Archive | November 2011

JREF Reviews Thrive!

Kyle Hill, who is associated with the James Randi Educational Foundation, recently posted an article reviewing the Thrive movie. The full article, which I eagerly recommend, is here.

The article begins:

I recently started doing my skeptical due diligence with a link on Facebook that was connected to the newest conspiracy theory movie, “Thrive”, released just last week on 11/11/11 (you can watch the trailer here). If you are unfamiliar with it, this movie is basically Zeitgeist 2.0. It talks about ancient codes “burned into atomic structures”, huge energy company conspiracies and free energy technology, as well as the standard Federal Reserve, Rockefeller, and economic policy rants. Supporting these claims are people like David Icke, world-renowned conspiracy theorist who believes that a secret reptilian race controls the world, and our old friend Mr. Chopra. The movie also proffers that the Illuminati (useless conspiracy placeholder) are covering up free energy technology (which contradict the laws of physics) which was given to us by aliens who make coded crop circles, and have crashed on Earth numerous times, which the government covers up. When you align all of the claims that this movie purports to be true, it is hard not to think it is some kind of joke.

I won’t go into the specifics here, suffice it to say that there is a lot of Chopra, crop circles, aliens, Illuminati, world-bank, new world order, federal reserve, reptilian overlord kind of gibberish in it. I’m just sad to see actual scientists hoodwinked into giving statements that they did not know would be taken out of context for this so-called “research.”

If you don’t know, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is an organization established by former world-class magician James Randi, who has devoted a significant portion of his life to promoting skepticism and critical thinking. Randi is probably best known for exposing the tricks of phony psychics, most notably an Israeli man called Uri Geller who claimed he could bend spoons with his mind. For many years Randi had an open challenge that anyone who could replicate psychic powers under controlled scientific conditions would win $1 million from JREF. No one won.

Today, JREF is known as a gathering place for others who believe in Randi’s ideas of skepticism and critical thinking. The JREF web forums are probably the most significant gathering of debunkers on the Internet in the English-speaking world. Conspiracy theorists hate JREF because the skeptics there frequently demolish the very theories to which conspiracy believers are most committed.

JREF’s article on Thrive echoes many of the sentiments stated on this blog. I again recommend reading the full article. Toward the end, however, Mr. Hill offers this warning for debunkers of Thrive, which is probably good to take to heart:

What can skeptics do to counter-act such arguments? In my experience, these are typically intelligent people who have put their efforts into theories that only could be true, without relying on evidence or skepticism to sort through them. Getting a conspiracy theorist to converse on rational terms is then the objective, supplanting the seed of skeptical doubt the ultimate goal. However, if you run up against the kind of opposition that I have, perhaps you should jettison and try to promote critical thinking to people not so entrenched. Charging headlong into the lion’s den is admirable, but dangerously unproductive.

I think this is sage advice. I’m posting material on this blog to rebut the errors and misconceptions in the film, but I am stopping short of charging full-bore into conspiracist forums to force this information upon Thrive believers. It’s been my experience that conspiracy theorists reform only if they want to, and their journey out of the darkness of conspiracy thinking can only be self-motivated. Thus, while I’m happy to post my information here, I’m not on a “crusade” to convert believers in the film.

As an aside I will also remark that, while there’s no way to tell quantitatively, it appears that Thrive is not making a particularly profound impact, even in the conspiracy underground. Certainly conspiracy theorists like it, but now two weeks after its release I don’t see much evidence of it “going viral” in the same way that, say, Zeitgeist or Loose Change did. I think this is very good news, if it can be borne out by some sort of quantitative analysis.

Advertisements

Thrive Makers Back Down On “Flower of Life” Claim!

 

[photo by Ray Flowers]

Debunking and fact-checking of claims in the Thrive movie are already bearing fruit. One of the outrageous claims made in the film is where Nassim Haramein says, at 16:32 of the film, that the “Flower of Life” design at the Osirian Temple in Abydos, Egypt is “burned into the atomic structure of the rock in some extraordinary way!” Neither Haramein nor anyone else provides a single shred of substantiation for this claim.

In context, the “Flower of Life” design is cited by Thrive maker Foster Gamble as being related to the “torus” design that he believes is a signal from extraterrestrials on how to tap free unlimited energy. The claim about the Osirian Temple design is intended to bolster the (false) idea that aliens came to Earth in ancient times and gave this design to various cultures. A debunking of the “Flower of Life” section appears in Part I of the debunking of the full-length film.

Now the Thrive makers have publicly admitted that the claim about the Flower of Life being “burned into the atomic structure of the rock” is false. Recently the “Fact Check” section on the Thrive website was changed to read thusly:

“Since the completion and launch of THRIVE: What On Earth Will it Take?, we have received new information that the Flower of Life symbol at Abydos is believed by some experts to be inscribed with Ochre stain, which might date it instead to the 1st century AD. It was clearly meant to stand the test of time and to do further testing would require chipping the stone which is currently not allowed. So it remains an open mystery. Nassim Haramein’s original reference was a statement by Greg Braden in his book, Awakening to Zero Point, where on page 135, he writes:

“These beautiful geometric codes have not been etched, painted or carved into the hard rose-granite walls – they are literally “flash-burned” into the stone through a process that is not understood today.”

It doesn’t remain an “open mystery” at all. There is absolutely no evidence that the design was “flash-burned” into the stone (whatever that means). The only basis for that claim is the statement in Braden’s book, but note that Haramein even got that wrong: Braden’s statement, at least as quoted by Thrive on the website, makes no reference to the atomic structure. Haramein just made that up.

So, the Thrive makers are already beginning to retreat from their claims. Note also that Haramein’s defense of the false claim is that he was simply quoting another totally unsourced statement, which he got wrong. Greg Braden is a prolific New Age author who likes to make broad sweeping statements about spirituality and consciousness, and has opined before on ancient astronaut theories. I found a review of Awakening to Zero Point on Amazon (here is the link) which has this to say about that book:

This book is full of much speculation and doubtful “facts” that are supposed, somehow, to be linked. I find it less convincing than most other reviewers. The book starts with a series of “Wow!” events that are implied (without evidence), to be connected. Included are: the end of the cold war, increased numbers of earthquakes, climate change, new viruses, increases in the number of alien sightings and crop circles, and unspecified “studies” and “evidence” that someone other than the Egyptians built the pyramids…

Sounds like the usual Thrive material: pseudoscience, unsourced claims, bad history, New Age woo and crankery being passed off as serious research.

Nevertheless, it’s significant that the Thrive makers backed down on this point. I am curious to see what other retractions they will (or will not) make over the coming months.

Thanks to “Sequoia” in the comments on a previous post for bringing the retraction to our attention.

Global Domination Agenda–Debunked!

Contents

  • What is the “Global Domination Agenda”?
  • The Central Assumption Behind The Theory.
  • A diagram: the “Global Domination Agenda” and its logical links.
  • Example One: “The GDE deliberately created the global economic crisis!”
  • Example Two: “George H.W. Bush said he was instituting the New World Order!”
  • Example Three: “But the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission are real! You can’t claim they don’t exist!”
  • Mistaking Political/Economic Power or Social Status for “Evidence” of GDE.
  • A Logic Game: The Neighborhood Watch.
  • Questions Believers in “Global Domination Agenda” Should Ask Themselves.
  • So if there’s no GDE and the “Global Domination Agenda” doesn’t exist, who does rule the world?
  • You call this a “debunking”? You haven’t disproved the Global Domination Agenda at all!
  • Conclusion

One of the central messages of the Thrive movie—indeed, arguably the central message—is the assertion that the world is controlled by a conspiratorial group of persons, entities and business interests who are pursuing goals inimical to the best interests of humanity. On the Thrive website, this conspiracy theory is referred to as the “Global Domination Agenda,” though there are many permutations of this conspiracy theory which go by many different names. This article will debunk the notion that the world is controlled by a unified group pursuing a “Global Domination Agenda,” at least as that concept is elucidated in the Thrive movie.

Debunking “Global Domination Agenda” is at once simple and very complicated. The simple answer is, there is not a shred of evidence to support the existence of this conspiracy theory. However, explaining how and why this is so, and why it is illogical to believe in the existence of a “Global Domination Agenda,” is more complicated. It also involves the exact sort of reasoning and argumentation that is least likely to satisfy believers in this conspiracy theory.

This is a lengthy article. Before we begin, I’d like to ask all persons who intend to post comments on this article to read the entire thing before making comments. Please don’t raise an objection in the comments that’s already covered by the main bulk of the article.

What is the “Global Domination Agenda”? 

For purposes of this article I will refer to the conspiracy theory at issue as the “Global Domination Agenda,” because that’s the term used by the makers of the Thrive movie. I conceive of this conspiracy theory as being essentially synonymous with the idea of the “Illuminati” or the “New World Order,” both much more popular terms than “Global Domination Agenda.” Exactly what this conspiracy theory means, and what its details are, differ widely depending on who believes it. It’s impossible to come up with a description of this conspiracy theory that takes into account all permutations of it; however, the most commonly agreed-upon features of the theory generally hold: 

  1. That a group of persons, entities and business interests exert total, or at least significant, control over international relations, economics, media and technology on a global scale;
  2. That this group has some sort of internal unity—i.e., that its actors are working in concert toward a common goal or goals; and
  3. That either the direct goal of this group, or the effect of their goals, is to consolidate dictatorial power over all, most, or a significant portion of the world’s people.

Believers in a “Global Domination Agenda” are probably the most intractable and unyielding of all conspiracy theorists. Many debunkers simply throw up their hands when confronted with a believer in this theory, because it’s virtually impossible to convince them that this conspiracy theory is illogical and completely unsupported by evidence. Nevertheless, a full debunking of the Thrive film wouldn’t be complete without at least an attempt at addressing this conspiracy theory. Therefore, we will try to analyze why people believe in this conspiracy theory and what can be done to demonstrate that the “Global Domination Agenda” does not exist. 

The Central Assumption Behind The Theory. 

At its core, the “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory is an assumption. Conspiracy believers simply assume that points 1, 2, and 3 are true. Once they make this assumption, virtually anything they see they will interpret as “evidence” supporting the truth of points 1, 2 and 3. Basically, they think it’s true because it’s true. The circular and self-reinforcing nature of the assumption admits no outside stimulus that can either support or refute the points of the assumption. 

How do we know that a group of persons, entities and business interests exert total, or at least significant, control over international relations, economics, media and technology on a global scale? Because they do, and if you don’t agree, you’re a blind brainwashed sheeple. How do we know that this group has some sort of internal unity—i.e., that its actors are working in concert toward a common goal or goals? Because they are, and if you don’t agree, you haven’t done your research. How do we know that that either the direct goal of this group, or the effect of their goals, is to consolidate dictatorial power over all, most, or a significant portion of the world’s people? Because it is. Wake up! 

This is a difficult point to grasp. At the risk of making this more complicated than it is, I’ll attempt to demonstrate it graphically. 

A diagram: the “Global Domination Agenda” and its logical links. 

