This transcript was generously prepared by Colleen McGuire based in Greece. Thank you Colleen.
You can listen to the transcribed interview here.
I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns & Butter Alison McDowell. Today’s show Gaming our Lives: Pay for Success Finance. Alison McDowell is a pioneering independent researcher. Her journey into activism began as the parent of a public school student. In 2013 Boston Consulting Group closed 23 schools in Philadelphia. This led her to begin examining money, power and influence in her city. Her work interrogates the global finance and technology interests that under the rising biosecurity state are advancing a transhumanist program that would virtualize humans as digital commodities to be fed into futures markets to profit hedge funds. What started out as one mom’s attempt to rein in standardized testing and educational surveillance evolved into an international effort to catalyze a global peace movement against digital identity and the World Economic Forum’s planned Internet of Bodies. Alison McDowell, Welcome!
Thank you Bonnie. I’m excited to be here today.
I keep up with current events, but because I don’t have children I’m out of touch with what’s going on at the very basic level of primary education. For instance, I was taken aback to find out some years ago that cursive writing was no longer taught in school. And more recently, and this was well before the lockdown, children are required to do their work on tablets and iPad. Since children are the future, keeping up with what’s happening in primary education, it’s key to understand what is being planned for the future. And as you have pointed out, the future is being planned. There’s a tendency for people to think that things just happen or evolve. Could you talk about how being a parent led you into the research you are now doing into how the future is being planned at a global level.
Sure. I’m based in Philadelphia. My child who is now in college, they spent their entire 13 years of pre-college education in the Philadelphia public schools. We’re a large urban school district and most people who have school children in urban school districts realize that privatization and transformation of schools as profit centers has been going on for some time. It took me a number of years as a parent to realize that the brokenness of our schools was being done on purpose and it was part of essentially creating markets in data analytics and outside consultancies in the schools. I got started in 2013 when the Boston Consulting Group was contracted with our school district and they ultimately closed 23 schools in the district and laid off 3,000 teachers at the time. That was sort of my jump start into the education space becoming more familiar with the way in which children were being taught was being framed as data, data analytics, and the roll-out of devices into the schools which is currently being framed as an equity issue.
My question is . . . equitable digital surveillance now in the homes of children that was happening, not through even necessarily sophisticated computer systems where children could create, but really it was a consumer model of education where children were being fed content increasingly justifying rising class sizes and that kids were being taught just by online education. Even the content that was being created was being stored in Google Classrooms, creating value for these mega tech companies that actually have incredible power and are shaping the way our future is unfolding before us right now. So that was my trajectory into the schools system, was looking at not only controlling school policy by outside interests through the data analytics but then the surveillance element as well. It’s important to know that compulsory education – I didn’t know this at the time, I’ve just learned a lot through connecting with other people – is that ultimately schools are meant to condition the next generation to serve the function of power, largely.
Powerful interests do not condition lots of free thinkers. There’s an elite class that is allowed to be the free thinkers, but most people are just supposed to toe the line whatever that next industrial need is. Even if that means moving kids off the farm into factories. If that means moving kids from the factories into cubicles, or call centers. What’s coming next which is what’s coming out of the World Economic Forum the last several years, although it’s really been in place since the 70s is this push towards a global industrial engineered society that is largely run on automation and artificial intelligence and quantum computing and synthetic biology. The aim of these very powerful interests that are coming out of the technology and the finance side is to erase physical human bodies that and minds as legacy systems and finding new ways into extracting value out of this coming generation. I’m in my early 50s. We’re hopeless. We’re not going to be retrofit into the system. I’m sure there’s a plan to ultimately sort of jettison us as soon as possible so they don’t have to pay our pensions. But it’s the children, especially the toddlers, that that in this 20-30, 20-35 [year] time horizon that they have imagined as who they need to capture into Google’s box so that they never actually know what life is outside the box of technology that’s been built around them. They’re just a fish in the water and they don’t even know the water’s there. And the school system is a huge part of that.
Yes, exactly. My first experience with your work was listening to a webinar that you gave with Joseph Gonzalez, long time developer in the gaming industry and combat veteran. In your webinar he commented on a video, you both did, a video game called Minecraft that is very addictive and specifically when adolescent children mastermind Minecraft they then can move up to an even more advanced games. So we’re not just talking about fun and games here – but the gaming industry and the military. You have said that understanding gaming and gaming theory is central to everything that is going on. What are these video games all about.
