Art, Truth, Masks, Deception, and Power

I have always loved art, theater, dance, literature, and poetry. Inspired by stories and ideas in my youth, I voyaged around the world on a sailboat to discover for myself the difference between childhood dreams and reality.

I tried to learn how to paint, but eventually gave up when I realized that nothing I could do on canvas could compete with the sheer beauty of a tree, so I turned to writing instead. In general, modern art left me cold; it struck me as lacking spirit and meaning, and seemed rather commercial. While in China in 1983 I fell in love with the works of the Chinese artist Huang Ge Sheng. I brought his paintings, and eventually the artist himself, to the United States where I organized art exhibitions in California and Hawaii. The exhibitions developed my skills in public relations, learning how to get the attention of magazine editors, television news stations, radio stations, and newspapers.

In 1992 I saw the film JFK, which disturbed me greatly, and I began a long foray into learning about politics, the CIA, and the shadow side of my government. I naturally felt that if Americans knew the truth about what was going on, they would rein in their government from committing horrific crimes against other countries. I became a media activist, and I learned by experience how hard it is to break vital political information into the mainstream press.

In 2004 I organized a variety show with art, music, comics, and poetry entitled “Behind Every Terrorist There is a Bush,” which was a benefit for the San Francisco International Inquiry Into 9/11. I discovered that it was much easier to get key facts about 9/11 into the “arts” section of the local newspapers than to get the basic facts about 9/11 into the “news” section. I now understand why artists, writers, filmmakers, and political activists choose to communicate directly with the public and bypass the censors that attempt to define “reality” for the masses.

When I was in college, my intellectual friends liked to play with the idea that any book, film, or play could have any meaning, symbolism, or interpretation forced upon it and subsequently be deconstructed, thus implying that any perceived “intended meaning” can be shredded and hence is meaningless. I disagree with this theory, based on my experience. I have found that gifted artists, writers, and poets fervently intend that people will understand and find meaning within their works; otherwise I doubt that they would pour their heart and soul into creating them. Certainly there are exceptions, such as commissioned, commercial/formula art intended to sell products or ideas for the enrichment or benefit of particular people.

Orwell’s famous line “In a time of universal deceit, to tell the truth is a revolutionary act” can be understood on many levels. In a totalitarian society where a brutal military regime is in power, criticizing the power holders or drawing attention to their crimes can actually result in being jailed or executed. The Nazis vilified and prohibited certain types of art and music during their reign. They established their own cultural propaganda apparatus; those who challenged them, such as the White Rose Society, were literally beheaded.

Perhaps the best way to spread critical information or ideas and survive is by cloaking them in a popular genre, such as novels, films, or music. The nightmarish Wizard of Oz books veiled an account of the Populist Movement, which challenged the banking establishment over a hundred years ago.

I teamed up with a gifted artist, Blaine Machan, who created the art (and a companion website) for the Deception Dollar, which I published originally as a flyer to pass out at antiwar rallies. The larger-than-life dollars, which initially featured George W. Bush, and later Dick Cheney, included websites challenging the official narrative of 9/11. They were so popular that people actually gave us money for them, and they helped us to fund and promote the early 9/11 Truth movement.

Politicians and journalists have been the most resistant to questioning the events of 9/11. Cheney, like Napoleon, believed that truth could not be suppressed, but it can be delayed until it doesn’t matter anymore. Legends and myths hold more power in people’s minds than the facts historians turn up later on after the major historical actors have died. There are, however, mythic, historic and psychic patterns which provide a key to understanding the reality behind current events.

The Star Wars films, for example, which were introduced in 1977, depict the epic evolution and fall of a galactic empire, beginning with a series of deceptions and false flag operations (see Star Wars and False Flag Terrorism The Star Wars series was not created or inspired by the events of 9/11, but there are certainly allusions made in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” produced in 2005, to the death of democracy and the violent deceptions used to manipulate others and consolidate power.

