#133 | Rationality & Its Discontents: The Heart Zone, Narrative, & Folk Magic w/ Dr. Bones

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Bones - conjurer, political theorist, and gonzo journalist. We discuss the irrational nature of human behavior, the narratives that direct human activity, folk magic, and the practicality of conjuring as a form of direct action.

I’ve come to know Dr. Bones primarily through his writings as a gonzo-journalist, whose work cuts to the core of America’s predatory capitalist economic system and the institutions and ideological frameworks that protect and perpetuate its logic. We discuss the ideologies that govern and direct human behavior, and dissect the myth that rationality and evidence guide human decision-making - in particular the delusional thinking many on the Left have regarding political theory and its practical application on the ground level. Many people, on both ends of the political spectrum, treat theoretical frameworks as “holy scripture” - as inherently and self-evidently true, dogmatically so. We discuss why this form of thinking limits our understanding of political and social change - hindering our ability to effectively organize against the ideologies and institutions that seek to exploit human beings and the natural world we are invariably connected to.

In the latter half of this episode, I ask Bones to expound on a subject I know little about: magic, or to be more precise - the Hoodoo folk magic tradition Bones is steeped in. Bones defines himself as a conjurer, and I ask him to elaborate on what that means to him - to practice magic as he understands it to be. I personally am not well-versed in the subject (and I remain skeptical of it), but Bones delves into the topic with astounding clarity, upending many of my unexamined assumptions regarding the scope and limitations of human consciousness, as well as the practical and observable impact conjuring can have on the unfolding of events in day-to-day life. We also discuss how magic and it application fits into our understanding of political direct action, and how “the map is not the territory” when it comes to understanding magic’s use as a tool to empower oneself in opposition to the forces that subjugate humanity for its own purposes. This is conversation covers territory I’m unaccustomed to exploring, and I appreciate and admire Dr. Bones’ take on the subjects discussed in this episode.

Dr. Bones is a conjurer, Egoist-Communist, and a writer that “summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism.”☨ Dr. Bones writes regularly for the publication Gods&Radicals and is the co-host of ’The Guillotine’ podcast. 

☨ Source: http://bit.ly/2upBgaA

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Dr. Bones and his work at his website: https://theconjurehouse.com

- Read Dr. Bones essays at Gods&Radicals: http://bit.ly/2upBgaA

- Listen and subscribe to ‘The Guillotine’ podcast: https://theguillotinepodcast.libsyn.com

- Dr. Bones on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheConjureHouse

- Dr. Bones on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ole_Bonsey

- The resources Dr. Bones references in the episode:

‘The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives’ by Leonard Mlodinow: http://bit.ly/2mloCVm

‘The Trickster and the Paranormal’ by George P. Hansen: http://tricksterbook.com

Rune Soup’s piece on sigils: http://bit.ly/2LlHheR

- The songs featured in this episode are “Enchanted” and “(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch” by The Platters.

#132 | Dark Night Of The Soul: Fiction, Art, & Unrelenting Circumstances w/ Vanessa Blakeslee

In this episode, I speak with award-winning author Vanessa Blakeslee about her new book, a collection of short stories, titled ‘Perfect Conditions.’ In this conversation, we discuss the writing process, producing art in a time of accelerating crisis and unrelenting change, and the “dark night of the soul” many individuals inevitably go through when the reality of our collective predicament is recognized on the individual level. In ‘Perfect Conditions,’ Blakeslee’s characters “often struggle to find control in unrelenting circumstances, in places which are often anything but welcoming.”☨

In this time of accelerating ecological, political, and spiritual crisis, how do we cope with the reality our species has forged on this planet? In the face of collapse on multiple fronts, what role does art play in our ability to grapple with the implications of these trends?  Vanessa and I discuss the themes of her most recent book through the lens of this shared understanding, in particular how fiction (and art more generally) can allow us to contemplate and understand the nature of the situation unfolding before us in real time. We also discuss the personal journey individuals must take when the reality of our collective predicament is recognized on the personal level, described as the “dark night of the soul” within the context of this conversation, and how this journey forces us to reconfigure our individual identity and to focus our passions towards new life goals, priorities, and projects.