This is where people have to sort of come along with me in this mind experiment. If we understand that capital functions on growth. You can not have capitalism without growth process. That’s simply how it is. As people are understanding this “Great Reset” that’s coming out of Davos and Klaus Schwab, there is an understanding that consumer consumption and debt is sort of reaching this tipping point. We are reaching a point where it is not longer sustainable in our present trajectory, at least in the global North in terms of consumption of material goods. This reset that is being framed as stakeholder capitalism, like the newer kinder version of capitalism, will essentially mean conditioning people to “live” within smaller physical footprints and virtualized spaces in digital environments. We’ve seen that over the past year.
When I first started doing this work I had not imagined that there would be some sort of global health lockdown that would precipitate it – the idea of shifting people to normalized living online. A number of years ago I went to a lecture at our free library system. It was a virtual lecture with Snowden. He talked about living online. He was in exile but his life was being lived online. That really has struck with me because many of us are now living in much more circumscribed physical areas. We are being pushed into the virtual world. That is where the new economic model where capitalist growth is happening. It is not going to crash and burn.
The infrastructure has already been set up to create both Augmented Reality physical world spaces which I describe as a global prison planet of Augmented Realty of the spatial web, and then there is this parallel world that is linked to the exterior world that is a virtualized world of gaming. The idea that we will live in these games – I’m not a gamer myself – and that you will have an avatar that is coming out of Epic Games in the Research Triangle Park and their Unreal Engine. They’ve just launched Meta Humans which is software that allows people to create very accurate representations of humans in a digital space very rapidly, something that used to take a lot of time. So they can literally virtualize you. There’s been a lot of discussion about Deep Fakes and what that means to live in a virtual world – these worlds, both the spatial web where sensor networks, the Internet of Things, the Internet of Bodies.
I live in Philadelphia which is a smart city so we have been seeing the roll-out of smart city infrastructure and 5G infrastructure, eventually it will be 6G, over the past seven years or so. But there is much more to be planned that will interface with both wearable technology and potentially bio-sensor technology that is being developed. It’s all military R&D. The research comes out of a military space. We will exist as characters in their mind. This is how they imagine it and I hope it doesn’t come to this or they’re not able to scale it. Those in power imagine that we will be virtualized as almost like characters in the game of our lives and pushed into virtual spaces to consume digital items. Even when we are allowed to go out into the actual real world, we will be trackable and traceable through wearable technologies and this sort of global bio-security state that is rolling out with these pass systems. Digital identity systems will track our real body as that character in real physical space and also in virtual space.
There is a shift towards something called Globalization 4.0 which is the next phase of globalization where they are not only platforming screen based labor but also with haptic robotics and controllers so that you sit in your bedroom and control a factory halfway around the world. All that competition for that “work” will be mediated through your digital identity on blockchain systems. This is all in the works but it has to still be built out. The sensor networks have to be built out. The coding has to be built out. Training the artificial intelligence and the machine learning systems still have to be built out. What I was seeing as a parent over the past 5-7 years as my child was going through middle level and high school under the Obama Administration there was a huge shift towards STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math). We come from a humanities family, but this push is very limited on literature, creative thinking unless it was in robotics. A huge push towards STEM because what those in power knew is that their plan was to build a spatial web to build the Internet of Bodies, to build this global prison planet essentially and that they needed the children to be willing participants to making that happen. And that it would happen under the guise of a fun game. You would code these games and it would normalize the world you live in gaming environments.
Even today in school classrooms there is a push for behavioral management systems that are gamified where you are a cartoon and teachers zing children points and scrip for good behavior they can then exchange for digital items. That is all about conditioning kids to live in a virtual economy which is how the capitalist growth model intends to move. It is going to go inward into this other dimension that is a virtual world. But the children have to code it via Minecraft which is owned by Microsoft. Microsoft also owns HoloLens which is military technology and is working on the haptic robotics and DNA programming is linked in. The idea of getting children excited to code Minecraft – which is essentially both a gaming system and a virtual world building system and it has its own economic layer – it is to normalize that this is how life happens.
