Tag Archive | Pseudoscience

Thrive as Holy Scripture: The Emerging Religion of “Conspirituality.”

In a few articles on this site (and also in one on my other blog) I make an argument that the movie Thrive is largely a religious document. It is a statement of faith by Foster Gamble, and a plea to its viewers to adopt the same religious faith, which is a synthesis of New Age concepts, conspiracy theories and far right-wing Libetarian political ideology. Thanks to a recent article in the Journal of Contemporary Religion, not only does this idea have academic support, but the faith that Thrive advances now has a name: “conspirituality.”

In January 2011, two authors—David Voas, a professor at the University of Manchester, and Charlotte Ward, an independent researcher in the field of alternative spirituality—published an article called “The Emergence of Conspirituality” in the peer-reviewed Journal of Contemporary Religion. (The cite is Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 26, No. 1, January 2011, 103-121. The abstract for the article is here but unless you have access to an academic database, you will have to pay to download the full article. If you want to see it for free, I suggest you visit a library that has a subscription to JSTOR or another academic database—it’s well worth your time). Although the article—which I only just recently became aware of—was published eleven months before Thrive’s release, I think it is extremely apposite to the film. In fact, if the article had been published after the film’s release, I have no doubt it would have been discussed as a case study of conspirituality.

The Ward/Voas article was peer-reviewed. That means that knowledgeable researchers in the field of contemporary and comparative religion reviewed drafts of it—their identities not known to the authors—and provided critical comments. Peer review is not infallible, but it is the hallmark of academia and it’s what separates publications like academic journals apart from other publications where material may or may not be independently checked. Most major trade magazines and reputable newspapers employ fact checkers, but academic journals operate on a strict system of review. It’s worth noting that virtually none of the “sources” that Foster Gamble and Thrive rely upon are peer-reviewed—such as the now-infamous BLTResearch.com, which is the film’s go-to source on crop circles.

What is “Conspirituality”?

The authors of the article have coined a new word—“conspirituality”—to describe what they see as a recently-emerging religion that melds New Age sensibilities and conspiracy theories. The best way to explain it is to quote from the article itself:

“We argue that conspirituality is a politico-spiritual philosophy based on two core convictions, the first traditional to conspiracy theory, the second rooted in the New Age:

(1) A secret group covertly controls, or is trying to control, the political and social order (Fenster).

(2) Humanity is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness, or awareness, so solutions to (1) lie in acting in accordance with an awakened ‘new paradigm’ worldview.

Conspirituality is a web movement with diffuse leadership and constantly shifting areas of interest.”

In order to understand what this means, you need to understand how the authors define both “New Age” and “conspiracy theory.” Here’s what they say on that:

“[New Age] groups embrace the idea of a person as an integrated whole, with mind, body, and spirit subject to a common set of principles. The second ideology is conspiracy theory. Here one finds a denial of contingency, the discovery of patterns in events that might otherwise seem to be random, and the attribution of agency to hidden forces.”

The article goes on to explain that the central feature of New Age thinking is this idea of “new paradigm” or “new consciousness.” Many, many examples of this belief can be found in many places, and especially on the Internet, from which most of the authors’ examples were drawn. A frequent theme in New Age milieu is the idea that there is a massive shift taking place, or about to take place, in human consciousness. A good example of this type of message is what some people are saying about the “2012” prophecies. While some people literally do believe that the supposed “end” of the Mayan long-count calendar in December 2012 will mean the end of the world, in New Age circles it’s much more common for people to predict some sort of massive consciousness shift. Whitley Strieber, a noted New Age author (and conspiracy theorist) who is most famous for his claims of having been abducted by aliens, makes this sort of argument here.

As for conspiracy theory, well, that’s easy. If you read this blog or have seen Thrive, you know exactly what this means: bizarre, unsupportable and factually bankrupt assertions like the Illuminati or the “Global Domination Agenda,” “false flag” attacks, suppression of free energy, etc. The authors make the interesting point that the conspiracy theorist underground is overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and usually politically conservative. I’ll return to that point in a little while.

As for how New Age and conspiracy theories go together, I’m going to quote something I published a few months ago. I had an email correspondence with a British academic back in January where he talked about exactly this phenomenon. Here is what he had to say (it’s quoted in this article):

“I suspect that what’s going on is that New Age, now entering its third generation, has developed a theodicy. Now, this is a theological term, but it essentially means an explanation of the existence of evil – why bad things happen to good people. For some of those in the New Age milieu – Foster Gamble, David Icke, Whitley Strieber, Duncan Rhodes and others, all incidentally in middle age and with a long term involvement in the New Age milieu – an explanation is needed as to why, if we’ve entered the Age of Aquarius, is the world less peaceful, equal and progressive than ever? Conspiracy theories offer such a theodicy – the New Age hasn’t happened because evil people prevented it from happening.”

What is an Example of “Conspirituality” In Practice?

One very prominent example cited in the Ward/Voas article is another buzzword that has appeared occasionally on Thrive Debunked: the Zeitgeist Movement. In case you don’t know, the Zeitgeist Movement is an Internet-based organization—many call it a cult, and that term is apposite—which sprang out of the fanbase for the 2007 Internet conspiracy theory film Zeitgeist: The Movie, and which proposes that the world be remade with something called a “Resource Based Economy,” which is basically late-stage Communism with robots and computers standing in for the dictatorship of the proletariat. By melding conspiracy theories (including “9/11 was an inside job” theories, which were the film’s major selling points) with this sort of new consciousness argument, Zeitgeist’s leader, Peter Joseph Merola, minted one of the most paradigm examples of a conspirituality religious organization. Here’s what the authors say about that:

“The second [example of conspirituality] is weighted towards conspiracy theory. It was taken from the Zeitgeist Movement, a web site promoting global activism connected to Zeitgeist the Movie, a 2007 web movie. Zeitgeist alleges, among other things, that organised religion is about social control and that 9/11 was an inside job. The producers claim that the movie has been viewed 100 million times.

[quoted from the Zeitgeist Movement Facebook page:]

The elite power systems are little affected in the long run by traditional protest and political movements. We must move beyond these ‘establishment rebellions’ and work with a tool much more powerful: We will stop supporting the system, while constantly advocating knowledge, peace, unity and compassion. We cannot ‘‘fight the system’’. Hate, anger and the ‘war’ mentality are failed means for change, for they perpetuate the same tools the corrupt, established power systems use to maintain control to begin with. [. . .]

[Ward/Voas comment:] This could be called a ‘spiritual’ awakening.”

What Does This Have To Do With Thrive?

In a word: everything.

Thrive is an even more obvious and clear graft between New Age ideas and conspiracy theory ideology, which according to Ward and Voas is the definition of conspirituality. This is the point I made in my other blog’s article on how the conspiracy theory world has been changing—and in that article I made the point, several times in fact, that Zeitgeist and the Zeitgeist Movement are the progenitors of Thrive, and most likely the example Foster Gamble was trying to follow. But, just to line up a few factors that I think demonstrate that Thrive exemplifies the Ward/Voas concept of conspirituality, let’s look at this:

  • Thrive telegraphs its New Age associations, and tries to sell itself to a New Age audience, early in the film by heavy use of New Age concepts such as crop circles, ancient aliens and UFO contact.
  • One of Thrive’s central messages is that humanity must have some sort of “paradigm shift” if we are to break out of these horrible conspiracies that Foster Gamble says we suffer from.
  • Thrive’s promotional poster features an image of a woman removing a blindfold. The whole theme of “waking up” surrounds promotion of the film. Additionally, many Thrive supporters who have commented on this blog have advised me to “wake up” or employed similar language to urge me to change my thinking regarding the film.
  • Thrive pretends to impart to its audience hidden knowledge or forbidden knowledge that “they” don’t want you to know.
  • Thrive regards factual support of its conclusions as largely unnecessary. By looking at the ridiculous “Fact Check” section of the Thrive website, one sees right away that any factual support for the movie’s assertions is perfunctory, poorly-researched and shoddily done. The message is that it’s faith and belief, rather than facts and evidence, that make the difference between swallowing Thrive’s message and rejecting it.
  • The middle section of the film churns as many conspiracy theories as it possibly can, as fast as it can, and with as few facts cluttering the presentation as possible. It is obvious that this section of the film was built as a sort of “big umbrella” to welcome into the Thrive milieu as many conspiracy theorists as possible by appealing to a very wide range of disparate (and often mutually exclusive) theories.
  • The final section of Thrive purports to offer “solutions” to the problems it identifies. Its solutions either consist of ending the conspiracies, or implementing far right-wing Libertarian political ideology such as abolishing taxes, abolishing education, etc.
  • Thrive and its milieu exist mostly on the Internet. Like the Zeitgeist Movement, to the extent there even is a “Thrive Movement,” it is almost totally web-based. As the article makes clear, the Internet is overwhelmingly the main channel for proselytizing the conspirituality religion.

If the Zeitgeist Movement is a paradigm example of an organization offering a conspirituality religious message, I can see little doubt that Thrive would also qualify. The British researcher I talked to put it in very stark terms. Thrive asks the question, “Why hasn’t this New Age consciousness shift occurred?” and then answers it by pointing a finger at the Rothschilds, Rockefellers and “bankers” and says, “It hasn’t happened because they prevented it.”

An Interesting Angle: Foster & Kimberly Gamble and the Gender Issue.

The Ward/Voas article makes a very interesting point about the gender dynamic within the emerging religion of conspirituality. I hope they won’t mind if I quote them again, because they say it better than I could:

“Notwithstanding these shared principles, there is a wide gulf between the ordinary understandings of conspiracy theory and the [New Age] milieu. The former is male-dominated, often conservative, generally pessimistic, and typically concerned with current affairs. The latter is predominantly female, liberal, self-consciously optimistic, and largely focused on the self and personal relationships. It is therefore far from obvious how a confluence of these two streams could be produced.”

I argue that the husband and wife team of Foster and Kimberly Gamble represents a living example of the union between these previously incompatible belief systems. Foster Gamble, obviously male, seems to be very conservative politically; he believes, for example, that taxation is theft (a classic Libertarian idea) and in Thrive he even denounces the very idea of democracy as a form of tyranny and oppression. [Note: in this discussion I am not conflating political conservatism with support of the mainstream Republican Party in the U.S. I am not alleging that Mr. Gamble is a Republican, just that he espouses at least some politically conservative ideas. They’re not the same thing, though they overlap to some degree]. Clearly Mr. Gamble is concerned with current affairs, and his outlook is relentlessly pessimistic, at least regarding the current state of the world. Kimberly Gamble, by contrast, is shown in Thrive as more of a touchy-feely figure. Her subjects of discussion regard holistic healing, health issues, etc. Also note that in the film Mrs. Gamble generally appears in a much more optimistic-looking setting (a home-like room drenched with light) whereas Foster Gamble usually appears, through bluescreen effects, to be hovering in a dark space.

I believe the husband-and-wife presentation of Thrive was carefully calculated to appeal to both sides of the conspirituality coin. A male figure who speaks well and appears friendly gives the message about evil conspiracies, then recommends the implementation of far right-wing Libertarian political ideology as a potential solution. A female figure, conveying a softer tone, speaks of personal issues and seems well-connected to the New Age milieu. Her message, even more than Mr. Gamble’s, seems to hinge upon belief and faith rather than fact and evidence.

Even beyond the gender dynamic, I believe there is also a generational dynamic. Foster Gamble is in his 50s. He claims in at least one interview to have learned about the principles of conspiracy thinking from his son, who must be in his 20s or 30s. That demographic—white males in their 20s and 30s, or even teens—are the key consumers of conspiracy theory material, which can be witnessed by noting that the overwhelming majority of members of the conspiracy-minded Zeitgeist Movement fall into this category. Foster and Kimberly Gamble may be positioning themselves as sort of a “mother and father” team, administering their philosophy to a global family of New Agers and conspiracy theorists.

The Future?

If Thrive is an exemplar of a conspirituality religious text, what does this mean for the future? How do those of us who still live in the rational world deal with the emergence of conspirituality?

I don’t know the answer to this. I find it interesting that academics are now beginning to study the phenomena that we (those of us who debunk conspiracy theories) have been noting for the past few years, the trend of groups and individuals, like Foster Gamble or Zeitgeist’s Peter Joseph, to use conspiracy theories as a marketing tool to gain adherents to a political, social or religious philosophy. That’s the change I wrote about in my article in February. Does this development make movies like Thrive more or less dangerous, divisive, harmful and irresponsible?

