Memory Wars: How Society Fails to Deal with Sin

Following are a few things that caught my attention this week, especially since they are relevant to what I am writing about in my novel about the role of consciousness and modern cultures. The first thing is Memory Wars. It is a six-part podcast exploring how society confronts sin. I only heard one episode, but it got me thinking deeply about how societies fail to deal with sin.

Memory Wars: A podcast exploring how society confronts sin

I heard S1E2: The Two Reconstructions that explores the similarities and differences between the Reconstruction that happened in the U.S. after the Civil War and the one that occurred in Germany after WWII.

America’s Antebellum Period

The biggest difference between the two Reconstructions is that after the U.S. Civil War (April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865), there was no outside agent to oversee the period of Reconstruction following the demise of the Antebellum Period. Countless reparations and services were needed to repair the damage inflicted on nearly 10 million slaves alive at this time.

Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage. -- How Many Slaves Landed in the U.S.?
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Originally posted on The Root

Slavery started in Jamestown Colony, the founding county of the British Empire in North America. It is also the founding colony for the soon to be United States of America. Slavery grows into a brutal industry that lasts for more than 200 years allowing white men to make tremendous profits and becomes the basis for how the economy works in the United States.

America’s Reconstruction Era | Brief & Incomplete

More than 200 years of slave-based industry has made Americans deeply unwilling to confront the brutal realities of being a nation built by slaves and founded on slave-based economic models. America’s Reconstruction barely got started before it was shut down. America’s Reconstruction era lasted only from 1865 to 1877.

After this, any positive steps made during this very short time were quickly turned around by Jim Crow laws, which quickly crippled and reversed gains made by recently released slaves.

America still hasn’t reckon with its brutal history, racist culture, and slave-based industry specifically designed to make business owners and shareholders rich while keeping ordinary workers poor.

The US has intentionally engineered extreme inequalities and injustices into its systems of governance and business. They are written into laws and US constitution. They are meant to elevate white people above all other people.

There are many white people alive right now who feel they are engaged in a life and death battle to maintain these laws. These individuals are willing go to great lengths of hypocrisy and false piety to justify their sin. Some are willing to die for their beliefs and attack the Capital and Congressmen and women who do not believe like they do.

We’ve been here before. It doesn’t end well. Sin never does.

First Archetypal Animation | Justifying Sin

First Archetypal Animation: What they said they were doing…. What they really did… Justifying Sin | Music: Memory Streams | Portico Quartet | Immediately Visible

Germany’s Reconstruction

In Germany after WWII, the U.S. led Reconstruction efforts.

On April 3, 1948, President Truman signed the Economic Recovery Act of 1948. It became known as the Marshall Plan, named for Secretary of State George Marshall, who in 1947 proposed that the United States provide economic assistance to restore the economic infrastructure of postwar Europe. -- The Marshall Plan (1948)

These efforts included exposing euphemisms Nazis used to mask their antisemitic and racial laws. Nazis did the same thing writing their sin into the German laws and policies. The Nazis were high on their brutal beliefs and worked like steamrollers to implemented their hellish vision in the lead up to WWII. Their fiendish frenzy included:

The 1933 “Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” forced Jews and political opponents of Nazism out of Germany’s expansive civil service. 

Jurists wrote and enforced laws removing Jews from public service, set their own racialist view of Jewish identity with the “Nuremberg Race Laws,” and eventually enforced laws disenfranchising, despoiling, and ghettoizing German Jews.

A large percentage of the planners of the Holocaust came from the judiciary. Men from the security apparatuses, ministries, and civil services—those groups Hannah Arendt described as “desk murderers” (Schreibtischtäter)—overwhelmingly came from the legal profession, marking just how much every step of the judicial process from training to the highest courts was active in the Nazi regime. -- The Reconstruction of Justice in Post-Nazi Western Germany; article on the continuities of German law and the jurists who spoke out against an authoritarian justice system. 

August 11, 2021

These efforts were laid bare to make Germans reckon with their sin. Lots of Nazis were put on trial, indicted, and executed or imprisoned.

Denazification did not end there. Ordinary German citizens were made to watch Hollywood movies that showed the atrocities committed by the Nazis and drove home the role complacency by ordinary Germany citizens played in the horrors of the Nazi War Machine.

Germans had to watch these movies to receive food or other relief items. German citizens also had to fill out questionnaires that determined the level of their Nazism and this determine what kind of work they were allowed to do.

Denazification of Germany

This video provides a good recap of the positives and negatives of German Reformation efforts.

And it details the differences between what happened in West Germany (implemented by Western Allies) and East Germany (implemented by Russia under Stalin). It brings viewers right up to our current era where the lure of authoritarian governments is looming large again in the minds of so many “modern” people and neo-Nazis are on the rise around the world.

Denazification of Germany after World War II – Cold War Documentary

It is hard not to compare Putin’s outrageous claim that he is Denazifying Ukraine with the speech Hitler gave to the German people just before he invaded Czechoslovakia. He told his people he was reclaiming and reuniting the Deutschland, German speaking parts of Czechoslovakia.

Getting no push back from the rest of Europe, Hitler went on to invade Poland, France, Russia…and ultimately he would have invaded the world if we would have let him.

There is a direct line that needs to drawn by lies Hitler, Stalin (yes, this man was evil), and Putin tell about what they are doing or did. What they are doing is shining their warped beam of beliefs and focusing it into death and destruction.

In other words, these men are sin makers... they are creators of Hell on Earth. They are creatures who are far more deadly and dangerous than any dinosaur.

They are are monsters, not men.

Second Archetypal Animation | The Same Beast

The Same Beast | Music: Hey Putin! Go Fuck Yourself! | WiT | [1] Hey Putin! Go Fuck Yourself!    3:53

Germany faced its horrible past. Can we do the same?

Shortly after the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016 on the National Mall, I was speaking to some patrons of a successful nonprofit about the importance of candid racial dialogue in politics and in the places we live, work and worship.
One of the participants had recently toured the museum and had a pointed question. Why, she wondered, were all the exhibits that visitors first encounter dedicated to slavery? Among other things, she was referring to a reconstructed cabin built by former slaves from Maryland and a statue of Thomas Jefferson next to a wall with the names of more than 600 people he owned. “Couldn’t the exhibits begin with more uplift?” the woman asked, arguing that Black achievement was more worthy of the spotlight. She suggested that the museum should instead usher visitors toward more positive stories right from the start, so that if someone were tired or short on time, “slavery could be optional.”
Her question was irksome, but it did not surprise me. I’d heard versions of the “Can’t we skip past slavery” question countless times before. Each time serves as another reminder that America has never had a comprehensive and widely embraced national examination of slavery and its lasting impact. Yes, there are localized efforts. But despite the centrality of slavery in our history, it is not central to the American narrative in our monuments, history books, anthems and folklore.

Third Archetypal Animation | How America Just Keeps Justifying Sin: Make America Backwards Again

People Get Use to Anything…After A While People Just Think Oppression is the Normal State of Things” — Make America Backwards Again | Music: Jim Crow the Musical Add-2 | [16] Slave Awareness Skit
There is a simple reason: The United States does not yet have the stomach to look over its shoulder and stare directly at the evil on which this great country stands. That is why slavery is not well taught in our schools. That is why the battle flag of the army that tried to divide and conquer our country is still manufactured, sold and displayed with defiant pride. That is why any mention of slavery is rendered as the shameful act of a smattering of Southern plantation owners and not a sprawling economic and social framework with tentacles that stamped almost every aspect of American life. -- The Opinions Essay: Germany faced its horrible past. Can we do the same? By Michele L. Norris
JUNE 3, 2021

Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built America’s Business Empires

This episode is presented by Reveal and shows how the American south quickly shut down Reconstruction and reinvented slavery by using the prison system as a new slave labor force. Before the US Civil War, less than 8% of people in prison were black. During the rise of Jim Crowe era and the prison industrial system that rose to replace slave labor, the new of black people locked up skyrocketed to over 75%. Most were incarcerated for petty crimes and sentences to hard labor for months and years. Some would not survive.

Fourth Archetypal Animation | Locked Up — How Jim Crow Created the New Slave Labor

If you live long enough, you get to see things repeat themselves.” | Locked Up: Prison Labor that Built America’s Business Empires | Music: Jim Crow the Musical | Add-2 | [1] Welcome to Jim Crow  
Companies across the South profited off the forced labor of people in prison after the Civil War – a racist system known as convict leasing.
After the Civil War, a new form of slavery took hold in the US and lasted more than 60 years. Associated Press reporters Margie Mason and Robin McDowell investigate the chilling history of how Southern states imprisoned mainly Black men, often for minor crimes, and then leased them out to private companies – for years, even decades, at a time. The team talks with the descendant of a man imprisoned in the Lone Rock stockade in Tennessee nearly 140 years ago, where people as young as 12 worked under inhumane conditions in coal mines and inferno-like ovens used to produce iron. This system of forced prison labor enriched the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad company – at the cost of prisoners’ lives. 
At the state park that sits on the former site of the Lone Rock stockade, relics from the hellish prison are buried beneath the soil. Archeologist Camille Westmont has found thousands of artifacts, such as utensils and the plates prisoners ate off. She has also created a database listing the names of those sent to Lone Rock. A team of volunteers are helping her, including a woman reckoning with her own ancestor’s involvement in this corrupt system and the wealth her family benefited from.   
The United States Steel Corporation helped build bridges, railroads and towering skyscrapers across America. But the company also relied on forced prison labor. After US Steel took over Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad in 1907, the industrial giant used prison labor for at least five more years. During that time, more than 100 men died while working in their massive coal mining operation in Alabama. U.S. Steel has misrepresented this dark chapter of its history. And it has never apologized for its use of forced labor or the lives lost. The reporters push the company to answer questions about its past and engage with communities near the former mines. 

Behind the Lie of Monopoly 

“We’re born into the world and think the world is simply the way we are born into it.” — One of the guests on Throughlin’s History of the Game Monopoly

Fifth Archetypal Animation | Monopoly…More Than A Game

Monopoly, So Much More Than A Game… If We’d Only See | Music: Master of the Game (Expanded Edition) | George Duke | [9] Part 1-The Alien Challenges The Stick/Part 2-The Alien Succumbs To The Macho Intergalactic Funkativity Of The Funkblasters

Monopoly is one of the best-selling board games in history! It was actually created to get people to think about real life monopolies and how they impact real peoples daily lives.

Most people just love to play Monopoly because it is fun, especially if you need a distraction from the stress and monotony of earning enough money to buy your daily bread.

How Monopoly has been marketed to us is probably why we often don’t notice the deeper messages embedded in the game.

In this episode of Throughline, the narrators explore the origins and history of Monopoly. It’s not what you think. In fact, it reveals how a critique of capitalism grew from a seed of an idea in a rebellious young woman’s mind who created this legendary game that celebrates wealth at all costs. But behind the legend, we’ve been told a lot of lies; one was the theft of a young woman’s brilliant idea.

There's more to Monopoly than you might think. It's one of the best-selling board games in history — despite huge economic instability, sales actually went up during the pandemic — and it's been an iconic part of American life at other pivotal moments: a cheap pastime during the Great Depression; a reminder of home for soldiers during WWII; and an American export during its rise as a global superpower. It endured even as it reflected some of the ongoing inequities in American society, from segregation and redlining, to capitalism run rampant. That's because Monopoly is also built on powerful American lore – the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags to riches. Writer Mary Pilon, the author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game, describes Monopoly as "the Great American Dream in a board game – or, nightmare." -- Do Not Pass Go (2022) | Throughline

Conclusion

We are responsible for noticing Sin. When we see it, we must name it. Sitting and watching from the sidelines is no longer an option.

