Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Making pancakes is a ritual I've performed almost every Sunday breakfast for the last forty years.  "Papa's Perfect Pancakes" they've come to be called, and last Sunday, idly tossing pancake number 12000, my thoughts strayed to other breakfast recipes I make, namely porridge.  What alliterative potential might it too have?  Papa’s Perfect Porridge seemed a tad pretentious.  “Something more self-deprecating, perhaps? I know!  A limerick! Gosh! Porridge... porridge. What rhymes with porridge?”

Craig has reminded me that limericks are 'often humorous, sometimes obscene'.  I would add that the first line usually includes the name of a person, or place, and last Sunday the only place name I could think of that rhymes with porridge was Norwich.   Accordingly (with some stresses in italics, to help you if the meter isn’t always obvious) I came up with -

There was an old geezer from Norwich
Who learned in his spare time to forwich
For mushrooms in season 
And that was the reason
In autumn he didn't eat porwich.

Seduced by such a quick return from a trifling investment in effort, I launched into a few more.  Irresistibly attracted to the disreputable, I soon discovered the limerick is the ideal vehicle with which to caricature your friends and, well, anyone.  It can be woven into any outrageous fiction the bare bones of truth suggest!

And so, in fairly short order, (and without apology, because the rude, or sensational bits are fictionalized) I came up with -  

My long standing friend David Jones,
Complaining of softening bones,
Defied his paralys--is,
Took six Cialis,
And now has gigantic cojones!


Our lunatic neighbor, the ____,
Who declared our bamboo an affront,
Aptly took her own life
When she fell on her knife
While destroying our plants out in front.


A successful wine-seller called Lester,
Known by all as a kind-hearted jester,
Was rebuked by his maid,
That she’d never got laid,
And he’d made no attempt to molest her. 


An art connoisseur known as Craig,
Whose whereabouts had become vague,
Said New York was a curse,
While Manila was worse,
And he loathed Boracay like the plague.


An artistic eccentric named Pinder
While firing a sculpture with tinder
Was sidetracked by Ella,
The randy old fella,
And his project was burned to a cinder.


A conspiracy theorist called Paul
Shouted out “For a building to fall
Without any resistance
It must have assistance!”
Retorted his friends “Not at all!”

So this started an internet brawl
With arguments long, short, and tall
And the Tweets more absurd
With each four letter word
Until one said ‘He’s right after all!”

Chimed in Craig at this point “That was moi!
Widely known for my…je ne sais quoi.
Yes, I’ll stand by my friend
To the bitterest end
And as the French say it 'Voila!’"


To pause for breath here is no crime.
But I now can’t stop thinking in rhyme!
And what makes matters worse
(In fact it’s a curse),
I've burned all my pancakes this time! 

(With thanks to Craig for ‘Debra’/’webra’ )
I once knew a girl, name o’ Debra,
Was exceedingly fond of Ginebra.
And I found our first night   
She was so godamn tight    
I was trapped like a fly in a webra!

(And a contribution from Lester!)
There was a ham actor, named Paul,
Who would clumsily stumble and fall,
He thought he could crack it
If he learned not to wack it,
And now he’s a star at the mall!

Now that I have irretrievably lowered the tone of this blog, further original contributions are encouraged, in the comments section, below. They must be limericks, in which form they must both rhyme, and, within limits suggested by the above, scan!  All entries will be moderated by a panel of judges, composed of – moi!


Thursday, February 15, 2018


He'd had a flash of insight that had jolted him awake;
A bolt of inspiration, heaven sent!
It seemed that nothing less than Mankind's future was at stake.
He had to write it down before it went!

He kept a sheet of paper and a pencil by his bed
To capture clever night thoughts such as these,
And, scribbling in the darkness while it yet was in his head,
Fell fast asleep again, his mind at ease.

In some dismay, next day, his gem of wisdom still unseen,
He fretted that he'd lost the precious line,
But on the floor he found the page, and read, with some chagrin:
"The Cosmos is suffused with turpentine!"


