How to Heal the 2020 Nightmare in 20 Easy Minutes

Do you feel powerless in the face of the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak? Even those isolated from the world by rigorously practicing social distancing guidelines have observed the strain this pandemic and its secondary consequences have inflicted on individuals, communities and institutions around the world. Those who aren’t afraid of the virus feel anxious about the largest wealth transfer in human history and its subsequent assault on our civil liberties. Others are afraid that those who are cavalier about their lack of fear may be causing real harm. And seemingly everyone is afraid of just how afraid everyone seems to be right now.

What if I told you there is a simple way to participate in a movement that could bring about order from all this chaos and heal the pandemic of fear that now grips the world?

What if you could be part of that community from the comfort of your own home while also practicing all the prescribed social distancing protocols, but without relying on the technological crutch of smartphones and internet access?

And what if I told you it would cost you nothing but 20 minutes of your time, and that there is considerable scientific evidence to conclude that your effort would significantly contribute to the most effective possible cure to the many problems exacerbated by the global outbreak of CoViD-19?

Would you want to help?

To correct the critical imbalances that now threaten our very way of life, meditators the world over are participating in an unprecedented global meditation to project feelings of love and healing, uniting people across the globe with a common intention, thus synchronizing the human overmind. Millions will participate. Billions will benefit. Those who participate in prayer will likewise find this an optimal time for the practice. All that is required from you are 20 minutes of silent focus on health, peace, love and harmony for all beings on the planet.

What have you got to lose?

Whether you’ve participated in the practice of meditation or not, you’re doubtless aware of the numerous studies that confirm the personal health benefits of meditation. Even more incredible are the countless, peer-reviewed, scientific studies showing that group meditations, just like this one, can and do have powerful and observable effects on the communities, cities and countries where they take place.

Individual meditation is a method of processing individual anxieties, but group meditation can process the anxieties of entire communities.

Take for example the physical task of building a sandbag wall. If you alone were required to fill, tie, carry and stack every single sandbag by yourself, it could take a week to finish, and you’d be exhausted by the end of it. But with just five or six other people, the task can be completed in an afternoon. And if we had ten times that, we could finish in minutes, plus we could likely make it longer, taller and thicker than we ever dreamed possible.

We can accomplish much greater things as a group than we can as individuals. But what we’re talking about here transcends the rules and modes of physical labor because energy and consciousness determine literally everything about the world we see around us. And this is scientifically provable.

Just so nobody accuses us of advocating unlawful assemblies, it’s important to emphasize that group meditation does not require physical congregation. All that matters is that people do it at the same time. Jose Arguelles’ 2012 global Rainbow Bridge meditations were conducted every Wednesday for several months, and though people weren’t physically near each other, the effect was the same. Far greater in fact, because the numbers were so large, and the nodes spread over so much of the globe.

Scientifically engineered experiments using much smaller numbers of meditators (thousands instead of millions) have produced statistically significant effects on rates of conflict and violence all over the world. And the statistical correlation between focused group meditation and the drop in violence is so striking that the results are impossible to rule out as merely coincidental. As quantum physicist John Hagelin observed, group meditation reduces war and violence to such a an undeniable degree that “it is a scientific fact”.

For those who have never meditated before and are unfamiliar with the practice, rest assured that your method is unimportant. Only your intention matters. The fundamentals are simple, and perhaps best explained by renowned Tibetan master, Sogyal Rinpoche:

You just quietly sit, your body still, your speech silent, your mind at ease, and allow thoughts to come and go, without letting them play havoc on you.”

If you do need something to do, then watch the breathing.”

This is a very simple process. When you are breathing out, know that you are breathing out. When you breathe in, know that you are breathing in, without supplying any kind of extra commentary or internalized mental gossip, but just identifying with the breath.”

On an individual level, meditation is a critical component to your immune system. If you’re feeling a lot of anxiety about catching or spreading the Coronavirus, one way to strengthen your immune system is to start meditating today. You’ll also feel more emotionally balanced, since meditation is a powerful tool for processing the anxieties of the human condition.

Beyond that, it is also true that meditation can be a help to your neighbors as well. Besides the obvious fact that your own emotional balance allows for greater patience and empathy necessary for assisting others, meditation brings about other unintended and unexpected advantages.

When performed in groups, meditation lowers crime, stops open warfare, and prevents terrorism; scientifically measurable phenomena that are absolutely corroborated by an avalanche of highly rigorous and peer-reviewed evidence.

Quantum Physicist John Hagelin provides an especially eye-opening example of a peer-reviewed scientific study that reveals the power that group meditation has in influencing society for the better. The results are not only conclusive, but as Hagelin says, “unassailable”. The unavoidable conclusion of the academic research presented by Hagelin is that group meditation provably influences the behavior of society at large. As Hagelin asserts, “It is a scientific fact”:

This is the first study, and I won’t go into it in great detail except to say that this experiment was performed in the Middle East during the peak of the Lebanon War in the early 1980’s. It was hypothesized, based on many previous, smaller experiments, that if enough people were collectively experiencing and stimulating this fundamental powerful field of peace within, that there would be a radiated influence of peace that would affect the behavior of people throughout society. People would wake up in the morning and they’d decide, “Hey! I don’t think I’m going to kill anybody today.” What a novel thought! That, with some expanded comprehension and less narrowly cramped, narrowly self-centered, acutely-stressed vision, that those desperate acts of terrorism simply don’t have a fertile field to fall on.

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So this chart shows the dotted line going up and down which is the rise and fall, on a daily basis, of the number of people who were meditating as a group in Jerusalem, about 1,000 people on average, sometimes more, sometimes less. And the solid line represents progress towards peace in the war in neighboring Lebanon. And even before the benefit of statistical analysis, you can almost see from the raw data, that progress towards peace – measured by reduced war deaths, reduced war injuries, reduced number of bombs – that progress towards peace goes up and down almost in lock-step with the number of people who were meditating as a group, radiating this influence of inner peace to become outer peace.

When this was subject to mathematical analysis, the likelihood that this was simply due to some fluke, due to chance, is less than one part in ten-thousand To be able to say something with this certainty; that group meditation prevented war. That is a really remarkable finding.

When this was published in the Yale University Journal, of conflict resolution, it conflicted a firestorm. First of all it took two years to publish the paper because the editors reviewed it, and reviewed it, and reviewed it. And they said in the end, ‘This paper is unassailable.’ This paper was performed at a status, a standard of scientific rigor, far beyond that required for publication in any journal.

So they had to publish it, but they published it with a letter. And the letter in the journal said [that] the results of this experiment are so unexpected – that a thousand people could influence the behavior of a million – that they urged other scientists to go out and repeat the study. And that’s exactly what happened over the next two-and-a-quarter years. Seven other scientific collaborations went out and repeated the study, training and assembling groups of meditators practicing transcendental meditation.

And in every one of these experiments, during this two-and-a-quarter year period, there was a marked reduction in violence and war; 80% drop in war deaths and war related injuries in comparison to all the other days during the two-and-a-quarter years where there were no meditating groups, when the situation grew slightly worse, as this chart shows, in comparison to seven highly positive bars, showing highly statistically significant progress towards peace, in every single experiment.

If you put these together, the likelihood that this reduction of war was again, simply due to chance and not due to the meditating groups, was less than one part in ten million, million, million.

There is far more evidence that group meditation can turn off war like a light switch, than there is evidence that aspirin reduces headache pain, for example.

It is a scientific fact.”

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Dr. John Hagelin

Hagelin is also one of the co-authors of another peer-reviewed study examining the effect of group meditation on preventing violent crime in Washington D.C., which also yielded remarkable, statistically relevant results. And the extraordinary power of group meditation remains a subject of vigorous investigation.

In 1978 a group of 7,000 individuals gathered over the course of 3 weeks to meditate in hopes of positively affecting the surrounding city. Demonstrating a phenomenon now known as the “Maharishi Effect”, they successfully transformed the collective energy of the city, which in-turn reduced global crime rates, violence, and casualties during the periods of their meditations by an average of 16%.

People who were not participating and had no idea that this experiment was happening were inexplicably impacted to such a degree that it caused a statistical change in their behavior.

Suicide rates and automobile accidents also were reduced, with all variables accounted for. And perhaps most astonishing of all, there was a 72% reduction in terrorist activity during the times at which this group was meditating.

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A specific study published in Psychology, Crime & Law found that the crime rate dropped by 13% in Merseyside, Great Britain during times when people were meditating in large groups, whereas a control city where people where not meditating in large groups saw a steady crime rate.

As the study concluded:

There were 255,000 fewer crimes in Merseyside from 1988 to 1992 than would have been expected had Merseyside continued to follow the national crime trend. Demographic changes, economic variables, police practice, and other factors could not account for the changes.”

The phenomenon of the Maharishi Effect is known in Physics as the Field Effect, that is, the effect of coherence and positivity produced from the field of infinite correlation – the field of Transcendental Consciousness – that permeates all life everywhere.

Meditation tunes your consciousness in to this field where  intentions have consequential effects on explicit happenings that we interact with before they even manifest. All of existence emanates out of a field of universal consciousness, called the Unified Field or Super String Field,  hence consciousness gives rise to the material.

Simply put, consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe, and since all levels of reality arise out of consciousness, all levels of reality are affected by the frequency of vibration of the superstrings within this field of consciousness.

Dr. David Edwards, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin, emphasizes the importance of this subject:

I think the claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. It has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of Conflict Resolution. This work and the theory that informs it deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.”

The exceptional power of intention to influence outcomes is perhaps most elegantly demonstrated in the famous Emoto Rice Experiment. This experiment can easily be reproduced at home and the principle is extremely simple. In 1999 Dr. Masaru Emoto published his findings after cooking a small batch of rice that was split three ways between three identical jars which had been sterilized.

Each sealed jar of rice was then subjected to a separate emotional stimulus every day for two months. One jar received a regular “I love you”. The second was repeatedly told “You’re an idiot”. And the third was ignored completely.

Emoto reported that the “love” jar aged benignly, lightly fermenting and emitting a pleasant aroma when opened. The rice inside was resistant to mold and appeared edible. Conversely, the jar that was chastised with hateful intention was rotting. But the jar that was ignored exhibited the most grotesque contamination of all three.

Emoto concluded that the intention of the experimenter visibly influences the outcome of the rice over time. He extended this conclusion to suggest that emotional intention toward all other life forms could possibly have greater observable effects than previously thought possible; that the mere act of loving, hating or ignoring other organisms could have a powerful effect on their health and well-being.

Searching for Emoto’s rice experiment online will quickly reveal there are just as many skeptics claiming to have debunked the experiment as there are open-minded folks who contend they’ve reproduced his findings. The fact that this experiment is so easily reproduced may be its most exciting aspect, and with such a low bar for participation, the cacophony of results should all be taken with a grain of salt, per the scientific method.

But the only appropriate attitude for anyone who hasn’t yet attempted the experiment for themselves is healthy uncertainty; the very attitude that would be necessary to maintain should one seek to sincerely reproduce it, since the power of intention is the entire point.

Skeptics may laugh and scoff, but by doing so they only confirm the reality that our intentions are really the only thing that matters. They prove the results of their own skepticism unequivocally, by not even performing the experiment at all. To perform the experiment would necessitate an open mind willing to admit to the possibility of being surprised, as well as the prospect that perhaps we humans don’t quite know everything just yet. Even though for we humans, at every turn in our written history, the existing orthodox mode of consciousness was almost always assumed to be the correct one at the time, even if it wasn’t up to modern (and thus “correct”) standards.

While Emoto’s rice experiment and other intention research exist outside of the scientific mainstream and seem as lacking in scientific rigor, many other scientists whose credentials are beyond reproach have examined the observable and suspected effects of consciousness on reality. These academic behemoths include the great Carl Gustav Jung, who is often credited alongside Sigmund Freud as one of the foundational figures of Psychology as a scientific discipline.

In 1916 Jung first posited the concept of “Collective Unconscious” as representative of the deepest level of wisdom and self-knowledge:

Our personal psychology is just a thin skin, a ripple on the ocean of collective psychology. The powerful factor, the factor which changes our whole life, which changes the surface of our known world, which makes history, is collective psychology, which moves forward entirely different from those of our individual consciousness.”

Jung’s research and writing on the human psyche and the collective unconscious blurred the lines between science and spiritualism in a way that scientists who are respected as foundational figures in their fields are seldom allowed to do. This is perhaps because while Jung’s contemporary, Sigmund Freud, chose to focus strongly on the workings of the individual psyche, Jung elected to focus on the comprehensive nature of human minds operating together, searching for ways to scientifically demonstrate the fundamental interconnectedness of all humans.

Jung’s theories continue to gain traction in the scientific world. And the “Crossword Puzzle Phenomenon” stands as one of the most notable displays of how collective consciousness functions. First conducted by a British graduate student named Monica England, the research was made popular by the 2001 Richard Linklater film Waking Life:

England’s research essentially found that crossword puzzles were more easily solved by others once they had been published in a newspaper and completed by a large group of people. This research points to the existence of a collective consciousness – as the crossword puzzles are viewed and completed by a critical mass of people, that information becomes a part of the collective consciousness and can be transmitted from one mind to another. When such phenomena occur, there is no other explanation than a collective consciousness, or the idea that we are all linked by an underlying universal consciousness.”

Similar anecdotal examples abound, displaying the uncanny ability of organisms to absorb knowledge intuitively, without being taught by a physically present instructor. One well known and highly illustrative example is the famous “100th monkey experimentin which a group of Japanese researchers observed a troop of monkeys on an isolated Pacific island.

Researchers airdropped sweet potatoes onto the island from planes and observed the monkeys reactions. The monkeys liked the taste of the sweet potatoes but the sand and dirt that got smashed into them when dropped from the air made for a less palatable meal. One young monkey figured out that she could wash the dirt off in a nearby stream. Once she had figured this out, she took on the role of an instructor, directly teaching the technique to her mother and other young monkeys in her immediate circle.

The knowledge spread rapidly around the island, but older monkeys that weren’t in contact with the young monkeys never learned the technique and continued tolerating the bits of sand that accompanied the meal.

These observations all seemed fairly benign. But then something remarkable happened.

When a critical mass of these monkeys collectively understood how to wash their potatoes, the technique suddenly became available to monkeys on nearby islands who had no way of directly communicating with the members of their species who cracked the code in the first place. As the knowledge spread out through the collective unconscious of the species, monkeys separated by great distances suddenly became aware of the technique and promptly began putting it into practice.

That is to say, once a certain critical mass of consciousnesses was reached, it spread outward in lieu of conventional limitations until the practice became widespread.

Another highly respected figure in the scientific community who has managed to maintain his credibility in the face of otherwise dismissible “pseudoscience” is Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a man whose scientific credentials couldn’t be more impressive. In addition to holding a PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge, he has authored more than 80 technical papers and 10 books. He was a Fellow of Clare College as well as Cambridge where he was director of Studies in cell biology, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human abilities, and is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.

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Dr. Rupert Sheldrake

A sort of Collective Unconscious for all living things and natural systems, Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance theory posits that natural systems inherit a collective memory from all things of their kind.

According to the hypothesis of morphic resonance, similar processes occur at all levels of organization, including biological morphogenesis. As a carrot seed develops into a carrot plant, it is shaped by its morphogenetic fields, inherited from previous carrot plants by morphic resonance. These morphogenetic fields contain the attractors and chreodes that channel its development towards the form of a mature plant. Neither inherited habits nor future goals are material structures in the plant; instead they are patterns of goal-directed activity. In a similar way neither memories nor purposes are contained in brains, although they influence brain activity.

Most of our mental activity is habitual and unconscious. Conscious mental activity is largely concerned with possible actions, including speaking. Our conscious minds inhabit the realm of possibility, and languages greatly expanded the possibilities they can entertain. Think of hearing a story. Our minds can embrace possibilities that go far beyond our own experience. Conscious minds choose among possibilities, and their choices collapse possibilities into actions that are objectively observable in the physical world. The arrow of causation is from the virtual future, going “backwards” in time. In this sense minds act as final causes, setting goals and purposes.

In order to make choices, minds must contain alternative possibilities: coexisting at the same time. In the language of quantum physics these possibilities are “superimposed”. The physicist Freeman Dyson wrote, ‘The processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call “chance” when made by electrons.’

According to the hypothesis of morphic resonance, all self-organizing systems, including protein molecules, Acetabularia cells, carrot plants, human embryos and flocks of birds, are shaped by memory from previous similar systems transmitted by morphic resonance and drawn towards attractors through chreodes. Their very being involves an invisible presence of both past and future. Minds are extended in time not because they are miraculously different from ordinary matter, but because they are self-organizing systems. All self-organizing systems are extended in time, shaped by morphic resonance from the past, and drawn towards attractors in the future.”

