Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Tree and the Mushroom Cult

by Glenn Bullock


The traditional aspects of the Christmas tree of today come mainly from Germanic and Scandinavian origins. Christmas as we've come to know it is like other Christian festivals, a mixture of traditions brought together from a variety of backgrounds to satisfy all under Rome !

Those various traditions each had their own enlightenment rituals which became symbolized; over time we've forgotten the meaning of the symbols, but like most other hidden knowledge it is right under our noses.

In Finland, the Shamans, and one in particular called Hold Nickar, are known to have worn red suits with white spots to pick the sacred Amanita Muscaria or Fly Agaric mushrooms, which are themselves red with white spots. On returning home from picking, on reindeer sleighs, they had their mushrooms in a sack, and re entered their lodges through the smoke hole in the roof ! Hold Nickar and friends ate those mushrooms to enter the Christ Consciousness, that's how he became Saint Nickar, or Saint Nicholas as we now know him !

The reindeer also ate the mushrooms, which is why they are characterized as flying, although this ties in with other older legends of gods flying the skies at night once a year giving gifts to the worthy.

In German and Norse traditions it was normal to hang the dried Amanitas on the Christmas tree for decoration; but there is another relationship between the Amanita and the Christmas tree in that the Amanita's mycelium (roots) can only grow in the root zone of certain trees; just about anything you could call a Christmas tree is suitable although Birch are also good. That is why we have a decorated Pine or some such tree at Christmas. One of the earliest natural decorations used were dried Amanitas !

One other thing about Pines is the pine cone which represents the Pineal gland which is situated centrally in the brain, and looks just like a little pine cone. It is the activation by the Amanita of the pineal gland, that opens the internal inter-dimensional stargate that allows us to travel as consciousness to other very real dimensions, resulting in what could be considered the enlightenment of the Shaman !

You can often see the Pope dressed in white with a red cape to represent the Amanita Muscaria, or sometimes in all white with a little white cap, to represent the Psilocybin or Liberty Cap magic mushroom. A lot of traditions use entheogens ( teacher drugs) to enter an enlightened state, Christianity is based on entheogen use amongst other enlightenment practices. There is an enormous pine cone on a plinth at the Vatican to represent the pineal gland; Roman Catholicism is in part a mushroom cult that hasn't bothered to tell its members !

When in times gone by a man with flying reindeer, and dressed in red suit with white spots (buttons) entered your lodge, through the smoke hole in the roof, to bring a present from his sack, he was bringing the gift of enlightenment by activation of the pineal gland, which is represented by adding pine cones to the tree's decorations to symbolize that gland, which then hang on the tree alongside the dried mushroom that activates it. The Star on top of the tree represents enlightenment itself !

Glenn Bullock, is a 44-year-old Derby, England welder, married, and father of three sons. He has been researching ancient and modern NWO related symbolism full time for the last four years, and is hoping to publish a book some day !

Glenn's YouTube about Occult Symbolism in his home town.

See also "Santa Claus and the Magic Mushroom"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lens Lets People Upgrade Their Eyes to HD

'Patients are having their eyes fitted with an artificial lens that allows them to see in high definition. Surgeons begin the process by implanting the lens into the eye using the standard procedure for cataracts. Then, for the first time in Britain, they can fine-tune the focus of the lens several days later. The technique gives patients vision so sharp that it is even better than 20/20 – the best an adult can usually hope for.'


Monday, November 30, 2009

No Way Through

No Way Through highlights mobility restrictions imposed in the West Bank, that are limiting its habitants access to health care, thus violating a fundamental human right.
Take Action to help people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories get justice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time as a Lens