Let us map out how this system would work if the “Global Domination Agenda” was true. A graph of it would look like a pyramid. There would have to be some sort of unified command, a group of ultimate decision-makers, at the very top. Let’s call this the “Global Domination Elite” or GDE for short (a term I just made up, but call it what you want—Illuminati, NWO, reptilians, whatever). There would have to be connections of some type between the GDE and the persons, entities, governments etc. that they use to do their bidding. Let’s call that layer the “Action Elements.” There would have to be connections of some type between the Action Elements and the individual acts or conditions that they create—the “Results” layer.

 

[Click to see a larger version.]

In order to prove that the “Global Domination Agenda” is true, you need to prove (I) that each layer of this pyramid exists; and (II) the connections between each layer. Without both I or II, the very idea of a “Global Domination Agenda” collapses. 

Believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” simply assume that I and II are either already proven, are self-evident, or can be proven by evidence that in fact does not point to either I or II. 

I don’t expect this statement to make much sense without concrete examples. So, we’ll get to some. 

Example One: “The GDE deliberately created the global economic crisis!” 

This type of claim is very common among “Global Domination Agenda” believers. In fact it is presumed in Thrive that the GDE deliberately tanked the world’s economy as part of whatever their plan is supposed to be. If you ask a “Global Domination Agenda” believer to prove this, he or she will usually offer two types of “evidence”: 

1. Links to news articles about wrongdoing by mortgage bankers, irresponsible economic decisions by governments or corporations, or trends about worsening economic conditions like foreclosure or unemployment.

2. Statements of opinion, often made by other conspiracy theorists, that the GDE or persons working for them created the economic crisis. 

But note what’s really happening. News articles about bad economic decisions, corporate malfeasance etc. only prove the existence of the results—not the cause, not the connections between the various layers of the pyramid. That sort of evidence goes to prove only these parts of the diagram…

 

[click to see larger] …not these.

 Think about it. A CNN.com news article that Acme Megabank made a series of disastrous loans between 2000 and 2008, when they should have known better, does not prove the connection between Acme Megabank and the GDE. All it proves is that Acme Megabank made a series of disastrous loans when they should have known better. An article about how youth unemployment is at 30% and getting worse does not prove the connection between the employers who are refusing to offer jobs to young people and the GDE. All it proves is that there’s a youth unemployment problem. But we know that already.

Proving one set of connections and then the other doesn’t work either. Thus, proving that the former CEO of Acme Megabank is now Assistant Secretary of the Treasury does not make the connection, because you still haven’t proven that Acme Megabank acted on the GDE’s orders to make those disastrous loans. You have to prove connection from the bottom up—from the result all the way up to the GDE. 

Furthermore, statements of opinion, or unsourced assertions, by other conspiracy theorists—“Guess what? The directors of Acme Megabank made those disastrous loans on purpose to further the Global Domination Agenda!”—similarly proves nothing. It does not prove the existence of the GDE, nor the connections between the GDE and the Action Elements. All it proves is that somebody thinks there are connections. But that is not proof that the connections exist.

Indeed, these pieces of “evidence” are totally meaningless unless you already accept the assumption that the “Global Domination Agenda” exists. Then, and only then, do they become relevant. This is an other illustration of the point that the “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory operates on totally circular logic. 

Example Two: “George H.W. Bush said he was instituting the New World Order!” 

Believers in the “Global Domination Agenda,” when they are not providing “evidence” along the lines discussed above, will sometimes point to “incriminating” statements by persons they believe to be part of the GDE, supposedly indicating an “admission” of their true agenda. One of the favorites in this category is a speech made on March 6, 1991 by President George H.W. Bush in which he used the words “New World Order.” Supposedly this indicates an “admission” that the New World Order, as conceived by conspiracy theorists, exists, and that Bush was one of the people trying to implement it.

But does it, though? I doubt most conspiracy theorists have actually read Bush’s speech, in which he outlined his vision of a world following the Persian Gulf War. Here is the full text (http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/3430). He does in fact use the words “new world order.” But, if you read the full speech—I won’t excerpt it here because I encourage you to read it for yourself—it’s very clear he’s not talking about global domination. He’s talking about a vision for foreign policy which, ironically, ultimately did not come to pass. How, then, does this prove the existence of a “Global Domination Agenda”?

Time and time again, believers in a “Global Domination Agenda” will serve up these sorts of tidbits, which do not stand for the propositions they claim they stand for. (At least Bush’s “New World Order” speech is real, even though it doesn’t say what they think he said. Often, quotes by high-ranking figures used by conspiracy theorists are simply false. For example, the Thrive movie claims that Henry Kissinger makes an ominous-sounding statement. I cannot find any reputable source—meaning, not another conspiracy theorist website—that even indicates Kissinger ever said this.) 

Example Three: “But the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission are real! You can’t claim they don’t exist!” 

Yes, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group exist. But their simple existence does not prove the existence of the GDE or the “Global Domination Agenda.” Very often believers in conspiracy theorists will cite the mere existence of these groups as supposed evidence of their claims. This ignores that, again, an assumption is being made: that these groups really do have the power and the characteristics that believers in a “Global Domination Agenda” claim that they do. 

The Bilderberg Group is a rotating conference of politicians, business leaders and intellectuals who meet informally to discuss affairs of the world. The membership changes frequently, but usually includes high-ranking government officials, CEOs, etc. The Bilderberg Group has no official power. It controls no army, it can neither make nor enforce laws, and has no formal status under any government in the world. It’s a think tank. Its members talk about things they think their countries should be doing, but little else. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group 

The Trilateral Commission is a group of businesspersons who get together to discuss business relations between America, Europe and Japan. Like Bilderberg, it is populated by wealthy people who have a lot of influence. Also like Bilderberg, it has no official power, controls no army, can neither make nor enforce law, and has no formal status under any government in the world. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilateral_Commission 

Most believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory believe these groups are either the GDE or members of it. They routinely cite the mere existence of these groups as affirmative evidence n favor of the “Global Domination Agenda.” 

What’s missing here is any evidence that these groups have the influence or power that the believers in a Global Domination Agenda say they have. Not a single shred of evidence has ever been produced that these groups have any power at all! The fact that they are made up by influential people, and that they discuss world problems, are the sole basis for conspiracy theorists’ claims that they control the world. In fact, while individual members of these groups may have significant power in their own governments or organizations, there is a complete lack of evidence that matters discussed or recommendations made by these groups have ever translated directly into policy. And yes, we do know what they discuss. Search WikiLeaks for “Bilderberg Minutes.” You can download hundreds of pages of extremely boring policy discussions. Not one of them proves conspiracy theorists’ claims. 

Where is the proof of control? Where is the proof of influence and power? 

Indeed, as with most “evidence” proffered by believers in the “Global Domination Agenda,” what they say and what they can actually prove are very far apart. However, these people will often frame the argument in terms of, you cannot disprove a “Global Domination Agenda” unless you deny that the Bilderberg Group or the Trilateral Commission exists. Whether they exist is not the issue. The issue is whether they have the power that conspiracy theorists say they have. They don’t. 

Mistaking Political/Economic Power or Social Status for “Evidence” of GDE. 

Another mistake, made almost universally by believers in a “Global Domination Agenda,” is to argue that the fact that a person, corporation, or group has political power, economic power or social standing is evidence that they are in fact a member of the GDE. This is, yet again, misapplication of evidence. 

Let’s take George H.W. Bush again. I could not imagine a single believer in the “Global Domination Agenda” not believing that George H.W. Bush is a member of the GDE. 

There is no doubt that George H.W. Bush is, or at least was, a very powerful and influential person. Even before he was elected the 41st President of the United States in 1988, he was from a very rich and prominent family, had many connections among business and political leaders, and was ambitious for political power at an early age. When he was in the White House, he commanded the armed forces of the U.S. and exerted significant influence on the economy. 

But ask yourself this: why is George H.W. Bush a powerful and influential person? Is it because he is a member of the GDE? Or is it because he is from a very rich and powerful family, has many connections among business and political leaders, and held significant positions of political and economic power? 

This distinction will be lost on many believers in the “Global Domination Agenda,” but it might become a bit clearer if you ask yourself this question: 

Is it possible for any person, anywhere in the world, to rise to a position of significant political/economic power or social status, without being a member of the GDE? 

If you answered “no” to this question, you have just engaged in circular reasoning. George H.W. Bush is powerful/influential because he is a member of the GDE; because George H.W. Bush is a member of the GDE, he is therefore powerful/influential. 

See the circular reasoning there? 

If you answered “yes” to the question, then ask yourself: how can you distinguish between someone who has political/economic power or social status because he/she is a member of the GDE, or someone who has that power/status for some other reason? Chances are you won’t be able to answer that question at all. 

We do not live in a society without class or social stratification. There are powerful and influential people. Rich people and business interests do have influence on government and economic policy. But be careful that you don’t mistake evidence that these things are true for “evidence” that a “Global Domination Agenda” exists. It’s very easy to do that, especially when you’re accusing people of being members of the GDE based solely on membership in a group or family or because they hold a particular office. If you’re doing that, you’re again illustrating that all “Global Domination Agenda” theories proceed from an assumption that is never questioned. 

A Logic Game: The Neighborhood Watch.

Let’s play a little game of logic and reasoning that I hope will help illustrate both how the “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory works, and why believers in it are so incredulous that it can’t be real. 

Imagine a gated community in the suburbs. Five couples live there: Alan & Bess, Charlie & Dora, Ed & Flo, Gerald & Harriet, Irving & Joyce, and Kevin & Linda. The community is a planned development with covenants and a homeowner’s association. Alan & Bess are the richest people in the community and own the biggest house. Bess is president of the homeowner’s association. 

Kevin is a conspiracy theorist. He believes in the existence of a secret group called the “Neighborhood Watch” which he thinks controls everything that happens in the community. He believes that the Neighborhood Watch intends to rule the community with an iron fist and destroy all freedom in the neighborhood. In fact, the Neighborhood Watch does not exist. 

At a homeowner’s association meeting, Bess proposes a new rule that everyone in the community must mow their lawn once a week. The group votes. Kevin & Linda are opposed, but everyone else votes yes and the rule goes into effect. Kevin believes that this vote demonstrates that the Neighborhood Watch controls the homeowner’s association, and that Bess, and probably Alan, are members of it. 

A week later, Irving & Joyce’s young son is playing in the street when he’s hit by a car and injured. At the next homeowner’s association meeting, Bess proposes a new rule that no one’s kids are allowed to play beyond the confines of their own yards. The rule passes, again with Kevin & Linda opposed. Kevin begins to tell everyone that the Neighborhood Watch deliberately lured Irving & Joyce’s son into the street so he would be hit by a car, thus giving the homeowner’s association an excuse to pass a restrictive rule. Because everyone else but Kevin & Linda voted for the rule, Kevin begins to believe that all the other couples are also members of the Neighborhood Watch. 

