Posts Tagged ‘Battlefield Earth’

SpaceX snafu and other news

3 September 2016

snafu: American slang popularly thought to originate during WWII, but possibly derived from an abbreviation used earlier by Morse code operators on telegraph circuits. “Situation Normal; All Fouled (Fucked) Up” has a sarcasm attached to it which may have not been originally intended, but certainly contributes to the modern meaning of “snafu.”

The first of September was an interesting day…

Many were attracted to the explosion at the SpaceX launch site in Florida. An article on the web suggested that an “attacking” object was detected in the video of the event in the frames immediately prior to the beginning of the fireball.

I downloaded and looked at the video from about 0:50 to 1:12 in slow-motion and frame-by-frame (a hidden feature of Microsoft Media Player) and saw anomalous fast-moving objects three different times directly before and in the fist second or so of the explosion. The first time, an object seems to launch from behind the middle tower, curve up toward the rocket, then away to the right. The second appearance spans only about six frames and shows an object pass all the way across the scene, just behind the rocket. The explosion starts when the object is about 1/2 way to the rocket. Very soon after the explosion starts, another object (or the same one) appears in the lower left and swiftly moves towards the upper right.

Thus, we definitely have one or more “UFOs” associated with this event and perhaps causing the explosion.

Some think the Israeli payload was not as “humanitarian” as it was made out to be, and that someone with the ways and means knew this and decided to terminate the launch.

What chance for the ways of peace?

As I mentioned in my series on Battlefield Earth, peace is not a subject often dealt with in literature. It is, perhaps, seen as boring. What LRH tried to make a case for in Battlefield Earth was that peace could be exciting. I believe history has demonstrated that societies prosper in times of peace. This would be one huge reason why criminals prefer continuous war. We are all hoping that those who take over from the City of London see things differently. It would be great for Earth to calm down a bit, as our challenges are far from over, and we could use more time to prepare for them. Our next great challenge, as I see it, is ET.

The ETs I am concerned with (and so are many others) are basically biological societies that have developed an array of assistive technologies that boost their abilities to use force to control others. Although they have deadly weapons, we are assuming they are thinking in terms of using psychological and physical force here on Earth towards the goal of enslaving us – perhaps without our being totally aware of the situation. Similar techniques have “worked” on Earth. We might assume that ET is better at these techniques than our humans have been.

So the challenge becomes to spot these techniques and defeat them before they “work” on us. This requires training and is the principal reason we need more time. We will probably not get as much time as we would like. Fortunately, this training program is already well underway. Perhaps there will be enough trained people to move the situation in our favor.

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Victory

4 July 2016

The rest of the book – many chapters, hours of the audio book – consists basically of LRH wisdom and ideas regarding how to organize a universe based on a permanent peace economy. This all in the form of fictional events, speeches and narrative.

The arrangement was that if any of the major societies of all the universes ever got belligerent, they would all be blown to smithereens by special weapons teleported to their capital cities and related locations from secret locations throughout the universes. Their first job, therefore, was to police each other and ensure none got out of hand. This is the “carry a very big stick” part. That the secret teleport locations were never constructed was of little consequence; the “big stick” worked.

The grizzled and craven diplomats that had to be convinced that peace would work in place of their planned wars to solve the economic collapse brought about by the demise of the Psychlo Empire were perhaps the biggest challenge. LRH’s account of these negotiations was tense and intriguing.

The “Selachee” bankers were handled by extremely cunning means, and ultimately became friendly.

Further discoveries were made about the history of Psychlo which made it clearer what had happened there.

A new kind of surgery was invented which allowed the few remaining Psychlos to have their brain implants removed and feel comfortable among other sentient beings for the very first time.

A combination of technical innovation – which had actually been suppressed by the Psychlos – and the unleashed creative power of countless ordinary people finally released from the terrible lie that they were no more than “mere animals” resulted in a level of prosperity and happiness throughout the universes unlike any had ever known or anything that had ever been recorded in millions of years of histories.

