Archive | December 2011

Thrive: A Flop?

Lately I have been browsing around the net trying to ascertain the sort of impact that the Thrive movie is having. While admittedly there is no reliable quantitative way to measure such a thing, from my own experience observing conspiracy theories and conspiracy movements, I’m suspecting that Thrive is not having the impact its makers hoped for–and in fact it may be an out-and-out flop.

It has been more than a month since the release of the film on the Internet. In that brief space of time, “buzz” about the film seems to have declined rather than increased. Stats on how many times it has been paid for and downloaded aren’t very reliable, considering the film was ripped to various torrent sites literally the day it was released (November 11), and it has been popping up on YouTube (and being taken down again) several times in succession. Do a search for the hashtag #ThriveMovement on Twitter and you’ll bring up only 26 hits since December 9–most of which are the same people over and over again, some of whom are critics (including me). The hashtag #Thrive has more hits, but many of them are not related to the movie at all. Indeed, most of the hits on Google regarding the movie lead to conspiracy theorist web forums where someone brings up the movie, it is briefly discussed, and then the participants move on to another topic.

I suspect the model the Thrive makers intended to emulate is the Zeitgeist experience. Zeitgeist: The Movie, a poorly-made Internet documentary released in 2007 which also promoted conspiracy theories, went viral and even sponsored an online cult of followers, the “Zeitgeist Movement,” which is now largely defunct. The buzz on Zeitgeist built slowly and peaked around 2008, but even then the whole “Zeitgeist Movement” had to be kept alive by the release of two (soon to be three) sequels, with each one decreasing markedly in popularity from the previous one. Nevertheless, Zeitgeist had a life-span of about four years. It seems Thrive may be looking at a life-span considerably shorter–months, or perhaps even weeks.

Here are some reasons why I think Thrive may be struggling to achieve or maintain its relevance.

1. Many conspiracy theorists don’t trust Thrive…because they think it’s a conspiracy!

Most of the criticism directed at the Thrive movie is not from people who debunk and disbelieve conspiracy theories, but from the exact opposite. The vast majority of anti-Thrive commentary on the net comes from conspiracy theorists who believe the movie is deliberate “disinformation” made by conspirators!

Take for example this webpage, which warns people not to get “sucked in” to the film. The site rails at the movie thusly:

“The Thrive movie has big advertising. Big names. Big message. Big budget…and it has big “disinformation” mixed with truth. Watch the trailer…and get sucked right in to yet another hijacking of the activist movement by the ruling crime families. This is a hijacking!”

A discussion on a conspiracy-friendly web forum contains similar sentiments, such as this:

“In my opinion the movie was made to suck people’s energy out of them and make them feel hopeless! It is so overwhelming in what they say….I personally believe this film was made by the same elite that he (Gamble) talks about in the movie and how they control every aspect of the world.”

The number one reason paranoid conspiracy theorists distrust Thrive is because its director, Foster Gamble, is a member of the Gamble family (of the corporation Procter & Gamble). To conspiracy theorists, this is proof positive that Gamble is part of the “global elite” that secretly runs the world. This blog has already debunked the ridiculous “Global Domination Agenda” conspiracy theory as presented in Thrive, but, as that article notes, because it is extraordinarily difficult to convince believers in this nutty conspiracy theory that it is not happening, Gamble’s last name plays right into their paranoid delusions and he magically becomes part of the conspiracy.

This type of thing is an occupational hazard of being in the conspiracy theory business. Conspiracy theorists see enemies everywhere and believe that powerful forces are expending a lot of effort to spread “disinformation” to discredit them–for example, many believers in the ridiculous “9/11 was an inside job” conspiracy theory believe that Dr. Judy Wood, who thinks the World Trade Center towers were demolished with super magical beam weapons from outer space, is an agent provocateur who was planted in the “Truth movement” to make it look ridiculous. What they miss is that, in the eyes of the vast majority of the public, conspiracy theorists could not look more ridiculous than they already are.

Gamble either didn’t appreciate this, or gambled (no pun intended) that his name, wealth and connections to a large corporation wouldn’t sour his pro-conspiracy-theory message. Nevertheless, Thrive seems to have a serious credibility problem within the core demographic at which it is aimed, that being paranoid conspiracy theorists.

