Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

A New Leaf

20 February 2018
fruit tree shoot

Springtime in Seattle, 2012.

In English we have an expression “turn over a new leaf” which means to make a new start. It literally refers to a page in a book, but of course this meaning of leaf is closely related to the one illustrated above.

As has already been mentioned in the previous post, my desire to build a new relationship with my church led me to the realization that my public-facing communications could use a change of context.

The Situation

Early this lifetime I came to a conclusion that I hope most can agree on: There is a situation on this planet. Situation is here defined as a major departure from the ideal scene.

In my younger years (the early 1960s) I was under the impression that we as a nation (the U.S.A.), if not the entire planet, were working towards an ideal scene. Here it is as expressed in one of our founding documents:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Then near the end of 1963 a duly elected – and rather popular – President was shot to death in public during a parade while he was visiting a city in Texas. A new administration took over from that man, which resulted in our country becoming very deeply involved in Vietnam, a war Kennedy hoped could be kept under control using only Special Forces troops. As more and more of our men died there, our involvement in the war in Vietnam became more and more unpopular, and was finally ended. The “Communists” then won the war, because they were more sensible rulers than those left in power by earlier colonizers and other outside interests.

Our government had immensely failed in effecting our “safety and happiness.” That failure was so obvious, it’s almost as if it was planned; and it may well have been.

To this day, there are huge holes in our understanding of what was really going on during the first half of the 20th century. And those holes only increased in size when we tried to look at and understand more recent events.

Scientology

One person – with his group – was working to fill those holes with data that might actually be helpful to people. However, his communication line to the public was cut by mass media outlets controlled by men allied with psychiatry, which opposed this man and what he was teaching. This is known data, not supposition.

So an office in the Church created its own communication line to the public, and called it Freedom Magazine. Many of the first articles in that magazine were penned by L. Ron Hubbard himself. He wanted the general public to begin to notice the connection between what psychiatry (as a movement) was doing and saying across the planet and what was happening to us here in the U.S. Some did. Freedom Mag’s message, though, did not reach me until years later.

In the early 1980s I finally learned that the psychiatry or “Mental Health” movement was being pushed forward by men who shared certain personality traits than most of us would recognize as insane or psychotic. Furthermore, as anti-Scientologists they definitely qualified as Suppressive Persons.

It was our challenge, then, (in the political sphere) to somehow remove those people from the communication lines of the planet. In the early years, those lines consisted mostly of English-language newspapers. Later those lines became dominated by radio and television. And now, since the the 1990s or so, we also have the internet which now feeds into a vast network of mobile “smart” phones.

These communication networks are not evil in themselves, but the persistent attempts by persons of criminal intent to dominate those lines has drastically reduced their usability (and believability) to the point that many people – including many Scientologists – will not use those lines for anything other than gathering the most mundane forms of information, or commercial uses like shopping and banking.

The Search for Reliable Information

I didn’t get on the internet in any big way until 2009. Wikipedia was already very well-developed by that time and had become the de facto source of information about almost anything. However, on topics where facts or intentions are hotly contested, the “establishment” position tends to win out on Wikipedia, on TED, on all the major news sites, or any site attempting to present reliable information. This goes for almost any topic other than the most mundane (weather forecasts?) or boring (electronics and coding?).

What I did at that time was to start my own blog. There I would present and compare data from multiple sources in the hopes of giving readers a more insightful view of things than what was being fed to them by the mainstream sources.

This activity had two main problems: 1) nobody read it, and 2) too many of my non-church data sources were questionable or salted with anti-Scientology sentiments. I was trying to demonstrate to my readers that there existed certain basic phenomena of life that were widely agreed on and widely researched. Yet I kept falling over enemy data that had been insinuated into many of my “alternative” sources. Many involved in that work were only too eager to believe that Scientology was just another con game that could be dismissed and not taken seriously.

The Church, for its part, decided to buy an entire studio complex in Hollywood – a location I am very familiar with that used to house a local Public Television station – and set up its own content generation facilities and media channels. This project is on the verge of launching as I write.

My own response is to revise my site to make it more resource-oriented and less discussion-oriented. I am also beginning a project to connect to like-minded bloggers.

Technical Limitations

The internet was created to provide its initial users (mostly data scientists in academia and the military-industrial complex) with faster data sharing capabilities, which data might include – in the case of the military – strategic and actionable data of a confidential nature.

Some of the earliest websites looked basically like search windows and were used to find scientific papers and other technical information, somewhat on the order of a giant library.

Additionally, any services that earlier used telex lines were obvious candidates for switching over to the internet. This included news feeds, stock tickers, and private messaging of course.

But it was not long before commerce was being conducted over the internet, and this use quickly became the dominant use. About 1/2 of all internet websites today are .com sites. And this means that what most website designers are trying to do is maximize traffic. Today, social networking is widely understood as a way to give commercial sites access to a lot of potential customers. The sharing of useful information on the internet, its original educational use, has been buried under all the subsequent traffic; a development that should have been quite predictable.

The blog is a sort of personal news feed service. It presents your posts in reverse chrono order, most recent on top, like the news. “Free” blogs are used – often blatantly – for advertising, and so are “free” e-mail and social media accounts.

