Stefan Verstappen
This was Behind the Headlines' second interview with Canadian author, artist, and martial arts expert, Stefan Verstappen. Stefan has a professional background in communications and business management and has travelled extensively throughout East Asia, where he has studied oriental art, culture and Kung Fu.He's the author of 'The Art of Urban Survival' from which the viral YouTube video documentary 'Defense Against the Psychopath' was taken.

We previously spoke to Stefan about the video he produced on the topic of historical cycles of human civilization and the manner in which they appear to repeat. In his video, Stefan makes the case that we are currently in the final stage of our cycle of history, defined, like all others, by widespread chaos. Historically, only small groups of people survived the periods of destruction that defined the end of a cycle, and they did so by forming themselves into tight-knit communities with specific organizational structures.

More recently Stefan has produced 3 more short videos on the theme of "Paradise Stolen" where he explores the specific reasons for our current state of societal chaos, the alternatives to the way we live today, and what we can do to face the future and survive.

Following our interview with Stephen we discussed some current events including the stolen ballots in the UK general election, the Saudi bombing of Yemen with U.S. supplied cluster bombs and the possibility of infiltration and re-direction of the protests against police brutality.

Running Time: 01:54:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript:

Joe: Hi and welcome to SOTT Talk Radio. I'm Joe Quinn and with me this week as usual is...

Niall: Niall Bradley. Hello everyone.

Joe: This week we're talking once again to Canadian author, artist and martial arts expert, Stefan Verstappen. Stefan has a professional background in communications and business management and has traveled extensively throughout Asia where he has studied oriental art, culture and kung-fu. Stefan is the author of The Art of Urban Survival, from which the viral YouTube video "Defence Against the Psychopath" was taken. Alert listeners to our show will know that we've interviewed Stefan a couple of times already about his video on historical cycles where he makes the case that we are currently in the final stage of our cycle of history which is defined, like all previous ones, by increasing chaos and that the only people who survived previous episodes of planetary chaos were small groups of people that formed themselves into tight-knit communities with specific organizational structures. So that was what we spoke about the last time we spoke with Stefan.

But Stefan has recently produced several more videos that deal more specifically with the nature and cause of the current state of the planetary chaos that is ongoing. All of the videos are partly called Paradise Stolen but each one deals with a specific topic. There's the original one, "Paradise Stolen", then "The Myth of Efficiency", "The Myth of Overpopulation" and "The Myth of Terrorism".

But before I go on any further, Stefan welcome to the show. It's always great to talk to you.

Stefan: Thanks for having me back on. I love talking to you guys. It's so good to talk to people that are intelligent and get it.

Joe: Yeah exactly. They're few and far between these days.

Niall: Likewise Stefan, likewise.

Stefan: Thanks for having me on guys. I really appreciate it.

Joe: So Stefan, when we had you on before we talked about the historical cycle thing. It's something we've spoken and written about ourselves over the years, but I found these new videos that you started producing over the past few months to be a logical follow-on from historical cycles because that idea puts it in a broad context. But these new videos that were just mentioned talk about what's going on for us now in the age of chaos that we find ourselves in. They're very short but very impactful and to the point. They're excellent especially for the average person because they don't have a very long attention span. So it's really good the way you've put such a lot of information into these small videos.

Am I on the right track, that that's why you did these videos? You wanted to give a more specific or up-to-date example of what's going on and why we're in an age of chaos?

Stefan: Yeah absolutely. The first video that sort of made a bit of a splash was "Defence Against the Psychopath" and that's 38 minutes. For such a long documentary it's been quite successful. But these days I find myself busy all the time anyways as well. I'm constantly busy. Everybody I know is working, working, working, scrambling, scrambling, how to make more money, how to pay these bills. Nobody has time to really go very deep into a subject. Time is now a luxury that few people can't afford.

So I originally thought of just writing an article but myself included, I'd rather listen to something while I can do something else, rather than read through a lengthy article because I just don't have the time. And I know a lot of people out there just don't have the time anymore. Because this is what happens at the end the cycle where we're being taxed to death, we're being charged to death, the unemployment and the under-employment and the inflation.

Never mind how much the government lies about the inflation. I know with my own eyes. I go to the grocery store every day and oh my god! Every single day the prices go up. So don't tell me we have two percent inflation. That's complete nonsense. We are having our lives stolen from us and the result of that is that we don't have a life anymore. Most people I know and most of my friends are like that. It's like that song Running on Empty. I look around, see my friends, they're running on empty too.

Everybody is struggling. Everybody is worried about how to pay the bills and their worried about their jobs. They're worried about the income. It's so sad and it's completely the fault of the government that we are all subject to.

Joe: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I was just going to add though that what you seem to be describing is that people are just stressed out to the max which makes it unlikely I suppose for someone who's stressed out by daily life and work, etc., they're going to go and read an article that might stress them out even more. Most people just want to chill out and de-stress really.

Stefan: That's right and I don't blame them. I want to de-stress too. I've been meaning to rent a movie now for months, just sit back and watch a movie for a couple of hours. But I can't bring myself to do it. I need those two hours.

I need to do another article. I need to do another video. I need to send out some more emails. I don't have those two hours to sit back and watch a movie, even though I kind of want to, watch the last Lord of the Rings movie. I've been saving to rent that one and really in a good space. Who's got the time? I don't.

So I decided that I wanted to make very short and to-the-point videos. The point is, the videos are anti-war. This is all about war, probably the most horrendous activity a civilization engages in. And when we look around us there's no end to it. And each and every one of those wars and each and ever war for the last hundred years - or probably more, but I can only speak for the last hundred years - has been for nothing. For absolutely nothing. They were all based on lies starting with WWI all the way to WWII and Vietnam. And then we had Desert Storm and now we have Syria and ISIS and och! Jesus Murphy. It's insanity.

For crying out loud people, we all need to understand one thing; this has to stop. This is the major cause of all the suffering. So I'm trying to bring it home to where we live because it's too objective to say "Well listen we killed two million innocent Iraqis. Nobody knows an Iraqi. We don't know those people, that doesn't mean anything to us. So I thought how can I bring that home. Well not only did this war kill two million Iraqis, it also destroyed your life. You just don't know it. The reason why we're all suffering like this right now, and the poverty and the stress is because of the wars. It has stolen from you paradise.

And that's why the videos are called Paradise Stolen because for the money that was spent on war in the last 10 years, if we had put that money into decent humanitarian works and projects - and again, I'm not even saying the government should spend this money. As a matter of fact I don't think the government should be in our lives at all. I don't have any use for any kind of government because one thing we can always know for a certainty about government, and that is they can never do anything right. There is nothing that the government can't screw up and make worse. They have never done anything good since the beginning of history.

But if we are going to say we must have a government and they must steal six trillion dollars from us, okay fine. What do we spend that six trillion on? Blowing up people! Murder! Death! Destruction! Mayhem! Poisoning the land with depleted uranium making sure that country can't be inhabited for the next two-and-a-half million years! Or do we spend it on building homes, building businesses, creating self-sustainable communities. This is what has been taken from us and that's why I call it Paradise Stolen.

Joe: Yeah, it's a very apt title. It boggles my mind. It's a very hard idea to get our heads around and why things are the way they are. I think it's because any ideas of a different way of living, as you describe in your videos, has been removed from the equation. It's just been taken out of the narrative. It's not presented to people. It's not talked about. The system as it is today is lauded as the only system, also as you say in your videos. And that's why I suppose a lot of people don't even conceive or aren't able to conceive of anything different.

Stefan: A lot of people have commented and said "Those are great ideas Stefan and you're a wonderful thinker." Well I can't take credit for those ideas. To me, those ideas about self-sufficiency and not sending lumber to China to have them ship it back to us, to me that's self-evident. But lo and behold, what's self-evident to me is a mystery to most other people. So I don't think I'm being revolutionary or particularly clever with the videos because I think this is pretty obvious, that our system isn't really working very well. I think everybody gets that, but I'm wrong. Everybody doesn't get it. They do think that this is the best we can do; that this is the only thing that will work; no other possibilities are available and therefore everybody has to work 80 hours a week because "Well that's the way things are. It can't be any better than that."

