Guns have been a major hot button topic this year and for good reason. The United States has witnessed two of the most horrific mass shootings in its long, bloody history of mass shootings in 2012. In between Aurora and Newtown has been an increasingly surreal wave of gun violence that has involved peoples as diverse as neo-Nazis and NFL football players. As the carnage spirals out of control America is becoming increasingly divided over firearms, each side largely acting in predictable fashion.
Liberals are still leading the charge for stricter laws regulating firearms, especially military-style weapons. Meanwhile conservatives continue to insists that the solution to the wave of gun violence is even more guns, with at least one Republican Congressman arguing for teachers being armed. Naturally the conspiratorial media sees Newtown at the latest black ops bid to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, thus paving the way for a UN-led Red Dawn-style invasion, or something to that effect.
As has become the custom, gun sales have gotten a healthy boost from the Sandy Hook shooting. Even the slightest hint of stricter gun laws, be it the political rhetoric in the wake of a mass shootings or Obama being re-elected, has meant big business for the gun industry. Despite the perception of Obama as an arch gun-grabber, the president has done little more than talk about stricter gun control, much to the delight of the industry. Indeed, some within the industry are even referring to Obama as the gun salesman of the year. Before all is said and done, he may be the greatest of all time.
This has led some astute-types to question the gun industry's role in all of these mass shootings. Christopher Knowles recently published an excellent piece to this effect on the Secret Sun, which can be read here. Knowles has been calling BS on the prospects of a federal gun grab for a while now and until recently I would have been inclined to agree with him. But on Saturday I read an article on MSNBC that put me in doubt. It said:
"Pot smokers in Washington and Colorado are inhaling a little easier after President Barack Obama said the federal government has more important things to do than go after 'recreational' drug users in states that legalize marijuana.
"'We've got bigger fish to fry,' Obama told ABC News' Barbara Walters.
"He was weighing in on the issue for the first time since voters in the two states approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana – which is still a crime under federal law.
"Obama admitted this disconnect between federal and local laws had put him in a tough spot.
"'I head up the executive branch. We're supposed to be carrying out laws,' he said. 'And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?'
"The Justice Department is still looking into how to handle the conflict. But in the meantime, Obama suggested, the feds aren't gearing up for what might be a costly, unpopular crackdown on tokers in Colorado and Washington."
This may simply be a feign on Obama's part, however. The same article goes on to state:
"The president’s comments on the new Colorado and Washington laws echo the stand he took on medical marijuana during the 2008 campaign, when he said prosecutions would be a low priority.This is putting it mildly. The Obama administration has cracked down harder on medical marijuana than any prior regime, including the Bush II administration. It would be a grave mistake to take anything Obama says about cannabis laws at face value for the time being, so keep in mind that the following thoughts are based upon hypotheticals with no real certainty, i.e. Obama will actually follow through on what he is saying in regards to cannabis laws.
"Two years later, though, federal authorities toughened up that stance, announcing that dispensaries and growers in 18 states that have legalized medical marijuana could be charged with violating drug and money-laundering laws. Dozens of medical marijuana collectives have been ordered shut since then."
At this point I'm sure many of you are wondering what the legal status of cannabis has to do with gun laws, so let me explain:
I've begun to believe that for the War on Drugs to wind down something must be found to take its place and that something will almost surely be firearms. This belief is not driven by some grandiose conspiracy theory about the rights of Americans being eroded (though in the case of both drug and gun laws this is a bonus effect for the Cryptocracy) but by dollars and cents.
It's no secret that the international drug trade is big business. What's more, it's barely hidden any longer that certain segments of the American power structure, most notably the banking industry and the US intelligence community, benefit greatly from the billions upon billions of dollars produced by this totally unregulated industry. As far as the banking industry is concerned, recent scandals involving drug money laundering by Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) and HSBC only scratch the surface. For instance, it was quietly revealed in 2009 that drug money was about the only thing that kept a big chunk of the financial sector afloat in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. The UK-based Guardian reported:
"Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.
"Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were 'the only liquid investment capital' available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result...
"...Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. 'In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor,' he said.
"Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.
"'Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.' Costa declined to identify countries or banks that may have received any drugs money, saying that would be inappropriate because his office is supposed to address the problem, not apportion blame. But he said the money is now a part of the official system and had been effectively laundered."
Drug money is absolutely essential to the global financial structure for reasons stated above: It is a vast source of liquid investment capital that any major financial institution can dip into whenever fast money is needed. The fact that laundering drug money is also a highly profitable, off-the-book source of income only helps.
