Spelunking

I became fascinated with the topic of misinformation around 8th grade, when I prepared a school report about the excesses of Stalinist-era media in the early 1950’s. My presentation included some articles and pictures from the daily newspaper of the local national Communist party. The headlines from 1952-53 blared that the imperialist USA was carpet-bombing North Korea with biological and chemical agents, blanketing innocent populations (as well as the Communist troops heroically defending N. Korea) with all manners of pestilence and plague.

At the time, I brought it up as an example of the ridiculousness of the propaganda (the report actually contained a description of locusts and other vermin being physically air-dropped to destroy crops and spread disease – with allegations, I believe, that the same was being done over Eastern Europe). It was during a section of the curriculum when we were learning about the personality cults of WWII and the 1950s. I am pretty sure I was at least partially spurred on by having already read ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’ at that point. Naively, I considered the propaganda reports to be crudely and amateurishly done, it seemed to me a double injustice. Not only did the case seem a fabrication to besmirch the reputation of a society which at the time was much more free than any behind curtains Iron or Bamboo – what really bugged me was that the populace in Communist countries was assumed to be so ill-educated and cut off from the outside world that they would believe such a literal replay of Biblical plagues.

Little did I realize back then, that ALL involved were lying, in their own ways. The Soviet media-apparatus dictating to the state media of the Eastern European bloc KNEW that the Chinese reports of biological warfare were based on spurious / unsubstantiated evidence. The Chinese realized that they did not have ‘smoking gun’ proof in their hands, but chose to continue with pushing the storyline to bolster popular support for the war in Korea. Both figured it to be a useful tool in their arsenal of the PR effort against the non-Communist parts of the world. The West of course teaches the case as a textbook example of baseless Commie propaganda.

The twist in the tale is that the formerly occupying Japanese army had units responsible for the development and testing of biological agents just a few years earlier. Under the command of Lt Gen Shiro Ishii, the Chinese province bordering Korea -- Manchuria -- was turned into “one huge biological warfare laboratory under Japanese rule”. The American military commissions set up to investigate and prosecute these events and those responsible eventually had reached a curious non-conclusion:

“By the time the Far East International Military Tribunal had concluded its hearings into wartime atrocities across the region in 1948, and handed down its sentences, biological warfare had been mentioned only once and taken up a mere 10 minutes of the court’s time.

Masataka Mori, a professor of history at Shizuoka University in Japan, who has studied the activities for Unit 731 for many years, believes that Japan’s biological warfare programme was not fully investigated for good reason: Unit 731’s scientists, he says, were granted immunity in return for sharing the fruits of their research with the Americans.”

In the end, it may not be possible to determine the absolute truth of what exactly transpired -- I certainly have no proof one way or the other. From the perspective of one who has no dog in this fight, my personal take is that over the decades that have passed, the various US administrations, and military-intelligence complexes have proven dozens if not hundreds of times to be capable of equivalent or worse atrocities. For a non-published scholarly article arguing the case that BW agents WERE used by the US, you can check out this page.

This little episode is merely a vignette of how large powers continuously, in real time and retrospectively, re-write history. Just like party officials who later fell into disfavor were literally airbrushed out of official photos and media reports, the lives of millions of people, entire countries and eras were bleached, changed and edited on the pages of history books.

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The situation we find ourselves in while trying to tease out truth from propaganda and deliberate falsehoods both historic and current reminds me very much of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Though it is (presumably) a discussion in dialectics, and the Theory of Forms, to explain how humans perceive, think about and verbalize abstract and concrete -- I find it to be prophetic and quite literal in its description of how the world works today.

Like prisoner’s in Plato’s cave who have made it only part of the way out, we KNOW (or think we know, anyway) that there is a world above the cave. That sunlight exists, and illuminates a world filled with REAL objects nearly infinite in their variety. But having been afforded only fleeting glimpses, these are merely mosaic-pieces, assembled in the darkness of the cave to which we have been returned after our re-capture. We are, in most cases, reduced to trying to interpret the shadows on the wall, cast by the cut-outs paraded before the artificial light source below ground. We can speculate as to the true nature of these shadow-puppets, and as to the intentions of their puppeteers (and THEIR masters). We can try to discern patterns and recognize similarities and anomalies. From time to time, the sound of thunder or the physical evidence of a torrential flood may intrude upon the reality of the life in the cave – and those who at least KNOW of the existence of the surface and all the things possible in it can formulate reasonable hypotheses explaining the unfolding spectacle.

The walls of the cave are not solid rock, however. Thick, dark canvas, perhaps – multiple-layered, if you will – but vulnerable or at least susceptible to real-world effects nevertheless. As external events (aka reality) wear away at it, it thins, develops frays and rips. Benghazi, Syria, UnAffordableCare (and the latter is debatable) are just the most recent examples. And so the cardboard-cutouts are paraded ever-faster in front of the light source. New, novel ones are introduced to stir things up and disrupt pattern recognition. Assets are deployed to patch the holes in the fabric.

