April, 2009


Mythic Prelude:

Hiding the Spider

Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for April, 2009. The first thing to say as we begin our mythic journey this month is -- please, Don't Do It! Put down that Molotov cocktail, and restrain your urge to throw it at the palatial home, private jet or gold-knobbed desk of your banker, or other buccaneer capitalist, assuming you can even get a glimpse of them behind their RPG-proof windows that are so dark and thick that they may have been cast from the impossibly dense core of a collapsed black dwarf star.
Would there be a certain emotional satisfaction and vendetta value in leveling the playing field by blasting away everything on it, so that the ones who've been gambling with trillions of other folks' dollars now have even less than the rest of us? Sure. Whether revenge is hot and sweet, or it is, as one Renaissance cardinal commented, a dish best tasted cold, let's be practical. Justice cannot be well dispensed by one who's in a rage, which is why Justice always holds a sword and scales instead of a firebrand and a pendulum. And who can afford to waste a liter of gasoline these days? There now. That's better. Instead of burning anything, let's tell a few stories about what we're going to create in the months and years to come.
As you already know, the hardest thing about coming up with new mythic material right now is that so many lies, wishes, excuses, rumors, fantasies, fears, bubbles and balloons are flitting over the landscape and flying through the sky that it's become nearly impossible to create new fiction that will look nearly as imaginative as what is actually going on, if indeed there is anything actual in this increasingly Reflexive Universe. "You can't make this stuff up," the New York Times wrote a few days ago in its editorial "Springtime for Mao," about a new musical play that director He Ni-an is assembling with production values from Broadway, Las Vegas and Tokyo anime to tell . . . guess which famous story. The Long March? The Romance of the Three Kingdoms? Yang Kuei Fei, the legendary Jade Beauty for whom the love-besotted Son of Heaven threw away everything?
No, the original story is not from China. This exciting adaptation of a scenario from another medium is, in fact, being crafted by Zhang Jun from a German script by that merry Till Eulenspiegel of political economists, the missing Marx brother, Karlo. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. The Beijing government assures us that Prof. Zhang will keep Das Kapital, the Musical as faithful as it can be to Marx's surplus theory of value. We can picture the spirit of the old Buddha of Infinite Class Struggle hovering there by the central chandelier in the immense People's Hall of Responsible Engineering, beaming as the actors and acrobats tell their story: Some workers discover that their corrupt boss has been exploiting them. Most of the proles are resigned to this, while others begin to bargain with the crook, who greatwalls them skillfully until some hotheads in the group launch a revolt so furiously effective that it destroys the enterprise. By now Karl's geist will surely be weeping with joy as the cast of hundreds comes onstage to sing of the glorious future that can be built on the wreckage of the vicious old slave society that has now been swept away.
Except for one thing. Those heady days of wiping out the entire landlord class some 60 years ago -- in the Year of the Ox before the one we're in now -- are long, long gone in the New China that has something like American capitalism, only mandatory and far less bozotic. The new theme coming from Beijing -- support your public officials and company managers, no matter how clueless and crooked they are, so that we can all prosper and be free someday -- sounds intriguingly like tunes we've heard for millennia now from plutocrats and prelates who seem invariably to grab all the goodies right now, while persuading the rest of us that delaying gratification builds character, and walking emaciated through this vale of tears will win us all box seats in heaven.
Karl's ghost leaves the building even before the curtain comes down on the premiere of Das Kapital, as pundits everywhere tweak cliches about how the old Ur-Kommunist is spinning in his grave. To find out how all of this is playing throughout the world, the Chinese are now apparently conducting secret audience market research so subtle that until a few days ago, nobody suspected that anything gamy was going on. Who was the first to sense that someone was stealing information from their computers, and to ask the University of Toronto's Munk Center to investigate? You couldn't make this scenario up either. Most of us would figure, naturally, that the vigilant trouble spotters who triggered the probe must have been in the top levels of government or international business, right? After all, those places are full of economists and engineers from the most prestigious universities. They run countries and even corporations, right?
Yes they do. But the "vast spy system" that has infiltrated 1,295 computers in 103 countries, according to John Markoff's article, was first suspected by the computer staff of the Dalai Lama, who smelled an Earth Rat and asked the Canadians to find out what was going on. They could have been Wangyal and the other Tibetan computer guys I worked with briefly at Tibet House in New Delhi in 1993, still using, for all we know, the same quarter-century-old DEC monitors with lime green Courier letters. Who'd ever have guessed this one? Who but George Carlin or Firesign Theatre could imagine that somewhere in the stratocumulus of Shambala, pious people at DharmaSoft and Tilopa Tech are flipping their digital dorjes to gain far greater clarity than anyone else? The Tibetans, like His Holiness, are too modest to observe that there is something to be said after all for being the Ocean of Wisdom, rather than the Sump of Greed. And they haven't accused the Chinese of anything, even though the Munk group found that almost all the computers that perpetrated the intrusions are based in China.
Admirable restraint in these accusatory times. But then the Munks and the monks are not power players or traders in trillions, just patient people who tend to pray and probe slowly. After all, just because the computers are located in China, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Chinese government had any clue about what criminals right under their noses are doing. Who does in any country? The enormous cybertheft could have been engineered by anyone. "We're a bit more careful about [assigning blame], knowing the nuance of what happens in the subterranean realms," said the Munk Center's Ronald Deibert. "This could well be the CIA or the Russians. It's a murky realm that we're lifting the lid on." Gosh. Are you as shocked to hear this as I am? If American spooks might plant a computer espionage operation in China and blame it on the Chinese, then there's no telling what else they might try. It sure is a good thing they didn't pull the 9/11 caper and then blame it on a fabricated cabal called Al Qaeda, and a certain Saudi business associate of the American capitalist family that owns Eli Lilly and controls the Carlyle group.
Whew. So many big surprises and whopping lies that one nice way to take a breather right now might be by looking at a littler fib that's still relevant to the soft-core chaos of our financial posture as most American consumers perceive it. As you know if you read the March UFC prelude after the middle of last month, one of the American presidential quotes about the banking system -- the one from Mr. Lincoln -- turned out to be a fake. So, to make amends, here are a few real sentiments from other presidents and business experts:
"There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation," said John Adams. "One is by the sword. The other is by debt."
"The bold efforts the present bank has made to control the Government," Andrew Jackson warned as he fought to shield his country from the disaster of a national bank in private hands, "are but premonitions of the fate that awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this system, or the establishment of another like it." Jackson won the battle, but his countrymen later lost the war when private banks established in 1913 a central bank that would soon have the power to create money out of nothing through the fractional reserve trick; to issue its own notes in lieu of a true national currency, thereby saddling the people with perpetual debt; and to mask its machinations behind a screen of gibberish and arrogance so thick that it can defy, as it does right now, the elected officials who want to find out just how much money has lately been given to whom in the biggest bank robbery in history.
