Patrick Farnsworth & John H. Richardson
A Generation Of Unabomber Acolytes (& Apostates) w/ John H. Richardson
In this episode, I speak with journalist John H. Richardson. Former Writer at Large for Esquire, John is the author of the captivating article ‘Children of Ted: The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes,’ published December 2018 in New York Magazine.
In the article ‘Children of Ted,’ John takes a deep dive into the world of Theodore Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) acolytes and apostates, a journey that documents his interactions with various individuals and groups that have been inspired (or adjacently-inspired) by the anti-civilizational writings and philosophy of Kaczynski (and even his multiple deadly acts of terrorism leading up to his arrest by the FBI in 1996). While John’s article is centered around the story of John Jacobi, who become radicalized (in part) through his exposure to Kaczynski’s manifesto ‘Industrial Society and Its Future’ and his subsequent correspondences with him, the article more broadly examines a phenomenon Richardson describes as Kaczynski Moments.
“The Kaczynski moment dislocates. Suddenly, everyone seems to be living in a dream world. Why are they talking about binge TV and the latest political outrage when we’re turning the goddamn atmosphere into a vast tanker of Zyklon B? Was he right? Were we all gelded and put in harnesses without even knowing it? Is this just a simulation of life, not life itself?”
As John writes and states in this interview, Kaczynski Moments cut through almost every political tendency and ideology, and yield wide and varied results. In writing the piece, John interviewed some of the most prominent anti-civilizational activists, writers, and even a terror-friendly propagandist for an eco-extremist outfit operating in Mexico and South/Central America. We discuss John’s own Kaczynski Moment and interactions with the man himself, and how his research into the lives of Kaczynski-inspired or Kaczynski-adjacent-inspired individuals and groups has informed his journalism and life after the publication of ‘Children of Ted’ this past December.
It must be stated, for myself and John, that we do not condone or endorse the actions of Theodore Kaczynski, or those inspired or adjacently-inspired by his actions. The ethical/philosophical differences between the various parties discussed in this episode should be apparent and obvious to the listener, at least that is what I hope.
John H. Richardson is a journalist and former Writer at Large for Esquire Magazine. He is the author of three books, including ‘My Father The Spy, An Investigative Memoir.’ He was born in Washington D.C. in 1954, and grew up in Athens, Manila, Saigon, Washington, Seoul, Honolulu, and Los Angeles. John has worked at the Albuquerque Tribune, The Los Angeles Daily News, Premiere Magazine, New York Magazine, and Esquire Magazine and taught at the Columbia University, the University of New Mexico, and Purchase College.
Read John’s article ‘Children of Ted: The Unlikely New Generation of Unabomber Acolytes’ at New York Magazine: bit.ly/ChildrenOfTed
Read John’s article ‘When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job’ at Esquire: bit.ly/2WVIqCY
Much of John’s work can be found at his website: johnhrichardson.com
Read ‘Industrial Society and Its Future’ by Theodore Kaczynski: wapo.st/2ZiwzvZ
Read Bill Joy’s ‘Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us’ at Wired: bit.ly/BillJoy
MIKE: Hey Patrick, this is Mike in North Carolina. I'm calling because I just got done listening episode with Joe Brewer, which was awesome. But mainly your response at the end where you were talking about wanting to buy land, but you know, looking at houses and trying to figure out what to do, and a couple of years ago I was in the same boat where yeah, I wanted to buy a house, so I thought. I guess I should buy a house and I was looking at houses that I didn't like and looking at. Taking out a loan for 30 ******* years which sounded ridiculous, but luckily I didn't buy a house and shortly after that I met my wife and ended up somehow forming bonds with close friends just through camping and And hanging out that I can honestly say there's a true tribe in every sense of the word. And at this point. Were able to actually, I guess, about a year ago were able to buy a piece of land We kind of set our intentions on somehow buying land, even though none of us had any money in a family member. Ended up with some money that they could loan us and we got almost 30 acres of land for well less than half of what I was looking at spending on the House just. A regular as house and so now we've got land a tribe and We've already started building the first natural building and Sophie N where it's going to go but I just wanted to encourage you to If you're if you're thinking about buying a house, then you're thinking about spending that much. Just buy some land You know, if you're a millionaire, you'd spend millions and protect a lot of land But if you only have 100,000 or whatever, less just buy what you can and protect that land the same way and I can't see it. It'll be well worth it and And you can do it, man, you're smartest looking. You're putting good intentions out and helping people. Man, you helped me a lot so. Anyway, go for it man. Thanks a lot, bye.
PATRICK: Hey folks, thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Last Born in the Wilderness. Mike, thank you so much for that message. I'm really happy I could feature it and I asked Mike if he could share some more insights. Some more suggestions, advice at the very end of the episode you'll hear that second message that Mike sent, and I'll also be responding. To both of those messages. So if you look down in the description. And you'll see a time stamp for when the introduction ends and the interview begins. And then you also see a second time stamp for when the interview ends and the response to the drop me a line call begins. If you want to learn more about this project, you can go to the website last born in thewilderness.com. Everything you need to know will be on the website. If you would like to support this Project, there's a couple ways to do that. Of course you can just follow this project. It's on social media, but if that's not. Sure thing, just subscribe to the newsletter. That would be great also. Of course you can just subscribe to this podcast on numerous platforms. I think it's on most of the major podcast streaming platforms, so if any of those are your preferred places to listen to podcasts, please subscribe and share with anyone you feel would benefit from these episodes. From the topics discussed in them. If you'd like to support this project monetarily, there's a couple of ways to do that versus just through a one time donation, you can go to PayPal dot me Slash Lastborn podcast. And there you can send me a tip. You like this episode or any other episode in particular, consider throwing a few dollars my way. That would be really, really helpful if. You would like to support this Project more regularly on a monthly basis You can do that through Patreon and go to patreon.com/last born in the wilderness, and there you can donate to the production of this podcast. You can do as little as a dollar a month, and by doing that you'll gain early access to these interviews in these conversations before the official public release, and I have a few other exclusives that I throw on that page as well, but every interview I do is going to be publicly available. I just try to give patrons a little early access as a way to thank them for their support, and I really just want to thank my patrons so much. For jumping on board for supporting this work means so very much to me that people choose to support this work. So thank you. One last thing, if you want to do what Mike did there at the beginning, you can drop me a line. You can do. That through 2. Means versus just. Through a phone number called 2089182837, that's 208. 9182837 If you're in the United States, that's the easiest option. If you're outside EU. S It might be expensive for you to call that phone number so you can drop me a line through sending me an audio file. If you look down in the description, you'll see the drop me a line and next to it as a link. Go there, it's on the website, but if you just go there, it'll give you instructions. It's very, very simple. You just go to This page it'll ask you to upload. An audio file and Just keep to about 3 minutes in length. And I could feature it at the beginning of the episode just like these other calls that I featured.
So anyway, thank you so much, Mike. For that call. I'll be responding to it at the end of the episode. Thank you all for listening to me up. To this point. Here is the episode.
PATRICK: In this episode I speak with John H. John is a journalist who has written extensively for such replications at Esquire magazine. He recently had a piece, and by recently I mean this past December. A piece that came out for New York magazine titled Children of Ted, the unlikely new generation of Unabomber, acolytes, and This the focus. Of this interview of this discussion with John.
I feel really lucky that. I got to talk with John once I read this article back in December. Or maybe it was January. Of this year I. It just kept on sticking in my brain like I kept on having these experiences or interviews with people or something. There was all these intersections I was seeing between what he explored in that article and what I do with his podcast. So I was able to get in contact with him fortunately and he seemed really excited to talk about his piece. I don't know if. He's been interviewed for it. Or if anybody really brought it up to him, I could be wrong, but. I was just so pleased to see this article published in a pretty mainstream publication. I mean New York magazine, right? He's exploring this world of what we could maybe define as eco extremism. he. Follows the story of an individual name John Jacoby. Who was radicalized at a pretty? Early age and became. Attracted to Kaczynski work. I've discussed Kaczynski before on the podcast numerous times. KaczynskInfluences is broad and very. I feel like his Influence pops up a lot. Not to say that I'm condoning or even say that I agree with all of his ideas. I'm just merely stating an obvious fact and that is something that John also states in his article. He explores all the various individuals and people that have been impacted by Kaczynski work. And so John describes these moments where people who have read industrial society and its future as Kaczynski moments, moments in which. You realize he was right, not that his actions were right. But that he actually makes extremely valid points. About technology about civilization and John wanted to explore this world. These world of people that have been as he frames it. In his article that have been acolytes or apostates of Kaczynski's philosophy, and so in this article John he interviews and he meets with these people that are at the vanguard. If you could say that or who are? Whether for good or for ill have been inspired by KaczynskIn some form or another. Or have been inspired by various other philosophies and other political tendencies. I guess you could say that have been adjacently inspired. I think I described in this interview as Kaczynski adjacent 'cause there's definitely this stigma attached to him as well. But again, the point of this interview is just to acknowledge the influence that he's had on those that either love him or hate him. When I talk about all these various individuals and what we talk about in this interview, we talk about deep bruises. Since we talk about Paul Kingsnorth, we talk about this other organization that's been defined as ITS or Individualists Tending toward the Wild or Tending towards Savagery, or I think they changed their name to Wild Reaction. There's some eco extremist terrorists down in Mexico. The South American Central American region who have bombed, who have killed numerous people in their sort of attempt to hurry along the collapse of industrial civilization. Now I'm going to I mentioned all these groups and I save them all together. They're very very different. I don't want to lump deep green resistance in with Paul Kingsnorth or Paul King. North in with ITS or wild reaction or whatever you want to call it. I want to be very, very clear here that in John's article he does an excellent job of teasing out all the various ways this one individual Theodore Kaczynski, and not just him but all of the various adjacent ideas and philosophies. That have emerged. Around anti-civilizational activism or anti-civilizational action. And how these have sort of sprouted into all these various directions. whether it's about withdrawing from society, withdrawing from civilization, or whether it's about actively trying to undermine it through what we see with maybe deep green resistance, or you've got the nihilistic terrorism of it's. These are not connected. Groups so John really goes down the rabbit hole. He really. He takes a deep dive into this world for people to be able to have the courage to go down that path and to explore it and to publish articles about it. To get that, that sort of raising awareness of it and to highlight that there are in fact people that are trying to do something about this Now the question that I really want. People to think about here is when you have your moment. Maybe it's not a Kaczynski moment, but it's a moment of recognition of what's happened. The question that comes up is now what and people answer that question differently. So if you want to learn more about John, I mean he has a website which is John H. Richardson Com, but it doesn't look like it's been updated in the past couple of years, but you can find a lot of his work there. You can look him up online, of course he. He's written pretty extensively on various different subjects. He's pretty prolific, as I as I've seen throughout his career. He's written quite a bit. His subjects, including really fascinating book that he came out with several years ago, titled My Father, The Spy, an investigative memoir which he touches on briefly in this interview when she talks about how his father was in the CIAnd how that and what that was like growing up with a father who was in the CIA. So I would just ask after maybe listening to this interview. Or before you listen to it, go read children of Ted. I've read it numerous times and I've just really, really liked. It a lot. So please go read that article, it's very. Very good, so John I would maybe pitch other things, but I don't think he's really on social mediat all. So I just look forward to whatever he comes out with next. Thank you all for listening to me up to this point. Here is my interview with John H. Alright,
PATRICK: Well, John. I really appreciate you doing this Were emailing, I think over the course of a couple weeks to figure out a great time to do this I know you've been. I, I think you've been. Sailing is that right?