Perhaps this could some day come to be. I know the author wanted to encourage us to at least try.

Institutionalized Crime: Banking

4 July 2016
shark

Member of animal superorder Selachii.

In Part 28 Jonnie Tyler finally finds out who the “small gray man” is. He is a banker, portrayed by LRH as a member of the alien race called the Selachee.

The planet Psychlo, as Jonnie has just learned on his own by sending fancy video cameras out into space using the transshipment platform, was blown up a little over a year ago when Jonnie managed to secretly send a load of bomb-filled coffins there. The huge nuclear bombs blew down into Psychlo, held in on top by a tremendously strong protection shield. The explosions reached its molten core and eventually turned the whole planet into a small star.

Psychlo was the home planet of Intergalactic Mining, which had taken out a loan from their bank about a thousand years earlier to purchase Earth from the government. The Psychlo Empire had discovered the planet after finding a map of its location on a space probe launched from Earth. According to the bank, Psychlo had “legal title” to the planet, which had been transferred to Intergalactic at the time of the sale. The mortgage had a payoff period of over 2,000 years. The company had stopped payments on the mortgage a year ago, when Johnny had succeeded – unknowingly – to destroy its home planet.

The bank was looking for the new legal holder of the title so it could serve loan delinquency papers on them.

Does this sound ridiculous? It happens every day on Earth, on a much smaller scale.

Of course, at the level of a planet, it is ridiculous. Not because of the concept of “legal title” but because of how the law favors appropriation of lands (or planets, or space) by force, with no further responsibilities or liabilities attached. This is law written by the conqueror and is unjust on the face of it. Yet we deal with such laws every day.

Did the native inhabitants of any lands on Earth have any say in the “laws” that governed the disposition of those lands when Europeans overran them by force? Of course not. They were required to learn European law to retain any control at all over any piece of their former territories. From a more humanitarian viewpoint – or even from the viewpoint of “natural law” – what occurred when Europe overran the Americas was theft, plain and simple. In all of the Americas, there is very little if any “legal title” that can be traced back to a real, human, transaction between friendly parties.

But banks set up a legal system that would favor their interests. And I can only imagine that they used various forms of blackmail and propaganda, as needed, to bring pressure on the writers of those laws.

I haven’t finished re-reading (listening to) the book yet, and I don’t remember how Jonnie solves this problem.

There are obvious basic principles of respect and responsibility that could be applied in such situations. The first and most obvious is that an inhabited planet should not be considered “fair game.” If it can be demonstrated that any individual, group, or society is occupying and taking care of an area of space, that gives them “title” to that area. For many reasons, use of land – or space – cannot be governed by quite the same rules that cover personal property such as clothing, furniture, tools. Yet the bankers have distorted law in that direction, while overlooking certain obvious contradictions.

The result in many places is that land can be bought and sold as if it were private property, while if stolen by certain protected parties, will be considered as belonging to them regardless of the act of theft.

I you want to wreck your shirt and buy a new one every week, that’s your choice. But you can’t treat land – or planets – that way. A conqueror that kills a planet or its inhabitants, or sells them into slavery, has no right to legal title and incurs a debt to the inhabitants or their survivors. That our laws should protect such a conqueror is only institutionalized crime.

My study of this subject has only taken me as far as Henry George’s book Progress and Poverty. I found his basic ideas very persuasive, and I recommend the book. Law, however, can always be broken and re-written by force. This is an irreducible fact of life. So, to go far, one must speak softly, but carry a very big stick.

The ET Problem

3 July 2016

In Part 21 of the story, LRH begins to introduce us to the ETs who have begun to swarm around Earth. He gives descriptions of body appearances which I believe are largely fanciful. For example, the Tolnep have bodies composed of something akin to stainless steel, and have poisonous fangs like snakes. He also gives short descriptions of their ships which I believe are less fanciful: sphere-shaped; triangle-shaped; cigar-shaped. A key ET – the “small gray man” – remains unidentified, though he seems to hold some sort of senior intelligence and/or diplomatic function.

