Getting More From Facebook : 20 Useful Tips for Authors and Normal People Too

How to eliminate everything that sucks about facebook.

 

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Choose your “friends” wisely.

If you think someone on facebook must be popular and interesting because they have 5000 friends, think again. Most likely they or their “people” are just too lazy to clean out the dead accounts on their friends list. Lazy might be an overly harsh choice of an adjective as I found out when I took on the monumental task of visiting more than 90% of my 3000 “friends” profiles to see what they were about. It took hours per day for weeks but what I found out and the actions I took would make flakebook entertaining for the first time in my four year battle with it. In all likelihood, these mostly writer types I accuse of being layabouts above, are smart enough not to care too much about social media and only show up for a short time each day to feed the insatiable beast.

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Why make the effort to clean it out?

A few months back I was oh so close to deleting my fakebook account completely, but I stopped just short of doing this in favor of re-purposing MY site into an “entertainment channel” for myself and the lucky few “friends” who survived what I now refer to as:

The Cleansing or Friend Pocalypse 2019.

Why did I put MY in upper case letters? The answer is simple really; many of us forget that our facecook account is ours to do with as we please. Authors often feel an obligation to accept friend requests from just about anyone who sends one in the naive hope these people will become readers of our books. Worst of all, you probably think you will hurt someone’s feelings by unfriending them, when in truth, they probably don’t care and may never know.

I dumped just over 2650 “friends” in about three weeks and here is the data I collected:

  1. At least 50% of those were abandoned accounts.
  2. Approximately 50% of the abandoned accounts have been high-jacked.
  3. Sadly, you will find out some people you once engaged in conversation with have passed away.
  4. 5% were deactivated accounts.
  5. Not one person objected via DM to their termination.
  6. Your followers are not related to your friends list.
  7. Post engagement went up.
  8. My news-feed is now full of posts which actually interest me.
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Rant, whine, whinge, complain. . .

Authors in particular love to complain about their posts not being seen or interacted with, and how facelook limits the number of our friends who can see our posts; yet they never consider how this corporate giant is, or should be, motivated to send our posts to our dead “friends” accounts in order to save big on server usage. If there is no interaction on a post, server costs go down. The 7% claimed maximum post reach is quickly cut in half most of the time by your dead accounts, and it is conceivable that some days our posts get shared into the news feeds of nothing but these dead accounts. It’s way easier to blame facenook (I love to every chance I get.) than it is to clean out all the dead accounts YOU FRIENDED. Yes, your “friends” list is your responsibility; ergo, your post reach is a reflection of how well you manage your facetook account.

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Because I no longer care about the publishing dream we are sold, I have turned “unfriending” into an art form.

Here is my criteria:

Mutual friends with my ex? GONE!
Mostly political posts? GONE!
Mostly religious posts? GONE!
Mostly kids and pets? GONE!
Mostly book promotion? GONE!
Unanswered birthday messages? GONE!
Infrequent posting? GONE!
Over the top patriotism? GONE!
Allowing people to post ads on their wall? GONE!
A whiff of racism? GONE!
Over the top sexism? GONE!
Posting in languages other than English? GONE!
Posting violence? GONE!
Posting animal cruelty even if you are an animal lover. GONE!
Unceasing negativity? GONE!
A lack of engagement: Likes, Comments, and Shares? GONE!

I wasn’t as merciless as the list above might make it seem, although I did relish terminating vocal Trumpeter supporters and old rich white guys whose view of the world is just too f-cked to bear. I must also confess how much I enjoyed unfriending real best-selling authors who I envied for catching a break but who turned out to be boring as shit. In fact, I visited over 90% of the profiles I dumped looking for reasons to keep them. If you made me laugh, made me think, posted something meaningful, or showed yourself to be a caring person with some depth, then you probably made the cut.

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Where did all these fake or abandoned accounts come from?

In most cases, the author contracted a P.A. or book marketing services company to create and manage their profile and possibly pages, but when the term of the contract was up, these authors found out they did not own the account. From that point forward, the promoters continue to post there from other accounts they create, leaving you to scroll back months or years before you find a post from the author whose page it was. This wreaks of a scam by companies claiming they will get your book in front of hundreds or thousands of readers, when in fact most of us unfollow these accounts as soon as the first ad for sunglasses appears. If you are a budding author, create and manage your own accounts and consider what you may leave behind. Do not allow other people to post to your wall; let them tag you instead.

