Crooked Trump Supporters

Media Bypass Magazine-The only reason Republic Radio
> is even on the air is because Stadtmiller and crew came
> down to Indiana, broke in and stole the satellite uplink
> from Media Bypass’ headquarters. According to James Thomas
> at Tree Top Communications, Republic Radio ripped his
> company off of more than $8,000.00 in long distance service
> before coming in the night and stealing all of the
> satellite equipment out of the studio. Jim filed a police
> report on the theft, but, since Stadtmiller had been doing
> business with Media Bypass and took all of the equipment
> out of state, Evansville police told Thomas it was a civil
> matter. “We now have a court judgement against them. I
> intend to arrange for the Sheriff up in Battle Creek to
> recover all of my equipment eventually,” he said.  (For
> verification of the theft, phone bill and judgement, call
> Jim Thomas at (812) 477-8670.)

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Rothschild Sabbatean Zionist State of Israel preparing the Future Home for the Returning Ten Tribes of the House of Israel

The Divine Mission to Restore the Lost Sheep (Tribes) of the House of Israel

Part Eleven

Section Thirteen

By Robert Mock M.D.

April 2009




The Jewish Connection – The Sabbateans Goal: ‘To Eliminate the Opiate of the Jews”

Almost sixteen hundred years after Joseph of Arimathea and the twelve Jewish Culdees (Refugees) were exiled from Judea and landed on the coastline of Marseilles France, a new messianic phenomenon erupted upon this globe in central Europe.  The Culdee Nazarene mission was to bring the Jewish messianic message of salvation and redemption for all mankind; Jews and Gentiles alike.  The new apostate Jewish Messianism was to bring an era of destruction, insurrection, imperialism, oppression, world wars, holocausts and massive economic chaos. The fullest revelation of this false messianic idealism is only being revealed today as the entire economic world order, built on premises of fraud and deceit appears to be collapsing before our own eyes. 

The year was 1666, and the Turkish Kabbalist (not Kabalist, Cabbalist or Qabbalist) Jew, Shabbatai Tzevi announced to his Jewish followers that the day of the messiah had come.  Actually that “day” was calculated in advance to be on a specific date, June 18, 1666.  With a little insight we begin to see the strange relationships of this specific date to the arrival of the future anti-Messiah in the years just preceding the coming of the true Jewish Messiah. On this date, the pristine mystical truths of the World of the Divine as given and preserved by the Jewish sages began to be corrupted by the demonic forms of evil in Christian Kabalism or Cabalism and Islamic Qabbalism.

Medieval Portrait of “Sabetha Sebi”


This date would be denoted by the triple numerical insignia, 666 for the date of Shabbatai Tzevi’s messiahship was to be on June (6th month), 18 (6+6t+6) in the year of 1000 + 666.  The Jews sold all of their homes and businesses, and were waiting in expectation on the hillsides for the entrance into a new messianic age. 


This event was not unlike the Great Awakening in New England seaboard states of the United States when on October 22, 1844, the Karaite Jewish appointed day of Yom Kippur, the early Adventists (Christians awaiting a literal Advent of the Messiah) quit their jobs, sold their businesses and homes for pennies to the dollar to await the literal coming of the Messiah on hilltops and farms in the New England States of the United States. was also little perceived the God of Israel was preparing to launch in the year of 1666 the prophetic players that would bring this world of corruption and greed to its knees and begin the days of redemption and restoration.  The Almighty One would prepare this globe for the fires of His judgment at the time of the event.  He was also preparing the primary actors, the Jews and the Lost Tribes of Israel for the Final Act of the Drama of the Ages.

Shabbatai Tzevi the False Jewish Messiah in the Year of 1666

These Sabbatean actors would arise from within the Jewish faith, yet they would soon abandon the commands of the Torah and reject the God of Israel as they spread their messianic faith around the globe.  The quest of Shabbatai Tzevi was imbedded not only in medieval Judaism, but also in Islam, and within the heart of apostate Christianity. The very heart of mystical Judaism that came from the revelations of the true Jewish kabbalist’s “Tree of Life as envisioned and revealed in print by the esteemed Jewish sage Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 16th century at Safed  was now ripped from its authentic Torah foundation, corrupted and remolded into the heart of Roman Catholicism by Jewish Jesuits and imbedded within the heart of the Islamic faith by the secret Dolmeh Society, later known as The Turks”.   

Shabbati Tzevi, as he first started his Jewish movement also selected his own “false prophet, called Nathan Levi of GazaIt may be just an interesting fact, that out of the heartland of the people that would become the greatest antagonists and bitter enemies of the Jews, the Hamas chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 21st century would give birth also to the prophet who would help the new messiah twist and contort the true kabbalist’s understanding of the World of the Divine. They would turn their theology into the most fulminate and virulent form of spiritual anti-Semitism, that was anti-Jewish, anti-Judaism, anti-Torah and anti-God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from its very core and foundation.

Nathan Levi of Gaza, the Prophet of Shabbatai Tzevi to Shabbatai Tzevi, the messianic days of the redemption were upon us and when this era arrived, “godof the Sabbateans would permit everythingAll the prohibitions by the God of Israel in the Torah would be rescinded in the new messianic era.  In the Ten Commandments, it said, Do not kill but when the messiah comes, they were permitted to Kill”.  These same 10 commands also said, “Do not commit adultery yet in when the messiah comes, it was said that you may commit adultery”.  These same commandments said, “Remember the Seventh Day (Seventh-day Sabbath Shabbat) to keep it holy”, yet when the messiah comes, any day you wish to worship could be your holy day.  It was also the Chief Blessing of the followers of the false Jewish messiah, Shabbatai Tzevi, called Sabbateans, when they said, “Blessed is he who permits the forbidden”. This was their most profound blessing and it swept over half of the Jewish people in Europe within its clutches.

Famed 17th century Talmudist, Rabbi Jacob Emden

Would it be profound enough also to learn that Shabbatai Tzevi was also born in Smyrna, Turkey. The key to this satanic inspired transformation from true Torah into an anti-Semitic virus against the Torah Revelation of God was exposed just before the end of the 1st century CE.  Here we meet the Jewish Apostle John who gave the verdict by the God of Israel in the Revelation of Jesus the Messiah (Book of Revelation), when it made this exposé of the people of Smyrna.  

Revelation 2:9-10 – “And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the last, who was dead, and came to life: ‘I know your works, tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

It was the esteemed Talmudist  Rabbi Jacob Emden in the early 17th century that became the first to expose the dangers of the teachings of the Sabbateans in the European region of Poland.  It was BibleSearchers in the year of 2006 that investigated this era in the series of articles titled, Jesus the Pharisee from the School of (Beit) Hillel in the Eyes of Talmudic Scholar Rabbi Jacob Emden”.  Rabbi Emden became the most passionate defender of covenanted orthodox Judaism against the infiltration of the Sabbateans and the destruction of what they were doing in the heart of Judaism in Europe.  It was also during this great crisis of faith for the Jewish people with the messianic uprising of the false messiah Shabbatai Tzevi that Rabbi Jacob Emden went back to review all the fifty odd messiahs that had risen over the prior 16 centuries.

Shabbatai Tzvi enthroned as the Messiah – Jewish publication, Tikkun, Amsterdam, 1666

When he came to the life and ministry of Yahshua HaMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah) in the 1st century Judea, he found a Jewish Messiah that was profoundly different that all the rest.  Here was a Jewish messiah that not only lived the life of Torah, but lived and taught that His disciples were to live the precepts of all the Torah above and beyond the “letter of the law”.  In his charges against the heresy of Shabbatai Tzevi, Rabbi Emden wrote a letter defending the life, ministry and the Torah of Yahshua the Messiah in The Letter of Rabbi Jacob Emden, the Seder Olam Rabbah Vezuta (1757) to the Jewish Council of Four Lands”.  Here was the opinion of this sage of Judaism concerning Yahshua HaNotzri (Jesus the Nazarene):


Rabbi Jacob Emden – “Certainly, therefore, there is no doubt that one who seeks truth will agree with our thesis, that the Nazarene and his Apostles never meant to abolish the Torah of Moses from one who was born a Jew. Likewise did Paul write in his letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians) that each should adhere to the faith in which each was called? They therefore acted in accordance with the Torah by forbidding circumcision to gentiles, according to the Halakha, as it is forbidden to one who does not accept the yoke of the commandmentsThey knew that it would be too difficult for the Gentiles to observe the Torah of Moses. They therefore forbade them to circumcise, and it would suffice that they observe the Seven Noahide Commandments, as commanded upon them through the Halakha from Moses at Sinai.

It is therefore a habitual saying of mine (not as a hypocritical flatterer, God forbid, for I am of the faithful believers of Israel, and I know well that the remnant of Israel will not speak falsehood, nor will their mouths contain a deceitful tongue) that the Nazarene brought about a double kindness in the world. On the one hand, he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah.

And on the other hand, he did much good for the Gentiles (providing they do not turn about his intent as they please, as some foolish ones have done because they did not fully understand the intent of the authors of the Gospels.)”


Yet the virus of destruction continued to permeate through the Sabbatean Jews around the world.  It would not be until just before the 200 Anniversary (1776-1976) of the Sabbatean Masonic birth of the United States of America that Rabbi Marvin Antelman, the Jewish Chief Justice of the Jewish Supreme Court of America became the first modern Jewish rabbi to exposed the modern agenda of the Jewish Sabbateans. In the year of 1974 he wrote a book called “To Eliminate the Opiate, Volume I that you will find heading the list of every classic list of books on modern conspiracies.  It was be followed by the sequel, “To Eliminate the Opiate, Volume”, twenty four years later in the year of 1998 that exposed the vast influence of the Sabbateans within the modern Jewish Zionist State of Israel, and why their symbiotic relationships with the globalists was and is so profound to Jewish orthodoxy and covenanted Jews.


Former Chief Justice of the Rabbinic Court, Rabbi Marvin Antelman


This was also the same Rabbi Marvin Antelman who as the Chief Justice of the Jewish Supreme Court in the United States, ex-communicated Henry Kissinger from Judaism in the 1974 Rabbinic Council for his ties with the Council on Foreign Relationship and as the United States Secretary of State sought to destroy Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1976 and to this day, Rabbi Antelman continues to expose the criminal activities of these Jewish Sabbateans.

Henry KissingerIt was Rabbi Antelman, who has been the most profound voice exposing the satanic roots of the Jewish Sabbateans.  With great deliberation, he exposed the insidious evil that the Sabbateans were committing to destroy the orthodox Jewish people all around the world.  It was also Antelman’s most famous protégé, the Jewish investigative reporter and author, Barry Chamish who BibleSearchers has used in the past for his investigative studies on the corruption and evil within the Labor Zionists of Israel.

Henry Kissinger, the Jewish 56th United States Secretary of State (1973-1977)

In the following article, Barry Chamish documents the insidious evil the Sabbatean Jews have committed upon the orthodox Jewish people.  It will be this exposé taken from the written manuscript of a speech Chamish gave just before the expulsion of the 10,000 Jewish orthodox farmers, nurserymen and families from Gush Katif at Gaza that will be the foundation of this manuscript.  Part of this exposé will be Ariel Sharon, as the Prime Minister of the Labor Zionist government of the State of Israel in 2005, who exiled his own Jewish orthodox people, for the Labor Zionist government of the State of Israel.   What we will learn he created thousands of Jewish refugees, of which a majority of productive farm families are still refugees within their own land of IsraelWe given credit to the brave and intrepid Barry Chamish for his speech titled, “Shabtai Tzevi, Labor Zionism and the Holocaust that is now in book form by the same name.

It was the Sabbateans who were the first to believe with all their hearts that the messianic era would be instituted when Jews would systematically begin breaking every law of the Torah and defy their judgments by the God of Israel.  Their era of the messiah never came to their expectations in the 17th century


In fact, Mehmed IV the Sultan of Turkey (1648-1687) in September 1666 had Shabbatai Tzevi arrested.  For awhile he was allowed to have his own royal court in prison until he was given the ultimatum and a promise.  If the rabbi would give up his Judaism and his Torah, renounce Judaism, and convert to Islam, the Sultan would relinquish his sentence of a “long, tortuous death”.  To the amazement of the orthodox Jews, not only did he convert to Islam, but he twisted his interpretations of the Torah and took a large percentage of Judaism into Islam with him. Yet, a problem existed, soon may of the followers became crushed or disillusioned with Sabbatean theology and returned back to Orthodox Judaism.

Jacob Frank, the Islamic Dolmeh Emissary to Europe so, a larger group of Jews did convert to Islam and became a cult in Turkey called the Dolmeh Cult, for it was they, who proclaimed, “We infiltrate Islam and other religions, but keep our Sabbatean beliefs with us at all times. And to this day, the Dolmeh continue to infiltrate into other religions and cults to our modern era.


Shabbatai Tzvi as a Prisoner of the Turkish Sultan in Abydos – “Ketzer Geschichte,” 1701, Published in the 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia


At the time while Shabbatai Tzevi was alive, it was the Turkish cult that were called the Dolmeh that lay dormant until the years surrounding the 1770s when Jacob Frank, a European Sabbatean who had lived and studied with the Dolmeh Turks, returned to Europe and spread a new messianic heresy across the continent of Europe. This time, the target was not just to the Jewish people but to the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel who had populated and now claimed Europe to be their own homeland.

With the inward desire that power, greed, and control rules, Yacov (Jacob) Frank who first went to the elite of the European countries and became a darling in the courts of the royalty.   As was written by BibleSearchers Reflections in the subarticle titled, Jacob Frank and the Jewish Alliance with the Illuminati and the Rothschildswe read:

BibleSearchers Reflections“The time of the end did not come and the millennial kingdom did not arrive.  The works and studies of Shabbatai Zevi went underground.  Fifty years later, Yakov ben Judah Leib Frankovich (1726-1791) was born to a Jewish rabbi in Podolia in old Poland in the region of modern Ukraine.  From Poland he traveled to the Middle East as a cloth merchant.  There in Turkey he was initiated into the secret Shabbatean rites of Donmeh Shabbataism.  When he returned to the Ashkenazi Polish Jews they thought he was a Turkish Sephardi Jew and called him frenk, which in Yiddish means a Sephardi Jew.  He soon assumed a new family name, Frank’.   At the age of twenty nine (1755) Jacob Frank returned to Poland; he had been fully indoctrinated into the mystical anti-Torah, anti-Talmudic teachings of mystical Shabbataism.  He transmitted his teachings to central Europe.  He posed as an orthodox Sephardi Jew from whence came his name, Frank, which in Jewish Ashkenazi Yiddish means a Sephardi. There he founded the heretical Jewish sect called Frankists.”

Now accepted by the Sephardi Jews in Poland, Jacob Frank convinced the Roman Catholic bishop of his province in Poland that his Sabbatean group was against the Jewish  and were not Jews, but were allies with the Roman Catholic Church in suppressing the Within his Catholic diocese, the bishop offered Jacob Frank and his followers protection from the Jews.  In verification and support of the Roman Catholic Jewish suppression by the Roman Catholics, there suddenly erupted numerous book burnings until all the Jewish Talmuds were destroyed in this Polish diocese.

The Burning of the Jewish Talmuds in Poland act was impressive to his Catholic benefactors for the Catholic hierarchy now felt that they had legitimate allies with the former Jewish FrankistsWith the verification of their evil deeds, the Frankists were able to establish a power base in Poland from which to spread their seeds of destructionWhat was even more important, they were now financed by the Roman Catholic Church. What the bishop did not know was that his allies that had now become official Roman Catholics were still living dual lives and in their duplicity, within this province of Poland, sexual orgies became the “purification of the soul” and secretly during the Purim festivals, this day became an annual wife-swapping event for hidden Frankists.  They not only debased their new Catholic religion but they also debased their own spiritual heritage in Judaism.


Jacob Frank (Yakov ben Judah Leib Frankovich1726-1791)

Suddenly the new wave of Catholic conversions came under the ministry of Jacob Frank and the Sabbateans as hundreds and even thousands of Jews were baptized in huge ceremonies.  What a revival these were. In one giant baptism ceremony, Jacob Frank officiated with the baptism of 5000 Jews into Jesuit Illuminati Catholicism but in secret they knew themselves as Frankists not necessarily Roman Catholic Christians. With thousands of new converts under his control, Jacob Frank began to organize them into underground or clandestine cells of small and separated groups of whom only he knew and controlled. To the Frankists, this Christian conversion was only an interlude, an intermediate growth stage into the future when the final messianic era would be revealed.  As BibleSearchers continued:


BibleSearchers Reflections – “Jacob Frank soon began to have direct revelations from heaven and admonished his followers to convert to ChristianityThey began to practice an underground religion that was anti-Torah and like Shabbatai Zevi and Nathan of Gaza engaged in sexual activities forbidden by Torah.  The halakhah of Torah was abandoned for a higher wisdom or knowledgeFrom the midst of Luria’s Kabbalah which was based on the Mosaic Torah, the Frankists claimed a new wisdom, the Torah of emanations or the Christian Cabbala which was anti-Torah.

As such the Shabbateans and the Frankists corrupted the Jewish prophetic idea of the emanations of God in the TaNaKh (Old Testament) and instead of subjecting themselves to the emanations of the Almighty by their covenantal relationship with God and obeying His commandments; they reproduced a new ‘Torah of emanations’ which they could control.  They took the spirit of the little hornof Daniel the prophet and in essence proclaimed that they ‘were like God’.

This Christian conversion was to be an intermediate growth stage to the future and final messianic religion.   In 1759, the influence of Frankists caught the eye of the Polish nobility when a large number of Jews converted to Frankism and performed a spectacular ceremony with the sacred rites of mass baptism at Lvov, Poland (L’viv, Ukraine). The Catholic Church filed charges against Jacob Frank and he was imprisoned for the next thirteen years (1760-1773).  .

File:Maria Theresia11.jpgAs soon as Jacob Frank was released from prison, he left the country of Poland and emigrated to Bruno, Austria (now Brno, Czech Republic) where his works caught the eye of the Catholic benefactor, Maria Theresa, the archduchess of Austria.   There in the court of Maria Theresa, Jacob Frank was hired to be the Roman Christian spokesperson to the Jews.

Maria Theresa, the Archduchess of Austria – Painting by Jean-Étienne Liotard

Maria Theresa (1717-1780) was the Archduchess regnant of Austria, and also the Queen Regnant of Hungary, Croatia, and BohemiaBy her marriage to Francis I of Lorraine, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and the last member of the House of the Habsburgs, Maria Theresa, upon the Emperor’s death in the year of 1765, became also became the Dowager Queen of the Holy Roman Empire, for she co-ruled with her son, Joseph who became the Emperor in that same year.


Mary Theresa was an energetic and capable ruler, and she was not only a devout Catholic but within her realm, she became an economic, educational, agricultural, and military reformer.  Her conflicts with the Kingdom of Prussia led her countries into the Seven Year War (1756-1763) and later the War of the Bavarian Succession.

It was into the royal court of the Viennese Archduchess that Jacob Frank arrived in the year of 1773, only three years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in America.  Under the royal protection of Maria Theresa, Frank was also planting the seeds of insurrection and international intrigue.  Secretly Jacob Frank sent secret emissaries to the archbishop of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Tsar of Russia. He wanted them to assist him in the overthrow of Poland and the Polish Catholic Church. Within the Frankist cells, Frank had also taken the role of a messiah, like Shabbatai TzeviHe even established his own miniature royal court where this Jewish Messiah now turned Roman Catholic specifically selected twelve female disciples who were his concubines and twelve male disciples who were to be his emissaries.

The Seventeen year old, Kaiserin Maria Theresia Tochter the daughter of Karl VI. von Habsburg Österreich – Painting by Andreas Möller

The Archduchess of Vienna was no fool and soon began to suspect that Frank was not a Christian but a Jew in Christian clothing. Excommunicated earlier by the Jewish rabbis, later imprisoned by the Polish Catholics, he finally was expelled from Poland and Vienna.  At the age of sixty (1786), Jacob Frank moved to a small German village, Offenbach, where in luxury as the Baron of Offenbach” he spent the last five years of his life. There, Jacob Frank held his own court of 600 attendees to the small village of Offenbach near Frankfurt, Germany.  The greatest of mysteries that with the loss of the largess of the Austrian Dowager Maria Theresa in Vienna, who were the new benefactors that came to Jacob Frank’s aid?

The Frankist, Jesuit, Rothschild Revolution in Europe and America

“I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire,

The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire.

And I control the money supply.”
Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild (1777-1836)


“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that

you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country.

When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank.

You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter,

I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin!

Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!

You are a den of vipers and thieves.”
   – Attributed to President Andrew Jackson, who in 1836 forced the closing of the

Second Bank of the U.S. by revoking its charter.


“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace

And conspire against it in times of adversity.

It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy,

And more selfish than bureaucracy.

It denounces as public enemies, all who question it’s methods or

Throw light upon it’s crimes.

I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the Bankers in the rear.

Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe…

Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow,

And the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign

By working upon the prejudices of the people

Until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.
President Abraham Lincoln  

American Civil War


By the year of 1786, the German city of Frankfurt was the official headquarters of Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Bavarian Order of the Illuminate. Trained as a Roman Catholic Jesuit, Adam Weishaupt became a protégé of Ignacio López de Loyola (1491-1556) the founder of the Society of Jesus who are known today as the Jesuits.  Loyola later became the first Superior General, a powerful political and spiritual force that is today known as the Black (Hidden) Pope who controls the most powerful intelligence organization in the world.

In the year of 1491, San Ignacio de Loyola was born in the Basque province of, Spain to a wealthy family of Jewish Marranos. His first entry, as a young man, was into a Jewish Illuminati Order in Spain while serving actively in the Roman Catholic Church.  Wounded permanently in battle, Loyola’s life turned to one of personal holiness. He went to Paris and there became a priest and in 1539, he moved to Rome where the Jesuit Orderwas given birth.

Jewish Adam Weishaupt, Jesuit-trained founder of the

Bavarian Order of the Illuminati

Joseph Johann Adam Weishaupt, on the other hand was born on February 6, 1748 in the city of Ingolstadt in the German state of Bavaria. His father was a professor in the University of Ingolstadt.  It was in the year of 1773 that two important events happened. The young “Adam” now educated as a Jesuit but was raised as a secret Sabbatean Jew, broke his allegiance with the Jesuit society amazing in the same year which Pope Clemens XVI dissolved the Jesuit order. Did he have inside information, we do not know. Within three years, in the year of 1776, a few months before the American Revolution and the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Bavarian Order of the Illuminate was formed. What little is known was that Adam Weishaupt came from a Jewish family that had converted to Roman Catholicism during the same era after the messianic revival of Shabbatai Tzevi in 1666.

The relationship between the Jesuits, Adam Weishaupt and the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati was collaborated with the testimony of Eric Jon Phelps in the article titled, “The Black Pope – The Most Powerful Man in the World which he wrote:

Eric Jon Phelps – “From the Jesuit College of Ingolstadt is said to have issued the sect known as ‘The Illuminati of Bavaria’ founded by Adam Weishaupt. Its nominal founder, however, seems to have played a subordinate though conspicuous role in the organization of this sect.” [Occult Theocracy, Lady Queenborough, originally published in 1933] On May 1, 1776, the Order of the Illuminati was officially founded in the old Jesuit stronghold of Bavaria. The Company would now use the Jewish House of Rothschild to finance the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon the Freemason with his Jesuit-trained advisor, Abbe Sieyes. In spite of the historical writings of the Jesuit Abbe Barruel, who blamed the Rothschild’s and Freemasonry for the Revolution, it was the Society of Jesus that used these very tools to carry the Revolution and punish the monarchs who dared to expel the Jesuits from their dominions. The Jesuits, having been expelled from the Spanish Empire, found refuge in Corsica. From there they raised up their great avenger, Napoleon Bonaparte.”

Amschel Mayer Rothschild (1744-1812)

In fact the Illuminate as an official body has been around over four hundred years before Adam Weishaupt founded the Bavarian Order of the IlluminateIt was first founded in 1492 by the Marranos or Crypto Jews and known as the Alumbrado. Out of the forced conversions and severe persecutions in Spain and Portugal as early as 1391, hundreds of thousands of Jews were forced by the threat of death to convert to Roman Catholic Christianity.  Then in the year of 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  On that very day the edict began for the Jewish expulsion, the 9th of Av, Christopher Columbus, now known to be a Kabbalist Jew “sailed the ocean blue to find the watery road to the New World.

Meyer Amschel came from a German Jewish family where he had rabbinic training to become a Jewish rabbi. He took the name of Rothschild and established a banking house in the German city, Frankfurt am Main about the year of 1764.  Today the Rothschild International Banking Houses are believed to be a major player in the international global crisis that swept the world in the years of 2008-2009 and destined to be a controlling interest in the soon to rise World Federation of Nations. so here arrives Jacob Frank to the region of Frankfurt, Germany, the year of 1786The American colonies had already declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776.   The 13 American colonies, now recognized as the Tribe of Manasseh that was the 13th tribe of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, fought their Revolutionary War of Independence between the years of 1775-1783.

Signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776

Ten years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a new alliance was formed in Frankfurt, Germany. These were revolutionary timesWhat was erupting in Europe quickly was transmitted to America.  The seeds of rebellion and the desire for independence and autonomy made the Masonic leadership of the Continental Congress a funnel to soak in ideas of change”.  Today we see the 2008-9 economic revolution erupting around the world as 44th President of the United States, the newly elected Black Mason, probably the first non-American President, Barak Hussein Obama riding into the White House on a platform of “change”.  He is now heralded in many diverse sectors of the world as the Messiah Obama and the King of the World”.


If we could see behind the inter-dimensional veil and behold the “Hand” of the Divine, would we see the finger of God, who was guiding each of these vast earth changing movements in the moments of their birth?  As the United States of America and the Order of the Illuminate were now approaching their 10th birthday we would now know that Adam Weishaupt was only 38 years old, Amschel Rothschild was 42 years old and Jacob Frank was 60 years old.

There was no doubt that Meyer Amschel Rothschild was the financier.  His desire was to gain control of the world’s financial marketplace. Between the Jesuits, that were founded by Jewish bloodlines and the Sabbateans that were now underground Catholics also of Jewish bloodlines, they both would become the agents that could bring the “money to the House of Rothschild, the best example of the ancient Jewish Sadducees.

