Making Ignorance Great Again!

It is the 4th of July 2024! The United States of America has withstood so many moments of greatness, disaster, conflict, trauma, war and peace. Through it all, for 248 years, Americans of all makes and models, Americans great and small, rich or poor, immigrant or native (and most modern Americans are by far immigrants… it is ignorance to argue otherwise) have managed to come together and stand together when the times of required us to act as one body to achieve our destiny.

But this July 4th, Americans stand divided. Americans are more fractured than ever, perhaps more divided than Americans were on April 11, 1861. This is the day before the Civil War began. Evidently, the division that plunged Americans in the the bloody Civil War did not end on April 9, 1865. It rages on today.

Today, we face a stark choice: Biden or Trump. To vote for a third candidate is to shrink from your duty to make a hard choice. It is a cop out. It is playing the game of chicken when America needs you to play the game of defending democracy for the future.

Is the choice easy?

No, of course not. When the stakes are high, when is a choice that matters ever easy?

Biden is old, but he is wise. Trump is old, and he is pig-ignorant.

Biden is frail, but he tells the truth. Trump is vigorous but lies like the Devil.

Biden fumbled the debate, but his is good. Trump fumbled too, and he is evil.

What is evil?

I talk about it in my book available on Amazon titled: Sapience: The Moment Is Now.

Sapience: The Moment Is Now (available on Amazon!)

Evil is Live spelled backwards. When a human being ignores too much of reality, humans are capable of creating conditions that do not support life. In other words, the make a livable world un livable. That is evil, pure and simple.

What is ignorance?

I also talk extensively about this in my book on Amazon. Ignorance is ignoring certain parts of reality so that you can know more about one thing or another. We all must learn to ignore the world in order to know certain parts of the world. This is how we gain knowledge. But too much ignoring leads straight to foolish ignor-ance. This is where we are with the Cult of Trump and MAGA.

So, why MIGA?

If you shorten Making Ignorance Great Again, and you get MIGA. I got this idea while swimming and created it on my iPad. Basically, I took the A in MAGA crack it in half to get the lopsided I (the broken piece of A that is going to fall over because every opposite thing needs its other half to stand strong). I added an orange with a MIGA hat on top in homage to Orange Jesus.

Thank you Liz Cheney for revealing in your book that is what MAGA followers call Trump.

In short, this is what it seems to me what MAGA is bent on doing… making up fiends and foes out of common, ordinary people living in America who happen to have different ideas, lifestyles, color of skin, political or religious beliefs, or anything else they want to make a big fuss about. To do this, the very first thing that must be done is to divide Americans into “us” and “them”. Then, once the division is made, the “us” group gets to go around screaming, shouting, and raging about reality not being how or what they want it to be. It’s so easy to rage.

It’s hard to do the work to really understand the complexities of nature, much less a huge, complicate country like the USA. So, just forget about trying to understand all nuances, complexity, or differences… just cut reality in half, throw away or get rid of the part you don’t like, and plough ahead with half a head and a lopsided mind. In other words, ignore complexity. This is how you get MIGA out of MAGA.

MIGA… Making Ignorance Great Again! See the MIGA Collection now available on my Etsy store: The Quip Collection.

And, Happy 4th of July!

Amazon Publishing Scammer Alert

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If you are a writer intending to publish independently and seeking help with some of the final details of the publishing process… BEWARE… the sea of the Google is ripe with sharks and cockroaches seeking to take your money and steal you blind. Time to wake up… if you want to keep your hard earned cash in your bank account.

Report A Scam

First things first, scammers are like spam… you find them everywhere and they have a long, long, long shelf life. This is because once the Federal Trade Commission, law enforcement, FBI, or even anti-scammer superheroes like Scammer Payback, Midnight, and Neon shut them down in one place or operating under one name, they pop back up somewhere else using a different name, different spoofed phone numbers, different IPs addresses.

But, just because they are everywhere like cockroaches does not mean we swallow their shitty deeds and take it. We report it. We publicize it. We help each other learn their tactics, their scam operations, their maneuver and we learn how to recognize, evade, and report their scum bag lifestyles. And protect those who are more vulnerable from them.

Here are some places you can report a scam:

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov to provide information that can help the FTC investigate the scam.
FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): File a complaint if you've been a victim of spoofing or phishing.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Report unsolicited emails that appear to be from the IRS to phishing@irs.gov. If you've lost money due to an IRS-related incident, you can also report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA).
Local police department: File a police report with the fraud division of your local police department. 

Also, check out these places:

fbi.gov -- Spoofing and Phishing -- FBIHow to Report. To report spoofing or phishing attempts—or to report that you've been a victim—file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).consumer.ftc.gov What To Do if You Were Scammed | Consumer AdviceThat's a scam. Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Scammers can be very convincing. They call, email, and send us text messages trying to get our money or sensitive personal information — like our Social Security or account numbers. And they're good at what they do. Here's what to do if you paid someone you think is a scammer or gave them your personal information or access to your computer or phone. If you paid a scammer, your money might be gone already. No matter how you paid, it's always worth asking the company you used to send the money if there's a way to get it back.
irs.gov -- Tax scams -- how to report them | Internal Revenue Service | Feb 6, 2024 — Phishing scams Phishing is a scam typically carried out through unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites and lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information. Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to phishing@irs.gov . If you've experienced any monetary losses due to an IRS-related incident, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) and the Federal Trade Commission.
aura.com -- How To Track Down a Scammer (and What To Do Next) - AuraJul 24, 2023 — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has an online portal for reporting scams. Visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov to give them more information so that they can conduct an investigation.
thelawdictionary.org -- How To Report A Scammer To The Police - Black's Law Dictionary-- It is generally best to file a police report on a scammer, reach out to your bank, and file a complaint with the appropriate federal agency as soon as possible after you have been scammed. To file a police report for a scam, you will need make a call to or visit the fraud division of your local police department.

You can also try contacting the company you used to send money to see if there’s a way to get it back. For example, if you paid by debit card, you can try using a chargeback to get your money back.  I used a credit card. Because I was hell bent on publishing my book faster than the scammers could string me along… my husband and I reported the scam to our credit card company and they reeled back the money the scammers thought they had stolen. Read below their terrible realization as they realized I wriggled off their hook!

If you’ve been scammed, it’s important to act quickly to minimize damage. You should immediately stop all contact with the scammer, including not responding to any emails, messages, or calls. 

My Amazon Publishing Scam Story

On April 8, 2024, I ended up on this website while search for Amazon self-publishing instructions and website. This site appears above the real Amazon website and instructions. Having never published a book before, I did not know what I did not know. The chat bot immediately engaged with me before I could scroll down to the very bottom of the website. The chat bot introduced itself as Jennifer Grace. This was 1st contact with the fraud they were about to pull on me.

Scammer Website!

Let’s Pick This Website Apart

The URL below is the Scammer’s Website. Notice how long the URL below is… this is not normal for legit websites to be so long.

Also, look at the logo. It uses Amazon’s color and shape, but it is not the Amazon logo. They just want to get it close enough and hope you ignore the fact that it is a cheap fake as you fall into their scammer net that is pretty and shiny, baited with all the ways they are going to help you be a BEST SELLING author. They are counting on your enthusiasm and dreams to make you ignore the warning flags waving frantically at you as you take the bait and fall hook-line-and sinker into their trap. They will play on every writer’s secret dream to be the next JK Rollings! The scammers will actually use this line on me later.

Bookwriting... really?! Dudes... you are suppose to be helping writers not hurting them.

And that chat box down at the lower right hand corner… WATCH OUT… because they are watching YOU and they know you have stumbled into their web.

A “friendly” girl named Jennifer is going to pop up and start talking to me. She will quickly hand me off their Marketing Supervisor… who is the same girl but with a new name: Abigailwhat a pretty name for a spider. She is going to take my money and pass me off to a Scammer Closer... who she tells me is an Amazon Global Publishing Project Managers… I fail to hear her evil laugh as she quickly pushing me off to David… the Closer!

https://amazonglobalpublishing.com/book-publishing.php?matchtype=p&adposition=&keyword=publish%20on%20amazon&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwq86wBhDiARIsAJhuphl-iNwOhDABp5wTxth-kLnmnMKM6RkFUvYkFoUdKZILB84SKstesd8aAhm2EALw_wcB

The “Zen” Desk!

Let’s back up because the scammers gave me a lot of information here that I am going to share with you so you can begin questioning a scam sooner than I did.

Jennifer Grace immediately handed me off to Abigail Noel who is the 2nd contact. Abigail talked fast and was very flattering (very nice and flattering people are buttering you up — this is always a warning sign!!).

She moved me swiftly from chatting over the chat bot to a phone call coming from (877-806-0660) [Beware of numbers beginning with 877… these tend to be scammer numbers!] Once on the phone, Abigail continued her flattery and fast talking. I specifically asked her if they are part of Amazon, and she told me that they are. I said that I did not know Amazon had a sub-division that assisted writers with finishing up their manuscripts. Abigail allowed me to continue in this delusion and this is the moment that the fraud began and everyone I would communicate with thereafter contributed to my mistaken identity that Amazon Global Publishing worked for Amazon. In fact, they were counting on this to hook me for the scam part of the fraud they had just pulled me into.

Believing that I was interacting with a sub-division of Amazon, Abigail gave me a quote for how much it would cost, and then offered me 40% off, creating a limited offer and a sense of needing to make a decision now or lose the benefit.

Following is part of the text they sent me after my initial contact with them, though part of our conversation has been removed, especially when I tell Abigail that I didn’t know Amazon offered publishing services to writers and she assured me that Amazon did. She did not make sure I understood this was Amazon Global Publishing, which has no affiliation with Amazon and is in fact poaching client writers from Amazon proper. I highlight two points in my initial contact with individuals at this fake Amazon where the scam is initiated, then continued.

[amazonpublicationhouse] Re: Chat with Visitor 47486888 [aka… “I just snagged a very Stupid but YUMMY Fish for Dinner boys!”]

Inbox

support@…se.zendesk.com [Very creepy Zen going on here]

Apr 8, 2024, 2:03 PM to me

Chat started: 2024-04-08 05:07 PM UTC [Coordinated Universal Time] This is another trick they employ so you don’t know where the Hell on planet Earth they are working from! And another WARNING SIGN!!!

