Does anyone know of an upcoming showing of the Thrive movie in West Sonoma County?
I apologize if this is redundant, but in case you haven't seen the existing Wacco threads on the topic of "Thrive", here are two relevant links which you may want to check out before (or after?) seeing the movie:
I could not disagree more with the Thrive "opposition press". I think the movie is a timely, urgent, magnificently produced introduction to all the "Red Pill" topics so critical for occupiers and the general population to understand better. I've met Foster Gamble and find his approach unimpeachable and his personal manner refreshingly conscious and on target.
You can agree or disagree with the libertarian leaning politics in some of his solutions at the end - the movie & information are great.
I have been planning to host a screening with some friends, and will schedule it soon. Contact me here. (public or private)
I saw "Thrive" and here's my take on Thrive's 3 parts:
1. Could we use the Torus to make free energy?--Cool crop circle and UFO footage, but I didn't understand how the whole discussion of the Torus leads us to thrive. Reminded me of the movie "Contact."
2. All the ways the Illuminati, etc. have kept us from our free energy--Reminded me of the movie "Total Recall." First of all, we already have enough sun, wind, hydro, etc. to produce the energy for our real needs. If we didn't live such a consumerist, wasteful lifestyle, we wouldn't need some super-free energy source. Even if we did have free, unlimited energy, don't we need to have our consciousness evolve to be able to use it wisely?
IMO, mostly local, decentralized, small-scale renewable energy resources are what will really allow us to thrive. The Holy Grail of Large-Scale "Free" Energy--fusion, torus, whatever is a big diversion and will not, I believe, end up empowering people. Nor will the paranoia around "the powers that be." Law of attraction is real. By the way, if your free energy device is dependent on millions of dollars from Wall Street, as Nikolas Tesla's device did, is it really free energy?
3. What we can do--I mostly agreed with this part--ex. localizing the money. But yes, the Ludwig von Mises (Ron Paul's favorite thinker) libertarian view that privileges property over people and the land disturbed me.
Personally, I resonate most with the Transition town vision. The documentary "The Economics of Happiness" offers a more compelling vision than "Thrive" does, again IMO. "Thrive" seems to offer a libertarian vision, and also the vision of large-scale, centralized renewable energy. It is making for a very interesting discussion
Here is an excellent interview with Foster Gamble which clarifies his actual views on most of the topics mentioned in the criticisms. I especially recommend it to the skeptical.
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Some people have been attracted to Ron Paul's candidacy and to libertarian thinking by Paul's opposition to foreign wars and to the war on drugs. Many of them fail to look more deeply into the real implications of this philosophy in the real world. The Praxis Peace Institute has just published a very well thought out analysis of libertarianism (including a very important critique of the movie Thrive by Sebastopol's Gus diZerega) that I encourage everyone to read. A pdf of this book is attached below.
Thank you Larry for posting the Praxis critique of Thrive. I didn't see the last half of Thrive, so the analysis and problems inherent in the Liberterian solutions proposed were revealing. There's been such new age hype for this flick, that in itself made me suspect, a simple and easy yet inauthentic solution to problems today. I was a bit tripped out by all the graphics, tho nervous of what a rich guy like Gamble might really be promoting. The analogy of the biological structure being compared to the graphics on the US dollar bill was the first warning sign that the movie was more fantasy than reality. The piece on the Federal Reserve, being started with the wealth of the Rothchilds, Morgans, Stanleys, etc, left me nonplussed. That those families are receiving the benefits of their investments, at the cost of everyone else, is stretching the truth. Although I haven't researched the analysis of those including Ron Paul who advocate doing away with the Fed, to me it's akin to throwing away the baby with the bathwater. It's a simple solution to the complex problem of the economic decline of the US.
As I was exploring discussions of Thrive I came across a site that approaches the movie very differently than I did. I focused on the complete inadequacy of libertarian ideology to understand the issues it was attempting to explore. The issue of vast conspiracies was one I did not get into because the amount of research was more than I have time for and the breadth of the conspiracies and secret histories far beyond my competence to analyze.
This site http://thrivedebunked.wordpress.com/category/debunking/ provides a good source for debunking all the conspiracy claims and secret history claims. I am NOT a "skeptic" in the modern sense of that word, the Gods know, and some of the people the site uses are not that ethical in their own exposes (James Randi for example) but it's good. I particularly liked the video of guys making a very complex and perfect crop circle in about 4 hours. The movie showed a very badly made crop circle as what people could accomplish.
There is a lot on the site and it's worth exploring.
im hosting a free movie screening in 9 days, and would love for you to come if you are free that day. if not, but you still support the information im offering, then please help me spread the awareness of whats going on in our troubled world at this crucial juncture in time with all those who want to help enhance the standard of living for all, not just some. with the advent of the internet and social networking, we have been presented with an opportunity never before offered, for us to rally together globally and endeavor to create a world that works for everyone! heres a link for more information. best of blessings to you on this beautiful day.