We are responsible for paying attention to what is going inside and outside of our bodies.

If we misrepresent and falsify our sinful actions or fail to act to stop sin when we see it inflicted on others, we are whitewashing reality. This is sin and only leads us further down the road of turning Earth into Hell.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Image from: SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 | The Bible Condemns American Slavery
by Jesse Johnson
Image from: Why the West is morally bound to offer reparations for slavery |The Conversation

Music: Still Living In Slavery | Mr Raoul K | [1] Dounougnan Magni – Intro    2:41


First Archetypal Animation

Image from: Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a Religious Text
BY PATRICIA R. HILL, DEPARTMENTS OF HISTORY & AMERICAN STUDIES, WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
Image from: Why the West is morally bound to offer reparations for slavery
This cartoon, “The Modern Mercury” by Jerry Doyle, appeared in The Philadelphia Record, December 7, 1935. 
Image from: World War II: The Holocaust | ALAN TAYLOR |  OCTOBER 16, 2011 | The Atlantic

Music: Memory Streams | Portico Quartet | Immediately Visible


Second Archetypal Animation

Image from: Canada in WWII | Adolf Hitler
Image from: The image of Stalin in the Soviet art
Image from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Hacker: The Russian Factor In the DNC Email Scandal | Wilson Center

Music: Hey Putin! Go Fuck Yourself! | WiT | [1] Hey Putin! Go Fuck Yourself!   


Third Archetypal Animation

Image from: Germany faced its horrible past.
Can we do the same?
— Washington Post

Image from: Swiggity the Single

Other images from January 2022 and 2021 blogs.

Music: Jim Crow the Musical Add-2 | [16] Slave Awareness Skit   


Fourth Archetypal Animation

Image from: Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built Business Empires
Image from: Locked Up: The Prison Labor That Built Business Empires | Look at the one black man sitting on the ground surrounded by white men with guns who worked for Lone Rock stockade where the relics from the hellish prison are buried beneath the soil today.
Image from: Locked Up: The prison labor that built business empires in the South, including Tennessee by NewsChannel 9
Image from: Locked Up: The prison labor that built business empires in the South, including Tennessee by NewsChannel 9
Image from : In the galleries: Gordon Park’s photos from the Jim Crow-era South — Washington Post
Image from: Jim Crow in Florida — Florida Humanities

Music: Jim Crow the Musical | Add-2 | [1] Welcome to Jim Crow    1:11


Fifth Archetypal Animation

Play Board Game Monopoly Money Trade Hobby | pcdazero | Gianni Crestani  •  Age 58  •  San Bonifacio/Italia  •  Member since Jan. 28, 2012

Dog Top Hat Pet Canine K9 Dressed Up Puppy | Prettysleepy | Amy  •  USA  •  Member since July 24, 2016

Monopoly Monopoly City Los Excavator Pewter Token | dboschm | Deutsch  •  Member since April 10, 2013

Monopoly Money Power People Rich | GDJ | Gordon Johnson  •  USA  •  Member since June 3, 2015  •  #4

Monopolies Puglia Church Chiesadelpurgatorio | magrimax | massimo magri  •  Age 64  •  pescara/italia  •  Member since July 27, 2018

‘How to Stand Up to a Dictator’ — Maria Ressa

The last chapter of Maria’s book is: Why Fascism Is Winning and its subtitle is Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate. She is the recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for her courage and work standing up to President Duterte, 16th President of the Philippines who was elected to the role of the presidency on June 30, 2016 (exactly 6 months after Trump did the same thing in the United States).

Both men went to work attacking the Press. Both men claimed they, and they alone, knew what is right and wrong. Both men labeled any coverage from the press that they didn’t like as Fake News, Unreliable, Unprofessional, Untrue. Both men worked furiously to annihilate truth, facts, and reality. They knew divided we fall!

To some extend, both men succeeded beyond their wildest mad fantasies!

Duterte’s Mad War

Duterte went to war, he said, to reduce ‘crime, corruption, and illegal drug trade‘. Many cheered. In reality, he would leave a brutal, bloody legacy of dead. Official numbers account that 6,248 people were killed, but human rights groups say the number is much higher, as high as 30,000 people.

Image (GETTY) from BBC article: Mr Duterte’s war on drugs has claimed an uncounted number of victims

Investigations show many victims of Duterte’s war on drugs were his opponents, leftists, drug users (who needed treatment, not a bullet), and some dealers. The UN has implicated Duterte in more than 1,000 killings and disappearances of people. Police whistle blowers have told how they planted guns and drugs on these victims to frame them as involved in the drug trade. For more on these stats, please see the BBC’s June 30 article: The bloody legacy of Rodrigo Duterte.

Trump’s Mad Dash to Dictatorhood

Trump’s 4-year term is just as distributing. He knew COVID-19 did not bode well to be elected for a second term. So when the virus arrived in the United States, Trump went into deny, distort, and distract mode.

He continually played down how deadly the virus was and mocked people who wore masks. This turned a cheap, easy, commonsense public health approach of keeping people safe into a culture war.

Veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward on Monday called the former President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic a “crime” that killed more than 1 million people.

The Hill reports Woodward said: “I call it a crime, not telling the people that he had been warned that — by his national security advisers in the most vivid way, which is outlined in these tapes, the interviews with them, where they are telling him.”

This is the reason why Woodward released the tapes he recorded with Trump early in 2020 as he interviewed him for his books Rage and Peril; earlier, he wrote Fear.

As of November 23, 2022, over 1 million US citizens have died of COVID; the vast majority of these deaths occurring while Trump held office before a vaccine was available. Trump crippled the CDC and turned public health guidance into a political weapon.

I haven’t even gotten into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021. You can read all about this in my blogs When Do We Get To Use Violence? and Free to Choose.

This is a real time snap shot of COVID cases in the world as of 12/1/2022, 1:20 PM | John Hopkins COVID Tracker

There Is A Big Yang to Pay When Facts Fall Prey to Authoritarian Disinformation Campaigns

Since we are on the topic of global pandemic, let’s take a look at President Xi Jinping. He has recently been elected to a historical third term. This of course is code for President for Life.

He has cozied up to Putin, imprisoned Chinese Wiegers, carried out a brutal crackdown on democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and most recently was posturing in a tense standoffs about the fate of Taiwan. Many think Taiwan could be the next Ukraine as XI Jinping lines up his ducks to make Taiwan China again.

But real life, especially nasty little viruses, don’t always go along with the next chapter of the Dictator’s Playbook. President Xi Jinping took a hardline approach to COVID when it first emerged in Wuhan, China.

Zero COVID policy worked at first and it became the main strategy of Xi. Local authorities eager to prove how loyal they are to Xi have implemented extreme lock down measures, including locking people inside their homes and whole apartment complexes.

Xi has bragged about how effective China’s Zero COVID policy has worked, while the rest of the world suffered. He didn’t put much effort into vaccination efforts other than insisting China make its own vaccine while claiming Western-made vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna would be ineffective.

China would never do something crazy like use a COVID-19 vaccine made in the West! Heck, the Western World is falling apart… look at what happened at the US Capitol!

Archetypal Animation for When Do We Get To Use Violence?

Well, Xi is right about the US Capitol. We have lost our collective mind, but it is not because we have a free society and democracy (that is what he and his flying monkeys blame all the evil on).

The reason we are losing our collective mind is because our trust landscape is being destroyed by people who want to be just like him–a bully and a dictatorand digital clones, keep reading! But when you tell lies and spread disinformation to prop up your authoritarian ambitions, they tend to come back and bite you in the butt. And that is what is happening in China now.

Map from China COVID unrest shines light on history of dissent by Nikkei Asia

CNN reported more than 17 protests occurring all over China, some very bloody. The deaths of people trapped inside their high rise apartment because the fire escapes had been locked due to Zero COVID lockdown measures ignited these protests but anger has been building all over China after 3 years of overzealous lockdowns. These measures are killing people too. Some have not been able to get medical care for heart attacks or other life threatening health conditions, others have committed suicide, all locked down have complained about getting rotten and substandard food or no food. This has lasted for months at a time.

‘Unbelievable scenes’ in China as protesters speak out against zero-Covid policy

Xi put himself into this very small box.

The protests are a real threat to his authority, but so too is China’s failure to create a vaccine that works. Virologists have compared China’s vaccine to Pfizer and Moderna and found it is not as effective.

Compounding the limited effect of China’s vaccine, China just has not put as much effort into vaccinating its population, relying instead on enforcing its Zero COVID policies with upmost brutalities. The result is the vast majority of China’s population are under vaccinated or not vaccinated. Nor do many individuals have immunity from a previous infection compared to the overall population.

If they let up on Zero COVID without vaccinating their population with a vaccine that works, COVID will roar through its population killing millions and while it does, it will be mutating and this could cause a BIG problem for the rest of the world, again.

If Xi relents and allows Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be used in China, he reveals his lies about Western democracies to his people and he looks weak.

Oh what a sticky misinformation landscape Xi has created for himself!

If Disinformation Doesn’t Work, Create A Scapegoat and Attack It

This is what Putin is doing now in Russia. He is losing the war in Ukraine. He looks weak and stupid. He needs a good distraction so his citizens don’t rise up against him and who knows, perhaps they castrate the man.

After all, it is his actions, and his actions alone, that have cut the Russian people off from the rest of the world–no Facebook, no Twitter, no vacations to Paris or Italy, no McDonalds–all because of his war with Ukraine.

So what does Putin do? Putin makes being gay illegal in Russia. He calls it a sickness of democracy and the Western World. He claims Russians don’t have gay people.

Come on Putin… now you look even more stupid than before. To read more about Putin and his flying monkeys, see Ukraine Letters.

Scapgoat from January 2021 blog

The Dictator’s Playbook

Dictators around the world and throughout history use the same tactics. They attack the truth, exaggerate threats to make people afraid, and enflame emotions to herd as many people as possible under their make-believe umbrella constructed out of their annoying, droning chant: “I and I alone can fix it.

That is the secret spell of a dictator. This stupid chant is his top-secret, classified magic potion. This is what every dictator throughout time has ever used to manipulate the masses. It is called ignorance dust. It is what evil fairies use to make their mischief.

My drawing from April 2021 blog

What they don’t say out loud is …they broke it and they made up the boogeyman who you are now afraid of!

Dictators systematically claim they represent truth, decency, and dignity while fabricating facts, fiends, and fantasies about their own greatness.

Dictators pit people against each other, then they sit and watch the carnage on TV.

PBS recently aired a miniseries on the Dictator’s Playbook. Also, this 11-page PDF summarizes a 2011 book written by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith titled: The Dictators Handbook, Why Bad Behaviour is almost always Good Politics

PBS recently aired a series on the Dictator’s Playbook | This is Episode 3 Benito Mussolini

And if these resources aren’t enough, Dr. Mark Van Vugt wrote for Psychology Today The 7 Steps to Becoming a Dictator.

1. Expand your power base through nepotism and corruption.

2. Instigate a monopoly on the use of force to curb public protest.

3. Curry favour by providing public goods efficiently and generously.

4. Get rid of your political enemies.

5. Create and defeat a common enemy.

6. Accumulate power by manipulating the hearts and minds of your citizens.

7. Create an ideology to justify an exalted position.

You should read the article because Mark gives some very lively examples.

