Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thoughts on Censorship || Banned Books Week 2017

submitted by Gabrielle Jones-Price

Around this time every year, I take time to celebrate the American Library Association's reading initiative called Banned Books Week. This year they asked readers to get involved on social media by creating videos, sharing 'selfies' with favorite banned books and asking us to reflect on and discuss issues like intellectual freedom and censorship.

I've been at this a long time but I'm hard pressed to think of anything more timely with the current state of affairs. When I decided to create this video, I found myself going back to the one book and author that changed my young mind in high school literature class. It was a pivotal moment in my education and the book I chose has turned out to be more than a little prescient.

Banned Books Week ends this Saturday, Sept. 30th, but there is still time to get involved. You can find resources and several ways to celebrate at and find banners to share on your social media pages below the video.

Please consider donating to keep the refreshments coming.

Audio excerpts from Crossing the Rubicon are coming soon!
TRC is run solely on donations from patrons via PayPal. If you enjoy TRC's work, please consider donating. Any amount is generous. Receipt will read The Road Home, Inc. Thank you!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Sky Is A Neighborhood Part II: Permaculture, Heretics and Synchronicity

submitted by Gabrielle Jones-Price

The end of the Younger Dryas, about 11,500 years ago, was particularly abrupt. In Greenland, temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade.

"temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade."

It is that bit of data that has been keeping me up nights scratching my head and poring over as much data as I can find. Especially after learning about the work being done by Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock. I literally stumbled upon them discussing a theory during a random Joe Rogan podcast playing in the background. An interesting tale about synchronicity.
Permaculture, Heretics, and Synchronicity...Oh My!

My chronicle of synchronistic phenomenon began in a hotel room where I sequestered myself for six months. I was there trying to wrap my mind around Mike Ruppert's work in Crossing The Rubicon while continuing news analysis and diving into study of peak oil. Late that summer, I had viewed the documentary he starred in called Collapse. This sequestration lasted from late 2010 after the BP Oil Disaster through early 2011 just before Occupy.

I didn't find myself in this hotel by choice initially. My daughter, myself and my cat had to escape an abusive roommate's home. This was a person I did a great deal of research with, protested with, sat and watched Mike's documentary with and a person who understood immediately the gravity of the information. A great bell rang, my mind was blown and this ranked as my first, and thereafter most difficult spiritual epiphany: everything really IS connected. Let's just say he handled the information differently.

After a time, my daughter took the cat and moved in with friends. I stayed in the hotel going through what other friends have since gone through, a few referring to it as our 'peak oil awakening'. I'd found these friends online in an intimate group familiar with Ruppert's work and in turn, introduced me to the work of others in the same vein. We discussed concerns openly and their support and friendship has been singular. Invaluable conversations were had and through those connections I discovered people practicing and sharing permaculture data. After a little digging, I was delighted to find a community in southern Indiana which at one time had its own peak oil task force.

I no longer felt alone with this information and my curiosity had paid off. A huge weight was lifted. Now I had a goal to focus on, and solutions for others seeking to have less impact on the environment at the local level. This was a huge 'ah ha!' moment. It seemed so simple, so intuitive...and mirrored how my grandparents had lived. The kind of wisdom one feels in the bones; that 'something' I'd known all along and could finally put a finger on it. I felt blessedly sane and the nonsense of the world unfolded with clarity. Everything made sense.
Incidentally - mustn’t it be a peculiarly beautiful feeling to hit bottom in reality at least once, where there is no going down any further, but only upward beckons at best? Where for once one stands before the whole height of reality? ~ Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 266

Heretics Unite (or Reunite?)

I should mention that before this awakening, I'd been engaged in some form of spiritual practice for years. Meditation, yoga, mindful walking, Buddhist studies, a little medicinal to keep the ol' mind limber, and other modes of healing that are personal to me. The theme throughout these chosen practices has always been Earth focused. Grounding is necessary medicine for a sun/moon in Gemini.

