Farewell Michael Ruppert, and Thank You
Michael C. Ruppert was a peak oil analyst, investigative journalist, and activist. Many readers may know Mike as author of Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, or as the subject of the 2009 documentary Collapse, based on his book A Presidential Energy Policy.
After a long battle with his personal demons, for reasons known only to him Michael C. Ruppert took his own life on April 13th 2014. A public memorial service/Celebration of Life was held in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday 17th May 2014. Among the speeches given by Mike’s nearest and dearest were a eulogy written by his close friend and business partner, Wesley T. Miller, and sections of a speech written by his friend and colleague, Jenna Orkin. Along with some parting words from Guy McPherson, these speeches are published in the pages that follow.
In solidarity with Mike’s nearest and dearest, and all those who connected with his message, we would like to bid farewell to Mike, and encourage folks to help him rest in peace by living life as he would have wanted: downshift, connect with your community, and prepare for a precarious future.
Goodbye Mike, and thank you so much for having the courage to take the path you took in life.
#1 – from Wesley T. Miller
Below is the script of a eulogy that Jack delivered at Mike’s public memorial on Saturday 17th May 2014.
Hi, I am Jack Martin.
After the youtube video I made with Wes Miller, I’m guessing that most of you probably already know who I am. I am thankful that I now have this opportunity to personally share with you some of my thoughts and feelings about our friend Michael Ruppert.
I am 63 years old, just three months older than Mike. And, like Mike, and no doubt some of you as well, I am largely a product of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. You might recall one of the slogans that began showing up in the early 1970’s. “Question authority”.
As our generation came of age, some of us began to do that pretty seriously. We didn’t have to look too hard to see many aspects of our lives and our society where the “powers that be”, the authority, wasn’t doing a very good job. And, the closer we looked, the more apparent it became that, in fact, Authority was doing a very bad job. Pollution, discrimination, police brutality, wars for the wrong reasons, the list went on and on.
Many of us, at that time, couldn’t quite get our heads around what was supposed to be the American dream. Even just a quick but sincere look at what was going on around us told us that something was wrong. Very wrong. But, as the years passed the fruits of temptation were very powerful. And the benefits of living in our society were pretty easily available. So, most of us wound up just getting our little jobs, buying our little houses, and beginning to have our little families. By doing so, we were more or less empowering those same authorities that we were supposed to be questioning. Empowering them with our tax dollars, with our lifestyle choices, and with our willingness to look the other way about some of those things that we knew were very wrong. Sure, we made a little noise here and there, and we did manage to make things a little better, but it became harder and harder to not let our ideas about changing the world take a back seat to simply managing, and improving our own day to day lives.
Well, lucky for us, there were people like Michael Craig Ruppert. People of such conviction, of such principle, that when they saw something they knew was wrong, it was absolutely impossible for them to look the other way. People who found it impossible to not make not just a little noise, but a lot of noise. And sometimes, a whole hell of a lot of noise.
We are all here today to honor a man who dedicated his life to making a hell of a lot of noise. From his early days in the Los Angeles Police Department, and throughout the rest of his life, Mike Ruppert was more than willing to stand up and say what he saw as the truth. And he didn’t just say it, he shouted it. Even when it was controversial. Even when it was against his personal best interests. Indeed, even when it was outright dangerous.
So what did that do for us? Well, for me personally, I have always doubted the company line, and I never stopped questioning authority. The world, and our society in particular, always seemed to me to be more fragile than it appeared. And every day the forces working against us – political forces, financial forces, and ultimately the pushback of natural forces – created a gathering storm that seemed to be making our world more and more difficult to live in.
So, one of the principles that has guided my life for the last forty years has been to make sure that I maintained an awareness of that gathering storm, an awareness of our world that extended beyond my own little life, and my own little backyard. And I would bet that most of you here would say the same thing. But how do you do that? Where do you look for information about what is really going on behind the curtain. Under the radar. And certainly outside the view of mainstream media.