About two-thirds (68%) of internet users disapprove of search engines and websites tracking their online behavior for the purpose of ad targeting.
– Pew Research, 13 March 2012.

While internet shopping is very popular compared to using the internet to seek useful data or advice (except as it concerns which product to buy), many people use the internet for that purpose or assume that it can be used that way. This group especially includes young people in school. I know it also includes all sorts of engineers and other “geek” types.

People want good data, but the internet concentrates on giving them news, blogs, ads and messages commonly associated with entertainment or commerce, not associated with making smart decisions.

Thus if I want to use my blog to help people make smarter decisions in their lives, I must realize that this is not what my blog was designed to do, and I am going to need to compensate for that.

The changes I will be making in the site reflect that realization.

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The Lands

8 February 2018

dead trees along american river
…This being background data on a new writing project and WordPress site…here…

Scientology in the context of the New Age

For years I had been following various “New Age” personalities and “alternative” websites with the hope that a familiarity with their subjects matter would assist my purpose of influencing them to expand their areas of awareness to include Scientology. Not Scientology as an organization necessarily, but certainly Scientology as a subject.

This strategy has not yielded fruit. I was – very loosely speaking – a member of this “community” before I got involved in Scientology. However, the “community” appears to more closely resemble a house of cards.

During the age of industrialization, followed by an age of computerization which is what I grew up in, many of us have been disturbed about how things have been going. Blacks now have civil rights, yet they are incarcerated at a rate of 10% or more (depending on their age) versus 2% (roughly) for whites. (This is from Pew Research, 2013). And that is a marked increase over the years 1960 to 2010. Loan money for college tuition and housing purchase has become more and more available, yet real wealth continues to concentrate amongst a tiny minority of the population. The old futurists told us technology advances would make life easier, but instead it has become more hectic and (for many) more stressful. We fought wars to “make the world safe for democracy,” but instead seem to have become one of the world’s most vicious warmongers.

Many of us who saw these problems were also presented with various alternative paths for handling them that seemed more or less promising. There was the “drop out” path, famously expressed by the psychologist Timothy Leary. Behind that whole movement – we have since learned – were individuals from the CIA, and perhaps other oddball agencies. They seemed particularly interested in testing LSD on the population. Another offering – made by many, and interestingly including Leary’s Harvard associate Ram Dass – was to meditate. Of course meditation is just the most obvious aspect of an array of teachings loosely based on Hindu and Buddhist ideas and amplified by various Europeans and Americans dabbling into the realms of spiritualism, channelling, etc. Another path offered was to “solve it with technology.” Perhaps the epitome of this idea today is “Transhumanism,” the concept that technology might at some point make the human body passé. And then there was Scientology.

When I was a teenager, “New Age” ideas were getting quite a bit of exposure, but not with that label. The choice of this particular term by more modern writers is most likely an expediency; it is simple and sounds catchy. However, Theosophist Alice Bailey used this expression in at least two book titles, as did many other and diverse writers of earlier times. According to Wikipedia, the movement as we know it now started in the UK in the 1970s. Again, rumors of CIA interest in these ideas and the personalities that promote them do not abate.

In those days, the media was more involved with New Age topics than they are today. You could hear reports on NPR about “magic” healers in the Philippines. In 1972 NBC aired an edited version of the 1970 German film “Chariots of the Gods” about theories of ancient ET visitations, based on a book by Erich von Däniken. The TV sitcom “My Favorite Martian” had already enjoyed a long run from 1963 to 1966. It was followed later by “Mork and Mindy,” with spooky shows like “Time Tunnel” and “Bewitched” filling in between.

The New Age mixed allusions to modern scientific discoveries and ET visitation with an Eastern-style spiritual approach to come up with a narrative that captured the attention of many young people of those years who might have otherwise found more effective avenues (such as Scientology) for acting on their outrage over the crime, war and pollution which continued to plague their “modern” world.

I was peripherally involved in several groups: The Henry George School promoted the work of a late 1800s intellectual who also had interests in spiritualism. Planetary Citizens – led by visionary Donald F. Keys – told us about channelled messages that could save our planet. Planet Drum Foundation – an ecology education group promoting the ideas of devolutionist Peter Berg – used memes from aboriginal cultures mixed with the concept of “bioregionalism.”

A commonality among all these groups was some attempt to interweave politics with spiritual knowledge and values – the most basic being long-term (as opposed to short-term, one lifetime) concepts of ethics. The realization that after death one will return to continue living on this planet is considered crucial to appreciating the validity of longer-term ethical principles. However, these groups largely failed in their goals because they had no way to bring about this fundamental realization. Scientology does have ways to do this. However, in developing those processes, Hubbard came to understand that a much fuller recovery of spiritual abilities would be needed to enable people to confront the task of cleaning up Earth, to say nothing of all the other inhabited planets.

I remain a Scientologist because I agree with Ron’s conclusions, and because we have an organization that could achieve our vision of a planet free of war, crime and insanity…and after that, other planets.