Oh, I know some may stop reading, drop their jaws or maybe rolling their eyes just now. That's okay. I'm used to controversy. I've always been the 'paisley sheep' in my family but I wasn't the only one. My twice great Aunt Nella was named one of the top 5 astrologers in the United States, was featured in Life magazine in 1946, and even had her own radio program. Like the title of this post and the previous [thanks Foo Fighters]: The sky is a neighborhood. I'm not ashamed to be familiar with mine.

Aunt Nella, 1921 Follies dancer
Aunt Nella, 1946 Life Magazine
After my sequestration I was invited to travel with a seasoned cameraman to cover Occupy camps on the west coast in December, 2011. I'd covered the movement on my blog and it caught attention from others in media. I landed a quick and dirty interview with Mike Ruppert while traveling near his then home, Sebastopol, CA. This was only possible because of the friendships I'd forged in the online group. A few texts, a phone call and it was set up.

Both elated and intimidated, this was a peak moment for me personally as well as a professional woman in media. It was difficult to imagine that in less than a year, I'd discovered Mike's work, went through personal hell and six months of exile ... to find myself at the doorstep to interview the man considered a mentor to many. I really couldn't make this shit up. Much of what happened after our interview, the travels during and after Occupy are going in a book I aim to finish this winter. The photo below: my copy of Crossing The Rubicon with Mike's personal signature; one of the dearest things I own.

I'll dedicate a post about my Aunt Nella in the future. She was a truly fascinating woman.

Fast Forward

This past winter I took a pet sitting job offered by a professor of deep ecology with a focus on the Vedics. Another wonderful person I would never have met if not for a permaculture community in my chosen hometown in southern Indiana. It was not unlike being sequestered again, almost a six month gig, but this space was more a spiritual retreat; a lovely home with diverse books from floor to ceiling, Hindu art and sculpture, all surrounded by beautifully designed permaculture gardens.


Hell's 'honey do' list of healing: get closure on a heart-wrenching break up of a six year intimate relationship with a man I called friend for 30 years. [He 'ghosted'. In hindsight, I should've had a wake]. My favorite artist passed away tragically, as did friend and mentor, Mike Ruppert three years before. Loss of a job I was great at then ending a 15 year friendship whose heel-dragging, drunken drama lost me my apartment. Add collective shock over the election result and bonus bizarre email from my ex-ghost's not-so-new, saccharine-passive aggro-abuse-apologist girlfriend the same week...

Stick a fork in me. I was DONE and fresh hell waited unless I got serious about my work.

I put a Taoist proverb into practice: "Let go or be dragged." I let it all go: not my circus, not my monkeys, and definitely not my neighborhood. I fought to wrench my sanity back once and wasn't about to apologize for evolving past my old unconscious collective. I had been given the gift of a blessedly quiet, private, comfortable and sacred space to do inner work. I buried myself in studies, avoided other people's hell as much as possible and recorded a few podcasts. Thank goddess for like-minded friends and a little medicinal to keep the 'ol mind limber.

Cue Joe Rogan

One day during this retreat I had my Youtube channel on random play, listening to older and posthumously released interviews with Michael Ruppert in the kitchen. I'd recently been given the title Administrator for his fan page and Archivist for the official page of Crossing The Rubicon. This honor was humbling, indeed. I needed Mike's sober words and thought perhaps he'd impart something unknown in newer, unreleased footage. I left the audio on in the background.

After lunch and a little medicinal ... I had my nose in a book by permaculture genius and neighbor, Peter Bane, called The Permaculture Handbook. Peter was also publisher of Permaculture Activist which is now Permaculture Design Mag. He and his partner Keith were the same people who helped design the lovely gardens I was tending during my retreat. The professor left a copy of Peter's book out to study but I'd not opened it for a stretch. It happened to be sitting on the table in front of me.

While reading a portion of an entry enclosed in a sidebar, I gravitated to the words 'intuitive with the landscape'. Interesting, I thought...I'll keep reading. No more than a minute after seeing the words on the page, I heard "intuitive with the landscape" aloud from the monitor. Granted, it took me a moment to realize this actually happened outside my head. To prove that my mind wasn't a little too limber, I walked over to the device and found Joe Rogan interviewing Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson.