A week after that, Gerald is accused of sexually harassing his secretary and is fired from his job. He and Harriet can no longer afford their mortgage, so they have to move out. They sell their house to Alan & Bess who buy it for a song. Kevin begins to tell people that the Neighborhood Watch framed Gerald for sexual harassment, so he would lose his job and have to sell out of the neighborhood. 

A week after that, it rains heavily. All the houses in the neighborhood have faulty siding and after the rain all the siding must be replaced. As it turns out, Ed works for Acme Siding Co. and he gets a good deal for his neighbors, most of whom buy their new siding from Acme. Ed gets a fat bonus check as a result of this. 

Kevin believes that this proves that Ed is a member of the Neighborhood Watch. He now starts telling people that the Neighborhood Watch can control the weather, that they made it rain so the siding would be ruined, thus providing Ed and Acme the opportunity to make a killing by selling new siding to the neighbors. 

Alan & Bess have a dinner party where they invite Ed & Flo and Charlie & Dora. None of the other couples are invited. Kevin starts telling people that the dinner party must be the secret meeting place of the Neighborhood Watch and it is there that they must be deciding on their nefarious plans to control the community. 

Kevin says he can prove that the Neighborhood Watch secretly rules the community. What is his “proof”? The fact that Bess is influential and on the homeowner’s association; the fact that Alan & Bess are rich; the fact that Irving & Joyce’s young son got hit by a car; the fact that Gerald lost his job; the fact that Ed works for Acme Siding; and the fact that Alan & Bess had a dinner party. 

All of these facts are undeniable. What’s missing is the connection between them. Kevin has not proved—and cannot prove—that the Neighborhood Watch exists. All he can do is prove these various facts to be true, and then tell you to “connect the dots.” But the alleged “connection” between these events makes sense only if you accept Kevin’s basic assumption—which is that the Neighborhood Watch exists. If you question whether or not it exists, the facts that Kevin states suddenly don’t seem as connected as he insists that they are. 

This is exactly the reasoning engaged in by believers in the “Global Domination Agenda.”

If this Neighborhood Watch example seems pretty silly to you, it should. It’s a prime example of bad reasoning and faulty logic. But it also explains why Kevin will choose to view everything that happens in the neighborhood—every rule, every meeting, every accident, every association between everyone else—as “evidence” supporting the existence of the Neighborhood Watch. This is why believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” are shocked when you claim there is no evidence for their claims. “Look around!” they shriek, without realizing that what they think is evidence does not support what they think it supports. 

Questions Believers in “Global Domination Agenda” Should Ask Themselves. 

Here are four questions that people who believe in the “Global Domination Agenda” should ask themselves. The answers—or lack thereof—may be revealing. 

  1. Think of a specific person that you believe is a member of the GDE, i.e., a perpetrator of the “Global Domination Agenda.” What is your basis for believing that person is part of the GDE? 
  2. If the “Global Domination Agenda” exists, why is it taking so long for the GDE’s plans to be implemented?
  3. If the “Global Domination Agenda” exists, why are the GDE so incompetent?
  4.  Assuming the GDE want to take over the world, what do you think they’re going to do with it once they have it?

Let’s take the questions one by one. 

1. Think of a specific person that you believe is a member of the GDE, i.e., a perpetrator of the “Global Domination Agenda.” What is your basis for believing that person is part of the GDE? 

We touched on this with the George H.W. Bush example above. How do you know a member of the GDE when you see one? In almost all cases, the criteria for accusing someone of being a member of the GDE is based on (i) the person’s name; (ii) their job, position, wealth, or social status; or (iii) their opposition to conspiracy theories like the “Global Domination Agenda.”

Indeed, these are the only criteria that conspiracy theorists ever employ to categorize people as members of the GDE. The Thrive movie does this too, when Foster Gamble rages at the Rockefellers. The Rockefellers are rich and influential; therefore, they must, by definition, be part of the GDE. Conspiracy theorists also like to pick on people with the last names Rothschild, Du Pont, Kennedy, Bush, Vanderbilt, etc., etc. The same lack of reasoning is present with respect to a person’s job, position or social status. I’ve had more than one conspiracy theorist tell me that, because the GDE would never “allow” someone untrustworthy to become President of the United States, anyone who gets elected president is automatically a member of the GDE. If that’s not circular reasoning I don’t know what is.

Occasionally ordinary people like me are accused of being a member of the GDE, solely on the basis of my outspoken opposition to conspiracy theories. If someone doesn’t like conspiracy theories, they must be part of a conspiracy! In this vein I have been accused of being a member of the Illuminati, a CIA agent, and a Freemason. I even had one conspiracy theorist say that he felt certain I personally had a role in the September 11 attacks. Ludicrous accusations such as these are beneath comment.

The point is, there’s no rational basis for concluding that someone is a member of the GDE. Inclusion in the conspiracy depends solely on whether the person who believes in the conspiracy theory wants or needs to assume that person must be involved. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s simply absurd.

2. If the “Global Domination Agenda” exists, why is it taking so long for the GDE’s plans to be implemented? 

Believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” have a hard time with this one. They talk about the awful things the GDE has done in the past, but the stress is always on the much worse things that are going to happen in the future. Various individual conspiracy theories that fit under the rubric of the “Global Domination Agenda” such as the North American Union, RFID microchipping, etc. all emphasize a future dimension. Yet the terrible future consequences never happen. They’re always going to happen, but they haven’t happened yet.

Example: FEMA camps. Supposedly the federal government is building large detention camps, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where people will be sent. Oh, isn’t that awful!

How come it hasn’t happened yet? 

Indeed, Alex Jones—who is listed on the Thrive website as a resource for fighting the “Global Domination Agenda”–has been predicting horrible things for more than 10 years, including FEMA camps. They never happen. What’s taking the GDE so long? If they’ve been building those camps for 10+ years now, when are they actually going to open? 

Even past events fit this pattern. Many believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” will tell you that 9/11 was staged in order to provide an excuse for “taking away our liberties.” How did “they” (the GDE, surely) take away our liberties? By passing the PATRIOT Act, and by instituting invasive TSA searches at airports. Look! They’re taking away our liberties! 

So let me get this straight. The PATRIOT Act was passed 10 years ago, with all these expansive powers that have very seldom, if ever, been used in the past ten years. Some of its provisions have been used against suspected terrorists—but if the GDE really intended the PATRIOT Act as a major tool of oppression, why haven’t courts and enforcement officials been making more and ever-increasing use of it? I mean, why put this law into place but not use it? What is the GDE waiting for? 

Similarly, TSA searches. These were instituted in early 2011. The believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” want you to believe that the GDE, having done 9/11, waited an entire decade to institute a new type of search at security checkpoints. Assuming there’s a considerable distance remaining from invasive pat-downs at the airport to total dictatorial control over all the world’s people, it would seem that the GDE are moving very, very slowly. 

If the GDE is moving this slowly to implement their agenda, where’s the incentive for people to join the conspiracy? They’ll all be dead by the time we reach the “total world domination” stage, if we ever do. What, then, do they have to gain? Why should they commit crimes now to benefit some future generation of iron-fisted rulers who haven’t even been born yet?

This analysis gets sillier if you take into consideration that most believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” believe that the GDE has been around, and has been working on their nefarious plans, for a very long time already. The Thrive movie doesn’t talk about the “Illuminati,” but believers in that form of GDE think that a secret society founded in 1776 is the real power ruling the world. So, in addition to the dozens, scores, or perhaps hundreds of years that have yet to elapse before the GDE’s plans come to fruition, it turns out they’ve already been working on them for over 230 years!

Does this make any sense at all?

3. If the “Global Domination Agenda” exists, why are the GDE so incompetent?

This sounds like a joke, but it’s not. If this GDE is out there and really trying to enslave the world, why are they doing such a terrible job of it? Indeed, it would seem, with as many holes in their plans, that they’re totally incompetent.

After all, “Global Domination Agenda” believers are asking you to accept that a group of all-powerful conspirators is tightening their grip over the entire world, but yet

  • …Foster Gamble is allowed to blow the whistle on their agenda with his Thrive movie and website.
  • …Alex Jones is allowed to screech, grunt and wail about their agenda every single week on his radio show.
  • …Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell are allowed to make fools of themselves peddling “9/11 Inside Job” crap on their TV shows and in interviews.
  • …Bernie Madoff, undoubtedly a member of the GDE, is allowed to be caught red-handed in his Ponzi scheme.
  • …Richard Nixon, undoubtedly a member of the GDE, is caught on tape, in his own words, committing a crime that leads to him resigning his office.
  • …Nobody helps George W. Bush, undoubtedly a member of the GDE, make a slam-dunk case for his war in Iraq by planting WMD’s on Iraqi soil, instead letting the world see that there were no WMDs in the first place.
  • …Minutes of the Bilderberg Group meetings have been posted on WikiLeaks.
  • …Tens of thousands of conspiracy theorists are allowed to junk up YouTube with their videos claiming that the “Global Domination Agenda” is real.

Believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” who try to tackle this question will invariably say something like, “This is how the GDE wants it,” or “They have to give you [debunkers] something to use to claim they aren’t real.” Anyone familiar with psychology would recognize these responses as self-reinforcing delusions.

4. Assuming the GDE want to take over the world, what do you think they’re going to do with it once they have it? 

Believers in the “Global Domination Agenda” usually breeze right by this type of question. What’s the ultimate point of the GDE trying to rule the world? Power, of course! Why, then, do they want to rule the world? For the sake of ruling the world. 

History teaches us, however, that people who desire a great deal of power seldom desire it for its own sake. That’s a common trope in fiction, but don’t even James Bond supervillains have a plan of some kind that they hope to implement? Don’t they usually have an ideology they want to advance, or a set of goals that they feel can best be vindicated by achieving a position of dominance?

Few people would dispute that Napoléon Bonaparte was a very ambitious man, even power-hungry. A man who crowned himself Emperor of France could not be anything other. However, even Napoléon wanted something. He believed in the ascendancy of the French state and thought its interests would best be served by being the most military and politically powerful state in Europe. Napoléon took power in France in part to achieve these goals. He didn’t just sit there wringing his hands and cackling, “Wheeee, I’m going to rule the lives of millions of Frenchmen and lay waste to the continent of Europe!”

What, then, do the GDE want? Believers in this theory don’t have much of an answer beyond, “they want to rule the world.” They seem to assume that power is its own reward. But that doesn’t make much sense, does it? Yet conspiracy theorists cannot point to any specific set of goals that the attainment of “total world domination” would help the GDE achieve. What are they going to do with the world once they have it? Build themselves big mansions? Waterski behind yachts? Erect statues to themselves? (Can’t many of the people suspected of being members of the GDE already do that?)

Some conspiracy theorists attempt to avoid this question by declaring that the GDE are “psychopaths” or otherwise insane. This makes no sense either. In fact it’s a convenient out, by saying, “well, we don’t have to explain what these people want, because they’re just nuts and want power for its own sake.” This argument is not convincing.

So if there’s no GDE and the “Global Domination Agenda” doesn’t exist, who does rule the world?

