Chapter 3 -- continued
< --- Chapter 3, Section 1
Life in a U.S. Federal Prison:
A Study in Orwellian Doublespeak
On Friday, September 24th (2004), Cathryn drove me to the local U.S. Marshall's office, where I was to be turned over to the local prison (again, Calcasieu Correctional Center, where I had spent my first six weeks in prison in 2003 before being shipped to Lafayette).
Such a ritual is difficult for even the strongest of marriages. For the next 18 months, Cathryn and I would not be together in any sense besides the rigid, clinical setting of the prison visitation room. Our phone calls and letters to each other would comprise our primary daily task of keeping our marital bond intact. I quickly learned that the majority of marriages, particularly those involving an inmate (usually male, because 94% of federal inmates are men) with a sentence of five years or longer, never survive the ordeal. The insanity of the criminal justice system is that whatever pain the process puts the inmate through, it is far more difficult and a much greater burden for the wife and children. I have no doubt that the escalation of the federal inmate population from 55 to 700 per 100,000 in the U.S. population has been a major contributor to the loss of social capital. 
On October 24th, just 30 days after "reporting in," I was transferred from Calcasieu Correctional to Beaumont "Low" -- an hour drive away, in Beaumont, Texas.
The Beaumont facility is actually four prisons in one, where prisoners are segregated according to what you later find out is an arbitrary assessment of "security risk." In descending order of security risk, Beaumont's four prisons were: High (USP), Medium, Low, and "Camp."
Although I had attempted to "study up" on federal prison life prior to reporting  , nothing can really prepare you for life "behind the fence." It is even more surrealistic than life in Louisiana's parish jails. Rules are arcane and senseless ("we do it because we can"), most of the jobs are pointless (except for the more needful, functional positions in the "main line" kitchen), and you are exposed to a "de-learning" that deeply strips away many of the tenets of American education. Many inmates talk about prison in a positive light, but not the manner in which authorities intend it. You hear people say they came to prison to be "deprogrammed." That now they "see the light," or that they now "understand the system." This phenomenon exists primarily because prison life provides an intellectual, experiential framework by which you see the hidden reality that undergirds life "on the outside." In "free society" there are cultural layers that shelter you from a whole other reality that defines you and the society you live in. Prison life provides a microcosm for those realities -- unencoded. The artificial filters have been stripped away.
I confronted my own first lesson in deprogramming after I was assigned my "full-time job" in the kitchen. I began as "line server" where I was awoken at 4 a.m., five days a week, and then taken to the kitchen, where I waited around for two hours before going to work. (To employ common sense and have us come in 15 or 30 minutes before work time was apparently too logical.)
The waste of manpower and resources you witness in prison life is really something to behold. Having owned and operated a food company myself for 20 years, (profitable for 15 years of it), gives me some room to make a qualified assessment: management is breathtakingly incompetent. In any given day, the dumpsters that were filled with unused, spoiled, or thrown out food would have fed all the occupants of another prison. There were no conservatory practices in place to help stem the waste problem, nor any particular concern that a problem existed. In other areas, practices were in place that would have shut down a privately-owned food company. Sanitation was routinely ignored; in fact, I can remember complaining to officers in charge that inmates should not be handling food after coming out of the restrooms with unclean hands. We would run out of hand soap and it would sometimes take a week or longer to get a resupply. When I brought this to the attention of the assistant warden, I was met with a arrogant sneer, as if to say, "You're just a fuckin' inmate. What the hell do you know?"
The U.S. media goes to great lengths to lavish attention on "slave labor" overseas, and yet, I myself never knew that U.S. prisons act as a repository for the very same practice. The average inmate is paid twelve cents (yes, $0.12) per hour, and his pay is not sufficient to even cover half of the average inmate's phone bills. Since financial support comes from outside the prison -- obviously from friends and family -- it doesn't take a Ph.D. in political science to see the enormous forces at work to increase the size of prison populations: they provide isolated "profit centers" for a variety of vendors, all tied to campaign contributions.
There are so many aspects of prison life that assist the vigilant observer in "unplugging from the Matrix," that it is difficult to know where to start. Once you get into studying the legal transcripts of other inmates (and despite official rules that attempt to prevent inmates from having access to their own legal paperwork, particularly their PSI (Pre-Sentence Investigation) Report, resourceful inmates do find ways of getting access), you enter an entirely different world of cognitive disonance. You quickly learn that there is no such thing as an prison inmate that has been incarcerated for a crime that is not committed every day by agents of the government that put him there.
Murder. Rape. Drug-dealing. Gun-running. Kidnapping. Pick a crime. Any crime. Doesn't matter what it is. If you're in prison for having committed it, you're there not because of the crime itself, but because you didn't have better connections when you got caught. As an arresting agent said to one of my cellmates at the time of his bust, well after he had turned down an offer to work for the government undercover: "Don't feel bad, Juan. You didn't do anything wrong here ... You're just working for the wrong team!" It is no wonder that former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, has remarked on the corrosive effects of having successive U.S. administrations filled with "war criminals."  Or that Dick Armey, former majority whip of the U.S. House, could remark that the Department of Justice is "out of control" -- not realizing that the DOJ is only a microcosm of the U.S. Government at large, such that any systemic comment you might make about the DOJ would apply to the U.S. Government as a whole. 
By any literal reading of the law, I committed more crime in prison -- all under instruction from those in authority -- than I ever committed in the outside world. One humorous example that comes to mind involves one of my duties as an adminstrative clerk while working in the kitchen. One of my responsibilities was to keep "safety reports" which would have to be filed monthly with the prison's Safety Office. The instruction was quite specific from the overseer: "If you can't find an inmate to sign off on his safety meeting, just forge his signature."
And I did.
Hundreds of times.
Of course, the entire exercise was a charade anyway, because there was no such thing as a safety meeting. I never attended one. I never met another inmate who had ever attended one (and I asked). I never met another inmate who KNEW another inmate who had ever attended one. I never met a BOP staffer who had ever been to a safety meeting or who knew what it was or how to give one. An entire apparatus existed so if the prison was ever audited by some bigwig safety officials from Washington, we would be able to show that we had "covered our butts."
This same level of hypocrisy existed on every level of day-to-day prison operation. Another daily chore I had, working in the kitchen, was to post the "Nutrition Facts" for items served on the time for breakfast and lunch. Each served item had its Nutrition Facts on 3" x 5" index card that looked like this (and I've taken the liberty of scanning a card that came right out of the "Main Line" kitchen):
As in the case of the prison-wide fake safety program, the Nutrition Facts postings were all about "appearances," wherein the underlying substance was non-existent. First, who could have possibly have thought that taking the milligram count out three decimal places was credible? This would be absurd if serving size weights (masses) were fixed.
But they weren't.
A "serving size" is completely arbitrary. A "line server" could place two or three or five ounces of a given food item; no servings were of a fixed mass. Inmates dispensed their own servings on the "Hot Bar" (a food serving area closer to where the inmates actually sat to eat). How on earth would ANYBODY know, in that setting, how much a serving was?
The Soup de Jour was a particularly outrageous joke, which is why I include it above. What is "Soup de Jour"? Wouldn't it have to be a fixed recipe, identical in ingredients every time for the data above to have any meaning? Of course, it would. But "soup de jour" changed daily. It could be a Chicken Rice Soup, Tomato Broccoli, or a Beef Vegetable soup. It could have meat. It could be vegetarian. It could be very dense with ingredients. It would be extremely watery. It could very high in fat (Cheese Soup), or low (a meatless Vegetarian soup).
Hell, if it was anything close to liquidy, marginally edible, and fit into a soup serving bin, THAT was the "Soup de Jour." This made any Nutrition Facts statement meaningless. But like the Safety Program, that didn't matter. If anything, this reinforced an important set of lessons to inmates:
Some rules were knowingly created to invite inmates to violate them, so that guards and other BOP staffers could prove -- to themselves if no one else -- that they were serving a vital, necessary service to society by keeping tight reins over their criminal subjects. I say this because there could be no other reason, save for this psychological interpretation, for these twisted, perverted policies.
We were criminals. We were born criminals. We would always be criminals. These criminal tendencies ran through our blood and we could no more resist the temptation to go out and commit more crime than we could resist the temptation to breath in oxygen. Paradoxically, this negative brain-washing exists through the criminal justice system in America, but it reaches its ultimate absurdities on the Federal level. What comes chiefly to mind -- primarily because its enforcement and the exceptions it gave way to were a source of constant comedy -- concerned the removal of food from the kitchen.
Now, of course, the issue wasn't one of cost, hygiene, cleanliness, health, or keeping order at the prison. After all, inmates were allowed to purchase food items from commissary once a week. The issue was not one of waste because (1) inmates could eat all they wanted to at meal time, and (2) the way the kitchen was managed, as previously noted, the food waste at the dumpsters could be measured, daily, in the tonnage. Most hysterical of all, it wasn't as if BOP management couldn't put a stop to inmates taking food from the kitchen. Our accommodations were so extremely sparse that the only place you could reasonably store food was in your cell: near the bed or in your locker, both of which were inspected regularly.