Sheldrake’s criticism of scientific dogmatism has made him a popular target for dismissal as a pseudoscientist, despite his extensive academic credentials. His works focus heavily on seeking scientific explanation for otherwise unexplainable phenomena. Such phenomena include parapsychological experiences such as our apparent ability to sense being watched.

Most people claim to have had telepathic experiences. Numerous statistical experiments have shown that information can be transmitted from person to person in a way that cannot be explained in terms of the normal senses. Telepathy typically happens between people who are closely bonded, like mothers and children, spouses and close friends. Many nursing mothers seem to be able to detect when their babies are in distress when they are miles away. The commonest kind of telepathy in the modern world occurs in connection with telephone calls, when people think of someone who then rings, or just know who’s calling. Numerous experimental tests have shown that this is a real phenomenon. It does not fall off with distance. Social animals seem to be able to keep in touch with members of their group at a distance telepathically, and domesticated animals, like dogs, cats, horses and parrots, often pick up their owners’ emotions and intentions at a distance, as shown in experiments with dogs and parrots. Other psychic abilities include premonitions and precognitions, as shown by animals’ anticipation of earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters. Human premonitions usually occur in dreams or through intuitions. In experimental research in human presentiments, future emotional events seem able to work “backwards” in time to produce detectable physiological effects.”

Sheldrake’s theories dovetail elegantly with the previous discussion of the Maharishi Effect and John Hagelin’s work, providing an academically credentialed foundation for the study of parapsychology. Though both regularly draw criticism from the scientific fields their trajectories originated from, their work nevertheless inspired many otherwise skeptical individuals to study and examine the tangible effects from group meditation and other consciousness experiments.

But Sheldrake and Hagelin aren’t alone in their attempts to study and catalogue the phenomena of parapsychology. Founded in 1998 by Roger Nelson, The Global Consciousness Project is an international collaboration of scientists and engineers based at Princeton University that tests the feasibility of a unified field of human consciousness. The project collects data from a global network of random number generators in an attempt to discern patterns and statistically significant effects on seemingly random data that correlate to traceable focal points in humanity’s collective attention. And their results have proven mind-boggling significant.

In one of the most extreme and best known test cases,  a statistically significant spike was found in data around the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, in which a similar protocol was used, that covered a period of four hours and ten minutes beginning just before the first plane hit. Because the emotional reactions were so powerful and long-lasting, analysis was also made of a longer time period. It showed that the strong deviations continued for more than two days, and that multiple measures indicated robust effects.”

The lessons and theories of the collective unconscious seem essential to addressing the social and psychological issues of the day. As actor Jim Carrey said in his commencement speech at Hagelin’s Maharishi University of Management:

When I say life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you, I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way. You’ll come up with your own style, that’s part of the fun.

“Oh, and why not take a chance on faith, as well? Take a chance on faith. Not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope, hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire, and faith leaps over it.”

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Jim Carrey

In the end, it’s up to you to create your own reality. You’ll finish reading this and choose to believe whatever you want to believe. And in the end, whatever you think is right. Because your thoughts are actively creating the world around you, whether you know it or not, whether you accept it or not, whether you like it or not. But it certainly seems clear enough from the copious evidence available to us that your intentions have measurable impacts on the world around you. The only question that remains is, are you willing to accept the responsibility?

Whether you’re an experienced meditator or a determined skeptic, we invite you to join the millions all over the world who are faithfully “jumping over the fire.”


In the United States the global group meditation will take place on the evening of April 4th.

Meditation begins in the United States on Saturday, 04 April 2020 at 10:45 PM Eastern Time; 9:45 PM Central; 8:45 PM Mountain; 7:45 PM Pacific.

Across the pond, Londoners will be commence the spectacle at 3:45 AM on what will for them be April 5th, and in Tokyo, in the same moment, at 11:45 AM.

Regardless of time zone, you’ll be joining alongside mindful people all over the world in a 20 minute session of silent intention focused on the singular goal of healing this nightmare currently plaguing the planet. There is a great disturbance in the force, and the world needs the Jedi more than ever.

Individual meditation can tune us in to reality, but group meditation can alter reality.  And collectively we can carry the world forward into a brighter, healthier, more loving future. The world is sick, it’s up to us to heal it, and your intentions matter more than you may realize.

We hope to feel your presence this weekend. May our eternal vigilance help liberate all beings from the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of the Samsaric Panopticon and help to realize universal peace, health, happiness and abundance for all sentient beings on this planet.

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Gabrielle Lafayette is the executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.
This cache of thought is presented free of charge as a service and gift to you.

Give Up Rent For Lent

What could be more terrifying than a deadly global pandemic spreading at such rapid pace that it becomes the single greatest cause of uncertainty and suffering? In what ways has the virus of fear infected our society to create even greater dangers than the health risks due to Coronavirus? Are you one of the millions of Americans for whom the greatest impact from the pandemic has been extreme financial strain? What if you were ordered by the government not to go to work? Would you have to choose between feeding your children or paying rent on time? If you couldn’t pay rent, what would you do? Would your landlord evict you? Would you leave if your landlord told you to vacate, or would you have to be dragged from your home by armed police and forced out into the cold?

Even before the outbreak of this generation-defining pandemic, economic hardship was already the greatest source of stress for most Americans. And as a broad swath of citizens are ordered not to go to work, millions are staring uncertainly down the barrel of eviction.

But there’s a very common and simply cured misconception about eviction. Most people think an “eviction” is when your landlord instructs you to leave your home. Say you can’t pay your rent on time, so your landlord tells you to vacate, then you pack up your shit, make like a tree, and leave.

But this is not an eviction. Not even close.

Eviction is a specific legal process by which a landlord wins a lawsuit against a tenant, followed by the Sheriff serving notice to vacate, after which evicted tenants must evacuate the premises or be removed by law enforcement; a process that can take months to materialize.

If, on the other hand, your landlord tells you to leave and you comply with their request, you have instead chosen to voluntarily vacate. This is not the same thing as an eviction.

During these troubling and unprecedented times, renting in the time of CoViD, everyone who faces pressure to make rent should be aware of this critical distinction. Thousands of people across Missoula and millions of people across the United States are unable to work due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Thus, they are unable to earn wages, and in-turn unable to pay their bills.

Since most of our city and most of our country live paycheck-to-paycheck, a few weeks of missed work means that our single largest expense – housing – is a highly strenuous burden; a burden that a great many of us won’t have the means to shoulder in the coming months should present trends continue.

So during this time of international turmoil, should your landlord “order” you to vacate your home, you have two choices. You can comply with their order, or you can refuse to leave your home.

By complying, you place yourself and others at risk, both for continued spread and escalation of the global Coronavirus pandemic as well as contributing to the larger and more dangerous pandemic of economic oppression.

But by refusing to leave when your landlord demands you vacate, you protect yourself, you set precedent for others to defend themselves, and you help bring about a positive change in the wake of a global catastrophe.

Suppose 1,000 Missoula residents become unable to pay their rent at the beginning of April due to loss of work caused by the statewide shutdown of businesses. If all 1,000 of those residents are told by their various landlords to vacate their homes, and they all do so, it may generate few headlines but doesn’t influence policy, and is generally unnoticed by governmental and economic entities.

And what happens to those 1,000 displaced residents? They will disperse across the city, state, and nation, moving in with friends, significant others and family members. Some will borrow money and rent new houses or apartments. But many will unfortunately join the growing ranks of America’s homeless.

If they leave their homes without a fight, their plight will go unnoticed. Additionally, their diaspora will potentially facilitate the spread of CoViD-19, crowding in with friends and family and trying to ride out the crisis until they can find work again; potentially moving to other parts of the country and potentially carrying the virus with them into new homes and communities as they scatter.

If, however, those same residents refuse to leave their homes, what happens then?

If landlords across the Garden City register 1,000 new eviction lawsuits at the beginning of April, in the midst of a global pandemic that has razed the economy to a smoldering standstill, then all the various legal apparatus of our society are brought in to engage with the issue.

First the landlords must win an eviction lawsuit against their tenants for non-payment. When these lawsuits are considered en-masse, a potentially viable legal defense presents itself; that the economic circumstances of the society at large are such that the tenants were rendered unable to pay their rent through no fault of their own. Should the courts decline to address this critical societal issue and rule on the side of the landlords, the next step involves the Missoula County Sheriff, who is directed to issue hundreds or even thousands of eviction notices.

Imagine the social and political backlash of law enforcement dragging thousands of uncooperative residents from their homes during this time of unprecedented social upheaval. Your sheriffs are elected officials who serve at the pleasure of the residents of their County. Forcibly removing a significant proportion of Missoula residents from their homes during a global pandemic would not only be morally and ethically bankrupt, it would be in direct contradiction to Governor Bullock’s statewide decree ordering residents to “shelter in place” and remain in our homes until the crisis subsides. In short, it seems particularly unlikely that Sheriff McDermott would comply with a directive to enforce such a large number of eviction orders.

Furthermore, if there are 1,000 potential evictions in April there could be 2,000 in May. How long could such an escalation possibly continue? Our court system is entirely unprepared to deal with such a volume of cases, and our law enforcement agencies already have much more on their plate dealing with a locked-down and stressed-out population.

While twenty-four percent of Missoula residents may belong to the economic 1% and are thus comfortably insulated from the economic backlash of this current upheaval, more than fifty percent of Missoula residents are renters. This means that while Rome burns, more than half of our local population could be forced to grapple with this issue sooner or later, their numbers swelling every single week that businesses remain shuttered and people remain quarantined in their homes.

During this troubled time, any landlord who orders a resident who is unable to pay rent to vacate only exacerbates the problem.

Conversely, any tenant who voluntarily vacates without engaging the full legal process of eviction enables a compounding of the catastrophe.

Many of you may have read about a recent bill passed by Congress that promises to send $1,200 to most Americans as part of a broad relief package aimed at combating the economic disaster surrounding the CoViD-19 outbreak. The total amount of the relief package is in the Trillions, but even if every US citizen were being paid $1,200 (which they aren’t), that would still only total around $400 Billion. So the vast majority of the bailout has nothing to do with helping ordinary Americans.

lobbyingThat paltry $1,200 check from Uncle Sam that may or may not be coming your way soon (depending on whether you qualify) adds further insult to injury because a month from now, many people will still be out of work. The small business sector of our economy won’t be recovering from this wave of cronyism any time soon, and the Coronavirus continues its viral spread, further ensuring the continuation of lockdown austerity nationwide for several more months, if not longer.

Beyond that, for the 80% of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, a measly one-time check for $1,200 doesn’t even come close to covering their total cost of living. Even if it pays the rent, housing isn’t the only expense bleeding Americans dry. We have to eat or we starve. We have to pay our utility bills or the lights go off and the taps go dry. We have to pay our phone and Internet bills or we can’t communicate with anyone. Then there’s transportation and its many associated costs, including your car payment, insurance, registration, maintenance and fuel. Millions of parents have to pay child support. 44 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt (a bubble valued at $1.5 Trillion). 189 million Americans have credit card debt (a bubble valued at $13.86 Trillion). 135 million Americans are taking some kind of medication. In our society health care is prohibitively expensive.

All of these expenses are becoming increasingly essential and all of them grow more expensive by the day. Which expense will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?

Your landlords own what are referred to as “investment properties” which means they have taken on a risk by becoming a landlord. And returns on investment are not guaranteed, even with housing. So unless you, the tenant, have some kind of financial stake in the equity of the property, the sole responsibility of all the associated risk rests squarely on the shoulders of the landlord.

You are a human being who is entitled to a place to live. Your landlord, on the other hand, is not entitled to make you homeless just because their investment carried more risk than they anticipated.

Housing is not a luxury item. It is a necessity of life.

However, far too much attention is focused on landlords and property management companies, and far too little attention has been paid to the banks to which they are ultimately accountable.

Landlords are merely the middlemen between renters and bankers. And the too-big-to-fail banks just got bailed out by Washington in the single biggest wealth transfer in human history; a multi-trillion dollar hijacking of our country that puts mega-corporations in the pilot’s seat and leaves the rest of the country strapped in on a flight to a dystopic nation they never chose to visit.

In-Greed-We-TrustWhile the federal government disperses Trillions of taxpayer dollars to multinational corporations who expertly avoid paying taxes like the gangsters they are, the taxpaying citizenry are left to toil in a situation where nobody has any work, struggling to survive within the closing walls of a rigged system. The rules of an this economic game were inherently invalid to begin with, and if they weren’t intolerable before, they certainly are now.

Landlords and tenants alike must unite against the big banks in solidarity of common sense, because both groups ultimately face catastrophe should the banks foreclose millions of properties and  throw countless families out on their asses.

Landlords must stand up for their tenants and call on their government officials for a rent and mortgage amnesty. The bank is not a member of your community, and will sell us all down the river in the end if they think they can profit and get away with it.

Evil only triumphs when good people do nothing.

Tenants, keep your rent. Landlords, keep your distance. Neither group should allow the banks to punish people for being poor.

Landlords taking on the expense of an eviction lawsuit to appease the mortgage ransom demanded by their banks unnecessarily expose themselves to greater risk, because in all likelihood, finding new tenants in an economic climate where everyone but the wealthy are strapped for cash is a dubious proposition at best.

Not to mention the fact that landlords are probably feeling the effects of this global economic strain too. So maybe dropping money on an eviction lawsuit isn’t such a good investment right now. Because if banks think sheriffs are going to begin enforcing unprecedented numbers of evictions in a time of global emergency, exploding an already catastrophic homelessness crisis, they’re only putting themselves in danger.

People are often confounded by the myriad faults and pitfalls of modern society. Most see the problems every day but are overwhelmed by the scale of the issues and feel helpless to address what are clearly societal failings. During this global pandemic and nationwide lockdown, each and every one of us who face loss of income and economic hardship are presented with a direct opportunity. If you cannot afford your rent and your landlord mercilessly demands that you vacate, refuse and remain where you are.

It is only through collective action that the citizens of a society are empowered to create positive change. During prosperous times, the economic elite continually skim an increasingly large share of the wealth off the top of the economy to benefit themselves. When their greed and corruption inevitably brings about societal crises, common people now possess a rare opportunity to take back their fair share of the pie that has been stolen from them by the criminally wealthy.

Under no circumstances should anyone voluntarily vacate their homes during a statewide government order to shelter in place. To do so violates all health and safety protocols, exacerbates the nationwide catastrophe of income inequality, and enables the oligarchs who daily seek to take food out of your children’s mouths in order to finance their next yacht or condo tower.

Do not yield to the selfish and short-sighted demands of the moneyed class you pay to live lest you die in the gutter. Stand together with your community and demand a new and better deal. And that deal needs to prohibit banks from kicking residents from their homes in the coming months for their inability to pay in April.

“We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” ~Ben Franklin

If you are currently facing combative landlords or lenders, resulting in threats of eviction or foreclosure over your inability to pay rent or mortgage during the CoViD-19 pandemic, please speak to them about rent and mortgage amnesty. Should your landlord or bank refuse to work with you and threaten to remove you from your property during this crisis, you can join the movement against economic exploitation by naming the bank or landlord/leasing company on social media along with the city and state using #RentStrike.

It’s painfully simple: Americans are being told to stay at home, but you can’t stay at home if you don’t have one.

 

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Gabrielle Lafayette is the executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show. This cache of thought is presented free of charge as a service and gift to you. May our eternal vigilance help liberate all beings from the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of the Samsaric Panopticon.

The Perfect Storm For Reshaping Society

First off, let us assure you that the last thing we’re communicating here is the notion that CoViD-19 is not a dangerous threat, or that people should dismiss the severity of the situation. Our team became personally associated with a fatality that occurred over the 28 March weekend in a major city that occurred as a direct result of exposure to the virus. So we’re not trying to deny the existence of the virus, downplay how deadly it really might be, or encourage anyone to act recklessly in this uncertain moment.

But at the same time, there’s also no denying that powerful people are exploiting the fear that this crisis is creating, for a whole range of reasons. And the trillions of dollars being pumped into Wall Street, while renters and homeowners get the shaft once again, served as  one of the early indicators of this fact. That our federal government had no clear plan made the crisis undeniably worse. And now that the United States is reported to have more cases than any other country on earth means America is primed to experience the lion’s share of fear, especially since tens of millions of Americans don’t have health coverage, millions more stand to lose their benefits when they become unemployed, and still millions more are staring down the barrel of homelessness when they fail to make rent on April 1st. The virus has infected many, but the fear associated with it has infected everyone.

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The fact that coroners are overwhelmed to the point of re-purposing ice skating rinks to deal with the avalanche of bodies piling up in Spain confirms that people are dying and the threat is very real. Our point, is that the .01% are using the crisis to enrich themselves to the detriment of the American people, the US Constitution, and the common good.

It’s not a hoax. It’s a perfect storm.

The media are making the crisis worse by reporting this situation in ways that just don’t make sense. And the numbers of deaths are proving the most significant engine of that confusion. As of this writing, we’re told that total recorded cases of CoViD-19 have climbed to 601,536, with 27,441 deaths.

