Bitcoin is voluntarist, not socialist or democratic - by.

[Spoilers S7] Here's what we know about the state of Earth before the bombs

Here's a compiled list of what Earth was like pre-apocalypse using details from the show. Jason Rothenberg has said if the prequel gets greenlit, he wants to implement a lot of flashbacks LOST style. These flashbacks may include references to the following:

Oil Depletion

Dust Storms

Water Shortages

Global Warming

Global Pandemic

Overpopulation

Technological Advancements

Becca Franko, The Tech Celebrity

Financial Crisis

Drug Legalization

Battles in U.S. Cities

Resistance Groups & Terrorism

Asteroid Mining Penal Colony

Corrupt U.S. Government

Cult Mentality & Conspiracy Theories

That's what I got. If you spotted anything else from the show, feel free to share! :)
Edit: Thanks everyone for the kind words and the awards! Also, thanks to clwrutgers for asking me to make this list.
submitted by Sharoza to The100 [link] [comments]

Wife of Norwegian billionaire has been missing since Oct. 31st 2018. She is presumed kidnapped and/or killed. There was a ransom note left at the crime scene, demanding 9 million Euros in crypto currency. What happened to Anne-Elisabeth Hagen?

So.. I have been waiting for months for someone to write about this case here, and since no one has I suppose I’ll have to give it a shot. This is my first reddit post so mishaps are bound to happen, English is not my first language, apologies for any mistakes, etc… (is this a meme yet?) Edit: wow, holy crap! I didn't expect to be given gold! Thank you kind stranger!
Edit: I have added more to the bottom of this post to clear up some confusion or add more important information that I missed the first time.
Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen (68) is the wife of Norwegian billionaire Tom Hagen, an investor and co-founder of a company called Elkraft. They married young, only 19 years old, before Hagen made his fortune. Although Hagen is now one of Norway’s richest people, the 172nd richest according to financial magazine Kapital, he and his wife have seemingly led unassuming, quiet lives. From an outsiders perspective they seem like the kind of billionaires you could only hope to be if you ever found yourself in such financial luck, grounded and down to earth, living in the same house for almost 40 years, in a suburb of Oslo called Lørenskog. Tom drives a simple Citroën car. They are parents and grandparents. You would never look at them and think "ah, rich people!".
Their house looks like any suburban Norwegian home, there’s nothing flashy or noteworthy about it. No extra security surrounding the area either. There are no gated communities in Norway, but there are still security measures one can take, and probably should take if you’re that rich, and the fact that they hadn’t might have been one of the reasons Anne-Elisabeth was targeted.
This case reads more like a Hollywood movie than an actual crime case to me, because we don’t really have crime like this in Norway. The police kept the alleged kidnapping a secret until January 9th. Since then little pieces of information have come out or developments have happened in the case, but Anne-Elisabeth is still missing. The police now presumes she has been killed, perhaps even on the day she disappeared. Her family, who speaks to the media through their lawyer, still holds out hope that she might be alive.

I’ll try to keep everything precise and easy to follow:
November
Because of the threats in the letter, the police can’t go out with any information regarding Anne-Elisabeth’s disappearance. They have to work very carefully and quietly in their home to secure evidence from the crime scene. KRIPOS (The National Criminal Investigation Service) and ØKOKRIM (National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway) get involved.
The police finds traces of Anne-Elisabeths blood inside the house, as well as a shoe print. It is unclear whether or not the blood was from the day of the disappearance. The amount of blood found is reportedly “not unusual” because she lived there, which I take to mean it was very little.
Tom Hagen continues to go to work, people describe him as unsociable and desolate during this period. Neighbors are told Anne-Elisabeth is “away”, and family members are kept in the dark as well. At the end of November family members are starting to feel like something is going on. Finally they find out that Anne-Elisabeth is missing, and there are talks of a kidnapping. No one is allowed to say anything.
December
The investigation is still top secret.
January 9th
The police finally allow the media to talk about the case. Norwegian media have known about it for a long time but have been told not to say anything yet. The apparent kidnapping is announced in a press conference after 10 weeks of utmost secrecy.
A few days after the press conference, the police releases a video of the area around Tom Hagen's workplace. A man can be seen walking down the road next to Tom’s place of work at 7:36am on the morning of the crime. He then abruptly stops and turns around to walk back the same way from where he came.
24 minutes later, another man can be seen walking down the same way. He is passed by a cyclist, who has been identified. The two other men have never come forward. It has been theorised that these two men might have been a look-out of sorts.
January 16th
The family receives a new message from the person or people who claim to have Anne-Elisabeth. This message is recieved through crypto currency (bitcoin this time). I’m not quite sure how this works, but from what I’ve read it’s a difficult and insufficient way to communicate.
January 27th
The family again is in communication with the alleged kidnappers.
Some people find it curious at this point that these alleged kidnappers have been unwilling to communicate with the family during the ten weeks of secrecy, but now that the world knows, they are willing to talk. Who is behind this, exactly? Professional criminals who saw an opportunity after the article in Dagens Næringsliv was published and they realised the man in question lives completely unprotected? A family member? Enemies of Tom Hagen? Could it be Tom himself? Who would want to hurt this woman? Rumours are spreading.
February
The police advice the family not to pay the ransom unless they receive evidence of Anne-Elisabeth’s well-being. This is stressed in every press conference, both in Norwegian and English. The family is hopeful that proof will now be provided, seeing as the alleged kidnappers are now willing to talk, albeit very little. However, they receive nothing.
The police interviews a lot of people, including business partners of Tom’s.
April
After a long Norwegian winter, the police wants to search the lake right next to Tom and Anne-Elisabeth’s house. They employ a police dog specialized in search in water (the same dog who helped in the Kim Wall case). It’s unclear whether or not they actually find anything during this search. Certainly no body or anything like that.
May
The family decides to attempt contacting the alleged kidnappers themselves. They haven’t heard anything at all since January 27th. No evidence of Anne-Elisabeth’s well-being has been provided, and none is provided this time either.
June
The police officially changes their main hypothesis. They now believe Anne-Elisabeth was murdered, and not kidnapped for financial gain. They believe the ransom note as well as any evidence found in the house might have been staged to look like a kidnapping.
More surprisingly, the police officially cancels any further search of the two men seen in the surveillance video outside of Tom Hagen’s work the morning of Anne-Elisabeth’s disappearance. They still have not been identified and it is unknown why the police now believes them not to be involved.
July 8th
The family lawyer Svein Holden receives an e-mail from the dark web. It is written in Norwegian, and the writing style suggests that it may have been written by the same person who penned the ransom note. According to Svein Holden this e-mail contains information that only a perpetrator would know. The message of this e-mail is as follows: in order to receive evidence of Anne-Elisabeth being alive, the family has to pay.
It is again commented on by outsiders how odd it is that this message is received now, five months after the previous one, and right after the police changed their main hypothesis.
Tom Hagen decides to pay 1.3 million Euros in crypto currency. He receives nothing in return.
August
The shoe print found at the crime scene is sent for analysis to police all over Europe. German police finds out that the print belongs to a shoe by the brand Sprox, and is in European size 45. It is sold in Norway at Sparkjøp. The police now requests help from the public, and everyone who have purchased these shoes in cash is encouraged to come forward.
September
The cable tie left at the crime scene has been analysed and has been found to be produced in China and sold in Norway at Biltema.
Both Biltema and Sparkjøp are fairly common stores in Norway.
October
The police have now also analysed the paper the ransom note was written on and the envelope it came in. It was purchased at Clas Ohlson, another common store in Norway. All three stores tied to this case are located in Romerike, the district in which Tom and Anne-Elisabeth Hagen lives.
It’s closing in on a year since Anne-Elisabeth disappeared without a trace. The entire country is awaiting answers. The 25th of October would have been Tom and Anne-Elisabeth’s Golden wedding anniversary. On Thursday the 31st, 365 days have passed since this all happened. But it is not a Halloween tale, it is real life. What happened to her? Where is she? Could she still be alive after all this time?
Edited to add more information or clear up some confusing things:
I'll continue to update if I see common questions or there's anything else I remember!