So, Just How Do You Stand Up to a Dictator?

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

This brings us back to Maria Ressa. She stood up to Rodrigo Duterte and to Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook nightmare. In an interview with Dave Davies on FreshAir she said:

I wasn't the only one under attack in Rappler. And Rappler is about a hundred people. We're - we just became - we hit 10 years. We're 10 years old January this year. So my gosh, we're going to be 11 by January next year. But it's 63% women. And our median age is 23 years old. So when our younger reporters came under attack, I became far more protective of our team.
And within a short period of time, we increased our security six times, seven times, because at some point it became very clear that online violence is real-world violence. And, you know, in your introduction, you talked about the attacks of President Duterte and Facebook. I think, by 2016, I was calling for an end to impunity, impunity of Rodrigo Duterte and this brutal drug war and impunity of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. They go hand in hand. One could not have happened without the other.

DAVIES: When you started Rappler, this news service, one of the things you note is that the population of the Philippines had already become remarkably attached to digital technology. Different from a lot of places in that way, wasn’t it?

RESSA: Yeah. Look, we were the texting capital of the world before this, the SMS capital of the world. And then we became known as the social media capital of the world. And by January 2021, for six years in a row, Filipinos spent the most time online and on social media globally. A hundred percent of Filipinos on the internet today are on Facebook. Facebook literally is our internet.

DAVIES : I mean, it seems that what you were discovering was that social media platforms, like Facebook, have discovered that people respond to sharply emotional messages. And so the algorithms give them more of that – anger, hatred, resentment – which, in turn, brings more engagement, which is what their economic model is based on. And it – you observed that this was allowing people who were telling lies that were destructive and poisonous to democracy to spread faster than truth.

The interesting thing is that you actually had conversations with Facebook executives about this, right? You met with a bunch of them. Did they get it? What did they say?
RESSA: Rappler was essentially an alpha partner of Facebook. We knew Facebook in the Philippines better than Facebook did. And I went to them with the data, hoping that they would give me more data and fix it. I thought it would be an easy fix 'cause in 2016, it was alarming to see this kind of, you know, incitement of hate. In 2017, I was one of about a dozen startup founders that Mark Zuckerberg met with. And, you know, I was trying to get him to come to the Philippines to see how powerful Facebook was. And at that point, 97% of Filipinos were there. And that's what I told him. I said, you know, you really have to come 'cause 97% of Filipinos on the internet are on Facebook. So he started frowning. And I thought, OK, I must have been a little too pushy. And then, he looked at me. And he said, Maria, where are the other 3%?

DAVIES: (Laughter).

RESSA: I think that was the problem, right? They were so focused on market share, their profits, their goal for the business, that they forgot to look at the social harms. I also don't think it's a coincidence that they do not tell the difference between fact and fiction. It doesn't have any business or economic benefits to doing that. So at this point, you don't even have facts. So what did they do? They outsourced it. They gave - it became a fact-checking network that was doing this. But it was never integral to the product by design. Social media divides and radicalizes, and this is what we're seeing in the world today.

DAVIES: You write that, at one point, Zuckerberg wanted Facebook to start to really focus on weeding out offensive content. And you said, you’re missing the point. It’s – the problem isn’t content; it’s distribution. What did you mean?

RESSA: Because so much of the debate centers on content when that isn't the problem. Doesn't matter if your crazy neighbor talks about a conspiracy theory. You'll still like your crazy neighbor, and you listen. But it becomes different when that's the front page of your town newspaper. Imagine, the crazy things now make it to the front page. That is what goes viral. And that's the world we live in. Doesn't matter if it's real or not as long as it captures your attention. So it is your amygdala that decides, right? If you get angry, you'll share it.
And this is the - I mean, look, there is a - E.O. Wilson, who studied emergent behavior in ants, said that our greatest crisis that we face is our Paleolithic emotions, our medieval institutions, and our godlike technology. That godlike technology manipulated us to the point that the very systems of democracy that gave rise to this is now at the verge of failure.

DAVIES: You know, at the end of the book, you kind of ask the big question, which is, what do we do about this? I mean, now that you’ve – it’s apparent how harmful and poisonous this can be for democratic institutions. You know, in the United States, I mean, tens of millions of people believe made-up stories about a stolen election despite plenty of fact-checking that has been published debunking a lot of these stories. You think you have some strategies that might be effective? I mean, this is a little complicated, but share some of these ideas with us.

RESSA: In the short term, we decided, as we were walking into our presidential elections, that we would try to figure out what a whole-of-society approach to civic engagement could look like. And we created a four-layer, facts-first pyramid - four different layers. The bottom layer are 16 news organizations - the first time news groups worked together. You know, I've been trying since 2016, but we finally all work together. And that is the supply of fact checks.
But as you know, fact checks are really boring. They don't get wide distribution on social media. So that leads to the second layer. It's called the mesh - 115, 116 different civil society groups - NGOs, human rights organizations, climate change groups were there - business, the church. The Philippines is Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation. And the goal of the mesh layer is to share those boring fact checks, but to add emotion because emotion is what moves it through distribution. And what we found when we did that was that inspiration spreads as far as anger. The third layer are academic institutions. Eight of them total that took the data from the first two and every week told Filipinos how we were being manipulated, who was winning, who was losing, what were the media narratives being seeded? And then finally, the last layer, layer four, is rule of law. It's legal organizations from the left to the right in the Philippines, from the free legal group to the integrated bar of the Philippines to the Philippine Bar Association.
They filed, in less than three months, more than 21 cases, tactical and strategic, that helped protect the three layers. It worked. We were able to - it was the most successful attempt to try to take over the center of our information ecosystem. We mapped it. But more than that, within two weeks of launching this facts-first pyramid, the Philippine government - the office of the solicitor general filed a petition at the supreme court against Rappler and our commission on elections, because we were working with them at that point. They said that fact-checking is prior restraint. They tried to stop us from fact-checking. It almost made me laugh.

DAVIES: To kind of summarize here, it sounds like what you’re proposing is that news organizations need to overcome some of their competitive instincts and work together when there is important fact-checking to be done, connect them to other organizations in a way that puts energy and emotion into it and get that out there.

RESSA: Think about it like this. Like, if you don't have integrity of facts, you cannot have integrity of elections. And ultimately, what that means is that these elections will be swayed by information warfare. I mean, you know, it's funny. Americans actually look at the midterms. And they say, well, it wasn't as bad as it could be. Death by a thousand cuts - it's still bad. And if we follow, you know, what - the trend that we're seeing, if nothing significant changes in our information ecosystem, in the way we deliver the news, we will elect more illiberal leaders democratically in 2023, in 2024.
And what they do is they crumble institutions of democracy in their own countries, like you've seen in mine. But they do more than that. They ally together globally. And what they do is, at a certain point, the geopolitical power shift globally will change. Democracy will die. That point is 2024. We must figure out what civic engagement [looks like and], what we do as citizens today, to reclaim, [and] to make sure democracy survives.

Surveillance capitalism

In Maria Ressa’s interview on 1A, she explained surveillance capitalism and how it enabled want-a-be dictators like Duterte and Trump to actually get elected in Free and Fair elections. Something she told Jen would never have happened pre-Facebook (and other social media era).

Here is how she explains it:

technology has degraded facts and broken our societies. I became a journalist because I believe that information is power - it’s how we get justice. The death of democracy began when journalists lost our gatekeeping powers to the technology platforms that not only abdicated responsibility for protecting us ... but also destroyed democracy by destroying the facts ... for immense profit.
Like the age of industrialization, there’s a new economic model that brought new harms, a model Shoshana Zuboff called surveillance capitalism - when our atomized personal experiences are collected by machine learning, organized by artificial intelligence - extracting our private lives for outsized corporate gain. Highly profitable micro-targeting operations are engineered to structurally undermine human will - a behavior modification system in which we are Pavlov’s dogs, experimented on in real time with disastrous consequences. This is happening to you - to all of us around the world.
Engagement based metrics of these American tech companies mean that the incentive structure of the algorithms, which is just their opinion in code implemented at a scale that we could never have imagined, is insidiously shaping our future by encouraging the worst of human behavior. Studies have shown that lies laced with anger and hate spread faster and further than facts.
Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without these, we have no shared reality, no rule of law, no democracy.
In my upcoming book, the prologue I submitted last year began with the splintering of reality in Crimea in 2014. I had to revise that when Russia invaded Ukraine using the same narratives seeded then. Would that have happened if the platforms had acted 8 years ago? That is the true cost for the world.
Now these networks form a global nervous system of toxic sludge partly fueled by geopolitical power play. In 2018, we connected the information operations in the Philippines with Russian disinformation networks through websites in Canada. In 2020, Facebook took down information operations from China that were creating fake accounts for the US elections, polishing the image of the Marcoses, campaigning for Duterte’s daughter, and attacking me and Rappler. In 2021, the US and the EU called out China and Russia for Covid-19 disinformation.
We are all connected.

To read more on how to tackle this huge problem that the whole world faces, a psychological-social virus just as deadly as the Coronavirus, see her speech: The Assault on Freedom of Expression. It is jaw dropping.


No one can afford to sit on the sidelines and watch how this all plays out. Every human being alive right now has a choice to act or watch democracy fall. And if the choice is to watch, you will also watch the world fall over the Climate Cliff.

You (reading this right now)… you will be alive to watch this all happen. It is happening right now and it is going to happen faster than anyone has previously predicated.

If we don’t save democracies, we will never get around to collaborating like we have never collaborated before as a global species to solve the looming climate crises bearing down on all of us right now. These climate crises are going to push the entire human race over the Climate Cliff.

It is time to Wake Up!

And Ron DeSantis (another want-a-be dictator), go buy yourself a mask, fins, and snorkel because if Florida is where Woke Goes to Die…well, Florida ain’t going to be around after Earth’s glaciers melt… and it’s going to happen much faster than the Woke People you disparage are telling you it will happen!

The world with a 70 meters sea-level rise

Think about it. Think about it hard.

What will you say to your children and grandchildren 50 years from now when there are no more democratic countries and we fail to act on Climate Change?

What will you tell them when you did not try to stop the Putins, the Xis, the Trumps (and his flying monkeys), and the rigid old men in Iran persecuting and killing their young people?

Archetypal Animation for Ukraine Letters | March 2022

And old men of Iran, for what? What are you killing your young people for… a strand of hair sticking out from a veil?! Come on you stupid old men… what are you going to do? Kill every young person in your country? Yes, probably you will… the ouroboros is the symbol for rigid old men clinging to their dictatorships.

And the North Koreas…well, Kim Jong Un is sitting pretty these days not collaborating with anybody not even his fellow dictators and firing off his rockets… he is the ultimate symbol for a manly male, a tough pluck... a virile coward if I ever saw one. Someone has to enjoy all the spoils he directs only to him and his loyal supporters.

Maria Ressa says we are all living in the upside-down now. Yes, the very same weird world as depicted in Stranger Things. In this world, only the ruthless get to relax in luxury. Everyone else suffers unbelievable poverty, abuse, and gets crushed under super surveillance systems created by dictators afraid of losing power.

We may be wise enough to know that Facebook is tracking us using super surveillance systems and this is pretty bad… this is where we are now. We all exist in a world of digital clones that are used against us to make huge profits for the ridiculously rich people of the world (think Elon Musk— you can be a corporate dictator too!). These are nasty little things corporations and social media platforms use to make more money by tearing truth, facts, and reality into tiny shreds. Read Maria’s book!