Speculations on self-referencing non-local awareness
Consciousness is non-local. We can view objects and occurrences remotely, using cameras and other equipment. We can also use consciousness itself to remotely view points from other perspectives.
Heisenberg 'proved' that an act of conscious observation alters that which is observed. We change reality by experiencing it. We also alter the consciousness of beings which we observe.
...We Are the Stuff of Which Dreams Are Made...
Many native peoples have been ascribed the belief that to record their image "steals their soul". It is a commonplace of sympathetic magic belief systems that to view someone's photograph or image provides a current conscious link to them.
At the moment an image which 'will' be viewed or heard in the 'future' is recorded, the consciousness of that future audience impinge upon that moment, directly interfacing/interlacing with the minds of those present. The more viewers of a work, the more conscious perspectives intersect at the moment of its inception. If a recording or creative work is to be successful in its transmission - ie experienced by a wide audience during or subsequent to its creation - then 'the muse' will be with the artist and the work will appear to produce itself, or by an act of inspiration. The consciousness of the audience - and creator - is the muse. The artist is an instrument of the audience. Time is no barrier, but a medium.
The Egyptian Pharaohs refused to have their countenances (or those of their families) accurately portrayed - with the exception of one notable heretic whose name and visage we almost erased from history before being recovered. Islam and other beliefs dislike portraying even the human form.
Each time we 'remember' the past a part of us is present there. We affect that moment and have 'already' done so. A memory - or imprint - to which we repeatedly return has 'fixed' itself in our awareness. It is overlaid with the multiple impressions communing with that moment throughout the 'future'. The focus of these 'future (often more evolved, aware, wiser) selves' alters the original moment of imprinting radically, cross-linking it. We are self-referencing in time.
Major experiences which we survive will be undergone in a field of intense focus of consciousness, which alters the possibilities - and probabilities - within the moment of imprinting.
When you were young(er) you may have experienced a life-altering event that impressed itself into your memory. At the time this was taking place you may have had the impression that you were encompassed by something 'larger' than yourself. Perhaps you experienced a 'guide' or even 'god' or 'higher being' that seemed to be present, guiding or preserving you. This was you in the 'future'; in fact, all the evolving layers of you who ever returned in their memory to relive that peak experience, overlaying all their alternative perceptions upon the moment of momentum.
The impression of peak experience is created not only by the experience itself but also by the focused concentration of consciousness from different timespace vectors.
Consciousness is non-local. Beings are self-created by focused will, self-referencing in timespace. Separation in time or space is an illusion based on evolution and life suspended in the waters of a gravity well. There are no external limits to awareness. 'Memory' is seeing through the fluid.
Consciousness is non-local.
Thou art God(dess).
R. Ayana 11/11/00
Originally published on the now defunct TimeSpace website at Geocities-

The Land of Dolpo

Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's and based on fieldwork carried out in central Nepal in the 1950's and 1960's. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas. It is put up with his permission. Other material will be put up in due course on (under 'Films'); see also

Land of the Gurkhas

Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimdendorf and narrated by David Attenborough. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas and is put up with his permission. Much original material will be put up in due course on (under 'Films').

The Apa Tani

Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's and based on fieldwork carried out in Arunachal Pradesh in 1944-5. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas. It is put up with his permission. Other material will be put up in due course on (under 'Films'); see also
[please note that a section on tribal feuding has been cut out in the middle due to political sensitivities]

Strange Beliefs: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard

The Men Who Hunted Heads

Coming of Age: Margaret Mead

Tribes of the Deccan (Hyderabad, India)

Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's and based on fieldwork carried out in the Deccan between 1940-8. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas. It is put up with his permission. Other material will be put up in due course on (under 'Films'); see also

Rigvedic tribes - Indo-Europeans in India

Part 1

Part 2

The Milky Way Big Picture (Hidden Universe)

Psych Out (IRrelevant Astronomy)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance – The Occult Meaning

'Lady Gaga’s videos and performance are extremely symbolic and filled with hidden messages. Her latest video, named “Bad Romance”, describes the dark and ritualistic inner-workings of the entertainment industry, by symbolically depicting Gaga as a sex slave. This article examines the occult symbols present in the video and its hidden meaning.'


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fire on the Mountain: A Gathering of Shamans

A film by David Cherniack Productions in association with Global Vision Corporation and Mystic Fire Video Fire on the Mountain: A Gathering of Shamans is a documentary about the connection between consciouness and nature, as embodied in the spiritual traditions of Indigenous Peoples, whose ecological metaphors of the sacred are so relevant to the modern world. We shot the project in 1997 at an historic 10-day gathering of shamans from five continents, who travelled to Karma Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre in the Val Saint Hugon in Savoy, in the French Alps, to discuss their concerns with H.H. the Dalai Lama and high-level representatives of the world's religions. This documentary embodies the wish of these Indigenous People - all traditional wisdom-keepers, shamans and medicine-women - who requested us to communicate their message to the world.