Yes, you’ve brought this up. I was taught that one of the main capitalism is that it must grow or expand. You have written that “in order for capitalism to continue on a beautiful planet of finite resources, the plan is to shift growth to digital realms” which is what you’ve been discussing. How is virtual capitalism going to piggyback on real world capitalism?
One of my other research focuses . .. part of my ability to see this is that I live in a city where a lot of these elements are happening. We have a city with a lot of people that are living on very low income. Economic prospects are not great. We have elite universities like Wharton Business School that are plotting out programs how to manage this transition. One of the key figures or thinkers in this space is Kevin Werbach and he’s a professor at Wharton Business School. His two areas of expertise. He’s written a book on gamification which is embedded in behavioral economics and “nudges.” That came in very largely under Obama with Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler like behaviorist treatment of behavior through a game, these Leaderboards. His other expertise is in blockchain which is tracking digital assets. Right now people are really fixated on bitcoin and cryptocurrency and this perception of sort of easy money, a gold rush in expansive crypto spaces where many people who are not steeped in the background of bitcoin, who are new to this area, are not necessarily following parallel developments in the central banking digital currency system. The way I see it is that ultimately what is coming are markets in human capital, markets in controlling people as characters in this online video game because with automation because with automation they won’t really be able to need that many people to do the “work.” That work will be outsourced to AI and robotics.
So they need a new profit center for the human beings that are left in the equation who are essentially disposable, dispossessed by this next round of enclosures that are happening. What is going to happen is in this “game” – the game is both in a smart environment in which you are tracked within a smart environment and we’re being normalized to accept this contract tracing, as well as in a gamified environment. There are whole systems of finances that have been set up that are called “social impact investing.” They are being framed as benevolent. They are being framed as solving poverty and fixing the environment that are predicated on an idea of “impact data” which essentially enables widespread data surveillance of populations of ecosystems and the full-on financialization of all of that.
That is actually fed through the United Nations sustainable development goals which if people are not looking closely at what is happening with those goals, they are actually an extension now of the World Economic Forum. It is corporate capture of ostensible true needs around poverty and around environmental devastation. But the tracking system to run global capital, to ostensibly fix the problem as data analytics, requires the implementation of these sensor networks that will essentially kill the planet for mining the rare minerals for energy to run the data center, the water to cool the data center, the “e-waste.”
But they need to capture the progressive mind through this idea of sustainability and equity to create an artificial intelligence coup of the entire planet, of life on the planet. Sounds kind of fantastical but that is actually what is happening right now. The smart sensors are going inn. The satellites are going up. People have been conditioned to unquestionably think if it says sustainable, it’s good. They would never know that it’s Exxon behind it. They don’t dig in to where the money is coming from for these, and the fear based element that has come through the health situation for the past year has made people really willing to do whatever, in terms of an even incredible level of surveillance and restrictions on civil liberties in the name of safety. It’s all been very teed up. It’s hard to fathom how it has gotten this way. My lens – which is different from a lot of people who are contesting this Great Reset narrative — is that this is a logical through line – again I’m in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – but those documents always considered certain groups of people disposable, enslaved people, indigenous people, and that was because of the economics of dispossession and control of people’s labor.
Now with what is coming with this planned automation of the earth, all humans, including the white community, fall under that disposable category. In my mind what we need to revisit as we are being pushed into his virtualized, militarized video game of behavioral compliance and improvement in accordance with these sustainable development goals is a return to, an affirming of the indigenous insurgence, of children of the earth, of natural reciprocity in right relationship to the earth which is counter to everything that is actually coming through this technocratic industrially engineered simulated world that is being put out by those in power. And looking very much to . . . .like the farmers in India who are standing in their faith practice to stand up for natural life in the face of this synthetic biology, sensor based program.
You have pointed out that the gaming industry is the intertwining of the military, entertainment and global finance grounded in military-state surveillance, and that the ultimate goal then is the control and containment, not liberation.
Yes, and that’s why I was really glad to get the invitation on this program. A book that was really influential to me and I encourage people to read it, especially the first three chapters, is Yasha Levine’s book Surveillance Valley. Many people read, know of, Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism, but their theses are sort of different. In her framing it is that the internet has been broken and it needs to get righted. But Levine’s framing is that the military has always been a military operation and is functioning as intended. That is the framing that I use, is understanding cloud computing and the internet is as generally a military operation.