Adam Weishaupt already had the structural foundation for an international organization and Jacob Frank was quite adept at laying the mystical foundations.  He provided the underground cells for the future subversive acts by the Order of the IlluminatiTheir primary goal was to roll back the tide of the Protestant Reformation and to bring the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church back into full control of religious and spiritual life in Europe and the Americas. Working hand in hand, the Illuminati and the Jesuits were a powerful coalition seeking to return these two regions back into the fold of Rome. As Barry Chamish wrote in the article titled,”Kerry, Gaza, and the New Sabbatean”, we learn: Chamish – “Frankfurt at the time was the headquarters of the Jesuit, Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati, as well as Rothschild Brothers’ financial empireThis is worth repeating; Frankfurt was the birthplace of both the Illuminati and the Rothschild Financial Empire. When Jacob Frank entered the city, the alliance between the two had already begun. Weishaupt provided the conspiratorial resources of the Jesuit Order, while the Rothschilds contributed the moneyWhat was missing was a means to spread the agenda of the Illuminati and the Frankists added with their network of agents throughout the Christian and Islamic worlds(Barry Chamish, Kerry, Gaza and the New Sabbatean Holocaust, pg 2) 

The George Washington Masoner’s Temple in Alexandria, Virginia

Sometime between the years of 1785 and 1786, according to Chamish, the subversive activities of the Illuminati were discovered when a satchel was discovered in the possession of a man who fell off his horse and died.  The satchel included the plans for the French Revolution.  The Bavarian Order of the Illuminati was banned in Bavaria and this ban swept the European states  The Illuminati went underground. It took a fourth party by the name of Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld who under the assumed name of Moses Dobruschka who would take this conspiracy to its final level – invade the upper echelon of the hierarchy of the British and Scottish Freemasonry. Reflections – “Under the assumed name of Junius Frey, Moses Dobruschka (aka. Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld) became a member of the Jacobins, and took the mystical teaching of Shabbatai Zevi to the top of the British and Scottish Freemasonry lodges.  The Scottish rite’s, known as the Continental Masonry, origins were in European Masonry practiced in the mid 17th centuryThe constitutions of the Scottish Rite were formulated in 1761, 1762 and 1786.  The influence of these rites went global along the trails of British Imperialism and practiced today in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.” (Scottish Rite Masons)

1st Masonic Inaugural Ball in Honor of the 4th President of the United States, Barack Obama

By the year of the constitutional formulations of the Scottish Rites (1786), the corrupted ideology of Sabbatean false-Jewish mysticism had now been imbedded within Scottish Freemasonry. Is it surprising that ten out of the twenty signers that left their signatures upon the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons?  Scholars have proved that eight Signers of the fifty six signers of the Constitution of the United States in the year of 1787 were Masons but as many as thirty signers may have been Masons. Many of the signers of the United States Bill of Rights (1789) were Scottish Freemasons?  Is it also of interest that the 1st ever Masonic Inaugural Ball ever held was in honor of President Barak Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States on January 9, 2009?  Is it of interest that President Barak Hussein Obama is a 32nd degree Prince Hall Freemason who was nurtured the by Chicago based Nation of Islam and the ancient Knight Templar Masons? Reverse of the United States One Dollar Bill

It is surprising that the Anti-Messiah, according to the Muslims, called the Dajjal, according to the Islamic saying (Hadiths) of Muhammad the Prophet is reputed to have One Eye”.  As we look at the back of the United States Dollar, we are reminded that the Cult of the All Seeing Eye is a part of the very foundation of America, the homeland of the Tribe of Manasseh. Above the Pyramid and the All Seeing Eye, we read, “Annuit Coeptis” (God has Favored our Understanding) and below, “Novus Ordo Seclorum (The New Order for the Ages). Then we are again reminded that the cultic forces of the Sabbatean-Jesuit-Illuminati were there and have been there all the time, and that reality has now become transparent here at the time of the end.


The Rothschild – Rockefeller Connection


“I want to own nothing and control everything” — J D Rockefeller

“The secret to success is to own nothing, but control everything.” — Nelson Rockefeller


“The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining Supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control…. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.”
Larry P. McDonald, US Congressman, 1976, killed in the Korean Airlines 747

that was shot down by the Soviets


“The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation.

Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….

At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers.

The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

They practically control both political parties.”
John F. Hylan, 1922, then mayor of New York City


Through the 18th and 19th centuries, the two major centers for the Illuminati and the Sabbateans were Frankfurt and London.  These two power centers for the global forces in Europe seeking world domination would in 1978 become code-named by the newly nominated Pope John Paul II as the Golden Internationale. was the virtual financial capital of the world and London was then the political capital of the British Empire and the occultist capital of Scottish Freemasonry.  During the 19th century the economic and intelligence highway between London and Frankfurt was heavily traveled, for here were the economic and geo-political forces that were changing the world during the height of the British Empire.

John D. Rockefeller in 1905

First we see the apostate Jews of Germany, Karl Marx and Frederick Engel moving back and forth between Britain and Germany as the Communist Manifesto was written.  This Manifesto, according to Chamish, was used brilliantly by the Jesuits in the early 17th century in the South American country of Paraguay.  It was there that the Indians that were not killed were enslaved in communes.  For 158 years, more than 150,000 Guarani Indians were enslaved in 30 concentration camps called reducciones”.  As international attention was highlighted upon these evil acts, the citizens of Europe were incensed until the Spanish king, Carl III issued a royal decree that drove out the Jesuits from all Spanish colonies. The conceptual breeding grounds for the godless activities of the Sabbateans were established first in Germany and then put into international political movements and organizations coming out of the capital of the British Empire.

The political movements of the Sabbateans can be seen in their maturity today in the international military crusades that were pursued by the Jewish Sabbatean Neo-Cons of the Bush administration starting in the War against Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq during the seven years between the years of 2001-2008.  The spiritual father of the American Neo-Cons was Leo Strauss of the University of Chicago who as a German Jew, according to Chamish, “inspired the people who are raping and pillaging Iraq right now (2004)… for “young Americans are dying for Sabbateans…in the war in Iraq”.   Yet, these are the same forces that are shifting their military sights and withdrawing out of Iraq and returning back to Afghanistan now in the Obama Administration.

Leo Strauss, of the University of Chicago, Sabbatean Father of the American Neo-Cons

With new alliances that appear to be forming between Pakistan and the Taliban, the world may soon be facing a Nuclear Al Qaeda or Taliban.   The Pashtun Tribes of Afghanistan that are prophetically known as the Bani-Israel Lost Tribes of the House of Israel are prophetically one of God’sBattle Axes destined to destroy empires and nations. God’s final judgment is let to be seen in this war. was one element of the infiltrations by the Sabbateans into the nations of the world that has remained elusive; America and the Rockefellers.  The Rockefeller agents of the House of Rothschild did not have any political influence in America prior to the middle of the 19th century.  In the 1850s, the House of Rothschild sent John Jacob Astor and Jacob Schiff as emissaries from their headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany to the United States. About the same time, out of the loins of the Frankfurt Illuminati-Sabbateans there arrived during the Civil War a Rothschild agent from Frankfurt called Judah Benjamin that became the financial advisor to the government of the Southern Confederate States of the United States.  Soon the Rothschilds had control of the banking industry in the Southern Confederate States of America.

John D. Rockefeller painted in 1917 by John Singer Sargent

The goal of the Rothschild’s emissaries, John Jacob Astor and Jacob Schiff, were to take over the America financially for the Illuminati and the Sabbateans. The role of the Illuminati was much more visible than their elusive Jewish Sabbatean sponsors and agents. The first mission of Astor and Schiff was to finance the robber barons who were the major businessmen and bankers who dominated their industries.  By the use of unfair and unethical business practices, they amassed huge fortunes. These barons included;  John Jacob Astor (real estate and fur) from New York City, Andrew Carnegie (railroad and steel) from Pittsburgh, John D. Rockefeller (railroads) with Standard Oil, Cornelius Vanderbilt (railroads), Edward Henry Harriman (railroads) in New York, John Pierpont Morgan (corporate financer and industrial consolidator, and numerous others.

With the financing from the Rothschilds, they were promised wealth, power, control in exchange for the promotion of the Rothschild’s financial interests and the Illuminati’s agenda. This was a mutual relationship that benefited both parties. would be in the year of 1922 that J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller created the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR).  It became a front for the Sabbatean-Illuminati under the control of the Rothschild Dynasty.  The purpose of this organization, according to Chamish was to overthrow the government of the United States and make it into a country controlled by a global unified order that was controlled by the now almost three hundred and fifty year old consortium of the Rothschild’s global financial empire, Weishaumpt’s Jesuit Illuminati, and the Frankist’s Sabbateans.

John Pierpont Morgan

During these same years the Sabbateans were also trying to overthrow Judaism and by overthrowing their Torah and the God in which they served pacify and transform all covenant keeping Jews into anti-Torah Sabbatean Jews.  To corrupt the Jews they sought to corrupt Judaism. Soon out of Germany came the Reform Judaism Movement.  Later through Germany and Britain came the Conservative Judaism Movement.

The goal was to dilute Judaism and the spiritual power of the orthodox Jew would be transformed by spiritual elements foreign to ancient Judaism. The problem existed that Orthodox Jews did not cooperate.  They did not rebel, neither did they revolt. They just did not choose to sin against HaShem, their own God. With the defeat of the conspiracy that by twisting the Jewish religion into a religion that would negate their love for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it only emboldened the Orthodox Jew to yearn more for his home in the Promised Land in Israel.

So, a new plan was devised called Zionism”.  Zionism, according to Chamish, was founded by the Sabbateans with the international assistance of the British Freemasons, to take over the land of Israel and convert it into a Sabbatean state.  As Chamish confesses, Israel was conceived in utter sin!

The Jewish people were given a “holocaust by their Sabbatean and Illuminati masters, because that is what it took to force them to go to the land of Israel. In spite of the concentration camps and the ovens at Dachau, the Jewish people still kept being moral.  This was a concept that was hard for religious Christians and western secularists to understand how not to bargain their core beliefs with the “devil”.  It was also hard for them to differentiate between the Sabbatean Jew and the authentic Orthodox Covenanted Jew and realize that the authentic Jewish believers in God are not their enemy and neither were they the killers of the Jewish messiah Yahshua, known to Christians as Jesus Christ.

The same battles that were waged by the Sadducees of the Temple High Priest family of Ananias and the Pharisees of Shammai against the covenanted Jews during the days when Yahshua (Jesus) was living in Galilee and Judea are being waged today.  The “virtual reality battle of the Oslo Accord trying to give up tangible assets of Landin the Nation of Israel to the Palestinians with a mere promise of peace is a war between the good and decent vast majority of Israel and these Sabbateans ruling them.” 

The Labor Zionist Movement of 1880 to 1917

Einstein: What Makes Me Happiest – a Jewish State in Palestine

Letter to Paul Ehrenfest, dated March 22, 1919 in Physics Today , April 2005
Translated and annotated by Bertram Schwarzschild


“I’m very disillusioned with politics right now. Those countries [the Allied powers] whose victory I thought, during the war, would be by far the lesser evil, now show themselves to be an only slightly lesser evil. On top of that, there’s the thoroughly dishonorable domestic politics: the reactionaries with all their shameful deeds in repulsive revolutionary disguise.


One doesn’t know where to look to take pleasure in human striving. What makes me happiest is the [prospective] realization of a Jewish state in Palestine. It seems to me that our brethren [Stammgenossenen] really are nicer [sympathische] (at least less brutal) than these awful [scheuslichen] Europeans. Maybe it can only get better if the Chinese alone survive; they lump all Europeans together as ‘bandits.” it was hard to take the morality away from a Jew and get him to blaspheme his own God, it was also hard to get the Orthodox Jews to move to Israel. They could not see any purpose for doing so. Their God had taken the land away from them because they believed of their sins and defiance of their temple and political leaders.  They expected to wait until the Messiah returned to tell them to return.

The Jewish Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto change the equation, the Sabbateans after the 1880s began to make like miserable for the average orthodox Jew.  First there came the European pogroms of the 1880s, with the special assistance of the Roman Catholic Jesuits, many of which were Sabbateans Jews. The Jesuits provided the militaristic communities and cells called “Cossacks and the Sabbateans provided the Communists with Karl Marx and Vladimir LeninLife in Russia became a living hell and this time the Jews did leave.


The Jewish Marxist Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)


Over two million of the Jews left, but they did not go to Roman Palestine but to America.  So the Illuminati-Sabbateans had to conspire against honorable God-fearing Jews and convince the President of the United States to ban large scale immigration by the Jews to America.  Every other nationality was welcome, but not the Jew. It was the Sabbateans’ intent to shut the doors to America so that the Jews would be diverted to “Roman Palestine”.

The Zionist Movement was then formed.  As we would guess, it was formed in Vienna, German, the ancient hunting grounds of Jacob Frank. The Sabbatean movement formulated its first mission and statement of purpose by Sabbatean Jews such as Natan Birmbaum (1864-1937) and Peretz Smolekin.

Nathan was a Viennese Jewish writer and journalist that was born to an Eastern European Jewish family.   While he was attending the University of Vienna, he founded Kadimah, the first Jewish Zionist student association. He went on to become the Secretary-General of the Zionist Organization and became the Zionists leading spokesman. He quickly became disillusioned and soon left the Zionist movement. The word in which he personally coined; Zionist”, “Zionism” (1890), and political Zionism” (1892) he learned to loath as they were transformed into the iconic images of the power brokers of the SabbateansThey quickly transformed the idealism of Zionism into a “party machine”.

The Book, “Der Judenstaat” Reputed to have been Written by Theodore Herzl in 1895

Peretz (Peter) on the other hand was a Russian Jewish novelist whose life was the life of a ghetto Jew who was first a rationalist and later a mystic.  He settled in Odessa as an antinomian (“against the law (Torah) which he immortalized in his novels and became known as the Jewish Thackeray.  Neither of these two, though, had the charisma to charm, convince, extol, or to tempt the European Jews to move to the Holy Land. But within ten years there arose a new Viennese reporter, Theodore Herzl who did have a magnetic personality and the charisma needed by the Sabbatean Zionists. Herzl (1860-1904) became the leader of the Zionists movement and according to his bios, he wrote the book called “Der Judenstatt or The Jewish State”.  This fact was a farce, according to Chamish, for Herzl was suppose to have written it in the summer the year after the Dreyfus Affair, but there was one problem, he was not in Paris the summer of 1895.  From all appearance, the book was written by a ghost writer. As Chamish noted, Herzl earlier wrote plays and it was obvious that he was a “bad writer”. But Herzl’s charisma made him an “amazing” leader, so Herzl received a book reputedly written by him.   


Zionist leader, Theodor Herzl had a sincere idea to buy “Palestine” legitimately from Abdül Hamid II, the Sultan of Turkey.  The World Zionist Organization liked the idea and sent Theodor Herzl in the year of 1912 to negotiate with the cash poor Ottoman government to purchase Palestine that was the private possession of the crown.  The Sultan refused. If the plan had worked, Chamish was convinced that World War I would have been adverted and the British would not have had to fight the Ottoman Turks to take possession of “Roman Palestine”. 


Abdül Hamid II, the Sultan of Turkey refused to Sell the Land of Palestine to the Jews


So Theodore went to Britain with alternative plans. If the Jews could not have a safe home in Palestine, the Jews could be moved to Eastern Africa in Uganda or some other empty land in the Dark Continent. It was a noble move, but it was not destined to be approved by the God of Israel whose only agents to achieve His Sovereign Will, the Sabbateans were wolves in sheep’s clothing”,  They wanted to take possession of the land of Israel and not Uganda. It was the will of the God of Israel that His chosen land Israel, that was still encumbered with its Roman name, Palestine would come back into the possession of the Jewish people as He promised through the prophets that He would do. 

With his failed mission, Theodore Herzl’s days were numbered.  Shortly afterwards, at the young age of 43 years, he died. The story that circulated throughout the Jewish communities was that Herzl’s heart stopped because he worked so hard for the Jewish people. The truth was that Herzl entered a Paris Sanatorium for unknown reasons, stayed there two weeks and never came out. According to Chamish:


Barry Chamish – “I have no problem believing that he was murdered in there, no problem at all. This is the pattern of these Sabbateans: they eliminate people they don’t like. They eliminate people who threaten them. But, I can’t prove that (Herzl’s suspicious death was murder) but obviously (the murder of Israeli’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin)’s (death) I can prove.” head of the Jewish Zionist Movement was replaced with a German educator called Chaim WeizmanChamish exclaims, “Words do not describe the damage this man has done to the world. Now, what we were told is that Chaim Weizmann took on the Zionist movementDuring World War I, he developed a way to make acetone from dried paint …and that process ‘saved the war.’ Now, I want you to know, I checked… There was a little factory built.  He was a chemist. Not one bomb in World War I used his method, not a one. And even so, the story we are told is: ‘The British were so (impressed about) this wonderful new way to make explosives, they gave him ‘Palestine’… This is the myth… you know. This is the myth that we have been raised with.”


Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of the State of Israel


It was in the year 1915 that the Zionist leader, Chaim Weizmann met British Prime Minister Lord Balfour.  An interesting conversation took place at that meeting, when Lord Balfour inquired of Chaim Weizmann as to the reasons why the Zionists had refused Great Britain’s offer of refuge for the Jewish people to live in Uganda.  Chaim responded: “Suppose I was to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?”  Balfour responded, “Dr. Weizmann, we have London.” And Weizmann responded, “That is true, but we had Jerusalem when London was still a marsh.” This event was two years before the official British proclamation, called the Balfour Accord that expressed the British Empire’s intent to seek international approval for an Israeli homeland in the land of “Roman Palestine”. 

Now, Weizmann, according to a secondary document on the life of Albert Einstein becoming a supporter to the Zionist cause, Chaim Weizmann that affirmed the earlier remarks by Barry Chamish as to the pride of the leading spokesman for Zionism, Russian born professor of Biochemistry in Manchester, England, when it reported in Albert Einstein’s Zionism”:

Albert Einstein’s Zionism – “Having made a crucial contribution to the British war effort (devising a way to synthesize acetone, a TNT ingredient, from cereals and horse chestnuts) Weizmann uses his good graces to lobby for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.”

The Zionist leader, Chaim Weizmann’s days were now over.  The fate of Ottoman Turkey lay in the decision not to sell the Land of Palestine to the Jewish Zionists, and the executioners of that fate lay in the hands of a group of Sabbatean Jews called The Young Turks”. Before it was over the world would be engulfed in flames.

HaTor today

Go to Section Fourteen –

The Final Days of the Labor Zionist State of Israel as the

Messiah calls the Lost Tribes of Israel to come Home


To understand more about the Return of the 10 Tribes of Israel, contact Kol Ha Tor, the Voice of the Turtledove,

As a Reception from the House of Judah is forming to await the returning House of Israel

We are Associated Supporters of the Kol HaTor Vision

HaTor today


The Divine Mission to Restore the Lost Sheep (Tribes) of the House of Israel

Part Eleven

Go to Section One –

Joseph of Arimathea, the Jewish Metal Merchant and Apostle to Britannia

Go to Section Two –

The Jewish Nazarene Refugees Flee to the Isle of Avalon

Go to Section Three –

The Jewish Nazarene Culdee Yeshiva and the British Cymric Druids

Go to Section Four –

The Early Formative and Lost Years of Jesus

Go to Section Five –

The Vetusta Ecclesia – The Ancient Synagogue built by the Hand of God’s Messiah

Go to Section Six –

The History of the Vetusta Nazarene Synagogue (Ancient Ecclesia)


Go to Section Seven –

The Exile of the Ten Tribes of Israel


Go to Section Eight –

The Early Israelite Migrations


Go to Section Nine –

God’s Battle-Axe – Mystery of the Pashtun Israelites of Afghanistan


Go to Section Ten –

The Durrani Pashtun Afghan Bani-Israel Empire and its Legacy –

the Islamic Messiah, the Mahdi and the anti-Messiah, the Dajjal


Go to Section Eleven –

The Israelite-Scythian Migration to Europe


Go to Section Twelve –

Finding a New Home for the Lost Tribes of Israel


Go to Section Thirteen –

Rothschild Sabbatean Zionist State of Israel preparing the Future Home for the Returning Ten Tribes of the House of Israel


Go to Section Fourteen –

The Final Days of the Labor Zionist State of Israel as the

Messiah calls the Lost Tribes of Israel to come Home


Message from BibleSearchers


BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end.  It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”.  Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth.  In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest.  Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace.  Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth.  The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel.  In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information.  We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.


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the law enforcement industry

The Law Enforcement Growth Industry
by George Gordon

In trying to appraise this issue of law enforcement, much has been written and much more will be written. One point that everyone seems to agree on is that crime is out of control, and something must be done about it.      We call America the land of the free, and refer to the Soviet Union as a police state. But the facts tell us another story: they show that this country holds more people per capita in jail than any other country, including the Soviet Union and South Africa.

In reality, most people in America live in a police state, and are completely unaware of it. There is little difference between tyranny in governments, no matter where it may be. For example, the people of Poland:

  • have national identity cards
  • cannot drive without licenses
  • cannot work where they choose
  • are required to register firearms and cars
  • cannot build on their land without government approval
  • are compelled to buy insurance
  • must show identification papers upon demand
  • have a portion of their wages stolen
  • are incarcerated without trial or due process
  • have ports of entry which compel them to stop, clear and pay duties
  • are subject to searches on their highways
  • may be arbitrarily taken into custody and fingerprinted without court order

The list goes on. It makes no difference where you may be located; citizens of any country who are so constrained are not free, but living under tyranny. It matters not whether we think we have it somehow “better” than the Poles. Both systems are tyrannical in nature, the only difference being the degree of tyranny applied and the understanding of the system by the citizens. The Poles understand that they live in tyranny, while Americans have been convinced that it can’t happen here, even though it has already come to pass. We recognize tyranny in foreign countries, but in our own, we refer to it as “law and order.” But a police state by any other name is still a police state.

There must be a simple solution; one which will free us from this morass of crime and punishment. Any solution must conform to our Constitution (if we wish to avoid armed revolution), refrain from punishing the innocent, and punish those who are guilty. The current system does nothing but spawn an endless circle of recidivism and contempt for law in general. Our prisons, rather than being rehabilitative, are merely schools, which teach further crime.

If a victim loses their property, the criminals lose their freedom, but never make restitution to the damaged party. And the taxpayers are fleeced out of their money to fund these human warehouses. The beneficiaries of this system are not the victims — they are the public defenders, lawyers, judges, jailers, prison guards, policemen and political administrations, and they quite literally thrive off the system.

Crime does pay, and quite handsomely. What is worse is that the victim not only loses by having his original property stolen, but by a continual drain of his resources to provide food and shelter for the thief.

Solutions to the crime problem must provide restitution for the victim, punish the criminal, decrease the prison population, eliminate over- crowding of prisons which cannot be emptied, eliminate capital punishment, and make the entire criminal justice system self-supporting by paying for itself in productive accomplishment.

How many broken homes, welfare payments, divorces, fines, jail terms and shattered lives must there be in the name of law and order, merely for the benefit of the law enforcement growth industry? How many people derive their livelihood from this industry? How many agencies are created by legislatures, city councils and Congress?

In the state of Idaho, it would probably be conservative to estimate that there are over 2,500 persons employed in this industry. That sounds like a lot, but consider the following:

  1. There must be over 100 policemen in the city of Boise alone. There must also be 50 or more cities in the state which maintain a city police department and employ from 3 to 100+ persons.
  2. There are 44 counties, all employing a sheriff, deputies and support personnel from 5 to 100+.
  3. The state police employ several hundred officers and support personnel. In addition, the state employs many varied special agents. Then we must consider the administrative agencies which bring actions against citizens, such as building, electrical, health, fire, welfare and plumbing departments and the like.
  4. There is no way to estimate the number of federal agents swarming over the state, from such agencies as OSHA, EPA, FCC, BLM, BATF, etc.
  5. There are the jail and prison staffs, and their supporting personnel.
  6. There is the judicial system at the county, state and federal levels, their marshalls and support personnel.
  7. And there is the lawyer workforce.

It should be quite clear that we have no idea how many persons are employed by this industry. And each and every one of these people are looking for lawbreakers to apprehend and punish, in order to justify their employment.

It seems as though it is the purpose of government to build a system so big that everyone will either be employed by it or imprisoned by it.

This industry is nothing more than a business and customer relationship. Like any business, this industry needs more and more customers to continue to grow and prosper, in order to justify its existence and size to the people, in order to obtain more funds to further that growth. The cycle goes something like this:

  1. “We ought to have more laws.”
  2. The executive proposes new statutes to the legislature.
  3. The legislature passes those statutes, and creates a criminal act where there was none before (i.e., eating bananas on Sunday).
  4. The executive branch now has more statutes to enforce, and therefore needs more employees to enforce them.
  5. The executive appeals to the legislature for more funds, due to the increasing crime rate caused by these legislated crimes.
  6. Funds are made available, and more employees are hired.
  7. More employees must now justify their existence, and therefore, must find (or entrap) more “customers” into committing these so-called crimes.
  8. “We ought to have more laws.”
  9. Etc.

In order for the sheriff, or any administrator, to justify their budget, they must itemize their expenses. Every year, we see a steady rise in crime. We also see this industry exploit their self-generated problem through the media. We constantly hear about all the crime being committed, and the answer proposed is always more laws, more police, more prosecutors, more judges, more money. We never hear how they propose to eliminate crime, prisons, jails and jailers; all we hear is that more money is needed. So we pass more laws, hire more police, and spend more money, only to learn next year that crime has risen by five percent, and we need more money to combat it.

Headlines do not exist stating, “Idaho’s Prison Population Declines For Fifth Consecutive Year,” or “Sheriff Submits Third Successive Budget With 5% Reduction In Requests.” We have been spending more every year on the criminal justice system. And we are getting exactly what we have paid for: MORE CRIME.

As an example, let’s look at a city, X. City X has one hundred policemen. The crime rate is up 5% over last year, so the media is told that the reason these one hundred policemen could not hold crime to the same level as last year is that they are understaffed and underbudgeted. Oh yes, and there were some defects in the existing statutes. So we need more money, and more laws.

City X gets five new policemen, 5% more money and another 7% to compensate for inflation (another government-created industry), and a few new laws to enforce. The product the industry sells is crime; our product line has been expanded by a few more laws, and our sales staff has increased by 5%. Our operating budget has been expanded to cover the additional overhead. Our police chief, the sales manager, now has a larger sales staff and additional responsibility, and needs a raise. Supervisors have a similar gain, and also obtain raises.

Now we must prepare for the coming year’s expansion. We must justify our expanded budget, size and new products to the board of directors (the legislature). The sales staff is therefore sent into the street to ticket more violators, arrest more drunks, catch or entrap more prostitutes and drug pushers, etc. With proper management, and a little luck, we increase our business by 5%.

