As we head to the polls tonight for what will be the most contentious and delirious election of my lifetime, I’m strangely distanced from it all. I’ve sworn off red and blue and I don’t see either party as more, or less, of an existential threat. Instead they form a uni-party with buffoonish figureheads. People screaming that “You must pick a side! The fate of our nation depends on it!” have either been living under a rock, or are willfully ignoring what is right in front of them: a farcical “choice” between what amounts to two actors in the same theatrical production. A rigged pro wrestling match. A vulgar “heel” versus a feeble “face”.
How did I get here? To be honest, I’ve never had much faith in electoral politics in this country. I came of age during 9/11, and, like many others, began to question the grand narrative. I was living in Europe when protests swept over the continent. The anti-American sentiment was huge, as a “Coalition of the Willing” sucked their governments into a war based on cooked-up intelligence reports. Europeans, not subject to the coordinated deluge of American propaganda pushing for a war, were rightly skeptical and took to the streets in huge numbers.
And so, from across the Atlantic, my skepticism of the narrative lead me down many 20th century rabbit holes — with my focus mostly lighting on the 60s to the present day. JFK, MLK, Malcom X, Gulf of Tonkin, Iran Contra, the Kuwaiti incubator babies… all the greatest hits.
I was a dabbler. I considered myself a healthy skeptic, who was skeptical of the skeptics. Conspiracy “light”, if you will. It would simply be impossible to pull off “conspiracies” this big, I thought. There had to be a middle ground. It couldn’t be that bad, could it? Well, something changed for me last year.
The Talented Mr. Epstein
I had been following the Epstein story pretty closely, putting together bits and pieces from across the media. Stories about the Lolita Express, his estates on Little St. James and New Mexico, the uber-wealthy and influential people he networked with… it was so salacious, and bizarre, that I found myself digging deeper and deeper, into areas I had resisted entering for my entire adult life.
Then, in a comical sequence of events, the most high-profile prisoner in the country “commits suicide” while surveillance cameras malfunction, and two guards fall asleep. The media — many of whom appear on Epstein’s flight logs — pointed their fingers in all the wrong directions.
I dug deeper, and deeper, and the further I dug, my lantern started to shine a light on the vast network he was connected with. This vast network included human traffickers, financial fraudsters, blackmailers, spies and hidden global power players. I began revisiting the old stories again, and that opened up new doors: Mockingbird, MK Ultra, the Phoenix Program, the alleged technocratic conspiracy to enslave the world (which didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore). It all connected back to Jeffrey Epstein, the Mr. Ripley-esque figure who managed to mingle with, and ensnare, so many key players in media, science, business, and politics.
While a lot of what I’ve discovered has been terrifying, it’s also brought with it a sense of equanimity. Why had I been so blind before? Why didn’t I ever dig deeper? Maybe Huxley was right. I was blissfully ignorant, living in a Brave New World while I was being systematically brainwashed and brain-dulled by pyschotropics and this amazing new thing called social media.
More digging revealed what I had suspected all along: the division, the rage, the distraction, the data siphoning on social media, is all by design. The internet itself was created by DARPA, the research arm of our intelligence agencies and military. DARPA was also central to a Vietnam-era assassination and terror operation called the Phoenix Program. It does make you wonder when you find out that the Phoenix Program’s mission was to collect data, profile populations, and harass, assassinate and discredit anybody who could jeopardize the war effort. Coincidence? Maybe.
Further research shows how deeply the same players have infiltrated into Silicon Valley. Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s procurer, and probable handler, is currently on trial. She comes from a family long-involved in the dark arts of blackmail. Dig for yourself: her family has long-established connections to Silicon Valley. All of a sudden you realize how deep this insane rabbit’s warren goes.
I now get my news sources from many places, and never entirely trust mainstream spin on anything, including the virus. Remember the crazy videos coming out of China in January? Remember how they downplayed it at first? Then saturated us with 24/7 beams of fear on our televisions and mobile phone screens? Overblown or not, the reaction, and the solutions, are real, and that’s what I’m most worried about.
The same players are at work behind the scenes. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that an unprecedented number of CEOs stepped down from their positions in December and January. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that red and blue team politicians sold stocks just before the first big dip — and are currently making a killing on pharma stocks. And many of them — yep, from your beloved red and blue teams — are connected to the pedophile futurist, blackmailer and financial fraudster, Jeffrey Epstein.
Rage Against Everything
We were hit with the double whammy of lockdowns and protests when police were filmed killing George Floyd in May. The protests morphed into riots — my own neighborhood turned into a war zone — and yet more confusion seeped into the collective American mind.
There’s no question, when you step outside social media bubbles, that people are watching and reacting to entirely different movies. The Rashomon effect — where witnesses have contradictory versions of the same event — has only been amplified by out-of-control technology. Everybody has access to video editing apps; everybody can launch a channel; and we’ve all been trained by algorithms to produce shock content that feeds our addiction to attention. Thousands of versions of the same event produced thousands of angry reactions, manifesting in protest and counter-protest, rage and looting. Cynical strategists saw this moment as an opportunity to sow more division and more distraction from something bigger and far more fundamentally wrong with our system.
Experts added to the confusion when they said the virus was diluted in certain outdoor gatherings — but not others — and opportunists and provocateurs took advantage of the moment. While lockdowns and curfews became more severe, to the benefit of no average American, the Fed injected trillions of dollars into Wall Street, and pushed a few favored stocks to all-time highs. Cui bono?
A Call to Imagination
If you’re willing to start digging, do it with an open mind, free of the left/right paradigm (seek out alternative news and search engines; be wary of fact checkers who have an agenda). Do it with a little imagination.
We’re heading into “known unknown” territory today. But, there are things you can do. Disengage completely from social media; read everything you can (while you can—Orwell was right about the memory hole). Educate yourself. Exit the comfort of your echo chamber, and use your imagination to warn others (I try to do it with fiction, primarily). Talk with real people. Talk with people who may challenge your beliefs. Don’t be fearful.
Not all of us have the luxury to bolt to fortified hideaways in New Zealand. However, we do have the time right now to awaken people around us. There’s a possible dystopian future right around the corner. We need to be clear-minded, undivided by propaganda, before we can take action.
Drew Minh is the author of Neon Empire (2019, Rare Bird Books & California Coldblood Books), a near-future dystopian thriller. He is currently working on a follow-up (when he’s not distracted by the stranger-than-fiction reality of the present).