Adverse Reactions

As mentioned earlier, I wanted to get some of the New Agers I had run across to at least look in the direction of L. Ron Hubbard’s work. But they don’t seem to want to. This is a clear sign that someone has been actively working to frighten them off. The movement is well aware that there have been campaigns (often blamed on CIA or similar operatives) to sow divisiveness in the community. If we can take that as a given, then we can only assume that those efforts have included badmouthing Scientology. As these efforts are obvious on the internet, they must come from somewhere. And those persons could be imagined to be interested in seeing that New Agers don’t connect up with Scientology, just as they are obviously interested in keeping away the general public.

Thus, my colleagues at the church have suggested that I might be happier if I were less connected to the New Age world and more connected to some activity involving less outside interference from secret antagonists. One idea I had was to greatly increase my writing output. It’s a low-cost activity that I am familiar with.

Inspirations from odd places

I had recently been exposed to a film story called “Blade Runner 4049.” Though I found the story overly complex, its vision of our future is not that unusual in contemporary fiction. I particularly recall from the movie an area called “San Diego” that had become a huge dump and salvage yard for the Los Angeles metropolis. The piles of junk went on for miles and miles in all directions. It was also pointed out that there were no living trees in the environment. It was noted that at a “rebel” outpost, a dead tree had been kept standing using steel cables.

The Blade Runner story is a “loose adaptation” of a story by writer Philip K. Dick. Philip is considered an important science fiction writer. Born in 1928, he was influenced by the somewhat older sci-fi writers of the pulp days, such as Hubbard and Heinlein, but also the “beat” writers like Jack Kerouac. He died at only 53 under circumstances that remain poorly understood. He was a drug user, that is for sure.

In Dick’s book, the dystopia evident on the West Coast was brought about by war. In the movie this is not mentioned, except for a reference to a “high radiation” area near Las Vegas. In both stories, androids apparently designed for robotic tasks (I don’t believe it) acquire their own sense of humanity and wish to have equal rights with humans and an end to the control programming. Science fiction writers who have gone down this road seem to be of a mind that something like this could happen. They don’t try to understand why. The difference for me is that I now know why. The design and manufacture of human-like androids would be seen as a dangerous and stupid activity by anyone who understood the likely spiritual outcome of it. The androids in the film, called “replicants,” would be even more susceptible to this problem, as they are almost totally biological.

Bicycling downtown through the riverside park, I noticed a large stand of dead trees that has always been there, but seemed unusually gloomy with no spring foliage to offset the grayness. And I thought, “this is the Land of the Dead Trees.” And so I began to formulate the starting point of a story.

I am incapable – even if I wanted to – of writing an ordinary fiction story. I have been exposed to too much actuality that is much stranger than most “fiction” written these days. The trick would be to start with how things are now and somehow show how the situation could be improved.

That leads to Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” which employed a similar technique. But I have no use for his time traveler. I can simply assume a viewpoint of some future time and “look back” to now.

phto with added effects

The photo above with two effects added to it: “oil” and “sepia.”

Wheat Penny

27 June 2017

what penny both sides

Every so often I run across a “wheat penny.” So called because of the heads of wheat depicted on the back. Though I collected all sorts of things when I was a kid, including coins and stamps, I never studied those subjects seriously.

The study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects is called Numismatics. I am not a student of this subject. I also have older pennies called “indian head.” They were produced from 1859 to 1909. The wheat penny followed this one, up to the year 1958.

This one I think I got at the Tandy Leather store. That’s how I recall it. It is dated 1951.

Links to Scientology Official Sites

23 April 2017

I give you this comment from “José” as a brief post to provide you with good links to vital information:

Hello and thank you for the information.

I would suggest that, if you are going to mention isolated pieces of information from Scientology to the general public, please refer your public to the source materials where they can find the information in sequence with examples, to avoid causing misunderstandings to people that never heard the subject of Scientology.

1.- Please, always refer first to What is Scientology, here the official link:
http://www.scientology.org/what-is-scientology.html#slide7

2.- Second, the subject you are mentioning in your respective blog entry, in this case the Tone Scale, in my opinion this is a good entry point:
http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/tone-scale/sh4_1.htm

3.- Please use references to the Scientology Manual which it is a good introduction to Scientology fundamentals for daily use in every part of life.
http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/

Best regards
José

My favorite site, which I should probably include a link to in every post I make, is the Volunteer Ministers training pages: http://www.volunteerministers.org/training.html

Operation Stupid

23 October 2016

I just watched a film titled “Operation Terror.” I didn’t use its real title in my title as I didn’t want that to be over-inflammatory. It’s about 9/11.

This film was released in 2012; I just heard about it yesterday. It was written and produced by a guy named Art Olivier. Art is about 3 years younger than me, had a technical job with Boeing and/or McDonnell Douglas (his bio says “Engineer”) for about 20 years, and became self-employed after that time. He was also interested in politics and ran for many offices in and around the town he lives in (Bellflower, CA), and became a Libertarian. He also ran for State offices, and US Vice President in 2000.

What is not clear in watching the film is that a sizable portion of the dialogue is taken from documents generated during the 9/11 investigation or that turned up later. So, in the film’s fictional re-creations, many of the characters say exactly what they were recorded as saying per those documents.