I think it might depend on how conspirituality continues to develop. If it becomes very clear to most people that what Thrive espouses is a religious belief system, people and society at large may come to accept it on those terms, which is fine. Some Christians believe the world was created in six 24-hour days, about 6,000 years ago; many Mormons believe that Joseph Smith actually found golden plates and that a civilization called the Nephites lived in what is now the western U.S. These are accepted as religious beliefs. If adherents of conspirituality believe that 9/11 was an inside job and that aliens create crop circles, I suppose it’s not so bad so long as people realize that these are religious beliefs, which exist in the realm of unfalsifiable phenomenon—faith, essentially—and do not rise to the level of empirical matters that must be proven by actual facts and evidence.

On the other hand, if adherents of conspirituality reject the conclusion that what they’re espousing are religious beliefs, and continue to insist that the things they believe are true as a matter of objective fact—and demand that society act on those matters as if they were fact—I could see this becoming a major societal problem in the decades to come. As a practical matter I don’t them agreeing passively that what they’re peddling is a religion. Believers in the Zeitgeist Movement, to use that as an example again, emphatically reject any suggestion that the organization they follow is a cult or some sort of quasi-religious belief system; they insist it’s based on fact, and they usually insist that the conspiracy theories upon which their movement is based are also facts.

Conversely, the vast majority of Thrive fans who have posted comments critical of this blog seem to believe, for whatever bizarre reason, that the assertions contained in the movie are factual, though I admit that many of them seem more interested in arguing the efficacy of the film’s or the filmmakers’ proposed solutions—the spiritual meat of conspirituality, in a sense—more than the facts. (This is why I get so many comments to the effect of, “Well, what are you doing to save the world?” or “Why don’t you do something more productive with your time?”) As I pointed out in my February article, the arena in which traditional fact-based debunkers have been battling conspiracy theorists over the past few years is rapidly shrinking—largely because conspiracy theorists have come to care less and less about, and swayed less and less by, matters of fact and evidence. It’s the faith and the beliefs that are important to them, not the facts. That’s a world I would rather not live in, but unfortunately I think that’s the world we’re headed for.

Conclusion

The main point of this article is this: I hypothesized some time ago that Thrive is essentially a religious text, proffering beliefs that are probably more correctly classified as tenets of faith rather than matters of fact, and I believe the Journal of Contemporary Religion article lends support to this hypothesis. Furthermore, the Ward/Voas article gives us a name for this emerging religion—conspirituality—and begins to lay an analytical framework for us to understand it.

Boiled down to its core essence, it’s a rather simple equation. New Age beliefs plus conspiracy theories equals conspirituality, a religious belief, and the Internet is conspirituality’s church. I think everyone who sees Thrive should be aware that, when they hear Mr. Gamble’s soothing voice and watch pretty CGI images of glowing purple space donuts, they may well be taking part in a sort of high-tech mass—an initiation rite into a new religious belief system. This system is not an organized church in any traditional sense, but I think the signs are becoming ever more clear that it is a religion, or starting to become one. Where this belief system will take its adherents in the future, no one yet knows.

Crop Circle Wars! Fake Video Shakes Credibility of One of Thrive’s Main Sources. (UPDATED TWICE!)

This blog, originally published June 20, 2012, was updated June 22 and again July 16. Scroll to the end for the updates.

A bizarre little drama is going on right now in the world of crop circles. A fake video designed to bolster belief in the supposed paranormal origin of crop circles has been making the rounds on the Internet, igniting both indignant recriminations and spirited defenses. This matter may seem extraneous to issues involved in Thrive—until you realize that the fake video controversy directly concerns a website called BLTResearch.com, which is one of the Thrive movie’s go-to sources for the crop circle nonsense that appears so prominently in the first part of the film.

Just a brief recap. In Thrive, Foster Gamble makes the assertion that crop circles are made by extraterrestrials visiting Earth, and that these circles contain mathematical, engineering and possibly spiritual messages from the aliens for the benefit of humanity. Specifically, Mr. Gamble claims the aliens are trying to tell us about this “torus” shape, which Thrive says is the answer to all the world’s problems because it can give us free energy, if only those evil Global Domination Agenda people would quit meddling with it. Crop circles, therefore, are a key part of Thrive’s message.

Crop circles have also proven, much to my surprise, to be the single most controversial subject we’ve ever covered on Thrive Debunked. To date we’ve had more comments and more angry buzzing about the debunking of crop circles article than any other in the history of this blog—more than free energy, more than David Icke, and more than the Global Domination Agenda. Clearly, I struck a nerve; this alone merits revisitation of the issue.

What’s the Controversy?

Here is what happened. A Dutch crop circle enthusiast named Robbert van den Broeke, who also claims to be a psychic who can predict when crop circles form, recently said that he made contact with the spirits of two dead people. One of them was Pat Delgado, a British researcher of crop circles; the other was Dave Chorley, the notorious British prankster who, with his partner Doug Bower, made hundreds of crop circles in English grain fields and then confessed in 1991 to having done so. To “support” this bizarre claim of contact from beyond the grave, Mr. van den Broeke produced a video which he said captured spectral images of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Chorley. The video is here. Prepare to be underwhelmed. All it shows is Mr. van den Broeke sitting in a chair looking like he’s nodding off to sleep. The disembodied, semi-transparent blue heads of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Chorley appear near his head, float around a bit, and disappear. That’s it. There’s more supernatural fireworks in your average episode of Bewitched.

These claims, and clips from the video, were made public on BLTResearch.com by its main contributor, Nancy Talbott. Here is the link to the page where Ms. Talbott explains this “miraculous” visitation from beyond the grave.

What did Pat Delgado and Dave Chorley supposedly say to Robbert van den Broeke while their Photoshopped—er, I mean disembodied spirits were floating around his head? Oh, some New Agey stuff about the spiritual power of crop circles and how important they are, etc., etc. According to Ms. Talbott here’s how this little séance went down:

“Delgado’s image, which appears to be the same one throughout the video clip, moves about slightly during its brief appearance (about a minute long), sometimes brighter and more distinct, sometimes less so. While Pat’s face was present Robbert “heard” him say that he was still “energetically” very involved with the circle phenomenon, not only in the UK but also elsewhere in the world. He also expressed gratitude for all of the circle enthusiasts who continue to search for the truth and who realize the “cosmic” nature of the consciousness which is involved.”

And with regards to Dave Chorley, the key bit is here:

“Chorley’s “consciousness” then communicated his awareness (now that he is “in the afterlife”) of how important it is that people respect the loving force behind the crop circles. Chorley also expressed sincere regret that while he was on earth he had gone to the media and said that crop circles were “just a joke”, and that he and Doug had said they made them all.”

There you have it. Chorley himself (supposedly) tells the true believers that he was wrong, and crop circles really do have a paranormal origin! Wow! Isn’t this amazing! And there’s no proof of any of this except what Robbert van den Broek says these spirits told him! But who needs proof anyway?

Another British crop circle researcher, Colin Andrews—who worked with Pat Delgado before the latter died in 2009—came out with a statement denouncing the fake video. That statement is here. Mr. Andrews’s report contained a statement from Pat Delgado’s family. Understandably they’re quite upset that his image has been used in this way. Their statement reads:

“It is the considered opinions of the family of Pat Delgado and his close friend and researcher Colin Andrews that the alleged messages and photographic images purportedly produced by the special powers of Robbert van den Broeke were created by trickery. This trickery involving images of Pat Delgado, a beloved husband, father, grandad and best friend is a disgrace, which reaches a new low with the unscientific extreme elements of the crop circle research field. No attempts have been made to discuss these images or communications with the Delgado family before posting them on the Internet nor it would seem have any transparent evaluations been made by the various camera manufactures or professional magicians etc. If they have, his family would like the courtesy of seeing them. Pat Delgado’s family were deeply involved with his work and are appalled at the adoption of his voice and putting at risk his high integrity by people who never even met him. Playing with the reputation of Pat is outrageous, despicable and unacceptable.”

Mr. Andrews also stated that a fellow named Roger Wibberley has investigated the video and concluded that the images of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Chorley were lifted from a video interview done with them in 1991, freely available on YouTube. If you go to Colin Andrews’s page you can see comparisons of the van den Broeke séance video with the real 1991 interview. In a nutshell, the Robbert van den Broeke video is a crude fake.

Who Is Robbert van den Broeke?

Robbert van den Broeke lives in Holland and has been involved for some time with various claims involving the paranormal, extraterrestrials and crop circles. In 2005 he went on Dutch TV telling a woman whose husband just died that the husband had lived a past life and died in the 1820s—a claim whose details were easily disproven with a perfunctory Google search on the man van den Broeke claimed the husband had been. Mr. van den Broeke has also dabbled in “spirit photography” before, claiming to have photographed aliens. This information on Mr. van den Broeke is available here.

Mr. van den Broeke’s main claim to fame, however, is his assertion that he can “predict” when crop circles appear. For this alleged “ability” he is thought of as an important person among those who believe that crop circles are not made by human beings. What they fail to realize, however, is that most of the crop circles Mr. van den Broeke claims to have “predicted” appear in his backyard. Convenient, yes? But could (perish the thought!) Robbert van den Broeke actually be making these crop circles himself, in precisely the way that I demonstrated in my original crop circle article that all such circles have been made by human beings? Believers in paranormal origin of crop circles shriek bloody murder at the mere suggestion that human beings are the exclusive creators of crop circles. Therefore, the conclusion of simple logic—that Mr. van den Broeke is most likely creating these crop circles himself, or that he’s at least somehow involved with or has knowledge of the human beings who create them—is absolutely verboten among believers in the paranormal origin of crop circles.

So, here we have a fake psychic who has been exposed for his trickery before, who’s attempted to claim “spiritual photography” before, who now suddenly comes up with a video where another dead person appears and preaches the party line to paranormal crop circle believers. In a rational world this article would end right here, because it’s patently obvious that Mr. van den Broeke’s video is fake. But, in an eerie demonstration of the same sort of Bizarro-world thinking permeates the Thrive universe, we (unfortunately) can’t stop here because the true believers won’t let us.

The Punch Line: True Crop Circle Believers Think the Video is Real! (Or, At Least They Won’t Say It’s Fake).

When I first heard about this story I scoffed and dismissed it as a prank—just a fake video that went viral in the crop circle underground, and not worthy of any serious response. However, I’ve been absolutely astonished that various people who claim to be bigwigs in crop circle “research” are asserting that the video is real—or at the very least, they are unwilling to say that it’s an obvious fake!

Nancy Talbott herself, the driving force behind BLTResearch.com, certainly invites her readers to jump to the conclusion that the video is real. She engages in a lot of mumbo-jumbo about time stamps in the fake video, which she suggests is evidence of perhaps some sort of weird effects on the fabric of time. (She never mentions the possibility that discrepancies with time stamps could be evidence of digital manipulation).

Ms. Talbott has been getting support from another prominent paranormal crop circle believer, Suzanne Taylor. Ms. Taylor is the creator of a film called What on Earth? which is a documentary about crop circles. You can buy it for $19.99 on her website. She has also been a frequent commenter here on Thrive Debunked, where she opposes Thrive in general, but is generally hostile to any material expressing doubt that crop circles have a paranormal origin. Here’s what Ms. Taylor has to say on her blog about the video:

“Colin claims not only that Nancy’s report about the appearance of the late Pat Delgado, an early circle researcher, on Robbert’s digital and video cameras, is “trickery,” but that she and Robbert have offended Pat’s relatives. Colin provides no substantiation for the trickery claim, and I am skeptical about Pat’s relatives contacting Colin and not Nancy. Also, In the videotape posted in the report (link above), you will see how touched Robbert is at recognizing Pat’s face and how much regard he feels for him, and if any Delgado family member saw the BLT report it’s hard to believe they would have felt that Pat had been mistreated.”

Ms. Taylor seems to have missed the part where Colin Andrews did provide substantiation for the claim that the video is fake, in demonstrating that the images of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Chorley who appear in the video are obviously taken from the 1991 BBC interview. But you don’t even need this level of proof. We’re talking about a video that purports to show images of dead people from beyond the grave. The basic threshold of proof to demonstrate that something like that is possible anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances has obviously not been met here, to say nothing about the succeeding question of whether this particular video purporting to show video of dead people is real or fake. As for the offense given to Mr. Delgado’s family, I would ask Ms. Taylor if she really thinks any member of the family would be thrilled at seeing how the image of their dead loved one has been misappropriated, especially for a highly partisan purpose.

Incidentally, a new blog (not by me) has gone up just recently devoted to debunking Suzanne Taylor’s claims about crop circles and those in her movie What On Earth? You can find that blog here. Debunking Ms. Taylor’s film is beyond the scope of this blog. For the record I have not seen her movie, nor do I plan to.