But the next step is not so very far away in our collective global future. The people fighting for their very lives in Ukraine RIGHT NOW know this! They know Putin will not stop if he wins Ukraine. No strongmen, no dictator, no authoritarian is ever satisfied with what they have. They always want more. That is their purpose in life. They have made themselves into monsters and the only thing they can do is devour the entire world. There are a lot of monsters alive RIGHT NOW trying to do this very thing.

One of the images used in Feature Archetypal Animation from November 23, 2022 | The Monsters We Make

The next step Maria Ressa is very clear about is the fall of democracies around the world and the rise of dictatorships ruled by the ruthless. I believe her. And guess what? There is not much room at the top. What all ruthless rulers eventually do if they last long enough is turn on the very people who put them in power. Think about it. Ruthless rulers always need a foil, a ploy, an enemy, a scapegoat. Once they kill all the obvious people, they will start in on their loyal base of followers, the very people they put to sleep using their maniacal evil fairy dust: ignorance.

Archetypal Animation for When Do We Get to Use Violence | January 2022 blog

This is happening NOW on our watch!

How will you explain this to your children?

How will you explain food shortages, water shortages, raging floods and fires, sunken cities, more global pandemics, and governments that won’t even allow you to hold up a blank sheet of paper to protest not being able to protest for your most basic human needs and rights?

Feature Archetypal Animation

Index Finger Hands Poor Clouded Sky Water | Inactive account – ID 8385

Head Human Head Half Profile Portrait Side View | Inactive account – ID 8385

Rodrigo Duterte | The Daily Beast

Graffiti Trump Mural Cologne Street Art Urban Art | clecaux | Cécile Lecaux  •  Köln/Bonn/Deutschland  •  Member since July 13, 2017

Xi Jinping | Xi’s Back, Claims Chinese Media. Here’s Why His Appearance Is Big News

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Music:

It Can Be Done but Only I Can Do It; Omar S

[1] Solely Supported    6:33

[2] Supported Solely    8:02

[3] Look Hear Watch    5:50

[4] Ganymede    7:54

[5] You Wish    8:46

[6] Over You Too    11:28

[7] It Can Be Done but Only I Can Do It    6:18

Monsters Are Made

We Make Monsters in our Heads

It is a few days after Halloween, and monsters seem to fit the season and the times we live in right now.

A few days before Halloween, I heard an interview on It’s Been A Minute called Our Undying Cultural Obsession with Vampires. And this got me thinking about monsters and how they are made.

In this interview, Kendra R. Parker, who teaches a class at Georgia Southern University about Black vampires in film and literature, discusses the long, sordid history of monsters, especially vampires, and our collective obsession with them.

It is she who said monsters are made. Think Frankenstein, definitely constructed by a human.

And we do this all the time…in our heads simply repeating the stories we tell ourselves that create indelible images, which we then project onto the world we live in. Or better said, the world we wish we lived in.


The Planet We Made

Cover of Time Magazine : The Planet We Made — The Planet We Need — Social Sculpture…How We Can All Participate in Protecting and Seeing Earth Anew — Artwork by Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is an IcelandicDanish artist known for sculptured and large-scale installation art that employ elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. He designed the cover of Time this month to highlight our collective climate crisis that will affect and impact everyone on Earth. Rich or poor, everyone will pay a huge price for further dithering and delaying on taking immediate action Now.

Olafur tells Time to create the effect on TIME’s cover, he employed a technique called after imaging. By following the instructions on the cover, when the page changes, your eyes re-imagine our overheated planet in the healthy vibrant greens and blues we, the human race, were born into and began our journey as a species through time.


The Monsters We Make

This same elusive after imaging takes place inside our minds. The images that get stored inside our minds are created by the stories we tell ourselves and the images we consume as ordinary citizens.

These images, let’s call them cultural images, are stored in our minds as belief systems. Beliefs are vastly more complicated images than the one created by Olafur Eliasson for the cover of TIME. However, compared to reality, beliefs are pathetic and paltry.

Belief systems tend to leave far more outside (the evil other) than inside (the person who sees the the world like you do). All of us adopt and cultivate belief systems. They help us know who we can trust. And, they help us survive by acting as short cuts to reality.

By popping your beliefs into a situation, you can just get down to action. Or really reaction to a situation because beliefs allow you to skip the work of hard thinking, critical analysis, and feeling into what you are actually experiencing.

Systems of belief are informed by the families we grow up in, the cultures we live in, and the religions we participate in (or do not participate in). Systems of belief are further evolved and informed by friends, peers, teachers, clubs, politics, and media, among many other sources.

Whether you accept the stories and images imparted to you through these systems, whether you believe them or you don’t believe them, beliefs about how the world is or isn’t are formed and held in the mind very much like the phantom image Olafur Eliasson created on the cover of TIME.

Each and every belief are things you have choose to accept, to believe, and to store in your head. You choose to believe the things you think are true or what you don’t believe or believe to be not true, regardless of whether they are empirically true or not true.

Once you commit to a belief (in other words you swallow an idea hook, line, and sinker), it creates an indelible image of how the world is, which gets overlay onto everything you do and everyone around you. Very much like the elusive image Olafur Eliasson made for the November 2022 cover of TIME. You put them there, and then you project them on the world.

Beliefs are more likes wishes, fears, and desires. They accord with more how we want the world to be rather than how it really is. Our wish/fear/wants live inside our minds and are projected on the world every moment of our lives. They hoover and cling to everything and everyone we come into contact with like a ghostly aura. Depending on what our projected system of beliefs tells us we should believe about a person or a thing that comes into our narrow bandwidth of focused conscious attention, aligns our actions and behavior in the world.

This rather simple ability has oversized implications–some good, some bad. It is an ability that we take for granted as human beings. Our ability to create systems of beliefs is a form of ignorance (ignorance, what we choose not to see) and it has gotten the better of us. It is what allows us to turn ordinary human beings into monsters or our world into a wasteland.

Kendra R. Parker explains our creation of and fascination with monsters this way:

When Dracula appeared in the 19th century, there was all of this fear, the English were preoccupied with borders, boundaries and nationalism. Between like 1881 and 1900 there was an increase in the number of non-English Jewish people. There was this xenophobia, this fear of Jewish people, this sort of threat of external colonization. And so these fears about the threatening outsider, who is going to come in and disturb the national pure body, finds its way into Bram Stoker's Dracula. 
And if we come to the United States in 1898, we have newspaper images popping up out of North Carolina that depict Black men as vampires because there was this fear of Black men. There's this fear of black men being in politics and so that if you got black political power, then they're going to take over and destroy white women and all of that. And so you've got all of this propaganda. 
And there are two images in particular. One is called "The Vampire that Hovers Over North Carolina." It appears in 1898, and it's a Black male vampire coming out of a ballot box. And there's another image that same time period in North Carolina where you got vampires coming out of the grave to vote and they're Black. And so there's this fear that if you let these monsters vote, they will take over and destroy our way of life.
Image From: Southern Cultures: A War in Black and White: The Cartoons of Norman Ethre Jennett & the North Carolina Election of 1898

The Monsters We Are

When we use our system of beliefs to turn other human beings into monsters, it is ourselves who become the monster. When hate becomes our fuel, then the transformation is complete. The monster has been made.

It is a way of being in the world that leads to Hell. It is the path of destruction, of mayhem, and of death.

It is a way of being in the world that may begin by being suspicious, distrustful, and skeptical. But it can quickly eclipse who you think you are and make you into a person who takes pleasure in being cynical, ghoulish, grisly, and grotesque.

Such a journey is often summed up by the popular phrase — Take The Red Pill. This means a person that falls down a rabbit hole. They start out innocently following juicy breadcrumbs of gossip and plausibly outrageous happens that grow ever more implausible. But once you get hooked on these toxic breadcrumbs carefully left behind by Master Manipulators who are experts in making the implausible sound plausible. Indeed, the Truth that you are willing to die for.

Accused Pelosi Attacker Told Police He Was On A ‘Suicide Mission’

How To Make of a Monster

Step 1) Chop the world into absolutely good and absolutely evil, then choose a role to play in this absolute drama (it goes without saying that whatever side you play on… that is the righteous side, the good guys, the side that is going to slay absolute evil)

Step 2) Select a Mask for the role you will play in the absolute drama to rid the world of absolute evil (make sure you are the Super Hero of your story and everyone else is the bad guy)

Step 3) Strap Your Mask Tightly To Your Face So It Doesn’t Slip or Fall Off (you don’t want anyone to see you are merely human like the people and other living beings you are dehumanizing)

Step 4) Cut Up Bits and Pieces from the World and Other Stories, Then Mash Them Into Your Mask So You Become Unrecognizable Like Camouflage (it doesn’t matter if the bits and pieces make sense anymore, you are creating your super hero version of yourself!)

Step 5) Add Lots of Layers to Your Mask, Be Sure to Use Lots of Devilish Deceit and Deception, More Camouflage to Help You Better Play Your Role (God forbid anyone recognize that you’re really human behind your Fake Persona)

Step 6) Distort, Deform, and Mangle Your Mask to Create Fantastic New Levels of Distractions and Illusions, Even More Camouflage… Fighting Evil Isn’t for Sissies (this will draw others to you — your followers, your zombie army)

Step 7) Forget You Are Wearing A Mask: Now You Are A Monster

Image From: Metaflesh by Evan J. Peterson

I have not read this book, Metaflesh. But, the image of the cover is captivating. To me, it perfectly captures how we can turn ourselves into monsters using any system of belief, any one at all. In the land of make believe, nothing is sacred. Once we slip down a rabbit holes inside our minds, the inner Hellish landscape allows us to endlessly violently project onto others what we cannot admit to ourselves that we are.

This is a book review of Metaflesh from where I got the image:

Metaflesh is written by Evan J. Peterson, author of The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir and DragStar!,  the world’s first drag performer role-playing game. Metaflesh is a book of verse and prose from the point of view of Frankenstein’s Monster. The reflections are inspired not only by Mary Shelley’s seminal work (double entendre fully intended) but also by the pop culture descendants of her novel. Sources include a wide variety of Frankenstein/mad scientist movies and song lyrics. The book also contains themes of Jewish folklore, queer culture, camp, and a lot of David Cronenberg-style body horror. The book covers the gamut of the Monster’s experiences through over a century of movies and songs, and portrays the Monster as both gender-fluid and a sort of chimerical film critic, reviewing portrayals of their self through lyric poetry and flash fiction.
This is an ingenious book of metafiction. Just as Dr. Frankenstein cut up different people and stitched the bits together, Peterson cut up and reassembled his sources, turning them into something greater than the sum of their parts. Borrowing from William S. Burroughs cut-up technique, he splices together Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with F.T. Marinetti’s Manifesto del Futurismo (Futurist Manifesto) and with J. G. Ballard’s essay, “Why I want to F*ck Ronald Reagan.” He apostrophizes the sexually explicit films of avant-garde queer Canadian creator Bruce LaBruce and doesn’t forget to include General Mills’ Frankenberry breakfast cereal or select lines from Mommy Dearest and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  The combined imagery of classical Greek mythology, white supremacy, drag queens, Judaism, and zombie erotica do not merge into a hot mess but meld together into a deliciously readable book.   
This literary retrospective is sad, funny, quirky, surgically precise, and captivating. I was never bored and didn’t skip through parts. I tore through my first reading at speed and have been taking my time through subsequent readings. The only spot which slows me down, pulling me to a frowning halt, is a simile in the poem, “His Name is In Me”:  “gross as the tallest savage.” Although I’m aware that white supremacist imagery is intentionally used throughout the book—punching up, not down—the use of the word “savage” feels out of place here. It is a racial slur used against Black and Indigenous peoples and stands out awkwardly in a poem strongly based in Judaic imagery. If it is a slur used against Jews, I am unaware, but this is my only quibble with the entire book.  -- Book Review: Metaflesh by Evan J. Peterson

Someone Once Told Me

Someone once told me that my blog The StoryTelling Species Series was just a story. He really just wanted to put it down and elevate himself because we were having a very strong disagreement about COVID. I knew he was wrong, but could not explain to him why he was so wrong then.