(05:07:20 PM) *** Jennifer Grace joined the chat *** [The evil worm coming to pull in dinner for the scamming crew]

(05:07:23 PM) Jennifer Grace: Hello there 🙂

(05:07:25 PM) Jennifer Grace: How are you doing today?

**(05:07:30 PM) Jennifer Grace: Are you intending to get your book published on Amazon? [Jennifer says Amazon; not Amazon Global Publishing… the scam begins here]**

(05:08:14 PM) Jennifer Grace: Well, this is not a BOT – Feel free to ask any question 🙂

(05:09:47 PM) Visitor 47486888: Oh — I was looking for self guide to do this myself, but what is the price for a book coming in at 297 pages text, plus about 10 to 15 references. I also have my own art and cover (though do not know how to put the words on the title yet)

(05:10:18 PM) Jennifer Grace: Alright, we can certainly help you with that

(05:10:27 PM) Jennifer Grace: May I have your name please 🙂

(05:10:56 PM) Visitor 47486888: Deborah … though I plan to use a pen name for the book [Ah… I just bit the hook!!! LOL…]

(05:11:09 PM) Jennifer Grace: Nice to have you here, Deborah 🙂

(05:11:23 PM) Jennifer Grace: Let me quickly connect you to Our Senior Book Expert [LOL!!!! Senior Scammer Scum is more accurate]

(05:11:30 PM) Jennifer Grace: who’d be able to guide you properly with the process and pricing as well

(05:11:35 PM) Visitor 47486888 is now known as Deborah … aka, among the scammers all huddled together in their pathetic ugly room in India: “Stupid New Yummy Target”. [YES, scammers have elaborate systems tracking everybody who stumbles onto their paid, promoted pages! You a just a number to them… a stupid fish they are hoping to reel for dinner!]

(05:11:38 PM) Deborah: OK

(05:11:55 PM) Jennifer Grace: Meanwhile, may I have your email and phone number? in case we get disconnected

(05:12:43 PM) Deborah: Sure — email is xxxx@gmail.com phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx (cell) [Never, ever give your personal information to people you don’t know… they will keep calling and email on new spoofing lines until HELL freezes over!!!!!]

(05:12:56 PM) Jennifer Grace: Thanks for the details 🙂

(05:13:02 PM) Jennifer Grace: Connecting you right away!! [Yeah right, girrrl, you are connection to yourself!]

(05:13:15 PM) *** Abigail Noel joined the chat ***

(05:13:22 PM) Abigail Noel: Hello Deborah!

(05:13:27 PM) Abigail Noel: Nice to have you here 🙂

(05:14:03 PM) Abigail Noel: I’ll provide you with the cost details shortly.

**(05:14:08 PM) Deborah: I ended up here accidentally… [Zen Desk puts … here, but there is text missing here… I know I said that I did not know Amazon had this servie and Abigail lead me to believe that Amazon did have it, the real Amazon, not this fake one] …but let’s see what you might be able to help me do and how much** There is NOTHING ZEN about this Creepy Desk!

(05:14:21 PM) Abigail Noel: I see you have a 297 paged book

(05:14:26 PM) Deborah: yes

(05:14:31 PM) Abigail Noel: May i know whats it about as in whats the genre?

(05:15:11 PM) Deborah: I have formatted it per amazon instruction… and the genre is Science Fiction-Fantasy with some historical fiction thrown in [Yeah… I just keep feeding them information to hang myself with…]

(05:15:23 PM) Abigail Noel: Thats amazing! [Buttering up… because I am dinner!!!]

(05:15:44 PM) Deborah: 12 years in the making! It’s time!!

(05:16:09 PM) Abigail Noel: Would it be requiring professional editing? Or would basic proofreading be sufficient?

<<Something was left out here… not such a perfect recording machine this creepy Zen Desk!!>>

(05:17:50 PM) Abigail Noel: Oh wow!

(05:17:52 PM) Deborah: Proofreading is sufficient… I have edited it extensively over a long period of time… I get 100% with Word very basic grammar/spell check… but I’m sure there are still some errors… [Abigail is going to ignore what I just said and proceed to sell me shit.]

(05:18:15 PM) Abigail Noel: We’ll take care of it we have inhouse professionals who can take care of this!

(05:19:04 PM) Abigail Noel: Let’s dive into the process, Deborah, this way you’ll get to know how we work and I’ll provide you with the package as well

(05:19:20 PM) Deborah: One other thing that may not make this possible for you to do… is I really feel it needs to be published on 4/24/24… [This is so fortunate!!!!]

(05:20:05 PM) Abigail Noel: That can definitely be done [YEAH Right!!!!]

(05:20:18 PM) Deborah: Ok — great! [Bad idea girl!!!!!!!]

(05:20:31 PM) Abigail Noel: Once your order is placed, we will proceed by collecting your manuscript and other relevant details including image files. Your dedicated project manager will get in touch with you via email and calls.

(05:20:54 PM) Abigail Noel: As part of Amazon’s Mandatory Guidelines, we will run the proofreading phase on your manuscript, which includes:

[Let’s just get it clear… Amazon does have guidelines, but if you are self-publishing, you are on your own. They don’t even have a Help Desk to call, nor email. They don’t care if you, speck of creative flare that you are, sink in their vast, competitive sea of online shopping… because they don’t NEED you. Once you publish on their platform, you appear at the bottom of Amazon’s Marianas Trench of their online sellers and buyers world. Whether you can find a way to float up a little higher in the vast maze of algorithms and paid ads is totally up to you!!!]

•Ensuring consistency in your writing, word choices, style, and compositional spacing

• Eliminating jargon and repetition

• Revising inappropriate verb tenses

• Checking for subject-verb agreement

• Inserting transitional phrasing

• Evaluating the continuity/flow of your thoughts

• Ensuring support of statements

• Providing correct formatting of citations/references, and footnotes according to industry style guide formatting

• Providing critical assessment and feedback of your manuscript throughout your document’s comments section.

This step identifies any roadblocks such as plagiarism, spelling, and grammatical errors that might cause the book to be flagged by Amazon or removed from its list after publication.

[This is all complete Bullshit… they don’t do shit except think of how to scam more money out of you now!!!]

(05:22:09 PM) Abigail Noel: Your book is already formatted, however to ensure that it aligns with Amazon Standards of 2024 [Hahaha… scammers want you to feel stuck… they want you to feel dependented on them… fortunately, I had already tuned her out because I knew my book didn’t need this shit… I was focused on 4/24/24] we’ll run the formatting phase on it, after your approval, we will start the Book conversion process and set the layout and formatting of the book including marginalization, spacing, fonts, dimensions, index of authorities, etc.

Moving on, an Expert Typesetter enhances the composition of the text for a better readability experience in Digital Format and also to enable the book for Printing.

We will then put together the final publish-ready version of the book in Digital and Paperback formats and share them with you for your review and approval.

(05:22:31 PM) Abigail Noel: After you provide us with your final approval on the publish-ready version of the book in print and digital, our publisher will publish your book on Amazon and Kindle. This entails a unique ISBN and barcode registration for your book and creating unique author and book profiles on Amazon and Kindle, which we’ll ensure are optimized so we can attract your book’s relevant target audience organically.

(05:22:39 PM) Abigail Noel: With me so far, Deborah?

(05:22:41 PM) Deborah: These would be checks that are sent as suggestions, correct? I have a very specific voice and tone that needs to be maintained.

(05:23:22 PM) Abigail Noel: Rest assured, we’ll make sure to preserve the true essence of its originality

(05:24:18 PM) Abigail Noel: Once we have your approval on the final publish ready version, before its publication, we will also search engine optimize your Amazon profile in order to attract an organic audience and make your book rank higher in the recommendation list of people interested in your genre.

Meta data is information about your book (title, genre, author bio, publisher, etc.) that helps retailers and readers categorize and find your book. The stronger your metadata, the easier readers can find your book. our meta data experts will perform a spell check, basic edits, and keyword optimization to give your book its best shot at make the sale. You’ll also receive a proof of your approval.

(05:24:32 PM) Deborah: I’m nervous… but I’m also overwhelmed a bit as this is first book… so if this is affordable, I will serious consider help

(05:24:42 PM) Abigail Noel: Lastly, we set up the exclusive Print on Demand Function for you. Amazon will take care of all your printing and shipping orders.

This is our process, let me know if you have any questions.

(05:25:38 PM) Abigail Noel: I understand and we’re here to be your helping hand Deborah, it can be quiet nerve wreaking but rest assured our packages are budget friendly and we strive to help authors in the best possible way

(05:26:48 PM) Deborah: Yes — I want the digital and print on demand for sure. I also have a resource page for the end… that I am cutting down… this provides links to resources I have used to help me create the texture and background for the characters… as well as be as accurate as possible to historical dates

(05:28:34 PM) Abigail Noel: Thats wonderful! Insightful and detail-oriented, the perfect blend.

(05:29:51 PM) Abigail Noel: If you don’t have any questions, shall I get your package generated?

(05:29:58 PM) Deborah: Trying… for sure… provide contents and offer new ideas

(05:30:46 PM) Deborah: Yes — what does this cost? That could be my biggest hurtle

(05:31:26 PM) Abigail Noel: Alright, Deborah! Kindly hold with me while I get your package generated

(05:31:38 PM) Deborah XXXX: Thank you

(05:33:37 PM) Abigail Noel: Optimized Publishing Service:

Original Price: $1590.00

Promotional Price: $750.00

-Dedicated Project Manager & Consultant

-Basic Proofreading (According To Amazon Standards) [RED ALERT!!!!]

-Ensuring the Layout, Formatting, and Typesetting are as per International Publishing Standards

-Finalization of the publish-ready version of the book

-Global Publishing on Amazon

-Unlimited revisions until you are 100% satisfied

-100% ownership rights

– Creation of Author Profile and Book Page on Amazon

– Book Categorization in relevant categories as per the Genre

– Keyword Research and Optimization to improve the Book’s discoverability

– Search engine optimization of Author profile on the publishing platform

– Attract your targeted audience with keywords and categorization

[Total Bullshit… they give your a made up price and put it on sale because all little fishys love to bite on sales!]

(05:33:49 PM) Abigail Noel: How does that sound to you, Deborah?