One additional thing to keep in mind – just like the fabled prisoners in Greek philosophy, our lives are also governed by our ability to correctly interpret, analyze and react to the shadows on the wall. Salaries, profits, promotions, housing options, spousal options, power – all of these are dependent on being versed in these skills. In many ways, reality as such really does not matter – so long as one is never able to leave the cave anyway.

The current ‘value’ of the USDX, the rates on T-bills, the index value of the Dow or the S&P, the USD cost of a COMEX contract for Feb15, the talking points read aloud with much theatrical pith by the Teleprompter-in-Chief, the justification given for the latest false arrest/imprisonment/shooting by armed branches (or in some cases mere paid mercenaries) of the .gov --- these would all qualify as ‘shadows’. Really, all the content of MSM, corporate and government communications, advertising and the formal education system can be considered to belong here as well.

TPTB in our parlance might represent the puppeteers – they are the ones who wield the power to alter lighting conditions, and to change the shape, speed and direction of the shadows being generated. The only question is the existence and identity of the ‘handlers’ of these puppeteers. Perhaps some among them ARE true wielders of power, and perhaps some drop in as a 'guest performer' to participate in the shadow play. All Greek gods at some point or another donned human shape to wreak mischief or deliver their brand of justice among mankind – certainly their modern ‘analogs’ could do the same. Whether they do so directly or through proxy is material only in whether we might guess or find out their specific identities.

The chains binding the prisoners are one one hand physical and external, and on the other hand self-imposed. The heavy arm of the law encircles us ever more each day, both slowly and imperceptibly, but of late also in leaps and not-so-subtle bounds. Tax, customs and financial regulations (FATCA, Dodd-Frank), case precedent (see: Nothaus), emergency laws (NDAA, CISPA), executive orders are just the ones we know about. But the pen (or is it the chute leading to the abattoir?) the crowd is being herded into seems all but inevitable – for in their (and to some extent in all of our) minds there is no viable alternative to playing by the rules of the system. We are prisoners for having chosen to accept that prisoners we all must be to stay alive. Lest you think this is indictment of others or a stone thrown from a glass house – I am one of those more guilty than most in my participation, nay, even propagation of this system.

As for the true light of the surface world, and all the wonders it may contain? Is it just a fanciful, utopian neverland that could never exist as imagined? Our current state of affairs proves that mankind is only able to survive/remain productive in servitude, denial and deception? Is it really only the ideal, embodying merely human dreams/wishes of the afterlife, the domain of immortals and/or a Creator? Is it too merely another layer of the illusion, a cave within a cave within a cave?

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Assuming the cave’s shackles could be broken, its wardens overthrown or neutralized – would the glare-blind, weak-muscled escapees ignorant of conditions outside be even able to make a start of creating a new existence and society outside their prior bounds? And even if at one time the ‘outside world’ was once akin to our collective memory of a paradise, it is still so, or has it become an uninhabitable, desolate landscape while we toiled belowground, unwittingly (or unconcernedly) working to destroy it chasing our shadows?

As usual, I do not have the answers, merely my opinions. I believe that there are currently a higher proportion of those in society that see the mirage projectors for what they are. Their ratio among the populace IS rising. Despite the base number being ridiculously small, as we all know exponential curves resemble linear ones for quite a while in the beginning. Yet knowledge is nothing without action, and action is doomed to failure without overwhelming numbers. And therein lies my direction as to what I can do to effect change – try to reach and show as many of my fellow cave-dwellers the glitches in the projections being shown, to try to convince them to see and hear the power cords and the whirring coming from behind the curtain.

The way for any system to survive is to continually adapt, ‘reform’ or at least pretend to do so, and one way of doing this is by denouncing the excesses of its past, purging/pillorying those responsible (finding suitable scapegoats and figureheads for the purpose). Show trials are conducted, tearful confessions are telecast, public atonement is sought. Wise men sway their heads in disapproval, lamenting the conditions that had made such extremes possible. The populace is duly informed that with the ‘new framework’ and ‘reforms’ in place, such a thing can never happen again. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, the Iran-Contra hearings, the Warren Commission, the contrition of William Jefferson C. from Arkansas, Sarbannes-Oxley after Enron and Dodd-Frank after 2008, the syphilis experiments with African-Americans and Guatemalans, the spectacle of Abu Ghraib – all episodes which ended with loud declarations of some version of ‘never again’, either then or later. Yet here we are still – or yet again, if you prefer.

