to Earth orbit in the coming decades. (Source)

War — Space. War — Data. War — Digital Prisons. War — Economics. War — Medical Controls. War — Pathogens. War — Food. War — Water. War — Freedom of Movement. War — Freedom of Speech. The gulag is the digital dashboard.

Taibbi:  Have you self-censored because of all this, and if so, in what way?

C.J. Hopkins: Does it sound like it? No, I think experiencing the roll-out of the “New Normal” for over a year, compiling stories of police goon squads raiding families in their homes because their neighbors reported them for “having friends over to dinner,” arresting old ladies for “strolling in the park without permission,” witnessing the media demonize Holocaust survivors as “anti-Semites” for protesting the Covid-19 restrictions, reading ex-colleagues demanding that the government set up internment camps for those who refuse to be “vaccinated,” and all the rest of it, has only made me more outspoken, and, unfortunately, less funny.

Now, in this sound bite age, as most end up scrolling screens to the moon into larger and larger trash heaps of capitalist trash/consumerism/if-it-bleeds-it-leads/scams/worthless celebrity updates/empty calorie political analyses, still, it is possible to wade through the highly edited and choregraphed morass of algorithmic scrubbing to find decent voices in the wilderness questioning things through a process of critical thinking, contemplating contradictory theses in one act of thinking, staving off the knee-jerk tendency to believe the “experts” and follow the bandwagon and just never questioning this or that authority.

To be human and humane is to doubt all the things coming out of the mouths of the so-called authorities, the so-deemed experts, the technical whizzes, think tanks, corporations, government agencies, politicians, and anyone with a small or huge stake in raking in profits over ethical treatment of consumers, citizens, land, air, soil, water.

Sacred cows, deep-seated allegiances, and many times the warped and wrong mass collective consciousness a society and culture permeates the society with.

Mark Crispin Miller, author and longtime New York University professor, has unconventional views. Even work he’s done that’s won mainstream praise is unconventional, upon close examination. If you came of political age during the Iraq war years, you probably remember him for The Bush Dyslexicona witty, challenging book that took a deep dive into the speech patterns of George W. Bush.

Unwrapping the thought processes behind famed “Bushisms” like “The question is, how many hands have I shaked?”, Miller found a metaphor for the broad illogic under American society. However, that book’s central idea — that “we Americans have been tricked out of our democracy by a vast and very smart conspiracy of stupid talkers” — was too rich for some mainstream commentators.

Crispin Miller argued that when people like Donald Rumsfeld told us that “victory” in Iraq may not come “in a month or a year or even five years,” that in fact even fighting forever might be a “victory, in my view,” the joke was not that this message was garbled by Bush, but rather that it was conveyed clearly by “producers, anchors, editors, journalists, and pundits,” who were “fatally dyslexic in doping out the very spectacle it presents to us.” Presenting madness as sanity required a brokenness of mind that just happened to come of the president’s mouth as laugh lines.

Crispin Miller’s recent troubles stem from being a skeptic about mask use. He points out that until 2020, studies were unenthusiastic about their benefits in stopping the transition of respiratory illness, and even the CDC only recently changed its mind on the issue. When he broached the subject in class, a student responded critically on Twitter:

Criticizing Crispin Miller for sending links to a site that in turn linked to The Charlie Kirk Show, Zero Hedge, Technocracy News, Global Research, “and more,” the student went on to tag the University leadership and wrote, “I hope they take immediate steps to relieve him of these duties.”

Crispin Miller’s department responded by promising, “We have made this a priority and are discussing next steps.” This in turn led to a now-standard cancelation ritual. A denunciation letter from academic colleagues asked the school to complete a review of Miller’s “intimidating tactics, abuses of authority, aggression and microaggressions, and explicit hate speech, none of which are excused by academic freedom and First Amendment protections.”

Here is this guy, and I don’t believe some of Crispin Miller’s take on the world, but he was teaching a class on PROPAGANDA for Christ’s sake.

Gleichschaltung was the Nazi term for streamlining. It’s when they made all the cultural institutions, they Nazified them all. Of course, there was stuff you couldn’t read. It would be a crime to read it or even bring it up, and it’s kind of like that now.

Again, how can real leftists not doubt the mainstream corporate narrative coming from the news, the newspapers, the stenographers, the CDC, the NIH, the lot of them? So, all other topics the leftists might doubt coming from the mouths of the controllers and their Eichmann White Papers and Think Tanks — what started the war on Vietnam, how Exxon et al created climate change skeptics (scientists) while planning for global heating, what both major parties say about almost anything, all of it — those are kosher, but to question the Covid-19 narrative and the jabs and the lack of response to human health before, during and now soon after (corona capitalism), that is the work of Trumpies, QAnon, tinfoil mad hatters?

“From Harvard to the Big House”:

Below is a takedown of that article, and the good news is a much more nuanced and honest look at the origins of COVID-19, the Wuhan Strain of coronavirus is just a click away.

Furthermore, a hypothetical generation of SARS-CoV-2 by cell culture or animal passage would have required prior isolation of a progenitor virus with very high genetic similarity, which has not been described.

This means nothing. There is no open-source shared database of viruses. No one has any idea what viruses are in China’s BSL-4 lab, where they’ve been collecting these viruses for years. As mentioned, one of our persons-of-interest was the very first person to isolate a coronavirus from a bat that uses the ACE2 receptor. He also worked at UNC in Baric’s lab making the hyper-virulent bat coronavirus in 2015. It should also be noted that several years prior to tinkering directly with bat coronavirus spike-proteins, Baric orchestrated research that involved isolating a coronavirus from civets and then passing it through mammalian ACE2 receptor cells that were grown in the lab from kidney and brain samples – serial passage through host cell lines instead of entire hosts, which imparted a strong affinity for ACE2, and presumably created an airborne strain of coronavirus. And if cells derived from kidneys and brains were used for the serial passage development of COVID-19, that might help explain its affinity for attacking the kidneys and brains of its human hosts.  Source.

Sure, the obvious questions about interlinked topics — the so-called militarization of space; 5g and 6g internet of things/bodies, and the SARS-CoV2/Covid-19 — should never go unasked, and should always be pursued.

It’s sort of the Hypocritic Oath of thinkers, writers, journalists, and investigators — travel the path less traveled, doubt the mainstream, question anyone with skin in the game when it comes to profits tied to, well, any topic on planet earth.

Who’s Making Bank on this Corona-Macarena

As over 2.8 million people have died globally from Covid-19 in the past year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires has surged.

The planet’s 2,365 billionaires have seen their wealth increase $4 trillion, or 54 percent, during the pandemic year. Their combined wealth rose from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion between March 18, 2020 and March 18, 2021.  Source. Zain Rizvi, a law and policy researcher at progressive Public Citizen advocacy group, said Pfizer’s rising profits showed the need for governments to take action to save lives. “Pfizer is cashing in on the crisis …” Zain Rizvi stated.  Source.

Big Pharma revenues and profits have skyrocketed. In 2017, the U.S. consumers spent $333.4 billion on prescription drugs (Source). There are profits and then there are just plain old price gouging, full-scale rip-offs, and manufactured scarcity and managed perceived and created obsolescence.

In a minute, the obvious questions tied to the three huge topics listed above, but first, the question is front and center: Why the hell would any free-thinking, democracy-loving, First Amendment-wielding, so called open society believer who “honors” (sic)  diversity censor and platform and dishonor any robust level of debate on every subject from here to kingdom come?

Dr. Francis Boyle: All these BSL-4 labs are by United States, Europe, Russia, China, Israel are all there to research, develop, test biological warfare agents. There’s really no legitimate scientific reason to have BSL-4 labs. That figure I gave $100 billion, that was about 2015 I believe. I had crunched the numbers and came up with that figure the United States since 9/11.

To give you an idea that’s as much in constant dollars as the US spent to develop the Manhattan Project and the atom bomb. So it’s clearly all weapons related. We have well over 13,000 alleged life science scientists involved in research developed testing biological weapons here in the United States. Actually this goes back it even precedes 9/11 2001.

So, we leftists and communists should believe the CDC, NIH, WHO, White House Covid-19 handlers, state governors, and the drug and military drug and virus makers, but then, not include in our way of thinking looking at what a guy like Boyle (above) has to say. And, yep, the hero exposing all manner of crimes by USA and Military Industrial Complex, dying a slow, steady death:

Julian Assange, well, the lefties don’t give a shit!

We know why governments might want no questions about its role in bombing civilians and children. We understand how an Exxon might not want any questions about its role in not just polluting some “backwater place,” but also propping up despotic hit squads. Lots of reasons why domineering parents might not want children to question said parents’ truthfulness and actual knowledge about things.

The evidence (large piles to the moon) and groups (many) working to expose these crimes against humanity/nature (militarizing space; the SARS-CoV2/Covid-19 origins/lockdowns/forced inoculations/lack of dynamic treatments; and the rush for 5G and 6G to be set up by “telecoms, who are, in fact, setting it up for the entire foundation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is mounting.

The 4th industrial revolution will be just as criminally violent as the previous three but it will involve applying old techniques — religion and drugs — to subject at least 20-30 per cent of the world population. This is to be eased by the viral and climate crusades designed to prepare the pious masses to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the alpine conclave. The rest of us are just industrial waste, green indeed, like Soylent green.

— Annual Alpine Crucifixions. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” (Crusades against Humanity)

While at the same time, the burning of the books, so to speak, is being stoked by fewer and fewer overlords of the media and tech platforms with what is again an obvious endgame: more money from the middle and lower economic strata being moved into their coffers. To do this, there has to be fear, a global pandemic (sic) and harsh lockdowns, and a savior in the wings ready to come to the rescue: Digital Dionysus.

Work from home, prostate check on Zoom, school on electronic blackboards with one teacher for a thousand students. Food ordered by smart phone and delivered by self-driving car or funky flying drone.

A great reset, a transformation, and it isn’t about destroying capitalism, but putting capitalism on electronic and AI steroids:

Now those same families, again including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rothschilds in the person of Lynn de Rothschild’s “Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican,” are moving to create the next generation in their pursuit of global domination. It’s being called the Great Reset. It requires global government, a plank significantly endorsed by the Jesuit Pope Francis. Its PR man, Klaus Schwab, is a self-admitted protégé of Rockefeller insider Henry Kissinger, from their days 50 years ago at Harvard.

Behind the seductive rhetoric of the Powers That Be on creating a “sustainable” world, lies an agenda of raw eugenics, depopulation on a scale never before tried. It is not human, in fact, some call it “transhuman.”

