A podcast called “Life, The Universe and Everything Else,” a program put on by the Winnipeg Skeptics association, has turned its sights on Thrive. I spent the morning listening to the podcast, and I recommend it very highly. You can play it from your computer here. The host of the show is Gem Newman (founder of Winnipeg Skeptics, computer science expert), and the guests include Gary Barbon, Mark Forkheim, Robert Shindler, Richelle McCullough and Greg Christiansen. You can see information on who these people are, and what their backgrounds are, here.
The Winnipeg Skeptics are a group of skeptics and critical thinkers who apply fact, logic and critical thinking to wild claims made on the Internet. Just as this blog has done since the beginning, the Skeptics have exhaustively examined Thrive and their review is, needless to say, highly negative. While they find some things to praise in the film, they are extremely critical of the film’s shoddy research, its trafficking in bizarre and divisive conspiracy theories, its promotion of far right-wing Libertarian propaganda, and its reductive and harmful worldview that obscures real problems of income inequality, political corruption and environmental degradation.
Thrive Debunked is mentioned prominently in the episode and I’m proud to say this site was used as a significant source to fact-check and analyze the film. You’ll see links to various articles here on the blog page discussing the episode.
At one point, Mr. Newman reads verbatim from the statement made by John Robbins repudiating Thrive and criticizing its conspiracy worldview—a statement published on this blog with Mr. Robbins’s permission.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, very little on the podcast will be news to you. But it is noteworthy that whenever anyone approaches Thrive with a desire to check its facts and think through its conclusions, they invariably conclude that it is faulty, false and dangerous. We can therefore add the Winnipeg Skeptics’ review to the lengthening list of similar reviews catalogued on this site, such as JREF’s, Transition Culture’s and the Praxis Institute’s.
Do give the podcast a listen. It’s very well-done.
Although the main objective of Thrive is informational—to disseminate conspiracy theories and promote right-wing libertarian political ideology—it cannot be ignored that Thrive’s makers and a lot of its supporters say they want to take action. On this very blog Foster Gamble, creator of Thrive, has dismissed the utility of discussing the factual errors and distortions in his film, in favor of “creating solutions.” Unfortunately, the “solutions” that Thrive fans say they want are aimed overwhelmingly at exposing and combating the various conspiracy theories that the film asserts exist. This is the central tragedy of conspiracy thinking—that it diverts people’s energies and attentions away from solving real problems in the real world, and instead motivates them to solve fake problems endemic to the fantasy world in which conspiracy theorists dwell.
This article will discuss the phenomena of what I call “conspiracy activism.” Thrive is not the first conspiracy movie to spark an activist response. Mr. Gamble’s film exists in the context of a conspiracist underground that has, in recent years, been rapidly transformed by the Internet, and is continuing to evolve quickly. I wrote about this in an article over at my other blog, which I also publicized on this one. You can consider this article to be sort of a companion piece to that one.
What Is The “Thrive Movement” And What Is It Actually Doing?
Before we get to the topic of conspiracy activism in general, let’s look at what “solutions” the Thrive people are promoting. There is no “Thrive Movement” to speak of in any real sense. Foster Gamble is not, so far as I can tell, attempting to exert any sort of real control over the activities or direction of the film’s fans, and I’ve seen no evidence that the fans of the movie are trying to organize themselves.
Clicking the “Solutions” tab on the Thrive website unleashes a dizzying avalanche of propaganda. The vast majority of it is right-wing libertarian propaganda, such as the “Liberty” page which assaults the reader with political diatribes studded with quotes from libertarian deities like Stefan Molyneux, Ron Paul and Ayn Rand. Although Thrive’s political agenda is a serious issue, we and others have dealt with it before. The key message is “vote for libertarians,” and thus we’ll leave the film’s political advocacy at that.
More interesting are the “Critical Mass Actions” tabs. Here the Thrive people have listed twelve specific campaigns they’re promoting, with icons where you (as an Internet user) can “sign up” or else embed the icon itself on another site. If you click the icons so sign up, it produces a box where you fill in your email info and hit submit. Almost all of the links included in the “Critical Mass Actions” sections are to websites or online petitions. Of these twelve campaigns, two are anti-Federal Reserve; three are related to protesting GMO food; two relate to “free energy” devices; two are protests of “chemtrails,” a conspiracy theory promoted by the film; one is anti-nuclear power; one is “protect Internet freedom”; and one protests resource extraction on Native American lands.
The Federal Reserve is what Thrive identifies as the linchpin of a worldwide conspiracy theory to enslave the globe through the use of deceptive currency practices. We debunked the film’s money conspiracy theories here. “Free energy” does not exist, as we have also demonstrated. “Chemtrails” have not been debunked on this site, but they’ve been amply debunked elsewhere; it’s abundantly clear that “chemtrails” are a total fantasy. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to oppose GMO foods, but Thrive couches its criticism of such foods in expressly conspiratorial terms; they think it’s some weird kind of plot aimed at killing people with poisons in the food.
These issues account for nine of the twelve “Critical Mass Actions.” Of the twelve, only three—anti-nuclear power, protecting Internet freedom, and protesting resource extraction on Native American lands—are not somehow addressing the conspiracy theories the film promotes.
Ironically, it is one of these three non-conspiratorial solutions—the Internet freedom icon—that had the most people (5,547 on the day I checked) signed up.
When it comes to what these “Critical Mass Actions” actually are, the website is extremely vague. Here’s what it says when you click on a question about “how do you know when an action reaches critical mass?”
“As actions gain momentum and the most popular ones become apparent we will set a target number for “critical mass.” We will keep in touch via email to make sure you know when we’re approaching critical mass. What determines an effective “critical mass” will vary according to the nature of the action to be taken. The critical mass number will be announced as far in advance as possible and will be determined by what would create significant impact and assure optimal security for participants.”
That’s it. You’ll get an email once they decide how many people they need. In the meantime, it’s a lot of Internet petitions and “getting the word out.” That’s what the Thrive Movement is doing—that, and organizing local screenings of the film itself. The act of promoting Thrive is itself treated as a form of activism to which fans should aspire.
Is This Real Activism?
No. The “solutions” offered on Thrive’s website are ineffective in changing anything in the real world for two reasons: first, the vast majority of them are aimed at ameliorating conspiracy theories that don’t exist; and second, even for the non-conspiratorial goals, there is no actual real-world activity being proposed. Thrive’s brand of activism is a complete chimera.
Take chemtrails, for example. We know for a fact that chemtrails do not exist. The elaborate narrative that conspiracy theorists construct—that a “Global Domination Elite” is spraying chemicals into the sky to sicken and kill people deliberately—is simply fantasy. Yet, Mr. Gamble wants to “Expose Chemtrails With a Mass Protest at NOAA Offices.” Even assuming that legions of Thrive fans get organized and storm NOAA’s headquarters, what effect is this going to have? NOAA can’t do anything because there’s nothing to do anything about. Chemtrails do not exist. This is a “solution” that, even if it’s pulled off, will accomplish exactly zero, except wasting the time of the people involved.
As to the second criticism, it’s difficult to see how these “Critical Mass Actions” will have any effect regardless of the goals they’re aimed at. Take for example the critical mass action about stopping the environmental poisoning of Native American communities—which is a goal I think most people would agree with, and is one of the few that isn’t specifically directed at a conspiracy theory. Here’s what Foster Gamble wants you to click to sign up for:
“In the US, indigenous lands are being exploited and targeted by big business for resource extraction, nuclear dumping, and more. There are proposals for coal, oil, gold and copper mines, coal bed methane, natural gas “fracking,” and nuclear storage that threaten these communities and the environment. This is a chance to stand up for Native American rights and show that we are committed not just to apologizing for past wrongs, but ending the violations that continue to this day.”
Okay…but how? What does this actually mean?
What are the Thrive fans going to do? There’s no protest march planned. There’s no letter-writing campaign. There’s no attempt to introduce legislation or lobby lawmakers. There’s no fundraiser. There’s no outreach to any of the Native American communities impacted by resource extraction. There’s not even a link to an online petition, as there is for the “End the Fed” suggestion. There is exactly…nothing.
You click on, sign up and get an email. That’s it.
In the meantime—or, should I say, in the real world—if you care about resource extraction harming Native American communities, there are real people doing real things to try to stop this. In less than five minutes of searching online I came across this site for the Wolf River Protection Fund which is seeking to buy key lands to protect the watersheds and wetlands related to Native American communities in Wisconsin. One of the tribes associated with this fund recently celebrated a huge victory by buying out—yes, actually buying out—a mining company that was planning to mine near their lands. That’s activism. Not just clicking on a website—but actually sending your dollars to an organization that is taking action to make a real-world impact. And yes, the Wolf River Protection Fund does take donations.
Thrive isn’t doing anything even close to this.
So If They’re Not Making a Difference In the Real World, What Are They Doing?
They’re promoting conspiracy theories and related ideology—in Thrive’s case, right-wing libertarian ideology. The promotion of the ideology is the ultimate point of the activism.
This is understandable, if you analyze the thought processes of Thrive’s makers and fans from the standpoint of their conspiracy beliefs. They believe that all or most of the world’s problems stem from actions taken in secret by groups of shadowy conspirators. How best to combat these actions? Expose the secrets and shine a light on the conspirators. Then, it is presumed, the nefarious activity will end, and things will get better.
Seen from this standpoint, the act of exposure is the most important action. Therefore, most of a conspiracy theorist’s preferred “solutions” for solving problems start and end from a “get the word out” type paradigm. Indeed, most of the nine conspiracy-oriented Critical Mass Action suggestions on the Thrive website are aimed at information exposure or gaining visibility for something. This is classic conspiracy activism.
Why Do Conspiracy Theorists Engage in Conspiracy Activism?
It used to be that conspiracy theorists weren’t activists. There were certainly groups of them, and there have been conspiracy-related newsletters—especially related to the JFK assassination—circulating for decades. But traditionally they didn’t try to reach out to the mainstream or get others to join them.
That changed with 9/11. The purveyors of conspiracy theories related to the 9/11 attacks—especially Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin—changed the stakes in the mid-2000s by waging concerted, energized campaigns to try to increase the exposure of their conspiracy theories and encourage people to believe in them. Ultimately their success was only temporary; as I pointed out in an earlier blog here, contrary to something Foster Gamble says in Thrive, fewer people believe that “9/11 was an inside job” today than have so believed at any time since 9/11 itself. However, the conspiracy activism of 9/11 Truthers upped the ante and set a new paradigm, vastly aided by the rise of the Internet: if you believe in conspiracy theories, now you’re expected to go out there in public and try to get others to believe in them as well.
As the conspiracy world has changed, and (as I argued in February) conspiracy theorists have gone from defining “victory” as increasing the numbers who believe their theories to selling prepackaged ideologies, the activism component remains. Now what conspiracy theorists are selling are the ideologies, not the theories, but they’re still self-motivated to try to proselytize in exactly the same was Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin did with their nonsense 9/11 theories. I argued in the February blog that it was Zeitgeist: The Movie and its conspiracy-activist offshoot, the Zeitgeist Movement, that cemented this development into the basic blueprint of future conspiracy endeavors.
As there are many instructive lessons for evaluating Thrive inherent in the Zeitgeist story, let’s turn to that next.
Why Conspiracy Activism is Pointless: The Example of the Zeitgeist Movement.
One of the first statements I ever made about Thrive was that it appeared to be “Zeitgeist 2.0.” Clearly the movie imitates a lot of features of Peter Joseph’s notoriously fact-free 2007 Internet conspiracy film Zeitgeist, and even the suggestion of a “Thrive Movement,” aping the Zeitgeist Movement, indicates a kindred spirit.
The Zeitgeist Movement, founded in 2008 by Peter Joseph, attempted to capitalize on the interest generated among conspiracy theorists from the first Zeitgeist film to sell a neo-Utopian ideology called the Venus Project, which resembles late-stage Marxism except with computers and technology in the role of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The problem with the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project, however, was that support for the non-conspiratorial (but deeply flawed) “Resource Based Economy” paradigm was built entirely on the backs of conspiracist beliefs and the popularity of Zeitgeist: The Movie. Most fans joined the Zeitgeist Movement because they were attracted by the conspiracy explanations; to the extent the movement’s leaders could motivate them to care about the Venus Project and a Resource Based Economy for its own sake, it was mainly presented as a “cure” for all those horrible conspiracies. As a result, “get the word out” type activist projects meant to promote the Venus Project and Resource Based Economy became increasingly conflated with promoting the Zeitgeist movies and its conspiracy worldview.
The Zeitgeist Movement imploded in April 2011 when the Venus Project side of the organization divorced itself from the group as a result of a dispute over donations. Since then the Zeitgeist Movement has dwindled to an insignificant core of high-commitment fans who do little more than post occasional comments on blogs or YouTube videos. (Zeitgeist Movement supporters constantly show up on the Thrive website comments, still valiantly trying to sell their Resource Based Economy shtick. Few Thrive fans are buying). The Zeitgeist Movement’s attempts at conspiracy activism could never effectively outpace the reach of the films themselves. Unlike the Thrive Movement, the Zeitgeist Movement did have a central, engaged, hands-on leader who directed the group; in fact that was one of its downfalls, because Peter Joseph’s inept leadership of the group transformed it into something very much like a cult surrounding him personally and his films.
The failure of the Zeitgeist Movement can teach Thrive fans an important lesson: that conspiracy activism is inherently self-limiting. Five years after its release, Zeitgeist: The Movie is now old news. Most conspiracy theorists have seen it. The sequels which completed the Resource Based Economy narrative could barely achieve a tiny fraction of the impact that the first film had, because the second and third Zeitgeist films dealt much less with conspiracy theories. Essentially, when Zeitgeist stopped talking about conspiracy theories, the Internet stopped listening. With the market of potential converts already saturated, the Zeitgeist Movement sputtered into oblivion. Once you “get the word out” about your pet conspiracy theories or the ideology you’re promoting by using conspiracy theories, where do you go from there? Zeitgeist couldn’t answer this question. It’s unlikely Thrive will be able to either.
Does Clicking Links, Watching Videos and Signing Online Petitions Really Help?
There’s another more fundamental reason why Thrive’s conspiracy activism will have no real-world impact other than to “get the word out” about what they think the world is like. Most of the consumers of this material, especially those who are heavy Internet users, aren’t really willing to do more than click links, watch videos and sign online petitions. Very, very few of them will actually be motivated to go out of their homes and do something in the real (non-cyber) world. This is just a fact of life. If you put a website up about any cause, however well-intentioned, the more you actually have to do to take action on it, the fewer people you’ll have who will make the effort. People click “like” buttons and share links because it’s easy and they can do it in the flash of an eye. Only the truly devoted will be motivated to get in their cars and go to a preplanned event; fewer still will do that if it will cost them money. This is a self-limiting factor of Internet activism.