Complete Inuit shaman life story 1922

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mass Mind Control

by Alex Ansary
December 29, 2005

from OutsideTheBox Website

  • Why do countless American people go along with the War on Iraq?

  • Why do so many people call for a police state control grid?

A major component to a full understanding of why this kind of governmental and corporate corruption is to discover the modern science of mind control and social engineering. It's baffling to merely glance at the stacks of documentation that this world government isn't being constructed for the greater good of humanity.

Although there are a growing number of people waking up the reality of our growing transparent soft cage, there seems to be just enough citizens who are choosing to remain asleep. Worse yet, there are even those who were at least partially awake at one time but found it necessary to return to the slumber of dreamland.

This is no accident; this is a carefully crafted design. The drive to dumb down the populations of planet earth is a classic art that existed before the United States did. One component to understanding and deciphering the systems of control is to become a student of the magicians of influence and propaganda. In order to defeat our enemies (or dictators), its imperative that we understand how they think and what they believe in.

When people think about mind control, they usually think in terms of the classic "conspiracy theory" that refers to Project MkUltra. This program is a proven example of 'overt mind control.'

The project had grown out of an earlier secret program, known as Bluebird that was officially formed to counter Soviet advances in brainwashing. In reality the CIA had other objectives. An earlier aim was to study methods 'through which control of an individual may be attained'. The emphasis of experimentation was 'narco-hypnosis', the blending of mind altering drugs with carefully hypnotic programming.

A crack CIA team was formed that could travel, at a moments notice, to anywhere in the world. Their task was to test the new interrogation techniques, and ensure that victims would not remember being interrogated and programmed. All manner of narcotics, from marijuana to LSD, heroin and sodium pentathol (the so called 'truth drug') were regularly used.

Despite poor initial results, CIA-sponsored mind control program flourished. On 13 April 1953, the super-secret Project MK-ULTRA was born. Its scope was broader than ever before, and only those in the top echelon of the CIA were privy to it.

Official CIA documents describe MK-ULTRA as an 'umbrella project' with 149 'sub-projects'. Many of these sub-projects dealt with testing illegal drugs for potential field use. Others dealt with electronics. One explored the possibility of activating 'the human organism by remote control'. Throughout, it remained a major goal to brainwash individuals to become couriers and spies without their knowledge.

When it was formed in 1947, the CIA was forbidden to have any domestic police or internal security powers. In short, it was authorized only to operate 'overseas'. From the very start MK-ULTRA staff broke this Congressional stipulation and began testing on unwitting American citizens.

Precisely how extensive illegal testing became will never be known.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stories From The Stone Age

Part 1 - Daily Bread:

Part 2 - Urban Dream:

Part 3 - Waves Of Change:

Visit for free online documentaries!

Homo Futurus

Part 1:

Part 2:

Visit for free online documentaries!


EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby .

Wade Davis: Cultures at the far edge of the world

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The 2009 Video Music Awards: The Occult Mega-Ritual

Sep 25th, 2009 | By Vigilant | Category: Vigilant Reports

From unexpected drama to shocking performances, MTV’s 2009 Video Music Awards managed once again to raise eyebrows and get people talking. What most people however missed is the occult meanings encoded into the VMAs. The TV event was in fact a large scale occult ceremony, complete with an initiation, a prayer and even a blood sacrifice. We’ll look at the symbolism that went on during the show.

Award ceremonies like the VMAs define and crystalize the pop culture of an era. It consecrates the chosen artists and leaves the others dwelling in the shadows of anonymity. As seen above, the whole show was heavily permeated with occult symbolism, primarly focusing on the “initiation” aspect of it. Why is MTV exposing young people (who know nothing about occultism) to such rituals? Is there a subliminal effect on the viewers? Are we educating the new generation to accept these symbols as part of popular culture? There is definitively a second layer of interpretation in many of MTV’s products. To decode those symbols is to understand the inner-workings of the entertainment industry.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Abonmai households in Liangmai have a harrowing time with spooky beings

The Imphal Free Press

Newmai News Network

Imphal, Jul 30: Call it some sort of spooky activities taking place or is it ‘black magic’ or still some mischievous people, but one thing is for real - the Abonmai clan in Khunkhu (Ariang) Liangmai village has been facing immense hardships in the last 9 years.