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There are different levels of cleaning.

A Level 1 Cleaning is just scrolling your friends list and deleting the deactivated accounts. This hour or so will make room for new friends.

A Level 2 Cleaning is the dumping of all the people you unfollowed. Why keep them if you don’t like their posts? This will take a few hours.

A Level 3 Cleaning means going to profiles to see if they are real and active accounts managed by the author. For most of you, this will happen over time as this can represent days of work if you have thousands of friends. Keep notes on where you left off, and keep at it because these accounts are hurting your post reach.

Level 4 is a total reboot. I downsized to create a small but interesting group who entertain me. In the process, I scrapped three pages as well, due primarily to abysmal engagement, but also to eradicate all evidence of my former significant other. I visit these remaining friends profiles when the mood strikes and I’m usually pleasantly surprised with their posts. It’s like having 350 pen pals.

I will leave you with some facebooking 101 tips.

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Be really careful of the groups you join.

Just sit back and watch what goes on in the group before actively participating. If you see gossip and drama, RUN AWAY!!!

Only some of these are author specific:

  1. “Friend” readers—NOT AUTHORS OR WRITERS (at least not too many)—people who review, blog, promote, and talk books. i.e. members of book clubs.
  2. Activity (posting) and engagement (commenting) is key for both you and anyone you “friend”; otherwise you will never see anyone interesting to check out as a possible new quality “friend”.
  3. “Friend” ONLY people who seem real, who fill out the About Section of their profile, and ideally who show pics of themselves, friends, and family etc. Of course authors writing under a pen name may need an exemption from this rule, but you can get a sense of their legitimacy by the size of their following, their number of mutual friends, and how long they have been around.
  4. NEVER TRUST ANYONE OR ANYTHING YOU SEE on f-ckbook, or anywhere else online for that matter. This is a world of pretenders who, except for a rare few, do not know the first thing about being truthful. Lies and deception rule their pathologies.
  5. UPLOAD content daily to your Author Page. i.e. a good morning meme, and share it to your profile’s wall. This will increase your page reach.
  6. Update your Status daily on your profile, ideally with something amusing or interesting which can be shared publicly. Status updates are seen more than posts you share to your wall.
  7. INVITE people to Like your Author Page. Before long you will have a following who will read the tweets and blogs you send to your page. I made the mistake of creating followers of my public posts from my profile’s wall instead of creating an Author Page right from the start.

Best of luck.

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She showed you mine so I’m sharing hers.

“Turnabout is fair play.”

A 1755 English/Irish proverb which suits my purposes here.

I have a friend; a really cool friend; an honorable friend; a supportive friend; an aware friend; an empathic friend; a scary smart friend who writes on a level so impressive I asked for her hand in marriage after reading only a thousand or so of her words. It was in jest, I think, and years ago now, but as I recall, she didn’t exactly say no. . .

Since that time, she has purchased, read, and favorably reviewed my book; an act which showed her to be good to her word; a person of substance; a person of character rising out of a sea of pretenders who made similar promises without delivering the goods. Such is life as an author. You become accustomed to it while paying close attention to the solid people you meet in your journey.

Today she made some noise about my book on twitter so I thought a little surprise reciprocity might be in order.

Her name is Shelby Kent-Stewart

a.k.a. The Sultaness of Snark

(I just made that up.)

and I’m proud to call her my friend.

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So when a friend you admire, or perhaps adore—I’m still working that out—who you are slightly intimidated by as a writer asks you to write with her, you get butterflies in your stomach reminiscent of your first school dance. Your palms get clammy, your mouth goes dry, your respiration becomes quick and shallow, and you struggle with words that seem to want to form sentences written by a chimp.

I gathered myself as we discussed the possibilities and we settled on a starting point. A simple blog post from two points of view to see if our styles, philosophies, attitudes, and perspectives could somehow mesh into something worth reading without destroying our friendship.

We did it.