The problem is even worse when the main audience you’re preaching to consists of conspiracy theorists. Conspiracy theorists are notoriously lazy. Few of them, for example, can even be motivated enough by their beliefs even to pick up a book and read it. To them, videos on the Internet are just as good as books, and they require much less effort to comprehend. Most conspiracy theorists have virtually no awareness of the depth of knowledge the world contains beyond the Internet or how to access that knowledge. Many of them live their lives in an online bubble; if it’s not happening on the web, it’s not worth knowing about. If this is the crowd you’re trying to draw activists from, the chances of finding supporters who are high-commitment enough to meet in person, put together a viable plan of action on something and see it through to the end are much reduced.
That’s not to say that this doesn’t happen. In the heyday of 9/11 Truth theories, for example, hundreds of Truthers would gather at Ground Zero in New York City and harass people by shouting conspiracy garbage at them through bullhorns. But what did they do beyond that? Note that even this real-world activity is just another species of “getting the word out,” albeit in an extremely destructive, annoying and disagreeable way that turned off and angered far more people than it attracted. Even the 9/11 Truth organizations, like the ridiculous “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth”—clearly an organization created by the most high-commitment supporters of the conspiracy theory—continue to focus their efforts on “getting the word out” as opposed to actually doing anything. In the very, very few instances where they do try something other than “getting the word out”—like filing a lawsuit, as one group of 9/11 Truthers attempted—they always meet with spectacular failure.
Activism in the real world is hard. It takes money, time, effort and competent people to guide the activity toward any real goal. Conspiracy theorists are mostly kids. They don’t have a lot of money. What time they have they usually spent on the Internet. Exerting real-world effort happens in a few rare cases, but not very often. Competent people who can actually think something through and put something together are about as rare in this subculture as blue diamonds.
As a result, conspiracy theorists rationalize. They lower the bar and define what they are willing to do as “activism.” Thus, the sort of low-intensity effort that they can get many people to do—clicking “like” buttons, sharing links, watching videos and signing online petitions—becomes, in their minds, a substitute for real-world activism. In an endeavor where “getting the word out” has already been defined as the major goal, getting 10,000 people to click a “like” button becomes the equivalent of a smashing victory for right and justice.
Conclusion: Do You Really Want to Help?
This article has demonstrated why conspiracy activism is pointless and counterproductive. I can hear the shouts from angry Thrive fans now: “Why don’t you stop blogging and do something that actually helps?” (This assumes that I do nothing but write blogs all day—obviously an incorrect assumption).
What can you do to make the world a better place instead of watching Internet conspiracy videos or wasting time on the Thrive website (or this one)?
Here’s something you can do: give blood. This is one of the easiest things you can do, and one which has a huge real-world impact—you can literally save someone’s life. Here’s a website where you can type in your zip code and find out where to go in your area to give blood.
Here’s something you can do: become a tutor for adult literacy. You can find organizations that do this all over the country. Here’s just one example, from Florida.
Here’s something you can do: get a group of people together and assemble care packages of medical supplies for AIDS sufferers in Africa. This has been a hugely successful program. It also has real-world impacts. Here’s how to get involved.
Here’s something you can do: donate money to the American Indian College Fund. This fund helps people from America’s least-college-educated demographic get access to higher education. This helps real people in the real world. Here’s how to donate:
There you go. Stop watching Internet conspiracy movies and go do some good in the world. You have no excuse now.
Foster and Kimberly Gamble, the husband and wife team behind the conspiracy theory movie Thrive, have issued a statement firing back at the ten signatories of last week’s letter, people who appeared in the film but who have now disassociated themselves from it. The signatories include progressive leader John Robbins, who knows Foster Gamble personally, and who also gave me a statement regarding his views on the conspiracy aspects of the film, and Adam Trombly, the inventor whom the film claims created a “free energy” device. The full text of the statement was posted on this blog as a comment by one of Thrive’s official spokespersons. It’s also available on the “Thrive Movement” website.
The disappointing and fatuous statement by Mr. and Mrs. Gamble attempts both to minimize the controversy and to belittle the signers of the letter and critics of the film. Most notably, Mr. and Mrs. Gamble accuse John Robbins, the driving force behind the disassociation letter, of engaging in a “disinformation campaign” to discredit the film. The statement also makes clear that acceptance of the conspiracy theories advanced by Thrive as literal fact is a prerequisite for being taken seriously in the discussion of “solutions” that the makers of the film say they wish to engage in.
Because there are also parts of the statement that may be addressed to me and to this blog, I thought I would present my comments regarding it here. If you’d rather see the statement in its full form, without my comments interjected, either click the link to the comment above, or go here to the statement on Thrive’s website.
“As those who have seen THRIVE know, we are committed to a bold inquiry into what is really in the way of our thriving – and to offering much more than just a tweak to our fundamentally flawed and failing system.
One of our core approaches in making THRIVE was to hear from people with differing points of view and to go for vital information regardless of the political affiliations of the source. That way we could do our own informed and critical thinking and glean the principles and facts from which true, just and lasting solutions can be created.”
I remain skeptical that anyone connected with Thrive engaged in any sort of sustained effort at critical thinking. Indeed, as this blog has shown, the makers have engaged in very little critical thinking. In order to reach the conclusion that aliens built various large works of ancient engineering, for instance, you must first accept a totally counter-intuitive assumption about the capabilities of ancient civilizations as compared to our modern world. Similarly, you have to turn off large portions of your brain to even conceive possible the bizarre “Global Domination Agenda” which a centerpiece of Thrive’s message.
“We encourage a transparent, respectful, informed and constructive dialog that can address the specifics of any differences some of the pioneers in THRIVE might have with us. Although the letter of dissociation raised no specific issues, we understand from John Robbins’ articles and the correspondence that he wrote soliciting others to participate in his disinformation campaign that the objections range from ET presence, to naming the reality of the Global Domination Agenda, to validating Zero Point Energy, to adhering to the Principle of Non-violation. Wow, not much of a movie left after eliminating those taboo inquiries!”
Setting aside the “disinformation campaign” accusation for the moment, I observe that Mr. Gamble is employing a common tactic among conspiracy theorists—labeling critics of conspiracy theories as people who are reluctant to discuss “taboo” subjects. This is a pretty transparent diversion. I don’t reject the Global Domination Agenda conspiracy theory because it’s “taboo” to accept it. I reject it because it is totally unsupported by evidence and also because it’s contrary to logic. I don’t denounce the idea of ancient astronauts because it’s “taboo” to admit that aliens built the pyramids. I reject it because aliens did not build the pyramids, and there isn’t a shred of evidence to suggest that they did. This has nothing to do with anything “taboo.”
The “disinformation campaign” comment is astonishing. Does Mr. Gamble really believe that John Robbins, who (Mr. Robbins told me) he has known for many years, is deliberately spreading false information about Thrive and soliciting others to join him? Really? I can’t even imagine, if this is what Mr. Gamble really thinks, why he supposes Mr. Robbins would do this. I’ve been accused many times of being a “paid disinformation agent” out to trash Thrive, and I’ve even joked about it. But it’s easy for Thrive supporters to make that accusation about me. Here’s Foster Gamble accusing his personal friend of that. How deep do you have to be in the thrall of conspiracist ideology to believe that your friends are spies out to destroy you?
“Decades Doing Our Homework”?
“We encourage everyone reading this to watch THRIVE and determine for yourselves if you agree that there is enough evidence to warrant additional dialog – about a covert agenda, about revolutionary new technologies and about bold strategies for achieving true liberty and justice for all.
We spent decades doing our homework on these issues and stand with complete integrity and clarity behind the facts represented in THRIVE.”
If Mr. Gamble and his team spent decades researching Thrive, they certainly missed a great deal of relevant information. It doesn’t take decades to find plenty of evidence, for instance, that crop circles are man-made. It also doesn’t take decades to research a historical event such as the Gulf of Tonkin affair, research which would have clearly indicated that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was not a “false flag” operation, as Mr. Gamble asserts in Thrive. I run this blog in my spare time. If I found all this information refuting the assertions in Thrive in my spare time in a mere five months, how come Thrive’s researchers, whoever they are, fell down on the job so badly?
The key part of this section of the statement is Mr. Gamble’s doubling down and going for broke. He says he stands behind Thrive’s facts. That’s extremely unfortunate, because countless matters he asserts as facts are untrue, misleading or taken out of context. Yet it seems Mr. Gamble is unwilling to admit that Thrive has any significant problems.
“We welcome meaningful dialog and otherwise consider it dangerous to undermine the millions of us who are standing up to expose the covert global scheme amongst the elite and their secret societies and intelligence agencies to destroy the economies of countless nations, take over their resources, and kill whatever leaders or people don’t play along.”
This is also classic conspiracy theorist paranoia. Anyone who opposes conspiracy theories is not only wrong in their eyes, but “dangerous.”
This part of the statement appeals to one of the central conceits of conspiracy theorists—that they’re privy to some sort of special knowledge that the rest of the world refuses to accept, and that knowledge will supposedly “save the world.” In this case Mr. Gamble is painting Thrive fans as an army of noble millions fighting the good fight against evildoers who destroy economies and kill people. Conspiracy theorists tend to love movies like The Matrix and V For Vendetta because they underscore this basic and very simplistic narrative. The real world is far more complicated than this, unfortunately.
Oh, did I mention that the “covert global scheme amongst the elite and their secret societies” does not, in fact, exist? I did? Oh, sorry. Just don’t want that to get lost in the shuffle.
“Hit and Run Communications”!
“Further hit and run communications are of little interest to us, especially as it distracts from time better spent with motivated solutions groups forming all over the world who are awakening to the agenda and taking actions based on integrity and freedom rather than staying confined by outworn and deceptive political polarities.”
Mr. Gamble is here saying that he has more important things to worry about than, say, the credibility of his entire movie. Well, no matter. The purpose of this blog is not to motivate any action by Mr. Gamble; nor is it, as some have suggested, to “troll” Thrive fans. The purpose of this blog is to expose the general public to the reality of the serious factual and logical problems with the movie Thrive. That purpose will continue to be served whether Mr. Gamble is paying any attention or not.
“We encourage those who have publicly dissociated to offer their best information and solutions rather than spending time trying to undermine ours.
Each of the pioneers in THRIVE were invited because their expertise in a particular area had been helpful in our gaining an understanding of the bigger picture that includes, but vastly transcends, their sector of expertise -or anyone’s political affiliation. We clearly state this in the movie:
“The people in THRIVE do not necessarily agree with the themes, statements, claims or conclusions presented in the film or website, nor does their inclusion imply our full agreement with all of their views. The people interviewed have each contributed in some deep way to our understanding and we are grateful to them all.””
Again, the statement seems preoccupied with political affiliation. Yes, I do oppose the libertarian aspects of Thrive, as John Robbins has stated that he does; however, speaking only for myself, this is not my primary disagreement with the film or even in the top five. Though I find Thrive’s politics fulsome, if it was just a piece of libertarian political propaganda I probably wouldn’t care that much about it. It’s the conspiracy angle that concerns me. Although conspiracy thinking is becoming increasingly interwoven with libertarian political thought, at least until the last few years conspiracy beliefs cut across the political spectrum. I think this has much less to do with political affiliation than Mr. Gamble suggests here.
Thrive’s Millions are Coming! Or Are They?
“We are encouraged by the millions of viewers, thousands of self-created screenings, the hundreds of THRIVE Solutions groups forming to get on with what’s needed now – informed and leveraged action. People from all over the world- Greece, Poland, India, Portugal and more have voluntarily translated THRIVE into their languages to get the important information to their cultures. THRIVE is now translated into 18 different languages and we hear from people all over the world about the value THRIVE is offering in their cultural transformations.”
People from all over the world are viewing my blog, too. Aside from the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, today alone I had page views from Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Brazil. Given the hits that show up from Google Translate it is also clear that Thrive Debunked has been translated into other languages also. This demonstrates to me that this blog is a clear success: many people are discovering the debunking at the same time as they discover the Thrive film for the first time. Therefore, they’re able to evaluate its claims side-by-side with the facts and logical arguments that refute it.
“We also are moved by the healings being reported in families, workplaces and communities as millions are getting the bridge between worldviews and beyond unnecessary and dangerous divide-and-conquer illusions. The new conversation, about what is really going on and solutions with human rights as primary, is, fortunately, unstoppable.
As stated in the book “1984”, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” There is a well-informed, nonviolent revolution brewing and we welcome constructive contributions from everyone ready to participate.
Foster and Kimberly Gamble”
Time will tell, but as hopeful a chord as this part of the statement sounds, I’m skeptical. Changing the world takes a lot more than just showing a movie to like-minded people who agree with it. The “Thrive Movement,” if such a thing can even be said to exist, isn’t doing much other than organizing screenings and discussion groups of fans who get together to talk about the movie. The problem is that this type of thing has been done before—with exactly zero effect. Here Thrive is emulating another group that organized itself as a fan club for a conspiracy movie, that being the infamous Zeitgeist Movement. Although the Zeitgeist cult is largely dead, there are still dwindling groups of supporters who meet occasionally to spin grandiose dreams of their “Resource Based Economy.” They have accomplished exactly nothing in the real world, except the promotion of conspiracy theories. Zeitgeist is different than the Thrive Movement in that it was, at least at one point in time, a real movement, with an identifiable leader, strict ideological guidelines and orthodoxy, and an organizational hierarchy. Even if a group can be said to be coalescing around Thrive—again, I’m skeptical this is even happening in any meaningful sense—it has none of these characteristics. If Zeitgeist can’t do it with a strong leader and supposedly an identifiable policy direction, I doubt very much that the fans of Thrive will be able to succeed where the Zeitgeisters failed.
That brings us to the next point:
What “Solutions,” Anyway?
The problem with Thrive’s “solutions” is that they are illusory, and in more ways than one. For one thing they aren’t clearly defined. The various “solutions” flogged on the Thrive website are all extremely vague and general. (I actually agree with many of them, but they’re still vague). Bank locally. Support independent media. Take part in “critical mass actions.” These sound terrific, but what do they really mean? What specific action are the Thrivers supposed to take to achieve these goals? That’s never defined, and Foster Gamble isn’t making any concerted effort to define them. And, as the experience with the Occupy Movement last fall demonstrates, getting a group of like-minded folks together and hoping that they work out for themselves what sort of specific goals they should pursue doesn’t tend to work very well. Successful grass-roots activist movements have never functioned on this model, and they never will. You’ve got to have someone in charge. Foster Gamble doesn’t seem to want to be in charge, which is fine. But expecting that a headless, leaderless group with no defined goals will accomplish anything in the real world is more than a little naïve.
