Editor’s Note: The following is my extended interview with Michael Ruppert which took place for about 2 hours in late December via Skype. The text below is almost entirely complete, with just a few omissions for space, and a few additions for clarity. It’s a long one, but interesting. So settle in and read up. In the text I jump right in, dispensing with writing our hellos.
LC: You really impressed me with your comments in the film The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream. It was a little bit more of a wild ride on Collapse, but I’m a big believer in peak oil and I held along through that film as well. And then obviously in Crossing the Rubicon you’re talking about oil-fueled wars. But at the same time, some people are just going to see you as a 9/11 truther. And they’re going to judge you on that basis. And I’m curious as to how you deal with that.
MR: I absolutely divorced myself from the 9/11 truth movement in 2004. I haven’t said a word about it since 2004. 9/11 truth is a circus of disinformation, it’s a circus of people trying to make money to sell things. It has no hope of changing anything, and I’ve been clearly on the record for more than six years as saying it’s a waste of time to talk about 9/11 anymore. You’d have better luck reopening up JFK.
LC: Okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t look into every aspect of the follow up coming out of that so I didn’t actually know that. But I was just curious. about your take on that. But part of what you talked about in Collapse, I believe you talked about this in Collapse, was your life being under some strain because of your willingness to bring to light what other people don’t want to deal with. Do you feel like your life is a little more balanced out now in terms of just being able to do your work and feeling safe, and living in the US and doing your thing?
MR: I’m not poking sticks in the tiger cage anymore.
This is the collapse of human, industrial civilization. It is underway. It cannot be stopped. We are within weeks or months of the next absolutely devastating downslope in the collapse of civilization. Nothing else matters anymore.
Pat Tillman’s mother came to me trying to reach Stan Goff, my military affairs editor—Stan’s a retired master sergeant from special forces—with 2,000 pages of the Army records. And I got them, copied them, and Stan Goff and I—Stan did most of the work—decoded them. And that’s how we brought down nine officers and exposed the cover up. Our series did that.
And it was because of that that my computers were smashed in Oregon, that I had to flee to Venezuela to stay alive. And I was poisoned in Venezuela. Since I’ve come back, I don’t do that anymore.
That was the end of From the Wilderness. I have since reincarnated if you will. I went through my own metamorphosis. The only thing that matters anywhere in the world right now is saving as many lives as possible in the face of collapse. And peak oil is clearly here. I disagree that it’s not in the mainstream. (Editor’s Note: I had said in my hellos that peak oil is not in the mainstream yet and that Transition Voice is trying to help remedy that.)
LC: I think it’s here. I think it’s here, too. But a lot of times, let’s say I’m just in a conversation with someone at a pub or at a party or whatever, and I say, “I have this magazine on peak oil,” and they’re like, “Peak oil? What’s peak oil?” So that’s what I mean by the mainstream. Not that you and I aren’t dealing with it. And a lot of other figures aren’t dealing with it. But that I’m not sure that the general population is dealing with it. Because I don’t think that the leadership is dealing with it in the United States.
MR: Well yes. But it’s clear now, no one in mainstream media or government will any longer say that peak oil isn’t real. The International Energy Agency admitted that it happened in 2006. And we are awash now in official reports of its reality.
So there are a great many people who choose to stay in denial, and those are the ones who will Darwinianly deselect themselves. This is a time when you have to be pretty cut and dried about how you triage the use of one’s own energy with people.
LC: Do you think that because people in the mainstream press will no longer deny it that we’re going to start seeing either more people than Roscoe Bartlett start talking about it in government, or more people in the media start talking about it?
MR: No. The US government, and in the film Collapse…and I gather you saw it…?
LC: I did. In New York City.
MR: Do you remember that moment when I went, “Oh shit, oh fuck, cut, stop, hold it, you know I’m having this…” I was having a major epiphany. There were five separate shoots for the movie and this was the last shoot in June of ‘09, and the epiphany that I had at that moment was that the US government had become absolutely useless. The US government would never, ever be a solution. Anymore than the US government is now with quantitative easing, with bailouts, with this gridlock.
The United States government is incapable of telling the truth. And I guess one of the ways I analogize this is to say that, When the asteroid hit and the dinosaurs were doomed, the dinosaurs couldn’t adapt. All they could do was be dinosaurs. They could react in dinosaur like ways. They had a very limited response repertoire of things that they could do and none of that was applicable or relevant or adaptive to the situation at hand.
The US government has become absolutely useless at best, and at worst it’s an outright enemy at this point.
LC: With that in mind then what do you see playing out between, say people who are looking for their own solutions in a more asymmetrical way—whether it’s the Transition Town movement, whether it’s personal survival, whether it’s working with other kinds of group constructs—and you said just now that the US government might be an outright enemy…Will they be able to hold that power in face of people making their own solutions? Will they become an obstacle as the whole country goes down? Or what?
MR: Well the whole country is going down. It can’t be stopped at this point. Nothing can be stopped. You’re probably aware that I have CollapseNet now…
LC: Right I was just going to ask you. Backing up for a second. When you said you went to Venezuela and you came back and then you went in a new direction…one of my questions is why did you start CollapseNet?
MR: One of the reasons why I started CollapseNet was because I, when the first reviews came out for the movie it was clear that it was going to be an amazing success. And it has been. Yet I have no income from the movie. My income is…any income that I will ever get from the movie is based on a percentage of net profits. The film has been pirated 2,000,000 times. I’ve had no income from the film.
LC: That sucks!
MR: I had to go to work again! That was one reason.
But also, it was clear that the issues…when I first started with peak oil, which was in late 2001…I met Colin Campbell in 2002, I started going to ASPO conferences in Paris, Berlin. I sent people to Lisbon, Edinborough. It was much, much harder then to discuss the canvas on which peak oil was playing.
Now there are so many things that are a given. Economic collapse is a given. Rising fuel prices are a given. Fuel shortages are a given. So it’s easier now.
But of course that means the situation is more dire. And so CollapseNet is not…first of all there is no time for the kind of very, very detailed investigative journalism I used to do. I mean I broke maybe 10, 15 major exposés over the course of eight years at From the Wilderness. And not one of them has ever been challenged and of course, jeeze, if anybody had listened to me about AIG and Citigroup back when I was doing that, you know, but…
Now the issue is very clear: It’s saving as many lives as possible. It’s that thing I talk about on the Titanic. There’s one group of people who absolutely deny the situation. There’s a group of people that are frozen in panic or in denial, deer in the headlights, they can’t, you can’t penetrate (he says, pointing to their brains using his own head) uh, with the message. Then there’s the group of people who want to know how to build lifeboats. That’s all I care about.
Now what’s really clear because we know the movie has been bootlegged 2 million times. And that was easy to do. I just set a Google alert for Chris Smith plus Collapse and every time a new BitTorrent site went up I would get a notice of it. And they were posting, “downloaded 289,000 times”, “downloaded 98,000 times.” One site we found, Chris Smith had one of his crew, and I found it, “downloaded 736,000 times!” There went my thirty cents per, or whatever it was. Ha ha.