Finding and publishing that kind of information was Mike Ruppert’s mission in life. He was intent on pulling back the curtain, exposing all the bullshit and the lies, all the injustice and hypocrisy, and the unbelievable willingness of the institutions in charge of managing our world to just thoughtlessly screw it all up.
When a friend recommended that I read Crossing the Rubicon some seven or eight years ago, I never imagined how the information in that book would impact my life. Mike was a meticulous researcher. And he had a powerful ability to “connect the dots”, to see what others did not see. His skill as a journalist and a writer, and that unbelievable book he created for us left no doubt in my mind that the world really is not as it appears. That there really are sinister forces who gladly manipulate world events to serve their own ends, with no regard to the harm they cause to the planet, and everybody on it.
Mike worked tirelessly to bring these forces into the light of truth. And his work multiplied itself. The doors he opened to truths about our world became an inspiration to other journalists, and his example gave them strength to follow those truths even when they were scary. Or dangerous. And now, even though the authorities that manage our planet have terrible problems for us, and surely for our children, thanks to Mike, we can find voices of truth everywhere if we just are willing to look for them.
I had an unusual opportunity that many of you unfortunately did not have. I had the opportunity to say thank you to Mike. I had the opportunity to have Mike stay with me, to live on my property and share my life on a daily basis. In the last weeks of his life, he saw my garden. He saw my shop. He knew my children. And he got to see how my awareness of the world has shaped my life and my family. And how I was really preparing in a very tangible way to live in a world that will probably change drastically in the very near future.
I wasn’t Mike’s best friend. I hadn’t even really known him for that long when he came to stay with me. But when he reached out for help so that he could come back to this place that he really loved, I was more than happy to offer what I had, and to make him as comfortable as I could. As modest as the situation was that I provided for him, he would regularly express his gratitude to me. He also often expressed concern that he was putting me out, or causing me some inconvenience, and sometimes he really did. But I got to remind him just as often that the hospitality I showed him was just my small way of supporting him in his work. My way of saying thank you to a man who spent his entire life helping me and so many others to see the truth about the world we live in.
Mike knew he was appreciated. He got letters and emails every day, perhaps even from some of you. Listeners to his radio show, the Lifeboat Hour, would write to him to thank him for the clarity he brought into their lives. I know that his being able to see that meant a lot to him. Being able to see that his work really reached people, and really changed the course of their lives. For some, like myself, it lit a fire under our asses to create some resiliency, some self-sufficiency for ourselves.
In the end, as it became increasingly undeniable that world events like global warming and Fukishima were devastating and irreversible, it became too exhausting, and felt too futile for Mike to keep screaming about it. So Mike changed direction, and his path became one of spirit. He embraced the Native American belief system, a system that preached living in harmony with the earth, and strengthening of our personal communities. The core of Mike’s message to us was awareness, resilience, and community because that is what it will take to help us to weather the storm that he knew was coming.
Mike’s choice to end his life very much reminded me of Moses, who struggled to bring his people all the way to the gates of the holy land, but didn’t himself go in. His work was just to prepare us, and to get us there. And Mike dedicated his life to that work.
So my notion of how we should honor Mike is to continue to work hard to see the truth, to continue to work hard to create resilience in our lives, and most of all, to continue to build community, because when the shit finally hits the fan, as Mike always told us it would, that is what will we will need most of all.
So I say, Thank you Michael C Ruppert. For making all that noise, for showing us all those truths, and ultimately for encouraging us to connect with one another. Thank you, and rest in peace.
#2 – from Jenna Orkin
Jenna Orkin, a colleague and friend of Michael Ruppert, is the author of The Moron’s Guide to Global Collapse. Portions of the speech below were read out at Mike’s public memorial on Saturday 17th
Mike Ruppert was a complex, brilliant, infuriating, funny, impossible, honest (usually), never boring, enraged, musical, competitive, generous, contradictory, dog-loving, horse-whispering, childlike giant who happened to be right about the most important problems facing the world today.