But where are those statistics coming from and how are they being calculated?

The fact remains that our corporate media have a vested interest in spreading fear like a virus to boost ratings and maximize advertising revenue. Remember that during Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, the CEO of CBS admitted that his presidential run “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS!”

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Les Moonves, former CEO of CBS

The mainstream media aren’t staffed by journalists. They serve as the Public Relations arm of the ownership class, manipulating public opinion to serve their own interests instead of what they’re supposed to do, which is provide accurate information to the public. Because a well-informed electorate is necessary for a functioning democracy.

Nevertheless, bits of truth still manage to slip through the cracks from time to time, which is why Bloomberg recently admitted that 99% of Italians who have died were already suffering from unrelated life-threatening illnesses:

Yes, people are dying. But every single year 646,000 humans die from the seasonal flu on this planet. Yet somehow, every single year previous to this one, we’ve managed to keep society from grinding to a halt.

Furthermore, nobody knows how many people actually have the virus, so the numbers peddled by the corporate media that are inciting waves of uproarious panic around the globe simply cannot be accurate.

Because how can anyone possibly know what the death ratios really are when the chaotic circumstances of the situation creates countless incentives for people to conceal their symptoms?

For starters, people have to pay rent and they know that getting quarantined might cost them their homes if they’re unable to earn wages. Most wage earners do not have paid sick leave and can’t afford to take a day off, let alone a week, let alone several weeks. This is why an Amazon assistant manager recently discovered several sick employees who tested positive for CoViD-19 but were still at work despite their deathly appearance. Christian Smalls, who manages the Staten Island Amazon facility “JFK8” describes the reason they were still on the job:

“Because Amazon is not offering paid sick leave. They’re offering unlimited unpaid time off, which is ridiculous because people shouldn’t be forced to sit at home without getting paid for choosing to be safe in quarantine..”

Next, more than 30 million Americans were already uninsured prior to this crisis. More than 68,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance, which constitutes an ongoing pandemic for the poor and working classes that the media and political classes historically have never paid any attention to. Hence the growing popularity for Medicare-For-All. As the Guardian reports, millions are about to lose their health insurance in a pandemic because it’s tied to their employment status.

And even people who do have health insurance often receive coverage through their employment, which they risk losing if they get laid off or fired. More often than not, those insurance policies come with huge deductibles, which means that people will be reluctant to be tested and hesitate to be identified, which in-turn exacerbates the virus’ undetected spread.

Finally, undocumented immigrants are afraid to go into medical facilities because doing so might result in detention, deportation, or worse.

The point is, there is NO WAY to know how many cases there are of any Coronavirus because countless citizens have every reason to conceal their symptoms. Therefore, it is impossible to know what the death ratio is. So no one can honestly publish death rate percentages because they can’t possibly know how many people are actually infected by any Corona-class virus!

It seems recklessly irresponsible for the media to report and repeat death-toll statistics, especially considering that antiviral medications getting prescribed to patients (namely Ribavirin) can cause anemia, which can be life-threatening for people with heart conditions or circulation problems. But if those people die from the associated “side effects” of the drugs, they’re included in the CoViD-19 casualty statistics. And as the numbers continue to climb the panic will grow.

Even Yahoo Finance acknowledged this reality when determining how Germany’s death toll is so low compared to Italy:

Making direct comparisons between national mortality rates can be misleading, not just because of recording lags and different methodologies on reporting cases and deaths, but also because of the extent of testing. The more aggressively a country tests for coronavirus, the more cases of mild infections will be found and recorded in the statistics, which pushes the fatality percentage rate down.”

But that’s not the only reason for the disparity between Germany and Italy. It turns out Italian officials are actually lying about their death numbers.

Advisor to the Italian Minister of Health, Professor Walter Ricciardi, confirms that the Italian government are inflating their Coronavirus fatality numbers.

“The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.

Christopher Kohls corroborates that the Italians have been irresponsibly overstating their fatalities by orders of magnitude.

“Recently a friend of ours told us that they have a relative in Italy who died of cancer. But the official cause of death was listed as “Coronavirus”. The family was confused. Their grandmother didn’t have Coronavirus. She had cancer. She had been sick for a long time. They knew she was nearing the end. It seemed almost disrespectful to list her death inaccurately. When they asked the doctor why the death was listed as Coronavirus, they were told, because they needed to get the  numbers up.

“Now, I was a bit skeptical of this story at first as it was a third or fourth hand account… So I started looking into it. And it’s true. Italian medical workers are inflating their Coronavirus death numbers”

Perhaps this helps explain why Italian authorities have gone completely off the deep end, threatening to deploy police with flamethrowers against graduation parties and other gatherings that congregate in defiance of social distancing protocols.

 

The media will continue to artificially balloon “case figures” with asymptomatic carriers while claiming that this is just the beginning; that more deaths are imminent; that the end is nigh. And the subsequent panic can then be used as an excuse to quarantine the U.S. Constitution.

But reporters who demonstrate an authentic commitment to journalism continue to be accused of ‘minimizing’ the danger as a way of bullying them into shutting up about these inconvenient facts and skewed numbers that simply don’t add up.

Again, this is not to dismiss the very real dangers that exist in the world, of course. But the media’s statistics seem like propaganda when the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) themselves corroborate the fact that the seasonal flu is more than twice as deadly as CoViD-19, according to their own numbers.

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The most frustrating aspect of this entire situation is that it’s difficult to know what is real because the reporting is all over the map, which worsens the crisis by suggesting that there might not be anything to worry about. Granted, it’s an unfolding situation, we don’t have all the facts yet, and nobody’s perfect. But the uncertainty created by the conflicting information from official sources makes the everything unequivocally worse.

Because fear is the currency of control.

Fear is useful for frightening a population into demanding protection from the “authorities”, for we will accept anything that is done in the name of ‘protecting’ us, including suspending the Constitution, muzzling dissidents, indefinitely detaining American citizens, bypassing courts, quarantining communities, outlawing religious gatherings, prohibiting political assemblies, shutting down entire industries, manipulating the economy, reshaping financial markets, eliminating cash, replacing it with a digital currency, indefinitely detaining American citizens without trial, suspending the statute of limitations, terminating habeas corpus, and ultimately determining who should live or die.

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And if Social Distancing is really a matter of such grave importance, then why are the Secret Service allowing crowds of bloated bureaucrats to literally huddle around the President of the United States at every press conference, especially when many of the individuals within those crowds are coughing and shaking hands? Isn’t the president over the age of 60, and thus part of the “highly vulnerable” population?

And why did so many government and Wall Street insiders sell off literally billions in stocks during the weeks and months leading up to this crisis? Could it be that they have access to a different information stream than the rest of us? Could it be that they knew a game-changer was coming down the pike? And could it have anything to do with the Event 201 pandemic scenario that began on October 18, 2019, during the weeks directly preceding the global shutdown?

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Now is the time to boost your immune system naturally by ingesting foods and supplements  rich in Vitamins D, A and C, (but especially Vitamin D) while also practicing good hygiene and self care. But it is also absolutely essential that we pay very close attention to how the rulers are using manufactured panic to tighten their stranglehold on society. Because if we don’t, the society we return to will be unrecognizable from the one we left behind.

We’ve asserted since the beginning of the shutdowns that this situation wouldn’t be resolving itself any time soon, and we remain suspicious that things will “return to normal” following the coming Easter weekend as Trump is promising now. If the authorities were up front with everyone about the possibility of shutting down the economy for the next 18 months, there might be some blowback. So they instead announce the shut down in a piecemeal fashion, two weeks at a time, imposing ever-greater restrictions at every turn. Incrementalism is the name of the game. Because frogs that realize they’re being boiled to death tend to leap out of the pan.

“If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” ~Romans 8:25

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Gabrielle Lafayette is the executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show. This cache of thought is presented free of charge as a service and gift to you. May our eternal vigilance help liberate all beings from the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of the Samsaric Panopticon.

Nothing Spreads Like Fear

Keeping up with the 2020 headlines feels like drinking from a fire hose. As Novel Coronavirus fever continues its viral spread worldwide, the flabbergasting news cycle unfolds at an accelerating rate: US to Ban Travel From Europe for 30 DaysQuarantine Breaker Subdued & Arrested By Swarm Of Police In HazmatDenmark Passes Law Enabling Forced Coronavirus VaccinationsGovernment Using Cell Phones To Track “Social Distancing”We’re Not Going Back To Normal.

Then the nationwide rollout of new social protocols. Schools will remain closed following spring break, probably for the rest of the year. Restaurants and bars are closed. No delivery. No take-out. Theaters are closed until further notice, as are gyms. Shopping centers are closed. Hotel rentals have fallen to zero. Property management agencies are announcing they will no longer accept cash for rent payments. San Francisco instituted a 24-hour curfew. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented statewide “stay at home” order for it’s 40 million residents. New York City is completely locked down. At least 25 States have deployed the National Guard. All sporting events are cancelled. International flights are cancelled. All entertainment events are cancelled. All events everywhere are cancelled. Mass house arrest has suddenly become the global norm. As of this writing, more than 70 million Americans remain at home in mandatory isolation. Solitary confinement writ large.

 

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Empty streets are a common sight in major cities this year

Many have compared this outbreak to the Spanish Flu, which killed more than 50,000 humans between January 1918 and December 1920. Whether CoVid-19 will prove comparably lethal remains to be seen, but the existence of the internet stands out as the critical difference between then and now. Such a comprehensive global communications network did not exist at the time, making a rapid, coordinated, worldwide effort to stop the disease impossible.

But the very same communications network that makes modern containment possible has also enabled a new level of global fear-mongering the likes of which we’ve never witnessed before. And as the frenzied global news coverage numbs and subdues a significant proportion of the population, many others seem oddly addicted to the anxiety.

Indeed, millions of people are “comforting” themselves by watching horror movies like Outbreak, Contagion, and I Am Legend to get through this crisis. But succumbing to collective dread like this manifests increasingly irrational human behavior. And as Vigilant Citizen notes, much of this behavior is literally programmed into society by the movies and media we consume:

“As Coronavirus spreads fear and panic across the world, streaming services have been observing a spike of interest in the 2011 movie Contagion. Starring Matt Demon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lawrence Fishburne, the movie follows the outbreak of a deadly virus called MEV-1 and its disastrous impacts on society. Needless to say, in today’s context, Contagion is not a comforting watch. In fact, if the whole Coronavirus situation is already making you anxious, you should probably avoid Contagion. Because it will only make things worse.

“In fact, the slogan of the movie isNothing spreads like fear’and that is basically the goal of the movie.”

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Like MEV-1, CoViD-19 may be scary in and of itself, but our collective response feels far more frightening. And while Coronavirus may be infecting millions of humans right now, the subsequent fear has spread to just about everyone. You might be able to avoid the Coronavirus through quarantine, but avoiding the infectious proliferation of fear has proven far more difficult.

Fear is a powerful force of paralysis. We’ve all felt its emotionally incapacitating effects as individuals, but on a global scale, the effects of fear can cripple entire economies and bring formerly sovereign societies to their knees. And the media hubbub surrounding CoViD-19 has focused the entire world’s attention upon a frightening singularity. But for those who are able to keep a clear head through difficult times, the magnitude of the fear broadcasting on every channel around the world 24/7 seems greatly exaggerated, if not grossly irresponsible.

Did you know that every single year, approximately 646,000 people die of the flu worldwide? That’s already a pandemic, and one that our media and governments have never responded to like this.

Did you know that the Word Health Organization’s own statistics reveal that the seasonal flu is far deadlier than CoViD-19?

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As Ben Swann reports, when the W.H.O. published their official findings, the numbers suggested that CoViD-19 yields a mortality rate of 4%. But according to their own numbers, the death rate for the seasonal flu during the same time period was nearly 10%. 

This means that the seasonal flu is more than twice as deadly as CoViD-19, according to the W.H.O. But we’ve never allowed society to grind to a halt over concerns related to the seasonal flu. And while authorities tell us to be weary of misinformation and disinformation, these kinds of statistical inconsistencies make distinguishing fact from fiction a difficult task.

The “official” numbers repeated by the media are crude and poorly calculated because they leave out very important information, including the omission of “mild” cases. But those crude numbers are nevertheless propelling global panic. That panic is the driving force behind the international lockdown, which creates an economic meltdown that allows for an unprecedented power grab by those who stand to benefit from the crisis.


Italy — one of the countries hardest hit — has announced that that 99% of Italians who have died in this crisis were already suffering from unrelated life-threatening illnesses.

From Bloomberg:

“More than 99% of Italy’s Coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.”

“The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s Coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions.”

“More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.”

“The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.”

On top of that, the “cure” may be worse than the disease, since one of the antiviral drugs being used to treat CoViD-19 might actually be the final nail in the coffin for elderly Italians.  According to cardiosmart.org, “Ribavirin may decrease the number of red blood cells in your body. This is called anemia and it can be life-threatening in people who have heart disease or circulation problems.” Exactly how many patients have been killed by the administration of ribavirin remains to be seen.

But there is already proof that patients who avoid such antiviral drugs may have a better chance of surviving the disease. This week, a 95-year old Italian grandmother became the oldest known case to recover from Coronavirus, without the use of antiviral drugs:

“Alma Clara Corsini arrived at the Pavulo Hospital in the northern province of Modena on March 5 after suffering from symptoms of the deadly disease … Gazzetta Di Modena reports that she was able to make a healthy recovery without any need for “antiviral therapy,” while her body showed a “great reaction” despite the infection.”

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None of these facts have stopped our panic-obsessed media from declaring that “something is going around and you need to be very afraid!” The headlines have only grown more frightening as the crisis continues to unfold.

During an election year when Bernie’s momentum seemed it could seriously threaten the status quo, an unprecedented outbreak coincidentally surged into global mainstream headlines as the only important story in the 2020 news cycle. The panicked broadcasts not only monopolize news coverage, distracting attention away from other important events such as the democratic primaries, but do so during one of the most contentious political climates in written history.

Hong Kong Xi's Dilemma

After over a year of weekly disruptions from the Gilets Jaunes in France, and just as the Hong Kong protests were becoming impossible to ignore; as citizens the world over were waking up, rising up and standing up, the authorities have suddenly announced the end of society as we know it.

The timing of all of this feels particularly convenient for the existing power structure, especially since this is all happening during an election year – an election that many suspect could be suspended under the imposition of martial law.

Since the DNC rigged the 2016 nomination against Bernie (a fact documented publicly by both Donna Brazile and Tulsi Gabbard), voters approached the 2020 election with greater skepticism than normal. And the investigations resulting from that skepticism continue to reveal just how corrupt our system has become. But at the moment when more people than ever before were beginning to realize these truths, the authorities say we must now shut down all congregations and gatherings nationwide…except the election.

As the CDC warned against gatherings larger than 50 people, the DNC continued full steam ahead with a primary vote, where thousands of people stood in line, greatly increasing their risk of not only catching the disease, but of spreading it. Amid the chaos, huge segments of voters did take the CDC’s advice and stayed home and urged the DNC to postpone the vote. But the DNC went forward with the primary anyway. It seems the circumstances of crisis will overwhelmingly favor the status quo to the detriment of the everyone else, once again.

Cognitive dissonance and panic are preventing huge swaths of people from thinking clearly in this moment. The virus may be deadly. But our collective response may prove even deadlier if present trends continue.


Most wage earners in America live paycheck-to-paycheck. And they’ve watched the price of their rents and property taxes skyrocket while wages have flat-lined since the 1970’s. Most of them have debt, either from student loans or hospital bills or credit cards. And in recent years, most of them have begun to realize that the rules of this economic game were already inherently invalid, as evidenced by America’s horrific suicide epidemic and homelessness crisis.

And most working Americans will likely face a difficult situation when rent comes due on April 1st. But it’s the rent seekers who are likely to be the real April Fools when bills come due at the first of the month. According to the L.A. Times, 18% of US workers have lost jobs or hours since the virus. And unemployment has reportedly skyrocketed by 600% in the state of Ohio since the shuttering of restaurants and bars.

As we’ve been reporting for years, the economic situation in America was already extremely precarious prior to this outbreak.

As David DeGraw repeatedly reminded us in the years leading up to this moment, of the 213 million working-age people in America, there were only 100 million full-time workers. This left 50% of the working age population to fight over 28 million part-time jobs. And of what few full-time jobs existed, 47% of them generated annual incomes under $35k.

These data reveal the mathematical impossibility for average Americans to keep up with astronomical costs of living, without accruing ever-increasing levels of debt, that they would never be able to repay because the economic opportunities to do so no longer exist.

So what happens when these already desperate circumstances meet CoViD-19? How are wage earners, living paycheck-to-paycheck, supposed to stay home in accord with national quarantine recommendations, yet continue paying rent? Does anyone honestly believe that our elected Sheriffs will don hazmat suits and enforce eviction notices upon thousands of Americans who can no longer afford their rent, just to appease the greedy slugs of the banker class? Are oligarchs so naïve as to believe that kicking the working class out of their homes is a good idea for maintaining their power?