Now, we must make sure the media is aware of the growing crime rate. The public must be made aware that there is more crime because we are understaffed and overbudgeted, and besides, there are several loopholes in the laws that need filling. To illustrate the seriousness of the problem, the chief of police will recount some of the more horrendous crimes of the past year. Just like insurance salesmen sell insurance by using fear of death to motivate the prospective customer, the law enforcement growth industry uses fear of crime.

So another year comes and goes, and now we have 110 police, at least a 10% increase over our budget of two years ago, and a few more laws. Now our increased sales staff can get back out on the street to find and entrap more violators. This increases the population of the jail, and causes the sheriff to go to the city commissioners to request more funds to feed, house and guard the increasing load of criminals (making sure the media is made aware of his difficulties).

A proportion of the new increase in sales (arrests and jailings) bleeds over into felonies, and these criminals must be housed in the state prison. The warden, of course, must now go to the legislature and request his own budget increase, and maybe a new prison. Of course, all this business creates activity in numerous support areas; more food is needed to feed the criminals, more buildings are needed to house them, more judges are needed to handle the case loads, and more public defenders and lawyers are needed to defend the customers (citizens). The cycle is more or less complete at this point, and begins all over again.

The customer of this industry is the average citizen. It is the citizen who pays the bills; it is the citizen who is persecuted in the name of crime prevention; it is the citizen who is entrapped into committing violations of statutes by law enforcement personnel, who are simply justifying their existence by ensuring that crime exists.

The following is an actual conversation between a prisoner, “Joe,” and another citizen. Joe is a bright college student, low on funds.

Citizen: What happened to cause you to be put in prison?Joe (matter of factly): I stole $350.

Citizen: So you are guilty of the crime, and deserve to be punished?

Joe: Yes.

Citizen: Tell me exactly what happened.

Joe: Okay, I was in the B.S.U. auditorium, broke and didn’t know how to make ends meet, and I saw this lady’s open purse on a chair. It had money in it, so I took it. Apparently, someone saw me take it and called the police. They told the police who I was, and the police came to my apartment and arrested me. That’s all there is to it. The law in Idaho is that any theft over $150 is grand larceny. I was convicted of grand larceny and sentenced to indeterminate five years. That means I can spend anywhere from eighteen months to five years in prison.

Citizen: Did you plead guilty to the charge?

Joe: No, I pled not guilty. My public defender advised me to take it to trial.

Citizen: How long was the trial?

Joe: One and a half days.

Citizen: How much time have you served so far?

Joe: Eleven months.

Citizen: Did the lady get her purse and money back?

Joe: No, I spent the money to pay bills and I threw the purse away.

This conversation can be repeated in hundreds of ways, hundreds of times. This shows how a real crime happens: There was a real criminal, and a real victim. Let’s see how much this crime actually cost the taxpayers to apprehend, try, convict, incarcerate and then parole back into productive society.

It costs at least $2,000 to try, defend and incarcerate Joe. He will spend an absolute minimum of eighteen months in prison. It costs $15,000 per year to feed and house Joe in the prison. Assuming Joe will be paroled for the remaining three and a half years, at $13.86 per day, his parole will cost another $27,771.50. And the lady didn’t even get her $350 back — making a grand total cost for Joe’s crime of $67,271.50.

Who is paying this bill? The victim, and the rest of the community. But what about Joe? Joe plays cards, consumes food, needs clothes and shelter, and produces nothing. In addition, he provides employment for everyone involved in trying, convicting and incarcerating him. Multiply this example by hundreds, even thousands, and we can readily see how billions of dollars are wasted each year in the name of law and order. The lady who had her purse stolen would have been ahead if she had not reported the theft of her purse. The victim sentenced herself to a fine by taxation. She lost her purse and the money in it, and on top of that, was taxed to support Joe and the law enforcement growth industry for the next five years. She would have been better off if she had simply bought Joe an airplane ticket to California.

Joe is also a loser, and once again, the winner is the industry. Just how is Joe a loser? This is a story in itself.

The law in Idaho which declares $150.00 as the amount which indicates grand larceny was passed in 1949. Because of inflation, his crime should now be a misdemeanor. But he is branded a felon for life. It is his first offense. Now he is in a school which teaches crime, and he has learned from his mistakes. When he comes out of prison, he will have a degree in crime. Society will be biased against him beacuse of this mistake, and it is quite likely that he will turn to further crime to make a living. Crime pays, because most crimes are never reported, and of the few that are reported, most are not solved. Joe will be occasionally caught, and he will be a regular customer of the industry for the rest of his life. When he is caught, he will be institutionalized, and forced to live in an unnatural, zoo-like environment.

Whether we like it or not, Joe is going to be out on the street again, and everyone will be faced with another problem. At some point, we will again have to deal with Joe. For the past forty-plus years, we have been dealing with all of these Joes, and what we have been doing has not only not worked, it has failed disastrously. It is time to admit that the criminal justice system needs drastic reformation.

We know there is a problem, but what can we do about it? There is another fact to examine: Where did prisons and dungeons as a form of punishment come from? The answer is lost in antiquity. In the Bible, there are numerous accounts of individuals being imprisoned, such as Joseph, Daniel and Peter. Many nations used prisons and dungeons to punish criminals and political prisoners.

The only exception is found in the time of Moses. When the Isrealites crossed the Jordan River, they had a different kind of law: a substantive law, based upon substance and labor. The common law, and our Rights at law which our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee to each and every one of us, is likewise based upon substance. The connection is seen in the axiom, “If there is a remedy at law, equity may not prevail.”

Our common law came from England, but its roots are at Mount Sinai. Moses brought the law down from the Mount, and it is recorded in Exodus 20. The next five chapters of Exodus contain the criminal codes. They are short and precise. There were no prisons or dungeons. The Israelites borrowed the prison system from the Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians, and we have that system in use today.

The act of punishing the victim of a crime by taxing him to house, feed and guard the criminal is adding crime upon crime, and in addition, it is unusually cruel to lock a man up like an animal.

Let’s examine Joe’s case again. Joe stole $350 cash, but he also threw the woman’s purse away, so the victim has suffered a further loss of time to replace such things as pictures, credit cards, etc. Let’s set a value upon the crime. It’s a common law crime, since it involves the loss of life, liberty or property. The common law is designed to restore property and to remedy damages. Let’s value Joe’s crime at $50,000, which is a bit excessive, but it’s a starting point for the sake of discussion. So Joe gets five years or a fine of $50,000, whichever he prefers. However, Joe is poor, which was the reason for the theft, so we are going to enforce the option of five years. Since Joe has an obligation — let’s have him work it off!

Let’s put Joe in a productive capacity. Joe is not dangerous. Let’s teach him the dignity of work, and of making restitution for the cost of his crime. Convict labor is not a new idea; it has been used before in many places, such as California. Joe can be placed at the Atlanta, Idaho Prison Camp to work on forest projects, such as helping fight fires, replanting trees, cutting down diseased trees and firewood. He will be paid an hourly wage — let’s say $5. If Joe works ten hours per day, six days per week, for three years, he earns his freedom — with no parole or other strings attached. He is a free man. And the victim receives her loss in tax credits or direct payments from sales resulting from his labor.

Unions and the law enforcement growth industry will resist change, as they have done in the past. But the State is losing more with our present system. No one is hurt by setting convicts to work, and there is an unending supply of work. Numerous prisoners, when interviewed, have stated that they would welcome a chance to work off their sentences.

If the Scriptural examples cited earlier are repulsive to you, then leave God out of the equation. Ignore God, and rely only upon your own self-interest. Simple logic will tell you that it is in the best interest of everyone to change our prison system approach to crime and punishment. As a victim, which would you prefer — restitution for the loss, or taxation to pay for the incarceration of the thief?

Some years ago, a car was stolen, and when it was recovered by the police, they issued the owner a ticket for leaving the keys in the ignition. In other words, for every crime that is committed, there may be another manufactured by the legislature. Maybe they will pass a law making it a crime to leave your house unlocked — then when something is stolen from your house, you will be guilty for failing to secure your property. Why should the citizen even report the theft if he is going to be hassled by the police? Oh, the insurance company needs the report. In this class of “crimes,” the real party of interest is the insurance company. They are the ones that want you to remove your keys from the car, and lock your house. They are the ones who stand to lose profits from your failure to perform these actions, and therefore, they want you punished when you fail to perform. Such legislation is using the police powers of the state to enforce private interests (decreasing claims and increasing profits of insurance companies).

The traffic courts provide a further example of government protecting private interests. Who cares if a person “speeds,” especially if that person is in the only vehicle on the road? If we are at home and asleep, do we really care? But statistics show that “speed kills,” and therefore, increasing claims at the insurance window; these cause an increase in operating costs, and therefore, a decrease in profits.

The “Law of Merchants” has crept in upon us and attempted to deny us our inalienable rights. Unfortunately, most citizens have passively, and sometimes even voluntarily, accepted this system.

Let’s look at the traffic code to illustrate how we have enveloped ourselves in tyranny.

We begin at the time when there were no traffic laws, for traffic on roads, trails and highways preceded traffic codes. Whether on foot, in wagons, on horseback, carriage or stagecoach, there was traffic. In all human endeavor, there are bound to be mishaps. When our common law was in everyday use, affixing fault without any statutory law was done by litigation to determine liability and assess damages to the injured party.

With the advent of the “horseless carriage,” we began to see a proliferation of traffic laws. As their number increased, the average person shifted his status, sometimes knowingly, but more often unknowingly, from “at law” to “equity” by entering into a quasi-contract through the use of the “driver’s license.”

Through the use of licenses and permits, the age-old rivalry of the equity courts and the common law courts took a decided turn to equity by status, and the death of the common law began. Eighty years later, we find the common law in use only in major crimes, and the grand jury, for all practical purposes, has been abolished. If our Constitution is based upon the common law, and the grand jury is a fixed right pursuant to the Bill of Rights, government cannot eliminate it, for as the Supreme Court said:

“Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule-making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S. 436,491.

How, then, can any state abrogate the entire common law by statute? Simply by coercing everyone to waive their common law rights by getting them to volunteer into equity jurisdiction by the use of contracts. The state simply licenses everyone, inducing them to accept a privilege in place of rights.

No foreign power, by force of arms or ideology, has enslaved us. Our lack of understanding of our common law heritage, and ignorance of, or unwillingness to obey, natural law, has enslaved us to this Civil jurisdiction.

The police state imposed upon the Polish people by force in 1945 is no different than that which we Americans have imposed upon ourselves today, except in one area: We paid to have our rights subjugated to contract. The Poles, at least, saved some money.

We still have our Constitution, and we can reject limited liability, perpetual slavery and debt whenever we want to accept responsibility for our actions and debts.

The Poles cannot.

There are not many people who want to trade their slavery for the rigors of the life of a freeman. But for those few men and women who want to be free, the choice is theirs. Every person who wants to be free can free themselves, but no other person can free them.

Redress of greivances comes on the courtroom floor. Not in a political rally. Not in a union meeting. Not in a letter to the editor. The courts are open, and are manned by knowledgeable jurists who will listen to, and rule in favor of, a person’s natural inalienable rights, if only they know how to claim them. And they will just as quickly slam the door on a slave, and leave him in his security. There is no security in freedom — only boundless opportunity.

There are thousands of freemen in America, not millions. The masses prefer security, welfare, limited liability, and the satisfaction of having others control their lives. To claim your rights, you must be compelled to defend them on the courtroom floor.

Obsolete info: From the Patriot Archives ftp site at: Note: This piece was written sometime in the early 80’s. This file was found elsewhere on the Internet and uploaded to the Patriot Archives FTP site by S.P.I.R.A.L., the Society for the Protection of Individual Rights and Liberties. E-mail

Political Corrections

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Killing Granny: The GOP’s “One Size Fits All” Death Panel for Health Care

Killing Granny: The GOP’s “One Size Fits All” Death Panel for Health Care

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eating people is wrong – but it’s also widespread and sacred

Eating people is wrong – but it’s also widespread and sacred

Ben Thomas

is a journalist telling stories from the frontiers of science, history, culture and geography. He is the author of several books and the editor of The Strange Continent.

Brought to you by, an Aeon partner

1,500 words

Why was cannibalism so widespread?

From ‘Le Livre des merveilles de Marco Polo’. Courtesy Biblioteque Nationale, Paris

Cannibalism is not uncommon. Humans have long enshrined the consumption of human flesh in sacred ritual – not just a few times, but again and again, in almost every corner of the globe. Evidence for cannibalistic practices has been found in South America, on many Pacific Islands, among some ancient Native American tribes, and in many other regions of the world.

Nor is cannibalism a distant historical fact. In the 1980s, Médecins Sans Frontières, the international medical charity, documented ‘ritualised cannibal feasts’ among soldiers in Liberia. Since then, the ritual has become more common. By the early 2000s, sacred cannibalism was a common practice in this near-anarchic country, where violence, rape and drug-abuse are widespread. Cannibalism has also been documented in the Congo, in Sierra Leone and in Uganda, where it was infamously practised among the child soldiers of Joseph Kony’s army.

In such war-torn areas, participants in ritual cannibalism are often happy to make their motivations clear. They draw spiritual and physical power from the consumption of human flesh. The practice serves an obvious propagandistic value as well, striking fear into the hearts of enemies. And in child armies, cannibalism is an initiation ritual, an ordeal that transforms a boy into a man, and makes him feel sanctified, empowered and safe under the hails of bullets.

Cannibalism has no single, ubiquitous meaning. Rather, it is adapted to suit the spiritual framework of each culture in which it’s practised. For ancient Egyptian pharaohs, it guaranteed an eternal afterlife. For Druids, it might have been connected with agriculture and fertility. For others, cannibalism has served as a tool of empowerment, intimidation, and a way to honour the beloved dead. But most of all, cannibalism deals in taboo.

We often think of taboo in terms of proscribed action: it’s taboo to marry your brother; or, in certain cultures, to eat pork. But in a much deeper sense, the word ‘taboo’ denotes the very points where the sacred and profane converge: sexual intercourse, the taking of life, childbirth. Many cultures regard these acts as ‘unclean’ – yet at the same time, as profoundly holy. In fact, anthropologists often define ‘taboo’ as an act deemed too sacred to perform under ordinary circumstances; an act that invites the greatest peril while invoking the most tremendous power. Cannibalism is one of the strongest taboos of all, and that might be the very reason why it’s been considered one of the most holy rituals, around the world and far back into the depths of prehistory.

Cannibalism (or ‘anthropophagy’ – literally ‘man-eating’ – as most modern anthropologists prefer to term it) was practised long before anatomically modern Homo sapiens. In the cave dwellings of Homo antecessor, the common ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals, anthropologists have discovered ‘de-fleshed’ human bones dating back 600,000 years. The earliest Homo sapiens bones found in Ethiopia also show signs of de-fleshing by other humans.

This far back in prehistory, it’s hard to say exactly why our distant ancestors ate one another. Some anthropologists argue that food shortages must have been a factor, along with the fact that corpses left to rot would attract man-eating predators such as leopards and lions. And yet, by the Upper Palaeolithic period, it’s clear that cannibalism served a deeper purpose. Human remains found in Gough’s Cave in England dating to 15,000 BCE show evidence of cannibalism: many of the skulls appear to have been used as drinking vessels, indicating that the devouring of the human dead served a ritual purpose for the people who visited this cave. This was not mere cannibalism-for-survival; it was cannibalism as a sacred practice.

Ritualised cannibalism not only survived well into historical times, but was also enshrined in some of the earliest literate cultures – particularly ancient Egypt. In 1881, the French archaeologist Gaston Maspero broke into a tomb in the vast Egyptian burial ground of Saqqara, outside of Cairo. At the end of a long underground causeway, he found a gallery of brightly painted reliefs: harvest scenes, temple ceremonies, battles with enemies. There were also ritual inscriptions. These turned out to belong to a set of spells known as the Pyramid Texts, a large and varied corpus of Egyptian magical literature that appears fully formed in some of the very earliest tombs, hinting that these spells and rituals must date back to a time before writing.

Perhaps the strangest of the Pyramid Texts are those that concern cannibalism — not only of other humans, but of gods:

Pharaoh is [he]
Who lives on the being of every god,
Who eats their entrails…
Pharaoh is he who eats men and lives on gods.

This ‘Cannibal Hymn’ was the enshrined tradition of an ancient and highly ritualised culture whose roots reached far back into the mists of prehistory to a time before writing or cities, when the warlords of the Nile Delta feasted on the flesh of their conquered enemies, and called it holy. The Greek writer Diodorus Siculus, writing thousands of years later in the first century BCE, recorded an ancient story in which Osiris forbade Egyptian people to eat one another. This story was still recited in the Roman period – a reminder of a time when the eating of human flesh had been a sacred practice.

In fact, sacred cannibalism persisted (or reappeared) in the West all the way up to Roman times. Certain Druid clans seem to have practised human sacrifice and cannibalism in the early centuries CE, and many Greek and Roman writers make references to tribes with cannibal practices. St Jerome mentions a cannibal people called the Attacotti; Herodotus refers to a tribe he calls simply ‘the man-eaters’ (anthropophagi).

In one striking story, Herodotus relates an episode in which the Persian emperor Darius, ruler of a domain that stretches from modern Turkey to Afghanistan, decides to try an experiment in cultural relativism. The emperor summons a group of Greeks and a group of Callatians (an Indic people) to his court. He asks the Callatians what it would take for them to burn the bodies of their dead fathers, as Greeks do. The Callatians gasp in horror and insist they’d never do such a dreadful thing. Darius then asks the Greeks what it would take for them to devour the bodies of their dead fathers, as the Callatians do – and the Greeks, in their turn, gag with revulsion. Though the two cultures hold polar-opposite views on what should be done with the dead bodies of relatives, they agree on one crucial point: ancestors’ corpses are taboo – simultaneously unclean and holy –  because they bridge the worlds of the living and the dead.

In fact, some monks and ascetics practise cannibalism with the aim of transcending precisely this boundary. Take, for example, the Aghoris, a sect of Hindu ascetics in India. A core principle in Aghori doctrine is that all things in the universe are equally sacred – including human remains. By holding and caressing dead bodies, a practice regarded as highly taboo in mainstream Hinduism, and eating human flesh, the Aghoris aim to transcend all dichotomies, see through the illusory nature of all human categories, and attain nirvana by becoming one with ultimate reality.

Perhaps the clearest insight of all comes from certain Tibetan monks who, as recently as the 1500s, ritually consumed ‘pills of flesh’ collected from Brahmin ascetics, and left extensive written documentation of the theory behind this practice. This theory turns out to be extraordinarily multilayered and complex, but it boils down to the idea that these ‘flesh pills’ bridge the boundary between subject and object, serving as ritual tokens that embody the compassion of past Buddhas, while also reminding the eater of the transient nature of his own mortal flesh.

How far back in human history does this concept of cannibalism-for-transcendence reach? We might never know for sure – but at some point in our evolution, cannibalism clearly ceased to be a simple act of survival or dominance, and became a true taboo, a point of convergence between the sacred and the profane. A dead human body, our ancestors recognised, had once contained a mind; a consciousness whose departure somehow transmuted the body from a sentient person into an inanimate object. This realisation could not fail to make a profound impression on the palaeolithic inhabitants of England; on the ancestors of the pharaohs; on Greeks and Druids and Aghoris and Tibetan monks, and on hundreds of other societies around the world, throughout every era of our past and present. Across all these cultures’ justifications for man-eating, one central idea resonates: we eat the dead because we hope never to become as they are.
Values & Beliefs

When faced with so-called ‘progressive business’, stay skeptical

Why Cannibalism

In a word, protein. Animals are hard to catch, vegetables are easy to dig up, Fruit can just be plucked from the trees. So it would not be unusual for early man to regularly develop a keen hunger for protein… it’s a requirement for keeping the muscles and integument in fit condition. Other people are relatively easy to catch. So it’s easy for me to picture early man knocking someone on the head and bringing them home. Any religious ritual aspect would be added after the fact, to justify an act that might otherwise make people feel a little weird. “It’s okay, folks. I need to eat his heart so I can add his valiant spirit to my own. And Ma… you do all our thinking, you can have his brain.”

Protein deficiency hunger is a real thing. People go crazy with wanting meat, really bad. Run low on things like B12, or zinc, and you can develop a bad attitude. Best not to live with headhunters unless you have a talent for getting yourself out of tight spots. Also, pack tins of Spam… lots of them. Said to taste like people.
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4 April 2017Corrie Verbaan

Pal my view is that people going crazy from meat-lust must be half-crazy to begin with since flesh, even if refrigerated, begins putrefying once life has departed no matter how we grill it. The smell rising from the raw flesh section in the supermarket bears this out. And then there’s the blood! Imagine a steak done ‘rare’ without blood. It would be sent back as anaemic.

There are recorded cases of people eating other people to survive. There was the soccer team that crashed in the Andes, ate each other. Also folk drifting at sea in an ill equipped boat for days if not weeks on end (drinking rainwater or blood of fishes and unwary birds) and drawing straws for the main course.

There is a very funny short story by the inimitable Mark Twain called “Cannibalism in the Cars” (ref. Mark Twain’s Sketches). This train had broken down in the middle of the proverbial nowhere and …….. well you have to read it!

As in the essay, various primitive peoples would consume the ‘victim/prey’ in the belief that their qualities would be absorbed in so doing e.g. the San bushmen. There is a belief among a certain community of ‘civilized’ people that they will imbue the characteristics of their leader by ritually consuming his flesh and drinking his blood, by proxy of course.
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4 April 2017paleologue

There is a belief among a certain community of ‘civilized’ people that they will imbue the characteristics of their leader by ritually consuming his flesh and drinking his blood, by proxy of course.

Yes, that would be the Christians.

Some years back, a pop anthropologist whose name I don’t recall wrote up a marvelous instance of proxy cannibalism in New Guinea’s High Valley. These local tribes had no decent game animals but raised pigs and dogs. They loved their pigs as pets– the women even suckling the young piglets– and would never ever eat one of them. So years would go by, with no intake of animal protein other than the occasional bug or grub. And the people would get very anxiety-ridden. In time they’d start circulating nasty stories about their neighbors, and the animosity would grow. Finally it was decided that war was inevitable. But in their weakened state they knew they weren’t fit to fight a decent war.

So reluctantly it was decided they would have to sacrifice their pigs for the good of the cause. They’d hold a huge combination feast-blowout-war dance in which everyone would gorge themselves on pork, dance around wildly with their newfound energy and get fighting mad. Then they’d charge down the hill the following day to the local war-grounds. The neighbors, having been up to precisely the same game, would then charge down to meet them. And they’d engage in epic battle.

It wasn’t really serious warfare, more like what the Iroquois or the Mohicans would indulge in when they played lacrosse with the neighbors. More like a war game– complete with playing-field in neutral territory. After a couple of days, honor satisfied, there would be a dead body or two lying around– so both sides would pick up their dead and go home, blood-lust satisfied for another decade.

In fact the war cycle closely resembled the cycle of another generation of pigs propagating and coming to good eating size. It was a civilized approach, IMO, as no children or women were ever harmed and no villages ever got burned down. Much more refined than people-eating.
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4 April 2017LINDA MAKRIS

This reminds me vaguely of a conversation by an ancient Greek cook and his slave reported by Athenaeus’ DEIPNOSOPHISTAE [Sophists at Dinner; he was a 3rd c. Greek from Egypt who reported a lot of interesting if often trivial information on the customs of ancient Greeks before him]:

Cook: Do you know that cokery has brought more to civilization than anything else?

Slave: What?

Cook: Yes, you barbarian, it freed us from a beast-like faithless life, and hateful cannibalism, and introduced us to order, and enclosed us in the world where we now live.

Slave: How is that?

Cook: When cannibalism and other crimes were rife, a certain man, who was no fool, slaughtered an animal and then roasted it. So, when they found its flesh nicer than man’s, they no longer ate each other but sacrificed their beasts and roasted them. And when they once had tasted of this pleasure, a beginning had been made and they carried to greater heights the art of cookery…

There is more “boasting” by the cook but he ends up saying that “Through the pleasures I’m now explaining, each man was far removed from ever wishing to eat of a human corpse; They all agreed to live with one another, a populace collected, towns were built, All through the art of cooking, as I have shown!”

There are of course many examples of cannibalism in Greek mythology – remember Tantalus who cooked his son Pelops and served him up to the Olympian gods at a banquet? He was duly punished by being eternally “tantalized” by being tied up just out of reach of water and luscious ripe fruits. The ancient Greeks abhored cannibalism.

This was an interesting piece, a good presentation of a subject-taboo.
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4 April 2017Ken Neubecker

Ritual cannabalism is practised today in the most civilized countries of the world. We refer to it as the Christian Holy Sacrament, the symbolic eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ. That too was adopted from ritual more ancient than Christianity.


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4 April 2017Anthony Sudbery

Anthropophagy does not mean “man-eating”. It means “person-eating”.


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4 April 2017E.I.E.I. Owen

I think the eucharist rite is a kind of symbolic cannibalism.


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4 April 2017paleologue

Would you think it was a holdover from some earlier rite– say, Orphism– involving human sacrifice and the ritual consumption of the victim’s body and blood by the celebrants?


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4 April 2017E.I.E.I. Owen

I don’t know enough about ancient religions to just go ahead and answer yes… But there are so many christian rituals that were adapted from more ancient sources that I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.


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4 April 2017Robert Johnson

I hope cannibalism is taken up by the religious freedom people! Also, Jesus promoted a form of cannibalism at the last supper when he told his apostles that they were eating his body and drinking his blood, which Christians today practice as communion. I’m glad I gave all of that nonsense up for reason and Deism!

Progress! Bob Johnson

4 April 2017paleologue OFollow

Lord help us when we get to the point cannibalism is a protected form of speech.

“Oh no, Ossifer, we was just havin some fun with him.”


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4 April 2017Robert JohnsonFollow

I meant to write “is NOT taken up” (I wrote it in a hurrgy, my error). Since they believe religious people should have exemptions to laws, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.


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4 April 2017paleologue OFollow

That would make a difference, Robert. Next time, don’t be in such a hurrgy. 🙂

I used to belong to the Eat The Rich party. Our slogan was “It’s time the rich contributed something of value to society… nutritional value.” But we were ahead of our time. Reagan got elected instead.


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5 April 2017Jonathan TangFollow

The last sentence of the article: “Across all these cultures’ justifications for man-eating, one central idea resonates: we eat the dead because we hope never to become as they are.” There’s a notable exception here in the case of the Catholics and the Orthodox, who eat the flesh of God so as to become like God 🙂


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4 April 2017Billy MillsFollow

What actual evidence, other than Roman propaganda, do we have for Druicical cannibalism?


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4 April 2017E.I.E.I. OwenFollow

British archeologists have found bones that seem to have marks suggesting cannibalistic practices. See here, for instance.