As noted above, the US intelligence community also benefits greatly from drug money. There is a simple reason for this: Drug money is idea for funding black ops, covert wars, and other nefarious operations that require considerable sums of money. Rogue historian Peter Dale Scott has been chronicling this state of affairs for years.
"...Operation Paper, the U.S. government's support for the remains of the Nationalist Chinese KMT forces in Burma and Thailand. These forces worked off and on with OPC and CIA for more than a decade. Operation Paper's assets were off the books and self-financing --mostly by profits from drug dealing. By restoring the global drug traffic out of Southeast Asia, the KMT proxy institutionalized what would become a CIA habit of turning to drug-supported, off-the-books assets for fighting wars --in Indochina and the South China Sea in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; in Afghanistan and Central America in the 1980s; in Columbia in the 1990s; and again in Afghanistan in 2001. As I have written elsewhere, nearly all these wars where in defense of the overseas interests or aspirations of major U.S. oil companies.
"Because the use of drug-supported armies was at odds with Washington's official antidrug policies, the practice had to remain secret. This meant that major programs with long-term consequences were being initiated and administered by small cliques that were almost unknown in Washington. Operation Paper brought OPC into contact not only with drug traffickers abroad but also with organized crime at home. OPC officer Paul Helliwell was the key figure involved in creating an infrastructure in Thailand (SEA Supply Inc.) and a supporting airline (Civil Air Transport, later Air America). Helliwell's infrastructure linked top CIA officials from the Wall Street overworld with leaders from the organized crime underworld. For example, he was the legal counsel for the small Miami National Bank used by gangster financier Meyer Lansky to launder his foreign profits."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 14-15)
As the above quote indicates, not only were major financial institutions and the US intelligence community heavily involved in the international drug trade, but they frequently collaborate with one another in said venture. This is a logical arrangement as both institutions have found the vast, unregulated pool of drug money to highly useful in numerous endeavours.
This is, to my mind, one of the chief reasons why the United States has continued to stay the course on its disastrous and increasingly unpopular drug policies. Still, a point is fast approaching where it will be all but impossible to continue generating the public support, both domestically and abroad, necessary to continue such policies. The legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington state is just the latest blow to the US War on Drugs. At a U.N. General Assembly meeting in September the heads of several major Latin American countries all but called for an end to drug prohibition, for instance. These things combined with the changing demographics in the United States (the staunchest drug war support has historically come from the pre-Baby Boomer generations in the US who are fast dying off) make it all but certain that they heyday of the (illegal) international drug trade is coming to an end.
The major problem in all of this for the Cryptocracy is the possibility of the vast pool of off-the-books cash drying up. After all, if cannabis is legalized, psychedelics decriminalized, and pain med laws are further relaxed, much of the black market demand for entheogens and opiates will but disappear. There's still cocaine of course but the kids seem to increasingly dig meth, which can be easily produced in a home bathroom, for a speedy buzz.
What then is left that can bring in the same kind of black market revenue that drugs have managed for years? Firearms, already a multi billion dollar industry in the United States, are an obvious candidate. Gun companies are already deeply involved in the War on Drugs, making a shift from narcotics to firearms all the more viable. The United States seemingly has an inestimable demand for firearms and a vast smuggling network already exists between it and Mexico.
Presently the flow of firearms heads south while the drugs go north, but this could be easily reversed. The U.S. need only initiate a 'War on Firearms,' giving it the perfect excuse for sending vast supplies of weapons to Mexico where the notoriously corrupt government will simply transfer them over to the cartels. The cartels would then use their long-established smuggling networks to ship the weapons back to the United States where members of the fringe right would re-sell them. Some may scoff at such a notion, but keep in mind David Koresh, the infamous head of the Branch Davidians who perished in the 1993 Waco siege with 75 of other members of the cult, dipped into the arms trade in a bid to cash in on the forth coming Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
"Koresh developed a good understanding of the profits that could be made from dealing in guns, and over time he purchased a large number of guns for investment purposes. In the early 1990s, Koresh knew that the federal law banning semiautomatic weapons would eventually pass. In order to profit from increasing demand, he bought a large number of semiautomatic weapons, and entered into a partnership with a gun dealer to buy parts to assemble other weapons for later sale. When the law passed, Koresh expected to realize a huge profit."
(Searching For a Demon, Steven M. Chermak, pg. 41)
|David Koresh, would-be arms dealer|
No doubt a similar line of thinking will appeal to the more radical elements of the Patriot Movement, who will see both dollars signs and a way of striking back at the Federals. Thus, everyone (except normal people. of course) would benefit. The gun 'enthusiasts' would still have relatively easy access to new firearms, the bank industry and US intelligence community would still have their vast pool of off-the-books funding, and organized crime would still have a highly profitable product to sale. Some may argue that the gun industry would object, as their profits would seemingly be threatened by a widespread ban on firearms in the United States. In all likelihood, however, they would continue to profit in much the same way the drug industry did in the wake of narcotics prohibition going into high gear in the Western world in the early 20th century.