2. The Thrive movie doesn’t really have a “happy ending.”

Another potential reason Thrive isn’t catching on is because it’s too bleak, and is not clear enough about proposing solutions, which its audience evidently wants to hear about. This is a criticism I’ve seen several places on the net–you can see a hint of it in the second forum post reproduced above. Here is another similar sentiment:

“It pretends to be an examination of the power elite but it conflates this power-elite analysis with an “alien code.” This does two things. For many people it makes the movie a kind of “crackpot” endeavor (and we note they’ve gone out of their way to include many prominent free-market thinkers in their narrative). Second, it doesn’t apparently produce any real solutions, inspiring helplessness and fear rather than inspiration or education.”

It may seem strange that an audience of conspiracy theorists, who love predictions of economic or societal collapse, craves a “happy ending,” but it makes sense if you understand the basic psychology of conspiracy beliefs. Many conspiracy theorists are attracted to these theories because they like the idea of having “secret knowledge” that is generally denied or ignored by the world at large. This gives them a feeling of empowerment, that they’re in a secret club that knows the “truth” and is fighting the good fight to get other people to notice it. However, this dynamic doesn’t work without the implicit assumption that this secret knowledge can do some good. Conspiracy theorists like to think of themselves as Neo, the hero of the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix, who takes the “red pill,” recognizes that the world is fake and then becomes a sort of messiah to bring it down. Those who are bothered by Thrive’s failure to propose “solutions” seem to be disappointed because Gamble has given them the “red pill,” but hasn’t told them what to do with it.

One of the most common conspiracy theorist memes is that people are “waking up.” If you surf conspiracist web sites or read their forum posts you’ll see a lot of metaphors related to sleep, waking up, opening eyes, etc., and material that posits conspiracy theories, especially “Global Domination Agenda” theories and similar tropes, will often be praised as helping “wake people up.” Thrive itself plays on this meme in its promotional poster, showing a woman removing a blindfold. But it seems, interestingly enough, that “waking people up” alone isn’t enough anymore. Conspiracy theorists want to be “inspired” or “educated” as to what they can do about all these horrible conspiracies. Thrive is very short on action points and that seems to bother people.  While it is part of a conspiracy theory narrative, it seems to lack the elements necessary to compel commitment among its followers–meaning, validation of the implicit idea that the “special knowledge” the movie imparts will be of some earthly use.

If Gamble does make a Thrive 2, expect that to be the plot.

3. The conspiracy theory world moves much faster than it used to.

It is possible that, even in the short space of a month since its release, Thrive may have already peaked. Only time will tell, but if this is true, it lends credence to a theory by former JREF debunker Ryan Mackey, who stated recently that the world of conspiracy theories moves a lot faster than it used to thanks to social networking and instant information sources like Twitter. If this is true, it may be a lesson that many purveyors of conspiracy theories have yet to learn.

In November, Mackey published (on the web) a very interesting essay called The Great Internet Conspiracy: The Role of Technology and Social Media in the 9/11 Truth Movement. The essay is very long but a fascinating read. In diagnosing the rise and fall of the 9/11 “Truth” movement from its beginnings in 2005 to its burnout in 2008-09, Mackey analyzes two conspiracy theories that became popular after 9/11 Truth, those being the “Birther” thing (the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was secretly born in Kenya and his Hawaii birth certificate is a fake), and the Osama bin Laden “deathers” (the conspiracy theory that Osama bin Laden was not killed by US forces on May 1, 2011, or that his death was somehow different than explained, and covered up for whatever bizarre reason). He makes the point that these conspiracy theories peaked much, much faster than 9/11 Truth did, which took years:

“The Birther conspiracy theory…made the jump into the mainstream very quickly. Unlike the Truth Movement, it seems to have begun its runaway growth phase in only a matter of months, steeply increasing in popularity from mid-2009 through April 2011. It peaked with something like 30% of Americans believing the conspiracy theory (there is a lot of scatter in the polls), but then rapidly slipped to a stable support level of about 10%….We see a similar pattern in the Deather conspiracy theory, except here the timeline is compressed even further. This conspiracy theory exploded into the mainstream at the same speed as the news story it challenged, reaching the media almost instantly…

In this case, the conspiracy theory still exhibited distinct phases of initial growth among conspiracy theorists, rapid growth as it assaulted the mainstream, and then a decline back to its conspiracist base, but here it all happened in a matter of hours. It is no coincidence that Twitter played such a significant role this time. As our relationship to the Internet continues to evolve, we now receive news and new information faster than ever, albeit without any sort of context at all. Much of this conversation now takes place on personal devices instead of workstations, which both enables and constrains this new, terse, burst-mode form of communication. As a result, the public experienced the conspiracy theory almost at the moment of its origin, discarded it as nonsense, and moved on.”