Mac Slavo opines that this virus will bankrupt more people than it kills:

“The real crisis of the Coronavirus is that it’s going to bankrupt more people than it kills, especially in the United States. Household debt has skyrocketed in the years following the Great Recession, putting many at risk for a financial disaster.

“Businesses are shutting doors and closing shop to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. But this in itself is a disaster for many who live paycheck-to-paycheck, which is almost 80% of Americans. Not to mention household debt in the U.S. reached a record of $14 trillion in February during the Coronavirus’ spread around the globe.

“CoViD-19’s economic danger is exponentially greater than its health risks to the public. If the virus does directly affect your life, it is most likely to be through stopping you from going to work, forcing your employer to make you redundant, or bankrupting your business.”

The .01% do not care about you. For Wall Street’s financial priesthood, economics are more important than human beings. If that statement seems hyperbolic, here’s an actual quote from CNBC finance:

“The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that.”

Conservatives Gather At Annual CPAC Event

Larry Kudlow

That’s Larry Kudlow announcing to the world what the .01% really think about the rest of us. At the time he said this, Kudlow was referring to the tsunami that hit Japan following a devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake. But CNBC has never stopped broadcasting anti-human opinions.  

With regard to CoViD-19, CNBC’s Rick Santelli admits that the value of money continues to outweigh the value of human beings:

“Think about how the world would be if your tried to quarantine everybody because of the generic-type flu. Now, I’m not saying this is the generic-type flu. But maybe we’d be just better off if we gave it to everybody, and then in a month it would be over, because the mortality rate of this probably isn’t going to be any different if we did it that way than the long-term picture. But the difference is we’re wreaking havoc on global and domestic economies.”

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Rick Santelli

So what Rick Santelli recommends is a lack of humanitarian response to the pandemic, because it might hurt his stocks. He announced to the world, on network television, in front of tens-of-millions of people, that we should take steps that ensure millions are annihilated in order to save the economy.

This is your brain on capitalism.

almightyMeanwhile, The Federal Reserve has responded by injecting Trillions to prop up banks and multinationals, just like it did in 2008, but without the pesky formality of asking the Congress for it; a clever exception included in the bill from the last round of banker bailouts that ensured bankers would never again be subject to public ridicule for their role in crashing the global economic system and then being bailed out to the detriment of the rest of the people who actually pay for it. And CoViD-19 provides the perfect smokescreen of fear and confusion through which the most eventful weeks in financial history are difficult to perceive.

John Rubino explains why this round of banker bailouts was so predictable:

“Other than the fact that it’s a pandemic popping this bubble, we’re following the script pretty well, in which we have a gigantic financial crisis because of all the debt we’ve taken on, and then the central banks of the world react by flooding the system with cash and bailing out everybody in sight … They know we need a shock-and-awe right now because they know the global financial system and the global manufacturing system are shutting down. So while it’s not clear that there are any financial tools that fix a pandemic, they’ve still got to try. Because the only tools they have are easy money.”

Federal reserve printing so much money debt you'll soon use it for wiping your butt

Whether the coming transformations embrace liberty or tyranny, it seems clear that the rules of the economic game are about to drastically change. For the 80% of Americans who are paycheck-to-paycheck, the coming financial situation may signify a uniquely tragic moment in American history. In response, legislators have begun debating the merits of bailing out the American people, with a $1,000 UBI (Universal Basic Income).

Saagar Enjeti of The Hill explains why such a move is likely to backfire:

“The problem is that a thousand dollars barely scratches the surface. Tens-of-millions of Americans right now are staring down the barrel of rental costs, credit card payments, loans and more. Even direct cash assistance at that level will simply be eaten up by the everyday costs of living that most Americans bear on a daily basis. A one-time cash injection, or even a cash injection monthly, would get eaten up by debt holders in our society. It simply is not going to cut it if we actually want to get our economy working again.

“Or if you want to use this as an opportunity to say that if big business wants our taxpayer dollars, then they have to behave by a certain set of rules. But the political will is not there right now. Sure, we may pass a one-time payment for Americans, but the political resolve will evaporate at the slightest sign of so-called “progress”. We have a template, and even worse, the same people are in charge, with Nancy Pelosi at the helm. And if Joe Biden wins the presidency…he’s literally still defending the Wall Street bailouts that gave them all the short-term capital in the world, while everyday homeowners were completely screwed in the long run. They did the bare minimum and acted like heroes. That’s basically what we’re in for this time around.

“Two subsequent generations of young people are going to enter their adult lives in a catastrophic economic crash. That reveals much more about who has power in this country, and who does not. They’re going to be laden down with debt. They’ll face a struggling economy where jobs with benefits are going to be very, very scarce to come by. They’ll scoff at the idea of owning a house or getting married or starting a family. And they’re going to rage silently inside. And that rage is going to fester as they age. As they start to vote, the rage is just the beginning. And just like that, the debt-laden millennial generation is going to be joined by their younger brothers, sisters and cousins in Generation Z, and they’re going to start embracing revolutionary politics. And it’s going to have a huge impact on the future politics of this country.”

As Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism further explains why the present trajectory of “solutions” actually set us up for failure down the road:

“Even though the Administration claimed they’d get their $1,000 checks out in two weeks, there’s no way that will happen between getting the legislation passed and the operational requirements of printing all the envelopes and checks and getting them out. In 2009, under an Obama stimulus program … took five months to distribute … that amount of money is chump change compared to paying any Coronavirus treatment-related bills, and all we have from the officialdom on that front so far is empty promises. Look at an indicator of the costs even for those with insurance …

“And loans to small businesses? Are you kidding? What small businessman wants to take on more debt when he isn’t sure of his income or even business survival? A few who are in situations where they have genuine reasons to think the Coronavirus impact on them is as blip rather than a body slam might take the plunge, but the rest?”

The absurdity of the situation hasn’t stopped Nancy Pelosi from blocking UBI, or Chuck Schumer from suggesting that the road to recovery involves “low interest loans” for Americans to supply us with the means to survive the crisis. They should be talking about suspending rent and mortgage payments. Both neither Pelosi nor Schumer will do that because it wouldn’t benefit their donors on Wall Street. But with his administration now instituting UBI and a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, Donald Trump now stands to the left of most democrats, presenting as the unlikely progressive hero of the hour.

Additionally, when democrats could temporarily suspend the 2020 democratic primaries, America’s election instead entered the theater of the absurd.

Scott Jarrett, the Maricopa County, Arizona Election Day Director, walked away from the microphone in the middle of a statement during a press conference aimed at providing critical updates to the democratic primary. Jarrett nervously announced the closure of voting locations due to the lack of cleaning supplies necessary for ensuring adequate voter safety during the pandemic. After confirming the reduction of total voting locations to 151 from 229, he turned to a colleague and said:

“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.”

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Scott Jarrett walking away from the podium

Before walking away, Jarrett began explaining that such a reduction of voting locations would “protect” voters from CoViD-19, even though the move would obviously crowd more people into fewer voting locations. The fact that such a move would likely increase everyone’s susceptibility to the virus may have just been too much for Jarrett to swallow, and he walked away in the middle of his sentence.

Thankfully, his colleague then stepped forward to assure us that all is well, nothing to see here, go on about your business:

“I want to remind the public that the ever-changing world that we live in is creating some stress for all of us, but we just want to make the voters assured that we are going full speed on having a great election as we are tasked to do.”

bernbabyShouldn’t the vote be temporarily suspended along with everything else? Why not institute a system of accountable paper ballots during this, the greatest collective crisis in written history? Such ballots could be mailed, to the relief of poll workers, most of whom are elderly and retired folks — the very demographic most vulnerable to this pandemic.

The CDC says if you’re elderly, or are likely to come into contact with someone who is, you should stay at home, avoid people, and not participate in the vote at this time. But this hasn’t stopped DNC chair Tom Perez from encouraging state officials from moving forward with the primaries.

And Joe Biden joined Perez in encouraging people to throw caution to the wind, tweeting, “If you are feeling healthy, not showing symptoms, and not at risk of being exposed to CoViD-19: please vote on Tuesday.” 

The democratic party is proving they care less about their constituents than ISIS does about their terrorists; ISIS has instructed their members not to travel to Europe, while in America, the democratic party actively encourages people to go out and vote amid a global pandemic.

Indeed, more than 1,600 people, including hundreds of medical professionals, have called for the next round of presidential primaries to be postponed amid the Coronavirus pandemic in an open letter:

“To DNC Chair Tom Perez and Members of the Democratic National Committee, the Secretaries of State of Arizona, Florida, and Ohio, and the chair of the Illinois State Board of Elections:

“The next round of Democratic presidential primaries are scheduled for March 17 in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, amid a deadly pandemic. This is a dangerous state of affairs. All four states have declared states of emergency or have patients in quarantine in response to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. On March 14, Georgia moved their primary from March 24 to May 19. Louisiana rescheduled their primary on April 4 for June 20.

“Hundreds are sick and multiple people have died. It has resulted in numerous cancellations and postponements, including presidential campaign events in Cleveland and Tampa. In the swing state of Ohio, the state’s Health Department Director Amy Acton said there is evidence one percent of Ohioans may be carrying the Coronavirus. That means 117,000 may have have CoViD-19.

“A day before the scheduled March 17 primary, Ohio recognized the risks and postponed in-person voting to June 2.

“State officials in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, with the support of the Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns, should reschedule the primaries for May, when states such as Indiana, Oregon, and Kentucky have their primaries. Until May, mail-in voting should be implemented throughout under the guidance of health and election authorities.

“We have seen long lines of voters in states like Texas and Michigan. The amount of time standing in line with hundreds or even thousands of other voters substantially increases the likelihood that someone will get sick.

“By postponing primaries, state governments will be able to keep resources focused, and they will not need to worry about the distraction of running primaries while responding to this pandemic. This will also give time for the states to implement alternative voting mechanisms, such as vote-by-mail, at a sufficient scale if the pandemic continues to be an emergency for these states.

“Furthermore, polling place workers, who are generally retired volunteers over 65 years-old, should not need to be exposed to the risk of contracting the Coronavirus while managing precinct locations.

“We should note that we do not believe that a public health crisis or a state of emergency should ever be used as an excuse to cancel elections. The Democratic primary season concludes in early June; the party has full flexibility to schedule state-level races at any point before then.

“In addition to our primary concern about public health, we believe this would be beneficial to the democratic process. As people are understandably avoiding public places and crowds, we expect turnout to be depressed. Rescheduling the primaries would ensure that more people are allowed to exercise their right to vote without fear. It would also be particularly good for down ballot races in the Democratic Party primary. Candidates in city, county, and state races will likely benefit from higher turnout.

“Cancellations and closings help doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a chance at saving lives. For the health of our fellow citizens and our democracy, please act now to postpone the upcoming March primaries until May.”

Are Americans are finally beginning to realize that we’re only as healthy as our sickest citizens? When it comes to the 30 million Americans getting through life without health coverage of some kind, Medicare-For-All doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore, especially when the alternative means spreading the disease beyond our control. The present level of proposed profiteering feels doubly nauseating when we consider that Polio and Smallpox were cured for free out of respect for the public good. The leaders of the day didn’t worry about “making the vaccines affordable” as Nanci Pelosi recently emphasized, because society used to frown upon profiteering from human suffering.

But today, the phenomenon of disaster capitalism has become the economic norm.

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Desperate times make for desperate measures, and many people were already in financial dire straits prior to the hysteria. Millions of Americans were already resorting to strange extremes to pay their bills before this crisis hit. Many sought refuge in the so-called gig economy of Uber and Lyft. Some gravitated toward donating plasma to pay their rent. Others dipped into black markets to make ends meet. And still others fell into perpetrating scams on the vulnerable.

But right now, opportunists from coast to coast are attempting to profit from the manufactured shortage of critical supplies. And many of those opportunists aren’t members of the .01%. Because it wasn’t the billionaire-class looking to make a few extra bucks by hoarding and selling toilet paper, soap, immune-support supplements, surgical masks, food, etc.

As greedy and selfish as this behavior may be on an individual level, it’s our blind faith in the almighty “Market” that keeps many of us from ever comprehending the notion that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Case in point, it doesn’t matter how many bottles of soap I have if my neighbors can’t wash their hands. Because if they get sick, the chances increase that I will also get sick.

Of course, in an economic situation where the future accepted value of US dollars seems dubious, the purchase of toilet paper may indeed seem like a wise, last-minute currency transfer for those with the resources to buy it and stash it. Who knows how valuable such commodities will become in the absence of a functioning fiat currency? But the hoarding of toilet paper also indicates that even citizens of modest means are attempting to profit from the crisis.

Robert Anton Wilson termed this kind of behavior the “Mammalian Hoarding Instinct”.  This instinct is greatly exacerbated by the fact that the economic mantra of capitalism imposes an “every man for himself” mentality onto society at large. Normalizing a business climate of “dog-eat-dog” has disproportionately rewarded the behavioral patterns of sociopaths for decades. This economic system actually rewards sociopaths who naturally rise to the top of such ruthless competition, because we live in a system that actually rewards failure, incompetence, and criminality.

As Ida Bae Wells tweeted this week:

When you are indoctrinated into a belief that being American means only looking out for yourself, that your success or failure is only about you & your own individual efforts, that everyone else sinks or swims on their own, then when we most need each other you still act accordingly.”

Resource hoarding may be a predictable aspect of societal panic, but Covidiots attempting to profit from a toilet paper shortage appear especially pathetic when we consider that toilet paper is not a product America imports from overseas. As confirmed by the New York Times last week, “The vast majority of toilet paper consumed by Americans is made in North America.” America’s very own Koch Industries are responsible for manufacturing the overwhelming majority of America’s paper products through Georgia-Pacific.

As reported by Forbes:

Georgia-Pacific, the paper-products giant owned by Koch Industries, which makes the AngelSoft and Quilted Northern brands, tells Forbes the current toilet paper spike is as much as double its normal demand. The Atlanta-based company says it’s working through its existing excess inventory and increasing production at its existing facilities in order to meet consumer demand.”

But how long are we to expect this global shutdown to last? Are we being eased into full out Martial Law, one incremental step at a time? It starts with frenzied fear-mongering on the nightly news. Then the restrictions start coming down incrementally, starting with travel restrictions and border closures, followed by voluntary quarantines and business closures, ultimately to be followed up by mandatory quarantines that are likely to last months, if not years, if not forever.

But when the Trump Administration invoked unprecedented wartime authority under the auspices of the Defense Production Act, and the Justice Department asked Congress for the ability to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies, effectively suspending habeas corpus in the most brazen power grab since the USA PATRIOT Act, it is the US Constitution being placed under quarantine.

John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute provides a more precise analysis:

“We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…Specifically, the DOJ wants to be able to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. The DOJ also wants to be able to pause court proceedings and suspend the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases. Both signify a clear violation of every right espoused in the Constitution, including habeas corpus.”

Such authoritarian overreach is already in progress, as evidenced by military and police personnel going door-to-door in Rhode Island to “hunt down” New Yorkers seeking refuge.

We’re told that these measures are only “temporary” because incrementalism is the name of the game. If the authorities told us the truth, the resulting backlash would be impossible to contain.

This might lead one to wonder what kinds of planned outcomes this round of disaster capitalism will finally enable, such as the imposition of a cashless economy, the introduction of mandatory vaccinations and the imposition of compulsory identification programs and travel papers.

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For those already aware of Bill Gates’ fanatic obsession with both population reduction and vaccinations, the Georgia Guidestones aren’t the only indicator of what the elite have planned for the rest of us.

Bill Gates recently participated in an exercise this past October called “Event 201” to appraise society’s readiness for global pandemics:

“The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.”

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Gates is now proposing a national tracking system for CoViD-19 cases. At the same time, Athena Security has announced the deployment of surveillance cameras they claim can “detect fevers in people, and in-turn send an alert that they may be carrying the coronavirus… the alert goes directly to the client.” 

But who exactly is “the client”? And can we really expect this technology won’t be abused by powerful oligarchs with totalitarian  intent?

We’re still a ways off from the probable outcomes that are likely to occur from all of this, but the writing on the wall strongly indicates that the powerful will do whatever it takes to retain their rule.

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The Georgia Guidestones

It isn’t just “crazy” preppers and wacky conspiracy kooks considering these outcomes. As Comedian Dave Smith recently tweeted:

I don’t know if people are overreacting to the threat of the #coronavirus or not. But, People are definitely not reacting enough to the threat of a Great Depression if we shut down the economy, and the dangers of living under a legit fascist state if we accept martial law.”

Caitlin Johnstone corroborates these concerns:

“In my opinion the fears that the ruling class will seize this opportunity to advance preexisting authoritarian agendas are well-founded, and people are right to have suspicions about the official narrative on the origins of the virus.”