The idea that the whole operation was organized and run by a CIA agent, as directed by a senior member of “the Council” (Council on Foreign Relations?) is fiction. As far as I know, we have no documents or testimony pointing directly to who’s idea it was, or who ran it. That it was the creation of a demented mind should be obvious to anyone, which is emphasized when Art in a later interview refers to all the occult symbolism surrounding the event.

An example is the number of deaths at the Pentagon, reported as 125. This is 5X5X5, the Pentagon being a 5-sided building. It is also believed that both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were exactly placed at significant geographic locations when they were built.

For his movie, Art went with the theory that none of the actual planes with passengers hit any of the buildings. Their real pilots could not have been bribed to do it, and their supposed hijackers would not have had the required skill, assuming it was even physically possible to do so. That means: 1) Something else hit the towers and the Pentagon (the movie suggests drone planes); and 2) Something else killed the crews and passengers. The movie shows them being ordered into a giant NASA autoclave (a special kind of oven), telling them it is a bomb shelter. The one who resists is summarily shot in the head.

Assuming this event was planned by “our side,” it means almost 3,000 people were sacrificed for this operation, on purpose. Now, that’s what I call insanity.

The movie ends with the youngish CIA operative believing he has botched the operation due to all the stupid mistakes involved in carrying it out. However, his boss from “the Council” assures him that he did a good job and was a true American patriot.

Rocks and Shoals

6 October 2016

Literally, rocks and shoals are some of the most common ways that ships come to their doom, particularly in the older times of wooden ships and no sonar.
This is also the slang term most sailors use for the Navy code of conduct, or any similar set of rules.

It’s not easy to take good photos from a train or bus.

But I wanted to share with you some of what I saw and wondered at during my recent travels.

Though there are areas on earth where one can go for miles in any direction without seeing any exposed natural rock, for a large part of the earth’s surface, that is not the case.

In gazing out at all these hard and craggy surfaces – as well as the soft places in between – I had to wonder: How did it get like this?

And so began a short investigation into the basics of geology as a preparation for sharing these photos and info with you.

I was most impressed by the sights I saw on my initial trip from Pullman to Boise, yet my photos from that ride are few and poor. I was more productive during my ride from Denver to Omaha on the train. There are enough scenes here to give you some idea what I was gazing at for hours during my trips back and forth across the West.

cliff face detail

This stone cliff appears to be eroded by water.

rock layers in cliffs

Here some layers seem flat while others are slanted.

green slope with cliff

Brush-grown slope beneath a harder upper layer, with starker cliff in background.

layered rock above river

Layering of rock is very evident above this river.

eroded rocky projection

Though this rocky projection is very eroded, huge areas remain bare.

According to the geologists, rock formation on earth started soon after the planet formed (soon in geologic time anyway). It was only one or two hundred million years after initial accretion of the planet when we started having bonafide surface rock.

After that, things get a little more complex. But it took a long time. As little as 35 million years ago, the earth’s surface was still changing quite a bit. The Rocky Mountains didn’t really start forming until 35 million years before that. What we see at about 70 million years ago is some major disruption that really gets the various crustal plates cracked up and moving relative to each other. Large parts of the ocean floors have formed since that time, and many of our most famous mountain areas did not exist before then.

One oddity is that the continent as we know it today was largely covered by water before the uplift that formed the Rockies even started.

And so the layers. In most cases, the lowest layers will be the original crust. If it were not for the great upheavals of the mountain-building period, those rocks would remain hidden below the layers that formed above them. But a combination of erosion and severe buckling has exposed them in many places. Above the lowest layer are layers created by wind, water and ice erosion, as well as volcanic activity. In the millions of years involved, the upper sedimentary layers have had time to become very hard, though not as hard as the bottom layer granite, nor the volcanic basalt, where that exists. So in an area once covered by a sea, you could have the bottom layer covered by sandstone layers, limestone layers (created by shell-forming living creatures), clay layers, which are basically eroded older rocks moved by water to new locations where they turn back into rock, and conglomerated layers deposited by ice. Then if volcanism occurred later, you might have a layer of lava over all that, or basalt squeezed into below-ground pockets. When volcanic rock forms in cracks in softer rocks, if that structure is then exposed to erosion, the softer rocks will wear away faster, leaving the harder rocks, often in rather odd shapes, or standing as “towers.”

jagged ridges near Las Cruces

These formations in New Mexico are incredibly jagged and probably created by ancient volcanic activity.

In the uplifting of the Rockies, all these different scenarios played out at different locations, leaving all sorts of odd formations, with combinations of newer and older rocks both exposed to view.

In Kansas City I saw a lot of limestone, both quarried as a building material and exposed in place in parks. That suggests the area had been covered by a warm and very alive sea in the distant past, and those layers subsequently uplifted to well above sea level.

I was also amazed at all the mountain meadows we went through on my trip to Boise. These were created mostly by glacial activity that started less than 3 million years ago.

mountain meadow and lake cascade

This Idaho meadow, full of pasture land and farm fields, is about a mile above sea level.