Fact is, people were caught with food "stolen" from the kitchen all the time. I myself was caught at least a dozen times. Nothing was ever done to the person who had such food in their possession back at their locker. Discipline was only metted out to those inmates who were so poor that they couldn't get money from the outside world. So they resorted to making and supplyling food to those inmates who did. In doing so, those caught in transit were disciplined, some severely -- often by being sent to the "hole." Of course, this was wholly predictable in a world where you make 12 cents per hour, but you are charged 26 cents per minute to make a phone call -- let alone the cost of acquiring the other necessities of life behind bars. Those of us who bought food for the evening, so we could eat something between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning -- knew that our suppliers were at constant risk. We thanked God that we had outside help so that we could be "buyers" and not "suppliers."
In essence, we were able to observe, in microcosm, a basic principle of American life that exists at every level of our culture: there are one set of rules for those who "have," and another set of rules for those who "have not."
Within prison, it was (and is) yet another tax on the poor. But, even more than this, it was a practice to reinforce in the minds of staffers and inmates like, that wherever we were in the system, food-buyer or food-supplier -- we were all nothing but thieves. For even those of us who had food in our lockers illegally and went undisciplined, there were constant reminders from staffers that it was our fault that others were having to be disciplined for bringing us food.
Another example that comes to mind, again, because it underscores the humor, unfairness, cognitive disonance, and unbridled stupidity, involves my stay at the Lake Charles federal halfway house. Hysterically, this facility was called "City of Faith," and yet, it is hard to imagine running an organization that could be more adept at taking away people's faith -- certainly, in the system, the country, one's fellow man --- hopefully not God.
Shortly after I reported to the halfway house -- on March 13, 2006, the same day I was released from Beaumont Prison -- I was told that I, as well as ALL "residents" (we were "residents" now, not "inmates"), were required to go to drug abuse counseling. Of course, I inquired of my "case manager" as to why I would be required to go to drug counseling. I never did "drugs" in the free world. I didn't smoke. My alcohol consumption was very light. I didn't take illegal drugs and had only rarely even taken legal ones (despite the paradox of ostensibly being imprisoned for SELLING unapproved drugs). In no way could it be said that I was ever involved in "substance abuse." What could I possibly gain from going to drug therapy classes? How would this be any different from sending me, a 50 year old white male, to -- let us say -- classes with unwed teenage girls to learn about avoiding unwanted pregnancy? Or how about pre-menstral sex-ed classes, so I could learn how all about my female cycles? I mean . . . I've never given much thought to what women do with feminine hygiene products . . . I mean, geez, what's the point? How much more absurd can we get?
What was the case manager's answer to my query on this matter?
"It's just policy."
When I pressed the issue with the counselor at our usual Tuesday night meeting. (And by "pressing the issue" I mean asking, "Is there any way to find out why a person with no addictive disorder would be required to take counseling classes that are intended to address drug abuse issues?") I should have known the results beforehand: I received a disciplinary note in my official criminal file that read (in part): "Mr. Caton is having problems with 'acceptance.'" In other words, although I had no drug abuse disorder, I was being reprimanded for not admitting that I had one anyway.
And yet, few of the policies at the halfway house -- an extension of the BOP and, in fact, its overseeing agency, did not reach this level of stupidity.
Some policies were so absurd that even the staff rebelled. For instance, we were routinely awoken at 5 a.m. each morning "to do our chores," most of which were janitorial or housekeeping in nature. We did these same chores at 9 to 10 p.m. the night before. Why would anybody do chores at 10 p.m. at night and then wake up at 5 a.m. to do the very same exact chores? How does the physical act of people sleeping during that seven hour interval cause the showers, floors, windows, etc. to get dirtier?
The policy was so ridiculous that the staffers whose job it was to enforce this absurd policy would encourage us to "sign off" on having done the chores and "just say you did them if anybody asks." So at 5 a.m. a staffer would turn the overhead lights on -- for no more than 10 minutes -- and then we would turn them off again as soon as he left so we could sleep until it was time to get up, eat breakfast, and go to work.
This, of course, was greatly appreciated and stood in contrast to the actions of more callous staffers, for the sadistic tendencies noted above at the county level (actually, parish level in Louisiana) is just as evident at the Federal level. One good example is my mother's death (on July 31, 2005), which occurred seven and a half months before my release. Working with an inmate who oversaw the prison's legal library, I meticulously filled out all the paperwork to obtain a furlough, since I met all the conditions to obtain permission to attend. I was, of course, turned down, but what was unexpected was the response when I asked WHY I was being turned down. After all, I met all of THEIR requirements, which were clearly written out in as a formal regulation.
"You're an inmate. We don't need to give you an answer," came the response from my "Unit Manager."
No matter where you turned, you were consistently reminded that the Five Laws of Totalitarian Truth WAS the governing Law of the Land. All other rules and regulations were for appearances sake only. Inmates were expected to learn this and be able to make the distinction. This was again made clear to me when I asked why I had been sent to Beaumont Low and not the lower security facility, Beaumont Camp, especially since my Security Threat point level was "zero" on my record. I had good cause to make this inquiry: life at the camp was preferable to life at Beaumont Low. There were no fences. Security was less strict. The visitation environment was looser and less structured. You were treated more like a human being and less like an abused farm animal. But, most importantly of all, I fit the very profile of an inmate for which the Beaumont Camp was designed: low-risk, white-collar, no flight risk, no levied fines to pay, zero security points, no pending charges, no disciplinary issues while incarcerated, low (less than 5 years) sentence, etc.
As I sat there, trying to get an answer, my Case Manager stared at the computer monitor containing my case information.
"Well, let's see here," he began, buying time while munching on a snack and fiddling with the keyboard. "Inmate Number zero, seven, two, four, five, dash, zero, three, five . . . Okay, it says here . . . yes . . . you have zero security points . . . you get out next March and are scheduled for halfway house release . . . you're sentence is just thirty-three months. Hmmmm . . . You SHOULD have been sent to the low-security camp."
"Then why wasn't I?" I said, begging the obvious. What came next I am quoting exactly. Word for word. No alterations. When someone tells you something this propostrous, you just don't forget it:
"Well, here's the thing: OFFICIALLY, you're supposed to be at the camp. But UNOFFICIALLY we have you here."
"That makes no sense," I protested mildly. "Just what DOES that mean?" To which my case manager closed the discussion with . . .
"It means exactly what I said." And then he repeated himself for good measure: "OFFICIALLY, you're supposed to be at the camp. But UNOFFICIALLY we have you here."
I had just been introduced to yet another corollary of The Five Laws of Totalitarian Truth. I walked out of my case manager's office and never made another query, again. Of course, this was what the system was designed to do: squash all dissent even down to the level of the most basic queries.
These lessons, however, did not translate well with the relatives of inmates, who had to experience this mind-numbing arrogance and tyranny for themselves to believe our more outrageous (though accurately related) anecdotes. One example was that Beaumont Low had a dress code policy for visitators coming to see inmates, most of whom were immediate family members. Women could not wear clothing that was too revealing, which, when you consider that there are small children who come to the prison, makes sense. Good taste would, of course, seem justified in this situation.
Enter our Five Laws.
It became customery to see women, some of whom had driven hundreds of miles or flown long distances, turned away for wearing "revealing" shoes or a short skirt when it was no different, no more revealing, than the clothing of any other woman present -- in fact, in most cases they were in good taste relative to ALL THE OTHER women around her. Such rejections seemed random and at odds with the underlying regulation.
Some women caught on to the game and I know of several instances where the women would go back to their car, sit in it for 30 minutes, come back and say to the guards on visitation duty: "Okay, I did what you wanted. I went to WalMart; bought these new shoes -- I hope you like them. Can I visit my brother now (or husband or father or whomever)?
And more times then not, they were then let in. They hadn't violated any policies in the first place. They were simply being tested so as to acknowledge the power of the prison staffer's ever-present God-complex.
Another example that will shock the uninitiated concerns Cathryn. My wife is, by nature, very friendly and compassionate. By sheer coincidence, she not only KNEW a couple of the over 1,800 inmates who were in prison, well before their conviction, but she bonded with some of the other inmates and their families over the 14+ months that I was imprisoned there. One inmate, in particular, she assisted by sending him copies of various U.S. Supreme Court cases that he felt would be helpful for his appeal and that of other inmates' appeals. To insure that these legal mailings would get to this inmate, she had them sent "Special Delivery."
In early May (2006), she discovered that her legitimately U.S.P.S.-mailed packages were being confiscated, without her or the inmates' knowledge. When she called Beaumont Low to find out why the mail was being intercepted, she was told by the assistant warden, a most irasible character named Mr. James Premo, that she shouldn't be sending appellate cases to the prison.
Not knowing any better, my wife asked, "Why not?"
"Because I said so . . . it's a security risk."
"That's retarded," my wife interjected with exasperation, not knowing who she was dealing with. "It is absurd to say that someone sending U.S. Supreme Court cases to an inmate at your prison would present any kind of a security risk."
"Well, it is now, and since I don't like your attitude, I'm going to mark you down as a security risk. You're not allowed to send any mail to any inmate at this facility from now on."
At that point, my wife made the decision to use other parties to help get appellate case material to inmates at the prison, she was so incensed.
In any event, these are only a few of the many examples that demonstrate the Five Laws in action.