(05:34:59 PM) Deborah: That sounds really amazing… can you hold on as I need to run this by husband … back in a minute [And it is soon to become a really nasty nightmare, girl… RUN!!!]

(05:35:11 PM) Abigail Noel: Certainly, I’m right here!

(05:37:15 PM) Deborah: Okay… we are on a pretty tight budget… but this is a big thing, I think the book will find her readers, eventually… I am exhausted… so he agrees, let’s do it [Abigail don’t care… she just wants to swallow as much money as you give her and leave you high and dry to die]

(05:38:51 PM) Abigail Noel: That great to hear! Let me ring you up and assist you in getting started

(05:39:40 PM) Deborah: okay — you can call cell xxx-xxx-xxxx or home xxx-xxx-xxxx [OH YEAH… they’re going to be calling both of these non-stop pretty soon once they realize you realized they are SCAMMERS!!!!!!!]

(05:39:49 PM) Abigail Noel: Ringing you right up!

What Zen Desk does not record is that Abigail got my credit card number wrong three times because she kept inputting a wrong number into her system [Stupid scammer!]. On the fourth try, using my husband’s name she finally got it right and the charge of $750 went through.

Without a moments break, she handed me off to David Luiz [Apparently this dude likes scoccer because the only David Luiz who appears in Google searches is the one who plays for Brazil, but I don’t know this yet because I want to believe they are going to help me… what a foolish girl I am!] who was supposed to be my Project Manager (but really, he was primary fraudster and scammer from here on out). David’s main concern was singing me up onto this sketchy system called Basecamp. He was more concerned with this than understanding the scope of my book, work already completed, and areas that I wanted help. [Basecamp is super scary SHIT! If someone wants you to join Basecamp…RUN!!!!!!]

The “Basecamp”!!

Signing into Basecamp didn’t work at first either, and David shunted me off to an IT specialist who finally got me into this system. Following are the Welcome Messages.

Basically, David wanted to get my cover art (which is my original work and something I have not released to anyone as of this time) and my manuscript (an endeavor that took 12 years to write).

The next day, I got a cover design back.  This seemed the only thing that they may have been competent in doing; however, by April 19, when I realize this is a scam, I do not use anything they provided. In fact, they never provided a PDF that I could use to load into the Kindle self-publishing system. They only sent pretty mockups, which was decent, not great and not sent as I file that I could use.

It took David until April 11 to answer questions I had sent to him on April 9th.  I thought this odd, but figured he was busy. Throughout this whole time, a timeline was never created, and I had no idea who was working on what part of my book, just a mysterious 11 unidentified people who supposedly got every message sent through Basecamp.

I finally get edits on April 12. I am shocked and dismayed that the editor has only gotten to page 40 of 297 pages. Abigail has promised me they would meet my April 24 deadline, though it is clear David is hedging on this.

I look through the edits. Most are stylistic edits (stupid edits). And what concerns me further is there are glaring errors in the edits made that if published would make me look like I didn’t know who I was talking about and lost track of my characters. I point out to the mystery editor in a nice way.

I send it back the next day.

I do not receive any thing until 4/16/24, and this is only a new mockup of my cover after I request a darker color on the back. Again, it is sent to me in a file I cannot use. Just a nice mockup of what my book might look like.

Two more days past before I received the next set of edits draft back. Again, I am shocked and dismayed that this “editor” had only accomplished editing 40 more pages since 4/12/24… this is absolutely dismal progress for a “professional” editor. In my time as an editor, I would have been fired for going this slow. Even more annoying is the editor continues to make the same serious mistakes I thought we had addressed and come to an understanding of from the first draft. But in the next 40 pages, this serious mistake (along with others) continues to be made. I am also in serious doubt that they can make my 4/24/24 deadline.

But Wait… The Scam Gets Worse!!

Then, the fraud-scam grows bigger.

On April 18, 2024, David calls me breathless and tells me that out of 5,000 authors they are working with this month, I have been pick for sponsorship of Extensive Publishing. David tells me I will get two editors, be featured globally on Amazon sites as well as 40 additional non-Amazon sites, and a bunch of other garbage that he makes sound really exiting. He tells me this all cost $12,000, but some mysterious sponsor is going to chip in 70%, so I only need to pay an additional $3,600.

I told David I was on a run and could not possibly pay until returning home.

When I returned home and called, as I promised, David was not available (probably scamming someone else), but Abigail was. David messaged me on Basecamp, but I did not get a Zen Desk readout of his call and promises. The invoice does not list any of the promises David has made to me, nor do I finally notice does it list a physical address. In fact, no communications I have received thus far lists a brick and mortar building though I know David and Abigail are working someplace with other people because when I have talked to them, I hear other people talking in the background.

‘Bout Time Girl!!!!

My suspicions begin to rise. [‘Bout TIME, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

On April 19, 2024, David interrupts a call with my daughter who is getting ready to fly down for personal reason that are scheduled on Monday. I hang up on my daughter to take his call. He tells me that my manuscript is done, which I immediately find utterly unbelievable considering the super slow progress up until this point.

I have been kind to the editors believing berating them for dumb mistakes will not further the process, but I am not impressed by any of the edits made up until this April 18, 2024.  When I open this latest draft, I am dumbfounded. The book is not over 640 pages!!! Edits are barely worthy making and more mistakes. Also, it has been sent as a PDF and David wants me to hand write my comments!!!!!

I am not pleased, but still believe I am working with Amazon.

Then, my daughter flies in and my husband and I pick her up at National. I tell her they story of the past 24 hours, and she tells me: “Mom, you’ve been scammed.”

When we get home, I finally search for amazon global publishing scams (as I should have done on April 8), and I find this article: How Scammers Are Using Amazon and Amazon Trademarks to Rip Writers Off — POSTED BY VICTORIA-STRAUSS FOR WRITER BEWARE® ON JUL 7, 2023

Link to Site: https://writerbeware.blog/2023/07/07/how-scammers-are-using-amazon-and-amazon-trademarks-to-rip-writers-off/

I finally threw away my blinders of enthusiasm and excitement and realized that this very tiny team of “experts” were preying on me to get my money that now totals $4,150 US dollars. Money, I did not have in excess to spare, especially after 5 years (now going on 6 years) of not working after being fired from my job with a religious non-profit for whom I had put in over 86 hours of worked writing proposals for the past year, many of them funded. But, this didn’t matter to the narcissistic CEO who preferred to run the nonprofit using fear of being laid off or fired if the employees did not do what she wanted when she wanted it done. This experienced combine with the trauma of being the person who had to make the decision to remove my father from lifesaving care sent me into a major depression that sent me to a pit of suicidal depression, but that is straying from the story of the scam.

Leaving My Pride on the Floor & Dealing With Reality

Confronted with my husband’s doubt and my daughter’s absolute belief I had been scammed, and finding Victoria Strauss’ article, I admitted to myself and my family I had fallen for a scam, and we called our credit card and report the fraud on April 19, 2024. They immediately begin a charge back process for the 4/8/24 charge of $750, but the $3,500 charge has not yet posted as of 4/19/24. However, by 4/20/24, this charge posted, and we reported the fraud and charge back (refund) process on this amount too.

My family and I are incredibly fortunate that our credit card could get both charges cancelled and refunded to our credit card. However, we now must begin the process of closing this card as the scammers have it and the security codes. The intangible thing that they also have is all of my original work: the manuscript I sent to them on 4/8/24, the cover art that I drew, and all the artwork in the novel, which I also drew.

With the 0.05% chance that they could publish my work before I did and claim it as theirs, I threw all my effort into getting onto Real Amazon’s website and figuring out on my own Real Amazon’s self-publishing process, which really isn’t that hard, even for beginners who have never done this before. I worked on my paperback first and submitted it on 4/22/24. Amazon is very forthright that once you hit submit it can take 72 hours for it to go Live. I was just a tiny bit over the 72 hours and could only hope that my paperback went Live on my birthday as I have been pushing for and working for hard for the past year.

And it went Live on 4/24/24 at 11:38 a.m.!  I was so happy. I managed to submit my Kindle formatted manuscript on 4/24/24 and learned that the Kindle process provides more checks that proved very helpful, so next time, I will format and submit Kindle first. My Kindle version went Live on 4/26/24, which is when I submitted my hard cover manuscript and made changes to my paperback from things I had learned doing the Kindle version. As of Monday, my hard cover is Live now too.

Throughout this whole time, my husband and I were helping our daughter get through a rough moment. And as of the moment of my awareness of being scammed, I stopped responded to calls, text, and emails coming from Fake Amazon. How they responded in the wake of realizing I cancelled payment and refused to return or answer calls, texts, or e-mails illuminates they are indeed a scamming fake corporate shell operation.

I do not respond to any posts in Basecamp, calls, or text thereafter. And there are many, which I am going to list for this in itself indicated fraud and scam practices given how many numbers they desperately are trying to contact me one.

Amazon Global Publishing Website Dissected

I never got down to the end of the very long webpage. Yes, this is all one page… you have to scroll, scroll, and scroll to get to that little, tiny disclaimer in the black at the very bottom of this site… in really tiny font.  In addition, throughout all my verbal communications with this scamming team, they always just said Amazon. If they were getting serious, they might say Amazon Publishing. I see now, this was all very deliberate.  And since successfully publishing my work on Real Amazon, I see how they went to great links to get their graphics to look vaguely like Real Amazon, but different enough that they might be able to get away with it. That is Real Amazon’s problem, not mine.

Scammer Panic

The most interesting part of this story is what happens after we stop the payments and I stop communicating with them.  Here is how they responded.

Desperate Effort to Re-engage with Me After I Cut Off All Communication on 4/19/24:

On April 23, I blocked 877-806-0660 (the number we had been communicating through). This is the number Abigail first called me on and the number David, my alleged Project Manager, used thereafter to call me. I would soon realize that this little team of two or three or a whole country, had many other numbers they used to talk with “people” (or should I say victims).

