TIFF 09 Review: Collapse

Collapse Chris Smith

After watching Chris Smith’s latest documentary, Collapse, there is no going back: once seen its nearly impossible to forget.

Despite its focus on the now commonplace concerns for modern society’s unsustainable growth, the film ignites the imagination in a way so few talking head documentaries ever achieve. At its core is Michael C Ruppert, CIA whistleblower and activist reporter, who, like a modern day Morpheus, pulls back the veil of reality to show in a stark light the underpinning make-believe that sustains our hope in a sustainable status quo. According to him, any perception of stability at present exists solely because those in power see no political advantage to alert the public of how dire the situation has become. Not even Obama can get you out of this one, he warns; this collapse runs deep and is inevitable, and it is happening right now. The effect is assaultive, in rapid-fire succession Ruppert unloads his thesis on the audience who are left to recoil as the gravity of the situation deepens. Lacking any familiarity with the issues of ‘peak oil’ prior to seeing this film, my alarm watching the movie was at an optimal high.

In lieu of the director’s previous work, the comedic turns of American Movie and The Yes Men, Collapse, at least tonally, was an unexpected shift towards gravely sober realities (though I suspect his fictional movie, The Pool, may have softened the transition for me had I seen it). Instead of an amusing case study in left-wing conspiracy theory, the film plays it straight, calmly reasoning the inevitable breakdown of society as we know it. In a deliberate attempt to convey a first person interrogation with its subject, the film lingers in endless takes of Ruppert smoking (a very real Cancer Man of X-Files lore) as he bunkers enigmatically in a meat locker to tell his tale. Smith, to his credit, attempts to flesh out the character in his questioning, and at times we witness a less abrasive, more vulnerable portrait, but by and large the film exists to promulgate his message.

Evident by at least one of the Q&A responses afterwards, there is a kneejerk reaction to write off everything Ruppert says as ‘batshit crazy’, as the ramblings of a paranoid, self-inflated whistleblower who has taken upon himself a messianic mission to show how the end times shall pass. His plea about ‘peak oil’ and claims of political cover-ups which surround them stoke the partisan fires and make those already entrenched in politics all the more aggressively opposed to what he has to say. Putting aside the gravity and far-reaching implications of his findings (which lets be clear: is the titular collapse of modern civilization), what separates Ruppert’s ideas from this punitive charge is that they, unlike the ravings of a lunatic, hinge upon a very persuasive piece of rhetoric that allies itself with fundamental laws of nature, using sourced numbers and elementary mathematics to illustrate an imbalance between spiking population growth and patterns of consumption with the limited and diminishing hydrocarbon resources required to sustain them. Its quite beautiful in its elegance, and as much as the factual ammunition of his argument warrants consideration, equally important is how succinct and crystalline his logic appears to be as edited together in Smith’s movie. To make a deserving comparison, Collapse combines the fact-check zeal of An Inconvenient Truth with the aesthetic aspirations of Fog of War.

The ‘collapse’ at stake in the film goes beyond politics to include the personal defeat Ruppert has experienced in the wake of his activism, the price of being a crusader for a cause no one wants to accept. These asides give a sense of the person at the center of this controversy, the lighter and more emotional aspects of his personality, but I fear too they give a safe out for people who are eager to find a fallible agent at work in his message. In matters of critical urgency, the merits of an idea should not be influenced by how you feel about the person stating it, nor how deeply it may conflict with your established sense of right and wrong, but rather how well it holds up under scrutiny. Collapse, though in part a character study, is more largely a persuasive argument that deserves exposure and healthy debate as perhaps the single most pressing issue any of us are going to face in our lifetimes.

For me, it is easily the scariest film of 2009 and the high mark of my festival experience thus far.

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d lewis
Guest

I saw the film. Easily the best film of 2009.

Lisa Mann
Guest

Mike shouldn't be smoking. Now that's bat-shit crazy, smoking those cancer sticks.

Can't wait to see the movie out here in Ore-uh-gun, there really is no character like Mike, he has a way of absorbing sobering facts, digesting them and then spitting them back at you in a way you can't argue with. So glad to see a movie was made about him, and by such a pro.

Is Elmo in the movie? What a great dog. ;^)

rot
Guest

Noticed Mike Ruppert and company have linked to this and bringing quite a crowd. Please leave a comment, promote yourself, correct me, update us on whats going on now. As is pretty clear from the review I suspect I was quite moved by your message. been looking to download the U.S. Military survival manual online for free for quite some time, always delaying it 🙂

Toner
Guest

I agree with Lisa that Mike Ruppert shouldn't be smoking cigarettes, the most exploitative capitalist charade EVER…..but I love him anyway. Kepp up the great work!

OrwellianUK
Guest

Hi Mike

In case you haven't seen it, the Youtube links below are two parts of a lecture given by Michael Ruppert in Seattle in January 2005.

You will see a more playful and very eloquent Ruppert in this video if your review of collapse is anything to go by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy9JCDchk34 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ1xkYfjfsU&fe

Bill
Guest

Mike's message is irrefutable,the only question is WHEN? this collapse will happen. Collapse defined as a forced decline to a much less complex order. Oil,Coal and Gas are nonrenewable one off energy resources. This is truly perhaps the most dramatic slow moving event in Human history.Mike legitimately dramatizes to the maximum this event, I like this approach and think it's 100% valid, but many people think it's the wrong approach 'cause it scares people and people don't like people who scare them,They prefer concentrating on how will we make the transition? and we must organize locally etc. etc. This is 100% a valid approach as well. Mike is only reflecting our dramatizing civilization, look at all those Hollywood films! His observation that man is currently "petroleum man" a separate species almost to man before and after I find very apposite! Cassandra was alarmist about the end at Pompeii but she was right! The other side of the collapse peak oil debate is Richard heinberg who concentrates on how do we make the transition without the drama.But his book "The Party's Over" is far more terrifying than anything Mike has said!