— (Source:  “After COVID, Davos Moves to The ‘Great Reset’” )

Controlling water, food, travel, thought, dreams, hopes, fears, and one’s own body has to be done through a very simple but wide complex of actors throwing the gauntlet down on people.

9 Henry Kissinger (1923- ) ideas | henry kissinger, nobel peace prize, national security advisor

It makes sense that anyone questioning what a mask is/does, what a coronavirus is/was might also want to question what a messenger RNA experimental microbiome programmer does to billions of people inoculated with this chemical. Adverse reactions and death, now, or shortly thereafter the jabs, and, well, in the coming years, what sort of immune, respiratory and blood/heart maladies are on the horizon?  It makes sense that more and more people want more and more diverse thinkers and commentators looking into the profits going to drug companies (after taxpayers have paid almost a trillion dollars for the research and the drugs themselves). It makes sense that real journalists would want to talk to a battalion of doctors, researchers, scientists who question the rollout of untested Covid-19shots, question the actual PCR test determining all those fancy numbers of tested positives plastered all over the internet in interactive colorful maps, and question the lack of real treatment for this coronavirus.

The researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) have collaborated with American researchers, however, conducted gainof-function experiments utilizing gene-splicing techniques. See, for example, a 2015 paper published in Nature, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” authored by researchers mostly from the University of North Carolina (UNC), but also by collaborators from Harvard, Switzerland, and Wuhan. Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi is the second-to-last author.
Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.
That is to say, these scientists bioengineered a chimera, a Frankenvirus, from the old 2002-2003 SARS virus but with spikes from a different bat coronavirus. The Frankenvirus seems to be a pretty tough customer:
Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations.

That is, it’s hard to kill, it’s hard to immunize against, and it reproduces like gangbusters – meaning that if it got loose, it might cause a … wait for it … a pandemicSource.

Military and Bioweapons

On a second rail is the huge outlay of money and time and energy for the military in general, but for the advances in space/satellite/moon-based weapons. This arms race is not only perverse, but emblematic of rampant theft by the millions of people involved in the Military Industrial Complex, from decal maker to put on one of those satellites or satellite-seeking rockets, to the super scientist who has developed even more compact mini nuclear generators for each little payload orbiting earth.

You’d think real journalists would follow the money, and follow the studies and concerns raised about electromagnetic frequencies bombarding the planet, from the bedroom to the bee hive.

It is a virus, really, this totalitarian and crypto-fascist movement the billionaires with their tech monopolies and overlord apps shutting people down, taking them off these platforms, which is actually demonstrating an incredibly hateful bent against those who might doubt. They’d have Albert Einstein in the docks for questioning on the e fascist bent.

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one … I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two thirds of the people of the Earth would be killed.

The Einstein Reader, Albert Einstein (page 169)

All of them — Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — would red-flag Einstein today if he were alive, on many of the things he stated. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Imagine his Twitter account being shut down:

The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and racism. The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power.

– Martin Luther King to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) board on March 30, 1967

So, in a time of Covid-19, star wars and mega-constellation, and 5G and 6G, any pushback against the system will get you labeled as a “denier” — a person of interest in the surveillance state. No jab, no job? No compliancy, no life.

Factory industry worker working with face mask to prevent Covid-19 Coronavirus spreading during job reopening period .

This is the way, man –Charlie Mullins,  chief executive of big London plumbing firm Pimlico Plumbers, recently announced plans to impose a “no-jab, no-job” policy for current and future workers. All employees would be contractually required to prove they had received the COVID 19 vaccine, without which they would not be offered any work by Pimlico.

Plumbing boss Charlie Mullins has been prominently demanding right to jab his workers. Yui Mok/PA

Imagine, now, the insipid stupidity of Q-Anon and Trump supporters in Texas, but then also the insipid stupidity of the centrists and progressives, pushing one narrative that the jab is good, seal of approval, from Good Housekeeping, Underwriters Laboratory, and the Five Eyes. Soon to be Six Eyes, with Japan jockeying to join —

United States and allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, said encryption should not come at the expense of the public’s safety. Tech companies should include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can obtain access to data in a readable and usable format.

In an upending of logic, even the lefty sites see the virus warriors (sic) as unquestionable, as the purest of the pure. This mentality is what gets us back to square one, no? Who in Christ’s sake trusts those major Big Pharma to do anything right? With $300 million a year on advertising, more hundreds of million$ for lobbying and payoffs, with a football stadium full of Ivy League lawyers, and two stadiums full of accountants and hedge fund impresarios, well, now, we believe, right? The messenger is the message, in these genetically screwed up shots.

The Battle for the Future of Food

The fear and lockdown and isolation and fake news on a nanosecond by nanosecond cycle, all the trash, all the distracting muck of this team, that actor, this millionaire, that politician, this singer and that athlete, and this and that human stain who gets air time and digital ink, and so we have it, now, US Patriot Act 3.0, total surveillance, all eyes on bank accounts, school records, health records, driving records, social media posts, police records, housing records, purchase records, travel records, and, shoot, that passport is on the phone, man, the digital apps all connected, all there to incentivize this behavior, discourage that behavior, massage this way, and get you in-line: food line, rent line, cable channel line, clinic line, school line, mortuary line.

The connection of Big Pharma with Big Edu with the US military, there is no better a series to read than Whitney Webb and Diego:

All Roads Lead To Dark Winter

A Killer Enterprise: How One Of Big Pharma’s Most Corrupt Companies Plans To Corner The Covid-19 Cure Market

Head Of The Hydra: The Rise Of Robert Kadlec

Oh, and just months ago, New York Magazine ran this — “The Lab-Leak Hypothesis For decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if …?” by Nicholson Baker

But then, hitting further, calling the pandemic the plandemic? That gets you one, two and three strikes you are out on YouTube.

Then this stuff — Medical Doctor and Director of Diagnostics Laboratory Presents Cures for COVID and Exposes Dangers of COVID “Vaccines”.  Shoot, no discussion about therapeutic treatments for this SARS-CoV2 “thing” can be platformed, and doctors and scientists can lose their credentials.

Who knows if this Word Press digital writing form Dissident Voice uses will also scrub out articles against the new narrative(s) sealed and approved by Big Brother.

Here, a cheap product — beautiful man. We are the 99 percenters?

Results of clinical trials conducted in the United Kingdom have shown that a nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS, SaNOtize) is both a safe and effective antiviral treatment to prevent COVID-19 transmission and symptom duration, as well as reduce symptom severity and damage in those already infected, according to the study authors.

During the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial, the investigators assessed 79 patients with confirmed COVID-19 who were given the spray early following diagnosis. The results following treatment demonstrated that the spray significantly reduced the level of SARS-CoV-2, even in patients with high viral loads, according to the study.

“NONS destroys the virus, blocks entry into and halts viral replication within the nasal cavity, which rapidly reduces viral load. This is significant because viral load has been linked to infectivity and poor outcomes,” said Chris Miller, PhD, RT, chief science officer and co-founder of SaNOtize, in a press release. “There is currently a lack of an antiviral therapy that is effective against COVID-19 and its variants, can prevent or shorten the course of the disease, reduce damage, lower the severity of COVID-19, and can be made widely and readily available to the public.”

In the first 24 hours following treatment with the spray, investigators observed that the average viral log reduction was 1.362, which is a decline of approximately 95%. After 72 hours following treatment, the viral load decreased by more than 99%Source.

Nah, this small Vancouver, BC company, with eight employees, can’t get shit on a national level, because, well, those mRNA’s are in the pipeline. Go back up this article to the 199 controlling the world, including the lockdowns, the digital gulags, transhuman (sic) plans, 5G and 6G internet of the human genome, and, well, war, whether terrestrial, marine, atmosphere, and stratospheric and lunar, dudes.

The new left, old left, the greenie weenie left, the global investor left, and even old revolutionary left will not go there, will not look at the holistic ways to prevent global deaths. Like I have stated before, end tobacco now, end vaping now, and, whoops, how many deaths stopped today, this year, in the decade, for 21st century (1 billion will have died)? All new opioids banned? Yep, you will be slapped with Opposition Defiance Disorder young with any of these ideas, these skeptical looks at the multiple narratives that come crashing into your heads. My ODD had gotten more rarified as I have aged, like an aging wine does. Any lag time in getting the jab? Duly recorded in your record. Any refusal to get the jab, duly noted and quickly the crime is the refusal, on your record.

I Don’t Need No Fucking PhD’s and MD’s to tell Me!

Fucking A, you betcha, Bartleby The Scrivener by Herman Melville. I prefer not to. Initially, Bartleby has incredible output of high-quality work, but then one day, when he’s asked to proofread a document, Bartleby answers with his soon to be perpetual response to every request: “I would prefer not to.”

To the consternation of narrator, Bartleby performs fewer and fewer tasks and eventually none. He ends up spending long periods of time staring out one of the office’s windows at a brick wall. The coworkers are pissed off. When the business owner (narrator) stops by this office one Sunday morning, he discovers that Bartleby is living there.

Dobbs (Bogart) : “If you’re the police, where are your badges?”

Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya): “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”

— John Huston directing B. Traven’s The Treasure of Sierra Madre

In the book, real language:

Gold Hat: Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and chinga tu madre!”

Try leveling those rejoinders to your local sheriff, local school board president, or your local incompetent governor. These people are lunatics. Masks, masks, masks. Can you imagine, all the scrutiny of the drug makers over all manner of “drugs” for all manner of “ailments.” Payola, and lies, disease, death, injuries. I wrote about this earlier.  It’s the Mask, Stupid: Beware The Covid-Pfizer Jumping Virus!

I do not have to repeat all the maleficence and felonies J & J and Pfizer have perpetrated. But now, everything is copasetic?

The Bug is DARPA’s Baby

Another aside —  I’m not going to let a good personal narrative link go unused. Really. So, my own time in US military, well, that’s a whole other socialist fighting that dirt-bag mercenary industry. I also ended up working with military as a college teacher. Some got close to me.

Forced vaccinations for various things, including anthrax vaccine. Experimental. Vaccinations for sand fleas and malaria mosquitos. Experimental. Many of these students were forced to take multiple jabs. The Department of Defense (DOD) wanted to administer pyridostigmine and botulinum toxoid vaccine to protect soldiers from a possible toxic nerve gas or botulism attack by Iraqi forces. The Nuremberg Code, informed consent. Read, CJ Annas’ Informed Consent to Human Experimentation: The Subject’s Dilemma. (Ballinger 1977).