When we begin to see more evidence of ‘self examination/flagellation’, a distancing of oligarchs and figureheads from ‘the way things had been done in the past’ and the 'mistakes that had been made', we can expect the beginnings of a changing of the guard, a turning of the screw, a new and improved system of control on its way. Whether that is a ‘soft transition’ to a merely more efficient form of oppression, or a decline into naked authoritarian rule as some fear is immaterial from this perspective – both will be preceded by loud, even overwhelming revelations and denunciations (hence my ongoing reservations about all leak-related entities and people – even the most honest and idealistic actions can be twisted and used as tools by the ‘controllers’ to their own advantage).

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Which brings us to the topic of whom one can trust. What sources of information are reliable, what version of analysis is ‘the truth’? I must confess, that despite being steeped for decades in the actively managed information bath of late Communist propaganda, it took me a while to realize the basic fundamental – never trust the account of anyone who holds the power to alter the record. During the run-up to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, I was merely gradually drifting to a state of wakefulness. I had begun systematically reading and sporadically collecting articles and other pieces of evidence that pointed to an upcoming crash. The fact that my TBTF clients had started requiring that I excise any mentions of SIVs, off-balance-sheet transactions and subprime lending from reporting gave a definite tipoff to the fact that there indeed WAS substantial truth to the emerging allegations of their misdeeds on that front. It was only during and after the initial crash that I began to really come to my senses.

Those on the outside by definition have fewer resources, less data, no clear visibility as to the methods being employed, no verifiable first-hand ‘facts’ of many of the events which shape our ongoing history. We are forced, despite our desire to seek truth, to interpret first, second or even further-order derivatives thereof to try to figure out WHAT is going on, and WHY.

Given this presumed state of affairs, the types of sources that (in my humble opinion) MAY perhaps be relied upon share a few characteristics. This is no guarantee, of course, of anything – just guidelines.

  • Focuses on fundamentals, and acknowledges the existence of factors fundamentally different from (and perhaps superior to) the ‘derivative’ images all of us see every day.
  • Is able to provide some form of interpretation of the events beyond those ‘shadows’ that are interminably touted in the so-called media – in terms of causation, actual event description and estimation of impacts.
  • At the same time recognizes the reality that all of us as yet still reside in the dominion of the cave. Even those of us completely off the grid are directly impacted by the events transpiring there.
  • Does not attempt to focus its efforts exclusively on
    • Perfecting its analysis of shadows
    • Deriding, attacking and disproving alternate schools of ‘shadow divination’
    • Loudly proclaiming itself to be the One True Way of interpreting shadows, whose followers are the only ones who stand a chance
    • Declaring that even skeptics (let alone opponents) are doomed to an eternity in the deepest, most sulphurous bowels of Purgatory for their foolish heresy
  • Encourages the reader to seek out alternate views and original data, and stimulates the asking more questions alongside an increased understanding of current ones.
  • Even those pulling the strings (both the ones moving the puppets, and those controlling the puppeteers) MUST divulge some portions of the truth from time to time. Otherwise there is no way to maintain the ongoing performance and parade of shapes.

Beware prophets of all kinds, especially those dealing in absolutes or those claiming special relationship to Elites, and those who are most adamant that there is no cave, let alone a world of ‘real’ things outside it.

Is the cave really collapsing? Is the projector really overheating, and about to keel over? Or does the whole setup still have years or decades of life left in it? Can the sacrificing of a few million (more) cave-dwellers extend the operation by more decades still? Preparing provisions, skills and routes for the possibility that shadow-reading is no longer a reliable source of sustenance/prosperity is merely prudent risk-management, and need not be all-consuming or unprofitable. My answer to these questions is – does it matter? In order to escape a collapsing cave or to escape the servitude of a perfectly functioning, tip-top shape Matrix the same thing is required: a recognition of the shackles and a concerted, cave-wide effort to get rid of them. This step is needed regardless of whether the shining light of the outside world exists or is accessible. The fact that previous instances of slave-revolts ultimately/eventually (perhaps inevitably) failed is merely a deep well of knowledge to learn from, not a cause for despair. The learned helplessness of a populace can be turned on its head, once enough of said populace are able to recognize the source of the arbitrary negative reinforcement, and through sheer strength of numbers able to return the favors to the ‘overseeing class’.

If we are to live to see any (positive) change in the state of affairs, I believe we need to redouble our efforts to educate, enlighten and guide those capable of at least SEEING the situation for what it is. The ongoing neoGuttenberg revolution the internet represents (despite inevitable evolutionary dead-ends, or rather intentional distractions like FacePalm along the way) a unique opportunity in a time when the fabric of the cave’s ceiling has never been thinner and more prone exposing the cracks illusions within. Who knows, perhaps we as a species may yet finally find a way to avoid blundering from one great calamity to another -- if only for a little while.

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