But what that tells us is that around the world, there are millions of people who get it. And those are the ones who will be the faster campers. Not the slow campers who get eaten by the bear. And so the issue now is how to energize them. CollapseNet has members in 57 countries…our numbers, our memberships are increasing. But the idea is to connect those people together, and to share information. There’s a great learning curve taking place. We may be close to reaching the hundredth monkey. There’s an awakening that’s happening so fast now. And the idea is to give that as much energy as possible. And that’s what CollapseNet does.
Plus we’ve been so accurate on the world news desk with our analysis of events on a daily breaking basis that we’re really starting to…of the 2, 500 members—I’m not at liberty to mention names but there are major CEOs, political figures, even in one case I am sure a head of state—who come to our world news desk because our analysis is so good.
So that’s the only thing that matters right now is helping people to prepare because…I’m in touch with Chris Martenson, and with Stoneleigh of Automatic Earth, both of whom are enormously respected. They’re very sharp people, they’re both going to be guests on my radio show. We’re all in the same place here. We’re going to go off a cliff here within a couple of months and it’s going to happen so fast nobody’s going to recognize how quickly, the economic collapse and the political collapse. Nobody’s prepared for how abrupt it’s going to be. And how big a fall it’s going to be.
LC: In the range of commentators there’s everything from what you just said to people like John Michael Greer who says it won’t be abrupt, it will be a century long, that we’ll be moving in to sort of a salvage economy, and that that’s the nature of how collapses have gone over the centuries. So I was going to ask, where do you fall on that spectrum, but clearly you fall on the side that says abrupt. So when you say something like that…
MR: It only took two years for the Soviet Union to collapse. The Mayans abandoned their cities overnight.
LC: Okay. So what do you see this looking like then? I mean we wake up one day and…What do you see happening in terms of how that would play out, if there was abrupt economic collapse and abrupt political collapse of the US government which is something that you just don’t hear that many people talking about. What would that mean for an average person, or for a community?
MR: It’s not just governmental collapse.
Let’s take a look at Europe, because I’ve been predicting Europe right for months. I’ve been saying for several years that the Euro is dead. And boy, it’s certainly on life support at the moment. And the European Union will fail.
Europe is preparing for pan-European riots right now. They’ve had massive civil unrest in Greece, in Italy, Rome, and Milan, major demonstrations. And of course we had this wonderful summer in France where they shut everything down.
Prince Charles and Camilla were just attacked in their Rolls Royce for God’s sake.
You have 23,000 people have frozen to death so far this winter in Britain because they didn’t have the money to put into coin operated heaters, radiators.
I’ve been tracking this stuff for years.
Now when Europe has a major revolution it tends to be a pan-European revolution. In 1848 the biggest revolution was all of Europe at once. And so what do we see now? German troops have just been deployed in Paris. Think about that for a second. That was last week. You just had France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, and England form a joint military airspace so that military aircraft in the event of continent wide revolution can just fly between countries.
LC: And what do you think the purpose of that is? To quell the populace?
MR: There’s going to be a massive revolution throughout Europe. People are going to…think Rodney King. The riots we had here in LA.
LC: I hate to think of riots. I don’t want to see people hurt. I’d rather it was a Velvet Revolution rather than a bloody one. I know that these things are happening in Europe. Do you see that as then spawning something in the US when we really haven’t quite had that history except in places like, marginalized populations treated poorly by their police system, etc?
MR: Are you kidding? Here it’s worse.
Here we have Mortgage Gate. Where we have robo-signing foreclosures in rapidly accelerated criminal court systems using fraudulent documents to kick people out of homes, in many cases people out of the wrong homes. Fraudulent documents. The Fed has just now asked for legislation to repeal the right of rescission, which says that if you buy a mortgage and the documents are fraudulent, or inaccurate, you have the right to get out of the mortgage. The Fed wants to remove that right. Now what the Fed wants is, even if you’ve been given fraudulent documents, you have to pay off the mortgage before you can go appeal it.
LC: But what I was asking was, Would we see a revolution in a country like ours where we haven’t really seen a history of mass civil unrest and uprisings? I mean, we have little pockets of instances, such as the Civil Rights movement and things like that, but we don’t have the history of revolution like you have in Europe. We don’t have May 1968. Solidarity. General strikes. Not as much here in America. A little bit. I don’t see Americans as much getting up and taking to the streets. Do you see a different outcome?
MR: I’m obviously a bit older than you are, so… I remember Detroit, Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago. These were cities that were burned down. In 1992 I was here in Los Angeles for Rodney King.
Dump the word revolution. It’s inappropriate because a revolution implies there’s an organized group of people in one army with one ideology staging a revolution against another. No, this is a massive breakdown in social order. It’s not a revolution. Nobody’s got an alternative form of government that people all over the country like North versus South in the Civil War, whatever, are willing to fight over.
This is chaos.
And police departments are being cut all over the country. All the benefits are being cut off. The 99’ers are losing their unemployment benefits. All around the country the government is shown over and over and over again to be absolutely corrupt and inept. The bankers rule this country, and own Washington. And the people have had enough of it.
And we are very susceptible to it here. We may have had a higher boiling point but we’re rapidly becoming much less spoiled. The American way of life is dead.
Let’s compare this to France for a minute, because I visited France a few times. The French have this amazing sense of entitlement. “I’m entitled to this pension. I’m entitled to these benefits. Viva La France.” No human being is entitled to anything. That’s all based on energy and resources. And it was the French sense of entitlement that prompted them to do what they did this summer over raising the retirement age two years. Let alone eating. “Let them eat cake!”
Now we have had a huge sense of entitlement in this country and it’s disappearing and everything we thought we were entitled to is going away faster than we can possibly calculate. There’s no way to value a home legally in this country anymore. The housing market is going to continue to tank. Banks are doing everything they can illegally to foreclose.
LC: Why would they want to do that? What would be the purpose in the end it it’s going to lead to civil unrest to turn so many millions of people out of their homes? What does the bank gain?
MR: The global economic system is infinite growth. Fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, and compound interest. Infinite growth. The world as I have said clearly is chasing now a 1.6 quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble down the drain. Nicole and Chris and I are on the exact same page with this.
The banks have to clear their books. It’s a game of musical chairs. And for the banks, they have to hide the evidence. The more homes they can foreclose on, as people are now suing Bank of America for their fraudulent loan docs, Wells Fargo, we just did an exposé, on Wells Fargo. One of the few ones I decided to do. The banks are destroying the evidence by seizing the property because possession is 9/10ths of the law. Plus by foreclosing the banks inflate their balance sheets with assets that are absolutely worth nothing but their paper assets. So if their assets are inflated their reserve requirements go down—they get to hold less money plus they pocket more money for themselves. They have no care about the welfare of anybody.