Phone numbers associated with this group:

307-429-0934                  Sheridan, WY                   April 24                 4:21 pm (it is David)

307-429-0934                  Sheridan, WY                   April 24                 4:45 pm (it is David)

And the Creepy Text Messages:

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 25                 2:23 pm (it is Abigail)

307-429-0934                  Sheridan, WY                   April 25                 4:24 pm (it is David)

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 25                5:50 pm (it is Abigail)

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 25                5:51 pm (it is Abigail)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 26                 11:59 am (it is David)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 26                 11:59 am (it is David)

And pathetic voicemail messages:

Leaves Voicemail:‚ÄúHi Debra, this Terry speaking your project How are you doing ? It’s been a long Reach out to you on the kidding and connect Fortunately There are a couple of things that need To discuss If you could you please ring me up whenever you are free or just so let me know so I can give you a call back Looking forward to take care, I hope Your Going with the smooth as well Whenever you available, you can just call me back and we’ll connect How I take care of goodbye‚Ķ

(I’d like to point out David forgot his fake name he was using with me and called himself Terry)

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 26                 3:15 pm (it is Abigail)

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 26                 3:15 pm (it is Abigail)

More Creepy Texts & Voicemails:

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 29                 1:01 pm (it is Abigail)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 29                 4:24 pm (it is David)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 29                4:25 pm (it is David)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 29                4:26 pm (it is David)

Leaves Voicemail: ‚ÄúHi Deborah, this is David speaking your project manager. How are you doing? I hope everything is great at you and I’ve been trying to reach out to you all. But unfortunately, getting to connected all there are a couple of things that need to be discussed so On the top of everything you payment has been actually home Refund it to To your card No Finance actually been reaching out to me to get an update but unfortunately I have nothing to say then but I’m looking forward to get connected with you so just give me a call back whenever you’re free so we can‚Ķ‚Äù

(At least, he remembers the correct FAKE name this time)

484-750-6086                  Digital Service                 April 30                 1:50 pm (it is suspicious)

410-683-5026                  Cockeysville, MD          April 30                 5:42 pm (it is Abigail)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 30                 7:34 pm (either David or new guy Ronald from finance)

877-384-2440                  Unknown                              April 30                 7:35 pm (either David or new guy Ronald from finance)

307-241-5560                  Wheatland, WY              April 30                 9:23 pm Ronald from finance

307-241-5560                  Wheatland, WY              April 30                 9:24 pm (it is Ronald who also called my home phone)

307-241-5560                  Wheatland, WY              April 30                 9:23 pm (it is Ronald)

Sent Creepy text (and I bet your booty it’s really David-Terry-Rashi pretending to be Ronald):

I’d like to point out that these later calls do not correspond to the established pattern between David and Abigail that communicated strictly beginning after 12 noon EST time and about 5:00 pm EST. On my last call with David (the one where he scammed me on paying $3,400) I asked him what time zone he is working in. I think I surprised him with this question for he hesitated with a Hmmm… then, said Mountain Time, which is not where Amazon headquarters would be operating from (that would be Pacific Time). The 9 pm calls correspond nicely with someone calling from the Philippines or Indonesia, which is exactly 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard time. So, this Ronald guy would have just arrived and started work at his International Scam Factory. He would have made calls at 9:23 am, 9:24 am, and sent a text at 9:23 am Philippine time using a Spoofing (fake number) to disguise the call as coming from Whealand, WY.

E-mails & Creepy Basecamp Messages Received After I Reported the Fraud to Credit Card:

Creepy Texts and Emails Received After Money Was Pulled Back:

Hell no Abigail… you want me to tell you how to scam someone else better! Bitch!

Copy of Above:

abigail | <abigail@amzglobalpublishing.com>Mon, Apr 29, 1:07 PM (1 day ago)
to me
Fake, fake, fake, fake

Greetings Deborah,

I hope everything is going well with you. 

I recently heard from David about the chargeback situation. I completely understand if you’re hesitant and have been avoiding our calls. However, I would really appreciate it if you could share what prompted you to change your mind. I’m not asking you to reconsider working with us again, but just understanding why you’re avoiding us would mean a lot.

David mentioned that he’s planning to reach out to you to resolve this issue, but he also mentioned today that you’ve been avoiding us. It would mean a great deal to me if you could shed some light on the situation. I recall how enthusiastic you were about working with us before, and how satisfied you seemed with David’s assistance. If you could simply let me know what’s changed, we can finally put this matter to rest.

Best Regards,
Abigail Noel

Sr. Publishing & Marketing Consultant


David — April 29 & 30: [HaHa… David!!!]

April 30:

Copy of above email

Urgent: Action Required to Avoid Sponsorship Loss [HaHa… David!!!]

Dear Deborah,

I hope this email finds you well.

I’ve been trying to reach out to you through multiple channels for over a week now, but unfortunately, I haven’t received any response from your end. This concerns me greatly, especially considering the current status of your project.

It’s very unlike you to become unresponsive all of a sudden, especially given the strong bond and professional connection we’ve developed throughout our collaboration. I find this behavior both strange and unprofessional, and I hope we can address any concerns or issues together. [Laughing out loud So hard… David is trying to Shame me back into giving him my money… LOL!!!]

As you may be aware, there was a sudden chargeback raised on your payment in the middle of our project, resulting in a full refund of the amount paid. While there was sponsorship involved in your package, our policy dictates that outstanding dues must be cleared promptly to avoid any adverse consequences.

I want to emphasize the urgency of this situation. If your dues remain unpaid by the end of today, the sponsorship associated with your package will be forfeited, which could significantly impact the progress of your work. I’m sure you can understand that this is not an outcome I wish for.

I have attached the payment details below for your reference.

  • Click here to make the payment

I sincerely hope you can take a moment to clear the outstanding dues to avoid any disruptions to your project. Please know that I am here to assist you every step of the way, and I remain committed to ensuring the success of your project.

Looking forward to your prompt response.

Best regards,
David

[Yeah, duh David, are you finally realizing I am not your tasty little fish you get to eat tonight?!]

Anti-Scammers Super Heros!

I’d like to give a shout out to individuals with skills in the US who are fighting back against these scammers. If you have not heard of them, check out their channels and consider supporting the work they are doing to keep us safe from the scumbags working in huge corporate-like operations mostly based in India, but also Pakistan and the Philipines.

Thank You Scammer Payback!!!
Thank You Midnight!!!
Thank You Neon!!!

Moral to the Story

So, the moral of this story, is if your Project Manager speaks with an Indonesian, Pilipino, Indian, Pakistani accent, which mine most certainly did… you are probably not working with a real publishing firm, not even a vanity publisher. You are working with scammers who are going to pull out all the stops to fraud you out of your money.  Beware.


Feature Animation Music:

Stay safe out there!

About the Author

I was born in Brazil. My father went there as a Lutheran missionary, my mother bravely went with him barely a week after getting married. I remember riding on my father’s shoulders as we galloped through the jungle with monkeys screeching at us in the trees above. It was glorious! I remember getting stuck in red mud with sheep surrounding us as a shepherd drove them homeward, a sea of baaing, woolly beasts! I remember the steel drums; I loved them, so did my father.

We moved back to the states when I turned three. Then, we moved all over because my father was a traveler who brought kindness and compassion to people who needed it most. We lived in LA to Redway, then headed east to the vast plains of South Dakota. I missed the redwood trees terribly and hunting for Big Foot with my brothers. But mother gave me Little House on the Prairie, and I began to grow deep roots on the Great Plains with my pony Blondie who liked to buck whenever we galloped. We moved again to Minneapolis. How I missed the plains, my pony, and my freedom. I felt my life was over. Then, I grew to love Minneapolis, the lakes, biking, running, swimming, and cross-country skiing in the snow.

I kept moving… living in the Florida Keys, Colorado, Maine, then Virginia. I was going to be a Marine Biologist, but when I discovered how much proposal writing was required, I decided I would spend more time writing than under the sea. So, I moved to Colorado where I took a job at a school for Creative and Gifted Children, and a teacher was what I was going to be. But I needed to finish my degree, so Bar Harbor beckon. This is where I finished my BA in Human Ecology with a focus on education and how to be a teacher.

But I felt I lacked enough life experience to truly be a good teacher, so I set out to gain some real-life experience and moved to DC. It almost swallowed me whole… except that I happen to meet a tremendous woman who helped me swim, Viola Young Horvath. She was one of the first microbiologists in the US. She who took me under her wing and guided me through life in WDC. I never, ever wanted to work in the corporate world. But, somehow, with Viola’s help, that is exactly where I ended up writing stories for corporations and non-profits in the form of proposals, annual reports, funding reports… which is exactly what I didn’t want to do as the younger version of myself. But I was sure getting life experience, way too much at times!

I met my life partner, a volcanologist at the Smithsonian, and began our family. We have one vibrant, beautiful grown-up daughter who is a constant source of inspiration and vitality. That’s about when I started looking for this story. It took me 12 years to find it, then 12 years to write it. From its inception, the timeline of this story began in 2020. And then, reality caught up with the story. Because of this, one of the characters has been woven into current events. For this reason, book 1 of this series may not be suitable for all readers as it deals with contentious concepts and issues happening right now, in 2024.

Books, Resources, and Merch

Book 1: Sapience: The Moment Is Now

Back Cover Summary

How do we, the Good People of Earth, avert our fate and achieve our destiny? How do we stop all the death, destruction, and violence happening now to people who are victims of hate, rage, wars, greed, famines (manmade and natural), and climate change? How can we stop ourselves from falling into a future coming for us sooner than we think is possible? A future very soon, we can no longer resist, no longer fight, no longer change.

This is a story about fate vs destiny. Fate is a one-sided thing that is sharp, judgmental, searing, and unforgiving. Fate does not care if you are old or young, happy or sad, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Fate is fueled by fear, rage, and hate. Fate happens when you least expect it, much like death.

Destiny is a two-sided thing. Destiny is hard, and it is soft. Destiny is grueling and effortless. Destiny will make you mad, and it will make you sane. Destiny will make you scream and shout and stomp it all out in hopeless impotence, and it will give you everlasting peace. Destiny requires endurance and inner fortitude. There is nothing easy about destiny. It is a choice that must be seen from both sides and endured with patience, tolerance, and acceptance to what is shows you. Destiny is the beginning of wisdom.

What will you choose? Do we begin our long journey back from perdition, a place we made all by ourselves. Or do we fall back together into the silence? The moment is now to choose because now is the only place of creation.

The first edition of Sapience: The Moment is Now is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle. Towards the end of July/early August, the first edition of Sapience in paperback and hardcover will go away on Amazon and a second edition of these formats will replace them. This is necessary so that I can make this book available to bookstores and libraries for reduced cost and the ability to return to Ingram if it does not sell. This is essential. As a new Indie author, I want to play fair and help local bookstores and libraries get stories to readers in ways that are sustainable to brick and mortar businesses.