All these races are of course “space opera,” which is to say that their economies are involved in inter-planetary trade. They have – we can imagine – commercial ships and, in the case presented here, military ships which are there to protect their lines of “commerce.”

In the situation presented by this story, each ET group has a “niche” in the overall inter-galactic economy, which is dominated by the Psychlos due to their apparent monopoly on the technology of teleportation, usually called “transshipment.” Transshipment allows the Psychlos to place military assets wherever they are needed instantly and with no sign of approach, giving them a tremendous political advantage.

The economic niches occupied by the others are briefly enumerated at the beginning of Part 22: the Tolneps are involved in the slave trade; the Hawvins trade in copper and silver; the Bolbods trade in used machinery; the Jambitchow seem to be pirates. There are also the Hockners, who seem to be aspiring political rivals to the Psychlos.

Relative Importances

Battlefield Earth traces the physical – and intellectual – journey of a single very brave individual through many problems of survival. At every level he finds urges – very human urges – to succumb as well as to survive. As sickening as the urge to succumb is to an individual very much committed to survival, it is certainly quite real. Yet it signals the existence of what is known as a “game.” A game is an illusion of conflict for the entertainment of the players, where no actual conflict exists or needs to exist. It is clear from research that life’s unit beings are immortal. Thus any situation where “survival” becomes important must exist at the level of game, and not be, ultimately, real. In playing the various games of life this is worth keeping in mind, as silly and esoteric as it may sound to you.

The trick to handling our situation on Earth would be to rehabilitate our awareness of certain basics of existence that we decided to ignore in order to have a game.

Criminality in Government

2 July 2016

In Parts 17 and 18 of Battlefield Earth, LRH introduces us to the problem of criminality in government in the person of character Brown Limper Staffor.

Some may think that Brown Limper is a huge exaggeration of what really can happen to people. But I don’t think so. Brown Limper was totally delusional. He believed that all his problems and odd cravings were caused by good and honest people who were the real criminals. He plotted, almost ceaselessly, to destroy the lives and works of good people. In this case, Brown Limper’s target was our hero.

This attitude is characteristic of the criminal mind. A criminal let loose in government can wreak havoc. If the honest people cannot identify and expose such people, whole governments, whole societies, can be suborned and nullified – or destroyed outright – suddenly or over a long period.

The common tools of such individuals are lies cloaked in veils of truth. They can be very convincing. When fed in through the news media, or “respectable experts” many take such lies as truth. But of course, if looked into closely, they can be demonstrated to be lies. So there are always some persons who become aware of the criminality and attempt to challenge it. Depending on how deep it goes, exposure can result in success for the honest people, or their death – usually indirectly through “accidents.”

All this and more is illustrated in various ways in this story.

First stage of Earth recovery

1 July 2016

In Part 12 of Battlefield Earth, the men take their first step in their plan to defeat the invaders from “Psychlo.”

Key to the operation was the “transhipment” of a cargo of nuclear bombs – hidden in caskets of dead employees – hoping to blow the home planet to kingdom come.

In order to prevent the nuclear bombs from blowing up on Earth by mistake, the bombs had to be armed at the very last minute, when the “transhipment” was irreversible. This was our hero’s job, and as with every step in the story, he pulled it off, with difficulty, at the very last minute.

After many harrowing problems, the author gives us a break, and describes the work of the Scottish-led “World Federation for the Unification of the Human Race.”

By Part 15 we are well-introduced to Hubbard’s ideas about how to bring peace to a world – and universe – all too “human.” A Russian introduces one important aspect of this towards the end of this part: Put rival groups in charge of each other’s “defense” bases. Then if someone tries to use an installation for offensive purposes, chances were that the personnel would be being asked to fire on their own people, and refuse!

Johnny recruits the Scots

29 June 2016

You all know why I am here.
I want 50 young men who are able, courageous, and strong, to go on a crusade to rid the world of the demon up there who does not speak our language (referring to Terl and his kind).

