The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Posts Tagged ‘activism’

COINTELPRO Comes to My Town: My First-Hand Experience With Government Spies

Posted by invizweb on July 24, 2008

David Zirin writes the following account for the Huffington Post:

Finally, at long last, I have something in common with Muhammad Ali.

No, I’m not the heavyweight champion of the world, and haven’t been named spokesperson for Raid bug spray. Like “the Greatest” – not to mention far too many others — I have been a target of state police surveillance for activities — in my case against the death penalty — that were legal, non-violent, and, so we assumed, constitutionally protected. In classified reports compiled by the Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, I am “Dave Z.” This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as “Lucy.” She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer’s market and writing up a petition. Adding a dash of farce to this outrage, she was monitoring us in the liberal enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, a place known more for vegans than violence, more for tie-dying than terrorism.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the ACLU, we now know that “Lucy” was only one part of a vast, insidious project. The Maryland State Police’s Department of Homeland Security devoted near 300 hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars from 2005 and 2006 to harassing people whose only crime was dissenting on the question of the war in Iraq and Maryland’s use of death row.

My dear friend Mike Stark, a board member of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is at times referred to in “Lucy’s” report as a “socialist” and an “anarchist.” One can only assume this is the pathetic time honored tradition of reducing people to simple caricatures, all the better to garner Homeland Security grant money.

Veteran peace activist in Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, who initiated the suit, was as well consistently shadowed as he walked down the streets. His “primary crime” (their lingo) was entered into the homeland security database as “terrorism – anti govern(ment).” His “secondary crime” was listed as “terrorism — anti-war protesters.” The database is known as the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA. Yes, a respected peace organizer of many decades standing is checked as a terrorist, his actions listed as criminal, for doing nothing more than exercising his rights. It boggles the mind.

Read more.

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Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dope and Divinity by R.A.W.

Posted by invizweb on July 23, 2008

From an excerpt of Cosmic Trigger,

The cumulative evidence in such books as Dr. Andrija Puharich’s The Sacred Mushroom, John Allegro’s The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, R. Gordon Wasson‘s Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Robert Graves’ revised fourth edition of The White Goddess, Professor Peter Furst’s Flesh of the Gods, Dr. Weston LaBarre’s The Peyote Cult and Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion, Margaret Murray’s The Witch Cult of Western Europe, etc., leaves little doubt that the beginnings of religion (awareness of, or at least belief in, Higher Intelligences) is intimately linked with the fact that shamans – in Europe, Asia, in the Americas, in Africa – have been dosing their nervous systems with metaprogramming drugs since at least 30,000 B.C.

The pattern is the same, among our cave-dwelling ancestors and American Indians, at the Eleusinian feasts in Athens and among pre-Vedic Hindus, in tribes scattered from pole to pole and in the contemporary research summarized by Dr. Walter Huston Clark in his Chemical Ecstacy: people take these metaprogramming substances and they soon assert contact with Higher Intelligences.

According the LaBarre’s Ghost Dance, the shamans of North and South America used over 2,000 different metaprogramming chemicals; those of Europe and Asia curiously, only used about 250. Amanita muscaria (the “fly agaric” mushroom) was the most widely used sacred drug in the Old World, and the peyote cactus in the New. Over the past 30-to-40,000 years countless shamans have been trained by older shamans (as anthropologist Carlos Castaneda is trained by brujo – witch-man – Don Juan Matus in the famous books) to use these chemicals, as Dr. Leary and Dr. Lilly have used them, to metaprogram the nervous system and bring in some of the signals usually not scanned. (On the visual spectrum alone ,it has been well known since Newton that we normally perceive less than 0.5 (one-half of one) per cent of all known pulsations.) It can safely be generalized that the link between such sensitive new scannings and personal belief in Higher Intelligences is the most probable explaination of the origins of religion.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality, The War on (Some) Drugs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

in the raw: necessary heresies

Posted by invizweb on July 23, 2008

by Alex Burns (alex@disinfo.com) – November 10, 2002 for Disinfo

Author’s note: This interview was originally published in REVelation magazine (#13, Autumn, 1995): 36-40. The many lists of occult and New Age philosophers betrays its authors’ self-conscious youth: beginners often first learn discourse by referencing. I subsequently joined the Temple of Set in June 1996 after further correspondence with Dr. Michael A. Aquino and other Setians. This was also Robert Anton Wilson’s first interview by email. At least, I think it was RAW who replied, but I’m still not sure . . .