23:02 While it might be convenient and fun and efficient and lets us do things, it is conditional. It is all founded on this larger history. So the video gaming industry is emergent out of the warfare fighting simulation industry. A lot of work in developing this idea of synthetic people, chat bots, conversation bots and increasingly it will be these avatar characters, is being done at the Institute of Creative Technologies. That’s at the University of Southern California. When that was created, I believe, in the late 1990s, it was done with the Army Research Lab and high level executives at Disney. So, it has been this wedding of – they said, hey you know, the military wants to do really good simulations and the entertainment and media industry wants to do really good simulations and how do we collaborate in ways that we can leverage each other’s expertise in this area? This work has been done for almost 20 years going on and if you are in those spaces you probably already know, but most people probably are not aware that that’s what the origins are.
When I was doing work in the education space, increasingly children were being put on to educational gaming systems. My child was actually on Study Island, linking learning with gaming leaderboards, conditioning this sort of competitive aspect but learning according to artificial intelligence pathways and feedback loops. There was a program called Reasoning Mind which was a math program that was rolled out in Texas, I believe – Texas is sort of the center of this roll-out of human capital finance industry that’s coming. And it had a little chat bot with a little orange robot pop-up figure that would be the sort of tutor for the children. The children were getting attached to this character and it was acting like it was sort of this entity. Kids, their understanding of reality and what’s real and what’s not real, and their emotional connection to these are being manipulated, right? So these gaming systems were being woven into the education space and conditioning again to this larger gaming system.
25:37 In 2013 the Democratic National Convention was in Philadelphia. Atlantic magazine was hosting a number of panels all that week in a sports bar downtown and they were open to the public. I had this one friend who said I should really come to this one session. It was about education and the Creative Economy. I was able to do that. I went down. I don’t normally go to these sorts of things. It was quite fancy and they had open bar in the middle of the day and they had all sorts of gift bags. It was quite nice. And they had a panel and this panel – there was Suzan DelBene who was former Microsoft from Washington State who headed the Internet of Things caucus. I think Constance Steinkuehler who had been at the University of Wisconsin Madison but now UC-Irvine who was a specialist in gaming in education. I believe his name was Paul Megan (??) who was head of Epic Games that I had mentioned in North Carolina, and one of our progressive city council people and the moderator. So we’re at this session and this was in 2016 they just kept repeating – this is Paul Meegan – that the children needed to be trained to code his video games which I thought was a really narrow perspective on education and the Creative Economy that really the focus of this whole session was training kids to code the video games.
It wasn’t until about a year and a half later that I came to the realization that he meant they needed to code this virtual world that we were going to be put in, that that was this generation’s job, to code not his video games, but actually the virtual world. Epic Games, one of their big games is called Fortnight and it’s a multi-player war fighting game. That game was actually scaled with capital from Tencent which is in China. It’s one of the largest entities in China. Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and they help scale Fortnight which is this fighting game. Tencent actually has many interests but they have their own social scoring system. They’re connected to We Chat Pay that has spatial recognition systems. They’re connected to many of these new digital currency frameworks. The other element is, when you’re doing a multi-player game, there’s all sorts of data analytics and socio-analytic behavior that can come out of these systems. If you wanted to understand how different communities might engage in asymmetrical warfare you might create an incredibly popular global video game and like let it run for five or six years around the world. And then you’ll have all sorts of data analytics about the psychometrics of different populations – do they play Fortnight differently in Alabama than in London than go uh . . . what is the culture, the strategic or collective mindset of these different groups. And again, conditioning kids to – digital economic systems, socializing online through gaming.
28:51 Cory Doctorow has a good book called For the Win for young adults that taught me a lot about these virtual worlds and virtual economics. I think it’s a militarized space. Kevin Werbach from Wharton, he speaks to the Wharton alumni, the ones setting up this game. He says, you know a lot of people don’t even know they’re in a game. The best place to be is to be the designer of the game because then you get to set the rules. If what we imagine in this next set of financial institutions is not just selling video games, it’s not just about the sale of video games or the sales of pharmaceuticals or the sales of products. It’s actually as Zuboff speaks to, behavioral surplus and predictive analytics and making predictions about the bigger change. That is what the sustainable developmental goals are. That is what has been set up by the global impact investment network with Judith Rodin and the Rockefeller Foundation and Impact Management Project is that they are setting up the game in measured behavior change according to set standards and then tracking everyone as an entity on their game board. But they can ultimately change the rules whenever they want.