Now I can. I knew it is the stories we tell ourselves that make us into heroes or villains, good or evil, saints or monsters. Now I know how it happens inside our minds.

Given how susceptible we are to believe our own stories and lies about ourselves, it is best to give all other people the benefit of the doubt and trust they are not the monster you are afraid of… the one that lives inside of you. It is best just be human and to recognize that we have a little bit of good and a little bit of bad inside of us.

It is when we hang onto the evil inside of us and refuse to let go of it that we make ourselves into monsters and turn Earth into Hell. Trust that reality is far more interesting than the stories we tell ourselves about our selves and others.

Trust that you belong here and now with everyone else and that together we can heal ourselves. This is something we can only do together. And if we heal, Earth heals and our burning hot planet may once again shine in its brilliant, beautiful, life sustaining blues and greens!

Feature Archetypal Image

Graffiti Trump Melbourne Australia | ralfskysegel | Ralf Genge  •  Hannover/Deutschland  •  Member since July 23, 2017

Man Stylish People Putin The President Russia | Inactive account – ID 6964520

Devil Chaos Flames Hell To Burn Fire Inflamed | LeandroDeCarvalho | Leandro De Carvalho  •  Age 34  •  Cheyres/Suisse  •  Member since May 23, 2016

Image From: CNN SPECIAL REPORT: STEVE BANNON, DIVIDED WE FALL Reported by Drew Griffin & Free To Choose
Image From: Tahiti & the Thing | With that, the Old Lady Smiles | Gone, gone, Gone with the Wind
Music: We Are Monsters — Groundbreaking | [4] Fantasy    5:13

First Archetypal Image

Music: Earth — Lil Dicky[ 1] Earth   


Second Archetypal Animation

Music From: Vampire Movies Black Moon Lovers [5] Theme From Frankenstein    2:35

Third Archetypal Animation

Music From: Popular Monster — Falling In Reverse

Ukraine Letters

Four Letters to the World of Free Men and Women:
Letter to the Ukrainian People; Letter to the Free World; Letter to Russian people; Letter to Americans

Help Ukraine | Calling All People Who Value Freedom in the World | 22 views | Premiered Feb 27, 2022 | Music: Jupiter & Jaguar — Blond:ish (Album: Welcome to the Present) & Chants of Native Earth (Album: Shamanic Moon Native American Drums)

First Letter

Letter to the People of Ukraine

How can we let this happen to you on Our Watch? | Free World how long are you going to simply watch? The time for meaningful action is NOW! Our platitudes and policies are barbaric.

Dear People of Ukraine —

I have let you down and the Free World has forsaken you.

You are dying because we are weak and afraid.

Please forgive us. We have forgotten how to live in the Present and how to be Present for each other.

If I could kill Putin with my thoughts, he would be dead 10,000 times already. And I would just be getting started.

The Russians don’t remember how Scythians fight, how long your unique and long history is.

They will remember when they see your eyes.

Know that you have already won.

Putin, his followers, enablers, and supporters wherever they are in the world will be uttered in the same breath as Hitler, Stalin, and all men who have chosen to become monsters instead of men.

The oligarchs full of piss and fear, the Chinas suppressing their people, the stupid ones like Trump and his menagerie will snivel like snails beneath the shadow of your courage, compassion, and willingness to die to live free.

If only the Free World had a smidgen of your dignity, courage, and spirit.

Instead, we sit and watch your pain, your suffering, your deaths like the spineless creatures we have become hiding under out fragile, artificial shell of civility.

We are not civil or modern.

We hide our barbaric nature with platitudes and policies and lies.

What good is civility when evil manifests in men like Putin?

Would Hitler have stopped his demonic rage had the Free World not finally intervened?

You have warned us: Putin’s madness will not end when Ukraine falls.

An evil like this is never satisfied by what it has.

It only has an endless hunger for more of what it already has and is willing to inflict great pain, agony, and destruction to get it.

How can we (the people of the Free World) abandon you at your greatest time of need?

How can we let this happen on OUR WATCH?

You are showing us (the Free World) how to be human when evil rears its ugly head.

Your dignity, courage, and spirit show us that to be fully human and not simply shells filled with doubt and fear, we show up to help our brothers and sisters.

Humans show up when their brothers and sisters are staring down the demons of destruction trying to devour their freedom like snakes from hell bent on turning our shared reality into a field of horror and our world into a living Hell.

You are precious. Every life Putin takes is a crime. I feel so helpless watching this happen to you. Please forgive us. Our failure to not do more is wrong.

Know you have already won | Putin will be uttered in the same breath as Hitler and Stalin and you are showing the whole world what it means to be human and fully alive… because fully alive people show up for each other and face their problems head on embracing their fear, the danger, the risk

Reactions of a Helpless Watcher Witnessing Evil Live on TV #1

Instagram Posts Beginning Night of Russian Invasion

Night of Russian Invasion
Night of Russian Invasion
Morning of Russian Invasion
Morning of Russian Invasion
Day 1 of Russian Invasion
Day 1 of Russian Invasion
Day 2 of Russian Invasion
Day 3 of Russian Invasion
Day 3 of Russian Invasion
Day 4 of Russian Invasion

Putin will be uttered in the same breath as Hitler and Stalin… but the price is hard to accept because it means your blood, your land, your freedom… the Free World is forsaking you to this evil.

Second Letter

Letter to the People of the Free World

To All People Who Value Freedom in the World —

This is a struggle in which the Free World cannot sit on its hands and watch. This is a struggle for all persecuted, suffering people anywhere in the world. People who are persecuted for any reason–racism, religious beliefs, gender, sex or political beliefs. The Ukrainian people are being overrun and killed by a ruthless dictator.

Do you think this ends when Ukraine falls? Putin’s vile plan seeks to destroy freedom and democracy anywhere it appears in the world. He has chosen evil and he will keep moving steadily destroying democracies and freedom wherever it appears in the world. I do not agree with Biden saying it is going to be OK. It is not OK watching the Ukrainian people being slaughtered. In what world that values freedom and human life is this OK?

Our world has drastically changed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The Free World is weak. It stares at its own navel hung up on its own comforts and conveniences. We (the people of the Free World) have left so many people behind who have been struggling for freedom, self-determination, and sovereignty over their own lives. The United States was particularly cruel and careless in its withdrawal from Afghanistan; however, the Free World has done far too little for the peoples in countries where “Arab Spring” protests were brutally put down, where protests in Hong Kong were harshly suppressed, where the military takeover of Myanmar and Rohingya genocide was savage, and this list goes on and one.

The Ukrainian people are fighting for their lives and freedom. They are standing up against a vastly superior force. They are showing the entire Free World how to fight for freedom. How to be human! Their courage, compassion, and dignity stands mighty before the rest of the world concerned about themselves and sadly it seems little more.

Putin is a maligned, demonic force of evil in the world. Such evil must be fought by all who stand for the right for life and freedom. This evil is never satisfied by what it has. It constantly hungers for more than it already has. It takes pleasure in inflicting senseless horror and pain on others. This fear, this pain that we are watching the Ukraine people suffer feds this kind of evil. It will never rest until it destroys all free people and all freedom in all lands everywhere in the world. Only then, will it finally turn on itself and devour itself.

Where Will You Go When It’s Your Turn to Run? | Music: [3] Anybody Out There, 3:48 | Ouroboros | Saint Punk
This is the same interview (a piece of it) as the Twitter link above that is not working

Putin is a man who has chosen to become a monster. His madness is spawning thousands of minions who are carrying out his biddings. Yes, there are Russian soldiers shocked at what they are being asked to do and surrendering to Ukrainians.

This is the same video as the Twitter link above that is not working.

But, there are also soldiers who are dragging people out of apartment buildings, lining them up along a wall, and shooting them. The longer this goes on, the more harden and brutal some soldiers will become to accomplish Putin’s ruthless wishes, indeed, they will be ordered to become ruthless killers. Huge explosions are being now used to destroy and level civilian infrastructure (e.g., apartments, schools, hospitals, colleges), not military as Russian “officials” said would be the focus. There are also reports of Russian soldiers shooting fleeing civilians in their cars as well as desperate phone calls to family members who made it across the border to Poland or Hungary of Russian soldiers coming into family homes and terrorizing loved ones who could not escape in time.

Putin lives in a world of savage fantasies. He lusts for ultimate power and glory, which sprouts from the demon seed buried deep in his depraved soul. His heart has been corrupted beyond all repairs. And his barbarism is being carried out with cold calculation by suicidal army meticulous trained to turn off their humanity and act like Putin’s attack dogs from hell. They have only heard and been fed a constant stream of distortions, lies, and misinformation. It keeps them in a foggy, soggy, sub-human conscious state of being, making them perfect puppets who carry out one man’s mad rage upon the world.

Deep down they know what they are doing is wrong. But I doubt it will burn away fast enough to save the people of Ukraine. And then, Free World, we are next.

Where will you go when it’s your turn to run?


Russia’s invasion led to a million people fleeing Ukraine. That number could grow (1A | WAMU)

Image from 1A: A Ukrainian militia waves goodbye to his family evacuating Kyiv by train to western cities in Kyiv, Ukraine. Pierre Crom/Getty Images

This episode discusses what is happening in Ukraine with Leila Fadel (reporter on the ground in Ukraine), Kurt Volker (former US Special Representative for Ukraine), and others in the know about what is going on. What jumped out to me were the following elements.

Leila Fadel told about one woman she met on a train going back into Ukraine. She told Leila she felt Ukraine is a proxy war, a game being played by Russia, the US, and China for influence and power in the world. She is right.

Leila also talked about how all lives matter. She told about how she has met and talked with individuals who fled other war zones (e.g., Syria, Afghanistan, and many other places where the super powerful have violently suppressed the super vulnerable) and settled in Ukraine and now they are fleeing again.

Kurt Volker talked about how there is much more the US can do for Ukraine while walking the line of avoiding an outright conflict between nuclear powers. Yes! That is what I feel and desperately want the Free World to push it leaders to do (no more watching!!!).

And they discussed discrimination that African and Asian individuals in Ukraine have faced. They are also trying to flee violence and annihilation. Sara Sidner (American journalist with CNN) is in Poland and talked with individuals facing this sort of discrimination and says that they just don’t understand why they are being treated this way. There have been terrible documented treatment of foreign nationals with dark skin, but also many instances of compassion and humane treatment.

This is a very complex, fast moving tragedy that is changing constantly. All experts of this episode urge watchers, especially on social media, to dig for the latest information, not media and posts that are several days old. They also warn of misinformation efforts launched by Russia and Russian sympathizers around the world–vet the information you consume and vet your own systems of belief! ( I get into this much more deeply in my letter to Americans.)


This is banned weapon as signed by Russia stating it would not use, and here the Russians are using it to level Ukrainian cities. This thing creates successive concussion waves that suck the air out of the atmosphere, even sucks the air out of human lungs. It can level buildings. Use it on the Russians now and see how they like it!

