John Perkins Update.

Posted on December 21, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

mountain1(Cross-posted from johnperkins.org – An article written by John Perkins)

Year in Review: Latin America in 2014

By John Perkins

I just returned from a magical trip with a special group of people to amazing Peru. Our group experienced sacred sites and ceremonies with the Q’ero and other Quechua elders and shamans. Now I look forward to facilitating another group as we visit the sacred sites and great Mayan teachers of Guatemala beginning very soon, January 16 (to join visit: http://www.johnperkins.org/a-journey-to-the-lands-of-the-maya-guatemala/).

This year much of my time and energy has been spent in Latin America. I have talked about events in various countries and ways in which people are waking up. With the closing of the year, let’s look at some of these stories and see how they have developed.

Chevron and Big Oil

Big Oil (Chevron, Shell, BP, etc) have long been seen as an enemy of the Amazon, as purveyors of contamination, poverty, and disease. (Blog Post: “Big Oil, Romania, and the Amazon”.) Oil is a tool for bringing a country into economic submission, as I learned during my time as Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm (“economic hit man.”) Ecuador is not the only country to have issues with Big Oil; dependence on fossil fuels has led countries all over the world to economic disaster and civil unrest.

There has often been violence between the multinational companies and the indigenous people who have had their lives brutally impacted by the oil industry. Just in the last few weeks, a brave Ecuadorian Shuar leader, José Isidro Tendetza Antún, was found dead, tortured, and buried in suspicious circumstances mere days before he was scheduled to travel to Lima, Peru for climate talks. He had been a leader in the struggle to rein in mining and oil companies that threaten so much of his native Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has sometimes been praised and sometimes castigated for his stance on the Amazon rainforest, most recently exploiting the natural resources of the region by signing permits for oil drilling in one of the most bio diverse regions on the planet. On the other hand, he has also made statements opposing Chevron in the nearly twenty year saga of Ecuadorian villagers against the oil giant over the clean-up of contaminated areas.

Though the Ecuadorian villagers have won against Chevron with the help of a legal team lead by Steven Donziger and Pablo Fajardo, the Big Oil company is refusing to keep its promise to abide by the judgment of Ecuador’s courts. In typical Corporatocracy fashion, Chevron is not under the regulation of a single government and therefore refuses to respect any. Its executives are threatening not only the lives of the indigenous people of the Amazon, but people all over the world, from Canada to Romania to Myanmar to India. Other governments in those regions continue to do business with Chevron, despite clear evidence that the environment and the people suffer greatly.

Monsanto and “Free-Trade”

Another multinational corporation that is threatening the health of the land and the people of Latin America and most of the rest of the world is Monsanto. (Blog Post: “A Latin American Awakening and Monsanto”.) In Latin American countries, free-trade agreements have paved the way for the Corporatocracy to gain control and have sent thousands of children across the border into the US in desperation.

Throughout history since the Industrial Revolution, the move to take agriculture away from small farmers and give the power and profits to big companies has resulted in poverty and destruction. Not only do these agreements render it impossible for small farmers to make a living from their seeds and produce, but they have also introduced incredibly dangerous chemicals and pesticides into once-pristine environments.

Earlier this year we saw some Latin American governments seek to stand firm for the interests of their people against major privatization of agriculture. The fight is far from over. Groups of citizens have organized to demand that their rights, interests, and cultural values be protected by their leaders and that the corporations abide by new standards and laws.

Awakening

However, as powerful as these big corporations are, the people who are waking up are more powerful. There is much that we can learn from our southern neighbors in how to harness our power to make our leaders work for change. (Blog Post: “Lessons on Capitalism from an Unlikely Source”.)

One striking example of leaders listening to their people is the 20 x 20 Initiative: 8 Latin American nations joining forces to fight global warming. Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru are coming together for this agreement to protect forests and fertile land.

We can do our part to help and support this awakening by calling and emailing our leaders and elected officials and demanding that they work against free-trade agreements such as CAFTA-DR and the proposed TPP. We can vote with our dollars by buying local and small-farm-grown produce and products instead of shopping at big box stores and retailers. Our market power can be made even stronger by sending emails to the Big Business executives telling them we will boycott their companies until they too support local businesses and farmers and provide their employees with higher wages, health care, and retirement pensions. We can join or organize consumer movements to strengthen our messages.

Let’s make 2015 the year we focus our intentions and our dreams on changing the world for a better future through taking positive actions and by educating those around us.

****

(Thank you to breakingtheset at YouTube)

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This Is The Most Important Time In History.

Posted February 16, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half-remembered glory.”

– John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

oneness3-1Cynics may not be in alignment that these are the most important times in history. This is understandable given the gap between what people are aware of and the failure of politicians and governments to shape the world according to that awareness. So, many have become frustrated that the facts of events and situations are still being hidden as they always have. God only knows how many suffer in isolation after discovering important truths kept from view of the rest of the human race.