LC: But then, what about the civil unrest? I hear what you’re saying, and I’m following it, and it all makes perfect sense. But what about creating then a situation of civil unrest? Rioting certainly doesn’t help the stability of a nation. So how are those two things linked then? If banks are…do they just not care? “Fuck it, let the people riot in the streets, I don’t give a damned.” Is this what banks want?
MR: The banks make money on the way up and the banks make money on the way down. They will make money from the civil unrest. Because they will lend money to the company selling guns, the company selling tanks, the company selling tear gas. That’s the only people who are going to be able to buy anything at that point.
The bankers don’t care They have their castles, their enclaves.
I’ve traveled all over the country since the movie Collapse. I’ve been to maybe 10, 15 locations in seven, eight states. Martha’s Vineyard. You go to Martha’s Vineyard, you have billionaires form Goldman Sachs and Morgan buying 2100 acre estates, walling them in like castles, and hiring the locals like serfs. We are reverting to the Middle Age.
It all goes back to peak oil. And the fact that infinite growth cannot continue on a finite planet. We’re at peak coal. We’re at peak water. We’re at peak food. We’re at peak everything else.
The bankers understand that their only job is to make money. So that’s why for example with credit default swaps, you see when the credit default swaps start spreading on sovereign nations—on Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Belgium now China has just issued bonds and credit default swaps are now being issued on China. That’s the, and China’s failing even as we speak. So the bankers know that that growth model is over. Their job is to extract as much wealth as possible for themselves before it all comes crashing down. Because who of us can identify these people who are senior debt holders? That’s a very important term, or senior bond holders. They’re the one’s who always get their first bite at 100% of their debt before anything is left over. These people are making money. That’s why the wealth disparity around the world, the gap is widening. And that is a recipe for civil unrest.
Now you would ask, and it’s kind of a rhetorical question, about why would the rich people want to start civil unrest? I don’t know, did Marie Antoinette make a conscious decision? Did Louis XIV? Did King George the third? Did Czar Nicholas in Russia? They all saw what was coming and they were powerless to stop it because they don’t know how to act any differently. They don’t care.
LC: So then who do you see being the winner on the other side of this? You’ve got the walled off Richie Rich on one hand, and civil unrest and mad freaking out people on the other hand. Where does that go?
MR: It’s lose-lose. With the exception of the fact that I’m sure that the ruling dinosaurs of the old paradigm absolutely believe that maybe six billion people will die and they’ll be just fine. And they could care less.
LC: The whole earth, essentially?
MR: There are six billion people here who weren’t here before we discovered oil. Ten calories of hydrocarbon energy in all the food we eat and in the industrialized world. You take the energy away you take the food away. This is not rocket science. A great many billions of people are going to have to die. The Hirsch Report was legendary for this.
I met Bob Hirsch several times and he laid it out clearly, even if we had started thirty years ago, there would have been massive dislocation. But if we waited until peak oil hit before we tried to find another regime, energy regime, and of course there isn’t one anyway that would support what fossil fuels have done. What we’re looking at is an absolute global meltdown. And voila it’s in progress.
LC: Alright, so you were saying this is coming soon. As soon as two or three months? Is that when you thought the economic cliff and the resulting collapse of the government would come? I know it’s hard to put a number on these things.
MR: I was documenting the absolute corruption of the US and global economic system before I learned about peak oil. In other words I discovered that Wall Street, the CIA was moving as much drug money as possible to be laundered onto net profits of corporations to boost their price-to-earnings ratio. Because if you launder a million dollars of drug money on a company with a price-to-earnings ratio of 30-to-one, you’ve just created 30 million dollars in stock value. Which the owners of the company would then sell when they had an IPO, or sell insider, take the 30 million dollars out and leave the small investor holding the bag. The whole global economy is corrupt. So I was there three years before I discovered peak oil. Or peak oil was presented to me.
So you cannot put dates on this. I’ve been remarkably accurate.
What I said clearly in the movie was first of all in ’08, and that crash, which I predicted pretty accurately, especially as it related to the housing fraud. Was that first of all all the TARPS and all the bailouts, the 11 trillion in US bailouts that had occurred, were not going to work. Because all of that was printing paper which didn’t print any energy in the paper and the paper is worthless without energy.
But it was clear to me at that point, that at some point after the hit in 2008 if because of nothing else but because of population growth there would be another massive spike in oil demand. Clearly now we see a couple of things. Over the last week it’s been announced very clearly and we cover this on the world news desk and I mean in spades, that in 2011 world oil demand will be 4% higher for the first time since it’s last peak in 2007. In the meantime we have a global 9% decline rate. And we now know that peak oil happened in 2006.
We’re trying to make up for it with tar sands and ethanol, ethanol (he shakes his head) is absolute murder. I’m totally opposed to ethanol. Tar sands cannot be expanded, there’s no replacement. You cannot have economic growth so therefore a massive oil price spike is inevitable and just months away. Period.
And when that happens now, with the Federal Reserve engaged in this comedy called quantitative easing, which is triggering inflation around the world—remember every country in the world has to buy dollars to buy oil. But the dollars are becoming worth less. So that means the European nation or China or India with rupees or any other nation has to buy worth less dollars, not worthless, but dollars that are worth less, spending more of their money to buy oil which is going up in price. It doesn’t make sense. Under any circumstance.
And we see the dollar dump starting all over the world. Russia and China are now trading their currencies against each other. Other countries are moving to purchase oil in, Iran is selling oil denominated in Euros. And I think gold is on the table for that.
So we have the massive currency wars.
And Bernanke is just printing money hand over fist. He wants to try to trigger a little inflation here, but its not what’s happening, because our interest rates are zero. So any form of wealth that’s parked here in US dollars is earning no money. The more you “print” we actually have in one sense a slightly negative interest rate. So all of that money that was parked in dollars is now fleeing because they might be able to make 2% in Brazil. They might be able to make 3% in Thailand. They might be whatever in Malaysia. So what’s happening now is all those countries now are getting flooded with wealth and they’re having the inflation. And so is China, China is just ready to collapse. I mean just, they’re on a knife edge right now.
LC: That’s the first time I’ve heard someone say that. I usually hear that China is the one that’s going to be able to grow because they’re just now bringing all this oil on line to fuel their economy and their growing middle class and et cetera.
MR: Whoa, whoa, China’s bringing oil on line? From where?
LC: Well I mean they’re buying it. Their use of oil is growing in their economy.
MR: Well oil is a fungible! I mean, you know, the world is running out.
There’s a 96% correlation between GDP growth and green house gas emission. That’s the burning of coal and oil. Cause when you burn natural gas there isn’t. But 96% correlation. UN established at global commons. Nobody argues with that. Because nothing will replace 800 million internal combustion powered vehicles.
China is now selling 42,000 cars a day.