There is a clear division in the world of crop circle research. The main issue appears to be to what extent it is permissible to admit that crop circles are made by humans as opposed to being of paranormal origin. (Note: it’s not a totally binary universe. Virtually all believers in the paranormal origin of crop circles concede that at least some circles are made by humans; however, there are ferocious disagreements among circle researchers as to what percentage are clearly of human origin and which ones are supposedly paranormal). The issue of the Robbert van den Broeke video seems to have inflamed this division.

What Does This Have to Do With Thrive?

Much of Thrive’s supposed research on the subject of crop circles relies upon the BLTResearch.com site. If you go to Thrive’s silly “fact checking” section and expand the various crop circle topics, you’ll see links to BLTResearch.com material. For example, this one:

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

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

The link in that last sentence leads to BLTResearch. Incidentally, the “magnetic particles” crap was debunked long ago. I explained in my original crop circle article how this is easily done by humans, specifically to fool paranormal believers.

Ironically, Thrive also uses Colin Andrews as a source—in a way that, in fact, impugns rather than supports the paranormal origin of crop circles. The Thrive fact check website states:

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

Again as argued in our previous article, the fact that the vast majority of crop circles appear in England is itself a strike against the paranormal origin theory. Chorleyand Bower lived in Englandand did most of their work there; even today, most of the people who learned from them, or deliberately imitated them, are also from England. A question I posed in my original article which no Thrive fan has answered is: if crop circles are caused by UFOs, and most crop circles appear inEngland, how come most UFO sightings are not also inEngland?

Also, take a look at the National Geographic article cited on the Thrive website. It is hardly supportive of the paranormal origin theory. That article contains an interesting summary of the crop circle phenomena:

“Adamantly opposing the crop-circle-as-art-form position are the “croppies”—researchers of the paranormal and scientists seeking to explain the formations as work that could not possibly be the result of human efforts.

The phenomenon has spawned its own science: cereology. Some believers are merely curious, open to the existence of paranormal activity and willing to consider the possibility that at least some of the circles were created by extraterrestrial forces. At the extreme end are what Lundberg calls the “Hezbollah” of believers.

Exchanges between acknowledged circle makers and cereologists can be vitriolic in the extreme. But in a curious way, the two groups need one another.

The believers propel and sustain interest in the work, beating the drums of extraterrestrial activity on Earth and keeping crop formations in the news. They can also be quite vocal in their denunciations of the admitted artists, charging that they are con men, liars, and agents in government disinformation campaigns.

Lundberg’s group has been vilified as Team Satan; its members have received stacks of hate mail, and over the years there have been attacks on their cars and property.

Skeptics in the media (including this author) are also considered dupes, either too ignorant or narrow-minded to understand an other-worldly phenomenon or active participants in a government conspiracy to keep the masses uninformed.”

That is exactly the charge that has been made against me, and this blog, ad nauseam. I’ve received literally hundreds of comments and a handful of emails claiming I am “closed-minded,” or I’m suppressing some sort of cosmic human truth, or that I’m a disinformation agent paid by the government. The National Geographic article was written in 2002. The “croppies” phenomenon is still alive and well ten years later.

What Does The Fake Video Mean For Thrive and its Fans?

The fact that BLTResearch.com supports the fake Robbert van den Broeke video can only boomerang negatively for Thrive. BLTResearch.com’s credibility by being associated with the fake video is obviously badly damaged. In addition to having to explain away the uncomfortable associations of David Icke’s anti-Semitic “reptilian” conspiracy theories, Thrive advocates who seek to indoctrinate rational people will now have to face hard questions about whether the folks whose opinions on crop circles that they rely on have truly gone around the bend in proffering crude ghost videos as real. Thrive has already declined precipitously in popularity and public visibility since April, when 10 people who were interviewed in the film publicly dissociated themselves from it and its rampant conspiracy-mongering and Libertarian proselytizing. Being tangentially associated with a fracas over a faked ghost video just makes the film look even more kooky and fringe, which can hardly be the image Foster Gamble wants to project.

I also think this episode demonstrates how bizarre and extreme the crop circle underground has become. I mean, step back a moment and look at what’s going on here. Believers in the paranormal origin of crop circles are so desperate to reinforce their message that they’re willing to fake the image of a noted human creator of crop circles—Dave Chorley—on video so they can put words in his mouth explaining away the actions he took in life and begging believers not to credit them. Do they really think this is going to convince a lot of people that they’re right? Evidently they do. And this expectation may not be that farfetched; Suzanne Taylor, whose posts on this blog appear to be  rational (however much I may disagree with them), is getting behind the video, as are others.

I might also add that the video doesn’t show anything of substance anyway. It’s just two disembodied heads floating above some guy sitting in a chair. There’s absolutely no substantiation for Mr. van den Broeke’s claim about what these spirits supposedly said to him. On that, the croppies demand that you take him at his word.

Conclusion: “Stop Throwing Daggers!”

My experience in debunking Thrive has taught me a great deal about crop circles, and more importantly, about the sort of thinking behind belief in the paranormal origin of crop circles. As Thrive itself has declined in popularity, the attention that continues to be given to my debunking of crop circles has demonstrated to me that this is one of the woo beliefs whose adherents are most allergic to rational explanation. Believers in the paranormal origin of crop circles will simply never accept any other possibility, under any circumstances, regardless of how much evidence is marshaled against it. Trying to refute this belief is like trying to use empirical evidence to disprove the divinity of Christ: it’s just not going to make any impression on believers no matter how hard you try. Crop circles are very much a religious belief system.

But Thrive demonstrates how this strong, defensive and self-reinforcing belief system can be manipulated to serve other ends. Taken in isolation, I think belief in the paranormal origins of crop circles is generally pretty harmless. Unfortunately, the belief is easily channeled into belief in truly harmful and dangerous ideas, such as conspiracy theories. In researching this article I was struck by a comment posted on Suzanne Taylor’s blog. There, a commenter—obviously a firm believer in the Robbert van den Broeke video—detailed her correspondence with Colin Andrews, denouncing him for criticizing the video and BLTResearch.com. This except was particularly interesting:

“I wouldn`t have known about your [Colin Andrews’s] posting about the BLT research team at all if it hadn`t been for a person who has heard me talking about crop circles to whom I referred to the work of early reseachers and to the science papers on plant and soil analysis. This person was a sceptic and a debunker, and with a flurry of self-righteousness sent me your posting as proof that the whole phenomenon was a farce, particularly all the paranormal aspects.

No matter who`s throwing the daggers, I say, “Cut it out!”

People such as yourself and Nancy and Robbert have valuable pieces of the puzzle. Anyone who is a researcher of crop circles knows what he or she is up against to stand for their truth and contribution. But they still make their stands despite all the ridicule from the media and the public at large, despite deliberate government subterfuge and harassment.”

This passage demonstrates how an “us vs. them” mentality prevails in the world of crop circles. Those who stand in the way of the awesome truths of crop circles—the “skeptics and debunkers” with their “self-righteous” insistence on such unreasonable things as facts and logic—are aiding and abetting “government subterfuge and harassment” and must be opposed at any cost. This is exactly the same “us vs. them” mentality that Thrive advances, particularly with its harping on extremely harmful Global Domination Agenda conspiracy theories.

This goes far beyond appreciation of the beautiful and fascinating designs created in fields of wheat by enterprising individuals with strings, boards and a working knowledge of geometry. This is an irrational belief system with the capacity to override all tenets of critical thinking and rational discourse. In the grand scheme of things, crop circles, though breathtaking and intriguing, are not very important. At least they shouldn’t be. They certainly shouldn’t be the basis of this sort of obsessive and potentially self-destructive belief system.

If two disembodied heads floating above some random guy in a YouTube video can convince you of extraterrestrial visitation and crop circles, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Update I, 22 June 2012

Not surprisingly, crop circle aficionados Nancy Talbott and Suzanne Taylor are none too happy about this article, and are rallying their supporters to vilify me for daring to question the Robbert van den Broeke video. Both seem to have doubled down and decided to circle the wagons about the authenticity of the video and the trustworthiness of Mr. van den Broeke.

Suzanne Taylor promptly put up an article on her blog claiming that she’s being unfairly “attacked” for her support of the fake video. In this article she published correspondence between herself and Ms. Talbott. Ms. Talbott’s view:

“When you stand up publicly for what you believe is the truth–as you did in this case (and which you chose to do on your own based on what I see as solid reasons for your trust)–this is the kind of baloney you ALWAYS get if the facts themselves are (a) beyond some of your readers’ capabilities to grasp, or (b) the truth scares them, (c) they’re mentally impaired, or finally (d) they’re debunkers. [Egotism and arrogance may involve all of these problems.]”

Evidently in Ms. Talbott’s view, a “debunker” is a singularly low form of life, a base defiler standing in the way of realizing profound human truths that are supposed to result from accepting claims such as these on faith. Her evident contempt for people who demand facts and evidence before believing in bizarre paranormal claims like Robbert van den Broeke’s is an eerie echo of the tone with which numerous Thrive fans have commented on this blog over the past few months when their conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific babble is challenged.

She continues:

“I have written in laborious detail all of the info anyone with either the basic intelligence and/or the degree of courage needed to understand the situation should require. And the only suggestion I can make to any of these people is that they READ the details. If they refuse to do this, or if they choose to dismiss me as stupid or a liar, there’s really nothing more I can do.”

Of course, Ms. Talbott ignores the fact that Colin Andrews and I have read the details. In fact, it’s the written details, even more than the fake video itself, that I object to–the suggestion that Dave Chorley has come back from the grave to repent and tell the world he’s sorry for claiming that he and Doug Brower made all the crop circles. Ms. Talbott seems to believe, erroneously, that it’s just the video itself that we’re objecting to; in fact, if you take the video away, the case gets even more egregious and offensive, considering that the fake Robbert van den Broeke video was offered in support of the statements about Pat Delgado and Dave Chorley.

Ms. Taylor was not satisfied with this response from Nancy Talbott. She writes:

“Well and good, but there is voluminous material on Nancy’s site, and I didn’t see this being an effective response when indeed there is a very effective rebuttal to all the daggers. I finally got Nancy to relent and to give some bullets of information, all of which can be found on her site, that counter the assaults.”

The information that “counters the assaults” is here. Basically it’s a laundry list of empty and unsupported claims that Robbert van den Broeke has previously captured “spirits” on camera and video. Ms. Talbott PUNCTUATES these SUPPOSED PIECES of EVIDENCE with a VERY ANNOYING and POINTLESS USE of the CAPS LOCK KEY. Such as:

7.         In 2007, out in a crop circle field in broad daylight, Robbert took 60+ photos of MY OWN BROTHER who had died just two months earlier, USING MY CAMERA for the very first time that summer, and WITH ME STANDING RIGHT WITH HIM THE WHOLE TIME AND WATCHING EVERYTHING HE DID.

9.         In 2008, using the highly-respected American parapsycholgist DR. WILLIAM ROLL’s BRAND NEW CAMERA, Robbert obtained multiple images of three different men–with Dr. Roll and me standing right there watching. None of us know who any of these men were.

10.       Robbert got his first computer in July of 2006. He did not begin to learn how to use it until the winter of 2006 and still does not know how to do very many things with it. It DOES NOT HAVE PHOTOSHOP OR ANY SIMILAR PROGRAM ON IT AND NEVER HAS HAD.”

These points don’t substantiate Robbert van den Broeke’s video, and in fact what they do is illustrate a pattern of deceptive practices with which the latest Delgado-Chorley video is, unfortunately, consistent. Witness this article debunking Mr. van den Broeke’s past attempts at paranormal photography, specifically, his claims to have captured UFOs and aliens inside his own house, including an “alien” that turned out to be a photo of a Papua New Guinea tribesman that ran in Reader’s Digest. According to this article, BLTResearch.com and Nancy Talbott have also been implicated in these hoaxes.

“The previous photos were these:

crop-NL-

Reported here, and which were also captured by Robbert van den Broeke. It’s quite obvious how they were captured, especially if you remember that Broeke also managed to photograph aliens in his own house:

crophoeven

Try not to laugh, but those are the alien photos captured by Broeke. Of course, explaining the joke takes away its fun, but in any case, Royce Myers of Ufowatchdog also captured aliens.With a plastic spoon.

Broeke has even been caught in his same old technique. For instance, he allegedly captured this other alien in his house, which turned out to be a photo of a Mud-man, a native from New Guinea, published in Reader’s Digest.

mudman-robbert-mudmand

Above, center, is the alien that Broeke photographed. Left is the original photo published in Reader’s Digest, and right is the photo blurred to highlight the exact match. The exposé comes from the Dutch Skeptics.

So, you can see how the alleged medium and friend of aliens, orbs and crop circles simply places cutouts in front of the camera. And you may have recognized that these recent spaceships he photographed near the Dutch crop circles, along with people from the DCCA and Nancy Talbott, from BLT Research, which claims to be “Crop Circle Science”, are just cutouts of photos originally from Billy Meier.

broeke_meier

There is some distortion, as the cutouts may bend, and the photo I showed above is probably not the exact same photo Broeke may have cut out, but I hope it shows what is going on.