In my heavily biased opinion, our first collaboration is Blog of the Year material, if that’s a thing, and we hope you enjoy reading it this weekend as much as we enjoyed producing it for you.

Go straight to our article. It should be up late in the week.

Shelby has six 5 STAR rated books available on amazon.

Like and Follow her on facebook.

Get to know Shelby on twitter.

Watch for her new book: For Love of Honor coming soon; part of the Wicked Tails Stories series.

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Thanks for everything Shelby. You are appreciated, and I’ll try to keep up.

 

 

 

 

Get caught up on my latest relationship misadventure over on my book’s site.

This week on my Ms. Creant blog, I show how our social media walls can reveal a great deal about what we are feeling.

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Top 10 Things I Learned In My Years On Facebook or How Many “Friends” Can I Lose In One Post?

FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL

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“Live and learn.”

Conservatively, I estimate I “invested” 1400 hours of my life into Facebook over the past four years which is 500 hours more than it took to produce my book. Let that sink in a moment. I have dwelled on this for some time now. It is because of this significant amount of time that I did not just delete my Facebook account when the final straw arrived. I was close though. For better or worse, there is a legacy we leave behind on Facebook for our “friends”, if not the general public. However, if you posted as I did in a willy-nilly devil-may-care sort of way, you will spend days trying to clean it all up in order to leave a “best of” collection of posts worth scrolling before saying your final farewell. Be prepared for Facebook to “limit” your profile and page(s), a.k.a. putting you in Facebook jail, when you attempt such radical changes.

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1) Some people are not who they claim to be.

I am not talking about authors writing under pen names - which is absolutely necessary to avoid harassment - I am talking about people with multiple online personas. Don’t make the mistake of PROJECTING your level of integrity or values, a.k.a. honesty, discretion, and honour onto people you meet. It will bite you every time.

You can protect yourself by using a free deep web search at: pipl.com.

If aliases appear, search each one. If you know multiple locations where they have lived, search each city by each alias. It could take a while to compile all the data, and you should prepare yourself as the results can be nothing less than staggering. Look for, and even search, relatives, known associates, and phone numbers to confirm the site has not made an error. There are pay sites starting from $2.00 that generate a full report including criminal activities. You might want to consider one of these if you are in deep with someone you met online. May your god be kind with what you find.

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2) Don’t be naïve.

If you look up naïve in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see my picture there. I viewed joining the author communities on social media as an opportunity to connect with bright, engaging, open-minded seekers of wisdom . . . kindred spirits who would share thoughts as pen pals would, only using modern technology. Overall, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, you will encounter a few worthwhile decent types, but in a game where we count followers in the thousands, they represent a minuscule percentage.

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3) “Haste makes waste.”

I remember being excited about making “friends” on Facebook when I first started out. So excited in fact, I would send friend requests to anyone who had the words author or writer on their profile. Back then, the prevailing theory suggested the key to success was a numbers game; the one with the biggest following would get a publishing deal. People were actually buying followers 10,000 at a time. I didn’t buy into this. I viewed social media as a popularity contest which does not translate into book sales ─ the equivalent to putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes. I have yet to see data which is convincing enough to see it any other way. If I knew better, I would have cultivated relationships with influencers, readers of my genre, publishers, publicists, agents, reviewers, and bloggers ─ all the people I did not have as “friends” but who might have made a difference to the success achieved by my book. Had I known then what I know now, my friends list would look very different than it does today.

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4) Cocaine would have been a better choice.

If you are going to choose an addiction, social media is the worst possible choice. THERE IS NO HIGH, and the more time you spend on social media the less happy you become. Anyone who has read my book, knows I am anti-escapist regardless of whether the high is produced naturally or artificially. Regular cocaine users know the drug has a diminishing return. The high is never as good as the first time they tried it unless they increase the quantity used; and the more they use, the more frequent their cravings become until it affects their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hypocrite. I let my demons out for an occasional stroll, but I pick my poisons carefully to ensure that none take charge of my life. Social media hooks us on being connected and never being alone. It is dangerous because humans must be alone in order to think, learn, and grow. Social media stagnates the mind and, Facebook at least, seems bent on depressing the populace. Endless distractions thwart creativity and productivity. If you: feel obligated to post on social media; look in regularly for comments on posts; have never turned off Messenger or notifications or your device, then you should pick different poisons for a while until you get a handle on the monkey on your back.