I’m speaking with pioneering independent researcher Alison McDowell. Today’s show “Gaming Our Lives: Pay for Success Finance.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter
So when someone interacts with virtual space online, is that person simultaneously being profiled?
There are a number of things that are still in process. The predictive profiling necessitates having interoperable data. In previous years, our data lived and was scattered about in all sorts of different places. Their goal is to create – the World Wide Web Consortium has been working for a long time on self-sovereignty. They call it self-sovereign digital identity. They would like to create, likely blockchain, an interoperable data system that represents all of you. All of your digital dust, everything from where you parked on the street on your credit card parking space to your birth certificate to your property to your jury duty to your voting. They would like that all in one thing. Because if they could create a vast data bank of you in real time, that is the optimal predictive analytics both on your past behavior and their prediction of what your future would be. I actually put out on social media last week – will there be a digital identity for your avatar in the virtual world? Will they link? The goal in the push for mixed reality is that they are actually working in ways that you will link dimensionally virtual spaces and physical spaces. If you have a virtual representation of your home office and in your home office you move the pencil can to the other side of your desk, when you’re next back in your virtual space office, it will be on the side you placed it on.
I don’t know the technology how they’re doing that but that is in their head space. Their goal is to actually create – and I don’t know if it is string theory. I don’t know exactly how that happens, but it is to have a fully-sensored environment that your physical space mirrors this virtual space. Now I know that in the physical space the goal is these interoperable identities, self-sovereign identities is what they are called, they’re being sold to us as “privacy protecting,” that we can own our own data and that we will be much more valuable. What I’m trying to reframe the conversation to say, There’s been a back door that’s been built into block chain. It’s called the Enigma Protocol that MIT developed that allows them to quarry unencrypted data. The futures markets that are coming online which is the finance side, Goldman Sachs, UBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, Vatican Bank, SoftBank – these folks to move their capital in human futures – because what is being set up now are futures markets in behavior change and that is necessitated because if we imagine the last global economic crash was related to housing, that they created these synthetic debt obligations to channel global capital and as that fell apart in the decade following, the wealth has only continued to become more concentrated.
The next synthetic product of debt that they can use – the only thing that’s bigger than housing – are human bodies. So human bodies are being repackaged as future debt obligations. I believe that that is what is inherently behind the global economic demolition – to make us dependents on the state, to offer UBI as part of this money to stay in the game, and that we will be controlled by our digital identity systems. We will become debt commodities burdens on the state. 34.14 Through a new system that is being put into place called Pay for Success Finance which are literally privatizing the entire social welfare system and remaking it as an investment opportunity in human capital, that they can securitize us and gamble — put us pathways to self-improvement whether that is improving your health, improving your mental health, getting off drugs, taking drugs – now they’re legalizing all these psychedelics – managing you as a series of continuum care program according to measured behavior change, and then betting on whether or not you’ll comply. That is their new game. That is the ultimate game they are playing that is both you as a real person and you as a virtual character, will you comply with the pathway that you’ve been put on. They are swapping the global prison industrial complex for an open air prison where instead of guards you have social workers, health care providers, educators. They are the ones doing the guarding and making sure you stay on your pathway of self-improvement on your UBI.
I equate it largely to looking at what happened to indigenous communities where and that’s why AI is settler colonizer – when this manifest destiny premise involved removal of the existing occupants who were connected to these ancestral lands into different areas, removing their economic independence, removing their culture, removing their direct relationships into the environment, making them dependents on the state and then breaking treaties and not fulfilling obligations and breaking down families and cultural traditions. That whole premise is advancing under Agenda 21 is moving us into mega-cities where essentially we’re all Lakota. That is the fate that befalls us unless we can reckon with that past history and bring it forward. Like what are the implications of the Ghost Dance period for this moment in which synthetic biology, virtualization, militarization could push us into a virtual world, or at least our children.
Yes, exactly and these are hard concepts for people to grasp. The global power elite have plans for the world’s future that you research and document in great detail. In order to understand these plans, a new vocabulary is required which most people don’t have. For instance, you write about “players on a hexagonally tiled board of GPS coordinates.” What does this mean and what is the significance of hexagons that is six-sided tiles.