In one of the photos the cutout is glowing while the background is dark: the camera flash was triggered, probably automatically since it was dark, and the cutout near the camera reflected back the light. The fact it’s glowing is actually evidence that this “spaceship” was something small and near the camera to reflect the flash. The light from a flash only works within a few meters, beyond that it’s simply too diffused. Lame, lame hoax.”

This is the man whom Ms. Talbott and Ms. Taylor want you to believe is genuine, who supposedly got images of dead people on video, and whom you aren’t allowed to call out as a hoaxster without being accused of viciously “attacking” those who perpetuate these hoaxes.

There is more–much more–about Dutch pseudo-psychic Robbert van den Broeke, but as I feel I’ve already beaten this horse to death, I don’t think there’s much utility in presenting it. Anyone reading this article in a rational frame of mind can tell instantly that his video is a scam and a hoax. We need not belabor the point.

Also, note on Ms. Taylor’s page another tactic used by crop circle believers. The page is festooned with a colorful banner reading “MAKE LOVE NOT WAR.” Got that? Anyone who criticizes crop circles as being belligerent, aggressive and not standing up for “peace.” I can’t imagine a more shallowly manipulative tactic.

I’m particularly amused by some of the commenters on Ms. Taylor’s blog, especially one fellow named Odin Townley, who evidently thinks my outlook would be improved if I had been beaten more often as a child.

“These hit-and-run thugs obviously never got the spankings they deserved as kids.”

Yes, great message! Beat your children to prevent them from growing up to be debunkers! How’s that for “MAKE LOVE NOT WAR,” eh?

Incidentally, Colin Andrews has linked this article to his own page on the Robbert van den Broeke fake. Mr. Andrews is on record as stating that he doesn’t agree with everything on this blog, and indeed has found some things in Thrive that he likes, but his comment on my article is that it is “well researched, fair, balanced and is well written.”

Update II, 16 July 2012.

I couldn’t believe that a controversy over something so obviously fake could become such a huge issue, but Nancy Talbott and Robbert van den Broeke just won’t let this one go. Mr. van den Broeke recently fired back with even more ridiculous lunacy, now claiming that he’s receiving messages from beyond the grave criticizing Colin Andrews who dares to criticize him.

Nancy Talbott parrots these increasingly outlandish claims with (evidently) a straight face. Here she is ripping into Mr. Andrews on her site:

“For some time now Colin Andrews has been publicly expressing increasing negativity and animosity toward various crop circle enthusiasts and, recently, has irresponsibly accused both me and my friend, Dutch medium Robbert van den Broeke (whom he has never met or spoken with) of behaving deceitfully and with malice — taking no apparent responsibility himself for the distress these unproven and idiosyncratic comments may be causing all of us who sincerely care about the crop circle phenomenon and what it may mean.”

Yes, you read that right. Her friend, the obviously fake psychic who is appropriating dead people’s images and turning them into videos to support ludicrous claims of contacting people from beyond the grave, is now the victim, and the evil debunkers like Colin Andrews are the enemy. Why? Because we dare to tell the truth about crop circles–that they are made by human beings, not by extraterrestrials or paranormal forces.

Here’s the next clanger in Robbert van den Broeke’s bizarre rebuttal:

“Here is the exact message given to Robbert which he was “instructed” to make public immediately so that Colin Andrews and the people who care about the circle phenomenon would all hear it.

David and Paul [David Kingston and Paul Vigay, the latest spirits he said he’s contacted] said, first, that they “love the energies” creating the crop circles and that they “do not support the attacks by Colin on Robbert’s and Nancy’s integrity” and, further, that they “stand by both Robbert and Nancy’s work” and know Robbert and I must continue our efforts to help keep “the spiritual truth of the circles alive.”

They went on to say that, in the past, Colin stood “more in the light,” but that he has now allowed himself to be influenced by “negative dimensions and there is darkness all around him.” They stated they were watching Colin and what he is doing and see that he is “not functioning in accordance with his inner truth”, that he is not listening to his intuitions — but is “standing in his ego now because he thinks he will get more attention this way.” “He is not being truthful to his deepest self.”

Does anybody really believe this load of crap? I mean, we’ve dealt with some pretty far-out-there stuff on this blog, considering just how low into the woo gutter Thrive goes, but how can anyone possibly take Robbert van den Broeke seriously?

Colin Andrews posted this on his own website. He too sounds incredulous that anyone could even pretend to believe the claims of Robbert van den Broeke.

“Let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In May Robbert posted images of Pat Delgado and Dave Chorley with messages that were substantially different from their own voice. I admit to having an emotional reaction to seeing my mate used in such a manner which compelled me to join the Delgado family in repudiating the claim. I am sure I could have been less emotional, and yet, extraordinary claims require, if not extraordinary proof, at least some proof of their veracity. Surely it is up to Robbert to prove his claim, not me to prove it isn’t true. I have attempted on several occasions to talk directly with Robbert, as Nancy well knows, and have been rebuffed. It appears one must agree with Nancy Talbott or be labeled as negative.

I admit to a very sick feeling in my stomach when I think of my friend’s families having their loved ones used in such a dispute. Even after death these people are not exempt from the crop circle bickering; only now their voice can be used in any way possible with no shred of evidence to verify it. Yes, it hurts and makes me want the truth and if that is egotistical and negative, so be it.”

The readers of this blog should be reminded that it is Nancy Talbott and her “research” that serve as the main basis for Foster Gamble’s conclusions in Thrive about crop circles. If anyone has any doubt left that BLTResearch.com has been totally and utterly discredited by the Robbert van den Broeke scandal, this bizarre episode should dispel that doubt.

Paranoid Utopia: The Nightmare World That Thrive Would Give Us.

The makers and fans of Thrive are fond of stressing that they want a better world. Their ideas for creating a better world involve, first and foremost, ending the conspiracies that they insist are screwing up the planet, and second, implementing far right-wing libertarian political and economic ideology on a broad scale. As I wrote in a blog a few months ago about how the world of conspiracy theories is changing, Thrive represents a progression along the road of using conspiracy theories to sell a particular ideology. Zeitgeist: The Movie pioneered this idea, but Thrive has taken it a step farther. Thrive is aimed at a new generation of conspiracy theorists who aren’t satisfied merely to spread their erroneous versions of what they think the facts are, but to remake the world in an image more to their liking.

The problem, of course, is that the conspiracy theories are false, and their adherents’ ideas for changing the world are based on an incorrect and often downright delusional view of reality. That means that their solutions will have very severe unintended consequences, because their solutions aren’t aimed at solving real problems in the real world, but rather solving fake problems that exist only in their fantasy world. This blog will explore what sort of world we might end up with if these people had their way.

This vision is, by definition, speculative. But then again, so is George Orwell’s 1984, a book that many conspiracy theorists cite as prescient gospel truth, and which many believe is literally coming to pass now (or already has).

This article is not a prediction of what I think will come to pass, just as Orwell’s wasn’t either. This article is a profile of what may come to pass if conspiracy theorists of the sort who support Thrive had free reign to build the world that they say they want.

Setting the Scene: After the Next American Revolution.

Conspiracy theorists sometimes try to warn me about what’s going to happen to me in the future. They like to say things like I’m a “traitor” and a “collaborator,” and that I’ll get some kind of just deserts at some point in the future. This reasoning, which is (like most things conspiracy theorists believe in) not fully thought out, assumes that there will be some sort of “revolution” where presumably the current political order will be undone, the conspiracies that these people believe in will be halted, and those who supported them will be punished.

Thrive does not explicitly speak of such a revolution, but it’s clear that its adherents implicitly look forward to one. Foster Gamble talks about “obsoleting” the Global Domination Agenda. He is unwilling to be more specific than this, but it’s clear that he has in mind some sort of radical inversion of the current status quo. That is one way to describe a revolution.

This is a vision of the United States that exists approximately 50 years after a revolution, spearheaded by political and economic thinkers who believe (like the makers of Thrive do) in the most dominant conspiracy theories of today’s world, has swept away the old political and economic order. Whether that revolution is achieved by peaceful or institutional means, or (probably more likely) by violence, is not relevant. This article also presupposes that the conspiracy thinkers who take power believe in the same sort of far right-wing libertarian ideology that the makers of Thrive advance. This is not too farfetched. Libertarian ideology is becoming increasingly identified with conspiracy theories and conspiratorial belief systems—witness the high levels of support Ron Paul has received from people who believe in conspiracy theories. (Foster Gamble supports Ron Paul for President).

In this article I’ve included a section that demonstrates not only Thrive’s ideology, but also that proposed by followers of the Zeitgeist Movement, who similarly believe in conspiracy theories and have used them to advance an ideological plan for the future. Zeitgeist: The Movie was a key progenitor of Thrive, and many of its followers have shared the same goals, tactics and mindset, so it’s appropriate to treat them together.

Without further ado, let us travel ahead in time to the world conspiracy believers have built.

The Money System: No Fed, No Fiat, No Funding.

Just as in our world today, the key factor in the America that conspiracy theorists have built is money. The problem, however, is that there isn’t any. In a post-conspiracy America, there are no banks or formal financial institutions. In the past 50 years, conspiracy theories regarding banks, finance and currency—infused with libertarian propaganda—became so prevalent that the banks either collapsed, were outlawed, or were driven out of business. Needless to say the U.S. Federal Reserve was the first to go. “Fiat currency” is the ultimate evil, the tool of the Illuminati for world domination, so the very appearance of it is social taboo. Just as libertarians and conspiracy theorists today demand, the U.S. is back on the gold standard: all currency is backed by gold. However, early in the revolution, large corporations quickly purchased all of the gold bullion in the United States from the failing banks. All of this gold is still held in their vaults, heavily guarded. It never enters circulation. Gold and gold-backed currency are still traded by the large corporations, but in purely theoretical transactions that take place on balance sheets and in computer programs.

As a result of this situation, there is no currency in circulation. The U.S. Treasury stopped printing money decades ago. In fact, due to massive de-funding of government, the U.S. Treasury no longer exists. No one has seen a piece of paper currency or coin except in a museum.

But because the amount of gold bullion in the United States is only a tiny fraction of the amount of money needed to keep the economy moving, and because the gold reserves are under effective control of private corporations, America has become a land of barter economies. Corporations who wish to do business with each other trade favors, contractual obligations and customers; this form of barter has been unofficially institutionalized in the form of “credits,” which are not backed by any precious metals. Ironically, credits exactly mimic most of the features of “fiat currency” that has been supposedly outlawed and socially stigmatized. In rural areas, as we will see, the chief form of currency is ammunition. Needless to say, the ideals of a conspiracist economy and the realities do not match up.

The Cities: Corporate Feudalism.

The supplanting of democracy by conspiracist thinking and libertarian ideology had the effect, during the revolution, of dismantling government at all levels. Because there is no effective law and the economy collapsed, the result was large-scale anarchy. Major cities are the only islands of calm in a sea of violence and lawlessness.

These major cities are all run by an interlocking coalition of corporations—the same ones that control all the gold and all the wealth in American society. The major function of these corporations is to sell social services to city residents, and they are all monopolies. The Law Enforcement Corporation sells physical security. The Habitation Corporation sells housing. The Food Corporation sells food. The Justice Corporation sells access to the wholly-privatized court system. There is no economic competition. There is also no regulation. Prices are fixed, but in this environment prices don’t matter, as we’ll see.

The cities are walled enclaves, heavily guarded by military personnel, where residents have at least a chance at a life above the anarchy and poverty of the outside world—but at a huge cost. The price for a house alone in one of the cities is far beyond the amount of gold, credits or barter that any ordinary person could ever possess in a lifetime. Nevertheless, the corporations waive their prices and admit new residents in exchange for lifetime commitments to work for them—commitments secured by immense debt loads. This form of indentured servitude is essentially feudalism: the workers cannot quit, cannot lobby, cannot organize, and can be fired and expelled from the city for any reason or no reason. Social mobility is unknown. It is impossible for a common worker—one who cleans the streets, works in the restaurants, drives the bus, provides childcare, etc.—to rise above his or her station; the debt load that the common person has taken on in exchange for living in the city is insurmountable in a dozen lifetimes. In fact, the corporations have begun to tack the balance of peoples’ unpaid debts on to the debts of their children in exchange for agreeing to let their children continue to live in the city after they reach the age of majority. In this way, the corporations acquire an underclass of hereditary serfs, bound to the land and the lord, just like medieval feudalism. These serf-like customers are often traded between corporations as a form of barter.

