S.O.S. – A FUNDRAISER OF LIFE AND DEATH IMPORTANCE FOR FTW
An Avalanche of Dirty Tricks is Threatening Our Ability to Continue
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Twice before in FTW’s eight year history we have reached out to you – our subscribers and supporters – for help and you have come through in spades. We have to do it again and this time is perhaps the most important of all.
Daily – occasionally even hourly now – the messages are hitting my inbox or coming in person. They make my job much easier.
... Thanks for your analysis of Peak Oil, economic impacts, and political/elite foreknowledge and planning. Many things that have puzzled me for years now come into focus:
1. Looting of the Treasury with Massive record deficits under three consecutive Republican Administrations, Destruction and Looting of Social Security, and the overall apparently deliberate dismantling of the United States as an economic power.
2. Apparent sudden change in philosophy of major business executive management from mostly-lawful corporation building to lawless corporation stripping for enormous short-term profits with an apparent blind eye to the future, and the Wholesale dismantling and relocation overseas of the American Industrial Base
I am sure there are multiple motives for these developments, but looking at the big picture as you have developed it, and the timing of the rapid growth of these trends (starting in earnest in the early 1980s) they seem to mesh quite well with the disturbing picture you have published.
God have mercy on us all...
-- Dr. D. S------, M.D.
Here’s another one.
I wanted to say that you really got through to me last night. You mentioned not wasting time on people that don’t want to hear what you have to say. I have heard it before on FTW, but this time the message stuck. I can do much better things with my time.
Before I went to the Petrocollapse conference yesterday I had all these ideas running around my head with no one to share them with. After going to the conference, I realized that I am not alone and my outlook on life, no matter how bad it might get, has gotten much better.
I just wanted to say thank you for putting that link (petrocollapse) on FTW.com. It really made a difference.
Have a nice day
…And I hope that your work will continue fruitfully.
It does seem that the popular media are finally waking up to the issues. Thanks for your help in preparing us for what lies ahead.
Seattle , WA
And finally, one more.
You can’t imagine how much we respect you as a man, as well as your insight and analysis and I hope that in a future age we have a chance to meet once again, hopefully on more optimistic terms. But Mike, really, thank you from the core of my soul for all you have done to illustrate not only to my brother and I, but a whole innumerable mass of people the enormity of the task ahead and the possibilities for dealing with it. Peak Oil and climate collapse are obviously going to be the beasts we have to battle for the foreseeable future and thus is the price for human intelligence.
There’s a special thank you I want to say to the more than 15 of you who came up to me personally at the Petrocollapse conference in New York last week and told me how grateful you were that we at From The Wilderness had been so correct in our multi-year analyses and predictions of so many of the events now unfolding. All of you have proved that my gamble was correct when I decided some time ago to focus my attention only on those who got the message and to ignore those who did not.
You have also proved that this group is big enough to sustain FTW and influential enough to make a difference in the world at large regardless of who or what does or does not pay attention to us. This is a great comfort.
What I write now will provide much fodder for those who dislike FTW; our critics and those who so desperately (and ineffectively) want our message to go unheard and unacknowledged. Big deal. They haven’t stopped us so far. Although this message is not written for those seeking to silence us, I have no concern at all if they read it.
FTW NEEDS FUNDS NOW – THIS IS AN EMERGENCY
I will be as brief and business-like as possible. Time is a precious commodity for all of us.
There are two emergency priorities facing me.
FIRST, I must relocate FTW out of Los Angeles to a semi-rural, sustainable area as quickly as possible – by next January at the latest. Once relocated, FTW can take advantage of a number of options to expand our services to our readers at a critical moment. Those options are not available to us in our present location. Many of you know the general area where I want to move us but I cannot disclose it here for a number of reasons. It’s in the Pacific Northwest. We know where we want to go and friends are waiting for us there.
SECOND We need enough cash to duplicate my new video Denial Stops Here and release it as quickly as possible. It must be released by October 18th so time is short. If you have liked what we’ve done for eight years, and if you liked Truth and Lies, then it is imperative that you help us reach an even wider audience so that more people can begin to prepare for the collapse which is just now beginning. This DVD is many times better than The Truth and Lies of 9/11 and capable of reaching and influencing a much wider audience. People are listening.
It is definitely a DVD the Bush Administration and Wall Street do not want released.