In “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu famously stated that “all war is deception.” In the battle between the “good” and “evil” characters in Star Wars, a mythic psychic drama is waged between the damaged, self-deluded, power-hungry villains and the heroic champions striving to save and protect the universe. The inner journeys of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker mirror the wars that span their lifetimes in a galaxy far away.

In 1997 the first of the seven Harry Potter books was published. My oldest child was the same age as Harry Potter when we heard about the series and began reading them aloud. My kids were enthralled; when each new book appeared we would gather, and I would read for hours on end. They really didn’t like the films, though; very few films could ever hold a candle to the original books, according to my children. In the magical world of Harry Potter, witches, warlocks, and magic were commonplace and ordinary; nonmagical humans were either oblivious or were terrified by magic. Harry is miraculous, simply because, when he was just a baby, he survived a deadly attack by the most powerful, evil wizard of the time. The series chronicles the hero coming of age, as well as the unusual childhood and evolution of the powerful Lord Voldemort.

In Star Wars the main opponents are father and son; in Harry Potter the main opponents have a unique bond, rare abilities, and were also (as in Star Wars) both orphaned. The major battles are the inner struggles between fear and love, the desire for power and the desire to defend and protect the innocent and those that one loves. In the Harry Potter books, the press has a major role and is continually being manipulated and misleading the “magical world,” to the great dismay of Harry. In Star Wars, good characters and entire armies are misled and deceived by the villainous power-hungry emperor. In Harry Potter, the magical media attacks Harry, and serves the dark forces, giving Voldemort an opportunity to collect himself, return to power and unleash terror and violence upon his world. At the same time Harry is growing up and struggling find his own identity. Greatly misunderstood, he has to learn how to defend himself and his friends and is confronted again and again with death.

Both works reflect spiritual crises that people face and how the damage to one’s soul manifests in tragic events, as well as the destruction of oneself. A different response to a similar crisis can lead to deeper understanding of oneself and others, healing, wholeness, heroism and liberation from tyranny.

In the process of writing this essay, I have been reviewing many new documentaries and seeing patterns emerge again and again that apply to empires as well as to individuals. In real life, the Manhattan Project required the participation of vast numbers of people, and yet remained unknown to the general population; it couldn’t have succeeded without compartmentalization. The whole of the military requires extreme obedience without a detailed overview of all that is happening. Entire nations can be tricked into going to war. Massive profits that can be gained from selling weapons to both sides of conflicts. In Star Wars and Harry Potter, the villains are hungry for power, and they greatly fear death. Their struggle is in part a struggle for immortality; they do not hesitate to sacrifice the lives of others for their own benefit.

Voldemort discovers black magic, which requires murder in order for him to split his soul and hide it in various objects so that even if his body dies, his soul can live on, seize another body and reconstitute itself. Voldemort’s power is also contingent upon a hatred of the “other,” a sense of separation and superiority. Those who serve him are the racists of the magical world, who despise anyone tainted with “muggle” blood.

The heroes, in contrast, become heroes because they feel sympathy, love, and loyalty and inspire love and courage in others. They face their fears and are prepared to sacrifice their lives to help and protect the people and worlds that they love. They are assisted, rescued, and protected by their friends and the Universe. They discover that the power of love is far greater than the love of power. The internal and external challenge for villains and heroes is to know what is genuine and what is illusion, to identify their enemies and their friends, to discern the false from the true within themselves and in their respective worlds.

In ancient myths, one of the oldest of the gods is dismembered and the pieces of his body hidden, or flung far and wide; but his wife lovingly gathers the pieces and he is resurrected to love again and sire a son. The word “remember” could be thought of as bringing together the pieces of ourselves, or of our past, to become whole again and fully conscious of our identity.