Sources (unfortunately mostly in Norwegian):https://www.vg.no/spesial/2019/lorenskog-forsvinningen-ett-aa?maaned=sommer2018 https://www.vg.no/nyheteinnenriks/i/KvJ6lG/frigir-film-fra-forsvinningsdagen-frykter-ektemannen-ble-holdt-under-oppsikt https://www.dn.no/marked/tom-hagen/strom/eiendom/tom-hagen-tjente-174-millioner-pa-strom-og-eiendom-i-fjo2-1-387353 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/norway-billionaires-wife-anne-elisabeth-falkevik-hagen-being-held-for-ransom/
submitted by __moonflower to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]

From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

UPDATE: This article is now available as a printable PDF with embedded hyperlinks for navigation through sources. This link will be valid thru July 9: https://ufile.io/4mpkg4x6

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B

Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
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If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
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The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
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Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
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"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.
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Continue to Part 2

submitted by SquarePeg37 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Consortium>Elite>Fed/Bankers>Military Industrial Complex>Corporate Industries>Rulers>Media, Entertainment>Workers>Children>Retired, Disabled, Sick, Unemployed

Are you ready to really wake up? Then you must fathom the nature of our peril, and the plots against us. Understanding the state of the world today begins with understanding the pecking order, and how far down we are in both power and freedom. Though many people live under the illusion that we are all equal, nothing could be further from the truth. Let me describe each level of their pyramid power structure.
CONSORTIUM
The Consortium exploits the minor differences between us: race, religion, sex, age, and nationality, in order to separate us and keep us from working together against them. It is a false choice, because we are ALL humans. We all live under the thumb of a hidden Consortium full of many species of aliens profiting off of us in every way.
We have spoken here and on the reptiliandude forum about these aliens at length. The main points to realize is that they have been with us all along, influencing and manipulating, they live for thousands of our years and are a million years ahead of us. It seems pretty bleak, yet we have alien allies who help us and the One God who loves us and intercedes on our behalf, so that gives us hope. There are about a million of them, but 7.5 billion of us. They have the tech, we have the numbers. And if we quit letting them turn us against one another for scraps tossed from their table, we just might win.
ELITE
The elite are a combination of well positioned humans and mentally overwritten ones puppeted by the Kayeen. Each year, more and more elderly and dying Kayeen lying in vats on their home planets cherry pick humans to wear like a suit. By using particle entanglement to overwrite infants in utero, their memories are gradually activated until the child is fully overwritten. They also try to cut corners and overwrite adults at times, but the older the humans are, the less effective it is. Dementia, death or schizophrenia can result when they detach. These wealthy elites leave trust funds of their money to their children and grandchildren, and detach and overwrite subsequent generations when the bodies they use wear out.
The well positioned humans are usually wealthy, educated at elite universities, part of secret societies, foundations, and leading international financial institutions. They are invite only groups who congregate on islands, compounds, bunkers and resorts to get their marching orders from the Consortium. These elite are typically sociopaths picked from childhood and groomed. They had powerful mentors.
These elite are bribed with sexual temptations, like pedophilia, financial rewards and power. In exchange, they sign do not disclose agreements and in effect, sell out humanity, even lead in the efforts to manipulate, experiment, exploit or kill us. If they waiver, they are threatened, as are their families. Sex tapes are filmed of illegal or humiliating encounters that could destroy the reputations of the elite if made public, so they comply.
FED/BANKERS
The Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, Foundations, Internatuonal Banks, Financial Consultants and Intetnational Investment Firms are the most powerful corporations in the world. They have pushed for the new world order in order to lump us all together and dependent on them for all monies. They seek deregulation, monopolization and government backed security for their greedy international schemes. Trillions of dollars has been forked over to them, especially in times of war or crisis, payable by future taxpayers. When Covid hit, banks were paid FIRST.
They are not required to give much in the way of accountability. Their shareholders profit before their customers do. And when they make completely risky loans, they are bailed out by taxpayers. They win if we win and they win if we lose. Either way, none of them ever go to jail for their wrong doings since they are protected by the elite.
Their goal is to profit no matter what, control the masses through a digital currency they can freeze or remove from bank accounts at will. Contagions on dollars will be the excuse to go digital federally, then internationally. If we accept this, we will be chipped to participate, then become wage slaves dependent on social compliance to gain access to our own money.
Other forms of currency are our best hope to delay them financial power over us, such as gold/silver, bitcoin, land, and trade. The independent and self employed have the most adaptability right now. Everyone else needs to look for alternative means to earn or trade.
MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Eisenhower warned of this great threat. Kennedy tried to disable it but was murdered. All political leaders have had to give in to it in some way and conduct their wars. Why? Because wars are not only profitable, but they reduce overpopulation. They allow the power of the elites to be reshuffled when they start getting demanding, or not complying. And most of all, they gather munitions for future wars against our own people in support of Consortium objectives.
Think of every industry that profits during wars, and their lobbyists who buy and pressure politicians. Guns, munitions, chemicals, tech, uniforms, supplies, meds, hospitals, food, you name it, they are part of it. And all of them want to profit. Propaganda and lies are spread to control the narrative of the latest enemies or terrorists they want us to fight. Military used not only for defense, but expansion, control and conquest under the term "democracy" has continued in civilization after civilization. The ones in power considered themselves the "good guys", while the ones seeking to displace them, or even reject them, are marked as enemies. And so it goes, administration after administration. Because we must always have an excuse to shoot those not cooperating with Consortium profit and control objectives.
We could just stop warring. We've done it before when we demanded to leave the war in Vietnam. But then we also must quit telling other nations who to elect and who to reject. Our CIA and other spy agencies are part of the military/industrial complex, and they must be muzzled too. The people of a nation should not serve as fodder for military and corporate objectives. The police, national guard and military services are all humans, as powerless as individuals and the people they intend to support. Let us all keep that in mind and reject the manufactured conflicts spread via lies and propaganda to separate us.
CORPORATE INDUSTRIES
Jobs. They have them. We want them. We work hard to afford to live and raise families. Right now, many of them are tightening their belts to survive, meaning our jobs are not secure. They have all the power, we do not. There have been times when we've gathered against them and they have given in to us after we were outraged. Unions formed. Laws were passed demanding oversight, compliance, taxes and accountability. Workers demanded benefits, better hours and wages.
But then a war, natural disaster or calamity like a pandemic comes along and all advancements are reduced, if not eliminated. So industries get artificially propped up with bail outs, reduced compliance and tax free opportunities. Meanwhile the workers lose, and lose big. You know who doesn't lose? CEOs and investors, because most of them are the elites. How else can we have only a quarter of us working, no growth at all, and yet the stock market is soaring? Because corporate industries and investors are enjoying the trillions of dollars they received along with loan forbearance or interest free loans.
Corporations have power as long as we defer to them. You might even admit that the U S. is now a corporate oligarchy. They will pay workers as little as possible, market to consumers non-stop and keep holding out their hands for more money. They lose power when we quit buying their products and start growing or making our own supplies. Nobody needs all the stuff we've bought. And if we work for ourselves, they can't make us do anything. Keep that in mind.
RULERS
We all have them, either elected, appointed or acquired via royal birth or totalian regime. Most have clawed their way to power and don't give it up easily. Sometimes they move laterally and bide their time until they regain power. But most are bought and paid for by the billionaire elites or lobbyists or corporate sponsors. That's why they have the best healthcare, retirement packages and benefits. They may start out idealistic and hopeful, but if they've been around very long, they've joined the corruption that has grown every year. Most don't even try to pretend anymore. They blatantly and arrogantly tell you what to do or think and demand fealty of us as if we are peasants and they the Lords of the manor.
Only large group protests affect them, for they fear the mobs most of all. So gathering en mass requires a worthy cause, otherwise, the resultant crack down that eventually comes with anarchy will have made the effort ineffective. Beware the infiltrators and secret tellers who corrupt worthy causes and manipulate them to serve alternate agendas.
MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT
Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies. But they do lie, exaggerate, tell half-truths, provide alternate facts, and biased ones. Most media and entertainment people are liberal in comparison to the masses they are trying to influence toward their corporate/political/elite/Consortium goals. Everything you watch on tv or movies is trying to soothe or manipulate you into accepting their point of view, which is always present. Commercials also blatantly influence to push their wares. The message is: do what we suggest if you want happiness. Don't do what we suggest if you want sadness. It's pretty simple, said in metaphor, story and song. And it is exhausting. They are making us fat, dumb, lazy and indebted consumers, and we're letting them.
PEOPLE
Workers are more valuable than non-workers. Children are more valuable than elderly, sick or unemployed. The bottom of power lies in those who receive benefits without continuing to contribute to them, regardless if you contributed in the past. There is no better way to push people off the dole than for them to die, either through sickness, starvation, pestilence or war.
As far as the Connsortium elite are concerned, children are a commodity, useful for blood/organs/sexual perversions, overwriting or future debt workers. That is what they want from us. Work hard and long hours, be too tired to fight tyranny, enjoy distractions while decisions are made that reduce your options. That is how they control, for profit and life extension. We are given busy work to do while they harvest us using grey synths that alter us and grab, then return us while we sleep. They dump contagions on us that cull the bottom level of us, considered useless, while providing new immunities in the rest of us for them to sell around the universe. It is appalling.
We do not have to remain product. Knowledge is power. RESIST!!!
submitted by garbotalk to InsurrectionEarth [link] [comments]

We may have to meet up soon. Maybe, we can even tempt the band members into making an appearance.