I feel it is necessary to to tell you the character of this demon so you can help me. He is treacherous, vicious, sadistic, and devious. He lies from choice even when the truth will serve.

The mining company that conquered this planet in ages past has equipment and technology beyond those of man. Planes in the air, machines to drill the earth, gasses and guns that can slaughter whole cities. Man has been deprived of this planet by those creatures. The men who volunteer to come with me will learn to use those tools, fly those planes, man those guns!

Our chances are not in our favor. Many of us may die before this is through.

Our race is growing fewer in numbers. In coming years we may be gone forever. But even though the odds are against us, at least let it be said that we took this small last chance and tried.

– from Part 6, Chapter 11

With this, our hero’s first political speech, he recruited not 50, but all thousand or so attending the meeting. Of them he took 83 to American with him in Terl’s personnel carrier. The rest vowed to prepare themselves to strike – or help in other ways – when they got word to do so.

And so begins the slow upward climb of this story. The passage made me cry. It was well-delivered by the audiobook crew, and I had forgotten it.

I will let you draw your own analogies. The plot could be fit into our own times. Who is the recruiter, who are the recruited, and what is the enemy? You will have to work these things out for yourself.

Battlefield Earth

26 June 2016

In 1980, before I was involved in Scientology, LRH began writing a work of “pure science fiction” which came out as Battlefield Earth. It was published in 1982, and after I joined the Sea Org I bought a copy and read it. Later, I lost that copy, but recently purchased another one, also a First Edition. This one comes wrapped in a leather cover, reminiscent of those used by the hero to hold the books he found that helped him recover the Earth for human habitation.

I more recently ordered the audio book (which is unabridged and 44 CDs long!) and have started “re-reading” it in that fashion. It’s a great job, though I don’t know who’s going to sit through 47 and 1/2 hours of CDs to listen to the whole story. But it is a good story, and I am going through it again to pick any important points I missed or am uncertain about.

Some points I do remember:

Earth is plagued by the genocidal presence of an off-world inter-galactic mining company, run from its home planet of “Psychlo.” Almost everyone from Psychlo lacks compassion, and is therefore basically psychotic. They will kill any other life form without remorse, even each other. Later in the story, it is discovered that this trait is installed at birth in the form of some sort of electronic implant. One Psychlo who escaped being implanted helps the hero discover this.

Hubbard gives the Psychlos a huge Achilles Heel; their atmosphere explodes in the presence of ionizing radiation. This is real science fiction; I don’t know of any real planet or civilization where the biology is that different. All I’ve ever heard of is carbon-oxygen based biology. There are some non-biological life forms. More than likely, they predate biology.

Working with this notable Psychlo weakness, along with their normal “human” foibles, the hero finds a way to blackmail them into backing off Earth, and leaving the rest of the universe alone as well. The success in bringing peace to the cosmos is notable and worth studying. Real criminality is a problem everywhere, and there are clues here that might help us conquer it.

The book, in its second half, includes some major space battles. On the web I have noticed some references to similar events in nearby space. Again, the future of planets and great issues of war and peace are at stake in this current set of events.

It used to be that science fiction was seen as an indirect way to communicate about real Earthly situations. That view no longer holds. The “stage” has widened; it now includes the entire cosmos.

Bill Tompkins in his book mentioned several times that he had become convinced that Teddy Roosevelt was right: That to go far, one must speak softly, but carry a big stick. Though Roosevelt attributed the proverb to West Africa, there has been difficulty tracing it to there, as their own lore has been oral, and Western study of it has been spotty. But time and time again, thinkers come to the conclusion that any “peace” is held together by the carefully targeted threat of overpowering force. In the movie (and book) “The Mouse that Roared,” peace is brought to Europe by instilling the belief that if anyone starts a war, a bomb will go off which will eradicate the entire subcontinent. And in Battlefield Earth, peace is won in a similar way.

This seems to be one of many paradoxes that we must live with.