Here, in 1942, all military personnel received typhoid, smallpox, and tetanus vaccines, and soldiers who refused vaccination were subject to court-martials—a military “legal” principle originating in World War I and continuing to this day. No jab, Yes, you go to the brig. During World War II, a yellow fever vaccine had not yet been licensed for civilian use in the United States and as history tells us, an FDA-approved vaccine would not be available until 1953. This yellow fever vaccine used in 1942 contained human serum, and despite earlier published reports of “homologous serum” jaundice occurring after its use, the masters of the universe pushed forward with their perceived/concocted urgency of a biological weapon threat.  Unfortunately, many lots were contaminated by the hepatitis B virus.

An epidemic of unexplained hepatitis began in March 1942, and yellow fever vaccination was halted on April 15, 1942. Approximately 51,000 military personnel with symptomatic hepatitis were hospitalized, and subsequent serologic investigation of veterans concluded that approximately 330,000 persons had been infected. (Source).

My college friend, and my preacher for one of my weddings, Shannon, he was the proverbial Guinea pig in the US Army. Malarial and other vaccines. He got an extra $200 a month for his body, and he signed the contract, man — upon the death of you, your body belongs to Uncle Sam. Get your things in order. Tell your family. Make copies of this contract and give it to your kids, your spouse, your priest.

Shannon learned genetics, and while we both were getting graduate degrees to be English teachers at the college level, he did have an uncanny knowledge of pigeons.

The Pigeon Guide: Practical Breeding Training and Management: Hiatt, Shannon, D.V.M., Dr. Jon Esposito, Nuez, George De La: 9781895270181: Amazon.com: Books

Shannon (R.I.P.) did work at Fort Detrick. Worked at Plum Island. Worked with geneticists and virologists. But in the end, he was beaten up by parachuting the constant military mindset. It was Ike Eisenhauer who signed into law, ARPA, the precursor to DARPA: 1958.

Here, a talk, given to Google in Cambridge (oh, Google, what a shit hole). She’s not an anti-capitalist, but her research is good, even on Operation Paperclip,  so, here we go: Journalist Annie Jacobsen  discusses her book, The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency.

Or, try the same author out for size in another venue — Join Annie Jacobsen as she discusses her new book, First Platoon on P&P Live! On biometrics, and again, she is interviewed by a military guy. “An urgent investigation into warfare, good, and evil in the age of biometrics, the technology that would allow the government to identify anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

Here, a quick look at the insanity of DARPA, 63 years ago:

SHORTLY after arriving at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in April 1958, the new chief scientist presented a plan to the agency’s director. Four months later, nine ships set off for the (mostly) uninhabited Gough Island deep in the South Atlantic, carrying 4500 personnel and three small nuclear weapons to launch into the magnetosphere.

This was Project Argus. The idea had germinated in the panic after the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite. In light of these surprising new capabilities, the US had a problem: how could it protect the country from an incoming nuclear warhead?

Armed with some wild physics, Nicholas Christofilos hatched an equally wild plan: turn the upper atmosphere into a force field across the US that would fry the electronics of incoming missiles. How? Explode nuclear weapons in Earth’s magnetosphere to create a long-lived radiation belt that would degrade the missiles.

The first atomic detonation set off a luminous fireball, triggering a staggering blue-green aurora that captivated its audience. But beyond the pretty lights, it was a failure. The bombs did indeed produce many high-energy electrons, but it turned out that Earth’s magnetic field wasn’t strong enough to keep the electron shield from decaying.

New Scientist

New Scientist Default Image

Now, Sharon Weinberger is not a real hard hitter, failing to look deeper into DARPA, and the evolution of that agency which has infected every aspect of computing, science, virus research, medicine, social manipulation, and any number of Frankenstein projects. Deadly. Really deadly, as in coronavirus deadly. We’ll get to that.

Star Wars, though? You want Facebook’s military’s origins?

Good synopsis by Whitney Webb, another writer banned from the unsocial-precrime networks:

Part 1 of this two-part series on Facebook and the US national-security state explores the social media network’s origins and the timing and nature of its rise as it relates to a controversial military program that was shut down the same day that Facebook launched. The program, known as LifeLog, was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States while also seeking to harvest data for producing “humanized” artificial intelligence (AI).

As this report will show, Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley giant whose origins coincide closely with this same series of DARPA initiatives and whose current activities are providing both the engine and the fuel for a hi-tech war on domestic dissent.

“The Military Origins of Facebook”

This is DARPA (the big letter “d” for “defense” — read, “offensive” —  added in 1990, ARPA to DARPA!) at its best: turn the upper atmosphere into a “force field” across the US in hopes of frying incoming missiles’ electronics. These are America’s best and brightest —  detonate nukes in Earth’s magnetosphere to generate a radiation belt that would disable missiles.

Oh, the fireball and blue-green aurora captivated its audience. The bomb blasts did generate high-energy electrons, but Earth’s magnetic field wasn’t strong enough to keep the electron shield from decaying.

And, the gift that keeps on giving with DARPA, et al — Gough Island had few Homo Sapiens living on it, but 50 years later, residents of nearby islands confronted their governments about the vicious mice that now roam the island (50 per cent heavier than wild mice anywhere in the world). Bye-bye wild bird populations.

A U.S. anti-satellite missile on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

This is madness, the legacy of atomic bomb testing and colonial history coming back to haunt France in the form of a radioactive Sahara dust cloud. These Sahara Desert clouds headed north over Spain, France, the UK, and Ireland. Those golden-tinged evening skies to some parts of Europe also delivered a spike in radiation. The mainstream media reports “slight,” again, the wasted media and their slight risk assessments of anything tied to the corporate bottom line. Heard the slight risk assessment before? Lead in water, mercury in fish, PFAS in blood, tobacco in lungs, plastics in your shit, Covid-19 jab in your arm?

Dust Brings Radiation From Nuke Tests in '60s Back at France | IE

Atomic isotopes,  caused by French nuclear tests in Algeria in the early 1960s, are considered by these foolish French, 50 years later, as “beautiful blood orange sunsets.”

Take a Deep Breath, Stand Up, and Look at the Smart Phone

Oh, how many takes on the 5 G and 6 G transformation can the human take?

Why is 5G important for the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)? Intelligent connectivity, enabled by 5G, will be the catalyst for the socio-economic growth that the 4IR could bring (Source)

+–+

Alison McDowell is a mother and an independent researcher based in Philadelphia, PA. She blogs at the intersection of race, finance, nature, and technology at wrenchinthegears.com. Her activism began fighting to slow the privatization of public education in her city. These efforts eventually led her to an examination of globalized poverty management, euphemistically known as social impact investing. This new form of capitalism – biocapitalism or stakeholder capitalism – aims to turn humans into data commodities. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has been planned out by Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum, seeks to replace human labor with artificial intelligence and robotics, a problem has arisen as to how life can be made profitable for transnational global capital interests once the poor have no buying power and are drowning in debt. The solution? Human capital bond markets, but first everyone must be tagged and trackable for “impact.” That’s where biometric Covid health passports come in. (Source)

+–+

Citing this large body of research, more than 240 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic and health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for stronger exposure limits. The appeal makes the following assertions:

“Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”

The scientists who signed this appeal arguably constitute the majority of experts on the effects of nonionizing radiation. They have published more than 2,000 papers and letters on EMF in professional journals. (Source)

And, you throw caution into the wind, and the precautionary principle, be damned. And, do no harm? This is not how capitalism runs. Where there is profit and hoarding of profits and using the global population for exploitation, all things coming out of those warehouses of “innovation” must be questioned.

We have what is called, “the latest cellular technology,” 5G, and we know it will deploy millimeter waves for the first time, in addition to microwaves that have been in use for all those so called cellular technologies, 2G through 4G. 5G will require cell antennas every 300 to 600 feet, which exposes many people to millimeter wave radiation. This branded 5G also utilizes experimental technologies like “active antennas capable of beam-forming; phased arrays; massive multiple inputs and outputs, known as massive MIMO.”

All of these challenge us to measure exposure levels. Millimeter waves are absorbed within a few millimeters of human skin and also in the surface layers of the cornea. Additionally, short-term exposure can have adverse physiological effects in the peripheral nervous system, the immune system and the cardiovascular system.

The research suggests that long-term exposure may pose health risks to the skin (e.g., melanoma), the eyes (e.g., ocular melanoma) and the testes (e.g., sterility). Since 5G is a new technology, there is no research on health effects, so we are “flying blind” to quote a U.S. senator. However, we have considerable evidence about the harmful effects of 2G and 3G. Little is known the effects of exposure to 4G, a 10-year-old technology, because governments have been remiss in funding this research. Meanwhile, we are seeing increases in certain types of head and neck tumors in tumor registries, which may be at least partially attributable to the proliferation of cell phone radiation. These increases are consistent with results from case-control studies of tumor risk in heavy cell phone users. (Source)

There are people studying EMF’s, and people who are electro sensitive. This is real stuff.

There is the appeal:  The 5G Appeal where scientists and doctors call for a moratorium on the roll-out of 5G. “5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields RF-EMF, that has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.”

I can direct the reader to this source, “Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health.”

  • Highlights —
    1. 7 effects have each been repeatedly reported following Wi-Fi & other EMF exposures
    2. Established Wi-Fi effects, include apoptosis, oxidant. stress & testis/sperm dysfunction; Neuropsychic; DNA impact; hormone change; Ca2+ rise
    3. Wi-Fi is thought to act via voltage-gated calcium channel activation
    4. One claim of no Wi-Fi effects was found to be deeply flawed

Or, “How the Telecommunications Industry 5G Strategy Will Use Artificial Intelligence to Replace Human Intelligence: The End of Mankind as We Know It” by Martin L. Pall, June 8, 2019

Oxford philosopher and cofounder of the World Transhumanist Association, Nick Boström, has written recently on transhumanism’s desire to make good the “half‐baked” project that is human nature. Here it is, and with AI, Digital Webs, 5G and 6G technology, and 30,000 satellites in space, the entire project of Covid-19 mRNA is just a precursor of things.

+–+

Table of Transhumanist Values

Core Value

  • Having the opportunity to explore the transhuman and posthuman realms

Basic Conditions

  • Global security
  • Technological progress
  • Wide access

Derivative Values

  • Nothing wrong about “tampering with nature”; the idea of hubris rejected
  • Individual choice in use of enhancement technologies; morphological freedom
  • Peace, international cooperation, anti-proliferation of WMDs
  • Improving understanding (encouraging research and public debate; critical thinking; open-mindedness, scientific inquiry; open discussion of the future)
  • Getting smarter (individually; collectively; and develop machine intelligence)
  • Philosophical fallibilism; willingness to reexamine assumptions as we go along; Pragmatism; engineering- and entrepreneur-spirit; science
  • Diversity (species, races, religious creeds, sexual orientations, life styles, etc.)
  • Caring about the well-being of all sentience
  • Saving lives (life-extension, anti-aging research, and cryonic

+–+

We have gene editing, a la Bill Gates: CRISPR/Cas9 “genetic scissors” –  clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.  Here you go — The roles of Nanotechnology and Internet of Nano things in healthcare transformation.