Khunkhu or Ariang Liangmai village is situated some 20 kilometres north of Imphal where there are some 78 households residing in the village.

According to ex-chairman of the village, Abonmai Aphan and the village church pastor, Maisuangamang, some ‘unseen’ spooky elements have been ‘torturing’ the Abonmai clan in the last nine years in the village.

The two village leaders informed NNN that these ‘unseen’ people usually come and play spoilsport to all the nine households of Abonmai clan by inflicting them with all types of torture.

The villagers, however, could definitely describe the nature of these spooky elements.

The villagers said that at times these ‘unseen hands’ come and inject them with blood using syringes while the Abonmais are asleep. The ‘unseen’ elements will leave behind syringes with blood stain.

At times the eggs in pink colour polythene bags will be found hung at the gates or in the fences and whoever among the Abonmai clan sees first, the person will definitely be in trouble in the form of either experiencing severe stomach ache or eye-pain. These villagers claim that often they will find pins/needles poked in the eyes of those Abonmais who have seen the eggs. The villagers also said that the eggs will immediately turn into just empty shells once the person gets affected.

The torment of Abonmais in the Khunkhu village has been going on since the month of February, 2002.

The pastor and the villager elder also narrated that even the ‘unseen’ elements rob-off wealth such as money even from the locked almirahs and trunks and also from the pockets.

Prior to conducting such activities, the Abonmais find letters written in red-ink informing them that on a particular day these ‘unseen’ spooky elements will act on a particular house-hold.

At times the feasting dishes were also been soiled with dustbin stuff just before the Abonmais sit down happily to relish the food prepared.

On one occasion, two Abonmai girls were loitering in the courtyard when they saw a Rs. 500 note came flying in front of them. Just before these two girls picked up the note, the money turned into a strip of medicine. These two girls sensing the trouble burnt the medicine but in split seconds the medicine again turned back to money.

May it be edible oil or kerosene, the nine households of Abonmai cannot store the oil in any container as they get leaked.

These ‘unseen’ elements came sometime in person but masked themselves with cloths to hide their identities.

The ‘unseen’ elements often demand money from the Abonmais ranging from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000.

Till date, these elements have so far collected some hefty Rs 4 to 5 lakhs in these nine long years.

On one instance, Abonmai Wijuanlungbou secured first division in this year’s matriculation examination and the happy student collected a form to get admitted in Manipur Public School but the admission form had been filled up with all unknown scripts and dirtied.

The villagers also narrated that on many occasions their clothes caught fire.

Another nature of haunting the nine households of Abonmai is ripping and tearing off of the books of school children by these spooky elements.

These ‘unseen’ elements often asked the nine Abonmai households whether they will forgive the former or not.

According to these two villagers they wonder whom to forgive and for what reason.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 6) Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 5)

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 4)

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 3)

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 2)

Indigenous Native American Prophecy (Elders Speak part 1)

21st century traitors

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


by Edward L. Rubin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005. 496pp. Cloth. $45.00 / £29.95. ISBN: 0-691-11808-6.

Reviewed by Brian Z. Tamanaha, St. John’s University School of Law. Email: tamanahb [at]