Monday, September 11, 2017

The Conspiracy Theory That Won't Go Away

I was determined - despite the distraction of hurricane Irma - to write something on 9/11 to commemorate this most infamous day in American history. But what could I add to what I've already said? Then, as luck would have it, a friend sent me a link to this article in the Daily Mail Online. Not the most prestigious of mainstream newspapers, it can perhaps for that very reason afford - more than, say, the too-often contemptible NYT and Washington Post - to report this more thoroughly and in more neutral terms than could either of those two, wearing the manacles of ownership and obligation that they do. [And I must add here, in response to severe criticism, that my contempt for these two otherwise excellent news outlets is limited to this particular subject - which confined perspective, however, discolors just about everything else concerning Middle Eastern politics that they subsequently write about!]   

On the other hand, hiding in plain sight can be a winning strategy. The linked article once again seems to me to contain enough damning evidence to rouse even the most stubborn ostrich from his silicone refuge, but I've been shouting across this particular wasteland long enough to know that it's not just die-hard Trump and Duterte supporters whose reasoning power appears to have deserted them. The bigger the lie the more the man in the street will be forced to believe it, Hitler once gloated.  

And how right he was. The BBC once brazenly displayed, on a split screen, the vertical, near free fall collapse of WTC 7 side by side with the identical collapse of an apartment block. 'The collapse on the right' intoned the commentator 'is an example of controlled demolition. The collapse on the left was caused by out-of-control fires'.   

Rationality is abandoned when the ground we are standing on begins to shake, and the implications of the 9/11/2001 state terror event are profound indeed.



Saturday, May 20, 2017


* Sorry about the white background! Blogspot sometimes does this, and short of retyping the whole thing - which also often doesn't work - I don't know how to get rid of it... Francisca?...  

(I’m behind a week with this. Two events which required preparation in the evenings unexpectedly intervened, so the series has had to temporarily take a back seat…)

Now, where were we?  Ah yes: Woo-woo land!

Ok, now that you’re on board with the fact that the scope and extent of our knowledge is dictated byour membership of a particular community, on whose authorities we therefore must depend, and that those authorities tightly control our knowledge, supressing any challenge to the government storyline; now that you know that trillions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers’ money has silently ‘disappeared’ into unaccounted-for, quasi-government projects, that these projects involve the development of highly sophisticated and extremely expensive technologies, and that this situation has developed to the point that there now exists, largely within the U.S., a supra-national, top secret ‘breakaway civilisation’ that is no longer accountable to the American people who largely fund it – now that you know, or at least are acquainted with all this, it’s time to look squarely at what the secrecy and lies are all about.

At 3:30pm on the bright afternoon of Thursday, January 10, 1991, a week before Operation Desert Storm, casually glancing out of my then corner office window in the Guadalupe Commercial Complex, which overlooked the Pasig River on the edge of Makati, in the Philippine capital, my attention was caught by a small, bright object just above the eastern skyline. I initially took it to be a single-engine, aluminum aeroplane, reflecting the light from the Sun that by then was quite low in the west behind my building, but as it steadily approached none of the features that identify an aircraft – the distinction between fuselage and wings, the bulge of engines, the blur of a propeller, the black of cockpit windows - resolved themselves. Instead, it remained a bright white, featureless, flattish oval.

At no point did this unidentifiable flying object quite descend to a point that a terrestrial landmark behind it might give a clue to its distance, and hence size, but it halted its approach at what I judged to be about a hundred feet above the middle of the river.  If that was true then it can’t have been more than 10-12 feet in width, or length, or diameter. I called my secretary to the window, and we observed it together, as it proceeded slowly downstream, to our left, towards the recently-rebuilt Guadalupe Bridge, rising as it crossed it. 