"During the 1930s and 1940s, the majority of legal drug factories and pharmaceutical houses were located in Germnay, France, and Switzerland, including such companies as Merck, Hoffman, La Roche, A.G., I.G. Farben and Sandoz, all major suppliers of morphine, heroin, cocaine, and dilaudide. As Block describes it, 'While legal shipments went out the front doors of these firms, countless crates of drugs earmarked for illicit trafficking were going out the back doors. It was a highly lucrative operation for many criminals at the time.' It was also quite lucrative for the pharmaceutical companies."No doubt the arms industry would be more than happy to make similar back door deals with gangs, militias and other would-be arms dealers. This combined with the inevitable fresh wave of funding for another ill defined war along the lines of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror would ensure handsome profits. Thus, the arms industry wins regardless of what the legal status of firearms in the United States is.
(A Terrible Mistake, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 405)
So much for guns then. In another recent blog Christopher Knowles addresses Nancy Lanza's status as a 'doomsday prepper,' a growing movement mostly deriving from the conspiratorial right, a factor that surely contributed to her son's rampage in Newtown on some level. In a prior blog I tried to address the fallout from the rampant paranoia the conspiratorial right are descending into myself but Knowles makes the case far better than I could ever hope to. He makes a few other excellent points that are also worth noting.
For one, Knowles points out the specter of the Mayan calendar hysteria that has subtly lingered over the recent wave of mass shootings. Much like the Y2K paranoia, a meme of an impending apocalypse largely centered around 2012 has gripped popular culture in recent years. Unlike Y2K, however, America is a much different place now than in the feel-good Clinton years. The 2000 presidential elections, 9/11, the War on Terror, and the recent economic collapse have made America a much more pessimistic and paranoid society. In the 1990s, when the economy was stable, crime was low and the world was seemingly peaceful (at least according to the media), the apocalyptic fantasies of the conspiratorial right concerning Y2K were all but impossible for Americans to take seriously. Now an apocalypse doesn't only seem possible, but even inevitable.
With this in mind Knowles puts forth what is the best explanation I've read thus far for Adam Lanza's motives in targeting school children. Knowles writes:
"I can't help but think that 12/21/2012 was the stressor here. Did Lanza feel that nothing mattered anymore in light of the coming apocalypse? Or was he- in his warped calculus- trying to actually spare these babies the horrors of his imaginary apocalypse?In reading the above passages I couldn't help but be reminded of another recent instance of child murders featuring right-leaning, conspiratorial overtones. In this case a Virginia-based defense contractor murdered his entire family, including his children, over fears of Obama being re-elected. The Daily Mail reports:
"...in Lanza's misfiring synapses- that he was sparing the children from a greater horror? That may well emerge as investigators sift through the Lanza home."
"Albert Peterson shot dead his wife and two sons hours after going to church because he dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election, a family friend has revealed.
"A confidante of the family for the past 25 years has spoken to MailOnline about the strength and grace of the Peterson family, as well as the torment that plagued Albert which drove him to shoot dead his wife Kathleen and his two sons Christopher and Mathew at their suburban home in DC on Sunday.
"A history of mental illness, the loss of a dear uncle, and a growing fear of Obama winning a second term in the White House took its toll on the mind of Mr Peterson, a wealthy defense contractor, the friend said.
"'He just did not want his kids inheriting this mess,' Maggie L, who did not wish to reveal her last name, told MailOnline. 'Sometimes we thought he might take his own life when he was so depressed. We never thought he would take Kathie's...'
"Recently, Mr Peterson began writing paranoid emails to his friends and family about politics on a daily basis, sometimes even more frequently, Maggie said.
"'I got emails and the emails stopped all of a sudden last week,' Maggie said. 'He felt that our God-given rights were being taken away. He didn't like where the country was going.'"
|Albert Peterson and the wife and kids he murdered over fears of Obama's re-election|
In this case we see an already mentally disturbed individual driven to such paranoid lengths by Obama fear mongering that he potentially murdered his children to 'spare' them from the dystopian future he believed the Obama administration was leading America toward. While the article is extremely vague concerning Albert Peterson's ideological leanings it would hardly be surprising to learn that he was influenced by the conspiratorial right.