But all of that is based on lies and propaganda and who's to blame? Well the usual suspects; the government, education, the media, newspapers, books, the public discourse. They're to blame because you don't hear any other possibilities of how to run our lives and how to run our societies. We don't get alternatives. We really don't, except for a few people who really make an effort to look into things, but that's a small percentage.
So I tried to make the videos short and to the point and for those of us that are, what can I say? In the truth movement, in the activist movement, however you want to describe it, those of us are awake to some degree.

Joe: Those of us in the "do something for god's sake movement."

Stefan: Exactly! Thank you! Very well put. Do something for Chrissakes! Those of us in the Do Something movement, we come out with articles and videos and we talk to people, but we always seem to be preaching to the choir because that's the only people that listen to us. You have me on your show, but I'm never going to be invited on CBC Radio. So I'm hoping that these videos will try to cross over a little bit and reach people that are not in the movement, by being short and to the point and approaching it from a different angle. I'm trying to appeal to peoples' self-interest. "Look, this is what they took from you! This is what they took from your kids and your grandchildren. This is your future that was taken from you. It was stolen from you right under your nose." So one thing we have to agree upon first and foremost is no more money for war.

Joe: Yeah. The very first video on this is called Paradise Stolen, you refer to the fact that there were such communities way back when.

Niall: Well better than that, he actually takes the viewer/listener into an actual, functioning modern community.

Joe: What is that community that you cite in there?

Niall: Maybe we shouldn't ask him to name it though so they keep it secret.

Stefan: Well I've been telling people and I've posted where it is on the comments section. It's Toronto Centre Island. It's half a mile from the financial district of Toronto with 100 storey financial buildings. But nobody here knows about it. I've shown the video to a lot of people that were born and raised in Toronto and they have no idea what I'm talking about or where it is. That's always been my own sort of thing that I do. I've lived all over the world but what I really enjoy doing is exploring. I'm still the 8-year-old kid that went into the forest for the first time and was just amazed by exploring places I've never been.

So I explore usually by bicycle. When I was in Taiwan I explored by motorcycle. Everywhere I've lived I've been able to find these small communities, little havens, little areas. When I was in Taipei I found this little long-abandoned temple up in a bamboo forest on the side of a mountain that nobody knows about. Nobody ever went there. I would go there and I'd practice my kung fu and it was like a scene from one of those martial arts movies, where I'm up among the bamboo. It's like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the bamboo forest and there's this old Taoist temple and it's all mine. I'm there all by myself. I've never seen another person up there. I would sit in the temple and I'd have my lunch and then I would do my martial arts and contemplate life. And then I'd look out over the mountain and below me was the city of Taipei, this glittering jewel hidden among the valley.

So there's places like that all over the world. I've found them when I lived in California, in Europe. So this is a very small community. It's only like the equivalent of four or six square city blocks. That's it. But when you find it, it's beautiful. There's no strangers there. It's all just the people that live there and they are pretty much self-sufficient. They get along by bicycle. There's no cars. It's the largest urban car-free area in the world. There's no police. There's no roadblocks. There's no police checkpoints. And are there people running around murdering each other? Of course not.
We're given this illusion, and I have a problem with all these end of the world movies and these zombie movies that have the message if there's no police around everybody will immediately take to murdering each other. You get that a lot. I'm a survivalist and a prepper. In the prepper community everybody's always "What's the best kind of ammunition to stop looters and how many machine-guns is too many?" Yes, I think everybody should have a hunting rifle, probably a hunting rifle and a shotgun and you're good to go. But as far as automatic rifles and handguns and things like that in order to kill other people, I really don't think that. I think people don't murder each other. They're not just itching to tear each other to pieces the minute there's no cops available.

Just looking at what's going on in Baltimore, I don't know. How much of that is agent provocateurs? How much of that is indoctrination of the culture with people rioting and looting? That's insanity. We're an insane society that is the product of the psychopaths that control the instruments of communication, the schools, the media and the government. But here's a small community. Everybody knows each other. There's no policemen around. And yet, what? No murder rate. No break and enter. No robberies. No drug addictions that you can see. There's no homeless people sitting in the streets. I'm surprised there's no homeless people. I thought they would all go over there because there's lots of places for them to camp out. But nothing!

So why can't we have this everywhere? It's too expensive? No it's not too expensive. It's cheaper than building 60 storey condominium complexes. "It's not efficient enough". No, it's way more efficient than having people commute an hour-and-a-half from the suburbs to go to work in the city and then commute from an hour-and-a-half in the city to go and work in the suburbs. You take a look at the highway any time of the day or night in this city of Toronto and it's a parking lot. And yet there's a law that if you let your car idle for ten minutes to warm it up in the wintertime, you can receive a ticket. Are you kidding me!?!? That's like somebody that's lost an arm and you're saying "Here, let's put some salt on that and that will make it better." So people idling their car for ten minutes has nothing to do with the fact that there are eight million cars stuck on a highway for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But that's efficient. But a small community where people share some public transportation and for the rest of the time they get by by walking or bicycling? Oh no, we can't do that. That's too expensive. That's inefficient. This is how we've been trained to think, that this madness, this monstrous machine of a society that we've built, whose only purpose is to suck the lifeblood out of all the working people in it, that's the way it should be.

The houses are humble that are in this community. They're actually cottages. They were built over a hundred years ago and they were meant as a kind of a cottage community for the city of Toronto way back then. They've expanded a little bit on it, but mostly they're about 1,500 - 2,000 square foot homes. It's enough room for me. I'd be happy with it. It's got front yards, got back yards. I walk three minutes and I've got a park and a lake. What more do I need? Do I need a big, cookie-cutter house? You go to the suburbs and there are 6,000 square foot houses and they've got two feet of space between the side of one house and the beginning of the next house. But wow! They've got 6,000 square feet filled with furniture. I've been in those houses. I know what they're like. They're useless. Most of the rooms nobody even walks through in a day.

So maybe it's a humble home that's portrayed in the video but it's more than I have now. I'm in a 1,200 square foot little apartment and these people that spend - oh my god! I work weekends in one of the condominiums doing their security, just to bring in a little extra money and I can tell you - I'm writing an article called "The Gulag Condominium". It's insanity. They paid a half million dollars for a 1,500 square foot concrete box, 4,000 feet above the ground. And they are monitored and watched and regulated 24/7. It's like a Soviet gulag for crying out loud, the way these places are run. And they pay for that! There's not two feet of green space within a mile of any of these places. But this is efficient. This is effective. I don't know what to say guys. It's just so crazy.

What I'm trying to do is inject "Look, there's other ways of doing this and ways that would make your life a lot healthier and a lot more productive and you'd be happier." The most important thing is happiness. But we're born on this planet, we're given a short life in order to work ourselves to death so we can pay the bank and pay the credit card, pay the taxes and then we drop dead from some horrible disease. Oh yeah, that's the purpose of life! No! The purpose of life is to enjoy and experience this amazing gift that we're given. Anyway, I get all preachy.

Joe: No, testify! It has to be said because it really is just appalling, the state of what people call life and living these days. And you are doing a very good job of trying to point out the obvious alternatives that everybody has forgotten. But in terms of efficiency or inefficiency of the current system, I suppose it depends on where you're coming from. If you're coming from the point of view of the controllers or the elite of this world, well then it's inefficient from their perspective, for people to have a lot of free time, to be happy and open-minded because in those situations they don't work 80 hours a week and they don't work for "the man" and produce vast profits for corporations, etc. So from that perspective it's inefficient.

But from the ordinary human being having to experience that, it's not only inefficient, it's inhuman.

Stefan: Yeah, it's inhuman. They're stealing your life from you, your existence, your soul. That's what they're stealing. How can you develop a soul if you can't enjoy and love and feel free? How can you develop a spirit or a soul under those conditions? You're born and raised in prison. Who develops a soul under those conditions? You develop a hardness, fine, if we assume Gurdjieff's theory that friction will help to create a soul. But friction must be conscious suffering. Being born into a slave system is no one's conscious choice. So I don't believe that that kind of suffering is going to contribute to a soul.

Joe: Especially when they prevent people from understanding - you mention the ideas of Gurdjieff and suffering for growing a soul and stuff, but like you said, it's conscious suffering, but that idea is nowhere. No one knows about those ideas of Gurdjieff. If they did, they may be able to use the conditions of their life, even as hard as they are and as bad as they are, to maybe do something about it. But all such spiritual or esoteric ideas are consigned to the lunatic fringe, if they're even voiced at all.

Stefan: Yeah, absolutely. Or ostracized completely.