John Robbins, one of the prominent people featured in Thrive, explains why he and 10 others have disassociated themselves from the movie:
There is a great deal about Thrive that I find untrue and dangerous. You ask if I have any comment on the film’s promotion of conspiracy theories. Yes, I do.
There is no doubt that staggering wealth and power is today concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of humanity. The combined net worth of the world’s richest thousand or so people — the planet’s billionaires — is almost twice that of the poorest 2.5 billion. This disparity is nothing less than an indictment of our civilization. It is also certain that networks exist among the most powerful people that enable a remarkably few people to shape the world’s economy, to determine what is known and what is not, which views are accepted and which are not, and what priorities and values will prevail. They decide whether we will live in war or peace, how our treasure will be spent, and they have proven to be eminently successful at enriching themselves at the expense of the common good.
But fantasies about secret conspiracies distract us from the work at hand. Those few who hold immense wealth and power are still people. They are not reptiles in human form. They are perhaps pathologically competitive or greedy, but still human, riven with differences and egos, and not particularly good at sustaining relationships, much less of organizing massive secret cabals to dominate all life on this planet.
Thrive promotes conspiracy theories that are based on an imaginary division between “us” and “them.” “We” are many and well-meaning but victimized; while “they” are a tiny, greedy and immensely powerful few who are masterfully organized, who are purposefully causing massive disasters in order to cull the population, and who will do absolutely anything in their quest to achieve total world domination. I think the allure of this way of thinking is that it distracts and absolves us from the troubling truth that the real source of the problem is in all of us, and in the economic systems we have collectively produced. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.”
Foster Gamble has said that the earthquake that caused the tsunami that wreaked havoc on the nuclear plants in Fukushima was deliberately created by those seeking absolute world domination to punish the Japanese for not acceding to their wishes. He has said that “they” have a machine in Alaska that enables them to create earthquakes at will, anywhere on earth, and of any desired strength. In my judgement, this is the thinking of someone who has lost all grounding in reality.
Thrive advances the idea that vaccinations have been purposefully created by the global elite to decimate the population, an idea that I find both ludicrous and dangerous. There is no doubt that vaccinations have troubling side effects. Some of them may be more toxic than we know. But it was a vaccine that enabled the elimination of smallpox, a scourge which was responsible for approximately 500 million human deaths in the 20th century. Thrive promotes the idea that the U.N. and world treaties are the work of evil-doers intent on total world domination. These institutions are far from perfect. But it was only through the concerted efforts of the global health community and the World Health Organization that smallpox, perhaps the killer of more humans than any other in world history, was eradicated.
There are many things that are terribly wrong in our world. All living creatures are poisoned and compromised by surging levels of man-made toxins that spew into our world, relatively unchecked. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of heart disease, cancer, obesity and childhood diabetes. Our financial institutions and to a large extent our political system have been hijacked by greedy, sociopathic individuals who seem to feel no sense of responsibility to the well being of the whole. Our military industrial complex with its voracious appetite for new markets, and its obscenely paranoid world view, expands unchecked with frightening and horrific speed.
But holding these tragedies as the intentional acts of a tiny group of families seeking to rule the world distracts us from the arduous work of confronting the real challenges before us.
Thanks Larry for posting an intelligent and compassionate reply from one of those who appeared in Thrive. I would like to think that the word of so many who had been featured in the movie as beimng appalled by it would matter to those pushing it. Alas, I appear to be wrong. Right wing Republicans are not the only part of our population to have abandoned respect for truth and facts in favors of the will to believe.
Truly nihilism is becoming the defining value of much of contemporary America.
Larry, Thank you for your thoughts about Thrive and conspiracy theories that are distracting. My daughter now believes some of these false theories, like: Bill Gates is a mass murder because he is promoting vaccines in Africa, Global Warming is not human caused, Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) was a Nazi, Obama is like Hitler, etc. I am sick of trying to convince her and her boy friend to look at 'real facts'. They both think they are 'the real fact finders' and others just are suckers for believing the media. Dealing with this thinking at this close level is disturbing but has given me a close look at how and why some think as they do! Thanks again Larry, Monica
Last edited by Barry; 04-18-2012 at 09:51 AM.
A few years ago I would have been likely to agree with this position [and of course I still advocate compassion no matter what] but I think the extent of corruption in our society has far surpassed what anyone would ever have believed possible.
or read any part of David Wilcock's research:
Last edited by Barry; 04-18-2012 at 09:51 AM.