In this context Knowles' musings about Lanza's motives seem especially on point. And the implications of this are far more disturbing than the conventional debates concerning firearms, especially for conspiracy culture itself. Naturally most conspiracy-oriented blogs, to say nothing of the demagogues who have spurred them on, will be to busy 'exposing' the gun-grab/UN-peacekeeper meme to consider such implications.
"Not everybody thinks the end of the world is funny, though. A poll conducted by Ipsos-Reuters in 21 countries earlier this year claimed that as much as 20 percent of China’s population believed that the Mayan calendar correctly predicted this month as the end of the world. That percentage was markedly higher than in the second country on the list, Turkey (at 13 percent), or in the United States (12 percent)."
|an ark built in China for the 2012 apocalypse|
Earlier I argued that the Mayan/2012 apocalypse fear mongering may have played a role in the rash of mass shootings in the United States both in 2012 and a few years prior (a lot of the apocalyptic fantasies of the conspiratorial right went into overdrive with the election of Obama). Obviously the US has a disturbingly high percentage of its population believing that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world but China tops us with a good fifth of the population buying into the Armageddon meme. A curious question then is whether China has been displaying random, violent acts akin to the mass shootings here in the united States in recent years.
The answer seems to be in the affirmative. Loren Coleman has chronicled as series of bizarre and gruesome school stabbing incidents in which an individual with a knife or like weapon has assaulted children in schools both here and here. What's more, there was a recent school stabbing in the Henan Province on December 13, the day before the Newtown massacre.
The recent school stabbing is hardly the only violent bit of strangeness China has faced during this year. In May it was reported that Chinese authorities had arrested a man from the village of Nanmen suspected of murdering and eating over a dozen boys and young men. His most recent victim allegedly went missing in April of 2012. All of this unfolded right around the same time the infamous Miami cannibal attack occurred here and Canadian porn star Luka Magnotta murdered, dismembered and allegedly ate parts of his gay Chinese lover north of the border. I wrote more on these cannibalistic incidents here.
|the Chinese cannibal|
More recently Chinese authorities have rounded various members of a Christian cult for plotting to attack the Chinese Communist Party. MSNBC reports:
"The government is taking one aspect of the doomsday talk seriously; it has reportedly rounded-up members of a religious group calling for the toppling of the Communist Party.Interestingly, this Chinese female Christ apparently claimed to be from the Henan Province, the same location as the most recent Chinese school stabbing. This account of the cult alleges that the message of the female Christ bares similarities to that of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. It notes:
"The group, known as the 'Almighty God,' has called for a "decisive battle" to slay the 'big red dragon,' a reference to the Book of Revelation and the organization’s name for the Chinese Communist Party.
"Nearly 1,000 members of the sect have been arrested, The New York Times reported. NBC News could not independently verify the number of detentions, but Chinese state media also reported that authorities had detained around 1,000 members over some seven provinces, Reuters reported.
"This is not the first time that China has dealt with a fast-moving Christian cult it deems a risk to party rule. In fact, according to the newspaper, 'Almighty God' has its roots in a sect that claimed it had 300,000 adherents called "Lightning from the East," according to Time Magazine in 2001.
"Lightning from the East propagated the belief that Jesus had returned to earth in the form of a 30-year old Chinese woman who had written a third testament of the Bible and promised salvation from the coming apocalypse for all who joined her."
"The message of the “female Christ” of Eastern Lightning resembles that of Rev. SunMyung Moon of the Unification Church. Moon came to America in 1971 claiming that Christ had not completed His mission, and in 1992 he declared he and his wife to be the Messiah, the True Parents, who would usher in a “Completed Testament” age of world peace."
Incidentially (or not), Moon and the Unification Church have curious links to the arms industry and the murky world of intelligence.
"As for the Reverend Moon and his Unification Church, this convicted felon (for tax evasion) has supported the extreme right in America for decades. The Unification Church itself fronts for the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, and when the author himself was approached by the Church in the 1970s they owned --in addition to a network of churches with a sophisticated marketing campaign aimed at scientists and other intellectuals --a rifle factory in Korea. Reverend Moon himself believes that Jesus will return as a Korean, and he has let it be known that he believes this Second Coming involves his own person."Is the Eastern Lightening Church tied in some way to the Unification Church and, by default, the US intelligence community? This would certainly go a long way toward explaining the scope of China's crackdown on the Church, which apparently considers 12/21/12 to be the date of doomsday.
(Sinister Forces Book II, Peter Levenda, pgs. 309-310)
Hopefully tomorrow's headlines will not involve this cult or any number of other such groups feeding off of the 2012 hysteria.