Kurt Nimmo elaborates the point further:

“For those able to sidestep the trap of fear-mongering, it is obvious this disease is less of a threat to mortality than the seasonal flu and tuberculosis. CoViD-19’s death rate thus far is minuscule by way of comparison, although the state and its media promise the number will rise precipitously and the only option is to “flatten the curve” by imposing authoritarian mandates, including the imposition of martial law, as is now the case in Italy … Recall Henry Kissinger’s remarks following the LA riots. [He] said under the circumstances of an appropriate crisis, the people will run to the state and beg to be protected.”

And from Alt-Market:

“… there is a reason why the establishment refused to inform the citizenry of the instabilities inherent in the pandemic scenario; the more unknowns there are for the public the more panic will set [in], chaos ensues, and it is chaos that can be exploited to push forward numerous agendas. These agendas include global centralization as well as the erasure of constitutional liberties … The establishment and its defenders will claim that we all “have to make sacrifices” today in order to have freedoms tomorrow, but that’s not how the constitution was designed to work. Our rights are MORE important during times of distress and crisis, for it is in these times that we need to know what we are fighting for, and what we are struggling for. Survival is meaningless if we have to accept tyranny to achieve it … Once governments see a chance to usurp freedoms from the people, they DO NOT tend to give those freedoms back later unless the people become a viable opponent that could bring the establishment down.”

Many have already observed the obvious parallel our present predicament resembles to V For Vendetta, namely, the deliberate manufacture of an engineered bio-weapon to be deployed against the masses as a mechanism of fear to secure political domination.

When William Rookwood meets with Inspector Finch, he tells him to “Imagine a virus – the most terrifying virus you can, and then imagine that you and you alone have the cure. But if your ultimate goal is power, how best to use such a weapon?”

rookwood

Rookwood continues:

“Fueled by the media, fear and panic spread quickly, fracturing and dividing the country until, at last, the true goal comes into view. Before the St Mary’s crisis, no-one would have predicted the results of the election that year. No-one. And then, not long after the election, lo and behold, a miracle. Some believe it was the work of God himself, but it was a pharmaceutical company controlled by certain party members that made them all obscenely rich … But the end result, the true genius of the plan, was the fear. Fear became the ultimate tool of this government, and through it, our politician was ultimately appointed to the newly-created position of high chancellor. The rest, as they say, is history.”

It may be too early to tell whether or not the present circumstances constitute an application of quiet weapons for silent wars. But as Genna Rivieccio notes, “The real telltale sign will be when and how ‘the cure’ is unveiled, and who stands to gain the most from it.”

Cui bono?

He who benefits from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it.

Diligent reporting reveals that some government officials became aware of the gravity of this crisis in advance and quietly sold off their assets while telling their constituents that everything was fine. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

As Intel chairman, @SenatorBurr got private briefings about Coronavirus weeks ago. Burr knew how bad it would be. He told the truth to his wealthy donors, while assuring the public that we were fine. THEN he sold off $1.6 million in stock before the [market began to] fall. He needs to resign.”

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North Carolina Senator Richard Mauze Burr

Richard Burr is obviously not the only one who stands to benefit from this crisis, since he wasn’t the only one to be privately briefed. Michael Snyder identified the staggering number of government officials and corporate CEOs who sold off billions in stock holdings and resigned their posts in the months leading up to this crisis:

“In the stock market, you only make money if you get out in time, and many among the corporate elite seem to have impeccable timing… And it turns out that several members of Congress were also selling stocks just before the market went nuts. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.”

More than 1,400 CEOs sold off stocks and resigned in the past year, including the CEOs of United Airlines, Alphabet, Gap, McDonald’s, Wells Fargo, Disney, IBM, Harley-Davidson, T-Mobile, LinkedIn, Mastercard, Salesforce, Credit Suisse, Hulu, Under Armour, PG&E, Kraft Heinz, HP, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Warner Bros., Best Buy, New York Post, Colgate-Palmolive, MetLife, eBay and Nike, just to name a few.

According to NBC (from November 2019):

“Chief executives are leaving in record numbers this year, with more than 1,332 stepping aside in the period from January through the end of October, according to new data released on Wednesday. While it’s not unusual to see CEOs fleeing in the middle of a recession, it is noteworthy to see such a rash of executive exits amid robust corporate earnings and record stock market highs.

“Last month, 172 chief executives left their jobs, according to executive placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It’s the highest monthly number on record, and the year-to-date total outpaces even the wave of executive exits during the financial crisis.”

Clearly the .01% have access to a very different information stream than the rest of us. Historically this is not exceptional, since insiders have always quietly exited the market prior to cataclysmic societal shifts. And the mass exodus seems to always signal that these events are anything but accidental or random.

But such shifts are not limited to profiteering. This crisis also seems to further America’s ongoing hostilities toward Iran.

The fact that Iranians seem disproportionately vulnerable to CoViD-19, seems highly suspicious. America’s continuous, ongoing animosity toward Iran has not only resulted in the recent drone-killing of Iran’s most powerful and popular military leader, but also crippling economic sanctions against Iran. Given that America and Israel attacked Iran with the STUXNET computer virus, the fact that Iranians account for nine out of every 10 CoViD-19 cases in the Middle East suggests the possibility that this virus may be a kind of biological STUXNET. If nothing else, they’re capitalizing on the crisis in the most cruel way imaginable.

Now that Iranian officials have publicly referred to this outbreak as possibly the “product of an American biological invasion”, the likelihood that this virus may be the product of deliberate engineering to be used as a biological weapon may be a hypothesis worth investigating.

It’s a well-documented fact that the US military has employed biowarfare research since the 1950’s at facilities like Plum Island off the coast of Massachusetts, where Lyme Disease appears to have originated.

As reported by Melissa Dykes:

“… researchers at Plum Island were experimenting with hundreds of thousands of hard and soft ticks on Plum Island where classified top secret biowarfare research was being carried out by the U.S. military for decades and the first outbreak of Lyme happened right directly across the sound less than nine miles from Plum Island where thousands upon thousands of birds fly …  the U.S. government denied that there were any biowarfare experiments on Plum Island for decades … up until documents proving otherwise were published by Newsday in 1993.”

Professor Francis Boyle, Author of the US Biowarfare Act, uncovered four separate studies which he said confirm ‘smoking gun’ evidence the Wuhan Coronavirus known as CoViD-19 was in fact weaponized [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

And Chinese scientists also found that CoViD-19 did not originate in Wuhan seafood markets as many outlets have claimed:

“The study published on ChinaXiv, a Chinese open repository for scientific researchers, reveals the new coronavirus was  introduced to the seafood market from another location, and then spread rapidly from market to market.”

Then this sobering video appeared on twitter, revealing a highly suspicious geographical coincidence:

“China is a very large country… and in this mammoth-sized country, right here sits Wuhan where the outbreak was. Well isn’t it interesting that the actual Wuhan virus research institute is right here, and right here, only 20 miles [away] is the fish market … Boy, the chances are just incredible.”

 

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As Truth Theory reported last month, there are a few journalists, politicians and scientists who believe that the Coronavirus could have originated in a bio lab in Wuhan. A paper published and later deleted by Chinese scientists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, said that the virus “probably” originated from one of two labs in Wuhan.

“We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat Coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the Coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory,” the paper said.

Beyond the controversial speculation about where this virus came from, we can observe numerous instances of predictive programming in pop culture that have set the stage for society’s acceptance of sweeping government overreach justified by a worldwide pandemic, above and beyond films like Contagion and V For Vendetta.

Astute readers may observe an even stranger parallel to a Dean Koontz novel published in 1981 called The Eyes of Darkness, wherein an engineered virus called the Wuhan-400 escapes from a facility in Wuhan, China:

“A Chinese scientist named Li Chen defected to the United States, carrying a diskette record of China’s most important and dangerous new biological weapon in a decade. They call the stuff ‘Wuhan-400’ because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center.”

“Wuhan-400 is the perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. And like Syphilis, Wuhan-400 can’t survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute, which means it can’t permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent microorganisms can. And when the host expires, the Wuhan-400 within him perishes a short while later, as soon as the temperature of the corpse drops below eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Do you see the advantage of all this?”

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It’s no secret that global population reduction is explicitly desired by the ownership class, so much so that over the last few years we’ve witnessed a dramatic increase in predictive programming to these ends. The most obvious example of which seems to be the recent Marvel adaptation of a supervillain named Thanos who is obsessed with creating a utopian society “free from suffering” by eliminating half the total population.

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Thanos accomplishes this with the combined powers of stolen Infinity Gems which he uses to annihilate half of all living creatures in the universe. Thanos’ simpleminded (and profoundly hypocritical) reasoning leads him to believe that the cause for all suffering in the universe stems from too many people clamoring for limited resources. Never mind the fact that artificial resource scarcity is the driving force behind capitalism. Never mind the fact that the hoarding of said resources by wealthy elites to the deprivation of everyone else causes tremendous suffering. And never mind the fact that if Thanos was really sincere in his belief that overpopulation is the prime cause for suffering, he could lead by example and destroy himself as well (which he doesn’t).

Taken as a piece of entertainment, the film seems a harmless philosophical meditation. But when the likes of Forbes start publishing articles entitled, “Is Thanos Right About Overpopulation In ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?”, we might pause and consider what the elites have planned for the rest of us.

But the foreshadowing of current events hasn’t been limited strictly to only fiction and metaphor. Sylvia Browne outright predicted this present predicament over a decade ago, foretelling of a pneumonia-like disease that would proliferate around the globe in the year 2020. As Joe D’Amodio reports:

“People are starting to talk and wonder about the bold prediction made by psychic Sylvia Browne in her 2008 book called End of Days: Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World, when she wrote about a sickness like the current Coronavirus.

“In that book, Browne wrote: ‘In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments.’”

But whether or not CoViD-19 will resist all known treatments remains to be seen. As doctors and scientists scramble for treatments to the disease, we’re hearing now that chloroquine phosphate, an antimalarial drug, has a certain curative effect on CoViD-19. As reported by Melvin Sanicas this week:

“Chloroquine was selected from tens of thousands of existing drugs after multiple rounds of screening, Sun said. According to her, the drug has been under clinical trials in over 10 hospitals in Beijing, as well as in south China’s Guangdong Province and central China’s Hunan Province, and has shown fairly good efficacy.

“In the trials, the groups of patients who had taken the drug have shown better indicators than their parallel groups, in abatement of fever, improvement of CT images of lungs, the percentage of patients who became negative in viral nucleic acid tests and the time they need to do so, she said.

“Patients taking the drug also take a shorter time to recover, she added. Sun gave an example of a 54-year-old patient in Beijing, who was admitted to the hospital four days after showing symptoms. After taking the drug for a week, he saw all indicators improve and the nucleic acid turn negative.”

chloroquine-phosphate-tablets-ip-250-mg-500x500-1

Predictably, the manufacturer of Chloroquine, Rising Pharmaceuticals, attempted to exploit this disaster by jacking up the price of Chloroquine by 98% as soon as it seemed profitable to exploit this corner of disaster capitalism. But since CoViD-19 stands as effectively the only news story on earth right now, the collective reaction from the internet caused Rising to immediately rescind the price increase.

Intravenous Vitamin C has also shown promising results in reducing severity of symptoms in those affected:

“The administering of 1,500 milligrams of intravenous Vitamin C is over 16 times the recommended dietary allowance of the antioxidant, but has resulted in patients treated with the vitamin faring “significantly” better than those patients who aren’t receiving the treatment”

Of course, none of these recent developments have stopped officials from pursuing the “rapid development” of a CoVid-19 vaccine. As political pressure for a “cure” intensifies, experienced scientists and researchers warn that vaccines can not only take years to develop, but that rushing the process can actually make the disease worse. As Reuters reported this week:

“Studies have suggested that Coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus. The mechanism that causes that risk is not fully understood and is one of the stumbling blocks that has prevented the successful development of a Coronavirus vaccine.

“Normally, researchers would take months to test for the possibility of vaccine enhancement in animals. Given the urgency to stem the spread of the new Coronavirus, some drug makers are moving straight into small-scale human tests, without waiting for the completion of such animal tests.

“‘I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with,’ Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told Reuters.

“Hotez worked on development of a vaccine for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the Coronavirus behind a major 2003 outbreak, and found that some vaccinated animals developed more severe disease compared with unvaccinated animals when they were exposed to the virus.”

There are still other factors to consider regarding the development of a vaccine. Yves Smith explains:

“The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team report … not only does it remind us that a vaccine is at best a year to eighteen months away, but it also points out that new vaccines often don’t have great efficacy. And the Wall Street Journal reported that Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, lauded for their early and effective responses to the Coronavirus, are now seeing a second wave of cases … “As many experts pointed out, the number of deaths resulting from an economic depression would be worse than from the Coronavirus itself. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told senators that refusing to take forceful enough action could lead to 20% unemployment.”

JP Sears sarcastically reveals another sobering reality about the rapid development of the proposed Coronavirus vaccine:

“We’re hoping and praying that a drug company coincidentally comes out with a vaccine that’s somehow magically created with long-term studies to show it’s safety and efficacy against the Coronavirus within the next few months. Such a vaccine would be rapidly sold to hundreds-of-millions of people around the world, and it would also make the months of panic and sensationalism by the news outlets look like they were in, on the most deceptive yet elaborate marketing scheme the world has ever known, even though that’s definitely not going to be the case.

“Given that the news is honest 100% of the time and doesn’t have a vested interest in spreading fear like a virus to boost its ratings and ad revenue, is it safe to say that the news is being honest this time as well? Yes it is.”

Meanwhile, the global media reaction feels like nothing short of blatant psychological warfare.

If quelling panic were really the goal, why are media organizations resorting to the implicit sensationalism and catastrophism that now encourages the masses to exhibit a myriad of irrational behaviors?

As Jon Rappoport attests:

“There are statistical vampires at work, using the elderly and sick and dying to feed numbers to health agencies around the planet. Those agencies tap their press contacts, and horror reports emerge, and the unsuspecting public, in economic lockdowns, sit in front of the tube and watch these reports, and inhale the cooked-up fear.”

All day long, as the fear of the Boogeybug is hypnotically blasted into our retinas, the bombardment of survival signals begins corrupting our reason and robbing us of our common sense.

And as JP Sears says, those who fail to properly bow before the altar of fear may be purged from society:

“Henceforth, all who do not enthusiastically participate in the wide-spread panic about the Coronavirus, will be known as virus sympathizers, and it’s logical to deduce that all virus sympathizers want you to die from the virus.”

“Are there steps you can take to protect yourself from the Coronavirus? Yes. We’re recommending everyone practice agoraphobia, which means, you don’t leave your home because you’re afraid something bad will happen. But also the Coronavirus is probably already in your home, so be scared when you’re there as well.”

Incidentally, a great way to weaken your immune system is to remain in a fear/stress state. Anyone who has ever been a university student knows that the week after finals, everyone gets stick. That stressful week of tests and deadlines wears down the immune system. Sickness inevitably follows, not because of the strength of any particular virus, but due to individual susceptibility.

prof_robert_sapolsky_4.1395271385Indeed the chronic stressors associated with poverty are noted as significantly lowering immune response, not because of access to health care, but because of the myriad stressors associated with poverty. That is to say, if you want to stay healthy, never-ever make the mistake of being poor. Dr. Robert Sapolsky notes: “One of the really disturbing findings out there in public health is never ever make the mistake of being poor, or being born poor. Your health pays for it in endless sorts of ways: something known as the ‘health socioeconomic gradient’. As you move down from the highest strata in society, in terms of socioeconomic status every step down, health gets worse for umpteen different diseases. Life expectancy gets worse. Infant mortality rate – everything you could look at. So a huge issue has been why is it that this gradient exists? A totally simple obvious answer which is ‘if you’re chronically sick, your not going to be very productive, so health causes, drive socioeconomic difference.’ Not that in the slightest, on the very simple level that you could look at the socioeconomic status of a 10-year-old and that’s going to predict something about their health decades later. So, that’s the direction of causality. Next one – ‘Oh, it’s perfectly obvious! Poor people can’t afford to go to the doctor; it’s healthcare access.’ It’s got nothing to do with that because you see these same gradients in countries with universal health care and socialized medicine. Okay, next simple explanation: ‘Oh, on average, the poorer you are the more likely you are to smoke, to drink and all sorts of lifestyle risk factors.’ Yeah, those contribute. But careful studies have shown that it explains maybe about a third of the variability. So what’s left? What’s left is having a ton to do with the stress of poverty. So the poorer you are, starting off being the person who is one dollar of income behind Bill Gates, the poorer you are in this country on the average, the worse your health is. This tells us something really important: the health connection with poverty? It’s not about being poor, it’s about feeling poor.”