The corporations have no incentive to treat the workers well. So many more people want to get into the cities than the number of slots available. Consequently the labor supply is cheap and inexhaustible, so any concessions to workers are an unnecessary drain on efficiency. Workers toil 14 hours a day, seven days a week. If they get sick, they are fired and sent out of the city. The workforce is all-white. African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans and especially Jews are forbidden from even entering one of the cities. Because there is no government left to enforce anti-discrimination laws and the Law Enforcement Corporation has a corporate policy to ignore them, even egregious discrimination goes completely unpunished.

Although they live better than anyone else in the society, the directors and managers of the corporations don’t live without fear. The influence of conspiracist thinking at all levels of society makes a stable existence very precarious. All it takes is one errant accusation that a person is working for the Illuminati, or even sympathizes with the Illuminati, and the person will be ostracized from society, fired from his job and quite possibly expelled from the city itself. Evidence is irrelevant, and legal process is unnecessary; an accusation, even an implausible one, is tantamount to guilt. Savvy businessmen routinely accuse their rivals of being Illuminati agents. Promotion and demotion within corporations is due far less often to merit and hard work than it is personnel shifts as a result of firings and expulsions from the city, most of them reactions to conspiracy allegations. Consequently, the corporations are poorly-run, grotesquely wasteful and rife with incompetence. Because they have a captive base of indentured customers, however, and competence and efficiency have no economic value, the ineptitude of the corporate managers has no effect on profits.

Because the corporate management class clearly understands that their power and influence is based on the conspiracist order, they have a vested interest in perpetuating belief in conspiracy theories. In addition to the “legitimate” corporations ruling the cities, there is also a shadowy Conspiracy Corporation. The service this corporation provides is to stage violent incidents, plant fake evidence and deliberately sow distrust and fear among the cities’ populations. The Conspiracy Corporation’s customers are the other corporations who run the city, and who pay it to create havoc as a means of controlling the customer-serfs through fear. Every few weeks the Conspiracy Corporation instigates a random shooting or other act of violence in a public place, which is heavily publicized and blamed on the Illuminati. This fiction maintains the public’s belief that the Illuminati exists and is actively seeking to undermine society. Ironically, in a society built on reaction to nonexistent conspiracies like the Illuminati or New World Order, something very close to what the Illuminati was imagined to be has come into actual existence—thus turning conspiracy theorist beliefs into a self-perpetuating cycle.

The Countryside: Mad Max With Pogroms.

If life is bad in the cities, it’s even worse in the countryside. Government—feared and vilified by conspiracy theorists as the root of all evil—simply does not exist, although the laws, including the U.S. Constitution, are still technically on the books. Outside the cities, there are no police, no local or state officials, and no organization of any kind. There are no courts. There are no hospitals. There are no schools. Roads crumbled into dust decades ago because no one was around to maintain them. No one provides any private social services. For one thing, the big corporations have nothing to gain by selling their services outside the city; the rural population has no money to pay for them anyway. For another, they don’t need the business; they’ve got more customers than they can serve within the walls of the cities. Outside those walls, people manage to survive—barely—by tilling their own tiny farms at a subsistence level.

The level of violence in the countryside is shocking. During the revolution, the only personal liberty that was even remotely respected was the right to bear arms, and out in the country you can’t survive without heavy firepower. Family farms are defended by minefields, barbed-wire fences and kids toting automatic weapons. In many areas, warlords have managed to take over the more productive farms, resulting in irregular patchworks of fiefdoms that are constantly fighting with each other. In addition to outright barter, ammunition is the chief de facto currency in these areas. Heavy weaponry looted from abandoned U.S. military bases is the chief source of power. Life in this libertarian paradise is, in the famous words of Thomas Hobbes, “nasty, brutish and short.”

Disease takes a terrible toll on all sectors of society, including the rich in the cities, but out in the countryside it’s particularly bad. Vaccines of any kind are distrusted as tools of the Illuminati. As a result, diseases that are easily preventable—polio, measles, rubella, chicken pox, etc.—kill and cripple tens of thousands every year, especially children. Infant mortality is frightful. There are no doctors in these outlying areas. They too were denounced long ago as tools of conspirators; during the revolution many doctors, accused of hiding cancer cures and collaborating with Illuminati-controlled pharmaceutical companies, were massacred or driven out of business. Even medical knowledge itself is dying out since all the medical schools were closed long ago.

The people who fare the worst in this society are Jews. Universally blamed for the imaginary conspiracies that supposedly brought society to the brink of ruin, Jews are refused entry to the cities, and in the countryside they are ruthlessly persecuted and massacred with regularity in horrific pogroms that resemble those of medieval Europe—except with automatic weapons. What few Jews remain have walled themselves up in heavily-armed ghettos with even worse conditions than the countryside whose virulently anti-Semitic (and heavily-armed) population they are hiding from. Nevertheless, as much as they hate Jews, the common people and the more powerful warlords of the countryside cannot organize any collective efforts to exterminate them, as much as they would like to. This inability is the only thing that allows the insular Jewish communities that still exist to carry on, hopeful that someday conditions will change and the world will come to its senses.

Zeitgeist City: A Special Corner of Hell.

One of the walled cities that exists in the anarchic countryside is a medium-sized settlement in swampy Florida. It was established during the revolution as a “Test City” for the RBE or “Resource Based Economy” model, advocated by an almost-forgotten conspiracist organization called the Zeitgeist Movement. Everyone calls this place “Zeitgeist City” for that reason. Inside its heavy steel walls, the convergence of paranoid conspiracist thinking and failed utopian ideology has created a very special kind of hell.

Zeitgeist City is a city of contrasts. In the center of its broad circular plazas there stands a gilded statue of Peter Joseph, creator of the Zeitgeist films, who is regarded in the city as sort of a savior and saint. Beyond the buildings and well-trimmed lawns, however, Zeitgeist City resembles Calcutta on a bad day. Thousands of people are crammed together in pathetic hovels with no running water or electricity. Except for the tasks assigned (without pay, of course) by the city’s ruling elite, there are no jobs; the ideology of an RBE society has outlawed labor as unnecessary. Crime is rampant, but, as the existence of crime conflicts with RBE ideology, it is generally ignored. Most people survive on a black market barter economy, the existence of which is ignored because it is also inconsistent with RBE ideology. Nearly everyone lives a hair’s breadth above starvation level. Although a central feature of the city is large-scale hydroponic vertical “farmscrapers,” these buildings are so energy-intensive and inefficient that they cannot grow very much food, and are not even functioning most of the time.

Everything in Zeitgeist City—every article of clothing, every shoddy consumer good, every plastic tub of tasteless processed food—is catalogued with a bar code. The worst offense in Zeitgeist City is to be caught possessing anything that doesn’t have a bar code. Armies of inventory control techs armed with laser scanners fan out through the city every day, scanning everything. All the codes are fed daily into a central computer system, which then allocates the resources according to a mysterious algorithm. Goods are then redistributed every morning according to the computer’s dictates. Thus, if the computer has decided that a spoon you own is better allocated to the family living next door to you in your squalid apartment, you must give it up to them. This redistribution occurs every day at the distribution centers, where Zeitgeist City dwellers spend most of their time waiting in line either to give up their possessions or receive somebody else’s. The lines, the distribution center and even the computer making the decisions are all under the control of the city’s elite rulers, who call themselves the Allocators. They enforce their dictate through violence. Anyone caught disobeying the dictates of the computer, or possessing property not officially allocated to them, is rounded up by the Allocators’ heavily-armed thugs and sent out of the city as slaves.

In theory the computer allocates resources based on “the scientific method.” Because this concept is meaningless when applied to resource allocation, however, in reality the computer distributes resources purely by random chance. That the resource allocation algorithm in the computer is actually a random number generator was such a closely-guarded secret that knowledge of it has died out. Even the Allocators themselves believe the computer has a methodology; they mistake the random decisions of the computer for “the scientific method,” and they don’t possess enough scientific acumen to notice the difference. Therefore, belief in the infallibility of the distribution computer has become a religious belief in Zeitgeist City. No one dares to question it.

Because Zeitgeist City produces virtually nothing, not even for its own people, it is entirely dependent upon imports of food and needed supplies from nearby Miami, a corporation-controlled walled city. Zeitgeist City compensates Miami by sending it regular shipments of slaves to replenish its labor force. In order to keep this arrangement going the Allocators insist that they possess a short-range missile, tipped with a nuclear warhead, with which they will obliterate Miami if the flow of aid ever stops. In reality there is no warhead and the missile is a non-functioning mock-up stolen from an aerospace museum, kept poised menacingly to the south in a public park surrounded by flowers and hedges. Zeitgeist City’s walls are heavily defended with heavy-caliber machine guns and SAM missiles. The Allocators tell their populace that the city is constantly under siege by Illuminati goons—referred to as Trolls—who are seeking to destroy the city in order to eliminate the proud example of RBE superiority. In reality the city is not under siege and the Trolls do not exist, but the Allocators fire the weapons along their walls a few times a day to promote the illusion that the siege is continuing. As in any other walled city, accusations of Illuminati complicity are routinely used as tools of terror to keep the populace in order, and an unending stream of pro-RBE and conspiracist propaganda flows from the Allocators’ many loudspeakers all over the city, within which every inhabitant is forever in earshot.

The Allocators claim, and not without some foundation, that Zeitgeist City is “the most progressive community in the United States.”

Knowledge—Forbidden Fruit.

The revolution that brought the conspiracy order to power was profoundly anti-intellectual. Experts on anything—especially scientists (who explained how things really worked), economists (who argued against the economic changes), historians (who explained how the past had really occurred) and doctors (who were accused of suppressing cancer cures and tainting vaccines)—were mercilessly persecuted and massacred. In the revolution, all the universities were closed. Many libraries were burned or destroyed, their books distrusted as tools of the Illuminati. The Internet was regarded as a much more pure and reliable source of knowledge, because the Internet contained “the truth” about conspiracies and books did not. As a result, in this conspiracist order, systemized education barely exists, libraries are virtually nonexistent, and most books are locked away and forgotten in vaults owned by the major city corporations—similar to the way books in the Middle Ages were locked up in monasteries.

The corporate managers of the cities, understanding that their power rests upon the perpetuation of conspiracy theories, carefully control what knowledge gets out to the common people. Any book or document that even remotely refutes or even questions conspiracy theories has been destroyed or altered after the fact to support conspiracy explanations. In this world, Osama bin Laden is lauded as a martyr, on whom the Illuminati unfairly blamed 9/11 and then assassinated him for this imaginary crime. Books or websites about Adolf Hitler routinely omit the Holocaust and instead laud his pro-free-market policies. American history books are wildly inaccurate, and present the country’s history as a relentless narrative of exploitation and conspiracies by the Illuminati and the Jews. Even science books contain numerous errors and omissions.

But, not many people read these books anyway; in fact, literacy has declined greatly because education as we now know it has ceased to exist. Most common people get all of their information from the Internet, which is controlled by the Information Corporation. There is very little written text on the Internet. Most material is either in the form of pictograms or videos. Almost all are either pornography, or simple morality plays dramatizing the evil and immorality of the Illuminati and the Jews. Most of these videos are less than a minute long and feature some hideously gory act of violence. Even very young children are desensitized to the most horrible images of human suffering, having been exposed to an unending stream of images of brutal retributions carried out against Illuminati sympathizers. Schools in the cities—at least for the common customer-serfs—consist almost entirely of pods where children surf the Internet for a few hours a day. Elite parents send their children (at exorbitant cost) to schools run by the Education Corporation, and in these schools there is some basic instruction in reading, math and shoddy third-rate science, but interspersed with very heavy doses of conspiracist and libertarian propaganda.

As the knowledge of true history, true science and critical thinking gradually fades, society is rapidly losing any real sense of its past or itself. Almost all events in history are reduced and simplified to a one-note narrative of exploitation by the Illuminati followed by the redemption of the revolution. Ancient history and the origins of man are described as being the result of extraterrestrial visitation. No one in this society knows that humans built the pyramids; even well-educated elites accept and honestly believe that all prehistoric structures of this nature were constructed by aliens. The major religions are all waning in practice. There are very few churches left. No one in this society has read or even heard of Shakespeare, of Tolstoy or of Leonardo Da Vinci. No one has ever been to an art museum or a music concert. In 100 years’ time, the collective store of human knowledge existing on Earth will have been reduced by half or more. It is truly a new Dark Age.

The Environment—A Rising Tide of Disaster.

Because there is no government, no environmental regulation and the city corporations have no incentive to be environmentally responsible, America is a stinking cesspool of environmental degradation. The corporation-run cities generate power through burning coal and oil—all reserves privately owned and controlled, of course. The cities export their garbage to the countryside where it sits in rotting heaps, breeding diseases and cancer clusters among the semi-feral rural population. Rural dwellers routinely build and furnish their own houses from the refuse of the cities, much of it contaminated. Because the corporate-run cities have no need for water treatment facilities—they can simply pump their sewage into the rivers at zero cost—rivers downstream of the major cities are indescribably foul. There are few forests left, the rural residents having deforested their lands for firewood.