#RunRussiansRun


Third Letter

To the Russian People

The Free World is not at war with you. We are not your enemy. The anger you see from the world is directed at Putin. You are as precious to the world as the Ukrainian people who are being slaughtered by your President Putin. You are not being told the truth about this war.

You know all the courageous Russian journalists who have been assassinated or killed in Russia between 1992 and 2022.

Abdulmalik Akhmedilov

Hakikat and SogratlAugust 11, 2009RussiaMurder

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev

Novoye DeloJuly 9, 2013RussiaMurder

Aleksei Sidorov

Tolyatinskoye ObozreniyeOctober 9, 2003RussiaMurder

Anastasiya Baburova

Novaya GazetaJanuary 19, 2009RussiaMurder

This list goes on to account 58 journalists who have been killed in Russia between 1992 and 2022 with Motive for Death Confirmed as accounted for by the Committee to Protect Journalists. You may not trust anything except Putin’s State TV, but you know who are the Russians who have died.


You know critics of Putin have ended up dead.

Boris Nemtsov, 2015 — political leader of Russia’s “young reformers.”

"In Feb. 2015, just hours after urging the public to join a march against Russia's military involvement in Ukraine, Nemtsov was shot four times in the back by an unknown assailant within view of the Kremlin. Putin took "personal control" of the investigation into Nemtsov’s murder, but the killer remains at large." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Boris Berezovsky, 2013 — A self-styled tycoon who become a fixture in Yeltsin’s inner circle in the late 1990s, Berezovsky is believed to have been instrumental in Putin’s rise to power (including a media campaign that smeared Nemtsov)

"Berezovsky was found dead inside a locked bathroom at his home in the United Kingdom, a noose around his neck, in what was at first deemed a suicide. However, the coroner’s office could not determine the cause of death." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, 2009 — Markelov was a human rights lawyer known for representing Chechen civilians in human rights cases again the Russian military.

"Markelov was shot by a masked gunman near the Kremlin. Baburova, also a journalist from Novaya Gazeta, was fatally shot as she tried to help him. Russian authorities said a neo-Nazi group was behind the killings, and two members were convicted of the deaths." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Sergei Magnitsky, 2009 — Lawyer who uncovered evidence suggesting that police officials were behind the fraud

"Lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in police custody in November 2009 after allegedly being brutally beaten, then denied medical care." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Natalia Estemirova, 2009 — Journalist investigating abductions and murders that had become commonplace in Chechnya.

"Estemirova was kidnapped outside her home, shot several times — including a point-blank shot in the head — and dumped in the nearby woods. Nobody has been convicted of her murder." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Anna Politkovskaya, 2006 — Russian reporter for Novaya Gazeta whose book, “Putin’s Russia,” accused the Kremlin leader of turning the country into a police state.

"She was shot at point-blank range in an elevator in her building. Five men were convicted of her murder, but the judge found that it was a contract killing, with $150,000 of the fee paid by a person whose identity was never discovered. Putin denied any Kremlin involvement in Politkovskaya's killing, saying that her "death in itself is more damaging to the current authorities both in Russia and the Chechen Republic ... than her activities." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

Alexander Litvinenko, 2006 — Former KGB agent

"Alexander Litvinenko was a former KGB agent who died three weeks after drinking a cup of tea" laced with deadly polonium-210 at a London hotel, as Business Insider wrote a year ago. "A British inquiry found that Litvinenko was poisoned by Russian agents Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, who were acting on orders that had 'probably been approved'" by Putin." -- Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways | Washington Post By David Filipov, March 23, 2017

This list goes on. Again you may think the Washington Post is fake news, but you know these Russians are dead.


You know Alexei Anatolievich Navalny sits in prison because Putin fears him. And you know that Navalny has called Putin insane and urges anti-war protests. Putin is insane. What man would kill innocent children?


The Free World knows you are afraid. Putin has terrorized you with his slow steady trickle of threats, deaths, assassinations, and unjust imprisonments of anyone Putin fears. Heck, he’s even afraid of a fragile but brave old woman.

You have every right to be afraid, but should this also inform what you know?

The world stands with you, but please wake up to steady lies Putin feeds you to put you into a catatonic state of frightened inaction. Putin does this to you, the Russian people, because you have collective power. He knows that and he is afraid that you will wake up.

Look at what Putin’s restrained and targeted attacks look like on the ground by your brothers and sister in Ukraine.

Please wake up.
The world needs you now.
We need you conscious and alive and human more than ever!


We stand at a precipice inside the human soul. This precipice exist inside every human being alive right now.

People of Earth, do you call yourself human or monster?

Your actions (and inactions), your words, your thoughts tell us which you chose to be.

Those who call themselves human must reckon with this moment fully to the very core of who they are and what they believe, what they love, what they hate, what they know (or think they know) and what they don’t know.

Each person alive on this planet right now is choosing a stream of thought and system of belief that inform your actions in the next weeks, the next days, the next hours, the next minutes, and the next seconds.

And each second that goes by, each choice made realizes who lives and who dies in this brutal war waged on the innocent people of Ukraine.

We must chose something different than we have ever chosen before to stop this senseless slaughter that stalks the entire human race ever since we crossed the demarcation line that lets us know that we know who we are. The lists of genocides and ruthless slaughter is very long. It will not stop unless we change it inside ourselves. Each person must embark on this work. It will hurt, but it will not hurt you. It will wake you up.

Peoples of the World, you must chose to protect and sustain all life or let it continue to be destroyed by men who have chosen to become monsters.

Sad Piano Music (THIS WILL MAKE YOU CRY / Saddest Piano & Violin Ever!) |
46,933,029 views | Jan 14, 2014

Every human choice matters to alter the course of our shared fate.

What will you choose?

Reactions of a Helpless Watcher Witnessing Evil Live on TV #2

Twitter Posts Beginning Night of Russian Invasion

Day 1 of Russian Invasion
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Day 1 of Russian Invasion
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Day 5 of Russian Invasion
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Day 7 of Russian Invasion

We hide our barbaric nature with platitudes, polices, and lies.

Fourth Letter

Letter to American People

If you call yourself a patriotic American, you don’t root for Putin and you don’t spread Russian misinformation.

Americans rooting for Putin are imitating evil. It will lead us to the same remorseless, ruthless state that Russia has become.

American rooting for Putin, do you really want to cut your soul off from your humanity? From the very essences that make you human? Do you really think it is worth it to become a demon just so you can control everybody and everything to your desires?

Yes, I hear your complaints levied at the liberal left. You feel that you are being overlooked and left out by political correctness and cancel culture, but you have persuaded yourself to feel this way. You know darn well you have the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges as every other American, except those who are not white. You know darn well you fear the power that white male supremacy has conferred to you is slipping away. And this is why you bawl and brew and stew.

We have paid a terrible price in the United State for nursing our grievances by using the fake news and misinformation spread by Putin to further our own cause. Now evil grows on American soil inside American minds and it will not be long until Ukraine’s fate is America’s fate as well.

Think hard about how easy your comfortable American life is, even poor Americans have it 10,000 times better than the people in Ukraine right now.

It is so disheartening to hear a poll after Biden’s first State of Union address that said 60% of listeners thought the US economy was more important than Ukraine.

This is why we are not doing more to help the brave, compassionate, and beautiful people of Ukraine survive. This is why we are watching them being slaughtered.

Because we prefer our own comforts over someone else’s?

Yes, it has been a hard 2 years. There are still supply chain issues and higher prices, and these are probably going to get worst. Yes, wearing masks to protect others who are more vulnerable to COVID has been hard, but it is worth it, isn’t it to save someone else’s life?

Or are we a people who just think about ourselves obsessively and shallowly?

These things have made life harder to juggle, but American people, you can still juggle these things. You still have homes. You still have jobs. You can still go to the store without being shot at or bombed. You can still go outside and go about with your life without fear of being burned alive in your car. Ukraines are being burned alive in their cars. They are being shot. They are being bombed. They are being hunted like animals.

Are so many Americans really so blind and so heartless?

This is a disgrace.

We are a nation disconnecting from our capacity to empathize with other people.

How heartless the American heart seems tonight.

The frontline that Ukraine 🇺🇦 is fighting is EVERYWHERE!

There is no place to hide from this kind of evil for comes from inside us. If Ukraine falls, this horror rests on us for failing to put aside our differences as Americans, our comfort, and our policies and act like human beings.

Ukrainians are showing us how human beings act. Human beings help each other when trouble descends, especially when evil manifests its ugly power in the world.

Are you going to be human or monster?

Fight the Fade — Where Do You Hide Your Hate | Music: Bullet | Masks (Deluxe) | Fight The Fade

I know my words are harsh. Please look into your heart. Please feel the pain of the Ukrainian people and the pain of all persecuted people because you can do something about it. It may hurt, but it will not hurt you. It will wake you up.

The choice is yours.


From the Perspective of Americans Working to Destroy Democracy

The Letter to the American people is informed by a former friend who I e-mailed the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. My husband and I had happened to see Matthew Chance putting on his flak jacket the night the first bombs started dropping all over Ukraine. We were shocked and horrified knowing we were witnessing the beginning of the War.

The next morning, I sent an email to a person who I have been very tolerant of in his support of Donald Trump. Knowing how cowardly Trump was in standing up to Putin, I asked my former friend flat out, who does he support–Putin or Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine. Here is his reply.

What a bunch of cat poop!

I sent him a scathing reply, then blocked him. I told him he is not my friend, his beliefs are cat poop, and I stand in opposition to him. Even 10 days into the heroic fight the Ukrainians are giving the Russians, some Americans are still rooting for Putin.

A Trump-appointed former senior advisor to the secretary of defense says Russian forces were ‘too gentle’ on Ukraine and called Zelensky a ‘puppet’ | Business Insider by Sarah Al-Arshani and John L. Dorman Mar 6, 2022, 2:36 AM

Image from Business Insider: A street after a missile hit near the Kharkiv Regional State Administration building in Freedom Square in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 1. 
Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images

I tweeted: This man is a traitor!! Anyone rooting for Putin is not for democracy, not for freedom, not for America. Lock him up! #UkraineRussianWar #Ukraine #Russia #StopPutinNOW

These are not Americans that believe in freedom and democracy. These are wannabe dictators who are just as insane and mad as Putin. I say lock them up just as they chanted to lock up Hillary, but really they are just sad anti-Americans who have every right to voice their cocky, cockeyed opinions. And, they are really, really sad examples of being human in this century.


From the Perspective of Americans Working to Save American Democracy

1A’s March 7, 2022 episode highlights what is so good about democracy and why every person has a foot in this fight to Save Ukraine. It is titled: How Ukrainian and Russian Americans are supporting victims of the invasion

Image from 1A: Svetlana Suvorova and Andrey, who only gave first name, hold signs as people gather for a rally in support of Ukraine on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk in New York City.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The guests included Julia Ioffe, Mariya Soroka, Marta Farion, and Natalia Arno. It is a very powerful and moving one hour conversation on how the whole world is mobilizing to Help Ukraine.