Imagine that an alien anthropologist from another planet lands in the United States to study our political-legal system (admittedly a stretch, but the point will be apparent in a moment). The anthropologist, Dr. Observer, will see that we constantly invoke the term “democracy” to describe our political system. However, beyond noting that votes are tallied in a variety of circumstances in connection with governmental personnel and actions, Dr. Observer will have great difficulty specifying democracy’s precise characteristics. It cannot be about majority rule, since a President can be elected without a majority of votes cast, and the allocation of representation in the Senate thwarts majority rule. It is not a prerequisite for the enactment of legally binding rules, since the vast bulk of government-issued regulations are not subject to a vote by elected representatives, and a great deal of legislation is the product of backroom deals between a few well-placed individuals. Dr. Observer will also be puzzled by another often-repeated notion – the separation of powers – the idea that the legislative branch makes law, the executive branch executes or enforces law, and the judicial branch interprets and applies law in particular cases. It would seem evident to Dr. Observer that the judicial branch makes a lot of law, both in the context of the common law and in the context of interpreting legislation, regulations, and the Constitution. Moreover, the executive branch generates reams of legally binding orders and regulations, and it also makes judicial determinations (in the administrative context). Dr. Observer would be bewildered about the apparently central notion that people have “rights.” Democracy and the separation of powers are manifested in concrete forms – elections and physically separate institutions, respectively – but “rights” have an ephemeral existence, most commonly invoked to lend weight to an assertion or claim of some kind, for example, in a political discussion or a court case.

Additional examples can be given, but the point should be clear. Whichever way Dr. Observer begins – by locating our core political and legal concepts and ideas, then comparing them with the actual structure and actions of government; or by first looking at the actual structure and actions of our government, then examining the concepts and ideas we use to describe government – there will be a starkly evident mismatch between our concepts and the actual form and functioning of our governmental apparatus.

Edward Rubin’s BEYOND CAMELOT: RETHINKING POLITICS AND LAW FOR THE MODERN STATE explains these mismatches and identifies their [*842] harmful consequences. Rubin’s thesis is that many of our most fundamental political and legal theories and concepts are medieval inheritances which no longer serve our interests. “The contention in this book,” Rubin writes, “is that our continued use of pre-modern concepts for modern government embodies the thought processes of a prior era, its way of conceiving the world, of creating categories, and of determining the relative significance of different issues. As such, these concepts are an impediment to understanding, and control our current thinking in ways that are genuinely counterproductive” (p.7).

Rubin faces a major hurdle in persuading others of his thesis: the perceptions of readers of the book will be shaped by the very same concepts and categories he contends are misleading. To make a plausible case, Rubin must somehow get readers to step outside of, temporarily suspend, or entirely set aside, many of our taken-for-granted political and legal concepts. This is not a simple feat. My invocation of an alien anthropologist, Dr. Observer, was intended to engender this effect by asking the reader to imagine what things would look like from the standpoint of a naïve observer free of our most basic assumptions.

Rubin’s approach consists of two basic moves. He first asks the reader to “bracket” or “hold in abeyance” our existing concepts (p.8). With respect to each political or legal concept he addresses, Rubin attempts to persuade the reader that such bracketing is appropriate and necessary by exposing its pre-modern origins, showing that it took root or acquired its meaning in circumstances significantly different from today. Rubin then articulates and applies an entirely different conceptual scheme – an “alternative imagery” – with which to frame, describe, and understand a particular aspect of the political-legal arena. To supplant the notion of three separate branches of government, for example, Rubin offers the model of a “network;” he suggests that “legal rights” are better understood in terms of “causes of action;” “human rights” are better understood as “moral demands on government;” “property” is better understood in terms of “market allocations,” and so forth.

Although his analysis is presented in an integrated fashion, it can be disaggregated at various levels. One may be convinced that certain concepts he identifies have indeed exhausted their usefulness or carry debilitating limitations, while others still work well for various purposes; one may find certain of his alternative conceptualizations immediately convincing, while others are less so. Rubin is open to a critical reading of this sort, modestly presenting the book as “an extended thought experiment,” and encouraging readers to render their own evaluation.

Rubin posits that “the government’s purpose is to benefit its citizens” (p.14). “We want the government to be effective in achieving its goals, we want it to do so efficiently, which means with the lowest possible expenditure of resources, and we want it to do so fairly, which means that benefits are reasonably distributed, and limits are placed on the sacrifices individuals are required to [*843] undergo”(p.15). Rubin also posits his methodological approach, asserting that “microanalysis” offers the most illuminating way to study the government. “[I]t begins with individuals, identifying their specific actions that are relevant to the subject under study. It describes these actions in terms of the individuals’ actual positions in the institution—their assigned tasks, the scope of their authority, the forces acting upon them, the information that is available to them, and the consequences of their action” (p.18). Rubin proceeds to tackle one basic political or legal concept after another, showing their limitations, and presenting his proposed replacement. In each case, he concretely identifies the ways in which his proposed alternative allows us to perceive the actual functioning of the government more acutely, thereby helping us improve the government’s performance of its purpose.