I was familiar with Graham but I didn't know a thing about this Randall Carlson fellow. What happened was the video before it was Joe's interview with Mike Ruppert. It had finished while I was distracted at lunch and the queue jumped to the next Joe Rogan Experience with Graham and Randall. I decided this instantaneous synchronicity was a sign and I shouldn't ignore it.

My ass got 'intimate with the landscape' of the couch. I settled in to discover what this interview was all about. Three hours of utterly mind-blowing epiphanies and several F-bombs later, I was overwhelmed, inspired and knew that more people in permaculture had to see this. Interesting to note, Mike Ruppert interviewed Graham Hancock in March of 2013, a little over a year before he shed this mortal coil.

I'm constantly reminded of my favorite quote from his book, Crossing The Rubicon, which I am now honored to be working on archiving with updated footnotes and links:

"Miracles can happen without our permission."
Indeed. They do, Mike.

"The Refreshment Center is an amazing source of information and fresh perspective."
- Mike Ruppert
The Lifeboat Hour on PRN 9/30/12

Please consider donating to keep the refreshments coming.

Audio excerpts from Crossing the Rubicon are coming soon!
TRC is run solely on donations from patrons via PayPal. If you enjoy TRC's work, please consider donating. Any amount is generous. Receipt will read The Road Home, Inc. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Sky Is A Neighborhood: Younger Dryas, Red Herrings and A Troubling Theory

submission and photography by Gabrielle Jones-Price

Storm cloud 1, 2006

From the NOAA website: The Younger Dryas is one of the most well known examples of abrupt (climate) change. About 14,500 years ago, Earth's climate began to shift from a cold glacial world to a warmer interglacial state.

Partway through this transition, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere suddenly returned to near-glacial conditions. This near-glacial period is called the Younger Dryas, named after a flower (Dryas octopetala) that grows in cold conditions and that became common in Europe during this time. The end of the Younger Dryas, about 11,500 years ago, was particularly abrupt. In Greenland, temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade.

"temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade."

It is that bit of data that has been keeping me up nights scratching my head and poring over as much data as I can find. Especially after learning about the work being done by Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock. I literally stumbled upon them discussing a theory during a random Joe Rogan podcast playing in the background. That's an interesting tale about synchronicity for part two of this series.

Please bear with me. I do not claim special knowledge on climate science, nor do I claim to know more than half a dozen scientists through my work as a media analyst. Analysis requires I choose carefully what data I share. I've always been keen to share 'news you can use': the kind of information that may motivate people to prepare for consequences that mainstream media neglects to inform a (supposedly) democratic society. There is a LOT we're not told. There's also a lot more on the internet and wading through what means absolutely nothing or doesn't seem a damn bit useful to human beings trying to make sense of the world has been a lot like herding cats. Now it's like trying to catch a lone catfish barehanded from a barrel full of red herrings.

It is time to back away from the barrel and announce those waters have been intentionally muddied, making it more difficult to grasp a clear picture. As a photographer it is annoying for any subject to be out of focus. At the same time, focusing too much on the same subject gets increasingly dull and myopic. Even science can get stuck in a dogmatic loop when it ignores new data. So I must admit that when I see large corporations, mainstream media and multi-billion dollar NGO's parroting the same evidence as independent scientists [especially among what are known as 'doomer' or extinction groups], I simply cannot help but be a little skeptical...especially during an 'information drought'. 

Is this really ALL there is to know? Can this really be the end of the road? I'm finding the answers to these questions are as preposterous as the notion that America is still a 'superpower'

Anyone who has known me and the work I've done knows I'm jaded, but I'm in pretty fine company. I'm reminded of the words of Wendell Berry, from his poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front,
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
That's exactly how I'm viewing Randall and Graham's work. The picture is far bigger than the barrel of red herrings. Frankly, I consider most news an utter distraction, not at all useful, unless of course your favorite pastime is paying a cable company to supply your own lobotomy.

I Was Born A Victory Gardener's Granddaughter 

I know scientists familiar with economics, peak oil, limits to growth, botany, ecology and permaculture. By sheer proxy of living in Indiana and being a photographer, who used to be crazy enough to chase thunderstorms, I needed to employ keen and intuitive observation skills for abrupt weather changes. This also meant paying attention to radar, barometric pressure and even animal behavior. Tracking storms was how I came to know areas of my home state intimately...not to mention a cornucopia of music on the road.