Secondly, the point of Thrive is not really to push these “solutions” anyway. The point of Thrive is to make an ideological statement. The movie was created to animate belief, not action. It was created to advocate belief in New Age religious beliefs and conspiracy theories. I believe that the lip service given to the “solutions” is an add-on to mollify audience expectations. Thrive represents incremental progress on a very long road to legitimize and advance a certain belief system. If Thrive does end up “changing the world,” it will only be so because it leads to something else down the road. I discussed ideas along these lines in an article I wrote for my other blog about how the conspiracy world has changed.
But, let’s just assume for the sake of argument that I’m wrong about all that. The very troubling thing about Thrive is that the “solutions” its adherents say they advocate aren’t solutions to problems that we have. For example, as the Gambles’ statement indicates, Thrive fans fervently believe that crushing this “Global Domination Agenda” is a matter of paramount importance. But the “Global Domination Agenda” does not exist. They want to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. In the meantime, take a real problem that does exist—anthropogenic global warming, for instance, which I happen to believe is the single most crucial problem facing the world today—and most of them deny that it’s even a problem! Foster Gamble has made statements to the effect that he believes global warming is some sort of hoax. This, despite the absolutely overwhelming and conclusive scientific evidence that it’s happening, and that man has caused it.
So there you have it. Even if you can get past the vagueness of Thrive’s proposed solutions, it turns out they’re fired up to solve problems that don’t exist, and they deny the existence of the number one world problem that really does exist. Add to this the fact that the Gambles’ statement indicates that they’re not even really interested in talking to anyone who doesn’t, as a factual matter, accept the truth of the conspiracy theories pushed in Thrive, and you begin to see why this doesn’t work as a realistic means to move forward to solve world problems.
Conclusion: Why Am I Writing This Blog Instead of Making the World a Better Place?
This question is asked me often by Thrive fans, and you hear an echo of it in the Gambles’ statement: that somehow taking the time and effort to criticize Thrive is a waste of time, because instead you could be “making the world a better place.” This view is quite disingenuous.
For starters, I am making the world a better place by criticizing Thrive. Since the very beginning I’ve believed that this film, with its numerous deceptions, errors and incorrect statements, is on balance a bad thing. Belief in factually baseless conspiracy theories is a bad thing. This article I wrote last week explains why. My program for a better world is a world in which people think critically and rationally, and act on the basis of evidence and logic. In that world, conspiracy theories would not survive for long.
Secondly, none of the readers of this blog know what I am doing, and what I have done for a good many years now, to “make the world a better place.” The readers of this blog don’t know this because I haven’t told them, and I haven’t told them because this blog is not about me. So the readers of this blog don’t know that I have contributed large amounts of money to numerous charities and nonprofits. They don’t know the work I’ve done, and continue to do, to expand opportunities of higher education for kids from poor families—a cause I feel is especially important—or for children with cancer. They don’t know the work I did, personally, with my own two hands, to try to reduce wastewater emissions in the city where I used to live—a program that cumulatively cut toxic urban runoff by a total of 50% in three years. A few years ago I was the chief executive officer of a local activist organization that was estimated by the American Red Cross, during the year I was in office, to have been responsible for saving 21,000 lives. They don’t know the work I’ve been doing to increase historical understanding of global climate change. They don’t know about the kid in the Philippines, previously almost blind, who can today see because of something I did.
I hesitated to write the above paragraph because, as I said, this blog is not about me, and because I don’t wish to be seen as entering some sort of pissing match about “who’s done more.” I know that Foster Gamble has pursued many legitimate projects for positive change, such as his work on trying to limit pesticides, and I think that’s great. Nonetheless, I mention my own activities here for no other purpose than to demonstrate that I require no lectures from Foster and Kimberly Gamble, nor from any other Thrive fan, about what I should be doing to help “make the world a better place.”
I appreciate the Gambles’ desire to help. But, in my humble opinion, they’re not helping. Thrive is not part of the solution, it’s part of the problem. This was the reason the ten signed the disassociation letter. I commend them for having done so.
Why We Fight: Progressive Leader Who Repudiated Thrive Explains Why Its Conspiracy Theories Are Harmful.
This week I had an email conversation with John Robbins. Mr. Robbins is a well-known environmentalist author and lecturer, undoubtedly a leader in the intellectual progressive movement in this country. He appears in Thrive, and is one of the ten people who signed an open letter declaring their disassociation from the movie. I wrote an article about this development earlier this weekend, which includes the text of that letter.
The text of the letter does not mention conspiracy theories. I was curious whether Mr. Robbins had an opinion on the conspiracy content of Thrive and whether this was a motivating factor in his decision to disassociate himself from the film. The response I got from him was very interesting and illuminating. When I read it, I was amazed at how cogently he was also expressing my own reasons for opposing the movie.
The Text of John Robbins’s Letter to Me
Mr. Robbins gave me permission to post his response here on this blog. Here it is.
“There is a great deal about Thrive that I find untrue and dangerous. You ask if I have any comment on the film’s promotion of conspiracy theories. Yes, I do.
There is no doubt that staggering wealth and power is today concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority of humanity. The combined net worth of the world’s richest thousand or so people — the planet’s billionaires — is almost twice that of the poorest 2.5 billion. This disparity is nothing less than an indictment of our civilization. It is also certain that networks exist among the most powerful people that enable a remarkably few people to shape the world’s economy, to determine what is known and what is not, which views are accepted and which are not, and what priorities and values will prevail. They decide whether we will live in war or peace, how our treasure will be spent, and they have proven to be eminently successful at enriching themselves at the expense of the common good.
But fantasies about secret conspiracies distract us from the work at hand. Those few who hold immense wealth and power are still people. They are not reptiles in human form. They are perhaps pathologically competitive or greedy, but still human, riven with differences and egos, and not particularly good at sustaining relationships, much less of organizing massive secret cabals to dominate all life on this planet.
Thrive promotes conspiracy theories that are based on an imaginary division between “us” and “them.” “We” are many and well-meaning but victimized; while “they” are a tiny, greedy and immensely powerful few who are masterfully organized, who are purposefully causing massive disasters in order to cull the population, and who will do absolutely anything in their quest to achieve total world domination. I think the allure of this way of thinking is that it distracts and absolves us from the troubling truth that the real source of the problem is in all of us, and in the economic systems we have collectively produced. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.”
Foster Gamble has said that the earthquake that caused the tsunami that wreaked havoc on the nuclear plants in Fukushima was deliberately created by those seeking absolute world domination to punish the Japanese for not acceding to their wishes. He has said that “they” have a machine in Alaska that enables them to create earthquakes at will, anywhere on earth, and of any desired strength. In my judgement, this is the thinking of someone who has lost all grounding in reality.
Thrive advances the idea that vaccinations have been purposefully created by the global elite to decimate the population, an idea that I find both ludicrous and dangerous. There is no doubt that vaccinations have troubling side effects. Some of them may be more toxic than we know. But it was a vaccine that enabled the elimination of smallpox, a scourge which was responsible for approximately 500 million human deaths in the 20th century. Thrive promotes the idea that the U.N. and world treaties are the work of evil-doers intent on total world domination. These institutions are far from perfect. But it was only through the concerted efforts of the global health community and the World Health Organization that smallpox, perhaps the killer of more humans than any other in world history, was eradicated.
There are many things that are terribly wrong in our world. All living creatures are poisoned and compromised by surging levels of man-made toxins that spew into our world, relatively unchecked. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of heart disease, cancer, obesity and childhood diabetes. Our financial institutions and to a large extent our political system have been hijacked by greedy, sociopathic individuals who seem to feel no sense of responsibility to the well being of the whole. Our military industrial complex with its voracious appetite for new markets, and its obscenely paranoid world view, expands unchecked with frightening and horrific speed.
But holding these tragedies as the intentional acts of a tiny group of families seeking to rule the world distracts us from the arduous work of confronting the real challenges before us.
I hope this is helpful.
My Own Thoughts
I find myself in virtually total agreement with the points Mr. Robbins raised in his letter. He’s not only expressed his own reasons for turning his back on the film, but he’s very neatly and eloquently summarized my own motivations for opposing it.
Some readers of this blog may be surprised to see this. The tone taken in many comments by Thrive fans who disagree with me seems to indicate that many of them assume that because I don’t believe in the film’s conspiracy theories, this must mean I agree with every action taken by the government or by economic interests, or that I don’t think there is corruption, or that I must think our current economic system is fair and just. Although I’ve stated repeatedly, beginning in the FAQ, that I don’t hold any of these views, many—perhaps even most—Thrive fans just don’t get it.
I believe that income disparity is a huge problem in the United States and the world. I believe that the economic system in America isn’t functioning fairly or properly. I believe business and corporate interests have too much influence and control over policy. I believe that we spend too much on wars and military interventions and not enough on helping Americans here at home. Above all, I believe that anthropogenic global warming is a dire threat to our planet and that immediate and decisive action must be taken—by governments, by businesses, and by individuals—to combat it. From his statement, I gather that Mr. Robbins probably shares these views.
How Does Thrive Divert Attention from Real Problems?
Thrive is deeply misguided because it’s diverting its viewers’ attention away from the real solutions that we must pursue to these very real problems. My core grievance with conspiracy theories is that they are false. However, it’s the effect of that falsity in the real world which is why opposing conspiracy theories matters. Conspiracy thinking reduces the world into a simplistic black-and-white, good-versus-evil, lightworkers-versus-disinformation paradigm. Against that background, nothing productive can get done.
Here’s how Thrive operates in this regard.
Problem: environmental degradation caused by reliance on fossil fuels.
Real solution: Work toward developing economically and socially realistic alternatives to fossil fuels, such as renewable energy resources (solar, wind, water power, etc.) as well as smarter solutions in building, land use and lifestyle.
Problem: income disparity and poverty.
Real solution: Work toward meaningful and fair reform of the economic system, policies that promote economic opportunity at the bottom, and make sure businesses and corporations pay their fair share and contribute to our society.
Thrive solution: Take out the “Global Domination Elite.” Taxation is theft; abolish it.
Problem: government corruption.
Real solution: Meaningful campaign finance reform; eliminate (or at least reduce) corporate/business influence in politics; punish wrongdoers; elect honest candidates.
Thrive solution: All corruption is the fault of the “Global Domination Elite.” Rise up against them and destroy them, and everything will be fine.
Problem: disease in the developing world.
Real solution: Develop medical technology and healthy vaccines, and put social and political institutions in place to distribute medical care to as many people as possible.
Thrive solution: Vaccines are evil tools of the “Global Domination Elite” and should be banned.
Problem: anthropogenic global warming.
Real solution: Massive worldwide mobilization by governments and business interests to develop clean technology as rapidly as possible, reduce carbon emissions and mitigate areas impacted by global warming disasters. International cooperation on political, economic, and scientific levels.
Thrive solution: The problem does not exist. Global warming is a hoax, a sham and a conspiracy by the “Global Domination Elite.”
Do you see how this works? This is why Thrive is worth speaking out against.
One Last Example: the HAARP Earthquake Machine.
A totally shocking detail included in Mr. Robbins’s letter is his statement of Foster Gamble’s statements about the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami which devastated Japan early last year. Mr. Robbins says, “He has said that “they” have a machine in Alaska that enables them to create earthquakes at will, anywhere on earth, and of any desired strength.”
This is a very old conspiracy theory called HAARP. You can read a debunking of HAARP conspiracy theories from noted skeptic Brian Dunning here. It’s one of the stupidest, most irrational and most paranoid conspiracy theories out there, but many people, unfortunately, believe it. I didn’t know until I saw Mr. Robbins’s letter that Foster Gamble has expressed belief in HAARP, but it doesn’t surprise me. It’s also a perfect illustration of how conspiracy theories, once they get inside a person’s head, can totally corrode their ability to think rationally about world problems.
If people who believed in HAARP had any significant positions of power, what sort of world would we have? An earthquake and tsunami in Japan, caused by tectonic stresses and geologic processes, would be interpreted through the lens of this conspiracy theory as a man-made act of war, quite naturally inviting some sort of retaliation or response. If Foster Gamble could identify a specific individual or groups of individuals that he thought caused the Fukushima disaster, I would venture a guess that he would want those individuals to be held accountable in some way. This is in the total absence of any evidence whatsoever that an earthquake and tsunami in Japan was caused by HAARP.
Can you see how dangerous this type of thinking is? Furthermore, does the fact that this sort of thinking is on the rise scare you as much as it scares me?
Why is conspiracy thinking and conspiracy ideology on the rise? Because of people like Alex Jones, Eustace Mullins, David Icke, and Jeff Rense—and because of movies like Loose Change, Zeitgeist, and yes, Thrive.
So, those of you who wonder why I created this blog, why I speak out so forcefully against conspiracy theories and conspiracy thinking, you now have your answer.
When I open my email inbox every morning to see the host of comments posted on this blog during the night—the majority of them highly negative—I sometimes think of this old song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. “You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down.”
Adam Trombly, the inventor who appears in the movie Thrive and who the film asserts created a “free energy” machine that has been supposedly suppressed by conspiratorial powers, has made a lengthy statement on his website responding to this blog, to me, and to allegations made against him on this blog by one David Farnsworth. Mr. Farnsworth is another inventor who claims Mr. Trombly stole from him the photos of the supposed “free energy” machine that appears in Thrive. When I presented the questions raised about Mr. Trombly and his work, I pledged that I would offer him a chance to respond fully and completely on this blog. Today I make good on that pledge.
The statement by Adam Trombly does not defend Thrive unequivocally. In fact, I was told yesterday that Adam Trombly has joined the nine other people interviewed in Thrive who recently signed an open letter disavowing the film and maintaining that its contents and approach were not appropriately disclosed to them at the time their participation was secured. Mr. Trombly’s essay doesn’t state that he signed the letter, but he’s certainly now on record as having expressed criticism of the film. This is a surprising development and a positive one, in my view. In fact, as you’ll see at the end of this article, I think there are several issues on which Adam Trombly and I agree. Thus, while certainly this article is going to include plenty of conflict, there’s a silver lining too.
There are a lot of issues here, and I’ll get to them all in my own comments, but first, I’m going to present Mr. Trombly’s statement in its entirety. My own comments regarding it will appear after the text of the article.
Adam Trombly’s Essay: “Really Correcting the Record”
Before I address any other issues I must address the individual who hides behind the pseudonym Muertos. I will henceforth call him only Pseudonym. He has collaborated with others to attempt to defame and slander my name, my character, and my work. He has attempted to stir up a mob mentality against the movie Thrive and most of its participants.