Could this be what happened with Thrive? There was a big roll-out and a lot of attention on 11/11, the day of the film’s release. There was Internet traffic, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, and the movie went up on YouTube. Then, as the movie saturated into the conspiracy theorist underground, people saw it, talked about it, and moved on. Now, while Thrive is still out there, it definitely does not have a sense of urgency around it as it did on 11/11. People still do watch it and talk about it, but its momentum doesn’t seem to be building.

Indeed, statistics from this blog could support this theory. I started this blog within days after Thrive’s release because I knew that in order to have any impact, fact-checking and debunking the film would have to be essentially simultaneous with the film’s discovery–meaning, people who Google “Thrive movie” for the first time, and are introduced to it, must also be introduced to its debunking material at the same time. At this I think this blog has been pretty successful. The high water mark of page views on this blog occurred on November 26, Thanksgiving weekend. Since then, views have been declining–just, as I suspect, like views of the Thrive movie itself.

If Foster Gamble hoped that Thrive would replicate the “success” of Zeitgeist, he may well not have taken the increased speed of the conspiracy underground into account. Zeitgeist was released in 2007, toward the end of the 9/11 Truth movement. But even four years ago the Internet moved much slower than it does now. People could continually discover the Zeitgeist movies on YouTube and other video sources at their own pace and then buy into its conspiracy ideology, which by the advent of the Zeitgeist Movement, was ready and waiting to receive them. This doesn’t seem to be happening with Thrive. At least, I don’t see indications that it’s going to have a slow simmer that will eventually build into some sort of mass discovery of the movie or its messages. While we can’t know for sure until more time passes, it could very well be that Thrive peaked on Thanksgiving weekend, and may never attain that level of interest again.

Of course, this prediction could be wrong. Thrive may gain a high-profile supporter or suddenly and inexplicably achieve some type of viral saturation–maybe as part and parcel of the ridiculous but inevitable “2012 doomsday” hysteria that is certainly right around the corner. And it’s always possible that Gamble may make a follow-up movie or take some other action to try to capitalize on the film. But if it does gain a sudden notoriety, I would be very surprised if that translates into sustained and durable popularity. I just don’t think Thrive has it in itself.

Is Thrive really “waking people up”?

As stated earlier in this essay, conspiracy theorists love to believe that they are “waking people up” and “opening people’s eyes.” Indeed the conviction that conspiracy theory X or Y is gaining more and more acceptance with the general public is a virtually universal belief among conspiracy theorists, even in the total absence of evidence that it is true. For example, far fewer people today believe that “9/11 was an inside job” than did in 2005-06, yet Truthers are still out there claiming that “critical mass” of belief in their conspiracy theory is right around the corner, or, even more astonishingly, that a majority of the public already believes that 9/11 was a government conspiracy and that their work in convincing people is largely done. No amount of evidence that the Truth movement is dead could convince these believers.

Similarly, I would be very surprised to encounter an enthusiastic supporter of Thrive who does not believe that the movie is a rip-roaring success that is going to gain millions of converts. This despite the fact that the mainstream media has completely ignored the film, views of the film are apparently declining after only a month, and the film is encountering significant obstacles to widespread acceptance by large segments of the conspiracy underground. The fiction of Thrive gradually snowballing, gaining converts and credibility until it bursts into the mainstream with legions of high-commitment supporters, is probably one that we are going to encounter for quite some time to come.  However, I have seen no evidence that this is even close to true, and considerable anecdotal evidence that the opposite is true.

Thrive is not “waking people up.” Indeed, it appears to be putting them to sleep.

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Who Is Adam Trombly? (UPDATED!)

This blog, originally published December 9, 2011, was updated March 16, 2012. Scroll to the end for the update.

This blog was written jointly by Professor Pious and by Muertos. Authorship of various sections is stated within.

Adam Trombly is one of the “experts” presented in the Thrive movie, and upon whom Thrive maker and narrator Foster Gamble relies heavily for his conclusions that “free energy” machines exist and are being suppressed by conspiratorial forces. Trombly makes his first appearance at 35:07 in the movie, and the film focuses on him for much of the next few minutes.

This blog will attempt to present answers to the following questions: Who is Adam Trombly? Is there any evidence that his machines actually work? Is there any evidence that, if his machines work, they have been suppressed? Bottom line: are his claims credible?