The captains of industry figured out decades ago that they could maximize profits by outsourcing American jobs overseas. They figured out that they didn’t have to pay their workers, but could instead loan them the money they need to survive, with interest that must be paid back. They figured out how to make products break down as quickly as possible, thus necessitating the consumption of greater quantities of the same goods. And they figured out that with enough technological development, human workers are obsolete.

In a technologically advanced society, incrementally fewer workers are required to produce ever-greater quantities of goods and services for the general population. This phenomenon has been termed “Technological Unemployment,” and is not, theoretically, a bad thing. Technology has freed a large segment of our population from menial, meaningless, repetitive tasks (such as assembly lines) which slowly and methodically drain the life force and spiritual essence from human beings. Technology has the capacity to free us from this monotony.

The problem is that our society is still driven by a monetary system, and without these meaningless jobs there is no way for the average human to obtain the necessities of life (food, water, housing &c.) which become commodities for sale. If the population’s only ability to obtain money to afford the necessities of life is by working a “job,” and there is less and less need for such a work force within the overall system, then eventually the system must choose one of two endgame outcomes: change the rules of the game, or execute large numbers of “useless eaters,” so that the game may continue within its orthodox paradigm and managed by its present ownership.

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An important question to ask yourself is what do these scary red bubbles actually signify? Each bubble represents the total number of cases per country, but this virus is more than four-months into its spread now. So how many of these cases are still active? The way these statistics are being presented feels deliberately misleading.

There are silver linings to this catastrophe.

Yesterday Montana’s Chief Justice Mike McGrath issued an incredible directive asking judges to review their jail rosters and release, without bond, as many people as possible from Montana’s correctional facilities, “especially those being held for non-violent offenses.”

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On the ecological front, the contamination of our natural environment has also slowed. Since China isn’t burning as much coal, the Beijing skyline is visible for the first time in many years, as air pollution in China has dropped dramatically.

This also means that many factories are no longer churning out endless assembly lines of plastic garbage, 99% of which inevitably ends up in our landfills within six months of manufacture. Since big business saw it profitable to move manufacturing overseas, literally everything is made in China. For the past several decades, Apple and Nike and all the other major players have profited handsomely from the enslavement of children who must expose themselves to toxic agents for pennies-an-hour. And because these corporations were trying to save money, they skimped on quality as much as they could. Most products today are deliberately designed with planned obsolescence in mind, deliberately undermining every aspect of manufacturing to produce a product that breaks down and falls apart as quickly as possible, without the consumer losing faith in the brand as to prevent the purchase of another obsolete replacement.

With the wheels of this ecocidal machine grinding to a halt, humanity has finally given nature a chance to recover. This trend was further evidenced by the resurgence of wildlife in Italy, where dolphins, swans and fish have reappeared as the murky waters and smoggy skies have cleared.

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This seems like good news for human health, because we too require clean water and clean air for strong immune systems.

Additionally, this crisis has emphasized self care as a priority, and shown us that there are many practical measures we can all take to steel our immune response — measures that, for whatever reason, the CDC will never suggest:

As with any crisis, your best chance of survival is to first remain calm. Remember that immunity is more dependent upon susceptibility than exposure.

Fear greatly contributes to susceptibility. Let love guide you, not fear. Because our health is greatly affected by the prison of the fear state. We’re not built to withstand fear as a perpetual way of life, since such chronic stress elevates our cortisol levels which prematurely ages our bodies and makes us more prone to disease. The toll of CoViD-19 of the human body can only be worsened by the health impacts of chronic anxiety, despair and panic.

 Breathe deeply and relax. And let love guide you, not fear. Because fear isn’t just the mind killer; it’s also the immune killer.

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Gabrielle Lafayette is the executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show. This cache of thought is presented free of charge as a service and gift to you. May our eternal vigilance help liberate all beings from the smoke-and-mirrors deceptions of the Samsaric Panopticon.

KBGA Finally Censors the Outer Limits

During this Monday’s KBGA board meeting, Martin Kidston, owner of the Missoula Current, marched onto the University of Montana campus, stormed into the University Center, swung open the door to KBGA’s offices and barged into the meeting, barking baseless threats of lawsuit against KBGA’s student staffers. Kidston then complained to the stunned students about information that didn’t even broadcast on KBGA’s airwaves.

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Apparently Martin Kidston thought Missoula’s college radio station was somehow responsible for outing him as Montana’s Gomer Pyle last week, or for revealing his characteristic errors and outright fabrications that earned him that title in the first place. It seems as though Martin “Gomer” Kidston thinks that free speech rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment apply to him, and only him, but with none of the caveats or consequences associated.

But Martin “Gomer” Kidston’s temper tantrum made us wonder why such a prestigious publication like the Missoula Current would lower itself to bullying volunteer DJ’s at a nonprofit College radio station. And how is it that a former Marine could be tough enough to withstand the Crucible, but just too much of a wussy to deal with the honest criticisms of his own bumbling blunders?

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They say you’re not supposed to punch down, and one wouldn’t think that criticizing one of Missoula’s only two newspapers would qualify as punching down. The Missoulian and the Current both represent establishment viewpoints. But Kidston reveals himself to be such a petty nincompoop on such a regular basis that one almost feels bad condemning his false facts, revealing his fabricated quotes and laughing at his unhinged conspiracy theories.

Almost. That is, until you realize how this man, Martin “Gomer” Kidston, has weaponized his publication by deliberately misquoting people, stretching events, and sinking to outright libel, in order to spin a narrative favorable to those who benefit from Missoula’s ongoing gentrification nightmare.

gomerOld “Gomer” was at it again this week. Only this time he resorted to intimidating some college kids to make himself feel better. And who can blame him? Who doesn’t threaten children from time to time to blow off some steam? It sure can make a man feel powerful. There’s a very special high that comes from the fear radiating off of terrified youngsters. But I hear that the taste of their terror is especially sweet when your threats aren’t even based in reality. Bon Appétit, Kidston.

Point of Order: KBGA has never aired anything libelous or even critical of Martin Kidston, either during the Outer Limits broadcast or otherwise. As the Outer Limits has taken this story, we have respectfully protected KBGA from any potential backlash by preemptively leaving these stories off of their air waves entirely. Indeed, Kidston may be offended by content offered on this website that reveals beyond a reasonable doubt what a lying hack he really is. But said content has little to do with KBGA, as none of it has ever appeared on their airwaves.

Perhaps Mr. Kidston was unaware that our editorial team is separate from our performance team. We have writers and we have actors. And the members of our team that handle the KBGA broadcast are not the same folks publishing content, nor are they the same folks writing said content. This fact was grossly overlooked by both KBGA staff, as well as the deranged goofball who threatened them.

Regardless of these inconvenient facts, Martin “Gomer” Kidston demanded the names and phone numbers of the Outer Limits team. Thankfully, our station managers had the good sense not to provide that kind of information, to such an overbearing lunatic, without our consent.

cribbageNevertheless, Gomer’s threats and intimidation sufficiently frightened the impressionable kiddos currently staffing KBGA. And the anxiety-driven confusion now clouding their judgement has caused them to preemptively pull the plug on the Outer Limits Saturday afternoon broadcast indefinitely.

Evidently, the mere threat of hypothetical cases seems to be all it takes to kill a radio show with no questions asked. Not because someone has sued, but merely because someone might sue.

How could Gomer’s fear-mongering overwhelm KBGA’s reason like this?

Because Kidston seems to know that the University’s policy with lawsuits is always to settle. Always. Lawsuits hurt the University’s enrollment, especially if ongoing, and it’s much cheaper in the long run to just settle and concede, no matter what the plaintiffs allege. Remember how the University rolled over and paid Jordan Johnson $245,000 merely for threatening lawsuit?

But what could have ever possessed Gomer to freak out on college kids with such threats?

Perhaps Mr. Kidston felt irritated after he was threatened with a defamation lawsuit last week for publishing outright fabrications in his Missoula Current. As we reported last week, Matt Wardell was blatantly libeled by Kidston when the Missoula Current attributed statements to him that were never made:

“One of those speakers, who has protested during public comment several times in recent weeks, admitted that he too has made a threatening video. Like Bryant, he also contends his video was taken out of context by what he described as a digital stalker.”

Current PRE-Redaction

OK Gomer

It strains the brain to ponder how Kidston could write such incoherent nonsense, especially when you see what Wardell actually said during the meeting in question:

I want to start by saying first, nothing I am saying here, or ever have said, or will say here, publicly, privately, anywhere, should be taken as a call to violence of any kind. I’m a person of peace. I’m a Christian. I’m committed morally and spiritually to nonviolence.

I also want to address, because I’ve already heard from Mr. Rynearson, the guy whose video led to my friend’s arrest, he’s been looking through my stuff. So I want to let you guys know I’m chronically ill, I’ve dealt with addiction, I hope it isn’t used against me.”

There is nothing about Wardell’s public comment from 24 February 2020 that could even remotely be construed as an admission of making a threatening video. And yet, that’s exactly what the Kidston piece insinuates. And even though he didn’t put his name into print, Wardell knew right away who Kidston was talking about. It was obvious to anyone who attended the meeting, but especially infuriating for Wardell.

Matt Wardell thus promptly threatened to sue Martin Kidston and the Missoula Current for this brazen attack, a fact that he vocalized at this past Monday’s Council meeting:

Last week I came and professed a spiritual commitment to nonviolence, and before I had returned to my seat, I was accused of levying a personal attack, by a man who now won’t even look me in the eye. And the next morning I found in the Missoula Current, an article saying that I had confessed to sending the video that Brandon was arrested for.

I was mortified! I ran to my computer and I looked up the video, thinking I had terribly misspoken somehow. Nothing in my statement could be construed as a personal attack or an admission of any kind by anyone with even a basic grasp of the English language, unless they had intentionally misheard me.

I came to talk about shared definitions and mutual understandings so that we could build a basis to move forward. And I am afraid now. I’m afraid because there are things just blatantly made up about me and put out in the press. I had to call and threaten this man with a lawsuit to get him to retract. He did quickly. I think he knew what he’d done.

I want what’s right for this town. I don’t have a fortune to protect or to grow. I want to build a family here, not a business. I don’t have money to make.

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Matt Wardell at City Council, 02 March 2020


Wardell’s pleas echo a ripple of fear currently spreading throughout Missoula, that citizens who speak out against local government are unscrupulously punished for doing so.

And speaking of being punished for speaking the truth, we return now to the story of how KBGA silenced the Outer Limits. Because the censorship did not begin recently. It began over a month ago.


On 04 February 2020 we were alerted via Email by the KBGA Program Director of a smear piece against drone whistleblower Brandon Bryant, written by Missoula Current owner Martin Kidston. The Email read as follows:

“A new article from the Missoula Current has been brought to my attention recently. In it a fellow named Bradon [sic] Bryant was mentioned, and after looking at this social media, we noticed that he may be tied to you, your show, and the station in some way. Before KBGA comes out in a statement in regards to his actions towards City Council members, I wanted to contact you to get more information about your connections with Brandon, if he has been on the Outer Limits, and the extent he has been on our air waves. Feel free to let me know and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best,

Natalie Schmidt
Program Director
KBGA College Radio”


Outer Limits responded in kind:

Brandon Bryant is the Air Force drone whistle blower who appeared on our Veteran’s Day program last November.

I wasn’t aware of this Kidston piece, but after reading it, it seems extremely unbalanced – it starts with a smear right off the bat, that Bryant “claims to be an Air Force veteran.” Good God, I’ve seen him on Democracy Now! and BBC Hard Talk and the UN.

Let me dig into this and I’ll get back to you with something more later this evening.”


After being made aware of these developments, we went right to work, not only to investigate and report, but to prioritize this story in place of our regularly scheduled broadcast. KBGA staff effectively tasked the Outer Limits team when Program Director Natalie Schmidt directed our attention to the “new article from the Missoula Current” because the errors and inconsistencies were just too blatant to ignore. The Outer Limits endeavored to de-escalate the situation by debunking the blatant character assassination of a man who many see as an American hero, internationally acclaimed drone-war-crimes-whistleblower, PTSD-afflicted veteran and Missoula TIF-abuse-opponent, SSgt. (USAF Ret.) Brandon Bryant.

However, numerous troubling elements regarding Bryant’s situation immediately reveal themselves in the aforementioned Email. Neither Bryant, nor The Outer Limits knew why the campus ban was in effect, how it could possibly relate to Bryant’s banning from City Council meetings, and most puzzling of all, why Bryant hadn’t been informed personally.

KBGA staff instead chose to inform The Outer Limits due to a perceived social media association between Bryant and this publication. The Outer Limits does not have a significant social media history, nor do any members of our crew. We did interview Bryant in November of 2019 as part of our Veteran’s Day broadcast, which does indeed draw an association, but not enough of one to warrant the overreaction we’re now witnessing.

That overreaction involved informing The Outer Limits that Brandon Bryant is banned from campus, a fact that Bryant himself was unaware of when we questioned him about it. Regardless, this question is completely irrelevant to The Outer Limits as Bryant is not, and has never been, a member of our crew. So why inform us of this at all? And further, why then use it as an excuse to censor?

The overreaction also entailed a request by KBGA staff to muzzle this, the biggest local news story of 2020, due to concerns of political retaliation by local officials who have a history of abusing their power. We understood those concerns and continue to honor the station’s preference to “hold off” the broadcast.

Unfortunately, while such considerations indeed seem legitimate, their necessity simultaneously illustrates precisely why this information is so important to get into the public eye to begin with. Because Bryant is but the latest casualty in a long line of political abuses that are allowed to continue city wide. And they’re only allowed to continue because of the local media blackout that actively prohibits any critical coverage of said abuses or officials. Since the closure of the Missoula Independent, political watchdogs have been put on the endangered species list here in the Zoo, further allowing and encouraging the cancer of corruption to continue its metastasis unchallenged.

The Outer Limits was one of very few outlets remaining in Missoula’s dismal media landscape with any traction to meaningfully challenge these political and informational monopolies. Maybe our commitment to the truth has painted a target on KBGA’s back, but that isn’t any reason to stifle the First Amendment. The freedom of speech is the freedom to offend. End of story. That’s why it’s first. Because priority number one in your Bill of Rights is your freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition.

We are tasked by duty to get the story right, which we have, unlike other local media outlets such as the Missoula Current. When militarized police mobilized the downtown lockdown of 12 February 2020, the Outer Limits reported that the broken window was likely the result of a spontaneous shatter event, which it was, while other publications actively sought the invention of a mass shooting hoax. And when local media were already accusing Brandon Bryant of firing shots at the police, the Outer Limits again set the record straight, illustrating the clear impossibility of such a scenario. And now that Martin “Gomer” Kidston has done exactly what we predicted would happen, smearing more local activists with even more lies and fabrications, the Outer Limits rests its case.

Unfortunately, some seemed willing to publish any rumor they heard, no matter how ludicrous, the most egregious example of which took place at the Hellgate Lance:

Brandon Bryant, the cause of all of the chaos this past Wed. was arrested and taken into custody on Thurs., Feb. 13… Bryant reportedly shot out the back glass of a police patrol car, fired shots outside of City Hall, and posted a video where he said that he would, “hunt people and exterminate them.”

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They couldn’t even get the date of his arrest right. And in the blink of an eye, the entire chronology of the downtown lockdown in-turn betrays Bryant’s entire reputation and history.

It’s called following up, kids. You never go with a story that only has one source; that’s propaganda. Many of the above errors could have easily been avoided with a simple phone call to the Missoula Police Department.

Sadly, Missoula’s schools are abysmally underfunded, in part due to the unintended consequences of the taxpayer giveaway scheme known as Tax Increment Financing, which actually deprives school districts of desperately needed funds. Maybe the Hellgate Lance was unable to follow up with the police simply because the Missoula Public School system literally couldn’t afford the phone bill, ironically due to the long-term effects of Tax Increment Financing, which also negatively affect police departments.

Local media outlets have already been forced to concede that the Outer Limits had all of these stories correct from the very beginning, as they have all walked back their previous narratives from their formerly frenzied extremes.

In spite of the fact that our coverage of the Brandon Bryant affair has demonstrated far greater accuracy than most competing “news”outlets, the staff at KBGA just can’t be bothered with the facts. It doesn’t matter that Kidston regularly publishes lies, that we’ve been the ones calling him on those lies, or that we didn’t even use KBGA’s air to do it. The only thing that seems to matter to KBGA is the fear that Montana’s Gomer Pyle might actually go postal and sue Missoula’s college radio station.

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The Outer Limits team have an 11-year history of going well out of our way to protect the interests and reputation of KBGA, prioritizing the good of the station over all else. We regularly veto content based on a wide variety of considerations, both legal, ethical, and moral, including FCC regulations, the business climate of KBGA’s underwriters, and the time limitations of KBGA staff.

So it wasn’t just us who were baffled by KBGA’s extraordinary apprehension surrounding this story. That bafflement is shared by both KGVO and KFGM – two stations that both demonstrate the willingness to cover this story with the honesty it deserves.