I speak with my daughter's college aged friends and am sometimes appalled at what interests them, what frightens them, what they will fight for, and what they believe. Sure, some of it is simple, naive youth and natural immaturity. I hope that they will be exposed to all sources of knowledge and be able to figure it out. This is why I will vote against any bill that takes even more money (is there any left?) out of our education coffers. We can't afford any more ignorance, least of all from the generations that are rising to become the next decision makers. Don't lose faith in the misguided youth in your life, however. Keep talking, keep teaching, keep thinking, Mom.
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If you read that article it says this:
One thing won't chime with some of the protesters' claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. "Such structures are common in nature," says Sugihara.In fact the study does not conclude whether this interconnectedness of financial interests is good or bad for the stability of economies, but rather might provide information as to how to prevent economic collapses.
Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, "is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups". Or as Braha puts it: "The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy."
So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.
Last edited by Barry; 04-18-2012 at 09:53 AM.
I think it is true that we are increasingly under the domination of a financially based oligarchy that is as ruthless as it is institutionally soulless, one that picks the worst to be on top. I never needed THRIVE to demonstrate that point. The issue is whether THRIVE illuminates it further or offers good ways to understand it and how possibly to replace it with something better.
Sadly it does none of this. That so many people its creators found important to interview in order to lend credence to its message have now disavowed the movie speaks eloquently to its moral and intellectual corruption- it misled good people into seeming to speak for it, and now they regret their decision.
As for the movie itself, its conspiracy theories in many ways reflect its libertarian ideology as it is applied in practice. As a group, libertarians love conspiracy theories. Why? They easily solve problems with libertarian ideology.
Libertarians and their Ayn Rand cousins (she appears positively on THRIVE's website) all think the US had an almost immaculate beginning with freedom and private property protected. When the market is free the values and decisions of free men and women are reflected in what happens. Everybody wins. We are as close to utopia as humans can get. Therefore if something else happens, with the sainted "free market" then limited, Bad People must have been responsible.
Consequently libertarians have been implacable enablers to some of these bad developments whenever they arise from the natural workings of big businesses and huge fortunes arising from the 'normal' operation of capitalism.
Libertarians almost to a person ignore that on balance these successful people, and even more the successful corporations they found, then game the system to benefit themselves at other people's expense. Libertarians blame their employees - corrupt politicians - while defending the employers.
Libertarians, almost all of them from Charles and David Koch down to the naive college student, believe there is no global warming, that it is a hoax by corrupt scientists and their enablers. Why? Because there is no solution to the problem in a libertarian society. Therefore it cannot be real. Think Catholic hierarchs refusing to look through Galileo's telescope. Same thing in most ways.
Libertarians believe that everyone should pay for their own health insurance and if government did not exist it would be affordable because they ignore that insurance companies plus science are able to create ever smaller pools of customers with identified pre-existing medical or genetic ocnditions, guaranteeing that those who need insurance most will be least able to afford it. (Ron Paul's financial genius died $400,000 in debt because he had pre-existing conditions and libertarians failed to charitably pay his bills even though he raised millions for Paul.)
No, not all libertarians are so simple minded, but at the popular level many are. Foster Gamble is. In their own way many libertarianism are as simple minded and as willing to identify 'Satanic' forces as the reason life is not perfect as is any Christian fundamentalist. THRIVE is akin to a slickly produced video by an anti-evolution "Creation Science" institute, and as reliable.
We face serious problems, ones we may not be able to overcome, but relying on and promoting a movie that is so dishonest in its intentions as to cause many who appear in it to denounce how they were depicted is part of the problem, not part of the solution, if we are to find one.
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well thanks for asking...dunno where to start exactly, it's such a huge topic.
Those last links I posted have info on Bill Gates statement that vaccines could be helpful in depopulation and some of the many websites showing harm from vaccinations worldwide.
.... I think it's quite possible that the people who are disavowing connection to the movie Thrive may have been threatened ...I wonder that about Obama too since many channelers place him in the white hat/good guy category.
It seems obvious to me that something dark and sociopathic has taken over our corporations and our government. I think it's significant that the ownership of hundreds of the biggest corporate players ties back to about 40 corporations, most of them banks. The Federal Reserve bank is privately owned and took over the country’s money several decades ago. President Kennedy’s opposition to that cost him his life. Other presidents have expressed concern as well:
“There has come about an extraordinary and very sinister concentration in the control of business in the country... The growth in our nation, therefore, and all our activities, are in the hands of a few men... This money trust, or as it should be more properly called, this credit trust... is no myth.” -WOODROW WILSON, 1912
Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. -WOODROW WILSON, 1913
Our health care system has been thoroughly corrupted by insurance companies and big pharmaceutical corporations –there is a growing body of proof that vaccines have been deliberately designed to be harmful, along with other medications; cures for cancer suppressed; 80,000 unregulated chemicals in our consumer products and food, GMOs, aspartame… pesticides killing the bees, HAARP creating earthquakes and super storms… Homeland Security just placed orders for 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets, armored road barriers and radiation pills…
To me it’s immaterial if a “conspiracy” can be proven or not…maybe the heads of all these corporations do come together in TriLateral think tanks or Bilderberg meetings and plan their next move or maybe they just independently make “evil” decisions
I think we’re all tired of conspiracies because there are so many of them – but most of them have proven true over the years.