On this page, I will provide updates on the Sapience series, snippets from the books, new Sapience merch and products that are on the way, and additional resources such as the Hall of Ruthless Rulers! Stay tune, and thank you for visiting Sapience.

Sapience: The Moment Is Now

by D. Mann (Author)

Paperback Live: April 24, 2024 | Hardcover and Kindle available soon! | Available on Amazon

How do we, the Good People of Earth, stop the needless death and destruction happening to people who are victims of hate and rage, war, greed, victims of famine (manmade and natural), and Climate Change? How can we stop ourselves from slipping irrevocably into a collective fate, a future coming for us sooner than we think is possible, a future very soon, we, the Good People of Earth, can no longer resist, no longer fight, no longer change? How can we, the People of Earth, avert our fate and reach for our destiny?

This is a story about fate vs destiny. Moment is caught in a web of fate being created for her now. Fate is a one-sided thing. Fate is sharp and judgmental. Fate is searing, unforgiving and stinging. Fate does not care if you are old or young, innocent or guilty, happy or sad, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Fate is fueled by fear, rage, and hate. Fate happens when you least expect it to, a lot like death. Fate is our collective fall over the Climate Cliff.

Destiny is a two-sided thing. Destiny is hard, and it is soft. Destiny is grueling and also infinitely effortless. Destiny will make you mad, and it will make you sane. Destiny will make you scream and shout and stomp it all out in hopeless impotence, and it will give you everlasting peace. Destiny requires endurance and inner fortitude. There is nothing easy about destiny. It is a choice that must be seen from both sides and endured with patience, tolerance, and acceptance to what it shows you. Destiny is fueled by awe, wonder, reverence, and honest self-reflection. Destiny is the beginning of wisdom.

What will you choose? Every person is voting. Do we begin our long journey back from perdition, a place we made all by ourselves. Or do we fall, returning to the silence from which we came? The moment is now to choose something different because now is the only place of creation.

This is book 1 in the Sapience Series.


#climateaction #climate #climatecrisis #ClimateChallenge #sapience #moments #booklovers #bookrecommendations #novel #novelist #sciencefiction #historicalfiction #currentaffairs #destiny #fate #wisdom #adventure #mystery #traveler #knowlege #pyschology #psychopath #narcissist #narcissism #socialgood #taoism #Money #truth #lies #ukraine #Israel #Gaza #hatespeech #change #changeyourmindset #mindsetmatters #mindset #ism #thinking #consciousness #genocide #reality #fiction #fictionbooks #fictionwriter #fictionwriter #fictionauthor #fictionwriting #fictionalworld #journey

No Choice vs Too Much Choice!

How Would A No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?

This blog focus on the idea that the non-profit organization called No Labels plans to put a third party candidate into the 2024 Presidential Campaign. While I agree with Ryan Clancy’s idea of creating more choice for American voters, it is an extremely, short-sighted, ill-conceived, and premature idea to try to do this year.

While 60,000 voters think a third party candidate can win, so far no third party candidate has ever come close to getting a toe hold into the White House. There are so many more MAGA voters inspired by cooky myths, lies, and the very scary Seven Mountain Mandate men, of whom Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are examples of women leaning heavily into “Let’s Do Medieval Again!

The Stakes

This year, more than any year in American history, the stakes are higher than most people care to believe or admit or reckon with. Having Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West already running on third party tickets is concerning. So now, we want more choice and add a No Labels ticket too?! Really, this year, when King Kong and his MAGA base is coming to rip down democracy and replace it with the Christian Alt Right Stary-Eyed, Let’s Have Kings Again, The Seven Mountains Mandate men?!

Who are The Seven Montains Mandate men and women? Think Handmaids Tale.

From January 2022 blog

Grow up America!

From January 2022 blog

People: Do You Understand How Democracy Works

Do people really understand how democracy works?

  • It is not:Oh the guy I voted for didn’t do the one thing I really wanted him to do, so I’m not voting for him again.”
  • This is an ignorant, short-sighted, and extremely selfish opinion. Running a country of 331+ million people democratically is not done by waving magic wands and fixing this problem instantly, then this problem, then that problem, and so on and so forth…
  • Do you live in reality people who give this as a reason for not voting for Joe? MAGA voters are a whole different story. They are a battering ram. They want to destroy democracy and rebuild America as a Totalitarian Christian Nationalist Country. Do you, ordinary voters unhappy with Joe want to live in a Christian Nationalist State run by one of the stupidest men on the planet… the Orange Baby?
  • Don’t rely on me for raising this alarm, listen to Fresh Air and Terry Gross’ interview with Bradley Onishi: Tracing the rise of Christian nationalism, from Trump to the Ala. Supreme Court

Rise of Christian Nationalism

Bradley Onishi is a former Christian nationalist who's now a professor of religion and the author of Preparing for War, a critique of the movement and its impact on American democracy.
BRAD ONISHI: I think it has. Christian nationalism is having a moment. It's having a moment in ways that it's requiring those who adhere to its principles and ideologies to respond to it. Folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and others have talked about the ways that Christian nationalism not only informs their understanding of politics, but how they identify explicitly as Christian nationalists. And so we are at a point in American politics where Christian nationalism is something that many people are discussing.
GROSS: Are there many people in Congress who are affiliated with Christian nationalism?
ONISHI: I think it's fair to say that, yes. One of the things that's true about our Congress is that it is disproportionately Christian. Now, there are many different types of Christian people in our Congress from various denominations. However, if we look at the GOP and we look at the tenets of the party's policies and its approach to the upcoming elections, we find core Christian nationalist ideals in that platform. And we find many, many, many members of Congress from the GOP who support those principles. So from outgoing Speaker Kevin McCarthy to current speaker Mike Johnson, all the way to senators and other members of the House, there are many folks who I would describe as Christian nationalists in the United States Congress.
GROSS: What are some of the fundamental principles of Christian nationalism? Like, how would you define Christian nationalism?
ONISHI: I think in very simple terms, Christian nationalism is the idea that Christian people should be privileged in the United States in some way - economically, socially, politically - and that that influence and that privilege is a result of the country being founded by and for Christians. Christian nationalism is not the idea that others can't be here - that if you're a Muslim or an atheist, that you have to leave. It's also not the idea that only Christians can be part of the government. However, for most Christian nationalists, there is a core belief that the story of the United States is one where it has been elected by God to play an exceptional role in human history, and as being chosen by God, it's the duty of Christian people to carry out his will on Earth.
So Christian nationalists take an approach to their Christianity that says it should have an undue influence on our government, on our economics, on our culture, and that it is by dint of our history, the religious faith that is meant to be privileged in our public square. With that said, there are different kinds of Christian nationalists and different ways that people manifest their understanding of the term. But when it comes down to it, if we all sit down as Americans at a table and there are people from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different faiths, and someone who is a Christian says, just by being at this table, I should have a special place, well, to me, that's Christian nationalism because you're saying that somehow this country is yours in a way that it is not for everyone else. And to me, therein lies the problem.

Go to Fresh Air to listen or read the rest of this interview. It is really, really important!

And this is really creepy:

GROSS: An extreme group of Christian nationalists is the New Apostolic Reformation, and they advocate the Seven Mountain Mandate, which is that Christian nationalists or Christians should lead government, family, religion, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, and that they - all of these sectors should reflect the kingdom of God. And I think I mentioned all seven there. So what does that mean to reflect the kingdom of God in family, religion, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, and the government?
ONISHI: The Seven Mountains mandate is a particular form of understanding human society that says that Christian people are not called to persuade their neighbors to practice the Christian faith, to demonstrate to their fellow Americans that the Christian faith is the faith of love and truth. The Seven Mountains Mandate is, as my colleague Matthew Taylor says, a mandate to colonize the Earth for God. The seven domains as you listed them - arts and leisure and the economy and the government, the family - are seen as mountains of conquest. The goal is not dialogue with neighbors who may be Muslim or atheist or Hindu. The goal is not to simply reflect the character of Christ on earth by way of living a life that upholds his glory and his teachings. The goal is to have absolute authority and power over every facet of human society.
And so we can see here what I take to be a very dangerous approach to practicing Christianity in the public square. It is not one that recognizes democracy or dialogue, pluralism as sacred values. The goal is power. The goal is conquest. And so when one hears about a politician or a leader or anyone in influence, especially as part of our government, who adheres to the Seven Mountains Mandate, that should set alarm bells off immediately.
  • Democracy Is Not:Joe’s too old, Joe’s too square, Joe’s too this or that...” This is just as stupid, impatience, ignorant reason to not vote for a known and vetted winner: Joe Biden.
  • There was a time in the not so distant past when age was considered a plus and must for a ruler. Wisdom takes time to ripen and mature inside of people. And it does not come to everyone who ages… look at the overly large, orange, baby King Kong with his revved up mad as hell MAGA base.
  • Do you think they are worried about the Orange Giant being too old… his less than 4 years younger than Biden!! Anyone giving this as a reason not to vote for Joe is suffering from ageism and is pretty ignorant about how a government governing 331+ million people really works! It takes a lot of people to make it work… good people who are appointed to their positions in a timely fashion and have the expertise and experience to do their jobs. Trump had the most vacancies in top, critical positions of any former President. Some key positions were never appointed under the Orange Giant.
  • Democracy Is Not:I’m mad a Joe for aiding Israel.” Modern nation-states are messy… alliances are messy… the world is messy and hard and cruel… that is why nations make alliances, and when Israel was attacked by HAMAS in one of the bloodiest, most gruesome slaughters of innocent people of this century, of course US comforts and supports Israel. There is so much going on behind the scenes that you and I never hear about. The death of any innocent person is intolerable. And Joe and his cabinet are doing their damn best to push for resolution, ceasefire, peace. But, tell me, anyone threatening not to vote for Joe because he can’t wave his wand and make this bloodshed stop… DO YOU REALLY THINK THE ORANGE GIANT (the man to put in place the Muslim Ban days after taking office)…. DO YOU REALLY THINK he is a better option?! I was mad at Obama for not doing more to stop the slaughter of Syrians being bombed by Russia as they aided their ugly ally Bashar al-Assad.