Who Is Adam Trombly?

[This section by Muertos]

Adam Trombly is a researcher who is closely associated with “free energy” devices. The device he is most closely associated with is something called a “Closed Path Homopolar Generator.” This is a free energy/perpetual motion device. As has been stated on this blog before, these devices do not work because they violate the basic laws of physics.

Some general links to familiarize you with Trombly:

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

http://www.economicexpert.com/5a/History:of:perpetual:motion:machines.htm

[This section by Professor Pious]

Unfortunately most of the information in the links here on Adam Trombly trace back to Trombly’s own “projectearth” web site. It seems most information on Trombly available on the Internet has simply been copied from his own web site.

He claims to be:

“an internationally acknowledged expert in the fields of Physics, Atmospheric Dynamics, Geophysics, Rotating and Resonating Electromagnetic Systems, and Environmental Global Modeling”

In addition, the Thrive movie bills him as a “physicist.” Not a single academic degree is mentioned from any accredited institution.

[Muertos comment: I searched at some length for information on Adam Trombly’s academic credentials. I couldn’t find anything. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a Ph.D. in physics or any of the other fields he claims to be an expert in, but it seems unusual that, if he did, he and the Thrive movie would not mention that fact. Every other expert in the film who does have a Ph.D. in a relevant field is identified as being a Ph.D. Trombly is not. 

This section regarding credentials is not an “ad hominem” attack, either, as some may eventually try to claim. The question of academic and scientific credentials is directly relevant to the credibility of Trombly to design and build these sorts of machines. Even if we cannot expect that revolutionary new energy inventions will always come from credentialed experts—I am not making that claim at all—if there’s something to these designs, at the very least credentialed experts would be who we would naturally look to in order to explain and verify these claims.]

Does Trombly’s machine actually work?

Trombly’s web site contains a review of his “Homopolar Generator” by a Bruce E. DePalma:

http://projectearth.com/closed-path-homopolar-machine

As one might expect, DePalma is also a well-known “free energy” researcher, whose research never produced a device that produced excess energy. Here’s a short biography of DePalma:

“De Palma studied electrical engineering at MIT, leaving without a degree around 1958. DePalma worked in weapons electronics at General Atronics Corporation in Philadelphia following his under-graduate years at MIT before returning the Boston area for a job at Polaroid in Cambridge MA. In the mid-1960s he also obtained a teaching assistant position in the laboratory of Dr. Harold Edgerton, the renowned inventor of stroboscopic photography.
Coincident with his return to Massachusetts, he became infatuated with psycho-active drugs and believed the mind altering effects he perceived opened an entirely new way to pursue the study of physics. Unfortunately, this experimentation led to problems with his academic and corporate relationships and by 1970, he left both to strike out on his own and begin the full-time pursuit of free energy machines that occupied the rest of his life. While he was thought to be quite brilliant by the many students he recruited to assist him, his addictions to hashish and LSD colored everything he wrote and conceived, and invariably left within a few years when it became clear that despite his most sincere efforts, nothing he ever postulated could be scientifically verified. Undaunted, he recruited more as needed, invariably assisted by his willingness to share his psychedelics with the newcomers.”

Source:
http://wikibin.org/articles/bruce-depalma.html

That leaves us without any credible verification of Trombly’s free energy homopolar generator, except Trombly’s claims that an Indian scientist named Paramahamsa Tewari had taken up the research.

http://projectearth.com/articles/25-common-sense

Thankfully Gary Posner has some fact-checking here:

http://www.gpposner.com/Hoagland_pt2.html

Excerpt:

“According to FTP, a variation of the “N Machine” [Homopolar Generator] was already in full operation. Thus, on September 21, 1990, I wrote to B. Premanand, founder of the Indian Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal:

~I would like to know if the Indian government has in operation a power generator that produces more energy than it consumes (i.e., a perpetual energy machine). This claim is being made repeatedly on the “For The People” radio program (heard on 7.520 MHz. internationally from 2400 to 0200 hours UTC).

The machine is supposedly a magnetized gyroscope, located on the west coast of India in a city that sounded like “Caroa,” which is supposedly south of an old Portuguese colony that sounded like “Doa.” If I heard correctly, a German company that sounded like “Gadori” may have actually built it.