The paleolithism of the future (which for us, as mutants, already exists) will be achieved on a grand scale only through a massive technology of the Imagination, and a scientific paradigm which reaches beyond Quantum Mechanics into the realm of Chaos Theory & the hallucinations of Speculative Fiction.
~~ Hakim Bey, Temporary Autonomous Zones.

Some may get through the gate in time.
~~ William Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night.

Robert Anton Wilson has always been an enigma. Surfacing in a Faustian Age, his writings, lectures and multimedia projects have become frontline weapons in the war against the forces of unconsciousness. A trickster-like figure, the self styled ‘RAW’ has unleashed the forces of Rebellion and Curiosity, Knowledge and Power, to many over the past 25 years. As the current social structures that have dominated Western Civilization over the past 2000 years disintegrate and Chaos ensues, RAW is amongst a loose cabal of anarchists, scientists and philosophers, all firing the opening shots in a war that will hope to awaken the latent creative forces in humankind.

His work is a sobering antidote to much of the deliberately irrationalist “New Age” theologies or the restrictive dogmas of modern science. Written during one of the 20th Century’s major culture shifts, his many books are weapons used by the few self-conscious people against the smothering herd-like masses. RAW makes us aware of the current low intensity culture warfare in which the sacred is manufactured and commodified, controlled by intellectual castes, and challenges us to liberate ourselves from this neo-feudalism. Whilst many other authors make millions out of flashy psycho-mystical doubletalk about consciousness, ‘change’, and pop psychology, RAW shows us the true methods of self discovery. The landmark Prometheus Unbound (1983) and the later Quantum Psychology (1992) are two key treatises on self liberation from mental addiction to “ideals”, alienation, cultured infantilism, anger fuelled by anti-parental vengeance and other opressions. These modern grimoires are loaded with techniques to move from being what cyberneticist Norbert Weiner called “a controllable thermostat,” to becoming more human.

Our interview was to be conducted by email, as RAW was working frantically to finish several projects. It was his first experience of an interview by email, and he was genuinely excited to get his grips on the super-information highway; previously being exposed to International Relay Chat (IRC) in 1993. His new book Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death was at the printers, and it seemed that RAW was using his ‘trickster’ act to parody the constant queries on various news-groups about his earthly existence. Eagerly awaited by longtime fans, the new book promises to recapture the early Wilson magic that made the original Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati (1977) so special.

Read more.

Posted in Anamolous Phenomena/ Forteana, Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The FBI’s plan to “profile” Muslims

Posted by invizweb on July 15, 2008

Thanks to Ralph Bernardo at Disinfo

By Juan Cole for Salon

It’s unconstitutional, un-American — and it might hurt, rather than help, the FBI’s effort to stop real acts of terror.

The U.S. Justice Department is considering a change in the grounds on which the FBI can investigate citizens and legal residents of the United States. Till now, DOJ guidelines have required the FBI to have some evidence of wrongdoing before it opens an investigation. The impending new rules, which would be implemented later this summer, allow bureau agents to establish a terrorist profile or pattern of behavior and attributes and, on the basis of that profile, start investigating an individual or group. Agents would be permitted to ask “open-ended questions” concerning the activities of Muslim Americans and Arab-Americans. A person’s travel and occupation, as well as race or ethnicity, could be grounds for opening a national security investigation.

The rumored changes have provoked protests from Muslim American and Arab-American groups. The Council on American Islamic Relations, among the more effective lobbies for Muslim Americans’ civil liberties, immediately denounced the plan, as did James Zogby, the president of the Arab-American Institute. Said Zogby, “There are millions of Americans who, under the reported new parameters, could become subject to arbitrary and subjective ethnic and religious profiling.” Zogby, who noted that the Bush administration’s history with profiling is not reassuring, warned that all Americans would suffer from a weakening of civil liberties.