Of course, this paper above sees the world through IoNT (Internet of Nano Things) eyes:

Hence, nanotechnology and the IoNT hold the potential to completely revolutionize healthcare in the 21st Century, creating a system that will enable early disease detection and diagnosis followed by accurate, on-time and effective treatment with significantly reduced healthcare costs. This paper presents the roles of nanotechnology and IoNT in medicine and healthcare, and attempts to gain an insight of nanoscale solutions and approaches, highlighting benefits and discussing potential risks and concerns.

Despite concerns regarding nanotoxicity, privacy and security issues, it is anticipated that nanotechnology and IoNT will show their full potential in medicine and healthcare in the years to come.

Oh, man, these nets, the world wide net, the mega constellation net, the nano tech net, the trans-human world of command and control of our bodies net, and the nanoparticle net. Then, we have Patent 060606, Gates/Microsoft. And all those microchip insertions in vaccination believers were laughed out of the classrooms.

Bill Gates will use your microchipped body to mine cryptocurrency – Biohack

The patent, filed under international patent number WO-2020-060606 and titled ‘Cryptocurrency System Using Body Data Activity’, leverages human body activity as proof-of-work.

This proof-of-work is achieved when a user performs given tasks, or even online activities such as viewing ads and using search engines.

“Instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously,” the patent reads.

Despite the patent being published on March 26 by the World Intellectual Property Organization, some titans of the cryptocurrency industry are already on board, and cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, founded by Britain’s youngest self-made billionaire Ben Delo, has donated $2.5 million dollars to the Gates Foundation.

As to how body activity and biometrics will be communicated to servers and cryptocurrency hardware, the patent explains that “a sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user.” The patent then gives examples of sensors that can be used to this end – such as “fMRI scanners, electroencephalography (EEG) sensors, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) sensors, heart rate monitors, thermal sensors, optical sensors, Radio Frequency sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, or any other sensor or scanner.”

They are all working together, Musk, et al and Neuralink ramping up a brain implant as one of  body-invasive augmentations of interest for Super Soldiers.  The United States through DARPA has made public some of its cyborg and bionic projects:  from synthetic telepathy to exoskeletons to bionic limbs. Israel and Denmark have also been conducting intense research into cybernetic enhancements, and both countries ran a collaborative program for years, seeking to augment their soldiers with AI-powered brain implants.

Does it sound far-fetched? Shoot. “Well, golly,” as Gomer Pyle says.

Jim Nabors, TV's Gomer Pyle, dies aged 87 | The New Daily

They Have the Medium and the Message and the Messianic Zeal

It’s tough to stop writing this oddly weird piece:  a triumvirate —  that is, no longer just Covid-19’s origins and the deeper implications of jabs, boosters, lockdown, remote living; the Star Wars; the 5G rush. I alluded to the Word Press, being hijacked by Big Brother techies, stopping even two-bit articles by me, a three-bit human in the eyes of capitalists, to even posit anything tied to what the master-race of the world — billionaires and techie Eichmann’s — are doing in their murder/hitman plans.

This is breaking now, May 14, 2021:

Controlling the internet

Day two of the conference focused more on the coronavirus and the threat to democracies posed by fake news and disinformation online. In one panel titled “Regulating Social Media and Protecting the Public From Harm,” participants discussed how the U.S. and Europe could come together to formulate a united approach to controlling digital communications. The discussion was particularly notable because panelists included Michael Chertoff, co-author of the PATRIOT Act, which stripped Americans citizens of a wide range of rights under the guise of national security and fighting terrorism. Also on the panel were two British conservative members of parliament, an advisor to the executive vice president of digital affairs for the European Commission, and a member of Facebook’s oversight board, the body that regulates what the platform’s 2.6 billion people see in their news feeds. These individuals are so influential that their opinions and decisions could well affect virtually the entire world.

Together, they agreed that more cooperation between big tech and big government was necessary in order to reduce the amount of false information and harmful content online. This in itself is little new: in 2018 Facebook announced that it had partnered with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Lab to help regulate and curate its newsfeeds, effectively giving up partial control to the NATO-aligned organization. It also hired a former NATO press officer as its intelligence chief earlier this year.  — “Alliance of Democracies Summit: The Glass House Where the Power Elite Gather to Throw Stones: The lineup of presidents, generals and CEOs makes it clear that what was stated is effectively the collective view of the world’s elite and a window into their thinking and the debates they are having. What they decide will affect all of us, whether we realize it or not” by Alan Macleod

 

Aod

Game over?  Curating? Regulating? Controlling? This is who these people are, and anyone working in the real world, any writer who ends up on Dissident Voice, any of us, we have zero concept of how these people are wired, how they group think, what the hive is like because we are always sitting afar from their power circles. The message is handled, and they have these “former correspondents” of CNN & ABC News (See above photo, Jeanne Meserve) getting huge wads of cash to curate the Star Chamber meeting just reported on at Mint Press. Those secret courts, the other Star Chambers.

They all tie together. Read again — “2018 Facebook announced that it had partnered with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Lab to help regulate and curate its newsfeeds, effectively giving up partial control to the NATO-aligned organization”.

This is not a free society, and, well, heck, or, well, golly, we still get trickles of stories, FOIA stuff, but in the end, that’s controlled opposition of a very deep state kind of mass psychosis. Oh heck, why not end with Operation Paperclip as the origins of DARPA, viruses, and, the worldwide net!

Author Annie Jacobsen presents a fascinating topic from her new book, Operation Paperclip, and takes questions from the audience. This event was recorded February 26, 2014 at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

And the only net I want to see is a bubble net. Humpback whale here at the end. But imagine, lefties loving the smart phone, the prostate nano-probe, the instantaneous downloaded papers on Marx, the fun stuff with Podcasting. Oh, the price we pay, the price we pay. Ignorance. This system, Mega Constellation, is now what? Okay with you lefties?

Why Musk You Do This? – The Gryphon

Below — the real net, the real bubble net, a la marine mammals, cetaceans, dolphins and whales! Oh yeah, the Navy’s sonar blasts, “grounding” (and killing) these amazing mammals. That’s the frequency, man! What about those 50,000 satellites roaming the heavens?

Antarctic humpback bubble nets! — SR3 Sealife Response, Rehabilitation, and Research improving the health of marine wildlife.

This is the price we pay, man, and if any lefty thinks star link and mega constellation are about junk downloads and Klingon interactive war games, then they are colonized viruses themselves. Game over.

And Musk is just an extension of MIC and those 199 mentioned above, and the Group of 30:

Their fundamental priority is to secure an average return on investment of 3 to 10 percent, or even more. The nature of any investment is less important than what it yields: continuous returns that support growth in the overall market. Hence, capital investment in tobacco products, weapons of war, toxic chemicals, pollution, and other socially destructive goods and services are judged purely by their profitability. Concern for the social and environmental costs of the investment are non-existent. In other words, inflicting death and destruction are fine because they are profitable.

So what is the global elite’s purpose? In a few sentences Phillips characterizes it thus: The elite is largely united in support of the US/NATO military empire that prosecutes a repressive war against resisting groups – typically labeled ‘terrorists’ – around the world. The real purpose of ‘the war on terror’ is defense of transnational globalization, the unimpeded flow of financial capital around the world, dollar hegemony and access to oil; it has nothing to do with repressing terrorism which it generates, perpetuates and finances to provide cover for its real agenda. This is why the United States has a long history of CIA and military interventions around the world ostensibly in defense of ‘national interests’. Source.

As my friend and loyal reader, Joe the Farmer from Merced (67 years old) says:

So if you make $46,800.00 a year and have absolutely no bills and save every penny you make from your salary in 21,000 years you could be a billionaire also and join the group of thirty and kill people and destroy the earth for profit and shave your head and sit around with pricks like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos figuring out how to make life miserable for everyone and everything.

For further midnight to 4 am reading, go here: 1

Assetization | The MIT Press

And just to be a Debbie Downer, to say sayonara here, well, you never know

So small injectable microdevices & nanobots that can be vaccinatable through the nasal test swabs too ..., image #1

And this headline is, of course, A-Anon. No discourse, discussion, and the why of it all:

Are PCR Tests Secret Vaccines?

Oh, those scientists, aren’t they just so glorious, so amazing and ethical:

And, not to be outdone by these Mengele monsters, and their theragripper, and even with all those laurels from Johns Hopkins or what have you, there once was a Sunshine Project, started 22 years ago, and now, dead three years counting. In St. Clair’s piece Friday, May 14, he allude to it, and has the wrong link, which is not a terrible thing when it comes to St. Clair’s lengthy writing in his Roaming Charges column he mostly does weekly on Fridays.

Roaming Charges: How Bio-Warfare Came to Colombia

He talks about Agent Green, and I was certainly getting my head bashed against Bush and Clinton and the war criminals, tied to a lot of the USA’s destruction of South America and Mesoamerica with those chemicals, and others, including paraquat and diquat. Again, lefties just could not absorb all the information, all the infamy, all the corrupted and putrid people in USA politics on all sides of the manure pile. The media and all sides of the “pro-scientist” line just can’t wrap their heads around the possibility that scientists in any realm of Big Pharma, Big Mining, Big Medicine, Big Anything might be bought and sold and, well, liars! Paraquat: A controversial chemical’s second act

And, so, 2021, we are to believe these bioweapons best and the brightest, uh? So, coronaviruses have been studied, messed with, genetically changed, spliced and diced, by, who, the valiant ones in labs, at universities. And, lo and behold, what, then, an accident? A leak? An escape?

Why the virulence? Why the respiratory virus still mucking about in summer? Why the pukes who got jabbed get Covid-19? Come on, lefties, grow a pair — brains and backbone.

Agent Green — You go to that corporate and CIA fixed Wikipedia, and here’s what you get:

Agent Green is the code name for a powerful herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military in its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War. The name comes from the green stripe painted on the barrels to identify the contents. Largely inspired by the British use of herbicides and defoliants during the Malayan Emergency, it was one of the so-called “Rainbow Herbicides”. Agent Green was only used between 1962 and 1964, during the early “testing” stages of the spraying program.