Confusion is paralyzing; to be powerful is to be able to act. Doubt, particularly self-doubt, weakens one’s ability to act. Strong emotions such as love, hate and fear drive people to do things that they would never do if they were in a calm, rational state. Variations of these universal themes recur as tyrants are exposed to be insane damaged beings, engaged in self-annihilation as they persecute their imagined enemies. The ultimate battle takes place within when we look in the mirror and realizes that each of us has the capacity to choose either path: self-knowledge or self-deception, love or fear, service or tyranny, joy or sorrow.

The hero in Harry Potter must seek true memories, and discover why some memories have been altered, in order to understand and defeat Voldemort. In the process he discovers that his mentor, as well as his tormentor, Snape, never revealed to Harry the secrets of their youth, the forces and experiences that shaped their lives and eventually caused their deaths. In both Harry Potter and Star Wars, the hero is not seeking power and domination over others, but trying to protect the innocent, those that they love. The villains are surrounded by power-hungry sycophants whose fate is intertwined with the leader they support. The struggle for power involves winning over popular opinion by convincing the larger population that they are being served and protected either by the institutions in power or by the forces for change.

The conflicts, clashes of narratives, and deceptions at the heart of the human drama are being played out now, politically, on a global scale. The most powerful institutions--governments, corporations, and banks—are using physical, psychological, and legal violence to impose their will on the people. Despite their weapons and money, however, they are losing their legitimacy as ordinary people awaken to the assaults upon themselves, their children, and their world. It is the ordinary person finding their power and challenging corrupt institutions, and the abuse of power by leaders of tyrannical governments and corporations; this is the theme that is played out in the stories of our times and in our modern world.

Illusions, masks, cut-out companies, and mercenaries are the tools of corrupt institutions trying to maintain and consolidate their power over the public mind and resources. In the world of corporate illusion, wealth and abundance reward “virtuous, creative industries,” and institutions guard and protect society from “crazed, evil fanatics” who seek their death and destruction. In the physical world, violence is perpetuated by militaries seeking the lands and resources of indigenous people who have lived simply, in harmony with nature, in villages or as nomads. The “civilized” nations remain unaware of, or oblivious to, the human and environmental costs of the empires they live in and support. Each individual within the empire has the opportunity to see through the many veils of illusion, to challenge injustice, and to champion the oppressed. In chess, the weakest piece is the pawn; but if it survives a journey across the board, it becomes a dynamic, powerful queen.

Masks are needed to survive within a hostile, violent world. One never knows who might be an ally, a friend, or a spy. One must question one’s own motivations to discern whether one is being driven by vain selfish ego or genuine love. One must learn to trust in oneself, one’s friends, and the Universe through action and experience in the crucible of life.

Variations of this story--the human journey, the transition from ordinary reality to the heroic path--abound. The heroes, who are inevitably humble, curious, willing to learn, and imperfect, are subjected to temptation and the promises of wealth and power if they serve rather than challenge the dominant power. Despite the colossal odds against them, they persevere. They act courageously; they show kindness and service to those in need, and nurture heroic allies who assist and protect them. The powerful forces, who suffer from self-delusion and maintain their power and control through violence and illusions, eventually self-destruct as they turn on one another, or switch sides in a desperate attempt to survive.

“Those who win - write history.” In our era, battles are being fought on every level over the public mind. Divide and conquer has always been the rule of those wishing to maintain or seize positions of power. At the same time, a communications renaissance is taking place in which people are turning to one another and the natural world in humility to learn how to serve life rather than conquer it. The complexity of the challenges we face is staggering. Every individual person is confronted daily with the choice of unconsciously serving empire and their own survival needs or consciously giving their time and attention to the numerous rising movements that are standing up to empire, and pioneering diverse ways to heal themselves, their communities, and the world.

The culture wars are about telling one’s own story, finding one’s own identity. The attacks upon various groups, such as women, homosexuals, and people of color, come from people who fear losing their position and power in the world.