Take A Minute, Learn Something… Maybe Something New

Do Americans really understand democracy? Do Americans really cherish it? Do American comprehend what is at stake this year?

No Labels Debate

It is a choice. Listen to this debate and listen to Fresh Air if you are truly concerned about making an informed, intelligent choice.

The centrist group No Labels is planning to host a bipartisan nominating convention in 2024. This is leading some people to speculate that they may promote a third-party candidate that better reflects the perspective of middle-of-the-line voters who don’t favor President Biden’s re-election bid or Donald Trump receiving the Republican nomination. 

Those who say it will help Trump argue the group doesn’t have enough influence to make lasting tangible change and worry that promoting a third-party unity ticket will give an unpopular candidate like Trump a lower threshold for votes that would’ve gone to Biden. 

Those who disagree say voters who are discontented with both major parties but particularly opposed to Trump, might turn out in support of the third-party candidate, indirectly reducing Trump's chances. 

With this context, we debate the question: “How Would A No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?"  

Rahna Epting argues that the No Labels Party does not have a path to win the presidency. Ryan Clancy argues a No Labels unity presidential ticket has a viable path to win the White House in 2024. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.

Open to Debate: How Would a No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?

Feature Archetypal Animation

Music: Mickey Mouse Operation | Little People — [11] Fisticuffs At Dawn    1:02

When Do We Get to Use Violence

Wanted for Mass Murderer

Putin is a serial murderer responsible for decades of death. In case you have not been keeping count, this is a partial list of his history of mass murder.

And others who should be added to his warrant for arrest include: Trump and his MAGA zombies (failure to past funding to Ukraine), Kim Jong Un (supplying missiles to Russia), Xi Jinping (supporting and supplying Russia with weapons of war), Iran (supplying missiles to Russia), and any Putin sympathizers.

Just Another Da with My Boys! | Music: YMCA — Villiage People

The Russian apartment bombings 

These were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of BuynakskMoscow, and Volgodonsk in September 1999, killing more than 300, injuring more than 1,000, and spreading a wave of fear across the country. 

Two Chechnya Wars

  • About 300000 people have been killed during two wars in Chechnya over the past decade, a senior official in the province’s Moscow-backed government said. — Al Jazeera
Human rights organizations accused Russian forces of engaging in indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force whenever they encountered resistance, resulting in numerous civilian deaths. (According to Human Rights Watch, Russian artillery and rocket attacks killed at least 267 civilians during the December 1995 raid by the Chechens on the city of Gudermes.[46]) Throughout the span of the first Chechen war, Russian forces have been accused by Human Rights organizations of starting a brutal war with total disregard for humanitarian law, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary civilian casualties among the Chechen population. The main strategy in the Russian war effort had been to use heavy artillery and air strikes leading to numerous indiscriminate attacks on civilians. This has led to Western and Chechen sources calling the Russian strategy deliberate terror bombing on parts of Russia.[65] According to Human Rights Watch, the campaign was "unparalleled in the area since World War II for its scope and destructiveness, followed by months of indiscriminate and targeted fire against civilians".[66] Due to ethnic Chechens in Grozny seeking refuge among their respective teips in the surrounding villages of the countryside, a high proportion of initial civilian casualties were inflicted against ethnic Russians who were unable to find viable escape routes. The villages were also attacked from the first weeks of the conflict (Russian cluster bombs, for example, killed at least 55 civilians during the 3 January 1995 Shali cluster bomb attack).
Russian soldiers often prevented civilians from evacuating areas of imminent danger and prevented humanitarian organizations from assisting civilians in need. It was widely alleged that Russian troops, especially those belonging to the Internal Troops (MVD), committed numerous and in part systematic acts of torture and summary executions on Chechen civilians; they were often linked to zachistka ("cleansing" raids on town districts and villages suspected of harboring boyeviki – militants). Humanitarian and aid groups chronicled persistent patterns of Russian soldiers killing, raping and looting civilians at random, often in disregard of their nationality. Chechen fighters took hostages on a massive scale, kidnapped or killed Chechens considered to be collaborators and mistreated civilian captives and federal prisoners of war (especially pilots). Russian federal forces kidnapped hostages for ransom and used human shields for cover during the fighting and movement of troops (for example, a group of surrounded Russian troops took approximately 500 civilian hostages at Grozny's 9th Municipal Hospital).[67]
The violations committed by members of the Russian forces were usually tolerated by their superiors and were not punished even when investigated (the story of Vladimir Glebov serving as an example of such policy). Television and newspaper accounts widely reported largely uncensored images of the carnage to the Russian public. The Russian media coverage partially precipitated a loss of public confidence in the government and a steep decline in President Yeltsin's popularity. Chechnya was one of the heaviest burdens on Yeltsin's 1996 presidential election campaign. The protracted war in Chechnya, especially many reports of extreme violence against civilians, ignited fear and contempt of Russia among other ethnic groups in the federation. One of the most notable war crimes committed by the Russian army is the Samashki massacre, in which it is estimated that up to 300 civilians died during the attack.[68] Russian forces conducted an operation of zachistka, house-by-house searches throughout the entire village. Federal soldiers deliberately and arbitrarily attacked civilians and civilian dwellings in Samashki by shooting residents and burning houses with flame-throwers. They wantonly opened fire or threw grenades into basements where residents, mostly women, elderly persons and children, had been hiding.[69] Russian troops intentionally burned many bodies, either by throwing the bodies into burning houses or by setting them on fire.[70] A Chechen surgeon, Khassan Baiev, treated wounded in Samashki immediately after the operation and described the scene in his book:[71]

Human rights and war crimes[edit] — Main articles: Chechen genocideRussian war crimes, and Second Chechen War crimes and terrorism

The Second Chechen War saw a new wave of war crimes and violation of international humanitarian law. Both sides have been criticised by international organizations of violating the Geneva Conventions. However, a report by Human Rights Watch states that without minimizing the abuses committed by Chechen fighters, the main reason for civilian suffering in the Second Chechen War came as a result of the abuses committed by the Russian forces on the civilian population.[94] According to Amnesty International, Chechen civilians have been purposely targeted by Russian forces, in apparent disregard of humanitarian law. The situation has been described by Amnesty International as a Russian campaign to punish an entire ethnic group, on the pretext of "fighting crime and terrorism".[95] Russian forces have throughout the campaign ignored to follow their Geneva convention obligations, and has taken little responsibility of protecting the civilian population.[94] Amnesty International stated in their 2001 report that Chechen civilians, including medical personnel, have been the target of military attacks by Russian forces, and hundreds of Chechen civilians and prisoners of war are extrajudicially executed.[96]
According to human rights activists, Russian troops systematically committed the following crimes in Chechnya: the destruction of cities and villages, not justified by military necessity; shelling and bombardment of unprotected settlements; summary extrajudicial executions and killings of civilians; torture, ill-treatment and infringement of human dignity; serious bodily harm intentionally inflicted on persons not directly participating in hostilities; deliberate strikes against the civilian population, civilian and medical vehicles; illegal detentions of the civilian population and enforced disappearances; looting and destruction of civilian and public property; extortion; taking hostages for ransom; corpse trade.[97][98][99] There were also rapes,[100][101][102] which, along with women, were committed against men.[103][104][105][106][107][108] According to the Minister of Health of Ichkeria, Umar Khanbiev, Russian forces committed organ harvesting and organ trade during the conflict.[109]
Russian forces have since the beginning of the conflict indiscriminately and disproportionately bombed and shelled civilian objects, resulting in heavy civilian casualties. In one such occasion in October 1999, ten powerful hypersonic missiles fell without warning and targeted the city's only maternity hospital, post office, mosque, and a crowded market.[110][111][112][113] Most of the casualties occurred at the central market, and the attack is estimated to have killed over 100 instantly and injuring up to 400 others. Similar incidents include the Baku–Rostov highway bombing where the Russian Air Force perpetrated repeated rocket attacks on a large convoy of refugees trying to enter Ingushetia through a supposed "safe exit".[114][115] This was repeated in December 1999 when Russian soldiers opened fire on a refugee convoy marked with white flags.[116]
The 1999–2000 siege and bombardments of Grozny caused between 5,000[117] and 8,000[118] civilians to perish. The Russian army issued an ultimatum during the Grozny-siege urging Chechens to leave the city or be destroyed without mercy.[119] Around 300 people were killed while trying to escape in October 1999 and subsequently buried in a mass grave.[120] The bombing of Grozny included banned Buratino thermobaric and fuel-air bombs, igniting the air of civilians hiding in basements.[121][122] There were also reports of the use of chemical weapons, banned according to Geneva law.[123] The Russian president Putin vowed that the military would not stop bombing Grozny until Russian troops quote 'fulfilled their task to the end.' In 2003, the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.[124]
Another occasion of indiscriminate and perhaps deliberate bombardment is the bombing of Katyr-Yurt which occurred on 4–6 February 2000. The village of Katyr Yurt was far from the war's front line, and jam-packed with refugees. It was untouched on the morning of 4 February when Russian aircraft, helicopters, fuel-air bombs and Grad missiles pulverised the village. After the bombing the Russian army allowed buses in, and allowed a white-flag refugee convoy to leave after which they bombed that as well.[125] Banned Thermobaric weapons were fired on the village of Katyr-Yurt. Hundreds of civilians died as a result of the Russian bombardment and the following sweep after.[126][127] Thermobaric weapons have been used by the Russian army on several occasions according to Human Rights Watch.[128]

Syria

  • 6,950 civilians dead
The Syrian regime was responsible for 201,055 of these deaths, with the victims including 22,981 children and 11,976 women, while Russian forces killed 6,950 civilians, including 2,048 children and 977 women.Mar 15, 2023 -- ReliefWeb 

Ukraine

  • 500,000+ killed since Putin invaded
Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War included six deaths during the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 14,200–14,400 military and civilian deaths during the war in Donbas, and up to 500,000 estimated casualties during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. -- Wiki
The second year of war dragged on through Ukraine slowly and with little mercy. The first year of the war was a story of the resilience of people amid conflict that has turned into one of perseverance as the conflict has stagnated, with no end in sight.
Bohdan Semenukha and his mother, Viktoria, walk frequently through the Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, just a few blocks from the new apartment where they moved after fleeing Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast, in January 2023. | Claire Harbage/NPR

Never Again

Music: Jupiter & Jaguar — Blond:ish | Welcome to the Present & Chants of Native Earth | Shamanic Moon (Native American Drums) | From February 24, 2022 | “Never Again” the World Once Said

Alexei Navalny

  • ‘It’s a torture regime’: the last days of Alexei Navalny
Image from The Guardian
Each morning at 5am, Alexei Navalny was roused with the words “Wake up!” as the Russian national anthem played on the prison loudspeakers. It was always dark in the polar night above the Arctic Circle, and the temperature outside could fall below -30C (-22F). The convict would have a sheepskin coat and an ushanka hat to keep warm in a prison colony better known by its nickname: the Polar Wolf.