Agent Green was mixed with Agent Pink and used for crop destruction. A total of 20,000 gallons of Agent Green were procured.[1]

Agent Green’s only active ingredient was 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), one of the common phenoxy herbicides of the era. Even prior to Operation Ranch Hand (1962-1971) it was known[2][3][4][5][6][7] that a dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD), is produced as a side product of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T, and was thus present in any of the herbicides that used it. Because Agent Green’s only active ingredient was 2,4,5-T, along with the similar Agent Pink, and earlier-produced batches of 2,4,5-T having higher TCDD-levels,[8] it contained many times the average level of dioxin found in Agent Orange.

During much of the fighting in the Vietnam War, chemical agents were used by the United States to defoliate the landscape. Although many different chemical agents were used, the most well known today is “Agent Orange,” one of the “Rainbow Herbicides”

Oh, those Rainbow Herbicides —

Colombia wants to resume spraying a toxic chemical to fight cocaine. Critics say it's too risky - CNN

So, again, where are those Rainbow Warriors? Out of business:

Feb 13, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Sunshine Project, a nonprofit group that has monitored biological weapons developments and helped expose safety breaches at several US biodefense research facilities, announced on Feb 1 that it had ceased operations.

Edward Hammond, the project’s director, who worked at the group’s US office in Austin, Tex., said he shuttered the organization for financial reasons, according to a news report yesterday in Nature. “At some point you come to realize that if you don’t have buy-in from the people whose business it is to fund peace and security nongovernmental organizations, then you have to recognize reality,” he told Nature.

Established in 1999, the Sunshine Project investigated and reported on a number of biological and chemical weapons topics, including biological methods used to eradicate illicit crops such as opium and marijuana.

However, in the past few years the bulk of the Sunshine Project’s work focused on biodefense research in the United States, which rapidly expanded after the Sep 11 terrorist attacks. Much of the increase in biodefense research has been funded by Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program passed in 2004 to speed the development of drugs and vaccines to combat the effects of biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiologic agents.

The Sunshine Project had said it supported closer federal oversight of US biodefense labs, including legal reforms, mandatory accident reporting, and increased transparency

Hammond said he was surprised that the surge in biodefense work didn’t spur more support for monitoring efforts such as his, according to a Feb 8 report in the Chronicle of Higher Education. “One would have expected that with the billions of dollars being poured into biodefense research, there would be something of a better operating environment for NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] like this,” he told the Chronicle.

The Sunshine Project used freedom-of-information requests to expose accidents and safety violations at labs that conduct biodefense work. The group monitored laboratories by pressing universities to share minutes from institutional biosafety committees.

In June 2007, the group’s revelations that some lab workers at Texas A&M University were infected with the category B bioterrorism agents Brucella and Coxiella burnetti prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to suspend the university’s work on select agents and toxins.

Three months later the Sunshine Project reported on biosafety lapses at three University of Texas labs in Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. A few weeks later the group charged that University of Wisconsin at Madison researchers worked on Ebola virus genetic material in a lab that lacked the required security measures.

Last October, Hammond testified at a US House of Representatives committee hearing on problems at the nation’s biodefense labs. He said the Sunshine Project’s goal was to bring more transparency and compliance to biosafety lab operations.

Hammond told legislators that the nation could do needed biodefense research more safely with one-fifth of the current biodefense lab capacity. “Our system can’t absorb all of the labs coming online,” he said.

Richard H. Ebright, professor of microbiology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., told the Chronicle that the Sunshine Project’s monitoring of biodefense research was sometimes more aggressive than the federal government’s and credited the group for accomplishing a lot with a small budget.

“The end of their operations would create a vacuum. We’ll go back to silence,” Ebright said.

And then the moritorium on gain of functionresearch” (Mengele)?

January 8, 2018 – Last month, the U.S. government lifted a three-year moratorium on funding risky research to genetically alter deadly viruses in ways that could make them even more lethal. Epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch of Harvard Chan School thinks the move could create an accidental pandemic.

Reinstate the global moratorium on “gain-of-function” research is on Change.org, which is again a flyswatter for a missile holding drone.

Shoot, more reading — And I know, I know, lefties just can’t get their arms around it, when these best and brightest scientists and MDs and all those highly educated and principled BIPOC working on viruses — offensive and defensive tools for, hmm … interesting propositions around depopulating, repopulating, chronic illnesses tsunami, indentured servantry to the masters.

References:2

Jfk and the cold war

Eric Clapton is pissed off after his two jabs. Frozen hands and feet for weeks. He shared a letter with his friend, Italian architect, lecturer, film producer,  Robin Monotti. Here, listen to his discussion on biopolitics and biosecurity implications of COVID19 and “The Great Reset.” Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben discusses this too. Clapton states it’s been propaganda pushing the safety of the jab.

Monotti refers to Umberto Eco’s “Ur-Fascism” (Eternal Fascism) on how fascism or totalitarianism is not a thing of the past, but an evil that is present in every generation and which must be identified, recognized, and fought back against. He examines whether there are such underlying themes and dangers hidden within the Davos crowd’s “Great Reset”.

Here.

God didn’t die, he was transformed into money – An interview with Giorgio Agamben

  1. Nayef Al-Rodhan explores the evolving space security race;  Placement of Weapons in Outer Space: The Dichotomy Between Word and Deed; Video: “Crimes Against Humanity”: The German Corona Investigation. “The PCR Pandemic”;  Why Are Gates and Pentagon Releasing “Gene Edited” (GMO) Mosquitoes in Florida Keys?China owns Nature magazine’s ass: Debunking “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” claiming COVID-19 definitely wasn’t from a lab;  Dr. Rombero F. Quijana: Beware of the Vaccine for Covid-19 Part One, Part Two, Part Three; Assetization – Turning Things into Assets in Technoscientific Capitalism
  2. Did the SARS-CoV-2 virus arise from a bat coronavirus research program in a Chinese laboratory? Very possibly,” by Milton Leitenberg, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 4, 2020; “Cambridge Working Group Consensus Statement on the Creation of Potential Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs),” The Cambridge Working Group, July 14, 2014; “Why Some Labs Work on Making Viruses Deadlier — and Why They Should Stop,” by Kelsey Piper, Vox, May 1, 2020; “NIH Lifts 3-Year Ban on Funding Risky Virus Studies,” by Jocelyn Kaiser, Science Magazine, December 19, 2017; “Threatened pandemics and laboratory escapes: Self-fulfilling prophecies,” by Martin Furmanski, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 31, 2014; “Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society,” by Paul C. Stern and Harvey V. Fineberg, Editorsr, Committee on Risk Characterization, National Research Council; “IAP Statement on Biosecurity,” Interacademcy Partnership on Science Health Policy, December 2005; “The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code,” by George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992; Inaugural Global Health Security Index Finds No Country Is Prepared for Epidemics or Pandemics.
The post The Jab, Star Wars, and the Bubble Net of Digital Gulags first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Second Stage Terror Wars

We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.

– William Casey, CIA Director, February. 1981

It is well known that the endless U.S. war on terror was overtly launched following the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and the linked anthrax attacks.   The invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriot Act were immediately justified by those insider murders, and subsequently the wars against Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.  So too the terrorizing of the American people with constant fear-mongering about imminent Islamic terrorist attacks from abroad that never came.

It is less well known that the executive director of the U.S. cover story – the fictional 9/11 Commission Report – was Philip Zelikow, who controlled and shaped the report from start to finish.

It is even less well known that Zelikow, a professor at the University of Virginia, was closely associated with Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Dickey Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Brent Scowcroft, et al. and had served in various key intelligence positions in both the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. In 2011 President Obama named him to his President’s Intelligence Advisory Board as befits bi-partisan elite rule and coverup compensation across political parties.

Perhaps it’s unknown or just forgotten that The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Commission repeatedly called for Zelikow’s removal, claiming that his appointment made a farce of the claim that the Commission was independent.

Zelikow said that for the Commission to consider alternative theories to the government’s claims about Osama bin Laden was akin to whacking moles.  This is the man, who at the request of his colleague Condoleezza Rice, became the primary author of (NSS 2002) The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, that declared that the U.S. would no longer abide by international law but was adopting a policy of preemptive war, as declared by George W. Bush at West Point in June 2002.  This was used as justification for the attack on Iraq in 2003 and was a rejection of the charter of the United Nations.

So, based on Zelikow’s work creating a magic mountain of deception while disregarding so-called molehills, we have had twenty years of American terror wars around the world in which U.S. forces have murdered millions of innocent people.  Wars that will be continuing for years to come despite rhetoric to the contrary.  The rhetoric is simply propaganda to cover up the increasingly technological and space-based nature of these wars and the use of mercenaries and special forces.

Simultaneously, in a quasi-volte-face, the Biden administration has directed its resources inward toward domestic “terrorists”: that is, anyone who disagrees with its policies.  This is especially aimed at those who question the COVID-19 story.

Now Zelikow has been named to head a COVID Commission Planning Group based at the University of Virginia that is said to prepare the way for a National COVID Commission.  The group is funded by the Schmidt Futures, the Skoll Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and Stand Together, with more expected to join in.  Zelikow, a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program Advisory Panel, will lead the group that will work in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Stand together indeed: Charles Koch, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, the Rockefellers, et al. funders of disinterested truth.

So once again the fox is in the hen house.

If you wistfully think the corona crisis will soon come to an end, I suggest you alter your perspective.  Zelikow’s involvement, among other things, suggests we are in the second phase of a long war of terror waged with two weapons – military and medical – whose propaganda messaging is carried out by the corporate mainstream media in the pursuit of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset. Part one has so far lasted twenty years; part two may last longer. You can be certain it won’t end soon and that the new terrorists are domestic dissidents.

Did anyone think the freedoms lost with The Patriot Act were coming back some day?  Does anyone think the freedoms lost with the corona virus propaganda are coming back?  Many people probably have no idea what freedoms they lost with the Patriot Act, and many don’t even care.

And today?  Lockdowns, mandatory mask wearing, travel restrictions, requirements to be guinea pigs for vaccines that are not vaccines, etc.?

Who remembers the Nuremberg Codes?

And they thought they were free, as Milton Mayer wrote about the Germans under Hitler.  Like frogs in a pot of cold water, we need to feel the temperature rising before it’s too late.  The dial is turned to high heat now.

But that was so long ago and far away, right?  Don’t exaggerate, you say.  Hitler and all that crap.

Are you thankful now that government spokespeople are blatantly saying that they will so kindly give us back some freedoms if we only do what they’re told and get “vaccinated” with an experimental biological agent, wear our masks, etc.? Hoi polloi are supposed to be grateful to their masters, who will grant some summer fun until they slam the door shut again.