Dinosaur extinction event

About 75 million years ago, something happened on Earth that killed off all the dinosaurs. It killed off a lot of other species, too, but the disappearance of dinosaurs is the most notable. The current popular date for this is 66 million years ago. This also corresponds to when the Rocky Mountains were forming, which means a lot of tectonic activity.

The most persuasive scientific hypothesis is that a very large asteroid hit the planet at that time.

Hubbard also mentions an event that occurred around that time, but chose to keep the data confidential, as it had little bearing on the more general subject, but was needed for a particular processing step.

Another person named Eva Zemanova (Czech) has reported recalling an event that happened she says 80 million years ago. It involved a very highly evolved ET group that was headed somewhere else but experienced a malfunction in their ship and were forced to land on Earth.

The big question is what caused the malfunction of their ship.

She believes there has been some sort of higher intelligence presence on Earth at least since that time. So what both these findings suggest is that even 80 million years ago, other than “natural” factors were having an impact on events on Earth.

And that’s what makes the whole question of exactly what unfolded here all those millions of years ago so interesting.

my train by a river in a canyon

Yes, I really did take a train ride across the country last month, and it’s really hard to take a photo of your own train while you’re riding in it!

Goose Poop

6 October 2016

geese in park Omaha

Geese feed on a lawn in Omaha downtown park.


We’ve all seen Canada Geese stop over at some local lawn on their way North or South. But these weren’t Canada Geese, and they acted like they’d been living in this park for a while. These geese, in fact, look more like domestic geese.

I don’t remember geese of any description living in parks. But when I visited the favorite park of my boyhood, Nicholl Park in Richmond California, Canada Geese were obviously living there.

geese in Richmond park

“Wild” geese living in Richmond.

What’s going on here?

Google “urban geese” or “goose poop” and you will find plenty of reading materials on this subject. But they most all say the same things.

What certain sites (such as Cornell’s) will tell you is that the U.S. government started a program in the 1930s to re-establish the Canada Goose population which had dwindled considerably due to hunting. They did this with captive birds. These birds did not know to migrate, and they didn’t migrate; they stayed put. These are the birds filling our city parks and causing most of the problems we are having with goose poop, noise, and aircraft interference.

They are safe in cities because no one can hunt (with guns anyway) in cities.

I wondered after getting back home if no one was using the Nicholl Park lawn because of all the goose poop in it. And that probably is a factor. There was a lot of it, and per all the materials I’ve read, it’s not very healthy to be in contact with it.

As it turns out, the real key here is lawns. These birds love lawns, and will seldom settle anywhere other than a grassy field.

Odd coincidence

Oddly, last night I attended an event titled “12th Annual Palouse Basin Water Summit.” We listened to the usual local speakers on the subject of the Palouse water supply, plus we had one international speaker, Maude Barlow, a Canadian water activist.

Right now, the Palouse gets most of its fresh water from underground sources (aquifers). Agriculture and industry are not significant users of aquifer water in the Palouse. Even so, the aquifer water levels have dropped over 100 feet since we have been pumping out water for human uses.

The most attractive and realistic way that most residents can reduce water use is to switch to gardens around their houses that require little or no irrigation. This is no panacea, but it got a lot of attention at this meeting because it is a fun and interesting way to reduce domestic water consumption.

Most residents are already aware of low-flow toilets and shower heads, waiting for full loads before washing clothes or dishes, and generally being stingy with water. These are all part of “going green” and have gotten a lot of attention in many urban areas because many urban areas have had water shortages.

Lawns

Lawns have reached a kind of iconic status in the American and European psyche. Anybody’s dream house has a lawn in front of it, possibly quite a large one. All those photos of our little kids playing on the lawn at home or in a park…it seems an essential part of life.

Yet lawns are atrocious water hogs. They require tremendous amounts of water to keep them green, but will tend to drain off excess water, rather than pull it into the soil. They are like many of our crops that must be irrigated to survive. And so, though grass can be very green, lawns are not very “green.”

What’s odd about me going to this conference then wondering about goose poop is that lawns are related to both issues. Lawns. Odd.

There are still some municipalities (Orlando, Florida is cited by Wikipedia) that mandate front lawns. In more hip communities, the problem is more likely to be front no-plants-at-all. But people in general are gradually coming to realize that the more soil that is covered with plants that will help it soak up, rather than reject, any precipitation that comes its way, the more pro-survival that soil will become for all involved.

So, the answer to both goose poop and water over-use is getting rid of lawns and replacing them with more natural gardens or vegetable gardens.

I have recently posted a lot of photos of urban parks. They all have lawns. You might say, “What would a park be without a lawn?” To which I would reply, “A lawnless park.” I have absolutely no sympathy for golfers, either. None.

I have not begun to even scratch the surface! After we de-lawn, we are going to have to confront re-forestation. And that involves our current methods of agriculture, both mass crops and grazing animals. I’m not sure how far we can take this, but I know that the ideal scene would be to phase out our impact on the surface ecology almost entirely.

I wanted to show you a picture of Bird Hills, but couldn’t find one, so here’s Discovery Park in Seattle.

discover park seattle trail to beach

My ideal park.

TED busts out…

10 April 2016

…and other developments.