Joe: Talking about the gulag condominiums that you mentioned, which is really a very good description of them, it reminds me of something in your video "The Myth of Overpopulation". You reference these very interesting mouse experiments by a guy called Dr. John Calhoun.

Niall: The mouse utopia.

Stefan: I remembered that film because I took two years of psychology at college and one of my professors was brilliant. I loved the guy because he showed us through empirical evidence that psychology and the whole field of psychology is completely insane. They have no idea what they're doing. And psychoanalysis has already long since been debunked. I'm surprised anybody has the nerve to raise the spectre of Freud in a conversation because the guy was such a complete fraud and a lunatic. Psychology is a pseudo-science. They have no idea what they're doing.

There's some studies from behavioralists that do make some sense. There's something there in the behavioural sciences and one of those things was the mouse utopia experiment. Now in the video I dug up this old video of the actual mouse utopia experiment with Dr. Calhoun and I edited it because it was a lot longer, just to get the points across. But the actual results of those experiments were horrific. I don't tell you in the video what really happened and they don't tell you in the video what really happened.

But what happened to the mice, and they repeated this experiment numerous times with mice and rats and under different conditions. They replicated the experiment at least two dozen times, always with pretty much the same results. But what happened was the mice and the rats all went insane. They went like zombie apocalypse. There were rat rape gangs that would break into the dens of other rats and kill and eat the males and gang rape the females and then kill and eat the females. I mean we are talking apocalyptic nightmare! This is what happened.

In the mouse experiment on the video it only says "They all died." They all died, that's right. It didn't explain exactly why. They all died because they went insane. What happened was the survivors, the ones that weren't raped, murdered and eaten by other rats were so dysfunctional they could not perform sex anymore. They couldn't have babies. And if they were somehow able to reproduce the mothers were so dysfunctional they were unable to raise the infants into adulthood and so the infants perished. So they weren't able to reproduce and replace their diminishing numbers. And that's how they all died.

Now this was a horrible experiment. Ethically, okay they're mice but even still I'm really against animal experimentation but this was way back in the '50s and '60s, long before the activists brought attention to the horrors of animal experimentation. But what this experiment shows is that this behaviour only arises under artificial conditions, which is what I say at the end of the video. This type of behaviour doesn't occur in nature. Nature never allows the population density of a rat or a mouse population to become so high, so impacted that this type of behaviour would ever occur. It was because the experimenters kept these animals in the narrow confines of the experiment so they couldn't expand their population and therefore this type of behaviour came about.

Now look at what's happening to us now. We have this myth that everybody's got to move to the big city because it's more efficient and that's where the jobs are and besides there's not enough space around, there's not enough room. The first half of the video completely shatters that illusion. There's lots of room in the world. There's plenty of resources for everybody. There is no excuse for anybody to go hungry, no reason why anybody has to live in a shoebox or in a cardboard box on the side of the street. There is plenty, more than plenty for everybody. The reason why we don't have enough for everybody is because the psychopaths enforce artificial scarcity in order to drive up prices and to get people to work 80 hours to afford the same things that they were able to work 30 hours for 30 years ago.

But the other thing is, herding us into these high density cities, Mexico City for example, 20 million people in a city is madness! Even here in Toronto, since I've returned I'm shocked to discover that Toronto has now six million people. It's insane that they would shove everybody in here. And when you look around at what's going on here, because I'm doing the research for the article on condominiums. We have over 750 condominium complexes with another 300 being built every year and they're all downtown. The old warehouses and the old factories are long gone. In its place - I'm not kidding - 40, 50, 60 storey-tall condominiums with 1,000 or 1,500 units, 10,000 people living on a quarter of a square block. Fifteen thousand people living there!!

First of all, these places are death traps from a survivalist and disaster preparedness point of view, having so many people piled up on top of one another. The slightest disaster that will occur is going to make sure that these are 60 storey tall tombs for the people that live there because there is no way they're going to survive more than two weeks without power or food or infrastructure, if something happens to the infrastructure, which it will happen. We know it's going to break down.

So how is somebody going to walk 40 storeys up to their apartment that has no electricity, no air conditioning, no way to cook food and no way to get food up there and nowhere to scrounge food or find fresh water or dispose of their waste. Boy, in two weeks they'll all be dead. Insanity.

Niall: Stefan, you've got me thinking about the recent event in another country, in Chile. You probably saw the footage or photos of this spectacular volcanic eruption, Calbuco.

It's way down to the south, but it's pretty near a large city. I don't remember the name of it. It's not a metropolis but let's say there's a couple of hundred thousand people. And without any issuing of any orders or suggestions through the media, within a couple of hours people had, of their own accord, cleared out all the available stock in supermarkets. And then they all went to get gas asap, fill up their cars. And there's news footage of the tailbacks as people try to fill their cars with gasoline. This was a reaction to just the sight of something that didn't actually pose a direct threat. There was no pyroplastic flow on its way down, to actually threaten them directly, but just the mere thought of "The end is upon us" people in the city all did what you'd expect them to do. And of course the totally inefficient result was that they were all stuck in a traffic jam. If there was a threat coming from that volcano, they're dead.

Stefan: Yeah. It's a very fragile system that we have and yet we're told "It's the only thing that works. It's the only thing that's efficient." No, it's very fragile. It's very inefficient and the slightest bump in the road is going to derail this whole system and many, many people will die. I don't want to be negative about it, but that's the truth of the matter. Because like you said, within hours of anything happening, let's say can we expect a false flag nuclear "terrorist" attack to occur somewhere in the United States this summer? Maybe not this summer but certainly by 2016? Absolutely. It's going to happen. And then will that take down the grid? Probably.

Toronto and much of Canada was in a blackout for a week back in 2003 because apparently a transformer blew out in Ohio. So if a transformer in Ohio blows out and it can take out the grid of half of Canada, what's going to happen if a mini-nuke goes off and takes out half a dozen transformers? The entire country could be plunged into darkness for weeks or months.

Now within a day, all the food and the groceries are going to be gone in the grocery stores. They'll be gone. Within a day. Because the 10 percent that figure out "Wait a minute, better go get some food", that 10 percent's going to clean out every grocery store within 24 hours. Now everybody else that doesn't have food, well you're shit out of luck. I hope you have a couple of month's supply of food in your house. I doubt it. Most people don't. So now they're going to be hungry. "Well I guess we're going to rely on the government to save us."

I did an article about a thunderstorm two summers ago. Within 45 minutes six inches of rain dropped down and immediately flooded half the city and boom! The power goes out. So I get on the ham radio and I tune in to the emergency services trunk line. This is a frequency where most of the fire, police and ambulance calls are routed through. So you can hear what's going on. You can hear calls coming in from police, calls going out to ambulances. So by monitoring this frequency you can get a good idea of what's going on in the city.

Well within an hour every fire truck, every ambulance and every policeman was busy. There was nobody extra. They were rescuing people from trapped elevators, other people that got too close to the local river or whatever and got swept away in the flood and search and rescue teams and trying to close off the roads and highways that had been flooded and redirect traffic. They were all used up within 45 minutes. Now this is from a shower, from a 45 minute rain storm. A thunder shower used up every emergency service within an hour.

So the government's going to save you if we're under a complete breakdown of the infrastructure, of power? And of course when the power goes there's no credit card, there's no debit card. You can't go to the grocery store to buy anything because the registers don't work. They're not going to do everything on paper. And you think the government's going to save you? I don't think so!

Joe: Yeah, it brings up the important point that in a time of crisis, people who live in communities that are founded on the idea of cooperation and community living and helping and working with each other and people who know each other, who live in a small enough community that they actually know and trust each other, in a time of crisis, those communities deal very well, comparatively, with the crisis or any problems that come up, compared to societies or modern urban sprawls in cities that you're talking about.

People in Toronto for example, or in other major North American cities are not going to look to their neighbour or band together with other people in their neighbourhood because they probably don't even know them.

Stefan: You're absolutely right. And that's also shown in the mouse utopia experiment. What happens with the mice when they reach a certain population level is that they become completely alienated from one another. They become schizoid. I can see this happening because like I said, I work right downtown in what they call the entertainment district. There are 50 high-rise condominiums, each one going for a half million dollars and up. They're selling parking spaces for $68,000! Nobody knows anybody else. Every single person, when you see them in Toronto on the street, everyone has a smart phone in their hand and they're looking down. They don't know what's going on around them and they don't really communicate with each other except through the iPhone. They have absolutely no situational awareness.