This question again proceeds from the same assumption as the “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory does—the assumption that someone rules the world, and that those people have some type of unity. Asking the question is pointless because it presumes that all you have to do is point a finger at some group and say, “They run the world!”

A lot of people run the world—more accurately, a lot of people run little pieces of it, or, more accurately still, they run little pieces of the little pieces of the little pieces of the world. Those people do what they do out of an extremely broad array of motivations. Much of what they do conflicts with each other, because people, countries and industries have competing and contradictory goals. Barack Obama is undoubtedly one of the most powerful men in the world. However, there are things he can’t do. He can order a nuclear strike on China, but he can’t get his budgets passed. He can influence Bernake to adjust interest rates, but he can’t snap his fingers and create millions of jobs. He can order a SEAL team to assassinate Osama bin Laden, but he can’t stop Mitt Romney from talking trash about him on the campaign stump.

There certainly are a lot of things wrong with the world. Clearly, people are starving in developing countries. Man-made global warming is threatening our environment. Personally, I believe that our economic system is not functioning properly, and social inequality is a serious problem. But to assume that these things are all part of a conscious design by a single person or small group of people is to ignore everything we know about history and about human nature. Thrive seems to suggest that the world is somehow deliberately built to be cruel and unfair, and it is the fault of the GDE, those evil people, who made it so. That belief is absolutely asinine, and should offend anyone who believes in rational thinking.

You call this a “debunking”? You haven’t disproved the Global Domination Agenda at all!

It is true, I have not disproven the existence of the “Global Domination Agenda.” But I am not required to do that.

You are required, if you believe in the “Global Domination Agenda,” to prove that it existsnot the other way around. Until you can prove that it does exist, it is not rational to believe in it. That is why this article is an effective debunking, because in it I’ve stated why the “Global Domination Agenda” is not worthy of belief.

The facts as we know them indicate that Grant is buried in Grant’s Tomb. The conclusion that Grant is buried in Grant’s Tomb is entirely consistent with what we know about the world around us. If we come upon a monument in New York City with an inscription reading “Here Lies Ulysses Grant,” it would be entirely rational to conclude, just by what we know about how funerals, cemeteries and graveyards work in the real world, that most likely Ulysses Grant is buried beneath that stone.

If you claim that Lincoln is buried in Grant’s Tomb, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that this is true. You don’t get to believe that Lincoln is buried in Grant’s Tomb simply because you want to, and because, short of getting a bulldozer and a crowbar and cracking open the tomb and the coffin of the person buried inside, I can’t disprove that Lincoln is buried there. I can show you evidence, eyewitness accounts of Grant’s funeral, perhaps a document from his undertaker and the man who built the tomb stating that, yes, in fact Ulysses Grant is buried there. If you continue to insist that Lincoln is buried there, don’t be surprised, if you produce no further proof, that everyone else continues to accept what has been indicated as true—that Grant is buried in Grant’s Tomb.

I do not expect conspiracy theorists to be persuaded by this logic. I do, however, expect that maybe one or two rational people out there will begin to ask questions about whether the existence of the “Global Domination Agenda” is really as self-evident as it seems.

Conclusion

The Thrive movie’s claims of a “Global Domination Agenda” are based solely on an assumption that is self-reinforcing. Believers in this conspiracy theory will typically never, under any circumstances, even question the validity of the assumption. Once convinced of its veracity, strangely nearly everything they see in the world seems to look like “evidence” supporting the assumption, when in fact it is not.

I am not required to disprove the existence of the “Global Domination Agenda.” It is up to the believers to prove it exists.

There is no evidence that the “Global Domination Agenda” exists. Therefore, the “Global Domination Agenda” does not exist.

Part 3 of the Debunking of the Full-Length Thrive Movie.

This is Part III of the first debunking done on the full-length Thrive movie. There will be additional debunking material that is more detailed, both on the full movie and on various individual aspects of it, posted later. This debunking is not by me, but by gabrieltech (SlayerX3), a contributor to this blog. If you missed Part I, here it is, and here is Part II.

——————————-

Free Energy suppression: “Follow the Money.”

The Oil & Energy Empires:

Summarizing this part, Gamble states that the power, money and influence of major energy and oil corporations like Standard Oil, BP, Texaco, Exxon Mobil and specially the Rockefellers have been suppressing alternative free energy sources to protect their profits.

I don’t think they need to suppress something that doesn’t work.

[Muertos comment: Gamble’s assertion that free energy is being “suppressed” is based on a handful of extremely spurious “examples.” As described in Part II of the debunking, the claims that various “free energy” scientists have had their labs ransacked or have even been murdered do not stand up to scrutiny. In short, there is no evidence of suppression at all. Everything in the Thrive movie about is unsourced, anecdotal, or unrelated–for example, the murder of Eugene Mallove, which in fact had nothing to do with his energy work.]

The green revolution:

Gamble states that with the power acquired from the Rockefeller Oil Empire and the creation of oil based fertilizers and pesticides, Rockefeller also controls our food as well.

He later talks about the 1960’s and 1970’s green revolution and his disappointment towards it, saying it used massive amounts  of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides yet it wasn’t able to end world hunger and the US farmers received billions of dollars in subsides.

Hunger claim:

It’s commonly accepted among the economist and humanitarian groups that the world hunger is not caused by the insufficient production of food, but by improper food distribution caused by poverty, governmental policies and military conflict and more recently climate change. These are the main reasons why the African continent and South Asian countries and the like are plagued by hunger: the population is barred access to food due to economic disparity, policies that benefit the nation’s elites and war. Blaming the industrial food production method for the world hunger is another one of Gamble’s attempts to make the viewer think that industrial groups are the sole agents responsible for the hunger problem.

Link: Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?

Production cost and subsides:

For starters, industrial fertilizers are cheaper and more efficient (not less harmful, but that is arguable) in producing crops with higher yield per acre. The issue with those is not the chemical themselves but the manner they are being used, which sometimes leads to over fertilizing and scorching the ground. There is also a tendency to use massive amounts of land to grow crops, which tends to reduce the yield when compared to smaller crops (that is a management issue, not a technological one), yet the cost of production is very low when compared to all organic farms and crops, while the yields are higher per acre when compared to the latter.

http://www.eolss.net/Sample-Chapters/C08/E3-18-04-03.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_agriculture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilizer

Gamble cites the subsides paid to US farmers as evidence of inefficiency, yet this doesn’t explain why crops and farms in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe who use the same techniques are economically viable and profitable. There are somewhat obvious reasons why the US farmers receive subsides from the US government, and I’m sure Mr. Gamble missed them on purpose.

  • First, they receive the subsides because there is a bill that permits US agricultural producers to receive monetary help regardless of need or not. This bill predates the Great Depression started by the 1929 stock market crash in order to stabilize prices and elevate the crops’ value.
  • Second, the US farms are in direct competition with other emerging nations’ agricultural industries, most notably from the BRIC block (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Several factors ranging from geographical advantages to currency exchange rates give some countries, especially Brazil and India, a major edge in food exportation to US and Europe. Not only US but the EU also uses subsides to shield their local producers from cheaper products coming from developing nations.

It’s also worth mentioning that the World Trade Organization along with the G8 and G20 discuss on a regular basis the subsides from US and EU producers. This is a matter of competition rather than alleged inefficiency (not really the type that Gamble implies).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._farm_bill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food,_Conservation,_and_Energy_Act_of_2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy#United_States

http://farm.ewg.org/

Family Farming:

More than anything else the fall of the family farmer is tied to income. Mostly outside US, especially in developing countries, rural workers migrate to cities in the search for better job opportunities, with the well-paying jobs being localized in urban areas. This leaves little room for family farming to sustain, well a family.

Inside US is another story, and is more tied to the higher industrial demand where larger farms have a better ability to deliver and supply the commercial demand.

http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter3.htm

Loss of bio diversity and environmental harm:

A broken clock is right twice a day. Do I really need to explain that predatory human action in nature does almost every kind of harm?

On a note, since agro toxics tend to remain in the superficial skin of vegetables, a simple wash is able to remove most of the harmful chemicals. Also on the production line food does receive baths and other processes to remove harmful chemicals (the ethical companies do that at least).

Vandana Shiva:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandana_Shiva

A prominent figure in ecoactivism and ecofeminism, and perhaps one of the most respectable people to feature in Thrive, even though I don’t agree with most of her views. She discusses the use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and Free Trade Treaties.

First definition of GMOs: “is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.”

The top 5 users of GMO crops are (by area, in millions of Hectares, data from 2006): USA (54.6), Argentina (18.0) Brazil (11.5) Canada (6.1) China (3.5) and Paraguay (2.0).

The debate on the use of GMOs is very controversial from the scientific, economic and sociological point of views, with discussions about the safety, gains, access and health benefits and dangers related to the use of GMOs.

Shiva focuses in the social repercussions of the GMOs in Thrive, mostly because of the seed patenting, sterile seeds and exclusion of impoverished producers.

There’s an uproar against the seed patenting among environmentalists. Quoting Shiva “patenting seed and patenting life as a way of control, declaring seeds to be private property”.

The main issue is that GMOs do not occur naturally in nature and are products of extensive research and genetic manipulation to modify or enhance living organisms such as plants and add or remove traits. Currently only major companies and well-funded research agencies are able to create GMO seeds. This excludes the majority of the small producers because they don’t have enough capital to purchase these type of seeds and because they would be at a serious disadvantage when competing with the producers that purchased GMOs.

Patenting is a way to ensure other companies don’t copy the designed GMOs and trade them as their own. This is a very common practice in business and industry to avoid intellectual theft, but the impact in common producers is that they can’t trade the GMO seeds they acquired, as this would be considered theft. This brings us to another practice.

The “Terminator” control mechanisms–this is a control mechanism that has several purposes. The Terminator seeds only generate plants whose seeds are sterile. This is done first to avoid cross pollinating, and second to prevent spreading of GMOs in foreign environments.

Another and less noble practice depends solely on ethics as the producer would be tied to the GMO supplier forever. The producer wouldn’t be able to harvest new seeds from his current crop and will be forced to acquire directly from his supplier. From a social point of view this is horrible since  it ties small producers to major groups and doesn’t give them much freedom to handle their own affairs.

The third practice is intended to prevent further generations of GMO seeds from being sold by farmers. This generates two main disadvantages for the company that designed and produced the GMO: (1) they can’t control the spread and cross breeding of their product (since this could generate undesired effects, the legal and public relations fallout could be enormous) and (2) their product would be spread without granting them the royalties associated with their patents.

It’s easy to see why Shiva doesn’t sympathize with GMOs as she aims for what she believes is best for the impoverished population, and those technologies when used unethically could cause great harm to people.

(I was really disappointed when I found out the Terminator technology wasn’t about kill bots!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

http://www.bc.cas.cz/en/MOBITAG.html

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies

http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/1/62.full.pdf+html

http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol4/iss1/art13/#ComparisontoIntroducedSpecies

Free Trade Treaties:

Shiva points out that free trade treaties exclude common people, but this happens by design as free trade treaties allow major producers to export and import products and goods without many drawbacks from taxes, tariffs and bureaucracies.