As it passed over the bridge (if that was indeed its distance from us) it wobbled slightly, not as if responding to air currents, but more in the manner of a screen projection whose light source has been nudged, rising and falling slightly and rapidly three or four times, but without the yawing to be expected of an untethered balloon carried by the wind. Continuing southwards, it now glided smoothly and diagonally upwards towards a white cloud that floated at about 3000 feet, and disappeared into it.  As it rose and we were presented with its underside, its shape evolved from the cigar it had been when viewed from the side into more of a disc.  The entire event occupied, I suppose, three minutes.

I am not your authority on UFOs, but I present this as first hand evidence of one. This was not a plane, or a helicopter, or a balloon. Or marsh gas. But, ok, why should you accept my word? So how about the word of this gentleman? -

I’m convinced UFOs exist, because I’ve seen one.”  Former President of the United States of America Jimmy Carter. 

How did he know it was a UFO, you ask? Cheeky! Could have been marsh gas, you say? An honest mistake?  Very well, if there’s strength in numbers, here are three more high profile witnesses -

I think we owe it to the people to establish credibility regarding UFOs, and to produce the greatest possible enlightenment on the subject.”        Former President of the USA Gerald Ford.

“I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on Earth.” Former President of the USA Harry S. Truman.

“The phenomenon of UFOs does exist, and it must be taken seriously.” Former President of the USSR Mikael Gorbachev.

They’re all politicians, you protest? Oh, I see, "Trained to obfuscate and lie; especially that last one!"  Ok, how about we settle for military and spy agency types, then, who are at least trained to observe? –

“We have indeed been contacted - perhaps even visited – by extra-terrestrial beings, and the U.S. government, in collusion with the other national powers of the Earth, is determined to keep this information from the general public.”  Former Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the CIA, Victor Marchetti.

Not high enough up the surveillance command chain for you? -

“It is time for the truth to be brought out. Behind the scenes high-ranking Air Force officers are sorely concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unidentified flying objects are nonsense.” Former CIA Director Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter.

“UFOs are as real as the planes flying over your head, and it’s time the United States government started coming clean on what it’s all about, because there are very important military and economic issues that have to be addressed, and how can you address a question which relates to a subject which people won’t admit exists?”  Former Canadian Minister of Defence, Paul Hellyer.

Still not impressed? My goodness! Then perhaps we should listen to those who have actually gone extra-terrestrial themselves –

“I believe that these ET vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little more technically advanced than we are here on Earth.” Astronaut Gordon Cooper.

“Yes, there have been ET visitations. There have been crashed craft. There have been materiel and bodies recovered, and there is some group of people somewhere that may or may not be associated with government at this point, but certainly were at one time, that have this knowledge, and have been attempting to conceal this knowledge.”Astronaut Edgar Mitchell.  

And just one more; a short video testimony by former astronaut and Princeton physics professor Dr. Brian O’Leary –

Short of actually seeing one of these things yourself you really can’t get any closer to what we all accept as the test of truth than this: verification by trusted authorities. Not impressed? I think you see, then, the roadblock to belief: we are more influenced by the mainstream media than we would care to admit, and none of this is being broadcast by the MSM. But this, I contend – as do many others – is chiefly what is being covered up by what Richard Dolan calls the breakaway civilisation, and what much of the trillions in unaccounted-for money is being siphoned off into, as scientists and engineers labor to achieve the incontestable, full-spectrum dominance which has long been the Holy Grail of certain military and neo-conservative elements within the USA. 
To cap this series I have been waiting for the release of Unacknowledged, promoted as an explosive expose of the UFO- and free energy-related technologies being kept secret by the Deep State. Well, the movie had its premiere in Los Angeles, and was almost immediately made available free on the internet, where I watched it yesterday. Today, however, the link has been severed, due to an alleged copyright complaint brought by 'Infamous Entertainment' (probably the Los Angeles movie theater franchisee). 
Here, nevertheless, is the (currently dead) link: 


If it's any consolation, the visual quality of the free version was not very good, and although it was explosive, it fell a bit short of what I was hoping for. So instead I have linked you to another movie, of very superior quality, which I hope you will find equally compelling: THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take? 
(Indeed, at more than twelve million views, you may already have seen it.) It takes me, and this series, exactly in the direction I wanted to go, and even, with its recommendations, a bit further. I do sincerely hope you will find the time to watch it in its entirety, and, as importantly, pass some of the links in this series on to others whom you feel may find them of interest. It is not sufficient that we shrug and mumble “But what can I do?” THRIVE, particularly, is not just a dire warning, but also a message of hope, and an urgent call to action.