If you do any camping or hiking in the woods or the mountains or go for a walk in the countryside, you notice how your attention expands. Your awareness radiates from you. You're aware of your environment. You're aware of the sky and the trees and the smells and the sounds and the wind in your face and the sun. But these people have none of that awareness at all. It's like they're sleepwalking. It's really kind of science-fictiony. Everybody's got their nose in the iPod.

Joe: Yeah, it's dystopian. If you really think about it, the movies of which there are quite a few these days and have been in recent years of a dystopian future, post-cataclysmic type things, the don't really depict the future, they depict in a large way what's happening today, just without the full-on police state or the post-cataclysmic scenario. But the reactions of the people in those movies are very similar to the way people react today.

I just wanted to ask you something about the mouse experiment, just to be clear about it. The mouse utopia experiment was designed in such a way that all of the mice would have every comfort, theoretically enough living space and all the food they could possibly eat, right?

Stefan: Yeah, that's the point of it. You could almost understand the mouse behaviour if they were scrambling for resources, but they weren't. They all had enough food and water and they had enough theoretical space. In the video there's one version of it, but in other versions of it, they constructed it as a series of warrens. So every mouse family, so to speak, would have its own little cubicle that was connected to other mouse families by tubes and to communal areas as well, all by tubes. So even given everybody had their own condominium and everybody had their own food and water, just the density, the number of other creatures that they would have to encounter in their daily lives is what drove them all insane.

So everybody seems to be comfortable, everybody's well fed and they have all the comforts of life, but just the fact of stuffing 5,000 people in a concrete building; yeah they all have their own little apartment, but so did the mice, the rats. They all had their own little apartment. And they all went insane and ate each other.

Joe: So you can see what people are doing today as a reaction to maybe that same set of conditions that humans live in, that most people are just dissociating. You mentioned pretty much everybody walking down the street in Toronto with their faces down in a smart phone. People are shutting out the input, the massive over-stimulation or the amount of people or the amount stuff going on all around them. They tend to dissociate massively because of that. Maybe that's the step right before the eating and killing each other.

Stefan: Yeah, that's the step before that. The other interesting thing was the behaviours. Each generation of mice that was born after a certain population density was reached, was neurologically retarded from the previous generation. In other words kids weren't getting smarter, they were getting dumber. Each generation was being born more retarded - I know it's a politically incorrect word - more neurologically damaged than the previous generation.

Niall: Dumbed down.

Stefan: Dumbed down. And I'm wondering is this the cause for all the autism that we're having? Is this another contributing factor to the dumbing down, that they're actually born dumber because of the conditions of being born into such a high density civilization that we have? Those are factors to consider. And then the other curiosity was the beautiful ones. I thought that was the funniest segment of the video.

Niall: He actually used that term.

Stefan: He actually used the term "the beautiful ones".

Niall: Explain it for our listeners.

Stefan: So what happens to some of the mice in the stage before they start eating each other and going total zombie, they're getting crazier and crazier, they're disassociating. The males tend to get violent because there is no place for males in the overcrowded society. Men need to establish themselves. That's why I'm a supporter of the men's rights movement. Men need to have the ability to exercise their activity, their action, their maleness, their masculinity by doing things and being productive and being a valued member of society rather than a disposable resource provider for the government and for the women in their lives. What happens with the mice when a certain population is reached, the males are no longer accepted into the society of mice.

So they're disposed of and so they react angrily. So they start biting each others' tails. That's how some of them react and others react in a different way where they become pathological narcissists. All these mice did was groom. They just spent their whole time grooming themselves. They had enough food and water but they didn't even try to fit in with the mouse society anymore. They went off by themselves and all they did was groom. They were pretty healthy looking mice originally because all they did was eat and groom. They didn't do anything else.

That's why they were called the beautiful ones. Again, working downtown, the condo where I'm working right now is pretty much young people, a lot of people in the entertainment business and in banking and things like that. There's a lot of beautiful people in there and they know it and that's all they care about. There are security cameras everywhere, okay, including the elevators. And the elevators all have mirrors in them and it's just funny that everybody that gets into the elevator, the first thing they do is pose in the mirror and check makeup and check their hair. Do I do that? I don't really do that myself. I don't care how I look anymore. Maybe it's because I'm old and ornery.

There you have the beautiful ones. That's all they do is look in the mirror, take selfies of themselves and make sure they have the best fashion and the cutest fingernail fashion. Like oh my god! This is what life is for you people! Oh it's so sad.

And then from there, the other thing is the homosexuality. The mice started becoming homosexual too. Every time I turn on the media the greatest concern with the media these days is gay rights and gay marriage. Oh my god! Are you kidding me? I've got nothing against gays. I lived with a transsexual when I lived in San Francisco. Where I worked in the office, I was the only guy that was straight in the whole office. I get along with gays. I don't have problem with them, but listen, they don't have a lack of rights in this society. Nobody's doing anything against them. Please! I'm being more ostracized than any gay has ever been ostracized, trust me, because I go around speaking the truth and I don't run with the crowd so you automatically become an outsider and people get nervous around you. So I get discriminated against for being an independent thinker. We are discriminated against. Gays! I didn't see anybody discriminated against in San Francisco.

Joe: Quite the opposite actually.

Stefan: Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact I almost thought in order to get a job maybe I should affect a lisp. Maybe I should pretend I'm gay, then they would hire me. They won't hire a straight white guy anymore.

Joe: Well I think there's an argument to be made that there is a lot of positive discrimination in that respect going on today, particular in major cosmopolitan, trendy kind of cities like LA or New York. Sure, I could listen to the argument, but the way that it's being promoted in the media, my answer is that's not the world's biggest problem right now and it's not anybody's biggest problem.

Stefan: Exactly. That's what I'm saying. It is not the world's biggest problem. You hit the nail on the head. Maybe some gay goes to some little backwater town in the south and people don't like them. So what? Everybody's entitled to their opinion too. If people don't want to like gays, they're entitled to not like gays. Personally I don't have anything against them. I tend to like gays. I get along really well with them. They tend to have a good sense of humour. I like that.

Niall: But to get back to the point you were making, this was observed in the mice experiments and that's fascinating.

Joe: And the beautiful people aspect of it is very interesting as well because for me it's almost as if you have obviously rampant narcissism around these trivial western cultures, amongst everybody or anybody. It's on the spectrum effectively of psychopathy. On the far end you have full-blown clinical psychopathy but you come down from that and you get into extreme narcissism and then excessive narcissism, etc., all the way down. So narcissism as it exists in society today I think is an example of that infection, that ponerization or the influence or the infection of the psychopathic ideals as spread by psychopaths in positions of power down through the population. It gets watered down or filtered down but it's still very much in evidence amongst the population and getting worse and worse.

It's almost as if, using the mouse experiments as an example of people, like you're saying people preen themselves in mirrors every opportunity they get, take selfies and stuff. It's almost as if because people are denied or lack anything of genuine interest to a soul or spiritual level, or even a human level, they're not offered anything that would interest them outside of themselves. At some level they recognize there's nothing really interesting around them to really stimulate them from a spiritual point of view. They turn inwards. They become their own focus of attention.

Stefan: Yeah, I couldn't have said it better. That's it in a nutshell. The ponerization of society, absolutely is contributing to narcissism. And then when you add in the population densities of the big mega-cities and then compare that to what happened with the mouse experiment, which is a contributor to the ponerization.

So the psychopaths in charge, they knew this stuff. These experiments are 50 or 60 years old now and I'm pretty sure that these clever little psychopaths that run things figured this out a long time ago, that if they want to further their agenda of ponerizing and turning the entire population into a bunch of self-centred psychopaths, one of the tools that they could use is big cities and get everybody shoved in. That furthers their agenda, absolutely.

Niall: And another one is war. There's a quote from the Polish psychologist who's describing ponerology and how a society is infected. And he has an amazing description at one point, describing how from the point of view of the psychopathic elite, a war is extremely useful. And it has nothing to do with the external enemy, but it's useful because you can remove some of the excess particularly male threat to your position by sending them over there to kill each other off.

Stefan: You're absolutely right. War is a way of ridding society of the good, decent men that might have changed society for the better. That's why they appeal to young men because young men are still ideal, that's why it's young men that fight wars. It's old men that declare them but they send off the young guys to go fight because they appeal to the innate warrior ethic that healthy young men are born with. This is part of our gender; this is part of our DNA. Men that want to do things positively, physically, build - a little bit of Ayn Rand in here with the John Galt kind of stereotype - but this is what healthy men want to do; explore, build, solve problems, engineer, protect, rescue. These are the positive masculine traits that are part of our DNA and our society denies that in every aspect of life except war.

Niall: There's a strong need for them. They're needed because the United States, for example, the infrastructure is crumbling. They need to rebuild basically, even just to keep the current system going, as bad as it is, the infrastructure's crumbling. So both the money and the manpower could be redirected.

Stefan: If it was redirected, if it was channelled to do what we are meant to do as human beings. That's why I say we could have had paradise. So war appeals to the warrior ethnic and then they betray them. They send them over for useless engagements and they destroy these guys. They know these guys are going to get killed. Psychopaths don't die in war. People with a conscience die in war because there they are in the foxhole and their buddy's got shot and he's out in no man's land screaming in pain, let's go rescue him. First of all the psychopath wouldn't be stupid enough to volunteer for the army. Second of all, if he was stupid enough to volunteer or get drafted he'd be in something like the KP duty or handling distribution. What do they call that?

Niall: Logistics.

Stefan: Logistics. He's not going to be a frontline trooper. Remember only about 10 percent of an army is actually frontline troops anyway. So the psychopath is nowhere to be found. But what happens is the guy with the courage, the brave guys, the ones with a conscience, they run out into no man's land and get killed. So war kills off the good people. And it kills them off at a young age before they're wise enough to use their talents as young productive men to change the world for the better.

So war is a tool for the psychopaths. It works for them so many different ways. It's Christmas every day there's a war because not only do they make obscene profits but they are also able at the same time to kill any future challenges to their power.

Joe: Right, absolutely. Stefan you mentioned I think to me when I was talking to you recently about these videos, that you've got a few more in the series to come?

Stefan: Yeah, I'm really struggling with the next one. It's hard. You see in the opening video I said "For the money, everybody could have a house. The kicker is, for the interest you pay on the money, you could have a two-month vacation a year." But I lied about that. Those numbers aren't accurate. The truth of the matter is, for the money, not only could you have a house, you could have a mansion, a Mercedes Benz for everybody in the house, a pool, a summer house, a yacht and probably a private jet. That's the real numbers.

But I can't tell people that because it's so farfetched nobody would believe me. But the money that has been taken from each and every single working family in this country, in this world, would have provided not just a cottage on a small piece of property like I show in the video, it would have provided everybody with a mansion. And not only would you have two months vacation a year, you'd have four months vacation a year. That's the money they've stolen from us. But it's very hard for me to describe how that's done.

I'm trying to think of an easy way of describing it, but the thing is for every ten dollars you have, first of all four dollars is stolen from you right off the top in income tax, right? So now you have six dollars. You go to spend that six dollars, another 10 to 15 percent is taken right off the top on retail tax. So now you have five dollars or four-fifty. Out of that five dollars, let's say you spend that five dollars on a product or a service. Of that five dollars, four dollars is tax.

This is what has been taken from us. Even forensic accountants cannot determine how much money is removed from the economy through the various, numerous and innumerable taxes. But their conservative estimates are 75 percent. So 75 percent of the cost of everything you buy or do is taxed already which means you're paying tax on a tax on a tax on a tax ad infinitum. I'm having a hard time putting this into a video. I'm trying to think, can I show it in a graph, can I put it in words, can I describe it in pictures because it's mind-boggling.

I want to bring up a concept called man hours which is different from money. Then if you add in inflation, then even more money is stolen because inflation is another form of tax, a direct result of a fiat currency system. So for every ten dollars that you earn, the government takes nine dollars. That's what it does. Every ten dollars, the government takes nine.

In the middle ages and medieval times when peasants were taxed at a rate approaching ten percent, that's usually the time they pick up the pitchforks and they storm the castle because ten percent was outrageous. We live in a society where we are taxed 90 percent. This is the truth of it, but it's hidden in numerous different ways. My god, if I were to add in things like driver's licence and licences for doing business, which is tax - you don't need a licence. Me having a driver's licence never affected the way I drove my car, whether I had one, whether it was suspended.

Again, that is also another tax. So out of every ten dollars you spend or earn, nine dollars and fifty cents goes to the government. Do you understand how much they've stolen from us? It's mind-boggling. So if that money was given back, you'd be wealthy beyond your imagination. Imagine somebody says at my age after working 40 years, okay the government has been taking 95 percent of everything you earn for the last 40 years. That amounts to say 38 years worth of income. Here's 38 years worth of income in a cheque in my bank today. You think I could retire happily? Of course! I could build a house for myself and six of my closest friends!

That's been taken. This is the system that we live under. So that's the next video. I don't know how to put it together in words just yet, so I'm struggling with it. It's mind-boggling. It's unbelievable. So when I said you could buy a small cottage, people could have a couple of months of vacation like in Germany, they have six weeks standard vacation a year. Here it's still two weeks. It could easily be two months. It wouldn't harm anybody if everybody had two months off. It would slow nothing down. The only reason that we work this hard is because the psychopaths in charge are just draining us of every last nickel and dime that we have.

I expect any day now police to start raiding homes and going through the pillow cushions on the couch looking for loose change. That's what it's come down to. So that's the next video. I don't know how I'm going to do that. And then the final video is why. Why was it stolen from us and why did we let them?

The other myth is that war makes a lot of money for the psychopaths. But actually the psychopaths could have made just as much money building houses for everybody. The psychopaths could have made just as much money providing light rail transit systems throughout the country. They could have made just as much money finding alternative energy sources.

I'm going to talk about serial killers because to understand serial killers - we had two here in Toronto. I don't know guys. How much time do we have?

Joe: Yeah, go ahead.

Stefan: We had a pair of serial killers here, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. They kidnapped, raped and tortured three women. They kept them in their basement chained up and they videotaped them and the videotapes were shown to the juries. The people that sat on those juries that had to watch and listen to those videotapes all suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards because the horror that they witnessed was beyond anything that they could deal with emotionally afterward.

These two people, husband and wife, were good looking. They were the beautiful people. He was a successful accountant. They had big fancy weddings. They had families. They had friends. So they made these videotapes. And these videotapes showed what all videotapes show made by serial killers and a lot of them have taped their victims. In the case files of serial killers throughout history, hundreds of them taped their victims. All these tapes have the same thing in common. What they have in common is their victims pleading and begging and cooperating and going along with the horrific instructions to carry out disgusting sexual acts in hopes that they will placate their tormentors. And they would beg and plead and tell them that they had family and children that were depending on them. Never ever, did the serial killers let these people go.

Now the reason I'm saying that is because the difference between Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo and the other serial killers, is the same mentality as the politicians and the people that run the country now. The reason they do this is because they enjoy people suffering. That's what it is. They enjoy seeing us suffer. So when we protest and we demonstrate and we sign petitions and we picket and we strike and we make YouTube videos...

Niall: We're pleading with them.

Stefan: That's the same as those victims chained in the basement to the chair saying "Please, I'll do anything. Just let me go. I have children. I have family." It's the same thing. They're not going to let us go. They're not going to stop the torture. The more we beg, the more we protest, the more we riot, they like that! They love that! Man, they're getting off! They're getting warm and moist thinking about it.

This is what we as a society have to understand, that it's not just that the war makes them a lot of money. Yeah, war makes them a lot of money, but that's not really why we have war. It's not just that making everybody work 80 hours a week to survive, to scramble for some type of an existence in the society, it's not because they make a lot of money from it. Yeah, they do, but ultimately the reason is they like it. They like to see us suffer because they're psychopaths. That's what psychopaths are. That's what psychopaths do. And until we understand this we won't understand why our society has gone this bad, so wrong.

Joe: I think that pretty much sums it up right there Stefan. It's one of the deepest truths I think, about life on planet earth and why we are today where we are and the problems that face us. I don't know if there's a solution to it. You've just dispelled the idea of protesting as a recourse for any real change. I think the change will have to happen at a level of knowledge or awareness. A lot of people just reactively get out in the streets and complain.

Stefan: Let's go back before they started the invasion of Iraq. I remember back in 2003 or 2004, the protests. Millions of people in every city, Barcelona, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, New York, millions of people protested to stop that war from starting. Did it slow them down?

Niall: It may have encouraged them.

Joe: They laughed at it.

Stefan: They laughed at it! Really, when you have hundreds of thousands of people jamming the cities in every major city in the world trying to stop this from starting, it didn't slow them down. It didn't even make them blink. So is that going to work? Well to me, that reminds me of those victims chained in the basement begging for their lives. "Please let me go." They're not going to let you go! They don't care if there's two people or two million people protesting in the street. That doesn't do anything for them.

Ultimately there's going to be two solutions to this. One is small communities. You guys brought it up earlier, small communities working together. Absolutely that is the way to go. Small, autonomous communities of people that understand each other and work together. Now that community doesn't necessarily have to be a monastery in the countryside. That community can be a group of people living in an inner-city as well. The key to this is mutual cooperation and support and having the understanding that we're doing this because we're trying to separate ourselves from a psychopathic, destructive system. That is one solution.

The other solution, and it's going to come down to it, is people are going to get killed and people are going to have to learn how to be violent sometimes. The only people that ever escaped those serial killers, and there was a couple of them that did manage to escape, they were the ones that fought back. Remember there is no police detective that solves the complex series of clues that's left behind by the serial killer and breaks down the door at the 11th hour to rescue the victim. That never happens. And the same with us as a society. There's no messiah coming. There's no alien spacecraft that's going to land. There's no political party that's going to rise up. None of that is going to save us. The only thing that's going to save you and the only thing that saved those rare people that managed to escape the serial killers, are those that fought back, and fought hard and fought for their goddamn lives.

And we have to fight for our goddamn lives. And I don't mean necessarily going out and shooting people or doing things like that. We don't have to resort to overt violence, but goddamnit! We've got to take a stand and fight it now. And you have to be tough and you have to be willing to be ostracized and alienated and fired from your job and ruin your credit rating and your standing in the community. If that's the worst that happens to you, well then do it. For god-sakes make that stand! Do that! Fight the system by not engaging in the political system and not feeding into the machine. Don't shop at Walmart and cancel your subscription to cable and to magazines and get rid of the goddamn iPhone.

Joe: Start disinfecting yourself basically.

Stefan: Exactly. You've got to be strong to do that because it is hard. But eventually it's going to get down to it. People are going to have to start shooting people. It always comes to that. Think of the French Revolution where they manned the barricades. It always ends up that way guys.

Joe: Right. But we want to avoid that if possible. The smart people will avoid that situation because that doesn't look too good either.

Stefan: Yeah, the smart people want to avoid it and that's why you form a community. But you need people in that community that are willing to break a few jaws, bust a few knees. I'm sorry, that's the way it is. Nature is cruel and that's the way life is. It can often be very cruel and violence has a place. So form communities and make sure that that community has the option of using counter-violence.

I lived in California and I often visited the ashram that was up in the mountains close to where I lived. It was a spiritual retreat. It was very nice, beautiful gardens, trees. They had yurts.

Joe: Beautiful people.

Stefan: Beautiful people. I could have killed every one of them in about half an hour with my bare hands. They wouldn't have stood a chance against me. They would have been so frightened just by the threat of getting a punch in the nose they would have all capitulated instantly. So it's great that you've got this community but listen folks, you need some warriors among you. You've got to be a little bit street wise. Thank goodness I'm a nice guy. I've never had to hurt anybody in my life, but if I had to, I would have become petty lord and dictator of this spiritual retreat.

Joe: Was this Esalen you're talking about?

Stefan: Not Esalen, but it was like an Esalen.

Joe: Well it's an option if you ever want to be lord and dictator of a spiritual retreat. No thanks though. I've met some of those people.

Stefan: So it's the yin and the yang of course. It's the balance. Let's be peaceful, kind, helpful people. The old saying 'a gentleman keeps his sword close by'.

Niall: Well people who care about each other will rise to the occasion, if they really care about each other. You know what I mean?

Stefan: Well that's how they get people to fight in wars. They put all these guys in a foxhole and they're out and they're ready to start shooting the enemy because they're protecting the other guys in the foxhole. At that point in the indoctrination of boys and soldiers there's no longer any time to debate the politics of the war. You're being shot at and so you shoot back. So they support each other because they want to save their friends and they want to save themselves.

So a community, if it's under attack will probably do that but a little bit of preparation would go a long way for when that time happens. So all the beautiful people in the condominium downtown there, there's no chance these guys are going to work together. No hope in hell. They're alienated, they're schizoid, they don't have any skills. Working together as a group, you guys know, right, takes certain skills. You can't just come into a group without ever having cooperated and worked as a team and learned how to make compromises and work together and be able to fit in. No, those are skills that you have to learn.

Joe: Right. Or you better pick it up pretty quick.

Stefan: Or pick it up pretty quick. You better be quick on your feet and adaptable. That's helps a long way to working together and understanding the dynamics of teams and communities. These people have no understanding of community dynamics! None! They have rules that are handed down to them by the board of directors of the condominium corporation and they're watched by cameras to make sure they don't break the rules.

So if suddenly all of that was removed and now 'work together as a community', how could you expect them to do that? They have no training or experience of that. I often use the example that it's like expecting a toaster to turn into a refrigerator. It's a toaster. It can't become a refrigerator. Yes, they're all machines. They're all appliances but they can't magically transform into something just because you want it to.

Joe: Well Stefan I think we're going to leave it there for this evening. Thank you very much again and well done. People can check out your videos, you're Stefan Verstappen on YouTube and you have a website I hope you figure out some way to convey what you're trying to convey for this next video that you're having a bit of trouble with, but I think it's worth putting the effort into it because they're very useful. We publish them on and a lot of people really like them and share them because they're really good and they tell a lot of truth in a short period of time.

Stefan: Well thank you very much for your kind words. And thanks for having me on. I just love talking to you guys. As you can see and hear, I get pretty animated.

Joe: It's good though. It has to be that way. If you can't be animated about the state of this world, then you're dead.

Stefan: Yeah. And you guys get it. And I know the work that you've been doing and I'm a big supporter of the work. I think you guys are brilliant. I think you're doing the right thing. I think if anybody is going to survive the times that are coming it's you guys and your community and the work that you're doing. I think it's vital. You're going to be a bulwark against the madness and I commend you guys. I'm a big fan of your work.

Joe: Thanks a million. And on that point Stefan, if you're over this side of the pond, you let us know and we'll hook up because you're very welcome at any point. You can come and hangout and spend a week here.

Stefan: I definitely will if I get over there. I miss Europe. I haven't been back in a long time. I miss Europe.

Joe: And you're very welcome. So thanks again and we'll probably talk to you again at some point in the future hopefully.

Stefan: Anytime guys. Anytime.

Joe: Thanks Stefan.

Stefan: Thanks.

Joe: Bye-bye.

Niall: Bye-bye.

Stefan: Bye.

Joe: That was Stefan Verstappen.

Niall: Yeah, a great interview. That's the third time we've had him on. Do check out the other two videos or interviews we've done with him and his videos. You can find them all on our site, on SOTT or you find their link from his own site, The latest series is "Paradise Stolen". He's says he's working on the next one. It's an interesting quandary; how to convey something very complex in just a few minutes. But he's done so well so far, so we wish him the best of luck with his next videos. They are super interesting.

When you're trying to explain how the world is now, it's a super-useful analogy to just go back and say "Well let's just go back to basics"; either how did it work in the past or in his case, he unearths a gem of how people function in this place he's talking about in Toronto. I checked it out. It is unique although you'll find pockets like it in other cities in other places in the world. It's not completely government-less in a sense. It's run by a trust, so the community itself regulates who gets to live there, planning permissions and so on. Given the state of the world, it's utopian to think that we're just going to all end up in something like that. However the point that it is real just stands in sharp contrast to the chaotic reality or city life that most people live in and the sheer contrast of putting the two next to each other tells us a lot about the way most people are living.

Joe: Yeah, especially in the Western world. There's this ever-widening wealth gap and increasingly over the past 10 or 20 years it's gotten a lot worse. Everybody knows about the one percent and the protests about Wall Street and banking and bailouts and people losing jobs, etc. It hasn't gotten to a point where there's complete social chaos in that respect but people are suffering a lot more. I often remember that town hall talk that George Bush gave several years ago when he was still President. He was talking about the "ecomony" and a woman in the audience got up and said "you know I'm a single mother and I work three jobs" - whatever it was, 80 or 100 hours a week. She just wanted to say "I think I contribute."

Niall: "Don't I deserve a break?"

Joe: Yeah, "Don't I deserve a break?" and "I think I contribute." And certainly she does, she's working all the hours that god sends just to provide for her family. I remember Bush saying something like...

Niall: "Isn't America great. She can work three jobs."

Joe: "It's the American way." And then he added "Do you get any sleep? Ha-ha." And she actually responded "No I don't actually, not very much at all." That's an example of the kind of ignorance and complete lack of compassion or care for the ordinary people that prevails among the political classes.

Niall: Yeah, and don't they know it. They kind of do. They have these meetings and they call them town hall meetings, but they're not. They're carefully stage managed, usually election campaign events. "But we'll call it town hall because it's kind of what the people want". It's what they don't have, any kind of actual local power except of course in some rare cases like this island community of Toronto.

Joe: Yeah, it's amazing. It's been so long since people lived that way that most people, especially the younger generation today, most of them have no idea of what it's like to live in any other way than in urban sprawl where technology is all around you and your life is dominated and dictated by technology. If it isn't movies and TV it's computers and iPads and cell phones, and if you're lucky enough to get a job a lot of people have to work for the bare minimum to get by. And that's no way to live really and like Stefan was saying, it's not necessary. It doesn't have to be that way. It's a real injustice and it's a crime effectively, against the ordinary people of this world who are having to work their lives away and work themselves into an early grave because they don't have enough money to buy proper food. They have to buy the cheapest foods available and the cheapest food that's available is toxin-laden food and before they're 50 or 60 they've had cancer or some other modern illness.

It's pretty dystopian when you think about it, but you have to be able to think about it from an outside perspective and from a different perspective and that perspective isn't available to most people.

We're just going to talk about a few other stories from around the world before we wrap up today with a much anticipated pop culture round up from our old friend on the northern shores of Lake Canada, Relic. So just a few things that came across my desk this week.

Interestingly, 72,000 ballot papers were stolen in London ahead of next week's general election in the UK where you have this parade of horrible, feckless, ignorant, blathering psychopathic assholes who are putting themselves up for election and it's a joke. So that's the UK elections next week and 72,000 ballot papers in a van were stolen and it immediately reminded me of course of the Scottish referendum last year for independence when one of the plausible explanations for why the vote came back no when the vast majority of people before the election were all primed to vote yes for independence. There was a no vote and you may remember we wrote an article about it at the time that pointed out what a highly unlikely situation that that was, that people would have voted no and that it was most likely rigged in some way. Of course election rigging is par for the course on this planet, especially in Western democracies where there's so much freedom you just don't know what to do with yourself.

Niall: There's so much freedom you can rig elections.

Joe: Yeah, well if freedom extends to rigging elections, you can't deny the elite their freedoms to do what they like, and they like to rig elections. So as I was saying, in the story this week 72,000 ballot papers stolen. The authorities in the UK said they were going to take action to make sure they weren't used in the election in a few days. But of course it points out that massive amounts of ballot papers can be stolen; just supplant this scenario with the scenario from last year where vanloads of ballot papers were stolen as well. But of course they were stolen by particular people that weren't officially criminals; they were acting or working for the government. Of course it doesn't get into the media. Nobody knows about it and those ballot papers can be used to change the vote, which is more likely what happened.

The other aspect of this about the Scottish referendum last year was that coming alongside this story is the reports, and they're probably very true, that the Scottish National Party, leading up to last year's referendum and since then, has gained a lot of support, bizarrely, because the majority of people supposedly voted against independence, which means that they're not Scottish National Party voters. Because the Scottish National Party is founded on pursuing independence for Scotland. But what they're saying now is that the labour party in the UK, which previously had a fairly strong representation in Scotland are saying now that the Scottish National Party is going to take all the seats in this next election.

Niall: In the Scottish constituencies anyway.

Joe: Yes, basically in Scotland. Everybody in Scotland is going to vote for the Scottish National Party. This comes six months after supposedly a majority of them voted against independence which the Scottish National Party stands for. So these two stories just coming back-to-back, it's just ridiculous. People on referendum day last year, they just for some reason forgot what they wanted and voted no and then immediately afterwards they all said "Oh, hang on! I meant to vote yes! Can we do it again?" Obviously there was rigging going on. So that's just a small note.

Other things, I'll just throw these out. Saudi Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs. Human Rights Watch reported that the Saudi Arabian-led coalition that is bombing the Houthie rebels in Yemen is using US-supplied cluster munitions. So obviously it's not really news, it's par for the course, it's to be expected, but that is an example of how the US, if it isn't actively, directly involved in the war, how it's actually making it happen because it's not just cluster bombs using American jets and American guns and American everything else. So it's an American war waged by the Saudis, on behalf of America. And it's in the interests of Saudi Arabia as well obviously.

Obviously people are aware of Baltimore over the past few weeks and Freddie Grey who was the cause of the protests in Baltimore. It turns out, as most people probably know, that the state attorney general has said that five police officers are going to be accused of effectively his murder, some way or other. They haven't revealed why but there has been a lot of speculation about an eye witness who was in the same police van as him, said that they were separated. He didn't see him, but he heard him in his compartment and that he was banging around the van.

The Baltimore police in 2005 have a bit of a history of taking prisoners on what they call "nickel rides", or there's another name for it as well, but basically they just rough up someone they've detained for looking at them wrong, which in the case of Freddie Grey, he looked at them wrong basically and they arrested him and threw him into a police van. They take them on a ride in the back of this van where he's in handcuffs and leg shackles but not retrained in any way in the police van, no seat belt and then they take him on a high-speed tour around the streets of Baltimore, taking sharp corners and he flies around this reinforced steel compartment and lo and behold he broke his neck. They tried to cover it up and say that he did it himself or it was an accident.

But at least in this case they're actually prosecuting police for it. I think they thought that honesty was the better option in this case.

Niall: Well that and the big element of this being contrived, if you take for example, the revelation last year that Chicago Police Force have for some decades since 9/11 been torturing people in their police stations routinely. It's in fact effectively a black site. Who knows how far it extends into intel, i.e. CIA or other alphabet agencies. That's what I mean when I suggested it's contrived, that they're making a case out of Freddie Grey's death that it may be because of the public backlash. But then why would one more black man's death create such a massive issue? But these things are all coming back-to-back one after the other. It seems that not a week goes by where a police officer has shot or in some way killed not just black people.

Joe: Yeah, there seems to be a momentum behind this and it's ongoing, particularly since Ferguson last year. Fox News actually carried a segment on one of their news programs saying that a data mining company had found evidence of links between the social media, so protestors in Ferguson and protestors in Baltimore which they said suggests professional protestors. They weren't saying they were government, but they're saying that these are people who as a job go around protesting professionally, maybe looting, etc.

So obviously it leaves open the distinct possibility that these could be protestors in the employ of government because agent provocateurs are a very common part of a government's response to protests. So there's evidence to suggest that there are people involved in these riots from Ferguson last year until today in Baltimore deliberately provoking some kind of confrontation with the police and trying to direct the protests in a certain direction. So it seems that we can say with some confidence that these protests are being managed to some extent. That's not to say that there aren't people in the black community in the US who are genuinely annoyed and angered at the treatment that has been meted out to black people for so long, but it's unlikely that it's just a free-flowing, completely spontaneous, completely natural movement that's happening here. That's not the way the government works.

When you go back to cointelpro and the FBI way back in the '50s and '60s looking at every single group of any significance in the US from the Save the Trees people to the Black Panthers, everybody was infiltrated. Everybody was controlled. So it's unlikely that any kind of protests these days are not being watched and aren't infiltrated by them.

Niall: If they're not actively instigating and/or managing these events, they saw them coming four moves ago.That means they can prepare in advance.

Joe: But it's not just in the US. There were more protests this week on May Day just a couple of days ago at an anti-capitalist demonstration in Milan, the Milan Expo which is basically an international business exposition for international corporations. There were protestors at that and there were clashes between black-clad protestors and police. And these black clad protestors were the black block, the ones that always turn things violent when most people are peaceful. The police fired teargas and police officers were pelted with stones and cars were set on fire, etc., etc.

