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Sat May 26, 2012, 10:30 PM

What's up with that movie, Thrive?

I'm sure some of you guys have heard of that indie movie Thrive by now, right? Well, I found this article in the San Jose Metro, concerning this. And unfortunately, there's quite a bit of bad news.

http://www.metroactive.com/features/thrive-cult-film.html

Having looked into this a little, there does seem to be some valuable information. But there is also some dangerous deception as well.

Here's a few excerpts:

Thrive, a two-hour documentary that has gone viral since its release on the web in November, sells itself as an optimistic vision of a utopian future marked by "free energy," freedom from oppression and spiritual awakening. But on its way to depicting a dream-world utopia, Thrive delivers a dark and dishonest version of the real world and espouses a blend of paranoid conspiracy theories and right-libertarian propaganda.

The Santa Cruz couple who made the film, Foster and Kimberly Carter Gamble, build their tale around an undeniably poetic idea: that there is a secret pattern to be found in nature, and that we can learn from it.

Filled with beautifully shot vistas and psychedelic graphics, the film begins with what seems to be a scientific and historical examination of this pattern, with intriguing images from religious art and ancient architecture found in various cultures around the world.

Much of the first section focuses on the various meanings of this shape or pattern, which mathematicians call a "torus," and which Foster Gamble believes holds vast significance and power.

Very soon, however, the film jumps the tracks, ostensibly proving that a) the torus can be used to create a kind of perpetual motion machine and deliver "free energy"; b) the torus is a code delivered to humanity by aliens via UFO; and c) the government, backed by a cabal of powerful families, is violently suppressing this secret energy source.


Bringing in progressive heroes such as Vandana Shiva and Paul Hawken to recount the more or less well-known crimes against humanity perpetrated by the likes of Monsanto and Exxon-Mobil, Thrive makes the familiar, and justifiable, case that huge corporations have too much power, are largely corrupt and pose a threat to society.

But then, once again, the filmmakers jump the tracks of rationality. This is where the film should go political, but instead it plays the conspiracy card. And not just any conspiracy, but the granddaddy of them all: that a handful of families control the world and plan to enslave humanity.


"When I followed the money, I found it going up the levels of a pyramid." (As the torus symbol dominates Thrive's first section, the pyramid dominates the second.) And at the top of this alleged pyramid of evil: the Rothschilds.

Not everyone watching this film will know that this argument has been around, and been discredited, for decades. Apparently, the desire to find someone to blame for all the world's problems spans generations. And the Rothschilds make a pretty good target.

Are the Rothschilds very, very rich? Undoubtedly. Are the members of this family doing the work of Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? Mostly not. Are they all-powerful puppet-masters who secretly rule the world? Are they descended from a race of snake-people? Do they eat children? Um ... no, no and no.

Are they Jewish? Well, yes. And it must be said: The argument made in Thrive precisely mirrors an argument that Joseph Goebbels made in his infamous Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew: that a handful of banking families, many of them Jewish, are running the world and seeking global domination.

Foster Gamble inoculates himself against charges of anti-Semitism, stating flatly: "This is not a Jewish agenda. Let me be clear." But while he scrubs out the openly anti-Semitic aspects of the disgraceful idea, the rest of it haunts the film.

And, once again it must be said, when describing symbolism used by his imagined Dark Lords of the Universe, Gamble does not hesitate to note that the Sign appears on the building that houses the Israeli Supreme Court, which he erroneously claims "is funded entirely by the Rothschilds."

To prove his economic theory, Gamble invites G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jeckyll Island, which recounts the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, a historical moment which Griffin claims was orchestrated by the "global elite who want to control the world and create a New World Order."

One of several veteran conspiracymongers who appear onscreen in Part Two of Thrive, Griffin is a longtime leading member of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society, a fact not mentioned in the film. For those who may have forgotten—the John Birchers practically invented the modern conspiracy theory.

Founded in 1958 to carry on the work of the anti-Communist crusader Sen. Joe McCarthy, the Society went on to battle the Communist conspiracy we now known as the Civil Rights movement, and its leader, whom many of them referred to as "Martin Lucifer King."


While Griffin may be the most far-right pundit to appear in Thrive, he is not the most far-out. That would be David Icke, although it would be impossible to know that from the interviews that appear in Thrive.