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5) I kept my promise.

I used my Facebook profile page as a playground where I could share multiple aspects of my personality. This allowed me a place to vent . . . and vent I did; or more correctly, am continuing to do here in what will become my last post to Facebook. Early on I promised the real me would be on display at all times to my “friends”. The people on my friends list did not get an artificial construct or watered down perfect illusion of who I am. Nope, they got the full Monte, or at least as much Monte as Facebook would allow. My inner bad boy posted what little nudity Facebook community standards would tolerate for two reasons: Firstly, I am a rebel who sees freedoms dying faster than the planet is losing species; and secondly, nothing in the world is more beautiful to me than the female form. I shared my sense of humour as well, even when I knew it might be crossing someone’s line every now and then. I also shared my philosophies, and those from others which resonated within me, in what I now see as a futile effort to awaken the sleeping oblivious sheeple. The proof is in the likes. There were next to none. Recently, I wanted to find out if I was out of Facebook jail so I posted: ‘Somebody, anybody, tell me if you can see me.’ This post got more attention than a year’s worth of meaningful posts, and at the same time, it made a sad statement on the superficiality of the average Facebook user.

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6) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As an author, I should have divided my time equally between Goodreads, twitter, and Facebook because Goodreads has proven itself to put your books in front of readers, and unlike Facebook, you can reach out to everyone and anyone on twitter. Time is the one thing you can never get more of and it does not allow do-overs. Spend yours wisely.

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7) Nazi hamsters! WTF?

Fuckerberg, and the Nazis in the shadows behind him, are using facebook for data collection on each and every one of us, as are most of the major corporations in Silicon Valley. The difference is Facebook knows far more about us than Google, and possibly even the makers of our devices and the companies that supply operating systems as long as they do not breach their published privacy policies which most have already been caught doing. Facebook considers EVERYTHING you share to be their property. This includes Messenger. Yup, your selfies and home-made porn videos are all sitting in a data farm somewhere and you can never truly delete them. They lured us away from My Space with the promise of something better. A promise which was never kept right from the beginning. Their endless adjustments to the algorithm, have severely limited our outreach to readers while they stayed busy categorizing and compartmentalizing us into something reminiscent of a box filled with hamsters where everyone is climbing all over each other. Good luck. I’m out.

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8) Let’s see Facebook for what it is: a societal manipulation site.

That doesn’t have the same innocuous ring to it as social media site, does it. In my time on Facebook, I have been appalled by posts in my News Feed ranging from animal cruelty to the shooting of an unarmed man by police, with a far too great number of others in between. Were they fake news as with the Trumpeter’s election campaigners who mysteriously showed up only to disappear shortly after the election? We can never know. What is clear however, is we are affected, influenced, and manipulated by what we see and hear in all forms of media. Worst of all, we become desensitized to atrocious human behavior and I believe this is NO ACCIDENT; but where they are intentionally herding the minds of the sheeple. When three billion users worldwide have been programmed to no longer give a shit about life, the world can easily fall into anarchy. On that day, the frightened sheeple will willingly turn over the last of their freedoms for safety. The single biggest difference between other forms of media and Facebook is there are no restrictions placed on what Facebook is allowed to broadcast. Facebook can do what they want with the get-out-of-jail-free-card of being a social media platform not responsible for the content created by users. There is no Editor In Chief to hold accountable for what is thrust before our eyes. Facebook’s new take on morality is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.

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9) Some people make it bearable.

If I look at my years on Facebook as I would my life, there are some parallels. I have a few regrets but there was also a great deal of laughter. There were a handful of people who made the time spent on Facebook almost seem worthwhile. I hope they keep in touch. There were also some standouts who stepped up when it really mattered, and they have my deepest gratitude.

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10) Facebook is what you make of it.

If you are just an individual who wants to keep tabs on people you already know in the real world, or if you want to find people you have lost touch with, then have at it while being VERY cautious of what you post or message to people. Keep your circle small and be wary of people you have not met in person when they send you a friend request. If you have the misfortune of being a writer who is following conventional wisdom, a.k.a. forced kicking and screaming into the social media spotlight as I was, then things will be tougher. Absorb and retain the previous 1800 words and I will leave you with the immortal words of my favorite Zen master: ‘Mind what you have learned; save you it can.’ – Yoda.