Vanessa Blakeslee is the author of the debut novel, ‘Juventud’ (Curbside Splendor, 2015), hailed by Publisher's Weekly as a "tale of self-discovery and intense first love." Her story collection, ‘Train Shots’ (Burrow Press) won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction. The book was also long-listed for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and has been optioned for a feature film by writer/director Hannah Beth King. Vanessa's writing has appeared in The Southern Review, Green Mountains Review, The Paris Review Daily,The Globe and Mail, and Kenyon Review Online, among many others. Finalist for the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, she has also been awarded grants and residencies from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Banff Centre, Ledig House, the Ragdale Foundation, and in 2013 received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. ✧ 

☨ Source: http://bit.ly/2L6sAPO
✧ Source: http://bit.ly/2Nbh9E0

Episode Notes:

- Learn more purchase Vanessa’s book ‘Perfect Conditions’ at the Curbside Splendor website: http://bit.ly/2L6sAPO

- Learn more about Vanessa and her work at her website: http://www.vanessablakeslee.com

- Follow Vanessa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanessaBlakesleeAuthor

- Follow Vanessa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vmblakeslee

- Vanessa is a regular on the The Drunken Odyssey - “A Podcast About The Writing Life.” Learn more and listen here: https://thedrunkenodyssey.com

- The song featured in the episode is “Again” by Dorris Day.

#131 | The Other: Genocide; Life After w/ Liyah Babayan

For this episode, Cynthia Jones and I speak with Liyah Babayan - local entrepreneur, business owner, activist, and Armenian refugee. 

In this conversation, Liyah goes over her life story - framing it within the cultural/historical/political framework of her home country of Azerbaijan, where she had spent much of her early childhood, before fleeing with her family from severe persecution and mass genocide. In the late 80’s and into the early 90’s, a pogrom was enacted against ethnic Armenians in the city of Baku (the nation’s capital and Liyah’s place of birth), as well as in surrounding areas, resulting in the expulsion, and mass murder, of thousands of Armenians - in what has been described as the Baku Pogrom: “From January 12, 1990, a seven-day pogrom broke out against the Armenians civilian population in Baku during which Armenians were beaten, tortured, murdered, and expelled from the city. There were also many raids on apartments, robberies and arsons. According to the Human Rights Watch reporter Robert Kushen, ‘the action was not entirely (or perhaps not at all) spontaneous, as the attackers had lists of Armenians and their addresses.’”* Liyah describes what her, and her family, experienced as Armenians during this horrendous act of mass violence perpetuated against the Armenian population in Baku. In particular, Liyah discusses how this experience profoundly impacted her development as an individual, having to bear the weight of indescribable trauma through adolescence and into adulthood - all while living as a refugee in the United States, with all the social pressures, barriers, and freedoms that come with that. 

Because of Liyah’s unique perspective, she is able to perceive and understand social and political trends within the United States that most people, particularly U.S. citizens, are unable to recognize. We discuss what those trends are, and how much they resemble, or don’t resemble, the social and political conditions experienced in her home country of Azerbaijan. We discuss the trauma that has been inflicted upon the Armenian people over the past century, and how this knowledge informs Liyah’s perspective of what it means to live in United States, in time and place we find ourselves in. 

This is a wide-ranging discussion, and I thank Liyah for her candid and articulate overview of the subjects discussed in this episode. This is the third episode in a series of interviews and conversations with individuals who, whether they officially or not fall under the category, are refugees. These episode are done in collaboration with Cynthia Jones, Artistic Director of the Inspirata Dance Project, for an upcoming production that will feature segments of these recordings.

Liyah Babayan is a local entrepreneur, activist, Armenian refugee, and the owner of Ooh La La! consignment boutique in Twin Falls, Idaho. She is the author of a memoir titled ‘Liminal,’ release forthcoming. 

*Source: http://bit.ly/2u4on5H

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Liyah’s upcoming book ‘Liminal’ here: http://bit.ly/2MX9okW

- Learn more about Liyah and her consignment boutique Ooh La La! here: http://oohlala-shop.com

- Follow Ooh La La! on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2u4ozlr

- The songs featured in this episode are “Wake Up (Instrumental)” by Black Milk from the album Black and Brown Instrumentals, and “What It’s Worth” by Black Milk from the album If There’s a Hell Below.