LC: Right, that’s what I was meaning when I was saying they were bringing oil on line there. Fueling their economy. Not that they were drilling in China. But that they are now on the growth trajectory. That’s different then. I haven’t heard people talking about China facing a crash.
MR: China is crashing right now. If you were looking at my world news desk you’d be seeing it clearly.
LC: Well I did just get a membership to it. So I will.
MR: We scour the world every day and we bring you 50, 60 stories that really tell the picture. I do the analysis but there are people who have learned how to do the research for me.
Let’s just look at China for a minute. First of all Chinese inflation is so bad that they’ve just had to start raising interest rates. That’s a very bad sign. Second, their housing market is in a glut. And prices of real estate in their hyper inflated bubble–you remember what our bubble was like here when you bought a house for 400,000 on Tuesday and you turned around and sold it for 500,000 dollars a week later. That’s a stupidly inflating bubble. But it’s now out of the reach of most Chinese workers.
China’s having massive coal shortages right now. We put up a story last week saying that China had sent out 4,000 trains all over Asia just to get coal. They’re so short of coal that they can’t generate enough electricity to keep the all of factories making the consumer goods and the automobiles running.
LC: Is this because they’re growing too fast?
MR: There’s not enough coal. We’ve passed peak coal.
LC: It scares me. Because I live in Virginia and I don’t want our mountain tops being chopped off down here, to go the way of West Virginia.
MR: Now, on top of that, the factories, because the mandate is to grow…remember, when you’re in the superheated phase of any bubble, you have to grow faster, and faster, and faster, to keep up with the derivatives and the debt service and everything else.
So all the factories that lose electricity generated by power stations are now running diesel generators. And its a three day long line in some cities in China to get diesel for the diesel generators. It’s insane!
Now Chinese roads are so congested they had a traffic accident, a traffic jam in September that was like 60 miles long.
So I just put this story up yesterday on the World News Desk, or the day before that said that China was now proposing a luxury tax on new car sales because the congestion was too high. But they’re caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they’re not selling 42,000 cars a day—each with seven gallons of oil in every tire—their financial bubble bursts.
I’ve talked to people who were just in Shanghai within months ago. You can’t see across an intersection the pollution is so bad.
The price of vegetables has gone up 20% in one month, in November. The price of vegetables up 20%. That’s inflation.
You’ve had suicides in factories because the working conditions are so bad. You’ve had some labor actions.
China is like walking a razor blade edge right now and they’re going to go down any second. And there is nothing that will save the “global economy” because everything, even any kind of recovery here, in the current paradigm is based upon growth.
LC: Well how fast do you think that towns, localities, individuals, can respond and be resilient in their communities when it all goes down? Even if they don’t have something like a Transition Town apparatus in place?
MR: That depends on a great many things. First of all I am more convinced than ever that individuals are not going to make it. If you do not have a community, and if you do not have people around to support you and share the load you’re going to fail miserably.
And I’ve been walking some of this walk. And I’ve been visiting some of these communities and it’s really fun. It’s really cool to do this. I mean to live and work in a community kitchen. I love it.
But first things first, is you have to deal with the needs of the location where you are. The people in Phoenix and Las Vegas are going to have a whole different set of problems than the people in Oregon, Vermont, or you know, with some arable land and water. So, the geographic location is the boss in terms of where you live, and what kind of environment you live in, in terms of your need.
What I’m really gratified by is, because of the movie and my longevity here—and I have a radio show which is doing very well, we’re getting pretty big numbers there on The Lifeboat Hour—is that there are so many people doing so many things now that this is why Transition US is so helpful is to network and share the information because it accelerates the learning curve. And that’s really important.
And there’s going to be an element of luck to this, too. I think the first and foremost ingredient is attitude. It’s your own mental and even spiritual attitude. And that’s going to be a subject we discuss as we do this, too. God’s on the table now.
LC: It’s interesting, I have so many questions here that we haven’t even touched on because we went into other things, which is perfectly fine with me.
But I do want to ask you, and this wasn’t even a question I had written down, but I thought about it when you mentioned just how corrupt our country is. Which is a philosophical question. So I’m just asking your philosophical opinion here. What could have made a country—now granted, one could criticize the origin of our country being on the back of the deaths of the native peoples, and subjugating women and blacks and that kind of thing, and that’s all true. But in terms of there being these at least so-called Enlightenment principles at play in what the Founding Fathers were doing—unless that’s all illusion, which it may well be—but that’s not what we normally think of. Normally we think we had this great idea, and it’s actually produced some decent things. What would have made it go so wrong? For us to become so wholly corrupt? So in bed with Wall Street? So unwilling to lead at a critical time?
MR: Well I think that this battle has been with us as a nation since we were founded. It goes back to Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
You can take it forward to the guy who was at once the best and the worst president we ever had, Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson shut down the bank of the US but he also set up the policy to massacre all the native peoples. You know, but he got us out of debt and he eliminated the national bank. And banks do run the country. That’s the bottom line. And we have deluded ourselves. And the Ponzi scheme could work only as long as there were resources and cheap energy to feed it. And now the Ponzi scheme stands nakedly exposed for what it is. It’s a crime. It’s bullshit.
LC: Okay let me ask you some of these other questions here. Recently you said Korea, the little skirmish over there, and WikiLeaks are red herrings designed to confuse and distract the people from the economic mess and Mortgage Gate, etc. Tell us a little more about why do you think that?
MR: First of all when the North Korean shelling incident occurred, it was what, three weeks ago now, everyone was on the edge of their seats. Are we going to be going to nukes? Well, it hasn’t happened, has it?
There’s something very significant about Korea and Japan because I’m tracking the financial part of it as well as the political part. China is now buying Japanese government bonds. They’re buying Japan. China will colonize Japan if it can, financially. It would like not to have to fire a shot. However, the US has made it very clear that it will back Japan in its conflict, if you will, with China over the Senkaku, I think they are islands, in the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea. There are some minor deposits of oil there.
But the US has made it clear that it would go down with Japan. And that’s fundamentally from an energy standpoint, stupid. Because as collapse proceeds geography governs everything. Japan is a far reach.
And from a military standpoint, you know I come from a CIA military family. I have never looked at Korea as anything other than a protected left flank of Japan. And that’s the issue with Korea. So when and if the US and China go to war and I think that’s something that’s unfortunately likely. Certainly a very real possibility. It will not be over Korea. It will be over the fate of Japan because Japan is the gateway to the entire Pacific Ocean, and all the trade.
Korea speaks for itself in the weeks since that’s happened. There was all this bluster and we were all on the edge of our seats and nothing happened. Nothing happened.
But clearly the US and China are moving for positions of advantage like Sumo wrestlers, before they start the battle of Japan.
LC: But couldn’t we just as easily say that China was going to colonize the US? Sorry, I have these bad visions of us being China’s bitch. You know there are no jobs, they own our bonds, all of the sudden we’re going to be working for .27 cents an hour in factories putting together little widgets to pay off our debts.