Rationalizations: What To Do When The Internet Is Down

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

My Current Attitude Towards Facebook and Other Pointless Endeavours Summed Up in a Single Photo.

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I love Iron Man and many of the other Marvel films.

The appeal is obvious—aside from wishing we were genius billionaire philanthropists—there are times when we wish we could take matters into our own hands; to be a lone gun-slinger, dispensing our own brand of justice or seeking retribution. Alas, until “civilization” slides a little farther into the abyss, or we have nothing left to lose, we must  settle for watching others wreak vengeance in film and video games; living vicariously through them. But oh how we wish sometimes. . .

Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 6:

Coping with Uncertainty.

What we believe is a choice, BUT we are not taught this.

When we are old enough to grasp the idea, we are told we have free will which allows us to make our own choices, BUT by that point we have already spent years being indoctrinated into the beliefs of our parents, the culture of our forefathers, and the society in which we live. All too often, the beliefs imparted to us by these three influences are not in agreement. This creates uncertainty in an individual who is trying to establish an identity of their own, BUT their emerging identity is not their own. It was supplied to them by those who disseminate INFORMATION from a position of authority who we are told we should respect. Parents, religious leaders, educators, doctors, the Internet, the media, and government leaders all influence the thoughts of young minds that are trying to establish for themselves what is true, BUT truth is a fallacy and nobody tells us this. There are things currently thought to be true which are passed along to us, BUT there are few real truths which we are privy to.

A truth is a belief supported by evidence and what is thought to be known, a.k.a. facts.

The problem is, all beliefs require a leap of logic which is often referred to as faith.

If we were to teach this simple idea globally, we would end the dark age which has been with our current incarnation of humanity for the last five thousand years. The age of enlightenment, that so many of us crave, begins with a fundamental shift in what we are willing to accept as being true from all the other flawed humans who disseminate information to us.

If we are cautious as to what we allow ourselves to believe, then we can resist indoctrination, and the thought control it represents.

To reach an age of enlightenment we must develop a heightened awareness which means we must see things as they are, and not as we would like them to be. Our propensity for denial, and our dismissive nature that was taught to us, must be replaced with open-mindedness and deep rational thought.

We must question everything we are told to believe that came from a source outside of our own experience.

Our parents were flawed, BUT we usually did not begin to see this until many years passed where we clung to every word they spoke. The INFORMATION they supplied us with helped to form our earliest beliefs. Most of us begin to see that our parents make mistakes, get their facts wrong at times, and are hypocritical at least occasionally. This creates a modicum of skepticism in our young minds the next time they lecture us about something they believe to be important. Our uncertainty began at home.

Religions are flawed because almost all of them have abandoned or corrupted—through interpretation and rationalizations—the good messages of their prophet(s). Most of the top twelve most popular religions have leaders who are a part of a system which is designed to profit from our fear of the unknown. They never give back as much as they receive, and some are wealthy beyond imagination. Many actively promote division from those who do not believe exactly as they do and sexism; while the worst endorse racism and violence or advocate ownership of weapons of violence. They supply us with INFORMATION which we are told to accept without question to prove we are faithful. Many of our beliefs came from a childhood which included religious indoctrination, BUT when we begin to see hypocrisy and inequality within our house of worship, it creates uncertainty that can lead to a crisis of faith in us. If this has happened to you, all you need to do is get back to basics. We are all completely capable of understanding messages of peace and love spoken by the prophets of every religion. We do not need a religious leader to explain peace and love to us. We do not have to be sheep led by a shepherd in order to be believers.

