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STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Thirteen Years Ago My Life Changed Forever
By Simon Black - February 18, 2016

February 5, 2016
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Thirteen years ago my life changed forever.

Colin Powell, then US Secretary of State and the most credible person in George W. Bush's cabinet, made the case for war in Iraq on February 5, 2003.

As a young military intelligence officer at the time, watching from a makeshift Army base in Kuwait not far from the Iraq border.

Back then I was a true believer, trusting that the government was a force for good "making the world safe for democracy. . ."

But that night it all changed.

Powell told the world unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, an assertion that history has proven categorically wrong.

But within the intelligence community, many people knew the appalling truth immediately.

That night it became clear to me that the government was lying and that the whole case for war was being fabricated.

It was crushing, like finding out everything I'd been told throughout my life was total bullshit.

So for the first time, I broke out of the spell and began questioning. Everything.

I started learning about the extraordinary political power of the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about.

That led me to the fraud of many previous wars going as far as the Mexican War in 1845, one deeply criticized by Abraham Lincoln himself.

That led me to the Constitution, to which all military officers swear an oath to support and defend…

… and it surely didn't seem like supporting or defending the Constitution in waging an ill-conceived, illegal war.

Needless to say I couldn't talk to my professional colleagues. Everyone was so gung-ho, I felt like an outcast.

When I returned home, things didn't improve.

While I was away the country had noticeably turned into a police state.

Yet people seemed oblivious to the change, drinking in the propaganda like a spiked punch bowl.

All the loud, bombastic nonsense and pledges of allegiance were merely illusions masking modern day serfdom.

It was the summer of 2004. I remember hearing on TV that the Libertarian Party's national convention was starting in Atlanta.

I immediately hopped in the car hoping to find some sympathetic minds.

And at the convention I did meet some wonderful, freedom-minded people.

But the event was an unproductive circus, something like a cross between a high school pep rally and a Star Trek convention.

People in costume ran up and down the aisles chanting for their favorite candidate and getting into impromptu debates about the Constitution and Ayn Rand.

As nice and intelligent as everyone was, it felt like a giant freedom pity party.

I didn't just want to complain. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to do something about it. And solutions were sorely lacking.

So I started educating myself more.

I dove into the federal balance sheet. I learned about the petrodollar and the debt.

That led me to the complete scam of central banking, fiat currency, and the fractional reserve system.

I realized that the political and banking elite have given us more war, instability, and epic financial crises.

They've turned Western civilization into a giant police state. And they've managed to brainwash the great masses so effectively that the people are crying out for more.

And after this emotional, gut-wrenching awakening, I spent years traveling to more than 100 countries looking for freedom and opportunity.

Eventually I learned that education, prudent planning, and global thinking can rebuild much of our stolen liberty.

Yes, things are crazy.

Freedom is in decline. Governments are bankrupt. Central banks are borderline insolvent.

The financial system is in a precarious condition barely held together by a patchwork of negative interest rates, currency manipulation, and misguided confidence.

We award our most esteemed prizes for intellectual achievement to phony scientists who tell us to spend our way into prosperity and borrow our way out of debt.

We give absolute power to control the money supply (and hence manipulate the price of nearly everything) to unelected bureaucrats who have a track record of failure.

Yet we call ourselves 'free.'

It's complete madness. And it gets crazier with each passing month.

But history shows that in any episode of great turmoil, there are always winners and losers.

I learned that by taking some basic, sensible steps, it's possible to drastically eliminate my exposure to the risks and avoid being a loser.

So no matter what happens or how crazy things get, I know I'll be OK.

For years I've called this my "Plan B."

I know I won't be worse off for being able to grow my own organic food, holding some savings in a well-capitalized bank outside of my home government's jurisdiction, or keeping some physical gold and cash.

Having another passport gives me more freedom to live, work, and travel.

Legally reducing my tax burden helps me vote my conscience with my dollars and put my money where my mouth is.

I've learned that all of these steps make sense no matter what happens. Or doesn't happen.

But should the negative trend in freedom and global finance get worse, I know I'll be OK.

This confidence has allowed me to focus on all the incredible opportunities I've seen.

Institutions that have existed for centuries are now being disrupted by digital technology.