#130 | Abolish ICE: Direct Action; From Occupation To Community w/ Shane Burley & Rob Seimetz

This episode contains two interviews. The first is with Shane Burley - filmmaker, journalist, and author of ‘Fascism Today: What It Is and How To End It.’ The second is with Rob Seimetz - journalist and radio host of “Moving Forward” on the Progressive Radio Network. Each of these interviews focus on the dynamics and recent developments within Abolish ICE movement, and specifically the OccupyICE encampments that have sprung up in recent weeks around ICE offices throughout the U.S., the largest and most prominent being in Portland, Oregon. The formation of these encampments are in response to the increasingly Gestapo-like policies and tactics currently being employed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, in particular regarding the agency’s active role in the detainment of immigrants crossing the southern U.S. border seeking asylum. Much of the anger, and subsequent action, in recent weeks has been in response to the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant families and imprisoning them in privately-owned detention facilities along the U.S. border.

In my interview with Shane Burley, we discuss his recently published piece ‘Calls to abolish ICE grow as encampments multiply across the country.’ Shane breaks down the developments of the Abolish ICE movement, and describes the dynamics of the encampments that have arisen in recent weeks, forming barricades and camps intended to directly block ICE agents from being able to exit and enter their respective facilities and fulfill the agency’s directives. In the later half of this episode, Rob Seimetz discusses the themes in his recently published piece ‘From Occupation to Community: the Lessons From OccupyICE Portland.’ Rob describes the community dynamics present in the OccupyICE encampment in Portland, as well as how important and absolutely necessary it is for this movement to continue to maintain and develop the community dynamics he witnessed and experienced firsthand in the Portland encampment.

Episode Notes:

- Read Shane Burley’s piece ‘Calls to abolish ICE grow as encampments multiply across the country’ here: http://bit.ly/2MLUbms

- Learn more about Shane work, including his book ‘Fascism Today: What It Is and How To End It,” here: https://www.shaneburley.net

[In the intro, I said his website was shaneburley.com - but it is shaneburley.net. Sorry Shane.]

- Read Rob Seimetz’s piece ‘From Occupation to Community: the Lessons From OccupyICE Portland’ here: http://bit.ly/2tT3dHq

- Read Rob’s writings at his website: https://robmovesforward.wordpress.com

- Listen to Rob’s radio program “Moving Forward” on the Progressive Radio Network here: https://movingforwardprn.podbean.com

- This episode features the song “Quiet Dog” by Mos Def from the album The Ecstatic.

- This episode features audio from the Patriot Prayer rally in Portland, Oregon on June 30th 2018. Sources: https://youtu.be/9jncZwz4pio / https://youtu.be/O9g1uuI62m0 / https://youtu.be/tgWmSUjDou8 

#129 | Suffused With Mind: Panpsychism, Psychedelics, & Philosophy w/ Peter Sjöstedt-H

In this episode, I speak with Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind Peter Sjöstedt-H on psychedelics, panpsychism, and philosophy. Peter and I discuss the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in popular culture regarding the profound, and absolutely vital, therapeutic value these substances can provide for individuals suffering from trauma and addiction. The therapeutic value of these substances is only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the value these substances hold for humanity’s philosophical exploration into the nature of the mind and mind's relationship with reality.

Peter elaborates on the inherent value psychedelics hold in rigorous philosophical explorations into the nature of the mind, and through the proper use of these substances, we can perceive through the severe limitations of the materialist worldview, or as Peter defines it, physicalism - “the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on the physical.”* We discuss the validity of the philosophical concept panpsychism - “the view that mentality is fundamental and ubiquitous in the natural world”** - and that through the use of psychedelics, one can begin to understand that, in fact, the mind is fundamentally ubiquitous in all things. In order to develop a deeper understanding of consciousness, we need to apply a psychedelic approach to philosophical explorations of these subjects.

