As Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm, John Perkins advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and leaders of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2016), a follow-up to John’s classic New York Times best...seller, brings the story of economic hit men and jackal assassins up to date and chillingly home to the U.S. It goes on to provide practical strategies to transform the failing global death economy into a regenerative life economy.
The first edition of Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man spent 73 weeks on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list and has been translated into 32 languages. It, along with his other books, The Secret History of the American Empire (also a New York Times bestseller) and Hoodwinked, were ground-breaking exposés of the clandestine operations that created the current global crises; they set the stage for the revelations and strategies detailed in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
John is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, non-profit organizations devoted to establishing a world future generations will want to inherit, has lectured at Harvard, Oxford, and more than 50 other universities around the world, and is the author of books on indigenous cultures and transformation, including Shapeshifting, The World Is As You Dream It, Psychonavigation, Spirit Of The Shuar, and The Stress-Free Habit.
He has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and many other publications, as well as in numerous documentaries including The End Of Poverty, Zeitgeist Addendum, and Apology Of An Economic Hit Man. He was awarded the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace in 2012, and the Rainforest Action Network Challenging Business As Usual Award in 2006.More
Questions you might ask yourself as you contemplate 2019:
1) Should I stop using Facebook, given all the controversy around the sharing of information with other companies and possible collaboration with the Russians?
2)Should I stop shopping at Amazon because its founder makes so much money, appears to exploit his employees, and pits cities against each other for lower tax rates and fewer employment benefits?
3)Should I stop drinking water in plastic bottles because of the horrendous damage the petroleum and plastics industries are causing?
Those questions and others like them remind me of one asked of the Dalai Lama by a member a group I led to India a number of years ago when we met in the Dalai Lama’s home in Dharamshala. The questioner referenced a call for everyone around the globe to pray for peace on a certain day.
When Dr. David Dao was dragged off a United Express Flight by police officers from Chicago’s O’Hare airport on April 9, 2017, the ensuing outcry resulted in policy changes at major airlines. When Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, the highly split US Senate came together and voted for the first time in U.S. history to advance a bill to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war (in Yemen) using the War Powers Resolution Act. The November 27, 2018 Senate vote, a stunning 63 to 37 bi-partisan action, delivered an historic rebuke to Saudi Arabia and President Trump.
These two stories are among the many examples of actions that trigger demands for change.
Anyone who has ever played on or followed a sports team knows THE MOMENT. That crucial moment when the team is down, the clock is running out, and it looks like the game is over. At that moment, a team with character rallies. The players tell themselves: “Its game on, not game over!” They cheer each other on. They gather energy. They inspire themselves to win.
We are facing such a moment in national and international crises. It’s easy to convince ourselves, “there are just too many problems; they’re way too big.” We can persuade ourselves to give up by citing the many physical crises – the fires, floods, wars, famines, hurricanes. We can see people divided by attitudes toward race, religion, politics, climate change, immigration . . . and throw up our hands. In the US, we can cite the horrifically vitriolic mid-term elections. Every country has scapegoats to offer.
I just returned from lecturing atTilton School, the NH school I attended as a student during my high school years and where my dad taught for nearly four decades. Being there now, talking with students and teachers, gave me a new perspective on the problems we face: climate change, US politics, international relations, gender issues, global poverty, and many more. I also was reminded that at Tilton I received an education that opened me to critical thinking, and I saw that the school continues to do that for students today.
Among the most important lessons I learned at Tilton that forever shaped my life: We humans have survived many crises; culture and history are changed by the written word – perception – more than by the gun and sword; and it is imperative for us always to explore the truths behind the “facts.”
As I wandered around campus this past week, I came upon a photograph of my dad outside his old classroom. The accompanying acknowledgement of his contributions to the school reminded me of his long view of history. I sat down in a nearby chair, opened my computer and wrote:
During troubled times, like the ones our country – our world – is experiencing, we may take comfort in the knowledge that we’ve staggered close to the brink before, and pulled back.