The preservation of speech rights depends upon people of conscience to publish the truth, no matter how inconvenient it may seem, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel, no matter how unpopular it may be. And there’s a massive cost that we all pay for failing to observe this fundamental law.

As Tavis Smiley brilliantly articulates every January during our annual MLK broadcast, There’s a huge price that our society pays when we ignore our truth tellers.”

It might seem politically wise to congratulate courage retroactively, awarding praise when the possibility for danger no longer exists. But when the instinct for self-preservation dominates otherwise rational thought to the detriment of the good, we can call it out for what it really is: Cowardice.

Defaulting to the path of least resistance does not inspire excitement or solidarity. When push comes to shove, defaulting to the “easy button” can only betray future prosperity. There is nothing whatsoever to congratulate if we don’t take a stand in the moment when it seems difficult to do so. The thresher of controversy tends to separate the wheat from the chaff when those committed to truth and justice distinguish themselves from those too afraid to do what is right.

The fact of the matter is that the same forces threatening to bulldoze everything wonderful about Missoula now threaten KBGA, whether station staffers “allow” this story to broadcast on their airwaves or not. Because yesterday it was Brandon Bryant being silenced; today it’s us; tomorrow it’s you.

We acknowledge that such courage seems difficult, especially for folks inexperienced in such matters. But this is a critical moment in Missoula’s unfolding history, and one that we may look back on with great regret if we decide that we were able to help change the deadly tide of cronyism, corruption and abuse in the Garden City, but instead chose to do nothing because it seemed the safer choice at the time.

The Outer Limits embraces the tenets of authentic journalism. We’re committed to getting the story right, no matter what. And this is a story that most local media just can’t help but get wrong.

George Orwell defined journalism as the act of printing or broadcasting information that someone doesn’t want disclosed, dismissing everything else as Public Relations. By getting this story wrong, whether deliberately or not, local media make the situation orders-of-magnitude worse than a mere PR problem. In Missoula 2020, A River STILL Runs Through It. Only now that river is called corruption and it is currently in flood stage.

Apparently KBGA personnel are not allowed to reveal criminally deliberate instances of journalistic malfeasance as perpetrated by the Missoula Current and other outlets who should know better than to propagandize their audience the way they have. And apparently we’re not allowed to clear the name of a man facing a politically motivated prosecution. Apparently KBGA personnel are not allowed to broadcast the other side of the story, because evidently the 1st Amendment doesn’t matter.

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We couldn’t help but wonder, “What would the Missoula Independent have to say about this if they were still around today?” Then came an awful realization: We actually have the Missoula Current to thank for the death of the Missoula Independent.

That’s right. The justification employed by Lee Enterprises to purchase the Independent involved alleging that the existence of The Missoula Current meant that their acquisition of the Independent did not create a publication monopoly in Missoula.

That’s a cute legal defense, and unfortunately for Missoula, a very efficacious one as well. After all, Nick “monopoly” Checota employed a similar justification several years ago when a regional promoter sued him for “anti-competitive practices”, arguing that he used his companies to “eliminate Mr. Checota’s competition in the Missoula, Montana, entertainment market and to profit personally through his closely held entities.”

At the time, Checota cited competing venues that have either since closed down, or are now controlled by him, as clever deflection against monopoly accusations. There’s always  a loophole for those who can afford the lawyers to find it! And in the case of Lee Enterprises, that loophole allowed for a similar elimination of competition. Because just one year after buying it, Lee closed The Independent on Tuesday, 11 September 2018, leaving a giant void where justice and humor once existed.

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Rest in peace, Indy

With all of these factors considered together, we can begin to understand why some Missoula locals are now discussing an organized boycott of the Missoula Current and their associated supporters. And we just happen to have a list of them here, for no particular reason:

CURRENT ADVERTISERS

  • Stockman Bank

  • Lambros Realty

  • Southgate Mall

  • 1st Security Bank

  • Clearwater Credit Union

  • Missoula Market Watch

  • Sterling CRE Advisors

  • Birkshire Hathaway (Home Services)

  • INK Realty Group

  • Annelise Hedahl Realty

  • Mountain Line

  • Missoula’s Office City

  • Contract Design Associates

  • 104.5 The U Radio

  • 103.3 The Trail

  • Missoula Community Theater

  • Fish Window Cleaning

  • Painting With A Twist

Some of the Current’s advertisers have already pulled their advertising in advance of the boycott.

Perhaps Martin Kidston should have thought about what it was he was doing before flying off the handle like he did. He would do well to consider his current predicament with caution. After all, he stands to lose much more than we do.

Because here’s the thing, folks. KBGA is already on the chopping block when the University’s FCC license expires in 2021. And the way the University of Montana continues to cancel programs, fire professors and sell off property, hemorrhaging money the whole way through, it doesn’t seem likely they’re going to keep the radio station around once that happens. Mark our words.

The only thing KBGA has, is its community support. And KBGA stands to lose some of that community support if it decides to lower itself to censoring journalists. We are committed to the truth no matter where it leads. And it saddens us to think that the same can no longer be said of KBGA.

Showing a volunteer the door because someone might sue is like avoiding relationships because you might catch a cold. You can live that way if you like, but everyone else just thinks you’re paranoid.

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“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~Albert Einstein

 

Martin Kidston’s Litigious Threats Have No Legal Standing

We fail to see what Martin “Gomer” Kidston thinks might provide him with sufficient grounds to sue Missoula’s college radio station, KBGA.

It’s true that the Outer Limits have described his Current as inaccurate and at times even referred to his writing as a “fabrication.”

And yes, we also pinned the word “liar” on “Gomer.” What (among other elemental deficiencies) short-circuits any purported pathway to a successful libel action, is the inclusion of the William Skink excerpt in which Mr. Skink’s colloquy with “Gomer,” concerning “Gomer’s” inaccurate reporting of Mr. Wardell’s Monday Council allocution, is recounted.

“Gomer” as much as admits that he made up the Mr. Wardell quotes when he explains that Mr. Wardell’s citizen comment remarks were, in his view, “rambling and incoherent at best”. He just made up what he sort of thought maybe he remembered what Wardell might have said.

He published that deliberate falsehood – as fact.

Sounds like a lie to us.

And one who lies, is after all, a liar.

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It is truly appalling that anyone such as “Gomer,” who holds himself out as a journalist, would be so lazy and reckless as to fabricate quotes made to government officials or a government body, particularly when the guess involves transforming the citizen’s pledge of nonviolence into an admission of making terrorist threats against City officials.

Given the highly publicized detention and felony prosecution of SSgt. Bryant on allegation of making terrorist threats  – like Mr. Wardell, a weekly City Council attendee who commented in opposition to misuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) – “Gomer’s” gross lack of due diligence and false description of Mr. Wardell’s City Council comments certainly seems likely to damage Mr. Wardell’s community reputation, among those who know of him by sight.

All “Gomer'” had to do, in order to get it right, was to view the video of the meeting readily accessible on demand at no charge to anyone with internet access. Additionally, many readers of the Current regularly notice the factually anemic, personally opinionated and derogatory character of “Gomer’s” articles regarding TIF opponents and other matters. To call the Current a “newspaper” is quite generous indeed.

As we’ve pointed out, it was an incredible lapse in journalistic method, editorial review, and faculty adviser oversight for the Hellgate Lance to publish an article about its lockdown accompanying Mayor Engan’s imposition of Martial Law, in which the student reporter without attribution or minimal investigation, reported as fact the facially false assertion that the rooftop snipers and armored personnel carrier were a defensive reaction to SSgt. Brandon Bryant (USAF, ret.) firing shots at a police car downtown.

In reality, as the Outer Limits reported following examination of publicly-accessible official City emails, SSgt. Bryant was jailed the day before the lockdown, after correspondence between Missoula City Council President Bryan von Lossberg and City Procurator Jim Nugent, for allegedly threatening words uttered by SSgt. Bryant in a Youtube video provided to von Lossberg by a cyberstalker of SSgt. Bryant known as Maj. Richard Rynearson (USAF, ret.).

The film in question, that was sent to the Council was a cut-and-paste collage that was not assembled by the accused, and not sent to the Council by the accused. Nevertheless, local media have recklessly and repeatedly made reference to the “Pick Your Battles” Youtube channel as belonging to Ssgt. Bryant, despite evidence to the contrary, including the address of Bryant’s actual Youtube channel.

But there is at least the mitigating and comforting knowledge that the Lance’s historically inconsistent and catastrophically embarrassing mistakes were the errors of a teenager. In the case of “Gomer'” Kidston, a grown adult, there is no readily apparent excuse. In both episodes, the errors are the results of failures of writers to exercise reasonable due diligence.

Given the youth of the Lance writer, the fact that the writer was personally locked down inside Hellgate High School, and the public confusion and conflation of facts in rumors arising from the persecution of SSgt. Bryant and the commands issued to armed forces the next day from the Emergency Operations Center directed by Mayor Engen, it’s difficult to ascribe more than gross negligence to the Lance reporter’s lack of due diligence.

But in “Gomer” Kidston’s case, we’re dealing with a grown adult who publishes a newsprint and electronic rag that, as we have noted, was deemed bona fide enough to quash a legal challenge to The Missoulian’s acquisition of The Missoula Independent alleging the establishment of a newspaper monopoly in Missoula. The Current reports on all manner of happenings and civic affairs.

If not libeled, Mr. Wardell was certainly held out in a false light by “Gomer’s” lack of due diligence. The omission of his name from Gomer’s article is perhaps the sole circumstance that significantly impedes legal action by Mr. Wardell, though his frequent attendance and citizen comments reduce that impediment by making it more likely that others surmised who the alleged public threat propagator was.

As journalists familiar with New York Times vs. Sullivan, if Mr. Wardell’s City Council commentaries on Monday evenings in Council Chambers broadcast live on Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) make him a sort of public figure, in order for him to sustain a libel action he would need to prove that the defendant’s allegedly defamatory statement was not merely false, but also was published with actual malice, that is, with knowledge of its falsity and an intent to injure, or with reckless disregard for the truth.

The Outer Limits offers no opinion as to whether Mr. Wardell is a public figure. But one must admit that based on “Gomer’s” admissions to William Skink, “Gomer’s” appalling lack of due diligence certainly emits an odor resembling, at minimum, reckless disregard for the truth.


Turning now to our commentary regarding Kidston that led the paragon of pulp journalism to burst through the KBGA boardroom door like a moronic ghoul from ‘Night of the Living Dead’, virtually every swipe taken at “Gomer” was obvious opinion; items asserted as fact were either matters of public record, or written or oral statements by “Gomer” himself.

Finally, there was lampooning of Mr. Kidston who – by publishing a newspaper featuring his own bylined articles replete with factual, grammatical, and stylistic errors exemplifying editorial incompetence – has by foisting his puppy training aid upon the public, invited the public’s praise or ridicule, depending upon one’s intellectual and political sophistication.

Other statements of opinion (and lampooning) include bestowing the honorific title “useful idiot” onto Mr. Kidston. But who isn’t flattered to be described as useful?

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As for the nickname “Gomer” which we’ve affixed to Current writer-publisher Kidston, it’s our understanding that Mr. Kidston alleges to have served in the Marines. Every Boomer raised in a family possessing an idiot box is no doubt familiar with the affable, optimistic, smiling, vociferous Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., the lead character in a multi-season sit-com of the same name, featuring the late Jim Nabors in the role of Private Pyle, the goofy but lovable daily headache of hothead Sgt. Carter.

From the imagery of our description of “Gomer” Kidston bursting into the KBGA board meeting, yelling and ranting and threatening attendees, it seems that the “Gomer” nickname for the useful idiot indeed made us guilty of propagating a misnomer, for such brash, churlish, unhinged conduct is the behavioral signature not of Gomer Pyle, but of Sgt. Carter. Perhaps that is at the root of Kidston’s rabid mania, which is certainly understandable. But as mentioned, our focus deviated to Kubrick’s adaptation of Gomer Pyle, since Kidston now bears the responsibility of being exposed for smuggling the metaphorical jelly doughnut of outright libel into the footlocker of his Missoula Current; in this case, the lies and obfuscations he and his advertisers hope nobody else will notice.

But nobody could have predicted the bizarre response from KBGA staff to “Gomer’s” storming of the board meeting. The response by any experienced faculty advisor to a foaming-at-the-mouth bombast making editorial demands and threatening to sue, would be on the order of:

“Your constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. Good day, sir.”

That’s standard response from all editors and publishers of newspapers that adhere to good journalistic practice, such that the editors and publishers unequivocally back up reporters and columnists.

cribbageWhy did the KBGA board members not respond to “Gomer” with “Call tomorrow, make an appointment, and until then get the Hell out of here before we call campus police!”?

Unless the station is totally independent from the University of Montana, the directive to first avoid discussing the Brandon Bryant affair on the air, then to avoid important local issues for two weeks (during the station donation drive), in combination with the “Gomer” boardroom invasion that resulted in the preemptive axing of the Outer Limits broadcast, seems gravely concerning.

As a state entity, the Montana University System is “The State” with respect to the First Amendment and the Montana Constitution’s guarantee of free expression. That is not to say that format is not subject to station management prerogatives, but if the station management is in the hands of university personnel or officials, content-based censorship other than of obscenity or libelous material, raises the specter of constitutional violations. Of course, if a community radio station is a mere tenant of a university campus, the university has the right to decline to renew a lease, etc.

But from a purely journalistic standpoint, what in the actual fuck is going on here? Doesn’t the station administration have a lawyer available to advise whether content is libelous or not? Why is the station administration so sensitive to the complaints of a hack who disparages citizen activists, makes up direct quotes, and can’t handle criticism?

The reference in the letter from station administration referring to complaints from “listeners” is a brazen insult to intelligence. Who exactly are these complaining “listeners?” The listener base of the Outer Limits is, by all accounts, a loyal cult of Missoulians who share the cynicism of the show’s producers and adore the show’s creative satire. Recently, we’ve heard that Nick Checota tunes in as well, and we might easily imagine that the growing listenership might include “Gomer” Kidston, City Council President von Lossberg, legal eagle Jim Nugent, and perhaps even Mayor Engen himself.

Are these the “listeners” who are complaining? It would make sense, since they’re accustomed to the adulation of the many oligarch-serving propaganda outlets posing as news organizations in Missoula.


“HE IS A CONGENITAL LIAR”

If the station is in fact an appendage of the university, it’s possible that the university’s institutional memory still smarts from a libel suit brought 36 years ago against the university, its student newspaper The Montana Kaimin, and its then-editor Carey Yunker.

In an October 8, 1974 editorial, Yunker labeled Madison, the director of the UM print shop, as an incompetent “congenital liar:”

“One of the memos is from Al Madison. His position, director of the University print shop, alone makes anything he would say on the matter suspect. As well, he is a congenital liar, an incompetent whose own operation has lost $103,914.89 in the last four years.”

SINCE1898Madison sued Yunker, The Kaimin, and UM for libel, seeking special, general, and punitive or exemplary damages in the aggregate amount of $102,000.  Madison alleged that defendant Yunker, acting in her capacity as editor of the Montana Kaimin, deliberately and maliciously libeled him by publishing false defamatory statements. Former 64-203, R.C.M. 1947, defined libel, in relevant part, as follows:

“Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing * * * which exposes any persons to hatred, contempt, ridicule,  or obloquy, or which causes him to be shunned or avoided, or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.”

The defendants moved to dismiss on grounds that Madison had not complied with a Montana statute then in effect that required a person alleging defamation, as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit, to first demand a retraction, and permitting the filing of a lawsuit only in the event no retraction complying with the statute was forthcoming. The statute, former section 64-207.1, R.C.M. 1947, provided as follows:

“Before any civil action shall be commenced on account of any libelous or defamatory publication in any newspaper, magazine, periodical, radio or television station, or cable television system, the libeled person shall first give those alleged to be responsible or liable for the publication a reasonable opportunity to correct the libelous or defamatory matter. Such opportunity shall be given by notice in writing specifying the article and the statements therein which are claimed to be false and defamatory and a statement of what are claimed to be the true facts. The notice may also state the sources, if any, from which the true facts may be ascertained with definiteness and certainty. The first issue of a newspaper, magazine or periodical published after the expiration of one week from the receipt of such notice shall be within a reasonable time for correction. In the case of radio and television stations and cable television systems a broadcast made at the same time of day as the broadcast complained of and of at least equal duration, which is made within seven (7) days following receipt of such notice shall be within a reasonable time for correction. To the extent that the true facts are, with reasonable diligence, ascertainable with definiteness and certainty, only a retraction shall constitute a correction; otherwise the publication of the libeled person’s statement of the true facts, of so much thereof as shall not be libelous or another, scurrilous, or otherwise improper for publication, published as his statement, shall constitute a correction within the meaning of this section. If it shall appear upon trial that the publication was made under honest mistake or misapprehension, then a correction, timely published, without comment, in a position and type as prominent as the alleged libel, or in a broadcast made at the same time of day as the broadcast complained of and of at least equal duration, shall constitute a defense against the recovery of any damages except actual damages, as well as being competent and material in mitigation of actual damages to the extent the correction published does so mitigate them.” (Emphasis added.)