And yes in the big spiritual overview, the warriors of the Dark have played a crucial role and deserve love and gratitude just like the warriors of the Light….
And the truth for functioning down here on the 3D level is somewhere in between.
By ascribing the root of the world’s evil to a handful of families are we absolving ourselves of the need for right action? No.
I think we need to respect the truths that our children resonate with - they are coming up very wise these days. And I don't see how we are served by intellectually attacking info from such a movie...there's food for thought everywhere and plenty of opportunities for compassion and forgiveness!
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Thank you so much Nansee. This is a great post. I've been watching but no time to respond.
I think all the discussion and critique is great, and I agree wholeheartedly that knowing one is conspired against should never engender a victim stance or inaction, just the opposite. Foster Gamble says this all the time by the way. Here's my comments:
Let's not be flat earthers, mud slingers, or fundamentalists about anything. Let's be scientists and diplomats in community facing common threats.
- I do not see the focus of the movie as the free energy piece. Though integral, that is not critical to the other ideas here. What is clear is that there are many alternatives to the dangerous and dirty energy sources we use, and the obstacles to using them more widely are exclusively economic & political, and heavily defended. I say the cleaner, more decentralized, and more abundant the energy sources are, the better, and diversity is better still. I do not think we benefit from scarcity of any kind, nor that we need scarcity to engender wise use.
- It is a shame so many of the luminaries in the movie have chosen to disassociate, and I wonder along with Nansee how much of that is for their security mainly. After all, the info is out now in so many forms, their letter will not do so much damage, and the carefully engineered public positioning of those folks may not include the wish to be forevermore seen as a vocal proponent of all the ideas in Thrive. That (and possibly threats) may be more their motivation than their private agreement or disagreement.
- An apparent exception to this is John Robbins, sadly. But he shows that he is uninformed and has not researched very much by his sweeping statements that HAARP does not have the capability to create earthquakes, vaccines have not been intentionally and broadly engineered to harm us (even if they have also done good). In my thinking, this ignorance and incredulity is far more dangerous. Yes, the things they do ARE just incredible, as is their ability to distract and divert us. But that we cannot imagine ever doing such things does not mean that they don't do them. (I believe that they have intentionally bred to eliminate empathy)
- To understand who is behind all this and how intentional it all is does not distract us from the work at hand as he says, it makes real solutions much more possible to target. Robbins name calling and accusing Foster of fantasy and delusion is just the kind of slander that shouts people down and hurts fact & research based dialogue. Would we treat an unpopular or even unlikely scientific theory that way? So why with social & political perspectives. Just the human tendency to fundamentalism again. Let's be fact based and take our sources interests into consideration.
- To know that there is a very small group of individuals continuing a very long history of political and economic domination in a coordinated way, using very old tricks and always refining their tactics, does not at all deny that the basis of their power is our failure to effectively refuse to acquiesce. Yes, the power is ours, and the responsibility to shake off shackles with it. But there is an abuser here, and in that sense humanity has been victimized, and we should not "blame the victim". When your whole species & culture has been mugged for generations, and they keep hitting you with their blackjack and putting a sack over your head, it can be hard to get your bearings and mount an effective response. They have made it so hard to accurately see the nature of the scams and domination, and that has been their strongest weapon against us. It's effectiveness is evident in how many wise and strong voices are not yet ready to see and/or come out about it. They have until now succeeded in making us all "lose our grounding in reality" in Robbins words, through adeptness at control & deceit - they know their whole game depends on it.
- And to understand that there are perpetrators of horrendous malevolence among us, and speak about those who do such things in "us and them" terms is not inaccurate, nor does it mean that we do not also understand that they are "of us", and part of the human family needing empathy, healing, and re-integration. Yes, we know that unforgiveness and judgement only hurt us. But let's protect ourselves and our world from them while we're at it - they are power addicted, resource & information rich babies on steroids with guns to all our heads, and they are used to getting their way. We can't treat them or think of them like we think of like someone we can trust to think mutually. In Akaido, you must first understand that someone means you harm, and see their attack clearly. Then you can turn their energy to the creation of harmony.