Goon
Guest

My only previous knowledge of Ruppert comes from his 9/11 truther conspiracy theories about Dick Cheney masterminding the towers falling.

I'd have to judge anything he says hopefully on its own merits, but its hard walking in on doomsaying from a truther.

Goon
Guest

The only other thing preventing me from rushing out to Collapse:

As much as I love American Movie, I absolutely LOATHED The Yes Men. Absolute shit.

Goon
Guest

"the only question is WHEN? this collapse will happen."

I suppose when you make dozens of arbitrary predictions of when, one will turn out to be right and you'll be hailed as a Messiah. Works for the Watchtower society, works for kooks, cold reading psychics and politicians too.

Look, I'm glad you enjoyed it rot, but I wonder if you're prematurely gobbling everything up hook line and sinker way too fast and are going to be inundating us with buzzwords and new word inventions of your own concoctions the same way you became Mr. Culture Remix Warrior after RiP.

Can I pass you a salt shaker so you might consume a few grains?

rot
Guest

I admit entirely that the peak oil issue is completely new to me and I have not done my research on it. What I can defend in the film is the logic of his argument, how he draws his conclusions, the only thing that could be wrong is the raw data he is using. It is an ironclad argument otherwise but in the end it comes down to how much oil is there.

as for RIP, I will let you know when I stop believing in the virtues of a remix culture, Goon. Hasn't happened yet.

I guarantee though when people start to get a chance to see Collapse it is going to get ugly, it already started in my audience, and apparently the other showing had similar outbursts. In the film Ruppert lists the three kinds of reactions to a catastrophic event, and I think those are the kinds of reactions that are going to happen watching this film… there is going to be a lot of hate for what he is saying by people, there will also be, I hope a lot of constructive discussion about what he is saying.

I would like nothing better than a reasonable argument refuting his position, as much as I like chaos, I would like to hear something positive about how society is going to sustain itself in the transition, its human nature to want to hear that things are going to be alright.

Chris Smith takes jabs at Ruppert in the film, trying to find holes in his theory and position, and while there is a segment on Iraq there is no mention of him believing that 9/11 was an inside job masterminded by Cheney. If that is true Goon, I really wonder why Chris left that out, because in the Q&A he was adamant he was not taking sides and would not defend everything he says. He does say the Bush administration was adamant to go to Iraq for oil though.

rot
Guest

Also as I said in the review, "In matters of critical urgency, the merits of an idea should not be influenced by how you feel about the person stating it, nor how deeply it may conflict with your established sense of right and wrong, but rather how well it holds up under scrutiny."

I don't care if he raped his grandmother and set fire to the American flag, does his argument about peak oil hold up under scrutiny? Thats the great thing about reason, it can be impartial, we don't need to get bogged down in our biases.

rot
Guest

I bought The Yes Men at the EX as part of the 6 for $20 deal and I got to agree with you Goon, it was really bad. Collapse is most like Fog of War, if you dig on it, you would probably dig on this.

Goon
Guest

I do dig on Fog of War, which to me is pretty equal on his 'lessons' and on revealing who that person is.

"I don’t care if he raped his grandmother and set fire to the American flag, does his argument about peak oil hold up under scrutiny?"

I don't buy it when people say they 'don't care', there comes a point where it matters to almost everyone whether the person they're cheerleading holds up under scrutiny to things that aren't even involved in the issue. When it comes time to bet your own integrity on someone else, things look a little different.

Let's pretend you were an Edwards supporter in the last election. The scandal breaks about cheating on his wife… who has cancer. Do you still put in your donations to him in support of his ideas – or do you realize that hanging your hat on that guy was just handing over the election and even the debate to the other side, and making it look to other people that you are a bad judge of character?

This is why I keep jabbing at some of your 'meritocracy' ideas as being so naive – it stands in opposition to how people actually are and how they make decisions. I'm not condoning this method of weeding out bad people with good ideas, but there are also very good reasons it happens that depending on your priorities are completely reasonable and logical. In the end if you are trying to win people to your cause, and you don't do that with a liability unless you have a rock solid PR machine behind you.

Goon
Guest

I'd like to hear you expand on the Yes Men since you and I are the minority opinion on it, and even among the minority opinion we may be the minority. Many of the negative reviews were just in opposition to their politics/biased, whereas I just thought the film was clumsy as hell, boring at setting things up, and failed at every one of its payoffs. And beyond that doesnt really even work as an examination of who these people are. It's one of the ultimate "When are the gonna get to the fireworks factory?" frustrating movies for me.

rot
Guest

@Goon let me put it this way, I can care on my own time what I think about a person, I can think Edwards is a bad person, or Bush is a nazi, but to let these emotional responses influence the decision-making on critical issues, like Healthcare, like the environment, like the ethical justifications for war, serves no purpose other than to perpetuate my own base emotions, and we see this in the outcry against Obama right now over healthcare, people thinking with their gut, and while critical thinking about the pros and cons about the issue are sidelined by people injecting all sorts of personal qualms with the president, with the party, with the notions of good vs. evil, and this is why I say draw a line.

reason can be impartial, we can look at the evidence and enforce a rigid logic and parse the information accordingly. issues of slander can be dispensed with, personal biases put aside, and look at the matter of Peak Oil for what it is, a numbers game (the same people that rely on probabilities for weather forecasts without blinking, or trust unflinchingly the scientific and engineering feats that keep our modern world afloat have to accept we believe them because of the numbers, because of so-called facts). Do the numbers add up on the issue? That is the only question, not who Ruppert is and what agenda he may have.

afterwards, after the analysis has been done, each of us can do what we want with the findings, we can let our emotions take over, process them and react. It ought to be two different activities, but I do realize most people do not do this, they pre-judge and then argue towards that position, and this partisan bickering is a waste of time and energy.

as for Yes Men, I agree with everything you just said. It didn't work on any level, I can't believe Ebert wrote favorably of it.