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4 April 2017Billy MillsFollow

So that’s a maybe for iron Age Britain, but not necessarily Druids.


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4 April 2017E.I.E.I. OwenFollow

The British Iron Age lasted from the first significant use of iron for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island.


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4 April 2017jacques lcvlFollow

in postmodern terms, ‘cannibalism’ is very similar to today’s massification and extreme popularization of the concept of ‘zombies’, as well as some of the tenets of vampirism. By zombies, we should also include zombie-companies-organizations-structures, etc. This is, they are dead but still don’t know it. Perhaps it’s true, ‘we hope never to become as they are’, though it is too late now and thus we are forced to realize how much we still need to eat the Other, in any possible form, by exploting them, torturing them and extracting the highest possible value under purely utilitarian terms, while ignoring or neglecting the uniqueness of every individual, who otherwise ‘ceased to be’ under the gaze of the priviledge, brutalizing and cannibalizing whatever moves out there.


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4 April 2017Sean SouthFollow

Lot of good responses already, but I had a slightly different take on the question. The question, I thought, was not rooted in why there IS cannibilism, or WHAT cannibilism encompasses, rather it is asking why it was so widespread. Widespread, looking at the historical and archaeological record, would mean it is a practice that exists in different/separate cultures and at different times. It is also “practiced” by most other organisms under certain circumstances or situations. The act performed by an actor outside and free floating from the constraint of being a defining trait or characteristic of one species or just a family of closely related species. In short, protein is protein when it comes to survival. Already noted are the biological roots of the subconscious motivations for cannibilism and added to that the dominance behaviours associated with it and then the more complex psychology added as the final layer on the act.

I guess, really what the essence of my replied question is – why is cannibilism not MORE common and widespread? What exactly are the reasons behind the “sacred/profane” taboo? Is it a quirk of history, a contingent “morality”? Or is it sort of a common milestone among cultures which place the mark of taboo on it? Is it the violence associated with killing and then eating of human flesh? Is it the monotheistic religious view of the body saved for the resurrection being robbed by becoming lunch?

There is the version of it with the “flesh pills” from the Tibetan monks mentioned in the article. Let’s say you went to a new restaurant where they served these “flesh pills”. Make the name a bit more attractive for the marketing aspect and combine with the fact that the sources of these morsels were and still are alive and paid well per ounce of meat harvested (in other words willingly harvesting their own flesh for consumption and for their own profit). Let an expert chef prepare the human meat and then serve it up on a plate in front of you.

Assuming you are not a vegan or vegetarian (though the source of this meat was more willing than the cow or chicken usually is and not part of the agroindustry), would you take a bite of human flesh served up? Seriously, for all the “foodies” out there, if you could eat human flesh that came from a willing participant provider, and it was prepared by a favorite cook in a favored style of preparation – what would stop you from eating a delicious plate of “human”?

Substitute a steak from a cow with the leg muscle of an amputee who sold their leg (which they would have lost anyway) to a restaurant. You get a Tuesday night coupon and go, sit down, and served up to you is a nice juicy tender “steak” made from the leg of an amputee who sold their flesh to the establishment.

In this case, what keeps you (if anything) from eating it?
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4 April 2017E.I.E.I. OwenFollow

Call the flesh pills “soylent Green”! Yum!


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4 April 2017paleologue OFollow

I think what keeps everyone from being a cannibal would be fear and disgust.

Forensic anthropologists have noted that quite a lot of really ancient hominid remains– proto-humans– have had the long bones cracked by what appear to be rock marks, to suck the marrow. So they infer that at a certain stage of prehistory, cannibalism was in fact very widespread. And one could imagine conditions back then were such that a human not related to your clan would be worth more as a source of protein than as a fellow human.

Survivors from that era might well have turned out to be all cannibals… except for the fact that it would have been so self-destructive to the species we never would have come to cover the earth. We would have just been some disgusting, very sparsely populated species. So instead the cannibals were steadily killed off by the non-cannibals… as objects of fear and revulsion.

To this day, the most universal cultural traits, observed in nearly all the 6-7,000 human cultures still in existence during anthropology’s heyday, 1880-1950, would be the stigmas surrounding incest and cannibalism.
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4 April 2017Sean SouthFollow

Notwithstanding slight differences in the take-away information available on hominid cannibalism to laypeople Paleo, my line of thinking would like to drill down further on your initial response of “fear and disgust”. That was the psychological layer I was making a situation out of with the amputee scenario that skirts the usual instances in order to explore what the roots were of fear and disgust.

Start with “disgust” – as you mentioned in your first reply to the question, human meat in terms of nutritional value is, in a word, protein. Animal protein. While we could drill down in detail on the exact genetic makeup, or presence or lack of certain biochemical markers, all in all, our muscle is not much different than that of a domesticated source of meat. So where does the “disgust” get triggered? (Assuming you have no initial issue with eating pork chops or a steak or even lobster for that matter). Start with 2 plates – one with human meat and another with pork. Blind taste test. The eater prefers plate A – better taste. It is the human meat comprising plate A. When told of the source of protein – disgust and revulsion. Why? Not because of taste or physical effects, but psychological affect. Leading us to what is the psychological source of that disgust? I say it is cultural.

Cannabilism is not required to be self destructive (killing others – exocannibalism as violence) but just means eating the flesh of the same species. If one ate an already dead human, that is not “self destructive” in the sense you bring up. Religious rites, and the the contingent evolution of them, bring us to modern cultures that do not practice “funerary cannibalism” – endocannibalism.

Bringing us to “fear”. Why would one fear a “steak” dinner? Do you fear clams at a clam bake? What is the source(s) of fear?

I would submit, as my thinking goes, that the “disgust” is a socially learned response and is contingent upon the situation. In prehistory, if hominids ate their deceased as a form of “funeral rights”, there would be no disgust on the part of the diners. It would be sacred.

Fear, however, the source may be different. If it is a case of meat/flesh not taken or harvested after natural death, but rather taken forcefully and against the will, in other words harvested with violence, that is the main source of “fear”. It is the fear of a social being viewing another of its species as more than a potential enemy – which brings connotations of its own social rules and dynamics that are able to be processed in socio-cgonitive ways of like-minded beings – to the primal state of “predator and prey”.

Any one of us, I assume, would hold fear of a potential enemy that is looking to harm or kill us; an enemy soldier or even a serial killer. Is that, however, the same level or cognitive pathway of fear when that relationship goes from “enemy” to “predator”? I submit that it is not the same. Think about getting into an aquarium with a serial killer and you may be afraid of him or her, but get in the same tank with a hungry great white and tell me if that level of fear is the same? I think perhaps that there is a difference in the neurological pathway between the reason(s) that motivates the danger to oneself, at least in the “perceived” reasons.

The main difference being that the source and intensity of fear in a “socially motivated death” (aka serial killer or enemy soldier) is not as elemental as the fear of being “prey”. The first can, at least in theory, be bargained with or found to be or is surmised to be the result of some problem in cognition and behavior or cultural assimilation. The second type, being the literal prey for nutritional value, is beyond normal “social logic”, beyond a social understanding or calculation and rests solely on responses wired by evolution even in conceptualized thinking. Hence, we feel a deep fear in thinking of eating others as well as being eaten by others of the same species. It subverts even the negative aspects of being socially similar and moves that relationship to a much more basic level while at the same time removing the normal markers of intra-species danger. One can read the body language of an enemy of the same species, but if that similarity is removed while form remains, then one can imagine your own relations feastingon your flesh for food. Other members of our own species become predators to the individuals intra-species relational position as prey. We, being super socials, can’t handle that well. It errs in the logic of the supersocial biological mind, until the right situation occurs and older evolutionary paths come to operate.

In a social mode of thinking, usual use of language and so forth, the victim of serial killers could be considered “prey”, but that use of the term hijacks the biological connotations I am pitifully trying to conjure. Hannibal Lechter was a serial killer, but he was so much more diabolical for being the cannibal-by-choice, viewing victims as “tasty” (actual prey) rather than the victims being the source of a “normal” serial killers mental, social and/or emotional fracturing being acted out in killing.

Anyway, in my “amputee scenario” derived from the Tibetan “flesh pills”, I tried to remove that “fear” source, leaving us with the irrational disgust response (assuming one is not a vegetarian or vegan), since it is irrational in the sense of finding “disgust” at the thought of meat from a buffalo when one will eat the meat from a Holstein cow without a second thought.

So, would you eat an amputees leg? If the person who was the amputee even said, at the table, “Go ahead, try it, it is specially prepared and I am alive, fine, even thriving with the profit gained and you can truly and with reason believe that I am a willing participant. The rest of the profit from your meal is even going to be donated to charity. Go ahead, enjoy.”

What reasons would your meal choice rest upon?


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4 April 2017venze chernFollow

If widespread takes the meaning of extensiveness and pervasiveness, one would reckon cannibalism was never that widespread as insinuated (religious rituals aside). There might still be isolated cases, but no exaggeration required.


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4 April 2017Z DJFollow

What I don’t get is why people are so disguised and opposed to cannibalism (if meat is properly cooked)?


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5 April 2017paleologue OFollow

I suppose there might be some danger in tropical countries, of eating undercooked people. Bilharzia infections, ringworm, schistosomiasis and so forth.

You may be old enough to get this joke. What did Jeffrey Dahmer say to Lorena Bobbitt?

“You gonna eat that?”


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5 April 2017Elin Ivarsson

I personally don’t think it comes down to being a problem about the quality of the meat. For me it is the horrid idea of eating a body of someone that could have been a friend, a relative, a lover or basically just a fellow human being (even though one could argue it is just the material body and not the actual dead person one would relate to).

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4 April 2017aakash tripathi

As the author has stated that dead beings were considered as a bridge between life and afterlife so this act was totally justified in the eyes of people who were looking for Nirvana. All civilisations were highly religious and had considered human life as prime most form of life so while facing the natural calamities and cataclysms the best way to cajole the supreme power (god) was to sacrifice your best asset (humans). And so called people of gods (monks,priests,oracles) promoted this practice in hope to lessen the widespread losses due to disasters. Another reason can be to intimidate enemies to make them fear you. And this best can be achieved by eating their comrades i.e. cannibalism

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5 April 2017Sam Cel RomanFollow

If you map where people practiced cannibalism and compared it to a map where there are humans but no herd animals, there’d be a significant overlap. Of course there are sacred/ceremonial cultural aspects overlayed on top, but cannibalism is, at its root, a practice that takes place on the basis of nutrition.

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5 April 2017David Baron

Sensational? Actually, is not so widespread.

One pharaoh (term means “wild!”) may have anthropopaged. I doubt many did.

Ancient south/central native Americans had religious rituals with human sacrifice. Not a popular item at their local golden arches, however.

The buga-bugas boiling the missionaries is racist folklore. The white would-be masters likely deserved it.

Are there real examples of practicing cannibals now or in recent history? Stranded crashed crews that out of necessity ate are not practicing cannibals. Sadly, survival.

The Asimov novel puts a nice light on this topic. The civilization portrayed falls upon the dying elders and in this manner, acquires their cumulative knowledge. The “Messiah” is called upon to practice his own ideal of acceptance. In the end (spoiler), he also partakes, gains knowledge for developing instant interstellar communication. This becomes a mere toy and he goes into volunary exile.
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5 April 2017paleologue O

You bring up an interesting issue, David. We have little if any direct evidence that pre-Columbian native American cultures engaged in cannibalism, ritual or otherwise (although there were a number of very primitive tribes, like the Karankawa along the Texas coast, or the Carib in the Guianas, who ate people just as readily as any other food source). Yet the Aztecs, a people who maintained an empire of millions of people, had no good protein source to sustain them. They didn’t eat seafood, of which there was plenty, because of the occasional red tides that made it poisonous. And there were only small numbers of deer in the woods. So what did they eat for a main course? Just the beans, squash and corn?

At the same time we see thousands of prisoners from the Flower Wars (whose main motivation was to take and sacrifice prisoners) having their hearts torn out on the altars of the pyramids, and their bodies thrown down to the crowd gathered at the base. These festivals would go on for days.

So what happened to the bodies after that? That’s something we just don’t know.

As they say, food for thought.
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11 April 2017Canmore Pike

“The white would-be masters likely deserved [racist folklore].”

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11 April 2017Canmore Pike

I’ve seen the Herodotus story before. Missing from this version was his alleged conclusion, that
customs ruled men.

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11 April 2017Canmore PikeFollow

“Across all these cultures’ justifications for man-eating, one central idea resonates: we eat the dead because we hope never to become as they are.”

But it never works.


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12 April 2017star buzz

Cannibalism is still disgusting.


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13 April 2017E.I.E.I. Owen

Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!

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14 April 2017Samantha Schwartz

Necessity is the mother of invention. I would imagine the men in the Andes plane crash of 1972 didn’t love what they did – but they understood the need for it. People are at the top of the food chain, so by nature, we carry a lot of nutrition. Meanwhile hunting animals takes a lot of time and work. If we are not strong enough or able to do this, survival behaviors kick in.

The whole religious aspect of it I’m not so sure about. I see it as a power thing. If we can be predator over the biggest predator there is – man- then we are closer to God (in theory).

landscaping Lake Mary

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Gary Webb’s Incendiary 1996 SJ Mercury News Exposé

Gary Webb’s Incendiary 1996 SJ Mercury News Exposé

AMPP front page - The Architecture of Modern Political Power

The Dark Alliance


These articles were downloaded from the web site of the Seattle Times, since the San Jose Mercury News has removed the entire series from their web site.

<pGary Webb’s career as a professional journalist was destroyed shortly after these articles were published. Anyone who challenges the House of Rockefeller is persona non grata throughout the establishment. -The Editor

Aug 22, 1996

Cocaine pipeline financed rebels
Evidence points to CIA knowing of high-volume drug network

by Gary Webb
San Jose Mercury News

For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to an arm of the contra guerrillas of Nicaragua run by the Central Intelligence Agency, the San Jose Mercury News has found.This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the “crack” capital of the world. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America – and provided the cash and connections needed for L.A.’s gangs to buy weapons.It is one of the most bizarre alliances in modern history: the union of a U.S.-backed army attempting to overthrow a revolutionary socialist government and the “gangstas” of Compton and South-Central Los Angeles.The army’s financiers – who met with CIA agents before and during the time they were selling the drugs in L.A. – delivered cut-rate cocaine to the gangs through a young South-Central crack dealer named Ricky Donnell Ross.Unaware of his suppliers’ military and political connections, “Freeway Rick” turned the cocaine powder into crack and wholesaled it to gangs across the country.

Drug cash for the contras

Court records show the cash was then used to buy equipment for a guerrilla army named the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (Nicaraguan Democratic Force) or FDN, the largest of several anti-communist groups commonly called the contras.While the FDN’s war is barely a memory today, black America is still dealing with its poisonous side effects. Urban neighborhoods are grappling with legions of homeless crack addicts. Thousands of young black men are serving long prison sentences for selling cocaine – a drug that was virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before members of the CIA’s army brought it into South-Central in the 1980s at bargain-basement prices.And the L.A. gangs, which used their enormous cocaine profits to arm themselves and spread crack across the country, are still thriving.”There is a saying that the ends justify the means,” former FDN leader and drug dealer Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes testified during a recent cocaine-trafficking trial in San Diego. “And that’s what Mr. Bermudez (the CIA agent who commanded the FDN) told us in Honduras, OK? So we started raising money for the contra revolution.”Recently declassified reports, federal court testimony, undercover tapes, court records here and abroad and hundreds of hours of interviews over the past 12 months leave no doubt that Blandon was no ordinary drug dealer.Shortly before Blandon – who had been the drug ring’s Southern California distributor – took the stand in San Diego as a witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, federal prosecutors obtained a court order preventing defense lawyers from delving into his ties to the CIA.Blandon, one of the FDN’s founders in California, “will admit that he was a large-scale dealer in cocaine, and there is no additional benefit to any defendant to inquire as to the Central Intelligence Agency,” Assistant U.S. Attorney L.J. O’Neale argued in his motion shortly before Ross’ trial on cocaine-trafficking charges in March.The 5,000-man FDN, records show, was created in mid-1981 when the CIA combined several existing groups of anti-communist exiles into a unified force it hoped would topple the new socialist government of Nicaragua.

Waged a losing war

From 1982 to 1988, the FDN – run by both American and Nicaraguan CIA agents – waged a losing war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, the Cuban-supported socialists who’d overthrown U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979.Blandon, who began working for the FDN’s drug operation in late 1981, testified that the drug ring sold almost a ton of cocaine in the United States that year – $54 million worth at prevailing wholesale prices. It was not clear how much of the money found its way back to the CIA’s army, but Blandon testified that “whatever we were running in L.A., the profit was going for the contra revolution.”At the time of that testimony, Blandon was a full-time informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration, a job the U.S. Department of Justice got him after releasing him from prison in 1994.Though Blandon admitted to crimes that have sent others away for life, the Justice Department turned him loose on unsupervised probation after only 28 months behind bars and has paid him more than $166,000 since, court records show.”He has been extraordinarily helpful,” federal prosecutor O’Neale told Blandon’s judge in a plea for the trafficker’s release in 1994. Though O’Neale once described Blandon to a grand jury as “the biggest Nicaraguan cocaine dealer in the United States,” the prosecutor would not discuss him with the Mercury News.Blandon’s boss in the FDN’s cocaine operation, Juan Norwin Meneses Cantarero, has never spent a day in a U.S. prison, even though the federal government has been aware of his cocaine dealings since at least 1974, records show.Meneses – who ran the drug ring from his homes in the Bay Area – is listed in the DEA’s computers as a major international drug smuggler and was implicated in 45 separate federal investigations. Yet he and his cocaine-dealing relatives lived quite openly in the Bay Area for years, buying homes, bars, restaurants, car lots and factories.”I even drove my own cars, registered in my name,” Meneses said during a recent interview in Nicaragua.Meneses’ organization was “the target of unsuccessful investigative attempts for many years,” O’Neale acknowledged in a 1994 affidavit. But records and interviews revealed that a number of those probes were stymied not by the elusive Meneses but by agencies of the U.S. government.

CIA hampered probes

Agents from four organizations – the DEA, U.S. Customs, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement – have complained that investigations were hampered by the CIA or unnamed “national-security” interests.One 1988 investigation by a U.S. Senate subcommittee ran into a wall of official secrecy at the Justice Department.In that case, congressional records show, Senate investigators were trying to determine why the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, Joseph Russoniello, had given $36,000 back to a Nicaraguan cocaine dealer arrested by the FBI.The money was returned, court records show, after two contra leaders sent letters to the court swearing that the drug dealer had been given the cash to buy weapons for guerrillas.After Nicaraguan police arrested Meneses on cocaine charges in Managua in 1991, his judge expressed astonishment that the infamous smuggler went unmolested by American drug agents during his years in the United States.His seeming invulnerability amazed American authorities as well.A Customs agent who investigated Meneses in 1980 before transferring elsewhere said he was reassigned to San Francisco seven years later “and I was sitting in some meetings and here’s Meneses’ name again. And I can remember thinking, `Holy cow, is this guy still around?’ “Blandon led an equally charmed life. For at least five years he brokered massive amounts of cocaine to the black gangs of Los Angeles without being arrested. But his luck changed overnight.On Oct. 27, 1986, agents from the FBI, the IRS, local police and the Los Angeles County sheriff fanned out across Southern California and raided more than a dozen locations connected to Blandon’s cocaine operation. Blandon and his wife, along with numerous Nicaraguan associates, were arrested on drug and weapons charges.The search-warrant affidavit reveals that local drug agents knew plenty about Blandon’s involvement with cocaine and the CIA’s army nearly 10 years ago.”Danilo Blandon is in charge of a sophisticated cocaine smuggling and distribution organization operating in Southern California,” L.A. County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Gordon said in the 1986 affidavit. “The monies gained from the sales of cocaine are transported to Florida and laundered through Orlando Murillo, who is a high-ranking officer of a chain of banks in Florida named Government Securities Corporation. From this bank the monies are filtered to the contra rebels to buy arms in the war in Nicaragua.”

Raids a spectacular failure

Despite their intimate knowledge of Blandon’s operations, the police raids were a spectacular failure. Every location had been cleaned of anything remotely incriminating. No one was ever prosecuted.Ron Spear, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block, said Blandon somehow knew that he was under police surveillance.FBI records show that soon after the raids, Blandon’s defense attorney, Bradley Brunon, called the sheriff’s department to suggest that his client’s troubles stemmed from a most unlikely source: a recent congressional vote authorizing $100 million in military aid to the contras.According to a December 1986 FBI teletype, Brunon told the officers that the “CIA winked at this sort of thing. . . . (Brunon) indicated that now that U.S. Congress had voted funds for the Nicaraguan contra movement, U.S. government now appears to be turning against organizations like this.”That FBI report, part of the files of former Iran-contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, was made public only last year, when it was released by the National Archives at the San Jose Mercury News’ request.Blandon has also implied that his cocaine sales were, for a time, CIA-approved. He told a San Francisco federal grand jury in 1994 that once the FDN began receiving American taxpayer dollars, the CIA no longer needed his kind of help.None of the government agencies known to have been involved with Meneses and Blandon would provide the Mercury News with any information about them, despite Freedom of Information Act requests.Blandon’s lawyer, Brunon, said in an interview that his client never told him directly that he was selling cocaine for the CIA, but the prominent Los Angeles defense attorney drew his own conclusions from the “atmosphere of CIA and clandestine activities” that surrounded Blandon and his Nicaraguan friends.”Was he involved with the CIA? Probably. Was he involved with drugs? Most definitely,” Brunon said. “Were those two things involved with each other? They’ve never said that, obviously. They’ve never admitted that. But I don’t know where these guys get these big aircraft.”That very topic arose during the sensational 1992 cocaine-trafficking trial of Meneses after he was arrested in Nicaragua in connection with a staggering 750-kilo shipment of cocaine. His chief accuser was his friend Enrique Miranda, a relative and former Nicaraguan military intelligence officer who had been Meneses’ emissary to the cocaine cartel of Bogota, Colombia. Miranda pleaded guilty to drug charges and agreed to cooperate in exchange for a seven-year sentence.In a long, handwritten statement he read to Meneses’ jury, Miranda revealed the deepest secrets of the Meneses drug ring, earning his old boss a 30-year prison sentence in the process.”He (Norwin) and his brother Luis Enrique had financed the contra revolution with the benefits of the cocaine they sold,” Miranda wrote. “This operation, as Norwin told me, was executed with the collaboration of high-ranking Salvadoran military personnel. They met with officials of the Salvadoran air force, who flew (planes) to Colombia and then left for the U.S., bound for an Air Force base in Texas, as he told me.”Meneses – who has close personal and business ties to a Salvadoran air-force commander and former CIA agent named Marcos Aguado – declined to discuss Miranda’s statements during an interview at a prison outside Managua in January. He is scheduled to be paroled this summer, after nearly five years in custody.U.S. General Accounting Office records confirm that El Salvador’s air force was supplying the CIA’s Nicaraguan guerrillas with aircraft and flight support services throughout the mid-1980s.

The same day the Mercury News requested official permission to interview Miranda, he disappeared.

While out on a routine weekend furlough, Miranda failed to return to the Nicaraguan jail where he’d been living since 1992. Though his jailers, who described him as a model prisoner, claimed Miranda had escaped, they didn’t call the police until a Mercury News correspondent showed up and discovered he was gone.He has not been seen in nearly a year.

Aug 22, 1996

Salvador air force linked to cocaine flights, Nicaraguan contras, drug dealer’s supplier

by Gary Webb
San Jose Mercury News

One thing is certain: There is considerable evidence that El Salvador’s air force was deeply involved with cocaine flights, the contras and drug dealer Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes’ cocaine supplier, Norwin Meneses.Meneses said one of his oldest friends is a former contra pilot named Marcos Aguado, a Nicaraguan who works for the Salvadoran air-force high command.Aguado was identified in 1987 congressional testimony as a CIA agent who helped the contras get weapons, airplanes and money from a major Colombian drug trafficker named George Morales. Aguado admitted his role in that deal in a videotaped deposition taken by a U.S. Senate subcommittee that year.His name also turned up in a deposition taken by the congressional Iran-contra committees that same year. Robert Owen, a courier for Lt. Col. Oliver North, testified he knew Aguado as a contra pilot and said there was “concern” about his being involved with drug trafficking.While flying for the contras, Aguado was stationed at Ilopango Air Base near El Salvador’s capital.In 1985, the DEA agent assigned to El Salvador – Celerino Castillo III – began picking up reports that cocaine was being flown to the United States out of hangars 4 and 5 at Ilopango as part of a contra-related covert operation. Castillo said he soon confirmed what his informants were telling him.Starting in January 1986, Castillo began documenting the cocaine flights – listing pilot names, tail numbers, dates and flight plans – and sent them to DEA headquarters.The only response he got, Castillo wrote in his 1994 memoirs, was an internal DEA investigation of him. He took a disability retirement from the agency in 1991.”Basically, the bottom line is it was a covert operation and they (DEA officials) were covering it up,” Castillo said in an interview. “You can’t get any simpler than that. It was a cover-up.”

Aug 22, 1996

Trio created mass market in U.S. for crack cocaine

by Gary Webb

San Jose Mercury News

If they’d been in a more respectable line of work, Norwin Meneses, Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes and “Freeway Rick” Ross would have been hailed as geniuses of marketing.This odd trio – a smuggler, a bureaucrat and a ghetto teenager – made fortunes creating the first mass market in America for a product so hellishly desirable that consumers will literally kill to get it: “crack” cocaine.Federal lawmen will tell you plenty about Rick Ross, mostly about the evils he visited upon black neighborhoods by spreading the crack plague in Los Angeles and cities as far east as Cincinnati. Tomorrow, they hope, Freeway Rick will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.But those same officials won’t say a word about the two men who turned Rick Ross into L.A.’s first king of crack, the men who, for at least five years, supplied him with enough Colombian cocaine to help spawn crack markets in major cities nationwide. Their critical role in the country’s crack explosion has been a strictly guarded secret.To understand how crack came to curse black America, you have to go into the volcanic hills overlooking Managua, the capital of the Republic of Nicaragua.