The worst problem is global warming. Because the conspiracist order denounced anthropogenic global warming as a scam and a hoax by the Illuminati, even mentioning the existence of this problem is absolutely forbidden. Absolutely nothing has been done to ameliorate global warming—in fact, America’s carbon emissions since the revolution have increased, despite having much less industry, because the corporations that run the cities have changed over to dirtier and more inefficient means of energy production and industrial usage. Rising sea levels have inundated coastlines. In the larger coastal cities like New York, makeshift seawalls have been built to hold back the ocean (built by slave labor of customer-serfs), but in rural coastal areas, the rising sea levels have turned many areas into fetid swamps. These swamps breed mosquitoes, which results in a high incidence of malaria in areas where it had once been thought to be eradicated. Combined with society’s distrust of doctors—thanks to conspiracy theories about suppressed cancer cures and tainted vaccines—the mortality from tropical diseases is much higher than it was before the revolution.

Global warming has also made peoples’ jobs of feeding themselves much harder. Food crops are more difficult and costlier to raise, invasive and parasite species are hardier and more difficult to kill, and erosion of desiccated topsoil has turned Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas into semi-arid wastelands incapable of cultivation. The increased strength of hurricanes due to global warming results in large swaths of the Atlantic coast being decimated at regular intervals—and because there is no government there are no relief agencies. No one pays any attention to these problems. In the cities, even mentioning the words “global warming” will mark you as an Illuminati sympathizer; in the countryside, the scientific knowledge to explain what’s happening no longer exists. In the meantime greenhouse gases continue to foul the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate. The disaster of global warming is now, fifty years after the revolution, far beyond man’s capacity to reverse it.

When the sun sets on this bleak country, filled with pollution and decay, its rays bleed through layers of carbon dioxide vapor and sulfuric acid. It sets on mosquito-infested marshes that were comfortable beachfront communities 60 years before. The clouds approaching on the horizon are filled with acid rain. Their caustic drops fall on acres of landfills and junkyards, oozing poison into a water table already contaminated with toxic chemicals and human feces. This is the brave new world that conspiracy ideology has built.

Conclusion

No sane person would wish for a world characterized by these specific results: desperate impoverishment, corporate feudalism, widespread violence, resurgent disease, intellectual and cultural stagnation, and environmental devastation. But this could very well be the world that would result from the policies and ideologies advocated by conspiracy theorists. Failure to understand the world and its problems as they really are, and blind adherence to ideologies and systems of thought that are clearly at odds with objective reality, will undoubtedly result in unintended consequences.

Yet, on some level, this is exactly the world Thrive wants to give us. This is a world where no one pays taxes, where there is no government coercion, where the Federal Reserve has been abolished and currency backed by gold, where the “free” market is totally unfettered, and where the populace is vigilant against conspiracies of any kind. This is a world where all people thrive.

Well—maybe not all.

Thrive Is Free: New Fans, New Approach, and a Fresh Welcome to This Blog.

The big news in Thrive-land this week is that the movie is now free. Originally released on the Internet on November 11 of last year—a date that supposedly has some kind of cosmological significance in New Age circles—the film was initially available only as a download for $5, although it was ripped to various torrent sites and even YouTube within hours after its release. Now it seems that Foster Gamble and Clear Compass Media don’t care if you pay for the movie anymore. You can now download the film from the Thrive website for free. We can speculate as to the motives for taking this new approach to the movie, but up until now there certainly have been those—even people highly complimentary of the film—who criticized the fact that you had to pay to see it. This move is likely to silence those critics.

Yesterday, coinciding with the release of Thrive free, I noted a sudden and dramatic upswell in page views here on the Thrive Debunked blog, which is now more popular than it ever was. Each of the last two days has been a record-breaker for page views. As people discover the film, in many cases they discover the debunking at the same time. One of the most common ways people come to this blog is by clicking from various forums, some conspiracy-related, others not, where a link has been posted. In almost all cases the paradigm is the same. A user on a forum will make a topic to the effect of, “Hey, have you seen this movie Thrive?” Usually the user posting the topic will be complimentary toward the film. Within a few replies someone will take a different view of the movie, and they’ll very often provide a link to this blog. I’ve seen forums from Germany, Romania, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Australia and Israel where this blog has been mentioned and discussed. This tells me that Thrive Debunked is doing exactly what I hoped it would do: it’s serving as a powerful counterpoint to make people think about the issues before blindly accepting the spurious claims in Thrive as gospel truth.

Because we now suddenly have many more readers thanks to the free release of the film, I thought I would provide a fresh welcome to those who are discovering Thrive Debunked for the first time. This blog has now been around for about five months. There’s a lot of material here and a lot of discussion especially in the comments. Here, therefore, is a quick guide to what parts of the film have been debunked, what remains to be done, and where you might be able to find answers to some of the most common questions about the movie and its claims.

Comprehensive Debunkings

Full Debunking of Thrive, Part I. This article, by our contributor SlayerX3, is the first of three to try to go through Thrive very quickly, tackling many of its claims in sequence. Not every claim in the first third of the film is dealt with here, but you’ll find comments on the film’s intro, the “torus” shape with which Foster Gamble is so entranced, the “Flower of Life” claims (which are dealt with in much greater detail in other articles), the supposed 64 energy units, Steven Greer and his UFO claims, more UFO material from Edgar Dean Mitchell, Clifford Stone, Harry Allen Jordan, Dwynne Anderson and John Callahan; and finishing up with crop circles. All of these subjects are roundly debunked.

Full Debunking of Thrive, Part II. SlayerX3’s second outing, this one at the middle section of the film. Here you’ll find debunkings of the UFO and energy claims of James Gilliland and Daniel Sheehan; the movie’s nonsensical distortions of the work of Nikola Tesla; free energy suppression; Adam Trombly (himself the subject of two additional articles), John Bedini and John Hutchinson, who all claim to have invented “free energy” machines; and Eugene Mallove, who was not killed (as the movie claims) because of his work on cold fusion.

Full Debunking of Thrive, Part III. The third in the full debunking series by SlayerX3 debunks the following: oil and energy empires; Foster Gamble’s misstatements about the Green Revolution; loss of biodiversity and environmental harm; Vandana Shiva; free trade agreements and globalism; a fake quote from Henry Kissinger; NEA and the Rockefellers; John Taylor Gatto; Deepak Chopra; alt-med quackery from R. Royal Raymond Fife, Rene Cassie, and Max Gerson; and the controversial Hoxsey Therapy.

Debunkings of Specific Topics and People

Crop Circles—Debunked! This article demonstrates how and why we can be sure that crop circles are not created by extraterrestrials, are not mysterious or unexplainable, and certainly are not messages from aliens telling us how to turn spinning electric donuts into “free energy” machines. In terms of page views, this is one of the most popular articles on the blog and seems especially offensive to fans of Thrive. It was the response to this article that began to convince me that the target audience of Thrive is the New Age religious crowd. For some reason I do not understand, the notion that crop circles are not extraterrestrial in origin is deeply offensive to many people in the New Age milieu. This article has surpassed the David Icke exposé as the single most controversial piece we’ve ever done on this blog.

Thrive Makers Back Down on “Flower of Life” Claim: This article details an extremely rare event—a factual correction by the Thrive makers. In this case they admitted that the claim, made in the movie by Nassim Haramein, that the “Flower of Life” design at the Osirian Temple in Abydos, Egypt is somehow “burned into the rock at the atomic level,” is in fact false. Nevertheless, despite this retraction, many Thrive fans continue to believe that the “Flower of Life” was put there by aliens and not by crafty Egyptian artisans.

Who Is Nassim Haramein? This article is a profile of Nassim Haramein, the person who makes the “Flower of Life” claim and most of the “ancient astronauts” claims in the film. As this article shows, Mr. Haramein has a history of making pseudoscientific and pseudohistorical claims that are met with extreme skepticism by members of the legitimate scientific community. An example of such a claim is his inventive “Schwarzschild Proton” theory, which postulates that every atom is a mini-black hole, despite the fact that this theory flies in the face of established physics. Yet, according to many Thrive fans in the comments, Mr. Haramein is a scientific visionary right up there with Galileo, Copernicus and Einstein. I’m not ready to book my plane tickets to Oslo for Mr. Haramein’s Nobel Prize acceptance ceremony quite yet.

Ancient Astronauts—Debunked! This article takes apart the ridiculous notion that Egyptians, Mayans and Incas were too stupid, backwards and ignorant to have created great works of ancient engineering, which Thrive claims must have been built by aliens instead. As you’ll see in the article, this idea rests awkwardly on a single untenable assumption that manages to offend historical fact, scientific reality and cultural sensitivity all at the same time. If there’s an old paperback copy of Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods on your bookshelf, you need to read this article.

Who Is Adam Trombly? This article must be read in conjunction with Exclusive: Allegations About Adam Trombly Present Potential Credibility Crisis for Thrive. The first article, the earliest person profile on the blog, began our descent into the Adam Trombly saga. Adam Trombly claims to have invented a “free energy” machine that will solve all the world’s energy problems. As you’ll see in the second article, another inventor, David Farnsworth, came forward in March 2012 and claimed that the machine shown in the movie and identified as Trombly’s was actually invented by him (Farnsworth), and that it can’t do what Thrive claims it can do. I don’t know what the absolute truth is here. Despite a lengthy back-and-forth between Mr. Farnsworth and Mr. Trombly, as well as additional comments from Mr. Trombly’s daughter and Foster Gamble himself, the two questions I have about the machine—(1) did Adam Trombly really build it? and (2) can it do what Thrive says it can do?—remain unanswered.

Global Domination Agenda—Debunked! This is my personal favorite of all the articles on this blog. In it I debunk the idea that the Illuminati or New World Order, which Foster Gamble calls the “Global Domination Agenda,” actually exists and is trying to control the world. In fact it does not exist, but the article attempts to explain why believers in this bizarre conspiracy theory are not only utterly convinced that it does exist, but why everything they see and hear seems to confirm their belief. Hint: it’s a self-reinforcing delusion that is specifically designed to be impervious to anything in the way of reason or evidence. My one regret about this article is that its length probably scares away most casual readers, but you can’t really describe the issues involved in Illuminati/New World Order conspiracy theories without using a lot of words.

False Flag Attacks—Debunked! This article attacks a small section of the film where Foster Gamble is guilty of serious historical distortions, especially regarding the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that was a prominent milestone on the U.S. road to involvement in the Vietnam War. In the article I explain why Gulf of Tonkin was not a “false flag” attack, how and why conspiracy theorists get the whole idea of “false flag” attacks totally wrong, and why, contrary to what the film asserts, belief in the bizarre and ridiculous “9/11 was an inside job” theory is in fact declining rather than increasing. Hint: it’s declining because the idea that “9/11 was an inside job” is a bunch of crap, and the vast majority of the American public knows it’s a bunch of crap. Nevertheless, the true believers have chosen to go down with the sinking ship on this one; devotees of conspiracy theories are ferociously resistant to the reality that fewer people believe 9/11 conspiracy theories now than at any time since the disaster itself.

Who Is David Icke? Formerly the most controversial piece on this site–until surpassed by the crop circles article–this article profiles British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who, if Thrive had a conventional cast list, would probably get top billing as the star of the film. Mr. Icke believes that the world is secretly run by an evil race of reptilian shape-shifting aliens. “But wait!” you protest, “he doesn’t say that in Thrive!” This article explains why, and it also explains why Mr. Icke’s reptilian shape-shifting alien theories are especially dangerous and offensive.

Thrive’s Philosophy, Purpose and Broader Context

Should We Give Thrive a Pass on its Facts, And Instead Praise its “Message?” This article answers many of the objections Thrive fans have to why I don’t just go quietly into the sunset. Although the point of the movie seems to be to establish conspiracy theories as a theodicy for New Age belief systems (see the article for an explanation of what that means), it does still purport to be a documentary, and as such it has a duty to present the facts responsibly.

Progressive Think Tank Slams Thrive’s Political Agenda. This article could also go into the feedback/response section, but I put it here because it’s a good exposure of the neo-libertarian, pro-Ron Paul political subtext of the film, which many viewers who don’t follow politics may miss entirely. Much of this article is my critique of a progressive reviewer’s take on the film, and my thoughts on how conspiracy theories, such as those advanced by Thrive, are increasingly becoming intertwined with libertarian political ideology. The progressive reviewer herself chimed in in the comments section, as well as an especially shrill Ron Paul supporter.