JOHN: Then from North Carolina to New York, yeah.
PATRICK: Yeah, you've been on a sailboat. Oh that's amazing. Yeah, I know absolutely nothing about it, but that that’s amazing.
JOHN: Yeah, me too pretty much. I've been learning though.
PATRICK: Yeah, is it? Is it? Is it for any particular reason? Are you doing any stories or any like journalistic work on?
JOHN: No, it's personal, but it definitely has a little bit to do with children of Ted. So I mean, I've been sitting at a desk and getting out of shape. You know, working really hard and conceptual and intellectual things and I’ve always been in the physical world, but not much lately, and I felt like I needed to do that there faster, more primal things. I wouldn't want by the story a lot anyway, but was also just personal hungers so but it feels great. It feels great to be in an elemental natural world and struggling with physical issues instead of mental ones for a while. I didn't want to do it.
PATRICK: Yeah I want to
JOHN: Go out and live in cabin and Like but there's stuff you learn from that kind of stuff and feel for nothing and stuff. But I think within this later period, so yeah no, I'm really grateful to be doing uh, with Ted Kaczynski would call essentially as opposed to subsidiary.
PATRICK: Yeah no I.
JOHN: Disagree with him on that, but he. Right?
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah. So, so that that's interesting, because I wanted to ask, you know? What kind of pulled you into this world? I mean your your piece. I have to tell you I read it back in January I believe and it was published in New York Magazine in December. So it's been about six months about since. I would say it since it was published and I remember reading it and I was like there's people in this that I know. Actually, some people you know, like I've interviewed on the podcast, a couple people that you that you that you mentioned or you talk about in your piece and yeah. And then since then over and over again. And I've seen these intersections in my work. This isn’t necessarily like an endorsement of Kaczynski. This isn’t, and I don't agree with him. It's just a interesting thing where your piece just popped up in my head over and over and over again, and finally it just clicked and I'm like why am I not trying to? Interview this guy. why?
JOHN: Well, that's different.
PATRICK: So why don't I? Try to get in contact with them. Yeah, yeah.
JOHN: I wanna have your details but you start what you want.
PATRICK: No, yeah, I know what well just say. This so you. For instance, you mentioned obviously Kaczynski, that's kind of a central, not the central figure of your work, or of that article, but because it seems to me that you're exploring the kind of life story of John Jacobi. That seems to be the central figure, the character. Everything kind of revolves around his story. but you're exploring. I mean you, you communicated with Theodore Kaczynski from prison. I mean you corresponded with him a bit for this.
JOHN: Yeah, I've got friend friend stranger still number of letters and exchanged a few since the end of his story. Although he's got troubles communicating now because of the stamp issues, but he sent a few messages turning through an intermediary or something not to take it personally. But yeah, I mean I was not a person who is knowledgeable about Kaczynski at all. I can't change through the reading that I was doing, a climate change and in a way that you were just talking, I'd stumbled across, you, know some across driving John Jacoby article because I discovered book The Dark Mountains and through the work I was doing on climate change, and Paul Kingsnorth had interviewed him for peace. That was about the when the end of the world is your day job about. Climate scientists and their feelings about their work, which it. with my mind that nobody had written that story after that. Most cliched journalistic question. And I found out why to some extent. But yes, I read John Jacobi story about Kaczynski and I'm going to just she never has been on my wavelength. Or anything I would be interested in any kind of followed mostly And a. You know, but it was very intriguing. He was taking it sort of introduced me to a rigorous. A way of thinking about things that I had not thought about it and actually. It would mean that Jackal little, who you know, influence Kaczynski great deal and actually well. Other bells that were more sympathetic to money or something? I mean, you can get into that, but so I sort of came to it. Backwards and uh, and the idea of KaczynskIs troubling because what he did, his crimes but it's also such an extreme. You know, such a focused and extreme example of a of a reaction. To not only climate change with the whole package that's associated with a of centralization, globalization, extinction, returning of people, robbing agency from people in place, and a connection from nature, and All the stuff that people, social scientists and philosophers and writers have been talking about for centuries now. Since the beginning of the industrial Revolution, including many learn more, most celebrated people like Ralph Waldo Emerson and even Jefferson. But the idea is sort of. Regulatory to think is to see those connections and to see always remind people who have read in college and all my life. Romantic poets Wordsworth and see it like it's not a story from Hilders it’s a story from right now and suddenly a lot of things became relevant in different ways. Uh and Kaczynski, it's disturbing because of the aura of celebrity that associated with crime and all of that and sort of approached it gingerly, uh. And, uh. Did much more reporting is in that piece over a period of years 'cause nobody wanted to publish it for a long time so. So I basically financed it myself because I've become stubborn. About these things. So And so I learned to see so many things in a fresh way that it was compelling and I'll give you an example. This sort of comes out of jackaroo. I've always been once studied literature in grad school and stuff, and always been sort of as a cosmopolitans, lived in many countries. In cities and likes, theater and music and all the cosmopolitan pleasure. I never had a man as an American, steeped in the, Enlightenment doctrine of individualism and science and rational thought and all that. I never really sort of considered individuals in in a serious way as a problem. Or even as a form of propaganda elsburg propaganda, which Jacobi. Recommended to me. It was a little tangential to this, but this Kaczynski-ish kind of view of civilization, but it was really interesting in how he deconstructed the, propaganda value to a certain kind of economic system of individualism. And I was like. Wow, there's a whole world of this that after all the reading I've done and all the things I've studied, that's obvious, but I didn't really see that clearly and so it really made me think about so many things and so many of the choices I've made in life.
Like you know, like I said, I don't want to go off and live in a cabin, and I don't think there's any simple solutions for this, and I certainly would never give up my agency as an individual sort of resist. The look in an almost right wing way that's just given me a greater appreciation for the whole right wing who. Like stand on there. On their separation from mass culture to some extent, although that's all complicated too, but. So I don't. Know it just. All felt like something I had to write about it and crying. the real driver was that look. a lot of people say, oh these guys are just crazy but. Flip that around and I think it's kids like Jacoby and some of these other. You know, fringy types. This the scientists and in fact cousins. You really are seeing what nobody else really wants to see. They're staring the problem in the face and it's you know, because they're vulnerable because they're honest with themselves because they know too much to deny it. Because you know, for whatever reason, and you know, even though they don't, nobody. Got any good air? Answers it it's I find much more honor in facing it and struggling with it than with sort of knowing it's happening, but putting it out of your mind 'cause you gotta lose your life, or whatever, or just outright. And I've interviewed out right? I mean, I always hated the term climate. Miles because it's one of those loaded propaganda terms like. Pro-choice or Anti Pro pro-life or whatever that you take aside just by using the term. But I've met those guys I hung around with them at Copenhagen. It was during that climate conference of 2000 and 2015 or 16 or 30 years. And they those people don't care what the truth is, they're just playing with libertarian politics and some without, right, Corporate, opportunism and as so. Most people aren't like that, but there that does exist and when you contrast it to these troubled people or exceptionally well informed people, or just clear eyed people who are facing the immensity of what's happening, not just in climate change, within globalization and all the associated things like economic polarization, it's like I felt like those people are seeing it. They deserve to be recognized for that and explored with how they're struggling with it.
It's another version of my when the end of the world is your day job piece. It's I'm interested in how people are dealing with it, because that is in a way. The problem we face like why repeat, why even people who know what that's going on can't really. Face it head on and I know you probably read, you read the King and Paul Kingsnorth, who's just celebrated author now and then two. He's a great journalist. you said you can't think about this stuff all the time. you'd go mad like those were his words and he's also made some choices that are very much in the mainstream to have children to pull out of the climate change movement where he was a well known and celebrated.
PATRICK: Right, right?
JOHN: writer and activist. So it’s all so complicated and interesting, and it's the existential issue of Italians so. How could you not write about it? It’s like amazing people don't do it more.
PATRICK: I well I. Think it's terrifying.
JOHN: You know?
PATRICK: I think it's terrifying you know, like when you talk about your piece with addressing the grief that climate change scientists and other scientists that are, ecologists or whatever field they're in. They’re bearing this enormous weight and they're trying to communicate. The science to people. And like you said, there's people that really don't want. Want to look at it because if once you go down that path and you look down that go down that rabbit hole I guess like you have. When you find all kinds of very peculiar human beings as you as you meet in your piece, but not only that, but it really like let me let me frame this within this question. So you talk about John Jay. We'll be having Getting kind of I don't know indoctrinated us not to create quite the right word, but becoming fascinated with radical politics and radical anti-civilizational perspectives. And many people have had this happen.
JOHN: Yes, move.
PATRICK: I read industrial society in his future Kaczynski manifesto Years ago, and I had that moment you described it Kaczynski moments and the way you just said there sounds like you had a Kaczynski moment too and what I find really fascinating is you point to all these individuals that are like this cuts through every bullet. Local ideology, there's people that are traditional conservatives.
JOHN: It does.
PATRICK: They're maybe liberal. They're radical leftists. They're all across the spectrum. It cuts through that, and I think that's incredibly fascinating because there is something to that.
JOHN: Will do it.
PATRICK: Yeah, it and one person you didn't. Mentioned in your article, but I remembered. Being was Bill Joy and Bill Joy wrote a piece for Wired.
JOHN: No, I didn't mention him.
PATRICK: Oh, you did?
JOHN: I did mention it. Yeah, yeah, that's a that's a yeah oh maybe it got cut out. I mean, I did a whole section on it, but yeah, that's a that's an essential piece in this whole thing.
PATRICK: OK, OK. Yeah, I just want to say that Bill Joy. I mean he wrote something. I think it was back in the early 2000s. It's a really famous article for Wired magazine called Why the Future doesn't need us, and apparently a friend of his 'cause he's he worked. Apparently as chief scientist at Sun Microsystems, and he had a friend that I think is Yeah, he might have been. Yeah, so he. He was very close to somebody who was either injured or killed by one of the unit bombers.