Goon
Guest

"to let these emotional responses influence the decision-making on critical issues…"

So let's say The World's Smartest Pedophile runs for office against Stephen Harper during the next election – do you vote for the pedophile?

Do you ever vote strategically for a person you like who is more likely to win over someone you may agree with more?

Do you think politicians should never step down when faced with a personal scandal that distracts from their job? Or at least clouds their party from achieving their goals?

Just about every battle has its own unique circumstances. I don't think its wise to say that we should never let the public's emotional response dictate the (short term) debate. If there's an outcry about your standard bearer, sometimes its in the better interest of the long term fight to send him packing, or to not rely as heavily on that persons character and all the distracting baggage it entails.

It's never as simple as 'best ideas win'. And if it was that simple and we did life in such a world, you can easily write a laundry list of sci-fi horrors about how we would treat each other that way not resemble a world any better than the one we live in.

rot
Guest

alright, I will say one more thing on this thread and probably stop because if we cannot agree on the very foundation of what we are talking about, then I know where this is going.

I am NOT saying I am making my decisions solely on reason, I am saying if it is to be a tool at all you have to use it impartially, and then afterwards take what it concludes and integrate it into your whole value-system (if you don't really respect reason at all, then sure bypass that step).

I am saying on critical issues, that could have reprecussions on our very ability to live, than I think it is a good thing to reserve your emotional biases until you have considered in a rational way the pros and cons of the issue. In your analogy, the Smartest Pedophile may have a well-thought out answer to a critical problem, but I guess what you are suggesting is should I ignore that answer because of what this person does after hours? The smartest pedophile has a cure for cancer but I should not listen to it because of a character flaw? Whether he is applying for office is a different category of importance (I personally don't consider it a critical issue).

my point is we should be open to all opinions and see which hold up under scrutiny within the confines of the thought experiment. Some of the craziest opinions kick started revolutions in thought, it seems ridiculous to immediately dismiss an opinion solely on from whose mouth it was uttered. That is herd mentality, that is towing the line, lowest common denominator close-minded bullshit.

I never said 'best ideas win'… political decisions are inevitably pragmatic decisions but in order to truly make a pragmatic decision you need to know the pros and cons in a demonstrable sense, you can't just make things up like Obama is not American, or there are Death Trials, you need to process information in a controlled impartial environment of checks and balances, you need to withhold judgment, and really consider the ramifications of acts… and then after all that, in politics, you have the next step of what is the best strategy to make this work.

Henrik
Guest

In my opinion, rot is right, and Goon is right.

What makes sense and what is are hardly the same thing.

Henrik
Guest

things*

Goon
Guest

"I think it is a good thing to reserve your emotional biases until you have considered in a rational way the pros and cons of the issue."

Yes

"In your analogy, the Smartest Pedophile may have a well-thought out answer to a critical problem, but I guess what you are suggesting is should I ignore that answer because of what this person does after hours?"

YWhat I'm saying is if you want to push that persons ideas through, it would make sense to make a clearer separation between the ideas and the person making them, so they don't become so intertwined that the ideas are forever stained.

And yes, that means that if Mr. Pedophile is on a ballot that maybe it's okay not to vote for him, that maybe attaching Mr. Pedophile to Reform X does more harm to the cause than good. Part of the war in any change is a PR War, and current events show pretty clearly that they will spend billions to preserve the status quo or cripple any reform forever, and they'll even do it under the guise of 'grassroots action'.

Of course this is all a very cynical game, but I think it's highly realistic. I could just as easily make a devil's advocate argument here, but I think ultimately there's two roads – towards the bland Guy Whitey Corngood politician, or the Glenn Beck nutjob commentator.

Goon
Guest

But like I said, each case has its own unique elements. My default appraisal of most of these issues is through the US and its guantlet. Up here I think as a politician you can get away with more eccentricities in some areas and less in others.

rot
Guest

just to clarify and bring this back to Collapse:

two different questions that I think Goon you may be conflating in your hypothetical example:

Does Ruppert's Peak Oil position legitimately describe an impending threat to modern society?

If so, what is the best way to correct this problem within the political system?

So much of politics lately has been a cult of celebrity that takes away from the concrete issues, and there is also a partisan strategy of making it less about the issues and more about the pragmatics… the case in point with healthcare in America, the debate has largely moved away from whether or not Americans ought to have universal healthcare (or something similar) but can they afford it. Pushing this as purely pragmatic, something you can leave on the agenda for a couple more years unresolved is, I believe, undermining what is truly at stake in the issue of healthcare, playing politics before addressing all the pros and cons in a controlled thought experiment about what universal healthcare could provide, before tallying up the cost. It is a bullying tactic, and it happens a lot in the Canadian government as well, born of this emphasis on party first, issues secondary. tow the party line irrespective of the inherent logic of a particular issue (like the environment and Alberta's part in that).