Banking as we know it, for example, is finished thanks to digital technology.

The digital age is even changing the way we organize ourselves as a society.

Geography no longer matters, and nearly everything is global.

A billion people are rising into the middle class in Asia and Africa. Countries are emerging from war and isolation. Wealth and power are shifting.

These extraordinary changes bring extraordinary opportunity.

So as crazy as things are, I think this is an incredibly exciting time to be alive.

I'm grateful to be active in a time that future scholars will likely regard as one of the most tumultuous and revolutionary in history.

And I'm grateful for having started the philosophical journey that began thirteen years ago today.

PS: In the coming weeks I'll be holding a free webcast to explain more about my own Plan B strategy with a lot of actionable insight into how you can create your own.

Right now the webcast is free to join, and you can sign up to listen in here.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • autonomous

    All I have to do is dream

    Dream, dream, dream

    Dream, dream, dream, dream

    Dream, dream, dream, dream

    Dream

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      Simon Black does a lot more than dream.

      • autonomous

        He sells dreams.

        • WoodsWoman

          No one can sell you dreams. They can only share their dreams that might influence yours. Even if he could, it would probably be worth the purchase price for most Americans today, especially as compared to most other things “we” generally spend money on … cable TV, beer, gambling, mindless distractions. Right now, things look bleak, dark, hopeless and almost no one I know is doing anything actually constructive. Without a dream, we have nothing. We work toward nothing. We have no hope, so we have no motivation to work toward anything. Human action takes, well, action, and that takes motivation, which develops into momentum, which results in actions accomplished. Personally, it’s motivating to me to hear what brought others to the point of realization and then what they did in response, because even if it’s not what I would do it perpatuates that conversation with myself, which I need to be having.

          • autonomous

            All sales are based on dreams. Beer is sold as dreams of glamour; mindless distraction/? what are they but dreams. All advertising is based on dreams.
            “To feel and know aspects of the self that our persona in the world was designed to lid over, blot out or keep hidden.” The dream of discovering hidden knowledge is the bait that all hucksters dangle.

          • Bruce C.

            “The dream of discovering hidden knowledge is the bait that all hucksters dangle.”

            Wow. That is a terrible message, as such. Are you sure you mean that? Please explain.

          • autonomous

            All hucksters use the idei of hidden knowledge; not all hidden knowledge is huckster bait.

          • Praetor

            Hey, what wrong with beer. I’ve been brewing for 24 yr. You be right though, dreaming is not just for kids!!!

          • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

            Hi, WoodsWoman,

            And Wow, that was some reality shared freely and received as perceived and conceived. Is Intelligence Community Input of more than one’s own reality shared to immaculately output, Heavenly Nirvana ‽ .

            Methinks it easily is IS …… and current running meme presentation impugning Senior SCADA Operating Systems here with AIDaily Bell Ringers.

            Is here AIVirtual Flight Deck on a COSMIC Top Secret Mission made Impossible to Deny and/or Ignore?

            Of course it is.

            [Any word for actioning, DB, on current premoderation? It being removed would certainly be energising. Thanks]

        • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

          Talking of more than just dreams as we are …….

          amanfromMars 1 Sat 6 Feb 09:21 [1602060921] …. sharing a secret on http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/02/05/linkedin_10bn_down/

          A ZeroDay Dreamer’s Worst Nightmare and Best Friend?

          LinkedIn …. a Spying Tool delivering Persons of Interest to Collapsing Systems and Future Challenged Executive Administrations?

          And is not such a massive instant loss not indicative of an Applied Vapourware Product?