- Finally, the rabbit hole goes so deep, and the deeper it goes, the harder it is for most of us to effectively qualify the information. So some people think the real perpetrators are an ancient race of inter-dimensional extraterrestrial lizards who live inside the hollow moon. This may or may not be true, but that does not damage the credibility of theories or facts which are more worldly and can be more easily probed and discussed. In life as in science, finding truth is a team sport, and I would say we should treat all others courageous enough to speak controversial possibilities with seemingly loving intentions and a reasonable demeanor with great respect and gratitude, and then get about the business of researching and comparing facts to see which perspectives endure.
I posted a link to an interview with Foster Gamble responding to the criticisms a while back, but it was only public for the first month - now only members of Conscious Media Network can view it.
Here is another link to the same video:
"seems obvious" isn't enough. Sorry, but it's in fact quite material if a conspiracy can be proven - not necessarily to the same standards as in a court of law or scientific research might require as proof, but there does need to be some credible proof. It matters because misdiagnosing the causes of the problems you mention leads to taking ineffective actions against them. Oddly enough, that's an accusation a lot of conspiracy-believers make: that the conspirators are putting out misinformation that leads the good-hearted but soft-headed to waste their energies fighting the wrong fight.
[This long article by John Robbins is well worth a read, especially for any of you who have embraced this film - Barry]
John Robbins further elaborates on his issues with Thrive:
Standing for a Thriving World
(and challenging the Movie Thrive)
By John Robbins
Thrive is the name of a richly produced and controversial film that asks, and attempts to answer, some of the deepest questions about the nature of the human condition and what is thwarting our chances to prosper. Elaborately funded, with appealing imagery and beautiful music, it features interviews with many leading progressive voices. And yet ten of these leaders have taken the highly unusual step of signing a statement formally disassociating ourselves from the film.
Why have Amy Goodman, Deepak Chopra, Paul Hawken, Edgar Mitchell, Vandana Shiva, John Perkins, Elisabet Sahtouris, Duane Elgin and Adam Trombly, as well as yours truly, gone to the trouble of signing our names to this public statement?
“We are a group of people who were interviewed for and appear in the movie Thrive, and who hereby publicly disassociate ourselves from the film.
Thrive is a very different film from what we were led to expect when we agreed to be interviewed. We are dismayed that we were not given a chance to know its content until the time of its public release. We are equally dismayed that our participation is being used to give credibility to ideas and agendas that we see as dangerously misguided.
We stand by what each of us said when we were interviewed. But we have grave disagreements with some of the film’s content and feel the need to make this public statement to avoid the appearance that our presence in the film constitutes any kind of endorsement.”
I have joined the other signers of this statement, even though there are aspects of the film that I find beautiful and inspiring, and even though the makers of the film, Foster and Kimberly Gamble, are old friends.
In Thrive, the Gambles have attempted to address some of the crucial challenges of our times. I appreciate their idealism, their commitment, and their passion. And I agree with them about some things they state in the movie and on their website --- such as that the political system is depraved, the Federal Reserve has been used to consolidate economic power, fiat currency tends to produce a corrupt financial system that depends on ever increasing debt, the tax system is unfair, and enormously powerful economic interests often collude with one another to deceive and defraud the public. I stand with them as they promote the labeling of genetically engineered foods and in their desire to see our nation cease spending enormous sums on war. I appreciate that they support local and organic agriculture, their passion for credit unions and local banking, and their opposition to governmental invasion of privacy. They recommend many action steps that I support.
But I do not agree with some of the core conclusions they draw. Nor do the other signers of the statement of disassociation from Thrive. Duane Elgin, one of the signers, says: "Thrive is idealistic, naive, narrow, shallow, and focuses attention away from more productive areas of engagement."
At the very heart of the Thrive message is what it calls the Global Domination Agenda. This is the idea, as presented on the Thrive website in the words of former Congressman Larry McDonald:
“The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government... all under their control… Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.”
Foster Gamble explains:
“A small group of families are actually controlling virtually every sector of human endeavor… Their agenda… (is) to take over the lives of all people across the entire planet… to collapse the economies throughout the European Union… to devalue the dollar to almost zero... and to create a one-world government, with them in charge.”
The Thrive movie and website also state that a small group of 300 or so people are developing and experimenting with plans to dramatically reduce the world’s human population, possibly to about 500 million people, to make us “easier to manage.”
Could this be true?
There is no doubt that staggering wealth and power is today concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of humanity. The combined net worth of the world's richest thousand or so people -- the planet's billionaires -- is almost twice that of the poorest 2.5 billion. I believe this disparity to be nothing less than an indictment of our civilization.
It is also certain that networks exist among the most powerful that enable a remarkably few people to shape the world's economy, to determine what is known and what is not, which views are accepted and which are not, and what priorities and policies will prevail. More than most of us realize, they decide whether we will live in war or peace and how our treasure will be spent. And they have proven to be eminently successful at enriching themselves, often at the expense of the common good. Exposing the global power elite is tremendously important work. And this, Thrive purports to do.