Icke's role in the film is to explain the economic theory behind a common banking practice known as fractional reserve lending. He does this in less than two minutes, with the help of South Park–style animations, as though explaining the theory of relativity to an attention-challenged second-grader. And of course, he makes the practice appear sinister.

For a more sympathetic portrayal of the practice, see George Bailey's bank-run speech in It's a Wonderful Life: "You're thinking of this place all wrong, as if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house, that's right next to yours. And in the Kennedy house, and Mrs. Makelin's house, and a hundred others. You're lending them the money to build, and then they're going to pay it back to you as best they can." That's fractional reserve lending.

Point of fact: Without fractional reserve lending, almost nobody reading these words would ever be able to own a house. You would need to raise not only a down payment but the entire value of a home in order to purchase it. (Or be born with a fortune, as was Foster Gamble, whose grandfather founded Procter and Gamble.)


In the final section of Thrive, the tone of the movie shifts dramatically, once again returning to the lush landscapes and beautiful music of Part One. This section, called "Creating the Solutions," lays out a list of strategies for creating a better world.

Again, the film is salted with appearances by progressive leaders: the Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva, pop spiritualist Deepak Chopra, health food guru John Robbins, independent journalist Amy Goodman, biologist/philosopher Elisabet Sahtouris and Zen priest Angel Kyodo Williams, to name a few.

Most of the solutions Thrive puts forward will resonate with its target audience of spiritually inclined progressives: stay informed, shop local, eat organic, avoid GMOs, etc. But not all. Given the troubling complexities of part two, I was only slightly surprised to find that one of the values of the future Thrive depicts is "little or no taxes."

No taxes. Sounds good—but does that mean no public libraries? No state parks? No public transportation? How about roads? Social Security? Haven't the Gambles seen what this kind of anti-tax rhetoric has gotten us? Doubled tuitions at the University of California, huge Reagan-era-style cuts in social services, decaying infrastructure.

Near the film's conclusion, Gamble reveals the source of his anti-tax position, reverently introducing a man he credits with providing him with his Core Navigational Insight for the future: Ludwig von Mises. He does not mention that von Mises is the touchstone of right-libertarians, so-called anarcho-capitalists and radical Republicans such as Michele Bachmann, who quipped last year that she reads von Mises on the beach.

Gamble does lay out the core of von Mises' philosophy of "non-violation, in which "nobody gets to violate you or" (ahem) "your property." That philosophy translates into three rules: no involuntary taxation; no involuntary governance; and no monopoly of force.

In case anyone misses the point—that the state must wither so that man can be free—Gamble shares von Mises' opinion that like Communism, fascism and socialism, "democracy wrongly assumes the rights of the collective, or the group, over the rights of the individual."



So—what's Paul Hawken doing in this movie? I emailed him to find out. He replied he was just surprised as I was to find out he's in the film.

"I did that interview many years prior under false pretenses," Hawken replied. "I had no idea I was being interviewed for such a movie. Having said that, I have only seen the trailer don't really want to see the film, having read about it. I do not agree with the science or the philosophy.

"I do feel used, no question, as do others. It's a lesson in signing releases."

Similarly, Elisabet Sahtouris told me that when she was interviewed for the film, she understood it was to be a very different kind of movie, and is "dismayed" at some of what she saw in the final cut. "I loved the footage shot of me and my colleagues; I deplore the context in which it was used.

"To put the individual above community is simply misguided; without community we do not exist, and community is about creating relationships of mutual benefit; it does not just happen with flowers and rainbows ... and no taxes."

A month ago the other shoe dropped, as virtually every high-profile progressive leader in the film, including the Gambles' fellow-Santa Cruzan and longtime friend John Robbins, issued a statement denouncing Thrive.


In addition to Robbins, author of the groundbreaking Diet for a New America in 1987, the film features conversations with Deepak Chopra, the superstar self-help author; Paul Hawken, the green entrepreneur and environmental economist; Elisabet Sahtouris, the evolutionary biologist and philosopher; Duane Elgin, the futurist and author of Voluntary Simplicity; Vandana Shiva, the physicist and advocate for sustainable agriculture; and former astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

In the months since the film's release, Robbins says, he has been in communication with all of these folks. He wasn't surprised to find that many of them agreed with his assessment of the film.

While they might have hoped the film would just disappear, Thrive has become something of a web cult phenomenon—by some estimates it's been seen by more than a million people. And now they have decided to speak out.