I am not asking for loans. For reasons described below, you will see why we are having such a challenging time. I am taking my own advice and refusing to go further in debt because that, in itself, might prove to be a deadly anchor. Given what we have been facing I cannot guarantee that we would be able to repay any loans anyway. But at this point in human history, guarantees of any sort are hard to come by.
PLAYING IN A RIGGED GAME
As perhaps only Catherine Austin Fitts knows better, speaking truth in and to a world gone mad is dangerous. Playing fields are not level and retribution can be both brutal and effective.
Starting well more than a year ago, a succession of FTW employees began internally sabotaging our operations. They included Secillia Sliffe, Jason Majik and Christopher Fusco. There are some well-documented links to the FBI and/or the Department of Homeland Security in this scheme. I will elaborate more, when and if that is appropriate and in accordance with our legal purposes. We know more than what we disclose to you here.
In January of 2005, Sliffe (after I had fired her roommate/companion Majik) abandoned her job as Office Manager and telephoned my accountant and Fusco in a ridiculous attempt to blackmail me. In the process she committed the federal felony of conspiring to defraud the United States government. In that phone call she stated that she had stolen tax records and 1099’s from my files and demanded that I not file the appropriate forms with the federal government showing earned income for several people. She stated that if I did file 1099’s for former employees Tim Barker, Jason Majik and herself, she would report me to the IRS for failure to file income tax returns.
On the same day that Sliffe called my accountant with the blackmail threat, I received an email from one Scott Magufka a.k.a. Victor Thorn of WING TV. Clearly Thorn and the people in my office had been in contact and, as we will see, Thorn and his consort Lisa Guliani also have some interesting influence at the FBI. WING TV is a comical, very scary and highly “not-credible” Internet web site (more on this later).
I had not filed taxes for several years and had just started the process of filing back returns as a preparation for a now aborted incorporation planned for this spring. Note: As of this writing I am absolutely current with the IRS in terms of both filings and payments. It has been very expensive and time consuming but something I was never trying to hide anyway. I don’t succumb to blackmail and never will. I clean up after myself.
During that same period, Chris Fusco, who remained in the office saying that he was not close to Sliffe or Majik, began a campaign of systematically sabotaging all of our customer records, customer orders and databases. He misfiled or threw out bank deposits, failed to ship orders, tore up records and many other things intended to destroy both our credibility and our cash flow. He nearly succeeded. He fooled me, Ken Levine and our webmaster, Ryan, who worked with him every day. On March 31, he set his keys on his desk, walked out and never came back.
I was so concerned for his safety that I filed a Missing Person’s report with the Van Nuys Division of the LAPD. When Ken Levine and I went to Fusco’s apartment to see if he was safe, he hid inside. Later, as I waited for him to come home, he called the police and had me shaken down as a burglary suspect.
Then we discovered the carnage. It was only by the valiant efforts of FTW’s agent-publicist Ken Levine, his sister, daughter, son and Ryan Spiegl that we survived. We got a new office manager who proved to be both trustworthy and loyal.
Since Fusco had refused to speak to me after he walked off his job in the middle of the day, I withheld his last paycheck and advised him that when he explained his actions I would be happy to pay him for his last week of “work.” That’s the law and I know it. He never gave me the opportunity.
Instead, he filed a Small Claims action against me which I knew I would win. Indeed, I did win it last June 30, 2005 after an unheard-of two-day Small Claims trial. I was ordered to pay his week’s wages plus small damages but he was ordered to pay me twice as much for the willful damage he had done. We won. In that trial it was established that Fusco had been deliberately sabotaging FTW operations and was, in several instances, caught lying to the court. He was also receiving excellent legal advice from an unknown attorney willing to work overnight on his behalf as it became clear that he was losing.
As we left the court after the trial I was told by the bailiff that the judge’s decision would be mailed to me within 90 days.
The address shown on the court’s decision at that time was an address which I had never filed, never been connected to, but which had been filed by Fusco even though as our former office manager he knew was absolutely incorrect.
Approximately ten days after the court trial was over the Orange County rented storage facility belonging to our webmaster Ryan Spiegl was burglarized. It was the only unit burglarized out of hundreds. Nothing was taken except the lock which had probably been cut. The unit was probably thoroughly searched in a crime that’s a cut-and-paste FBI black bag job.