From the beginning, the consortium of US and foreign banks who formed the Federal Reserve has covered its tracks and laundered its lode so successfully that most people have never had a clue that anything was amiss. They thought then, still do, that the taxes they pay to the IRS every year are going directly to their government to pay for its operations. Even now, they are unable to see that the IRS is a private company acting as a collection agency for a group of banks; and as neither the Constitution of the United States nor any federal statute obliges any citizen to give a penny of his money to any private company, the entire tax system is a fraud, like the rest of the "fake economy," as the late Bill Hicks called it.
All along, though, those who were close enough to the heart of the machine to hear it beating have always known that, as so often happens on our planet, the truth of the matter is very different from what most people believe. And the force of the people's habits of belief, their collective mental inertia, is so great that it cannot be budged even when an authority as respected as Henry Ford declares, "It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
At about the same time that Ford put this statement in the air, two years before the Crash of 1929, Bank of England director Sir Josiah Stamp had this to say at the University of Texas: "The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin. . . . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. . . . Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. . . . But, if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit."
So -- why don't people wake up to what is going on, when so many very credible voices warn them? Why, even when the emergency finally arrives and they are compelled to take action, do so many of us still not see what is causing the problem, and instead rage at those others -- the same perceived social, racial, religious and ideological enemies that their parents taught them to start despising even before they were old enough to say "bad"? We do not have time here for a whole Treatise on Human Nature, especially now that the UFC prelude stays on its slimming regimen, and will soon be down to a svelte 3,000 words. One good explanation comes from philosopher George Soros, who has used his immense wealth to support progressive political and social projects. His Theory of Reflexivity is an attempt to explain why so many financial decisions are based not on any criteria grounded in the actual energy and mechanics of money or markets, but rather on the "reflexes" of opinion and belief that have nothing to do with what money is or how it works.
If he's correct in supposing that many people base their investment decisions on factors that are irrelevant, is it likely that people will have terrible trouble with their money when they expect it to behave according to agendas that are evangelical Christian, or patriotic, or conservative, or amphibian -- as in "Leverage Me Tender," Mark Fiore's hilarious cartoon about frog-backed securities? Is a society that agrees with Ronald Reagan that "Facts are stupid things" likely to find that somehow its money is no longer quite as factual as it used to be, and seems even to have suddenly disappeared? Are its people ready to see that they're now living in a Quantum Economy that is an arrangement of energies, not an inventory of things? Not yet. To get there, they'll need to see some palatable stories that can make the terrain a lot easier to read than economic jargon and governmental obfuscation.
What are the great mythic stories about economies, and about how they fall through greed and deceit, and rise again through redemption by courage and love? The closest thing to them may be cautionary tales about the root of all evil, like The Pardoner's Tale from Chaucer, about the three men who wind up killing each other because each one would rather have the whole pot of gold under the tree than share it. Wagner's Das Ring des Nibelungen is, on one level, about how a dragon and a dwarf who want all the Rhine gold set in motion events that will cleanse heaven and earth of all the old trouble, even the squabbling gods, as a world-ending cataclysm sends the gold back to the bottom of a river flowing through a pristine new Earth.
But otherwise, apart from a few things like Frank Norris's novel The Octopus and Arthur Jensen's boardroom lecture in the movie Network, there really is nothing in American art or culture that looks at the economy on a grand mythic scale, right? Not quite. The greatest of all 20th-century myths about economy has been hiding in plain sight for over a century now, first as a beloved story, then as Hollywood's first masterpiece of color cinematography, then as a smash Broadway musical, then as a movie musical. Name that tale.
You're right again. It's The Wizard of Oz. As Ellen Brown shows in her bombshell book Web of Debt, Frank L. Baum's innocent children's tale is in fact an allegory about the American financial system in 1900, when a furious debate raged between capitalists who wanted the US dollar backed by gold, and populist farmers (the Scarecrow) and industrial workers (the Tin Woodsman) who wanted a standard of silver, which they termed "free" because it was more abundant than gold, and thus harder for banks to corner. The climax of the battle came when the Cowardly Lion, William Jennings Bryan, delivered his Cross of Gold speech, a paean to economic freedom so powerful that even though he lost the election, he and his allies succeeded in beating back the relentless greed of the banks. Or at least they held out until 1913, when J. P. Morgan finally got the Federal Reserve Act passed, and began to turn America into what it is now, a helpless cash cow for banks to milk until the Chinese and other nervous investors cut off the clover.
The elements of the original Wizard of Oz story that mutated or vanished between 1900 and 1939 are revealing. The original slippers the Good Witch gives Dorothy for her protection are silver, of course, not ruby. And the most fearsome adversary the newly brave Lion fights at the climax of the story is not a Wicked Witch with flying monkeys, but a gigantic black Spider representing the House of Morgan and the rest of the banking cartel. The Spider somehow vanished from the story by the time MGM got it on screen, along with any inkling that the Oz of the title was a gold ounce. The banks succeeded in hiding the Spider, so that a little man behind a curtain seems to operate the "mighty and terrible Oz," and to have no one operating him.
But now that we are starting to see the Spider again, and he's grown huger than ever before, how do we get ready for the ultimate Battle with the Banks that is shaping up from now through the summer of 2010?
By understanding the money system better, and seeing clearly why Peter Joseph, in his superbly lucid script for The Zeitgeist Addendum, called it "one of the most unquestioned forms of faith there is."
By learning about the Venus Project founded by Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows, and its aim of replacing the existing scarcity-based system of debt with a sustainable resource-based economy. While we may balk at trying the implement all at once all six of the "actions for social transformation" advocated by both the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement, it is clear now that all of them will be essential features of the Aquarian evolution that has now begun, and gains momentum. The actions are: (1) Expose the Fed Cartel, and the banking fraud; (2) Turn off the TV news, and protect the Internet; (3) Boycott the military; (4) Boycott the energy companies; (5) Reject the political system, as "The illusion of democracy is an insult to our intelligence"; and (6) Create critical mass. Join the movement.
By getting up to speed on the time from now to 2012 with resources such as Barbara Hand Clow's The Mayan Code and the 12-part video series David Wilcock on 2012.