We also get into Peter’s influences research interests, in particular philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead’s “Philosophy of Organism,” and how psychedelic explorations into the work of Whitehead, as well as works of Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Schopenhauer, can yield important insights into the subjects mentioned above. Overall, this is a wide-ranging conversation that covers a variety of subjects that relate to the psychedelic experience and the philosophy of mind.
Peter Sjöstedt-H is an Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind with a focus on psychedelics, panpsychism, who specializes in the thought of Whitehead, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. Peter received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Master’s degree in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick, where he was awarded a first-class distinction for his dissertation on Kant and Schelling in relation to ‘intellectual intuition’. He subsequently became a Philosophy Lecturer in London for six years but is now engaged in his PhD at Exeter University where he also teaches philosophy modules and writing skills. Peter is the author of ‘Noumenautics’ - a collection of essays on metaphysics, meta-ethics, and psychedelics. Peter is also an inspiration behind the inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.

*Source: https://stanford.io/2KvdTWl
** Source: https://stanford.io/2KjuwVA

Episode Notes:

- Learn more about Peter’s fascinating work - including his essays, interviews, and upcoming events - at his website: http://www.philosopher.eu

- Learn more and purchase Peter's book ‘Noumenautics’ - a collection of essays on metaphysics, meta-ethics, and psychedelics - at the Psychedelic Press website: http://bit.ly/2MKHwAy

- Follow Peter’s Facebook page ‘Ontologistics’ here: https://www.facebook.com/ontologistics

- Follow Peter on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeterSjostedtH

- The song featured in this episode is “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies from the album Surfer Rosa.

#128 | This Is Probably It: Put On A Good Face, Time Is Short w/ Guy McPherson

Professor Guy McPherson returns to the podcast to discuss abrupt climate change, the systems that govern human behavior, the collapse of industrial civilization, and why “this is probably it” for the human species.

In this conversation, we discuss the “Blue Ocean Event,” an event that entails an acceleration of irreversible changes in our global climate system. When the “Blue Ocean Event” occurs (possibly as soon as this year) as a result of global warming, the Arctic region will have little-to-no ice cover, and as a result, the Arctic Ocean will begin to absorb substantially more heat from the sun, vastly accelerating the rate of warming in the Arctic region, and consequently for the global climate system as a whole. An ice-free Arctic will generate conditions that extend far beyond industrial civilization’s ability to adapt, and will likely lead to the economic and social collapse of our civilization.

We then explore what humanity should expect to occur after the collapse of industrial civilization. Collapse will lead to a severe reduction of fossil fuel consumption, and as a result, to the immediate diminishment of the “Global Dimming” effect, in which particulates flung into the Earth’s atmosphere from decades of fossil fuel use will begin to settle, resulting in an abrupt rise in global average temperature, likely leading to the near-term extinction of the human species and the mass death of countless other living beings on this planet.

We discuss these concepts, as well as the nature of our economic and social systems, human nature, living without leaders, and what it means to live in a time of radical and accelerating change. 

Guy McPherson is a public speaker, researcher, author, and professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. 

Episode Notes:

- The introduction features audio from my recently released TEDx talk “Forging Connections In Perilous Times.” Watch the talk here: https://youtu.be/nLxrd7_ga60

- Keep up to date with Guy McPherson and his work at his website: https://guymcpherson.com

- Subscribe to Guy’s YouTube channel “Nature Bats Last” here: bit.ly/naturebatslast

- Follow Guy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Guy_McPherson

- The song featured in this episode is “The End of the World” by Patti Smith from the film mother! Source: https://youtu.be/euym9xVlR5E

#127 | Climate Leviathan: Climate Change & Our Political Future w/ Joel Wainwright

In this episode, I speak with Joel Wainwright, professor at Ohio State University, and co-author of ‘Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future.’ In this book, Joel and co-author Geoff Mann examine a question often overlooked within the broader discussion about global climate change and our planetary future: how will our political and economic institutions respond to global climate change? 

The governments of the world are just beginning to respond to the cascading and catastrophic changes currently underway on this planet. Our political institutions operate within certain political and economic frameworks, and by examining and proving an understanding of these frameworks in their book ‘Climate Leviathan,’ Joel and Geoff outline a compelling and accurate analysis of what our political future may look like. In this interview, Joel outlines each of these, including the provocatively titled “Climate Leviathan,” “Climate Behemoth,” “Climate Mao,” and “Climate X”. Joel provides a description of each of these, as well as the kind of decisions our economic and political institutions within these frameworks will make in a world made increasingly unstable and inhospitable to life as a result of abrupt climate change. Regarding our planetary future, what can we expect of our political and economic institutions responses to the existential threat of abrupt climate change? We discuss this, and more, in this episode.