Biggest military upset

During June 1979, those hills teemed with triumphant guerrillas called Sandinistas – Cuban-assisted revolutionaries who had just pulled off one of the biggest military upsets in Central American history. In a bloody civil war, they’d destroyed the U.S.-trained army of Nicaragua’s dictator, Anastasio Somoza.In the dictator’s doomed capital, a minor member of Somoza’s government decided to skip the war’s obvious ending. On June 19, Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes gathered his wife and young daughter and flew into exile in California.Today, Blandon is a well-paid and highly trusted operative for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Federal officials say he is one of the DEA’s top informants in Latin America, collecting intelligence on Colombian and Mexican drug lords and setting up stings.In March, he was the DEA’s star witness at a drug trial in San Diego, where, for the first time, he testified publicly about his strange interlude between government jobs: the years he sold cocaine to the street gangs of black Los Angeles.Blandon swore that he didn’t plan on becoming a dope dealer when he landed in the United States with $100 in his pocket, seeking political asylum. He did it, he insisted, out of patriotism.When duty called in late 1981, he was working as a car salesman in East Los Angeles. In his spare time, he said, he and a few fellow exiles were working to rebuild Somoza’s defeated army, the Nicaraguan national guard, in hopes of one day returning to Managua in triumph.But the rallies and cocktail parties the exiles hosted raised little money. “At this point, he became committed to raising money for humanitarian and political reasons via illegal activity (cocaine trafficking for profit),” said a heavily censored parole report, which surfaced during the March trial.That venture began, Blandon testified, with a phone call from a wealthy college friend in Miami.Blandon said his college chum, who also was working in the resistance movement, dispatched him to Los Angeles International Airport to pick up another exile, Juan Norwin Meneses Cantarero. Though their families were related, Blandon said, he’d never met Meneses until that day.”I picked him up, and he started telling me that we had to (raise) some money and to send to Honduras,” Blandon testified. He said he flew with Meneses to a camp there and met one of his new companion’s old friends, Col. Enrique Bermudez.Bermudez – who’d been Somoza’s Washington liaison to the American military – was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency in mid-1980 to pull together the remnants of Somoza’s vanquished national guard, records show. In August 1981, Bermudez’s efforts were unveiled at a news conference as the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN) – in English, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force. It was the largest and best-organized of the handful of guerrilla groups known as the contras.Bermudez was the FDN’s military chief and, according to congressional records and newspaper reports, received regular CIA paychecks for a decade, payments that stopped shortly before his still-unsolved slaying in Managua in 1991.

Reagan OKs covert operations

White House records show that shortly before Blandon’s meeting with Bermudez, President Reagan had given the CIA the green light to begin covert paramilitary operations against the Sandinista government. But Reagan’s secret Dec. 1, 1981, order permitted the spy agency to spend only $19.9 million on the project, an amount CIA officials acknowledged was not nearly enough to field a credible fighting force.After meeting with Bermudez, Blandon testified, he and Meneses “started raising money for the contra revolution.”While Blandon says Bermudez didn’t know cocaine would be the fund-raising device they used, the presence of the mysterious Mr. Meneses strongly suggests otherwise.Norwin Meneses, known in Nicaraguan newspapers as “Rey de la Droga” (King of Drugs), was then under active investigation by the DEA and the FBI for smuggling cocaine into the United States, records show.And Bermudez was very familiar with the influential Meneses family. He had served under two Meneses brothers, Fermin and Edmundo, who were generals in Somoza’s army.Despite a stack of law-enforcement reports describing him as a major drug trafficker, Norwin Meneses was welcomed into the United States in July 1979 as a political refugee and given a visa and a work permit. He settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, and for the next six years supervised the importation of thousands of kilos of cocaine into California.At the meeting with Bermudez, Meneses said in a recent interview, the contra commander put him in charge of “intelligence and security” for the FDN in California.Blandon, he said, was assigned to raise money in Los Angeles.Blandon said Meneses gave him two kilograms of cocaine (roughly 4 1/2 pounds) and sent him to Los Angeles.”Meneses was pushing me every week,” he testified. “It took me about three months, four months to sell those two keys because I didn’t know what to do. . . .”To find customers, Blandon and several other Nicaraguan exiles working with him headed for the vast, untapped markets of L.A.’s black ghettos.Blandon’s marketing strategy, selling the world’s most expensive street drug in some of California’s poorest neighborhoods, might seem baffling, but in retrospect, his timing was uncanny. He and his compatriots arrived in South-Central L.A. right when street-level drug users were figuring out how to make cocaine affordable: by changing the pricey white powder into powerful little nuggets that could be smoked – crack.

Emergence of crack

Crack turned the cocaine world on its head. Cocaine smokers got an explosive high unmatched by 10 times as much snorted powder. And since only a tiny amount was needed for that rush, cocaine no longer had to be sold in large, expensive quantities. Anyone with $20 could get wasted.It was a “substance that is tailor-made to addict people,” Dr. Robert Byck, a Yale University cocaine expert, said during congressional testimony in 1986. “It is as though (McDonald’s founder) Ray Kroc had invented the opium den.”Crack’s Kroc was a disillusioned 19-year-old named Ricky Donnell Ross, who, at the dawn of the 1980s, found himself adrift on the streets of South-Central Los Angeles.A talented tennis player for Dorsey High School, Ross had recently seen his dream of a college scholarship evaporate when his coach discovered he could neither read nor write.A friend of Ross’ – a college football player home at Christmas from San Jose State University – told him “cocaine was going to be the new thing, that everybody was doing it.” Intrigued, Ross set off to find out more.Through a cocaine-using auto-upholstery teacher Ross knew, he met a Nicaraguan named Henry Corrales, who began selling Ross and a friend , Ollie “Big Loc” Newell, small amounts of remarkably inexpensive cocaine.Thanks to a network of friends in South-Central L.A. and Compton, including many members of various Crips gangs, the pair steadily built up clientele. With each sale, Ross reinvested his hefty profits in more cocaine.Eventually, Corrales introduced Ross and Newell to his supplier, Blandon. And then business really picked up.”At first, we was just going to do it until we made $5,000,” Ross said. “We made that so fast we said, no, we’ll quit when we make $20,000. Then we was going to quit when we saved enough to buy a house . . .”Ross would eventually own millions of dollars’ worth of real estate across Southern California, including houses, motels, a theater and several other businesses. (His nickname, “Freeway Rick,” came from the fact that he owned properties near the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles.)Within a year, Ross’ drug operation grew to dominate inner-city Los Angeles, and many of the biggest dealers in town were his customers. When crack hit L.A.’s streets hard in late 1983, Ross already had the infrastructure in place to corner a huge chunk of the burgeoning market.It was not uncommon, he said, to move $2 million or $3 million worth of crack in one day.”Our biggest problem had got to be counting the money,” Ross said. “We got to the point where it was like, man, we don’t want to count no more money.”Nicaraguan cocaine dealer Jacinto Torres, another former supplier of Ross and a sometime-partner of Blandon, told drug agents in a 1992 interview that after a slow start, “Blandon’s cocaine business dramatically increased. . . . Norwin Meneses, Blandon’s supplier as of 1983 and 1984, routinely flew quantities of 200 to 400 kilograms from Miami to the West Coast.”Blandon told the DEA last year that he was selling Ross up to 100 kilos of cocaine a week, which was then “rocked up” and distributed “to the major gangs in the area, specifically the Crips and the Bloods,” the DEA report said.At wholesale prices, that’s roughly $65 million to $130 million worth of cocaine every year, depending on the going price of a kilo.”He was one of the main distributors down here,” said former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics detective Steve Polak, who was part of the Freeway Rick Task Force, which was set up in 1987 to put Ross out of business. “And his poison, there’s no telling how many tens of thousands of people he touched. He’s responsible for a major cancer that still hasn’t stopped spreading.”But Ross is the first to admit that being in the right place at the right time had almost nothing to do with his amazing success. Other L.A. dealers, he noted, were selling crack long before he started.What he had, and they didn’t, was Blandon, a friend with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of high-grade cocaine and an expert’s knowledge of how to market it.”I’m not saying I wouldn’t have been a dope dealer without Danilo,” Ross stressed. “But I wouldn’t have been Freeway Rick.”The secret to his success, Ross said, was Blandon’s cocaine prices. “It was unreal. We were just wiping out everybody.””It didn’t make no difference to Rick what anyone else was selling it for. Rick would just go in and undercut him $10,000 a key,” Chico Brown said. “Say some dude was selling for 30. Boom – Rick would go in and sell it for 20. If he was selling for 20, Rick would sell for 10. Sometimes, he be giving (it) away.”Ross said he never discovered how Blandon was able to get cocaine so cheaply. “I just figured he knew the people, you know what I’m saying? He was plugged.”But Freeway Rick had no idea just how “plugged” his erudite cocaine broker was. He didn’t know about Meneses, or the CIA, or the Salvadoran air-force planes that allegedly were flying the cocaine into an air base in Texas.And he wouldn’t find out about it for another 10 years.

Aug 22, 1996

Crack was born during 1974 in S.F. Bay Area

by Gary Webb
San Jose Mercury News

Though Miami and Los Angeles are commonly regarded as the twin cradles of crack, the first government-financed study of cocaine smoking concluded that it was actually born in the Bay Area in January 1974.After comedian Richard Pryor nearly immolated himself during a cocaine-smoking binge in 1980, the National Institute on Drug Abuse hired UCLA drug expert Ronald Siegel to look into the then-unfamiliar practice.Siegel, the first scientist to document crack’s use in the United States, traced the smoking habit back to 1930, when Colombians first started it.But what was being smoked south of the border – a paste-like substance called BASE (bah-SAY) – was very different from what Californians were putting in their pipes, Siegel found, even though they called it the same thing: free base.BASE was a crude, toxics-laden precursor to cocaine powder. On the other hand, free base (which later became known as crack or rock) was cocaine powder that had been reverse-engineered to make it smokable.When San Francisco Bay Area dealers tried recreating the drug they’d seen in South America, Siegel learned, they’d screwed up.”When they looked it up in the Merck Manual, they saw cocaine base and thought, well, yeah, this is it,” Siegel, a nationally known drug researcher, said. “They mispronounced it, misunderstood the Spanish, and thought (BASE) was cocaine base.”The base described in the organic-chemistry handbook was cocaine powder separated from its salts, a process easily done with boiling water and baking soda.It was an immediate, if unintentional, hit.”They were wowed by it,” Siegel said. “They thought they were smoking BASE. They were not. They were smoking something nobody on the planet had ever smoked before.”Using the sales records of several major drug-paraphernalia companies, Siegel correlated crack’s public appearance with the appearance of base-making kits and glass pipes for smoking it. The sales records zeroed in on the Bay Area.”We were able to show to our satisfaction that they were directly responsible for distributing the habit throughout the United States,” Siegel said.”Wherever they were selling their kits, that’s where we started getting the clinical reports. It all started in Northern California.”His groundbreaking study was never published by the government, purportedly for budgetary reasons.Siegel, who said he grew concerned that the information would not be made available to other researchers, published it himself in an obscure medical journal in late 1982.

Aug 23, 1996

Drug king free, but black aide sits in jail
How cheap cocaine became the scourge of the inner city

by Gary Webb
San Jose Mercury News

For the past 1 1/2 years, the U.S. Department of Justice has been trying to explain why nearly everyone convicted in California’s federal courts of “crack” cocaine trafficking is black.Critics, including some federal-court judges, say it looks like the Justice Department is targeting crack dealers by race, which would be a violation of the Constitution.Federal prosecutors, however, say there’s a simple, if unpleasant, reason for the lopsided statistics: Most crack dealers are black.But why – of all the ethnic and racial groups in California to pick from – crack planted its deadly roots in L.A.’s black neighborhoods is something Oscar Danilo Blandon Reyes may be able to answer.Blandon is the Johnny Appleseed of crack in California – the Crips’ and Bloods’ first direct connect to the cocaine cartels of Colombia. The tons of cut-rate cocaine he brought into black L.A. during the 1980s and early 1990s became millions of rocks of crack, which spawned new markets wherever they landed.On a tape made by the Drug Enforcement Administration in July 1990, Blandon casually explained the flood of cocaine that coursed through the streets of South-Central Los Angeles during the previous decade.”These people have been working with me 10 years,” Blandon said. “I’ve sold them about 2,000 or 4,000 (kilos). I don’t know. I don’t remember how many.””It ain’t that Japanese guy you were talking about, is it?” asked DEA informant John Arman, who was wearing a hidden transmitter.”No, it’s not him,” Blandon insisted. “These . . . these are the black people.”Arman gasped. “Black?!””Yeah,” Blandon said. “They control L.A. The people (black cocaine dealers) that control L.A.”But unlike the thousands of young blacks now serving long federal prison sentences for selling mere handfuls of the drug, Blandon is a free man today. He has a spacious new home in Nicaragua and a business exporting precious woods, courtesy of the U.S. government, which has paid him more than $166,000 over the past 18 months, records show – for his help in the war on drugs.That turn of events both amuses and angers “Freeway Rick” Ross, L.A.’s premier crack wholesaler during much of the 1980s and Blandon’s biggest customer.”They say I sold dope everywhere, but, man, I know he done sold 10 times more dope than me,” Ross said during a recent interview.Nothing epitomizes the drug war’s uneven impact on black Americans more clearly than the intertwined lives of Ricky Donnell Ross, a high-school dropout, and his suave cocaine supplier, Blandon, who has a master’s degree in marketing and was one of the top civilian leaders in California of an anti-communist guerrilla army formed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Called the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN), it became known to most Americans as the contras.In recent court testimony, Blandon, who began dealing cocaine in South-Central L.A. in 1982, swore that the first kilo of cocaine he sold in California was to raise money for the CIA’s army, which was trying on a shoestring to unseat Nicaragua’s new socialist Sandinista government.After Blandon crossed paths with Ross, a South-Central teenager with gang connections and street smarts necessary to move the army’s cocaine, a blizzard engulfed the ghettos.Former Los Angeles police narcotics detective Stephen Polak said he was working the streets of South-Central in the mid-1980s when he and his partners began seeing more cocaine than ever before.”A lot of detectives, a lot of cops, were saying, `hey, these blacks, no longer are we just seeing gram dealers. These guys are doing ounces; they were doing keys,’ ” Polak recalled. But he said the reports were disregarded by higher-ups who couldn’t believe black neighborhoods could afford the amount of cocaine the street cops claimed to be seeing.”Major Violators (the LAPD’s elite anti-drug unit) was saying, basically, `ahh, South-Central, how much could they be dealing?’ ” said Polak. “Well, they (black dealers) went virtually untouched for a long time.”It wasn’t until January 1987 – when crack markets were popping up in major cities all over the nation – that law-enforcement brass decided to confront L.A.’s crack problem head-on. They formed the Freeway Rick Task Force, a cadre of veteran drug agents whose sole mission was to put Rick Ross out of business. Polak was a charter member.”We just dedicated seven days a week to him. We were just on him at every move,” Polak said.Ross, as usual, was quick to spot a trend. He moved to Cincinnati and quietly settled into a woodsy, suburban home.”I called it cooling out, trying to back away from the game,” Ross said. “I had enough money.”His longtime supplier, Blandon, reached the same conclusion about the same time. He moved to Miami with $1.6 million in cash and invested in several businesses.But neither Ross nor Blandon stayed “retired” for long.A manic deal-maker, Ross found Cincinnati’s virgin crack market too seductive to ignore.Plunging back in, the crack tycoon cornered the Cincinnati market using the same low-price, high-volume strategy – and the same Nicaraguan drug connections – he’d used in L.A. Soon, he also was selling crack in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Dayton and St. Louis.”There’s no doubt in my mind crack in Cincinnati can be traced to Ross,” police officer Robert Enoch told a Cincinnati newspaper three years ago.But Ross’ reign in the Midwest was short-lived. In 1988, one of his loads ran into a drug-sniffing dog at a New Mexico bus station, and drug agents eventually connected it to Ross. He pleaded guilty to crack trafficking charges and received a mandatory 10-year prison sentence, which he began serving in 1990.In Miami, Blandon’s retirement plans also had gone awry as his business ventures collapsed.He returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and began brokering cocaine again, buying and selling from the Nicaraguan dealers he’d known in his days with the FDN. In 1990 and 1991, he testified, he sold about 425 kilos of cocaine in Northern California – $10.5 million worth at wholesale prices.But unlike before, when he was selling cocaine for the contras, Blandon was constantly dogged by the police.Twice in six months he was detained, first by Customs agents while taking $117,000 in money orders to Tijuana to pay a supplier, and then by the LAPD when he was in the act of paying one of his Colombian suppliers more than $350,000.The second time, after police found $14,000 in cash and a small quantity of cocaine in his pocket, he was arrested. But the U.S. Justice Department – saying a prosecution would disrupt an active investigation – persuaded the police to drop their money-laundering case.Soon after that, Blandon and his wife, Chepita, were arrested by DEA agents on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. They were jailed without bond as dangers to the community, and several other Nicaraguans also were arrested.The prosecutor, L.J. O’Neale, told a federal judge that Blandon had sold so much cocaine in the United States his mandatory prison sentence was “off the scale.”Then Blandon “just vanished,” said Juanita Brooks, a San Diego attorney who represented one of Blandon’s co-defendants. “All of a sudden his wife was out of jail and he was out of the case.”The reasons were contained in a secret Justice Department memorandum filed in San Diego federal court in late 1993.Blandon, prosecutor O’Neale wrote, had become “valuable in major DEA investigations of Class I drug traffickers.” And even though probation officers were recommending a life sentence and a $4 million fine, O’Neale said the government would be satisfied if Blandon got 48 months and no fine. Motion granted.Less than a year later, records show, O’Neale was back with another idea: Why not just let Blandon go? After all, he wrote the judge, Blandon had a federal job waiting.O’Neale, saying that Blandon “has almost unlimited potential to assist the United States,” said the government wanted “to enlist Mr. Blandon as a full-time, paid informant after his release from prison.”After only 28 months in custody, most of it spent with federal agents who debriefed him for “hundreds of hours,” he said, Blandon walked out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego, was given a green card and began working on his first assignment: setting up his old friend, “Freeway Rick,” for a sting.Records show Ross was still behind bars, awaiting parole, when San Diego DEA agents targeted him.Soon after Ross went to prison for the Cincinnati bust, federal prosecutors offered him a deal. His term would be shortened by five years in return for testimony in a federal case against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives that included members of the old Freeway Rick Task Force.Within days of Ross’ parole in October 1994, he and Blandon were back in touch, and their conversation quickly turned to cocaine.According to tapes Blandon made of some of their discussions, Ross repeatedly told Blandon that he was broke and couldn’t afford to finance a drug deal. But Ross did agree to help his old mentor, who was also pleading poverty, find someone else to buy the 100 kilos of cocaine Blandon claimed he had.On March 2, 1995, in a shopping-center parking lot in National City, near San Diego, Ross poked his head inside a cocaine-laden Chevy Blazer, and the place exploded with police.Ross jumped into a friend’s pickup and zoomed off “looking for a wall that I could crash myself into,” he said. “I just wanted to die.” He was captured after the truck careened into a hedgerow. He has been held in jail without bond since then.Ross’ arrest netted Blandon $45,500 in government rewards and expenses, records show. On the strength of Blandon’s testimony, Ross and two other men were convicted of cocaine-conspiracy charges in San Diego last March – conspiring to sell the DEA’s cocaine. Sentencing was set for today. Ross is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The other men are looking at 10- to 20-year sentences.Acquaintances say Blandon, who refused repeated interview requests, is a common sight these days in Managua’s better restaurants, drinking with friends and telling of his “escape” from U.S. authorities.According to his Miami lawyer, Blandon spends most of his time shuttling between San Diego and Managua, trying to recover Nicaraguan properties seized in 1979, when the Sandinistas took power.

Aug 23, 1996

Cocaine sentences weighted against blacks

by Gary Webb
San Jose Mercury News

When it comes to cocaine, it isn’t just a suspicion that the war on drugs is hammering blacks harder than whites. According to the U.S. Justice Department, it’s a fact.The “main reason” cocaine sentences for blacks are longer than for whites, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 1993, is that 83 percent of the people being sent to prison for “crack” trafficking are black “and the average sentence imposed for crack trafficking was twice as long as for trafficking in powdered cocaine.”Even though crack and powder cocaine are the same drug, you have to sell more than six pounds of powder before you face the same jail time as someone who sells one ounce of crack – a 100-to-1 ratio.That logic has eluded Dr. Robert Byck, a Yale University drug expert, from the moment he discovered the 100-to-1 ratio may have been his inadvertent doing.In 1986, at the height of an election-year hysteria over crack, Byck was summoned before a U.S. Senate committee to tell what he knew about cocaine smoking.Byck, a renowned scientist who edited and published Sigmund Freud’s cocaine papers, had been studying crack smoking in South America for nearly 10 years, with growing alarm.Sen. Lawton Chiles, a Florida Democrat (and now that state’s governor), was pushing for tougher crack laws, and he asked Byck about testimony he had given previously that “some experts” believed crack was 50 times more addictive than powder cocaine. Byck acknowledged some people believed that.Despite the speculative nature of the figure, Byck said, the addictive factor of 50 was “doubled by people who wanted to get tough on cocaine” and then, for reasons he still finds incomprehensible, turned into a measurement of weight.The resultant 100-to-1 (powder-vs.-crack) weight ratio, Byck said, was “a fabrication by whoever wrote the law, but not reality. . . . You can’t make a number.”Recently, the U.S. Sentencing Commission – a panel of experts created by Congress to be its unbiased adviser in these matters – tried and failed to find a better reason to explain why powder dealers must sell 100 times more cocaine before they get the same mandatory sentence as crack dealers.The “absence of comprehensive data substantiating this legislative policy is troublesome,” it reported last year.In 1993, cocaine smokers got an average sentence of nearly three years. People who snorted cocaine powder received a little over three months. Nearly all of the long sentences went to blacks, the commission found.Justice Department researchers estimated that if crack and powder sentences were made equal, “the black-white difference . . . would not only evaporate but would slightly reverse.”Based on such findings, the commission recommended in May 1995 that the cocaine-sentencing laws be equalized, calling the 100-to-1 ratio “a primary cause of the growing disparity between sentences for black and white federal defendants.”Apparently fearful of being seen as soft on drugs, Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to keep the crack laws the same. On Oct. 30, President Clinton signed the bill rejecting the commission’s recommendations.

Oct. 3, 1996

Affidafit shows CIA knew of contra drug ring

by Gary Webb and Pamela Kramer
Knight-Ridder Newspapers

LOS ANGELES – During the early 1980s, federal and local narcotics agents knew that a massive drug ring operated by Nicaraguan contra rebels was selling large amounts of cocaine “mainly to blacks living in the South Central Los Angeles area,” according to a search-warrant affidavit obtained by the San Jose Mercury News.The Oct. 23, 1986, affidavit identifies former Nicaraguan government official Danilo Blandon as “the highest-ranking member of this organization” and describes a sprawling drug operation involving more than 100 Nicaraguan contra sympathizers.The affidavit of Thomas Gordon, a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s narcotics detective, is the first independent corroboration that the contra army – the Nicaraguan Democratic Force – was dealing “crack” cocaine to gangs in Los Angeles’ black neighborhoods. Known by its Spanish initials, the FDN was an anti-communist commando group formed and run by the CIA during the 1980s.Gordon’s sworn statement says that both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI had informants inside the Blandon drug ring for several years before sheriff’s deputies raided it Oct. 27, 1986. Gordon’s affidavit is based on police interviews with those informants and one of the DEA agents who was investigating Blandon.Twice during the past year, Ron Spear, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, told the Mercury News that his department had no records of the 1986 raids and denied having a copy of Gordon’s search-warrant affidavit.The Mercury News obtained the entire search-warrant affidavit this week. Sheriff Sherman Block’s office did not respond yesterday to written questions about the affidavit.A recent Mercury News series revealed how Blandon’s operation, which sold thousands of kilos of cocaine to black Los Angeles drug dealers, created the first mass market for crack in America during the early 1980s and helped fuel a crack explosion that is still reverberating through black communities. Both the CIA and the Justice Department have denied government involvement.But according to a legal motion filed in a 1990 case involving a deputy who helped execute the search warrants, one of the suspects involved in the raid identified himself as a CIA agent and asked police to call CIA headquarters in Virginia to confirm his identity. The motion, filed by Los Angeles defense attorney Harlan Braun on behalf of Deputy Daniel Garner, said the narcotics detectives allowed the man to make the call but then carted away numerous documents purportedly linking the U.S. government to cocaine trafficking and money-laundering efforts on behalf of the contras.The motion said CIA agents appeared at the sheriff’s department within 48 hours of the raid and removed the seized files from the evidence room. But Braun said detectives secretly copied 10 pages before the documents were spirited away. Braun attempted to introduce them in the 1990 criminal trial to force the federal government to back off the case. Braun was hit with a gag order, the documents were put under seal and Garner was convicted of corruption charges.Internal sheriff’s department records of the raid “mysteriously disappeared” around the same time the seized files were taken, Braun’s motion said. That claim was buttressed in an interview this week by an officer involved in the raid.The officer, who requested anonymity, said the alleged CIA agent was Ronald Lister, a former Laguna Beach police detective who worked with Blandon in the drug ring. The 1986 search-warrant affidavit identifies Lister’s home in Laguna Beach as one of the places searched. It says Lister was involved in transporting drug money to Miami and was Blandon’s partner in a security company. The company, according to a former employee, was doing work at a Salvadoran military air base in the early 1980s. Lister pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking in 1991.