We may have to meet up soon. Maybe, we can even tempt the band members into making an appearance.
So...
I'm pretty much THE guy that invented Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency. Most of the history you read about on the internet regarding Bitcoin is completely FALSE. It was entirely MY idea. I even came up with the name "Bitcoin." I'm sure you remember my Reptilian threads on the original ToolTabs.net. The name "Bitcon" was a reference to Blood Drinking Reptilian VAMPIRES. As in "BIT by a Vampire." The name "Bitcoin" was actually a JOKE that I came up with as I presented the idea for it. While the idea was very serious. Well, my overwhelming paranoia led to me coming presenting the idea for Bitcoin on Godlike Productions. ToolTabs.net is where I was told about Godlike Productions. Without that Bitcoin NEVER would've happened. I posted the idea in June of 2009 and Satoshi simply ran off with the idea and presented it as his own. Lied about the origin and claimed he had the idea in 2008.
Apparently, these Crypto Billionaires planned on me suing them someday and planned for it ahead of time. I began threatening lawsuits in July of 2018 (after the Government approved of its existence in 2017) and THIS house is basically a part of the "Settlement" among a yet to be determined amount of money. I'll be moving in soon and I'd like for everyone to meet up.
I believe it was THIS that caused the invasion of Russian Bots on the original ToolTabs.net and all the issues at that time. As you know (maybe you don't) Vitalik Buterin is the programmer of Ethereum, the second Cryptocurrency to come into existence and I suspect HIS friends were behind the attack on ToolTabs.net since they knew I posted on that forum.
https://preview.redd.it/pvvzhu1mtki41.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=8cafa2dbcd68a92a3b1b068141208d777b10aa1d
submitted by David_Steven_Leakey to ToolTabs [link] [comments]

From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B
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Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
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If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
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The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minues). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
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Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
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"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.

Continue to Part 2 >>

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NYT article/The Weekly Episode on Epstein Hotlist

Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos.
Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%.
The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist
Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women.
For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text:
By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers.
Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited.
He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape.
Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail.
Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers.
The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein.
In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.”
Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again.
Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works.
7 men and a headless parrot
The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.”
After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk.
In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive.
All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real.
In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.”
Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said.
Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing.
“Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?”
A victim becomes a hacker
Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California.
But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015.
Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.)
By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued.
On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia.
Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras.
Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail.
“This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit.
A chance to sway the Israeli election
Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal.
According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.)
“Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote.
Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out.
“Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked.
“Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered.
Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images.
“Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning.
Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening.
Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.”
‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’
The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish.
You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business.
One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos.
Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements.
Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said.
Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.”
Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men.
“I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew.
“Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.”
“I call it our hot list,” he added.
Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan
In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men.
Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.”
The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women.
Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans.
Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O.
Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims.
The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents.
Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it.
‘We keep it. We keep everything’
Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men?
Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room.
“I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’”
During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found.
Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011.
The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern.
After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story.
“I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed.
A Weinstein cameo
On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls.
The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.
Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit.
Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion.
The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back.
While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz.
‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’
One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies.
“The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.”
“Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked.
“There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.”
“Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?”
“Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.”
“And you don’t have anything on me, right?”
“I do not, no,” Kessler said.
“Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.”
What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed?
Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too.
“You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said.
Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct
In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct.
Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage.
On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv.
Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.”
In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent.
In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.”
“No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.”
“Thank you very much,” Kessler responded.
Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”)
Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients.
‘I just pulled it out of my behind’
The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
“I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.”
Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines.
Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion?
Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.”
Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them.
By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse.
Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said.
But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands.
In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.”
The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler.
As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said.
Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.”
He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
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Wealth Formula Episode 187: Ask Buck Part: Part One

Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/187-ask-buck-part-part-one/
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone and let's get on with the Ask Buck component of today's show. As a reminder this is part one of two. The next one will be airing next week, but we have lots of questions. I want to make sure we give adequate time and yet not bore the lights out of you by making this into a two-hour show. So the first question from Jeffrey Cattell. Jeffrey asked, hey Buck I had a question about investing with an LLC and mortgages. I had heard that purchasing rental properties inside an LLC limits you to getting a commercial mortgage. Can you discuss the differences between commercial and conventional mortgages and how buying within an LLC affects your options.
Yes I can certainly give it a try and of course remember I am not an attorney and I am not an adviser these are my opinions and there are things that I've done etc so don't hold me to it, I'm just giving you my perspective. So let me start out by reminding you a little bit about you know the different kinds of mortgages and they're kind of obvious right I mean there are two really two kinds of mortgages there's two residential there's a commercial mortgage. Now residential mortgages I mean that's the kind that you get for your house that's the kind that you might get for a 1 to 4 unit house or duplex or triplex or quad but you can get a second or third mortgage etc but those are all considered residential mortgages. Pricing is obviously best when it's the first one and it's your primary home but these other residential mortgages that you get as a second or third etc are generally favorable in terms of pricing and amortization and all that stuff as well. Now if your property is already owned by an entity such as an LLC or you're buying it in the name of an LLC by definition you are no longer in the residential category because you're declaring to everybody in the world that this is an investment property in which case you must obtain a commercial mortgage which the major difference between the two frankly is just that the commercial mortgages are more expensive and have less favorable terms than residential ones. So how can you potentially get around this okay. So I let me give you an example and again this is not advice but I'm gonna talk about experience and the experience of others around me so I've had a couple of houses that I own in Chicago one of them that I lived in for a few years and now I rent them all. I bought those houses in my name and therefore at the time we got mortgages and the mortgages are in my name, my wife and my name in this case, but after they were purchased in personal name and mortgages were issued, I then transferred them over especially after obviously when I moved down and I rented the place out into an LLC. So they are now deeded to an entity each shows actually deeded to a separate entity. The process that used to do this is called a quitclaim deed. So if you want to ask your attorney about doing something like this is called a quitclaim deed. Now theoretically and I emphasize the theoretical here if you do this your mortgage could be called. Why? Because in your mortgage usually it's gonna tell you you you know you you know this is a mortgage on you and that if you make these kinds of changes you gotta let them know. In practice though what I have found and this is the part where I keep emphasizing I am not giving you advice is that everyone does this right everyone does a quitclaim deed everyone does it. My dad has been doing this for 50 years and has never had a problem. I'm doing it now and these are major banks they even know about it they don't seem to care. Anyway as long as the mortgage gets paid it seems like no one cares. So bottom line is what most people do what I've done for these smaller properties, buy them in your own name quitclaim deed, so you can't but in your own name get the good better mortgage and then quitclaim. Am I advising you to do that? No. I'm not advising you on anything just what I do what I've done what my dad's done and a lot of people I know have done. Okay all right so that is the first question. Now I'm going to move over to an audio question because some of you weren't chicken. Just kidding I'm kidding about that but audio questions are fun they're fun to hear from people so let's see the so I got have a question here from Garth. Okay Garth here we go.
Garth: Hello Dr. Joffrey this is Garth in Portland Oregon. I understand the definition of accredited investor which I am not one but I've also heard a term sophisticated investor and I'm wondering if that is different than accredited investor and if so what do I need to do to get that title? Thanks.
Buck: Thanks for the question Garth. So the question really is what is a sophisticated investor? Well first of all why does this matter in the first place it's all accredited sophisticated stuff? Well the answer that, for private placements in real estate a certain kind of offering is frequently used called a Regulation D offering, it's the typical structure. Regulation D, a Regulation D offering allows you to move forward with a private offering without pushing it through the SEC for formal classification as the security. Now why would you not want to file with the SEC? Well there's two reasons really cost in time, it's expensive. But the bigger issue in terms of real estate is a very practical one it's the element of time. So if you're doing an SEC filing and you know on an offering it's gonna take you at least a year to get that through the SEC and contrast that with the fact that when you get a building under contract and you know one of the properties that we do an investor club for example, usually you got some under contract you raise capital you close the building and all that it's happening within three months, so you only usually have a very short period of time, you don't have time to send that to the SEC and let them mess around with it. And the SEC in reality knows this so this is not a new new thing this regulation D, it's been around forever you know but so they provide this as an exception to the rule they say if you're not going to file with the SEC you can still do this legally but it has to be under this kind of exemption Reg D and these are limited, these will be limited to investors that are either accredited which we've talked about before, you make $200,000 a year for two years with a reasonable expectation of doing it again the next year, $300,000 if filing jointly and/or a net worth of $1,000,000 outside of your personal residence. That is an accredited investor. What's a sophisticated investor? Well that's the problem right? So that's that's not very clear, it's not very clear at all and it's a little nebulous and when it's not clear frankly often that becomes the area of abuse. There's no clear definition of a sophisticated investor. Sophisticated investors are supposed to be financially savvy. They're supposed to have experience and knowledge and acumen that makes them more qualified to make decisions about these types of more sophisticated investments than your average Joe. But the problem is that it's essentially up to the fundraiser to determine if an individual is sophisticated or not. Now I have seen situations where people join say a real estate gurus organization and immediately upon paying for the course they are somehow deemed sophisticated and start investing in other students deals within that ecosystem, a bit shady if you ask me but it is what it is. Now that's not to suggest that you in particular are not sophisticated because if you're listening to this show there's a very good chance you are sophisticated, you may you know just understand the language well and you may understand real estate well you may own a bunch of real estate and you want to invest passively in a real estate syndication and in those cases you might be sophisticated, you know. I mean it is a little bit random because you know I run into people who are making you know doctors who are making five hundred thousand dollars a year but they've only made it for eighteen months and so therefore they're not accredited, right? So then you have to make some judgment calls but anyway bottom line is sophisticated is subjective but I think the biggest problem for this terminology is that there really is no safe harbor in my opinion at least that makes it really really difficult to deal with from the side of the operator and therefore in our group in general for investor club it's very rare when we will you know not require the true accredited definition and the reality is most major syndicators won't even consider sophisticated investors who are not accredited for this reason, it just becomes one of those situations you don't want to put yourself in trouble. Okay so let's go to the next question or a couple questions from the same individual so that's fine too, okay from Ron.