Most of the people who appear in Thrive are good human beings who care about the future of this planet and unlike Pseudonym, are attempting to do something positive about it. Pseudonym and his allies are a dull spearhead of the forces attempting to
undermine fuel and pollution free forms of electrical and mechanical energy production.
Pseudonym criticizes Foster Gamble for his fact checking but he himself posts the utter nonsense of David Farnsworth without any fact checking at all.
It is strange to me and my friends and colleagues that I should have to write this narrative.
I harbored no angst against my former friend and co-worker David Farnsworth. I did feel sadness about the decision I was forced to make (over ten years ago) to no longer work with the mercurial Mr. Farnsworth. To say that David has been episodically unstable would be a profound understatement.
I realize in retrospect I over compensated in my accommodation of David. I actually loved him like a brother and wished the world could one day see his real gifts beyond the tornadic blur of his troubled soul. There is good and genius buried in him no matter what he says about me. There is also an incredible and destructive schism in him.
He signs off on the last email I received from him prior to this recent set of new attacks by calling me “old friend”. You can imagine my chagrin when he began publicly flailing against me once again a few weeks ago. I thought that by removing a photograph, which he suddenly objected to after it had been posted for over twelve years on the Project Earth website, David’s concerns had been assuaged. Alas, this was not the case. The “other David”, as we used to call him around here, reappeared with a vengeance.
In the process David cited some witnesses he said would corroborate his claims. The first person he cited was Elizabeth Rauscher who needs his nonsense no more than the rest of us. I would not even mention her name regarding this unpleasantness but for the fact Mr. Farnsworth left me with no choice.
I am very grateful to my friend Patrick Flanagan for putting me in touch with Elizabeth Rauscher just two days after David’s latest tantrums began. She did not and does not corroborate the claims David made against me when he cited her and her deceased husband Bill as witnesses providing prima facie against my person.
It had been too long since she and I had last spoken. She is now and always has been a leading edge thinker and genius of remarkable breadth.
It was RJ Reynolds III who gave me my formal introduction to Elizabeth and Bill in the early 1980’s. This was during the time right after he hired ten top professionals to test the voracity of my scientific arguments in their related fields, while I visited his (and his brothers’) twelve thousand acre estate at Devotion, North Carolina. As the result of ten days of oral examination, these men unanimously recommended that Josh take the next step, which he called, “a life endowment”. Josh announced that I was the first “RJ Reynolds III scholar” to receive this stature since Andrea Puharich. His brother Will Reynolds joined him in generously supporting Project Earth.
The original proposal I had written to Mr. Reynolds stated, among many other things, my belief that there are real ELF electromagnetic precursors to earthquakes to which certain biological organisms were sensitive. I wrote that these “signals” might be generated by pressure changes that appear at a lock on a seismic fault and cause the piezoelectric constituent minerals to express current in such a way that the electrical polarity of the ground proximate to these locations would actually change from positive to negative. I wrote that this might be detectable by instrumentation and not just by the symptomatic fight or flight syndrome observed in certain species (including many humans) prior to quakes. (This is very abbreviated.)
Josh responded, “Do you know Elizabeth Rauscher and Bill Van Bise? If not, then I need to introduce you to them because I believe that is exactly what they have discovered.”
My time with them in the 1980’s was a period of remarkable learning and exploration for me. I am forever grateful. As anyone who has followed Project Earth over the last few decades already knows, I have always stated that Elizabeth Rauscher and Bill Van Bise discovered the use of extremely low frequency spectrum analyzers for the forecasting of earthquakes.
I was sorry to have to disrupt her day or that of Patrick with the vacuous fiction portrayed by David Farnsworth in his “For the Record”. David fails to realize that there actually is a record and his brazen lies about me do not stand up to the witness and witnesses of history. Nobody wants to be drawn into David’s self-serving and self-generated maelstrom.
David has claimed that I have a pathetic memory. However, his recounting of events either stems from a pathology, drug abuse, or it is intentional fraud. It is beyond my purview to say either way. I am not a psychiatric clinician.
Regarding the famous picture of the magnetic motor:
Dave sent me the picture (which he admits to) after I asked for it to post on the Project Earth.com website (which he denies). You see, at that moment, we were friends and coworkers. He scanned it and freely sent me the digital scan. We published the photo.
He stated nothing about a “copyright” or anything stating that this was his and only his technology until shortly before the release of Thrive. TWELVE YEARS LATER. Very curious, don’t you think?
David scanned the Polaroid(s), he sent the scan(s) and we published it (not them). What could be simpler to understand than that? David posing, glaring into the camera holding two Polaroid’s convicts him of misrepresentation. He has the originals in his hands! No one stole a thing! Pirate a Polaroid? Get a life.
The Project Earth site stated clearly that this photo was not of a Closed Path Homopolar Generator.
The first actual generator I worked on would have never been successfully designed without the brilliance and extremely hard work of the then young Joseph Kahn. I have always said this. It disappeared from a warehouse/laboratory in an industrial park North of LA shortly after Project Earth Co-founder R. Buckminster Fuller’s death.
In its final embodiment I redesigned the liquid metal brushes as a refinement to the original Trombly/Kahn design. I called the new brush design the Micro-Turbulent Magnetohydrodynamic Liquid Metal Brush. It created micro-turbulent vortices, which acted as tiny pushing bearings and assisted the rotation of the rotor. Prior designs, including the initial design that was used in the first Closed Path Homopolar Generator design, could actually create a back torque on the rotor.
After the theft/confiscation of this generator in 1983, I never worked with a Closed Path Homopolar Generator again.
I next worked with the late Marcel Vogel of IBM to whom I was introduced to by Lee Sannella, a dear friend and an early champion of Project Earth after Bucky’s death. Marcel was a genius of considerable stature in the scientific community in spite of his lack of complete “credentials”.
He was a lead scientist on many of the basic Patents filed by IBM for things like the Liquid Crystal Display, the Hard Drive, the Floppy drive, etc. He was one of the most productive scientists in the history of IBM. Thomas Watson, Founder and long time Chairman of the Board for IBM, called Vogel, “One of the most creative individuals I have ever had the privilege to know. He has produced more basic Patents for our company than all but one other individual.”
It was an honor to work with him.
That work occurred years before I met David. My task with Marcel was to work on the first Piezo-Ringing Resonance Generator. This was a very different device than the one David and I worked on. This device was designed to use actual quartz crystals. However, it was fundamentally based on the same principle as the device David and I demonstrated in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other venues. I know that the principle utilized in these technologies could one day provide a brighter tomorrow.
I told David about Piezo-ringing resonance theory and reduction to practice early in our working relationship. We discussed the concept, settled on a simple design and shortly thereafter he called me and asked me to come to Oregon. When I arrived he had a case of newly wound Piezo-ringing-resonance coils. Coiltron, Inc. had beautifully wound them at no small expense.
I asked Dave where the money to create these coils had come from and he told me he had acquired it from an investor named Pete Karkonan. I don’t really know much about who Pete Karkonan (sp?) really was but he poured a lot of money into the work.
To the best of my knowledge he provided funds for David’s first HP 3561a and several other instruments as well. I never knew where some of the funds came from. I was somewhat baffled that this man (David), who said he was “completely broke” around the time he introduced himself to me at and after the 1988 Tesla Symposium in Colorado Springs, had managed to acquire so much costly electronic equipment, which he had housed in a nice home on the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon. His wife at that time was named Tina and she was a member of the tribe. She was always very hospitable.
Things progressed rapidly in 1989 and by early June David and I took off for physical demonstrations in New York and Washington D.C. in a motor home filled with newly acquired and/or leased scientific instruments and a veritable forest of antennae. Senator Timothy Wirth of my home state of Colorado in cooperation with Friends of the Earth had arranged for the D.C. demonstration. My friend Electra Briggs and colleague Noel Brown had arranged for the United Nations demonstration. David’s affable brother-in-law Terry, who was a tremendous help on our journey, drove and accompanied us for the entire trip.
It felt good to be on the road to provide physical proof that efficiency of greater than 100% was attainable in relatively inexpensive and compact technologies.
It was an inspiring and heart breaking adventure for all of us. President H.W. Bush actually proposed tradable “carbon credits” at the White House while Fmr. Ambassador James George, David and I stood in the Senate Banking and Finance Committee Hearing Room with a handful of people who had chosen to come to the demonstration of a revolutionary energy technology rather than attend the White House announcement of Bush’s “Clean Air Act”.
It is hard to imagine why David now declares that we never worked together. We worked and laughed and wept together. To deny all of it is beyond the pale and is utterly absurd.
In his missive David tells of the raid by several Federal Marshals in 1997 but suggests that it was “his lab” that got confiscated and that I was somehow behind the raid itself. (Huh?) It was in fact supposed to be our lab and he admitted to that fact, prior to the confiscation, in front of his ex-wife and in-laws and my daughter and I. No one benefitted from that raid. No one won. We all lost.
Since David states that he got his “first earthquake forecasting equipment from William Randolph Hearst II” I have to point out that this was impossible. I had not even met Will Hearst II when Dave got his first equipment. It was the aforementioned “Pete” Karkonan or individuals or entities unknown to me who provided funds for a copious amount of leased and purchased equipment.
Since I am the one who introduced David to Will Hearst II it is another perplexing misstatement. Will did provide us with funds to lease equipment but told me he was dismayed by David’s usurpation of everything that was leased for us. I emphasize for us. The equipment Will had provided funds to lease could not be returned at the end of the lease because David had so modified it that HP would not take it back. Will had to buy it and thenceforth withdrew his support.
David never “gave” me any earthquake forecasting equipment. I actually purchased (with funds from Will Hearst) and physically picked up an HP 3561a at the Hewlett Packard facility in the “Tech Park” of Denver, Colorado. Mr. Farnsworth cannot claim that this was “his” machine because he could not put his name on the warranty. We discovered, over the years of working with him, that this is his modus operandi. Without any financial contribution on his part, David simply put his name on all the warranties such that all of the equipment became his and not the property of the corporation for which the funds had been raised to purchase said equipment.
Nancy and I affectionately called our one HP 3561a instrument “Quency” (after frequency). “Quency” died a month or so ago after thousands of hours of use and many successful forecasts.
We forecast many quakes with that instrument, both in cooperation with David and also many times without him. This is a matter of public record and refutes Mr. Farnsworth’s false claim to have given me my only equipment and to his claims of being the only one to forecast quakes!
As a case in point: In March of 1993 I was communicating on a nearly daily basis with then Commander Michael Egan who was the Head of Strategic Planning for the US Coast Guard at the time. The reason for our conversation was to articulate our contribution to the National Performance Review, which for our part was an endeavor to reinvent Science in the US Government.
During our daily multi-hour conversations I told Mike of the earthquake forecasting technology. When I saw the signature’s pass across the analyzer screen indicating a break, deep in the earth’s crust, over twenty four hours prior to the “surfacing” of a quake, now known as the Scots Mill quake in Oregon, I reported it to Commander Egan. I had not heard from David for many days because he actually thought that there was going to be a “9 point quake” and had packed up his motor home and gone to the country side. After he “hit the road” he had become incommunicado for several days.
David and I were both watching the same signatures on our analyzers but he was so close to the epicenter that the amplitude of the signal at his location was much higher than it appeared in Aspen, Colorado where we watched from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Aspen. In Aspen we forecast a quake of between 5.6 and 6.0 on the Richter scale. This is many orders on magnitude less than a 9.0 quake and was an accurate forecast.
Cmdr. Egan called the Portland Oregonian to report the forecast and this is also a matter of public record. Both the US Coast Guard Station in Portland and FEMA were put on alert prior to the quake. It was the first time in United States history that such a preparedness exercise had been initiated prior to an actual quake.
When an article acknowledging the forecast of this quake appeared in the Portland Oregonian, David became furious because Commander Egan said, “Adam Trombly is extremely brilliant” and said nothing about him. This was not an intentional slight on Cmdr. Egan’s part it was just a reflection of the fact that he and I had been in constant communication. Commander Egan knew I was working with David, but while we were in conversation regarding this actual event, David was absent and for whatever reason not answering his phone. The next article in the Oregonian included David’s name.
The point I want to make is this. Elizabeth Rauscher and Bill Van Bise revealed their discovery to me and spent their time generously with me regarding the forecasting of earthquakes when the study of this process was in its infancy. I then passed on what I had learned to Mr. Farnsworth. He in his inimitable way picked up on the thread and we went forward rapidly as our understanding of the process improved over time.
Earth taught us all directly as we watched the patterns of stress/strain excitation and release. We watched and learned. Hour after hour, day after day, night after night we observed the pre-seismic spectral signatures, which sometime manifest as quakes, volcanic eruptions, or just gradual release with little or no seismic expression.
I consider it one of the great blessings of my life that I have had the time, energy, and money to learn from Elizabeth and Bill, discoverers of the process and from Mother Earth the signs of her increasingly unstable seismic and volcanic processes. I have also been very grateful for much of the time I spent learning with my former friend and colleague David. My life partner Nancy also spent countless vigilant hours learning from the Earth by my side and frequently had insights that deepened our mutual understanding of this process.
It is very exciting to be on the leading edge of discoveries that could positively impact all of our lives. It is disconcerting ad nauseum to have a former colleague attempt to obfuscate a formerly productive working relationship.
Dave claims to have introduced Nancy and I. That is complete bs. I had been speaking to Nancy on the phone for months before he claims to have introduced us. We were actually introduced by a mutual friend in Aspen.
David claims to have never screwed his investors. The record reflects this as a grossly inaccurate statement.
Here a case in point is his relationship with Geordie Hormel, a primary heir to the Hormel Meat dynasty. David took a large amount of money from Geordie Hormel, who was my friend and sat on the board of my company Zero Point Technologies, Inc. before I ever met Farnsworth. I introduced David to Geordie and then Mr. Farnsworth abused my trust by doing everything in his power to undermine my relationship with my friend. Geordie himself said this to me. Geordie and I reconciled our friendship before his death.
This leads us to a very different understanding of the cause of the 1997 raid mentioned above. Within the last week a friend pointed me to an Associated Press article stating that a Federal Judge ordered the raid because of a lawsuit against David Farnsworth that was initiated by Geordie Hormel. The headline reads, “Spam Heir Files Suit Over Investment.”
Since Elizabeth and Bill discovered the real method for using ELF precursors to forecast quakes only a few have been able to pursue it. It is a very important area for scientific investigation, which could be applied towards the safety and welfare of the people of this unstable planet. Those of us who have learned and continue to learn could contribute greatly to the security of populations who are proximate to both seismic and volcanic regions of the earth.
As elucidated above, Former Ambassador James George did not arrange for me to speak at the United Nations nor for David and I to do our demonstration down the street from the UN in 1989.