MR: Not a chance. China will fall apart long before that. China might like to suck all the resources out of the US but China doesn’t have, just like we don’t have the energy to go half way around the world to run a military anymore… China, the energy, the physical energy to transport and move goods and services will not exist for the Chinese either.
LC: In some ways, peak oil seems to have some silver linings?
MR: Only if you’re born maybe three generations from now. But possibly for the species.
Now Wkileaks is a completely different thing. I’m good friends with Daniel Ellsberg. And I’ve been around him a long time and I’ve been around a lot of leaks of sensitive documents. In my own career as a journalist I’ve been involved with extremely sensitive documents, from not only the Tillman case but also the Edwin Wilson spy case? From Carlos Lehder, the co-founder of de Medellín cartel. I’ve been around more Green Berets and Navy Seals than I can count. And there’s been nothing devastating released in any of this stuff from WikiLeaks. And I’m very afraid that this is a provocateur action run by the US government to create a furor that will allow them to pass legislation like the Patriot Act that none of us would have accepted without 9/11. That we wouldn’t accept without some big fear caused about Wikileaks.
LC: They couldn’t have dreamed up a better looking sort of villain type right? He looks like he’s straight out of Harry Potter’s nemesis. You know?
MR: I just can’t get excited about WikiLeaks at all except for the fact that I do believe that perhaps the days of the Internet as we know it are numbered.
LC: And how do you think that that would that change things?
MR: Massive. Massive.
There are two issues, the first of which is cyberwar which is a very real issue. We have the Stuxnet. We know that last year China got into Google into gmail. China got into a number of other systems, the Israelis are active at it. And cyberwar is I think a very real issue that could lead to a shooting war in heart beat.
There are other issues with the Internet too because you have major service providers using so much electricity for their data centers that they’re causing brownouts all over the country. And this is supposed to keep growing? No. You can’t grow without energy and electricity is the fundamental power supply of all of industrial civilization. And it’s clear that there’s a lot of information being shared on the Internet now, very credible and good information that a lot more people are listening to that’s weakening the positions of governments around the world. So who knows how long we have with the Internet.
LC: That’s a depressing thought.
So let me ask another question. When I was listening to Nicole Foss talk about deflation at the ASPO conference, and then Jeff Rubin talk about inflation and the inputs of energy, I’ve sort of been starting to feel since then that people aren’t talking as much about peak oil because a lot of the focus has shifted to malfeasance and nefarious banks and things like that. In this conversation with you I feel like I’ve heard you still continue to address peak oil. How much would you say you’re continuing to talk about the peak oil story as opposed to putting it these other realms? Are you trying to balance it out? Or what’s going on with you with that?
MR: Its all one story. Its all one story. And the story is the collapse of human, industrial civilization.
I think there’s some misunderstanding about deflation, hyperinflation and inflation. I had a long conversation with Nicole one-on-one recently, and when she says deflation she’s referring to this 1.6 quadrillion derivatives bubble which is deflating. That doesn’t mean that when the world drops the US dollar as its reserve currency—which is now happening incrementally—that you wont see a huge dollar dump in trillions of dollars come back to the US. In Nicole’s purest language she’s correct saying that’s deflation, but it’s not deflation as we understand it cause we would relate it to Japan with a decade of lowering prices, wages and everything else. Obviously that’s not true with respect to food and energy right now. Both of those prices are going through the roof.
But we’re all seeing the same thing. What we’re seeing is that you have—and Chris Martenson is the same way, he’s going to be a guest on my show too— is that there can be no economic recovery, progress growth, whatever you want to call it, without cheap energy. That’s over. It’s done.
It’s being compounded by, its being made worse by, the economic corruption, which makes it more profitable in the short term to not engage in any solutions that support a transition to a different kind of economic paradigm. It’s more profitable to kill alternative energy. It’s more profitable to put people out of their homes. To waste resources, to sell more cars, because the way the financial system works now is they make more profits and can leverage those profits through their corrupt financial instruments than they can by doing anything to try to create a sustainable life for the people living on this planet.
The financial paradigm right now will kill every one of us, you, me, everybody on the planet, to keep growing. It’s like a drowning man standing on somebody’s shoulders in the deep end of the swimming pool.
LC: What a sad and horrifying story.
When growth can’t happen at that large scale, what are your own thoughts about “growth”, maybe not thought about in quite the same terms, but a reinvigoration of localized economies as we step away from that? What do you see as the prospect for success in those realms?
MR: Relocalization is not now a choice, it’s an imperative. If you want to survive you will relocalize. And if you don’t, you wont.
However a local economy is not just creating a small version of the big economy based on infinite growth. You can’t do that. It has to be a steady state economy. A resource based economy. Which is the fundamental shift in human consciousness that has to take place that I’ve been talking about forever.
We have to understand that we have to have a relationship with this planet first, governed by resource usage. On my website, on CollapseNet I have an essay about God being on the table…
LC: Yeah, I want to talk to you about that. I read it. And I watched the video.
MR: In that video Red Elk said very clearly, it’s just that we’ve forgotten the rules. And we have to go back to those rules. And those rules must be sacred. And let me just take a second on the word sacred. If you look at some kind of horrible atrocity that takes place—the murder of a bunch of children—you might think to yourself, “Is nothing sacred?” In other words, Is there nothing that is inviolate, that’s a rock bottom, fundamental, bedrock belief that you never compromise? That’s what sacred means. And it has to be, for a new human paradigm, it has to be a resource-based economy based on partnership with this earth. And respect for everything that lives here. Not dominion over it.
LC: Well it’s interesting, I wanted to talk to you about the “dominion over it” aspect of the article. I was glad to see that that article was up there. And I am a Christian, and a pretty devoted Christian. And I also think a fairly well read Christian. And yet at the same time, just also, you know, I majored in dance which exposed me to yoga, and T’ai Chi and all kinds of things, and I’m the kind of person, I’m married to a Buddhist. I don’t, I’m not enclavish to just put it as simply as possible. And when I’ve experienced other traditions I like to go as a guest and enjoy those things and not judge them in relation to my own faith tradition. So I’m very open minded in other words.
And yet at the same time I’m a little concerned when I hear the case for the fault with Christianity and/or with other Abrahamic religions is dominion, its use of dominion and then it’s the promulgating of that to its ends. This as opposed to considering that (the case for exploitative dominion) a misinterpretation of the Bible and the sacred texts and scripture has happened and instead putting that role of dominion in Capitalism…and sure, plenty of things have happened in the name of Christianity, and I said this to my husband today…but, if someone was at a Pittsburg Steelers game and was pissed off because they lost, and they went out and they punched some guy in the nose and they said, “I’m doing this in the name of the Steelers!” You know, the Steelers didn’t cause the punched nose. Just as the Inquisition, and the Crusades, and even things within the Christian Church and the Catholic Church have caused certain behaviors in the name of Christianity.