Ron: I have a question about Bitcoin. Where do the new bitcoins come from in short I know we are accurate we have and they create blocks in those blocks we store transactions and the miners get a fee for building a block that's 12 Bitcoin I believe so are those 12 bitcoins also getting into relation we'll end up with those 21 million bitcoins in the end or is there something else? So that's my question can you help me with that. Thank you.
Buck: Sure Ron pretty straightforward I mean without getting into too much technical the new Bitcoin you mentioned you know the whole mining basically the new Bitcoin come from doing the mathematical work to solve these complex mathematical problems that's what these supercomputers do those are the miners and then there's a competition whoever gets the answer first as you mentioned gets rewarded with this fee, they get rewarded with Bitcoin and that's weird those Bitcoin are actually generated so that's what it means to mine Bitcoin and you're also right they'll never be more than 21 million Bitcoin you know so that's one of the true values of Bitcoin is that it is a finite thing there’ll never be more than 21 million so the fact that some go out of circulation to get lost etc it's deflationary in that regard. The last thing I guess I would point out is you know what happens after mining is complete with 21 million well basically miners get paid for exchanges transfers etc at that point but it'll be interesting to see how that all turns out at that point. All right I think Ron has another question here and I think it's related.
Ron: Hello there Buck. Ron again here with a question, a what-if scenario. What if my thousand dollar worth of Bitcoin explodes and all of a sudden it's 1 million and I started with storing it on my Ledger Nano S. Is that still a good way to go when it's about a million or maybe 10 million or do I need to have some other methods in place due to spread risks or to be safe? Please let me know. Thank you. Bye bye.
Buck: Alright well a good question you know what Ron is talking about is the Ledger Nano S which is a hardware wallet it basically is something that's stored offline. Now listen that's what makes it so resistant to you know any kind of hacking right so you're not it's you're not online if you're not online no one can get to you, you know a hacker and Russia can't get to you, you know. But so if you suddenly end up with a million dollars of Bitcoin or more the reality is that in terms of the ledger it's just as bulletproof as before. I think the issue becomes when people have you know when they get like several million dollars a Bitcoin or Bitcoin million you know multi millionaires and billionaires or whatever then you know I may become a little nerve-racking just to have this little ledger around here right you may want to have you might want to have a little bit more protection than that in which case you might consider some kind of a custodian service like Gemini etc, but that's you know that's not necessary because one of the things about Bitcoin one of the appeals is that itself the ability to self custodian this stuff right you don't need a bank for this. And so I guarantee you that people are walking around with millions of dollars on their ledgers. Now I will point out that you know Ledger Nano S is just one Hardware wallet and you can get a lot more sophisticated and complicated type things you can even get a like a multi signature wallet Hardware wallet would that would require you know multiple people's keys in order to get to the cryptocurrency which you know I mean if you end up with a ton of money in crypto currency that's you know that's probably something that you might want to do. Okay next question from John Jillette.
Hi Buck love your podcast been extremely helpful in increasing my financial intelligence. There's been talk about impending financial crisis from well-known economist Dent, Rickards and Schiff. What do you believe in the percentage chance that we go into a 2008 like financial crisis in the next couple years? Also as the recession is always coming how much dry powder do you recommend having at this point in the cycle scoop up deals when there's “blood in the streets”? Good question John the problem in my view with those guys that you talked about Harry Dent, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff all super smart guys right and Harry Dent was on the show recently, is that they've all been predicting the same darn thing for at least four or five years now, right? I mean and it hasn't happened and when there is some sort of pull back because as you said there's always gonna be a recession at some point why is it after you blood in the street, you know? The bottom line is that you know Harry Dent in our last show even said you know I said dude it's hard to predict when right yeah it's hard to predict one I absolutely admit that. So what do you do then because let me give you an example of the counter risk to this whole you know this whole world of fear-mongering, and I'm not saying those guys are just doing that on purpose for that reason, I mean I do think that you know if your whole thing is like the world is coming to an end and you need to buy gold and your major business is selling gold then you know it's a little bit hard to swallow sometimes but let me give you an example of what could happen. So six years ago because you know I said before that Peter and you know all these guys have been talking about for five years at least about how you know everything's going to hell. Six years ago there was a company that we work with now called Western Wealth Capital and Investor Club and they have an investor who has put in twenty five thousand dollars and every deal for the last six years and they have a really unique model of people within our group know a lot about it. The total of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars was invested out-of-pocket during that period of time but the principle is now worth four million dollars. Now those are pretty exceptional numbers right that comes out to you know an annualized return of about a hundred percent and I'm not saying that that is you know what's going to happen in the future, but what I would skew to consider is what if we'd been listening to that advice for five years now? If this person had done that would they have done well? Okay well obviously not because you know if you stopped investing because of because of fear then you didn't make any money. Is it a guarantee that they would have lost money? Absolutely not. I mean listen these deals are really solid they go in there and they start to de-risk these things right away by driving up net operating income and maybe you know maybe wouldn’t have made as much money, but would it have lost a bunch of money? Well personally I just don't I don't think so. Now listen I'm not saying there will not be a recession. As I said eventually there will be. The problem is that we cannot time it and we cannot really quantify the magnitude. As much as people would love to talk about this blood and the street thing I mean the major mainstream economists and ITR Economics who I like don't think it's gonna be that big, they think it's gonna be stuck to the manufacturing and industrial sectors. So what do we do? So what do I do? I should say that I stick to quality assets and quality areas, I create value the moment you know that and then we create value