These are microcosmic examples of the state of a nation and its underlying culture that are at the end of their life on stage. This is Oswald Spengler's "Caesarism." This is what happens within a country when its creative wellspring, as Arnold Toynbee would say, has run dry and it represents nothing more than the attempt to interject life -- however tawdry, meaningless, and without any underlying value beneath the singular, energizing principle of gross material acquisition -- into whatever is already dead or dying or withering away. And, yet, I would agree with Morris Berman: the seeds of suicide were implanted from our culture's inception. When the Nation was born, so were the seeds of its death, and since this book concerns itself with those conditions that would be necessary to maximize the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the common People, it might be useful to examine how these same cultural forms have affected the history of medical science.
Americanism did not just become "corrupt." Beginning with the first acts of genocide against indigenous cultures, it has always BEEN corrupt. It has always been about co-opting the resources of others for its own gain and establishing its own Truth.
Likewise, Medical Science, sprouting from the same rich soil of Materialistic thought, has always been corrupt. The scandals that could give rise to a "Vioxx" or a "Celebrex" were always there . . . to anyone with the temerity to look beneath the surface.
The suppression of natural cures, like Cansema®, have always been with us . . . since the beginning of organized medicine itself.
Smoking Guns Emerge:
How the Mystery Unraveled After I Got Out of Prison
Most of those who are prosecuted by the U.S. Government and sent to prison never learn the crucial, causative factors behind the actions taken against them.
There is an aextensive system in place to protect the identity of informants, shield the inner workings of the investigation that led to an indictment, and, in general, leave the defendent bewildered as to what action took place behind the scene that caused the Federal Government to train-wreck his or her life.
I was one of the fortunate ones, because not only was I able to uncover who was behind the destruction of Alpha Omega Labs, but I was able to uncover the prosecutor's real motivations, what politician's office made phone calls in Washington to "order the hit," what secret deals were made that I wasn't supposed to find out about, who got paid off, and why I was so readily given all my commercial real estate back to me AFTER the U.S. Government confiscated it -- a rare occurence.
Kevin Trudeau & Sue Gilliatt: How A Former Business Partner
and two Vexatious Litigants Teemed Up with Lawyers to Defraud
the U.S. Government, Imprison the Author, Close Our
Laboratory, and Pocket $1,300,000 in the Process
Various facts began to surface shortly I got out of prison in March, 2006 and was sent to the Halfway House. I first obtained information from a law enforcement official, a Mr. Frank Dawson , who serves with the Lake Charles Police Department, which was involved in the September, 2003 raid. In fact, Frank was in on the briefing the day before I was raided (Sept. 16, 2003). At the time of the raid, a not unsubstantial amount of cash was removed from our home -- well over $1,000. In the end, the confiscation of only $61 of this money was admitted to -- the bulk never reported on the forms that are designed specifically for reporting confiscated articles. When Cathryn attempted to get an accounting of all the items that were removed from our home, including my expired passport, about a dozen books, and a variety of legal records, she was bluntly told that all of my belongings had been incinerated. When she asked why my belongings had been burned, she was told by the Lake Charles Police Department that it was because they didn't know how to get ahold of her! (In other words, they only knew how to find us when they wanted to raid our home and business, confiscate assets, and incarcerate.) She did receive a letter to this effect, but -- as one would expect -- it listed only six items, a small fraction of the currency and other items that had been taken. We never did send the request for reimbursement. We had been advised by one of our attorneys that, for all intents and purposes, a reimbursement would never be forthcoming.
The claims by the Lake Charles Police Department were, of course, patently absurd. No one would believe that police authorities would burn cash. Perhaps they thought my wife was a naive person. But couldn't they at least create a better lie than that? After all, law enforcement officials in the U.S. routinely manufacture more creative lies for everything else!
Frank Dawson was aware of these shananigans, and much more. He confirmed what I had heard from a fellow herbalist in Chicago who had called FDA agent, John Armand, and had been told that the real reason for my arrest was my offshore banking activity.
Apparently, under this manufactured scenario, I was an unrepentant tax evader.
"Your boy, Caton, is going up the river for a very long time," Armand is reported to have told Carl Menconi in Chicago, shortly after my arrent in September, 2003. "He's got millions of dollars offshore that he hasn't paid a penny in income tax on . . . What's worse is that he's using offshore accounts to hide money from people he's hurt who are trying to sue him for damages." 
I learned of Menconi's conversation with John Armand, who initiated my case and works at the FDA's field office in Covington, Louisiana, in the summer of 2004. Again, I was out on bond at that time, awaiting sentencing.
Very early on, it became apparent to me that there were political forces at work behind the scenes that were driving my case. My case wasn't merely driven by these two lawsuits. Someone was orchestrating events, or, as Helo had observed, I had merited the unwanted attention of someone in Washington.
Whoever was driving this case was the same person who had successfully planted the idea in the minds of government agents that I had large sums of money hidden in offshore bank accounts. This became apparent when the FDA ordered that I take 3 back-to-back lie detector tests in an attempt to get me to "fess up" as to the location of all my ill-gotten millions. Millions that never existed.
Very soon I realized that only one person would have a motive to be that driving force. It would take another two years to confirm my suspicions.
Consumer Express, Kevin Trudeau &
The Suppressed Publication of MLM Fraud
In Chapter 4, we'll examine C. Fred Alford's study on "whistleblowers." But even before we get to that study, there is a deep relevance in mentioning an act of whistleblowing of my own, because it runs concurrent so many of the other elements of fraud, deceit, and corruption that are woven into the fabric of American life -- besides being an essential component in recounting my story.
In 1984, just five years before I was exposed to the history, product, and basic formulation from which I would later create Cansema®, I co-founded a direct sales (more specifically an MLM, or "multi-level marketing") company called, Consumer Express.
Two years later I created a small manufacturing company, for the sole purpose of making various products exclusively for our direct sales company called Lumen Foods (today better known as soybean.com). In conjunction with the launching of that company, I authored a book entitled, Lumen: Food for a New Age -- my first book and my second manufacturing company . . . I was 30 years old.
The initial shareholders for our company included the founders of Consumer Express, plus our young marketing director, Kevin Trudeau. Trudeau was only 23 years old when we hired him for this important position. He was an enormous talent, a brilliant salesman . . . and from numerous accounts that bled through the phones of those unfortunate enough to have to man our customer service lines, a "con man" extraordinaire -- so much so that his exploits would, years later, become legendary. 
Shortly after Lumen Foods started shipping its first products (in October, 1986), I discovered that my partners were telling numerous individuals within our 35,000 strong distributor force not to purchase our products. This posed an enormous problem for me financially, because Consumer Express had an exclusive marketing agreement with Lumen Foods. If your one and only customer decides not to purchase your products, there is no way you can avoid collapse.
Since my family was the only one with any capital invested in Lumen Foods' startup (my partners didn't contributed any funds personally . . . and very little support corporately), I had to protect the investment. On March 20, 1987, I sold my family's interest in Consumer Express (which was, by then, trading publicly as Drax Ventures), for a tiny fraction of what the shares were then being sold for publicly "in the pink sheets."
Operating under duress, my family cashed out our 16% interest in a company which was then grossing over $14 million annually, for a mere $80,000. I immediately drafted a Business Plan and Private Offering Memorandum, and began the process of raising money for the startup. The $80,000 cash out went into the company as well. It was during this period that Kevin Trudeau invested several thousand dollars into Lumen Foods after which he immediately asked for a loan from the fledgling company.
"You can trust me, Greg," I remember Kevin telling me, when I pointed out how odd it was that he would request a loan so soon after having made an investment. "After all, I'm an owner in the Company, too." Despite the lack of logic in his pleading and the warnings in my own intuition, I relented and gave him the money.
Despite the enormous wealth that Trudeau would earn in subsequent years, the notch on his belt he would earn from cutting yet another victim would never be addressed. The funds were never returned.
In 1990, I wrote the first of three editions of MLM Fraud: A Practical Handbook for the Network Marketing Professional. The first edition was "nom de plumed" by a friend, Mark James, and in subsequent volumes, I used my own name. The book was, among other things, an expose on the "multi-level marketing" (MLM) industry, but with particular emphasis on my own experiences with my ex-partners. I followed up my experiences in 1995-6 with the creation of the MLM Credit Bureau (then viewable at www.calgraf.com/mlm), the purpose of which was to act as a kind of credit alert system where "MLM'ers" who had been defrauded could air their grievances. (This was well before the emergence of "blogs" on the internet.)
An entire volume could be written on the legal wrangling that resulted from the publishing of that book, but for the sake of both brevity and relevancy, the following should be pointed out : for lack of funds to pay for a proper defense, Kevin Trudeau and my ex-partners were able to obtain sweetheart, interlocutory defense judgements against me of over $148,000,000.00 ($10,000,000.00 for Kevin Trudeau, and over $138,000,000.00 for Nutrition Express, the corporate name which the former "Consumer Express" used throughout most of the 1990's, and three of their officers). Additionally, judgements in Texas and Illinois were issued that enjoined me from speaking or writing about my Consumer Express, Nutrition Express, my ex-partners, or any of our business dealings -- (something I freely violate now, only because I live in South America -- with no intentions of ever returning to the United States . . . but we'll get to that later).