So, what is to be done to help remove the doubts of the cynical? First, it is beneficial to try to describe what the cynic/doubter goes through when they are aware of realities that do not coincide with the perceptions of most people. One can only guess how many millions of men and women have arrived at this state of frustration and impatience, but on the positive side one can say with certainty that the number has risen steadily in recent years; this trend will not subside as more people communicate with others all across the Earth.

To the cynics, frustrated, and impatient please help yourself to become more optimistic by remembering all the good events that are occurring with greater regularity now, just as these events and announcements have occurred in recent years. The first event to express gratitude over is the tremendous amount of good that has become generated by regular men and women through the use of computers and the internet. Imagine the millions of people in every nation on Earth who are entirely able to produce communications that bring truth to the world.

Be thankful that people are no longer going to their televisions to learn what is occurring around the world, and that there are good men and women doing fantastic work to bring the truth on issues of importance. Issues which relate directly to the health and well-being of regular citizens have been discussed extensively on the internet, and good solutions have been disseminated in the process. Yes, it is frustrating that these solutions are not becoming implemented as soon as necessary. Yet, see in your mind’s eye the billions of words passing through cables and the air that continuously become more refined with each passing day, leading to solutions that, because of their inherent, obvious proof of excellence, their quality of offering improved methods of creating world conditions, and look ahead to the fast-approaching inevitable time when they become widely accepted and implemented.

Consider the example provided by John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”. Until listening to this interview of Mr. Perkins, who has this writer’s admiration and respect, that he had Howard Zinn as a professor in classes at Boston College wasn’t known. Perkins mentions his sitting in classes taught by Professor Zinn and that in later years they became friends. Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” has become a multi-million copy bestseller, making Mr. Zinn one of the world’s first “whistleblowers” – while the book profoundly altered the historical perceptions of countless men and women.

It is interesting to note that John Perkins books have also become bestsellers and profoundly altered the historical perceptions of countless millions of men and women. Some reading this are perhaps aware that Matt Damon was a neighbor of Howard Zinn. People may remember one of the most memorable monologues in movie history where the character played by Matt Damon, “Will Hunting”, is sitting in the office of a National Security Agency (NSA) recruiter and clearly “blows the whistle” (through the movie screen) on the NSA’s actions and negative consequences for people around the world.

Now, were Howard Zinn, John Perkins, and Matt Damon born into families considered “blue-bloods”? This would seem to not be the case. The example provided for regular citizens around the world by Zinn, Perkins, and Damon – as well as truth-tellers/whistleblowers everywhere – is that average, regular citizens are able to make the difference. Look on the internet, at your trusted truth-telling websites, and most times you will see the results of efforts taken by people in the same conditions as yourself.

The communications from the millions of men and women involved in sharing the truth on the internet contain a variety of views depending on the producer/creator’s age, level of education, personal experience, and other factors. However, it is beyond debate that regardless of these various factors, there most importantly are tremendous examples of men and women communicating about great issues with integrity and sincerity.

Those reading this will know what it means when saying that one can tell after a certain amount of time spent taking in communications over the internet when someone is genuine and honest – or not. Simply knowing that there are men and women who are sincerely and genuinely trying to take actions to create a better world is reason for celebration and optimism.

John Perkins is one of the sincere and genuine truth-tellers trying to create a better world for his, and all people’s, grandchildren. He describes the world’s economic system as a “death economy”, a situation in need of conversion to a “life economy”, where not “maximization of profits” at all costs – including destruction of lives through war, destruction of the environment through poisoning, and the greatest wealth inequality the world has ever seen – but fair profits, production of useful goods, and public service become the focused motives for corporations and governments.

Mr. Perkins has an intimate, personal knowledge of geopolitics, economics, and the negative consequences of overwhelming focus on “maximization of profits” at all costs. As an economic hitman he dealt personally with Presidents Jaime Roldos of Equador and Omar Torrijos of Panama, both of whom died (Perkins states outright in this interview that these were CIA executions) while in office after rejecting the “suggestions” of Mr. Perkins and others who desired natural resources in those men’s nations. He points out that these are not historical examples of planned assassinations and coups that have since ended; he points out that the President of Honduras was overthrown from office three years ago.

John Perkins’ books are very disturbing, but the truth revealed is absolutely important

Perkins, to his great credit because of the intensely troubling history he knows, maintains his optimism for the future while sharing that optimism with his audiences and viewers. To the cynics, frustrated, and impatient who wonder how a man like John Perkins is able to maintain a shred of optimism in the face of an Earthly reality containing gruesome examples of man’s inhumanity to man, perhaps his relationship with Mayan and other indigenous societies offer an answer.