But dominion I see more as the soullessness of Capitalism. That because Capitalism is present in countries and places that are either openly a Christian nation or dominated by more Christians than non-Christians it gets bound up with that dominion association when folks are disgruntled. But it’s not necessarily the fault of Christianity, certainly not the words of Christ. Certainly not the words of the Bible in anything I’ve ever read or interpreted to mean control. Nor in any of the really brilliant theologians I’ve ever read, that case hasn’t been made by them.
So I’m kind of a little concerned about Christianity and Christ becoming the boogeyman and the scapegoat for acts of “dominion” that I would seat more properly with Capitalism.
MR: I would be too, and I think one of the problems is, is the historical identification of Christianity with colonization, with atrocities, Torquemada, the Inquisition, you know etc, etc, etc. And Christianity has been identified there. I don’t see that there is going to be a massive worldwide revolt against Christianity. And I certainly don’t advocate that. I’ve read the Bible four times myself. I started as a Christian. And certainly if you take the literal words of Christ and people lived that way we’d have a vastly different world today.
LC: And I think including one that has something in common with the earth religions and the spiritual perspective of the Native Americans. There is actually an element, a very strong element of non attachment to this world. I think the subtlety of language is such that it’s easily missed and we don’t as readily see what’s in common. And I think that you’re right. I think that historic precedent of people acting in the name of Christianity and as the organized church screws things up. There’s no way to get around that. But unfortunately I think we may be at risk of also, I don’t know, it’s just…it’s not that I have anything to protect or defend or that I’m offended. It’s more that I’m just, like, “Wow, I hope that this, that the true message of Christianity doesn’t get lost in trying to find something to blame, spiritually.” When I think the real culprit is over there—Capitalism. From my perspective.
MR: My position is that I see that the major world dominant religions being abandoned, because they no longer apply. Because they have no relevance to daily life. Because they aren’t addressing or explaining the life experience that people are having.
And when you take Native American religion or Pagan religions, which dominated the world for most of our existence, which are earth based, and I’m assuming that you know that Pagan religions don’t even recognize a devil, as we know it, let alone worship a devil. So that’s a whole separate issue. But they were rooted, and especially with Native American spirituality, the Earth was their living Bible. That’s a big difference. Because as we all know words can be used, manipulated, distorted, changed, abused, and twisted. Whereas, a relationship with a river, a tree, whatever is right there, it’s in your face, it’s a nonverbal if you will, interchange. That’s practical. That’s immensely practical.
I’m going up tomorrow to spend time with my new friend Tom Brown, he’s a legendary tracker, who’s very deep into native spirituality, and we’re talking about this because the issue now for people is survival. Period. And spiritual beliefs, you know, I think basically that whatever God is, human beings are very, very stupid in relation to God. And we have not evolved very far in a spiritual consciousness, and we are clearly at a point of mandatory evolution. You will either evolve or you will change. You will either adopt a new cosmology, a new way of relating to the world around you and your fellow man and the universe and the world that you live on or you will die.
LC: Did you see that dust-up that occurred when Michael Brownlee wrote an article relative to some of the things you’re speaking about now, and then the Transition Culture over in the UK had its analysis of his comments, and then another person came in, Joanne Poyourow, with her comments. There seems to be a common thread here. Was Brownlee riffing off of some of the things you’ve been talking about?
MR: I think it’s a discussion and what’s killing us in the discussion is paradigm think. A paradigm, someone once said to me, is what you think about before you think about something. In other words if you say the word “sacred”, people automatically go to I’m going to be forced to kneel and forced to do a catachism in church.” All of that happens before they ever open their mouth. So there’s a lot of hubris and energy wasted on people’s preconceptions about what’s even being discussed to begin with. I think that’s in the way.
And I don’t just see this as an issue within Transition US. I see this happening all over the place. Because clearly God is on the table. There are no atheists in foxholes. At a time of great loss, suffering, death, one’s mind and heart always turns to something bigger and asks, “Why?”
LC: And for you, for you, it sounds like it’s at least somewhat new to be at least publicly talking about this, or writing about this. About your spirituality? I might be wrong about that. But if it is, what do you think happened for you, or did you have an experience, or could you share something that would let people know about you had come to start to want to bring God into the conversation a bit more. Or whatever word anyone would want to use for God.
MR: I’ve been living an intense path of spiritual study for 30 years. And I don’t choose to go into all of that, that’s my life. But this is not new to me at all.
LC: Well I didn’t mean new to you, new to you, I meant new maybe speaking publicly and starting to write about it and share it with people who follow you on CollapseNet. Or maybe you’re written about it a lot and I just don’t know about it.
MR: Well, no. I’ve alluded to it in some of my writings over the years. But now it’s people are willing to talk about it. Now it’s an issue. I’m not artificially choosing to make it one by writing about it. I’m recognizing a fact that these things are on the table now and they’re going to be increasingly on the table.
And my personal opinion is that unless people preparing for the horrors that are to come incorporate something of a spiritual nature they will not survive. It’s not just about beans and growing food. “Man does not live by bread alone.” Man can not survive on bread alone.
And consumer society, we have been just in the course of two generations, we have been completely, if you will, lobotomized and walled off from those vast regions of human life that were so essential to us before. And if we don’t start to put those back into the mix I think there’s going to be a lot of trouble.
Now I’m probably speaking with only partial information, but when I see Rob Hopkins and the guys in England saying “I don’t want to touch it”, there’s also a desire to avoid controversy. “I don’t want to be attacked if I go here, that’ll make people not come to us if we mention this.” I don’t think we have that luxury anymore. And I’m not critical in any way shape or form of Rob Hopkins or anybody else. The discussion that’s taking place, I repeat, in Transition, is happening all over the place.
I firmly agree with Carolyn Baker that there are some things that have to be sacred, because those are the things, the things that are sacred are the things that bind you and me together. If we both hold something sacred. That’s a glue. It’s an adhesive. Which doesn’t work, because if everything is treated as a matter of expedient, practical, convenience, then nothing has any relevance at all anyway. There’s no bedrock on which you can stand.
So when I hear and when I use the word sacred, I’m not saying religious sacred, as in the Eucharist, or as in some religious ritual like that. I am saying a rock bottom greater than mankind, greater than all of us value that must be shared if there’s to be any common ground.
LC: And what would that value be in your terms?
MR: It would have to be a resource based economy.
LC: And so is there a paradox there? If there’s a resource based economy, and there’s simultaneously a respect and a reverent attitude that says, “I’m using this water from this river,” or “I’m cutting down this tree because it’s giving me shelter,” which is maybe not where we are right now, but maybe just in those kinds of reverent terms, there’s still the use of the tree. There’s still the drawing of the water. How do we get to the place where that rock bottom relationship is maintained in the midst of the usage? If it’s about the economy at the same time? It’s subtle, but there’s something there.