I don't follow the 9/11 Truth commission at all, but I respect the idea that you do not take anything for granted. Amongst the highly speculative content of this campaign there could be some legitimate questions to be answered… peripherally I always wondered why the footage of the plane hitting the pentagon was classified. Whether Cheney masterminded the whole plan would take a lot of evidence to convince me, but a certain complicity by inaction I do not outright refuse to believe.

Still my point with Ruppert and Peak OIl is that it is its own thing, it could be written down on a piece of paper anonymously, its power of influence is in its reasoning, it doesn't matter who it came from, its logic makes it autonomous insofar as any of us respect logic. But I would still need to know where the numbers come from to make his case.

Goon
Guest

One mini point: if everybody really listened to ideas on their own merits, we wouldn't throw around credentials as often as we do. Everyone uses an appeal to authority sometimes. Most of the time they help an argument, even if sometimes times they're a blatant smokescreen or outright lie.

Proper credentials will keep most people from fact checking anything you say.

rot
Guest

" Part of the war in any change is a PR War"

I see that, and agree… thats why I separated it as two different questions, you cannot refute the validity of an issue like Healthcare on whether or not it will cause vocal dissent. You need to first address inherently if it is worth fighting for.

rot
Guest

"Everyone uses an appeal to authority sometimes"

that's true, and sometimes thats valid, and sometimes it is a smokescreen, those who are part of debate should be able to get down to some productive consensus on what is deemed a reliable source depending on the circumstance. I would take U.N. statistics over a conservative think tank for example. statistics are tricky though, what you really want is the raw data, thats quantifiable, and Ruppert's thesis rests upon just that. How much oil is left? How much oil was there before? Has it peaked? The rest of his argument is, in my opinion, incredibly solid.

Goon
Guest

I don't really have anything to argue against in your last post and probably wouldnt go on about anything regarding Collapse until I saw it.

All you did for me was describe what makes politics both interesting and endlessly frustrating. In the end as much as I can be a worrywort and buy into doomsaying from time to time but I wish I had more perspective about how any other time in history looked at the world/future, how much of doomsaying is human nature pessimism and how much is truly 'end of the world' level challenges.

I mean, I was around 20 when Y2K hit and I was buying pretty heavily into that something was going to happen. My dad worked on the Y2K team at his power plant and they were pretty explicitly told that something was going to happen. I worried about that endlessly and it was presented in the media that SOMETHING was going to happen. Not that long ago you yourself were going pretty Chicken Little about the Large Hadron Collider and while I'm no expert on that it seems you got a little carried away. We were all supposed to get either SARS, Swine Flu, West Nile or something else and die. It's always something. There's a point where you grow a little numb to the doomsaying and for at least a number of these supposed threats you just wait and see.

Goon
Guest

Somewhere out there is not or never was concerned about any of the issues we have listed, but is convinced the world is going to end in 2 and a half years because the Mayan Calander Company went out of production.

Goon
Guest

*Someone

Henrik
Guest

"They seem to think any risk of doomsday is acceptable for the expansion of scientific knowledge, that to me is idiotic."

Who's the idiot here? 'Any' risk?

"before you decide to do an experiment of that magnitude you need to balance what you potentially gain with what you potentially sacrifice"

What makes you believe this has not been done? Your conclusion is drastically different, but I have to say, I'd trust them over you rot.

Yelling at THC is the wrong activism. You are the Boogin' Out of science Mike Rot.

Henrik
Guest

"right, I forgot that scientists are autonomous free-thinkers who have time and the authority to consider equitably all ramifications of their experiments and have total control over what becomes of their findings."

What are you babbling about? Are you claiming to know more about the science than the scientists performing it are? Just because they're getting paid, doesn't mean they can't think about things.

"Ethics and holistic concerns fall through the cracks in a system designed to be efficient over being thorough. The great injustices in our world occur from compartmentalized endeavors all working in disregard of the wider perspective, all funded by interest groups and working to fulfill these short-sighted goals."

Well said Gandhi.

"they are willing to gamble the lives of potentially everyone on theoretical science for knowledge that is not worth the risk."

Well, who are you to decide?

I'm afraid I just don't see the logical path from dealing with energy levels never before controlled etc. to your conclusion of it not being worth it.

To be (maybe) constructive, let me ask you: Which risks are acceptable in science?

Goon
Guest

I'm just gonna sit back and let Henrik yell at you, because back when I did my reading up on the Hadron Collider, the people you were citing were more likely the outsider kooks and the explanations for its safety made complete sense, talking about the collisions that exist in our atmosphere at all times, the gravity of black holes if one were created, etc – when I read all of these things it sounded like extreme ignorance was clouding you into unwarranted fear.

"You are the Boogin’ Out of science Mike Rot."

Quoted for truth.

Henrik
Guest

I am not yelling, I am talking.

panda
Guest

Attention all idiots named Goon:

The bus is leaving at the south end of the building.

Be on it.

Goon
Guest

Dear ad hominem lurker,

http://stfuandgtfo.ytmnd.com/

Sincerely,

Idiot

Rusty James
Guest

@ The Large Hadron Collider has been delayed still from countless errors in judgment… makes me even more confident in this hubris of science.

The LHC having mechanical complications is some kind of validation of your anti-science superstition? How do you figure?

You Mr. Rot are a superstitious fool. You're all talk and big words with no intelligence to back it up.

And now you're backing some some 9/11 truther. I'm not at all surprised.