Since major companies have the resources to organize, administrate and supply higher demands along with transporting their products, they receive the upper hand in free trade treaties.

The impact of this is that smaller producers and traders can’t compete with major groups and lose both internal and external markets to cheaper products. Although free trade treaties can benefit economies from a global point of view, they tend to ruin local economies that aren’t properly shielded or adapted to compete with the new economic environment. (This is the case when some governments and union groups adopt subsides or other protectionist measures to prevent this scenario from happening).

http://www.ehow.com/about_5452992_negative-impact-trade.htmlv

http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/gtrends68.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade_area

Quote: “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.” – Henry Kissinger.

I couldn’t find any paper, interview, video, press conference or anything that had evidence or source claiming or showing that Henry Kissinger actually said that, but it’s quite common in end the Fed and other anti-capitalism sites and forums.

And it was surprisingly similar to George Orwell’s 1984 Ingsoc slogans.

[Muertos comment: it is very common in conspiracy theorist circles for a completely made-up quote, usually from a distrusted figure like Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzesinski, George H.W. Bush, etc. to gain the appearance of being true simply by the number of times it is quoted by like-minded conspiracy theorist websites. This is particularly frustrating when you try to argue with a conspiracy theorist that there is no proof the person actually said this, and the theorist responds with a dozen examples of unreliable sites all quoting each other and containing the unsourced and false quote. The quote also does not have to be totally false; sometimes it can be a partially true quote that is taken out of context, such as George H.W. Bush’s 1991 speech including the unfortunate words “New World Order” (unfortunate because it saddles us debunkers for the rest of time to listen to conspiracy theorists telling us how this supposedly proves the “New World Order” exists, even though it does not, and even though Bush was talking about something completely different. That will likely be the subject of another blog post.]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_Kissinger

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Henry_Kissinger

After Henry’s (mis)quoting, Gamble reaffirms that elite banking groups and their corporations control energy and food.

Patterns of control:

[A full debunking of this section is coming in the future.]

National Education Association:

I wasn’t able to tie the foundation of the NEA either with the Rockefeller family or with the Carnegie and Ford families, but those entities did invest and donated money to the NEA, especially because they were lobbying for bills that provided tax cuts to companies that invested in philanthropic projects and foundations. And during the 1920 and 1930s USA had a dire need for more qualified workers and access to a trained workforce was crucial for companies to expand.

But the point is simple: there is no conclusive evidence that those companies control the NEA.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Education_Association

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnegie_Corporation_of_New_York

http://www.nea.org/

John Taylor Gatto:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Taylor_Gatto

Gatto is a former professor and writer. He claims that compulsory schooling indoctrinates children and leaves them more susceptible to authority. He also defends homeschooling.

Gamble states that the education system was set to create a docile, consumer and obedient workforce.

I guess it’s not working.

The American Medical Association:

[A full debunking of this section is coming in the future.]

John Robbins:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Robbins_%28author%29, http://www.johnrobbins.info/

Robbins is the author of several books on health and food including the award winning Diet for a New America. In his brief appearance he points out how the material distributed to doctors and medical school students on the subject of nutrition are from food industries that profit from unhealthy eating habits. He mentions the National Dairy Council, Beef USA and the American Sugar Association.

I can’t properly comment on this since I have no easy access to medical school curriculum material.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dairy_Council_of_California

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430660/

http://www.ajcn.org/content/72/3/868S.full

http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/Pages/Home.aspx

[Muertos comment: this is the type of claim that can never really be substantiated. Unless Robbins or Gamble specifically identify the material they’re talking about, we have no way of checking it. This is an insidious way of sneaking an un-verifiable claim into the movie.]

Soon after this part of the film, Deepak Chopra states that the pharmaceutical corporations make profits using the AMA and other medical centers to promote their products by selling from doctors and physicians to their patients.

Deepak Chopra:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepak_Chopra

An Indian physician, Deepak Chopra is known for many of his self-help books, new age spiritualism and alternate medicine.

He is a critic of the current system of medicine in the western world, and his ideas revolve around the use of quantum mysticism and spirituality to improve health and cure diseases.

Author note: I admit that a clean state of mind does help and can improve your health, but finding a licensed doctor for a more objective diagnosis is crucial. Personally I think that alternate medicine is as good as a placebo but don’t let people undermine modern doctors and medicine in favor for exotic, esoteric and alternative treatments. Those can cost lives.

Gamble then talks how the cure for diseases has been suppressed the same way free energy has, and then he introduces the viewer to the “well documented example” of Royal Raymond Rife.

R. Royal Raymond Rife:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_raymond_rife

Yet another inventor who was more of a scam artist than a scientist, Dr. Rife became famous for his “cancer curing machine” using electromagnetism that he claimed was able not only to cure cancer but other infectious diseases. This was during the 1930s when electricity and magnetism were still being studied. During that time many inventors and scam artists used those to sell miracle machines using buzz words and techno babble to convince people of its properties, but this time Rife got the cake.

After other scientists failed to reproduce the same results using Rife’s technique and machines, the scientific community started to reject Rife’s devices and ideas on cancer. Rife blamed the rejection of his devices on a conspiracy that consisted of accusations that the AMA and other medical organizations were behind the failures.

After the accusations of medical fraud, Rife’s lab was destroyed in a fire, probably arson by Rife himself to prevent investigations of his lab from revealing him as a complete fraud.

Today and then, Rife is considered nothing more than a scam artist and his devices are regarded as nothing but pseudoscience by the scientific community.

During the 1980s several scam artist started using Rife-based machines to sell miracle cures, once again causing health problems for those who tried to treat serious diseases, like cancer, with them.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/canjclin.44.2.115/pdf

http://www.healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Cancer/Cancer-news/smh001230rife-aus.html

http://www.devicewatch.org/reports/aquadetox.shtml

Kimberly C. Gamble later makes an emotional appeal using the cancer history in her family. Then she proceeds to make links between cancer treatment patents by corporations and the suppression of alternative cancer treatments that worked and which didn’t leave the patient tied to the treatment, citing Rene Cassie, Max Gerson and Hoxsey therapy as examples.

Rene Cassie:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essiac

Cassie is a Canadian nurse who is claimed to have found herbs from whose tea can cure and prevent cancer. During the 1970’s up until now, several medical laboratories tested the efficiency of her ESSIAC tea and concluded it isn’t effective at curing cancer and in some cases it stimulated the cancer growth.

Cassie was prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license. Many of the people who were treated and “cured” from cancer using ESSIAC were found not to have had cancer at all but were misdiagnosed instead.

ESSIAC can’t be sold as a treatment for cancer but it can be sold as food supplement.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/cancer.html#Essiac

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/EnforcementActivitiesbyFDA/ucm171057.htm

http://quotations.hubpages.com/hub/Essiac-Tea-Does-It-Work-For-Cancer

Max Gerson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Gerson

Gerson is a german physician that created the Gerson therapy. It consists of special diets aimed to relieve the body from toxic residues. He made several claims that his method cured cancer during the 1950s but medical tests proved no direct relation to his therapy and curing cancer.

Quoting Wikipedia:

“Gerson’s therapy required the patient to consume a vegetarian diet and to drink a 250-milliliter (8-ounce) glass of fresh organic juices every waking hour. Coffee and castor oil enemas were among several types of prescribed enemas, and some patients were given hydrogen peroxide orally and rectally. Rectal ozone was also applied. Dietary supplements include vitamin C and iodine. The diet prohibited the drinking of water and consumption of berries and nuts, as well as use of aluminium vessels or utensils.”

If you read the last two sentences it’s easy to see why his therapy was found to be dangerous and even deadly, as it can lead to dehydration, infections and other health problems.

http://cancertreatmentwatch.org/reports/gerson.shtml

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/gerson/patient

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/DietandNutrition/gerson-therapy

http://www.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19990409davis4.asp

Hoxsey therapy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoxsey_Therapy

Another therapy involving the use of herbal formulas to treat and cure cancer. So far this therapy has been proven to be more harmful than helpful.

As the peer review of Hoxsey treatments showed, there was no evidence of the effectiveness of his therapy. He also had issues with the AMA, which he claimed was persecuting him.

Ironically he used his own therapy to treat his prostate cancer. Due to the failure of his own treatment he had to rely on conventional surgery to remove his cancer!

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/canjclin.40.1.51/pdf

http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/ThisWeek/ucm117863.htm

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/hoxsey-herbal-treatment

————————-

[More debunking of Thrive to come!]

Crop Circles–Debunked!

At 25:33 of Thrive there begins an important section setting out one of the movie’s key claims: that “crop circles” found in agricultural fields are the creations of extraterrestrials and are intended to convey messages to the human race. Foster Gamble states affirmatively that crop circles are evidence of UFOs. The crop circle section is one of the most sensationalized portions of the first half of the Thrive movie. This article will debunk this specific portion of the film.

What Is A Crop Circle?

A crop circle is a large-scale pattern found in a cultivated field, usually involving stalks of grain (wheat, corn etc.) pressed and folded down to form a specific shape. Crop circles are usually geometric in design, but they’re not always circular. Crop circles (also known as crop formations) can be particularly impressive and beautiful if seen from the air. Many beautiful designs have been recorded. Over ten thousand crop circles have been reported in countries around the world, but 90% of the reports come from southern England (an important fact, as we’ll see).

What does Thrive claim about crop circles?

Foster Gamble, the maker and narrator of Thrive, asserts at 26:24 of the film that crop circles are associated with UFOs and extraterrestrials because they are too perfect to have been created by humans. Therefore, they must be products of extraterrestrials. This is the sole basis on which Gamble concludes that crop circles have a non-terrestrial origin. Then, having made this assumption, the movie goes on to discuss what the circles might mean, but all of this discussion proceeds from the assumption that circles are made by UFOs. Gamble concludes at 28:45 that the geometric shapes contained in some crop circles correspond with his own observations on the importance of the “torus” shape, which he describes earlier in the movie.

What causes crop circles?

The answer is very simple: crop circles are made by human beings. There is no real mystery about this. You can go to a website, http://www.circlemakers.org/perpetrators.html, where “circlemakers” freely discuss how they create the circles, why, and what they’re hoping to accomplish. It’s a complex phenomenon, but the main reason appears to be to hoax people and tap into their beliefs in the paranormal. Nowadays, it’s even become a business—people and firms hire “circlemakers” to make crop circles as a form of advertising or attention-getting.

You can see a video of exactly how crop circles are made below:

The phenomenon of crop circles seems to have taken off in earnest in the late 1970s. Two Englishmen, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, began making crop circles in southern England at that time, using boards, string and a baseball cap. They admitted in 1991 that they were responsible for the vast majority of crop circles seen in England.

Why is Gamble’s reasoning faulty? An exercise with “rebuttable presumptions.”