To describe Rubin’s argument in this summary form, unfortunately, is to betray the design of the book. The only way to know what the book is about is to read it. This requires a commitment, as it consists of 350 pages of dense – though clearly and smoothly written – text, and more than 100 pages of endnotes (for the truly dedicated). But the reward is worth the effort. Rubin’s bracketing analysis effectively dissolves one standard concept after another, to the extent that one may wonder how the standard understanding has remained so resilient in the face of such contrary facts. His alternative conceptual schemes time-and-again create a novel perspective that produces new angles and insights. To offer just one example, Rubin details a number of ways in which the routine notions that the President is the titular head of the administrative branch of government and that the legislature passes laws and delegates tasks to administrative agencies are misleading. Network analysis instead portrays the President as merely a single individual with a small number of selective relationships through which communication occurs, which then wends its way through agencies via other strings of relationships, often losing something or meeting resistance in the process; Congress consists of individuals and their staffs who send various signals – from laws to letters to statements at hearings – to administrative agencies, constituting complex lines of continuous interaction at multiple levels. The network approach generates a number of policy implications that Rubin identifies.

The alternative conceptualizations elaborated by Rubin draw from existing literature in various fields, so his discussions are not entirely unfamiliar, although he incorporates ideas from an array of subjects that few scholars can match, including philosophy, political science, political theory, legal theory, history, organization theory, sociology, economic analysis, administrative law and theory, and much more. For this reason, the book defies categorization. It is at once a work in sociology, political theory, legal theory, government, and administrative law, but it also takes up rights and property and markets, among other subjects, at a high level of sophistication.

This broad scope lends the impression that the ultimate ambition of the book is [*844] to produce a comprehensive framework for understanding modern law-government. But one major omission bears comment. The book contains just a few isolated references to criminal law matters, with no real analysis of the subject. This is not a criticism, as its depth and breadth of coverage are impressive. But it raises interesting questions, which Rubin does not explore. It might be that the traditional conceptual categories of criminal law still work reasonably well, so Rubin’s thesis does not apply to this area. If this is correct, it would be interesting to learn why criminal law concepts escaped the obsolescence suffered by other fundamental legal and political concepts. There is another intriguing possible explanation for this omission. That a fairly exhaustive book on modern government can be written without an extensive discussion of criminal law – which has traditionally been a central focus of legal theory, as indicated by the commonplace characterization of law as the coercive enforcement of social order – suggests that in the contemporary period the emphases and uses of law have shifted away from what was an earlier primary focus. To put the point another way: law itself, through its instrumental capacity, has become internally differentiated, acquiring a chameleon-like quality, which is on display as Rubin analyzes one context after another. Law has become a mechanism for doing things, just about anything, and that it how it is being utilized today.

Upon completing the book, at least for the readers who are persuaded by Rubin’s analysis, the government, democracy, law, rights, property, and more, all will appear in a different light, at a stripped down, context-based, functioning level that focuses on the interactions between individuals and their consequences. Having this dramatic effect – changing someone’s perception about fundamental matters of law and government in so thoroughgoing a manner – is quite an achievement, one that few books accomplish, much less attempt.

As powerful as the book is, however, the task of persuading people to discard and replace centuries-old entrenched conceptual frameworks is perhaps impossible. Immediately after one sets down the book and reengages in the existing discourse, the old concepts and categories inevitably reassert their dominance. Everyone thinks within, uses, and relies upon these concepts; they structure shared perceptions and understandings at such a deep level that they cannot be dislodged absent an unimaginable, wholesale conversion. Rubin understands this, and he does not, in the end, advocate that our familiar old concepts be abandoned. Instead, he urges that anyone whose job requires taking a clear-eyed, detached view of government and law – social scientists, policy analysts, political and legal theorists, and judges – would benefit from utilizing the alternative conceptual approaches he elaborates. Rubin is correct in this claim. Anyone who desires to understand modern government should read BEYOND CAMELOT.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indigenous Peoples’ Global Fight with Big Business

As mining and oil firms race for dwindling resources, indigenous peoples battle to protect their land, and often pay the ultimate price

By John Vidal
Monday, Jun 15, 2009, Page 9

It has been called the world’s second “oil war,” but the only similarity between Iraq and events in the jungles of northern Peru over the last few weeks has been the mismatch of force. On one side have been the police armed with automatic weapons, tear gas, helicopter gunships and armored cars. On the other are several thousand Awajun and Wambis natives, many of them in war paint and armed with bows and arrows and spears.