Our education systems are flawed and getting worse. We know this is due to budgetary cutbacks, which are seemingly always on the rise, BUT there are also teachers who believe they have the right to impart their flawed personal beliefs to their students. Many of our beliefs are created by our early years spent in school before the age where we could see a teacher as just another flawed human. Textbooks are out of date and academia is slow to advance new findings, however unimpeachable, which challenge long held beliefs. Students are required to absorb and regurgitate this questionable INFORMATION, learning only to accept or reject facts based on an authoritative source without ever thinking about alternative possibilities or delving deeper into the topic. Uncertainty is created when students find out what they were taught is no longer true. Indoctrination is alive and well in higher education too, where new INFORMATION must be approved for publication by peers who are afraid of upsetting those who fund research. Knowledge is completely controlled by those who supply funding. It appears the so-called elites wish to create and maintain a knowledge gap between what they know and what we are allowed to know. This would explain the budgetary cutbacks in public education. A stupid populace is more easily led. Do not cling too tightly to facts you were given in school. My 1960’s era Encyclopedia Britannica is only good for its old book smell, its ability to flatten a curled piece of paper, and a good laugh when researching anything scientific.

People with credentials are flawed. If doctors were perfect, there would be no need for malpractice insurance. Fact: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts. So unless your doctor graduated at the top of his or her class and possesses an eidetic memory, they are flawed; despite the air of arrogance their indoctrination taught them to exhibit. For the sake of your health and that of your family, you need to be uncertain of the INFORMATION you receive. Whether you are dealing with a M.D. or a PHD working with genetically modified organisms, vaccines or cancer treatments, you cannot completely believe what they have to say until you verify who signs their paychecks.

The Internet is a good thing—the last bastion of truth—it cannot be flawed . . . right? If this were so, why did the military industrial complex a.k.a  DARPA give us a billion dollar system free of charge? Fact: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense in charge of development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Digital communications are a way for you to be known and compartmentalized by all manner of databases that are available to a host of security agencies. These agencies want to know everything about everyone; especially problem children like me who would undermine their authority if we only knew how. The primary purpose of the Internet, aside from creating yet another distraction to tie up the populace, is to create doubt through disinformation practices. By spreading uncertainty, the public puppets controlled by the-powers-that-be create anxiety and fear in the majority of the indoctrinated sheep living within any country. If one thousand scientists say global warming is real, the puppeteers, who wish to maintain the status quo, can put up their own bought-and-paid-for findings to create doubt. Where there is doubt, there will be endless debate without resolution in the on-line community, and the powers-that-be achieve their goal of maintaining the status quo. Did you know smart phones, computers, and smart TV’s are not necessarily off when you power down? It has been proven you can still be tracked, listened to or even watched when these devices are off. Cover cameras and disconnect your Internet cable when not in use. Just how much of your personal information is stored? Buy a new smart phone and magically all your old photos will arrive to your new phone. “The cloud” contains everything you ever communicated or shared on-line. The Internet is a means of controlling INFORMATION to keep sweeping change from happening.

It is the devil’s pipeline of lost souls . . . if you believe in such things.

The media creates uncertainty by supplying INFORMATION that is flawed. It is often poorly sourced, poorly researched, poorly fact checked, and fake news items are becoming more and more frequent. News stories which do not further the agenda of the-powers-that-be are no longer considered “newsworthy”. Omission of INFORMATION is their primary means of manipulation and control of the thoughts reaching a populace. They spread stories perpetuating fear, anxiety, and even hate twenty-four hours a day, because a frightened anxious populace is easier to manipulate into sanctioning retaliatory violence, preemptive violence or even a declaration of all out war. We no longer are shown the destruction our countries military forces are inflicting on less militarily capable countries, and we are never shown civilian targets that were destroyed based on military intelligence INFORMATION.

There is a great deal of uncertainty created by the leaders of most countries these days. Many of these world leaders are exceedingly flawed, and some overtly show off just how damaged they are.  Our democracies are not completely dead. We hold elections. We appear to have a choice of parties. The leaders change frequently. Politicians are, technically speaking, duly elected to lead a party, BUT they are approved and nominated by people within the party with influence a.k.a. special interest groups and the-powers-that-be. As divided as our primary liberal and conservative elements seem to be, they do have one thing in common. They are both equally backed by the-powers-that-be representatives working inside each party. The title of government leader is now a misnomer because the faces we associate with leadership are just marionettes.

The 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt made this statement about the secret government stating, “”Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.””

It appears the-powers-that-be existed before America ramped up for production of weapons in WWII creating the military industrial complex.

Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his 1961 speech: “”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”” “”We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.””