JOHN: Yeah, very good blancher.
PATRICK: Yeah, and so even even with that he came out with this piece and he's.
JOHN: Hello, thank you.
PATRICK: Like hey, I don't condone anything that happened I don't but I read what Kaczynski had to say and I can't. I cannot refute what his major. Point is what his argument is in that and that that to me says a lot. You know, like somebody you absolutely yeah.
JOHN: Well, it was a wonderful Yep going.
PATRICK: No no no.
JOHN: It was a wonderful.
JOHN: Piece because he wrestled with it and the same way that John Jacobi did, I think challenging Kobe is a horrible character in many ways. 'cause he didn't just go. Oh well, that's yeah, that's right. Or that's interesting. He like once put himself through college on that literally and more. he went on a whole intellectual journey to try to understand it. Bill Joy did that in micro in a more smaller way. But as a technologist, I mean the end of that article is kind of remarkable. If he made his fortune in his name and his career, his passionate for science on these technology, computer business, and he said, I can now imagine a time when it would become impossible for me to do this, and it's like. It’s about the courage and the honesty they took to go through that training. I really have to give him credit and a lot of it's that piece influenced a lot of people because it didn't come from the French character it came from. Somebody right dead in the mainstream.
PATRICK: Right, right totally and so for your peace. I mean, as I mentioned earlier, you corresponded with Kaczynski and I love how you describe that interaction with him. But I just want to ask you like what was that like? I mean Interviewed one other person years ago. David script. Tina, who published a book of correspondences he had with with Kaczynski, but I just want to ask you like what was your general sense of him and your interactions with him?
JOHN: Play music. Well, he's very rigorous, very prickly. A very focused on his themes and unwilling to wander. But when you ask a question that that that triggers something that's interesting to him or that challenges him in a way that he respects, he responds and he responds in a very, very direct and he's very concise. It’s very mathematical. His way of thinking. I wasn't, I just put this the whole criminal or revolutionary or violin or whatever you want to call it passed behind guys. it’s true. It's horrible, I you know, I would never having my sympathies. All of the families who suffered as a consequence and the people who suffered I. I mean, I don't think that's a rational response. And it's. It's interesting when contrasted with his hyper rationality, I mean you can justify it on, revolutionary terms and the system. the way you can justify the revolution, but I wouldn't want to do it. It or the air gun who put together easier or any kind of revolutionary. Movement, but I don't think that I don't want to go there and share about that, but the rigor of his analysis The relentlessness of analysis, the you know, uncompromising this up. And basically the clarity I mean, as he admits himself a lot. But these ideas came from the rule and other other philosophers and spankers. But you know, he distills it in a very concise and uncompromising way, and he added the solution that nobody else is willing to really even mention, I mean, his solution is unrealistic and strategically. A poorly thought out, I think because he's a mathematician by nature or by by profession. And doesn't really. Have that kind of or appear to have that kind of human feeling that you have to have to Be an effective. Leader of man and all of that. He's more of a spirit efficient. But he like in his uncompromisingly OK, about his my correspondence with him. It was interesting, because he, like baited me with every letter about being a journalist, about being shower about, not coming to any conclusions. He mocked me for with a line. From somebody. Second, Esquire magazine. When I published it was over was working at the time, becomes explores issues in a way that they're alive to advocate and there's nothing you can really do. But, and I've always thought that's my form of journalism. I don't try to simplify things. I try to make them more complicated and show them when they're difficult real. It's another thing that sort of challenged me, as I said, sort of setting the. it's what anniversary that I think my pieces are basically useless. they don't point to any solutions, and That's something I want to do very well. I'm just not playing. That way, but. So in that way also 'cause it was kind of funny. He does have this very dry sense of humor and like I said, when he engages on a topic, you almost feel like a warming which is not the right word. But it's like he really cares about this stuff in a way that. the kind of a loading bone? I'm not sure what It would be complicated to explain it, but. he. And then I was shocked that that when I realized that he's basically more of an optimist than I am, I mean type Kaczynski more of an optimist than meaning that. That was a shock and a reflection on the personality that was a little disturbed. And finally, sort of after the piece was done and I was speaking to him more frankly, he started to answer questions that he refused to answer before, like about his music and what he liked about music and what kind of music you like and stuff like that. So once I was off the journalist he's been. Yeah, I'm very violated. You know, by journalists who really didn't care about any of the issues and just wanted to see the Mad Men and with this Kind of thing, sensationalistic. he really showed a human side and showed almost you know, tender side that I was touched to see I've. Interviewed other people, many people in prison. Sometimes various types of murderers and written articles on him. And anybody who's gone into a prison and met some of these people knows. They're human beings, just like your your friends and troubled brother and uncle, or whatever they have a lot of sides and they're struggling with their spiritual issues in the field and more so they feel you know, angry at the world. And it's a complicated thing or not. Monsters with war or launcher? Few exceptions, but that's a rare thing and I think that's true. Kaczynski there's another whole other side to him that he doesn't show very often, and I think it's because. It's yeah you yeah never had much success in life on that front and he's been violated from childhood on for not childhood. But At an early age and has his defense mechanism like all of us. So I have to say. he's a tough guy but I kind of like him, And as I’ve loved for any correspondence, so yeah. And I want to I keep want to keep corresponding with them.
PATRICK: I can see that.
JOHN: I mean I don't know why really, but I don't know. I just feel like I. I feel like it's something I want to do it, not to learn particularly funny and not to argue with them, but just. So they made some kind of connection and want to see where it goes.
Ted's Letter Writing Situation
PATRICK: Yeah, and this something that I wanted to ask because he's in a supermax prison in Colorado.
JOHN: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK: So when you correspond with him, there's certain parts in that article where you ask him questions like, what does he think about it? For instance, which stands for. Individuals tending toward the wild, which I want to ask you a little bit about here in a moment. But you know, these are like basically terrorist organizations. They're eco extremists, so. Yeah, so that's the thing is he's inspired a lot of people and people again, you mentioned you and so many people have had these Kaczynski moments where once you see it, you can't un-see it now. Then the next question that comes up in people minds is now what now what? What steps do I take to incorporate this new understanding into my way of living? Like do Ignore it? Do I compartmentalize it?
JOHN: And yeah.
PATRICK: Exactly so.
JOHN: Exactly, yeah.
PATRICK: So then I just want to ask like so when you talk with him and you would mention some of these organizations that are kind of furthering if you want to say that his His work in a certain kind of way. I mean, he inspired people and again, whether this this not. This not me condoning or saying it's I. I would argue it's bad. I would say ICS is bad and what they've done is terrible and horrible. And I'm not. Saying that at all but. You when you bring these groups up to him and these individuals that are maybe associated with these. Groups one thing he kind of says is hey, hey, hey, I'm in prison like you can't. You can't say stuff like that so how was that?
JOHN: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's fair.
PATRICK: I mean, I find that really fascinating, like for him to be having this, I would say like a web of connections. And he's doing this all from prison. I mean, I'm sure that's. Incredibly limited, but. Like if you're if you're running that Supermax prison. If you're like. Fielding and going through all of his letters. I mean wouldn't they sense like? Hey, maybe we should. Limit or even or just completely cut off his outside act as his access to the outside world. I mean, what was your sense of that?
JOHN: Well, it's obviously illegal to cut off the those they have to be able to send out a certain amount of letters and make phone calls. I mean, that's just the way it is like for law and I guess they could change it, but then we'd be rest step further to a country that we wouldn't recognize or want, you know.
JOHN: anyway? Uh, yeah, I mean, obviously you don't want somebody kind of mount a revolution from prison, but you know, you also don't want to not have money for King published letter for Birmingham. It's not that simple. Not that clear cut. you. Know I do think, that I’m not there's maybe it completely justify our reasons for the prison making it very difficult for him to correspond right now, that involve involves his financial recompense issues VIS a VIS Is victor. And also other things that I don't have to go into But you know, so they may have perfectly valid reasons, but from the beginning I did not get it responses from the prison had to pursue them constantly. They they never really responded to my request for a personal interview. And and basically, yeah, My dad was a CIA agent and I and I tried to and I tried to get in. I wrote a book about it and tried to get information out of the CIA was exactly the same thing, was just basically a stalling shut down. We can't say no, but we're not going to We're going to just wait. So long that it's going to go away and I think basically that's what the President did to me. They could have just responded and said. No, but that would raise issues that they don't want to raise, so you I can definitely see their point of view, obviously. Yeah, but it's a dangerous line…
The value of listening to fringe voices
And if you believe Kaczynski saw clearly and did not deny a lot of different illusion and environmental and social issues because of his maladjustment in many ways and his brilliance and you know, with an uncompromising clarity and the emotional. Passion that drove him to quit a very prestigious academic job and got it will go off and live in a tiny cabin and hunt for rabbits. You know, maybe that guy maybe should listen to that guy. I mean he did. I do believe that he laid out the problems we are facing now with holding unbelievable clarity a long time ago. It wasn't a solo act. He was drawing on it with many other people, but. and You could say in a sense, as people often say. That he was prophetic and but a real joy said and you know, looks handful of journalists respected. Journalists have been saying almost since his arrest, and you know, not just journalists but academics and scientists that, you. I think we would have behaved this to listen to that guy and not dismiss him just because of his axe. I mean if we look if we did that, we'd be dismissing an awful lot of people we now consider prophets and founding fathers, so and in the same way. That's why I don't find it a problem as others do to focus on what you might consider fringe and troubled characters like John Jacobi because it's always seemed to me. That that that it’s those people who are sort of the receptive field Twitch response to all of this stuff. It's not they are rational people, but they're also not rationalizing themselves out of it. They're feeling it like maybe they're, There, yeah, if you look at the Russian Revolution, a lot of the people who responded to this were people who were not invested in this system. People who were outsiders, people who. You know You have sexually or philosophically, economically not. Sort of you could say co-opted by the system, Princecraft hockey is a great example. an older man who just felt it and saw it. He couldn't tolerate it and you can. Usually you can criticize.
I think what happens is the society and the social powers and the people who are and that then that's the thing that people who are corrupt, use the fringe qualities of these people to dismiss the issue, not unlike the hippies in the 60s antiwar protesters. It's like, well, these guys are fools in a lot of ways, why should we listen to them? But I think you don't ask the revolutionary for the solution. You know, smart guys. the science is the rational people. You come up with the solution they're telling you there's a problem 'cause. They're vulnerable enough to feel it more vividly than others, so that's why I think those people are really worth reporting around worth listening to, and it covers all of those people.
