Sex, lies and karma: a shamanic view of the Assange case.

It began with the awesome power of those truths about US war crimes, infiltration of the UN etc revealed by Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, which pertain, more than anything else, to the Great Project architected through 911, to Afghanistan, Iraq and on through Iran and reaching further eastwards towards something very like the three-continent perpetual war scenario of George Orwell.

Manning, by the way is now approaching 900 days incarcerated without charge in conditions declaimed as “inhumane” by UN inspectors. Assassination of Assange has been publicly called for by various US news anchormen, decried by Obama, Clinton, UK and Australian governments as at best ‘irresponsible and illegal’.Image

Suddenly the case quantum-leaps to new memetic levels with the entry of #rape. And leaps again when Assange seeks sanctuary – understandable, when FBI and god knows which other secret services have been briefed – in, of all places, the Ecuadoian Embassy, which immediately opens the field to #correa, #chavez and #morales – the old Latin American axis of evil, with connections to #iran.

What a diabolical setup!

Suddenly we have feminists versus pro-Assange camp, which roughly equates to the position that whatever Good Assange has done in exposing dreadful US warcrimes in Afghanist and Iraq is negated by the Bad he may have done in bed with two separate women.

Suddenly we have demiurges [Galloway] coming out the woodwork to seize upon these powerful handles. There is hay to be made. It is rape. It is not rape. What is rape? Why don’t we know by now what rape is? Sweden has pressed charges, Sweden has not pressed charges. The US is interested, the US is not interested in whether Assange is extradited to the US or not. Whom to believe?

One certainly needs a reasonable grasp of the facts – if that is possible, as everything is of course reported, recorded digitally, and therefore fundamentally plastic. A good place to recap is this Australian Four Corners documentary, which, I believe, does a good job of moving between sources from the different sides of this complex equation.

The presentation of the sequence of events, at a detailed timeline level that includes text messages and tweets, allows, I think, some clarity as to what happened in Sweden – with the precaution that the documentary’s reconstructed scenes pose a risk of their own. In a very simple nutshell the timeline that emerges from text messages and other items is:

  • Arrives in Sweden for conference organised by Miss A.
  • Sleeps with Miss A.
  • Conference and after party, which he attends with Miss A.
  • Sleeps with Miss W.

The rest is somewhat murky, including how the previously unacquainted Ms A and Ms W join forces to present themselves at a Swedish police station, how their presentation led in 24hrs to an arrest warrant being issued, retracted and reissued, Assange’s presentation for interview, subsequent release pending, then the issue of an Interpol Red Notice.

Into this murkiness arrives Karl Rove, the great architect behind the invasion of Iraq, spinning of WMD stories and so on, reported to be working as a legal advisor to the Swedish government on the Assange case. Where Rove is involved, rest assured major dollar and power is at stake. It may well be that certain secrets from Iraq have not yet come to light. It may be a matter of cabal honour that Assange is brought down.

With respect to Mr Assange and the two women, for there have been an awful lot of people sticking their necks out on this subject, I’m going to stick my neck out and offer a ‘shamanic’ perspective.

In obtaining the secret Wikileaks information, Julian Assange stepped into a position of tremendous power. By and large he has handled this position with great aplomb, courage and confidence. He is 39, about the same age as me. He is a nomadic outsider living by his wits. Suddenly he is head to head with Hilary Clinton – not to mention that hoardes of invisibles behind her.

With such power comes the ability to free oneself – and great chunks of the logoidal world too – from old karma. And at the same time comes the great risk of incurring new karma.

I say this compassionately: Julian Assange overstepped the very fine mark between freedom and entanglement – and in the oldest of ways. He, Miss A and Miss W have all met each other before, in a similarly powerful situation. This time around it was Assange who entered with the glow of power around him. He accepted Ms A’s hospitality, bed and perhaps love. And then betrayed it. There you have it.