Henrik
Guest

Are you now claiming to be some sort of victim here? It's not like you are subtle in your attacks on the scientists working on LHC.

I am interested in discussion. Not necessarily getting some lecture through academia, which you have linked to in the past and complained nobody had the ability to debate you – bear in mind, the academia has been by yourself, which might explain why other people didn't find it as interesting as yourself.

To say that we are just rash, non-thinking namecallers because we talk bluntly and not through meaningless gibberish we look up in thesauruses is unfair, and you're sounding like Andrew whenever his political debates all of a sudden gets old to him.

Plenty of questions left unanswered in this thread, and yet we're the ones being blamed for not taking the debate seriously.

Goon
Guest

Which theater at TIFF to they hand the crosses out at?

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/919/jesusme.jp

rot
Guest

yawn.

Henrik
Guest

"Its not that we disagree somewhere down the line of the “debate”, there is no debate, there can never be a debate, there is shouting over each other, because there is nothing you are willing to resign your opinion to."

You are saying, if people are not willing to concede that in fact you are right and they are wrong, you have no interest in debating with their feeble minds. That's fair enough, and I understand.

Andrew James
Admin

"…you’re sounding like Andrew whenever his political debates all of a sudden gets old to him."

Because Rot's right. It's not the debate that gets old, it's the rehashing and shouting over one another that gets old. And with you Henrik it just turns into insults and name-calling. Your tiny world of ignorance/lack of perspective gets old really quickly.

Talking "bluntly" and just plain and simply being an asshole because you can't think of anything else to say are two different things and frankly just gets annoying.

Goon
Guest

"It’s not the debate that gets old, it’s the rehashing and shouting over one another that gets old."

Maybe, however…

"I have far too many times in the past attempted halfway intelligent conversations with all three of you and really the fact is none of you are particularly interested in deliberating the relative truth of an argument…"

This kind of condescension is a million times more aggravating then a thousand random ad hominems. Rot, I don't feel like you've ever conversed with me so much as wrote essays for yourself that generally fit whatever I was also talking about. I drew up that juvenile Photoshop because if I let loose what I was actually thinking after reading that, I would have broken the box again.

rot
Guest

so some time has passed, I have been reading a lot, doing some online research, and I would like to change my stance:

If being a Truther is believing in the argument posed by Michael C Ruppert, particularly in his book Crossing the Rubicon, than I proudly adopt the moniker. I am not willing to get into a debate with anyone over whether 9/11 was an inside job until I have confirmation any challenger has read in total his 600+ book of evidence. I would love nothing more than to have substantial proof against his argument, both about U.S. foreign policy and the peak oil crisis, and I have been seeking out counter-arguments online and frankly they have been nothing more than embarrassing ad hominem attacks.

I have also had a lot of time reading about the crisis posed in this documentary and I believe now more than ever that he is also right regarding it (although the pinpointing of the peak date as being 2007 is, while not yet disproved, something I hold off on believing just yet). I do have a book coming to me in the mail that is a noteworthy counter-argument to peak oil, called Sustainable Energy without the hot air, so I could still change my mind, but from all that I have been reading it is going to be hard to persuade me otherwise.

I realize most people won't read his book, and so there is the option of hearing one of his talks on mp3, which hits a lot of the points but is less effective because you do not have the the compound effect of his cited facts. It is easy to feel the avalanche of his information beat you down in a lecture, and at least with a book you can take breathers, you can stop and look up his citations. Still, for the lazy, the lecture is better than nothing.

http://www.markswatson.com/rup.mp3

I would also recommend checking out the plethora of mp3 links at the root domain, under audio.

Goon
Guest

The sky is falling

Kurt
Guest

I'm halfway through Ruppert's book, and it is EXHAUSTING to read. It starts to simply become a low audio HUM. I know this is not really good for me, but I cannot really stop reading it either.

Some of the 'software' stuff in the book seems a bit over the top to be believable, ditto the 'planes driven by brainwaves' aside, seems a little jarring to put in there (even by way of minor aside).

I like the crazy amount of foot notes, but I wish Ruppert would have taken the approach of trying to re-evaluate his 'From The Wilderness' in the now writing and try to bring things together more than simply 'reproducing post' directly. As it stands now it is a difficult book to digest in a logical sense, it is more overwhelming.

Goon
Guest

"I am not willing to get into a debate with anyone over whether 9/11 was an inside job until I have confirmation any challenger has read in total his 600+ book of evidence."

This is like when I get in arguments with Christians who refuse to talk about evolution until I've read their specific apologetic book of choice. Fair enough though, I wouldn't even dignify the truther argument by wasting any more precious moments of my life on their absolute garbage. I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for the truther movement.

rot
Guest

@Kurt

yeah I would agree stylistically, though I think it starts off very clear and rhetorically persuasive, by the end he is taking wholesale articles he had already written and integrating them in… the result is that there is a lot of repetition of points, and when he is quoting reports, he tends to give you the full context (to cover his ass), and that can be more information than you might want, but he does italicize the key passages so if you wanted you could just read those, but he is assuming you want to be thorough in your investigation.