One of the guest said, “This is a fight to be a human or a monster. Every person on this planet is part of this fight,” one speaker said today. I have been echoing this too. Action is required NOW.” #UkraineRussianWar #Ukraine #Zelensky #StopPutinNOW

Another guest said, “Two weeks ago, Zelenskyy was unknown. Today he is the most loved man on the planet. Courage is the sexiest trait a man can have…so don’t be afraid!” says one of the speakers today. Listen to this. #UkraineRussianWar #Ukraine #Zelensky

This is what makes America and democracy great. Diversity and lots of different people with different ideas who can come together to do something worth doing, something essential, something that will leave a mark on the world of mankind that is good, that humane, that is for life and all living beings not against it.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Music: Jupiter & Jaguar | BLOND:ISH [1] Jupiter & Jaguar    6:09

Images for this animation come from the video featured at the top of this blog and from my previous blog: Moonlight Shaken from a Cranes Bill (Oh how so much can happen in such a short amount of time. I published this blog 7 days ago when the world was a different place.)

Feature Archetypal Animation from Moonlight Shaken from a Crane’s Bill — posted February 22, 2022 — Two days before Putin unleashed hell into the world
Original Feature Archetypal Animation of blog: Moonlight Shaken from a Cranes Bill

First Archetypal Animation

Music: [3] Anybody Out There    3:48 | Ouroboros | Saint Punk

Image from: Ouroboros, the World Serpent & Jörmungandr | Symbols from Folklore & Mythology — “The depiction of a serpent or dragon consuming its own tail is an old one. A symbol of the cyclical nature of things – and linked to the end of the world and immortality – it’s woven its way through time and across cultures for over a millennia.”

Image from: Ouroboros | Nether Realm on SoundCloud

Image from: Legends and Secrets of the Cosmic Ouroboros
“There are few creatures that evoke the range of emotions like the earthbound snake. Across ancient cultures and civilizations, snakes have been viewed as mystical, dangerous, repulsive, and ultimately one of the most fascinating beings in the animal world. However, there might be a deeply rooted reason for human’s fascination with this creature, one that is embedded in the oldest mythology known to humans: Ouroboros, or the one who devours itself.”

Image from: Ouroboros Meanings & Symbolism: Mythology of the Snake Eating Its Tail

“It’s an ancient circular symbol, dating back to 5000 BC, which depicts a snake or dragon eating its tail. Archaeologists discovered the oldest known example of an ouroboros on a jar that is possibly 7,000 years old. It belonged to the neolithic Yangshao People, who lived along the Yellow River in what is now eastern China.”

Image from: Hindu Cosmogram is a painting by Granger which was uploaded on June 11th, 2012.


Second Archetypal Animation

Music: Bullet | Masks (Deluxe) | Fight The Fade

Mask Art Color Venetian Italian Carnival Face | VinnyCiro | Vincent Ciro  •  Age 73  •  Wantagh/United States  •  Member since April 10, 2014

Clown Circus Painting Art Disguise Show Artist | jackmac34 | jacqueline macou  •  Saint Gély du Fesc/France  •  Member since Oct. 3, 2014  •  #281

Carnival Mask Venice Disguise Costume | AldoDK | Aldo  •  Italia  •  Member since April 28, 2016

Mask Demon Fasnet Gruesome Drive Out Winter Satyr | beejees | Bernd Schray  •  Stuttgart/Deutschland  •  Member since Oct. 12, 2012

 Man Faceless Horror | Pexels | English  •  Member since March 26, 2016

Fasnet Carnival Disguise Mask Masculine Female | Couleur | IlonaF❤️🍀❤️🍀  •  🇩🇪Deutsch🇩🇪Land🇩🇪  •  Member since July 11, 2015

Carnival Mask Costume Disguise Lucerne | Boenz | Bruno Müller  •  Age 74  •  Luzern/Schweiz  •  Member since May 25, 2015

Collective Storytelling: Who Is Q & What The Heck Is the Plandemic and Anti Vaxxers All About?!!

Myths of Fear, Marks of the Beast, and the End of the World

Storytelling Species: Makers & Players of Reality Bubbles

Part 5 in The Storytelling Species Series

Conspiracy Myths

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (11/12) Movie CLIP – Three-Way Standoff (1966) HD — MovieClips

Oh How We Love Scary Tales & Stories Skirting the Edge of Being Bad

We play with reality. We do this with our minds. The world is not a perfect place and a lot of bad things happen in it. When we don’t understand something, it is in our nature to make sense of it, and we do this most often by telling each other stories. Collective stories provide a critical glue that hold people together in a common understanding of reality. But that is not all collective stories do. Collective stories activate our inner worlds. They energize them and inspire action in the world. They are powerful and people who seek power know this and they know how to manipulate stories to benefit themselves or a small few.

Recently, the idea of alternative facts and reality has entered the mainstream Western lexicon with a vengeance. It’s been confounding to watch common, ordinary facts get twisted and ripped apart, then thrown in the air like confetti. Today, pretty much anyone can be a Magician of Reality; pretty much anyone can concoct elaborate myths and illusions of reality, and then peddle their piddle as truth. People do this for lots of reasons: to entertain, to distract from something bad they’ve done, and to manipulate and misguide others to make a lot of money.

Profit & the News (or Should I Say Altered News Meant to Tantalize, Titillate, and Terrorize)

People profit from misinformation. People like Alex Jones. It is so very tempting, in fact, it is irresistible to become a Master of Illusions. If you have not heard This American’s Life episode titled: Beware the Jabberwock, now it a good time to stop reading and listen to this episode.

Image from This American Life: Beware the Jabberwock | Stories from the upside-down world where conspiracy theorists dwell.

There are two acts in this episode. The first is one is called: Down the Rabbit Hole where producer Miki Meeks picks up the story of Lenny Pozner, whose son, Noah, was killed at Sandy Hook. In the years after Noah’s death, Lenny and his family were harassed by people who believed the shooting at Sandy Hook never happened – that it was all a conspiracy. Until one day, Lenny decided to fight back. (24 minutes)

The second one is called: Alex in Wonderland. It is narrative by Jon Ronson who travels to Alex Jones’ hometown to validate the Alex Jones myth. He finds many, many holes in Alex’s recollection of his own past.

This act’s description is: Alex Jones spread the idea that Sandy Hook was a hoax, on his radio show and website for years after the shooting. He’s probably the country’s most famous conspiracy theorist. He’s even had Donald Trump on his show. Reporter Jon Ronson travels to Jones’ hometown in Texas, to investigate the story Jones tells about himself, and how he became who he is.  Jon Ronson and his producer Lina Misitzis originally created a version of this story for Audible. They also produced Jon’s latest series, a longform Original “The Last Days of August,” the never-before-told story of what caused the untimely death of 23-year-old porn star August Ames. It’s available exclusively on Audible.com.  (27 minutes)  

Fake News, Fake News — Everywhere You Look — Get Your Fake News Hit Today, Just Click Here

Much has been written about misinformation, but it was not until after the election results of 2016 that more people started paying attention to the real life effects that misinformation can have on ordinary, every day, real people. the AmericanPress Institute published a very good article: Factually: How misinformation makes money in 2019. Just a little teaser from this article:

There has been much written about how fake news websites and other sources make money from spreading misinformation. During the 2016 election in the United States, it even became a cottage industry.

Now a new study quantifies just how much misinformers are profiting from online advertising. Spoiler: It’s a lot.

Because There Is Billions and Billions of Dollars Out There

An article in GWToday reports on a virtual forum hosted by GW’s Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics that explored the harm being caused by online disinformation related to COVID-19 and social media regulation (or lack there of it). This article reports that Facebook netted $17.4 billion in advertising in its most recent quarter (back in 2020).

Image from GW Today | Social Media Companies Profiting from Misinformation | June 19, 2020

“Fear mongering, fraudulent groups are using social media to scam users with false rumors and fake claims about COVID-19,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. Foreign actors including Russia, but not exclusively there, are flooding platforms with conspiracy theories and lies to sow national dissent as America protests racial injustice. Even our own president is using social media to fan the flames of intolerance and hatred during this precarious time in the nation’s history.”


So, Let’s Hurry Up and Make a Page That Misleads, Misguides, and Makes Lot’s of Money TOO!

Insider reported in October of 2020 about 40 Facebook pages identified as ‘super-spreaders’ of election misinformation that were reaching million of users.

Image from Insider | In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone.
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The Bigger the Lie — The More We Will Make!!

Sadly, we know how this misinformation cumulated into the Big Lie touted by Trump and his diehard cronies in the January 6, 2021 insurrection. In a letter to the editor of Lehigh Valley Live, one person summarizes the danger this type of information presents to us all.

Image from Lehighvalleylive | One of the supporters of President Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 carried a confederate battle flag into the rotunda.Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Big Lie headlines once again. Joe Biden and political commentators reference “the big election lie” to describe President Trump’s narrative regarding the election results. With repetition, the big lie takes on a life of its own. It becomes the truth to many and empowers its believers to think and act according to itself. Trump, his big lie and the believers of the big lie are cited by non-believing white people as the destroyers of democracy and the bearers of death.

Trump’s lie may be the modern Big Lie, but what is the biggest lie, the lie that has endured years, decades and centuries … the lie that shelters itself in our hearts … the lie that is passed from generation to generation?

If we white people of good will refuse to see ourselves reflected in the white supremacy that rose up on Jan. 6, then we choose to reject the truth that will free all of us. The truth will enable us to destroy our protective wall of white privilege and co-create with all our fellow human beings a society that respects the worth and dignity of each of us.

The biggest lie is the lie we choose to live. Choose truth.

Christine M. Condon | Whitehall Township


Dark Money | Dark Secrets | That’s Reality Today

In May 2020, Open Secrets explored how dark money networks hide political agendas behind fake news sites. One of the most super successful Master of Illusions to rise in recent history is Donald Trump (who Alex Jones counts as a close friend).

Image from Opensecrts.org | ‘Dark money’ networks hide political agendas behind fake news sites | A screenshot of a Facebook ad run by ACRONYM.

“Tax records analyzed by OpenSecrets reveal ACRONYM’s most recent financial information and shine light on its cozy relationship with affiliated entities.”

“ACRONYM raised $9.4 million from secret donors during its second year of operation through April 2019, more than seven times the prior year according to its tax returns. Three anonymous donors giving more than $1 million each made up more than half of that, with the top donor giving more than $2 million.”

Terrorizing people and misleading them is BIG Business!

Misinformation Superspreaders

And still, here we are reporting on the costs and consequences of misinformation in the world. For instance, this article about the very real dangers of COVID-19 misinformation was published on Jan 6, 2021. Ironically, the day the U.S. Capitol was ransacked by people who had ingested, believed, and acted on another myth filled with misinformation fed to them by the Big Lie.

Ex-QAnon follower: It’s like a doomsday cult | 709,676 views • Jan 22, 2021

The article Misinformation ‘superspreaders’: Covid vaccine falsehoods are thriving on Facebook and Instagram explores how falsehood continue to thrive on social media. It reports how big Facebook accounts still condemn vaccines while anti-vaxxers banned from Facebook have fled to Instagram.

“In late November, researchers NewGuard, the company that rates the quality of news sites, identified 14 large public English-language Facebook pages as “super-spreaders” of coronavirus vaccine misinformation. Twelve of those Facebook pages were still active in late December, said John Gregory, NewGuard’s deputy editor for health news. He added that the majority of individual vaccine misinformation posts flagged in that November report are also still live on the site, without any factchecking label.”