In preferring an exotic explanation (extraterrestrials) over a more mundane one (human pranksters), Gamble is ignoring an important rule of evidence and reasoning: the simpler explanation is almost always the correct one. Once we have evidence that there are human beings out there making crop circles, the conclusion that all crop circles are of human origin becomes what we can call a rebuttable presumption. That means, unless you can rebut it with specific evidence to show that something else is in fact true, you must conclude that the rebuttable presumption is the explanation.

Let’s take an example. A little boy has been warned not to get into the jar of jam. A few minutes later the boy emerges from the kitchen with jam smeared on his fingers, shirt and around his mouth. You go into the kitchen and find the jar of jam open on the counter. You didn’t see the boy eat the jam, but when confronted, the boy says that his sister framed him by opening the jam and smearing it on his hands. The sister is upstairs in her room and no one saw her leave and come down into the kitchen. Also, her hands and clothes have no jam on them.

It is remotely possible that the boy’s story is true. The sister could have come down from upstairs, broken into the jam, smeared it on his hands, shirt and face, then washed her hands and gone back upstairs without being noticed. However, that explanation is extremely complicated. In order for this to be true a lot of unusual things would have to have happened: no one seeing the sister, no one hearing the commotion, this all happening so quickly, etc. It could be true, but it’s probably not.

The much simpler explanation is that the boy himself ate the jam and made up the story about being framed. Unless you have specific evidence that the sister did it—such as, the sister being witnessed in the act—the conclusion that the boy ate the jam himself is a rebuttable presumption. If you can’t rebut it, you must conclude that this is what happened.

Back to crop circles. We have two possible scenarios: (A) Gamble’s scenario, that crop circles are made by extraterrestrials; or (B), my scenario, that they are done by pranksters.

Things that would have to be true if Gamble is right:

  • Intelligent extraterrestrials must exist.
  • These intelligent extraterrestrials must have the ability and the desire to visit Earth in starships capable of traveling millions of miles across space and sustaining their occupants for years in order to make the trip.
  • These intelligent extraterrestrials must have a reason for wanting to come to Earth for the purpose of pressing weird designs in to fields of grain.
  • The process of creating crop circles must be done without the possibility of these extraterrestrials being witnessed in the act of doing it (I’ve never seen any claim of a person witnessing an alien making a crop circle).
  • Something must explain why extraterrestrials are particularly attracted to doing this activity in southern England much more often than anywhere else.

Things that would have to be true if I am right:

  • Some human beings must have the desire to play a prank.
  • Some human beings must have access to a board, a piece of string, and a baseball cap.
  • Some human beings must have some knowledge of geometry.
  • Some human beings who possess these characteristics must be present in southern England.

My explanation is much more plausible. It does not require the intervention of creatures whose existence is not proven; it does not require the use of technology that is beyond the capability of modern science; it does not rely on a host of suppositions that are meant to fill in the gaps between various weak parts of the theory; and most importantly, it is supported by evidence. Earlier in this article I directed you to a video where you can see people making a crop circle. You can, if you want to, even hire people to make one for you. This is pretty conclusive.

There is no evidence to support Gamble’s version. None. By contrast, I’ve presented evidence to support my theory. Because my theory is much more plausible and is supported by evidence, in contrast to Gamble’s which is extremely farfetched and not supported by any evidence, the conclusion that humans create crop circles is a rebuttable presumption that has not been rebutted—and that means you must conclude that it is correct.

But doesn’t Gamble admit that some crop circles are man-made?

Yes, he does, but he deals with this possibility in an extremely misleading way. At 26:14 of Thrive he admits that some crop circles are made by humans, but he says, “those made by human hands are crude compared to the vast majority of these elegant creations.” As he says this, several examples flash on the screen: very shoddy, poorly-done crop circles that do not compare to the “pristine” examples that Gamble wants you to believe are of extraterrestrial origin. The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce the basic assumption with which he approaches the subject of crop circles: that most of them are “too perfect” to have been made by human hands. I repeat that this assumption is the entire basis for Gamble’s claim that crop circles are made by aliens.

I have already attacked this assumption with evidence. Look at the video I posted above. Fast-forward to 9:35 and you can see the formation from the air. It doesn’t look anything like Gamble’s “crude” versions, does it? Indeed, it looks absolutely perfect. This crop circle was made in Silbury Hill, England in 2001 in about four hours.

This evidence demonstrates beyond all doubt that people can and do make crop circles quite easily. But even if this evidence did not exist, you can debunk Gamble’s reasoning with simple logic. Claiming that the shoddy examples shown on screen prove that human beings cannot make “perfect” crop circles is like claiming that because I drew this…

…and it sucks, this means that this

…is “too perfect” to have been made by any human, and therefore must have been painted by extraterrestrials.

Obviously, this conclusion is absurd.

Crop-circle makers themselves think this argument is absurd. Here is an excerpt from an interview with the maker of a crop circle, John Lundberg, who had this to say (link to the full interview here: http://www.starpod.org/news/1106291.htm)

“They [believers that crop circles have a paranormal explanation] come up with litmus tests that become an article of faith for them, terms such as ‘bent not broken stems’, ‘physiological changed to the plants’, etc are their ‘proof’ that the circles could not possibly be the work of mere human mortals. I think this attitude shows a complete lack of belief in human potential. Do these people not look around them and see what human civilization has achieved? The scientific, engineering and artistic marvels? We can get a man to the moon and back, but these people can’t believe that a few well organised artists can flatten cereal crops in a complex pattern.”

What about the strange “magnetic particles” that are found in crop circles?

At 26:48 of the film, Gamble asserts that “strange magnetic particles” are found in crop circles. This sounds like a convincing explanation for some non-human origin, doesn’t it? (Of course it does, which is why Gamble uses this example).

This feature too is easily explained. Here is a page that explains how to create a crop circle—with magnetic particles included. [http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Crop-Circle] Here’s how you do it:

“Also, melt some iron filings into droplets on site and sprinkle them around the flattened area to leave ‘meteorite particles’ and magnetized stalks.”

This is yet another technique used by hoaxers precisely to stoke the idea among believers that crop circles have some sort of paranormal origin. In this case, Foster Gamble fell for it.

Further evidence that crop circles are manmade: the Chilbolton crop circle and the “Arecibo message.”

At 26:56 in the film, Gamble devotes considerable attention to a crop “circle” at Chilbolton in England, which, as you see on the screen, is right next door to a radio observatory in England. I use the term “circle” in quotes because as you can see it was not a circle, but rather a rectangle, presenting an almost-duplicate of the Arecibo message. The Arecibo message, as explained in the movie, was a transmission of a graphic design beamed into space in 1974 by the Arecibo radio observatory in Puerto Rico as part of the SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). That message contained information by which some astronomers thought might lead an extraterrestrial civilization to find Earth—a representation of our solar system, a human figure, and some other details.

The crop “circle” found next to Chilbolton Observatory mirrors the Arecibo message, except that in the place of a human figure it shows a figure obviously intended to look like the usual cultural depiction of an alien—big head, big eyes, small body, etc., and in the place of the representation of our solar system it shows a different solar system. It is obvious from Thrive that Gamble believes that this crop “circle” is a direct response by extraterrestrials to the Arecibo message.

But is it really? Think about it from the standpoint of the conclusion demonstrated above. If crop circles are manmade, how can we explain the “circle” next to Chilbolton Observatory?

Actually, we can explain it quite easily. Note that it occurs right next door to a radio observatory. The staff of this observatory would be expected to know about the Arecibo message. They would also presumably know that some people think crop circles are extraterrestrial in origin. If one or another of the people who work here were willing to play a prank, wouldn’t it make sense they might do something of this nature? Or, if it was done by pranksters not connected with the observatory, doesn’t the idea of putting a crop circle in that specific location make a lot of sense—i.e., someone playing a joke on the observatory itself?

I posit this: because we already know that the thesis of human pranksters making crop circles is a rebuttable presumption, which has not been rebutted, the theory that the Chilbolton “circle” was done by humans and is somehow connected to the observatory is conclusive.

If it was aliens responding to the Arecibo message, why would they choose to respond by making a crop circle? Why wouldn’t they beam their response back to the Arecibo observatory itself? Aliens in posession of awesome technology—starships that can cross the gulf of space and presumably communicate in extremely efficient technological ways—decide not to use any of those capabilities, and instead send a very ambiguous message by pressing down a bunch of grain stalks in England?

Or, if for whatever inscrutable reason extraterrestrials decided they had to respond by making a crop circle, why wouldn’t they have done it at or near the Arecibo facility where the message was sent from? If they wanted to respond, why wouldn’t they make both the content and the origin of their response absolutely unmistakable?

Furthermore, the Arecibo message (read about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message) was beamed at M13, which is 25,000 light years from Earth. The message left Earth in November 1974 at the speed of light. By now the farthest it could have penetrated into space is 37 light years. If M13 is inhabited by intelligent beings who wish to respond, they won’t even get the message for another 25,000 years!

There is no other rational conclusion to reach except this one: the Chibolton circle was done by humans, and Foster Gamble was punk’d. Thrive’s contentions regarding crop circles are simply wrong.

If most crop circles appear in England, and crop circles are done by UFOs, why don’t most UFO sightings occur in England?

This is yet another non sequitur in Gamble’s argument. He admits (23:53) that most crop circles have appeared in England. We have seen that this is true. In fact according to Wikipedia, about 90% of them have. But if crop circles are made by aliens who arrive here in UFOs, as Gamble unequivocally asserts, then why don’t 90% of UFO sightings occur in England?

I mean, it only makes sense, doesn’t it? People think they see UFOs all over the world, in the UK as well. But if there was a direct causal relationship between UFOs and crop circles, and we know for a fact that most crop circles appear in England, then you should expect England to be the UFO sighting capital of the world, by a far margin. However, 90% of UFO sightings do not occur in England. This is circumstantial evidence that Gamble’s theory is wrong.

My answer, however—that crop circles are made by human beings—easily accounts for why most crop circles appear in England: because most people who make crop circles, and/or the people who tend to make the most crop circles per capita, live in England. Bower and Chorley certainly do. The people in the video I linked above do. Indeed, making crop circles appears to be a pastime that is most popular in England. The people who originally did it taught their friends how to do it, and those people were copied (willingly or not) by others in their general circles (no pun intended) of acquaintances. This all makes perfect sense.

What does Thrive’s “fact-check” section say about crop circles?

The Thrive website contains a “fact check” section (http://thrivemovement.com/fact_checks). Most of the “fact checks” presented are not really facts, or are not very reliable. Here’s what the site has to say to defend Gamble’s claims on crop circles:

“Crop Circles Fact: 5,000 crop circles have appeared in over 30 countries, most of them in England.

This is a conservative estimate. Crop Circles, authored by Colin Andrews with Stephen J. Spignesi, is a reference guide on the subject and answers many commonly asked questions in the field. This work states that more than 11,000 crop circles have been reported in over 30 countries and that they occur mostly in England. Colin Andrews is a former engineer with the British Government and is widely accepted as an authority on crop circle phenomenon. Stephen J. Spignesi is a New York Times best-selling author.