in those assets the moment we acquire them, right? So that helps that whole value add concepts helps de-risk any project by dynamically decompressing cap rates. So think about it you you know you you buy something at a certain cap rate all the sudden you're driving in net operating income and you dynamically decompress your cap rates you have a better margin over your debt burden your risk is significantly lowered and if you can get all of your money out of the deal with a refinance all of your risk is gone okay. So now if there is a downturn and you're in one of these things you want to be in a position where you can ride out the storm with assets you already own and then, and then, this is the important part, lean into the downturn right lots of people freeze up when things go south or but the right thing to do is to be greedy when others are scared. So by continuing to deploy on a regular basis my personal belief is that you can volume average your way through a downturn and get capital preservation and then hopefully pick up some really cheap assets, ride them back up and hopefully it you know you end up in really good shape. That's my own approach to this. I'm not sitting around waiting for zombies to you know erupt out of the ground and start you know only accepting silver dollars, you know from a monster box. I'm just that's just not I just don't see it. As for the current financial climate I'd say the banks are, and I think again most economists would tell you that the banks are in a lot better shape than they were in 2008. I don't think that there's necessarily anything that looks like 2008. I think GDP has grown at a record for a record length of time it's been sluggish but on the other hand you know so in other words there will be some kind of recession eventually but why does it need to be blood in the streets? See we have to remember that before 2008 there was such thing as a recession that you just hear about like three months after it happened right it doesn't always have to be cataclysmic. Now you know talking about these guys you know Peter Schiff himself talks about you know the nature of this crisis that he sees happening and what he describes it as, is a dollar crisis. And if it's a dollar crisis what that means is it's gonna result in inflation. Now inflation is good for real estate. Conversely you've got Harry Dent who's talking about a deflationary recession which I have a harder time believing because of how it affects our own ability to pay you know Treasury holders, US Treasury holders, but you know even Harry thinks in his scenario that well you might as well you know own multifamily real estate because the demographics would suggest that that would be a safe place to be now Harry's a demographics guy. Now listen who knows what'll really happen just because Harry said that and Peter said that and I said this it could be completely something different, but if you do nothing and keep all your money in a bank you're guaranteed to lose money with inflation in my opinion because again I don't think it's gonna be deflationary I've been over that before. And as for dry powder it’s always good to have some obviously right I mean it's always good to have some, so it's hard to quantify how much. The way I have done it is I use as you may know I'm sure you know by now I am an advocate for Wealth Formula Banking because I like the option of you know being able to borrow etc. now for this purpose I use Wealth Formula Banking because it's it's sort of a source of liquidity for me that I can access very quickly that it's out of the banking system but how much dry powder I keep, generally relies on my contribution to the Wealth Formula Banking policy every year. So it's one of the things that sort of keeps me honest right I have to put a certain amount every year in there all the way up to the paid up perdition's and so that's basically circulating as my you know almost like a bond portfolio of liquidity in case I need it, so that's how I do it. But that being said, I'm also in a situation where I am very incentivized to invest rather than to keep my money around or invest in anything that's not real estate so I probably could do a better job with keeping a little bit more dry powder around. Anyway right now, so Wealth Formula Banking that's where my dry powder is and like I said that's where it keeps me disciplined, but I do not have a crystal ball and I don't really I'd really don't foresee myself anything horrible happening so I mean if I did if I was sure of it I'd probably I'm sure I would just you know have a bunch of money sitting around but I don't see any serious indication of that frankly. You know and I should point out I saw today you know Ray Dalio came out and said even about the stock market that he's bullish still right on the stock market, right? I'm not saying I'm bullish on the stock market but the point is there's some still some big names not really like hiding out in shorting markets at this point. So anyway I don't know that I even came close to answering your question but I talked a lot so let's see here. Next question Jason got an audio question.
Jason: Buck, this is Jason Beck from The Rock Arkansas. Wanted to see if you had come across any good ways to utilize raw land investments for a tax-advantaged purpose. I've got some land that is timber and some more land that is pasture that we keep some horses on. I want to see if you had seen anybody utilize either various schedules on their tax returns or creation of entities to try to gain some tax advantage from those type of investments?
Buck: Yeah the big one that comes to mind Jason is conservation easements. Now you know as soon as I say that a lot of people think oh that's that one thing that's kind of like that the IRS hates and they write articles about to try to scare people off of them and that's actually not totally the case the thing that IRS really hates are the syndicated conservation easements even those you know they're totally lawful but what I'm talking about is conservation easements on your own land which really are not controversial for the most part at all. So basically here's how that works okay. Effectively what you do in a conservation easement is you commit your land you still keep it you don't give it but you're giving up certain rights, you remember like yeah if you do any kind of real estate you know there's land rights there's ground rights all that kind of stuff. Anyway, in this case you're giving up the right to develop the land and or or in some cases if it's a mining situation, giving up the right to drill on the land. And if you do that what's interesting is that and what's powerful is that you can if you’ve done it appropriately get a valuation on your lands maximum value if it were to be used for that other purpose. Well let's give a give you an example so it's not so nebulous in other words say the alternative of keeping your horse pasture land was to build a multi-million dollar resort and you had all the plans you had architectural drawings etc. In that case you could theoretically get a valuation of how much that resort would be valued at and take the deduction for the amount of the valuation that you got instead of the value that your land currently has. So as you can imagine that could be an enormous potential tax benefit and so I would probably look into that for sure there's some very famous people who use that, Ted Turner CNN that's why he's got so many Buffalo, people say Donald Trump that's one of the reasons why he has so many golf courses but of course we don't see his tax return so we don't know that for sure. Anyway I know the guy you should speak with and I have already sent you a connection via email.