Oct. 23, 1996

How Web fueled story of CIA, crack
Difference in format a problem, says editor

by Eleanor Randolph and John M. Broder
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON – The controversy that began with the San Jose Mercury News’ publication of a series on cocaine and the Nicaraguan contras has become a case study in how information caroms around the country in the digital age.In its printed version, as the paper’s editor has pointed out, the stories were careful never to claim that the Central Intelligence Agency condoned or abetted drug dealing to support the contras.Reporter Gary Webb has said that his research into the CIA-crack connection “ended at the CIA’s door,” but did not firmly establish a link between the agency and the crack epidemic of the 1980s.But that unproven link has become established as fact in the minds of many Americans, and the Mercury News’ editor, Jerry Ceppos, says the way the paper used the World Wide Web to disseminate its material may have contributed to that misinterpretation.Even before the stories were published in mid-August, managers of the paper’s Web site, Mercury Center, were alerting Internet users to a coming bombshell.The electronic version of the series appeared with a logo – a figure smoking crack superimposed on the CIA seal – that was more prominent than in the newspaper series. Underneath were the words, “the story behind the crack explosion.”Many Americans believed that the Mercury News had finally proved what had been a long-running rumor of government complicity in the scourge of drugs in U.S. cities.Ceppos said earlier this week that editing standards at the paper’s Web site are not always consistent with those for the print version of the paper. He said the paper deleted the CIA logo from the Web site after it became controversial.”We changed the logo, because for a day or two it seemed to be the focus of attention,” Ceppos said. “You have to make sure you’re keeping your standards high, and we’re going to have some more conversations about that.”The series has provoked startlingly different reactions in different media.It ignited a storm of controversy on black-oriented radio programs and in such newspapers as Louis Farrakhan’s “The Final Call,” which headlined its account of the Mercury News story, “How the U.S. government spread crack cocaine in the black ghetto.”Washington talk-radio host Joe Madison, who is also black, is starting a hunger strike to protest the CIA’s alleged role in cocaine trafficking. The newspaper series was seen by many as confirmation of what had long been suspected in black neighborhoods. “We’ve always speculated about this, but now we’ve got proof,” Madison said.On the other hand, several prominent newspapers have published stories that have been skeptical about the allegations. The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The New York Times ran articles this month casting doubt on a direct link between the cocaine trade and the CIA’s support of the contras.The reaction on the “new media” of the Internet has opened an additional dimension. The Mercury News’ Web site received 100,000 additional “hits” a day after the series was posted, the paper reported.The paper invited Internet readers to comment, and hundreds replied. Many indicated that they believed the paper had finally proved that the CIA was trafficking in cocaine in black neighborhoods.The Mercury News broke new ground by making available not only the articles, but much of the supporting documentation – legal affidavits, court filings, charts, diagrams and interview transcripts.But a key document that appears to undercut one of the series’ central contentions is made available on the Internet site in heavily edited form with contradictory material left out.That document is the court testimony of convicted drug dealer Oscar Danilo Blandon. The paper’s stories lean heavily on Blandon’s testimony in the recent cocaine trafficking trial of Los Angeles drug dealer “Freeway” Ricky Ross in San Diego.The stories cite the testimony as establishing that for a period of several years in the early- and mid-1980s, Blandon’s drug profits were going to the contras. The Internet site includes portions of the trial transcript that support the story’s contentions.But the complete transcript, which is not included on the Web site, includes statements by Blandon that point in a different direction. According to his testimony, he diverted drug profits to the contras not for years, but only during a period of months early in his career – at a time when he was making virtually no money dealing cocaine.During the trial, Webb says, he gave questions to Ross’ attorney that the attorney, in turn, asked Blandon under oath. Webb then used the statements elicited from Blandon as information for his series.Webb dismisses criticism of the appearance of taking sides in a criminal case he was covering by saying that the Blandon testimony provided “the best interview I’ve ever had – while the man was under oath in a federal court and being vouched for by two federal agencies.”Ceppos defended his reporter’s relationship with Blandon’s attorney. “I may be missing something here,” he said, “but I think that everything he did with the lawyer was journalistically ethical and aboveboard.”

Monday, May 12, 1997

CIA series fell short, says paper

by Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News has admitted to shortcomings in the newspaper’s controversial series on the crack-cocaine explosion in Los Angeles in the 1980s.In an open letter to readers in the newspaper’s editorial section yesterday, Jerry Ceppos said the newspaper solidly documented that a drug ring associated with the contra rebels in Nicaragua sold large quantities of cocaine in inner-city Los Angeles, and that some of the profits from those sales went to the contras.However, he said, the three-part “Dark Alliance” series, published last summer, occasionally omitted important information and created impressions open to misinterpretation.”I believe that we fell short at every step of our process – in the writing, editing and production of our work. Several people here share that burden,” he wrote.”We have learned from the experience and even are changing the way we handle major investigations.”The series, written by reporter Gary Webb, reported that a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold cocaine in South Central Los Angeles, then funneled profits to the contras for the better part of a decade.The series traced the drugs to dealers Danilo Blandon and Ricky Ross, leaders of a CIA-run guerrilla army in Nicaragua.The Seattle Times ran the series on Aug. 22-23, 1996.The reports sparked widespread anger in the black community toward the CIA, as well as numerous federal investigations into whether the CIA took part in or countenanced the selling of crack cocaine to raise money for contras.The investigations never found that the CIA had any link to drug dealing. Several newspapers also disputed the Mercury News report.Ceppos wrote that while the newspaper did not report the CIA knew about the drug operations, it implied CIA knowledge.”Although members of the drug ring met with contra leaders paid by the CIA and Webb believes the relationship with the CIA was a tight one, I feel that we did not have proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship,” he wrote. “I believe that part of our contract with readers is to be as clear about what we don’t know as what we do know.”We also did not include CIA comment about our findings, and I think we should have.”Ceppos also said the series omitted conflicting information that Blandon testified he stopped sending cocaine profits to the contras at the end of 1982, after being in operation for a year. That information, Ceppos said, “contradicted a central assertion of the series” and should have been included.The editor also said the series reported the profit figures from the drug sales as fact when they were estimates, and unfairly suggested the drugs funneled to Los Angeles played a critical role in the crack problem in urban America.”Because the national crack epidemic was a complex phenomenon that had more than one origin, our discussion of this issue needed to be clearer,” Ceppos said.

Wednesday, May 14, 1997

Mercury News retraction won’t stop drug probe

by Thomas Farragher
Knight-Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON – A federal investigator said he will continue to examine whether a California drug ring sold cocaine to aid a CIA-run guerrilla army, even though the San Jose Mercury News has backed away from some aspects of the stories that sparked the inquiry.”We have our own investigative agenda . . .” said Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich.The Mercury News series spawned twin investigations by the inspectors general of the CIA and the Justice Department.Bromwich’s comment came after the Mercury News on Sunday acknowledged that its series about shadowy drug dealers didn’t meet the paper’s standards.The inspector general drew a distinction between journalistic concerns of Mercury News editors and what interests government investigators. “We’re not examining per se the practices in the newspaper that led to the publication of the article,” Bromwich said.In its “Dark Alliance” series published last August, the Mercury News traced urban America’s crack-cocaine explosion to a Northern California drug ring involving two Nicaraguan cocaine dealers who also were civilian leaders of the contras, an anti-communist commando group formed and run by the CIA during the 1980s. The series said millions of dollars in profits from the drug sales were funneled to the contras. It never reported direct CIA involvement, though many readers drew that conclusion.But on Sunday, Mercury News Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos told readers that “we didn’t know for certain what the profits were” and that the crack-cocaine scourge “was a complex phenomenon that had more than one origin.”Ceppos also said the newspaper “did not have proof that top CIA officials knew of the relationship” of the drug ring and contra leaders.Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chief congressional champion of a thorough investigation into the newspaper’s findings, insisted yesterday that the Mercury News, while acknowledging problems with its series, has not retreated from findings that some drug money went to the contras.



Gary Webb Speaks: A ParaScope Special Report

Investigative journalist Gary Webb speaks to a packed house on the CIA’s connection to drug trafficking, and the failure of the media to expose the truth.

by Charles Overbeck
Matrix Editor

Dark Alliance author Gary Webb gave a fascinating talk on the evening of January 16, outlining the findings of his investigation of the CIA’s connection to drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan contras. Approximately 300 people, crowded into the First United Methodist Church in Eugene, Oregon, listened with rapt attention as Webb detailed his experiences. Webb’s riveting speech was followed by an intense question-and-answer session, during which he candidly answered questions about the “Dark Alliance” controversy, his firing from the San Jose Mercury News, and CIA/contra/cocaine secrets that still await revelation.

It was a fascinating exchange packed with detailed information on the latest developments in the case. Webb spoke eloquently, with the ease and confidence of an investigator who has spent many long hours researching his subject, and many more hours sharing this information with the public. ParaScope will have a full report on Webb’s talk on Wednesday, January 20.

In the meantime, you get another opportunity to see a ParaScope article come together from scratch, from behind the scenes. So check back with us soon for the latest additions as this piece is developed.

[Last update 1:40 a.m. EST 1/21. Video clips and hypertext annotations coming soon.]

Transcript: Gary Webb Speaks on CIA Connections to Contra Drug Trafficking (and Related Topics)

Date: January 16, 1999
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene, Oregon

Gary Webb: I look like an idiot up here with all these mikes, the CIA agents are probably behind one or the other… [laughter from the audience]. It’s really nice to be in Eugene — I’ve been in Madison, Wisconsin talking about this, I’ve been in Berkeley, I’ve been in Santa Monica, and these are sort of like islands of sanity in this world today, so it’s great to be on one of those islands.

One of the things that is weird about this whole thing, though, is that I’ve been a daily news reporter for about twenty years, and I’ve done probably a thousand interviews with people, and the strangest thing is being on the other side of the table now and having reporters ask me questions. One of them asked me about a week ago — I was on a radio show — and the host asked me, “Why did you get into newspaper reporting, of all the media? Why did you pick newspapers?” And I really had to admit that I was stumped. Because I thought about it — I’d been doing newspaper reporting since I was fourteen or fifteen years old — and I really didn’t have an answer.

So I went back to my clip books — you know, most reporters keep all their old clips — and I started digging around trying to figure out if there was one story that I had written that had really tipped the balance. And I found it. And I wanted to tell you this story, because it sort of fits into the theme that we’re going to talk about tonight.

I think I was fifteen, I was working for my high school paper, and I was writing editorials. This sounds silly now that I think about it, but I had written an editorial against the drill team that we had for the high school games, for the football games. This was ’71 or ’72, at the height of the protests against the Vietnam War, and I was in school then in suburban Indianapolis — Dan Quayle country. So, you get the idea of the flavor of the school system. They thought it was a cool idea to dress women up in military uniforms and send them out there to twirl rifles and battle flags at halftime. And I thought this was sort of outrageous, and I wrote an editorial saying I thought it was one of the silliest things I’d ever seen. And my newspaper advisor called me the next day and said, “Gosh, that editorial you wrote has really prompted a response.” And I said, “Great, that’s the idea, isn’t it?” And she said, “Well, it’s not so great, they want you to apologize for it.” [Laughter from the audience.]

I said, “Apologize for what?” And she said, “Well, the girls were very offended.” And I said, “Well, I’m not apologizing because they don’t want my opinion. You’ll have to come up with a better reason than that.” And they said, “Well, if you don’t apologize, we’re not going to let you in Quill & Scroll,” which is the high school journalism society. And I said, “Well, I don’t want to be in that organization if I have to apologize to get into it.” [More laughter from the audience, scattered applause.]

They were sort of powerless at that point, and they said, “Look, why don’t you just come down and the cheerleaders are going to come in, and they want to talk to you and tell you what they think,” and I said okay. So I went down to the newspaper office, and there were about fifteen of them sitting around this table, and they all went around one by one telling me what a scumbag I was, and what a terrible guy I was, and how I’d ruined their dates, ruined their complexions, and all sorts of things… [Laughter and groans from the audience.] …and at that moment, I decided, “Man, this is what I want to do for a living.” [Roar of laughter from the audience.] And I wish I could say that it was because I was infused with this sense of the First Amendment, and thinking great thoughts about John Peter Zenger and I.F. Stone… but what I was really thinking was, “Man, this is a great way to meet women!” [More laughter.]

And that’s a true story, but the reason I tell you that is because it’s often those kinds of weird motivations and unthinking consequences that lead us to do things, that lead us to events that we have absolutely no concept how they’re going to turn out. Little did I know that twenty-five years later, I’d be writing a story about the CIA’s wrongdoings because I wanted to meet women by writing editorials about cheerleaders.

But that’s really the way life and that’s really the way history works a lot of times. You know, when you think back on your own lives, from the vantage point of time, you can see it. I mean, think back to the decisions you’ve made in your lifetimes that brought you to where you are tonight, think about how close you came to never meeting your wife or your husband, how easily you could have been doing something else for a living if it hadn’t been for a decision that you made or someone made that you had absolutely no control over. And it’s really kind of scary when you think about how capricious life is sometimes. That’s a theme I try to bring to my book, Dark Alliance, which was about the crack cocaine explosion in the 1980s.

So for the record, let me just say this right now. I do not believe — and I have never believed — that the crack cocaine explosion was a conscious CIA conspiracy, or anybody’s conspiracy, to decimate black America. I’ve never believed that South Central Los Angeles was targeted by the U.S. government to become the crack capitol of the world. But that isn’t to say that the CIA’s hands or the U.S. government’s hands are clean in this matter. Actually, far from it. After spending three years of my life looking into this, I am more convinced than ever that the U.S. government’s responsibility for the drug problems in South Central Los Angeles and other inner cities is greater than I ever wrote in the newspaper.

But it’s important to differentiate between malign intent and gross negligence. And that’s an important distinction, because it’s what makes premeditated murder different from manslaughter. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve got a body on the floor, and that’s what I want to talk about tonight, the body.

Many years ago, there was a great series on PBS — I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember this — it was called Connections. And it was by a British historian named James Burke. If you don’t remember it, it was a marvelous show, very influential on me. And he would take a seemingly inconsequential event in history, and follow it through the ages to see what it spawned as a result. The one show I remember the most clearly was the one he did on how the scarcity of firewood in thirteenth-century Europe led to the development of the steam engine. And you would think, “Well, these things aren’t connected at all,” and he would show very convincingly that they were.

In the first chapter of the book on which the series is based, Burke wrote that “History is not, as we are so often led to believe, a matter of great men and lonely geniuses pointing the way to the future from their ivory towers. At some point, every member of society is involved in that process by which innovation and change come about. The key to why things change is the key to everything.”

What I’ve attempted to demonstrate in my book was how the collapse of a brutal, pro-American dictatorship in Latin America, combined with a decision by corrupt CIA agents to raise money for a resistance movement by any means necessary, led to he formation of the nation’s first major crack market in South Central Los Angeles, which led to the arming and the empowerment of LA’s street gangs, which led to the spread of crack to black neighborhoods across the country, and to the passage of racially discriminatory sentencing laws that are locking up thousands of young black men today behind bars for most of their lives.

But it’s not so much a conspiracy as a chain reaction. And that’s what my whole book is about, this chain reaction. So let me explain the links in this chain a little better.

The first link is this fellow Anastasio Somoza, who was an American-educated tyrant, one of our buddies naturally, and his family ruled Nicaragua for forty years — thanks to the Nicaraguan National Guard, which we supplied, armed, and funded, because we thought they were, you know, anti-communists.

Well, in 1979, the people of Nicaragua got tired of living under this dictatorship, and they rose up and overthrew it. And a lot of Somoza’s friends and relatives and business partners came to the United States, because we had been their allies all these years, including two men whose families had been very close to the dictatorship. And these two guys are sort of two of the three main characters in my book — a fellow named Danilo Blandón, and a fellow named Norwin Meneses.

They came to the United States in 1979, along with a flood of other Nicaraguan immigrants, most of them middle-class people, most of them former bankers, former insurance salesmen — sort of a capitalist exodus from Nicaragua. And they got involved when they got here, and they decided they were going to take the country back, they didn’t like the fact that they’d been forced out of their country. So they formed these resistance organizations here in the United States, and they began plotting how they were going to kick the Sandanistas out.

At this point in time, Jimmy Carter was president, and Carter wasn’t all that interested in helping these folks out. The CIA was, however. And that’s where we start getting into this murky world of, you know, who really runs the United States. Is it the president? Is it the bureaucracy? Is it the intelligence community? At different points in time you get different answers. Like today, the idea that Clinton runs the United States is nuts. The idea that Jimmy Carter ran the country is nuts.

In 1979 and 1980, the CIA secretly began visiting these groups that were setting up here in the United States, supplying them with a little bit of money, and telling them to hold on, wait for a little while, don’t give up. And Ronald Reagan came to town. And Reagan had a very different outlook on Central America than Carter did. Reagan saw what happened in Nicaragua not as a populist uprising, as most of the rest of the world did. He saw it as this band of communists down there, there was going to be another Fidel Castro, and he was going to have another Cuba in his backyard. Which fit in very well with the CIA’s thinking. So, the CIA under Reagan got it together, and they said, “We’re going to help these guys out.” They authorized $19 million to fund a covert war to destabilize the government in Nicaragua and help get their old buddies back in power.

Soon after the CIA took over this operation, these two drug traffickers, who had come from Nicaragua and settled in California, were called down to Honduras. And they met with a CIA agent named Enrique Bermúdez, who was one of Somoza’s military officials, and the man the CIA picked to run this new organization they were forming. And both traffickers had said — one of them said, the other one wrote, and it’s never been contradicted — that when they met with the CIA agent, he told them, “We need money for this operation. Your guy’s job is to go to California and raise money, and not to worry about how you did it. And what he said was — and I think this had been used to justify just about every crime against humanity that we’ve known — “the ends justify the means.”

Now, this is a very important link in this chain reaction, because the means they selected was cocaine trafficking, which is sort of what you’d expect when you ask cocaine traffickers to go out and raise money for you. You shouldn’t at all be surprised when they go out and sell drugs. Especially when you pick people who are like pioneers of the cocaine trafficking business, which Norwin Meneses certainly was.

There was a CIA cable from I believe 1984, which called him the “kingpin of narcotics trafficking” in Central America. He was sort of like the Al Capone of Nicaragua. So after getting these fundraising instructions from this CIA agent, these two men go back to California, and they begin selling cocaine. This time not exclusively for themselves — this time in furtherance of U.S. foreign policy. And they began selling it in Los Angeles, and they began selling it in San Francisco.

Sometime in 1982, Danilo Blandón, who had been given the LA market, started selling his cocaine to a young drug dealer named Ricky Ross, who later became known as “Freeway” Rick. In 1994, the LA Times would describe him as the master marketer most responsible for flooding the streets of Los Angeles with cocaine. In 1979, he was nothing. He was nothing before he met these Nicaraguans. He was a high school dropout. He was a kid who wanted to be a tennis star, who was trying to get a tennis scholarship, but he found out that in order to get a scholarship you needed to read and write, and he couldn’t. So he drifted out of school and wound up selling stolen car parts, and then he met these Nicaraguans, who had this cheap cocaine that they wanted to unload. And he proved to be very good at that.

Now, he lived in South Central Los Angeles, which was home to some street gangs known as the Crips and the Bloods. And back in 1981-82, hardly anybody knew who they were. They were mainly neighborhood kids — they’d beat each other up, they’d steal leather coats, they’d steal cars, but they were really nothing back then. But what they gained through this organization, and what they gained through Ricky Ross, was a built-in distribution network throughout the neighborhood. The Crips and the Bloods were already selling marijuana, they were already selling PCP, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for them to sell something new, which is what these Nicaraguans were bringing in, which was cocaine.

This is where these forces of history come out of nowhere and collide. Right about the time the contras got to South Central Los Angeles, hooked up with “Freeway” Rick, and started selling powder cocaine, the people Rick was selling his powder to started asking him if he knew how to make it into this stuff called “rock” that they were hearing about. This obviously was crack cocaine, and it was already on its way to the United States by then — it started in Peru in ’74 and was working its way upward, and it was bound to get here sooner or later. In 1981 it got to Los Angeles, and people started figuring out how to take this very expensive powdered cocaine and cook it up on the stove and turn it into stuff you could smoke.

When Ricky went out and he started talking to his customers, and they started asking him how to make this stuff, you know, Rick was a smart guy — he still is a smart guy — and he figured, this is something new. This is customer demand. If I want to progress in this business, I better meet this demand. So he started switching from selling powder to making rock himself, and selling it already made. He called this new invention his “Ready Rock.” And he told me the scenario, he said it was a situation where he’d go to a guy’s house, he would say, “Oh man, I want to get high, I’m on my way to work, I don’t have time to go into the kitchen and cook this stuff up. Can’t you cook it up for me and just bring it to me already made?” And he said, “Yeah, I can do that.” So he started doing it.

So by the time crack got ahold of South Central, which took a couple of years, Rick had positioned himself on top of the crack market in South Central. And by 1984, crack sales had supplanted marijuana and PCP sales as sources of income for the gangs and drug dealers of South Central. And suddenly these guys had more money than they knew what to do with. Because what happened with crack, it democratized the drug. When you were buying it in powdered form, you were having to lay out a hundred bucks for a gram, or a hundred and fifty bucks for a gram. Now all you needed was ten bucks, or five bucks, or a dollar — they were selling “dollar rocks” at one point. So anybody who had money and wanted to get high could get some of this stuff. You didn’t need to be a middle-class or wealthy drug user anymore.

Suddenly the market for this very expensive drug expanded geometrically. And now these dealers, who were making a hundred bucks a day on a good day, were now making five or six thousand dollars a day on a good day. And the gangs started setting up franchises — they started franchising rock houses in South Central, just like McDonald’s. And you’d go on the streets, and there’d be five or six rock houses owned by one guy, and five or six rock houses owned by another guy, and suddenly they started making even more money.

And now they’ve got all this money, and they felt nervous. You get $100,000 or $200,000 in cash in your house, and you start getting kind of antsy about it. So now they wanted weapons to guard their money with, and to guard their rock houses, which other people were starting to knock off. And lo and behold, you had weapons. The contras. They were selling weapons. They were buying weapons. And they started selling weapons to the gangs in Los Angeles. They started selling them AR-15s, they started selling them Uzis, they started selling them Israeli-made pistols with laser sights, just about anything. Because that was part of the process here. They were not just drug dealers, they were taking the drug money and buying weapons with it to send down to Central America with the assistance of a great number of spooky CIA folks, who were getting them http://glitch%20--%20across%20the%20border? and that sort of thing, so they could get weapons in and out of the country. So, not only does South Central suddenly have a drug problem, they have a weapons problem that they never had before. And you started seeing things like drive-by shootings and gang bangers with Uzis.

By 1985, the LA crack market had become saturated. There was so much dope going into South Central, dope that the CIA, we now know, knew of, and they knew the origins of — the FBI knew the origins of it; the DEA knew the origins of it; and nobody did anything about it. (We’ll get into that in a bit.)

But what happened was, there were so many people selling crack that the dealers were jostling each other on the corners. And the smaller ones decided, we’re going to take this show on the road. So they started going to other cities. They started going to Bakersfield, they started going to Fresno, they started going to San Francisco and Oakland, where they didn’t have crack markets, and nobody knew what this stuff was, and they had wide open markets for themselves. And suddenly crack started showing up in city after city after city, and oftentimes it was Crips and Bloods from Los Angeles who were starting these markets. By 1986, it was all up and down the east coast, and by 1989, it was nationwide.

Today, fortunately, crack use is on a downward trend, but that’s something that isn’t due to any great progress we’ve made in the so-called “War on Drugs,” it’s the natural cycle of things. Drug epidemics generally run from 10 to 15 years. Heroin is now the latest drug on the upswing.

Now, a lot of people disagreed with this scenario. The New York Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post all came out and said, oh, no, that’s not so. They said this couldn’t have happened that way, because crack would have happened anyway. Which is true, somewhat. As I pointed out in the first chapter of my book, crack was on its way here. But whether it would have happened the same way, whether it would have happened in South Central, whether it would have happened in Los Angeles at all first, is a very different story. If it had happened in Eugene, Oregon first, it might not have gone anywhere. [Restless shuffling and the sounds of throats being cleared among the audience.] No offense, but you folks aren’t exactly trend setters up here when it comes to drug dealers and drug fads. LA is, however. [Soft laughter and murmuring among the audience.]

You can play “what if” games all you like, but it doesn’t change the reality. And the reality is that this CIA-connected drug ring played a very critical role in the early 1980s in opening up South Central to a crack epidemic that was unmatched in its severity and influence anywhere in the U.S.

One question that I ask people who say, “Oh, I don’t believe this,” is, okay, tell me this: why did crack appear in black neighborhoods first? Why did crack distribution networks leapfrog from one black neighborhood to other black neighborhoods and bypass white neighborhoods and bypass Hispanic neighborhoods and Asian neighborhoods? Our government and the mainstream media have given us varying explanations for this phenomenon over the years, and they are nice, comforting, general explanations which absolve anyone of any responsibility for why crack is so ethnically specific. One of the reasons we’re told is that, well, it’s poverty. As if the only poor neighborhoods in this country were black neighborhoods. And we’re told it’s high teenage unemployment; these kids gotta have jobs. As if the hills and hollows of Appalachia don’t have teenage unemployment rates that are ten times higher than inner city Los Angeles. And then we’re told that it’s loose family structure — you know, presuming that there are no white single mothers out there trying to raise kids on low-paying jobs or welfare and food stamps. And then we’re told, well, it’s because crack is so cheap — because it sells for a lower price in South Central than it sells anywhere else. But twenty bucks is twenty bucks, no matter where you go in the country.

So once you have eliminated these sort of non-sensical explanations, you are left with two theories which are far less comfortable. The first theory — which is not something I personally subscribe to, but it’s out there — is that there’s something about black neighborhoods which causes them to be genetically predisposed to drug trafficking. That’s a racist argument that no one in their right mind is advancing publicly, although I tell you, when I was reading a lot of the stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times, they were talking about black Americans being more susceptible to “conspiracy theories” than white Americans, which is why they believe the story more. I think that was sort of the underlying current there. On the other hand, I didn’t see any stories about all the white people who think Elvis is alive still, or that Hitler’s brain is preserved down in Brazil to await the Fourth Reich… [laughter from the audience] …which is a particularly white conspiracy theory, I didn’t see any stories in the New York Times about that…

The other more palatable reason which in my mind comes closer to the truth, is that someone started bringing cheap cocaine into black neighborhoods right at the time when drug users began figuring out how to turn it into crack. And this allowed black drug dealers to get a head start on every other ethnic group in terms of setting up distribution systems and trafficking systems.

Now, one thing I’ve learned about the drug business while researching this is that in many ways it is the epitome of capitalism. It is the purest form of capitalism. You have no government regulation, a wide-open market, a buyer’s market — anything goes. But these things don’t spring out of the ground fully formed. It’s like any business. It takes time to grow them. It takes time to set up networks. So once these distribution networks got set up and established in primarily South Central Los Angeles, primarily black neighborhoods, they spread it along ethnic and cultural lines. You had black dealers from LA going to black neighborhoods in other cities, because they knew people there, they had friends there, and that’s why you saw these networks pop up from one black neighborhood to another black neighborhood.

Now, exactly the same thing happened on the east coast a couple of years later. When crack first appeared on the east coast, it appeared in Caribbean neighborhoods in Miami — thanks largely to the Jamaicans, who were using their drug profits to fund political gains back home. It was almost the exact opposite of what happened in LA in that the politics were the opposite — but it was the same phenomenon. And once the Miami market was saturated, they moved to New York, they moved east, and they started bringing crack from the east coast towards the middle of the country.

So it seems to me that if you’re looking for the root of your drug problems in a neighborhood, nothing else matters except the drugs, and where they’re coming from, and how they’re getting there. And all these other reasons I cited are used as explanations for how crack became popular, but it doesn’t explain how the cocaine got there in the first place. And that’s where the contras came in.