A lot of people will listen to Paul Kingsnorth because he went to Oxford. He's very, very well spoken, very calm and thoughtful. With and celebrating novels. Now, yeah, he's like sort of a classic. But you know? And a little with a with a burning heart for improving society, and also have a little. That you could, it would be right wing in America protect the English traditions and the small villages and all of that, dedicated life to that, so that's palatable to a lot of people. But what he's saying is not dissimilar from any of these guys. They're just coming up with different solutions and different responses, and that's not those who can discuss and argue that and improve. But if you're not even going to feel it like they feel it if you're numb or Co. Opted or blind or corrupt, then who's the whack job you know.
PATRICK: Yeah, I know I. I agree with that. But I think what scares people again is this feeling of OK? This isn’t actually under control. where we are heading towards something inevitable. If we continue down this path and that's the that's the feeling, right? It's just sort of waking up to that. and then the questions that come with that are terrifying for many people. Yeah, and I want to point to 'cause we're talking about John Jacoby, you. Follow his story. Through this whole article, and I mean and he. And this the thing, and this where it gets for me. I don't want. I hate the word problematic but I want to say like there's. There's certain there's a certain darkness that comes with this too. So you mentioned the journal. It's a collection of various essays called Attassa.
JOHN: You mean yeah, ITS again?
PATRICK: Yeah, it is connected to this right?
JOHN: Individualists Tending to Savagery. And with the link here or the wild or whatever you want to Transfer those.
PATRICK: Yeah. and so, Jacobi wrote at least one or two pieces for this thing. You also ended up meeting towards later on in the article you mentioned Abe Cabrera, I believe is his name.
JOHN: Abe, I call him.
PATRICK: Abe Cabrera yeah and he also wrote a piece for that. So when you read it. And then so you say this very, very clearly it's like this a very terror friendly publication, I mean, they’re actually advocating like go out 'cause destruction, go kill people. Human beings need to be destroyed.
JOHN: Random violence, yeah.
PATRICK: Random violence, kind of this nihilistic, like we're not trying to bring about. In optimistic future, like they're even more dumb. You know, as you said like KaczynskIs something of an optimist. In a certain way. These people that are behind it's behind these groups, which from what I understand mainly come from not the United States. These are people in Mexico, they're down in South and Central America, right? So these are these people that are publishing attossare actively trying to stir the pot a bit and say hey all of your political theory, all of your whatever is just ********. It's not accomplishing anything, so we need to just lash out and as they describe it, it's like they're channeling. Wild nature as they describe it, or uh?
JOHN: Yeah, they changed their name to a wild reaction, yeah?
PATRICK: Wild interaction so. So in their point of view. They're bombing, they're shooting, they're killing people, they're attacking. Kind of the similar professions or people in professions similar to what the Unabomber did, right? So in their in their in their acts they are again in their mind. They're like the Earth seeking revenge. They are the bloodthirsty. Vengeful cloud, yeah, animals, coyotes and, and that's really, yeah, yeah. It's extremely disturbing to me. Because I don't actually think well, I can't speak for the earth Yeah it's like but this The thing is you again you, you follow you were with John Jacobi.
JOHN: Quote should be disturbing. It is disturbing. Yeah.
PATRICK: You also meet this Abe individual who last last night I was like, OK, I've heard so much about. Ah, so not just from your essay. Not for dissing your article, excuse me, but you know, being somebody who's yeah.
JOHN: Thank you.
PATRICK: Yeah, being somebody who is how. How do I say this? I know people from deep green resistance and I'm not associating them with this I just wanna make that very clear, I know. People that.
JOHN: people what?
PATRICK: From deep green resistance. What you mentioned later on, and I'm not trying to connect these two things together, but what I'm trying to say is that there's all of these intersecting kind of circles of people that have reacted against what Atossa is promoting and what it's exactly that's what my long winded way of saying that.
JOHN: Uh Oh yeah. Oh, the Lana. Just hate it, yeah. And I just. Paid him they. they they took her revenge on him.
PATRICK: Yeah, exactly so to me what I what I see is like. you spent time with some of these people. I mean, what was that like? I mean, I know you're doing it as a journalist, but I mean, that's. That was what was so compelling is like reading this I'm like, oh he's not just observing this I mean, you're like in the. ******* swamp with Abe. Behaving, you're hanging out these people. I mean what? That blows me away. So what was that like? I mean. What what drew? You to that so that you were so compelled to actually go meet these people and contact them and all of. That I mean I don't. Know if that's really questioned.
JOHN: Yeah, I was trying to get in with that.
PATRICK: It's fascinating.
JOHN: I was trying to get in with the guys at Wild Reaction and I thought it was it was a conduit to that and I gradually began to realize that he was, actually, uh chief propagandist in America. For that not propagandist, but you know, arguer for, Ableser really is a really interesting character. He's a tortured soul. He's he's a former Catholic priest of still some kind, he has an academic background he. Has gone through sort of all of them and I found the most moving thing he said was of course he's got children and he doesn't tell them anything about anything does. It's a double life. Just as a wild reaction. It's slash, ITS. Recommends, I never was quite sure how far that double life went, but I think now that he, he's a theoretician and not an actor. But the most moving thing was he said we're not destroying the world because of because we're greedy. It's not because of. The oil companies being greedy it's because we love our children and we want a better life for them and so love is what's you know? is messing us up. I think there's a beautiful tragic truth in that, and that this another example. these people are unafraid of following something to its conclusions and they're pursuing the conclusions. And there's a validity to the ETS argument. You know, it's unlikely that we're going to retool the economic system overnight. Oh yeah, meaning they were like 1520 years and stopped doing what? We're doing too. Many people lives depend on it at this point. and it would lead to what people like. I TS and Kaczynski unflinchingly see as a mass die off. That is, I mentioned there's another guy in Europe. Pierre Licola I'm not pronouncing that right, no doubt, and maybe we're not getting it right, but he's calling out right for for environmental fascism where we control both sand shut down all everything but essential in industries, not industries. function so but. what my interest in these guys is all. Of them is that it presents a range of responses that are uncompromising and honest responses to what's happening, it's concluded broke with Kaczynski their prostates that's why he hates them. Aside from the fact that they put him in jeopardy when we pay, when people mention him, 'cause that's that's definitely a line that prison won't let him cross. And would shut off his ability to communicate, which is this thing is the most passionate about that I can see. Yeah, but so, but the I TS sense that, OK? This isn’t going to be done. We're not going to win this revolution. We're not going to find a Lennon who can lead the people. As I told Ted in my post, journalist Congress correspondence like. the Lenin offered people? the peasants real freedom and the agenda more just world. He KaczynskIs offering on a hunter gatherer lifestyle and mass die offs that she doesn't ring the same populist message. It's never gonna if I would where I said. Yeah, that was a propagandist. You suck. You know, even if that's where he wants to get to, you kind of say it. You know, we know we wanna follow that and in the same way I TS games are complete and that's not going to happen. And we're they’re They sort of looked to the indigenous tribes that resisted the Spanish conquest and admired. The tribe that fought the longest, knowing they would lose, and this sort of a tradition that's also it, was in the happenings there was split between. Youth who want abuse weapon in modern weaponry. In their traditional, she said well, if we do that, we're not Indian thing or not. You know, try with creeks or not in those or whatever. there's truth to both sides of the argument, tragic and we're all giving up our heritage. You know, that's where it intersects with the right wing in order to Who can't live in this world and function effectively and then raise our children as they would say? So you know, I think there's a risk to what they're arguing. It's horrible, and it's not going to do any good and so why even bother? Or why not just let it happen and not be part of this violence and horror? Uh, but I think what's interesting is that these solutions are coming up. Paul Kingsnorth withdrew from the climate Change movement undecided and gave me the advice of I said I'm not a backwards kind of guy. I'm not going to retreat to Northern Ireland, and you know, rose vegetables. I like the city. I live in New York City. And he said, there's plenty you can do there and he just believes that the global fight is lost and that we can do the best we can with our communities. There's a beauty to that argument. It says what it says. Kaczynski says what he says, Jacoby still looking for an answer in his suite on this Gray. And written fairly. Rigorous way I like that I like John. I just saw him recently and but these sort of represent the range of responses. I think more people are going to catch up with and I think. That as people see you in an undeniable way that their farm lands are drying up and burning away, and that their condos undermining each frame we are going to lose value and let their investments in sungkain in various industries are going to start to evaporate, taking their retirement savings. And their kids college funds and stuff there's. Going to be. Something of a wild reaction all across the world and it's going to take, it's going to go into some of these early forms. Maybe we'll find other forms, but we will find. And It blows my mind again that people don't see this We will see a lot more of those things happening as then as the problem becomes more visible. We're already seeing this rise and right wing Fascism essentially the retreat behind borders, which is Maybe not irrational when there's hundreds of millions of people, but on the move because of climate change. Various other things. So you know, it's like you study. If you're a scientist or a government responsible government official, you should study. And rather than deny what's happening, we put we put Eugene Debs in prison for protesting the First World War, who was? the wonderful head of the do something sweet and idealistic, kind of. The railroad union, we should have listened to him because you know, 20 years later we had the Great Depression and we finally had a mass response that that triggered some of the solutions that he was looking for. Which you know, was again denied as soon as it was economically possible. For a whole host of reasons, I don't want to just bring the capitalist. the big capitals they're using this Sunday. It was the water they call him back in the tycoons, or this Sunday, so whatever.
PATRICK: The barons.
JOHN: Yeah, but barons or yeah all that stuff that's also a simplification and a simple radical, good feel, good kind of solution in a way. And I don't think I think all of those are denials of reality, and if we're going to be honest about what's going to happen, we're going to we're going to start to Look at some of these just as you would study disease. You would study the outbreak of the disease and the. And the there’s viral pathways through which it spreads, and that's what epidemiologists just does do. And that's, this an epidemiological problem that's going to get worse, so I don't, I had pitched this story to a renowned and I had my drawing much, uh. And in fact, if this kind of publication of involved in social justice causes, I don't trash them because I love them. but their attitude was, well, we don't think it's going to get that bad and my response was, have you read the science? Are you keeping up with stuff and? Yeah, her response that came back was like yeah but yeah, we just can't go there and my I realized it was never one of these shocking things is that that whole social justice project that is so beautiful. Four is if this stuff happens, is going to become completely irrelevant and overwhelmed, and that’s another form of like we can't. We can't look down in your face. I mean, my idea is, if you're really coping with what has become the present problem rather than a smaller problem or. Historical problem are still not historical. you're gonna retool your whole magazine for this stuff.
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah.