‘In the face of these trends it is difficult to contemplate the future calmly. Merely to confront our perils can paralyze us with fear. As Mike Davis says, “on the basis of the evidence before us, taking a ‘realist’ view of the human prospect, like seeing Medusa’s head, would simply turn us into stone.” We have done our best to suppress that dread and wrote Climate Leviathan to think through the political-economic futures that climate change seems to us most likely to induce. The mandate for that undertaking, for all its limitations and guesswork, stems from the looming political-economic formations that are no small part of our peril. Above all, we must not be afraid to ask hard questions.’ Source: bit.ly/climateleviathan

Joel Wainwright is a professor at Ohio State University, where he teaches in the department of geography. He is the author of three books: ‘Decolonizing Development: Colonial Power and the Maya’ (which won the Blaut award); ‘Geopiracy: Oaxaca, Militant Empiricism, and Geographical Thought;’ and, most recently, ‘Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of our Planetary Future,’ co-authored with Geoff Mann.

Episode Notes:

- Learn more and purchase Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann’s book ‘Climate Leviathan’ here: bit.ly/climateleviathan

- Read an excerpt of the introduction to ‘Climate Leviathan’ here: http://bit.ly/2JSEZ6c

- Joel's Ohio State University page: http://bit.ly/2ypVNjE

- The song featured in this episode is “Gumbo Baby” by Jonwayne from the album Oodles of Doodles.

#126 | Snorting The Ashes Of The Dead: An Unproductive Conversation w/ Tom Aiello

In this episode, I speak with Tom Aiello, founder and lead instructor at the Snake River BASE Academy. Tom has travelled all around the world pursuing his passion of BASE jumping, and in this episode he shares his rich depth of experience and knowledge, as well as some truly fascinating and engrossing stories well worth listening to.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Tom shares some the numerous experiences he has had in his years of traveling the world. One example, among many others, is the experience he shares of BASE jumping at the legendary Sótano de las Golandrinas (Cave of the Swallows) in the jungles of Mexico, “the largest known cave shaft in the world and the second deepest pit in Mexico. The cave gets its name from the green parakeets and white-collared swifts that live along its walls. Each day the birds fly in concentric circles up the cave shaft before the flocks come spilling out of the of the hole into the jungle.”* Tom also shares some very interesting stories involving the (mis)adventures of other BASE jumpers (including a story about snorting the ashes of a deceased BASE jumper in a diner in rural Oregon, just to give an example). 

Tom and I touch on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to an examination of: the very diverse subcultures that exist within the broader global BASE jumping culture; the pros and cons of mixing drugs (psychedelic or otherwise) with BASE jumping (and other novel experiences); the diverse, eclectic, and fascinating individuals that make up the BASE jumping subcultures Tom has spent time with; the camaraderie and tribal qualities that exist within the world of BASE jumping. 

I’m very thankful Tom was willing to have this kind of conversation with me, for being open and willing share these experiences for this episode. This episode is an "Unproductive Conversation,” a label intended to convey to the listener that this conversation is free-form, both in its structure and in the topics discussed.

*Source: bit.ly/caveofswallows

Episode Notes:

- Tom was featured in episode #87 of the podcast, titled “Snake River BASE: Higher Education For Lower Free Fall.” To learn more about Tom’s backstory, as well as learn more about Tom’s BASE academy, listen here: https://bit.ly/2LEJO3A

- You can learn more about the Snake River BASE Academy at the website: http://snakeriverbase.com

- The song featured in this episode is “Face Tat” by Zach Hill from the album Face Tat.

#125 | Marching Toward Collapse: Biophysical Limits & Our Cognitive Blindspots w/ William Rees

In this episode, I speak with William Rees, human ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Rees is the originator and co-developer of the “ecological footprint analysis,” and the co-author (with Mathis Wackernagel) of 'Our Ecological Footprint,' an exploration of this concept. The Ecological Footprint concept has become the world’s best-known metaphor for the human ‘load’ (the resources required of ecosystems to maintain our current mode of living) on the planet.*