These sums and the claims behind them were grotesque and based upon falsified information, but they do, in retrospect, offer an excellent example of how much the First Amendment -- that U.S. legal monolith embodying the notion that the United States is a beacon for "freedom of speech" -- has been relegated to utter hypocrisy. On what basis was nearly $150 million in judgements awarded? Libel . . . never mind that everything I had written was not only true, but I had been an eyewitness -- some would say a participant and benefactor. In both cases, the sums were arrived at by judges with close relationships to the plaintiffs' lawyers. In both cases, I was broke and struggling to represent myself as my own lawyer -- not by choice, but by circumstance.
There was never a trial in either case, and, in fact, I was never served any paperwork in the Trudeau case, so I could not have defended myself in the first place. Admittedly, such actions are rare, even today in American jurisprudence. However, it is all true -- just as the contents of MLM Fraud -- opening as it did with the positive results of a lie detector test I took regarding the contents of the book -- was all true.
My personal bankruptcy in U.S. Federal Court in 1996 managed to discharge the Nutrition Express judgement -- that ridiculously absurd sum. But the $10,000,000 judgement to Trudeau continued to linger under the protection of "collateral estoppel." It was dismissed in Louisiana in 2007, but remains non-discharged in Illinois to this very day.
Trudeau's continuing lawsuits against me resulted in Lumen Foods (then operating under Herbologics, Ltd.) and my insurance company paying him off to the tune of $10,000.00 (or 0.1% of the total award). But, of course, this wasn't good enough. Working closely with his attorneys, Trudeau managed to convince the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that I had millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts. From May, 1999 to September, 1999, my company and I were vigorously audited by the IRS, after which time, no further taxes were requested by the U.S. Government. The grounds for the audit itself were baseless, but it still look an IRS agent (a Mr. Keith Monroe) five months to figure out what I already knew.
Trudeau had lied to Federal agents, but this is a perfectly acceptable practice, as long as you're paying off the right people in government. I didn't have ANY offshore bank accounts, period -- not in the late 1990's, and not at any time since then. And I certainly didn't have any unreported income.
So, was Trudeau paying off the right political people to get them to pester me?
Of course, and it's a common practice. Trudeau's actions in this regard become clear in a moment.
The Plot Thickens & Missing Puzzle Pieces Emerge:
A Trudeau Employee Comes Clean &
Reveals The Plot, and Trudeau's Secret Life as
A U.S. Government Snitch is Revealed
In 1995 I began doing business with Teju Srivastav, a web host operator who handled all of my internet creations -- (then hosted on Teju's server: www.ifu.net). Over time Teju became not only a business partner in various ventures, but a good friend, as well. Teju had varied interests and an even more varied background: he was an Ivy-league MBA (i.e. Cornell), heavily involved in the early days of the internet, and a cousin to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi -- founder of a college I attended in the 1970's. 
Nearly two years after the full relevations concerning Frank Dawson surfaced, I got a call from Teju, who was now living in New Delhi. . . We had not spoken since a couple weeks before I was arrested in 2003, so the call was a pleasant surprise. It came in April, 2006.
Recollected to the best of my ability (without having recorded the conversation), the dialogue went something like this:
Beginning in May, 2006, I began to get mysterious internet communications -- most of them over VOIP -- detailing the ongoing working relationship between Kevin Trudeau, George Ackerson, and Sue Gilliatt -- and what one party confirmed were renegade Federal Agents on the payroll of Kevin Trudeau. I promised to provide complete anonymity if I withheld the identify of those providing detailed information "from the inside."
On March 9-11, 2007, roughly nine months later and just days before my wife sold our interest in Lumen Foods, we attended Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim, California, as an exhibitor. In fact, it was at this show that we introduced a passion fruit seed oil I was having produced and imported from Guayaquil, Ecuador (now Ecuador Passion Fruit).
Without provocation, a man approached our booth, introduced himself, and over a two day period of time revealed to us the following: that Kevin Trudeau and George Ackerson had not only working WITH Federal agents in my case, but were assisting Federal Agents in ferreting out others in the alternative health care community who were considered competitive threats to the orthodox medical community -- in essence, that Trudeau and Ackerson were now "snitches" working for the Federal Government. In return, the FDA would look the other way with regards to Trudeau's infomercial misstatements and comments made on his website (www.naturalcures.com) and Ackerson could continue selling products with ridiculous health claims on his website (www.safermedicalinc.com).
(These claims were confirmed later by two other sources: the owner of a naturopathic school in the U.S. who told me that one of his students -- someone he was quite close to and "very credible" -- revealed that Kevin Trudeau had been co-opted year earlier, even while serving time in U.S. Federal Prison on unrelated charges, to "work for us" and out of that effort came his book, the promotion of his website, naturalcures.com, and the effort to use Kevin Trudeau as a magnet to attract practitioners who would approach him in good faith with effective, alternative remedies of their own, who would then be turned over to the FDA for prosecution. This report came to me on February 15, 2008. On February 21, 2008, a source here in Ecuador revealed that Trudeau and George Ackerson (see below) were both working to this end, confirming the report I had received at the March, 2007 Expo West exhibit.)
The Hidden Dangers of Angering Pedophiles
Who Work for the Federal Government
In early October, 2007, Cathryn flew back to Lake Charles to take care of a handful of remnant issues. In the course of her three day stay, she visited our attorney, Mike Wright, who had startling revelations of a most unusual nature -- much of it confirming what we had already heard from these other emerging sources. Before our family permanently moved to Ecuador in the summer of 2007, we had Mike file the necessary paperwork to complete our civil lawsuit that we had filed against George Ackerson and J. Michael Overton in 2003. We were simply attempting to bring closure to something that Federal agents had aborted in September, 2003, with my arrest.
Mike revealed to Cathryn that George Ackerson had called HIM and said that he was working with the U.S. Attorney General on my case. The threat was clear and unmistakeable: "If you proceed with your case against me, I'll use the Federal Agents that are in my back pocket to put your client back in prison."
George Ackerson's anger was understandable and requires some background explanation. For many years following the Carl Hubert fiasco, I remained out of contact with George. Some time in 1999, George contacted me again just to chat. Cathryn and I eventually visited him at his apartment in San Antonio -- coincidentally, the same city I had first met George back in January, 1987. George even stayed over our home on December 31, 1999 with is ex-wife, Dotty, to see if anything would materialize with Y2K.
At that time, George was working for company called Ozel Pharmaceutical. They had patented a drug called Amversel, raised millions of dollars to get approved by the FDA. (Like most small drug companies who don't know how the game is played, they ran out of money before they could get approval -- a quite predictable outcome if you know how the FDA works). In late 2000, Cathryn and I got an unexpected phone call from George.
He'd been fired.
I had never forgotten that George had acted as a money broker for Lumen Foods in its early days. Despite the fact that he was well paid in commissions for his work, I had always felt a certain indebtedness. It is in that spirit that we asked George -- who now was in a financial bind -- if he wanted to move into our home.
It goes without saying that you uncover entirely different attributes in a person when they live with you -- versus communicating with them from a distance. I had known, for instance, that George had an issue with children. He had been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army after the Vietnam War for improper activities involving his "volunteer work at an orphanage." When I asked George about this, he said he'd been falsely accused of stealing a stereo and some periphenalia. The response seemed bizarre, but I failed to press further.
I should have.
On November 18, 2001 -- (and I only know this because I made a notation in my U.S. passport) -- while in Nassau, Bahamas, attending to Alpha Omega Labs' business, I got a frantic call from Cathryn. Apparently, she had invited George and a few friends to have lunch at one of the local casino restaurants in Westlake (across the bridge from Lake Charles). The casino (Isle of Capri) has an expansive buffet downstairs, which we used to visit quite regularly. At the time, our son, Myron, was just five years old. He and a friend were playing with the soft, red, velvet ropes between the metal polls which are used to guide the waiting line that leads to the cash register -- where you pay before you eat. In other words, he was being a little kid. He was a little kid.
Unexpectedly -- and out of no where -- George "cold cocked" our son. He didn't slap him. He didn't reprimand him. He didn't push him. He punched him in the head with a closed fist. There were over a half dozen witnesses to the act.
Myron immediately started screaming in pain and ran to Cathryn for protection. Amazingly, this party of "friends" and kids went and ahead and attempted to have a meal anyway. To this day, I think my wife was in too much shock to know what to do in that situation.
Upon returning home, Cathryn immediately called me and asked me to come home immediately. My return air ticket was scheduled for the following day -- so I convinced her to let me come home and we made plans on how she should protect the household and our son until I got home.
Once I got home, I got an expanded version of what happened. I also learned that George had been asking if Myron could take a shower with him . . . naked.
I had heard enough at that point, and I put an end to our relationship in short order. I told him the relationship was over -- had a friend come over with a loaded revolver (inside a newspaper) -- had him collect his belongings -- and sent him packing back to his father's ranch in Fort Benton, Montana.
Upon getting rid of George, we went through the computer terminal he used at Lumen Foods to see if he had been doing anything that could get us in trouble. We found nothing illegal financially . . . only a load of gay pornography, some involving children, too numerous to count. Not knowing if this would ever get us in trouble now that it was sitting on one of our computers, we promptly erased all the offending material.