Although Premanand’s letter of reply never made its way back to me, mine did reach him. I was quite surprised, and delighted, to discover that, as a result of my letter, he had devoted nine pages to this subject in the April 1995 issue of his group’s Indian Skeptic newsletter (in which a copy of my letter was reproduced). Premanand wrote about his efforts to track down Dr. Paramahamsa Tewari, who, according to a 1987 Indian newspaper account, had demonstrated his machine in Hannover, Germany, before an audience that included 1,500 scientists from around the world. His Space Power Generator (SPG), one of about twenty-five similar machines presented at that conference, supposedly extracts power from the vacuum of space. Though the prototype was said to have been built at the Tarapur Atomic Plant in India, Premanand could find no one in the Department of Science & Technology of the Indian government who knew of Dr. Tewari or his SPG.

In a June 21, 1994, letter (reproduced in Indian Skeptic ), N. A. Janardan Rao, Vice President for R&D and Technology Development of Kirloskar Electric Company Ltd. in Bangalore, wrote (to the author of a 1994 Indian newspaper article), “Many years ago I had corresponded with Dr. Thiwari [sic] and he had sent me a small book written by him on this subject. I then proceeded to actually design and fabricate a free energy machine. We incurred an expense of more than one hundred thousand rupees and 8 man months in fabricating this unique device. Subsequent testing showed that there was no free energy as claimed; an infinitesimal electrical output was detected which could be attributed entirely to Faraday’s law” (emphasis added).”

So Trombly’s device was indeed the basis of a design for a free energy device that was actually built and…surprise…never worked.

[UPDATE: Since this article was written, there is now a viable question as to whether Mr. Trombly actually built this machine at all, and what it actually does.]

Interestingly enough, we see the “free energy – extraterrestrial” link being promoted in 1990 by the long discredited Richard Hoagland in the writeup by Gary Posner linked above. A search of the thrivemovement web site turns up no mention of Hoagland, however, he is most closely associated with the discredited “face on Mars” claim.

Is there evidence to support the claim that Trombly’s inventions have been suppressed?

The Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 does allow the government to impose “secrecy orders” on certain sensitive patent applications:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/invention/index.html

However, Trombly has not published the two written gag orders he has claimed to have received. Furthermore, inventors with secrecy orders imposed on their patents are entitled to compensation from the government due to lost revenue: (Constant v. United States, 617 F.2d 239 (Ct. Cl. 1980))

Reference:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2002/02/022002.html

Trombly makes no mention of ever having sought compensation from the government for his inventions being suppressed. Of course, if the invention never worked in the first place, and the gag orders were imaginary, why would he? It is more likely that the suppression did not take place because Trombly’s machines did not work.

[This section, and rest of the article, by Muertos]

There is no evidence that Trombly’s inventions have been suppressed. First, as we’ve seen, there is no evidence that they actually work. Why would a government or a power company go to the trouble and expense of trying to suppress an invention that is useless in the first place? By logic, therefore, we can already be extremely skeptical that the “suppression” claims are true.

Trombly presents no evidence of suppression. At 36:28 of the Thrive movie, while Trombly is speaking, former President George H.W. Bush is shown on the screen—however, no claim is made that Bush was involved in suppressing Trombly’s work. The sole purpose of introducing Bush is to create a false association in the mind of the viewer that Bush must have had something to do with it. This is innuendo, not fact.

Furthermore, at 39:15 of the film, Trombly blames the “military-industrial complex” for suppressing free energy. About thirty seconds later he says, “The suppression of UFO phenomena is hand in hand with suppression of free energy.” He does not back up these claims. Indeed, the movie next launches into various related claims by Steven Greer, but does not return to claims about the supposed suppression of Trombly’s specific device.

Why, if Trombly could prove that he was being suppressed, does he and the Thrive movie resort to innuendo to make their case? If Trombly’s machine actually worked, it would be easy to prove government suppression. First of all, since he has claimed to have received two “gag orders” about his invention, if he produced these orders it would be strong evidence that the suppression is taking place (and, logically, that there is something worth suppressing). He has not received any gag orders, nor has he applied for economic remuneration as a result of having received them—remuneration to which he is entitled by law. Secondly, if there was any other evidence of suppression, he could add it to the gag orders, thus backing up his claims. Mr. Trombly has not done this.

The issue of the UN/Senate tests

There is another clue that the suppression is not taking place. At 36:24 of the film, Trombly claims that he was invited to demonstrate his generator in front of the U.N. and the United States Senate. Why, if the “powers that be” are so afraid of his machine, would they invite him to present it in front of them? Wouldn’t that be extremely dangerous for them to do, if as Thrive implies these official bodies have a strong vested interest in suppressing devices such as Trombly’s? After all, if his invention actually worked, they’d be stuck, wouldn’t they?