  • http://willingness-to-listen.blogspot.co.uk/ binra

    I wrote a bit today that related to the breakdown of personal ‘reality’ and a ‘journey of re-integration’ that I feel is increasing reflected in collective ‘reality’ – though of course there is always the default of digging deeper into the bunker – while our surface life persists as if it were in fact as our thinking holds true.
    http://willingness-to-listen.blogspot.com/2016/02/migration-as-weapon-of-war.html
    This breaking and the willingness to be found in something true is the key, but we each have to turn it to open to the perspective and opportunities that arise naturally within it. Maybe we prevaricate because we have so much investment in the old paradigm – but continuing to invest one’s treasure in that which robs our peace is pouring good onto bad where nothing good will come of it except exactly that realisation.
    This peace is not a personal state of any outer conditionality – but the core quality of self-honesty.
    In a world of bullshit, that truth has to come home. There is no self-righteous place above everyone else that has the right to hate without seeding that and feeding that to the world one participates in – which I hold to be much more interconnected and interrelated than the focus in a local physical entity. The way it all works is not the way the elitism asserts – and I point that to the self-specialness in each and all of us. It is a distortion lens.
    The world will break our heart. Over and over until we find where our treasure truly is – and there is the heart that is a living responsibility of within this moment at hand. There is no way to bring anyone else to any part of waking up – though there is a midwifery or companioning of support that strengthens by sharing purpose.
    If waking up was something we could just do or teach or learn, we would have done it long ago. My sense is we wont. Like an addict – in a loop that has to feel and use the window of opportunity and hold that commitment.

    The balancing and holding guiding context for rude or traumatic ‘awakening/breakdown’ is joy – by whatever name – because we all have different facets of the recognition of truly felt existence – free of mind-stuff. Not that the mind has no function or value – but that it serves within a balance of the whole OR it operates a sort of rigid conceptual identity that attempt to coerce and conform life to its dictate. This is not free willing for the true will is truly felt. Fake emotionality is drawn in mimicry and asserted with undertones of rage or appeal for sympathetic validation or at least the avoidance of rage. We never know just how much we wanted something to be true for us until we ‘lose it’. But there – right there – is the opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain. To feel and know aspects of the self that our persona in the world was designed to lid over, blot out or keep hidden.

    Fear is not a true basis from which to live – but while it is operating – above or below decks – it is wise and honest to own it and then to bring it to curiosity in whatever way we can. Yes one can be subsumed in a righteous sense of vengeance – and then perhaps one might glimpse a reflection in the psychopath – for a self in rage given power.

    Everything has to be re-evaluated when the foundation itself is in error. But not within the context of the old paradigm – that’s how nothing really changes despite all the appearances of change.

    • Bruce C.

      “Everything has to be re-evaluated when the foundation itself is in
      error. But not within the context of the old paradigm – that’s how
      nothing really changes despite all the appearances of change.”

      I like that. That’s why there is that cynical saying, “The more things change the more they stay the same.”

      P.S. I also liked your closing statement in the piece you linked to: “If you have your answer but forgot the question, you will not recognize your fulfillment.”

      • http://willingness-to-listen.blogspot.co.uk/ binra

        Thanks for sharing. I feel that what is truly desired wants to come forth and be embodied or shared but that we are generally configured to get in our own way. And so I open to the idea of being reconfigured by risking into the practice of letting the music or movement through rather than setting up controls in advance that effectively abort or distort the communication. Communication that has not been stripped of felt presence and used as weapon or shield against it…
        The idea of a static within or above or outside change is simply a posited idea within change – but determination to focus in that can rage against the Universe because it does not flow with or unfold to know.
        The unchanging as far as I can feel it is:
        Is Is.
        All is in One as One is in All.
        As you give so you receive.
        Everything changes except the above three unchangeables.

        So our innate responsibility and freedom as an expression of consciousness is what we choose/accept to focus in. Because every act has consequences – such as zooming in on detail neglects the wider view. Persisting in – or identifying in such investment of energy and attention – generates a self sustaining loop – like an eddy in a stream.
        The mind of not knowing – beginner’s mind – is a release of such framing such that the movement of being – which is really a shifting and unfolding of focus within being – knows itself in act. (too many words for one thing there).

        • Marten

          I like it….”Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak…..
          Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”

          • http://willingness-to-listen.blogspot.co.uk/ binra

            Indeed; or to put that the other way around – misidentified self operates as denial of the recognition of communication.

            Amidst the distortions and confusions of the self-concept, a stirring of true recognition provides the courage to extend and open to true presence, in place of asserting presentations or masks over whatever is true here.

  • http://rantingsofatrimetbusdriver.blogspot.com/ AL M

    Brilliant!

  • Samarami

    My epiphany occurred well over a half century ago, but almost exactly mirrored Mr. Black’s. It began to bear fruit in 1964, last time I voted in a US political election.