Okay next question when evaluating a private placement opportunity I should say I don't I for some reason I don't have a name on this one so I apologize, but when evaluating a private placement opportunity, how important is it to you that the general partner has their own personal money invested in the deal? Well the answer is it depends okay. Let's take Ken McElroy for example let's take Western Wealth Capital and those guys for example Ken's be a better example because Western Wealth Capital I know got a couple of million dollars in every deal but let's take Ken. In the past you know where he was I've invested in as a limited partner in companies deals where you know I neither Ken was putting any money in and does that bother me not really. Why? Well listen I know Ken's model and he doesn't really get rewarded unless the asset performs. I also know Ken personally and know that he works hard, has a lot of integrity and takes pride in his work. He's got a tremendous track record and I also know that it takes a lot of work to do what he does, so not getting rewarded financially until the you know property starts to really perform the way he pro formas it out is a type of sweat equity because what you're talking about ultimately is skin in the game. Does the operator have skin in the game? And the question really I think is better termed you know does the operator have skin in the game? Because the skin in the game can also come in the form of sweat equity. Now if Ken in his case doesn't get paid unless investors get paid, I would definitely consider that skin in the game knowing how much work that is. Now the problem these days in my opinion is that there is you know there's everybody and their mother is a syndicator. And you know what I'm talking about right? So you've got all these people I was in here, I'm a full-time software engineer we're 50 hours a week and oh yeah and I just went to a guru course and I'm you know I'm taking down a twenty five million dollar asset would you like to join me? Those people are everywhere now and in those kinds of deals personally I would never invest anyway. However, if you do you should demand heavy skin in the game through cash why because you don't you know you don't know what they're gonna do, they don’t have a huge track record, they've got full-time jobs this isn't just about plugging in a property manager and taking your cut that's BS you know but honestly I would stay away from those deals all together personally you don't want to be part of someone's learning curve.
All right let's see next question I have this via email here, I'm gonna read it. Okay so the next question is from Kenny. Kenny French is asking he says hi Buck I'm a podcast listener and Western Wealth Capital investor as well. I'm currently working with Rod Zabriskie to set up Wealth Formula Banking life insurance policy. So far everything has been going pretty smoothly with one exception. One of the features that I really like about the life insurance policy is it offers a way to have money grow that is protected from creditors and it really gives me a peace of mind to know that I will have a good chunk of money set aside for my family that can't or at least is very difficult for creditors or anyone else to touch. In looking how to hold that policy in a trust LLC personally etc I found out that California, where I live, that's where I live too, has terrible protections for life insurance policies. They only exempt a very small amount less than $20,000 presumably of cash values what we're talking about there, but from the little bit of research I did it looks like a Nevada trust may be the way to go, either way I think this would make for a good podcast topic to do a bit of a dive into so that's why I'm reading that and I got Kenny's okay to do this. So I thought was a good question. So what I did is I actually ran this by Doug Lodmell of Lodmell and Lodmell. Doug is of course my asset protection attorney, very smart guy, all-around good guy. I also want to put a plug in for him if you go to wealthformula.com and you go to there's basically some where you can click there and Doug did this really good webinar on asset protection from sort of the very basic to the more complex and he's just really really good so I would highly recommend you consider using him if any of this stuff is relevant to you. So here's the deal, and here's effectively the answer I've got from Doug: life insurance in many states is already a protected asset, so part of the issue is you got to check in your own state like Kenny did, as in some states like Kenny he's talking about California life insurance turns into pretty much just like an asset like any other asset and it has to be put into an asset protected vehicle. But because it is life insurance, there is an additional consideration of what happens when the policy pays out and how that affects the estate and for that reason there's also an additional choice which is an ILIT which stands for irrevocable life insurance trust. So the issue is that life insurance obviously has a death benefit which could impact the size of your estate and this must be a primary driver for where you hold it. If the death benefit will create or increase in estate tax, then the policy should be held by either an ILIT or another type of gift type trust like a dynasty trust. If the death benefit will not affect the estate tax because the total estate is below the exemption then I would suggest using an asset protection trust asset protection structure to hold the insurance if you are not in a state with good protections. He says it also matters if the insured is using life insurance as a savings vehicle and will need it for their retirement, as often we do with these kinds of things. If so then it is better in an asset protection plan. So I know that was a lot. So first of all if you know you're one of these if you have one of these plans I mean Kenny brings up a very good point you you sure look into this if you're looking for the asset protection component of this too. A few thoughts here okay, first of all you know the first thing to do is check your state and see what kind of protections you have. Next you know the ILIT is certainly an option right I mean it's it's just it's not very expensive it is a couple thousand dollars and you can use that, the problem with that it's difficult to to borrow out of. The next thing to consider is okay how big is that life insurance policy right? If it's three four million bucks, may not be a big deal especially if the rest of your estate is sitting outside of your estate or you've got a plan to have it outside of your estate then you can still figure out you know how to keep you know your estate stuff below you know whatever I think it's probably gonna sunset down to five and a half million or something like that for estate taxes. So in that regard, it seems to me that the smart thing to do would be to use like an asset protection trust which is you know certainly an option that that Doug can help you with, and frankly the nice thing about that is that you know you've got the protection from the creditors and it's still available for retirement. Now if you've got a great big you know death benefit on there, the next step really and actually this step that I've got is a dynasty trust, that was a Nevada dynasty trust and I've got one of those. In that situation though you are getting a trustee involved so you're not directly controlling it. Now I can tell you from personal experience that it's actually relatively not that difficult, you know to work with the trustee, but it does make it a little bit more difficult you know to get the cash available for the insured to use so that's the one thing to consider. Now Doug makes the point that you can also in some situations take an asset protection trust that automatically converts to a dynasty trust at death so then it's really the most flexible tool for most people so that might be the way to go. I think based on what I'm hearing and that's actually different from what I did but you know it was before I met Doug but I might have done like an asset protection trust that converted into a dynasty trust later that might have been what I would have done. Anyway complicated question complicated answer and that's kind of where I'll leave it because I've got a little headache from that last one at this point. So that's it for this week and that is just like half the questions we've got. We've been going on for a while. So that's it for me this week on Wealth Formula Podcast for Ask Buck Part One and we'll be back next week with part two.
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