In some of the worst violence seen in Peru in 20 years, the natives this week warned Latin America what could happen if companies are given free access to the Amazonian forests to exploit an estimated 6 billion barrels of oil and take as much timber they like. After months of peaceful protests, the police were ordered to use force to remove a road bock near Bagua Grande.

In the fights that followed, nine police officers and at least 50 Indians were killed, with hundreds more wounded or arrested. The indigenous rights group Survival International described it as “Peru’s Tiananmen Square.”

“For thousands of years, we’ve run the Amazon forests,” said Servando Puerta, one of the protest leaders. “This is genocide. They’re killing us for defending our lives, our sovereignty, human dignity.”

On Friday, as riot police broke up more demonstrations in Lima and a curfew was imposed on many Peruvian Amazonian towns, Peruvian President Alan Garcia backed down in the face of condemnation of the massacre. He suspended — but only for three months — the laws that would allow the forest to be exploited. No one doubts the clashes will continue.

Peru is just one of many countries now in open conflict with its indigenous people over natural resources. Barely reported in the international press, there have been major protests around mines, oil, logging and mineral exploitation in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. Hydroelectric dams, biofuel plantations as well as coal, copper, gold and bauxite mines are all at the center of major land rights disputes.


A massive military force continued this week to raid communities opposed to oil companies’ presence on the Niger delta. The delta, which provides 90 percent of Nigeria’s foreign earnings, has always been volatile, but guns have flooded in and security has deteriorated. In the last month a military taskforce has been sent in and helicopter gunships have shelled villages suspected of harboring militia.

Thousands of people have fled. Activists from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta have responded by killing 12 soldiers and this week set fire to a Chevron oil facility. On Friday seven more civilians were shot by the military.

The escalation of violence came in the week that Shell agreed to pay £9.7 million (US$15.9 million) to ethnic Ogoni families — whose homeland is in the delta — who had led a peaceful uprising against it and other oil companies in the 1990s, and who had taken the company to court in New York accusing it of complicity in writer Ken Saro-Wiwa’s execution in 1995.

Meanwhile in West Papua, Indonesian forces protecting some of the world’s largest mines have been accused of human rights violations. Hundreds of tribesmen have been killed in the last few years in clashes between the army and people with bows and arrows.

“An aggressive drive is taking place to extract the last remaining resources from indigenous territories,” says Victoria Tauli-Corpus, an indigenous Filipino and chair of the UN permanent forum on indigenous issues. “There is a crisis of human rights. There are more and more arrests, killings and abuses.

“This is happening in Russia, Canada, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nigeria, the Amazon, all over Latin America, Papua New Guinea and Africa. It is global. We are seeing a human rights emergency. A battle is taking place for natural resources everywhere. Much of the world’s natural capital — oil, gas, timber, minerals — lies on or beneath lands occupied by indigenous people,” Tauli-Corpus said.

What until quite recently were isolated incidents of indigenous peoples in conflict with states and corporations are now becoming common as government-backed companies move deeper on to lands long ignored as unproductive or wild. As countries and the World Bank increase spending on major infrastructure projects to counter the economic crisis, the conflicts are expected to grow.

Indigenous groups say large-scale mining is the most damaging. When new laws opened the Philippines up to international mining 10 years ago, companies flooded in and wreaked havoc in indigenous communities, says British Member of Parliament (MP) Clare Short, who is the former UK international development secretary and now chair of the UK-based Working Group on Mining in the Philippines.

Short visited people affected by mining there in 2007.

“I have never seen anything so systematically destructive. The environmental effects are catastrophic as are the effects on people’s livelihoods. They take the tops off mountains, which are holy, they destroy the water sources and make it impossible to farm,” she said.