In fact, Zogby’s statement only begins to touch on the many problems with these proposed rules. The new guidelines would lead to many bogus prosecutions, but they would also prove counterproductive in the effort to disrupt real terror plots. And then there’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s rationale for revising the rules in the first place. “It’s necessary,” he explained in a June news conference, “to put in place regulations that will allow the FBI to transform itself as it is transforming itself into an intelligence-gathering organization.” When did Congress, or we as a nation, have a debate about whether we want to authorize the establishment of a domestic intelligence agency? Indeed, late last month Congress signaled its discomfort with the concept by denying the FBI’s $11 million funding request for its data-mining center.

Establishing a profile that would aid in identifying suspects is not in and of itself illegal, though the practice generally makes civil libertarians nervous. When looking for drug couriers, Drug Enforcement Agency agents were permitted by the Supreme Court in United States v. Sokolow (1989) to use indicators such as the use of an alias, nervous or evasive behavior, cash payments for tickets, brief trips to major drug-trafficking cities, type of clothing, and the lack of checked luggage. This technique, however, specifically excluded the use of skin color or other racial features in building the profile.

In contrast, using race and ethnicity as the — or even a — primary factor in deciding whom to stop and search, despite being widespread among police forces, is illegal. Just this spring, the Maryland State Police settled out of court with the ACLU and an African-American man after having been sued for the practice of stopping black and Latino men and searching them for drugs. New Jersey police also got into trouble over stopping people on the grounds of race.

More here.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Geopolitics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TSA vs. Passenger Tussle Caught On Tape, Now Focus of Lawsuit

Posted by invizweb on July 14, 2008

Posted by Mind_Virus on Disinfo :

A New York woman has filed a $10 million lawsuit stemming from her arrest at Washington’s Reagan International Airport last year, an arrest she says was unwarranted and abusive.

Police say 31-year-old Robin Kassner was obstructing justice.

Security cameras captured the incident and the video has now been made public.

Surveillance video from inside Reagan National Airport shows Robin Kassner standing with a TSA agent who sorts through her bag.

Moments later, a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officer steps in and pulls Kassner to the ground.

Robin Kassner says “I was thrown across the room, into a metal chair and into a lady, and I was on the floor and realized I was being beat up.”

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Culture Jamming: Ad Remixer Takes A Shot At NY’s Finest, Will Ferrell

Posted by invizweb on July 11, 2008

Thanks to Greg @ Disinfo

Courtesy of Animal New York:

The subway ad pranking bandit is at it again. After emasculating Iron Man, bombing Army Wives and countless other revisions, the vandal targeted killer cops with this activisty ‘MY NYPD Killed Sean Bell’ alteration, complete with gun wileding anti-hero Hellboy. Will Ferrell’s new upcoming, probably not funny comedy Step Brothers was also put on blast with the help of equally stupid movie The Mummy—it received a slight, but not as significant modification as you can see after the jump.

See more here.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, New York | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rainbow Family of Living Light Attacked by Police and Federal Government with Pepper Spray and Rubber Bullets

Posted by invizweb on July 6, 2008

W(es) U(nruh) for Key 64 wrote:

I find the way the RFLL is covered in the various news articles fascinating:

Before Attack – News Coverage: ‘Om’-ing in Wyoming

Rainbow gathering inspires odd jurisprudence

Current News Reports:

400 members of Rainbow Family surround, attack federal officers
Forest Service officials stoned by hippie group allowed to displace Boy Scouts’ service project

ACLU plans to investigate Rainbow Family treatment

This has happened many times in the past. Here’s coverage from last year’s event:

On the highly acclaimed 17 years long running Jeff Davis Show, Deborah Stevens from the Three Shoes Posse Band interviews members of the Rainbow Family who were kidnapped at gunpoint, assaulted, tortured, falsely imprisoned in a chemically toxic environment, never even charged with a crime, then thrust out without shirts or shoes into a remote rural area by U.S. Federal Agents of the “National Incident Management Team” at the 2007 Rainbow Gathering in Arkansas.

More here.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Court Ruling Will Expose Viewing Habits of YouTube Users

Posted by invizweb on July 5, 2008

On July 2nd, the following article was written by Kurt Opsahl for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Yesterday, in the Viacom v. Google litigation, the federal court for the Southern District of New York ordered Google to produce to Viacom (over Google’s objections):

all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website

The court’s order grants Viacom’s request and erroneously ignores the protections of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and threatens to expose deeply private information about what videos are watched by YouTube users. The VPPA passed after a newspaper disclosed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental records. As Congress recognized, your selection of videos to watch is deeply personal and deserves the strongest protection.