Think about it. If Trombly demonstrated his machine in front of the UN and the Senate and it actually worked, an effort at suppression taking place after the demonstration would be much harder to “sell” in the face of verified evidence of the machine’s operation. Why would the conspirators take this risk? If they weren’t yet sure his machine worked, they would not have to have a demonstration in their open chamber to determine this before they invited him—they could easily send someone out to Trombly’s lab and have him demonstrate the machine to them, and then they would report back to their superiors. Therefore, there is no point in having him demonstrate the machine in front of them if there is any chance that it would make their ultimate aim of suppressing the technology harder rather than easier.

To those who say, “Oh, but they obviously rigged the demonstration precisely to discredit Trombly!”, I reply, first, that there is no evidence of it, and second, that this too would be unnecessarily risky. If the UN and the Senate are afraid that the machine works, and they need to screw around with the conditions of the test to make sure Trombly fails in a public forum, they are exposing themselves to further risk—their efforts at rigging the test might not succeed, and even if they did, others who were there could testify that the test was rigged.

We have already presented evidence (Posner’s fact-checking) that Trombly’s machine never worked to begin with. It makes little sense that conspiratorial forces would exert any effort to suppress a machine that doesn’t work, and no sense at all that, even if they did exert this effort, a key piece of the case demonstrating Trombly’s failure had the potential to backfire publicly and complicate the effort at suppression.

Why, then, would the Senate and the U.N. invite somebody like Adam Trombly to demonstrate in front of them a machine that works on a principle that violates the laws of physics and for which there is no evidence that it actually works?

The answer is quite simple: they’re bending over backwards to demonstrate that they are not suppressing this sort of technology. As you can see from this blog, any rational person certainly has good reason to be skeptical that Trombly’s machine can do what he says it does. However, if you invite Trombly to demonstrate his machine in front of you, even despite this extreme skepticism, you have given him the benefit of every possible doubt. If his machine fails under those conditions, you can be certain that there was nothing there of substance to begin with.

[UPDATE: In light of recent discoveries, it seems likely that the U.S. Senate test in 1989 was in fact a test of a machine that did something totally different than the machine the film claims Mr. Trombly invented supposedly does. Scroll to the end for that update.]

Are Trombly’s claims reliable?

I am not going to spoon-feed an answer to this question to you, the readers of this blog. I invite you to draw your own conclusions. Keep in mind:

  1. Adam Trombly does not appear to have academic credentials in physics. (If I am wrong about this, and readers can present evidence that he does, I will correct this blog immediately).
  2. Adam Trombly claims that his machine does something that we believe to be impossible given our current understanding of the laws of physics.
  3. Trombly’s design was the basis for a machine built in India and investigated, and found not to work at all.
  4. Trombly has not presented any evidence that his machine actually works.
  5. Trombly has not presented any evidence that his design has been suppressed by the government and/or business interests.
  6. In direct logical contradiction to his claim of suppression, he admits he was invited to demonstrate his device in an open forum before some of the very official bodies who are part of the institutions he claims are suppressing him—which would entail considerable risk to the suppression plot, if his claims were true.

None of these six points are absolutely conclusive on their own (though I would argue that points 3 and 4 are pretty close to conclusive). However, all six points together definitely seem to point unmistakably in a certain direction.

I’m sure Adam Trombly is a nice person, and from the movie he seems to be a smart person. I for one would love to have a beer with him and have him explain to me how his device works. On the basis of the evidence I have seen—and the evidence I haven’t seen that I would like to see—I am skeptical that his claims of building working “free energy” devices are correct.

Update 16 March 2012

This article cannot be taken in isolation. Please see this article which presents additional information on Adam Trombly and the claims made in Thrive.

In short, a person, David Farnsworth, has come forward stating that (I) Adam Trombly did not actually build the machine shown in Thrive, which was actually built by David Farnsworth; and (II) that the machine shown in Thrive does something totally different than the movie claims it does–in other words, that it is not in fact a “free energy” or “zero point energy” device. This was the device tested in front of the Senate in 1989 (or possibly 1988), which explains the issue regarding that test–it’s not evidence of government suppression of “free energy” because the device shown, and then allegedly suppressed, was not a “free energy” device to begin with.