We notified our attorney, Mr. Richard Moreno of Lake Charles, of what had happened. On his advice, we called the Lake Charles Police Department, which has a division that deals with child rape. Myron was interviewed by their specialists and we were told that it was unlikely that George had had any sex with Myron . . . yet.
I mention this not to introduce salacious material into a true story that has already reached the high water mark in skulduggery. I bring it to readers' attention because it annunciates a problem for other Americans who still don't know what's going on. America has reached -- to use John Kaminski's phrase -- such an advanced stage as a criminal police state, that there are hidden dangers even in protecting yourself or your family from those most predisposed to do you harm.
Toby McAdams, BloodrootProducts
& Federal Assistance of Copyright Theft
More aggrevating than Ackerson's overt threat that he would not be deterred in keeping our $48,000 -- because he had the assistance of Federal agents who were happy to assist him in his theft. (After all, "snitches" are a Federally protected species of the most common variety . . . like the prostitutes of Lake Charles who sell cocaine with the knowledge and cooperation of the Lake Charles Police Department because their crimes can be overlooked in the quest to catch even "bigger" criminals -- an acceptable bait to hook larger fish.)
While I was still in prison I filed Cansema and Meditopia with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. (The preceding links reveal proof of trademark for both names). In the case of Cansema, I wanted to see if the "renegade agents" involved in my case would be deterred if they knew that Toby McAdams (bloodrootproducts.com) was violating my U.S. federal trademark.
My secretary, Tabby LeDoux, continued to file complaints with the FDA over this theft -- (I enclose samples of her letters notifying the FDA, and discussions of the complaint letters themselves). The only thing that resulted, however, was a letter to Toby to take down some of his testimonials. He had stolen my web pages, my products, my product names, and my testimonials . . . to say nothing of the $6,000 in accounts payable he skipped out on after I was arrested. All of this provided irrefutable proof that even in the mind of the FDA, I had never committed a crime in the first place . . . I was simply "hit" because the job had been paid for -- in full.
The reason for getting a U.S. trademark on Meditopia involved an entirely different type of criminal behavior on the part of U.S. agents. Rodney Stich had alerted me, both through his work and in telephone discussions, to the possibility of having my book name stolen or otherwise co-opted, just as he had experienced with his first book, Unfriendly Skies. 
A Losing Battle:
Overcoming the Combined Efforts of an Infomercial Con,
a Pedophile, an Embezzling Employee Also Turned
FDA Snitch, and their cooperating FDA agent.
U.S. FDA Agent, John Armand, Raids & Robs
My Secretary's Home . . . The Decision
Not to Return to the U.S.
In October, 2007, we also discovered that the home of my former secretary, Tabetha LeDoux, was raided by -- once again -- FDA criminal investigation agent, John Armand. All herbal products in her medicine cabinet were confiscated, despite the fact that they were legal, and at the end of the raid, she was handed a subpoena. Days later, my former shipping clerk, Zoe Farris, was, likewise, hit with a subpoena.
By this time, I was not even living in the U.S. Beginning in August, 2006, I had begun making trips to Ecuador, where I decided I wanted to move after my imprisonment. With the full approval and permission of the U.S. Probation Office (where I was still serving a three year sentence), I expanded by business activity in South America, and in April, 2007 I shipped all our household goods to Ecuador. My wife obtained her investor's visa, and we planned to move permanently after June 5, 2007. Why June 5? Because this marked the date when I had been assured by my probation officer that I would be finished with probation. Instead of three years served, my probation sentence, along with others who had met the requirements of that office, would be reduced to just one year.
By late June, I began to get suspicious because I had not heard anything from my probation office about my promised relief. When I finally had a chance to discuss it with my probation officer, a Ms. Jackie Fontenot, she indicated that I would not be let go of probation, as promised, after all. By this time, my family, my household goods, my business equipment --- everything I had --- was in Ecuador. Jackie advised that I file for relief directly with the Federal Court in Lafayette. So, I hired another attorney in Lafayette (a Mr. Lawrence Billeau) and did precisely that. It took several months, but a court date of October 25, 2007 was finally set.
It should have been a simple matter . . . but it wasn't. The U.S. Attorney's Office, seething that I had managed to get our families' real estate assets returned -- which we sold at a profit, decided to exact revenge. Or, for all I know, the principal motivation factor could have been that Kevin Trudeau promised bonuses for those who assisted in putting me back in prison. (This was reported to me by one of Trudeau's own ex-employees.)
A date of October 9, 2007 -- just 16 days before my probation hearing, was set up to hold a Grand Jury investigation. It's anybody's guess what they would cook up . . . but what difference would it make what fabrication they created? After all, if truth doesn't matter, then how does the law matter? The real intent was to destroy any chance of having the balance of my probation revoked. Ever gloating and proud of himself. John Armand began bragging to people in Lake Charles with mouths even bigger than his that he had succeeded in turning a probation relief hearing into a probation revocation hearing. (The FDA and the U.S. Attorney's Office knew, of course, that the Federal Court in Lafayette had set the October 25th date.) As it turns out, I would never have learned what the FDA and the U.S. Attorney's Office were up to had it not been with a vengeful ex-employee who spilled out their game plan.
On October 10, 2007, my former accountant, Crystal Leslie, admitted in a sworn deposition (taken in connection with a worker's compensation case) that she was working with the FDA to assure my reimprisonment. She disclosed that our two other ex-employees, Tabetha LeDoux and Zoe Farris, would testify for the government as well -- (no doubt coerced, because as the reader must be well aware by now, coercion is the coin of the realm at the U.S. Department of Justice). This news, combined with information I already had on John Armand's connection to Kevin Trudeau, led me to instruct my attorney, Lawrence Billeau, to abandon the petition I had filed in Lafayette to eliminate the balance of my probation. [See Crystal Leslie deposition, along with my rebuttal to its innumerable false statements.]
The behavior of Crystal Leslie, whom we had previously viewed as a good employee, left us puzzled. Acting on intuition Cathryn decided to conduct a three-year audit of Lumen Foods' books. Her motivation was that (1) Crystal had been the bookkeeper and accountant of Lumen Foods for the entire time I had been in prison, (2) That Crystal had begun to act very strange towards after we sold Lumen Foods when the subject of money she had "borrowed from the checkbook" came up, and (3) The lies she was communicating to the FDA now made us question the accuracy of the books themselves.
After two weeks of auditing, Cathryn understood why Crystal was now doing everything she could to obstruct our smooth passage and create a situation where we could not return to the States. We found solid evidence that she had skillfully embezzled over $25,000 -- in undeclared loans, the use of our corporate "Sam's Club card" to pay for her groceries (to the tune of over $1,000 per month), and the use of corporate funds to pay for a variety of personal expenses. Knowing that we were getting closer to this discovery was more than enough motivation for her create a stunningly bogus story line.
Under no condition would she want us to return. If we were to take legal action in the States, she would end up with an indictment of her own. And she couldn't get indicted, no matter how big the fraud, unless we were present to testify.
Understanding now that Cathryn and I could not overcome Trudeau's bribe payments, not to mention a consortium who, for financial reasons, were motivated to put Cathryn and I both in prison -- or, at the very least, prevent us from returning to the States, we made the decision to stay out of the U.S. and never return. For my part, I was, for all intents and purposes, abandoning my U.S. citizenship -- even if I wasn't going to the U.S. consulate to follow the formalities laid down by the U.S. Department of State.
Armed with assurances from Ecuadorean officials that my work as an herbalist and a food manufacturer would not pose a problem in Ecuador, and knowing that I lived in a country where alternative systems of healing are protected under the law (Article 44 of the Ecuadorean Constitution), I felt firm -- and still do -- in my decision to abandon my ancestral home.
In this I have no regrets.
Our Lab Reopens
On June 1, 2008, Alpha Omega Labs reopened in Guayaquil, Ecuador, as an "export-only" company -- a little over fifty-six and a half months after it was forcibly closed. Two months later, we received a extortion letter from Toby McAdams -- the gist of which is "either you let me continue to rob your intellectual property, or I'll use my friend in Washington to make hell for you." Little did he know that sending this letter -- by itself -- constituted a felony . . . (but presumably only if committed by someone who isn't getting government protection.)
Having endured years of his violating our registered trademark for Cansema -- not to mention the wholesale copying of our web pages, the evidence of which is immortalized on the Wayback Internet Archive -- for RisingSunHealth and BloodrootProducts, and, of course, the endless complaints enumerated earlier in this chapter, we initiated a program to benefit innocent customers who, not knowing any better, purchased what they thought was Cansema, but which turned out to be substandard, misbranded and/or mislabelled items with our name on it . . . 
Toby -- citing assistance from the FDA, changed the name of his product from "Cansema" to "Cancema" -- as if changing one letter and maintaining the same phonetic name somehow made his product less of a trademark violation . . . It is sad to end this chapter with something so petty -- bickering over the name of a product, except that it so well illustrates and concurs with the bulk what this chapter is about.
I cannot watch a DVD movie at home without having to endure -- deprived of the opportunity to fast-forward past it, that ubiquitous FBI warning about the penalties for violating the moviemaker's intellectual property. Up to $250,000 in fines . . . 5 to 10 years in prison, etc.