Storm cloud 2, 2006

Something that is asked of those who study permaculture is to 'be intuitive with your landscape.' I suppose this is exactly how I earned the title analyst. After all, observation and intuition is what any good photographer possesses. However, when you decide to chase storms, you have to analyse data along with using your intuition. Otherwise mother nature will treat your vehicle like a child's toy or hand you your ass...literally. 'Game over' by lightning, flying debris, or flash flooding. Awareness is key.

Admittedly, it was a bit of an adrenaline rush but I wasn't in it for that. It was the feeling of sheer awe to witness the beauty of nature's rage and her calmness; the bounty of blooming fields, the brightness of flowers and budding trees, even after the most violent spring storm. Incredibly humbling experiences. Fascinated by those changes since I was a little girl, I always asked lots of questions about my surroundings. Such is the bane of most adults; an overly inquisitive child with questions they couldn't always answer. We didn't have Google then so it was 'Get thee to a library!' if I wanted some answers no one could give me.

It was in a library I learned that lightning has enough electrical energy to separate nitrogen atoms in the air. Once separated they can fall to earth with the rain water, and combine with minerals in the soil to form nitrates, a type of fertilizer. Nitrogen made the grass and the leaves on the trees a brighter shade of green with every storm. A circle of life which I've come to learn is fractal on many levels.

Thank goddess for Carl Sagan.

Storm cloud 3, 2006

Chasing storms was not unlike a sport, trying to capture lightning on film. A bit like fishing with a regular 35mm film camera, it was a game of chance. I had to read radar, pay attention to wind speed and direction in order to be out ahead of a storm, and then hope I was in the right place at the right time. I saw a lot more than I was ever able to capture but was never disappointed by a light show. Living in tornado alley, I thought humans who lived within it would, like me, automatically have great respect and reverence for nature. They certainly respect the destructive power, as evidenced by the large emergency/warning systems throughout the state. Many family farms employ their root cellars for cover during tornadoes. However, the little girl full of questions grew up to discover that farming techniques have changed for the worse. The rise of toxic fertilizer, pesticides and corporate seed has nothing to do with reverence but exploitation.

This is why I continue to support those working to shift that agricultural paradigm.

Myself and farmer friend, Megan | Greenhorns Tent, Neil Young ecovillage, 2015, Monsanto Years Tour, Ohio

You just aren't supposed to mess with natural cycles...but then again I've also learned that this is precisely what agriculture has been from the beginning. Agriculture is the birth of civilizations. Our industrial civilization which continues large scale mono-cropping is making the soil, the water, the air, the animals and all of us -- even our psyches -- incredibly sick. We did not remember the lessons of the Dust Bowl. We are disconnected from the circle of life; plugged into a mechanistic system that now hinges on the precipice of a cataclysm, known as 'peak oil' : steep energy decline. Growing seasons are unknown to many and younger generations don't understand that their food does not originate at a grocery store, or that water doesn't originate at the sink tap. To be fair, I may never have known these things myself had it not been for savvy grandparents; victory gardeners who were close to the land. What we now call organic is what my ancestors called, "food."

I miss their knowledge. The kind of folk wisdom that is passed down and sorely missing from our human experience.

We're A Species With Amnesia

This 'forgetting' is something that Graham Hancock reiterates often and I could not agree more. I would add that this is not simply because his work reveals more about ancient civilizations but that this amnesia continues through deliberate brainwashing of the current civilization. That barrel of red herrings we call 'news' is accurately described as propaganda, the brainchild of Freud's nephew, Ed Bernays. Public Relations has made us forget that we are human, that we are connected to the land, the animals, our food -- but we believe that a corporation is a person? This is dangerous amnesia. Revisionists have control of school books, newspapers, media, libraries and now work in the White House. Women's rights are being dragged into the dark ages. Racism is rampant. The social contract is in absolute tatters along with our psychological fabric when this is considered progress:

I'd say that is pretty cataclysmic...and fractal when we consider history we were never meant to forget. These things happened during WWII and what I learned from my grandfather about his service during his time as a field radio technician in France. He fought fascism, and so did I when I took to the streets during Occupy. Begging the question, if you are not anti-fascist...what are you if not an enemy of my ancestor who sacrificed greatly to secure Constitutional rights you're content to throw away? What we lose after that is basic human rights that are not handed to a soul but given by birthright.