Robbins, Chopra, Hawken, Sahtouris, Elgin, Shiva and Mitchell recently issued a statement saying that they have "grave disagreements with some of the film's content."

"We are dismayed that our participation is being used to give credibility to ideas and agendas that we see as dangerously misguided. We stand by what each of us said when we were interviewed. But we have grave disagreements with some of the film's content and feel the need to make this public statement to avoid the appearance that our presence in the film constitutes any kind of endorsement."


Robbins is particularly galled by the presence of G. Edward Griffin and David Icke—both of whom are featured prominently in the film and on the Gambles' website (thrivemovement.com). Both Griffin and Icke have long defended themselves against charges of anti-Semitism with needle-threading arguments pointing out that while the nation faces an enemy that is decidedly Zionist, it is only coincidentally Jewish.

But Robbins isn't buying that. He says that in private correspondence, he learned that his friend was being influenced by the ideas of Eustace Mullins, whom he calls "the most anti-Semitic public figure in U.S. history."

Foster Gamble did not respond to an email request for an interview, but there is certainly evidence in Thrive that Mullins' views influenced him. One of the central features of the film is the supposed revelation that the Federal Reserve Bank is a criminal enterprise; Mullins is the man who gave birth to that theory, in his 1952 book, The Secret of the Federal Reserve.

The following year, Mullins published his most notorious tract, "Adolf Hitler: An Appreciation," which praises the fuhrer for his crusade against the "Jewish International bankers" who were attempting to take over the world. In subsequent books, Mullins argued that the Holocaust never happened and that the Jewish race is inherently "parasitic." Incredibly, Mullins also insisted until his death that he was not an anti-Semite.

Robbins does not in any way accuse Gamble of bigotry—but of dangerous naivet–. "Foster isn't anti-Semitic," Robbins says, "but he is listening deeply to and promulgating the ideas of Eustace Mullins."


I apologize if I may have textwalled a bit but I felt those bits were important.(Mods: I will gladly edit it to cut its size down if requested to do so.)

I'm very concerned about the amount of disinformation that's been coming out lately, and I wonder just how much worse it'll get, especially this year?

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply What's up with that movie, Thrive? (Original post)
AverageJoe90 May 2012 OP
Mojorabbit May 2012 #1
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #3
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #15
pa28 May 2012 #2
Ruby the Liberal May 2012 #4
AverageJoe90 Jun 2012 #18
HarveyDarkey May 2012 #5
JustAnotherGen May 2012 #6
H2O Man May 2012 #9
dixiegrrrrl May 2012 #11
JustAnotherGen May 2012 #12
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #13
JDPriestly May 2012 #7
HughBeaumont May 2012 #8
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #17
Prism May 2012 #10
Dragonbreathp9d May 2012 #14
AverageJoe90 May 2012 #16

Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 10:54 PM

1. Thanks for this

I can't tell you how many people have sent me a link to the movie. I have not made it all the way through it yet.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:04 AM

3. You're welcome.

I did it to try to alert people. I do genuinely feel there's something wrong here.....I'm just not sure what it is, though.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2012, 02:04 PM

15. No problem.

Just trying to keep people informed. BTW, I think we should spread this information as far and wide as possible.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sat May 26, 2012, 11:33 PM

2. I tried watching and reached about the halfway point.

At first "Thrive" reminded me a little of Zeitgeist which I enjoyed. That movie was an intriguing collection ideas that did not require belief or agreement.

Unfortunately I've got a couple of family members involved in a destructive cult and this movie seemed to be playing a tune I've heard before. "Thrive" triggered my bullshit detector to point of overload.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:13 AM

4. It is a Libertarian pipe dream, replete with Ayn Randian utopian blather.

The liberals (like Amy Goodman) were uber ticked that their names were being used in promotion of this film, as their interviews did not mesh with what the end product ended up being.

There are a few threads on it here, but I didn't think to bookmark them.