It is a law that does not pertain to me. It wasn't created to protect people without powerful political connections. It is yet another sign of a world culture built on a myriad of unsustainable asymmetries.
When I began writing this chapter, it was the summer of 2004. At that time, I was looking at roughly 18 more months in prison -- the uncertainty surrounding confiscated property for which I had to continue to pay bills  -- and the fear of what would happen to my wife and son.
Living in Ecuador has taught me to appreciate what little time we have left in this civilizational cycle -- an important issue I address later in this book. Living in Ecuador has also taught me that there is no place on earth that is safe from the tyrannical forces that shape our world. I learned that after one unsuccessful kidnapping attempt in 2008; my success in winning an extradiction hearing in December, 2009 -- which the U.S. didn't like; my subsequent "extraordinary rendition" back to the U.S.; followed by an additional two years of imprisonment in the U.S.
These extraordinary events -- which involve a breathtaking array of broken domestic and international laws -- are the subject of the final segment of this chapter.
The market is now crowded with books that document the curtailment of civil rights and the functional elimination of the U.S. Constitution as it was originally intended. This book describes how "over a thousand years of legal protections" have evaporated, so that, ultimately, no American is safe.
When my prosecutor told one of my attorneys (in response to how he could present information he knew to be false), "you do your job, or you lose your job," he only confirmed what these authors portray: that the criminal justice system, a reflection of the corrupt sewage that now runs through all branches of U.S. government, is nothing more than a "career-driven conviction mill." (p. 6) The cynicism behind this truism is what has coined one of the most common expressions you will hear in Federal prison: "There are only two kinds of people behind bars: those who pled and those who wish they'd pled." The very notion that any person charged with a crime would do anything whatsoever to actually defend themselves (and that means going to trial) is now so infuriating to authorities that sentences can be up to ten times greater for the very same charge between the individual who "pleads out" and the one who is convicted in court. The extended sentence isn't for the crime itself. The extended sentence is intended to send a message: "DO NOT DARE to question our authority. You plead to whatever we come up with or we will destroy your life."
I remember one op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that said that any prosecutor could "indict a ham sandwich." The situation on the tale end is worse: if the prosecutor comes up with a plea agreement that says you conspired with Romulans to take over the Klingon Empire, that's what you plead to.
And the Federal Judge in your case will have no problem accepting it.
You can make no bigger mistake than to think that Truth -- or any vestige of provable fact -- that resides outside the objectives of the prosecutor (i.e. convict at all cost) has any place in a Federal court of law.
It has no place at all.
This was only confirmed during my meeting with Ron Helo.
The authors of "Tyranny" go farther than anything I've seen to show that the plea bargaining process is a form of coercion and torture. In my own case, when I told Federal Judge Tucker Melancon that I didn't agree with what was being read (by my own attorney, Lewis Unglesby) from the Pleading, what was his response? He instructed me to go back and meet with my attorney in private. In other words, let's recess so your attorney can advise you on 'how things work around here.'
Long ago, writes the authors, "English jurists recognized that a guilty plea could be provoked by needs other than the alleviation of a bad conscience. Perhaps the plea was a fraud, prompted by a bribe . . . [truth in my case, as described in an upcoming chapter] . . . Maybe threats had been made against his wife, children, or estate. [In my case, all three.] . . . Guilty pleas in the absence of a trial prevented the judicial search engine from finding out what actually had happened, thus impeding the pursuit of truth. The easy convenience of a guilty plea had the stink of malfeasance. (p. 84-85). For these sound reasons, "There was no plea bargaining in felony cases in the eighteenth century . . . " Moreover, "The parallels between the modern American plea bargaining system and the ancient system of judicial torture are many and chilling." (p. 85)
Kaminski travels where few American intellectuals dare tread. The volume above is just a small sampling of his work -- a monument to a man who, to draw from a lesson we'll examine in Chapter 4, has fully seen behind the cruel lies of our 'common narrative.'
His work is relevant in this chapter because if the Department of Justice were even as corrupt as Dick Armey makes it out to be ("out of control"), then one would think that this problem might be systemic: that it might infect other parts of the U.S. Government.
Kaminski uses powerful polemics to show that it does.
In later chapters, I create logical constructs -- an expansion of the rhetorical concept of "synecdoche" -- to show how examining each part and finding malaria wherever you go, strengthens the argument that each part is infected. Likewise, by examining our Global Cultural Operating System our understanding of this systemic corruption, as a whole, is reinforced on multiple layers of understanding.
And yet, in the end, when our polemics and arguments have been exhausted, we will still not arrive at a place that is more advanced than the position from which Kaminski now speaks.
But we will own the knowledge ourselves, so we don't have to take his word for it.
If it is true, as Kaminski intimates, that "the false fabric of history is unraveling beneath an avalanche of pathological lies," then, as it relates to American life, shouldn't sociological measurements be able to quantify this implosion on the level of localized community.
Yes, it should.
And it does.
Written in 1996, Putnam's work now seems dated. A bulwark within a relatively new movement in sociology called "neo-Tocquevillianism," Putnam tries to escape "the declensionist narrative" -- that is, the recounting of rise and fall that are retold in every civilization whose members still care to recall their collective past. (p. 24). Instead, he strives to paint himself as an optimist championing the revival of American community.
His recommendations, from my perspective -- and I've read his latest follow up book, Better Together -- strike the keen observer as 'too little, too late.' They marginalize the negative policies of a highly centralized government, do little to nothing to factor in the effects on community of a highly diminished resource base, and cluelessly circumvent the obvious: that in a world where globalism reigns, sucking communities dry of their own internal resources in the same way that the Core has sucked Peripheral third-world countries dry for most of the last 500 years, the regeneration of community life is impossible until after some form of "Crash." Such a cataclysm must be sufficiently deep so as to cause a complete rewriting of our global cultural operating system, such that transformation will eliminate its non life-supporting, suicidal tendencies.
The signs pointing to such a near-term event are too numerous to mention, but come from diverse arguments, sources, disciplines, and times. Such an event is described as crash and die-off (see Catton), purification and change of "cycle" (see Hopi prophesy in Waters, p. 333-334), earth change (numerous examples in works on Edgar Cayce), armageddon (John of Patmos, with focus on Revelations, Chap. 18), dark age (see Berman's Dark Ages America or Vacca's Coming Dark Age), collapse (apply lessons learned from Tainter), systemic decline (Spengler), breakdown (Toynbee) -- pick your term and its proponents, it doesn't matter. Again, you can't begin the next experiment in humanity without first cleaning out the petri dish.
The insanity behind this system is addressed in any number of books, the notable ones written within the last seven years. My favorite was Joel Dyer's The Perpetual Prisoner Machine : How America Profits from Crime. The same message, however, can be gleaned from Parenti's Lockdown America, Joseph T. Hallinan's Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, or Tonry's Thinking About Crime: Sense and Sensibility in American Penal Culture.
No amount of reading, however, can prepare a person for the horrors one witnesses from the inside. No amount of television viewing concerning penal life -- which do no justice to the actual experience, and no amount of conversation with those who've "been down," serve as an accurate substitute for the experience. It is not without irony that on Monday, March 13, 2006 -- the day I was released from "Beaumont Low" -- that the guard bringing me to the foray to be released said, "I hear you're an author . . . that you write books."
"Well . . . a couple . . ." I replied meekly.
"Good . . . because somebody needs to write about what goes on inside this place."
What the guard didn't know is that there have been quite a number of good works already written that warn the American public about the nature of its penal system and culture. The problem is that very few people read them, and if they did, they still wouldn't fully grasp the systemic flaws it reveals about America at large.
The reason for this is obvious to one who has seen both sides: the bulk of American myth and the common narrative that propagates it -- not to mention the propagandistic orientation of American corporate media -- stand in such contrast to these truths. Accepting the horror of what America's penal culture has turned into and what is says about America means confronting a cognitive disonance that few can accept. We explore this phenomena more extensively in the second section of the next chapter.
With so many people now going to prison, you now have a growing field of consultants who advise people who are about to "go down." This was bound to happen, sooner or later, simply because even the highest paid criminal defense lawyers know little to nothing about the BOP (Bureau of Prisons), nor do they give a shit. The same can be said of Federal prosecutors and their partners-in-crime: the Federal judges who sentence defendants -- doing so very rarely in a way that does not largely comport with the prosecutor wishes.
I, myself, consulted a "prison consultant" before I "went down." In fact, I bought a copy of David Novak's Downtime before I had to self-report to prison on September 24, 2004.
Does it do the job? Does it provide reliable instructions so that if you follow its guidelines you will have a smoother transition into prison life -- America's fastest growing lifestyle non-choice?
Only marginally so.
But don't blame the author. He does his best. And there were a handful of suggestions my wife and I found helpful.
The problem is that American prisons are islands unto themselves. Yes, they do have rules. But they break them routinely, another reflection of a kind of ubiquitous God-complex which undergirds prison administration. ("We do what we want. When we want. And if people don't like it, they can shove it up their ass," as I heard on any number of occasions inside prison).
In this sense, we once again find in America's penal culture a microcosm of the very same authoritarianism that runs rampant at virtually all levels of American Empire.