JOHN: cause this the, It's like people who were like worrying about, New forms of agriculture. You know, when industrialism was really, taking the whole traditional farming way of life away, in a consolidation of farms that that sent 70% of America out of their habitat, which I mean, I don't know. We're just not thinking about this stuff and how I mean. If you look at if you look at work when the Barry wrote about in unraveling of America. this a huge social loan. That ties into all the stuff we're talking about, that we're sort of like in blind to 70% of the country was working on farms and now it's like 6% something like that. I'm in total statistics. But you know? What I mean, it's like how can you not think about that when you're talking about you know?
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah.
JOHN: The social problems with the city and the right wing. Uh presentment of centralization and states rights and guns, rights and all that kind of stuff. it's so much more complicated than people want to frank on it. I just don't get it. And then I don't put myself above it, 'cause I wasn't thinking about it too closely and so I said I would want to bury a while ago, you know? I just started putting the pieces together over probably the last 15 years.
How John first started researching Kaczynski
I also want to say I did a story in 2006, federally, particularly at conscious reason. I just thought it was an interesting story about. And the first activist who came out of prison. It's just as reliable as he was before, which I found kind of admirable. Rod Coronado. Again, I didn't agree with his solutions, particularly wasn't compelled by them. Didn't give a damn about animal rights. But and even thought it was a little foolish for them, it's understandable from the other people point of view, but so I was with him and I met this kid who I really liked. I'm still my own correspondence. He was just to 19 at the time and he kept talking about this guy Ted and it took me a while to figure out who was talking about it and He said, but he killed. People and he said yeah, but all this went so bad. And I was like, Oh my God, and I feared for him. You know, I thought he, he was a really smart, really energetic and lively and You know, passionate kind of interesting guy and super friendly demeanor anyway. and I think maybe a little arrogant and the way 19. Year olds can be. And now you got a family. He's working at job and all that stuff, but he still believes kind of the same stuff. You just have to do what we all have to do. and And so he that was Ted. So he started mentioning Kate and I just was like, wow, that's weird. And I didn't think about it again for years. But when I saw Jacobi's article, I remembered this kid. Zach and you know, I was like well, so I've heard this before and I started to see those guys keep point of view and I heard people like Elizabeth Cole called those six extinction. their respected journalist and like you know, James Lovejoy like great. I'm just saying something so. I had enough context by that time to think. About it in. A smart way, I guess I'm more informed way and the pieces started to come together and I saw the patterns and that's how that I think that first connection with a kid. Much like txakoli that's. Trouble in front of this troubled background. More supportive family man I've ever known of this Johns family will end of that story, but, uh. it's just like because I liked that because I eventually came to really like John Jacoby, and even We could just give that to anyone or sentimental journalist. Straight dude and But that put a different thing. I wasn't able to completely dismiss them. They were human beings struggling with issues that I saw as again to say, other people just deny. And I'm not hung up on them having the right solutions or the right interpretations.
I've always written sympathetic pieces about right wing figures too, 'cause I try to see it through their eyes and they have their reasoning. I became pretty good friends friendly at the time and continued to correspond for a while with thead of Open carry Texas. he had his reasons and they they were coherent and had had a political point of view and I couldn't completely reject. You know, I. Mean I just I feel like I don't have to agree with their solutions or even my way of expressing. Yeah, I'm trying to look at why they're doing it and or what's what's. The reason what's the thing that creates it, and if you go through that. Charlton Heston, I wrote a piece, a lot of people thought was ridiculously sympathetic. He wrote me a very nice letter. Well, letter to the editors of magazines. Then I saw another person who's worked out, like Uh Roger? Uh, uh. Once again the movie damn documentary. The documentary about for. Anyway uh. he just was vicious.
PATRICK: Oh Michael Moore. Was it Michael?
JOHN: Yeah, Moore start.
PATRICK: Michael Moore, yeah, you said Roger OK?
JOHN: The work I like and I think is another passionate, committed, guy, I really agree with some of it and don't do it. With others all that kind of stuff. but I always basically liked what he was doing and when he was ruthless to Charlton Heston and Charlton Heston again. You know, if you look at the way he came up and the way his mind frame, he's a decent guy. he's not a jerk or a monster. He's actually kind of sweet morning or was and we got along and spent. A week with. he's an actor and he sits and talks about Shakespeare all the time and you're up with very small town police sheriff Footpad and there's a whole rationale to it. I'm not interested in condemning. I'm interested in understanding or even not understanding just after seeing. Anyway, that's about me, but it's about all these people. I think you were right when you said there's really an overlap, and I think that's another thing the left that's sort of taken over the climate change argument and so few days ago, very articulately in his rather way that they’re papered for the right blinds them to the fact that these people who are going to be their allies in someday. If they let them in. Or if they see these modalities. there's always the I mean left is warranted social justice and the government intervention side of things if they're also against the government intervention, and they're also for ferociously independent point of view. And they're also very much a lot of them. The comedy movement is very similar to the Amish. Christian separatist movement.
JOHN: I mean when all these things cohere around, one powerful issue. John doesn't think it's going to be climate change, yeah, maybe more. We have lived in more economic inequality or something like that and you always trying to figure out solutions. that's when the real danger point comes. That's when the tipping point comes and I know it's going to come true, right? So it's gonna be scary. I think I had kids. I don't like it. Yeah, I like I you said because empty moment. To come back. There's that first shock, and then there's the refresher course right and you just like I think about my kids growing up in this world. If it all pans out the way it happens and they don't find some kind of magic bullet solution which might happen. I don't know something about some of the science that's being done and maybe some of it will work. You know, kind of an eating microbes at Harvard and stuff like that. You know, it could happen in Ted terms, that wouldn't make any difference. We'd still be reduced to COGS and our systems that we have no control over, and our agency would be wrapped and we become sort of spiritual service. There's an argument for that. That's a Christian. Separatist argument, Jesus. that's like a.
JOHN: They admired thing in the right and even on the left that we all love Amish and how beautifully they responded to that. So they gunned down a bunch of their school kids and I don't know if you have any Christian feeling. 2nd for Christianity I you know, I just I'm it fills my mind nowadays I don't have sort of focus is the way I think about different things. I like John Jewelry and all these guys. Screaming aside I TS slash wild reaction. Who just going? Sort of an endless path? Uh I don't have any solutions. I don't have any smart thing to say about it. I just like. The tabs tab look away right?
PATRICK: Well, let me ask you then because something Kaczynski. Brings up is as far as various ways that we can resist and attempt to This, as you mentioned, there are people that have these Kaczynski moments and they then say. Or they have. This idea of like, well, the collapse is happening anyway. It's going to be coming. whether we do anything or not. It's going to happen, right? So then their whole thing is like, well, let's just do the best we can in the time we. Have and try to maybe lessen the impact and make it as much of a soft collapse as possible and we can transition to something else if possible, right? That seems to be a common idea, but there are.
JOHN: Right, right, right? and the math die offs will make that a little easier.
JOHN: And the clarity about what certain kinds of technology are doing to us will make it easier. Yeah, if it. If we just if it doesn't, 'cause if the feedback loops aren't so severe that. Yeah, things are just impossible and then savagery, emerges. Savagery emerges pretty fast. Yeah, I look at the Balkans and big Packers piece in the Atlantic last month, yeah?
PATRICK: Absolutely, well, so this the thing I wanted to point to is that he recommends that tactically. So let me just quote something here and I think it's you saying basically or you're either. I think you're writing what basically Kaczynski has promoted in his writing, which is forget the small targets and attack critical infrastructures like electric grids and communication networks. Takedown a few of those at the right time and the ripples. Will spread rapidly, crashing the global economic system and giving the planet a breather, which means no CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. Number of iPhones tracking our every move and no more robots taking our drop.
JOHN: Yeah, that's a paraphrase of what he said.
PATRICK: Yeah so then no you're OK.
JOHN: Yeah, I'm sorry I still see it.
Deep Green Resistance
PATRICK: OK I just want to then tie this into 'cause in the latter I would say half of your piece you spend time with deep green resistance and I think they call them. I think they're like some sort of resistance training camp or some sort of thing where they're kind of addressing a lot of these things now. From my understanding is yeah, deep green resistance doesn't associate with Kaczynski, they don't.
JOHN: Very Cowboys.
PATRICK: They don't that there's a lot of people that I would say that were inspired or have. Adjacent views I guess.
JOHN: Yes, there's empty adjacent.
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah, they're like.
JOHN: That's a good. Way of putting it here.
PATRICK: Please don't say his name. We don't want to be associated with him, but we understand his perspective.
JOHN: Yeah, yeah well.
PATRICK: Yeah, yes so I just want to ask this then is that you spent time at one of these resistance training camp like things that? Deep green resistance is put on and as you. Said, you know? They meet a lot of the criteria. Of attacking industrial civilization. And as he says attacking really key infrastructure and certain chokepoints, as it's been called. I've heard of like going after shutting off oil pipelines, shutting down dams, and various other energy, power plants and all kinds of things, right so?
JOHN: What was your? You know, what was?
PATRICK: Your experience with deep green resistance? What did you get from going to that at that training camp?
JOHN: Well in a way it's a different version of the same thing. I mean, I don't I don't. I think that's wrong. 'cause it's you asked me to call him Ted and I called him Doctor Kaczynski for a while. Everybody calls him tab who is in this with? Uh, I don't think that's an accurate. Analysis, I mean, I don't say like if you look how quickly recovered from the massive destruction of World War Two, I can't see the machine that is right. The machine is grown too big. It's too essential too many people who are. You're not going to take down a couple of refineries and send off a ripple of those like there's. There's redundant systems for all this stuff up the wazoo, and maybe it'll cause some. Distress, but it'll probably just cause the usual repression reaction that terrorism does from the government, uh and anyway I don't see it being effective. It would have to be an internationally organized kind of thing. We get a lot of points at the same time, and even then, like we firebombed Germany. And look where they are now. You know? Sure, yeah, yeah. So I mean again, I think that it's, it's a twitch response anyway. I use that phrase a lot now. I think Trump is attric response to many of the same things and the and the rise of the erratic. You know, radical right or whatever you want to call it. That's why I don't like want to invalidate them completely. I think they're it’s what's triggering them. That's more interesting than their solutions, and uh, I do think that the Deeping resistance types are looking at more rather than just a withdrawal and reaction behind the walls of the power of the the palace and stuff and building notes and walls and all of that which would only work for a while and never worked. So much for long. And the whole history of modern life that gave rise to this and that they invested in you know, argues against it. So it’s not a rational response, and neither is the different resistance one really, but they’re trying to find solutions. I mean, do printers resistance in particular. You know, Kolinski analysis of them is as accurate as his analysis of it. You know, they, I didn't talk to him specifically about that, but I know what I would say is they got divided over different issues here and now. He's he says, you know? The successful revolutions have been mounted by people. States focused on a single issue, and when the time came there were the people who had integrity and were organized enough and with a few lucky breaks they took 6000 people took over the Russian government. So but you know? We're facing a different kind of problem, and you as you said some people say, well, I recognize that and there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm going to live my life. I don't see a huge. I mean I get it and I'm kind of doing that myself. And so is Paul, who changed the way throughout Mars totally great. So and sympathize with more than anybody. I guess but that withdrawal isn't so different from my PS. It's minimalistic violence. It's just sort of sort of throwing up your hands and saying I'm going to live for myself. You know, as I've defined myself and I. I was gonna say ICS is looking at a spiritual tradition. That's why they changed their name to Wild reaction though though. They're part of the animal and indigenous resistance to the kind of civilization that wiped out their worlds. the civilization that responded to their small attacks with genocide and called itself more civilized. You know? So where is the crazy person? Where is the bad? Person and how? Why are we who just withdraw and all of our lives and tend to our children and our gardens so much superior to you? Know these troubled people who come to different conclusions about the same issues that we've done overall. But you know, I think the most clear out of us for whatever reason, whether emotionally unbalanced or just, whatever, are not denying or trying to deal with emotionally, intellectually, politically, in different ways, If I had a solution, I'd be happy about the whole thing, but like you know, I don't think I think that's another clue I think is like. And what do you do with it? Well, you, you take care of your family, that's #1, right? That's always number one, and But the people who took care of the family didn't go out and fight the American Revolution or the Russian Revolution they. They didn't put that first, so were those good things? They people have different arguments, but yeah, there were fights for justice that is not a bad thing should manually through canyons today at home and Like partied, I don't.