I did have this in bookmarks though: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/georgia-kelly/thrive-film_b_1168930.html

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:06 PM

18. I'm not all that surprised. nt

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:15 AM

5. Never heard of it until now

 

Back to you later.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 06:28 AM

6. I've had a few email

Links to this too. Where it loses me - and why I've never watched? It includes David Icke. The same man who said Princess Diana's death was an Ancient Sacrifice Ritual - and who insisted the Clintons are shape shifting aliens disguised as human beings.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #6)

Sun May 27, 2012, 08:08 AM

9. I agree with Icke.

Keep in mind that no one had heard of "Bill Clinton" before Beatle Paul McCartney was killed in an auto "accident" that was far more likely another Ancient Sacrifice Ritual (led by Jane Asher's parents). In order to control the unruled massives, the Powers-that-Beanie got a rumbly alien zombie pod -- named "Bile Clintload" -- to take Paul's place, both in the studio, in life concerts, and on album covers.

The other three Beats tried to warm the world with backwords messages in lyrics: if you play Revolution 9 in reverse 45, it unclearly states: "Watch out, Princess D, or you'll be next!" They new Betty Clintstone would replace her. But the youth were smoking weed, dancing with wild abdomen, up all ours until searching hairy as a dog for a good bite's sleep.

This is the ONLY reason that Bill & Hilary do not produce their birth certifications, despite the demand.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #9)

Sun May 27, 2012, 10:52 AM

11. Thank you for that cogent explanation.

It has answered several questions I had, esp. the one about Hilary and Paul McCarthy never being in the same
place at once.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #9)

Sun May 27, 2012, 11:24 AM

12. Oh!

you left out that part about Crowley being Barbara Bush's daddy . . . That I believe!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #9)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:09 PM

13. LOL, man.

Seriously, that's a good one. You might want to use the sarcasm icon next time, though, so some don't get confused.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 07:35 AM

7. I'll have to see the movie before judging it, but we can expect

lots of posturing by right-wingers as progressives now that Citizens United has freed them to fling as much money at anyone who opposes their ideas as they can manage to fling.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 07:41 AM

8. Anyone proposing a near-governmentless society where the US is run like a charity needs to read this

http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Old-Days-Terrible/dp/0394709411/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338118421&sr=8-1

I particularly enjoyed this review of the book:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R5TWOPWDOZGMJ/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0394709411&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=#wasThisHelpful

Yeah, no thanks on another Gilded Age. Giving wealthy people all of the money only results in those wealthy people getting even wealthier at the expense of the rest of us. Wealthy people aren't the way they are out of some sense of noblesse oblige and to think everything and everyone would be just fine if they conducted themselves as a rabid Type A would be madness. The rules of Supply and Demand would be completely tossed out the window.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #8)

Wed May 30, 2012, 01:13 AM

17. Good stuff, man. nt

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 08:08 AM

10. It is one of the most insane films I've ever seen

Crop circles, ancient aliens, anti-Semitic conspiracies, Thrive has it all!

What sort of gets me is that it seemed to pass through lefty circles over the past year. A patient's mom forced us to watch it, which I thought, whatever. She's a shamanistic, anti-western medicine, everything type. But then more recently, I found out a bunch of Unitarians near me were having a viewing. What in the . . . Turns out they were some kind of reclaiming masculinity cult (agh, the name is escaping me) who thought, since I'm studying astronomy, that I'd love to know the truth about UFOs (shoot me).

The nice thing is, the movie's kind of a useful signpost. I know the instant a conversation goes to "Have you seen Thrive?!" that I need to immediately turn and flee into the woods. It's one of those movies that is so overtly stupid and incorrect, that anyone praising it is instantly marked as having blazing ignorance. If you meet a Thrive fan, feel free to sell them your cure-all made entirely out of powdered aspirin and Mountain Dew. There's a 50/50 chance they'll pay $20 for a bottle and then tell all their friends how it cured their holistic imbalance.

Yeah, this one's a jaw-dropper.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2012, 01:38 PM

14. I saw it- some good stuff in there- but then he goes off the deep end

Ill admit especially in the beginning of the movie that I was pretty enthralled whilst holding a grain of salt and used some of what was said to do further research. But then: ILLUMINATI!!! ROTHSCHILDS!!!! CONSPIRACY!!!!

It's like a Ron Paul campaign ad

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Response to Dragonbreathp9d (Reply #14)

Sun May 27, 2012, 02:07 PM

16. I was kinda expecting a "ZIONISTS!!!! WORLD JEWISH SANHEDRIN!!!! SATANISM!!!!" etc. vibe, too.

After all, that raving anti-Semitic dirtbag Eustace Mullins was one of the people interviewed for this film, and he was well known for that type of shit.

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