Abuse of power and betrayal. I say this compassionately. We have all made those mistakes. Over and over and over again.

Mistake made, the Assange/Ms A/Ms W case was cracked wide open. Enter Rove to seize the handles. Suddenly we have #rape versus #justice – and I suspect by nature of the dark forces that swirl around that kind of power, a stroke of incredible luck for someone like Rove that Assange’s sanctuary in the House of Rafael Corres in London opens up with #chavez #iran and to bang that drum a little more loudly, #georgegalloway comes in too… More oil on the fire, more smoke, the original stuff (viz assassination of anyone the US doesn’t like via drone etc) becomes more obscure.

Assange’s mistake is forgivable. All that power would go to your head, and it looks like he did not have a strong and good woman with him to help deal with it. Ergo the temptation to step into the shoes of a self-made James Bond, with all the womanising and partying and intrigue that the novels and movies long ago made desirable, not just acceptable. I suspect though that Julian Assange is more naïve where James Bond is cynical.

The #rape field is already fraught. The agenda in those discussions has already diverged, as new cracks are exposed in legislation, in perceptions of what constitutes rape etc. Here, my main point is the necessity of impeccability in positions of power, and that great power elevates to positions of such karmic potential that impeccability is extremely difficult. Personal karma becomes tied with karma of much broader scale. Thus the karma between Assange and the two women becomes something of global significance.

We can certainly say that people like Rove are exploiting us all – Assange, the women, the media, the legal systems of various countries, the commentators and columnists, feminists and Anonymists, and Occupiers.

But from a more abstract point of view we can see that seizing the handles of emerging accidents – exactly as they did in 911 – Rove et al are simply doing what they do – perhaps impeccably, relative to their cynical framework. They are black magicians, dividing and conquering, as they always have done.

All of this –  with its trail of tweets and articles and videos, should be seen as a great learning tool. When we learn how to handle power, we will have it. Otherwise we will be endlessly subject to that old adage – power corrupts. And we are learning. This is 2012, this is the scale and import of these events.


ACTA, PIPA, SOPA: Something wicked this way comes

That’s Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Act, Protection of Intellectual Property Act and Stop Online Piracy Act.

Since the advent of Google, Apple and facebook – and others, but especially those three – we’ve known that living our social lives online had a double edge. On one hand there is no better way to keep in touch with friends distributed over ever more diverse networks – in fact, no other way, facebook is the generator of a social dynamic all of its own. On the other hand, nothing is more traceable, trackable and indeed traced and tracked than online life.

The argument for the majority of fB users has always been: so what? I’m not doing anything wrong. Let them look. In this Al-Jazeera Faultlines programme, Thomas Drake, a “former National Security Agency” executive says the issue is not whether you’re doing anything wrong, but that some agency is collecting all of the data generated by your online activity…

Much of this data you won’t even think of as online. Switching your phone on or off is a tracked event, for example, as is going to the bank machine. But again so what? What can anyone do with such data?

Obviously, people like fB, Google and Apple, as well as the FBI, CIA, NSA, MI5, MI6 and the tech park firms that design the software they use (Qintel, Dettica etc) are not simply collecting the data and clogging servers in bunkers under the desert somewhere. They’re turning it this way and that and seeing what falls out.

In other words, what might be done with the data is already a function of the deep data mining and pattern recognition capabilities of software. In other words, just as mankind makes a new leap forwards in terms of interconnectivity of minds – the reaction to block SOPA et al was entirely netizen-generated – so that step exposes new levels of analysis (and therefore prediction) of our new behaviours.

It might be, for example, that you ran a fun-run in support of anti whaling, inviting others via fb and mobile phone. Your path into and out of that event would be easy to crawl – just as botnets crawl the internet – uncovering the network of friends and friends of friends and their interests. Perhaps nothing more comes out of this exercise than that 23.2% of people opposed to whaling buy farmed cod at Sainsbury’s or have viewed the same Eva Longoria clip on Youtube more than once.