But the Thrive movie and website are filled with dark and unsubstantiated assertions about secret and profoundly malevolent conspiracies that distract us from the real work at hand. The conspiracy theories at the heart of Thrive are based on an ultimate division between "us" and "them." "We" are many and well-meaning but victimized. "They," on the other hand, are a tiny, greedy and inconceivably powerful few who are masterfully organized, who are purposefully causing massive disasters in order to cull the population, and who are deliberately destroying the world economy in order to achieve total world domination.
This way of thinking has an allure, for it distracts and absolves us from the troubling truth that the real source of the problem is in all of us, and in the economic systems we have collectively produced. If the ills of the world are the deliberate intentions of malevolent beings, then we don’t have to take responsibility for our problems because they are being done to us. Thinking this way may provide the momentary comfort of feeling exonerated, but it is ultimately disempowering, because it undermines our desire to be accountable for the way our own thoughts and actions help to create the environmental degradation and vast social inequity of the world in which we live. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, "The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart."
The Thrive film does not mention, or in some cases only hints at, many of the more extreme ideas that are prominent on the Thrive website, and which inform the Thrive worldview. The movie has lavish production values, and presents interviews with many leaders in the consciousness movement, all of which lend a beguiling aura of credibility. Foster Gamble himself comes across as soft, warm, and inquiring. Those who have only seen the film may not recognize the agenda and belief system that actually underlie Thrive.
For example, Foster Gamble has said that the Japanese earthquake that caused the tsunami that wreaked havoc on the nuclear plants in Fukushima was deliberately created. He has said that those seeking absolute world domination wanted to punish the Japanese for not acceding to their wishes. He has said that "they" have an electromagnetic array project in Alaska called HAARP that enables “them” to create earthquakes and tsunamis at will, anywhere on earth. The Thrive website also implies that the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was intentionally created by HAARP. These are extraordinary claims to make without some very credible substantiation. Yet Foster makes them with an utter lack of evidence. Although he has been a friend of mine for years, I must regrettably say that in my judgment, these are the assertions of someone who has lost grounding in reality.
Thrive also advances the idea that vaccinations have been purposefully created by the global elite to decimate the population. There is no doubt that vaccinations have troubling side effects. Some of them may be far more toxic than we know. But there’s a difference between a thoughtful dialogue about the dangers of a medical technology and the belief that vaccines are actually an expression of profoundly sinister intent.
It was a vaccine that enabled the elimination of smallpox, a scourge which was responsible for approximately 500 million human deaths in the 20th century. Thrive promotes the idea that the U.N. and world treaties are the work of evil-doers intent on total world domination. These institutions are far from perfect, but it was only through the concerted efforts of the global health community and the World Health Organization that smallpox, perhaps the killer of more humans than any other disease in world history, was eradicated. There is greed and deceit in the pharmaceutical industry that I find deplorable, but that does not condemn all vaccines.
There are many things that are terribly wrong in our world. All living creatures are poisoned and compromised by surging levels of human-made toxins that spew into our environment, relatively unchecked. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of heart disease, cancer, obesity and childhood diabetes. Our financial institutions and to a large extent our political system have been hijacked by greedy and at times even sociopathic individuals who seem to feel no sense of responsibility to the well being of the whole. The world’s military industrial complex is spending more money than ever on guns, bombs, and the machinery of unfathomable destructive power, while governments learn little about how to make peace and hundreds of millions of people go hungry.
But holding these tragedies as the intentional acts of a tiny group of families seeking not just extreme wealth but also total world domination via a global police state distracts us from the arduous work of confronting the true challenges before us.
For example, as an environmentalist I heed the monumental evidence that global warming may be one of the most serious threats faced by humanity and many of the other species on this planet. Those who have merely seen the movie would not know that Foster Gamble and the Thrive website strongly recommend a film (The Great Global Warming Swindle) which states that man-made global warming is a "lie" and "the biggest scam of modern times."
The Thrive website opens its climate change discussion with this question:
“How does the premise of man-made global warming relate to the banking elite’s effort to transcend national sovereignty, establish global governance and create a global tax to fund their dominance?”
The insinuation is that the idea of human-caused global warming is being fabricated as an excuse to create a global police state and a tax basis for tyranny. If this is true, just about every scientific expert in the world has been taken in by the hoax. A 2010 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 97 percent of scientific experts agree that it is…
“very likely that anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases have been responsible for the unequivocal warming of most of the Earth’s global temperature in the second half of the 20th century.”