MR: In Northern California they’ve kind of lumped the native peoples as the Pomo peoples but there were actually many tribes and they lived, for them, violence indicated a complete failure of their culture, okay? But the stories I’ve heard that have been handed down are that you had one tribe in one valley and another tribe with a completely different language in another valley. And any time they went into another location, they didn’t do anything until they understood the culture that was there and respected it. Again, everything is going to be determined locally. If globalization is dead for corporations it’s dead for religion, too. It is. It’s hard to imagine anything standing in deeper disgrace than the Catholic Church right now.
LC: Is this the kind of thing when you talk about perhaps the blessing is for the person who is three generations hence? That they could possibly inherit this…it gives new meaning to “The meek shall inherit the Earth.”
How do we get to that place? There’s as you said, the lobotomized culture, the degraded everything, distractions out the wazoo, lies fed to us daily. I’m actually kind of curious on another topic how you trust all the information that comes to you given how much disinformation is out there? But that’s another topic and I’m sure you only have so much time to talk to me. But how do we get to this place? Do you think it’s just openness? That it’s just saying, “Hey, let’s talk about what we have in common. Let’s have a dialog about our relationship to this world. Let’s be more open about it.” Or more organically than that?
MR: When this is over, when this transition, when this collapse of human industrial civilization is over, there will not be conservatives or liberals. There will not be Socialists, Capitalists, Communists. There will not be Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Lutherans, Taoists, Hindus, Muslims. There will only be survivors. And it will be for the survivors to find what they have in common to form their own set of spiritual beliefs based upon the world that they live in at that moment.
LC: So it’s hard to say what that will be but you have high hopes that it will be something that has more consideration for these baseline values?
MR: I wouldn’t say that I have high hopes for anything at this point. I’m optimistic because I see and I’m experiencing, because of my visibility, that more people are waking up to the real issues and starting to address them. I’m joyous over that. Because I’ve been at this so long. I was out there when no one would listen. So I’m overjoyed now with being deluged with people who get it. I mean I get 10, 15 new Facebook friend requests a day, I’ve got thousands of Facebook friends around the world.
I get deluged every day with people who get it, “I’ve seen your movie. I’m doing this…” And I’m thinking phew, that’s what gives me joy right now.
We could all easily nuke ourselves and destroy all life on the planet. There’s no guarantee against that. A massive biological warfare campaign could be unleashed. We’re undergoing a mass extinction event right now, what is it, a thousand species a year are dying? This is one of the biggest mass extinctions in world history. So I don’t know if anything will survive except that I do know that life will continue. My crystal ball doesn’t go any further than that.
LC: Well by high hopes I meant that your greatest hope for the greatest outcome would be a good outcome as opposed to wanting a bad outcome. And it sounds to me like you do in fact want a good outcome but you just don’t know if that’s how it will play out ultimately.
MR: Well yeah. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie The Road, with Viggo Mortenson? Okay? That’s the world I’m trying to prevent. If I can prevent that world, and there are some children born at some day in the future who have a chance of a life, and maybe some resources and some skill and some knowledge some education, I want them to have as much of a shot as possible so that they don’t re-create this monstrosity of the infinite growth paradigm that’s killing us now.
LC: Well let me ask you a couple more questions and then I’m going to let you go because you’ve given me so much of your time. First of all I’m curious, and obviously when I’m going to ask you this question it might seem a little bit stupid because you’ve already mentioned some, but I’m going to ask you your thoughts on trends and things to look for in 2011. But it sounds to me like you think, do you think that this collapse is going to be a widely understood thing that has happened in 2011? Or if not, what do you think are the trends to look for in 2011.
MR: 2011 I can almost guarantee several things. One is insolvency of the Federal Reserve and possibly a dissolution bankruptcy of the Federal Reserve. Its a given to me at this point. And what this means is that the people who own the Federal Reserve will go bankrupt, take all their money and leave us holding the bag. I do support Ron Paul in his efforts to audit the Fed. I’ve been very appreciative of his economic integrity for so long.
You will see the bankruptcy of most of the cities and states in this country. And what will happen, is there’s a law being moved. It’s now not legal for states to go bankrupt. States cannot go bankrupt. Cities and counties can. And the Republican House under John Boehner is going to do everything it can to make cities and states go bankrupt.
There’s legislation that’s been proposed by Republicans that will allow states to go bankrupt. And what happens when a city or state goes bankrupt is they take all the pension funds and the medical plans. They break the unions. That has to happen. I’m not a union hater. I’m saying there’s not enough resources to give the unions what they negotiated for. Okay, so you will see bankruptcies of cities and states.
Unbelievably drastic cutbacks in services, law enforcement—which is happening all over the country right now anyway.
You will see a dumping of the US dollar. Massive prices. Increases in food prices to the point where people will not be able to afford to eat unless they’re growing their own food. That’s why I keep coming back to that.
You will see a continuing weakening of the US military position around the world.
And you will see massive civil unrest in the United States in 2011. And you’ll see it all over the world. Right now in Europe it’s so bad, and especially with the cutbacks in Britain. I mean I read a story today that said somebody actually jabbed Camilla in the ribs with a stick. Is nothing sacred? I keep coming back to that again. Europe will explode. Now Britain is having what may be the coldest winter in recorded history. Everybody thought last year was bad. It’s not even winter yet and you’ve got 23,000 people frozen to death. Revolutions most people think start in the summer. Revolutions start when they have to. And Europe is nearing a complete breaking point. The Irish parliament has not agreed to the IMF EU Federal Reserve bailout yet. I’m hoping (he dons a brogue) the Irish will just tell the EU go like this (he flips the bird) and say take your bailout and stick it up your bum. And screw the senior bondholders.
You’re going to see a lot of this coming in ‘11.
You’ll see a complete or near complete collapse of the US economy in 2011. And that’s because the Federal Reserve is not doing anything but printing more money and increasing debt and pretty soon people are going to stop buying it. We don’t make anything here anymore. If the dollar is dumped, we’re like Rome laid open for the spoils. People can just come in and take what they want.
And I don’t see anything resembling what we understand as civilization today or even our country. I think the United States is ultimately doomed as a nation. We aren’t a nation. I agree completely with Dmitri Orlov. I was the first person to publish Dmitri in the whole world, in ’03, we published him at From the Wilderness. And we’re not a nation. We’re a bunch of regions. And we’re held together by this government now which has a national debt so big that in a couple of years the whole GDP is just going to go to pay the interest. So you can’t hold this together.
So if there’s another disaster, God forbid, on the order of Deepwater Horizon—and the government has completely lied about that. The whole Gulf of Mexico is dead in perpetuity. My friend Matt Simmons was very clear on it, God rest his soul. I miss him dearly he was a wonderful guy. God forbid there’s another disaster like Katrina or Deepwater, you will no longer see the Pacific Northwest or California or New England even willing to lift a finger to help because they don’t have the resources to take care of their own people where they live. Things break down, not up. Life expectancy, two to three years perhaps, in some form, and it may happen in stages. But I don’t even see that California, my state, could remain one whole state. Every empire that has broken down—the law of entropy is like supreme here, things break down, not up. And chaos is the state of low entropy. Rubble is the most stable thing in the world. So that’s where we’re going.