Madison countered that the retraction statute conflicted with the provision of the Montana Constitution, Article II, section 16, guaranteeing every person a speedy and adequate remedy at law for ever injury to person, property or character.

The District Court granted Yunker’s and the other defendants’ motions to dismiss based on Madison’s failure to demand a retraction, and upheld the constitutionality of the retraction statute. Madison appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

The Montana Supreme Court, in Madison v. Yunker (1978), 180 Mont. 54, 67, 589 P.2d 126, 133, struck down the statute requiring a retraction demand prior to filing a defamation action case, agreeing that it violated the  Montana Constitutional guarantee of a right to speedy judicial remedy for every injury to person, property or character.

Of more relevance, the Montana Supreme Court, realizing that the New York Times v. Sullivan decision of the Supreme Court of the United States imposed certain limitations on defamation  lawsuits under the First Amendment, chose to outline the parameters within which the case was to be adjudicated on remand to the District Court. In so doing, the Montana Supreme Court adopted the defamation standard set forth in New York Times v. Sullivan, and its progeny up to that time, as being required under the Montana Constitution’s free speech, press and expression provision, Article II, section 7, independently from the First Amendment.

One of the principles established in New York Times v. Sullivan is that truth is an absolute defense. Another is that a public official or public figure may not be awarded judgment for defamation absent proof that the defendant published injurious falsehoods deliberately or did so with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.

Rather than paraphrase or summarize that portion of the Montana Supreme Court’s opinion in Yunker v. Madison, we reproduce it here:

“Having determined that the statute which brought about the dismissal of plaintiff’s suit is unconstitutional, we must send this cause back for further proceedings. In doing so, however, we are obliged to state, for guidance of the District Court, certain restrictions on libel suits and the damages obtainable therein which now apply. In doing so, we can perhaps obviate, or at lease ease, the fears which will rise in the breasts of publishers, editors, and broadcasters upon publication of this opinion.

“Although the United States Supreme Court has recognized that a state may provide for libel suits (Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., supra), there has been a substantial development in cases from that court which is in itself a protection to publishers because it limits the right to damages. These restrictions on damages are in themselves a deterrent to the barrage of libel suits that publishers might otherwise fear.

“The development begins with New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), 376 U.S. 254, 84 S.Ct. 710, 11 L.Ed.2d 686, 95 ALR 1912. There, the United States Supreme Court found that the dissemination of news was so important that news media should be protected from libel judgments, and should also be shielded from their own “self-censorship” brought about by fear of libel suits. The Supreme Court held that a public official could not recover on a claim for defamation unless “actual malice” had been present. Implied or presumed malice was out. “Malice” meant publication of the defaming material with a “knowledge that it was false, or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”. The burden of proof was on the plaintiff to prove that kind of malice with convincing clarity. The court found that the First Amendment permitted, on public issues, vehement, caustic and some and sometimes sharp attacks on public officials.

“In Garrison v. Louisiana (1964), 379 U.S. 64, 85 S.Ct. 209, 13 L.Ed.2d 125, the New York Times rule was extended to a public official’s private reputation, as well as his public reputation.

“In Curtis Publishing Company v. Butts, and Associated Press v. Walker (1967), reported together in 388 U.S. 130, 87 S.Ct. 1975, 18 L.Ed.2d 1094, reh. den. 389 U.S. 889, 88 S.Ct. 11, 19 L.Ed.2d 197 (1967), the court extended the New York Times rule to public figures. “Public figures” are defined in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., supra:

‘For the most part those who attain this status have assumed roles of especial prominence in the affairs of society. Some occupy positions of such persuasive power and influence that they are deemed public figures for all purposes. More commonly, those classed as public figures have thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved. In either event, they invite attention and comment.’ 418 U.S. at 345, 94 S.Ct. At 3009.

“Finally, in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., supra, the Supreme Court, while allowing states to provide for libel suits, erected a fence around the amount of damages recoverable:

‘We would not, of course, invalidate state law simply because we doubt its wisdom, but here we are attempting to reconcile state law with a competing interest grounded in the constitutional command of the First Amendment. It is therefore appropriate to require that state remedies for defamatory falsehood reach no farther than is necessary to protect the legitimate interest involved. It is necessary to restrict defamation plaintiffs who do not prove knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth to compensation for actual injury. We need not define “actual injury,” as trial courts have wide experience in framing appropriate jury instructions in tort actions. Suffice it to say that actual injury is not limited to out-of-pocket loss. Indeed, the more customary types of actual harm inflicted by defamatory falsehood include impairment of reputation and standing in the community, personal humiliation, and mental anguish and suffering. Of course, juries must be limited by appropriate instructions, and all awards must be supported by competent  evidence concerning the injury, although there need be no evidence which assigns an actual dollar value to the injury.

‘We also find no justification for allowing awards of punitive damages against publishers and broadcasters held liable under state-defined standards of liability for defamation. In most jurisdictions jury discretion over the amounts awarded is limited only by the gentle rule that they not be excessive. Consequently, juries assess punitive damages in wholly unpredictable amounts bearing no necessary relation to the actual harm caused. And they remain free to use their discretion selectively to punish expressions of unpopular views. Like the doctrine of presumed damages, jury discretion to award punitive damages unnecessarily exacerbates the danger of media self-censorship, but, unlike the former rule, punitive damages are wholly irrelevant to the state interest that justifies a negligence standard for private defamation actions. They are not compensation for injury. Instead, they are private fines levied by civil juries to punish reprehensible conduct and to deter its future occurrence. In short, the private defamation plaintiff who establishes liability under a less demanding standard than that stated by New York Times may recover only such damages as are sufficient to compensate him for actual injury.’ 418 U.S. at 349, 350, 94 S.Ct. At 3012.

“In this case, defendants have constantly referred to Madison as a “public official”, apparently to bring this case under the umbrella of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, supra. We are skeptical that the director of the print shop at the University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, is indeed a “public official”. In Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., supra, it was held that a lawyer was not a public official, although he had taken on a prominent case and was by virtue of his profession an officer of the court. Likewise, it may be contended in the retrial that Madison is a “public figure”. Whatever his status, it is a question for the jury to determine, because of the constitutional provision that the jury under the instructions of the court is the judge of both law and fact. Article II, Section 7, 1972 Montana Constitution. With appropriate instructions,  the jury can determine these matters and their status in any trial, unless otherwise stipulated.

“In this case, therefore, applying the rationale of the cases of the United States Supreme Court on damages for libel, if Madison is considered to be a private person, he must prove: (1) that the published material was false; (2) that defendants are chargeable with fault in the publication; and (3) that actual injury to him ensued, for which he may recover his actual damages. Moreover, (4) if he proves that the publication was made by defendants with knowledge of its falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth or falsities thereof, he may recover punitive damages for such malice, but such malice does not include hatred, personal spite, ill-will, or a desire to injure. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, supra; Letter Carriers v. Austin (1974), 418 U.S. 264, 94 S.Ct. 2770, 41 L.Ed.2d 745.

“If Madison is a public official or public figure, he may recover only if he proves the threshold fact that the publication was made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth or falsity. He could then recover his actual and punitive damages.

“We now, therefore, reverse the judgment and order of dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint by the District Court and remand the cause to the District Court for further proceedings, consonant with this opinion. Costs to the plaintiff.”

So, from that, you can see that if a jury determined that “Gomer” was indeed a liar, that would result in a judgment for the defense and Kidston would take nothing, because truth is a defense to libel.

If the defense of truth was not deemed established by a jury, the next issue involves whether “Gomer” legally qualifies as a public official or public figure. There is nothing to suggest that he is a public official, so the public figure question would be pondered.

It seems inappropriate for us to provide opinions as to whether Kidston likely does or does not qualify as a public figure based upon his actions and publications. But if he were deemed a public figure by the jury, then he would, in order to prevail, have to convince the jury by clear and convincing evidence – a higher standard than a preponderance of evidence (meaning it’s more likely than not), but lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt – that the defendants published the offensive content with actual malice; that is, deliberately published false matter, or published false matter with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity.

“Reckless disregard for the truth” means substantial doubt as to its truth. “Clear and convincing” means that the proposition is “highly probable.” A determination whether actual malice existed would have to be made within the narrow guidelines that the First Amendment and Article II, section 7 of the Montana Constitution permit, on public issues, “vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on public officials and public figures.”

Kidston would then have to prove that he was damaged in his public or private reputation. His life would become something of an open book and witnesses regarding his reputation in the community and/or their personal opinions of his character could be called by both sides. Witnesses testifying to his previously pristine reputation could be asked by the defendants on cross examination questions such as “Have you heard that ___________” (relating some embarrassing event in the plaintiff’s past”). If the witness says “Yes,” it tends to undermine the witness’s credibility, and the same if asked “would you have the same opinion if you knew that ________?” Evidence of the embarrassing past event must be presented.

Assuming that “Gomer” cleared all of those hurdles, and established that he had been damaged, he could seek to recover both actual and punitive damages.

If a jury decided that “Gomer” was not a public figure, then mere negligence would be adequate to find a defendant liable for defamation, but he still could not collect punitive damages unless he proved actual malice (deliberate publication of a defamatory falsehood, or publication of such a falsehood with reckless disregard of its truth or falsity).


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Cornell University Law School weighs in on the subject of defamation. Note in particular the narrowed definition of “public figure”:

“…One of the most seminal shifts in constitutional jurisprudence occurred in 1964 with the Court’s decision in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. The Times had published a paid advertisement by a civil rights organization criticizing the response of a Southern community to demonstrations led by Dr. Martin Luther King, and containing several factual errors. The plaintiff, a city commissioner in charge of the police department, claimed that the advertisement had libeled him even though he was not referred to by name or title and even though several of the incidents described had occurred prior to his assumption of office. Unanimously, the Court reversed the lower court’s judgment for the plaintiff. To the contention that the First Amendment did not protect libelous publications, the Court replied that constitutional scrutiny could not be foreclosed by the ‘label’ attached to something. ‘Like . . . the various other formulae for the repression of expression that have been challenged in this Court, libel can claim no talismanic immunity from constitutional limitations. It must be measured by standards that satisfy the First Amendment.’ ‘The general proposition,’ the Court continued, ‘that freedom of expression upon public questions is secured by the First Amendment has long been settled by our decisions . . . . [W]e consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.’ Because the advertisement was ‘an expression of grievance and protest on one of the major public issues of our time, [it] would seem clearly to qualify for the constitutional protection . . . [unless] it forfeits that protection by the falsity of some of its factual statements and by its alleged defamation of respondent.’

“Erroneous statement is protected, the Court asserted, there being no exception ‘for any test of truth.’ Error is inevitable in any free debate and to place liability upon that score, and especially to place on the speaker the burden of proving truth, would introduce self-censorship and stifle the free expression which the First Amendment protects. Nor would injury to official reputation afford a warrant for repressing otherwise free speech. Public officials are subject to public scrutiny and ‘[c]riticism of their official conduct does not lose its constitutional protection merely because it is effective criticism and hence diminishes their official reputation.’ That neither factual error nor defamatory content could penetrate the protective circle of the First Amendment was the ‘lesson’ to be drawn from the great debate over the Sedition Act of 1798, which the Court reviewed in some detail to discern the ‘central meaning of the First Amendment.’ Thus, it appears, the libel law under consideration failed the test of constitutionality because of its kinship with seditious libel, which violated the “central meaning of the First Amendment.’ The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with “actual malice”—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.’

“In the wake of the Times ruling, the Court decided two cases involving the type of criminal libel statute upon which Justice Frankfurter had relied in analogy to uphold the group libel law in Beauharnais. In neither case did the Court apply the concept of Times to void them altogether. Garrison v. Louisiana held that a statute that did not incorporate the Times rule of ‘actual malice’ was invalid, while in Ashton v. Kentucky a common-law definition of criminal libel as ‘any writing calculated to create disturbances of the peace, corrupt the public morals or lead to any act, which, when done, is indictable’ was too vague to be constitutional.

“The teaching of Times and the cases following it is that expression on matters of public interest is protected by the First Amendment. Within that area of protection is commentary about the public actions of individuals. The fact that expression contains falsehoods does not deprive it of protection, because otherwise such expression in the public interest would be deterred by monetary judgments and self-censorship imposed for fear of judgments. But, over the years, the Court has developed an increasingly complex set of standards governing who is protected to what degree with respect to which matters of public and private interest.

“Individuals to whom the Times rule applies presented one of the first issues for determination. At times, the Court has keyed it to the importance of the position held. ‘There is, first, a strong interest in debate on public issues, and, second, a strong interest in debate about those persons who are in a position significantly to influence the resolution of those issues. Criticism of government is at the very center of the constitutionally protected area of free discussion. Criticism of those responsible for government operations must be free, lest criticism of government itself be penalized. It is clear, therefore, that the “public official” designation applies at the very least to those among the hierarchy of government employees who have, or appear to the public to have, substantial responsibility for or control over the conduct of governmental affairs.’ But this focus seems to have become diffused and the concept of ‘public official’ has appeared to take on overtones of anyone holding public elective or appointive office. Moreover, candidates for public office were subject to the Times rule and comment on their character or past conduct, public or private, insofar as it touches upon their fitness for office, is protected.

“Thus, a wide range of reporting about both public officials and candidates is protected. Certainly, the conduct of official duties by public officials is subject to the widest scrutiny and criticism. But the Court has held as well that criticism that reflects generally upon an official’s integrity and honesty is protected. Candidates for public office, the Court has said, place their whole lives before the public, and it is difficult to see what criticisms could not be related to their fitness.

“For a time, the Court’s decisional process threatened to expand the Times privilege so as to obliterate the distinction between private and public figures. First, the Court created a subcategory of ‘public figure,’ which included those otherwise private individuals who have attained some prominence, either through their own efforts or because it was thrust upon them, with respect to a matter of public interest, or, in Chief Justice Warren’s words, those persons who are ‘intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions or, by reason of their fame, shape events in areas of concern to society at large.’ Later, the Court curtailed the definition of ‘public figure’ by playing down the matter of public interest and emphasizing the voluntariness of the assumption of a role in public affairs that will make of one a ‘public figure.’

“Second, in a fragmented ruling, the Court applied the Times standard to private citizens who had simply been involved in events of public interest, usually, though not invariably, not through their own choosing. But, in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. the Court set off on a new path of limiting recovery for defamation by private persons. Henceforth, persons who are neither public officials nor public figures may recover for the publication of defamatory falsehoods so long as state defamation law establishes a standard higher than strict liability, such as negligence; damages may not be presumed, however, but must be proved, and punitive damages will be recoverable only upon the Times showing of ‘actual malice.’

“The Court’s opinion by Justice Powell established competing constitutional considerations. On the one hand, imposition upon the press of liability for every misstatement would deter not only false speech but much truth as well; the possibility that the press might have to prove everything it prints would lead to self-censorship and the consequent deprivation of the public of access to information. On the other hand, there is a legitimate state interest in compensating individuals for the harm inflicted on them by defamatory falsehoods. An individual’s right to the protection of his own good name is, at bottom, but a reflection of our society’s concept of the worth of the individual. Therefore, an accommodation must be reached. The Times rule had been a proper accommodation when public officials or public figures were concerned, inasmuch as by their own efforts they had brought themselves into the public eye, had created a need in the public for information about them, and had at the same time attained an ability to counter defamatory falsehoods published about them. Private individuals are not in the same position and need greater protection. ‘We hold that, so long as they do not impose liability without fault, the States may define for themselves the appropriate standard of liability for a publisher or broadcaster of defamatory falsehood injurious to a private individual.’ Thus, some degree of fault must be shown.

“Generally, juries may award substantial damages in tort for presumed injury to reputation merely upon a showing of publication. But this discretion of juries had the potential to inhibit the exercise of freedom of the press, and moreover permitted juries to penalize unpopular opinion through the awarding of damages. Therefore, defamation plaintiffs who do not prove actual malice—that is, knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth—will be limited to compensation for actual provable injuries, such as out-of-pocket loss, impairment of reputation and standing, personal humiliation, and mental anguish and suffering. A plaintiff who proves actual malice will be entitled as well to collect punitive damages. …”

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All opinions herein are the opinions of Gabrielle Lafayette, not professional legal opinions. To procure legal advice upon which to rely in making decisions in these matters, one must obtain legal advice from a lawyer actively licensed to practice in Montana, who possesses defamation law competence.

By providing recitation of some general principle and references to, and excerpts from, United States Supreme Court and Montana Supreme Court decisions concerning the law of defamation as shaped by the Montana and Federal Constitutions and a Cornell scholarly article, we’ve simply steered the reader to authorities likely encountered should further review and research on this topic be performed.