Or it might be that statistically compelling connections between anti whaling and anti oil and anti Iraq, are revealed. Or that people who read Alan Moore comics (the image above is from his V for Vendetta) tend to oppose Senator Joe Lieberman and post querulous responses  to Clint Eastwood’s backing of Mitt Romney. It might be that farmed cod eaters are marginally in favour of a Dark Knight Returns scenario for Tony Blair, ousting Joker David Cameron. Again, so what? What can they do? (What can who do?)

 HIV virus buds assembling at walls of human cell In other words the enemy (to use standard game theory language) is within.  For the defending host, this is not as disastrous as it sounds. It is in fact easier to defend against an enemy inside one's territory than one without, for the simple reason that – if measures are taken – they can be seen better. They can be understood. This is precisely what human antibodies do when they tag foreign bodies with protein markers, which are later picked up by phages (the cells in the bloodstream that consume harmful pathogens).

HIV virus buds assembling at walls of human cell

Isn’t knowledge power? Ultimately, the state can resort to outright violence against the people, as it has in Syria. In some cases perhaps the few could win over the many with use of weapons of mass destruction, for example. But this is surely a journey of no return – and must therefore have a similar game dynamics as MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) nuclear strategy. MAD seems to obtain a sort of stability when it comes to external foes. But Syria reveals the hopelessness of MAD as a strategy when it comes to the “enemy within”. Notice how every single Arab Dictator tried to pin the Spring on external influences.

It’s not a new idea to think of the state as an organism, and organs such as MI5 or NSA as something like parts of an immune system. What is new is the emerging mathematics of game theory, which borrows from observations of biological cells under attack etc. I shan’t pretend to understand the mathematics – that is a seriously specialised language. (Interesting that it requires such a specialised language to express generalised statements.) But one key idea I am able to comprehend is that defensive strategies which resemble castles under siege are no longer viable. Why? The castle walls have long ago been breached.

In other words the enemy (to use standard game theory language) is within.

For the defending host, this is not as disastrous as it sounds. It is in fact easier to defend against an enemy inside one’s territory than one without, for the simple reason that – if measures are taken – they can be seen better. They can be understood. This is precisely what human antibodies do when they tag foreign bodies with protein markers, which are later picked up by phages (the cells in the bloodstream that consume harmful pathogens).

In fact, in the case of the game played between viruses like HIV, bird flu and dengue, the human cell must allow the attackers a certain amount of progress inside the cell, in order to learn about how they got in. Equally then, the attackers try to take advantage of this feigned surrender, perhaps with feigned attack.

Thus the state allows us to have facebook et al because it thereby learns about us en masse and in detail like never before. Indeed, the juxtaposition of dangerous memes from the political or spiritual spheres alongside more innocuous ones like pictures of what you had for dinner provides the defending host (the state) with truly organic information about our goings on.

Equally, it is thanks to cancerous invaders like Julian Assange, or the Anonymous hackers, perhaps even Al Jazeera, that the attackers (you and me) learn something about the defending and surrounding state.

It seems to me that while state and hackers may possess information – that Eva Longoria fans are Seven Seven skeptics or not or whatever the case may be – what to do with that information, thereby converting it into knowledge, hence power, is rather like a breaking wave. It might be that possessing the information about the game changes the game before it can be acted upon. Or it might be that possessing the information is a moot point unusable within the game itself – being therefore purely observational. In either case, it would seem that knowledge is not power. Rather that power is gently osmosing elsewhere. Whether that elsewhere is the hands of some New World Order, God, or intergalactic forces of Ascension would seem to be mostly a matter of nomenclature.

There is much more to say on this – watch this space. Meanwhile take it from me, Eva Longoria fans are deeply skeptical about Seven Seven.