A Post at the Sister Blog: Thrive Demonstrates How the Conspiracy World is Changing. This is a portal to an article I posted on my other blog, which is not specifically limited to Thrive, dealing with how the world of conspiracy theories is changing in the wake of the ignominious death of the “9/11 Truth Movement.” The article mentions Thrive as an example of how conspiracy theories are increasingly being deployed either as recruiting tools for particular groups or as marketing angles for ideological, political and even religious belief systems.

Reception and Reaction to the Film

JREF Reviews Thrive! This article, fairly short, showcases a review the film received from a writer for the James Randi Educational Foundation, a group devoted to skepticism and busting woo beliefs. Needless to say, the Randi folks didn’t exactly have Thrive on their best-films-of-2011 list.

Another Negative Review of Thrive Hits the Nail on the Head. This article presents the thoughts of a noted UK environmentalist blogger and activist on Thrive. Predictably, he savaged it, and many of the arguments he made against the film echo criticisms that had already been made on this blog. Be sure to see the comments on this one, where the UK blogger himself chimes in, and gets some heavy flak from outraged Thrive fans.

Thrive—A Flop? This article is somewhat outdated. Thrive seems to have become much more popular recently, but in December there were some indications that it had peaked. Nevertheless, there is still some topical material here, such as the controversy among conspiracy theorists as to whether the film is “disinformation” and especially whether its promotional poster contains “Illuminati symbolism.” It astonishes me that anyone could be so loony as to think that, but conspiracy theorists never cease to amaze me with what they’ll be willing to swallow.

Just for Fun

Poll: Is the Creator of This Blog a “Paid Disinformation Agent?” This article is a specific response to those readers (you know who you are) who insist that no one in their right mind could ever criticize the shining truth of Thrive, and therefore anyone who does so must be an agent provocateur paid by _________ (fill in the blank—the government, the Rockefellers, the oil industry, or whoever you most love to hate). In the poll at the end of the article you get the chance to vote on whether I am really a “paid disinformation agent,” but be careful—I might be logging your IP and telling the Illuminati death squads exactly where to find you!

Debunkings We Have Not Done Yet

This site is not yet complete. There are several topics I’d still like to tackle at some point, but, as I do have a job, a life, loved ones etc., I can’t spend all my time working on this blog (contrary to what some people think). While I can’t guarantee I’ll get to all of these topics, here are some topics I’d like to cover in the future.

  • Claims regarding fractional banking and the Federal Reserve. There is a lot of demand for a debunking of Thrive’s views on this topic, but as anything to do with banking bores me silly, it’s not a topic I relish taking on. However, SlayerX3 is reportedly working on an article along these lines. I think it will be a crucial addition to the site.
  • UFOs. Thrive traffics in so much UFO folklore and apocrypha that it seems incomplete for a site devoted to debunking it to not have an article specifically devoted to UFO claims.
  • Global warming denial. Thrive doesn’t hit it that hard, but I observe from other sources (interviews, etc.) that there are some indications that Foster Gamble is a global warming denier. I don’t know that for sure, but I do know that many conspiracy theorists deny the proven scientific reality of anthropogenic climate change, so it’s relevant enough to be included here. This is a topic I know much about and have written about before on other blogs. As it’s not a huge part of Thrive, it’s a lower priority, but I do hope to get to it.
  • Other claims regarding free energy. This is a very rich topic and I’ve learned a great deal about it in the past five months. Lately with the Trombly-Farnsworth debate we’ve focused a lot on energy claims, so the time is not right to do another article on it quite yet. However, it may be coming in the future.

Conclusion

Contrary to what it may seem like at first glance, I don’t dislike Thrive fans. I want to reach them and get them to expand their thinking. My whole point here is to educate people and get them to ask for evidence before accepting someone’s word for anything. In that spirit, I welcome all the new Thrive viewers who will be attracted to the movie now that it’s free. Read the articles, join the discussion, and understand what this movie is about, why it exists and what it’s telling the world. I already feel that this blog has been phenomenally successful, and I look forward to the discussions to come.

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.

Foster”

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 muertos@gmail.com.

Conclusion

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?
yes
5) 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,
Foster
Ps. 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.

3-21-2012

Well, 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
I’d like to state for the record that, as between Mr. Farnsworth and Mr. Trombly, I don’t have a dog in this fight. Let me again state that the issues that most interest me in this dispute are: (i) who built the machine depicted in Thrive, (ii) can that machine actually do what the movie says it does, and (iii) what impact does this have on the credibility of the film as a whole. I’m presenting the statements of Mr. Trombly’s daughter and further comments by Mr. Farnsworth because I’ve been asked to do so. I’ll state that I believe there are serious questions about the machine depicted in the film, and I’ll leave it at that. That was, and still remains, the point I wished to make by posting this article in the first place.
Update III: 23 March 2012
Adam Trombly has responded to the charges of David Farnsworth. Here is his response, totally unedited. As I did with Mr. Farnsworth’s, I offer no editorial comment on the substance of this statement. The statement is addressed to “Tom,” who is Hollywood Tomfortas, a frequent commenter on this blog.

Tom,

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 Trombly
PS 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.
I wish to thank Adam Trombly for responding. I emphasize again, as I did in the last update, that I don’t have a dog in this fight. The only two issues that interest me regarding these matters have been stated several times before. As for the substantive dispute of the facts of what happened between Adam Trombly and David Farnsworth, you, the readers of this blog, now have as much information as I do, and, as I said in the original article, I won’t lead you to any conclusions. You must evaluate the substance of this dispute in your own consideration given the statements I’ve presented here.

Who Is Nassim Haramein?

One of the people whose views the Thrive movie showcases is a man named Nassim Haramein. A caption on the screen identifies Mr. Haramein as “Cosmologist, Inventor.” Beginning at 12:23 in the film, excerpts of interviews with Haramein begin and continue for almost the next ten minutes. Mr. Haramein opines on questions of astronomy and ancient history. Even before Thrive, Mr. Haramein was well-known in New Age circles. This article will evaluate what Mr. Haramein claims in Thrive, and also try to answer the question, who is he?

What Does Nassim Haramein Claim in Thrive?

In his first appearance in Thrive at 12:23, Nassim Haramein appears in the context of the discussion about the “torus” design which Thrive creator Foster Gamble believes is the key to free energy. Mr. Haramein refers to “big arms of galaxies spinning around” and a claim is made at 12:34 that the galactic halo is shaped like a torus. A little later, at 16:12, Mr. Haramein appears again, talking about the Osirian Temple in Abydos, Egypt. This discussion occurs in the context of the “Flower of Life” design that Foster Gamble asserts is of extraterrestrial origin. At 16:32 of the film, Mr. Haramein states that the Flower of Life at the Osirian Temple is “burned into the atomic structure of the rock in some extraordinary way.” No backup is given for this claim at all. In fact, this claim is false. It is the only factual claim that I know of, to date, which the Thrive creators have retracted.

Mr. Haramein continues to appear sporadically over the next few minutes. He appears again at 18:20 talking about the Forbidden City in China, “where the sun gods reside.” Later still, at 20:10, Mr. Haramein again refers to “sun gods” from Egyptian, Incan and Mayan culture who supposedly came to earth and taught ancient peoples engineering, writing and science. This is clearly an assertion that “ancient astronauts” are supposedly responsible for great feats by ancient civilizations, who were mistaken by these civilizations for “sun gods.”

At 21:25, Foster Gamble states that “Nassim has impressive evidence to back up his theories.” He does not state what this “impressive evidence” actually is.

Is Nassim Haramein Right About the Things He Says in Thrive?

Not very much of the time. A lot of what Mr. Nassim states in Thrive is simply false. On this blog we have already debunked much of the material he presents. For example, we’ve already noted that his claim about the “Flower of Life” in the Osirian Temple is incorrect. It is not “burned into the atomic structure of the rock.” In this article, which debunks the idea of “ancient astronauts,” I explain at length how and why Mr. Haramein’s assertions about ancient civilizations and ancient history are wrong. For instance, the Egyptian and Mayan “sun gods” had nothing to do with science or engineering. A case can be made that the Incan “sun god” did supposedly teach some knowledge to the Incas, but the context in which Mr. Haramein employs this idea—supposedly to illustrate that “ancient astronauts” exist—is totally incorrect. There is not a single piece of evidence anywhere in the world indicating that aliens visited ancient civilizations thousands or hundreds of years ago. The only basis for the “ancient astronaut” claims is the supposition that particular structures, such as pyramids, were beyond the capability of ancient peoples to construct, and therefore they must have been built by aliens. As I explained in the article debunking ancient astronauts, that supposition is totally unsupportable. Furthermore, he’s also wrong about the Forbidden City being “where the sun gods reside.” The Forbidden City, built in Beijing in the early 1400s, was where the terrestrial emperor resided, not the “sun gods.”

Who is Nassim Haramein?

The subject that concerns the bulk of Mr. Haramein’s testimony in Thrive is ancient astronauts. He is clearly identified with that theory. In fact, while this article was being written, in late February 2012 yet another YouTube video popped up of Mr. Haramein claiming that certain archaeological artifacts “prove” ancient astronauts existed. These claims are no different than the basic gist of his claims in Thrive. All proceed from an assumption that “ancient peoples couldn’t possibly have created this!” because whatever is being examined is judged from the standpoint of modern technological and scientific understanding.

However closely he’s associated with ancient astronauts in Thrive, this theory is not Mr. Haramein’s main claim to fame. Who is he, then and what his he known for?

According to the bio that appears on his own site—for the Resonance Project—Nassim Haramein was born in Switzerland in 1962 and began developing, at the age of nine, a “hyperdimensional theory of matter and energy.” His bio goes on to state:

“Haramein has spent most of his life researching the fundamental geometry of hyperspace, studying a variety of fields from theoretical physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology and chemistry to anthropology and ancient civilizations. Combining this knowledge with a keen observation of the behavior of nature, he discovered a specific geometric array that he found to be fundamental to creation and from which the foundation for his Unified Field Theory emerged.”

Mr. Haramein often gives lectures at conferences, and you can see many of his talks on YouTube. The topic he lectures on most often is something called the “Schwarzschild Proton,” which we’ll get to in a minute. I find it interesting that neither the Thrive movie nor Haramein’s own website list any degrees or credentials. That is noteworthy, because people who do have degrees or credentials and who are interviewed in Thrive are usually presented with a title card on-screen that lists what their credentials are—example, “Dr. Jack Kasher, Ph.D.—Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Nebraska” (31:01). I have also not been able to locate a C.V. (curriculum vitae), sort of an academic résumé, for Mr. Haramein. If anyone is aware that he has advanced degrees in physics or other relevant fields, please pass on the information to me and I will gladly add that to this blog.

What Is the “Schwarzchild Proton” Claim?

This blog has already debunked what Mr. Haramein claims in Thrive, both in this article and the previous articles. Let’s move on to some of the other claims he makes other than the ones in the film. Although the focus of this blog is on the film, Mr. Haramein’s other claims are relevant to judging his overall credibility as a source on matters of science and ancient history.

The “Schwarzschild Proton” theory states that a proton is really a miniature black hole. I am not trained in physics, but what I do know of it, this assertion is completely outside the realm of science as we understand it. Needless to say, the scientific community is not impressed by the “Schwarzschild Proton.” In fact, it’s very difficult to get a scientist to spend their time debunking it. Nevertheless, there are scientific opinions about Mr. Haramein’s theories. Here’s one, a fairly high profile blog called “Up,” which ran several articles about Mr. Haramein and his various theories. The creator of this blog, Bob (also known as Bob-a-Thon), had this to say about Mr. Haramein and his paper:

“(a) His overall argument is circular, which means it shows nothing. A hypothesis is presented that a proton might be considered as if it were a black hole, and his first conclusion, after a few pages of equations, is that the forces between them would be very strong, like the forces in a nucleus. But this goes without saying! If you pretend that something is as heavy as a thing can be, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that the forces would be as strong as a force can be. There’s no significance in this whatsoever.

(b) His theory implies that the nucleus of a single atom of hydrogen has a mass of nearly a billion tons. This does seem a bit silly – but theoretical physicists do hypothesise apparently silly things sometimes, so that’s not a deal-breaker. For obvious reasons, though, you need a very convincing reason to do something like that, including an explanation as to why we never measure this huge mass when we weigh hydrogen (or anything else), and none is given.

c) The paper, while using some scientific terms, is presented at a very basic level. This could be considered a plus – all scientists would agree that there’s nothing better than a simple theory, if it works. But Nassim is merely playing with equations from student textbooks (these are the only references cited in the paper), things that have been explored thoroughly for decades, and he’s using them in a pretty simplistic way. It’s unlikely that he’ll find anything that hasn’t been found before by doing this. What he has found is some values for things that look suspiciously like what he knew when he started. This is often what happens when you go around in a circle.