And on that note I shall sign off on this series.


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Saturday, May 6, 2017


“Just imagine that William Casey’s dream came true. Suppose the Enterprise grew into a super-secret, self-financing, self-perpetuating organisation.”

                              Bill Moyers,                                                      The Secret Government, 1987  

I have been trying, in my last three posts, to convey two things.  The first (which is actually the theme of the entire blog) is that what we take to be 'objective' reality is in fact a multi-layered tapestry of agreements about the nature of the world, which define us as members of a particular culture, and civilisation. There is nothing solid or permanent about any of this at all. The cause and the consequence of this inescapable state of affairs  - which seeks to dispel our existential condition of perpetual uncertainty - is that we are dependent to an extraordinary degree on those we deem to be our authorities. Our dependence on them is so deep and pervasive that we have little choice but to trust them. The illusion that what they tell us is ‘true’ borders on the all-encompassing, such that even if later presented with evidence by an unauthorised source which flatly disproves their pronouncements, we dismiss the source, and thereby the evidence, in preference for the security blanket of our collective myth. 

Part of the reason for the success of this deception – which is something of a mutual conspiracy - is that it's largely a feel-good message.  It makes us proud to be part of the group. We are invested in it. It defines who we are. If the message is ever bad (as it too often is today) it's because our authorities are warning us of a 'threat' to our well-being, and offering a solution that will make things 'better' (which usually involves the surrender of some of our freedom).  

In contrast to this, those who would seek to undermine our collective myth seldom have a more agreeable message with which to replace it. Myths, after all, are built and sustained by wishes and, well, fabrications*, whereas the truth (not to be confused with a better myth) tends only to destroy myths. A better myth generally means a more agreeable fabrication.  

But the degree of deception has been steadily mounting, and the mutuality is crumbling. So the second thing I've been trying to convey is that, hand in hand with this mounting deception, have come mounting secrecy, and legal and fiscal unaccountability, now reaching trillions of dollars of tax payers' money. Something is clearly amiss.  Thirty years ago public television show host Bill Moyers referred to this as 'the secret government' - a shadowy government-within-the-government.  As that secrecy increased over the years the novelist John Le Carre coined the term 'Deep State' to describe it. More recently still the historian Richard Dolan has created yet another term, 'Breakaway Civilisation' (see this excellent introductory article) to characterise what he warns has now become an entity so secretive and so powerful that it operates on a different technological plane entirely, now wholly unaccountable to the public - the very monster whose looming shadow Moyers warned about thirty years ago. 

You are incredulous, I see. This is sheer paranoia, you exclaim. How could a deception of this magnitude be sustained?   Oh dear!  And we haven't yet even begun to outline the nature of the technology that has spawned this breakaway civilisation, requiring all this pelf and secrecy.  So let's briefly review how that world of secrecy is able to operate, how it has in fact been maintained; because, being invisible, how are we to believe it exists?  

To begin with, like a Black Hole, so vast has it become that its presence can now be inferred by its influence on the bodies around it.  We have, first and foremost, the gargantuan amounts of money being siphoned, unaccounted for, out of the pockets of groaning tax payers.  Added to that are the untold billions in proceeds from the forever-unstoppable-because-CIA-supported drug trade (another on-going deception). Where is all this money going? Then there's the exponential growth in the number of super-secret government agencies and their private, hi-tech sub-contractors.  To do what? On top of that there's the Orwellian surveillance of every digital transmission, everywhere. To reveal, or protect against whom?  And in a supposed democracy, with freedom of speech, the remorseless ridiculing, suppression and sabotage of all challenges to a status quo that insists that there is press freedom; that... but here we enter Woo-Woo Land, because the very things the alternative media are claiming to be true, some of which I've already referred to, the public has been persuaded by its authorities are false and ridiculous. 