The Logging database contains:

for each instance a video is watched, the unique “login ID” of the user who watched it, the time when the user started to watch the video, the internet protocol address other devices connected to the internet use to identify the user’s computer (“IP address”), and the identifier for the video.

Google correctly argued that “the data should not be disclosed because of the users’ privacy concerns,” citing the VPPA, 18 U.S.C. § 2710. However, the Court dismissed this argument with no analysis, stating “defendants cite no authority barring them from disclosing such information in civil discovery proceedings, and their privacy concerns are speculative.”

In a footnote, the Court references the VPPA, noting that the federal law “prohibits video tape service providers from disclosing information on the specific video materials subscribers request or obtain.” It is possible that the reference to “video tapes” in the VPPA was confusing. However, the Act is not limited to the technology available at the time of its enactment.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics, Current Events, Internet | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fight the Power~!

Posted by invizweb on July 4, 2008

As MACYS fireworks burst mid air a few miles from where I am, I am brought back to 1989 when I was 7 years old. Before I continue on with my story about the late 1990s, let me reminisce to folks about the setting of late 80s USA. In 1989 Common Era , Ronald Reagan’s reign ended and Sr George Bush would be sworn in as President, with William John Bennett (who would later suggest on his own radio show in 1995 that crime may decrease if Black babies were aborted) becoming the first National Drug Control Policy Director. A race riot broke out in Miami that same month. However, there was progress as the National Organization of Women lead the 1989 March for Women’s Lives in April garnering 600,000 in Washington to demand Pro-Choice legalization. Also, Ani DiFranco, a queer Folk musical artist formed what would be Righteous Babe Records in Buffalo, New York, to help promote progressive independent musical talent, with only $50.

On June 30 1989, less than a week before ID4, Spike Lee’s US Library of Congress recognized film, Do the Right Thing, was released in theatres nationwide after a debut at Cannes earlier that spring. The film revolved around protagonist Mookie, played by Spike, and his day to day life living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Mookie on this day would encounter racism, police brutality, and ethnic unrest. All the while, Public Enemy’s song “Fight the Power” would blare in the background no less than a dozen times., with the debutant Rosie Perez dancing to it one of the scenes.

As much as the film is recognized for the influence it would have, that particular song is lauded as one of the defining songs in the history of Hip Hop by some such as Hip Hop historian Nelson George (1), and launched the genre of Political Rap. What was the message behind the song? It was for people to be informed about current events and geopolitical history and question the power establishment in this country. Angst as it can be argued isn’t enough to cause change in the hierarchy alone. People need to look at the world macrocosmically and then get involved in the Process one way or another.

Even if one living in the USA does not believe in its administration or your “fellow Americans” you should believe in the myth of the Bill of Rights, and more importantly in yourself and your resolve. Nothing in this world is perfect. One can argue that the “Founding Fathers” found religious freedom in the Netherlands but did not want to live in a nation where they had to tolerate other religions, and were tempted by the lure of converting others. George Washington owned slaves and supported the dispatching of Shay’s Rebellion in 1786[1]. So maybe you do not want to invoke the “spirit” of the “Founding Fathers” in your activism. However, “the rebel” archetype these patriots represent in the myths about them should spur one into action especially in light of events such as the possible invasion of Iran.

Inactivity will only lead to stagnation, and that will lead to you cursing at yourself as you sit there unhappy asking yourself why doesn’t anybody do anything. Whether you are Chinese-American, Black or any Person of Color, Queer, a member of a non-mainstream religion, or in any other way nonconforming to popular society, you owe it to yourself to make the world you live in a place bearable to you and those you are closest with.

That’s my humble opinion. But what do I know? I am just some kid from the South Bronx.

(1) Mickey Z. 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know. The Disinformation Company Ltd. 2005.

For more information about the American tradition for striving for Social Justice please read the above book as it was a very fun and educational read. To learn more about the cultural significance of the song, please refer to this Salon article. And remember, FIGHT THE POWER~!