I got my usual weekly email from the popular TED Talks site last week, but it was oddly different.

Perhaps it was because they had started releasing videos from their latest event in February, or perhaps it was for some other reason. But not only did all the featured talks seem interesting – including an interview with Linus Torvalds, the original developer of Linux – but the featured playlist on “secrets” included talks as old as 2005 that I had never been aware of.

I downloaded about 20 talks, filling up my C: drive (but happily emptied into my “network storage” computer, which I finally got back up and running last week).

The presenters were mostly “journalists.” This category seems to include a very wide range of people these days. Several “techies” besides Torvalds were also represented, including a lady who works at Pixar Studios (they make completely CGI – computer generated images – movies), and another woman working to bring the US federal government’s digital services into the 21st century.

Topics included the search for life in outer space, understanding shifts in global development, the recent growth of organized crime and other “non-traditional” economic and social changes.

I was introduced to an extremely esoteric photographer / journalist named Taryn Simon who had some interesting things to say, a journalist named Will Potter who has been documenting government’s complicity in the crackdown on anti-corporation activists, and Robert Neuwirth another journalist who specializes in the study of “alternative” urban social structures growing up across the Third World.

Sheldan Nidle

I almost never mention Sheldan, though I follow him. He is one of the most dedicated adherents to the “good ETs are here to help – when you are ready” story, and has had real interactions with these “good ETs.” Almost every week for years now he posts an “update” from the “ETs” which he receives telepathically.

These have been filled with fluff and PR, with just little bits of possible facts thrown in now and then. The update of 5 April, however, was a bit unprecedented in my experience (and I have read almost all of them). It states in part:

…Yet even as the foundation of a new financial system and the global reform of its currency moved forward, it was becoming clear that the present de facto USA regime was pursuing policies that were openly opposed to what these various reforms intended to achieve. In addition, this criminal organization was funding the operations and the arming of terrorist gangs such as Al Qaeda and ISIS and illegally assisting a number of drug-running cartels. These actions were some of the corruption and derelictions that this “government” was secretly accomplishing. It was therefore essential that this illegal organization be quickly put out of business. Thus, a series of special organization-changing discussions were begun in the early spring of 2016. It was intended to replace this illegal regime before late spring arrived. A scenario to achieve this much-needed result was agreed upon and a plan was put into action by a special military/civilian task force.

So a line in the sand has been drawn. This is a very rare occurrence indeed. We shall see what comes of it.

Vaxxed

In other news, a film made to document the story of a Center for Disease Control doctor who claims he was pushed into going along with a plan to hide data linking some vaccines to autism, has been getting considerable attention in the alternative media.

It has been taken off the program of a high-profile film festival in New York City, and more recently, another showing in Houston, Texas was stopped.

In the eyes of the “common man” the whole narrative, starting perhaps even before the development of Darwin’s theories into a sort of new religion for academia, is becoming worn out and useless.

It is obvious that the general population is being lied to, and this film just points out another example of this.

Without a firm understanding, though, of how this whole situation came to be, it is very unlikely that any popular movement, no matter how well-intended, can succeed in turning the situation around.

As Taryn Simon tried to express in her own words, the human race seems to be on a collision course with its own past mistakes. Until the ignorance is lifted, the planet has little choice but to dramatize a past we have all lived through yet have almost totally forgotten.

Storm Clouds Gathering

27 September 2015

A peace activist speaks out

About five years ago a young man who wanted his children to live on a war-free planet started a website called StormCloudsGathering.com and started making and posting videos on the subject on his site and on a YouTube (a Google company) channel.

His videos were short and to the point. He used reasonably reliable information, had a very good announcing voice, and learned how to make videos of quite good quality using images from the web. His audience on his YouTube channel started growing. At some point, he made a decision to “monetize” his YouTube videos and work at the project full time. With the income flow from the channel, he could scrape by and have time to cover more topics that were important to him.

Today his YouTube channel has 468,555 subscribers. His total views is over 46 million. Then just recently, according to a post he made on the 23rd of September, some, then all, of his videos were demonetized by Google. Apparently they have a new policy that monetized videos can’t be controversial. However, it’s not clear that they are enforcing this rule fairly, and this rule itself demonstrates the anti-free-speech middle-class belief that controversy is not commercially viable, though, oddly, large sectors of the economy totally rely on conflict.

So this young man is no longer able to make a living acting as an “alternative” media outlet (and a very popular one, at that). He will have to cut back on his video production to make time for some other sort of income-making activity, or appeal for listener donations all the time the way National Public Radio (and TV) do.

George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, an anti-totalitarian British writer) fancifully placed a nightmare story of complete state control, apparently based partly on what he was seeing in Russia under Stalin, in the year 1984. Though our loss of freedoms was not quite as described in his book by that year, that isn’t to say that no one was working on it.