Ambassador George is one of my dearest friends and colleagues and a mentor for whom I will always offer up thanks. It would be difficult to count number of times of I relied on his counsel. He is a rare gem in this world. Although David references Jim as a witness on his behalf, Jim does not support a word of David’s attacks.
As mentioned above it was Electra Briggs, who organized the UN event and invited me to speak because she knew of my work from well before any relationship with Mr. Farnsworth. She confirms this.
Noel Brown, then the Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme helped arrange for an alternative demo venue for the technology at Holy Covenant Church down the street from the U.N. because of last minute security concerns at Dag Hammerscold Auditorium where I spoke immediately after the successful demonstration.
Anyone who was there knows that it was a very special moment. Some of us felt briefly that the world might change as a result. David had no problem saying we were working together back then.
As for the Liquid Nitrogen Snuffer technology used to put out several oil fires in Kuwait I have always said that David called me in the wee hours of the morning (2 am) in February of 1991with this fantastic idea for putting out oil fires with large tanker trucks of liquid Nitrogen being used like giant pulsed fire extinguishers with a circle of nozzles at the end of gantry arms to shear and suffocate the high pressure flames. (This is a really oversimplified description.) He and I spent several hours on the phone that night and in the days following fleshing out the details. David never before objected to me being cited as his co-inventor.
I will not bore you with the litany of that process and who contributed what. All I cared about was getting the fires out. I promised my daughter.
Boots and Coots did indeed try to patent the technology. I was one of the people who called the US Patent Office to prevent that because I knew very well where it came from.
David’s claims of doing earthquake forecasting and having patents pertaining to ELF earthquake forecasting before knowing me are not even close to being true.
After introducing himself to me at the 1988 Tesla Society Conference in Colorado Springs, David called my office every day and begged to work with me. That is how this whole thing started. I certainly had no need to pursue this man or to learn “buzz words” from him. I already had a successful career and had I known then what I do now I would have made very different decisions regarding working with this man.
David’s claim that he used me, as a sounding board for “his” ideas is ridiculous.
On more than occasion after not speaking to David for months and even once for well over a year (because of his violent mood swings and methamphetamine abuse) I received conciliatory calls in which he said things like, “I need you to come back and work with me. I need your ideas.”
On more than one occasion David tearfully apologized for abusing our working relationship and our friendship. He would apologize for not giving me credit where credit was due. Then, like many other addicts, he would revert to his old pattern of self-deception and abuse.
This is a sad thing to have to say. Anyone who has had an acquaintance, a friend, or a loved one who is or has been addicted to methamphetamine can understand. This dreadful poison has ruined millions of lives worldwide. It is a toxin, which often causes human beings to become monstrously deluded and abusive. I cannot say conclusively that David Farnsworth is currently using this substance but his recent behavior does suggest either residual damage or current abuse.
The Emergency on Earth is too far along to sustain this kind of dissipative distraction. I say in all of my lectures that this is not about any one individual. It is about the contributions we can all make to the healing of our Wounded Earth and ourselves.
It may be of interest to some that I was invited to join the group of fellow interviewees who wish to dissociate from the movie Thrive. I have great respect for all of them. I received a lovely letter of invitation to join this group from my old friend John Robbins. Like Robbins and other signers of the letter I have serious differences with the final edit of the movie.
Even so, I am saddened by attacks on Foster Gamble (or anyone else for that matter) by individuals who hide behind pseudonyms and take pleasure in causing pain. I am not speaking of the signers of the aforementioned list. I am speaking of bullying cowards who place no value on the accuracy of their statements.
Let no one fool you into believing that there is not an Emergency on Earth. David Icke and those who say that Climate Change is a scam do a great disservice to us all. I cannot be associated with nor endorse anything that embraces such a view on this subject.
At Project Earth we have always supported fuel free and pollution free energy producing technologies that could help heal the Earth. These technologies have been suppressed since Tesla. This is not a new issue.
Millions know of my work with Project Earth over the decades. I am so grateful for the support of honest witnesses and the real friends that Project Earth and I have. My record is clear. I stand for the Earth and her creatures. I stand for solutions.
Our planet is now at the fulcrum of great change. We could move into a future that would be wonderful or we could continue on a path that leads to an environmentally bankrupt world. We all need for our governments to invest in Life worth living. The only way this will happen is if we find and raise our voices above the tide of lies.
Obviously, there’s a lot here. As you can see, the bulk of Mr. Trombly’s essay is devoted to responding to the allegations of Mr. Farnsworth. I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again now, that I don’t know where the truth lies in this dispute between the two of them. I reported Mr. Farnsworth’s allegations; I have now reported Mr. Trombly’s. Although Mr. Trombly’s statement makes it sound like I’ve reported Mr. Farnsworth’s claims as if they are absolutely true and factual, I’ve never done any such thing, because I don’t know which one of them is telling the truth. Go back and look at the article and you’ll see this is the case.
As for the portions of the statement directed at me, I wish to raise three main issues.
Mr. Trombly’s statement that I’m stirring up some sort of “mob” against Thrive is a grotesque mischaracterization. I’ve presented facts and arguments that refute many of the claims made in the movie. I’ve reported, as accurately as I can, questions that have been raised by others about the work and the credibility of people who appear in the film, most notably David Icke, Nassim Haramein and Adam Trombly. I believe Thrive is a deceptive film, and my entire purpose in creating this blog has been to lay out the case for why I believe this is so. How is this in any way stirring up a “mob?”
Have I ever advocated hurting anyone over Thrive? Have I ever told people that I think they should take action against anyone connected with the film? Indeed, have I ever even stated or implied that I think Thrive should be banned, censored or suppressed? The answer to each of these questions is a resounding no.
Indeed, if there’s any sort of “mob” here, it’s definitely looking for me, not the other way around. One need only glance at some of the comments to any article posted here to see numerous examples of the extreme hostility with which many Thrive fans have responded to this blog. I’ve been accused of causing wars, suicides and depression. I’ve been accused of making up sources. I’ve been accused of “collaborating” with evil forces bent on enslaving the world. And yes, as most readers well know, I’ve been accused of being a “paid disinformation agent.” Right now about 30% of the readership of this blog believes someone is paying me to trash Thrive.
So let me ask Mr. Trombly—if I’m the one stirring up a “mob,” how come I’m the one getting death threats?
Undermining Pollution-Free Forms of Energy?
Mr. Trombly states that I am “undermin[ing] fuel and pollution free forms of electrical and mechanical energy production.” This is untrue.
I do not and never have opposed pollution-free forms of electrical or mechanical energy production. I would love to see a cheap, reliable form of pollution-free energy production. The world needs that sort of technology desperately. Personally, my belief is that the governments of the United States and other industrialized countries should devote considerable resources to the development of solar, wind and other renewable forms of energy. I believe a symbiosis of public-private interests, geared with great urgency and coordinated toward common goals, can develop realistic clean alternatives to fossil fuel power generation within the next ten years. I would support massive increases in public expenditures to bring about such a result. I’m willing to have my own tax burden raised significantly if I knew that the money was going toward development of clean, renewable energy on a wide scale, and I would whole-heartedly support political candidates who would advocate this. (Barack Obama has been a disappointment in this regard).
How have I “undermined” the cause of advocating environmentally and socially responsible energy? By asking for evidence that supports claims of “free energy” machines? How is this in any way unreasonable?
I would like to ask Mr. Trombly, if I had a million dollars that I was thinking of investing with him to develop the technology he’s working on, would he think it unreasonable if I asked for evidence that his claims are, in fact, supportable? Would he expect an investor to simply give him money on faith, without seeing anything? I’m not sure how the inventing business works, but I’d be very surprised if it actually works like that.
If a person makes a very broad and sweeping claim about something, they must be prepared to be asked for evidence that what they claim is true. If what they claim is true, they should have absolutely no fear of being asked to prove it. In fact, they should welcome the opportunity to prove themselves right, because the process of proving it will eliminate any potential doubt.
This is why I’ve stated before, and will state again here, that it would be very easy for Mr. Trombly to silence my criticism of “free energy” once and for all time. All he need do is show me (and the rest of the world) a working “free energy” device that actually does what is claimed of it. That demonstration needs to be out in the open and done in such a way that others can replicate the result, or at least verify it beyond all doubt. This can be done without jeopardizing patent or other intellectual property rights to which the inventor of such a device would, quite justifiably, be entitled.
That’s all Mr. Trombly has to do. Show me a working “free energy” device and prove that it really works. That’s all. If he does that, I’m a believer. It really is that simple.
Mr. Trombly’s Disagreement With Thrive—Is There Common Ground?
I now wish to get away from the obvious points on which I disagree with Adam Trombly. Let’s move toward a place where we might be able to find common ground.
For the first time I see in Mr. Trombly’s statement an indication that he’s unhappy with how he and his work was portrayed in Thrive. Whether he has actually signed the letter that John Robbins and eight others have signed is unclear from his statement, but he clearly indicates he’s thinking about it. He also clearly indicates that he strongly disagrees with David Icke and others who deny the proven scientific fact of anthropogenic global warming.
Here, then, are two points where I couldn’t agree more with Adam Trombly. I would say that, if I had to jettison every one of my issues with Thrive except for one, the presence of David Icke in the film is the one that would stand out as most bothering me. I do not like David Icke. I believe his theories are extremely harmful and damaging. As a human being who strongly opposes racial prejudice, I am deeply offended by the racist implications of Mr. Icke’s theories. My position on this is well-known.
I also believe that anthropogenic global warming is the single most important problem facing the world today. This is an issue that must be addressed. We can’t ignore it. Fighting global warming is of absolutely vital importance to every human being on the planet. And it is a crisis. If that’s what Mr. Trombly means about an “Emergency on Earth,” I agree. Mr. Trombly is wrong when he suggests that I’m not doing anything about the future of the planet. The work I’ve been doing in my everyday life for the past two years has significant implications for the understanding of climate change and how to deal with it.
I also commend Mr. Trombly for stating that he can’t endorse or be involved with anything that embraces the denialist view that global warming is some sort of scam. I would like to know if this is Mr. Trombly’s main basis for criticizing Thrive. Foster Gamble has made statements that indicate that he’s a global warming denier. I think it’s great that Adam Trombly is taking a stand against that. It’s an important stand.
A common thread is emerging from the various criticisms of Thrive that are out there. Many people oppose the film because they believe its unsupportable and sensational claims divert people’s attention away from real issues that need to be solved. This is certainly the basis of my disagreement with the film. Blaming the problems of the world on imaginary conspiracies created by an imaginary “Global Domination Elite” draws attention away from solving real problems that exist, not in Foster Gamble’s fantasy world, but in the real world where the rest of us live. I suspect that Adam Trombly’s disagreement with the film comes from a similar perspective. If that’s true, there’s some more common ground.
I’ve never stated that I think Foster Gamble is a bad person. In fact I’ve gone out of my way to stress that I believe he’s a good man with good intentions and who really does want to help the world become a better place. If I was stirring up a “mob,” or if I didn’t care about accuracy or fairness, why on earth would I say this about him? I think Foster Gamble is misguided in many of his beliefs. I think that he made numerous errors of fact and judgment in putting Thrive together. But none of that makes him a bad person. Mr. Trombly makes me out as some sort of demagogue who will stop at nothing to tear him down. Why, if that’s the case, haven’t I been far harsher on Foster Gamble?
Thus, I would suggest that perhaps my opinion of Foster Gamble, as a human being, is probably not too different from Adam Trombly’s. This is some more common ground.
So there are four issues on which Adam Trombly and I agree. If he’s willing to stand up and be counted with those who oppose and distance themselves from this deceptive film, as others have done, at least from my perspective the issues on which we continue to disagree will attain much lesser importance.
I started this blog because I was very bothered by the factual and logical errors and inaccuracies of Thrive, and I didn’t want the people out there on the Internet who were its most likely fans—young people, mostly, who are concerned with the direction our global society is taking—to accept it unquestioningly without at least being aware that the film has very serious problems. The bulk of Mr. Trombly’s statement is aimed at countering allegations made by David Farnsworth. I understand and appreciate why he’s doing that, and if I hadn’t been willing from the get-go to air both sides of the story, you would not see Mr. Trombly’s statement reproduced here in its entirety.
Setting aside for a moment his conflict with Mr. Farnsworth, there are indications in Mr. Trombly’s statement that he is also bothered by certain aspects of Thrive—bothered enough to join, or at the very least consider joining, a group of people who appear in the movie and who now want to distance themselves from it. I think that’s very positive. Considering that Mr. Trombly and I seem to agree on other issues—the urgency and importance of solving the problems of anthropogenic global warming, for instance—I’d venture to say that perhaps there is room to move forward in a constructive manner to evaluate Thrive and the issues it raises. For that reason, there is a great deal about Mr. Trombly’s statement that I welcome.
Exclusive: Allegations About Adam Trombly Present Potential Credibility Crisis for Thrive. (UPDATED!)
This blog, originally published March 16, 2012, was updated on March 20, and again on March 22 and March 23. Scroll to the end for the updates.
A very serious issue has come to my attention this week regarding Adam Trombly—one of the people showcased in Thrive—which potentially raises very troubling questions about the movie, its message and the process used by the filmmakers to vet its claims. Simply put: a person has come forward stating that the machine Thrive claims was invented by Adam Trombly was not, in fact, invented by him, and that the machine shown in the film does not do what Thrive claims it does.
At 35:17 of Thrive, at the beginning of the section of the film where Adam Trombly and his supposed inventions are showcased, a photograph of an unfamiliar machine appears on the screen. At this point of the film narrator Foster Gamble is describing Adam Trombly and the dynamo he supposedly built, inspired by the “torus” shape that so fascinates Mr. Gamble. The same photograph of the same strange-looking machine, in mirror reverse, appears again at 36:29 of the film, as Mr. Gamble is talking about how Mr. Trombly’s machine was “taken” in a “government raid,” presumably ordered by the administration of the first George Bush, after Mr. Trombly demonstrated the machine to the U.S. Senate and before the United Nations.
Here’s the problem: an inventor named David Farnsworth has this week claimed publicly that Adam Trombly didn’t actually build that machine—that it was actually built by David Farnsworth himself. Furthermore, Mr. Farnsworth has presented, publicly on the web, evidence to support this claim. Further still, Mr. Farnsworth has stated that the machine attributed to Mr. Trombly in Thrive does not do in real life what the movie claims it does.
I will present these claims in turn. But first, some background.
Who Is Adam Trombly and What Does He Say In Thrive?
In the early history of this blog I ran an article entitled, “Who Is Adam Trombly?” which sought to present the facts about Mr. Trombly’s background and the machine that Foster Gamble asserts in the film that he invented and demonstrated before the Senate. Thrive maintains that Mr. Trombly’s machine is a “free energy device” which can produce unlimited energy for free that has the potential to power the whole world. The film strongly suggests that the inspiration of this technology comes from extraterrestrial sources, communicated to us somewhat ambiguously through crop circles. This technology, so Thrive tells us, is being suppressed by a “Global Domination Elite” for fear of what it might do to the profits of traditional energy companies. In my article, I demonstrated why all of these conclusions are incorrect.