Pfizer raked in $3.5 billion from vaccine sales in the first quarter of 2021, the first three months of the vaccine rollouts, and the company projects $26 billion for the year.  That’s one vaccine manufacturer.  Chump change?  Only a chump would not realize that Pfizer is the company that paid $2.3 billion in Federal criminal fines in 2009 – the largest ever paid by a drug company – for being a repeat offender in the marketing of 13 different drugs.

Meanwhile, the commission justifying the government’s claims about COVID-19 and injections (aka “vaccines”) will be hard at work writing their fictive report that will justify ex post facto the terrible damage that has occurred and that will continue to occur for many years.  Censorship and threats against dissidents will increase.  The disinformation that dominates the corporate mainstream media will of course continue, but this will be supplemented by alternative media that are already buckling under the pressure to conform.

The fact that there has been massive censorship of dissenting voices by Google/ YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc., and equally massive disinformation by commission and omission across media platforms, should make everyone ask why.  Why repress dissent?  The answer should be obvious but is not.

The fact that so many refuse to see the significance of this censorship clearly shows the hypnotic effects of a massive mind control operation.

Name calling and censorship are sufficient.  Perfectly healthy people have now become a danger to others.  So mask up, get your experimental shot, and shut up!

Your body is no longer inviolable.  You must submit to medical procedures on your body whether you want them or not.  Do not object or question. If you do, you will be punished and will become a pariah.  The authorities will call you crazy, deviant, selfish. They will take away your rights to travel and engage in normal activities, such as attend college, etc.

Please do not recall The Nuremberg Code.  Especially number 7: “Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death.” (my emphasis)

“Now is the time to just do what you are told,” as Anthony Fauci so benevolently declared.

I am not making a prediction.  The authorities have told us what’s coming. Pay attention.  Don’t be fooled.  It’s a game they have devised.  Keep people guessing.  On edge.  Relieved.  Tense.  Relaxed.  Shocked.  Confused.  That’s the game.  One day this, the next that.  You’re on, you’re off.  You’re in, you’re out.  We are allowing you this freedom, but be good children or we will have to retract it.  If you misbehave, you will get a time out.  Time to contemplate your sins.

If you once thought that COVID-19 would be a thing of the past by now, or ever, think again.  On May 3, 2021 The New York Times reported that the virus is here to stay.  This was again reported on May 10.  Hopes Fade for Global Herd Immunity.  You may recall that we were told such immunity would be achieved once enough people got the “vaccine” or enough people contracted the virus and developed antibodies.

On May 9, on ABC News, Dr. Fauci, when asked about indoor mask requirements being relaxed, said, “I think so, and I think you’re going to probably be seeing that as we go along, and as more people get vaccinated.”  Then he added: “We do need to start being more liberal, as we get more people vaccinated.”

But then, in what CNN reported as a Mother’s Day prediction, he pushed the date for “normality” out another year, saying, “I hope that [by] next Mother’s Day, we’re going to see a dramatic difference than what we’re seeing right now. I believe that we will be about as close to back to normal as we can.  We’ve got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. When that happens, the virus doesn’t really have any place to go. You’re not going to see a surge. You’re not going to see the kinds of numbers we see now.”

He said this with a straight face even though the experimental “vaccines,” by their makers own admissions, do not prevent the vaccinated from getting the virus or passing it on.  They allege it only mitigates the severity of the virus if you contract it.

Notice the language and the vaccination meme repeated three times: “We get more people vaccinated.” (my emphasis) Not that more people choose to get vaccinated, but “we get” them vaccinated.  Thank you, Big Daddy. And now we have another year to go until “we will be about as close to back to normal as we can.”  Interesting phrase: as we can.  It other words: we will never return to normality but will have to settle for the new normal that will involve fewer freedoms.  Life will be reset, a great reset.  Great for the few and terrible for the many.

Once two vaccines were enough; then, no, maybe one is sufficient; no, you will need annual or semi-annual booster shots to counteract the new strains that they say are coming.  It’s a never-ending story with never-ending new strains in a massive never-ending medical experiment.  The virus is changing so quickly and herd immunity is now a mystical idea, we are told, that it will never be achieved.  We will have to be eternally vigilant.

But wait.  Don’t despair.  It looks like restrictions are easing up for the coming summer in the northern hemisphere. Lockdowns will be loosened.  If you felt like a prisoner for the past year plus, now you will be paroled for a while. But don’t dispose of those masks just yet.  Fauci says that wearing masks could become seasonal following the pandemic because people have become accustomed to wearing them and that’s why the flu has disappeared. The masks didn’t prevent COVID-19 but eliminated the flu.  Are you laughing yet?

Censorship and lockdowns and masks and mandatory injections are like padded cells in a madhouse and hospital world where free-association doesn’t lead to repressed truths because free association isn’t allowed, neither in word nor deed.  Speaking freely and associating with others are too democratic. Yes, we thought we were free.  False consciousness is pandemic.  Exploitation is seen as benevolence. Silence reigns.  And the veiled glances signify the ongoing terror that has spread like a virus.

We are now in a long war with two faces.  As with the one justified by the mass murders of September 11, 2001, this viral one isn’t going away.

The question is: Do we have to wait twenty years to grasp the obvious and fight for our freedoms?

We can be assured that Zelikow and his many associates at Covid Collaborative, including General Stanley McChrystal, Robert Gates, Arnie Duncan, Deval Patrick, Tom Ridge, et al. – a whole host of Republicans and Democrats backed by great wealth and institutional support, will not be “whacking moles” in their search for truth.  Their agenda is quite different.

But then again, you may recall where they stood on the mass murders of September 11, 2001 and the endless wars that have followed.

The post Second Stage Terror Wars first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Surveillance, Policing, and Algorithms

Since the brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police at the onset of last summer, there has been a resurgence of political energy amongst the American population centered on significantly reforming policing in the United States. Ranging from demilitarization to defunding, there has been no shortage of policy proposals issued by an endless assortment of governmental bodies, academic institutions, think tanks, non-profits, etc., as a means to promote greater accountability amongst a public institution that has fully exerted its monopoly on violence upon the American people. A critical area of policing that is in desperate need of stringent regulation is the seemingly unfettered use of surveillance tools. Specifically, surveillance tools that are embedded with artificial intelligence and machine-learning, algorithmic functioning. Some of these tools include but are not limited to: predictive policing software, facial recognition, automated license plate readers (ALPRs), and risk assessment scoring.

The utility of these kinds of surveillance technologies is seen in a few ways. First, it allows for a mass extraction of data points from various sources. Second, it allows for automated processes of analyses such as pattern recognition and data point linkage and connection. Third, based on the machine-learning of patterns and connections, it allows for predictive analysis and the alerting and signaling to end users (police) of the technology of potential risks or threats. These tools have be used to inform law enforcement which people and places to monitor. Moreover, they have assisted law enforcement in determining which people are potential threats to public safety and order. Consequently, people will have interactions with police, will be arrested, will be charged, and will be imprisoned based on the application of these surveillance technologies.

To this point it may be unclear as to what the problem is in regard to these police using these surveillance technologies. Surely, law enforcement is in need of some tools in order to root out and investigate crime. But before we fully address the problem with these tools we need further background regarding the functionality and utility of policing. To start, it must be acknowledged that the presence of an elite grouping of people, or a ruling class, who hold a disproportionate amount of political and socioeconomic power relative to the rest of the population has been a constant theme since the inception of the nation. Institutions and structures (of the government and economy) that form the backbone of the American state have been historically designed by and for the exclusive benefit of certain individuals: namely white, land-owning, generally wealthy males.

One of the most prominent of these institutions is law and the criminal justice system, in relating these institutions to that of the powerful, sociologist Richard Quinney argues in his book The Social Reality of Crime that, “Although law is supposed to protect all [residents], it starts as a tool of the dominant class and ends by maintaining the dominance of that class. Law serves the powerful over the weak…Yet we are all bound by that law, and we are indoctrinated with the myth that it is our law.” Consequently, there is a robust history of non-privileged classes and groups in American society challenging this unequal distribution of power through various resistance methods. Examples of these challenges include, but are not limited to: the abolitionist movement, organized labor movements, women’s rights movement, civil rights movements, anti-war movements, and most recently the resurgence of criminal justice reform and anti-police brutality movements. Unsurprisingly, all of these challenges have been met with immense pushback from the ruling class, expressed through government, i.e. the police, due to the significant threat they impose on their source of power. Sociologist Alex Vitale, thoroughly documents these episodes throughout his book The End of Policing and perhaps one the best takeaway points from this work is this: “The myth of policing in a liberal democracy is that the police exist to prevent political activity that crosses the line into criminal activity, such as property destruction and violence. But they have always focused on detecting and disrupting movements that threaten the economic and political status quo, regardless of the presence of criminality.”

The authority of the government is vested into the police to enforce the law, which itself is typically crafted to meet the interest of the ruling class. Thus the police serve as an extension, or more fittingly, a weapon and a shield of this power dynamic. Each iteration of the police has been imbued with the authority to use force as both a weapon of repression and as a shield to protect power and privilege from challenges and threats. As a result certain techniques and tools are used by the police to counter and neutralize these threats. One such tool is surveillance technology.

Perhaps one of the most succinct passages that captures the essence of this idea comes from a report entitled “Before the Bullet Hits the Body: Dismantling Predictive Policing in Los Angeles,” authored by the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition wherein they state, “Communities of color, immigrants and the economically marginalized are the primary targets of these modes of surveillance… It is yet another tool, another practice built upon the long lineage including slave patrols, lantern laws, Jim Crow, Red Squads, war on drugs, war on crime, war on gangs, war on terror, Operation Hammer, SWAT, aerial patrols, Weed and Seed, stop and frisk, gang injunctions, broken windows, and Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR).”

Finally, in contemporary society it is not a secret (especially since the Snowden revelations) that surveillance is ubiquitous in the US. It is ostensibly utilized for the promotion of national security and public safety and there is a truth to this claim. Yet, in a society that remains highly unequal with the existence of an incredibly privileged ruling class it remains relevant to point out, as privacy scholar Jeffrey Vagle argues in his article “Surveillance is still about power”, “…surveillance is, at its core, about the establishment, use, and maintenance of power…even the most common surveillance practices have a power dynamic that too often shifts from generally beneficial to abusive.” In sum, surveillance is an expression of power. It is also a tool wielded by the institution of law enforcement, itself an arm of the ruling class. Surveillance mechanisms are designed and have been utilized to preempt organized dissent from the status quo: which is the highly unequal distribution of political and socioeconomic power.