As mentioned in brief in the primary text, MLM Fraud is an excellent case study in the effective dismantlement of civil rights in America -- in this case, the right to "freedom of speech."
My purpose in writing MLM Fraud was not -- as my detractors 15 years ago attempted to portray -- a case of "sour grapes." I didn't write the book because of envy, or because I inherently disliked my former partners, or because, like the renegade FDA agents I talk about, somebody put money in my pocket. Quite the contrary, I loathed the tactics to which I was an eyewitness. I saw innocent people get hurt -- some of them lose their lifesavings. I wanted the public to know that most MLM operations are carefully-crafted pyramid schemes, and I wanted to provide methods whereby entrepreneurial people could identify the better opportunities from those where the game was rigged. The aim of the book was to even the odds a little bit.
With meticulous detail I provided as many facts, figures, names, events, and primary source documents as I could in the book -- and then to top it off, I opened the book with the results of my own professionally-administered lie-detector test. The book didn't read like an expanded tabloid article, because it wasn't tabloid material. Moreover, I took consider risk in self-publishing the book, because I knew I was going after wealthy, vested interests -- and not just my former partners.
Did any of this make any difference in the ability of those who wanted to shut me up in reaching their goal?
Of course not.
In the next chapter, we cover the suppression of the work of Wilhelm Reich and the U.S. Court order to have his books burned. Those who become acquainted with Reich's case automatically assume that this case (which took place in 1954) is isolated, that "freedom of speech" is largely protected and that the suppression of sensitive material that is threatening or embarrassing to vested interests is the exception and not the rule.
Those who make such assumptions are simply wrong.
Today the core partners of what began as Consumer Express (Tom Schreiter, David Bertrand, and Jana Mitcham) operate under yet another new entity, Vitamart. I doubt that even a fraction of their current distributors are familiar with the fields of financial dead bodies that have preceeded their current corporate incarnation.
In a land where it is so easy to use the courts to suppress "freedom of speech," how would they know?
Many will find it improbable that someone like Kevin Trudeau is "working for the dark side." After all, the self-styled "Mr. Mega Memory," has made his most current fortune by preaching a gospel that exalts natural living and excoriates the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, many of the positions that Trudeau takes in his best-selling book, Natural Cures "They" Dont' Want You To Know About read as if they were lifted straight out of Alpha Omega Labs -- material I wrote as long as 12 years ago.
I, myself, dismissed, early-on, the evidence that Trudeau was actually WORKING as a snitch for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. I was able to dismiss this evidence because I knew that, on the surface, Trudeau was regularly at odds with this federal agency, as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Why would someone cooperate with a governmental agency that was a frequent and regular adversary? Additionally, Trudeau had an axe to grind because of both the publication of MLM Fraud and my online creation of the MLM Credit Bureau. His working with the FDA and George Ackerson to pose problems for me was, in my mind, insufficient proof that he was working with governmental pharmaceutical thugs in cases outside my own.
In the end, the approach of people whom I would come to regard as helpful "snitches to the snitches" proved to be too overwhelming. I simply could not discount the obvious: Trudeau had been co-opted. A simple pact had been reached between Trudeau and the U.S. Government, which, in effect, said, "You can continue making wild, unsubstantiated claims about your books and other products, if you agree to pay the occasional fines [after all ... it always comes down to the money], and help us prosecute those who come to you with competitive treatments from the alternative health care community. After all, the People trust you now. They listen to you. You're in a better position to find out which practitioners, chemists, and small manufacturers are making products or developing procedures that could compete with our clients at the big pharmaceutical companies than we are. Congratulations -- you're on our team now!"
An abundance of such Faustian pacts is a requirement of modern governnance --- for legitimacy's true role is to permit the dominant polity to burden the citizenry without molestation from prospective invaders. Such control cannot be maintained without co-optation of perceived opposition. (See The Prince, p. 26, for Machiavelli's description of the opportunity provided to Moses by the lack of observance of this principle by the Egyptians.)
From May 18-20, 2007, Cathryn and I attended a seminar in Sedona, Arizona, where we had an opportunity to talk to another well-known author about the Trudeau matter. His comment on what we were observing was illuminating: "Trudeau is very big in the media now, and no one --- and I mean, no one -- who gets to that level of exposure and success in this country and takes a position critical of reigning government policy, lasts very long unless they have cut a deal to secretly work for the other side. And this is particularly true if the subject is having to cross lines of legality to sustain their success, thus requiring special favors."
I read the first edition of Trudeau's book while I was in U.S. prison (2005). To be fair in my appraisal, I found many of the themes similar to my own and many of the positions taken grew out of the same observations. On the other hand, the number of inaccurate statements or comments that fly in the face of all scientific evidence was startling for such a widely published work. The first couple editions contained no footnotes or index and wildly false statements are made to support our common positions. (I have not kept up with the most recent editions, if there are any). Although Trudeau provides a caveat early on (i.e. "Everything I say in this book is my opinion." p. 5)), even opinions should have some basis in reality. A small sampling of the more outlandish:
"Animals in the wild have virtually no disease and no illness and live three to five times longer than humans." (Comment: What animals is he talking about? Do they reside on this planet? . . . ridiculous). (p. 14)
"Animals don't get cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or virtually any of the common human diseases . . . animals do not exercise and have no obesity or weight problem." (Comment: Is there an editor in the house?) (p. 60)
"When you are toxic, your body becomes highly acidic. Your body pH should be alkaline. When your body pH is acidic you are susceptible to illness and disease. When your body pH is alkaline, you virtually can never get sick!" (Comment: In India, they have a saying, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." There is clear evidence that certain pH-balancing therapies can be beneficial. In fact, we discussed this on Alpha Omega Labs' site and provided an easy, non-toxic way to alkaline specific body fluids. However, the operative word here is "specific." You'd never know from Trudeau's exposition, for instance, that the blood must be maintained between pH 7.35 and 7.45. If you "alkaline" it, you die. My attitude towards alkaline-balancing approaches changed, however, after 2003, when I met privately with Dr. Vladimir Volkov in St. Petersburg, Russia. The details are too extensive to cover here.)
"Virtually all fruits and vegetables are, in today's day and age, manmade . . . Virtually all fruits and vegetables have been genetically modified by man to become more disease resistant." (FACT: Only a small fraction of all food crop types have GMO versions, even though they include among the most important, including corn and soybeans. But the larger issue is that many countries now ban GMO crops -- something you'd never know by reading Trudeau's work. Here in Ecuador we have hundreds of non-GMO variations of corn and beans --- many of which are a true source of pride, especially among the indigenious.) (p. 67)
"Virtually everything made by man is a poison . . . All of our fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds are grown with highly poisonous chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides." (Too outlandish and sweeping for comment . . . By the way, the organic fruits I purchase here in Ecuador don't have any "manmade chemicals." As in any other third world countries, many farmers are too poor to use expensive chemical additives; they aren't necessary to obtain a good harvest in many cases; and, quite often, they genuinely know better.) (p. 68)
"There are thousands and thousands of chemical additives put into the food, and many of these additives are not listed on the label at all . . . there are over 15,000 toxic chemicals that are allowed to be added to food without being listed on the label " (FACT: I am no friend of the FDA -- which I regard to be little more than a racketering operation for Big Pharma, but this is absurd. I was a food manufacturer as the owner of Lumen Foods from 1986 to 2007. I also founded PreservX, which I was forced to sell in 2003 because of my federal legal problems, and is now known as Global Preservatives, Inc.. So I feel I quality to speak as an expert. A simple perusal of CFR 21 -- the regulatory bible of the American food and drug industry -- reveals that it does not even CONTAIN "thousands and thousands" of additives. In each additive category, you really only have a handful of additives which serve the modern food processor -- be it in microbial preservation, anti-oxidation, coloring, flavoring, emulsification, etc. To quality as something you are even allowed to use, it must be GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). There are not "thousands and thousands of additives" on the GRAS list. I will not argue that there are many additives on the GRAS list that should never have been placed there; and there are additives that are NOT on the GRAS list that should be. (Example: I regard "stevia" as a superior sweetener to any of the GRAS-approved sweeteners. ] It is shameful that the most widely used GRAS approved sweeteners are carcinogenic.  (p. 71 and 75).)
"You take a pot and you put soil in it. You put in ten pounds of soil, and you put in one little tiny seed, and every day you add some water, and at the end of a year you have this big plant. Well, take the plant out, shake off the soil from the roots and weigh the soil. Guest what? You still have ten pounds of soil." (Comment: Ooopps . . . No conservation of mass? Well, there just went the First Law of Thermodynamics . . . I know, I know -- stop complaining. Just because a person writes about soil doesn't mean they're required to have ever grown anything in it.) (p. 74)
"Margarine is produced by . . . taking oil and spinning it until it becomes solid." (Too ridiculous for comment; p. 78).
"A person who snores wakes themselves up an average of 300 times per night." (p. 98)
"Driving a car . . . raises stress levels in the body up to 1,000 times normal levels. When a person is driving a car combined with talking on a cell phone, stress levels can go as high as 5,000 times the norm." (Rubbish -- where's the research? p. 99).
"I believe that the human body, like all mammals, should live to be well over 100 years old." (Of course, "like all mammals." p. 106).