What Is The Allegation?
The best and easiest way to summarize the claims made against Mr. Trombly is to quote a statement made Wednesday on the web page of Global Energy Systems, an entity with which David Farnsworth has been associated from time to time. (Update: this link may become unavailable, but I have been given permission to mirror the page on this blog). Here’s what they have to say:
“A new movie has been produced by Foster Gamble, called Thrive. In it the filmmaker interviews Adam Trombly about suppressed technologies. Trombly talks about a generator that he and Kahn developed, but the generator that he shows in the photos (both on his website and in the film) are NOT of his closed path homopolar generator, they are photos of a device invented and built entirely by David Farnsworth in 1996. Farnsworth was also the man who invented, designed, and built the solid state generator with the 54:1 output ratio that was shown working by Farnsworth & Trombly to the U.S. Congress in 1989 right before Adam went and spoke to the United Nations.
How do we know this? Farnsworth is one of the consulting engineers who sometimes works with GES, and he has graciously agreed to allow us to post a few of the original photos of his generator taken with a Polaroid in his lab in Oregon. To help you compare them to Trombly’s photos, we have also included one of them below. There is a world of difference between those who can and do, and those who only talk and build their own egos. The GES team is real.
“Adam Trombly has never requested, nor have I ever given, permission to use my photos in any way. Nor was my permission sought or given prior to my photos being used in the movie Thrive, or at any time since. — David Farnsworth”
On the same page is posted an open letter from David Farnsworth in which he expresses his thoughts both on Mr. Trombly and on Foster Gamble’s use of him in Thrive:
“I’ve tried to no avail several times to contact Forest [sic] Gamble at the Thrive website. He will not respond to me. I wanted to explain to him that Adam Trombly and I were friends at one time, but at no time did we ever work together. We talked on the phone many times, and in person occasionally, but they were one way conversations, not collaboration. I was telling him how the things that I was doing worked, just to have someone to talk to as I processed ideas. Ninety percent of the time he never really listened, and when he did it was to copy buzzwords to use in conversations with other people….
I do find that Adam Trombly’s memory is not very good at all. Sadly, I think he believes the things that he says, as if hearing it or talking about it creates a false reality in his mind that somehow he actually did it.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a Polaroid must be worth a million, since it cannot be faked. That is why I gave permission for GES, and only GES, to scan the originals and publish my copyrighted photos.”
Due to the obviously sensitive copyright issues involved with the photos of this machine, I can’t reproduce them here on this blog. I suggest, however, that if you have a copy of the Thrive movie, fast-forward to 36:29 and freeze-frame the image. Then click the link to the statement on the GES website which includes the photos. You’ll see that not only is it the same machine, but it’s exactly the same photo. This is the only image of Mr. Trombly’s machine that ever appears in the Thrive movie. Mr. Farnsworth is unequivocal in his claim that Mr. Trombly did not have permission to use the photo, and that he did not create the machine that it depicts. It is my understanding that he’s contemplating legal action to cause the picture of his machine to be removed from the Thrive movie.
Who Is David Farnsworth and What Does He Do?
In researching this article, I interviewed David Farnsworth. He isn’t a scientist, has no degrees, and has never claimed that he has. He is an inventor, and for many years he’s been working on trying to develop a more efficient form of generator. The machines that he’s been developing do not violate the laws of physics as they are commonly understood. He does not, and never has, claimed that the machines he’s worked on are “free energy machines” or “zero point energy” devices. He emphasized to me, in a direct quote: “Free energy does not exist!” In fact he repeated this statement several times to make sure I got it. He told me that the machines of the types he’s working on cost millions of dollars, that private and government R&D institutions are sinking large amounts of money into developing them, and that they don’t actually create energy out of nothing. The claims of Adam Trombly and Thrive regarding the nature and capabilities of this type of technology, Mr. Farnsworth told me, are wildly inaccurate and exaggerated.
So What Is The Machine in the Photo?
The machine depicted in the photo is called a “mechanical homopolar amplifier.” This is a device that generates electricity using magnetic fields. It sounds exotic, and in some ways it is, but homopolar devices are not science fiction; they’ve been around since 1831. A homopolar generator works entirely consistently with the laws of science as we know them. You can read about homopolar generators here and here. The promise of these machines is that they can generate power much more efficiently than more conventional generators. However, they are by no means “free.” They are very expensive to build, they need fuel, and they break down just like any other machines. The way Mr. Farnsworth described it to me, these types of machines do hold the promise for significant energy savings. But what he described to me was entirely within the realm of science—completely unlike the magical machines that Thrive wants you to believe can solve the world’s energy crisis with the wave of a magic wand, and which are supposedly being suppressed by the “Global Domination Elite.”
What’s Adam Trombly’s Involvement With the Machine in the Photo?
According to David Farnsworth, not much. As you can see from the statement posted on the GES website, Mr. Farnsworth maintains that he did not collaborate with Adam Trombly, but merely described projects to him over the phone that he was working on, including the mechanical homopolar amplifier depicted in the photo. He repeated this assertion during my interview with him. Mr. Farnsworth is angry that Adam Trombly appeared in the Thrive movie as if the machine was his own—and stated again that what the machine actually does in real life is different than what Mr. Trombly and Foster Gamble claim in Thrive.
Obviously, we can’t tell from a single 15-year-old Polaroid photo who built what, when, or whose design it was. However, consider this point: if Mr. Trombly designed and built the machine himself, wouldn’t he be able to present a photo of it that isn’t controversial—meaning, a photo about which there is no question as to where it came from, who took it, or what it depicts? For that matter, why didn’t Mr. Trombly actually show the real device on-screen in Thrive, doing right on-camera what he and Mr. Gamble claim that it does? These questions are clearly not conclusive, but they do raise legitimate questions about the provenance of the machine shown in Thrive.
What Does Adam Trombly Say?
To my knowledge, Adam Trombly has not publicly responded to Mr. Farnsworth’s allegations. However, I have been told about an email exchange, purportedly between Mr. Farnsworth and Adam Trombly shortly after the release of Thrive which seems to indicate that Mr. Trombly’s involvement with the machine shown in Thrive is casual at best.
In my interview with him, Mr. Farnsworth issued a direct challenge to Adam Trombly. He said, “Adam, show us the generator you built. Show us anything that you have built.”
If Adam Trombly chooses to respond to this challenge, I’ll be more than happy to publicize his response right here on this blog.
What Does Foster Gamble Say?
This controversy is going public for the first time in this blog post. However, it’s been simmering for some time. Foster Gamble has, until just a few days ago, been a regular on a forum devoted to the work and philosophy of the late Arthur Young, who invented the Bell Helicopter. Some of the regulars on that forum—a few of which post frequent comments on this blog—asked Mr. Gamble about the allegations of David Farnsworth against Adam Trombly. Here’s Foster Gamble’s response in its entirety:
“Mr. Farnsworth’s name was added to the picture of this device on our web site several months ago.
The detailed source and attribution for the device is being sorted out by the two inventors. When they achieve clarity, we will make whatever further corrections might serve the truth. Unfortunately, with Mr. Farnsworth there have been past incidents with Mr. Trombly where the truth has been challenging to determine.
We are dedicated to portraying the truth as best we can and that is why we spent a great deal of time and resources to fact check independently. Of the over 150 facts portrayed in THRIVE, there have been about three corrections which have seemed to hold validity and were posted on the site in the appropriate places.
Tom’s concerns actually seem to me to be only to undermine THRIVE or attack me, as evidenced by his continual stream of negativity.
“Tom,” the moderator of the Arthur Young forum, has posted numerous comments on this blog since almost its inception. He is also a skeptic and has been consistently critical of Thrive.
As you can see from the open letter posted on the GES website, Mr. Farnsworth has attempted to contact Mr. Gamble and ask about the photo and the controversy. As of this writing Mr. Gamble has not responded to him.
What Does All This Mean?
The purpose of this article is not to adjudicate the objective truth of who designed the machine in the photo. I cannot do that. I’m not going to lead you to a conclusion. Mr. Farnsworth has told his story and presented evidence that he says supports it. I’ve tried, in this article, to present his story and direct you to that evidence so that you, the readers of this blog, can judge for yourselves whether his claims have merit. I do believe we should hear directly from Adam Trombly and Foster Gamble on these questions; I’ll get to that in a moment.
If Mr. Farnsworth’s claims are true, then I believe it presents a serious problem for Foster Gamble and the credibility of Thrive as a whole. The idea of these “free energy” machines is key to Thrive’s overall message, and for whatever reason Foster Gamble elected to present Adam Trombly as an exemplar of this phenomenon. Now it seems at least possible that Mr. Gamble did not do very much due diligence before inviting Adam Trombly to appear on-screen in Thrive. It would seem that at a bare minimum, Mr. Gamble should have asked to see Mr. Trombly’s machine in operation with his own eyes, and satisfied himself—from a legal standpoint, if no other—that the assertions made about both its creation and its operation are actually true. If Mr. Farnsworth’s allegations are true, it seems likely that Foster Gamble put Mr. Trombly and his machine into Thrive after doing nothing more than looking at a single photograph of the machine. This is from a person who claims, as you see in his statement above, that “We are dedicated to portraying the truth as best we can and that is why we spent a great deal of time and resources to fact check independently.”
Furthermore, if this criticism is apposite, one can argue that a pattern is emerging. There has already been considerable controversy over Mr. Gamble’s inclusion of David Icke as an important source in Thrive. This blog has run an article discussing that issue. I stated in that article that I believe Mr. Gamble is genuinely unaware of the serious difficulties and credibility issues that David Icke brings to the table. If Mr. Farnsworth’s allegations are true, it would seem a similar lack of vetting and foresight went into the decision to include Adam Trombly and the claims he makes about his machine. In short, viewers of Thrive have every reason to be skeptical that the film was well researched or that its sources were given any substantial vetting. Consequently, the overall credibility of the film is open to serious question.
I’ve already stated that my purpose in this article is to report that the allegations have been made about Mr. Trombly, and to present the tools with which you, the reader, may evaluate them. I’ll make two other comments that may be relevant to the general issue of credibility.
First, Mr. Farnsworth was completely open about his claims, and he invited and encouraged me to check them out in whatever way I saw fit. (I am, in fact, continuing to do research on this matter, the results of which will likely be published in another article). At the conclusion of our interview he even invited me to visit his lab in person and see first-hand what his inventions are and what they do—an invitation I may, in fact, accept. This is telling. Typically, people who claim to have invented “free energy” machines are very reluctant to show the world what their devices really are and what they do—often hiding behind excuses that disclosing what it is they’re doing will open them up to retribution by evil powers-that-be, etc. Mr. Farnsworth, however, has not invented a “free energy” or “zero point energy” machine; he was very clear and explicit about what his devices do and how they do it. What he said about these devices is markedly different than the grandiose claims made about them in Thrive.
Secondly, as this story has broken, I’ve become aware—from sources other than Mr. Farnsworth—that there are others out there who say they can make similar claims about Adam Trombly (not necessarily about claims specific to Thrive, though some are), as well as people interviewed in Thrive who feel that the filmmakers used their appearances in extremely misleading ways. I can’t be more specific until and unless these persons go public with their concerns, and I caution everyone against reading too much into this. But, if true, this does suggest at least a certain carelessness regarding how the film was put together and the vetting done of its major claims.
A Fair Resolution: Let’s Hear The Other Side.
I wish to make clear that I think it’s important to handle this matter fairly. If Adam Trombly or Foster Gamble want to comment on anything raised in this article, I will make the Thrive Debunked blog an open, fair and complete platform for whatever they want to say in response.
I would like to have heard directly from Adam Trombly regarding this matter before publishing this article. I’m simply not sure how to contact him; others have attempted to get comment from him but so far to no avail. Foster Gamble is similarly difficult to contact. However, as I suspect that he reads this blog, I venture a guess that he knows what’s posted here.
If the claims made in the Thrive movie about the machine purportedly created by Adam Trombly are true, it will be exceedingly easy to neutralize my criticism of them and my questions about them. I invite and encourage Adam Trombly to present his “free energy” machine in a public forum and demonstrate before all the world how it works and that it does what he claims in Thrive that it does. If Mr. Farnsworth’s concerns are meritless, it should be easy to demonstrate that as well: Mr. Trombly should simply produce the machine itself, in his possession and under his control, and show the world some documentation indicating that he designed and built the machine. I have no doubt that he can do this without jeopardizing proprietary rights or patent secrets to which he would be legally entitled; after all, Mr. Farnsworth is willing to do it regarding his inventions, by inviting me into his lab to see for myself, so why can’t Adam Trombly do the same thing?
If Mr. Trombly produces evidence demonstrating that he designed and built the machine in Thrive and substantiating the claims he and Foster Gamble make in the film about its operation and potential, I will be more than happy to present that evidence on this blog in a high-profile manner. It is true that I’m a skeptic regarding “free energy” or “zero point energy,” which I believe do not exist. However, it wouldn’t take much to change my view on this: merely reliable, verifiable, conclusive evidence of such a machine in operation, in such a way that its results can be replicated and explained by others. Show me that evidence, and I’m a believer.
My offer to give Adam Trombly and/or Foster Gamble the floor on my blog, which is obviously highly critical of Thrive, should demonstrate that I’m interested in facts that can be proven and evidence that can be examined. My entire approach to Thrive hasn’t wavered since the beginning: show me the evidence. If I was, as many of my critics on this blog have claimed, a “paid disinformation agent” or a “troll” only interested in presenting material critical of Thrive, I would have nothing to gain by offering to present the other side of the story. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Farnsworth has raised questions regarding Adam Trombly and the machine that Thrive claims he built. At issue is whether Trombly really did build the machine, what it is and what it can do. If Mr. Farnsworth’s claims are true, I argue that there is room for serious doubt about the level of vetting that the makers of Thrive did regarding the people who appear in the film and the claims they make. This holds troubling implications for the credibility of the film as a whole.
I believe Adam Trombly and Foster Gamble should respond to these concerns. If the concerns raised are off base, let’s all understand why so there’s no further doubt about the issue. I would like to see specific, verifiable evidence that the machine shown in Thrive was built by Adam Trombly and that it does what he and Mr. Gamble say that it does. If they should choose to present such evidence, I’ll be more than happy to publicize it on this blog. Consequently, if they do that, this will be a long step forward to addressing the questions of the overall credibility of Thrive.
I’m sure more will be happening regarding these issues in the future, so check back again for more updates.