In a report published earlier this year, the group said: “Mining generates or exacerbates corruption, fuels armed conflicts, increases militarization and human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings.”


The arrival of dams, mining or oil spells cultural death for communities. The Dongria Kondh in Orissa, eastern India, are certain that their way of life will be destroyed when British company Vedanta shortly starts legally to exploit their sacred Nyamgiri mountain for bauxite, the raw material for aluminum. The huge open cast mine will destroy a vast swath of untouched forest and will reduce the mountain to an industrial wasteland. More than 60 villages will be affected.

“If Vedanta mines our mountain, the water will dry up. In the forest there are tigers, bears, monkeys. Where will they go? We have been living here for generations. Why should we leave?” asks Kumbradi, a tribesman. “We live here for Nyamgiri, for its trees and leaves and all that is here.”

Davi Yanomami, a shaman of the Yanomami, one of the largest but most isolated Brazilian indigenous groups, went to London last week to warn MPs that the Amazonian forests were being destroyed and to appeal for help to prevent his tribe from being wiped out.

“History is repeating itself,” he told the MPs. “Twenty years ago many thousand gold miners flooded into Yanomami land and one in five of us died from the diseases and violence they brought. We were in danger of being exterminated then, but people in Europe persuaded the Brazilian government to act and they were removed.

“But now 3,000 more miners and ranchers have come back. More are coming. They are bringing in guns, rafts, machines and destroying and polluting rivers. People are being killed. They are opening up and expanding old airstrips. They are flooding into Yanomami land. We need your help,” he said. “Governments must treat us with respect. This creates great suffering. We kill nothing, we live on the land, we never rob nature. Yet governments always want more. We are warning the world that our people will die.”

Victor Menotti, director of the California-based International Forum on Globalization, said: “This is a paradigm war taking place from the arctic to tropical forests. Wherever you find indigenous peoples you will find resource conflicts. It is a battle between the industrial and indigenous world views.”

There is some hope, Tauli-Corpus said.

“Indigenous peoples are now much more aware of their rights. They are challenging the companies and governments at every point,” he said.

In Ecuador, Chevron may be fined billions of dollars in the next few months if an epic court case goes against them. The company is accused of dumping, in the 1970s and 1980s, more than 72 billion liters of toxic waste and millions of liters of crude oil into waste pits in the forests, leading to more than 1,400 cancer deaths and devastation of indigenous communities. The pits are said to be still there, mixing chemicals with groundwater and killing fish and wildlife.


The Ecuadorian courts have set damages at US$27 billion. Chevron, which inherited the case when it bought Texaco, does not deny the original spills, but says the damage was cleaned up.

Back in the Niger delta, Shell was ordered to pay US$1.5 billion to the Ijaw people in 2006 — though the company has so far escaped paying the fines. After settling with Ogoni families in New York this week, it now faces a second class action suit in New York over alleged human rights abuses and a further case in Holland brought by Niger Delta villagers working with Dutch groups.

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil is being sued by Indonesian indigenous villagers who claim their guards committed human rights violations, and there are dozens of outstanding cases against other companies operating in the Niger Delta.

“Indigenous groups are using the courts more but there is still collusion at the highest levels in court systems to ignore land rights when they conflict with economic opportunities,” says Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington. “Everything is for sale, including the Indians’ rights. Governments often do not recognize land titles of Indians and the big landowners just take the land.”

Indigenous leaders want an immediate cessation to mining on their lands. Last month, a conference on mining and indigenous peoples in Manila called on governments to appoint an ombudsman or an international court system to handle indigenous peoples’ complaints.

“Most indigenous peoples barely have resources to ensure their basic survival, much less to bring their cases to court. Members of the judiciary in many countries are bribed by corporations and are threatened or killed if they rule in favor of indigenous peoples. States have an obligation to provide them with better access to justice and maintain an independent judiciary,” the declaration said.

But as the complaints grow, so does the chance that peaceful protests will grow into intractable conflicts as they have in Nigeria, West Papua and now Peru.

“There is a massive resistance movement growing,” Short said. “But the danger is that as it grows, so does the violence.”