Spin and Win

Roll up roll up if you’re not already rolled up and jammed in a tube train/behind a desk/down the pub/in front of the telly/at a sushi bar in Westfields. Priceless double think and irony going for a song. Where to start…how about here:

Screen Shot 2011-11-02 at 20.15.03

'Screen Shot' 2011-11-02 at 20.15.03

Before we delve…

Actually, before we do anything I will enable typographic safety mode: encapsulate anything that might be seen to ‘refer’ to the ‘real’ and therefore litigious world in quotes. Borrowing from the dynamic of simulation, this syntactic tongue in cheek will serve to dissimilate from any ‘statement’ ‘made’ ‘here’ that might be used against ‘author’ or ‘reader’ at some hypothetical point in the future, that point itself being hypothetically subsequent (or at least near) to another point – the point at which ‘you’ ‘decide’ ‘you’ have ‘had enough’. That point has already been algorithmically computed, according to e.g. your average proximity to St Paul’s Cathedral over the last few weeks, your average delay in paying your council tax and a complex function of the content of websites you visit – this one assuredly fattening your stakes of being Guantanamoed by forces outsourced from Serco, Capita, Veolia, First Capital Connect or whichever’s CEO is in favour on the golf course at the moment. I leave off the quotes in that last sentence by way of heroic experiment.

‘That’ said, we can continue.

Before we delve into the ‘substance’ of the ‘fresh nuclear fears’ we make two observations:

  • that ‘war’ with ‘Iran’ is a foregone conclusion, given the presentation of the ‘question’ under More on this story: “Is the US heading for war with Iran?”
  • that the Devil has a sense of humour, which manifests particularly easily through advertisement placing algorithms, here gently nudged in order to place “click here to spin and win…” on this ‘page’ ‘about’ ‘war’ with ‘Iran’.

There were rumblings from Al Bla’ira not so long ago – we can trust them to be ahead of the game at least – but what has ‘happened’ that we are being primed with images of men in trademark War On Terror suits? According the Guardian article:

The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government.

Which ‘implies’ that:

  • the US has been planning ‘this’ for some time.
  • the UK’s exemplary, democratic ‘government‘ is not in agreement over the automatic transmission of US military will to the UK.
  • therefore, any actual ‘democratic action’ will have no effect whatsoever.
and ‘could’ be seen to imply that:
  • there’s plenty of money available for military action against middle eastern countries.

Now clock this textbook doublespeak:

The Guardian has spoken to a number of Whitehall and defence officials over recent weeks…They made clear that Barack Obama has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s presidential election.

Actually, it’s Triplespeak. The statement begs the question: who are Whitehall officials to be making clear what Barack Obama might or might not want to do?

As ‘I’ wrote in The Special Relationship some months ago, I sort of want to kinda like you know like Barack. Lets indulge this fantasy a bit longer then, and look elsewhere for the ‘source’ of any ‘provocative military venture’. The Guardian article notes that:

Washington has been warned by Israel against leaving any military action until it is too late.

And searching for ‘Iran’ on ‘the BBC website’ produces:

Screen Shot 2011-11-02 at 21.20.41

'Screen Shot' 2011-11-02 at 21.20.41

Ok you got me – a little doublespeak of my own there.

But you get the point. Liking or hating Obama is about as close to the action as liking or hating Jimmy Saville, or worrying about why anyone would want to remake Total Recall. (Surely we can’t have Colin Farrell saying, ‘We’ve got get out of here!’)

‘So’ the fait accomplit of ‘war’ with ‘Iran’ would ‘appear’ to rest on Hilary Clinton’s judgment of the Iranians for

  • trying to ‘assassinate’ the Saudi ambassador to the US
  • blocking their own people’s freedom of access to the internet
The alleged assassination, according to another Guardian article, ‘began’ with this plot-point:
24 May One Iranian, Manssor Arbabsiar, meets in Mexico with a person posing as an associate of a drug trafficking cartel, but who in reality is an informant for the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

So highly spun is Clinton’s assurance that the US is doing ‘everything’ to stop ‘Iranian jamming’ of its own internet that we feel we ought to take it at face value, perhaps even conjecturing that the US wants nothing more than for ordinary Iranians to catch Colin Farrell’s remade ‘We’ve got to get out of here!’