Update I: 20 March 2012
Foster Gamble has been in contact with David Farnsworth. Mr. Farnsworth has given permission for me to post the text of his exchange with Mr. Gamble.
I’m not leaving anything out of this quotation, and I am, for the moment, refraining from editorial comment. Here’s the words that went between them. Mr. Gamble’s questions and comments are in normal typeface; Mr. Farnsworth’s answers are presented in boldface.
Dear David and Adam,I had hoped that the two of you had worked out any disagreements about the validity of any pictures, devices and historical accounts concerning anything portrayed in THRIVE. When I added the Farnsworth name to the picture on our website, I thought the issue was resolved. The communications I am now receiving from David indicate there is still an issue.
I have no first hand knowledge of what went on between the two of you, so I have to depend on your accounts, or secondary witnesses, for my accuracy and the reputation of our film and movement..
Will you each please give me a brief written account of the pertinent facts I need to know?1) Did you two work together on any energy devices? If so – when? and do you have any pictures of it/them? If not, what happened to them?No we did not. I built a solid state system by myself with no collaboration from Adam Trombly, and it was Ambassador Jim George that set up a demonstration which Adam and I attended in 1988 almost 25 years ago. I paid for the motor home, the travel, and everything to get to Washington, DC and New York. Adam had no involvement in that design, he was just along because he enjoyed talking. As far as the pictures are concerned, in that raid in 97 all of my original photos of the solid-state generator were taken from my lab, not Adam’s. (To this day I still suspect that Adam himself in a small way or otherwise had something to do with the raid in 97. I cannot prove it but my instincts tell me he did because of something that Jim George told me back at that time and I will never forget it as long as I live.) That is also one of the reasons why I’m very bitter at Adam.2) Did any of these devices have over-unity or super efficiency capabilities – if so, which?Only the solid-state device. The device shown in your movie was not over-unity, at least not in the traditional sense. It produced mechanical energy that was over-unity, not electrical, so the claims that Adam Trombly made on his website were incorrect and not valid.3) Did you take any device(s) to demonstrate at the UN and Congress.Yes we did. We demonstrated the solid-state device that I had developed, that again Adam had no part of. And we did not show it to the whole Congress because Bush senior called a meeting and circumvented our demonstration.
4) Were these demonstrations undermined by the Bush Sr. administration?yes5) Were any of your laboratories raided? When?YES. In 97 the laboratory that I owned in Forest Grove, Oregon was raided. I was the one that got hurt, I was the one that they gave a problem to, and I was also the one that went to Federal Court and I have the papers to prove it. I even have the pictures of all of my equipment in the Federal warehouse that they destroyed before it was returned to me.6) Were you personally ever threatened or harmed by suppressive forces?Yes indirectly through the gov’t , IRS, and investors. There were several times when my family at the time and I got phone calls in the middle of the night threatening that I would not bring anything out regarding this technology.7) Who built the device pictured in THRIVE?I am the sole inventor and builder of the device that was shown in your movie Thrive. Adam Trombly had nothing to do with it; no collaboration was conferred.8) What were its capabilities?The maximum capability of this device electrically was 5kw. Mechanically the device could produce over 30 kw of mechanical energy related to the homopolar effect. Adam knew this at the time when I told him; as usual he misunderstood what I said. The unique part of the photo that you showed in your movie, just so you know; is that the whole device is not there, only part of it. I never showed that to people because I didn’t want anyone to know how it worked, but I would be more than happy to describe it to you and physically give you a demonstration of it. There was also something put in the picture for misdirection, which Adam could never identify; he wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of what I or you would be talking about, yet you can have my facts independently verified once you know what it is. That proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this device was not built or designed by him.9) Was that device or one like it ever seized?No device that I’ve ever had fell into the hands of anyone. All of my devices were hidden – taken apart so that no one would get them. No device that I have ever built has been seized by anyone, only the things (equipment) that were in my lab.10) What corrections would either of you suggest I make on our website? (It is too late to make changes in the film.)That device belongs to me and solely me. I want you to take it off your web site, and I want it out of your film. Adam Trombly had nothing to do with it and in fact I see how Adam manipulated the opportunity to make everything look like as if it was his. It ain’t gonna work. This is a digital film that you made, and it is very easy to take several frames out of this film. I also asked Max Langenburg if you had permission to use his pictures, and he said you did not. Those pictures say that they belong to a another inventor who does not even know how to build an over-unity device. Max is also a friend of mine. I talked to him as recently as two days ago, and he was shocked to see a his creations in your movie without permission. I also did all of the earthquake technology as well (not Adam), but these are things that you should already know because you claimed you checked them out. So why don’t you go talk to Elizabeth Rauscher, your friend, and find out from her what she thinks of Adam Trombly and what Adam has done to her. All he’s done is lie in all these years. He takes credit for other people’s work and rides on the coattails of their success, or tries to take or steal other people’s information. If you doubt this then check it out yourself.David – I am sorry for any misunderstanding or misrepresentation that might have occurred. My interest is in the truth and I will do everything I can to find and represent it accurately. Along those lines, will you state if you have ever created an over-unity device and are you still? And what is the sources of funding for the work that you are apparently able to continue now without harassment?YES. I have created many over-unity devices which I have never shared with Adam and never will. And yes in fact I am still doing it; I have many now. I would never share anything with that pompous ass with all his wonderful love-talk.My funding is private. (Just so that you know, I collect a lot of bottle caps and I take them to the store, and it’s very hard work but I’m able to fund everything I do myself. ) As Adam Trombly will tell you I’m probably one of the only people on the earth that can build a laboratory that is beyond NASA grade with next to nothing. Well, you can tell him I’ve done it again, with bottle caps.The only one here that needs a reality check is Adam, to start telling the truth. Otherwise he will go on preaching his brotherly love until it makes no sense; I’ve been there and listened to this. When Adam is caught in something that he can’t get out of he starts to show you a little self-pity, then starts crying, tears roll down his cheek, and he wants to make you believe that he’s the only one that has been damaged or hurt. It is simply not true. Yes, he’s gone through some very interesting things in his life; they are all things he caused himself. All he needs to do in his late life is to grow up. And quit acting like this unbelievable victim, and the only one on the planet that has ever lost anything…he’s completely full of BS. I’ve lost 100,000 times more than he will ever lose. And there’s no place anywhere where you have ever heard me say the things that Adam does. You will never hear ‘”oh poor David, I’ve been beat up and knocked out so many times” to gain pity from people. I’m sorry it doesn’t work with me. When he has lost the things that I’ve lost then he can complain, until then keep his mouth shut. I have lost many of my things three times in life and had to start over, while Adam lived a nice beautiful life on the island of Hawaii with his rich girl friend Nancy, that by the way I introduced him to. I’ve never had anybody that helped me in my life or gave me a home like Adam has, or been so lucky to fall into money (like a trust baby and he’s set for life). I wish him the very best, I sincerely mean that, but stop the BS. And no – he cannot have my photos and claim them as his own.
Foster, I would suggest that you call me at [number redacted]. You have given plenty of time to Adam on the phone and listened to all his B.S. I’m curious why you would not want to talk to me on the phone, and do your due diligence. I’m sorry sir I am having a very difficult time in believing in you, so until I see results otherwise, I will continue on the path that I’m going.Adam – I know you have taken considerable risk to come forward with this story so publicly, and I know you have also told me you want the truth to be told.David and Adam – Please help me get any mis-alignments resolved so that the emergence of these vital devices and the understandings they represent can proceed without being hindered by our own unnecessary conflicts. There is enough to deal with from the powers that don’t want everyone to have access to clean, cheap power. Let’s don’t help them by getting bogged down among ourselves.OK Mr. Gamble if you want the un-conflicted truth then start with Adam Trombly, not me. I’ve worked my butt off all these years, while Adam sat in Aspen Colorado enjoying himself. The few times I had him come to my house he would hang upside down in my trailer (Adam will know what I mean) like a monkey and talk to me about complete crap. The only collaboration I ever had with Adam was one direction and one direction only. I have further proof of this in a letter from Tom Wright who introduced me to Adam Trombly. Tom, my dearest friend who I will love always, passed on this last Saturday. I’ve spent half the day crying over him and I probably will not be over this for a long time. But I have paperwork that will validate all of these things written in his hand, and these documents were shown before a Federal Court in Portland, Oregon.Thank you very much for taking the risks you have and for taking the time to respond accurately to these questions and any others I might not have thought to ask.Sincerely,
FosterPs. In childish classic fashion Adam Trombly has blocked my e-mail so you can send this to him.
I assert neither the truth nor falsity of the assertions made by Mr. Farnsworth here; you can see some of my thoughts regarding his claims in the main body of this article. The purpose of this update is to present what has been said.
Update II: 22 March 2012.
To date, Adam Trombly has not responded to Mr. Farnsworth’s claims. However, Mr. Trombly’s daughter has posted a response in a comment to this blog on another article. Here is the link to that original comment. I reproduce it in its entirety here.
First of all, let me introduce myself. My father is Adam Trombly. I was physically present for many of the 11 years that my father worked daily with David Farnsworth. I answered the phone at my home when David would call at least once a day to have “conversations” with my father that were obviously very intense and technical and that from my end definitely did not sound “one-sided.” I was physically present when David Farnsworth showed up at our family home and stayed for over a week to work on projects with my father. David came to our family home after returning from a trip with my father where they did physical demonstrations of the Piezo Ringing Resonance Generator in New York before a speech my father gave at the United Nations, and in Washington DC at the Senate Banking and Finance Committee Hearing Room. That was June of 1989. The demonstrations were real and well received.
When I was touring Colleges in the Pacific Northwest with my father in 1995, we stopped by David Farnsworth’s in-law’s home in Forest Grove, Oregon where David Farnsworth tearfully apologized in person to my father at the dinner table in front of his ex-wife, and his in-laws. He apologized for abusing his relationship with my father, and not giving proper credit to my father, and he apologized for never sending the instruments that he was supposed to share with my father. David said that half of the equipment that he had in his possession should be with my father and he was sorry he had not sent it. He asked for forgiveness and asked for my father to work with him again. He asked me to be a witness of this conversation.
The claims that David Farnsworth is making are false. His contention that he and my father never worked together is absolutely a lie. David Farnsworth and my father Adam Trombly appeared numerous times side by side as partners on CNN and in numerous business negotiations and physical demonstrations of their technologies. David Farnsworth is a brilliant engineer, but paranoid– perhaps as a result of his substance abuse problems which I have witnessed with my own eyes. At one time he disclosed using crystal meth while I was standing in his motorhome/lab. David Farnsworth is not representing the facts correctly. His lies are an insult to my father’s work and legacy. This blog is an insult to a lifetime of work dedicated to providing the world with a clean and safe source of energy. This attack does not serve anyone’s future. I would be happy to testify to all of the above information in a court of law. In fact, I am considering calling my lawyer after reading this!
The last time I spoke with David Farnsworth he called me directly when I was College and he asked me for money because he couldn’t afford to pay the rent at the trailer park where his motor home was parked.
Please remove these lies from the internet and provide my father with an apology!
You can read my own response to this comment here. In the meantime, Mr. Farnsworth has asked me to post his response. I do so at his request, and as of now I’ve chosen not to make any editorial comment on this response.