    Drafted in early 50’s, a pilot in Korea, trying to parent a burgeoning family in the US; I saw it as essential that Barry Goldwater be elected grand wizard of the klan. I worked my heart out to make that happen. In the aftermath of which I met Karl Hess and Harry Browne — around a year or two apart. Those guys pulled my head out of my proverbial arse and sent me down the trail to anarchy.

    Having grown sizably past the whininess of “getting-‘our’-country-back”, I’ve become sovereign. Sovereign in my head — the only place on the face of the earth one can be sovereign.

    If my head ain’t free, I ain’t free. If my head is free, I’m free. No amount of war, economic collapse, “affordable care” acts, incarcerations or other endless psychopathic machinations can make me “unfree“.

    I suppose I’d like to move to Chile or Argentina or Costa Rica if I had the means and my family could accompany me. That would be a big order: 26th grandchild and 6th great grandchild on the way.

    But I do not have to run to be free. Wherever I run there will be psychopaths. And they will be hiding under that grotesque abstraction called “the state”. From this vantage point they might seem unobtrusive and tame compared to the group headquartered out in the District of Collectivism…er, Columbia.

    All states are carcinogens, however. They will always metastasize and consume their “citizen” hosts. What we’re seeing here is nothing new.

    Abstain from beans.

    Sam

    • Praetor

      Excellent Sam, each to his own. I never had an epiphany. I’ve always been at odds with the dragon. I had a Major tell me once, ‘I had a defective attitude’ the reason for the admonishment, I didn’t wish to re-enlist. Go figure!!!

      • Paul_Morphy

        Dangling participle.

        • dauden

          I just love English majors!

  • Praetor

    If you have seceded you’re self from the system, you’re free. If you haven’t you’re not free. It just takes some guts and leave fear behind. That comfort zone they have most people in will disappear, and when that zone of comfort is gone, it will be to late!!!

  • Bruce C.

    I just hope I get to witness “the most tumultuous and revolutionary times in history.” Things have muddled along all my life. I deserve to see the denouement.

  • Agent Revolver

    Interesting times we live in… and, in a Viceverse, aren’t it interesting times that live in us?
    Times when one of us, and maybe one of us reading this, or maybe a collective/Universal Man, will have to redraw the Labyrinth.

  • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

    Well, if you just sit there doing practically nothing, will nothing really and/or virtually happen. Follow that and/or those doing something novel and discover brave new worlds to explore and enjoy, educate and exploit. Who dares Win Wins.

    amanfromMars Mon, 02/08/2016 – 12:39 [1602081739] ….. trying something different on http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-08/three-reasons-be-worried-about-economy

    Try anything different with different bodies would be something, wouldn’t it. Why not try it from today …..

    amanfromMars 1 Mon 8 Feb 16:57 [1602081657]…… http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/02/05/linkedin_10bn_down/

    As Are All Business Tools …. and Real Spooky Key Stuff

    Quite so, SquidEmperor. LinkedIn is an Intellectual Property Mine with all manner of Premium Grade Prospectors in the Novel Art of Virtual Travel to Heavenly Destinations Offering Sustainable Services with Immaculate IMProVision.

    And such is AISourcedD and worthy of Terrestrial SuperVisionary Support, which will be Adopted and Nurtured to Full Virtual Reality Supply of Future AIdDVentures…….. Future Leading Media Mogul Presentations with BroadBandCasting of Innovative Creative Programs is a Quantum Leap Drive with Attendant Drivers.

    cc James Murdoch, Sky chairman

    What have you got to lose other than failure. Give IT Go and GoGo with AI. You’ll never be disappointed when trail blazing and leading for it and always terrorised whenever the facility and capability is abused and/or deliberately misused.

  • Mike

    Yeah that war was a major “WTF?” moment for me as well. I had also believed and trusted that our military might, of which I was training to be a part, would only be used for obvious good and as a last resort. And I also endured the experience of feeling I was alone in my doubt, alone in my questioning, getting nothing but weird looks from those in whom I confided. My ongoing philosophical search and revolution was further catalyzed. Thank you for sharing your story, nice to know others have had similar experiences. Painful, disorienting, but ultimately liberating.

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