We should have taught this in schools, BUT the-powers-that-be did not want this. In 2017, we now take everything for granted and our citizenry is oblivious and being dumbed down.

Just two years later JFK would be assassinated. Some say he was killed because he wanted to create a more transparent government with oversight.

The Washington Post reported a black budget of “$52.6 billion was set aside for operations in fiscal year 2013. The CIA, NSA and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) receive more than 68 percent of the black budget. The National Geo-spatial Intelligence Program’s (NGP) budget has grown over 100 percent since 2004.”

A black budget covers expenses related to military research and covert operations, often without government oversight. The figures shown do not factor in corporate and private money invested in black projects beyond the intelligence agency arena and into space and technology. Some projections are as high as 1.3 trillion dollars—this represents +/- 30% of the entire US economy. The-powers-that-be take from the citizens of the US and other Western countries and then tell us to f@ck off when we want to know how OUR money is being spent. They cite matters of national security to make us go away.

Ethan Wolff-Mann wrote in time.com’s Money Section in an article titled: 7 Amazing Things America Could Have Bought Instead of a $1.45 Trillion Jet: “The F-35 project has been one of the most expensive military projects in history, and will cost upwards of $1.45 trillion by the time it’s over.”

It was this article that prompted this long winded journey. Canada had signed up to purchase this plane even though it does not have the speed or range to be an effective interceptor, nor does it feature the dual engines needed for reliable arctic patrol work. I questioned why Canada had even entertained it, aside from its F/A designation. We need a new multi-role fighter but the F35 is not it. My journey began by asking: Just who is capable of exerting enough pressure for us to make such a bad purchase? Fortunately, our current administration scrapped the F35 purchase, for the time being at least. There is absolutely nothing about this plane which justifies a number in the trillions. We must ask:

If all that money was not spent on this plane, then where did it go?

This is the aviation equivalent to a $1000.00 toilet seat.

In 2008, Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in U.S. history. “No more secrecy,” he said. “That is a commitment that I make to you.”

Jun 2, 2015 – The USA Freedom Act is modified and signed by President Barack Obama. It essentially continued the Patriot Act which empowered the the secret keepers a.k.a. the FIVE intelligence gatherers and their TWELVE “active” partners to do what they do without being bothered by the administration.

Prior to being elected on Oct 20, 2015, Justin Trudeau promises to repeal ‘problematic elements’ of surveillance Bill C-51.

June 2017, The “anti-terrorism” legislation which resulted in huge protests, petitions, and condemnation from academics, remains in place while discussions take place over the summer.

It appears that both North American leaders ran out of leash when it came to confronting the-powers-that-be about secrecy and intelligence gathering matters.

Who are their masters? I am still working that out for myself, BUT we can definitely begin with the heads of:

  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Independent agencies
    • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • United States Department of Defense
    • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
    • National Security Agency (NSA)
    • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
    • National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
    • Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF)
    • Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
    • Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
    • Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  • United States Department of Energy
    • Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)
  • United States Department of Homeland Security
    • Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
    • Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)
  • United States Department of Justice
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    • Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI)
  • United States Department of State
    • Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
  • United States Department of the Treasury
    • Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

We can unequivocally state the masters are male.

They support and wish to maintain a patriarchy which has existed for at least 3000 years.

I find it both hilarious and disturbing that despite this massive effort to allegedly keep the populace safe, we are less safe than ever before. It leads one to believe they are not spending our tax dollars on security at all, and possibly, it is these agencies themselves that are creating security threats to justify their existence.

AND . . . what if these guys are just puppets too?

Is there a throne?

(Hint: I do like some of the dot connections made by some of the more intelligent conspiracy theorists, but I am still resistant to alien overlords as the answer. 😀 )

Coping in an uncertain world requires awareness.

I research things, often historical in nature, to piece together a portion of a very big puzzle. By asking big questions like: Who are we? Where do we come from? What is our history? The few truths you find allow you to view only a tiny piece of the immense puzzle. You can guess at what the complete puzzle shows, but that just makes you a conspiracy theorist. Instead, find what factual accounts you can from good sources, and let them lead you not to a rigid belief, but to a possibility which inspires others to pick up where you left off.

Good hunting.