Well, it’s interesting. There are a lot of layers to this actually. In military simulations, hexagons are apparently the most efficient use of tiling space. Even down to bees in honey combs they’re in hexagons because it is the most efficient use of material. It’s interesting because there is an element in play here that sounds incredibly sensational but is accurate in a push towards what they call transhumanism which is sort of this cybernetic remaking of humans in interfacing with technological and mechanical systems. People know about Elon Musk who is promoting his insertable implant. But even down to injectable nanorobotics which is happening. These transhumanists talk about – they essentially want to connect us into a giant consciousness like a hive-mind. We need to look at both how they understand nature, like bees and drones and the hive. They imagine a future in which individuality is subjected into this sort of homogenous globalist prospect. And the hexagons are part of that.
I will also say the hexagons are – it’s a motif. They’re everywhere once you start looking for it. If you look at the cube like as a line drawing and you pivot it, it actually becomes a hexagon. Hexagons are often also used in blockchain as the graphics, both as these blocks and as the hexagon tilted cube, and with the hexagon outline. The blocks are again essentially breaking people down into just tiny bits of bites of data, virtualizing them like digital assets. There’s that. The hexagonal tile element is used in military simulation war gaming planning. Even the ride sharing companies like Uber talk about hexing the world. They use their coordinate system in terms of connecting drivers to ride requests using this tile based hexagonal system. I had put in one of my recent blog posts that the settlers of Catan – there are a number board game that are hexagonally based. It is about using efficient use of space. It has the military elements.
The GPS piece of it is that this global prison planet sort of the Internet of Bodies spoken about by the World Economic Forum and major global consulting firms is that it is tracked not only by the telecommunications cellular infrastructure but also through satellite systems, and we’re seeing those satellites going up now. Satellite whole constellations to track people that are in non-dense urban areas, to continue to track people through these GPS coordinates and sensor based systems. Even at a very basic level a phone is one of these sensor based systems. Early last year in the covid unfolding there was an op-ed in the Harvard Business Review where they were talking about vaccine distribution as an equity issue. They were saying the plans were to track the children in Africa through a company called Macro Eyes from space to predict the vaccine uptake. They were sort of straight out saying the plans were to track populations for desired behaviors.
I often say we need to take into consideration what is the power structure there? Cui bono? Who is benefiting from the existing power structure and how it is being rolled out and to sort of interrogate, as you said, the vocabulary of equity. Is that truly equity that your children are non-consensually tracked from space to pursue a certain behavior that Harvard Business School interests desire. I think that if you actually dig into what equity is and consent, I think you would probably question that premise. That’s hexagons. I will also say there are, there’s stuff going on in secret brotherhoods and other things. This idea of hexing something is another element. There are often, there are different ways of using language, both from a propaganda standpoint, from a double entendre stand point, from a diversionary standpoint and then some that are symbolic. So I do believe that this idea of hex, and the historic meaning of hexing, is layered in there as well at multiple levels.
I’m speaking with pioneering independent researcher Alison McDowell. Today’s show “Gaming Our Lives: Pay for Success Finance.” I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter.
You made a comment on twitter that I can’t locate at the moment but it had to do with your feeling that your research had catapulted you fifteen – twenty years or more into the future. What does the world look like in say twenty years, assuming these global plans come to fruition?
Well, I keep hoping that they’re not going to be able to scale this. I think a lot of people find what I talk about depressing. I will say many of these plans have been contemplated even since the late 19th century, the idea of technocracy and industrially engineered societies and then really amping them up in the 70s with Brzezinski and the Trilateral Commission. In the 40s with cybernetics. All of these ideas have been bubbling along for quite some time and they have not yet fully manifested. I’m not saying this is absolutely a foregone conclusion. Actually my child was saying in 2018, “Mom, you have to write this as a story because it’s just too hard for people to understand. I have a blog. It’s called WrenchintheGears.com and I have a series of posts, seven posts, it’s called Building Sanctuary. It was laying out what I saw this scenario play out. Philadelphia is the center of the heroin epidemic and I sort of opened the scene of this scenario in the last several years. It’s gotten even worse under lockdowns and people having more and more stress and mental health challenges — is that we were having people ODing in the parks and the librarians were being set up with Narcan to give a basic line of assistance to people. The scenario is that there were sort of large warehouses where dispossessed people are essentially hooked up into virtual reality headsets in very minimal accommodations, gulags, dorms, warehoused, and then provided very minimal physical amenities but then told to live in a virtual space. That is my fear: the collapse of the malls, all of the Big Box stores, and then everyone was moved into the Walmart and put in VR headsets. There’s some very striking images on the internet that sort of depict that, this sort of dystopian future. Here’s a UBI view — that actually if you want to eat real food, you’re going to only be able to afford only gruel but in virtual reality, you get the steak. It’s like the matrix sort of situation.