By software I am guessing you mean PROMIS. I remember looking it up and finding documentation about it, its not a secret as you would think. doing a quick search now, you can look at this WIRED article:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/inslaw_pr
(I have not read this article in detail, this was just a quick sample)

I don't remember anything about brainwaves, but he does talk about well-documented U.S. technology to use remote-controlled planes in wargame scenarios. To me though, this whole part of his argument isn't really necessary, I mean he uses it because he can cite it and because there is skepticism about how these particular terrorists could fly the planes the way they did (doing an impossible turn around the Pentagon) but you could take that whole aspect out entirely, without undermining the rest of his argument.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

@Rot " I mean he uses it because he can cite it and because there is skepticism about how these particular terrorists could fly the planes the way they did (doing an impossible turn around the Pentagon) but you could take that whole aspect out entirely, without undermining the rest of his argument"

I kinda wished he did, it undermines (some) of my ability to take other things seriously if he felt the need to include that, otherwise I'm getting a MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS vibe. But I do like the way he sets a lot of the points in the book up, just other parts seems sloppy, random and probably worthy of revision.

The 9/11 Insider trading is probably the most convincing argument that I've hit in the book. It is also the most coherently written portion.

There is stuff beyond the PROMIS type software, although some of the claims he puts even on the PROMIS stuff seem more like science fiction than reality, the logistics and getting 'usable data' out of it seem boggling and highly error prone.

Rusty James
Guest

@ By software I am guessing you mean PROMIS.

oh god. PROMIS conspiracies are ancient. The name popped up all the time in my youthful days of pouring over conspiracy theory non fic.

I would immeadiately disregard any book that mentioned it. It's probably one chapter away from Moon landing hoaxes and faces on Mars.

rot
Guest

"I kinda wished he did, it undermines (some) of my ability to take other things seriously if he felt the need to include that, otherwise I’m getting a MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS vibe."

not that I have seen the movie, but wasn't it based on real events? Thats a genuine question because I don't know, looking up wikipedia: "The book examines connections between paranormal military programs and psychological techniques being used for interrogation in the War on Terror. The book traces the evolution of these covert activities over the past three decades, and sees how they are alive today within U.S. Homeland Security and post-war Iraq."

I agree though, the Insider Trading chapter blew my mind.

Rusty James
Guest

@ there is skepticism about how these particular terrorists could fly the planes the way they did (doing an impossible turn around the Pentagon)

Other things these people claimed were impossible:

melting steal

making a cell phone call on an airplane

They have a fuzzy understanding of the word "impossible" and an exaggerated idea of their own competence.

These holy grail texts that skeptics are horribly ignorant for not reading are invariably hyped up, repackaged same old news.

rot
Guest

Just curious, Rusty… what is the conspiracy about PROMIS and what evidence do you have to say that it doesn't exist? I genuinely want to see the case against it.

I can't now, but if you wish I can come back with Department of Justice records (I was a gov librarian) to say not only that it does exist, its not even a conspiracy. The conspiracy, as far as I can tell, is whether certain governments are using it covertly. That Wired article I linked to above goes into a lot of detail about this, its just a matter of providing the legal documents it references.

rot
Guest

Unlike how I am being portrayed, if only by association with the label Truther, I am actually sincerely interested in seeing the evidence against conspiracy… the great skeptic argument. The stuff I have found so far is laughable, it doesn't go much further than these gut responses I am hearing here, i.e. moon landings, intelligent design comparisons.

For the record, I watched Loose Change and I watched the Popular Mechanic counter-argument and I agree with the skeptics on those points, in this book there is no talk of melting steel or missiles hitting the Pentagon.

This is why I say read the book before expecting a full-on debate from me, because its nice to have the same reference points to discuss from.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I can’t now, but if you wish I can come back with Department of Justice records (I was a gov librarian) to say not only that it does exist

I didn't say it doesn't exist, considering the ammount of babbling written about it I would hope it at least exists. What I'm saying is that it's just age old fodder for conspiracy theory word salad.

There also really was a mysterious crash in Roswell NM and there really was an Area 51 but etc etc.

Rusty James
Guest

@ For the record, I watched Loose Change and I watched the Popular Mechanic counter-argument and I agree with the skeptics on those points, in this book there is no talk of melting steel or missiles hitting the Pentagon.

So they threw out all the weakest claims that are obvious bunk. Inflate the importance of less sexy but impossible to disprove (or prove) insinuations about insider trading or whatever. And then out of equal parts padding for length and OCD behavior they weave in the standard CT boogey men like PROMIS, Project Paper Clip, MK ULTRA, The Trilateral commission. This also serves to insure that no credible person ever reads the book let alone bothers to debunk it = WIN!

This is the natural life cycle of this wuu-ey nonsense. I predict this guy's next book will include an appearance by either: Alien Grays, Men In Black, Evil Lizard Men, El Chupacable or Ghosts.

rot
Guest

so let me get this right for the record, Rusty, there exists a program that can "integrate innumerable databases without requiring any reprogramming" (WIRED) making it an indispensable tools for tracking people and their online activities and no intelligence agencies are using this technology? And this is true after the PATRIOT ACT was enacted in your country?

Now is that Scout's Honor?

Goon
Guest

"the evidence against conspiracy"

What a laugh. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the truthers are absolute failures when it comes to this, they are the ones making the claim that ultimately boils down to 'they're part of the conspiracy!' every time they are debunked. The amount of things one has to believe in order to have Cheney as this evil mastermind is astounding. Never walk into a Scientology building, because I fear you wouldn't walk out.

rot
Guest

spare me the ad hominem attacks Rusty, and show me the evidence for the defense, assuming of course you don't want to look at the evidence of the prosecution, I at least am interested in hearing the other side.

Rusty James
Guest

you know what, you're right. I've been a fool. I googled his name and the evidence is overwhelming
http://www.stormfront.org/forum/archive/index.php

Rusty James
Guest

@ Rusty, there exists a program that can “integrate innumerable databases without requiring any reprogramming”

There exists a gov progrm called PROMIS that was developed whenever, I don't 1980's probably. After that, I would take everything with a serious grain of salt.