3-21-2012Well, isn’t this interesting? Adam has decided to bring in his daughter who was about 10 to 12 years old when this happened at the United Nations. First of all, let’s correct the record, again and for the last time.It appears, Adam, that you can’t tell the truth, and neither can your family for any reason, so let’s start the beginning.1. Did we go to the United Nations together?Yes, we did. I rented the motor home with no help from you; it came out of my family’s pocket and Pete’s. We paid for the trip and the equipment and everything to go back there. There were three of us that went out and came back; myself, Terry, and you. Your daughter was never present at that time. You call this device a “Piezo Ringing Resonance Generator”. This device had 32 coils in it, Adam. I never agreed with you on the name that you called it, just because you wanted to give it a name to tell people back east. This device was a simple electromagnetic resonant amplifier that used a very unique electromagnetic path and coils to amplify current and voltage; it had nothing to do with piezo-electric! It was you that went around telling everyone that. And to get it straight, the piezo-electric phenomena that we both discussed on the phone was over the earthquake technology, not the generator. If you remember we used to talk about the piezo-electric effect that was in the earth and if you look in the CNN video the examples were even given related to the piezo-electric affect again not the generator. I have the video if you’d like to have a copy.2. Did we talk on the phone a lot?Yes we did. I only came to your Aspen home once. And I brought you a 3561 Spectrum Analyzer from HP, which you then used to forecast earthquakes with me on the phone. I had to teach you how to use the instrument in absolute detail.I also brought you the coils that I designed and built for my first earthquake instruments, and one coil from my second design which was built by Coiltron in Beaverton, Oregon. I spent most of my time with you explaining to you in detail how it worked, and what the coils did and what they were for. The rest of the time that I was at your place…well Adam, I’m not as low as your daughter – I will let everybody figure that out.Just because a very young Jacqueline, with no technical expertise whatsoever, thought that your side of our phone conversations sounded impressive, does not mean that you significantly contributed to any of my technology except for the things related to the pattern recognition system only.Also I do not want us to forgot one of the nicest people I ever met was William Randolph hearst the second and William purchased the first earthquake equipment that we used. All the equipment after that I got.3. Your daughter also has the time sequence out of place as far as when I came to your home and when we showed everything.4. Did Adam come to my home in Forest Grove?Yes he did.Did I apologize to Adam for not having his name on the earthquake technology that we talked about for many years again related to the pattern recognition system only?Yes, that is true, but in fact I apologized to him for a totally different reason than his daughter stated. I was not able to put Adam on the patent primarily because all of the technology that was ever actually patented was developed by me and that was all the hardware not the software.Did we confer on the technology as far as the pattern recognition system?Yes.Did I ever patent that?No, I did not, only the electronics. If you go look, the pattern recognition system never got completely patented. So in fact there was nothing to put your name on. To this day Adam, the technology works. If you would like to patent the technology related to the pattern recognition system with me I’m more than happy to do that. But I will have to explain it to you again because you still never understood how it really worked, and to be perfectly honest I have made it considerably better in all these years.I threw out many olive leafs to you back then, but you never picked them up. I have many people to prove that, including my ex family that would be David, Kathy’s brother who I’m still very good friends with you may call David if you’d like; also one of them is Kirk Hawkins. You remember Kirk, he would be more than happy to tell you that’s true. He is a personal friend of mine and has been since we met at ISSO. Just so you know Adam, if I abused our friendship in any way, I am truly sorry for that. I just wish you would come clean for the things you did to me.5. As far as the equipment is concerned; I would’ve been more than happy to help you with equipment, which I did. You know I’m one of the best in the world for putting together an incredible lab, but at no time did I ever say that I would give you half of my equipment, most of which was not even related to the earthquake technology which you and I talked about! Please, let’s be real about this. You did not know how to use equipment anyway. You barely knew how to use an oscilloscope, let alone a spectrum analyzer; I had to show you how to use one. And that is the truth. And if you’re so good at what you do, why don’t you have a lab now? Why don’t you have equipment? Why don’t you do all of these things now? You certainly have the money don’t you? I had far far less, so why am I capable of doing so much more than you? You know what I find interesting, Adam, is that you have had the money all along from your marriage and have been able to talk to many people. So why haven’t you been able to do all of these incredible things that you talk about? Can you explain that to me, and all of us? This is the reason why I stated that you are all talk, no reality.6. As far as all of the statements above, I am also more than happy to take a lie detector test to verify that everything that I’ve said is true, before God and everyone. So let’s hear from you now Adam, not your daughter.7. I have never claimed anything about Adam Trombly personally – this is all professional. The only thing that I’ve stated to anyone and all of you is that the pictures that Adam Trombly has on the movie Thrive do not belong to him, he did not have permission to use them, and he misrepresents not only his own involvement with those devices but also what they do. That’s how this started; let’s stay focused on the issue. Making personal attacks simply does not answer the questions or solve the problem.8. Did Adam and I ever appear on CNN together?Yes, only once. I have the videos to validate and prove it and in the video anyone can see that they were talking about me more than Adam and when the video was taken Adam knew at the time that it was unbalanced and unfair but I could not redo it and I could never talked to him about it because he would get upset those things were not my fault he needs to talk to CNN not me we did the interview together he knew it was fair.Did Adam and I ever appear on any other program together?Never, and I can prove that because I have all the videos of everything that I personally ever did and Adam knows that. I can also validate and prove that I always mentioned him in every video that I was in, but for some reason the news reporters would edit it out in the final broadcast. And I was never able to convince Adam otherwise. We argued many times on the phone about that; I always told him the truth but when it came to that he never believed it. I’m sorry Adam but I always told you the truth.9. Ladies and gentlemen I would like all of you to know that yes, in my past I did drugs, tried marijuana and cocaine, methamphetamine and a few other drugs. Yes I did, and I freely admit that. I have never lied to anyone about anything I have ever done but I’m not the only one that did things like that – let’s see if my accuser can come clean as well. I have absolutely nothing to hide. Once again, I will be more than happy to take a lie detector test in a court of law to validate that I’m telling the truth, not only about my own drug use but also the abundance of use and abuse I witnessed on the part of others. Shall we, Adam?I am deeply saddened that it has to resort to something like this, but I am not a person who is afraid of the truth. I don’t hide behind family, children, other people, pictures, and semi-accurate information to make myself look good. Also back in those days, when I was slim and looked a lot better, just about everywhere I went I wore high heel boots with tee shirts and leggings, like jogging pants. Adam never liked that (he was always about appearances), so that is likely to be the next thing he has some family member bring up. I however am not a phony and cannot be embarrassed by his third-hand attempts at personal insults.10. I would also like to bring up one more thing. Adam do you remember the Etheric Analyzer? Did you know that I won an award for my work in subtle energy research, given to me by the USPA? Elizabeth Rauscher was there. When I tried to tell you about something fantastic related to that, do you remember asking me sarcastically “What are you gonna do, tell everybody that you see little devils on the screen?” You missed out on such an incredible technology, Adam, as you have on everything I ever tried to talk to you about. And quite honestly, you will never believe where and how far I took that technology. But that was always the theme of our talks; you had to be the one that was right, and always tried to make me feel that I don’t know what I’m talking about.I thank your daughter for the compliment and saying that I’m brilliant. I will return the compliment by saying that you are too in many unique ways, but Adam it is time (and time is running out for this world) that you state the truth as well. You talk about God and Jesus; well, isn’t telling the truth what they would want you to do? Walk the talk, Adam.And by the way, I am not “paranoid”; I’ve actually had my lab destroyed, but not for the reasons that you have stated.Just so you know, this is not “David’s truth”, this is just the truth. I have stated it before, and I will say it again, I never cared what people thought about me, I only cared about my work. I always have. I wanted someone to share it with (at one time Adam that was you), someone that I cared for very much. It was not me that walked away from our friendship, it was you. Now that is a decision you will have to live with. I have moved on and I have new friends now and the people that know me today know me as a very different person than you knew. I tell it the way it is and I don’t hide anything. I’m not proud of my past and the few things that I have done but I’m not ashamed of it either. How about you, Adam?Dave Farnsworth
It is important to note that I spoke to Elizabeth Rauscher on Wednesday and she refuted David’s statements. She acknowledged we have known each other since she and Bill were in San Leandro, (1980’s) that it was she and Bill who introduced me to the reality of being able to use an ELF Spectrum Analyzer for earthquake forecasting. She is a wonderful scientist and I enjoyed a wonderful learning experience with Elizabeth Rauscher and Bill Van Bise. We were exploring a new frontier in science which they opened for us all. I am one of the fortunate ones who have been able to put thousands of hours into this science and I am be forever grateful.You sir, have been duped. Just the fact of Elizabeth’s refutation of David’s statements is sufficient to undermine a primary stantion of this illegal, slanderous and immoral attack. David falsely attempted to make Elizabeth the fulcrum upon which my credibility and reputation would be smeared. His statements in his letter are such gross misrepresentations that it necessitates our counter response.For David Farnsworth to say that he never worked with me nor collaborated with me is patently absurd. It pains me more than I can say to have write anything like this. But as they say in a court of law David, Muertos and now you have opened the door.I will inform you that I did not ask my daughter to respond to the misrepresentations of David Farnsworth. She is testifying to a part of her factual experience. We never did find out how David got her cell number when she was at Colorado College but he called her for rent money (for the RV Park where the motor home he was driving was parked) and money to feed his son. My daughter called me and of course we helped. We are compassionate people and we were shocked and saddened to see the very bad condition he was in. So my daughter took time off from her busy schedule at school to lend a hand. To call her “childlike” casts you in a very strange light indeed.I will also inform you that there is plenty of documentary evidence, including videos of lectures I gave at more than one university years before I ever met Mr. Farnsworth, including bonafide witnesses who are prepared to testify, should the need arise that I lectured about and was interviewed in Los Angeles before the Whittier quake and informed the public that there was a high probability of a major earthquake before it happened. I got that information through Elizabeth and Bill at their lab in San Leandro which I told every audience to whom I lectured. Since this is an original discovery of science there is no place else I could have been informed but by those who generously shared the discovery and the discourse surrounding the discovery with me. How else could I have known that the quake was to happen prior to the actual event? I cited them as the discoverers and the original inventors as any good scientist would do and I have all the witnesses and proof I could ever require in a court of law. The auditoriums were packed at UCLA and other venues.David claims to have had patents regarding earthquake forecasting technologies prior to ever meeting me. Really? Does he think that the world will reorganize itself to substantiate that?That being said, I doubt you are prepared for the fact that David has drawn you into an entanglement which unfortunately exposes you as well. For him to have falsely cited Elizabeth as his cohort is very problematic for him.We are preparing a longer response, but we are reviewing our next steps. I have already covered many other details with Foster and we will soon release them in to the wild. Ambassador George also has sadly corroborated the details of what my daughter and I have said.You have implied that I am a coward. It is an unfortunate error.One more thing, as regards the famous photograph of the rotor. The yoke within which it rotates and without which it cannot produce torque is not in the photograph.That photograph was provided to me by Mr. Farnsworth when I requested it for the Project Earth website when we were friends and colleagues. He has acknowledged providing me with the photograph. One cannot retroactively declare “copyright” twelve years after publication. The fact he did so just prior to the release of the movie Thrive made me suspicious as to where the pressure was coming from on him or if this is just really him. David was once my friend and even sent me an email not long ago calling me “old friend”. The next thing I know, Voila! David is on the attack again. Very strange.For you too imply that I made my daughter defend me and that somehow her defense is a tacit admission of guilt on my part is just pathetic. My daughter is a grown woman and hardly childlike. You, on the other hand, and not I will soon have some explaining to do.Adam TromblyPS You may come back and say that this does not address Foster’s ten points, but believe me, we ( he and I ) have discussed and I have addressed in writing to him and some of my other colleagues more than ten points. Believe it or not this is not the most important part of our lives. In the meantime, you might suggest some site deodorizer for your friend’s blog.I apologize for any typos.
More than two months after its release, Thrive is still struggling to command any significant positive attention in mainstream circles. As I pointed out not long ago, the film has placed itself in a difficult niche: by its reliance on conspiracy theories it becomes toxic to the mainstream, but even many hard-core conspiracy theorists do not trust it because of Foster Gamble’s corporate associations and the ridiculous delusions that its imagery, especially its promotional poster, is “NWO occult symbolism.”
The film’s search for mainstream acceptance was dealt yet another blow a few weeks ago with a scathing review posted on the award-winning UK green/sustainability blog Transition Culture, one of the most widely read environmental blogs in Britain. TC’s founder, Rob Hopkins, lectures and blogs about topics regarding peak oil and the transition from our current unsustainable energy practices to more locally-oriented and eco-friendly solutions. Far from being a sympathetic audience to Thrive, Mr. Hopkins savaged the film, and for many of the same reasons I criticize it on this blog: its factual inaccuracies, its promotion of conspiracy theories, and its pandering to New Age sensibilities largely divorced from positive real-world solutions to the problems it purports to respond to.
“What do you do when you are the heir to the Proctor and Gamble fortune and you have spent years surrounding yourself with new agey thinking and conspiracy theories? You make a film like ‘Thrive‘, the latest conspiracy theory movie that is popping up all over the place. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have asked me “have you seen ‘Thrive’?” Well I have now, and, to be frank, it’s dangerous tosh which deserves little other than our derision. It is also a very useful opportunity to look at a worldview which, according to Georgia Kelly writing at Huffington Post, masks “a reactionary, libertarian political agenda that stands in jarring contrast with the soothing tone of the presentation”.
Mr. Hopkins is especially critical of Thrive maker Foster Gamble’s questionable approach to evidence and reasoning. He writes:
“Visually the film is like some kind of Star Trek fan movie crossed with a National Geographic wildlife film, and is largely built around Gamble’s own years of ‘research’ into the question of what it is that “stops life on earth from thriving”. A reasonable question to ask, but his approach can hardly be called ‘research’ due to the low standards he accepts as ‘evidence’ and his all-round lack of critical analysis. His research, such as it is, is cherry-picked to deepen and support his established worldview, rather than the worldview being built from a careful analysis of the evidence. As we’ll see, this is a dangerous foundation.”
Taking the film’s major arguments in turn, Mr. Hopkins reaches largely the same conclusions that we have here at Thrive Debunked. Regarding free energy machines, Mr. Hopkins raises precisely the same point that our contributors have repeatedly raised, most notably in an article involving Adam Trombly:
“[A]ll we are offered as evidence is some grainy film of machines that could be anything doing anything, and some smart computer graphics of spinning torus shapes. If this amazing breakthrough that would rewrite science and win Nobel Prizes for anyone involved were actually a reality, and if you were going to spend huge amounts to make a film to argue for their existence which you would then put out into the public arena, surely you would get a working model of such a device into the studio with some impartial scientists to verify it in operation? If they actually exist, and actually work, then this wouldn’t be a big challenge surely?”
A lot of Thrive supporters have come to this blog to argue that “free energy” is real. I almost always have the same point: show me the evidence! And Adam Trombly’s website, or a YouTube video supposedly depicting “free energy” machines, does not constitute evidence. By evidence I mean, show the machine to somebody reputable who can replicate it and verify that it actually works. This is precisely the point that Transition Culture is making.
Mr. Hopkins then takes Thrive to task for training a fire hose of conspiracy nonsense directly at the audience:
“Then we are bombarded with the full range of conspiracy thinking. 9/11 was an inside job, there is a conspiracy to suppress natural medicines, “Big Brother’s not coming, it’s already here”, we are one step away from a “military dictatorship”, a climate treaty in Copenhagen would have been “a tax base for tyranny”, there are ‘chemtrails’ in the sky to deliberately poison us, there is a deliberate attempt to reduce the world’s population underway, there is only a cancer epidemic because all the cures have been suppressed, etc, etc…
Gamble wheels out the classic conspiracy theorists’ gambit, “could I be wrong? Perhaps. But what if I’m not?” No, you are wrong. And even if you were right, you have presented us with so little evidence to back up you claims that you would have no way of knowing whether you were right or not.”
This again strongly supports the point we’ve been making here. The main function of Thrive, as I recently detailed toward the end of this entry, seems to be to account for the reason why New Age concepts such as “free energy” have not transformed the world into a magical utopia. The reason? Evil conspirators are preventing it from happening. Conspiracy theories are not the whole game for Thrive, but they’re a major part of it.
Mr. Hopkins’s ultimate indictment of Thrive has also been echoed on this blog: that the movie diverts attention from real issues, such as anthropogenic climate change, and instead urges its audience to hate imaginary bogeymen and focus its actions on bringing them down. He says:
“‘Thrive’ is dangerous because it invites us to put our faith for the future in a fantasy. A fantasy that free energy is possible, a fantasy that the only thing that is preventing us from creating a benign and enlightened society is a handful of powerful families….
It’s not about ‘free energy’, it’s about learning to appreciate what a precious thing energy is and learning to live well with less of it. It’s not about ‘no involuntary taxation’, it’s about taxes that disincentivise the things that are narrowing our future options, and incentivising the things we need to get in place urgently. It’s not about ‘no government’, it’s about truly democratic government using its considerable powers to build resilience, decarbonise society, shift the collective focus. The few countries in the world that are actually seriously engaging with the climate issue are those with stronger government, not weaker government.”
I agree completely with these statements. I believe anthropogenic climate change is the most serious issue facing the world today. The makers of Thrive don’t even believe that anthropogenic climate change is happening! How can they even pretend to address this problem when they refuse to accept that it exists? “Free energy” is not the answer, because “free energy” does not exist. Better energy is the answer, and we know that exists because many people, companies and government agencies in numerous countries are out there developing it right now. We will not kick the fossil fuel habit overnight, but we need to begin a transition to cleaner, more renewable energy. This technology will not drop out of the sky, handed to us on a silver platter from bug-eyed aliens. It will be human beings—research labs, some corporate, some private, universities and think tanks, as well as NGOs—that create these solutions. Given the serious lack of faith that Foster Gamble and the other makers of the film seem to have in the ability of human beings to accomplish great things, I remain skeptical that Thrive offers any real solutions. It is, in short, part of the problem, not part of the solution.
I recommend reading the full review.