I do feel like we’re moving towards the matrix. We talk about the military and Hollywood and predictive programming. There are folks in my social media circles who are much more savvier about aligning all the movies that have been laying out the pieces of this, The Minority Reports and many other films. In this future [of the scenarios] it was kids, I had two sisters, and they were stuck on these Chromebooks and these feedback loops and the one was rebellious and the other was a striver, trying to get ahead, trying to earn badges and get the points, trying to help their parents out. The younger one was pushed into self-harm, so they were trying to find a social worker that would actually help them. And the people in the resistance movement were the disposable people, the people who were never put on blockchain because they weren’t even valued at that lower level. People who were veterans. People who had disabilities. People who were poor. The disposable ones.
Shortly after I wrote that piece less than six weeks later, Philadelphia was doing a major push-out of encampments, largely people who are suffering from addiction, as part of a big gentrification process. I went down to – I knew some people who were organizing in that space and I was down there and it was just like my story was coming to life. These are the people from my book., these two sisters. Actually there were three in my story, these three little girls, and they showed up in school uniforms and asked Do you know where we can get food? Ever since that point we talk about time and continuums, but is there some continuum?
I mean I hope I didn’t manifest this by writing this story. I’m sure I’m not making myself that important. I’m not that important. But there is this sense of what we feed, we grow. So I’m trying to keep a balance between informing people and giving them an intelligence of what sociopathic billionaires have in mind to do to the world, whether they can accomplish or not, and then manifesting an alternative to that. What is a manifest of life, an affirmation of natural life that is counter to a synthetically engineered version of life, like GMO life writ large with nano-tech.
It sounds like what you are describing in the global elite’s own words is “a negation of the natural world and forced leap into an artificial synthetic one.” And that this is already taking place. According to mystics, the portal or door into the sacred, or rather the sacred experience, is through nature. So a virtual reality sounds anti-spiritual and anti-life.
Yes. I mean that’s the amazing thing for me – people say years, but it hasn’t really been years. I don’t really want to build myself up as “the expert,” because I think we’re all experts in different parts. But I’ve really been – my blog started in 2016. I was trying different things because it is really a structure. I had someone sort of give a comment recently saying I had just one narrow focus. Actually no what I’m trying to give people is a schema because it touches on everything from food to empire to poverty to health. It’s a structure and it is an anti-life structure.
The people who when this all happened a year ago March who connected with me – it was a mix – people in holistic medicine, artists and musicians, but also people of faith and all different faith practices. What’s very challenging in this system where the plan is for the Pay for Success Finance, the privatization of social welfare, the turning of poverty and trauma into a profit center, is that many people offering welfare services, it happens through faith communities, all kinds of faith communities. So they are being pulled in, into this program – I think some knowingly and some unknowingly – to be harnessed to this anti-life program.
I’ve been actually trying to speak to people of all different faiths, saying this is this moment of reckoning, of the scorched path or the green path. Are we pursuing a program of life, a natural life, a sense of something that is beyond ourselves, our limited human understanding that there is a greater power at work in the world, a greater more magnificent thing. Or are we walking the path that humans know all the things, that scientists know all the things. We are just a machine to be engineered, both our cellular level and all the way up to our social systems, and that we will just be engineered. To me it is standing in a place of spirit and sacredness. I sort of frame it as sacred and profane. And understanding that this is a global program, this is a global take over, attempted global coup is that it is people throughout the world and whatever their faith traditions are that need to stand in their practice and access these larger energetic systems to affirm life against anti-life. But then to have solidarity with one another in this moment. Because to me, that is the supreme connection because if we understand that we are in a game, that the end will be AI settler colonization and the erasure of natural life, not just for human beings, but an erasure of all natural life from the moss to the eagles to all animism out there, that that will join us together, if we understand that. That if we understand what is happening as a colonial project and an imperial project and a military project. That is an effort towards peace and faith and right relationships. And that in that way if we could step into that space, that there is a profound potential for a larger reckoning and awakening.