To read whole article, go to The Guardian for full article by Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer
  • Full List of Putin Critics Who Have Died in Mysterious Circumstances
For over two decades, President Vladimir Putin has squeezed dissent in Russia. Critics, journalists, and defectors have faced dire consequences after opposing him. From poisonings to shootings, mysterious falls from windows, and even plane crashes, there is a long trail of silenced voices.
Alexei Navalny, whose death in prison is as yet unexplained, had previously fallen ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow in 2020 after being poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who defected and was a prominent Putin critic, was murdered with polonium-210 in London in 2016. -- Newsweek

Book About the Man Wanted for Mass Murder


Previous Blogs Dedicated to Ukraine & Vanquishing HATE

Feature Archetypal Animation from last year’s blog marking the first anniversary of Russia’s full scale invasion — February 24, 2023 — Ukraine | “Never Again” the World Once Said
February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said
“You Want It Darker? We Kill the Flame!” — Leonard Cohen | Leonard Cohen is telling us exactly what WE need to do in this moment of Ruthless Barbarity, the darkness Putin has plunged the world into once again, WE KILL THE FLAME... We (the Good People of Earth who honor life and respect freedom) WE kill the flame of EVIL Putin lit in 2014 and dramatically escalated last year! We don’t have a tomorrow to do this if we want OUR World Back. | | February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said
“Look Mom! I’m A Monkey for Putin!” | Music: Wizard of the Hood (Collector’s Edition) | Violent J — Shiny Diamonds | Putin should be careful as Xi Jinping may very well turn Putin into his Flying Monkey! | February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said” | And HE is still Putin’s Pigeon… he has simply pulled the entire Republican Narc Bubble into his Pigeon Hole with him | SHAME ON YOU MAGA Republicans who are leaving Ukraine blowing in the disgusting breathe of the Putin fiend.
From March 2023
Feature Archetypal Animation marking Russia’s full scale invasion into Ukraine — February 24, 2022 — Ukraine Letters
Ukraine Letters — February 24, 2022
World of Dictators From February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said” | Or as TRUMP would say: “I’m a really stable dictator!”

Archetypal Animations

Feature Archetypal Animation

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The Most Dangerous Creature on the Planet | Part 10: Marvelization of Man

We are ploughing ahead in this series. If you want to understand why this series is call the Marvelization of Man, then skip back to blog 1: here.

Long story short, if there are going to be Marvelous Men, there are also going to be ordinary men, awful men, and god awful terrible men. And this is what we are really exploring, the underside of Marvelous.

So, here we go, taking a deep dive into the workings of the most disgusting, vile, horrid creatures to be found on planet Earth: The Totalitarian Leader!

What follows is from Joost Meerloo’s book, Rape of the Mind, published in 1956. To read more about Joost, backtrack to this blog, here.

The Totalitarian Leader

— Page 79, Rape of the Mind by Joost Meerloo

The leaders of Totalitaria are the strangest men in the state. These men are, like all other men, unique in their mental structure, and consequently we cannot make any blanket psychiatric diagnosis of the mental illness which motivates their behaviour.
But we can make some generalizations which will help us toward some understanding of the totalitarian leader. Obviously, for example, he suffers from an overwhelming need to control other human beings and to exert unlimited power, and this in itself is a psychological aberration, often rooted in deep-seated feelings of anxiety, humiliation, and inferiority. The ideologies such men propound are only used as tactical and strategical devices through which they hope to reach their final goal of complete domination over other men. This domination may help them compensate for pathological fears and feelings of unworthiness, as we can conclude from the psychological study of some modern dictators.
Fortunately, we do not have to rely on a purely hypothetical picture of the psychopathology of the totalitarian dictator. Dr. G. M. Gilbert, who studied some of the leaders of Nazi Germany during the Nuremberg trials, has given us a useful insight into their twisted minds, useful especially because it reveals to us something about the mutual interaction between the totalitarian leader and those who want to be led by him.
Hitler's suicide made a clinical investigation of his character structure impossible, but Dr. Gilbert heard many eyewitness reports of Hitler's behaviour from his friends and collaborators, and these present a fantastic picture of Nazism's prime mover. Hitler was known among his intimates as the carpet-eater, because he often threw himself on the floor in a kicking and screaming fit like an epileptic rage. From such reports, Dr. Gilbert was able to deduce something about the roots of the pathological behaviour displayed by this morbid "genius."
Hitler's paranoid hostility against the Jew was partly related to his unresolved parental conflicts; the Jews probably symbolized for him the hated drunken father who mistreated Hitler and his mother when the future Fuhrer was still a child. Hitler's obsessive thinking, his furious fanaticism, his insistence on maintaining the purity of "Aryan blood," and his ultimate mania to destroy himself and the world were obviously the results of a sick psyche.
As early as 1923, nearly ten years before he seized power, Hitler was convinced that he would one day rule the world, and he spent time designing monuments of victory, eternalizing his glory, to be erected all over the European continent when the day of victory arrived. This delusional preoccupation continued until the end of his life; in the midst of the war he created, which led him to defeat and death, Hitler continued revising and improving his architectural plans.
Nazi dictator Number Two, Hermann Goering, who committed suicide to escape the hangman, had a different psychological structure. His pathologically aggressive drivers were encouraged by the archaic military tradition of the German Junker class, to which his family belonged. From early childhood he had been compulsively and overtly aggressive. He was an autocratic and a corrupt cynic, grasping the Nazi-created opportunity to achieve purely personal gain. His contempt for the "common people" was unbounded; this was a man who had literally no sense of moral values.
Quite different again was Rudolf Hess, the man of passive yet fanatical doglike devotion, living, as it were, by proxy through the mind of his Fuhrer. His inner mental weakness made it easier for him to live through means of a proxy than through his own personality, and drove him to become the shadow of a seemingly strong man, from whom he could borrow strength. The Nazi ideology have this frustrated boy the illusion of blood identification with the glorious German race. After his wild flight to England, Hess showed obvious psychotic traits; his delusions of persecution, hysterical attacks, and periods of amnesia are among the well-known clinical symptoms of schizophrenia.
Still another type was Hans Frank, the devil's advocate, the prototype of the overambitious latent homosexual, easily seduced into political adventure, even when this was in conflict with the remnants of his conscience. For unlike Goering, Frank was capable of distinguishing between right and wrong.
Dr. Gilbert also tells us something about General Wilhelm Keitel, Hitler's Chief of Staff, who became the submissive, automatic mouthpiece of the Fuhrer, mixing military honor and personal ambition in the service of his own unimportance.
Of a different quality is the S.S. Colonel, Hoess, the murderer of millions in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. A pathological character structure is obvious in this case. All his life, Hoess had been a lonely, withdrawn, schizoid personality, without any conscience, wallowing in his own hostile and destructive fantasies. Alone and bereft of human attachments, he was intuitively sought out by Himmler for this most savage of all the Nazi jobs. He was a useful instrument for the committing of the most bestial deeds.
Unfortunately, we have no clear psychiatric picture yet of the Russian dictator Stalin. There have been several reports that during the last years of his life he had a tremendous persecution phobia and lived in constant terror that he would become the victim of his own purges.
Psychological analysis of these men shows clearly that a pathological culture -- a mad world - can be built by certain impressive psychoneurotic types. The venal political figures need not even comprehend the social and political consequences of their behaviour. They are compelled not by ideological belief, no matter how much they may rationalize to convince themselves they are, but by the distortions of their own personalities. They are not motivated by their advertised urge to serve their country or mankind, but rather by an overwhelming need and compulsion to satisfy the cravings of their own pathological character structures.
The ideologies they spout are not real goals; they are the cynical devices by which these sick men hope to achieve some personal sense of worth and power. Subtle inner lies seduce them into going from bad to worse. Defensive self-deception, arrested insight, evasion of emotional identification with others, degradation of empathy - the mind has many defense mechanisms with which to blind the conscience.
A clear example of this can be seen in the way the Nazi leaders defended themselves through continuous self-justification and exculpation when they were brought before the bar at the Nuremberg trials. These murderers were aggrieved and hurt by the accusations brought against them; they were the very picture of injured innocence.
Any form of leadership, if unchecked by controls, may gradually turn into dictatorship. Being a leader, carrying great power and responsibility for other people's lives, is a monumental test for the human psyche. The weak leader is the man who cannot meet it, who simply abdicates his responsibility. The dictator is the man who replaces the existing standards of justice and morality by more and more private prestige, by more and more power, and eventually isolates himself more and more from the rest of humanity. His suspicion grows, his isolation grows, and the vicious circle leading to a paranoid attitude begins to develop.
The dictator is not only a sick man, he is also a cruel opportunist. He sees no value in any other person and feels no gratitude for any help he may have received. He is suspicious and dishonest and believes that his personal ends justify any means he may use to achieve them. Peculiarly enough, every tyrant still searches for some self-justification. Without such a soothing device for his own conscience, he cannot live.
His attitude toward other people is manipulative; to him, they are merely tools for the advancement of his own interests. He rejects the conception of doubt, of internal contradictions, of man's inborn ambivalence. He denies the psychological fact that man grows to maturity through groping, through trial and error, through the interplay of contrasting feelings. Because he will not permit himself to grope, to learn through trial and error, the dictator can never become a mature person. But whether he acknowledges them or not, he has internal conflicts, he suffers somewhere from internal confusion. These inner "weaknesses" he tries to repress sternly; if they were to come to the surface, they might interfere with the achievement of his goals. Yet, in the attacks of rage his weakening strength is evident.
It is because the dictator is afraid, albeit unconsciously, of his own internal contradictions, that he is afraid of the same internal contradictions of his fellow men. He must purge and purge, terrorize and terrorize in order to still his own raging inner drives. He must kill every doubter, destroy every person who makes a mistake, imprison everyone who cannot be proved to be utterly single-minded. In Totalitaria, the latent aggression and savagery in man are cultivate by the dictator to such a degree that they can explode into mass criminal actions shown by Hitler's persecution of minorities. Ultimately, the country shows a real pathology, an utter dominance of destructive and self-destructive tendencies.