Sources:

Both of these sources confirm that England is where most crop circles are made.

Hillary Mayell. “Crop Circles” Artworks or Alien Signs?” National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/08/0801_020801_cropcircles.html

Stephen J. Spignesi and Colin Andrews. Crop Circles: Signs of Contact. Franklin Lakes: Career Press, 2003. (178).

Stephen J. Spignesi and Colin Andrews. Crop Circles: Signs of Contact. Franklin Lakes: Career Press, 2003. (75).

Star Dreams: A Crop Circle Documentary: http://www.zimbio.com/Crop+Circles/articles/RzuAclFOjzE/Star+Dreams+Crop+Circle+D”

You can browse the book referenced, by Andrews and Spignesi, here: http://books.google.com/books?id=TBowgkpSZpEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false Take a look. You will see that it accepts unquestioningly the assumption that crop circles are made by UFOs and are trying to send messages to humans. Therefore, the writers of this book have simply made the exact same error in logic and reasoning that Gamble has made. You’ll also notice the book veers in a lot of “New Age” directions. A scholarly examination of the crop circle phenomenon would not do that.

The “fact check” section goes on to state:

“Electromagnetic Charge of Crop Circles Fact: The electromagnetic field over the area where the crop has been laid down to create the image, is often electro-statically charged. Some of these areas are littered with strange magnetic particles.

In the early 1990s a unique discovery was made while studying a crop circle in England. Plants in the formation were coated with fused particles of iron oxides (hematite and magnetite). Since this discovery, soil sampling is regularly undertaken at crop circle sites. Traces of melted magnetic material, adhered to soil grains, have regularly been identified.

Sources:

Newworldencyclopedia.org: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Crop_circle

“Magnetic Materials in Soils”: http://www.bltresearch.com/magnetic.php”

I have already explained what these magnetic particles are and how they got there. As for the cite to the “New World Encyclopedia,” you will notice that this is a user-generated wiki with a decidedly New Age bent to it. However, even this source admits the following:

“The main criticism of theories of non-human creation of crop circles is that evidence of these origins, besides eyewitness testimonies, is scant. Crop circles are usually easily explicable as the result of human pranksters. There have also been cases in which researchers declared crop circles to be “the real thing,” only to be confronted soon after with the people who created the circle and documented the fraud. Many people have demonstrated how complex crop circles can be created.”

There you have it—a source that Foster Gamble cites specifically to support his contention in fact refutes it! The New World Encyclopedia, later in the article, carefully decides that it can’t conclude whether crop circles are man or ET-made, but if you read the article you’ll see that even this source, generally sympathetic to “New Age” type stuff, specifically and unequivocally contradicts claims made by Gamble in the Thrive movie.

Gamble’s own sources refute him!

OK, Gamble is wrong about crop circles. Does that mean the whole movie is garbage?

Crop circles aren’t the only thing Gamble gets wrong. As you will see from the various debunkings that have been posted and will eventually be posted on this blog, there are many aspects of the Thrive movie that are misleading or just totally wrong. Indeed, Gamble gets more wrong than he does right. That should give rational viewers serious pause.

However, even if that were not the case, consider that the UFO-crop circle connection is a key sequence in the film and it’s crucial to Thrive’s overall argument. The claim is that aliens exist, that they are trying to give us the secret to “free” energy, and that this secret is being suppressed. Gamble specifically uses crop circles as a means of supporting his claims about aliens. If he’s this wrong about a key part of his own movie, that has to make you wonder—what else is he wrong about?

Conclusion

I have demonstrated, with evidence, where crop circles really come from and why the reality is different than what Foster Gamble says it is in Thrive. I have also demonstrated, by using logic and reasoning, why it is illogical and irrational to believe that crop circles are caused by anything other than human beings. While the evidence in this article speaks for itself, I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself, and do your own thinking. If you do, I’m confident you will conclude, as I have, that the section in Thrive regarding crop circles is absolutely incorrect, misleading, and is a product of seriously shoddy research and even more spurious reasoning.

The Second (Partial) Debunking of the Full-Length Thrive Movie.

This is Part II of the first debunking done on the full-length Thrive movie. There will be additional debunking material that is more detailed, both on the full movie and on various individual aspects of it, posted later. This debunking is not by me, but by gabrieltech, who will (we hope) be a contributor to this blog. If you missed Part I, here it is.

——————————————–

Dr. Jack Kasher, Lane Andrews and James Gilliland

Little is known about these two (Kasher and Gilliland). They continue to claim a correlation between torus and energy control and transportation in UFOs, with Lane Andrews (supposed alien abductee) showing with sketches and drawing of the shape and pattern of the UFO. I’m sure she was chosen because her deception of the UFO was the only one from all alleged abductees that matched Gamble’s torus obsession along with James Gilliland who also described a similar UFO encounter to Andrews and of the two is the only one I whose information I could find on-line. He runs a website dedicated to alien encounters and the footage from his ranch sightings.

http://eceti.org/Eceti.IndexII.html

Some talk with Dr Kasher about the age of earth and the possibility of an earth like planet containing intelligent life existing, and faster than light travel.

Daniel Sheehan:

Nothing special about him besides his connection to Greer’s Disclosure project. In his brief appearance he tells how no politician likes to touch the extraterrestrial life theme because it’s a “world view” challenge instead of the political suicide of being associated with conspiracy groups.

Free energy and torus:

This part starts with Nicola Tesla’s works, and mistakenly relates it to free energy and radiant and how his work and financing was shut down by J.P Morgan and later had his laboratory burned and ostracized for his goals of implementing unlimited energy for everyone.

First, the free energy claim.

A few of Nicola Tesla’s works were related to wireless energy (http://www.google.com/patents?vid=1119732) and electro static induction,  methods to transfer electrical energy without the need to use wires. The power itself came from conventional electrical generators, it wasn’t free energy and neither was generated by his devices.

Second, J.P Morgan sponsor shut down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower

The project J.P Morgan was sponsoring wasn’t related to energy but communications the Wardenclyffe Tower (the wireless power transmission served only for demonstration purposes), a wireless radio communication tower. Morgan withdrew his support for the project after failures and delays after changes in the main project resulted in undesired effects.

Tesla laboratory burned down.

While this indeed happened and was due to Tesla’s works it’s not about the reason Gamble leads you to believe. During Tesla’s time there were major patent wars between Tesla and several other inventors, the most notable being Thomas Edison.

This competition often ended with one inventor sabotaging each other’s labs and inventions, in when Tesla’s lab was burned down he was working on his Tesla generator and liquefaction of air, after the event a competitor in Germany Carl Paul Gottfried von Linde filed a patent for the same process Tesla was working on.

Tesla ostracized.

This part is an outright lie. Even after Wardenclyffe Tower and his lab being burned Tesla remained a respected scientist and filed several patents up until his death in 1943. His deeds are still remembered and his contribution to science are respected.

There is nothing relating those incidents to free energy.

Free Energy “suppresion”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_energy_suppression

This bumps into another conspiracy theory, but instead of 9/11 and New World Order we have free energy being suppressed (In my opinion it’s a convenient way to shrug off failure by just saying, “hey my generators worked, it was the government that confiscated everything !”).

Adam Trombly:

Mr Trombly is a common name in free energy circles an enthusiasts but none of his works or machines have been proven to work on their own.

http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Adam_Trombly

http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=8510.0

http://www.ahealedplanet.net/journey.htm

http://projectearth.com/about/adam-trombly

http://www.rexresearch.com/trombly/trombly.htm (Trombly’s profile and his Homopolar Generator)

He talks about how his device resonates with earth magnetic field to generate power and how such device could bring power to anywhere on earth. Despite claiming his generator works as a fact, Thrive has shown nothing but CGI representation of the generator instead of a real life working one.

I couldn’t find references and pages about the federal raid and the alleged confiscation of his devices. The only places where I could find this were “free energy” forums, and sites that linked me to once again Greer’s work.

[Muertos comment: this is a telltale sign of a pseudoscientist. Any scientist or inventor with a radically new machine or process would be canvassing the legitimate scientific and engineering community in the hopes of attracting investors to help him bring the process to market. If the inventor won’t show you what he invented, especially if you want to invest money in it, chances are there’s nothing to see.]

John Bedini:

http://johnbedini.net/ (his website has a page that links to Rife, but more about Rife soon)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bedini

http://johnbedini.net/john34/bedinibearden.html

His devices descriptions in Thrive fill the category of perpetual motion machines: “a device that generates more energy than it takes to run them.”

[Muertos comment: that is impossible given the laws of physics as we know them to be.]

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion)

Bedini still sells models and blueprints of his devices on-line and still has a company selling his inventions(some of which have been dismissed by the skeptic  James Randi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi)

He later claims Bedini was intimidated into stop advocating free energy, he doesn’t say by who and which organization, certainly he implies the US government is involved.

After showing videos with poor quality of free energy machines working Gamble’s appeals to his authority for the veracity of such concepts and their real applications.

John Hutchinson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK-BziiId_0 (This video fails at physics forever)

http://www.skepdic.com/hutchisonhoax.html

Another hoax passed as truth by Thrive and Gamble. I won’t waste my time trying to debunk this because it was already done.

But long story short, Hutchinson is credited in free energy circles to have created the “Hutchinson effect,” in which he used a series of Tesla coils and other electromagnetic equipment to resonate with objects in a testing table making the “defy” gravity and levitate. Needless to say no other scientist has been able to replicate the same results in a controlled environment using the same type of apparatus Hutchinson used.

His lab raids are only discussed free energy forums and other conspiracy theory sites, including David Icke’s forums, and somehow he becomes related to 9/11 “anomalies”.

http://www.rexresearch.com/hutchisn/hutchisn.htm#7

http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=17964 (tying the he Hutchison effect to 9/11)

[Muertos: absolutely no reputable scientist or researcher would allow their work to be attached to 9/11 conspiracy theories. Witness what happened to Steven Jones. In addition to his work being incapable of being replicated, the 9/11 association alone is enough to declare Hutchinson completely untrustworthy.]

Eugene Mallove:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Mallove

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion

Mallove gained some notoriety for advocating room temperature fusion also known as cold fusion and he is the creator of infinite energy magazine.

Cold fusion is considered by the scientific field as pathological science where experiments are made to trick people into believing false results. The history of cold fusion is ridden with false positives, measurement and theoretical errors and several attempts to replicate the results claimed by Martin Fleischmann were met with negative results.

[Muertos comment: Steven Jones, former BYU professor who later gained fame as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, got his start in the late 1980s pushing cold fusion theories. Funny how these conspiracy people keep a tight circle, isn’t it?]

So far there has been no device able to create and manipulate cold fusion, and unlike what Thrive wants to make you believe, it wasn’t because of lack of attempts either, as major universities and research institutes poured money and time researching cold fusion.