I have enjoyed videos of your short ceremonies at locations where this virtual world is being created. It feels like you are setting your intentions in these acts. How would you describe the intention of your ceremonies and where did you get the idea for these?
Well, so my training, my background is in art history and cultural landscapes. So I never thought that this is landscape that I would map. But to me I map a lot of things online like LinkedIn, grants, 990s, white papers, webinars. But where possible I like to go and see it. I like to go into a cubicle at Harvard and know where the social impact bonds came from because they came from a person and a place. It’s often the banality of evil. It’s not some dragon in a lair in a cave. It’s just an office park. These things get plotted out at office parks. I had the gift actually this summer of spending some time on sacred Lakota land. I had a friend who said, you know, we have to pray. We have to come from a place of gratitude and we need to pray because this is big. And you should take medicine from the land back with you. I wasn’t sure. They were pretty insistent. And they’re like Nope, this is something you have to do. So I said, I will try. So I’ve been working on trying to set up a garden and there was sagebrush there. I cleared out underneath the sage – it’s very windy there – there had been some trash and something. It’s very dry and things don’t really decay. I was pulling out under the sage brush bits and piece of foil and plastic and things. So when I got it all cleared out in my last few days there I pruned some of the branches and I took it with me. On the way back I was visiting these places and said, I want to see this. I want to see Berkshire Hathaway. I want to see Lumina Foundation. I want to see Knowledge Works. And just to see them because goodness knows I don’t know when I’m going to get on the open road again.
It was rainy and I was in Indianapolis and had a lovely friend – we build these crazy relationships on line, and he was from India – and they’re like “Alison, you need to sage Eli Lily.” I was like, “OK” So I go to the drug store and I buy a lighter. I’m saying, “We don’t consent.” I’m not really one of those persons who, I don’t really focus on the conspiracy side of things. But they said, “Oh they have to ask you they have to tell you what they’re doing.” So I said, I’m going to just show up and say, “I don’t consent to the human capital bond program.” “I don’t consent to being a virtualized character in a military video game.: And as the mothers of the world, I’m standing here to say, “you don’t have our permission to do this.”
I think so people feel overwhelmed. They feel like, “I know something big is going on. I don’t know what to do. I can’t start the whole independent community by myself. Like there’s not enough people to organize with . Like, what do I do?” I’m saying you don’t have to do all the things. Like sometimes if you just step out and into saying what you want — you know, and I don’t know. I’m not saying this is the perfect answer, it’s just what I chose to do, was to see it, to witness it. And that’s something . . . I was looking at James Baldwin. He was a witness to these things. Like someone has to witness, to stand witness and refuse. So that was in my power and I put that responsibility on me. I’m trying to do the best I can, and if it empowers other people to surface these in where they are, because it’s all over the world, I do feel like the world is out of balance.
A lot of this is about electrical engineering, electrical systems, signals intelligence. Maybe there’s some way of putting forth a powerful intention to right things, to acknowledge the brokenness, and to say we want to make things right. And to ask for guidance in making them right. If you did that times hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of people from a peaceful loving place, that that could make a difference. Who’s to say it wouldn’t? One of the places I went, there’s a lot happening around Baltimore and I went to where the Catonsville 9, the Berrigans and their supporters burned the draft records in that parking lot. There was a historic marker by a library but it wasn’t that parking lot, and I’d seen it in the clip, and I was very moved by that action that they took, and the consequences of that action. It turns out as we were pulling out of the library parking lot, I saw from the footage on the opposite side of the street where it had happened – it’s just a parking lot. So we pulled in and I said, I just want to put down some tobacco and say Thank you. In doing that in the small little strip of grass, there was a piece of wire there – like gage wire, five gallon bucket kind of wire – and it was in the shape of a G. To me that was a sign, like God was in this place. Like however you imagine God, or the Creator or this larger force, that the ripples of that action – even though to many who might not know, was just a parking lot – are still there.
Alison McDowell, I am so impressed with how you have mastered these difficult subjects. Thank you so much.
Thank you for the opportunity to share. And like I said I’m working on a glossary and a better organized website. So hopefully I’ll have that together soon.