"A conventional animal is usually aged, which means the animal flesh is hung in a dark room and allowed to rot. A green mold covers the rotting animal flesh. This green toxic mold is bacteria that tenderizes the meat, but also fills the meat with more toxic poisons." (Comment: Okay. Got it. Fungus is bacteria . . . and meat that is not organic and kosher is required to rot before processing. p. 118)
"The human body virtually goes into toxic shock by consuming pork . . if you didn't eat pork for thirty days and then had some, there is an excellent chance you would be violently ill." (Comment: I, myself, had said for years that a healthy diet excludes meat. It is the central point of my first book. But this kind of hyperbolic nonsense destroys the credibility of the other beneficial messages in Trudeau's book. p. 129)
"More people die from eating shellfish than any other food." (Research? p. 129)
"Music has a powerful effect on the physiology . . . In just five minutes, the music can turn the body from acid to alkaline." (Comment: Again -- just how many millions of Americans bought this book? p. 131).
"Fat free" does not mean "healthy." When you see "fat free" on the label, be assured that the company is trying to deceive you, so don't buy it. Most fat free products are simply loaded with unbelieveable amounts of sugar." (Rubbish. Many foods are just naturally fat free. You wouldn't add sugar because the food itself doesn't call for it. Real beef jerky comes to mind. p. 132)
"Regular table salt is poison. Sea salt is infinitely better for you. This one small change can also make you lose between five and ten pounds in the first thirty days." (Comment: Sea salt is preferably, to be sure -- but (1) not infinitely so, and (2) not as a formula for weight loss. By in large, the body treats sodium chloride like sodium chloride. Sea salt contains more adjunctive minerals than table salt, making it generally healthier." p. 133)
"Corn oil is a man-made product. If you took an olive you could squeeze it and you would have oil. But you can't squeeze corn and get oil. Remember, if it is man-made, don't eat it." (Comment: The process of producing olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is less intensive, to be sure. But to say that the oil fraction of the corn is man-made is incorrect. p. 142.)
"Most food companies have chemical laboratories where thousands of chemical additives are researched and tested. These laboratories are in secret locations and have tighter security than CIA headquarters . . . " (Oh please. Was this book a bestseller in the non-fiction or fiction category? p. 156)
"There is virtually nothing in a supermarket that is not loaded with toxins, stripped of nutrition, and altered energetically." (Again, it is this ridiculous hyperbole, which runs rampant throughout Trudeau's work, that detracts from elements of his message that are positive, useful, and actually TRUTHFUL. p. 168)
"The food industry has lobbied Congress to pass legislation allowing chemicals to be called spices. They are not spices. They are man-made, deadly chemicals, but legally they can be called spices." (Same argument. Moreover, chemicals have scientific names, and except for certain chemicals, which added in small amounts, are allowed to be treated as 'incidental levels' and not listed on the label, you simply cannot call a man-made chemical a spice. No chemical additive I know of is permitted to be called a spice under prevailing labelling law. p. 172.)
"It's estimated that over 95 percent of all food purchased has as many as 300 chemicals added to each product that are not listed on the label." (Nonsense to the point of comedy. p. 186.)
Because I readily acknowledge this artificial mileau, it is even easier to acknowledge that most readers will feel that elements of my personal story -- regardless of the amount of documentation -- is exaggerated or embellished . . . that I have a bone to pick and/or are able to creatively weave together enough 'Anti-American' rubbish to make seductive arguments with half-truths.
The beauty in the work of authors like Rodney Stich is that they present you with such an avalanche of evidence which demonstrate the systemic disease that is the current state of Americanism that any reader with but a modicum of objective receptivity will be made to see the dots.
Moreover, I use the work of Stich and others to make the case that this isn't even a commentary about the U.S. Indeed, I make the case that the problem rests in an underlying Global Cultural Operating System in chapter 5, such that any dominant faction within our species would end up behaving similarly.
Given how much evidence that Tocqueville provides as to America's fatal flaws, I am compelled to ask the obvious: have any of the geniuses in the media, literature, politics, or academia who swoon in praising this thing -- obstensibly caught in their own altered state of masturbationally ecstatic, cultural self-glorification -- actually read it?
I mean . . . I accept that $100,000 a year speechwriters are able to pick it up and quote an obligatory line or two. That's what they're paid to do. And, of course, let's not forget students of political science. This is required reading -- so . . . please . . . let's have a round of Clif Notes on the house!
But who really goes beyond a meandering perusal and studies this 870 page tomb?
The question itself does not pose bias as to content, nor is it inherently anti-American. We are talking about our zeitgeist here --- in a world brimming with Marxists who have never read Das Capital; capitalists who have never lifted a copy of Wealth of Nations; proselytizing Christians who don't know their Old from their New Testament . . . well . . . you get the picture.
More to the point, please consider the following -- a mere small sampling of Tocqueville's contrary observations that hardly represent a glowing report on nascent American culture:
Tocqueville clearly describes the paradox of America's bias in suppressing freedom of speech. "I know of no country where there is generally less independence of thought and real freedom of debate than in America." (p. 297, para 4). Well over a century before the writings of George Orwell, Tocqueville makes clear that even in his time (the 1830's), the seeds of tyranny against independent thought were fully manifest: "In our day, the most absolute sovereigns of Europe cannot prevent certain thoughts hostile to their authority from circulating secretly in their states . . . Not true (in) America; as long as the majority cannot make up its mind, speech is allowed; as soon as it has pronounced its irrevocable decision, speech is silenced." (p. 297, para 2)
Tocqueville uses the strongest possible language of his time to describe an intolerance to the very spirit of the First Amendment -- worse than the Inquisition. "If America has not yet found any great writers, we should not look elsewhere for reasons; literary genius does not thrive without freedom of thought and there is no freedom of thought in America. [emphasis added] The Inquisition was never able to stop the circulation in Spain of books hostile to the religion of the majority. The power of the majority in the United States has had greater success than that by removing even the thought of publishing such books. You come across skeptics in America but skepticism cannot find an outlet for its views." (p. 299)
Tocqueville derides democracy as practiced in America as the finding the lowest common denominator. The "tyranny of the majority" is a constant theme throughout his work, stunting the development of great character, attracting moral midgets to public office ("it is not always the ability to choose men of merit which democracy lacks but the desire and inclination to do so" p. 230), and inducing a Orwellian kind of patriotic mood-making. "The consequence is a much more universal lowering of spiritual standards." (p. 301, 304) He even goes as far as to quote Jefferson, whom he regards as "the most powerful apostle democracy has ever had" as predicting a coming tyranny that will "in turn" spread from the legislative branch ("the most forbidable dread at present") to the executive "at a remote period" (p. 305) -- [How prescient: it took 200 years] . . . Imagine . . . and this is coming from democracy's "most powerful apostle"?
The self-destructive tendencies of democracy are "modified" by its conservative legal tradition -- which ultimately serves to undermine the very thing it modifies. Tocqueville then goes on to comfort us by arguing how readily lawyers can be made to be part of the Aristocratic "family" -- thus trashing the very thing they modify by becoming "instruments of power." How nice. (p. 307-315)
Tocqueville identifies a tendency towards a lack of true moral values, honor, and virtue in democracies in general and America in particular. In place of a respect for "honor" (which Tocqueville defines within a historic context) is a love of money and respect for success unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. (p. 714-728) "All constantly wish to acquire material possessions, reputation, and power; few have a lofty conception of all these things . . . I believe that one must seek the cause for this fact mainly in the state of society and the democractic customs of the Americans." (p. 728)
Tocqueville argues that democratic nations have a natural desire for peace but their armies will always have a propensity to seek war. When he describes "the restless ambitions of its armed forces," whose "first thought is to provide a goal for this inconvenient ambition by going to war," he is unwittingly describing the seed behind America's unending military "inside jobs" --- from the Boston Tea Party of December, 1773, to the CIA-backed downing of the World Trade buildings (all THREE of them: 1, 2, and 7) on 9/11/2001.
Tocqueville describes contradictory conditions within Americanism and correctly predicts an end to civil liberties. He describes these "effects on the omnipotence of the majority on the arbitrary power of American public officials" as corrosive to the very liberties that are the backbone of the American common narrative. "Thus, habits are forming," he concludes, "which one day could be fatal to its liberties." (p. 296-297)
Since the execution of the 911 false flag operation of September 11 -- which was so badly botched due to intel agency fingerprints which were all over it that that it has spawned its own Truth Movement, we find with the "Patriot Act"-styled destruction of civil liberties that have ensued, that Tocqueville's prediction has become past tense.
In closing : Tocqueville was not an advocate of democracy -- or even the American experience. He fancied himself an impartial observer, which I feel is an accurate self-assessment. His "Author's Note to the Second Volume" is typical: "I hope the impartiality which people seemed to observe in the first work will be found in this second. Placed in the midst of contradictory opinions which divide us, I have tried for the moment to remove from my heart both those sympathies in favor and those feelings against which exert any influence on me . . . " (p. 490)
This is why the misinformed way in which Tocqueville's work is represented -- containing, as it does, such vivid descriptions of and powerful arguments for the self-destructive elements of the grand American experiment -- is worth noting. Moreover, we see throughout Tocqueville's work, a series of coded prophecies for which we are only now witnessing the harrowing end result.