The most transformative workshop that I ever experienced was entitled “Creating Equality in Relationships.” Hoping to get more “equality” in my marriage, I convinced my husband to accompany me to this workshop. Author of Doing Democracy, Bill Moyer, gently explained how alike people and institutions are in a “dominator culture” and how they use physical, verbal, and psychological tools when their sense of themselves or their worldview is threatened. In individuals, it is generally an unconscious response. Men who abuse their wives and kids do so because they want them to behave in a way that supports their own conception of themselves. The first step in overcoming an unconscious behaviour--the “defend my life to the death” desire to argue or force another into agreement--we were taught, is to recognize when it happens, stop what we are doing, and pause for a moment. We need to recognize that the “other” is sharing their own view of the world and themselves, and to realize that our inner peace and happiness come from within and do not depend on someone else agreeing with us. In a peaceful culture, respect is the rule; people speak honestly, learn from one another, and trust one another. They do not unconsciously force their worldviews upon each another.

This workshop helped my marriage tremendously. For example, my husband has no interest in politics, which is my passion, and does not share my worldview, but we do not battle over issues; instead, we have a respectful dialogue when we discuss the day’s events. We have also consciously tried to not dominate our children, but to love, nurture, encourage, and support them instead. While our kids certainly have experienced the normal tendency to fight while growing up, we spend much more of our time as a family playing together, and we have a healthy, happy, cooperative household (although our house is a bit small and messy). We also notice that our children emulate us, in both our better and worse moments. This reminds us to be more conscious of our behavior, more often, because it does greatly affect the people we love.

The thesis of Lloyd deMause’s book The Emotional Life of Nations is that world leaders reenact their childhood trauma’s on the world stage, often similar to those of their generation who buy into the group illusion, and that humanity’s darkest secret is the abuse of children. Only enlightened parenting and enlightened leaders can solve this problem.

When my kids were little I told them that we couldn’t solve the world’s problems by killing “evil rulers.” We had to recognize that they were injured people, seeking power and domination to make up for their own incapacity to love and to connect with others, and that healthy loving people do not have the urge to acquire vast amounts of wealth, power, and empires.

In the wake of 9/11, I was one of the first people out in the streets challenging the official story, calling for an investigation, seeking the truth, and trying to stop the wars and the construction of Homeland Security. I tried to do it in the most non-violent manner that I could think of--a Listening Project. I was most comfortable engaging people one-on-one in respectful dialogue. I had learned from my mentor, Bill Moyer, that it only takes one person to start a social movement, to see a problem and draw it to the attention of the public.

I have tried for years to merge the Truth Movement with the Peace and Justice Movements, but have found great resistance. Fear of change, on an individual and collective level, is so great that I believe the only qualities that can and eventually will overcome it are courage and love.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be a mom and have the experience of raising kids, reading them stories, playing with them, watching films with them, seeing their theatrical productions performed at the local high school. I see the same narrative themes, woven and spun, over and over again throughout the culture. I see my children going “into the woods” or into the world to discover who they really are and what is true, to choose the heroic path or succumb to the lure of wealth and status. I don’t know which they will choose. I can only love them and hope they choose courageously and wisely to seek truth and to serve life.

WoW! I loved reading this!!

I thoroughly loved reading this ! Thanks Carol! For me, 9/11 Truth has an almost spiritual journey of enlightenment attached to it. Articles like this help to paint that journey.

I agree Tom

Carol did a great job and yes, 9/11 truth IS a spiritual journey. 9/11 is just the tip of the iceberg. This rabbit hole goes mighty deep. At least for me it has changed my whole way of looking at this thing we call life.

Carol Brouillet

... has always been an inspiration to me.

Thanks Carol, for your hope, faith and leadership.

I'm reminded of this:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

If Not Me? Who? If Not Now? When?