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First Archetypal Animation

Images — Midjourney

Music: Mountain of Memory (Remixes) — Emancipator: Dodo – ITO Remix    4:49

Second Archetypal Animation

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Previous Marvelization of Man Blogs

Creepy Collectivism | Part 9: Marvelization of Man

This is part 9 of the series The Marvelization of Man series in which we explore chapter 6 of Joost Merloo’s book: The Rape of the Mind written in 1956 in the aftermath of WWII and the horrors of the Totalitarian Mindset.

Why is the Totalitarian Mindset part of the Marvelization of Man? I mean, really, Marvel super heroes… well, they have super powers, they can fly, they can lift heavy objects with their eyes, they are protectors… right?

Well, yes they are… but I suspect for as high as we fly in our minds with these marvelous super heroes, we also descend deeper in our minds into dark and frightening places. And the more divided we become as a nation, as a group of people trying to work out this really crazy thing called civilization… well, we need to grapple with both sides of ourselves at the same time.

Blaming the Democrats for all the MAGA’s woes isn’t going to save a single MAGA voter from the realities of our time. Any place where you see conflict erupting and one-sidedness erupting into violence and war, the realities of the Totalitarian Mindset need to understood and grappled with. This is why this blog series is exploring Joost Merloo’s book now.

So, let’s jump into it… now.

Chapter 6 | The Rape of the Mind

Part 2: Cultural Predilection for Totalitarianism — Page 76

In the battle against this dread disease, social factors as well as personal ones play an important role. We can see this more clearly if we analyze the ways in which the ideals of a culture as a whole affect its citizens' vulnerability to totalitarianism. The ethics of our own Western civilization are our strongest defences against the disease, for the ideal of these ethics is to produce a breed of men and women who are strongly individualistic and who evaluate situations primarily in terms of their own consciences.
We aim to develop in our citizens a sense of self-responsibility, a willingness to confront the world as it is, and an ability to distinguish between right and wrong through their own feelings and thoughts. Such men and women are impelled to action by their personal moral standards rather than by what some outside group sets up as correct. They are unwilling to accept group evaluations immediately unless these coincide with their own personal convictions, or unless they have been able to discuss them in a democratic way. People like this are responsible to their communities because they are first responsible to themselves. If they disagree, they will form a "loyal minority", using their rights of convincing other people at appropriate times.
There are other cultures which emphasize attitudes and values that are different from these. The Eastern ideal of man, as we find it in China and some of the other Oriental countries, is in the first place that one "oneness", of being one with the family, one with the fatherland, one with the cosmos -- nirvana. The Oriental psyche looks for a direct aesthetic contact with reality through an indefinable empathy and intuition. Eternal truth is behind reality, behind the veil of Maya. Man is part of the universe; his ideal is passive servility and non-irritability. His ideal of peace lies in rest and relaxation, in meditation, in being without manual and mental travail. The happiness of the Oriental psyche lies in the ecstasy of feeling united with the universal cosmos. Ascesis, self-redemption, and poverty are better realized ideals in Oriental culture than in our Western society.
The classic Oriental culture pattern can best be described as a pattern of participation. In it the individual is looked upon as an integral part of the group, the family, the caste, the nation. He is not a separate, independent entity. In this culture, greater conformity to and acceptance of the collective rules are the ideals. An Oriental child may be trained from infancy into a pattern of submission to authority and to rules of the group. Many primitive cultures also display this pattern. To a person raised in these cultures, the most acceptable standards, the best conceivable thoughts and actions, are those sanctioned by the group. The totalitarian world of mass actions and mass thoughts is far more comprehensible to the members of a participation-patterned and less individual-minded culture than it is to Western individualists. What is to us unbearable regimentation and authoritarianism may be to them comforting order and regularity.
An example of an intensified pattern of participation and thought control and mutual spying has been given by the anthropologist E. P. Dozier. [See the "New York Times", December 11, 1955; and "Science News Letter", December 3, 1955.] The Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande area believe that wrongdoing or wrong thinking of one man in the tribe affects all members. He may upset the cosmic balance by ill feeling toward any one of his fellow men. The moral code of the village is group-centred. The individual who transgresses this jeopardizes the well-being of all. Epidemics, crop failures, droughts are interpreted as a result of "deviationism" of one member of the group. Village members are closely watched and spied on in order to discover the culprit or "witch." Gossip and accusations of witchcraft are rampant, and the Pueblo Indian is constantly searching in his own conscience for harmful thoughts and attitudes. It is as if we watch the ritual of the purge in the totalitarian state.
Such forms of "creeping collectivism" and participation we may see in every group formation where tolerance for non-conformism ceases to exist. Wherever dogmatic partisanship dominates, the mind is coerced. We may even detect such encroaching tendencies in some scientific circles where there exists an overemphasis on group
research, teamwork, membership cards, and a disdain for individual opinion.
The culture into which a man is born and his own psychological constitution interact to produce his personality in much the same way as his body and mind interact to produce his behaviour. Our culture of individual freedom may offer us a partial immunity to the disease of totalitarianism, but at the same time our personal immaturities and repressed savageries can make us vulnerable to it. The participation type of culture may make men more susceptible in general to totalitarianism, although personal strivings toward maturity and individuality can offer them, too, some measure of protection against it.
Because of the interaction between these social and personal forces, no culture is completely safe from internal attack by totalitarianism and from the mental destruction it may create. As I said before, our Totalitaria is a mythical country, but
the brutal truth is that any country can be turned into Totalitaria.
The aims of the rulers of our fictitious country are simply formulated: despotism, the total domination of man and mankind, and the unity of the entire world under one dictatorial authority. At first glance, this idea of unity can be most attractive -- the idea, oversimplified, of a brotherhood unity of nations under a central powerful agency. When the world is one, it would seem, there will be no more war, the tensions that face us will be eliminated, earth will become a paradise. But the simplified conception of a universal dictatorship is false and reflects the danger inherent in the totalitarian goal: all men are different, and it is the difference between them that creates the greatness, the variety, and the creative inspirations of life, as well as the tensions of social intercourse. The totalitarian conception of equalization can be realized only in death, when the chemical and physical laws that govern all of us take over completely. Death is indeed the great equalizer.
In life, all of us are different. Our bodies and minds interact with one another and with the outside world in different ways. Each man's personality is unique. True, all of us share certain basic human qualities with all the other members of the human race, but the differences in personality are also so many and so varied that no two men anywhere in the world or ever in all of human history can be said to be exactly alike. This uniqueness is as true of the citizen of Totalitaria as it is of anyone else. As a human being, he is not only different from us, he is different from his compatriots. However, to create man in the totalitarian image through levelling and equalization means to suppress what is essentially personal and human in him, the uniqueness and the variety, and to create a society of robots, not men.
The noted social scientist, J. S. Brunner, in his introduction to Bauer's book on Soviet psychology has expressed this thought in a different way: "Man's image of the nature of man is not only a matter for objective inquiry; it is and has always been a prime instrument of social and political control. He who moulds that image does so with enormous consequences for the society in which he lives."
Totalitaria fosters the illusion that everyone is part of the government, a voter; no one can be a non-voter or anti-voter. His inner pros and cons and doubts are not private problems of the individual himself any more; his thoughts belong to the state, the dictator, the ruling circle, the Party. His inner thoughts have to be controlled. Only those in power know what really lies behind national policy. The ordinary citizen becomes as dependent and obedient as a child. In exchange for giving up his individuality, he obtains some special gratifications: the feeling of belonging and of being protected, the sense of relief over losing his personal boundaries and responsibilities, the ecstasy of being taken up and absorbed in wild, uncontrolled collective feelings, the safety of being anonymous, of being merely a cog in the wheel of the all-powerful state.
The despotism of modern Totalitaria is very different from the lush, exotic personal tyrannies of ancient times. It is an ascetic, cold, mechanical force, aiming at what Hanna Ahrendt calls the "transformation of human nature itself." In our theoretical country, man has no individual ego any longer, no personality, no self. A levelling system is at work, and everything above the common level is trampled on and beaten down.

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Past Posts of the Marvelization of Man Series

For the last post in this series, see:

2024

Happy New Year’s! It’s 2024!!

May 2024 bring wisdom to you and to everyone who you know, especially as you try to make sense of the vast amount of nonsense and evil impacting and influencing our imperfect world, especially this year.

This year, more than any other year, each and every one of us needs to find our inner well of wisdom and drink from it. If we don’t find it… if we don’t replenish our drained and drying reservoirs of wisdom, we are not going to survive as a species on this planet past this century… at least not as we have been surviving in it.

Here and now, in this very moment, more than any transition from one year to the next one, we must be able to tell good from evil, truth from lies, right from wrong. This is the year we choose between life or death for all life on Earth.

This is the year (more than any other year) that each and every living human makes a choice… it is a vote… for what our collective fate will be as the 21st Century stretches ahead of us.

The preceding years have filled all of us with so much worry, so much onus, so much weight, and now we hold so much responsibility for our personal and collective fate.

No longer can we deny to ourselves that our personal choices and lifestyles do not affect other living beings on our beautiful planet. No longer can we choose to stay ignorant about our world, the deadly conflicts spanning the global, the deadly famines and diseases caused by our inability to get along with each other, nor our tremendous failure to cooperate with each other to solve the intractable and wicked problems we have created for ourselves as human beings.

The Choice Is Yours

Today is the day you must choose.

Will you choose life, meaning that you accept responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions?

OR

Will you choose death, meaning you project your unconsciousness onto others and do not take responsibility for your own inner turmoil, hate, anger, and ignorance… and you don’t educate yourself about yourself and the world that offers you this precious human life?

All life is precious. And all humans matter. And each and everyone of us is making a critical choice this year. A choice of consequence that will have lasting gravity on all of life for the foreseeable future.

This is our moment to shine… or it is our moment to fall like a shooting star burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Choose wisely.

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