A “middle-class” (for lack of a better term) distaste for controversy in personal opinion, regardless of how bad things look in general, has overtaken much of the “free” world. We find this segment of the population locked into a system where personal comfort for a lifetime seems possible, as long as no one rocks the boat. That others in different circumstances have not felt personal comfort for many lifetimes does not make that much difference to these people. That’s why we have charity, they reason. And that’s what is criminal about the middle-class approach to life. In leaning towards the comforts of materialism, they have also turned away from the spiritual realities of the situation. They think they live but once. No. They will all be returning, unaware of past existences, but back none the less. And they will have to reap the harvest of the seeds of neglect they sowed in earlier lifetimes. If things get really bad, most of them will most likely simply give up; they are spiritually that weak.

I feel no great pride or sense of superiority for being aware of these things; just a little more hope. If I can become aware of these things, if StormCloudsGathering can find some way to keep making videos, and people keep watching them, then more people can become aware of these things. And maybe some day it will be enough to make a difference.

Other News

Also on 23 September, Corey Goode posted his most recent report on his blog. This is a different sort of website. It was started less than a year ago by someone who felt more or less forced to start speaking for himself after an informal interview with him was released that made it possible for others to identify him and destroy his cover of anonymity.

Corey has about 15,000 likes on Facebook and has been extensively interviewed, especially by David Wilcock, who is doing a “TV” series with him. He claims to have spent 20 years in a secret space program during an apparent earth time of about 5 minutes. This is the most difficult part of his story to believe.

Many many people have mentioned that taxpayer and other monies are disappearing into programs that remain totally unidentified and under “blackout.” They are referred to (for better or worse) as “Black Programs” and the money spent is the “Black Budget.”

After years and years of government disinformation concerning some of the most major events of our time, it is fairly easy to convince the public that this sort of activity exists. However, because of the secrecy surrounding these activities, we have no way, short of psychic powers (which are being tried – see Courtney Brown) to find out what’s really going on. Hence, the information vacuum is intense, and Corey is one person attempting to fill it. That his information accurately portrays reality is highly questionable. That it consists of data that someone in a high-level management capacity wants people to become aware of at this time is undeniable. Corey was pushed into this by his own admission.

However, his authenticity in trying to describe for us his own experiences in this work is likewise undeniable. In this way he is a similar type of character to Andrew Basiago.

In his latest post he recounts being taken to an underground location where he attended various meetings and had an intense “mental exchange” experience with a woman describing herself as a high priestess in her realm.

What he was told was that these underground humanoid groups are responsible for the majority of “telepathic” or “channeled” contacts with Earth people in the past several decades. In this way, they were tricking us to protect themselves and their own interests and activities. However, apparently a deteriorating situation in their underground habitats has forced a change of plans. They, as an alliance, have contacted our secret space program to ask for help and protection.

The Secret Space Program

According to a few sources, like Goode and Wilcock, who rely totally on “insiders” for their data, the planet, under the leadership of the United States, has been working on a secret program to protect the planet from undue harm or interference from various ET groups. This began to really become an issue in modern times after the U.S. detonated its first atomic weapon.

Apparently, with the help of imported and back-engineered technologies (some say the craft these were obtained from were crashed on purpose), the U.S. military and a consortium of civilian groups have developed “space opera” capabilities for our planet, with means of manning and funding these projects that are all kept secret from us.

As the story goes, the original inhabitants of our space colonies were abducted into the program. The newer generations of colonists are not particularly aware of this. We have operations on the moon, on Mars, and perhaps elsewhere in the solar system. They are for the most part run by private companies and manufacture items that we trade with ET groups for things we need. As conditions on these bleak outposts are a far cry from what we enjoy on earth, new recruits, when needed, are abducted (kidnapped). It is assumed (probably correctly) that no one would volunteer to go to live in those places permanently, though the underground environments are not that bad, as long as they remain properly supplied.

A theory that recently occurred to me…

The above scenario, based on what I know, does not actually seem that far-fetched. Points that might be false or exaggerated mostly concern motive: Is there really an external threat, or were those who started this really more concerned with diminishing returns from their earth operations, due to pushes for “human rights” and an inescapable pollution problem? Do we really have some sort of time manipulation technology, or is this just an interesting way to explain Virtual Reality and implanted experiences? How long have some people on earth known that advanced ET civilizations exist?

We know from multiple reliable sources that ancient advanced Space Opera societies exist in this universe. Many of us participated in such societies before we came (were exiled) to Earth. Those societies were not super-fun, but better than nothing, I guess. Think permanent science-fiction dystopia.

The last time they began to forget about Earth and leave us alone, we experienced a Renaissance. And the idea that we could be “free men” occurred to some of us. Considering we were all trapped in biological bodies, had past-life amnesia hard-programmed in, and only live 75 years or so per body, this idea was possibly a bit overblown. But it stuck because it’s basically true.

Meanwhile, the criminal-psychopathic element on earth, which had done so well during the Dark Ages, were trying to work out how to get back what they had lost. They found the Americas, and that helped. They were able to finance the establishment of a large number of plantations and mining operations manned almost entirely by people abducted from Africa. For a while, life was good again; great profits were being made at the expense of the workers, as was proper from their point of view.

The U.S. call for “independence,” followed by that of most other American colonies, was a setback. It took about 100 years to totally handle just the basic problem of loss of power and influence, which was sealed by the adoption in the U.S. of the Federal Reserve system, and personal federal income taxes. Since then, the world has been involved in almost constant warfare, with taxpayers (the workers) incurring the entire debt for these activities and thus hopelessly in debt to the bankers; a new kind of slavery.