I’m recently back from another trip to indigenous shamans in the rainforests of Latin America and from teaching a “Sacred Plant” workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY. Now I am full of wonderful anticipation around my upcoming trips to the Kogi of Colombia in December 2018, the Maya of Guatemala in January 2019 and ayahuasca shamans in Costa Rica in January 2019.
The plants have been on my mind and in my heart for a great deal of my life; and they are speaking louder and more forcefully than ever, right now. As readers of this blog well know, I believe we humans are experiencing a global Consciousness Revolution and the plants are reaching out to push us deeper into this revolution.
Michael Pollan, in his ground-breaking book How to Change Your Mind, as well as many other scientists and researchers, discuss the newly emerging science around the intelligence and communications skills of plants. Just a couple of examples:
The dangers of the corporatocracy and the Death Economy – a world created by economic hit men and now manipulated by many of our “leaders” – and the powers of the rising Consciousness Revolution: These were the topics of the three speeches and numerous media interviews I gave at the Melting Pot conference help within the Colours of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. It was attended by more than 50,000 people in late July 2018.
It was an amazing event, a happening of world-class musicians, quantum physicists, media giants, philosophers, economists, and thinkers from many walks of life. To me, the venue itself represented the transition from a Death to a Life Economy, our evolution into a new consciousness. A huge and once highly successful coal mine/steel mill that went bankrupt because it used up all its coal has now been converted into a magnificent series of stages and auditoriums. This symbol of the Death Economy now conveys inspiration, hope, joy, and – above all – ideas for catapulting humankind into the new era, a Life Economy.
I can’t begin to express the extent of my joy at how the teachings and prophecies of the indigenous people I’ve so often written about are being manifest in places like Ostrava. As the groups I take to the Achuar of the Amazon, Kogi of Colombia, and Maya of Guatemala learn, we all come from indigenous ancestors who are part of (versus “apart from”) nature. They know that a Life Economy that is itself a renewable resource is essential to the future survival of our species and many other species. They live in a present that supports the long-term, unlike the Death Economy that advocates a materialist, greedy and selfish present and insists on maximizing short-term profits.
As I prepare for my August Omega workshop Sacred Plants: Touching the Jaguar and trips that I guide where participants learn from indigenous shamans in Latin America, I think about the messages that nature and the immigrants attempting to enter the US and Europe offer.
Our first reaction to environmental problems and those associated with immigrants often is to cast blame:
Fossil fuels, mining, food production, etc. are destroying the environment;
Corruption and brutality in other countries, climate change, gangs, cartels, etc. trigger immigration.
We tend to avoid the tough questions:
Who uses fossil fuels, aluminum, plastics, sweat-shop made clothes, and food?
Who does the corrupting, supports brutality, causes climate change and drug use?
We look for band-aides to stop the bleeding; we turn a blind eye on the virus that opens the lesions.
The fact is that most environmental degradation is the result of predatory capitalism. Most immigrants are people who are miserable, desperate, and fearful for their lives.
The question has been asked: Why does a guy who writes books on global economics also give workshops on shapeshifting and sacred plants and guide people on trips to experience such things with indigenous shamans in Latin America?
The answer is one that is best experienced for yourself – although I offer a short version below. For the real answer, I invite you to join me at an experiential workshop or trip – limited to 15 participants. A few spaces are still available:
August 22-24, 2018 Sacred Plants: Touching the Jaguar, Omega Institute, NY Learn more.
December 4-15, 2018 A Journey To The Land Of Transformation: The Mountains, Jungles, Kogi, & Caribbean Coast Of Colombia Learn more.
January 2-19, 2019 A Journey To The Lands Of The Maya: Guatemala – Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness Learn more.
January 10-18, 2019 Raising Consciousness – Magical Plants In The Costa Rican Jungle Learn more.
I’ve written in previous newsletters that you and I are incredibly blessed because we are part of the greatest revolution in history: The Consciousness Revolution.