But even a momentary fluctuation in the Whitehouse trance will have you ‘remember’ that:

The Stuxnet computer worm, thought to have been engineered by the Americans and Israelis, sabotaged many of the centrifuges the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

Only long distance spinners will have the stomach for these last statement-side improvised doublespeak devices: ‘thought’ to have been engineered, but no such doubt in the purpose of the ‘Iranian’ centrifuges.

Medallists might care to ‘observe’ that Israel ‘is’ one of the four nations outside of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 0f 1970 ‘known’ to ‘possess’ nuclear weapons.

Olympians may pause a moment in their sprint across town to the desk or Westfields or whatever, to wonder exactly how stupid ‘officials’ must think them to be.

Martyrs might have a go at pitching a tent in front of the MI6 building (ever noticed how all the gates say ‘OUT’?)

But only winners, motivated by uncomputable irony, will load up the original Guardian page and see what ‘big prizes’ the ‘spin and win’ ad has in store…

[Answers in the comment box.]

Predator v Alien 3

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Screen Shot 2011-10-20 at 22.35.00

So they popped poor, bloated, fascist-moustachioed, Al Bla’ira gadfly Gaddafi in the end. Of course they did. They couldn’t risk any further unpleasant connections with Western Regimes being exposed in a trial. It/he was well executed too. A Predator drone blasted his convoy as it tried to head for the hills, and then crazed gunmen finished him off. Not unlike the demise of Saddam Hussein, whose penultimate hole in the ground was located by drone. Reactions to both ‘demises’, and ‘that of Osama bin Laden’ (use of quotes follows the current media vogue for distancing reportage from the plasticity of ‘facts’) by the US Secretary of State were broadcast ‘live’.

Am I saying it’s all scripted? Am I asking why now – why didn’t the drone pop Gaddafi before now?

Of course not.


Naming the Earth Demons

BP are hoping that everyone has forgotten about the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and are quietly putting in place plans to drill in the deep waters off of the west of Shetland, risking an even bigger disaster.

[Greenpeace 12 October 2011]

BP faced fresh condemnation from environmentalists on Thursday after it got the go-ahead to invest £4bn to develop one of the North Sea’s largest oilfields off Shetland.

[Guardian 13 October 2011]

What can possibly be going through Dave Cameron’s domed head when he signs of BP’s latest application to destroy the Atlantic? How does he weigh these matters up? On the one hand, a thousand or so new jobs. On the other, high risk of outright destruction of the Atlantic Ocean, with all the job and livelihood losses that implies (apart from anything else).

Extracts of BP’s own risk assessment document are posted on the Greenpeace site. The document is of course a masterwork of ‘scientific’ assimilation. Graphs and tables and various axioms of oceanography are displayed, and risks summed in statements like “Oil spills may also have a direct impact on the amenity value of the coastline.”

And now we have a clue to what is going through Cameron’s domed head: The fact that this document covers these risks is enough. 

It is a curious inversion of the business of naming the demons. Their power is annulled as soon as they are named. Naming the demons is a basic (and very useful) technique of Buddhist meditation. By noticing the various distractions (demons) as they arrive – sore knee, thinking about tomorrow, thinking about dinner, about sex – we dissimilate from them. We gradually cease to identify with the distracting thoughts, and increasingly identify with that which meditates.

Lizards are doing exactly the same thing, just in an uproariously inverted manner. Cameron is able to dissimilate from Florida, from scenes of oceans covered in dead birds and fish, from black sands, from the enormous WRITING ON THE WALL…simply because the BP ‘scientists’ have named the demons. Cameron can roll the dice, approve the drilling, announce thousands of new jobs, collect serious dollar, move on six places.