One of the things which these newspapers who dissed my story were saying was, we can’t believe that the CIA would know about drug trafficking and let it happen. That this idea that this agency which gets $27 billion a year to tell us what’s going on, and which was so intimately involved with the contras they were writing their press releases for them, they wouldn’t know about this drug trafficking going on under their noses. But the Times and the Post all uncritically reported their claims that the CIA didn’t know what was going on, and that it would never permit its hirelings to do anything like that, as unseemly as drug trafficking. You know, assassinations and bombings and that sort of thing, yeah, they’ll admit to right up front, but drug dealing, no, no, they don’t do that kind of stuff.

Unfortunately, though, it was true, and what has happened since my series came out is that the CIA was forced to do an internal review, the DEA and Justice Department were forced to do internal reviews, and these agencies that released these reports, you probably didn’t read about them, because they contradicted everything else these other newspapers had been writing for the last couple of years, but let me just read you this one excerpt. This is from a 1987 DEA report. And this is about this drug ring in Los Angeles that I wrote about. In 1987, the DEA sent undercover informants inside this drug operation, and they interviewed one of the principals of this organization, namely Ivan Torres. And this is what he said. He told the informant:

“The CIA wants to know about drug trafficking, but only for their own purposes, and not necessarily for the use of law enforcement agencies. Torres told DEA Confidential Informant 1 that CIA representatives are aware of his drug-related activities, and that they don’t mind. He said they had gone so far as to encourage cocaine trafficking by members of the contras, because they know it’s a good source of income. Some of this money has gone into numbered accounts in Europe and Panama, as does the money that goes to Managua from cocaine trafficking. Torres told the informant about receiving counterintelligence training from the CIA, and had avowed that the CIA looks the other way and in essence allows them to engage in narcotics trafficking.”

This is a DEA report that was written in 1987, when this operation was still going on. Another member of this organization who was affiliated with the San Francisco end of it, said that in 1985 — and this was to the CIA — “Cabezas claimed that the contra cocaine operated with the knowledge of, and under the supervision of, the CIA. Cabezas claimed that this drug enterprise was run with the knowledge of CIA agent Ivan Gómez.”

Now, this is one of the stories that I tried to do at the Mercury News was who this man Ivan Gómez was. This was after my original series came out, and after the controversy started. I went back to Central America, and I found this fellow Cabezas and he told me all about Ivan Gómez. And I came back, I corroborated it with three former contra officials. Mercury News wouldn’t put it in the newspaper. And they said, “We have no evidence this man even exists.”

Well, the CIA Inspector General’s report came out in October, and there was a whole chapter on Ivan Gómez. And the amazing thing was that Ivan Gómez admitted in a CIA-administered polygraph test that he had been engaged in laundering drug money the same month that this man told me he had been engaged in it. CIA knew about it, and what did they do? Nothing. They said okay, go back to work. And they covered it up for fifteen years.

So, the one thing that I’ve learned from this whole experience is, first of all, you can’t believe the government — on anything. And you especially can’t believe them when they’re talking about important stuff, like this stuff. The other thing is that the media will believe the government before they believe anything.

This has been the most amazing thing to me. You had a situation where you had another newspaper who reported this information. The major news organizations in this country went to the CIA, they went to the Justice Department, and they said, what about it? And they said, oh, no, it’s not true. Take our word for it. And they went back and put it in the newspaper! Now, I try to imagine what would happen had reporters come back to their editors and said, look, I know the CIA is involved in drug trafficking. And I know the FBI knows about it, and I’ve got a confidential source that’s telling me that. Can I write a story about that? What do you think the answer would have been? [Murmurs of “no” from the audience.] Get back down to the obit desk. Start cranking out those sports scores. But, if they go to the government and the government denies something like that, they’ll put it in the paper with no corroboration whatsoever.

And it’s only since the government has admitted it that now the media is willing to consider that there might be a story here after all. The New York Times, after the CIA report that came out, ran a story on its front page saying, gosh, the contras were involved in drugs after all, and gosh, the CIA knew about it.

Now you would think — at least I would think — that something like that would warrant Congressional investigation. We’re spending millions of dollars to find out how many times Bill Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinsky. Why aren’t we interested in how much the CIA knew about drug traffic? Who was profiting from this drug traffic? Who else knew about it? And why did it take some guy from a California newspaper by accident stumbling over this stuff ten years later in order for it to be important? I mean, what the hell is going on here? I’ve been a reporter for almost twenty years. To me, this is a natural story. The CIA is involved in drug trafficking? Let’s know about it. Let’s find out about it. Let’s do something about it. Nobody wants to touch this thing.

And the other thing that came out just recently, which nobody seems to know about, because it hasn’t been reported — the CIA Inspector General went before Congress in March and testified that yes, they knew about it. They found some documents that indicated that they knew about it, yeah. I was there, and this was funny to watch, because these Congressmen were up there, and they were ready to hear the absolution, right? “We had no evidence that this was going on…” And this guy sort of threw ’em a curve ball and admitted that it had happened.

One of the people said, well geez, what was the CIA’s responsibility when they found out about this? What were you guys supposed to do? And the Inspector General sort of looked around nervously, cleared his throat and said, “Well… that’s kind of an odd history there.” And Norman Dix from Washington, bless his heart, didn’t let it go at that. He said, “Explain what you mean by that?” And the Inspector General said, well, we were looking around and we found this document, and according to the document, we didn’t have to report this to anybody. And they said, “How come?” And the IG said, we don’t know exactly, but there was an agreement made in 1982 between Bill Casey — a fine American, as we all know [laughter from the audience] — and William French Smith, who was then the Attorney General of the United States. And they reached an agreement that said if there is drug trafficking involved by CIA agents, we don’t have to tell the Justice Department. Honest to God. Honest to God. Actually, this is now a public record, this document. Maxine Waters just got copies of it, she’s putting it on the Congressional Record. It is now on the CIA’s web site, if you care to journey into that area. If you do, check out the CIA Web Site for Kids, it’s great, I love it. [Laugher from the audience.] I kid you not, they’ve actually got a web page for kids.

The other thing about this agreement was, this wasn’t just like a thirty-day agreement — this thing stayed in effect from 1982 until 1995. So all these years, these agencies had a gentleman’s agreement that if CIA assets or CIA agents were involved in drug trafficking, it did not need to be reported to the Justice Department.

So I think that eliminates any questions that drug trafficking by the contras was an accident, or was a matter of just a few rotten apples. I think what this said was that it was anticipated by the Justice Department, it was anticipated by the CIA, and steps were taken to ensure that there was a loophole in the law, so that if it ever became public knowledge, nobody would be prosecuted for it.

The other thing is, when George Bush pardoned — remember those Christmas pardons that he handed out when he was on his way out the door a few years ago? The media focused on old Caspar Weinberger, got pardoned, it was terrible. Well, if you looked down the list of names at the other pardons he handed out, there was a guy named Claire George, there was a guy named Al Fiers, there was another guy named Joe Fernández. And these stories sort of brushed them off and said, well, they were CIA officials, we’re not going to say much more about it. These were the CIA officials who were responsible for the contra war. These were the men who were running the contra operation. And the text of Bush’s pardon not only pardons them for the crimes of Iran-contra, it pardons them for everything. So, now that we know about it, we can’t even do anything about it. They all received presidential pardons.

So where does that leave us? Well, I think it sort of leaves us to rely on the judgment of history. But that is a dangerous step. We didn’t know about this stuff two years ago; we know about it now. We’ve got Congressmen who are no longer willing to believe that CIA agents are “honorable men,” as William Colby called them. And we’ve got approximately a thousand pages of evidence of CIA drug trafficking on the public record finally.

That said, let me tell you, there are thousands of pages more that we still don’t know about. The CIA report that came out in October was originally 600 pages; by the time we got ahold of it, it was only 300 pages.

One last thing I want to mention — Bob Parry, who is a fine investigative reporter, he runs a magazine in Washington called I.F. Magazine, and he’s got a great website, check it out — he did a story about two weeks ago about some of the stuff that was contained in the CIA report that we didn’t get to see. And one of the stories he wrote was about how there was a second CIA drug ring in South Central Los Angeles that ran from 1988 to 1991. This was not even the one I wrote about. There was another one there. This was classified.

The interesting thing is, it was run by a CIA agent who had participated in the contra war, and the reason it was classified is because it is under investigation by the CIA. I doubt very seriously that we’ll ever hear another word about that.

But the one thing that we can do, and the one thing that Maxine Waters is trying to do, is force the House Intelligence Committee to hold hearings on this. This is supposed to be the oversight committee of the CIA. They have held one hearing, and after they found out there was this deal that they didn’t have to report drug trafficking, they all ran out of the room, they haven’t convened since.

So if you’re interested in pursuing this, the thing I would suggest you do is, call up the House Intelligence Committee in Washington and ask them when we’re going to have another CIA/contra/crack hearing. Believe me, it’ll drive them crazy. Send them email, just ask them, make sure — they think everybody’s forgotten about this. I mean, if you look around the room tonight, I don’t think it’s been forgotten. They want us to forget about it. They want us to concentrate on sex crimes, because, yeah, it’s titillating. It keeps us occupied. It keeps us diverted. Don’t let them do it.

Thanks very much for your attention, I appreciate it. We’ll do questions and answers now for as long as you want.

[Robust applause.]


Question and Answer Session

Gary Webb: I’ve been instructed to repeat the question, so…

Voice From the Audience: You talked about George Bush pardoning people. Given George Bush’s history with the CIA, do you know when he first knew about this, and what he knew?

Gary Webb: Well, I didn’t at the time I wrote the book, I do now. The question was, when did George Bush first know about this? The CIA, in its latest report, said that they had prepared a detailed briefing for the vice president — I think it was 1985? — on all these allegations of contra drug trafficking and delivered it to him personally. So, it’s hard for George to say he was out of the loop on this one.

I’ll tell you another thing, one of the most amazing things I found in the National Archives was a report that had been written by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa — I believe it was 1987. They had just busted a Colombian drug trafficker named Allen Rudd, and they were using him as a cooperating witness. Rudd agreed to go undercover and set up other drug traffickers, and they were debriefing him.

Now, let me set the stage for you. When you are being debriefed by the federal government for use as an informant, you’re not going to go in there and tell them crazy-sounding stories, because they’re not going to believe you, they’re going to slap you in jail, right? What Rudd told them was, that he was involved in a meeting with Pablo Escobar, who was then the head of the Medellín cartel. They were working out arrangements to set up cocaine shipments into South Florida. He said Escobar started ranting and raving about that damned George Bush, and now he’s got that South Florida Drug Task Force set up which has really been making things difficult, and the man’s a traitor. And he used to deal with us, but now he wants to be president and thinks that he’s double-crossing us. And Rudd said, well, what are you talking about? And Escobar said, we made a deal with that guy, that we were going to ship weapons to the contras, they were in there flying weapons down to Columbia, we were unloading weapons, we were getting them to the contras, and the deal was, we were supposed to get our stuff to the United States without any problems. And that was the deal that we made. And now he double-crossed us.

So the U.S. Attorney heard this, and he wrote this panicky memo to Washington saying, you know, this man has been very reliable so far, everything he’s told us has checked out, and now he’s saying that the Vice President of the United States is involved with drug traffickers. We might want to check this out. And it went all the way up — the funny thing about government documents is, whenever it passes over somebody’s desk, they have to initial it. And this thing was like a ladder, it went all the way up and all the way up, and it got up to the head of the Criminal Division at the Justice Department, and he looked at it and said, looks like a job for Lawrence Walsh! And so he sent it over to Walsh, the Iran-contra prosecutor, and he said, here, you take it, you deal with this. And Walsh’s office — I interviewed Walsh, and he said, we didn’t have the authority to deal with that. We were looking at Ollie North. So I said, did anybody investigate this? And the answer was, “no.” And that thing sat in the National Archives for ten years, nobody ever looked at it.

Voice From the Audience: Is that in your book?

Gary Webb: Yeah.

Voice From the Audience: Thank you.

Audience Member #1: Well, first of all, I’d like to thank you for pursuing this story, you have a lot of guts to do it.

[Applause from the audience.]

Gary Webb: This is what reporters are supposed to do. This is what reporters are supposed to do. I don’t think I was doing anything special.

Audience Member #1: Still, there’s not too many guys like you that are doing it.

Gary Webb: That’s true, they’ve all still got jobs.

[Laughter, scattered applause.]

Audience Member #1: I just had a couple of questions, the first one is, I followed the story on the web site, and I thought it was a really great story, it was really well done. And I noticed that the San Jose Mercury News seemed to support you for a while, and then all the sudden that support collapsed. So I was wondering what your relationship is with your editor there, and how that all played out, and when they all pulled out the rug from under you.

Gary Webb: Well, the support collapsed probably after the LA Times… The Washington [Post] came out first, the New York Times came out second, and the LA Times came out third, and they started getting nervous. There’s a phenomenon in the media we all know, it’s called “piling on,” and they started seeing themselves getting piled on. They sent me back down to Central America two more times to do more reporting and I came back with stories that were even more outrageous than what they printed in the newspaper the first time. And they were faced with a situation of, now we’re accusing Oliver North of being involved in drug trafficking. Now we’re accusing the Justice Department of being part and parcel to this. Geez, if we get beat up over accusing a couple of CIA agents of being involved in this, what the hell is going to happen now? And they actually said, I had memos saying, you know, if we run these stories, there is going to be a firestorm of criticism.

So, I think they took the easy way out. The easy way out was not to go ahead and do the story. It was to back off the story. But they had a problem, because the story was true. And it isn’t every day that you’re confronted with how to take a dive on a true story.

They spent several months — honestly, literally, because I was getting these drafts back and forth — trying to figure out how to say, we don’t support this story, even though it’s true. And if you go back and you read the editor’s column, you’ll see that the great difficulty that he had trying to take a dive on this thing. And he ended up talking about “gray areas” that should have been explored a little more and “subtleties” that we should have not brushed over so lightly, without disclosing the fact that the series had originally been four parts and they cut it to three parts, because “nobody reads four part series’ anymore.” So, that was one reason.

The other reason was, you know, one of the things you learn very quickly when you get into journalism is that there’s safety in numbers. Editors don’t like being out there on a limb all by themselves. I remember very clearly going to press conferences, coming back, writing a story, sending it in, and my editor calling up and saying, well gee, this isn’t what AP wrote. Or, the Chronicle just ran their story, and that’s not what the Chronicle wrote. And I’d say, “Fine. Good.” And they said, no, we’ve got to make it the same, we don’t want to be different. We don’t want our story to be different from everybody else’s.

And so what they were seeing at the Mercury was, the Big Three newspapers were sitting on one side of the fence, and they were out there by themselves, and that just panicked the hell out of them. So, you have to understand newspaper mentality to understand it a little bit, but it’s not too hard to understand cowardice, either. I think a lot of that was that they were just scared as hell to go ahead with the story.

Audience Member #1: Were they able to look you in the eye, and…

Gary Webb: No. They didn’t, they just did this over the phone. I went to Sacramento.

Audience Member #1: When did you find out about it, and what did you…

Gary Webb: Oh, they called me up at home, two months after I turned in my last four stories, and said, we’re going to write a column saying, you know, we’re not going ahead with this. And that’s when I jumped in the car and drove up there and said, what the hell’s going on? And I got all these mealy-mouthed answers, you know, geez, gray areas, subtleties, one thing or another… But I said, tell me one thing that’s wrong with the story, and nobody could ever point to anything. And today, to this day, nobody has ever said there was a factual error in that story.

[Inaudible question from the audience.]

Gary Webb: The question was, the editors are one thing, what about the readers? Um… who cares about the readers? Honestly. The reader’s don’t run the newspaper.

[Another inaudible question from the audience regarding letters to the editor and boycotts of the newspaper.]

Gary Webb: Well, a number of them did, and believe me, the newspaper office was flooded with calls and emails. And the newspaper, to their credit, printed a bunch of them, calling it the most cowardly thing they’d ever seen. But in the long run, the readers, you know, don’t run the place. And that’s the thing about newspaper markets these days. You folks really don’t have any choice! What else are you going to read? And the editors know this.

When I started in this business, we had two newspapers in town where I worked in Cincinnati. And we were deathly afraid that if we sat on a story for 24 hours, the Cincinnati Inquirer was going to put it in the paper, and we were going to look like dopes. We were going to look like we were covering stuff up, we were going to look like we were protecting somebody. So we were putting stuff in the paper without thinking about it sometimes, but we got it in the paper. Now, we can sit on stuff for months, who’s going to find out about it? And even if somebody found out about it, what are they going to do? That’s the big danger that everybody has sort of missed. These one-newspaper towns, you’ve got no choice. You’ve got no choice. And television? Television’s not going to do it. I mean, they’re down filming animals at the zoo!

[Laughter and applause.]

Audience Member #2: I assume you have talked to John Cummings, the one that wrote Compromised, that book?

Gary Webb: I talked to Terry Reed, who was the principal author on that, yeah.

Audience Member #2: Well, that was a well-documented book, and I had just finished reading this when I happened to look down and see the headlines on the Sunday paper. And he stated that Oliver North told him personally that he was a CIA asset that manufactured weapons.

Gary Webb: Right.

Audience Member #2: When he discovered that they were importing cocaine, he got out of there. And they chased him with his family across country for two years trying to catch him. But he had said in that book that Oliver North told him that Vice President Bush told Oliver North to dirty Clinton’s men with the drug money. Which I assumed was what Whitewater was all about, was finding the laundering and trying to find something on Clinton. Do you know anything about that?

Gary Webb: Yeah, let me sum up your question. Essentially, you’re asking about the goings-on in Mena, Arkansas, because of the drug operations going on at this little air base in Arkansas while Clinton was governor down there. The fellow you referred to, Terry Reed, wrote a book called Compromised which talked about his role in this corporate operation in Mena which was initially designed to train contra pilots — Reed was a pilot — and it was also designed after the Boland Amendment went into effect to get weapons parts to the contras, because the CIA couldn’t provide them anymore. And as Reed got into this weapons parts business, he discovered that the CIA was shipping cocaine back through these weapons crates that were coming back into the United States. And when he blew the whistle on it, he was sort of sent on this long odyssey of criminal charges being filed against him, etcetera etcetera etcetera. A lot of what Reed wrote is accurate as far as I can tell, and a lot of it was documented.

There is a House Banking Committee investigation that has been going on now for about three years, looking specifically at Mena, Arkansas, looking specifically at a drug trafficker named Barry Seal, who was one of the biggest cocaine and marijuana importers in the south side of the United States during the 1980s. Seal was also, coincidentally, working for the CIA, and was working for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

I don’t know how many of you remember this, but one night Ronnie Reagan got on TV and held up a grainy picture, and said, here’s proof that the Sandanistas are dealing drugs. Look, here’s Pablo Escobar, and they’re all loading cocaine into a plane, and this was taken in Nicaragua. This was the eve of a vote on the contra aid. That photograph was set up by Barry Seal. The plane that was used was Seal’s plane, and it was the same plane that was shot down over Nicaragua a couple of years later that Eugene Hasenfus was in, that broke open the whole Iran-contra scandal.

The Banking Committee is supposed to be coming out with a report in the next couple of months looking at the relationship between Barry Seal, the U.S. government and Clinton’s folks. Alex Cockburn has done a number of stories on this company called Park-On Meter down in Russellville, Arkansas, that’s hooked up with Clinton’s family, hooked up with Hillary’s law firm, that sort of thing. To me, that’s a story people ought to be looking at. I never thought Whitewater was much of a story, frankly. What I thought the story was about was Clinton’s buddy Dan Lasater, the bond broker down there who was a convicted cocaine trafficker. Clinton pardoned him on his way to Washington. Lasater was a major drug trafficker, and Terry Reed’s book claims Lasater was part and parcel with this whole thing.

Voice From the Audience: Cockburn’s newsletter is called Counterpunch, and he’s done a good job of defending you in it.

Gary Webb: Yeah, Cockburn has also written a book called Whiteout, which is a very interesting look at the history of CIA drug trafficking. Actually, I think it’s selling pretty well itself. The New York Times hated it, of course, but what else is new?

Audience Member #2: Well I just wanted to mention that he states also — I guess it was Terry Reed who was actually doing the work — he said Bush was running the whole thing as vice president.

Gary Webb: I think that George Bush’s role in this whole thing is one of the large unexplored areas of it.

Audience Member #2: Which is why I think Reagan put him in as vice president, because of his position with the CIA.

Gary Webb: Well, you know, that whole South Florida Drug Task Force was full of CIA operatives. Full of them. This was supposed to be our vanguard in the war against cocaine cartels, and if those Colombians are to be believed, this was the vehicle that we were using to ship arms and allow cocaine into the country, this Drug Task Force. Nobody’s looked at that. But there are lots of clues that there’s a lot to be dug out.

Audience Member #3: Thank you, Gary. I lost my feature columnist position at my college paper for writing a satire of Christianity some years ago, and…

Gary Webb: That’ll do it, yeah. [Laughter from the audience.]

Audience Member #3: And I lost my job twice in the last five years because of my activism in the community, but I got a job [inaudible]. But my question is, I knew someone in the mid-’80s who said that he was in the Navy, and that he had information that the Navy was involved in delivering cocaine to this country. Another kind of bombshell, I’d like to have you comment on it, I saw a video some years ago that said the UFO research that’s being done down in the southwest is being funded by drug money and cocaine dealings by the CIA, and that there are 25 top secret levels of government above the Top Secret category, and that there are some levels that even the president doesn’t know about. So there’s another topic for another book, I just wanted to have you comment…

Gary Webb: A number of topics for another book. [Laughter from the audience.] I don’t know about the UFO research, but I do know you’re right that we have very little idea how vast the intelligence community in this country is, or what they’re up to. I think there’s a great story brewing — it’s called the ECHELON program, and it involves the sharing of eavesdropped emails and cell phone communications, because it is illegal for them to do it in this country. So they’ve been going to New Zealand and Australia and Canada and having those governments eavesdrop on our conversations and tell us about it. I’ve read a couple of stories about it in the English press, and I read a couple of stories about it in the Canadian press, but I’ve seen precious little in the American press. But there’s stuff on the Internet that circulates about that, if you’re interested in the topic. I think it’s called the ECHELON program.

Audience Member #4: I’m glad you brought up James Burke and his Connections, because there are a lot of connections here. One I didn’t hear too much about, and I know you’ve done a lot of research on, was how computers and high tech was used by the Crips and Bloods early on. I lived in south LA prior to this, knew some of these people, and you’re right, they had virtually no education. And to suddenly have an operation that’s computer literate, riding out of Bakersfield, Fresno, on north and then east in a very quick period — I’m still learning the computer, I’m probably as old as you are, or older — so I’d like to hear something on that. The whole dislocation of south LA that occurred — the Watts Festival, the whole empowerment of the black community was occurring beginning in the late ’60s and into the early ’70s and mid-’70s, and then collapses into a sea of flipping demographics, and suddenly by 1990 it is El Salvadoran-dominated. And that’s another curious part of this equation as we talk about drugs.

Gary Webb: Well, that’s quite a bevy of things there. As far as the sophistication of the Crips and the Bloods, the one thing that I probably should have mentioned was that when Danilo Blandón went down to South Central to start selling this dope, he had an M.B.A. in marketing. So he knew what he was doing. His job for the Somoza government was setting up wholesale markets for agricultural products. He’d received an M.B.A. thanks to us, actually — we helped finance him, we helped send him to the University of Bogata to get his M.B.A. so he could go back to Nicaragua, and he actually came to the United States to sell dope to the gangs. So this was a very sophisticated operation.

One of the money launderers from this group was a macro-economist — his uncle, Orlando Murillo, was on the Central Bank of Nicaragua. The weapons advisor they had was a guy who’d been a cop for fifteen years. They had another weapons advisor who had been a Navy SEAL. You don’t get these kinds of people by putting ads in the paper. This is not a drug ring that just sort of falls together by chance. This is like an all-star game. Which is why I suspect more and more that this thing was set up by a higher authority than a couple of drug dealers.

Audience Member #5: Hi Gary, I just want to thank you for going against the traffic on this whole deal. I’m in the journalism school up at U. of O., and I’m interested in the story behind the story. I was hoping you could share some anecdotes about the kind of activity that you engaged in to get the story. For example, when you get off a plane in Nicaragua, what do you do? Where do you start? How do you talk to “Freeway” Ricky? How do you go against a government stonewall?

Gary Webb: The question is, how do you do a story like this, essentially. Well, thing I’ve always found is, if you go knock on somebody’s door, they’re a lot less apt to slam it in your face than if you call them up on the telephone. So, the reason I went down to Nicaragua was to go knock on doors. I didn’t go down there and just step off a plane — I found a fellow down in Nicaragua and we hired him as a stringer, a fellow named George Hidell who is a marvelous investigative reporter, he knew all sorts of government officials down there. And I speak no Spanish, which was another handicap. George speaks like four languages. So, you find people like that to help you out.

With these drug dealers, you know, it’s amazing how willing they are to talk. I did a series while I was in Kentucky on organized crime in the coal industry. And it was about this mass of stock swindlers who had looted Wall Street back in the ’60s and moved down to Kentucky in the ’70s while the coal boom was going on, during the energy shortage. The lesson I learned in that thing — I thought these guys would never talk to me, I figured they’d be crazy to talk to a reporter about the scams they were pulling. But they were happy to talk about it, they were flattered that you would come to them and say, hey, tell me about what you do. Tell me your greatest knock-off. Those guys would go on forever! So, you know, everybody, no matter what they do, they sort of have pride in their work… [Laughter from the audience.] And, you know, I found that when you appeared interested, they would be happy to tell you.

The people who lied to me, the people who slammed doors in my face, were the DEA and the FBI. The DEA called me down — I wrote about this in the book — they had a meeting, and they were telling me that if I wrote this story, I was going to help drug traffickers bring drugs into the country, and I was going to get DEA agents killed, and this, that and the other thing, all of which was utterly bullshit. So that’s the thing — just ask. There’s really no secret to it.

Audience Member #6: I’d like to ask a couple of questions very quickly. The first one is, if you wouldn’t mind being a reference librarian for a moment — there was the Golden Triangle. I was just wondering if you’ve ever, in your curiosity about this, touched on that — the drug rings and the heroin trade out of Southeast Asia. And the second one is about the fellow from the Houston Chronicle, I don’t remember his name right off, but you know who I’m talking about, if you could just touch on that a little bit…

Gary Webb: Yes. The first question was about whether I ever touched on what was going on in the Golden Triangle. Fortunately, I didn’t have to — there’s a great book called The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, by Alfred McCoy, which is sort of a classic in CIA drug trafficking lore. I don’t think you can get any better than that. That’s a great reference in the library, you can go check it out. McCoy was a professor at the University of Wisconsin who went to Laos during the time that the secret war in Laos was going on, and he wrote about how the CIA was flying heroin out on Air America. That’s the thing that really surprised me about the reaction to my story was, it’s not like I invented this stuff. There’s a long, long history of CIA involvement in drug traffic which Cockburn gets into in Whiteout.