By accepting that the whole rotten structure cannot be reassembled, and it is up to us to get creative enough to replace it with something that works. Most politicians and economists will be useless for this purpose, as we see that, amazingly enough, the people whose numbers are dead-on are astrologers like Arch Crawford, whose fusion of "planetary cycles and technical analysis" has made him one of today's most trusted market analysts. In the April Crawford Perspectives, he writes,

"Although economic problems show a touch of amelioration in recent weeks, the underlying deadly toxicity will not go away, and governmental efforts to reflate the diminishing debt bubbles is doomed to an ignominious finale. They want us all to go out and borrow and buy some more? Are they totally insane? That game is over.  The problem was created by the pumping up of the debt bubble. The only ways to fix it [are] to work off or write off the massive debt burdens, or to print us into a massive hyper-inflation. Either of those will take years of frugal scraping and saving. Meantime, our descendants will be held accountable for our profligacy – probably by a return to a feudal lord and serf relationship between the haves and have-nots, unless, of course, we bring back the guillotine! The last time that Uranus made this approaching angle to Pluto, both the U.S. revolution and the French revolution unfolded before an astonished world." 

"Bailout and band aid responses," says Guru Rattana, "aren't going to cover up (or solve!) our personal or collective structural dysfunctions. We have ignored the truth and sacrificed our integrity at the cost of our sanity and well-being. The bubble has burst. There is no turning back and no propping up the house of cards."

Time to start coalescing and rebuilding under the energy of the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction, and to find the right work songs to lighten the labor. Ideally in the heart key of F#. Keep Holding That Frequency.

Please help support the Universal Festival Calendar and Hermes 3.
The UFC comes in a convenient e-mail Newsletter for $25 a year, $50 for three years. A lifetime subscription is $100.
Click here to subscribe, or donate to the work of Hermes 3.


The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
2012: The End of What?

Copyright 2009 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.