With this political and historical context in mind, we can now return to the issue at hand: police use of surveillance technologies embedded with artificial intelligence and machine-learning, algorithmic functioning. Rather than outlining each of the surveillance technologies listed in the introduction in regard to their various features and components, I will summarize some of the major concerns that have been put forward in the literature surrounding this topic. Sociologist Sarah Brayne has shown in her work, most notably her article entitled “Big Data Surveillance: The Case for Policing” that there are noteworthy implications for the reproduction of inequality through the utilization of these technologies. For example, historical crime data serves as one of the primary components of information that is fed into these surveillance tools.

This is significant because historical crime data is embedded with bias and discrimination which leads to the reinforcement and reproduction of criminal justice and legal biases but on a much wider scale given this expansive and proliferating surveillance architecture. As one report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation finds “Police are already policing minority neighborhoods and arresting people for things that may have gone unnoticed or unreported in less heavily patrolled neighborhoods. When this already skewed data is entered into a predictive algorithm, it will deploy more officers to the communities that are already overpoliced.” Another related issue that would feed into this reproduction of inequality is the unequal distribution and deployment of the physical surveillance technology. They will proliferate in areas already subject to higher police activity (areas that include residents primarily of color and low-income). Allowing for an even wider dragnet over a historically targeted population.

One example of this is the tool ShotSpotter, which is a sensor for gunshots that sends immediate alerts to nearby police units, and its proliferation in certain Chicago neighborhoods. As discussed in this article from The Intercept documenting ShotSpotter’s use in what led up to the recent death of 13 year old Adam Toledo, the author states that “ShotSpotter is operative only in low-income Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and is coupled with software, also sold by ShotSpotter, that guides deployment decisions. The inevitable rejoinder will be: That’s where the crime is. Here, we encounter the circular logic of predictive policing by which supposedly scientific methods yield racist results, as overpolicing of communities of color drives an “evidence-based” dynamic that produces more overpolicing and attendant harms.”

Lastly, these surveillance technologies present a daunting future for civil liberties and rights such as right to privacy, speech, due process, etc. In regard to privacy, given a near total absence of guidelines and regulation, essentially all types of digital data, no matter how identifiable or private, is fair game to be collected, aggregated, and analyzed for any sort of prosecution, raising critical questions about what privacy is protected. The British media scholar John Fiske in the article entitled “Surveilling the City: Whiteness, the Black Man and Democratic Totalitarianism” asserts that surveillance and its affront on privacy is a crucial component of the larger power struggle between the rulers and the ruled in which, “Privacy maintains the area where the less powerful can exert control over the immediate conditions of their lives and bodies, reducing it decreases the localizing power of the weak and increases the imperializing power of the strong, [the ruling class, the state, the totalitarian].” In regard to speech, there are also negative implications for the ability to peacefully dissent against the rule of power structures if there is a wide-scale surveillance architecture monitoring these challenges. This is especially relevant for historically oppressed and marginalized groups who as mentioned already, have been systematically targeted and repressed by law enforcement when attempting to challenge power and attain greater rights.

The increasing reliance on AI-generated algorithms to replace human-led oversight of potentially life-altering events and interactions with police spells grave dangers for society’s most vulnerable as has been documented above. The complete degradation of our most basic democratic ideals and values and the erosion of government transparency and accountability are plausible consequences with the widespread adoption of these kinds of surveillance technologies. Ultimately, this technology is nothing more than a tool. Tools are imbued with the intention of those who create and wield them. They can be designed and/or used for ostensibly beneficial purposes, conversely they can be used for malevolent purposes as well. This is why it is then critical to understand the political and historical context in which the tools are birthed into existence. Given the extensive and current sordid utilization of surveillance tools by its wielder, the police, as a means to oppress and control masses of people, we should analyze every subsequent tool designed for our ‘security’ and ‘safety’ with scrutiny and a critical eye.

Over the past year there has been a heightened level of scrutiny and due criticism, resulting in numerous victories in regard to regulating this police surveillance. Various local and municipal governments around the US have banned predictive policing and facial recognition technologies after experiencing strong pushback from well-organized community coalitions. But this is only a start and we must continue to resist the implementation of this algorithmic oppression in its shaping of group behavior towards dehumanized obedience and conformity. We have to seize upon this energy to stay mobilized, organized, and to articulate our demands for more and more police reform. There is an urgent need to address the worst police abuses and it is incumbent upon all of us to stand in solidarity with those who experience the brunt of this abuse.

The post Surveillance, Policing, and Algorithms first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Australia Struggles to Find an Independent Voice

Australia has always struggled to present an independent foreign policy to the world. For example, during its early days as a British colony its soldiers fought in the Crimean war in the mid 19th century, although it would be impossible to identify any Australian interest in that conflict. World War One saw a similar eagerness to die on behalf of the British Empire. To this day the most solemn day in the Australian calendar is 25th April, ANZAC Day, when Australian and New Zealand troops were sacrificed by their incompetent British officers to a hopeless campaign in Turkey during World War One.

The same saga was repeated during World War II when Australian troops were rushed to North Africa to fight Rommel’s desert army. They were only withdrawn from that theatre following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when defending home territory from the Japanese superseded defending Britain in its European war.

The fall of Singapore to the Japanese had a profound effect on Australian military thinking. Foremost was the realisation that they could no longer rely on Britain for their safety.  Rather than formulating a plan for having a uniquely Australian tinge to their defence, Australia simply switched its allegiance from the British to the Americans. That allegiance has continued to the present day and is essentially a bipartisan affair, with both the major political parties swearing undying allegiance to the Americans.

What did not change from the days of allegiance to a participation in Britain’s wars, was an affinity simply transferred to the Americans to join their wars, regardless of the merits, military or otherwise, of doing so.

Thus Australia was an eager participant in the first post-World War II exercise in American imperialism when it joined the war in Korea. Australian troops later joined in the invasion of North Korea, contrary to the terms of the United Nations resolution authorising the conflict. After the Chinese joined the war when the western forces reached the North Korea – China border, they were quickly expelled back to the southern portion of the Korean peninsula.

As is well known, the Americans used their aerial domination to bomb the North until the armistice was finally signed in 1953. During that air war every city in the North suffered severe damage. More than 600,000 civilians died, which was greater than the military losses of around 400,000. To this day the war remains technically alive as no peace treaty has been signed. Of the 17,000 Australian troops that served in Korea, there were 340 fatalities and more than 1400 injured, a comparatively small number for a war that lasted three years.

In 1962 Australian troops arrived in South Vietnam and remained there until January 1973 when they were withdrawn by the Whitlam Labor government. It was Australia’s longest war up until that time. The withdrawal of Australian troops by the Whitlam government incensed the Americans, on whose behalf they were there. The withdrawal drew the enmity of the Americans and was a major factor in the American role in the overthrow of the Whitlam government in November 1975. It is a fact barely acknowledged in Australian writing on the demise of the Whitlam government. It did, however, have a profound effect on Australian political and military thinking. Since November 1975 there has been no recognisable Australian difference from United States belligerence throughout the world.

The next miscalculation was Australia joining the United States led war in Afghanistan. That is now Australia’s longest war, rapidly approaching 20 years of involvement with no sign or political talk about withdrawing. It is a war that has largely passed out of mainstream media discussion. This ignorance was briefly disrupted by revelations in late 2020 that Australian troops had been involved in war crimes in Afghanistan, specifically, the killing of innocent Afghanistan civilians.

The brief publicity given to this revelation rapidly passed and Australia’s involvement in its longest war once more faded from public view. The mainstream media remains totally silent on Australia’s involvement on behalf of the Americans in protecting the poppy crop, source of 90% of the world’s heroin supply and a major source of uncountable illicit income for the CIA.

Australia’s next foreign intervention on behalf of the Americans was in the equally illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. They have simply ignored demands by the Iraqi government in 2020 that all uninvited foreign troops should leave. The involvement of Australian troops in that country, and indeed in adjoining Syria where they have been since at least 2015 is simply ignored by the mainstream media.

Australia also plays a role in the United States war machine through the satellite facility at Pine Gap in the Northern Territory. That base is one of a number of United States military facilities in the country, another topic that is deemed by the mainstream media as being unfit for public discussion.

Another unsung role of the Australian Navy is to be part of the United States confrontation with China in the South China Sea where they protect so-called freedom of navigation exercises, despite the complete absence of any evidence of Chinese interference with civilian navigation in those waters. Equally unexplained is the Australian Navy’s presence in the narrow Straits of Malacca, a vital Chinese export waterway.

Last year the Trump administration resurrected the “gang of four” that is, India, Japan, the United States and Australia, a blatantly anti-China grouping designed to put pressure on the Chinese government in the Indo Pacific region. The measure is doomed to fail, not least because both India and Japan have more attractive opportunities as part of the burgeoning cooperation in trade among multiple countries in the Asia-Pacific who see better opportunities arising from a friendly relationship with China than the blatantly antagonistic options offered by the Americans.

Australia seems impervious to these signals. It has already suffered major setbacks to its trade with China, not to mention a diplomatic cold shoulder. The political leadership is silent on this development, perhaps unable to grasp the implications of its changing relationship with China. The inability of the Labor Opposition to grasp the implications of the consequences of Australia clinging to the fading American coattails is of profound concern.

All the signs are that the relationship with its largest trading partner, by a big margin, will continue to deteriorate. Australians seem unable or unwilling to grasp the lesson that its economic problems are intimately linked to its subservient role to the United States.

There is every indication that their fortunes in Asia will sink together.

The post Australia Struggles to Find an Independent Voice first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Will Drones Really Protect Us?

I’m seated in the police Zoom briefing with other council representatives for my small seaside town in England. Our Chief Inspector is telling us about the crisis we have with soaring heroin addiction in the town. The recent surge is contributing to a general increase in crime. The next section of the briefing is about the future use of police surveillance drones, and how they could become useful in combating crime.

A few months ago, Nigel Farage, a far-right politician, arrived in my town to film himself on our tourist beaches; aiming to drum up hate and hostility toward migrants and refugees arriving in the UK on precarious inflatables, having just traversed the channel of water between England and France. Farage complains that the new arrivals are taking up hotel spaces, he triggers the public by saying it’s all coming out of the public purse, we can’t afford to look after our own citizens let alone refugees, and that these people will one day take their homes and jobs. The Home Office considers proposals to use water cannons on the migrant sea crossers, while Home Secretary, Priti Patel suggests the transportation of migrants and refugees to Ascension Island in the South Pacific, harking back to the 18th century, when Britain deported convicts to the penal colony of Australia.

The British Army Watchkeeper drone has been commissioned to help with surveillance of people crossing the Channel. The Watchkeeper was initially developed when the British military requested £1 billion to develop a military drone. An Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems, was awarded the contract to design and develop the drone. When completed in 2014, it was transported to Afghanistan for ‘field testing’.