These are heady and existential questions for another time. For the moment, I want to talk about a theory which is new to me, it is utterly mind-blowing and its consequences more dire than everything I have just mentioned...

...yes, everything.

After the storm - Mandelbrot tree reflection in pond, 2007

There are some problems we can collectively do something about. Some issues that are not muddied, not unfocused. The theory put forth by Randall and Graham will require a great deal of political will to evoke a response worthy of the challenge we face. I'm unsure any subject will ever be more important and here is where I know my stance will be irrevocably controversial; the following subject is more important than the theory of "human caused" climate change.


Climate change began a really, really long time ago before fossil fuels were even discovered by humans...and the theory is that Younger Dryas ended "about 11,500 years ago, was particularly abrupt" and points to cosmic impacts. In other wordsa comet [possibly a few] slammed into the earth and ended the ice age abruptly. The glaciers have simply been in steady decline and flux ever since.

Exactly like cheap, easy-to-get oil has been in decline since 1970. One thing we're certainly not running out of soon is a sky that is neighborhood to a LOT of comets. We just happen to be dodging some big debris that can effectively hand us our collective ass in an instant. Boom: No agriculture. No storm chasing. No libraries. No animals. No music, no art, no women, no men, no dancing, no books, no Democrats, no Republicans, no fascists, no Nazis, no money, no people.


This tragedy would not occur because of something any of us did but because of something we failed to do. We stopped paying attention and looking at the natural world with reverence. We stopped seeing the bigger picture of our Earth in the sky. We were hypnotized by red herrings, propaganda, celebrity culture, zit creme, alien conspiracies, shitty pop music, manicured lawns and steel belted radials. All the while, centuries of amazing knowledge has been lost to us, continues to be rewritten, censored, mocked and even burned. What of the clues left behind? What if Mr. Carlson and Mr. Hancock have stumbled upon a great truth -- the mother lode of all truths? A global reset button. The 'three finger salute' from the Universe. Control, Alt, Delete.


Now are you grasping what Graham Hancock means when he says 'we're a species with amnesia?' What has happened before, can happen again. Have mercy on us, goddess Kali! What I'm realizing in all the data they present is that climate change cannot be stopped. It is a natural cycle. It can only be mitigated and adapted to with as many permaculture principles as we can muster, teach en masse to heal the soil we've destroyed. Climate change did not do that -- humans did that. But we can evolve. We can adapt.

We also have the technology available to avoid another comet catastrophe. We'll not be able to avoid another one, unless and until -- we realize we're all one human family on this spaceship Earth and we start speaking loudly with one voice. A human voice. Like the heroic figures who fought Nazi's in WWII. Sophie Scholl comes to mind often these days because she understood that we will never survive what's on the horizon if we're at war with ourselves. The biggest questions left I can even think to ask are whether that one voice will be heard and if so, will it be the last cry of civilized humans to echo through the cosmos?

I don't know. I do not believe for an instant that any soul on this hurtling rock CAN know. What I can tell you is the curious little girl in my heart is amazed at the possibilities and in sheer awe of it all. She hopes you'll come back and see more data to be shared here and perhaps join her to work together to make something amazing happen. I am starting to follow some leads in the landscape to observe and continue study. Along with permaculture, this is my work. The work.

No more red herrings!

My 50 year old self invites my fellow human beings to work to find themselves and their authentic voices. Cut your cable cord. Do your shadow work. Go outside for 24 hours. No. Go outside longer. Get away from social media. Dance. Sing a song. Heal. Write a shitty poem. Define yourself or this culture will destroy that, too. It's the most important freedom we still have. Our voice needs to be sober, focused, clear and it damn well better be loud.