JOHN: I don't think so, so I don't know man, I got nothing for you.
PATRICK: Yeah, no, that's OK.
JOHN: My stories are useful. Yeah, yeah, that's what it started out with.
PATRICK: Yeah, no, and I think to address. This idea of attacking the infrastructure just sort of pause it, pose it as a hypothetical. So I do think because we are coming up against certain ecological environmental limits on the planet, I think deep clean resistance. If I could get myself in their mindset would be. We aren't back in World War Two. We don't. We don't have the ability, seemingly. To recover you see, just as the United States alone. I see the United States in the midst of an actual collapse, and maybe it hasn't caught up with everybody yet. But it's kind of falling apart at the edges and we're seeing it manifests in all kinds of peculiar ways, as it often does, right? So when I think when I think about attacking the infrastructure. It's almost like helping it along a little bit like OK, yeah it might not stop the economy completely.
JOHN: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK: They'll be able to recover. They'll arrest all the activists and all of the troublemakers as they have exactly.
JOHN: As they have, yeah.
PATRICK: I mean, there was the green scare in the two. Thousands, right the aughts.
PATRICK: Uh, which was I came about as a result of all of the legislation that came from post 911 and all. Of that so. So to me what I see is like they. They see this As a long term or sort of recognizing the moment we're in, which is one of precarity, and if. We can help that along a little bit then. It's worth the effort. It's worth the risk. It would be again a different situation if it was 1945 and were just coming out of World War Two and were like the most powerful economy ever. we're not there anymore, so I guess if I could pose that ideas just like I see them as recognizing that yeah.
JOHN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah I yeah I. I admire these people for taking some or pondering taking some kind of action, there's certainly the resistors at Standing Rock and places like that. you can only admire them for for that they're not out there killing people or Co trying to cause mass death through starvation, which is troublesome to say the least. But that's certainly deepings resistance answer would do that. But you know, there is a passive way of doing things and they there's a passive way of accepting destruction and not taking responsibility for it. I think you know, in a in a way, a lot of us are in the same pocket of the oil companies, where? You know, they’re saying, well, there ain't nothing going to be done about this We might as well feed our children and do what we can. And some of them I'm sure I think. they're doing the world a favor by empowering it to have U.S. economic structure, but that you would need to in some ways to do something effectively from that point. Yeah I don't know.
PATRICK: Sure, yeah.
JOHN: I'm not going to I don't know those guys and they're not talking to me, so yeah. Didn't that interview with the Prime Minister of Alberta, Canada, where the oil sands come from? Once then Prime Minister and a hippie and ahead? Shop who was grateful for the college education with all provided for free once and the free healthcare and the Prime Minister is like, well it's all our problem, And I was like, but you're a leader. you can't expect the guy who's pumping his gas to get to work to solve this problem, but I think. Ultimately, she felt helpless by political forces like our leaders. Do there's even the responsible ones? It's like but they're not out there saying we've got to retool the economy or make radical changes because they're not going to win that battle. I mean, I just don't see an innocent party and I don't see a guilty party particularly. I do admire the people who are trying to do something, but you know, personally, I have qualms about violence.
PATRICK: Sure, yeah.
JOHN: I don't want to go that route. I drat in a way. You know, this the logic of what we've of where we've come. Because of I mean, yeah, you could say Jesus Christ warned us against us in many ways. And we haven't done a really good job of listening to him. Oh, or any of us. The spiritual leaders who have made these are kinds of core arguments against the kind of life that we have adopted. It's just really impossible for people to You know, except living without a toilet, 'cause it's typhus, sure, so unless you have a composting toilet like those on this boat. Nice new piece of technology that avoids the whole sewer systems and industrial scale pollution, but that causes. But are you going to go back and say, we shouldn't have created a toilet and illuminated, disease and modern. I don't get you with density of population. Yeah, I don't. I think I don't have a lot of respect for people to come up with simplistic solutions. I think that's an invasion. And basically if Moral posturing and feel good. I feel it. not not feel good activism I don't know but there is a level in which these guys are putting themselves on the line for some kind of personal responsibility. And I do have more respect for that then. People who don't take any kind of personal responsibility and sometimes I feel. Like Oh yeah, what a ******. you write articles you. Know great the intellectual you know, and this actually working in my heart right now. That that argument, though I’m hoping to change on the any knowledge legislator of the world, helping this change through information and lose my graphs vast wisdom. The UN created consciousness of my race is not just pulling another famous writer. You know, that’s just another way of making a few self feel better. You know, maybe it meant something before. I'm not sure it means anything on the time scale we. Have so I don't know. You're talking me back into my depression.
PATRICK: I'm sorry.
JOHN: I would have just gone on this So I've been having a great time in this boat seeing the sunset. It's anchoring and little harbors and remote wilderness. Everything, yeah, It does. selfish modern gonna make me feel like better.
PATRICK: Yeah, well, no, I think I think often when people get caught up in this sort of big picture. Look, when you look at all the things that you've mentioned and that I've explored in my own way. OK. It does pull you into a depression and a sense of helplessness. And so like what you know, Paul Kingsnorth know he's like, I'm a recovered environmentalist. I'm a recovering environmentalist. Instead, he's like we can't stop it now it's too late, too much damage that's been done. There's too much CO2 in the atmosphere. There's already too many feedback. It's triggered and baked into the system and All these things. Right like and you sit there and you're just like completely overwhelmed. You feel helpless. And then then the question comes up is like. Well then what and of course this what you explore in your piece. Of course, is all the people that have what we call on the fringe that are taking matters into their own hands in some form or another. But many of us are not going to go down that path. Many of us instead are going. To ask these.
JOHN: Yeah most of us yeah.
PATRICK: Questions right? And so then people like you were like well then what is the antidote? Antidote to despair. And really, like what Paul Kingsnorth points to is building, fielding community, connecting with the land, learning how to grow food, building real skill sets that are applicable to being connected yet.
JOHN: Or the yeah, we're not even learning how to grow food 'cause he told me there's a lot of stuff you can do in New York and he was talking about just tending your garden. Whatever it is And interestingly, a deep in resistance. The indigenous activists who present upstanding I had the same answer. It's like find your tribe. you can't join our tribe, but you were picked. So Celts or something like that once and maybe now your mongo. Mongo along with mongrels of all of those. But you know, pick a tradition and honor it and tend it, and that's a very lovely. Response and I guess that's sort of where Eileen, although as a cosmopolitan I known as a person who never came from any place, it would seem artificial to me. But to my specific experience but, but I. I think that created that, combines a clear eyed view of what's happening with you know morality and decency. none, that I can relate to and I, so that's probably where I would land But it's not. You know, I'm not the Paul Kingsnorth said to me that he started one of the best things about deep region is this I mean about Dark Mountain for him was that it was a grief counseling. Group, you know? There's not too many people you want to talk to you about this I hid my client change books from my kids. I didn't even want my coffee. Table you don't want to like bum people out and I've gotten into Jags where I bum people out with this You know, like playing out their denial. Different levels of denial and stuff. And what good does that do, really? what? Why bump people out? You shouldn't run this podcast, I mean, I don't, that's why it's like you know, I yeah it's, I mean climate change. And to some extent I don't want to leave out globalism 'cause it's part of the whole thing. And it's also like one of the most immediately felt parts of it, the machine that's overwhelming us that we created. You know, it's like a. It's like Frankenstein, Those early novels of industrial times. And poets of you know, Wordsworth, I mentioned you know, reacting to this thing, Emerson. So I think from my money I even feel uncomfortable talking about it sometimes, especially with friends and Abe Cabrera? he's he's is deeply intellectually involved with this As anybody I've met and he, like I said, he hid it from his family. He doesn't talk about it to anybody who writes about it but Uh, he's conclusion is not that different from Kingsnorth, so it's like I'm not going to lie about it. I mean you. Know respond to people who already sort of get it because I'm not going to bum them out. They've already gone through that Kaczynski moment. but why, like? Talk about it I. I mean, the only hope is that allergy type stuff. that magic bullet. It's like that just turns the direction of what we call progress in another direction and I don't see Hunter gatherer type life as a solution. I told Kaczynski, I'd be pretty comfortable with the technology of the 18th century. Seems to work pretty well. we had a great how very high level civilization, but also a very high level of social oppression and poverty. And that's why it's returned to other approaches then. the. Yeah, well, I really feel managers and then a few look like past system. 2nd correlated again. It's like we all love our children. We want to make a better world for them and how to do that without I think we could figure it out if we had the time. I don't know if you brighter silicate with Glenn models and stuff, see sci-fi writers who've always been imagining alternate societies. there's a lot of answers out there, but, but like I said, Jesus Christ offered us a pretty good answer. You know? Yeah, yeah. I’m. But I couldn't say I was a person of faith. But you know, I loved what he said and I think he was right about so much. But it didn't sink in too deep to it.
PATRICK: Well, yeah I think it's a George Carlin joke, he mentions Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr. he mentioned Gandhi, I think a couple other people like you know when these people told us we shot him. We killed them like that's what happens when you start talking about everybody living together in peace and harmony. You just get you get killed, you get assassinated, right? You become a martyr.