It has been personally painful for me to witness friends of mine become caught up in seeing just about everything on earth as part of a vast demonic conspiracy. When I wrote Foster Gamble to voice my disappointment with many of the ideas in the film and website, he wrote back, encouraging me among other things to study the works of David Icke, Eustace Mullins, Stanley Monteith and G. Edward Griffin. These are among the people he repeatedly refers to in the movie as his “sources.”
I find this deeply disturbing. Here’s why…
David Icke, who has been called “one of the most extreme of all conspiracy theorists,” is not a small player in Thrive. In fact, he is featured more prominently in the movie than anyone other than Foster Gamble. An extended interview with him, intercut with supporting material, forms much of the middle section of the film.
Though this is not mentioned in Thrive, Icke is well-known for advocating utterly bizarre theories, including that the entire world is run by a secret group of reptilian humanoids who drink human blood and conduct satanic rituals. Forty-three U.S. Presidents, he says, have been such reptilian beings, and many of them, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, have been part of global satanic pedophile rings that murder hundreds of thousands of children a year. I wish I was making this stuff up, but I’m not. This is what Icke teaches.
And I deeply regret to say that my old friend Foster Gamble seems to concur. As Foster wrote in a public forum:
“In our film, we do not go into his (Icke’s) research on reptilians, nor his immensely important investigations into global satanic pedophile rings, because it does not serve our film. That does not mean that revealing what is happening to hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable every year should not be exposed and stopped.”
Unfortunately, Icke’s war on common sense goes much further. He says that the Global Elite's plan for world domination was laid bare in a document titled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This document is actually a notorious hoax, published in Russia around 1903. It supposedly presents a plan by the Jewish people to take over the world, and was a primary justification used by Adolph Hitler as he initiated the Holocaust. This fraudulent document was also used to justify the violent pogroms and massacres of the Jewish people in pre-Soviet Russia.
How anyone could take seriously a man who espouses such “information” is beyond me. But Thrive actually relies heavily on Icke’s “insights,” both in the movie and as a source of “data” for its website.
Another of Thrive’s primary sources, and another of the authors Foster Gamble told me I should read in order to better understand Thrive, is Eustace Mullins. I honestly find it difficult to convey the level of anti-semitism in Mullins’s books, without it seeming that I am exaggerating. So I will let Mullins’s own words speak for themselves:
“We must remember that there is no Jewish crime per se, since the existence of the Jewish parasite on the host is a crime against nature, because its existence imperils the health and life of the host...
This religious ceremony of drinking the blood of an innocent gentile child is basic to the Jew's entire concept of his existence as a parasite, living off the blood of the host...
The Jews do not want anyone to know what Nazism is. Nazism is simply this--a proposal that the German people rid themselves of the parasitic Jews. The gentile host dared to protest against the continued presence of the parasite, and attempted to throw it off.”
The title of one of Eustace Mullins’s books is: Hitler, An Appreciation. While Foster Gamble evidently believes that Mullins has shed valuable light on banking systems and other aspects of the “Global Domination Agenda,” I have no interest in looking to such individuals for insight into anything.
The Gambles state that they do not necessarily agree with all of the thoughts and beliefs of their sources, but rather that they have incorporated only those ideas they find useful and with which they agree. I’m sure the Gambles do not condone Mullins’ overt anti-semitism, but I find it disturbing that the thinking of these men has been used as the foundation for some of the key ideas presented in Thrive. While I do not believe the Gambles are themselves guilty of anti-semitism, I do believe they are naďve and gullible, and that in depending heavily on sources such as Icke and Mullins they have unwittingly allowed anti-semitism to become a subtext in their work.
Viewers of the movie may not realize that Gamble’s central thesis, that a handful of families control the world and plan to enslave humanity, mirrors an argument that Joseph Goebbels made in his notorious Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew: that a handful of banking families, many of them Jewish, run the world and seek global domination.
Two of the other sources that Foster Gamble recommended to me so that I might better understand Thrive are Stanley Monteith and G. Edward Griffin. Monteith, who happens to be a neighbor of mine, has long been involved with Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, and professes that the environmental movement is nothing but a front for the effort to create a global police state. Both Monteith and Griffin have long been officers of the John Birch Society, a far-right political organization that first came to public attention when one of its founders proclaimed that Dwight Eisenhower wasn’t the genial war hero and popular President he seemed, but rather “a conscious, dedicated agent of the international communist conspiracy.” Griffin, who is prominently featured as an expert and “Pioneer” on the Thrive website, played a key role in the third party candidacy of George Wallace when the overtly racist and vehemently segregationist Alabama Governor sought the U.S. Presidency.