In the spirit of a focused voice of clarity, please note that in the last 11,500 years of data, there is no proof that the Earth revolves around anyone's genitals...nor is it flat. Hail Sagan.

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." ~ Carl Sagan

Please consider donating to keep the refreshments coming.

Audio excerpts from Crossing the Rubicon are coming soon!
TRC is run solely on donations from patrons via PayPal. If you enjoy TRC's work, please consider donating. Any amount is generous. Receipt will read The Road Home, Inc. Thank you!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Walking Away from Empire...and Former Contributors

submitted by Gabrielle Jones-Price

TRC began posting at blogspot back in 2010 after the BP Oil Disaster and continued as long as possible after discovering the work of Michael C. Ruppert, and during/after Occupy.

The main focus has always been peak oil and warning of the subsequent dangers of collapse [including the political fall out, which continues unabated] for anyone with eyes to see it.

It's been real for awhile for many of us in media but shit got real for millions after the election -- and a great many folks panicked. Even feminism has been co-opted again...and it is rather ugly given Empire's new standard of 'normal'. 

Faded movements and professional/creative differences with former contributors aside, our reach is relatively intact. My patrons have always come first. TRC would not be what it is without YOU, and because of this important and pivotal time in history, TRC aims to keep readers first and informed as possible. [Note: this outlet has always been staffed/edited by one person...who works diligently to stay sane inside the insanity].

However, my patrons may have noticed I have not been posting regularly since 2013 and had ceased using a certain source who formerly contributed to the blog before Mike Ruppert's passing [*see the large drop off in readership numbers after that time. I took a long break for a good reason. There was quite a lot to wrap my head around and a great deal of inner work to be done].

Sometimes walking away from colleagues who show a lack of integrity must be done quietly and thoughtfully. It is not only one reputation at stake when one chooses to have blog contributors. Letting karma take its own course usually happens when drama is not given a platform. There is far too much of that online [more than I've ever seen] and I hope by taking a break when I need one, I'm able to maintain the level of integrity and professionalism that Mike Ruppert brought to the table as a media analyst. Otherwise, I'd be completely useless to readers in this endeavor.

I'm sorry to say there aren't very many left sitting at the integrity table. New media is often its own circle of hell with egos involved. I experienced that during my travel with Occupy and in my personal dealings with 'unwoke' folk, not to mention personal relationships trying to impart solid information to well-meaning people in deep denial. Frankly, anyone involved in media deals with quite enough ego BS and reports on it 24/7 [and that's just from the White House]. I'll not sign up for it among supposed 'intellectual' colleagues who stand behind the word science but behave dogmatically as to be shunned by actual scientists I admire and whose followers appear like rabid dogs when they smell a chance to attack.

Now doesn't THAT sound like a familiar political tactic? Like paid trolls during a primary? You know, someone caught cheating but no one wants to read the emails? In this case, three years ago, I saw the same 'holier than thou' within the confines of a community touting scientific methods but this person would not be debated -- in fact didn't even encourage debate. That isn't science at all. Frankly, I consider the actions of both akin to religious cults. Full of charlatans, snark and snake oil and look out when their 'feels' get hurt simply because you don't agree with them...

That's called malignant narcissism, folks. Steer clear. It's the worst of human EROEI. Not to mention a time suck -- and right now -- there are far more important things to be talking about. It bothers those folks more to be utterly ignored. So ignore them...and focus on good shit...and good work.

I'd tell you to fasten your seat-belts but what I hope is that you're in a lifeboat and talking with each other about the changes underway. It's not the end yet -- let's stay with it and hold space for each other. There is more to say, but tonight I'll just add that the end of my book has literally written itself. 

Do forgive this pause for TRC 'station identification' and thank you for reading. Let's get back to the shifting paradigm already in progress. Love and rocket stoves ~ Gabrielle

'Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." ~ Carl Sagan
[RIP, Mike Ruppert. You are terribly missed.]

Please consider donating to keep the refreshments coming.

TRC is run solely on donations from patrons via PayPal. If you enjoy TRC's work, please consider donating. Any amount is generous. Receipt will read The Road Home, Inc. Thank you!