Rusty James
Guest

@ spare me the ad hominem attacks Rusty

No. You deserve them.

rot
Guest

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"

I have pointed you to the evidence, 600+ pages… but you refuse to look at it because you already know what's in it. Now in return I would love to see the evidence to the contrary, you know, if you are done with the name-calling hyperbole. seriously, you both seemed well-informed about this, all I ask is for is your sources. When I read them and can make up my own mind on their validity, I will gladly recant, because I have no vested interest in holding this belief.

Rusty James
Guest

I just want to point out I never claimed to have read or heard of the book. I was only trying to warn you that if it's got (as Kurt says) long rambling chapters about PROMIS then that's probably a bad sign.

He may as well have written that Dick Cheney knocked down Building 7 by recombobulating the everything-bad-atronic 5000.

In my opinion.

Goon
Guest

I guess the fact that I havent read Dianetics or the Secret means I can't point out what is self evident, that's its ridiculous bullshit.

You'd have to believe Cheney has super powers and one of those Men In Black mind erasers to swallow the shit with him involved. The Darth Vader joke has gone too far. 9/11 truth may be nonpartisan, but it has certainly specifically become the cancer of the left. I don't even give a shit if you just want to write me off as ad hominem, like I said, I just as soon write off any new Truther convert entirely and instead now just take pleasure in making fun of them. Anything else would be showing too much respect to this horseshit. And that's what it is, horseshit.

rot
Guest

look, whatever, this bores me, if I wanted to read this I would go to back to the skeptic forums.

neither of you will read the book, so be it. neither of you will educate me on what I should be reading, so be it.

Rusty James
Guest

And I sincerely apologize for my cynical indifference. But I put in my time with the first round of this nonsense. I learned the arguments did the research. Now I'm just supposed to forget all that and approach the second run with an open mind because this time they have TOTALLY WAY BETTER EVIDENCES OHMYGODZ!!

I know very little but so far I find Version 2.0 less credible. At least the first wave guys were talking about building materials and engineering and not discontinued regan era government contracts.

Rusty James
Guest

@ but it has certainly specifically become the cancer of the left.

that's not entirely true. Many of the most outspoken truthers are right wingers. Don't forget their raucus support for Ron Paul (who was not actually one of them but close enough I guess) Alex Jones who is a conservative christian end timer and the storm front I just linked to.

If Rot needs a debating partner he could probably go fish up Tom Baychuck.

Goon
Guest

You're the one who showed up deciding to tell everyone you know believe something retarded, and that you wont pay any attention to us unless we also read your Official Something Retarded Guide. if that sounds mean and dismissive, it's because one good turn deserves another.

"Now I’m just supposed to forget all that and approach the second run with an open mind because this time they have TOTALLY WAY BETTER EVIDENCES OHMYGODZ!!"

Don't you dare say Loose Change is bad until you watch the new special edition! then next years! and the year after that!

Goon
Guest

Most outspoken doesn't necessarily mean most numerous. So much of the 9/11 truth is rooted in the hate of the Bush administration to the point people believe they're capable of anything they want to imagine. Just as now Obama apparently has a murder list longer than Clintons, blew that insane person in a limo, is a Muslim, isn't american, and wants to kill your grandma.

Rusty James
Guest

What I would recommend Rot, and this is serious but will sound sarcastic or useless, is to calibrate your bullshit detector. The truthers have all the tell tale markings of a fringe, disempowered would be revolutionaries yearning to play soldier on the weekends.

And it's true I havent' read the book. But I can't read every book that some one I know tells me is THE BOOK that will finally enlighten me. I mean, I volunteered to do that once and I still haven't made it through that damn Bible (oh, and now there's a NEW testement! bullshit!). I flipped through his site, did the cursory googling, waded through storm front. I don't see anything to distinguish him from a run of the mill crank.

Goon
Guest

I'm not even dismissing peak oil. Fuck, I mean I'm flatly pretty ignorant about a lot of issues around peak oil. But the second you wrap that up in 9/11 truth is the second I stop listening to you and find someone else. Ruppert would be just as well off in my eyes blaming peak oil on thetans, reptilians or the number 4.

Rusty James
Guest

@ Most outspoken doesn’t necessarily mean most numerous. So much of the 9/11 truth is rooted in the hate of the Bush administration

that's true. But most of the left's sacred cows are not associated with the movement. Mike Moore, Noam Chomsky, Denny Kucinich. The last celebrities I remember bringing it up were those conservative christian halfwits from the hills.

I wouldn't discount the post-milenial bible prophecy NWO wing of the trutehrs.

I've always thought Mr. Rot's politics were his own brand of left-wing authoritarianism. I seem to recall a post were he was endorsing state sponsored torture.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I’m not even dismissing peak oil.

absolutely. Only an ignoramous would dismiss the stragic value of oil. But the Truthers just don't connect the dots convincingly.

They make up for it with a whole lot of dots though.

rot
Guest

I am finding this kangaroo court hilarious by the way.

keep throwing your mud around boys.

Rusty James
Guest

Well Goon, looks like another horse successfully flogged beyond recognition. Praise Xenu! Another glorious row three thread!

Rusty James
Guest

Horses flogged, Kangaroo courts. All we need is a dancing bear and a mothman and we open our own zoo.

Goon
Guest

Now if we can just coax Jenny McCarthy into joining this thread, we can really have some fun.