At some point, it seems, it was recognized that this, too, would come to pass. And so the psychopaths, in their never-ending quest to destroy, with the help of those they have the most undue influence over – broadly, the upper middle (professional, management) classes – began a program to colonize space and to start up trade with ET. The same basic modus operandi has been used, except this time it was kept a total secret from the local population. All sorts of cover stories have been used for various different earth publics. A “make the world safe for Democracy” approach was used on the masses, who were too busy trying to join the upper middle classes, or at least the middle class, to analyze the data carefully. For the more discerning intellectuals and creative people, a variety of stories about psychic contact, benevolent ETs, Ascension and such other nonsense were spun. As psychic phenomena are real, it was thought these stories would keep that audience going practically indefinitely, which has been the case so far.

A few people, such as Hubbard, tried to mess with these plans, but a constant black PR campaign seems to keep this at a “minor annoyance” level for most of the blood suckers.

Most of the upper middle classes, who the psychopaths rely on get things done, have been coaxed with good salaries, perks, and stories of “evolution” that sound terribly scientific, to go along with all this, as far as they are aware of it, as a sort of inevitable necessity that should result in at least “the best” surviving should anything go seriously wrong on earth (concerning which the psychopaths do all in their power to make look like a good possibility), while everyone else gets “harvested” (as Catherine Austin-Fitts likes to put it).

The problem is that this plan, as all the prior ones, is insanity and is basically no fun for the majority of people on earth. Until we learn how to successfully disagree with it, we suffer.

My bench gets some upgrades

My work bench may one day be an important source of income for me. In some ways it is already, as that’s how I kept up with electronics, which is partly why I was able to land my current job.

So I have been investing in it a bit. I recently procured a tool cabinet (made of steel sheet metal) to help me get more control over my storage problems. And I have pushed by “tower #3” – the Tower of Power with Bungalow – up to an operational status.

Unlike my previous two towers (see Tale of Two Towers), this one resides in a rear corner of my bench, and only a small desktop unit (the bungalow) is within reach. All the contraption does is supply power for my projects before the boards are assembled into self-powered enclosures. I decided that this was the most-needed function. Another bench-top unit houses a couple of digital multi-meters and a continuity tester. I use these all the time.

The “work bench improvement project” continues with various efforts to consolidate parts storage, create modules for prototyping, experimental, and demonstration purposes, and throw away redundant and trashy stuff. The current effort focuses on finishing projects that I started earlier.

Basic Staff Hat – OEC Volume 0

2 June 2013

The Organization Executive Course (OEC) was put together by LRH in 1969 as a way to train church executives in what he saw as the most successful ways to manage and expand the church.

Later (1971), a “Basic Staff Hat” was put together with the most basic articles (called Hubbard Communication Office (HCO) Policy Letters (HCOPLs) about organizations and being on staff in one book that anyone should be familiar with. I studied this entire volume in the year 2000.

It seems odd to me, now, that not every organization (such as my current employer) makes such a book (and course to go with it) available to all its staff. How else can you get management and workers “on the same page?”

This book gives us (in Scientology) a common language of management and the theory behind it, so that we can all communicate effectively with each other on questions of how the organizations are run.

There is a lot to running an organization successfully!

Here are the major topics covered by this 942-page volume:

  1. Introduction, Keeping Scientology Working and Keeping Admin Working; Scientology organizations and their purpose
  2. Basic organization and the organizing board
  3. Basic staff actions and duties
  4. Staff appearance and org image
  5. Communication
  6. Developed traffic (Dev-T: useless, unnecessary or destructive actions in an organization)
  7. Hats and Hatting (Hat: A collection of materials that outline the purposes, know-how and duties of a post.)
  8. Products and exchange
  9. Statistics
  10. Ethics, honesty and survival
  11. The conditions of existence from Non-Existence to Power
  12. Conditions below Non-Existence
  13. Condition Formulas application and remedies
  14. Basic principles of promotion
  15. Servicing the public
  16. Orders and compliance
  17. Staff performance, rules and regulations
  18. Organizational  ethics
  19. Staff member reports
  20. Use of conditions in organizations
  21. Administering justice
  22. Scientology Justice Codes
  23. Org programming and target attainment
  24. The Ideal Org
  25. Appendices include:
    • Thirteen different versions of organizing boards
    • List of types of issues and magazines

Any one of these topics could fill a book!

Yet these articles, all written by a professional writer, are very readable and outline for anyone who cares to study them the basics of running any activity anywhere to do anything; and of being a member of that activity. Some of them are church-specific, while most have very broad application.

Of all the things that working in the church gave me, these PLs are among the most missed. To have such a body of guidelines, all written down and organized, for all participants in the activity to learn, use and discuss, is a priceless gift.

OEC Vol 0

Organization Executive Course Volume 0, 1999 edition

This book was produced by Bridge Publications in 1999 and is a very nice piece of work. It is printed on high-grade paper, includes three ribbons for use as place markers and two thumb tabs for the Appendices and Index.