Maybe this is a good start in regards to awareness:

The Business Plot (1933-1935)

The Burning of Wilhelm Reich’s Books (1956)

1968 Chicago 8’s Bobby Seale Chained

Fred Hampton’s Murder (1969)

COINTELPRO (1956-1971)

Tuskegee Experiments (1932-1972)

Project MKULTRA (1953-1973)

Operation Condor (1969-1977)

The founding of the National Endowment for Democracy (1983)

The Iran-Contra Scandal (1983-1986)

Ruby Ridge (1993)

WTO Seattle (1999)

MLK Assassination Conspiracy Trial (1968-1999)

The 2004 Republican National Convention

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Neopaganism growing quickly

Posted by invizweb on July 1, 2008

Electa Draper reported for the Denver Post:

Give them that old-time religion — ancient religion — and then watch an exploding population of modern pagans give it contemporary twists.

Their numbers roughly double about every 18 months in the United States, Canada and Europe, according to the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

Neopaganism, whether a careful reconstruction of ancient practice or a completely modern interpretation of ancient lore, is now among the country’s fastest-growing religions.

People, especially teens, are rejecting what they see as the “autocracy, paternalism, sexism, homophobia and insensitivity to the environment” of some more traditional religions, the Canadian group concludes.

Denverite Jesse Walter describes himself as a recovering Irish Catholic, conservative Republican and Army reservist. He is also a druid who follows one of the most difficult traditions of his religion — taking his livelihood for at least a year and a day from a grove of trees.Walter, 33, who became a druid at age 18, first took a literal approach and bought land near the Wyoming state line where he could hunt. Then he and his wife, Kantis, who calls herself a generic pagan, were inspired to open a community center/coffee shop, Witches Brew, across the street from Berkeley Lake Park in north Denver.

Walter picks up litter and watches over the park. In a part of the grove sacred to him, he leaves spiritual offerings, sometimes a bottle of whiskey, to ward off wee-folk mischief.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Neo Paganism, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Lieberman Must Go!

Posted by invizweb on June 26, 2008

Joe Lieberman is a war hawk, plain and simple. He staunchly supports George Bush’s War in Iraq and John McCain’s plan to stay in Iraq for 100 years. But Lieberman’s new alliance with the Republican Party runs even deeper. He has endorsed and stumped for McCain, wants to be the star of the Republican National Convention, and has even served on a 527 group that smeared Barack Obama with a nasty attack ad.

And yet Lieberman still holds a top rank within the Senate Democratic Caucus as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The Senate Democratic Steering Committee needs to know just how much of a conflict of interest this is. That’s why we created Lieberman Must Go.

Watch the video: http://bravenewfilms.org/watch/24684101/43061?utm_source=rgemail

Here’s what you can do: Sign our petition today and tell the Senate Democratic Steering Committee to strip Lieberman of his leadership role in Congress. Then, e-mail this video to everyone you know and spread it on sites like Digg and elsewhere.

Recently in Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall suggested that the best way to limit Lieberman is by encouraging the Steering Committee to render him powerless in 2009. Lieberman must go, and you can make that happen by donating to Brave New Films today.

Yours,
Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Team

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Bodies in WTC 7: Emergency Official Jennings Interview Demolishes Official Version (and BBC’s anti 9-11 truth stance)

Posted by invizweb on June 23, 2008

Thanks to pupaganda on Disinfo.

Preface: Although I usually do not agree with Alex Jones, (or Lyndon Larouche, Webster Tarpley, or David Icke), especially his homophobia, bigotry against Neo Pagans and Left Hand Pathers, and Christian Conservative worldview, I find this story on his website to be compelling.

Kurt Nimmo wrote for Infowars:

It is obvious watching the BBC’s trailer of its “The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – The Third Tower,” set to air on Sunday, 6 July, that “Auntie Beeb” will attempt to make it appear Building 7 at the WTC complex came down as a result of fire (see trailer below). In other words, it appears the BBC will push — and defend — the government explanation hastily cooked up after attention was focused on the mysterious collapse by researchers, a collapse diligently ignored by the 9/11 Commission in its final report, or that is to say its final whitewash.

Read more.

Barry Jenning’s account.

BBC’s trailer here.

Posted in Anamolous Phenomena/ Forteana, Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics, Current Events, New York | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »