Puppet MastersS


Flashback Working Class Hero: Marcel Vervloesem Against the Pedocratic Elite

This is a story about how one Belgian man single-handedly cracked an international child pornography ring. Or at least, it appears to be. The story goes like this: 9 June this year, and two men meet in Amsterdam. One is Robbie Van Der Planken, 23, a veteran of the local sex industry who started working in the city's boy brothels at the age of 12. The other is Marcel Vervloesem, a 46-year-old Belgian who heads the so-called Morkhoven Action Group, whose avowed aim is "to look for missing persons and to defend people who are discriminated against in the broadest sense of the word, using any means necessary". Vervloesem is searching for a boy who disappeared in Berlin in 1993, and who he believes is now working in an Amsterdam brothel. He thinks Robbie may be able to help him with his investigation.

Unknown to Robbie, Vervloesem is not alone. Other members of the Action Group are covertly watching the meeting. And they've noticed something odd - a stranger taking pictures. So they follow him, all the way to his home in the seaside town of Zandvoort. His name is Gerrit-Jan Ulrich and he's a 49-year-old computer salesman. He's also Robbie's longtime lover. Vervloesem approaches Ulrich and tells him about his investigation. Two days later, Ulrich calls the Belgian late at night and invites him over to his flat.

When they meet, Ulrich apparently tells Vervloesem that he is at the centre of an international child pornography network. In his flat he has five computers hooked up to phone lines on which he runs a bulletin-board service called Apollo. Punters dial up, pay a fee and can then gain access to tens of thousands of illegal photographs. He gives Vervloesem a computer disk containing 9,000 pictures, together with other disks which contain the names and bank details of Apollo customers from all over the world.

Comment: This disgusting hit piece against Vervloesem was published 14 years ago. Since then, what Vervloesem was uncovering has turned out to be true. He is currently dying of cancer in the psychiatric wing of a Belgian prison, arrested and sentenced after being framed for molesting children.

Zandvoort File: Story of Marcel Vervloesem and the Elite Peophile Networks

There is an international network of pedophiles in high places everywhere and, despite their best efforts, they haven't been able to hide it completely:

Beyond the Dutroux Affair: The reality of protected child abuse and snuff networks in a world ruled by psychopaths

Belgian Supercop Exposes Elite's Network of Orgies

Dutroux: High-level Belgian pedophile ring ignored

Belgium's X Files: Dutroux Affair Uncovered Pedophile Networks

Belgian Porn Scandal Leads to Florida Raid

Men Who Hate Women: The Franklin Scandal and the Truth About Our Leaders


Police State USA: Supreme Court rules in favor of strip searches, Regardless of reason for your arrest

The Supreme Court has ruled that a suspect's fourth amendment rights in US prisons are outweighed by jail house security. In a 5 to 4 vote, law enforcement has the right to strip search anyone taken into custody. We take a closer look into the new ruling.


Amazon Is Tracking E-Book Passages Highlighted by Kindle Users

© Minyanville
The printed page is slowly but surely ceding ground to e-book platforms like Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab, and Apple's market-leading iPad.

The advantages of e-books are obvious: For example, you can store all your books in one gadget, look up words you don't know, or highlight passages so you can revisit them or share them on Facebook or Twitter.

What you might not know, however, is that Amazon actually tracks every passage you highlight on your Kindle to compile its list of the most highlighted passages of all time, as BoingBoing notes.

No. 1 on the list, highlighted by 17,784 Kindle users as of today, is a passage from Susanne Collins' Catching Fire, the second book in her bestselling Hunger Games trilogy: "Because sometimes things happen to people and they're not equipped to deal with them."

In fact, of the 25 most highlighted passages, only five are not from The Hunger Games, which is telling.

The tale of Katniss and her fight against the oppressive Panem regime is a massive hit among its intended young adult audience, as exemplified by the $360 million-and-counting box office take of Lionsgate's movie adaption of the novel. That The Hunger Games is omnipresent in the most highlighted passages list indicates that the young audience is indeed taking to e-books in huge numbers.

Again, it's another death knell for paper books, which will one day probably become cool, ironic collectibles the way vinyl records are today.

Alarm Clock

SOTT Focus: The Necessity of Disillusionment

Disillusionment 1
© unknown
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. ~ Arthur Koestler
Our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be. ~ H.F. Amiel
If we only knew what Illusion is, we would then know the opposite: what Truth is. This Truth would liberate us from slavery. ~ Boris Mouravieff
The experience of disillusionment is one that is common to all. It is safe to say that at some time or another, every human being has had the experience of believing in something that turned out not to be true. The initial shock that comes when one's perception of the world is revealed to be at odds with the hard facts of reality can range anywhere from mild disappointment to a feeling of overwhelming psychological trauma.

Whatever the degree of deception, the realization that one has been believing in a lie is a painful experience, not only psychologically but physically as well. Like a punch to the stomach, it can feel like one's breath has been taken away. And because our beliefs about the world are interconnected with other beliefs fixed in our brains, the destruction of one belief can often lead to a cascade of collapse of many others.

When a person is confronted with facts that contradict currently held belief systems, they have one of two choices. The first choice is to go into denial mode by rejecting the facts as being untrue in order to prop up their chosen belief system and continue living as before. The second choice is to accept the new data and try and reconstruct a new internal paradigm or map of reality that accommodates the new information, which may mean putting into question all other beliefs associated with the old model.

The second choice is difficult and takes a great deal of strength in order to let go of one's preconceived ideas and accept the new and factual data. The first choice is easy because it requires no effort, pain, sadness, or reordering of one's life or values. It is also more comfortable, and because humans generally prefer comfort over pain, the first choice is often the default option.

The exact moment when a person becomes aware of facts that go against what is believed to be true, they experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance; it is that tense, uncomfortable sensation that what one sees is so out of sync with what one already believes to be true, that the mind instantly rejects it, even when the facts are plain and indisputable.

It is in this moment of experiencing cognitive dissonance (you can recognize it by the tension and discomfort that triggers a "knee-jerk" reaction) that the crucial battle for truth over fiction takes place. If a person can muster the awareness and strength of will to not give in and take the comfortable route by immediately dismissing the facts outright, and hold the conflicting information in their minds while consciously experiencing the negative feelings associated with cognitive dissonance, the resulting liberation can be transformational. It has to be experienced to be believed!


MIVILUDES and the Ministry of National Education take new initiatives against "sectarian drifts"

HRWF (23.04.2012) - France has taken new initiatives to prevent "sectarian drifts" in the health and school education sectors.

New MIVILUDES manual on "Health and Sectarian Drifts"

MIVILUDES has just published a new manual entitled "Health and sectarian drifts".

It is designed for health professionals to warn them against so-called sectarian drifts. The Preface explains that promises and recipes of healing, well-being and personal development are at the heart of sectarian drifts.

It includes a list of the most widespread "pseudo therapies" as Annex 1. It contains such names as Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medicine), biomagnetism, energetic medicine, nature cures, relaxation therapy...

However, the criteria given in the chapter "How does one fall under the undue influence of a therapeutic guru?" show that the concept of "sectarian drifts" is applied much more broadly and could concern religious minorities since it mentions as approaches by "pseudo" therapists "a seducing approach through an offer of personal enhancement, of spirituality or therapy".


Bankers unmasked: Lessons From Iceland

To look at the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland, an alien would be hard-pressed to see any aftereffects of the banking crisis that nearly bankrupted the country in 2008.

Light Sabers

Russia, Europe propose rival resolutions on Syria observers

demonstrations in syria
© Associated Press/Rodrigo AbdPeople attend a demonstration against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's regime in Kafar Taharim, northern Syria, in this file photo.
European nations and Russia have proposed rival UN resolutions that would expand the number of UN cease-fire monitors in Syria from 30 to 300.
The key difference in the texts - circulated Friday morning to the Security Council and obtained by The Associated Press - is whether there should be any conditions on the deployment of the larger observer force.

The draft proposed by Russia, Syria's closest ally, does not include any conditions.

The European draft says the expanded force would be deployed "expeditiously" after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon notifies the council that Syria has implemented its pledge to withdraw all troops and heavy weapons from cities and towns "to his satisfaction."

Penis Pump

US to provide Israel with $680 million for Iron Dome anti-missile system

iron dome battery
© ReutersIron Dome Battery
So far, the United States has provided $205 million to support the Iron Dome effort; Obama administration plans to request unspecified level of funding from Congress to help expand the system.

The United States would spend an additional $680 million through 2015 to strengthen Israel's short-range rocket shield under a plan crafted by Republicans from the House of Representatives, two congressional staff members disclosed on Friday.

The figure could put election-year pressure on President Barack Obama's administration to spell out what it deems suitable support for the "Iron Dome," which has played an increasingly important role in Israeli security.

Comment: Israel is the only country in the region with nuclear weapons, and the only aggressor among her neighbours. Not only it does not need any "defense" systems, but the US government could use all those millions they have been spending on Israel to help their own starving, homeless, ailing population.


A New Record is Set for Military Spending: The Shame of Nations

military spending graphic
© n/a
On April 17, 2012, as millions of Americans were filing their income tax returns, the highly-respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its latest study of world military spending. In case Americans were wondering where most of their tax money - and the tax money of other nations - went in the previous year, the answer from SIPRI was clear: to war and preparations for war.

World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 - an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.

Some news reports have emphasized that, from the standpoint of reducing reliance on armed might, this actually represents progress. After all, the increase in "real" global military spending - that is, expenditures after corrections for inflation and exchange rates - was only 0.3 percent. And this contrasts with substantially larger increases in the preceding thirteen years.

But why are military expenditures continuing to increase - indeed, why aren't they substantially decreasing - given the governmental austerity measures of recent years?

Amid the economic crisis that began in late 2008 (and which continues to the present day), most governments have been cutting back their spending dramatically on education, health care, housing, parks, and other vital social services. However, there have not been corresponding cuts in their military budgets.

Bad Guys

The Globalization of Hollow Politics

T-shirt depicting Francois Hollande
© AP/Francois MoriA supporter wears a T-shirt depicting French Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande and the legend “H is for hope,” echoing the Obama campaign of 2008.
I went to Lille in northern France a few days before the first round of the French presidential election to attend a rally held by the socialist candidate Francois Hollande. It was a depressing experience. Thunderous music pulsated through the ugly and poorly heated Zenith convention hall a few blocks from the city center. The rhetoric was as empty and cliché-driven as an American campaign event. Words like "destiny," "progress" and "change" were thrown about by Hollande, who looks like an accountant and made oratorical flourishes and frenetic arm gestures that seemed calculated to evoke the last socialist French president, Francois Mitterrand. There was the singing of "La Marseillaise" when it was over. There was a lot of red, white and blue, the colors of the French flag. There was the final shout of "Vive la France!" I could, with a few alterations, have been at a football rally in Amarillo, Texas. I had hoped for a little more gravitas. But as the French cultural critic Guy Debord astutely grasped, politics, even allegedly radical politics, has become a hollow spectacle. Quel dommage.

The emptying of content in political discourse in an age as precarious and volatile as ours will have very dangerous consequences. The longer the political elite - whether in Washington or Paris, whether socialist or right-wing, whether Democrat or Republican - ignore the breakdown of globalization, refuse to respond rationally to the climate crisis and continue to serve the iron tyranny of global finance, the more it will shred the possibility of political consensus, erode the effectiveness of our political institutions and empower right-wing extremists. The discontent sweeping the planet is born out of the paralysis of traditional political institutions.

The signs of this mounting polarization were apparent in incomplete returns Sunday with the far-right National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, winning a staggering vote of roughly 20 percent. This will make the National Front the primary opposition party in France if Hollande wins, as expected, the presidency in the second round May 6. Jean-Luc Melenchon's leftist coalition, the Front de Gauche, was pulling a disappointing 11 percent of the vote. But at least France has a Melenchon. He was the sole candidate to attack the racist and nationalist diatribes of Le Pen. Melenchon called for a rolling back of austerity measures, preached the politics "of love, of brotherhood, of poetry" and vowed to fight what he termed the "parasitical vermin" who run global markets. His campaign rallies ended with the singing of the leftist anthem "The Internationale."