These are only a few of the ultra-right wing sources whose ideas and agendas pervade Thrive. Many Americans first learned of the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises when Michele Bachman, seeking the Republican nomination for the Presidency, said she read his books at the beach. Cited frequently and admiringly on the Thrive website, von Mises’s brand of laissez-faire capitalism is hard-core. In his eyes, nearly all government intervention in the economy is strictly verboten, and taxes are a crime against freedom.
Buoyed by lush visual effects and lovely words, the Thrive film has been attractive to many who long for a more just and beautiful world, and who know how often we are deceived and exploited by the powers that shouldn’t be. “In times of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.” But what is the revolution Thrive would bring? Foster Gamble says that Thrive is not political, but both the movie and website call for the end of taxation even for the rich. Thrive’s goal is a world in which public schools and all welfare programs, including social security, have been terminated. Instead of police, we have private security forces. As Foster Gamble puts it, “Private security works way better than the state.”
That may be true for the rich who can pay for it. But who, I might ask, would pay to protect low-income communities if all security was privatized?
Eventually there would be no government, and just about everything would be privately owned, including roads. “It’s clear that when you drive into a shopping center you are on a private road, and almost without exception it is in great shape,” explains the Thrive website.
I want to underscore that although I think the Gambles are promoting some dangerous ideas, I do not think either Foster or his wife Kimberly are sinister or malicious, which is why it has been a very painful process for me to write this critique. I have known them to be kind people who mean well, and I have long considered Kimberly in particular to be one of my closest friends. But I have found it necessary to speak out in this way, because some of the ideas at the heart of Thrive strike me as frightening and misguided, and they most certainly are not ones with which I want to be associated. I have spent decades exposing and seeking to undermine powerful industries whose ways of doing business are diametrically opposed to the public welfare. In my view, the deregulation of the economy, and the demolition of government programs that Thrive proposes, would take us even further in the direction of a winner-take-all economy in which wealth would concentrate even more in the hands of the financial elites.
As one of the signers, evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, writes:
“Without community, we do not exist, and community is about creating relationships of mutual benefit. It does not just happen with flowers and rainbows, and no taxes.”
Each of us who have signed the statement disassociating ourselves from Thrive have dedicated our lives to creating and conveying positive visions of how to create a truly thriving, just and sustainable way of life. We have been part of vast movements toward generating a human presence on this planet that is spiritually fulfilling, socially just, and environmentally responsible. We do not want to see our names, reputations, and influence used to fuel unsubstantiated claims or misguided policies. We want to see them used to strengthen individuals and communities, and to serve the ability each of us possesses to live with respect for ourselves, for one another, and for the truth of our interdependence.
As another of the signers, Paul Hawken, writes:
“The world is riven by people who are convinced they are right, while others are wrong. Dualism permeates political, economic, cultural and religious conflict. It is the true source of suffering and the despoliation of the world. This wound cannot be healed by the us/them divisions that inform Thrive. Evil most certainly exists, but the core of evil is ignorance, and it cannot be repelled by righteousness or by making others wrong. It is only through compassion that we can create true transformation.”
We do not deny the evil in the world. It is here and it is real. But there is also hope here, and it too is real.
It is hope that believes we can build trust, build community, and build a better world. Such hope is not the blind belief in something which has little possibility of ever materializing. It is the hope which remains open to miracles while investing the sweat and perseverance to lend the Universe a hand in creating those miracles. It is the hope that is borne from knowing that it is far too late, and our situation far too serious, to indulge in the luxuries of pessimism, paranoia, and finger-pointing.
The state of the world is perilous. But it is not too late to love, not too late to dream, and not too late to believe in ourselves and each other.
In the end, we are all in this together. Each step you take to lessen the amount of fear in yourself and the world brings us closer to a world reflective of the beauty that exists -- sometimes buried and other times apparent -- in each of us. Every act you take that increases the amount of trust and compassion in your relationships helps us move from a world created by privilege to a world created by community.
As the poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed. I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”
John Robbins is author of Diet for a New America, The Food Revolution, and 8 other bestsellers including the newly released No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Food Revolution. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, and Green America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. To find out more about his work, visit www.johnrobbins.info
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Thanks for posting Larry - I'm getting a better idea about the controversy now. I'm going to see the film again and scrutinize it's message, but I may still totally agree with it as I did the first time I saw it.
When I read David Icke a long time ago I was very skeptical, but I'm much more in alignment with his ideas now. I'm convinced that there's at least a grain of truth in what he says, although probably too broadly brush stroked. I can see how public figures might need to disassociate with him though.
Thanks for the thoughtful discussion, everyone.
now that's a nice way to kiss off their objections. They didn't really mean what they said, it's just a transparent ploy to avoid taking a controversial position. I know I love it when people choose to ignore my words in favor of what they perceive as the position I must really hold. 'Course, if it's so easy to see through their objections, do you think they really fooled the imaginary critics they're trying to pander to?