John Perkins has experienced profound changes of a spiritual nature, seen with his action of traveling to Central America to apologize to citizens of lands who felt the negative effects from his actions while an economic hitman. His personal apology is moving, recorded in a video titled “Apology of an Economic Hitman” and available to view on YouTube.

If John Perkins – a man who literally risked his life to tell people the truth – can remain optimistic and states that “this is the most fascinating and important time in history”, surely people can overcome doubt, frustration, and impatience.

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(Thank you to The Peoples Voice TV @ YouTube)

From A Death Economy To A Life Economy.

Posted November 7, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

Many of you reading these words are familiar with John Perkins through listening to one or more of his many interviews, or through reading his ground-breaking book “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman“. For those who are not aware of Mr. Perkins, he is a self-confessed “economic hitman” and worked years ago with presidents and high-ranking government officials in nations around the world. His job was to convince government leaders to accept multi-billion dollar loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund – to accept loans which put their nations into debt which inevitably the nation(s) cannot repay.

The nations Mr. Perkins would “work” with all had something in common – the land and mountains of the country contained coveted-by-multinational corporations, valuable natural resources. His typical offer when speaking to presidents of these nations would follow a pattern. He would tell the president that “if you went along with the loans we could make you very wealthy”. Then, when the loans’ debt became too much for the nation to pay back, he would “advise” the president that “well, perhaps you could sell your oil to us (or natural gas, minerals, etc.) at a reduced rate, and cut back on social spending (austerity)”.

If the leader arranged the multi-billion dollar loans, he and his family would become wealthy, infrastructure projects utilizing companies outside the country for the construction would go ahead, then the natural resources would begin being extracted, profits going to the small percentage of the nation’s citizens who represented the “élite”. Most of the people in the countries where Mr. Perkins operated did not receive any benefits from the loans or projects that became financed with loan proceeds.

If the president initially decided to decline on an economic hitman’s offers, because the resources were very coveted, the ‘jackals”, as Perkins describes them, would take destabilization measures to promote popular uprisings against the government. These actions typically were organized and implemented by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and were responsible for government coups of democratically elected leaders in Iran (1952), Ecuador (1954), and Chile (1971), as well as others.

If a coup were unsuccessful at times assassination of leaders was the route taken. John Perkins personally knew presidents who died in plane crashes, those of Panama and Ecuador.

If the “jackals” of the intelligence agencies were unsuccessful in overthrowing the leader(s) who “will not play the game”, then war(s) would ensue to complete the job of regime change. Perkins ‘ book tells the whole story and I recommend it to those who are interested in “cutting to the chase” and learning true geopolitical/economics history.

John Perkins, in my opinion, is the most important, consequential whistleblower in history.

Just a short story on my experience with the book “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman”. I had bought the book twenty years or so ago, after seeing an interview of Perkins on TV. Let me say that until roughly two years ago, when I got my first computer, I never owned one and never surfed the internet. So, I read the jaw-dropping book, and, because we as humans can’t stop ourselves from recommending books that are so profound, I was recommending it often.

Without getting into all the details, somehow a person in law enforcement who I knew through business dealings, he being a customer of the company I worked for, said to me, “you’ve got a bulls-eye on your back”. I knew the man well as he was a regular customer, I didn’t respond because I had no idea what he was referring to. Only later did I realize that what occurred could be explained by John Perkins’ book being on a government book “watch list” of some sort. A list of books which law enforcement agencies possessed with which to identify people who could be “problematic”, if you will.

This was after September 11, 2001, nothing ever came of it, and it became an experience to remember for its small or large significance, where I innocently read a ground-breaking expose book and got a little caught up without any consequences. Not a big deal, but interesting.

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Video source: Breaking The Set – YouTube / John Perkins interviewed by Abby Martin

Related articles

War. Part 1.

Cover of
Cover of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

June 2, 2013 by Jerry Alatalo

War is mankind’s greatest failure. How many of you have had enough of war? Great Spirit answer our prayers. Please help us finally put an end to this error of war that we keep repeating and repeating. Please put an end to the causes of fighting amongst our fellow human beings with its massive suffering inflicted on both “winners” and “losers” alike.

For there is no “winning” in war, only loss.

Here we would offer the words of the 34th President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969):

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the houses of its children. This is not a way of life… Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging itself on a cross of iron.”

You would think that such a frank analysis as this one made by Eisenhower with its  profundity would have turned the tide concerning war and military expenditure. Eisenhower, in his farewell address, adds yet another profound look at the military expenditures of mankind:

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience… In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Why do we end up disregarding the obvious wisdom through history men and women have given us? Eisenhower’s words in these two quotes are simply spot-on.  What a predicament we have put ourselves in with regard to military spending and the use of the products created with that spending.