So no, we won't go there just yet.  Let's consider first the methods of this secrecy. At its apex are the shadowy Rulers, spurred on, as ever, by the promise of power as yet only dreamed of, together with its commensurate rewards.  Those immediately below them have immense loyalty to the Cause; they are zealots, proud of their favored position as insiders, with far too much to lose from disclosure.  Below them still are the section chiefs and technical experts; and here starts the compartmentalisation; everything is on a military footing, on a strictly need-to-know basis, with level upon level of sophisticated security and surveillance.  Nothing that is not authorised gets in, or out, for it is here that leaks threaten the secrecy structure. These people are not insiders, and though proud of their membership of this or that elite research establishment they are not privy to its deeper secrets, even as they may from time to time of necessity be exposed to them.  Hence all must sign the National Security Act of 1947 (the year of the Roswell incident, btw).  Having supposedly the force of law, this has proved a very powerful muzzling tool of the secret state.  However, whistle blowers are always a threat, especially where rampant illegality is concerned, and if huge payoffs and bribes won't work there are always other means, ranging from blackmail, to threats, to bodily harm, to murder.  This is the dark face of the Deep State that is most difficult for us law abiding citizens to get our heads around, cocooned in comfort as we are.  The secret state is utterly ruthless - as is any government. It will stop at nothing to protect itself. It is, after all, a separate state. 

I wrote in my last post that CIA director William Casey was drowned in the Potomac River.  It was in fact his predecessor in the CIA, William Colby, who met that end, on 27 April, 1996.  My apologies for the error. His death, I now find, may provide the transition I need into the Woo-Woo Land we are about to enter.

It was a Saturday, and Colby, by then 76 years old and some 15 years into retirement, was alone at his weekend house by the Potomac River, 60 miles south of Washington D.C.. He had been working all day on preparing his sailing boat for the coming season.

After he got home from the marina, Colby called his wife, Sally Shelton, a high-ranking State Department official who was in Houston, Texas, visiting her mother. He told her he had worked hard all day and was feeling tired. He said he was going to steam some clams. Take a shower, and go to bed.

Colby made the call at 7 p,m. He was seen a few minutes later by two sets of witnesses in his yard, watering a willow tree. One of the witnesses was his gardener who dropped by to introduce his visiting sister. His two next-door neighbors saw him at the same time from their window.  After he finished watering his trees, he went inside and had dinner.

The witnesses saw him at 7:15 p.m. The sun set at 7:57 p.m. – 45 minutes later.

When he was found dead in the water nine days later, it was said that he had gone out paddling his canoe at nightfall and drowned. 

Excerpted from WHO MURDERED THE CIA CHIEF? William E. Colby: A Highly Suspicious Death.  By Zalin Grant. Pythia Press

The drowning was declared ‘accidental’ by the coroner, but the case, involving as it did an ex-CIA director in very suspicious circumstances, continued to attract attention.  On August 8, 2004, Art Bell conducted an interview with Dr. Steven Greer, a then little-known but well-respected trauma doctor who had for reasons we will reveal in a future post become intent on exposing the Deep State. Part of the interview went as follows –

SG:  Now I want to talk about an assassination tonight that people may not want to hear... I’m referring now to a very brave man, CIA Director Bill Colby, whose very dearest friend approached us in the mid-90’s. And the week that we were going to have a meeting – listen carefully – the week we were going to have a meeting with this former CIA Director who had been on the inside of these covert operations, where he was going to transfer to our group $50 million in funding... 

AB: What? 

SG: ... They found him floating down the Potomac River. The colonel...