It’s a bit of a joke to claim that anything profound can come from this kind of thing. But again, it looks cool, and it’s clearly enough to impress a lot of his followers.”

Bob went on to post a lengthy scientific debunking of the Schwarzschild Proton theory. You can find it here. I won’t reproduce it here because it’s full of a lot of very specific scientific jargon and equations that I don’t think I need to show here so long as it’s available at the link. Suffice it to say that Bob’s blog makes a strong argument that Mr. Haramein’s theory does not have any validity when judged against actual provable science.

Bob’s conclusion, at the end of that article, was the following:

“Haramein claims to be doing serious science. He claims to have unified the forces of nature, and to have created a unified field theory. He claims to be able to point out where all ‘the other physicists’ are going wrong. He claims, moreover, that his paper, The Schwarzschild Proton, has won serious academic acclaim. All of these are patently false.

The only sensible conclusion from looking at this example of his work is that he is utterly incompetent as a physicist – even with the help of his hired academics, whose “advice and careful reading of the manuscript” didn’t reveal any of the myriad of nonsensical implications that a little exploration should have found.

He knows that taking on the air of authority of a research physicist will give weight to his outlandish ideas, many of which are in the language of physics. And he knows that this will bring him followers and cash. Indeed it does.”

It appears likely from this analysis that Mr. Haramein’s claims are not supportable by science. I say it appears likely because I’m not a trained scientist. While I suspect that Bob is a trained and credentialed scientist, we do not know this for certain. Therefore, I’ll state that if someone with at least a Ph.D. in physics is willing to come forward and state (1) that Bob’s debunking of Mr. Haramein’s Schwarzschild Proton theory is fundamentally flawed, and (2) that Mr. Haramein’s theory is correct or at least reasonably arguable in good faith, I will retract this article and issue a high-profile correction.

Good luck. I’ve been searching for a physicist who will comment on Mr. Haramein’s theories on the record since Thrive came out. No one will touch it. It’s that bad.

Here’s what other scientists are willing to say, however. On the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast of January 12, 2011, linked here, Dr. Phil Plait had this to say about a video he saw of Mr. Haramein expounding various astronomical theories (the relevant part starts about 50 minutes in):

“It’s hard to actually describe or understand a place to start or find any sort of grip on the amount of weirdness that this video has in it. I mean, he just says stuff and it doesn’t matter what he’s saying, he just says it. He’s talking about watching Shoemaker Levy 9, the comet, hitting Jupiter back in ’94, and he says, “the community said that comet might not be visible from the earth.” No, actually most astronomers thought it would, and there were a few who said it might not, but we weren’t sure, but that’s how science works…His whole thing, watching this, he’s talking about the tetrahedron dictating the energy about to happen inside Jupiter, and I’m thinking tetrahedrons, certain specific latitudes, he’s talking about Hoagland! And five seconds later “this is the theory of consultant to NASA, Richard C. Hoagland!”…This is so bad it’s not even wrong…You can watch this guy giving talks about pyramids and Egyptians and he just says stuff…it’s made-up silliness.”

Richard C. Hoagland is an infamous pseudoscience purveyor and conspiracy theorist. He’s most famous for expounding the ridiculous Face on Mars theory from the ‘80s. Any mention of Hoagland as a credible source should set off alarm bells.

Need more to convince you that Mr. Haramein’s theories are not good science? Check some physicists kibbutzing about him over at Reddit. Here are some of the comments:

“For some reason I was browsing /r/psychonaut and I saw a video posted of this guy, Nassim Haramein, lecturing about “sacred geometry and unified field theory”. After about 5 seconds you see he’s just making it up as he goes along, misunderstanding even the most basic principles of physics and math(s). He basically just tells people into that whole “new age” thing exactly what they want to hear. This pseudoscientist is either deliberately misleading the public, extremely deluded or mentally ill in some way.”

“We can, but on the other hand we could do physics instead. Nevertheless, I took the liberty of correcting one of your hecklers.”

“You’re probably right… I’m not sure why it bugs me so much. I guess I just think it’s sad that the people who are enjoying his talks are showing an interest in physics and not being told anything that resembles real physics.”

What Does Mr. Haramein Say In Response?

Bob’s “Up” blog engendered a response from Mr. Haramein himself. Here it is. Please go to the link for the full text, as it’s very lengthy. Here are a few excerpts:

“I typically avoid wasting my time participating in these so-called debunking sessions. However, as I can see that the gentleman has invested substantial efforts in this particular example, and because it is such a prime and typical expression of the reactionary tendencies defending against all odds the status quo and proclaiming it as “the truth”, I feel obligated to reply.

I actually don’t believe in mediocre minds, as I consider that everyone is born brilliant but that certain life experiences and difficulties can reduce one’s capacity to access deeper levels of awareness that are necessary for creative and fundamental reflection. Here the inhibitors are constraints resulting from a style of education in which what is taught is proclaimed as the truth and the only truth, and where students are discouraged and severely reprimanded if they tend to wander in the awful world of untruth as predetermined by the Obvious Truth Holder…

[H]istory speaks for itself as any new significant changes that were brought to the scientific community were typically largely resisted, ridiculed and then eventually accepted. As Schopenhauer said, ‘All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.’”

Much of the rest of the response is very technical, and those issues, while quite relevant, are beyond the scope of this blog. Nevertheless, Bob responded to the response. Needless to say he wasn’t too impressed:

“So, what to make of all this. To summarise, his rhetoric is great! The bits of physics he’s thrown in look really impressive! If the aim is to wow the fans and seal their contempt for me, he’s done an excellent job.

But has he actually addressed the criticisms that I’ve raised? Surely, somewhere in all that work, he must have? Help me out here if you think I’m missing something, but I really don’t think he has. I’ll illustrate some of the ways he’s misused physics in his defence later on.

If you disagree – if you can find any single point in there that convinces you that any of my criticisms of his physics aren’t completely valid – then I’d really love to hear from you. It would be great if we could keep it to the physics. I know it won’t happen, but it would be great if it did.

Meanwhile, as you can see for yourself, he has had fun doing what he does best – inventing things to entertain his fans, and telling them what they want to hear. He presents this new, conveniently fictionalised version of me to his followers as “an important study for anyone who is interested in my work.”…

The back-and-forth between Bob and Mr. Haramein is actually quite interesting. Because I can only present the smallest snippets of it here, I strongly recommend that anyone interested in evaluating Mr. Haramein’s grasp of physics (or ancient history, for that matter) look at the entire exchange. Looking at this material certainly led me to a a conclusion regarding the level of credibility to which Mr. Haramein is entitled.

A Related Issue: Academia, Credentials, and the Value of Experts.

A key theme that you should see emerging from this analysis is that Mr. Haramein does not and cannot back up any of the major assertions he makes with any evidence or argumentation that passes muster among professionals in the fields he opines on—physics and ancient history. If you read Mr. Haramein’s responses to Bob’s critique, you’ll see a lot of references to Einstein and how Einstein was not (supposedly) a “mainstream” physicist, coupled with philosophical statements about how closed-minded and corrupt the institutions of mainstream learning are. Indeed, from what I’ve observed in my research for this article, this is the primary line of defense when Mr. Haramein is attacked: claim that Einstein (or someone else who is well-respected but has an unorthodox background) had radical ideas too, and suggest that because he was vindicated, Mr. Haramein’s unorthodox ideas are worthy of the same level of credulity and acceptance that we today give the theories of Einstein and Copernicus.

I’ve encountered this line of argumentation many, many times before. In fact, it’s a trope used almost universally by believers in fringe phenomena such as pseudoscience, pseudohistory, and conspiracy theories. I wrote an article about this about 18 months ago on my other blog, specifically in the context of conspiracy theorists, and explaining why their views on academics and experts are wrong. The same principle goes here. People who accept fringe beliefs exhibit a curious form of bipolar behavior when it comes to experts. On the one hand, they really wish that some credentialed experts would agree with them so it would lend credence to their pet theories. Simultaneously, because they can’t get any credentialed experts to agree with them, they’re forced to explain why this is by claiming that credentialed experts are worthless and that the institutions they come from are closed to any new ideas or new knowledge.

The problem with this argument, however, is that it presumes the legitimacy of credentialed experts and institutional knowledge—academia and peer-review, if you will—is essentially arbitrary and has little to do with the substantive content of their fields. Followers of pseudoscience, pseudohistory and conspiracy theories think that academia and institutional knowledge is a sort of old boy’s club, where a cap and gown and a secret handshake get you “in the club,” and only knowledge that originates from within “the club” is taken seriously. The reality is very different.

You do not have to be a credentialed expert with a Ph.D. in physics to come up with a revolutionary new idea that totally redefines scientific truth. You could be a plumber and still come up with a revolutionary new idea that totally redefines scientific truth. However, whether you are a Ph.D. physicist or a plumber, the validity of your idea must be still be provable using the scientific method.

You do not have to possess a Ph.D. in archeology to come up with a bold new theory that explains the workings of ancient civilizations. You could work at Subway and still come up with a revolutionary theory that redefines ancient history as we know it. However, whether you are a Ph.D. archaeologist or a Subway sandwich maker, the validity of your idea must still be provable with evidence and the methods of archaeological research and historical analysis.

This is what Mr. Haramein doesn’t seem to understand. The reason his theories don’t have any credibility is not because he is not a credentialed expert doing research at a traditional institution. The reason his theories don’t have any credibility is because they’re not verifiable or supportable according to the methods of physics, astronomy and ancient history. It’s the methods that matter. Scientific inquiry and historical analysis have been built up over centuries, even millennia. Democritus was doing science in Thrace in the 4th century B.C., and Thucydides was researching history at about the same time. Guess what? The methods that Democritus used all those centuries ago are still sound by today’s scientific standards (though of course technology is much different), and the methods that Thucydides used to describe the Peloponnesian War are still recognized as hallmarks of historical scholarship today. This is not to say that science or history haven’t advanced since the time of the ancient Greeks; clearly they have. But our process of asking questions and seeking answers, of judging hypothesis based on verifiable facts, and of testing the evidence for its reliability are remarkably similar to the processes that experts have been using for centuries to get at the truth of various problems.

Want to know something else? The “scientific heretics” that fringe believers like to trot out on cue—Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein, etc.—could prove their unorthodox theories by using those same processes. Galileo was persecuted by religious authorities, but he could still prove that Jupiter had moons; Copernicus’s books were banned by political authorities, but his mathematics still proved that a heliocentric solar system was the truth. Einstein wasn’t even much of a heretic at all. After all, he won a Nobel Prize. They don’t give Nobel Prizes to people who don’t use the scientific method or whose discoveries can’t be verified by it.

Through his rhetoric about institutional knowledge and credentialism, Mr. Haramein and his supporters seem to want you to jump to the conclusion that he’s a bold innovator and a brave defender of scientific truth in the face of unreasonable conformity. But the real bold innovators and brave defenders of scientific truth, like Galileo and Copernicus, could prove their theories using scientific methods and reasoning, and thats why their ideas are accepted today as truth. By contrast, Mr. Haramein seems to want to skip the part where his theories are actually proven using the methods and reasoning that experts have been using for centuries to determine what’s true and what’s not. Unfortunately, science and history don’t work that way.

Conclusion

During his brief appearance in Thrive, Nassim Haramein makes a number of statements and invites a number of inferences. He makes statements about the “Flower of Life” design which are incorrect. He makes statements about ancient gods and the history of ancient peoples which are incorrect. He invites the conclusion that aliens came to Earth long ago to help civilizations build various things, a conclusion which is unsupportable.

Outside the movie Thrive, Mr. Haramein is known for making similar wild claims, which are similarly incorrect. His “Schwarzschild Proton” theory is absolutely unsupported given physical science as we know it today. Real scientists consistently deride his methodology as flawed and his arguments as totally unpersuasive. His response to these criticisms, which is to dismiss the value of expert opinion or institutional knowledge, is similarly unpersuasive.

The rational viewer of Thrive, when confronted with these facts, should not only be extremely skeptical of the assertions Mr. Haramein makes in the film, but should also wonder why the makers of the film did not conduct better research, and consult more reliable sources, about the matters Mr. Haramein discusses.

Who Is Adam Trombly? (UPDATED!)

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

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

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

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

Who Is Adam Trombly?

[This section by Muertos]

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

Some general links to familiarize you with Trombly:

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

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

[This section by Professor Pious]

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

He claims to be:

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

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

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

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

Does Trombly’s machine actually work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thankfully Gary Posner has some fact-checking here:

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The issue of the UN/Senate tests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Trombly’s claims reliable?

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

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

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

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

Update 16 March 2012

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

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