JOHN: Funny yeah.
PATRICK: And it's true. I mean, it's like when you speak that truth, and I don't mean truth and like, yeah you can talk about the science or the objective reality that we're all connected in into That’s that’s that's true too. But what I mean. Truth is like there's a there's a real invisible I guess this feels like an invisible possibility. It feels like something that's under the surf. This that you know, as you mentioned, Christ kind of just addressed it. He's like, hey, we don't have to be doing all this ********. that, right? Everybody like this nonsense. Like we could be doing this instead.
JOHN: We can, we can ride donkeys and go barefoot, yeah, or sandals. But yeah, I mean, nobody wants to do that. That's the thing there's like the Saints are a very small handful, and the activists are a very small handful. Where Martin Luther Kings are a smart small handful they can move. The world, because I think we all you. I’m not gonnaside from those some of those. You know, it's really irresponsible, narcissistic type people who are also very tiny minority. I think, uh we all feel the beauty of that Christian social justice. compassion and living in harmony kind of thing. But you know, it requires a huge sacrifice. It requires a denial of your nature. In a way your wild nature, your desire to win, to Bring down the game and bring home the bacon and have a good harvest and winning the war. The little one in the personal ones it's like it's tough to do that jujitsu act where you win by losing, which is sort of a Christian response. I don't know, it's just not. It's not. It's almost against our own. From nature's because we’re strange creatures on this earth.
JOHN: Uh, with a weird combination of abilities, thinking in spiritual and animal and all that is, I don't know, do we really wanna become like bees? You know, working in a colony which is also a little bit medial subsuming our software while cool. You know, I don't think so I don't, so I'm part of the problem. In that sense, I can't get it. I can't get out of it. I can't find a way out of it. I mean, I could try to be a St, but it's kind of late for that, I wish I could point the finger and say these are the bad guys you know, but I'm with Dave on that. It's not the oil companies. It's not the greedy capitalists and even the Prime Minister of Albert and like killing the ad shot, it’s. It's about It's not that there isn't an evil person who's responsible for it all, yeah.
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah, that’s the thing I think we I do this I do this all the time. I point to groups or people. I say, hey, it's the capitalists that are doing this We need to get. Rid of them or. But you know, there was a really great point that there's another individual. I just want to mention who I deeply admire and I met him. Fortunately, last month the same as bio akomolafe, and he's a writer. He's a Nigerian man, he's a writer. It's incredibly profound. Human being anyway. Anyway he was.
JOHN: I am ready.
PATRICK: Yeah he did this talk and I when I saw him last last month I went to Salt Lake City and met him there and he was describing his like. I loved this way. He explained it. He says the French Revolution happened. They killed the king, but the throne was still there and they didn't get rid of the throne. It's like the systems that exist. Replicate them we replicate our problems by trying to get rid of the thing that word that word that's oppressing us, and I think that many of these these small. Group of devoted activists revolutionary. These romantics, whatever they are that are trying to actually make a dent into the system and undermine it. You know, I think there's two sides of this There's people that actually love human beings and they want to save us from ourselves, so to speak. And then there's the other side, which is where I get like very concerned, which is the human hating quality. In this Which is human beings are not meant to like we're deserving of our own destruction in our own end and that part.
PATRICK: Image here.
PATRICK: I don't. I don't endorse I would say yeah, we may not survive.
JOHN: Yeah, no, I'm with you.
PATRICK: Yeah so I think.
JOHN: We do we wanna survive that way? If we could no, no, I don't want to be part of that. That’s definitely true. I mean, I, I think you, there's more nobility and going to the cross then and So the people who are oppressing you but on the other hand a lot. Maybe they're not just doing it for themselves and their loved ones are a factor, and that's where their anger comes from, partly. You know? And this it's like. That line in the Matrix so. Humans are the disease where they care, well, I mean, the truth to that. I mean, I still want to have faith in humanity and it's beautiful in so many ways and people can be so beautiful and so kind and loving, creative and all that. I can't go that route, but I right now I wanna ask you where do you where? So where do you? You sound like we have a lot in common in these ideas, but So what are you doing with this?
PATRICK: Well, I mean I where I live. I mean I'm not involved in any sort of actual activism or anything like that. But mainly it's just doing this podcast, that's worth yeah, yeah, It's interesting I like I mentioned at the beginning like when I read your article early this year, it stuck in my mind.
JOHN: And you studied it a great deal.
PATRICK: It stayed with me and it of course eventually led to us having this conversation right now, and that's because. Of all the people that I've talked to in all of the various types of conversations and what kind of space I seem to have participated in creating with this project, like I feel a bit. I like talking with you and all the other dozens of people I've interviewed and just talked with over the years. It's like I've created a big tapestry of interconnecting ideas and feelings and states of being and often. It's not that I'm necessarily like I certainly would endorse certain ideas over others, but like with you like you're not trying to label or attach necessarily a value judgment. But like certainly your there's lines you won't cross, but you're also not so. So in you're like OK, I will talk to these, these eco extremists, I will go down that path with them just to see where they're coming from. And I think that's so important because I consider myself to be a leftist or at least like. A radical kind of anarchist anti capitalist type so many of the people I talk. With are in that realm. And sometimes the line and this makes certain people very uncomfortable and they really want to stake say no. I'm not with that group over there. I don't want to be associated with that person over there, and when I try to dabble in different people, like if Interview somebody from deep green resistance for instance, other people will say you. Can't do that. Because of this reason, and I say I get it and I agree with you.
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK: But that doesn't mean we can't learn something, and that there's a way that. We can navigate. And again, as you point to in your work, and as we've talked about this point, this overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair.
JOHN: Yeah, yeah.
PATRICK: Here in my own way of doing and grappling with that is like we don't know what the hell we're doing. Like we're trying our best, I don't know what to do. I'm trying to find other people that are kind of have a piece of the puzzle, so to speak and that’s where I'm at right now with my work, so I get. Yeah, that that's my two cents on that, yeah.
JOHN: Well, that sounds. That sounds good to me and I'm. Sorry if I think part of it is I've been doing this a long time and there's a burnout factor.
PATRICK: Yes, definitely.
JOHN: But I guess if I do, I really respect that, like what? You're doing and I'm pretty probably come back to it at some point when I'm not so tired of it, but And that's why I'm trying to recharge and refresh. We just in a lot of ways taking part but. Which I think everybody does. Who's who's on? Any kind of looks, fame or any kind of difficult problem? But you know, I'm sort of like the people who are trying to find scientific solutions. I think these kind of cultural, philosophical, intellectual conclusions. If we can look clearly at what it is and look at these people without dismissing them because they're also looking clearly if simplistically reactive or whatever, at the things you know, maybe we can better prepare, people to at reacting want forward and less. Less Twitch respond kinda. The way down the line, I mean that is the hope of any writer, thinker. Yes, scientist philosopher, etc. You know, I think you are. You are not hoping to become the animals lettuce legislature with your race, but maybe I'm not the little grandiose. trying to give some tools trying to come up with tools for yourself, and you know, and maybe that will help people. I mean, if you would help people react in all this horrible way and maybe a more useful way like the scientists were working on it, the technologists, even I mean, I'm not, yeah. There's many things I love about technology. I think it's been a great boon to the human race. Even if somebody has backfired on this place. they are also like not just looking for the magic bullet, but looking for a ways to cope and ways to cope better than like say, the itse reaction mass. where we could become mass in a holistic violence, which sort of broke out to some extent throughout history. In these crisis moments. So you know, because I do love a lot of people and because I do have children and I see them grandchildren and you know, I sure hope we can react and you know, use the terms we've been using. Really like Christian. Whatever boost Hindu kind of that integrate tradition. They came out of another age of huge social crisis rather than rather than Nazi Germany, which was also dealing with many similar issues in its own way. Analogous issues.
PATRICK: Yes yeah.
JOHN: Uh, you know? So, so that would be nice. if we can, if we can pull together instead of tearing each other apart I mean, and many people will do that. Most people, I think will do that just in the way that most people love their community, their friends, their college roommates, their children. they're not going to go so. Like oh under these under whatever terrible conditions we live, people lived in terrible conditions before and every every little apocalypse is a full blown apocalypse. whether it's in, the Civil War or the Russian Revolution, or all those things. So there are people who react decently and maybe set up a better world. For their children and that's happened. That's happened. We've done that in our. Country at different different points of time and it's not always perfect success, but you know, maybe after the with that huge after really don't know and stuff will be among the people who who listened to the people, the wrong people, and the more people you and I might agree with the people running dangerous paths and pay attention to value different things and are more informed about which decision which way they want to go and what their solution will be. I guess that's. You know, aside from a technological fix, that's probably the best outcome scenario, but I'm not going to stand up and say, tell everybody else to do that because I'm just one ignorant person with. Cultural biases. You know, I mean, I don't want to be too humble about that, but I think it's true. we can't. We gotta be. A little more humble about our our answers and a little bit more mindful of the problems.
PATRICK: Yeah, well, I think that's a beautiful way to come at it. Without you know, I've learned long ago that they're well not long ago. I guess that would be a little arrogant of me to say that like I'm so wise and have taken this long. Journey to where I am but basically basically. Just to say that.
JOHN: You seem to be doing alright.
PATRICK: I'm doing OK, I'm doing OK, I've. I've been very, very. Fortunate to get to where I am right now, but I'm no.
JOHN: I'm talking about what you were thinking about it. I mean, you probably obviously thought deeply. Is there any not going crazy about it? you still even like in person.
PATRICK: Yeah, and that's the whole thing, right? It's like for me, what I realized is OK, it's not enough to just tell everybody that we're doomed, because that's certainly something I've done. But then the next step in that is like, well now what? And then that. That question is where a lot of people are at right now, because there is a small segment of the population and Then they're coming into this awareness, and there's all kinds of ways that people are going to react to this But if you give people a certain framework or understanding. To work within, it's like with anything like if you have a disaffected youth that are joining some sort of gang or. Something you know.
JOHN: Or drug addiction, yeah.
PATRICK: Like, yeah, like it, it could be anything. Could be any kind of addiction or any kind of path that may be fruitless and lead to self destruction. The same thing I see with these it's types, these. These people that are they see this as the logical solution and I'm saying I'm not talking about what's logical or not. I'm talking about what's actual. Really like the most beautiful way that we can approach this and I really don't think lashing out in a nihilistic, human hating fashion is the beautiful way to approach this.
PATRICK: Do what I mean?