In this interview, we discuss Dr. Rees’ lifetime of research into the ecological footprint of human societies on this planet, as well as the global biophysical limits we are coming up against due to our current mode of living (particularly in the "developed" world). We then discuss Dr. Rees’ work regarding the “neuro-biological, cognitive and cultural barriers to sustainability, including human’s well-developed capacity for self-delusion.”** In the face of abrupt climate change, catastrophic loss of biodiversity around the globe, and rapid species decline across the board in recent decades, why are we, as a species, unable to clearly perceive the very perilous situation we find ourselves in? What is it about creating very large-scale, complex systems (technologies, cultures, societies), that makes us unable to perceive how our way of living detrimentally impacts planetary life-systems, which we rely on for our own survival and well-being? In the face of the physical reality we are forging for ourselves and all other life on this planet, what can we expect to happen in the face of these profound changes currently underway? We discuss these subjects, and more, in this episode.

Dr. Rees has authored (or co-authored) more than 150 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, and numerous popular articles on humanity’s (un)sustainability conundrum. Active across disciplines, Dr Rees is a long-term member of the Global Ecological Integrity Group, a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute, a founding member and past President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics and founding Director of the OneEarth Initiative.**

*Source: https://bit.ly/2sSbPwT
**Source: https://bit.ly/2LrZpn3

Episode Notes:

- Keep up to date with Dr. Rees’ recent writings at The Tyee: https://thetyee.ca/

- Find out more about Dr. Rees and his work at his website: http://williamrees.org

- Purchase Dr. Rees’ book 'Our Ecological Footprint' here: https://amzn.to/2sAMRCO

- Here are links to the resources/papers Dr. Rees mentioned at the end of the episode:

“Avoiding Collapse: An agenda for sustainable degrowth and relocalizing the economy” (https://bit.ly/1qHAq1G)

“What’s blocking sustainability? Human nature, cognition, and denial” (https://bit.ly/2Jmw5NX)

The Global Footprint Network website: https://www.footprintnetwork.org

- The song featured in this episode is “Kelau” by Flako from the album Mini Tollbooth

#124 | The Man In DC: Seth Rich, The DNC, & Wikileaks w/ John Mark Dougan

In this episode, I speak with John Mark Dougan, whistleblower and founder of the whistleblower website PBSOtalk. We discuss the recent claims John has made regarding his connection to Seth Rich, an employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was murdered in the early morning July 10th 2016, a block away from his home in Washington D.C., in what has been officially classified as an "attempted robbery" by the local police department (although nothing was found to be stolen). About a month later after this event, during an interview on the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur, Julian Assange, founder and editor of Wikileaks, alluded to the source of the DNC email leaks (the first batch of the leaks was released July 2016) as potentially being Seth Rich. Assange did not directly state that Rich was the source of the leaks, but did bring up Rich’s murder during the interview and stated “we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States, and that our sources face serious risks, that’s why they come to us to protect their anonymity.” Wikileaks also posted a $20,000 reward for anybody who could provide more information behind the case. 

John claims, in this interview, right before he fled the United States (learn more about John’s story in episode #94 of this podcast), that he met with Seth Rich, and during their meeting John received a flash drive containing emails from the DNC. If the claims made by John regarding this case (and what is mentioned above is only a part of it) are proven to be true,  it would up-end much of the “Russiagate” theory being promulgated by the U.S. media and the Democratic Party. It would prove that the source of the leak would have come from within the Democratic Party itself, and not by Russian hackers. Potentially, it would also mean that the murder of Seth Rich may be related to his alleged involvement with this leak. The implications are vast, so I'll leave it to you, dear listener, to make of it what you will.

John Mark Dougan is a former police officer, whistleblower, and founder of PBSOtalk, an online forum dedicated to exposing police corruption within the Palm Beach County Police Department. John’s very interesting and peculiar story was covered in episode #94 of this podcast (link to episode down below).

Episode Notes:

- To get more information and context on what is discussed in this episode, please take the time to listen to my conversation with John in episode #94 of this podcast, titled "John Mark Dougan: Police Corruption, Whistleblowing, & Escaping The Country." You can listen to it here: https://bit.ly/2sHoz9h

- John has revamped his website PBSOtalk: https://pbsotalk.org

- The opening of this episode features an excerpt of Julian Assange’s interview on the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur, published in August 2016. Source: https://youtu.be/Kp7FkLBRpKg