Mallove was murdered in 2004. Gamble’s tone implies that he was also victim of suppression, but reason of his death was due to troubles he had with Chad Schaffe, who along his fellow Mozzelle Brown (Brown had prior criminal records) beat Mallove to death after finding Mallove was throwing away Schaffer’s parents’ belongings after their eviction.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/carousel/x1555988219/Police-have-3rd-suspect-in-Eugene-Mallove-killing#axzz1dsQ12xFA

After the presentation of the suppressed “inventors”, Trombly and Greer talk about the military and major energy groups suppressing the free energy inventors and how free energy suppression is hand in hand with UFO suppression due to their supposed technological links, and implications of how free energy would shift the wheel of power from major energy corporations.

A few more pictures and videos of supposed working free energy generators are shown along with Brian O’Leary’s comments.

Gamble claims that instead of “smashing things together and trying to control the explosion” free energy relies on “blending and dancing with what naturally it is” with the common denominator is that they mimic the torus energy shape (news flash: every electromagnetic generator does).

Gamble couldn’t be less specific when describing how free energy devices work, and later implies why corporations and governments force us to rely on dangerous and polluting energy sources, declaring there are no other clean and cheap energy sources.

Right after this, Gamble, O’Leary and Gamble’s wife have a brief speech about the benefits and the importance of free energy and alternate technologies.

More material from gabrieltech’s debunking of Thrive will be posted at a later time.

The First (Partial) Debunking of the Full-Length Thrive Movie.

This is Part I of the first debunking done on the full-length Thrive movie. More parts will be uploaded in coming days, and there will be additional debunking material that is more detailed, both on the full movie and on various individual aspects of it. This debunking is not by me, but by gabrieltech, who will (we hope) be a contributor to this blog.

——————————

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

The intro:

The movie begins with Foster Gamble’s early story and memories, introducing himself and showing his revelation where he apparently found a pattern involving a torus which is according to him, imbued to basically everything involving energy other common geometric patterns through history.

The torus:

First, I’d like to say that the torus is a very common shape and patter in nature, especially when it is related to magnetism, electromagnetism and magnets (how do they work?), then he introduces the vector equilibrium and states that those two are related to several physical phenomena including the creation of the universe and in all scales showing global weather patterns, the airflow from helicopters and a few things more.

No real problem so far but at around 15 minutes into the video he states that inventors using the torus have created devices that generate energy without using combustion, then he proceeds to use buzz words such as zero point energy, radiant or free energy and rebrands them as New Energy Technology.

Later Gamble states that much of the suffering in the world is directly linked to the lack of energy. While this is true in some cases, he completely ignores geopolitical, ethnical, religious and nationalistic conflicts and tensions. Gamble states that free unlimited free energy would improve the living condition of many and become a great break through(thanks captain obvious we didn’t notice), and then he asks who knew about such “potential” torus based devices.

The “Flower of Life”

Following this question Gamble proceeds showing several pieces of ancient works of art, sculptures paintings and even alphabets, most of those have spiral and circular patterns and drawings, claiming that the torus has been encoded in such works(some of the most notable are the Orobus snake and the Giza pyramid).

The flower of life in the Temple of Osiris in Abydos Egypt is mentioned and Hassim Haramein claims those have been burned into the atomic structure of the rock. No support is provided for the claim that it is “burned into the atomic structure of the rock.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_of_Life

http://www.floweroflife.org/folindia.htm

http://www.kch42.dial.pipex.com/egypttour_osirion.html

First, I have failed to find in any respectable source citing or confirming the veracity of this statement.

Second, this shape isn’t exclusive to the Egyptians. It has appeared in several cultures along the ages, given how Egypt was a cultural hub in the period of these markings those certainly were brought by foreign travellers and were imported to other regional cultures, this shape held a significant religious and philosophical meaning in representing life and time.

Third, while it is related to torus it isn’t limited to one shape of solids such as pyramids and tetrahedrons but a vast array of regular shapes.

Later Gamble claims the expanded 3D view of the Flower of life holds the vector equilibrium, but when I searched for more information regarding this aspect I could only find sites and articles made by Nassim Haramein or citing him as a source. Those who didn’t cite him as a source were either exoteric or another conspiracy theory websites that had no respectable sources or weren’t even sourced at all. No other serious academic report or article has been made to support such claims.

Gamble claims the flow of power in the structure is the torus (so far, this has been nothing but nonsense, as any regular shape can be fitted inside a spherical shape, making such claims proves nothing but basic geometric concepts).

After that Gamble brings that the same shape is also in the forbidden city in China. I stated earlier this shape is common in several cultures and it’s not surprising others also decided to reproduce it in their own works (it’s is a very beautiful pattern it’s easy to see why it was copied during history).

The sixty-four energy units:

Apparently the meaning of life, the universe and everything is 64. Most of the claims were hazy at best, the flower of life circles have been reproduced by several cultures during a time span ranging millennia from middle east (probably its origin, then it was exported to other countries) to as far as India and China.

One peculiar interesting claim was that the human DNA helix “has an alphabet of 64 codons that is used to encode our human DNA”.

Since I have no authority in genetics I can’t properly refute this claim, instead I’ll leave a link and a quote for you to make your own conclusions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA#Transcription_and_translation

Quoting from Wikipedia (yes, I quoted Wikipedia and yes it was from a reliable page so shut up).

“the codons of a gene are copied into messenger RNA by RNA polymerase. This RNA copy is then decoded by a ribosome that reads the RNA sequence by base-pairing the messenger RNA to transfer RNA, which carries amino acids. Since there are 4 bases in 3-letter combinations, there are 64 possible codons (43 combinations). These encode the twenty standard amino acids, giving most amino acids more than one possible codon. There are also three ‘stop’ or ‘nonsense’ codons signifying the end of the coding region; these are the TAA, TGA and TAG codons.”

Gamble along with Haramein imply an alien origin for the tetrahedron, the flower of life along the human knowledge of engineering, writing and science being passed to humanity through sun gods descending to earth to spread knowledge, later inferring that said gods were advanced extraterrestrials with an exposition of paintings as old as the first biblical representation of god and more recently from the Renaissance and 18th century paintings.

That is an off-shot that any major in both theology and history can properly refute and explain, unfortunately I’m neither.

[Muertos comment: I am a historian, and I can and will properly refute and explain these issues in a future entry.]

But the point is simple: Gamble is coercing the viewer into believing that ancient myths and creeds are tied to the existence of aliens and their coming to earth regardless of that being true or not, it doesn’t show any conclusive evidence besides paintings whose interpretation can vary from viewer to viewer.

The first interviews:

Steven Greer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSETI

What I know so far about him is that he is legally formed as a physician and became an ufologist.

He created the CSETI and the Disclosure project and has featured in several congresses about UFOs and abductions. One of the most notable appearance was in the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens show (which is very well known for its lack of credibility).

After a brief introduction, Greer makes a comment about the certain possibility of the existence of alien races as advanced or more than the human race and proceeds to show several footage containing alleged UFOs, several of which can be attributed to natural phenomena such as ball lighting and meteorites or pure mistaken sightings of weather balloons (I know this is a cliché explanation but it’s true), aircraft and even hoax videos who are manipulated to show an UFO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Lights#Explanations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning

One of the most baffling videos was the Mexico City skyline in 1997, an already admitted hoax.

http://brumac.8k.com/MexCityAug697/MexCtySmearAnalysis.html

Edgar Dean Mitchell, Sergeant Clifford Stone, Harry Allen Jordan, Col Dwynne Anderson and John Callahan.

These five men have two things in common: they used to work for the government (Mitchell was an astronaut, Stone and Jordan were military servicemen, John Callahan is a former FAA head of Accidents and Investigations) and all of them believe that the US government knows about the existence of aliens and actively tries to cover their existence.

Most of the reports I could find about them were either tied to other conspiracy theory sites some of which being the Greer’s Disclosure Project and an interview with Sergeant Stone on Burlington news.

There isn’t much official data about Mitchell besides his career as an engineer, astronaut and his mission as the pilot of Apollo 14. His views of aliens and UFO have the same issue that many others UFO and aliens advocators suffer from: lack of credible and verifiable sources.

He also believes a remote healer with the pseudonym of Adam Dreamhealer helped with the cure of his kidney cancer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Mitchell#cite_note-13

http://www.burlingtonnews.net/stone.html

http://www.nicap.org/articles/631002jordan_testimony_article.pdf (Jordan’s views of the event in the Disclosure project)

The incident they mention with UFO’s disabling nuclear missiles can be found in those articles

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/ufo/8026971/Aliens-have-deactivated-British-and-US-nuclear-missiles-say-US-military-pilots.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1315339/Aliens-hit-nukes-They-landed-Suffolk-base-claim-airmen.html

The crop circles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_circle

Perhaps one of the most sensationalist parts of the documentary involves crop circles, which Gamble and his friends claim are made by extraterrestrials. There are several sites that either debunk or give detailed instructions about how those circles were man-made.

[Muertos comment: as I will cover in a future entry, if there is a rational explanation, supported by evidence, that crop circles are man-made, the rules of logic require you to assume that they are man-made until and unless proven otherwise–and that “proven otherwise” has a very high standard of proof. I say require because you simply don’t have a choice. Jumping to the conclusion that crop circles are extraterrestrial in origin, when there is a much easier and more rational explanation at hand, is simply bad logic. I consider this point absolutely conclusive regarding crop circles, but SlayerX3 is certainly correct to marshal the evidence, as he does, that they are man-made.]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_opN9ghPKQ

Here is a link with the how-to guide into making convincing crop circles covering even the bent stalks, magnetized soil and exotic patterns:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Crop-Circle

http://www.wikihow.com/Explain-Crop-Circles

“Could hoaxers have created all 5.000 of these patterns?”

Do not underestimate human boredom, publicity and search for attention.

The NASA message and the Chilbolton crop circle:

Perhaps the most extravagant crop circle, the crop circle in Childbolton in England is a quite interesting one first I’ll show what the NASA message is called the Arecibo message

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message

The message contains basic information about the Human Race such as location in our solar system, a sample of our genetic code and numeric system.

It wasn’t considered an attempt to make contact but simply a show of technical prowess as the clusters of stars where this message is aimed at is 25.000 light years away from earth, and is highly unlikely that an advanced species had picked up the message what was originally transmitted in 1974 and answered it in 2001.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilbolton_Observatory

There is a radio scope and observatory no further than 200 meters away from the crops, it doesn’t help that previous crops have been targeted with pranksters (from the Childbolton’s observatory, possibly) and the crew of the Observatory is possibly familiar with the Arecibo message don’t give much credibility to this crop “circle” as it could be a detailed practical joke from the observatory’s crew.

http://www.cropcircleresearch.com/articles/arecibo.html

http://www.rense.com/general13/mistakes.htm

http://www.rense.com/general13/arc.htm

http://www.swirlednews.com/article.asp?artID=260

Author note: I had difficulty in finding mainstream and more reliable sources for this event, so make your own conclusions, along the links I’ve sent.

Later Gamble makes a bold and unfounded statement about how the crop circles, the torus, vector equilibrium are coherent and carry messages on how to access clean and unlimited energy and transportation.

More material from gabrieltech’s debunking of Thrive will be posted at a later time.