JOHN: Yeah no, that's definitely true. And also it's not logical there's that's the problem with KaczynskIn my opinion is that he's so logical he's not logical because and he makes the same argument about scientists. He says they’re isolating the problem to something that can be dealt with. Through logic rather than. It's like when you when you develop a drug. Like you can do your trials and you can see that it's effective, but then you ignore the fact of all the interactions with all the other drugs you're taking and all the because it's too complicated to solve. You know, what environmental stuff you have out there interacting with this wonderful cancer. Here, whenever we discover that might make it worse. Like we've seen in the past. So to be to say, OK, we've analyzed the problem and this the solution you're always, sort of separating it into parts, which is exactly what Kaczynski criticizes. So yeah, I mean, it's a little bit more funny, fuzzy quantum thinking. You gotta do more like poetry than science in a way, and it might not be totally effective, but it's really sort of how you wanna. How you, when you're in a crisis, it's you say, how beautifully I think how? So how you can live with how you react to it? You know? Interviewed Roman Polanski once, the I'm sorry he wanted to conclude on that beautiful note, but Interviewed Roman Polanski once today and Roman Polanski has a lot of controversy and issues and whatnot, but I, he was also a 13 year old who went into the barbed wire and the crack out ghetto and fed himself and survived and I said, so what was the common swag and paraphrasing, but was So what? We made some people survive and others not. And he said all the good people. The good people died first, And he was. It was just like a totally clear eyed thing. You know, I'm not, I. I'm sure there was horrible things, that he faced quite clearly maybe he didn't share his food 'cause he wanted to survive with love, beloved relatives and stuff. I mean, I have no idea, but I think it's. You know, I'm not sure I want to be the first to die because I won't stand up and have my own little savage reaction. But you know, I don't want to do stuff that would make my life horrible in my own eyes or my children's eyes or anything like that. And so you know, maybe you just go go down. It's a ship, so to speak. Not a phrase I want to use. Right now, but You know, stay instead of. Like yeah, yeah grabbing the lifeboat from some old lady, I mean, I don't know that I couldn't live with, you know.
PATRICK: Yeah, yeah.
JOHN: And I've seen people who have done that, and you know, like I said in prison and we think of his monsters who eat themselves up with it for the rest of their lives.
PATRICK: Yeah, Yeah I. I agree with you.
PATRICK: Well, John, we've been talking well over an hour and a half at this point and I mean, it's been a great discussion that's gone. Oh yeah, I'll do what I, I'll do what I can. You know, I always think it's always the battle with me is like, well, people. Just like to listen. To discussions like it doesn't matter if it's rambly or whatever, people just kind of get in the flow of it. And they're like, well, that's how conversations are. So for me, it's like I like the organic quality of it, so I might, I might. I might trim it down a bit, but we'll see. I think everything that you discussed was really great and I do just want to turn people on to that that article. And it's amazing, and I guess the title of it is children of Ted and it was published in New York magazine, which I think is really fascinating that you. I mean, I think it just sort of says a lot about who you are, and I think your work and the kind of notoriety, maybe or something or the kind of reputation. You've built in the quality of work that you do that you could get. This piece, published in New York magazine, so I really meant just a testament to how good of a journalist you are. Yeah, yeah, so.
JOHN: Well, it's also a testament to their adventurousness as editors, I gotta give credit to you, know them onto this Yeah, I should know them all. But Adam Moss, you know? Adam Moss, great editor, now retired. Boy, Abraham, who's the editor on it? Who brought it in and edited it very well? I mean, I'm working with Adam finally. After many years it was a real pleasure 'cause he's he's. He was a huge, huge required person in my business so. It was great that they did it I. Mean I was surprised.
PATRICK: Yeah, OK.
JOHN: I got turned down by so many more appropriate publications.
PATRICK: Yeah, right, that's fine.
PATRICK: Umm, but no, I think it's good. I think you're you're really just continuing and pushing. this this object in people face like hey, this going on. this a part of our world. We need to address this this thing. So I again I really appreciate it. I'll be sure to link everybody to your article is there in? I know you. You said right now. You're kind of taking a break, but are you working on anything? Here in the future that we can look forward to
JOHN: Well, I have an idea for something that's not unrelated to this, but you know, it's still in formative stages and you.
JOHN: Know OK no?
JOHN: But I'm but I just, but I might not do it. I mean I’ve done this for a long time. Did I kinda wanna? Change but it. Is a company change? I probably will. Do it damn it. You can't. You can't give into and you can't get out. It's like the mafia.
PATRICK: Yeah, that's funny. Well, I personally look forward to whatever you come out with. I'm definitely following your work now.
PATRICK: Yeah, so John... Thank you so much.
JOHN: Thank you and I let me give you respect for having immerse yourself in this stuff and not coming up with some you know, happy answers, but that that might be the worst. Thing you could do.
PATRICK: Thank you.
Hey, I hope you all enjoyed that interview. That discussion with John. I know I did a great deal. If you have any thoughts or anything on it please send them my way. You can draw me a line. As I mentioned the beginning, you can call the phone number or you can draw me an audio file. You can find a link to that and the information down in the disc. I'm going to play here. Mike's second call at the very beginning, I played his first call. I asked him to give a little more advice. A little more of his thoughts on what he mentioned regarding buying land what to look out for when doing that.
MIKE: Hey Patrick, this is Mike. I'm just calling back with a few practical things I thought about for people who want to buy land I guess the main thing that I would say is to try to hook up with people that. They're also interested in doing the same thing because You can get a. Lot of land compared to a house, You get a lot of land for a relatively small amount of money, and it's you get four people. Six people going in on it. That's your money will go a lot farther, and if you all have the same goals, then of course you'll be right next to People that you. Love and Have the same intentions that you do for how to live there and treat the land so that would be the main thing hook. Up with other people. Another thing is in a lot of rural areas you can get a farm loan and I'm no expert on those, but. I guess maybe they'll they'll give you a loan, whereas a. Bank might not. You know, it's hard to get a loan from a bank for land unless you've got a lot to put down, so look into farm runs and another big one is water. You gotta have water water life. if you're in a part of the country where you can find bodies of water, just a natural spring would be the best. for drinking, but even a Creek or river, I would just strongly suggest prioritizing water. And then another thing is we got lucky and found a place that borders a State Park and not only are we way back away from everything, but we've got thousands of acres of mature. You know, untouched forests. That's our backyard. So until. some ******* politician bars it up and sells it to a mining company. We've got a lot of pristine land right behind us, which is really nice. The Creek that flows down from there is untouched and clean enough to drink out of so. That's been pretty big for us, so I would say look for land that borders the State Park or National Park if possible. Alright man, thanks again.
PATRICK: Thank you so much for that advice, Mike. It is interesting to hear how many calls I've gone. How many flash feedback I've gotten from that Joe Brewer episode, not just from that interview. Obviously Mike, you're referencing my response to the drop me a line call, but they when they sent that my way. I mean, I didn't have really. An answer because I'm trying to figure this out too, so it's kind of incredible Mike that you're out there that you're like. Hey I'll I'll give some advice. this what I had to do and there's a lot of steps involved in this, right? This not something that everybody going to be able to do all at once. I mean, personally I have zero property. I have 0, capital, so to speak and And that's OK, Obviously I'm anti capitalist or whatever. So it kind of fits the bill, right? But you know, I do think about like what would it take to get land? What would it take to learn how to build a home? What would it take to? To you know, learn how to live off that land become more intimate with it. And I just think about it and it just seems so overwhelming. But Mike, I think what you're providing here with your advice is like there's a step by step process that we can kind of follow. Like you know, whenever you would tackle a big objective or goal, you don't tackle the biggest. Thing first, necessarily. You got to think about all the little the little steps that one must take to get to the big thing. And that's something that I've learned to appreciate more and more. It's like OK. Obviously I'm in no position right now to be buying a home especially, but I'm not even in a really good position to buy land, which as you mentioned, Mike is far cheaper, far easier to get, it seems. So it's like I think what you're just pointing to is just keeping priorities in mind. Like what should we look for when we're looking for land? When we're looking for places to build a community. Right and it is about community. As you said, it’s not just about finding a home for you and your partner or whatever to go live. That's fine, you can go do that, but it’s. It's much more resilient when you have a community of people, a tribe of people that you can work with on that obviously. For very obvious. Reasons so it's like the other part of this finding the others. It's finding other people that are going to go do this with you now. That's incredibly difficult for many, many people. We're also isolated and alienated from one another. How do we find others that are like minded? I mean we have resources at our disposal. We still have the Internet, so I guess. I would say, like I, I've been really, really fortunate doing this work to be able to find people that I can maybe begin to do that kind of thing with, right? Like people that I've come into contact that are that are doing this type of stuff and everybody going to have a different way of going about this Obviously I'm doing it my own way. But you like Mike, you have your own way of doing it, you. You figured it. Out and as you said, it's like putting out intentions. I don't want this sound woo or like some kind of the secret kind of thing, 'cause I think there's a lot of ******** attached to that kind of thinking. But I do think there is a general truth in saying if you want a thing and you. Think about that thing more and more things are going to come into your life to allow you to do that. At the very least, you're going to be able to see more clearly patterns that can lead to that result. That isn't to say that it's going to necessarily magically be attracted to you. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I can't speak on that, but you are going to see patterns in your life emerge that is going to allow you to make decisions that lead you in that direction. Inevitably, you're going to be attracted to more and more people who think this way who feel this? Way who have. This conviction in this realization of where we are at and And you're able then to make decisions based on that. So I think that's incredibly true. Like I made decisions years ago that have now led me to the moment I am in right now when I'm responding to this jamais align call about this very thing, and I think about that all the time. Like I, I wouldn't have been able to even have this conversation 2-3 or four years ago. But I am now. I mean, it's just a process and so. Anyway, my main point is Mike. I really thank you for advice. You know? Yeah, if you could find land that's got obviously water, relatively robust forests. Obviously that's becoming increasingly uncommon and I understand more and more people are going to be unable to do this as time goes on. Unfortunately, it's kind of the nature of the crisis, isn't it? For those that are waking up to this right now, do your best. Try to find the others. Try to acquire land, work together to do that. Obviously, it's much, much easier when you have a group of people that are working together to do this That's incredibly important, extremely exciting to hear people. Doing this work that are preparing the ground for, I think pretty radical changes. That's about as optimistic as I can be. Right now, right? This isn’t about denial or looking away from what's happening. This just acknowledging that people are trying to do the best that they can. And I absolutely encourage them. To do that? So Mike, thank you so much for that, call again.
If anybody wants to do what Mike did, all that information is in the description of this episode. You can either drop me an audio file through instructions on the website, or you can call a phone number if you're here in the United States.
Thank you for listening to last born in the wilderness. Have a wonderful week and as a psychedelic farm parents, McKenna said, take. It easy dude. But take it.