A psychologist once said, “You can’t have just a baby’s foot,” meaning, “You can’t have the cute parts of a baby without the sleepless nights and dirty diapers.” Similarly, you can’t have Mike’s unique gifts to the world without the upheaval he generated around him.
To lionize him does not do him justice; he doesn’t need it. He had his demons, both internal and external. In fact, he epitomized the old saw, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not following you.”
He once said, “There is a deep flaw in me and that is the source of everything I’ve done.” Driven to flee his own devils, he fought far greater ones on the global stage. And although he didn’t succeed in single-handedly shifting the paradigm of the global economy, he got further than just about anyone else.
You don’t have to perform the mind-bending feat of accepting death by self-inflicted gunshot wound as a peace offering in order to show him respect. To paraphrase Mike’s own eulogy to Gary Webb who also killed himself, only Mike knows why he finally did it after threatening for at least eight years.
Some of Mike’s accomplishments: From uncovering CIA drug-dealing, he went on to found fromthewilderness.com which revealed how the US banking system looted Russia after the fall of the USSR. FTW also published documents which helped secure the release of CIA spy Edwin Wilson who had been convicted on the basis of perjured testimony by a CIA Executive Director.
But one of his greatest achievements occurred around 9/11. At FTW and in his book, Crossing the Rubicon, Mike showed that four months before the attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney had been put in charge of war game exercises; and that in spite of the multiple warnings from foreign intelligence agencies to the White House concerning a terrorist attack the week of September 9, at least five war games had been scheduled for that morning which drew planes away from the East Coast, where they would have been able to intercept the hijacked planes, to Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland and Iceland. FTW also revealed insider trading – exorbitant numbers of put options on the airlines involved in the attacks; a sure red flag that a major disaster was about to take place.
The best way to honor Mike is to understand and educate others on the fundamental lessons he taught. First, his favorite line: “Until you change the way money works, you change nothing.” An economy based on infinite growth cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet. Resources are being depleted as population growth marches on. The population currently stands at seven times what it was when oil started being used to fuel the economy. No matter how smart our technology becomes, as easy oil inevitably wanes, the replacements cannot fill in at the same rate, certainly not without poisoning the air, water and soil as well as huge swaths of people.
If we don’t deal with this now, it will deal with us later and at far greater cost. That’s what Mike’s been trying to tell everyone for ten years. Relocalize. Grow food not lawns. And end our current economic system of fiat currency, fractional reserve banking and interest. Do that and Mike will be able to rest in peace.
#3 – from Guy McPherson
Guy McPherson, a supporter and friend of Michael Ruppert, is a professor emeritus, writer and public speaker, and author of Walking Away from Empire and Going Dark, among other publications. Below are Guy’s heartfelt parting words for Mike.
Michael C. Ruppert discovered my work in April 2012. He contacted me via email that month while I was on a speaking tour, and we connected via Skype the following day. I was interviewed by Michael on the Lifeboat Hour four times between mid-April 2012 and late December 2013. We corresponded occasionally between radio interviews, generally via online, electronic communication.
Michael became a huge supporter of my work shortly after making contact. By that time, I had read Crossing the Rubicon and had been following Michael’s work for nearly a decade. I was particularly impressed with his commitment to, and aptitude at, pursuing and synthesizing evidence. We were drawn to each other in large part because of our shared pursuit of evidence regardless of personal cost.
In supporting my work, Michael increased my reach and credibility. He was an unflagging colleague and friend. By the time he died, I was closer to Michael — even though we never met in person — than to my own blood relatives.
Michael’s pursuit of reliable information made him an enemy of the state, an outcome that undoubtedly shortened his life. He pulled the trigger, but he didn’t load the gun. He was disparaged for a long time and attempts to discredit him and his work surely took their toll.
In the end, the state did not need to assassinate Michael Ruppert because they successfully turned public opinion about him in a strongly negative direction. He was viewed as insane because of his radical views, thus reminding me of a line from Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
I miss Mike and his clear, strong voice. I am inspired by his work and his life, and I will strive to reach his high standards with my own work. And I will continue to grieve.