There were also protests where police fired teargas at demonstrators in Tel Aviv, to protest against racism and police brutality in Tel Aviv. I think these are largely the Jews that come from Ethiopia because Israel is a racist society, not just in the context of its long-term treatment of Palestinians, but internally to Israel. There's flagrant racism all over the place as well, not involving Palestinians. But that's normal when you've got 60 or 70 years of this kind of elitist view of Israelis versus Palestinians which is going to spill over into national culture and the society within Israel itself excluding the Palestinians. There's also racism going on there as well. So it's a bit of a ticking time bomb I think.

Niall: Israeli Aryans.

Joe: Yeah. Earthquakes. Apart from Nepal, two earthquakes just this week as well, on in LA, 3.9 earthquake where people were woken up by the shaking. It was a very shallow earthquake so even though it was 3.9 it got a lot of attention from ordinary people. And also a 4.2 earthquake in Michigan.

Niall: Yeah.

Joe: That was the largest earthquake in Michigan since 1947. So things are rocking and rolling and not just on a social level, but also on a geologic level as well. The earth is matching the social tremors step-for-step.

There's also a documentary which I haven't watched yet, focusing on Vladimir Putin's 15 years in power. It has interviews with Putin and he says some very interesting things. One of the interesting things he says is that the Russian intelligence in the early 2000s intercepted communications between the CIA and North Caucasus separatists where they were plotting things together, i.e., effectively the CIA were involved in supporting, funding and training rebel groups effectively within Russia.

Putin says directly "At one point our secret services simply detected direct contacts between militants from the North Caucasus and representatives of the US secret services in Azerbaijan". So the CIA in Azerbaijan was hooking up with Chechen rebels in the early 2000s.

Niall: The country which Greg Palast calls the Republic of BP. Totally British controlled.

Joe: And this was under Bush's administration and Bush and Putin got on well apparently, according to Bush anyway. And Putin says "I spoke about that to the then-President of the US and he said 'Sorry, I will speak plainly.' He said 'I'll kick their asses'" is what Bush said "I'll kick their asses Putin. Don't worry. I'm going to reign these guys in. They can't be doing that, not on my watch, blah, blah, blah."

Niall: It was probably the first Bush ever heard of it.

Joe: Exactly.

Niall: Clueless as hell.

Joe: So a few days later Putin says the heads of Russia's FSB, intelligence agency, received a letter from the CIA which said that they had the right to support opposition forces in Russia. So much for Bush. Bush was pumping himself all up "I'm going to reign the CIA in". And it's like "Sorry Bush. You know very well the last person who tried to do that was JFK and look what happened to him." The CIA are well above your pay grade.

So that was the response which came directly from the CIA saying "Well, we'll do what we want. Tough shit." And Putin said that someone over there, especially in the West's intelligence services obviously thought that if they act to destabilize their main geopolitical rival, which as we now understand in their eyes has always been Russia, it would be good for them. But as it turned out it wasn't because Russia dealt with their phoney Chechen opposition problem. And Putin says he warned the West about the possible dangers of supporting terrorists to which the Western intelligence agencies said "Yeah, we know. That's why we do it. It's dangerous."

Niall: "We know. We've got the receipts."

Joe: Yeah, exactly. That was just a few items that we spotted this week whilst we were busy doing lots of other things. So I think at this point everybody's heard enough about scary things and dystopia and mice experiments and how horrible the world is and what it might have been.

Niall: One more horrible.

Joe: Oh, go on then.

Niall: Well I was thinking in this description of the mice utopia experiment, one of the last stages in the collapse was that they started to eat each other. I thought "At least I won't have - oh wait!" There have been cases of people doing that.

Joe: At least symbolically, yeah.

Niall: Okay, I'm done then.

Joe: As I was saying, you've had enough of the horribles for this week, not that they ever go away. But we won't shove them down your throat any longer and I think it's time for a little bit of light-hearted pop culture round-uppiness from our old friend Relic.

Relic: Well, greetings everyone. It's your old friend Relic here, bunkered down inside my little log cabin, bigger than most studio apartments in Manhattan I imagine, coming to you from the thunder snow-struck shores of upper Lake Canada where, on account of the bitterly cold winds outside, igloos are sometimes referred to as saunas of the north. As you may have guessed, I'm here today to fill you in on all the latest hanky-panky in the world of celluloid celebrity culture that has been filtering through the electronic supernet this week.

So let's begin with a segment that I'm calling Sequels, Brequels, Spin-offs and Rip-offs. I saw a new trailer for season 2 of "True Detective" which looks quite good I think and seems to portray a mood as dark and compelling as its predecessor.

It's all one ghetto man, a giant gutter in outer space.

Old Relic here was quite taken with the original series and remains hopeful that the creators will continue on with this evocative and well-written drama.

You wonder ever if you're a bad man?

No, I don't wonder Maury. The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door.

You know, the thing that struck me most about the original series, apart from the outstanding lead performances by actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, is the intricate story line that tells of rich, white, powerful religious leaders who, after years of doing horrible things to children, manage to get away with their crimes letting a simple-minded lackey take all the blame. Nothing like that ever happens in Hollywood movies where the bad guys always get caught and justice is eventually served. Just like in real life. Right!

Of course I'm dangerous. I'm police. I can do terrible things to people with impunity.

Another spinoff series I've been watching lately, Better call Saul!Yes, that's right, Better Call Saul just came to its first season conclusion this month and though I've enjoyed witnessing the transformation of good-hearted con man and sometimes overly eager young lawyer Jimmy McGill into the shady and unethical, fast-talking Saul Goodman, I must say that this spin-off series is not quite up to par with the original Breaking Bad, which in my opinion was just fantastic in every way. We'll keep an eye out for season 2.

Speaking of Breaking Bad, this reminds me of a knock-knock joke I heard recently. Knock-knock.
I am the one who knocks!
Hey hold on there young feller, I'm not sure you quite understand how this game is played. You see, first I say "Knock-knock" and you say "Who's there?" Okay, ready? Knock-knock.
I am the one who knocks!
Whoa, slow down there Heisenberg! You seem a little tense.
I am the danger!
Yikes. I think perhaps you may have been sampling a little too much of that blue crystal meth you've been cooking over in your trailer there.
You're goddamn right!
Now Walt, could it be that maybe you're just a little angry because your classic Breaking Bad character has yet to make an appearance on the new spin-off series? Hmm? Could that be it?
You got me.
As I suspected.
Maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.

Okay. In other news, the much beloved and excessively downloaded ultra-violent nude fest known as "Game of Thrones" has started its new Season 5 on HBO, which apparently is how Hodor spells his name. Ha-ha. Anyways, what I can't seem to reckon is what's all the fuss about this overly-graphic, misogynistic fantasy series? For me there's way too many characters with funny family names. I never seem to know who's who and all of the old men kind of look like me. I find it ironic that a character named John Snow says "winter is coming" and no one believes him. Maybe it's all just too much for this old brain to comprehend.

You know, compared to all the recent news reports of crime and violence happening in our world these days, it makes "Game of Thrones" look like a freaking Disney paradise! I know, instead of "Game of Thrones" I think they should call it The Show Where Everybody Eventually Dies and there's no point in getting attached to any of the characters because they're all going to die. I wonder who's going to die this week? And on it goes. I've got a bulletin for author George R.R. Martin. You know sir, there was a young feller once named Shakespeare who wrote a play called Hamlet where in the end, you guessed it, everybody dies. So here's a news flash for you George. It's already been done. Maybe it's time for you to find a new schtick. How about letting somebody live for once! That'd fix 'em. Fix 'em good!

Well, seems we've come to the end of another edition of pop culture roundup with your host Relic here, roasting a wild boar on a slow-turning spit over a long cold fire, saying until next time kids, always remember, keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the stars.

Joe: Okay, thank you very much Relic. That was fascinating.

Niall: And a somewhat dystopian episode.

Joe: A look into dystopian pop culture. Well what else are you going to get in a dystopian planet like ours, a dystopian society like ours? That's where the pop culture's going to be too. It's going to reflect what's going on, at least some of it, as long as you don't watch the Hollywood movies about the CIA.

Niall: Saving the world from Russia.

Joe: Then you'll get the opposite. So we'll leave it there for this week folks. Thanks to Stefan once again and thanks to our listeners and to our chatters and we will be back next week with another show.

Niall: Tune in tomorrow for the Health and Wellness Show and next Saturday for The Truth Perspective.

Joe: Exactly.

Niall: And we'll see you next Sunday. Bye-bye.

Joe: Have a good one.