WHEN YOU CAN’T WIN FAIRLY -- CHEAT
They couldn’t beat us in court so they beat me by cheating.
I never received a notification of the judgment in my favor. I was not worried because I knew that for an appeal to be heard I would have to be served with a subpoena and notified. That was not to happen. Between deliberate actions by Fusco and apparent carelessness on the part of the court and my bank, the notices of judgment and the appeals hearing were sent to the bogus address.
Since I had never been served a notice of the appeal, I didn’t show up. A Summary Judgment was rendered against me in default on August 30, 2005 for $5,072.00. I was not to know any of this until the money was taken out of FTW’s bank account.
Conveniently, just as I arrived in New York to participate in the Petrocollapse conference on October 4th I was advised of a pending debit in FTW’s bank account for that amount and I recognized it instantly as matching Fusco’s original claim.
For two days starting on October 5th the debit was showing on our bank’s web site and then not showing. It would appear and then disappear. The money was taken out on October 6th while I was conveniently still in New York City and helpless to prevent it. My bank has some explaining to do as to why they would surrender the money on the basis of documents showing an incorrect address and without notifying me as at least one attorney has told me they must do.
That wasn’t the point. The point, as it has been for years, is to make FTW incapable of doing what it has done for our loyal subscribers and to prevent us from getting better at it. The objective is to tie us up so that we cannot serve our readers. We will get the judgment vacated eventually and Mr. Fusco will most likely go to jail for fraud and contempt of court at minimum. But it will probably take lots and lots of time. That’s the one thing we don’t have as the winter approaches.
I have only included a few pages of records here but the court case is public record (Small Claims Case No: LAV 05V01664) at the Van Nuys Superior Court in Los Angeles. Help yourself.
For the record, the FTW office manager prior to Sliffe at FTW, Cynthia Ruthchild, is a retired FBI Special Agent who is also an attorney. I hired her in 2003 because she came to me and was presented as a credible whistleblower who had been brutally punished for speaking out about FBI malpractice. I remember thinking that I, as a former LAPD officer, was once a desperate whistleblower and in need of a job.
Ruthchild’s performance, however, was abysmal (fully documented) and she and Barker seemed to have an obsession with wanting me to become involved with Thorn, selling his embarrassingly inaccurate book, and having me appear on his “TV” show. It had taken me about five minutes of looking at his book to determine that Thorn was neither credible nor trustworthy. Ruthchild’s and Barker’s obsession and nagging lasted for months and my simple “No” was not enough to ease the pressure. Thorn next took to blatant and well-documented efforts to extort me (both directly and through Ken Levine) to appear on his internet show. He threatened to harm my reputation if I didn’t.
As we all know, he certainly took his best (though not very credible) shot at that.
Both Ruthchild and Barker were fired in March 2004 after I had quietly advertised and found Sliffe and Majik as their hasty replacements. It was only later that I would see that all were connected.
WING TV – THE ATTACK POODLES
Thorn and Guliani have basically placed themselves in the wackiest of the wingnut regions of Internet. Even a casual read of their site leaves one incredulous at the lack of documentation, consistency and/or ethical standards.
But where I am the victim of ongoing criminal actions and can seemingly get no assistance from law enforcement, all Lisa Guliani has to do is pick up a phone and the local FBI office starts making phone calls harassing other left-leaning activists who were trying to get Thorn to appear on their show. If you click on the linked loudspeaker emblem labeled “FBI call” you will actually hear the FBI agent calling up and fruitlessly trying to intimidate an activist on Guliani and Thorn’s behalf.
I can get to ask questions in Congress – for Congress – but I sure can’t get that kind of law enforcement support. Since when has one progressive activist ever sunk so low in a dispute with another activist as to send the FBI to intimidate them?
Tim Barker then wrote some really shameless and dishonest critiques of me for WING TV right after Sliffe abandoned her job. I will not reprint them here because to do so would unnecessarily injure third parties. Barker had his own Achilles heel that might have made him susceptible to pressure. As the son of a famous movie actress he hadn’t paid taxes for years on the royalties from his mother’s films and the IRS was actively looking for him. I wonder if he traded his back taxes for a friendship. He certainly traded his honor.