LC: You cover all of these different topics on your website. And you have this team covering it. And you’ve been doing this investigative reporting for all these years, and kind of going where angels fear to tread. What makes you tick? How do you cover such a wide range of information? I mean are you just singularly focused? What’s the story behind Michael Ruppert?
MR: I kind of wonder why it is that I attract, I’ve attracted a lot of great people into my life, but a lot of them have been warrior types. Special forces, some Green Berets have adopted me, some former high level CIA people because I fought the good fight and I fought with honor my whole life. And it really originates with me—and I don’t take credit for this for anything—it’s just honor was a very big thing in my family. My father was a war hero, decorated military officer. His father. They were all from German ancestry. My grandfather fought in World War One against the Germans even though his father had left Germany. My dad dropped bombs on Germany in World War Two. It had to do with honor.
And when this started, I was just a cop with LAPD. Not just, obviously I was promoting rapidly and I was looking forward to a bright career but this thing came up about CIA dealing drugs from my fiance, a woman I loved more than anything else in the world. And what I’d realized was that I couldn’t compromise something inside myself because if I did, whatever else followed in life wouldn’t have any meaning.
So I got into this not because I was trying to be noble or good. I just I was trying to save my life. I was trying to figure out how the world worked because I couldn’t feel safe. I lost a career that I had devoted my life up to that point being ready for, that I believed in. I lost a woman I loved more than anything else in the world, all that was taken. So what does one believe in. Is there nothing sacred? It’s been a quest for the sacred, if you will.
It’s been for the one irreducible thing. And I think personal honor and a steadfast…I don’t know. I would say it’s in my genes. It’s not a conscious choice. Nobody chooses to do what I’ve done. It’s too painful. I didn’t choose this life. And certainly I’ve kind of evolved through my life kind of like the Three Stooges. A lot of it’s just been accident, luck and getting through it.
But at some point you get a vision. Not like God visits you and you can see whatever. But I mean you see something with utter clarity. And what you understand is that there is nothing more important than being able to understand something separate and uninfluenced by your own ego. Kind of like the Tao of Physics you know where the act of observing something actually changes what happens. But it’s being able to stand outside yourself and to see something in a ruthlessly honest way, and to choose to take a stand either on the right side or the wrong side, no matter the cost. But I’m that, this little snowball that starts here, then after a while it gets momentum because it’s building up. But that’s where my life has evolved because I acquired knowledge and experience that enabled me to explain things. And that resonated with some people.
I mean you go back it was CIA and drugs, and until I had my confrontation with John Deutsch in ‘96, November 15th of ’96, that’s all my life was, was trying to expose CIA dealing drugs. But what I found of course was that’s like pulling a string out of a can. Or one worm out of a can. And then you get the whole ball of worms.
I love good writing and a long, long time ago I had a correspondence with Isaac Asimov, who wrote the Foundation’s Edge, you know? And of course what’s the whole big deal with the Foundations Edge was that as soon as you go deeper you find that there’s a whole ‘nother layer underneath, and there’s another universe, and there’s another, and Voila here I am.
(Editor’s note: Michael then shared some off-the-record personal spiritual perspectives.)
And I do believe there is an element of fate and destiny in my life, and that this was the point where I was supposed to be at where I could reach the people that I reach with the message that I reach (sic) now. And now I’m going to be 60 years old in February so I’m looking on the downslope and I just say, “okay all I want is to do is stay true to this course to the end.”
LC: Sounds good, sounds good. Do you have anything else that you’d want to say to our readers, for me into add into this interview?
MR: Go to CollapseNet, please. Cause it really is useful and what we do on the world news desk is just indispensable. I’m not at liberty to name the names of the people who come there but some very influential people come there.
And really, now, I just want to be a functioning part of what is now an evolving movement. I’m not the whole. None of us are. Everybody’s got pieces. I’m going to have a zeitgeist guy on my radio show cause they got a film coming out in 16 languages and 60 countries in January. And I’m in the film. So the idea is all I want to do is continue to be a part of this evolution of human consciousness.
LC: Sounds good. Let me tell you a couple of things. I would love it if you would like us on Facebook if you would. We’re on Facebook as Transition Voice and we’d love it if you’d like us because we’re also trying to build up our audience.
MR: That’s done.
LC: Then, I have no idea if either one of these things would interest you or not, and you may already be exposed to both of them. So forgive me if you are. But, I’ve thought of you with these things as I’ve interviewed you. If you’ve never seen the ‘90s television series Northern Exposure, I think it’s something that would really appeal to you. It deals with the spirit. It deals with native American populations. Sort of a man’s journey to discover himself a little bit more. It’s available on Netflix. But it’s really kind of counter cultural.
MR: I used to watch it. It had the moose walking across in the opening credits.
LC: If you haven’t seen it in a long time, I tell you, it’s really worth it to see it again. It’s really some deep TV that was made with that series. It’s stood the test of time.
And then the other thing that I think could potentially interest you is, do you know who Rudolf Steiner is?
MR: I know the name.
MR: Oh sure, got it, yeah.
LC: But in addition to that, he, people would call him a Christian mystic. But putting that aside just for a second, he wrote a lot about materialism. Sort of how society had to become much, much, more materialistic, materialistic, materialistic, because it was going to…because it had to happen. It was like you talked about about fate. It was already on that path. It had desacralized. He was a very, very spiritual person himself, but he said this was the trajectory of industrial civilization until it reached a point in which that materialism in a sense collapsed and the sacred if you will would be allowed to be born again, under all these layers. And it’s riddled with sort of, mystical language at times, I can’t even recommend a specific book off the top of my head (now I can). I think he had a few that were on materialism. But if it happens to come across your…you know, how things sort of flow in and out of life, and it happens to be this one that’s on materialism, I think it’s one that would interest you in terms of…it’s looking very, very deeply at the flaws in our society but at the same time it recognized that it had to go through those in order to give birth to the next thing.
MR: Well, I’ve found that mystics of all faiths—Christians, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, the Sufis, Taoists—all mystics see things exactly the same way. Once you reach a mystical level of consciousness, you’re not debating things anymore. It’s like there are many paths up the mountain but the view from the top is still the same. And so I have absolutely no problem with that.
But what you triggered there, it’s very clear in Alcoholics Anonymous they say that you have to hit a bottom before you can recover. And clearly what you were describing was human industrial civilization has to hit a bottom. Now the truth for alcoholics or drug addicts is the same: is that some of them die and some of them live through it. That’s the question being debated right now. This bottom is here. The question is, What do we allow to survive so we recover and achieve this new level of consciousness?
LC: Well I thank you so much for your time today. This has been so interesting.
MR: Okay. That was pretty thorough.
LC: It was, thanks so much. I appreciate your time!