Thank God we are coming to the point in time where our spiritual wisdom will be returned to us all. We will end this war madness once and for all. Divine intervention will make us all painfully aware of the error of our ways when we made the choices to allow this insanity to occur. You may want to read Eisenhower’s words again and again until you really understand what he was trying to convey.

We have had war for so long now that it seems almost to be a part of life. It need not be so. War is a choice. If there was a reason for war it could only be self-defense. Any war of aggression must result in consequences which are severe enough for those responsible for their decisions to deter any future decision maker from making the same mistake. War crimes are the highest of any crimes and must be dealt with in the highest way. Many of you are aware that most of the time wars are fought for financial or natural resource reasons.

You may have read the book Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. The book was Perkins’ insider view of geopolitical events he participated in and witnessed. Mr. Perkins wrote the book after the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center event in an effort to create a better world for his children and grandchildren. He describes the typical course of events when he was dealing with the leaders of countries which had natural resources that multinational companies wanted to have access to.

First the leader and his country are given loans from the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund for large infrastructure projects which benefit mainly multinational companies along with the elite of the country. The poor of the country do not realize any gain in their standard of living. Next the country falls behind on the repayment of the loans, in the billions of dollars.

At this point Perkins describes the “pound of flesh.”  He would offer that particular country’s leader great wealth if he played the game and allowed access at a low price to his country’s natural resources. Of course, austerity measures would be needed in order that the World Bank/IMF loans could be repaid.

He would gently remind the leader, if he was considering not playing the game, of what happened to the previous leader who did not want to play. It is called political assassination. Perkins dealt personally with democratically elected leaders who were killed in airplane crashes etc.  If the current leader continues to reject the offers then the jackals are sent in to attempt a coup or political dissent; any action that would drive the leader from office including assassination. Then if this fails to remove the leader, the military comes to forcibly remove the leader through war. What Perkins describes is very saddening.

Thanks to John Perkins for telling the world the truth through his experiences on the geopolitical stage. The book is an eye opener for whoever reads it and even though the book describes a very sad state of affairs, has contributed to a needed awareness of the reality of what he describes being gained for people from many areas of the planet.

This awareness has served as a defense for many against such manipulative actions with the unfortunate consequences associated with them. People have been spared suffering and hardship because John Perkins stood up and told the truth.

Many other books have been written by men and women who have experienced war. As wars are started by the rich and fought by the poor we will be giving no voice here to those who start wars. Only if those who started the war risked their own lives and safety will they receive any mention. We have all seen those who received deferments or somehow escaped danger themselves calling for others to fight for them.  We will concentrate on those men and women who actually have experienced the horrors of war. Their stories and their thoughts.

Perhaps you may have heard of marine Major General Smedley Butler (1881-1940). He wrote a book with the title War is a Racket. Read these harrowing words:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscleman for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American Fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated in three continents.”

Do you ever wonder why we are experiencing the spiritual pain associated with wars and violence? Sometimes you just want to yell out God please end this war insanity. Help us to end war and create the conditions for everlasting love, justice and peace on Earth. Please pray for this.

The words of Native American Chief Joseph upon surrender contain the real testimony from the heart of a human regarding the effects of conflict.  Feel the same feeling that Chief Joseph conveys in these words and you will never see war in the same way again.

He said:

“Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed, Looking-Glass is dead, Too-Hul-Hul Sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are-perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

The emotional state Chief Joseph was in when he spoke these words is the same emotional state that every human experiences after participating in war. We now understand what causes post traumatic stress syndrome. It is the direct result of the horrifying experiences that these brothers and sisters have when involved in military conflict. With the understanding of the suffering that our fellow humans experience because of war we must ask ourselves.

What type of insanity calls for more suffering? War is insanity.

American writer and editor Norman Cousins (1915-1990) said:

“War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace.”

Does it not give one hope for the future when one sees the thoughts of our fellow human brothers and sisters which point to such intelligence? The quotations allow us to share the thoughts of genius personalities past and present, without the requirement of actually being in their physical presence. How simple yet profound Norman Cousins’ words are here. The human mind can invent peace. Simple. Profound.

Our faith in the certain triumph of the human spirit is restored when we come across such intellectual depth and insight. English poet and critic John Dryden (1631-1700) stated a basic truth about the cause of war:

“War seldom enters but where wealth allures.”

Does not this thought equal that expressed in 1 Timothy 6:10:

“For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

The love of money. How much longer will some love money more than their fellow human family? Love it so much that they are willing to kill others in order to acquire it? Love it so much that they are willing to destroy everything in their way to get to it?

Love it so much that they are willing to sell their own souls to obtain it?

The artists have been asking these questions for a very long time. With the current, fortunate rising of consciousness on this Earth thank the Creator that these questions will not have to be asked anymore soon. We are going to get all of our questions answered.

It is our destiny.

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Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai “I Will Fight No More”