This revolution has come none too soon. Because humans are navigating our fragile space station, Earth, towards disaster, it is imperative that we reboot our navigational systems – our consciousness and perceptions about what it means to be human on this planet.
Many years ago, as I’ve written in several of my books, my life was saved and forever changed by plants served by a Shuar shaman deep in the Amazon rain forest. I’d never heard of ayahuasca at that time. All I knew was that it had a profound impact on my consciousness. For me, the most important thing I learned that first night and many afterwards, as I trained to be an ayahuasca shaman, is that plants have a consciousness and they are insisting on sharing it with us humans.
Visiting ancient sites of the Aboriginal people here in Australia, I am struck by both their deep connection with nature and their fascination with the mysteries of the universe. The cave drawings and glyphs carved into stone cliffs that I have seen tell stories similar to those still told today by my indigenous friends, the Shuar and Achuar of the Amazon, the Kogi of Colombia, and the Maya of Central America.
Throughout the world, we see that ancient peoples had a deep fascination with Orion, Pleiades, and ideas around mysterious visitations from other planets. We also see that they enjoyed rich traditions centered on the spiritual and healing powers of animals and plants.
The participants in the December 2016 Colombian Journey, led by Daniel Koupermann and John Perkins, collectively raised $9515 USD to support the Kogi indigenous people. The primary goal for these funds was to purchase land for the community of Tayku.
I (Farrah) was the only representative from our group able to return to Colombia to oversee the distribution of our funds and participate in the pilgrimage with the Kogi. Daniel arranged the logistics for the pilgrimage, caring for all the details of transportation, accommodations and meals. Our friend and local guide Jaruen also played an important role, coordinating directly with the Kogi to prepare the paperwork and make arrangements for gathering the Kogis for the pilgrimage.
PURCHASING LAND FOR TAYKU VILLAGE
On December 13, 2017 the four joint owners of the land and a representative of the Kogi community, Juan, met at the notary office in Santa Marta, Colombia to transfer the deed of ownership to the Kogis. Daniel, Jaruen and I were also there.
Two plots of land were purchased using the money raised by the 2016 group. One plot will be used primarily for agriculture. The second plot of land sits at the base of a hill that is sacred to the Kogi community. The Kogis will use this land to gather materials to build a ceremonial structure on the hill, and also as a buffer so that no other construction can compromise this sacred area.
Our funds enabled the Kogi to acquire 19.77 acres of land in total (8 hectares).
KOGI PILGRIMAGE TO SACRED SITES
According to tradition, it is important for every Kogi Mamo—trained spiritual leader—to do ceremonies at particular sacred sites a certain number of times in their lives. Unfortunately, in these modern times, it has become very difficult for the Mamos to fulfill this obligation.
I prepare to return to the sacred sites of the Maya and join their shamans in life-changing ceremonies and personal readings and healings, and I think about the lessons their history has taught us. Our world today is threatened by crises similar to those experienced by them many centuries past. Although I wrote about them more than 20 years ago, the lessons are relevant today like never before.
The great Stone pyramid rose out of the jungle like a volcano into the morning sky. A monument to endurance, it had defied gods who sent hurricanes across the Gulf of Mexico to destroy it and grave robbers who hacked away at it for countless centuries, picking it clean of all its jade and gold, leaving only the rocks, the plants that took root along its precipitous walls, and the carved figure at its summit.
I just left the Astana (Kazakhstan) Economic Forum. I had the opportunity to continue the discussions begun in St Petersburg at the conference there that included Russian President Vladimir Putin and UN Secretary General António Guterres on the need to end old, exploitative, unsustainable systems and replace them with ones that are just beginning to evolve.
I watched President Trump’s inauguration from an airport TV in Guatemala. I’d just finished leading 22 people on a pilgrimage to live, study and participate in ceremonies with Mayan shamans at sacred sites. For me, it was the first leg of a two-month working-journey. I am still in Latin America, teaching and speaking at a variety of venues. In the days since that inauguration, I, like so many, have felt the horror of the emerging Trump policies.