I have been told by two sources that Thorn recently said either on his show or in a public chat session that someone should assassinate me as a war criminal after leveling the same terrorist threat at the excellent 9/11 researcher/activist Nick Levis. I don’t have time to look for it and I certainly am not flying to Pennsylvania on money I don’t have to make a fruitless complaint to the FBI who wouldn’t lift a finger to help me anyway. That’s another unpunished crime.
I have noticed surveillance lately as I traveled to both Washington and New York in the last six months.
So there are many circles closing together here. I have more evidence but sometimes one doesn’t show one’s best cards until one has the proverbial “head shot” in a legal case. I’m sure the point is clear.
On May 9th my father passed away. I received a $50,000 life insurance payment and was named co-Trustee in a trust set up to protect my aging stepmother (89, with Alzheimer’s). The value of that trust is somewhere around $640,000; half of the trust was to be mine as clearly established in all the documents and records, on either her death or a decision by both trustees to dissolve the trust.
My co-Trustee, the niece of my stepmother, also happens to own a bank in Alabama. Her husband is the editor of the local newspaper. Shortly after my father’s death they moved to seize the entire trust, claiming I had no right to my father’s half. I cannot touch a penny as the legal proceedings unfold. Even though I am a co-Trustee and can write checks, the moment I commingle any of the funds before the case is settled I risk losing all of it. I am certain that a great deal of the recent financial pressure is intended to make me dip into the trust and thus give it all away. That I will never do. There is no guarantee that I will ever see a penny of it or how much will be left when the lawyers are through.
I have loaned all of my father’s life insurance back to FTW to keep it serving you through the sabotage, back taxes and court cases. I have not taken a paycheck since March. Yet every FTW employee has always been paid on time and we are current with our creditors. But it is now getting difficult for me to pay my rent and personal bills.
Seeking refuge in a foreign country remains a less-desirable option if things get worse but it is one that I cannot rule out.
Presently, Denial Stops Here is in the final stages of editing and music mixing. I do not have enough money to reproduce it to sell. I do not have enough money to relocate FTW and its staff. The one thing I can do is to sell my car to finance the DVD, but that would pose other serious problems. I have traveled to participate in two events in Washington this year at my own expense.
We’re running on fumes at FTW and we have been forced to reach out for help again.
In 2000, FTW subscribers responded almost overnight with $11,000 to keep us going after a business plan to resurrect suppressed books was torpedoed by a high school classmate who had worked for the National Security Agency leaving me on the hook for several thousand dollars.
In 2003, thanks to you, FTW raised more than $130,000 in five weeks to pay for a series of full-page ads which ran in major newspapers around the country and really upset some major politicians and special interests. FTW will be eternally grateful to a wonderful man, Jack Gubanc, who made that first ad in the Washington Post possible. Jack showed us what kind of support we had out there, and we sadly mourn his recent passing. Rest in Peace, Jack.
We need that much again and more. It’s not just me that has to move. We have four staff members with families and we need to secure office space in our selected community before leaving here.
If you read FTW regularly, and if you have read Crossing the Rubicon you understand how critical it is that we get out of Los Angeles now. You know that – before this descending curtain of repression and collapse sinks any lower – we must release our new DVD. There is no more time.
You all know that we have stayed tirelessly on the job for you through everything (including the kitchen sink) that has been thrown at us. We can and will continue to do that. But unless we get this urgent help, right now, I may soon be writing to you from another place and in a much reduced capacity. The wonderfully loyal staff who have stayed through everything are in danger of losing their jobs and our collective voice is now at risk of going silent.
Needless to say, all of you understand that it benefits all of us if FTW grows and gets out of LA and into a sustainable community that will provide us support in a much less hostile environment.
For all of you who have sold your homes at the top of the bubble and thanked us; for all of you who bought gold (in any quantity) and are now seeing it scream towards $500 and thanked us; for all of you who began changing your lives in preparation for Peak Oil years ago based on our writing years ago and thanked us: I am asking for some important help in return.
If help comes, fast enough and in sufficient quantity, we can not only survive but become even more effective at learning, preparing, teaching, and scouting the horizons.
I don’t even want to think about the alternative. I know you’ll come through. And even though FTW is not tax-exempt or non-profit, your donations are tax deductible if you do not expect repayment.
Please do it now.
P.O. Box 6061-350
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
Office number: 818-788-8791