And the second question was about Pete Brewton — there was a reporter in Houston for the Houston Post named Pete Brewton who did the series — I think it was ’91 or ’92 — on the strange connections between the S&L collapses, particularly in Texas, and CIA agents. And his theory was that a lot of these collapses were not mismanagement, they were intentional. These things were looted, with the idea that a lot of the money was siphoned off to fund covert operations overseas. And Brewton wrote this series, and it was funny, because after all hell broke loose on my story, I called him up, and he said, “Well, I was waiting for this to happen to you.” And I said, “Why?” And he said, “I was exactly like you are. I’d been in this business for twenty years, I’d won all sorts of awards, I’d lectured in college journalism courses, and I wrote a series that had these three little letters C-I-A in it. And suddenly I was unreliable, and I couldn’t be trusted, and Reed Irvine at Accuracy In Media was writing nasty things about me, and my editor had lost confidence in me, so I quit the business and went to law school.”

Brewton wrote a book called George Bush, CIA and the Mafia. It’s hard to find, but it’s worth looking up if you can find it. It’s all there, it’s all documented. See, the difference between his story and my story was, we put ours out on the web, and it got out. Brewton’s story is sort of confined to the printed page, and I think the Washington Journalism Review actually wrote a story about, how come nobody’s writing about this, nobody’s picking up this story. Nobody touched this story, it just sort of died. And the same thing would have happened with my series, had we not had this amazing web page. Thank God we did, or this thing would have just slipped underneath the waves, and nobody would have ever heard about it.

Audience Member #7: I’m glad you’re here. I guess the CIA, there was something I read in the paper a couple of years ago, that said the CIA is actually murdering people, and they admitted it, they don’t usually do that.

Gary Webb: It’s a new burst of honesty from the new CIA.

Audience Member #7: They’ll murder us with kindness. In the Chicago police force, there were about 10 officers who were kicked off the police force for doing drugs or selling drugs, and George Bush or something… I heard that he had a buddy who had a lot of money in drug testing equipment, so that’s one reason everybody has to pee in a cup now… [Laughter from the audience.] The other thing I found, there was a meth lab close to here, and somebody who wasn’t even involved with it, he was paralyzed… And as you know, we have the “Just Say No to Drugs” deal… What do you think we can do to stop us, the People, from being hypnotized once again from all these shenanigans, doing other people injury in terms of these kinds of messages, at the same time they’re selling. Because all this money is being spent for all this…

Gary Webb: I guess the question is, what could you do to keep from being hypnotized by the media message, specifically on the Drug War? Is that what you’re talking about?

Audience Member #7: Yeah, or all the funds… like, there’s another thing here with the meth lab, they say we’ll kind of turn people in…

Gary Webb: Oh yeah, the nation of informers.

Audience Member #7: Yeah.

Gary Webb: That’s something I have to laugh about — up until I think ’75 or ’76, probably even later than that, you could go to your doctor and get methamphetamine. I mean, there were housewives by the hundreds of thousands across the United States who were taking it every day to lose weight, and now all the sudden it was the worst thing on the face of the earth. That’s one thing I got into in the book, was the sort of crack hysteria in 1986 that prompted all these crazy laws that are still on the books today, and the 100:1 sentencing ratio… I don’t know how many of you saw, on PBS a couple of nights back, there was a great show on informants called “Snitch.” [Murmurs of recognition from the audience.] Yeah, on Frontline. That was very heartening to see, because I don’t think ten years ago that it would have stood a chance in hell of getting on the air.

What I’m seeing now is that a lot of people are finally waking up to the idea that this “drug war” has been a fraud since the get-go. My personal opinion is, I think the main purpose of this whole drug war was to sort of erode civil liberties, very slowly and very gradually, and sort of put us down into a police state. [Robust burst of applause from the audience.] And we’re pretty close to that. I’ve got to hand it to them, they’ve done a good job. We have no Fourth Amendment left anymore, we’re all peeing in cups, and we’re all doing all sorts of things that our parents probably would have marched in the streets about.

The solution to that is to read something other than the daily newspaper, and turn off the TV news. I mean, I’m sorry, I hate to say that, but that’s mind-rot. You’ve got to find alternative sources of information. [Robust applause.]

Voice From the Audience: How can you say that it was all a chain reaction, that it was not done deliberately, and on the other hand say it has at the same time deliberately eroded our rights?

Gary Webb: Well, the question was, how can I say on one hand it was a chain reaction, and on the other hand say the drug war was set up deliberately to erode our rights. I mean, you’re talking about sort of macro versus micro. And I do not give the CIA that much credit, that they could plan these vast conspiracies down through the ages and have them work — most of them don’t.

What I’m saying is, you have police groups, you have police lobbying groups, you have prison guard groups — they seize opportunities when they come along. The Drug War has given them a lot of opportunities to say, okay, now let’s lengthen prison sentences. Why? Well, because if you keep people in jail longer, you need more prison guards. Let’s build more prisons. Why? Well, people get jobs, prison guards get jobs. The police stay in business. We need to fund more of them. We need to give bigger budgets to the correctional facilities. This is all very conscious, but I don’t think anybody sat in a room in 1974 and said, okay, by 1995, we’re going to have X number of Americans locked up or under parole supervision. I don’t think they mind — you know, I think they like that. But I don’t think it was a conscious effort. I think it was just one bad idea, after another bad idea, compounded with a stupid idea, compounded with a really stupid idea. And here we are. So I don’t know if that answers your question or not…

Audience Member #8: To me, the Iran-contra story was one of the most interesting and totally frustrating things. And the more information, the more about it I heard — we don’t know anything about it, I mean, if you look for any official data, they deny everything. And to see Ollie North, the upstanding blue-eyed American, standing there lying through his teeth, and we knew it… [Inaudible comment, “before Congress and the President”?] What galls me is that these people who are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors are now getting these enormous pensions, and we have to pay for these bums. It sickens me!

Gary Webb: Right.

Audience Member #8: And I actually have a question — this is my question, by the way, I know you have a thousand other questions [laughter from the audience] — but the one that stays with me, and has always bothered me, was the Christic Institute, and I thought it was fantastic. And they were hit with this enormous lawsuit, and they had to bail out. This needs to be [“rehired”?] because they knew what they were doing, they had all the right answers, and they were run out of office, so to say, in disgrace, because of this lawsuit.

Gary Webb: The question was about the Christic Institute, and about how the Iran-contra controversy is probably one of the worst scandals. I agree with you, I think the Iran-contra scandal was worse than Watergate, far worse than this nonsense we’re doing now. But I’ll tell you, I think the press played a very big part in downplaying that scandal. One of the people I interviewed for the book was a woman named Pam Naughton, who was one of the best prosecutors that the Iran-contra committee had. And I asked her, why — you know, it was also the first scandal that was televised, and I remember watching them at night. I would go to work and I’d set the VCR, and I’d come home at night and I’d watch the hearings. Then I’d pick up the paper the next morning, and it was completely different! And I couldn’t figure it out, and this has bothered me all these years.

So when I got Pam Naughton on the phone, I said, what the hell happened to the press corps in Washington during the Iran-contra scandal? And she said, well, I can tell you what I saw. She said, every day, we would come out at the start of this hearings, and we would lay out a stack of documents — all the exhibits we were going to introduce — stuff that she thought was extremely incriminating, front page story after front page story, and they’d sit them on a table. And she said, every day the press corps would come in, and they’d say hi, how’re you doing, blah blah blah, and they’d go sit down in the front row and start talking about, you know, did you see the ball game last night, and what they saw on Johnny Carson. And she said one or two reporters would go up and get their stack of documents and go back and write about it, and everybody else sat in the front row, and they would sit and say, okay, what’s our story today? And they would all agree what the story was, and they’d go back and write it. Most of them never even looked at the exhibits.

And that’s why I say it was the press’s fault, because there was so much stuff that came out of those hearings. That used to just drive me crazy, you would never see it in the newspaper. And I don’t think it’s a conspiracy — if anything, it’s a conspiracy of stupidity and laziness. I talked to Bob Parry about this — when he was working for Newsweek covering Iran-contra, they weren’t even letting him go to the hearings. He had to get transcripts messengered to him at his house secretly, so his editors wouldn’t find out he was actually reading the transcripts, because he was writing stories that were so different from everybody else’s.

Bob Parry tells a story of being at a dinner party with Bobby Inman from the CIA, the editor of Newsweek, and all the muckity-mucks — this was his big introduction into Washington society. And they were sitting at the dinner table in the midst of the Iran-contra thing, talking about everything but Iran-contra. And Bob said he had the bad taste of bringing up the Iran-contra hearing and mentioning one particularly bad aspect of it. And he said, the editor of Newsweek looked at him and said, “You know, Bob, there are just some things that it’s better the country just doesn’t know about.” And all these admirals and generals sitting around the table all nodded their heads in agreement, and they wanted to talk about something else.

That’s the attitude. That’s the attitude in Washington. And that’s the attitude of the Washington press corps, and nowadays it’s even worse than that, because now, if you play the game right, you get a TV show. Now you’ve got the McLaughlin Group. Now you get your mug on CNN. You know. And that’s how they keep them in line. If you’re a rabble rouser, and a shit-stirrer, they don’t want your type on television. They want the pundits.

The other question was about the Christic Institute. They had it all figured out. The Christic Institute had this thing figured out. They filed suit in May of 1986, alleging that the Reagan administration, the CIA, this sort of parallel government was going on. Oliver North was involved in it, you had the Bay of Pigs Cubans that were involved in it down in Costa Rica, they had names, they had dates, and they got murdered. And the Reagan administration’s line was, they’re a bunch of left-wing liberal crazies, this was conspiracy theory. If you want to see what they really thought, go to Oliver North’s diaries, which are public — the National Security Archive has got them, you can get them — all he was writing about, after the Christic Institute’s suit was filed, was how we’ve got to shut this thing down, how we have to discredit these witnesses, how we’ve got to get this guy set up, how we’ve got to get this guy out of the country… They knew that the Christic Institute was right, and they were deathly afraid that the American public was going to find out about it.

I am convinced that the judge who was hearing the case was part and parcel to the problem. He threw the case out of court and fined the Christic Institute, I think it was $1.3 million, for even bringing the lawsuit. It was deemed “frivolous litigation.” And it finally bankrupted them. And they went away.

But that’s the problem when you try to take on the government in its own arena, and the federal courts are definitely part of its own arena. They make the rules. And in cases like that, you don’t stand a chance in hell, it won’t happen.

Voice From the Audience: But if you cannot get the truth in the courts, if you cannot write it in the papers, then what do you do?

Gary Webb: You do it yourself. You do it yourself. You’ve got to start rebuilding an information system on your own. And that’s what’s going on. It’s very small, but it’s happening. People are talking to each other through newsgroups on the Internet. People are doing Internet newsletters.

Voice From the Audience: Do you have a website?

Emcee: Let’s use the mike, let’s use the mike.

Gary Webb: The question is, do I have a website. No, I don’t, but I’m building one.

[Inaudible question from the audience.]

Gary Webb: Well, let’s let these people who have been standing in line…

[Commotion, murmuring. Someone calls out, “Please use the mike.”]

Audience Member #9: When you mentioned prisons a moment ago, I couldn’t help but remember that it is America’s fastest-growing industry, the “prison industry” — which is a hell of a phrase unto itself. But it seems that the CIA had people aligned throughout Central America at one point, and El Salvador, with the contras, and in Honduras and Nicaragua, and in Panama, Manuel Noriega…

Gary Webb: Our “man in Panama,” that’s right.

Audience Member #9: Yeah. But something went wrong with him, and he got pinched in public. And I’m interested to know what you think about that.

Gary Webb: The question is about Manuel Noriega, who was our “man in Panama” for so many years. What happened to Noriega is that — I don’t think it had anything to do with the fact that he was a drug trafficker, because we knew that for years. What it had to do with was what is going to happen at the end of this year, which is when control of the Panama Canal goes over to the Panamanians. If you read the New York Times story that Seymour Hersh wrote back in June of 1986 that exposed Noriega publicly as a drug trafficker and money launderer, there were some very telling phrases in it. All unsourced, naturally, you know — unattributed comments from high-ranking government officials — but they talked about how they were nervous that Noriega had become unreliable. And with control of the Panama Canal reverting to the Panamanian government, they were very nervous at the idea of having somebody as “unstable” as Noriega running the country at that point. And I think that was a well-founded fear. You’ve got a major drug trafficker controlling a major maritime thoroughway. I can see the CIA being nervous about being cut out of the business. [Laughter from the audience.]

But I think that’s what the whole thing with Noriega was about — they wanted him out of there, because they wanted somebody that they could control a little more closely in power in Panama for when the canal gets reverted back to them.

Audience Member #9: Was there much of a profit difference between Nicaragua and Panama as far as the drugs went?

Gary Webb: Well, what Noriega had done was sort of create an international banking center for drug money. That was his part of it. Nicaragua was nothing ever than just a trans-shipment point. Central America was never anything more than a trans-shipment point. Columbia Peru and Bolivia were the producers, and the planes needed a place to refuel, and that’s all that Central America ever was. The banking was all done in Panama.

Audience Member #10: You talk about how they sat on their stories, the newspapers? Why did they suddenly decide to pursue the stories?

Gary Webb: Which stories are these?

Audience Member #10: The stories about the crack dealing and the CIA. Why did they suddenly decide that, well, actually…

Gary Webb: The question was — correct me if I’m wrong — the question raised the fact that the other newspapers didn’t do anything about this story for a while, and then after I wrote it they came after me. Is that what you’re asking?

Audience Member #10: Well, yeah, and then eventually the CIA admitted it… and I mean, why are people asking, it sat for a long time, and then suddenly everyone was on it. What was the turning point that made them decide to pursue it?

Gary Webb: The turning point that made them decide to pursue the story was the fact that it had gotten out over the Internet, and people were calling them up saying, why don’t you have the story in your newspaper? You know, I don’t think the subject matter frightened the major media as much as the fact that a little newspaper in Northern California was able to set the national agenda for once. And people were marching in the streets, people were holding hearings in Washington, they were demanding Congressional hearings, you had John Deutch, the CIA director, go down on that surreal trip down to South Central to convince everyone that everything was okay… [Laughter from the audience.] And all of this was happening without the big media being involved in it at all. And the reason that happened was because we had an outlet — we had the web. And the people at the Mercury News did a fantastic job on this website.

And so, news was marching on without them. There’s a professor at the University of Wisconsin who’s done a paper on the whole “Dark Alliance” thing, and her thesis is that this story was shut down more because of how it got out than for what it actually said. That it was an attempt by the major media to regain control of the Internet, and to suggest that unless they’re the ones who are putting it out, it’s unreliable. Which I think you see in a lot of stories. The mainstream press gladly promotes the idea that you can’t believe anything you read on the Internet, it’s all kooks, it’s all conspiracy theorists… And there are, I mean, I admit, there are a lot of them out there, but it’s not all false. But the idea that we’re being taught is, unless it’s got our name on it, you can’t believe it. So they can retain control of the means of communication anyway.

Audience Member #11: You mentioned Iran-contra, which was private foreign policy in defiance of Congress, which means it was a high crime. From there, we get more drugs, we get erosion of civil liberties and the loss of the Fourth Amendment, which you mentioned. And we have to get that back, because without it, we’re just commodities to one another. So what I’d like to ask you is, what are you working on now? And do you have your own journalistic chain of reaction? Are you going to be doing something that connects back to this?

Gary Webb: The question is what am I doing now — believe it or not, I’m working for the government. [Laughter from the audience.] I work for the California legislature, and I do investigations of state agencies. I just wrote a piece for Esquire magazine which should be out in April on another fabulous DEA program that they’re running. Actually, part of it’s based here in Oregon, called Operation Pipeline. That story is coming out in April, and Esquire told me they want me to write more stuff for them, they want me to do some investigative reporting for them, so I’ll be working for them. And I’m putting together another book proposal, and a couple of other things. I’m not going to work for newspapers any more, I learned my lesson.

Audience Member #12: A year ago the editor of your newspaper was here to speak, sponsored by the University of Oregon School of Journalism. Before I got up here, I took a casual look around — I don’t know all of the members of the journalism faculty, but I didn’t recognize any. We did have a student here who got up and asked a question. That leads to this question: I’d like, if you don’t mind, to ask if there is someone from the University of Oregon journalism faculty here, would they mind being acknowledged and raising their hand?

Gary Webb: All right, there’s one back there.

Audience Member #12: There is one. Okay. [Applause from the audience.] I’m pleased to see it. There is that one person. My point is, I think much of what you’ve said this evening constitutes an indictment — and a valid indictment — of the university journalism programs in this country. [Applause.] Most Americans and I believe — and I’m interested in your reaction — that it reinforces that indictment when we see, to that person’s credit, that she is the only faculty member from our school of journalism to hear you tonight.

Gary Webb: I think the general question was about the state of the journalism schools. The one thing journalism schools don’t teach, by and large, is investigative reporting. They teach stenography very well. That’s why I consider most of journalism today to be stenography. You go to a press conference, you write down the quotes accurately, you come back, you don’t provide any context, you don’t provide any perspective, because that gets into analysis, and heavens knows, we don’t want any analysis in our newspapers.

But you report things accurately, you report things fairly, and even if it’s a lie you put it in the newspaper, and that’s considered journalism. I don’t consider that journalism, I consider that stenography. And that is the way they teach journalism in school, that’s the way I was taught. Unless you go to a very different journalism school from the kinds that most kids go to, that’s what you’re taught. Now, there are specialized journalism schools, there are master’s programs like the Kiplinger Program at Ohio State, that’s very good.

So, I’m not saying that all journalism schools are bad, but they don’t teach you to be journalists. They discourage you from doing that, by and large. And I don’t think it’s the fault of the journalism professors, I just think that’s the way things have been taught in this country for so long, that they just do it automatically. I’d be interested in hearing the professor’s thoughts about it, but that’s sort of the way I look at things. I spent way too many years in journalism school. I kind of got shed of those notions after I got out in the real world.

[End of transcript.]


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C Street “Family” Linked to Ugandan Oppression of Gays

C St HouseThe Family is the secretive fundamentalist Christian group with a house on C Street where conservative Christian lawmakers live and pray. The group has attempted to shield Mark Sanford and John Ensign from scrutiny. The C Street house is actually owned by a Family front group, “Youth With a Mission.” YWAM is a global Christian evangelical organization founded in 1960 which, declares YWAM, is “currently operating in more than 1000 locations in over 149 countries, with a staff of nearly 16,000.”

… you go to a bar [in Uganda] and you buy a guy a drink, you’re subject to the death penalty if you go home and sleep together after that.

Journalist and Harpers editor Jeff Sharlet brought attention to The Family with his ground breaking book — The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. On Tuesday, Sharlet sat down for an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, host of Fresh Air. Included in their discussion is The Family’s involvement in the proposed legislation in Uganda. Portions of the transcript are below “the fold.” Under the terms of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill the Ugandan government would execute gay citizens for Aggravated Homosexuality and imprison those who touch each other in a “gay” way. The draconian laws would even make advocacy for GLBT rights a crime punishable by a lengthy term of imprisonment.

The homophobia that is at the core of the bill is being promoted with the narrative that there is an organized European conspiracy to “recruit” Ugandan youth into homosexuality. This was sparked by a conference in Kampala in March of this year at which fundamentalist Christians from the U.S. identified homosexuality as a threat to “family values. The conference was arranged by Stephen Langa, the director of a Ugandan fundamentalist Christian grouping called Family Life Network (FLN).  The FLN invited speakers attached to U.S.-based religious and “educational” organizations that promote the idea that homosexuality is an illness that can be cured.

Speakers from the U.S. at the conference included Don Schmierer, a board member at Exodus International; Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries and author of a book that equates Nazism and homosexuality; and Caleb Lee Brundidge who claims to “cure” homosexuals. Brundidge’s “technique” involves patients beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?”  Brundidge also practices “raising the dead” (see the second video).

On a personal note, as a Jew I find the proposed law disturbingly similar to the 1935 Nuremberg laws enacted against Germany’s Jewish citizens which comprised less than 1% of the population of the state  While the actual provisions of the laws are unalike, their intent is almost identical; To strip a minority group of citizenship rights based upon manufactured fears that are predicated on stereotypes. Portions of the Sharlet interview follow:

TERRY GROSS: The Family is also connected to proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda that could sentence, quote, repeat offenders to the death penalty. That family connection is revealed in new reporting by my guest, Jeff Sharlet. Sharlet is the author of the bestseller “The Family” and is a contributing editor for Harper’s. He’s been investigating The Family for years.

Jeff Sharlet, welcome back to FRESH AIR. Let’s start with a recap of what The Family is and what it stands for. You’ve described it as elite fundamentalism, as opposed to the kind of televangelist, populist fundamentalism. What do you mean by elite?

JEFF SHARLET:  Well, the founder of the group, Abraham Vereide, said that God came to him one night in April 1935 and said Christianity has been focusing on the wrong people, the poor, the suffering, the down and out. I want you to be a missionary to and for the powerful, those who he calls the up and out. They can dispense blessings to everybody else through a sort of kind of trickle-down religion.

[ … ]

GROSS: Let’s talk about The Family’s connection to Uganda, where there’s a, really a draconian anti-gay bill that has been introduced into parliament. Uganda already punishes the practice of homosexuality with life in prison. What would the new legislation do?

Mr. SHARLET: Well, the new legislation adds to this something called aggravated homosexuality. And this can include, for instance, if a gay man has sex with another man who is disabled, that’s aggravated homosexuality, and that man can be – I suppose both, actually, could be put to death for this. The use of any drugs or any intoxicants in seeking gay sex – in other words, you go to a bar and you buy a guy a drink, you’re subject to the death penalty if you go home and sleep together after that. What it also does is it extends this outward, so that if you know a gay person and you don’t report it, that could mean – you don’t report your son or daughter, you can go to prison.

And it goes further, to say that any kind of promotion of these ideas of homosexuality, including by foreigners, can result in prison terms. Talking about same sex-marriage positively can lead you to imprisonment for life. And it’s really kind of a perfect case study in the export of a lot of American, largely evangelical ideas about homosexuality exported to Uganda, which then takes them to their logical end.

GROSS: This legislation has just been proposed. It hasn’t been signed into law. So it’s not in effect yet and it might never be in effect. But it’s on the table. It’s before parliament. So is there a direct connection between The Family and this proposed anti-homosexual legislation in Uganda?

Mr. SHARLET: Well, the legislator that introduced the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family. He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda.

GROSS: So you’re reporting the story for the first time today, and you found this story – this direct connection between The Family and the proposed legislation by following the money?

Mr. SHARLET: Yes, it’s – I always say that The Family is secretive, but not secret. You can go and look at 990s, tax forms and follow the money through these organizations that The Family describe as invisible. But you go and you look. You follow that money. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It’s not so invisible anymore. So that’s how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family’s work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni’s kind of right-hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast. And here’s a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda’s executive office and has been very vocal about what he’s doing, in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family.

GROSS: So how did you find out that Bahati is directly connected to The Family? You’ve described him as a core member of The Family. And this is the person who introduced the anti-gay legislation in Uganda that calls for the death penalty for some gay people.

Mr. SHARLET: Looking at the, The Family’s 990s, where they’re moving their money to – into this African leadership academy called Cornerstone, which runs two programs: Youth Corps, which has described its goals in the past as an international, quote, invisible family binding together world leaders, and also an alumni organization designed to place Cornerstone grads – graduates of this sort of very elite educational program and politics and NGO’s through something called the African Youth Leadership Forum, which is run by -according to Ugandan media – which is run by David Bahati, this same legislator who introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

GROSS: Now what about the president of Uganda, President Museveni? Does he have any connections to The Family?

Mr. SHARLET: Well, first, I want to say it’s important that you said it, yeah, it hasn’t gone into law. It hasn’t gone into effect yet. So there is time to push back on this. But it’s very likely to go into law. It has support of some of the most powerful men in Uganda, including the dictator of Uganda, a guy named Museveni, whom The Family identified back in 1986 as a key man for Africa.

They wanted to steer him away from neutrality or leftist sympathies and bring him into conservative American alliances, and they were able to do so. They’ve since promoted Uganda as this bright spot – as I say, as this bright spot for African democracy, despite the fact that under their tutelage, Museveni has slowly shifted away from any even veneer of democracy: imprisoning journalists, tampering with elections, supporting – strongly supporting this Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009.

He’s come out just this – just last week and said that this bill is necessary because Europeans are recruiting homosexuals in Uganda, that Europeans are coming in and trying to make Ugandans gay. And he’s been rewarded for this because this is sort of where these sort of social issues and foreign affairs issues and free market fundamentalist issues all come together.

GROSS: How did The Family create its relationship with Museveni?

Mr. SHARLET: In 1986, a former Ford official name Bob Hunter went over on trips at the behest of the U.S. government, but also on behalf of The Family, to which – for which both of which he filed reports that are now in The Family’s archives. And his goal was to reach out to Museveni and make sure that he came into the American sphere of influence, that Uganda, in effect, becomes our proxy in the region and that relationship only deepened.

In fact, in late 1990s, Hunter – again, working for The Family – went over and teamed up with Museveni to create the Uganda National Prayer Breakfast as a parallel to the United States National Prayer Breakfast and to which The Family every year sends representatives, usually congressmen.

GROSS: What’s the relationship of Museveni and The Family now?

Mr. SHARLET: It’s a very close relationship. He is the key man. Now…

GROSS: So what does that mean? What influence does The Family have on him?

Mr. SHARLET: It means that they have a deep relationship of what they’ll call spiritual counsel, but you’re going to talk about moral issues. You’re going to talk about political issues. Your relationships are going to be organized through these associates. So Museveni can go to Senator Brownback and seek military aid. Inhofe, as he describes, Inhofe says that he cares about Africa more than any other senator.

And that may be true. He’s certainly traveled there extensively. He says he likes to accuse the State Department of ignoring Africa so he becomes our point man with guys like Museveni and Uganda, this nation he says he’s adopted. As we give foreign aid to Uganda, these are the people who are in a position to steer that money. And as Museveni comes over, and as he does and spends time at The Family’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, a place called The Cedars, and sits down for counsel with Doug Coe, that’s where those relationships occur.

It’s never going to be the hard sell, where they’re going to, you know, twist Museveni’s arm behind his back and say do this. As The Family themselves describes it, you create a prayer cell, or what they call – and this again, this is their language from their documents – an invisible believing group of God-led politicians who get together and talk with one another about what God wants them to do in their leadership capacity. And that’s the nature of their relationship with Museveni.

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