May. 23rd, 2017

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Spent yesterday puttering about the yard listening, among other things, to Chris Martenson's Peak Prosperity podcast. In a recent one, he interviewed G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature From Jeckyll Island. Despite the silly name, it has been cited by many in the "alternative" crowd as a major influence on them, especially those with a focus on finance's domination by private banking.

Full disclosure: they're right, at least about how finance has warped the public's understanding of banking. A lot of money has been spent covering up what banks actually do, probably because of the lesson provided by the Bank of North Dakota. If a State (or any other municipality, for that matter) can own a bank, cycling the profits involved in lending directly into the State itself, why would that municipality bother paying interest and fees to private entities? It's a good question, one a few here in Seattle are considering.

But never mind that. Let's get back to Griffin.

In the interview, he revealed something that should be better known considering Wikipedia:

Now, Wikipedia is fine on, I guess scientific information, or... Historical information. As long as it doesn’t impact on the control mechanism of this elite that we’re talking about....

Now, once you get into those areas, then Wikipedia becomes the lapdog of those forces. Because all of the major corporations, I think that’s fair to say. Have to admit though, I haven’t check all of the major corporations to see if this is true. But I believe it is, that all of the major corporations, especially those that are dealing with ideas and products that relate on this control mechanism.... I’m talking about money. I’m talking about healthcare and that kind of thing. They have full-time people contracted to monitor Wikipedia 24-7. There’s always somebody from those corporations watching it.

So, the minute any entry is made touching on their sphere of influence.... They immediately change it or correct it. And they have, because they have done that so often, and they’re paid to do it, so they can devote their lives to it. They move up in rank and become editors because they do spend time doing it. And they become the ones who are the gatekeepers for the information on Wikipedia.

(I emboldened and deleted removed Martenson's conversational noises.)

Conspiracy in private industry is not unknown, of course. What turned Griffin on to this, he says, was a whistle-blower, one who called him one day. She said,

"I’m an editor of Wikipedia."... She says, I don’t know if you know it or not, but we’ve become deeply involved in a controversy among the editors at Wikipedia. I said, really? Over what? She says, over you....

Me? Why me? She said, well, she said, we didn’t know anything about you, but we thought when we saw your biographical information, the way it was being changed, we thought it was curious. So, we started to look into it. And we thought that it was very biased on the part of a small group of other editors in our organization....

So, we started to challenge it. And she said, if you’re interested, she said, it’s all on the internet. Most people don’t know, but the challenging mechanism by which one editor challenges the other is all available if you know the codes to get into the back room.... So, she gave me the codes. And my gosh, this is a roaring fight going on.... It was like a cat and dog fight over me.

I thought, well, that’s interesting. So, anyway, they fight, she lost the battle. She and her friend were told that if they didn’t drop this line of argument, they would no longer be qualified as editors.

(I did it... again.)

This fact that there are professionals out there who do nothing but scrub new media for the benefit of their employers should come as no surprise to anyone. That these industries can afford enough people to do the job that they insinuate themselves into that new media, also not surprising. Where billions of dollars are at stake, a few tens of thousands a year makes for a worthy hedge investment.

And so, today, we have Griffin's name somewhat tarnished with the following: "G. Edward Griffin (born November 7, 1931) is an American far-right conspiracy theorist, author, lecturer, and filmmaker." And indeed, given the bulk of his views, I would say that this description seems accurate.

For even though he is absolutely correct in describing the Federal Reserve's function, those other items of his interest? Holy crap. HIV/AIDS denial? Climate Change denial?! What the flying fuck?

And that got me to thinking. He has experienced a life changing event few get even close to witnessing: the discovery of a for-realz practice that, if broadened beyond private industry, could do wonders for our civilization.

And the blow back he got from the literally vested interests must have put the whammy-jammy on his brain, perhaps causing him to see conspiracy freakin' everywhere.

I must say, though, the interview was entertaining in Martenson's response to some of Griffin's nonsense. When he came out and started ticking off the Climate Change Denial talking points, Martenson, a phD scientist himself, got very polite. I like what commenter ParaDime had to say:

Griffin appears to be in the global warming skeptic camp. Chris handled this part of the interview in a gentle way, but did gingerly probe at the possibility that "faith-based skepticism" (my words, not his) might be putting in an appearance.



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