Rusty James
Guest

uh oh Rot BAD N00Z

Although Ruppert seems to be exposing the machinations of the Global Elite. He is actually playing right into their hands.

looks like the rabit hole goes deeper than we ever thought!

but I kid, I kid.

rot
Guest

How about reading The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski, he was United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.

I haven't read it yet but plan to, you know, one of those crazy conspiracy theories about geostrategic imperatives that I am sure a country like America wouldn't sully itself being involved in.

Rusty James
Guest

@ if we can just coax Jenny McCarthy into joining this thread, we can really have some fun.

well that's all real. Jenny and Jim, with their awesome knowledge of numerology and the kaballah, are doing the work of angels.

STOP VACCINATIONS!! STOP VACCINATIONS!!

Goon
Guest

Bart: OK, it's not painfully clear the adults are definitely paving the way for an invasion by the saucer people.

Milhouse: You fool! Can't you see it's a massive government conspiracy? Or have they gotten to you too?

Lisa: Hey! Hey, hey, stop it! Stop it! Why are you guys jumping to such ridiculous conclusions? Haven't you ever heard of Occam's Razor? "The simplest explanation is probably the correct one."

Bart: So what's the simplest explanation?

Lisa: I don't know. Maybe they're all reverse vampires and they have to get home before dark.

Everyone: Aah! Reverse vampires! Reverse vampires!

(later)

Milhouse: OK, here's what we've got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people…

Bart: Thank you.

Milhouse: …under the supervision of the reverse vampires…

Lisa: [sighs]

Milhouse: …are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner! We're through the looking glass, here, people…

Rusty James
Guest

Rot, the threads moved on. If you have something to say about how vaccinations are POISONi!!!!!!ng our children then I'd like to hear it.

Rusty James
Guest

Goon, how did you get your hands on a chapter from Ruppert's latest opus!!!

are you with THEM! WHat d0 U NO??!?!?!

Rusty James
Guest

Well we're at 90 posts. I think we can carry this puppy to 150 on pure ridicule.

I'll just open up my standup notebook to the truther section…

rot
Guest

Ockham's Razor, so you mean, America is Good, and other countries are Evil? I must have missed that day's medication.

Goon
Guest

The alternative of "Dick Cheney couldn't have masterminded 9/11" is apparently America Good Not America Bad.

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=9

rot
Guest

I love how the truthers are connecting dots at random, yet the skeptics get free reign to do the same thing "how could Loose Change guy be alive if he exposed something" ergo sum, no conspiracy.

anyways, its been fun. hope to see you again on the next thread.

Goon
Guest

It's the difference between making jokes and being one.

rot
Guest

seems like a rigged game.

Goon
Guest

Another conspiracy!

rot
Guest

In a legal case the truth of the matter is never known, but given the constraints of a fair trial each side is allowed to give their case as to the truth. Evidence is usually not ad hominem attacks and cartoon captions but legal documents, fixed timelines, credible witnesses, probable cause, intent and motive, and a jury when provided with all the facts is able to make an informed decision on the matter. Its not what colour underwear was Cheney wearing in the control room, or were their reptiles involved, its what in lieu of the evidence appears true.

This kangaroo court here is nothing more than the pair of you waving your dicks around getting hard doing it.

Ruppert's book poses the argument as evidence in a court of law. I think, considering the shit you are referencing here, you would be quite surprised how detail-oriented his case actually is, what I was surprised about reading it was how accessible the information actually is he is citing, how much of it there is, how much of it is legally documented and credible, how it is not a shot in the dark, but fits within a complete map of American foreign policy since Post-WWII. As Kurt commented on above, the Insider Trading chapter alone is indisputable evidence of conspiracy, but that is like 1/500th of the points Ruppert is working from. He could have stopped there, on that one point, and at the very least the responsibility would be on the government to follow through in an investigation into it, but they did anything but. They had the means, they even had a department specifically set-up to oversee this very kind of activity, and they did nothing.

Or you could look at the lineage of the Kean Commission adjudicators, which, speaking of rigged games, my God, every single one of them wouldn't pass as even a credible witness, let alone arbiters of truth on the matter, when you consider how each are tied to the Bush Administration.

no magic bullet needed.

but you would say connecting dots, two big dots, nothing else… but like I keep saying, the evidence in this book is exhaustive, if after the 456th corroborated fact you are still hoarsely calling out for arbitrary connecting of dots, then I guess there is no justice in kangaroo court.

Ruppert has never been sued for liable in any of the facts he published in his book, and he names names, its not like he is sugarcoats anything.

but whatever, hang me now and go back to your regularly scheduled program.

rot
Guest

by the way, here is another conspiracy:

http://www.smeggys.co.uk/operation_northwoods.php

in it, The America government was planning on flying planes into buildings in order to create false pretenses for war.

silly declassified documents…

Rusty James
Guest

insider trading! At last the truth has surfaced! Skeptics will have to take stock of this brand evidence!

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/putcall.asp

I'm not saying you have to believe snopes. I'm just saying that this guy's not unearthing band new evidence. It's the same old stuff repackaged. Like when they sell spagetti-O's shaped like Ninja Turtes, but it's still the same old garbage spagetti-O's.

I didn't read the snopes article so I don't know what it says. I suspect it shows jiggering data by adjusting sample size to give the appearence of greater frequency or exagerate a neglibable pattern. Or one of the other thousand ways that data can be skewed in favor of a dishonest argument.

Rusty James
Guest

Darth Chaney's evil plan for world domination was a rejected plan declassified in 1962.

Diabolical!

rot
Guest

I didn't know facts had expiry dates…