Was a ‘field testing’ in Afghanistan part of the tragic mistake made when a U.S. weaponized drone killed my friend Raz Mohammed’s brother-in-law and five of his friends? The young men were enjoying an early evening gathering in their orchard in Wardak province Afghanistan. All the men were unarmed, none of them were involved with the Taliban. Their instant deaths were the result of a ‘signature strike’ – a targeted killing based on racial profiling, the men ‘fitted’ the demographic of the Taliban – they were wearing Pashtoon clothing, in a Pashtoon village, men of fighting age – that was enough to get them killed.

Our local Chief Inspector finishes talking about police surveillance drones. At present, in my area of  Sussex, they are mainly using surveillance drones for traffic and ‘operations’, though elsewhere in the UK they have so far been used to survey a Black Lives Matter protest and another at an immigration centre.

Knowing how I would come across to others in the Zoom room, I decided to take the risk of sounding like a ‘conspiracy loon’ and plunged in – I highlighted the military method of ‘racial profiling’ during surveillance and targeted assassinations, how the US police have started using drones armed with non-lethal weapons (tasers, pepper spray, rubber bullets) against their own civilians, often anti-war, environmental and anti-racist protestors. The chief inspector was a little taken aback but quickly started to respond that British police were not like the military or the US police, that drones are really useful for helping lost people on mountain tops, and that having a drone operator walking around town, while flying a surveillance drone, would be great for community engagement.

I suddenly recollect a fight which broke out in our town centre and wonder how a drone would have helped. Some sort of argument had arisen amongst the ‘street community’, a mixture of people who gravitate on the street to drink, to buy or take heroin and crack, or wait for their methadone subscription from the local rehab centre based above an arcade of shops which shadows the street community and the raucous outbreak. Shoppers walked past, some looking at the commotion, others head down, not wanting to inadvertently get dragged into a drug fueled hullabaloo. A young woman, weathered skin, tattered clothing, decaying teeth, aged beyond her years screams obscenities at another member of the community. Her gaunt face reminded me of people I’ve seen in Kabul who have become addicted to heroin, the people who live under a bridge, huddled in small groups, heads under a scarf as they cook up opium on a spoon. Their eyes are distant – friends and family say they are gone.

Heroin addiction in impoverished British towns has soared in the last 10 years. At the crime briefings I attend as a Councillor, no one ever talks about where this cheap high-quality opium has flooded in from, the root cause probably considered ‘too political’. But in reality, heroin supply to Britain has careened in the last decade, namely due to the ‘solar revolution’ in Afghanistan. This has enabled farmers to use electricity generated from solar panels to pump untapped water from 100 meters under the desert. Now, where there was once an arid dust belt, there are now fields of thriving poppy, punches of colour lighting up the desert, too much of a lucrative cash crop for Afghan farmers to pass up.

Many of the newly blooming fields are in Helmand, the Afghan province where Britain was assigned to fight the Taliban. Britain was also delegated, at the 2001 International Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, the responsibility of counter narcotics in Afghanistan. Considering Afghanistan was the first country in the world where weaponized drones were used – the 2001 unsuccessful assassination of Osama Bin Laden – and thereafter used as a “playground for foreign nations to kill Afghans like a video game” — as one of my young Afghan friends once described to me; it’s highly unlikely British Intelligence Agencies were unaware of the newly blossoming industry, much of which is growing in Helmand, a ‘hotspot’ for drone strikes and aerial surveillance. Today Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s heroin, 3% of the Afghan population are addicts, and production of the crop has more than doubled, from 3,700 tonnes in 2012, to 9,000 tonnes in 2017.

And so, in my home town, deprivation, crime, conflict and all the ills associated deepen. Drones are sent in to ‘solve’ the problem. To date, at least 40 UK police forces  have either purchased a drone or have access to using one. In the area of Sussex and Surrey, there are 23 drones and, according to a recent Freedom of Information, they were used 108 times between January- June 2020.

Afghans are amongst the refugees washed up upon our beaches in flimsy dinghies, their channel crossing overseen by the very same Watchkeeper drone used to exacerbate war which drove them from their homeland. The most vulnerable in our society, from Britain to Afghanistan, are seized by the scourge of heroin and the conflagration of violence caused by war. The vaunted “eyes in the skies,” the surveillance drones, won’t help us understand these realities. The proliferation of weaponized drones will unleash more misery.

Momentum for campaigns to ban land mines, cluster bombs and nuclear weapons began with grassroots efforts to tell the truth about militarism and war. I hope a surveillance drone will get the message painted on large banners we’ve held, standing along our seacoast, proclaiming a welcome for refugees and a longing for peace.

The post Will Drones Really Protect Us? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Will Drones Really Protect Us?

I’m seated in the police Zoom briefing with other council representatives for my small seaside town in England. Our Chief Inspector is telling us about the crisis we have with soaring heroin addiction in the town. The recent surge is contributing to a general increase in crime. The next section of the briefing is about the future use of police surveillance drones, and how they could become useful in combating crime.

A few months ago, Nigel Farage, a far-right politician, arrived in my town to film himself on our tourist beaches; aiming to drum up hate and hostility toward migrants and refugees arriving in the UK on precarious inflatables, having just traversed the channel of water between England and France. Farage complains that the new arrivals are taking up hotel spaces, he triggers the public by saying it’s all coming out of the public purse, we can’t afford to look after our own citizens let alone refugees, and that these people will one day take their homes and jobs. The Home Office considers proposals to use water cannons on the migrant sea crossers, while Home Secretary, Priti Patel suggests the transportation of migrants and refugees to Ascension Island in the South Pacific, harking back to the 18th century, when Britain deported convicts to the penal colony of Australia.

The British Army Watchkeeper drone has been commissioned to help with surveillance of people crossing the Channel. The Watchkeeper was initially developed when the British military requested £1 billion to develop a military drone. An Israeli arms company, Elbit Systems, was awarded the contract to design and develop the drone. When completed in 2014, it was transported to Afghanistan for ‘field testing’.

Was a ‘field testing’ in Afghanistan part of the tragic mistake made when a U.S. weaponized drone killed my friend Raz Mohammed’s brother-in-law and five of his friends? The young men were enjoying an early evening gathering in their orchard in Wardak province Afghanistan. All the men were unarmed, none of them were involved with the Taliban. Their instant deaths were the result of a ‘signature strike’ – a targeted killing based on racial profiling, the men ‘fitted’ the demographic of the Taliban – they were wearing Pashtoon clothing, in a Pashtoon village, men of fighting age – that was enough to get them killed.

Our local Chief Inspector finishes talking about police surveillance drones. At present, in my area of  Sussex, they are mainly using surveillance drones for traffic and ‘operations’, though elsewhere in the UK they have so far been used to survey a Black Lives Matter protest and another at an immigration centre.

Knowing how I would come across to others in the Zoom room, I decided to take the risk of sounding like a ‘conspiracy loon’ and plunged in – I highlighted the military method of ‘racial profiling’ during surveillance and targeted assassinations, how the US police have started using drones armed with non-lethal weapons (tasers, pepper spray, rubber bullets) against their own civilians, often anti-war, environmental and anti-racist protestors. The chief inspector was a little taken aback but quickly started to respond that British police were not like the military or the US police, that drones are really useful for helping lost people on mountain tops, and that having a drone operator walking around town, while flying a surveillance drone, would be great for community engagement.

I suddenly recollect a fight which broke out in our town centre and wonder how a drone would have helped. Some sort of argument had arisen amongst the ‘street community’, a mixture of people who gravitate on the street to drink, to buy or take heroin and crack, or wait for their methadone subscription from the local rehab centre based above an arcade of shops which shadows the street community and the raucous outbreak. Shoppers walked past, some looking at the commotion, others head down, not wanting to inadvertently get dragged into a drug fueled hullabaloo. A young woman, weathered skin, tattered clothing, decaying teeth, aged beyond her years screams obscenities at another member of the community. Her gaunt face reminded me of people I’ve seen in Kabul who have become addicted to heroin, the people who live under a bridge, huddled in small groups, heads under a scarf as they cook up opium on a spoon. Their eyes are distant – friends and family say they are gone.

Heroin addiction in impoverished British towns has soared in the last 10 years. At the crime briefings I attend as a Councillor, no one ever talks about where this cheap high-quality opium has flooded in from, the root cause probably considered ‘too political’. But in reality, heroin supply to Britain has careened in the last decade, namely due to the ‘solar revolution’ in Afghanistan. This has enabled farmers to use electricity generated from solar panels to pump untapped water from 100 meters under the desert. Now, where there was once an arid dust belt, there are now fields of thriving poppy, punches of colour lighting up the desert, too much of a lucrative cash crop for Afghan farmers to pass up.

Many of the newly blooming fields are in Helmand, the Afghan province where Britain was assigned to fight the Taliban. Britain was also delegated, at the 2001 International Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, the responsibility of counter narcotics in Afghanistan. Considering Afghanistan was the first country in the world where weaponized drones were used – the 2001 unsuccessful assassination of Osama Bin Laden – and thereafter used as a “playground for foreign nations to kill Afghans like a video game” — as one of my young Afghan friends once described to me; it’s highly unlikely British Intelligence Agencies were unaware of the newly blossoming industry, much of which is growing in Helmand, a ‘hotspot’ for drone strikes and aerial surveillance. Today Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s heroin, 3% of the Afghan population are addicts, and production of the crop has more than doubled, from 3,700 tonnes in 2012, to 9,000 tonnes in 2017.

And so, in my home town, deprivation, crime, conflict and all the ills associated deepen. Drones are sent in to ‘solve’ the problem. To date, at least 40 UK police forces  have either purchased a drone or have access to using one. In the area of Sussex and Surrey, there are 23 drones and, according to a recent Freedom of Information, they were used 108 times between January- June 2020.

Afghans are amongst the refugees washed up upon our beaches in flimsy dinghies, their channel crossing overseen by the very same Watchkeeper drone used to exacerbate war which drove them from their homeland. The most vulnerable in our society, from Britain to Afghanistan, are seized by the scourge of heroin and the conflagration of violence caused by war. The vaunted “eyes in the skies,” the surveillance drones, won’t help us understand these realities. The proliferation of weaponized drones will unleash more misery.

Momentum for campaigns to ban land mines, cluster bombs and nuclear weapons began with grassroots efforts to tell the truth about militarism and war. I hope a surveillance drone will get the message painted on large banners we’ve held, standing along our seacoast, proclaiming a welcome for refugees and a longing for peace.

The post Will Drones Really Protect Us? first appeared on Dissident Voice.