AB: Wait, wait wait... Under what arrangement - how did, I mean, $50 million, for example - under what auspices, how was that going to happen?

SG: We never got that far, nor did Mr. Colby. My point is this, and I'm not saying this to disturb Bill Colby's family, but I've decided that the truth has got to come out on some of these things, including these illegal, rogue operations that would ‘phone in’ a threat like this to a civilian medical doctor.

AB: Um hmm.

SG: I've never signed a national security oath, and those people who have who are listening, mark my words, go to our website - DisclosureProject.org - and contact me, because as far as I'm concerned the actions taken by this group make them ineligible to cite the National Security Act of 1947, or any other constitutionally-approved law, because they are operating as an illegal, extra-constitutional entity. 

AB: Got it. All right, Dr. Greer, hold tight. [To his audience] In the middle of the night, you're listening to Coast to Coast A.M. and I bet you had never heard any of this before from Dr. Greer.

 [commercial break]

AB: Just to be sure that we all heard this correctly. Let's have Dr. Greer go over this one more time. A - uh- murder, Dr. Greer? You're saying a murder.

SG: Yes.

AB: Uh. And the set up to this was?

SG: Well, I'm - my group was approached by a colonel who I do not want to name, who was Bill Colby's, one of his very best, friends, and they had been following what we were doing in the early and mid nineties with what… became DisclosureProject.org. But this man approached a member of our Board of Directors…, and said that there was this person who is very connected up and historically had been connected to these projects, who absolutely agreed that it was time to end the secrecy. He wanted to transfer to us the means to do so through some assets that he had access to and… he wanted to be sure that there was adequate funding to do it properly which was around $50 million (which is a rounding error on the $7 trillion oil economy) and that they had some devices and physical equipment that they wanted to also transfer so that we could get this disclosed and get it secured and out to the public. So there was a "cell" if you want to look at it that way, that… had some involvement from Mr. Colby that wanted to do this. So, the meeting was set up between a member of my Board and Bill Colby, and the week that that meeting was to be actuated, he was found floating down the Potomac River. Now, what's interesting about the death of Bill Colby was that… He left the house opened, he left the computer on, the coffee maker on, and all this. This was actually publicly and very briefly stated, but then, of course, it was written off as an "accidental" drowning while he was out canoeing on the Potomac River.

AB: I recall.

SG: Now, in reality, it's very much like what's being portrayed where art now is imitating life in "The Manchurian Candidate", where there is a Senator who was going to blow the whistle on this transnational group that was running all this and he is murdered by this Manchurian candidate in the Chesapeake Bay when he's out kayaking and it's made to look like a drowning accident and is reported out through the media shills…, as an accidental drowning. So what's interesting is that this is precisely what happened to Bill Colby… and of course, not long after that, my right hand assistant and best friend in all these efforts, Shari Adamiak was - uh, she died - and this colonel came to her wake that was held at her apartment in Denver and he just came up to me and he said, "You know, of course, Bill Colby was killed trying to get the truth out on this to help us, and you guys have had your own losses, but we can't look back, we can't dwell on the negative. We can't look back. We have to move forward." And that's my message to people, that's always how we have to -

AB: I know, but if you believe what you just told me, then -

SG: It's not a belief. I know it's true, I mean I know it... 

AB: Okay, if you know it's true what you just told me, then that means they will kill to prevent any serious damage. They will kill to stop any real serious damage. Therefore -

SG: If they can get away with it. Remember, those were the early days. We didn't have the systems we have in place today.

AB: Doctor, if they can get away with killing a former CIA director, they can sure get away with killing an emergency room doctor.

SG: W ell, perhaps. But, except, I'm... he was doing this in a very clandestine way.  I am not doing what I'm doing in a clandestine way. 

AB: True enough. 