Wonderful Essay Carol

I enjoyed reading this as well. I just watched the last Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix) for 2nd time the other night. I haven't seen the new one yet nor read the books, but I found the parallels very interesting in the relationship between the Ministry of Magic and the school. How it implemented control and ignored, as Dumbledore put it, "incontrovertible evidence" of Voldemort's return. i.e. The blaming of Sirius Black and how Mrs. Umbridge used torture and heavy enforcement to ways prescribed by the ministry and challenging those methods led to serious consequences. People just accept this in their movies but cannot apply it in their own world view. How apropos to see it in Richard Gage's latest video posted today. You can see it before your eyes in the interviews with various people. They see it, but the just don't SEE it. This is what we're up against. But I do believe Truth will out.

Peace all


ps.. again, great essay Carol, thanks for sharing it.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense..."

- President Eisenhower; April 16, 1953

What is...

... DRG doing there on the poster with all the criminals? It looks like he does not belong there.

He's one of the heroes...

Who's who in the "Revenge of the Smirk": Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush, David Ray Griffin, Barrie Zwicker,
former President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Michael C. Ruppert, Mahatma Gandhi

The 9/11 Truth activists, plus Gandhi are the jedi, heroes, in this artwork created by Deception Dollar artist- Blaine Machan for Global Outlook at Back Cover.

Carol Brouillet


'I have tried for years to merge the Truth Movement with the Peace and Justice Movements, but have found great resistance. '

You can say that again. Owing in no small part to the misleadership of antiwar organizations, and of most so-called 'progressive' intellectuals as well as much of the 'alternative' media. On the seventh anniversary last year, I received an email sent out by an antiwar group that said, 'our grief is not a cry for war.' This was the slogan used by opponents of war that appeared literally within a few days of 9/11 itself. It was a brave thing to say at the time. But to go on pretending, seven years after the fact, that we have learned NOTHING since then re the veracity of what we were told--I find too flabbergasting for words; especially when it comes from those whose purported cause (peace) is so clearly weakened by leaving the 9/11 OCT essentially untouched and unquestioned.

So I just wonder--how do you cope when you encounter this resistance from the very movements that need 9/11 truth more than anyone else?

From Massimo Mazzucco

Thanks for your insightful "life-report" Carol. It's funny how we live constantly making plans for the future, and suddenly we find there is a past behind -- something that we have actually "done," and can no longer be undone, for the better or the worst.

Regarding your desire to "merge" the different movements, I suggest that you look at the issue from a different angle, a "third millennium" angle, if you will. In this new era movements come into being as a result of individual changes, not vice-versa.

At some point during the last 8 years there were so many people that had been looking into 9/11 that suddenly they realized they WERE a movement. All there was left at that point was to put a name to it, and the 9/11 Truth Movement was born. By then I had already been twice on Italian TV debating 9/11, and never even knew I belonged to it.

The "movement" followed the motion, not vice-versa.

This kind of phenomenon is totally new, and it's a clear consequence of the radical change brought upon society by Internet. Up until the last decade "movements" needed to exist beforehand because people needed a symbolic venue towards which to converge, and with which to identify. There had to be a "Don't kill the trouts' movement out there somewhere, for all trout lovers to feel they belonged to a group of similar people. Now that venue is Internet itself, which can be seen as a meta-movement containing millions on individual movements, each seeking their ideal aggregation point.

Websites represent the first level of aggregation, where individuals connect to other individuals with similar views. Trout lovers with trout lovers, truth seekers with truth seekers. On the next level, websites of each category aggregate with similar websites, sooner or later crossing the national borders and creating the largest thinking community ever existed on earth.

The only reason for movements-as-such to still exist today is the need to be officially recognized when interacting with the real world. The 9/11 Truth Movement may, for example, choose to present a request to the United Nations, in which case some kind of "letterhead" would be advisable, but only to the extent it represents a "movement of ideas", rather than a specific, tangible organization.

To make a long story short, my two cents to you is this: don't worry about "merging movements," as the entire world is already moving towards a major merging of its own. Whether it's a good or a bad one we don't know yet, but all we can do at this point is to make our individual efforts for the outcome to be the best possible one.

Massimo Mazzucco