Misinformation ‘superspreaders’: Covid vaccine falsehoods still thriving on Facebook and Instagram — The Guardian

Anatomy of Conspiracy Myths

Anti-Semitism, Evil Powers, the End of the World Oh, and Don’t Forget How Eve Messed Everything Up

Michael Blume, a political scientist who serves as anti-Semitism commissioner for the government of Baden-Württemberg against anti-Semitism since 2018, has explored theories of religion and the effects in the brain (“neurotheologies”). In a recent interview, he says:

Supporters of conspiracy myths believe that evil powers rule the world, says Michael Blume, who has just written a book on the subject. It is not a question of education: “You can have an engineering degree, a PhD or a professor’s degree and use all your intelligence to sink all the deeper into conspiracy myths. With regard to the QAnon conspiracy myth, Blume predicts that the movement will disintegrate after the US presidential election. The remaining followers will, however, become more radical, he fears. ‘It cannot be ruled out that further violence will result from this conspiracy movement.‘”

Interview with Michael Blume and ‘The anti-Jewish myth links the far right, radical Islamists and far left

In another interview, he was asked about Querdenken 711 and explains:

So you’re not surprised about some of the statements being spread in these demonstrations? [i.e., Germany’s anti-lockdown movement “Querdenken 711”]

Image from Wikipedia: Blood libel — an antisemitic canard that alsely accuses Jews of murdering Christian children (or other gentiles) in order to use their blood in the performance of religious rituals.

Yes, it’s always been like that. Whenever a pandemic has occurred in history, we have had two possibilities. Either we face the fear and uncertainty and inform ourselves, while living with the fact that we don’t have any ready answers. For example, we do not know when the vaccine will be available. And the other option is simply to block it out: I don’t accept the fear, I look for a group to blame. All I have to do is shout at them and go out into the street. And then everything is supposed to be fine.

Many of these conspiracy myths already existed in the 15th to 19th centuries. Sometimes it even gets a bit boring, because they are always the same building pieces. People demonstrate together, whether they are left, center, or right, but what connects them is their image of the common enemy. And that is the important thing: People are so fixated in their fears that it is not even creative. They never come up with a Brazilian world conspiracy or a world conspiracy of Quakers or the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s always, always, always Jews and women behind it.


Anderson Cooper did a special on QAnon. This myth follows the age old conspiracy myth anatomy that has long been used to demonize Jews and undesirable people right down to eating babies. It is worth watching this clip when a former QAnon follower apologizes to Anderson Cooper for believing he ate babies.

In another clip from another interview, Jitarth Jadeja explains how he found QAnon in 2017, and then spent two years entrenched in this virtual cult. His biggest regret he tells is sharing the conspiracy theory with his father.

Escaping QAnon: How he left the virtual cult after two years | 17,119 views • Oct 16, 2020

And Good Morning America explored how QAnon is tearing families apart.

Families speak out after losing loved ones to conspiracy theories l GMA | 320,010 views • Jan 27, 2021

But Let’s Return to the Plandemic Myth & Dig A Little Deeper

The myth that COVID-19 was planned follows the classic pathways of myth creations humans have been using since we began telling stories about ourselves and what has happened to us as we journeyed through time and space. It uses pseudo sources of trusted sources of information about the coronavirus. One such pseudo experts is the radiologist that Trump appointed to the U.S. Corona Task Force. Trump appointed this idiot because he preaches about the benefits of herd immunity–something Trump was preaching in his vain effort to get re-elected. To Trump, the Coronavirus was an unwelcome reality check that pulled the covers off his levees of lies and levers of deception he was using to hoodwink his supporters into believing he was looking out for them. But, he wasn’t. He doesn’t look out for anyone but himself. Every moment of his life is a transaction he must win. So, Anthony Fauci’s science-based knowledge about what was happening to us was inconvenient to Trump’s failed narrative of how he would Make America Great again. Thus, enter the pseudo expert, a radiologist with no knowledge or understanding of infectious diseases spouting off the lies Trump wanted you to believe.

Trump Adds Dr. Scott Atlas to COVID-19 Task Force After Fox News Appearance | NowThis | Aug 20, 2020

Or the doctor Trump retweeted promoting hydroxychloroquine as a legitimate treatment for Coronavirus despite overwhelming evidence this immunosuppressive drug normally used as an anti-parasitical treatment for malaria had significant risks of triggering a heart attack in Coronavirus patients. In this same video the Trump greatly amplified through his mindless retweet, this pseudo doctor blames America’s current health problems on demon sperm. I’m not exaggerating…I really, really wish I was, but Trump really retweeted this doctor.

White House press secretary discusses the president’s controversial comments on COVID-19 — CBS: Jul 29, 2020 — DailyBeast: Kayleigh McEnany Struggles to Defend Trump’s Demon Sperm Doctor Retweets

Trevor Noah explains it much more plainly.

Keeping Up with Corona: Twerking Contests & Dr. Demon Sperm | The Daily Social Distancing Show — Jul 28, 2020

Global Goop

As you know, this sort of crazy thinking is not contained only to the United States. It is spreading globally like a goopy goo crisscrossing the glove through social media channels–being spread through anonymous document like the one I got hoodwinked into editing. It is absolutely a mind virus spreading and has many names; the most popular being “Plandemic“.

(Image: © Shutterstock) — Debunking the most dangerous claims of ‘Plandemic’ by Stephanie Pappas – Live Science Contributor May 13, 2020

Let’s Make A Myth & Make It Stick (Like Really Sticky Goopy Goop)

One story line of the Plandemic (there are many out there depending on who you want the enemy to be) goes something like this: There is a group of global elites who created the virus and unleashed it on the world to make more money (as if global elites don’t have anything better to do with their lives than commit mass murder, well…maybe some, but this narrative is hiding something lacking in the person drawn to it).

There is something incredibly glittery about pinning all the ills of the world on some super elites (and I agree they do share a bigger burden for perpetuating many of our current problems), but it’s too glittery, too black-and-white, too clean and neat… and reality is not clean and neat, it is messy and confusing, and confounding most of the time. But that is the appeal of myths, they make sense out of ignorance, mindlessness, folly, foolishness, idiocy, imbecility, incapacity, senselessness, and stupidity.

Photo by Bebe

Now, Back to QAnon & the Shaman!!

Now, let’s dig deeper into another glittery conspiracy myth: Q (or better known as QAnon).

Remember this guy?

Jake Angeli, who stormed the US Capitol yesterday, claims he can visit ‘higher dimensions’ where ‘pedos and rapists hide in the shadows’

Well, he says Q sent him to the Capitol on January 6, 2021. His name is Jake Angeli. He is 32 and was pictured wearing a horned fur hat as he stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021. He also claims others things that are very tantalizing tib bits to the myth as reported by The Sun in this article: Horned QAnon ‘shaman’ Jake Angeli who stormed Capitol says he can ‘travel to other dimensions to fight pedos’ in rant.

This article labels Angeli as Inter-dimensionally Stupid, but is he, really? Is he not rather tapping into something deep living inside all of us that is trying desperately to navigate its way through intensely troubling tremendously stressful, fully anxiety riddled, and sometimes quite terrifying times?

Everyone is looking for answers to really scary, complicated stuff that leaves even the best and brightest of us feeling incompetent and with no personal control of what is happening to us, to the ones we love, to the world. It is during times like this when myths are more powerful and important.

So Who Is Q?

Picard Meets Q for the first time | Star Trek: The Next Generation – Encounter at Farpoint

No, Q is not the beloved, mischievous character from Star Trek. Although one might just consider this for a minute. I bet the Star Trek Q is exactly who the Russian Special Disinformation Agent known as Sergei was thinking of when he scribbled out a scrappy story for his Internet disinformation campaign he had been assigned to back in 2016.

Sergei just happened to hit gold dust when he scribbled down and spewed out his fictional character Q onto the social media channels he had been assigned to pollute. Oh how the angry Americans he was interacting with gobbled Q up in the lead up to the 2016 election. Sergei crafted his mysterious Q to have mysterious access to all the dirt on Hillary Clinton. Since then, Q has evolved into the great peculiar leader of QAnon, a conspiracy theory/myth alleging there is a battle between good and evil in which the Republican Mr. Trump is allied with the former.

Sound familiar?

Good Bubble | Bad Bubble

It should be. It is the classical story arch all great stories and myths follow. Returning to our good friend Mr. Trump, it is as if he found and is guarding the good bubble of reality for all of us to step into and be safe just like Glinda the Good Witch of the South who arrived just in the nick of time to help Dorothy survive the land of Oz.

Glinda the Good Witch of the South in the Wizard of Oz

But if you have a good bubble and a good witch, there must be a bad bubble and a bad witch, right?

I’m Melting! – The Wizard of Oz (7/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD

And This Guy Named Q

The Wall Street Journal reported on this newest (and pretty strange story) about this guy named Q saying: “QAnon followers are awaiting two major events: the Storm and the Great Awakening. The Storm is the mass arrest of people in high-power positions who will face a long-awaited reckoning. The Great Awakening involves a single event in which everyone will attain the epiphany that QAnon theory was accurate the whole time. This realization will allow society to enter an age of utopia.”

So, Sergei still sits in his sod hut somewhere on the Siberian Tundra typing out tangy new details about Q while chomping on Spicy Cheetos and shooting down shots of vodka. Sergei is particularly proud about how QAnon has inspired enthusiastic new believers to carry out a despicable vandalizing attack on 3 galleries in Berlin. These vandals used some oily substance, which they threw on ancient artifacts such as Egyptian sarcophagi, stone sculptures and 19th-century paintings held at the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum sustained visible damage during the attack on 3 October, as reported by The Guardian. Reportedly, they did this because these museums were thought to be one of the centre of ‘global satanism’.

This is crazy stuff, right? But it is happening now in 2020 landing it right up there with the man who drove up from North Carolina, entered a beloved family pizza place called Comet Ping Pong, and shot off rounds from his rifle. Terrified families threw themselves and their children under tables while he babbled about freeing the fictional children enslaved in the basement of the pizza joint by Hillary Clinton and other Democrats elites. It is a very sad moment now known as Pizzagate.

Splitting — The Magic Ingredient of Conspiracy Myths — A Kind of Mind Bubble That Tend to Pop Pretty Fast When It Hits the Rock of Reality (Mother Earth… the ground upon which all life must stand upon)

To spin his illusions Sergei counts on our human fallibilities that get heighten during times of highly charged social unrest such as current American politics or the pressures of globalism or the looming calamities Climate Change promises to rain down on us. Sergei knows when humans feel stressed and not in control of their stress, he can prey upon the looming hopeless and despair threatening to crush them. When people feel like this, it is easy to lure them back into an immature and destructive psychological defense mechanisms called splitting.

Splitting allows humans to make just about anyone or anything into an instant enemy. Sergei knows this and makes his mysterious Q just vague enough so people project whatever they want into his fantasy character. Once frighten desperate people have their leader, it is very simple to create an enemy out of just about anyone or anything in 4 easy steps:
Step 1) Take ordinary reality and cut it into good and bad parts,
Step 2) Walk inside the good bubble created by splitting reality into polar opposites,
Step 3) Inhabit your good bubble and invite your friends, then zip up your bubble,
Step 4) Everything remaining outside of your good bubble is the enemy, this is the bad bubble that must be popped.

Anyone can do this. In fact, we have all done this because it is a normal psychological defense mechanism all children pass through on their way to becoming adults. It becomes a maladaptive psychological defense mechanism when adults continue to do it long into their adult years. When it becomes the only thing they do to deal with the unpleasant aspects of reality it can be pathological. One of the best write ups I have read describing psychological defense mechanisms (i.e., they range from the most highly evolved and mature mechanisms to the most neurotic, immature, and pathological mechanisms) is this excellent blog simply titled: Defence Mechanisms.

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Collective Storytelling: The Stories We Tell Become the Myths We Live

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Part 6 of Storytelling Species Series | Individual Storytelling — The Magic Ingredient

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