SG: And, the other thing to remember is that we're much more sophisticated now than we were back in the mid 90s when this happened. We have enormous support within some of the groups that are running these covert projects who want to see this happen and I don't lose any sleep. I don't lose one minute of sleep over this, and none of the military witnesses working with me should. Now, it's not to say it's risk-free… There are risks with everything we do. But you also have to look at the benefit. If… there are covert programs that are sitting on technologies that could give us an entirely sustainable, long-term civilization without the need for damaging the environment, without the need for 80% of the world's population living in abject poverty, is it not worth some risk?... if we're not willing to step up to the plate on something of this importance, then we're really not worth breathing the free air of Earth.

    Art Bell interviewing Dr. Steven Greer, on Coast-to-Coast A.M. Radio, August 8, 2004.                                                                                        

And that about wraps it up for this episode. Next up – Woo-Woo Land! J


* I initially and carelessly wrote 'lies', but that gives a negative connotation which should only apply to intentional distortions, for selfish purposes, of what we believe to be the truth. The good of the community justifies fabrications, engaged in for their perceived benefit.  If our allegiance is, secretly, to another community, then I think we have the present situation with regard to the breakaway civilisation, and the manufacturing of lies to conceal it. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017


That the secret and unaccountable Deep State floats freely above the gridlock between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is the paradox of American government in the twenty-first century.

             Mike Lofgren, Anatomy of the Deep State,                2014

In the last two posts (‘Truth and History’, and ‘The Truth Deficit’) I’ve tried to show that while our nation’s history teaches us to feel good about our membership of it, conspiracy theories perversely do the opposite.  Yet even as we recoil from them they are assaulting our received historical narrative as never before.  They are, in fact, challenging us to reappraise our relationship to the very authorities and opinion makers we trust, and the mass media through whom they shape our collective beliefs. 

These shared opinions and beliefs, shaped as they are by what we receive from our authorities (whomever we may determine them to be) define our membership of our community. Evidence that challenges them thus creates acute cognitive dissonance.  Our cultural immune system will reject or ignore more fundamental truths – such as proofs of logical inconsistency, or even the laws of physics – in order to preserve the loyalties on which we have come to depend as a community.  Recall that the members of the Inquisition refused to look up Galileo’s telescope, for fear of the damage it would do to their beliefs. A movie which challenges the man-made global warming paradigm will have the same effect today.

Reality, I have said, is not ‘out there’.  We make sense of the world, that is, of the myriad sensory inputs that constitute the continuity of our experience. What we continually therefore seek from our fellow men is confirmation that our experience tallies with theirs. If it does, we have community, if it doesn’t, we have strife. Education is very largely the effort to get all members of a given community on the same page.  One community’s education is another’s propaganda. Truth, therefore, isn’t something ‘out there’, it’s an agreement.  Trust is the cement in this creative endeavor. Without trust the whole edifice collapses. (‘Trust’ and ‘truth’ come from the same Indo-European root dru, from which we also get the word ‘durable’.  What is true is that which endures.)  Since we can only trust that which is true, blind loyalty seems to me a dangerous option in our present situation.

So I need to hammer a bit more on the evidence that says we are being duped, big time.  That evidence unfortunately can’t come from the sources we wish to investigate, but then other sources are not our authorities.  This provides a credibility gap that our cultural immune system will waste no time exploiting to justify doing nothing.  However, there are a few authorities who come pretty close to bridging that gap, and in this post I want to focus on one of them.  

In The Secret Government - a gripping, ‘personal essay’ researched and narrated thirty years ago by the incomparable Bill Moyers - the then-current preoccupation of an America in the throes of the Iran-Contra scandal was the unwarranted power that had accumulated in the hands of President Ronald Reagan and his advisors. Then Senator Daniel Inouye described the so-called ‘Enterprise’ which channelled money from operations in Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, as

a shadowy government with its own air force, its own navy, its own fund raising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest free from all checks and balances and free from the law itself. 

Moyers exposed a culture of profits-before-patriotism, and the evolution of conflict into a money making business of perpetual war. The Constitution, he concluded, was being ‘shredded’, and We the People must be somehow alerted to set things right again.  I provide a link below to the broadcast, from which here are a few more quotations (Moyers is the speaker, unless otherwise attributed):

“Secrecy is the freedom zealots dream of. No watchman to check the door. No accountant to check the books. No judge to check the law. The Secret Government has no Constitution.  The rules it follows are the rules it makes up. So [CIA Director] William Casey could dream that the Enterprise would take on a life of its own; permanent, and unaccountable.”  

“… the only people fooled are the American people. But consent is the very heart of our Constitutional System. How can people judge what they do not know, or what they are told falsely?”

And, chillingly, in view of what we know now

“Just imagine that William Casey’s dream came true. Suppose the Enterprise grew into a super-secret, self-financing, self-perpetuating organisation.”

“We’ve turned the war powers of the United States over to, well, we’re never really sure who, or what they’re doing, or what it costs, or who is paying for it. The one thing we are sure of is - this largely secret global war, carried on with less and less accountability to democratic institutions, has become a way of life. And now we’re faced with a question, brand new in our history: can we have the permanent warfare state, and democracy too?”

“The secret government had been given the license to reach all the way to every mailbox, every college campus, every telephone and every home.” [And this was back in 1987!]

We start out breaking foreign rules, since every country has laws against secretly overthrowing their governments, and then you end up breaking the law at home and coming to feel a contempt for the law, for your colleagues and associates, for the Congress and the public, and for the Constitution… Precisely because they cannot get their way in public debate they are driven to seek to subvert the democratic process.  
     Morton Halperin, then Director of the                Washington Office of the American Civil          Liberties Union. 

Moyers: Do you think that what we’ve seen of the secret sale of arms to Iran and the private war in Nicaragua is on a par with what we saw at Watergate?

Prof. Edwin Firmage, Univ. of Utah: Oh, the substance of it is far above Watergate. You have the sale of armaments to terrorist groups, which can only foment more kidnapping and more terror, and finance it. You have the doing of this by the armed forces; a very scary thing. You have the government a part in this, doing things that Congress has forbidden: direct illegality. You have constitutional abuses that are enormous… The whole fight is over means, not ends. Every president, with every good intention, and every tyrant… has used precisely the same argument, that is “Don’t constrain me by means and I will get you there safely and well.” And I think any time we accept a reason-of-state argument to justify means that are totally incongruent with the values of state we are on the highroad to tyranny. And we deserve to be there.

“The ‘national security’ argument [i.e. invoking the National Security Act of 1947] now interferes with every American’s right to understand its government. That’s what secrecy’s all about these days.”

                      Scott Armstrong, Director of the                                National Security Archive.

And towards the end we hear a small-community activist –

We have a hymn that the words go to something like ‘I wish that my eyes had never been opened, because if they’d been opened I’d have to do something about it’, and I think that’s a problem with a lot of people in this country. They don’t want their eyes to be opened, because they’re very comfortable, very secure, and if their eyes are opened they’re going to have to do something.

Thirty years on all this sounds sickeningly familiar.  Fourteen years after this broadcast, on the eve of 9/11, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced to a stunned Congress that the Pentagon had lost track of $2.3 trillion.  Another 14 years after that the amount is estimated to be more than $8 trillion.

In 2014 Bill Moyers broadcast The Deep State. By now it’s clear that a much more diverse group of actors is involved. Still broadly arrayed under the rubric of ‘national security’ – and still very much protected by the smothering blanket of the National Security Act of 1947 – we now have Homeland Security, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts, the Treasury Department, and, bizarrely, Wall Street, in addition to the more than 3000 secretive government-funded organisations mentioned in my last post.

Moyers: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or Republican, not Left or Right, what is it?

Lofgren: It’s an ideology; I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism… The actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. 
They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state. Giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, deindustrialisation and financialisation, and they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere; it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world, and the result of that is perpetual war… A government within the government that operates off the visible government and operates off the taxpayers, but doesn’t seem to be constrained in the Constitutional sense by the government.