Please look at the pictures of the tattooed inmates of El Salvador’s new 40,000-bed mega-prison, which according to its President will house them for “decades and decades.” But wait, don’t look at them yet. First decide to see the pictures without political opinion, reasoning, or judgment of any kind. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to depoliticize you. Just for a minute, suspend the mental machinery that produces outrage (or righteousness, or numbness).
I want to add an interesting twist to the story. An expert in digital media at the house where I'm staying right now highly doubts the authenticity of the photos. He thinks they were generated by AI. The photos originate with the El Salvador government. I am not sure what to think. The photography is quite amazing (regardless of its horrifying subject matter). If you wanted to stage such a scene even with enthusiastic volunteers, it would be no small feat, let alone with unruly prisoners.
"To be sane in this world, it is necessary to carry both the horror and the beauty in one’s heart."
That's the truest thing I've encountered so far today. Thank you, Charles.
The solution to our world's atrocities is illiogical - improve yourself spiritually. It takes the majority of a lifetime to discover that the cause is everything and that to move yourself one step forward morally is the single most important thing to do with your time. I have very little control over others. But I have maximum control over myself
Here's what I see in these photos -- young, strong, healthy, men who are being warehoused because society has no productive use for them.
In a former era in the U.S., such men would have worked in factories building things. But that level of industrialization never made it to El Salvador.
In Central America as you know, the U.S. was terrified that such men would turn to communism. So they flooded the area with guns and proxy wars in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, the narcotraficantes converted the guns and the men trained to use them into workers who could move their product north. Now the government is warehousing these men indefinitely, because it does not have a better use for them.
In the U.S., these same young people are being maimed and killed by the Pharma cartel via the obscene childhood vaccine schedule and the deadly Covid shots. It's the same impulse -- the state does not know what to do with surplus labor, so the developed world is just sterilizing and killing these same people while extracting all wealth from their families via medical bills.
I cannot look at these photos without awareness of the school of the americas, currently renamed, that is the root cause of what we see in the photos. The mindset distortion that created this hell on earth comes from SOTA aka CIA and is still alive and well and thriving to continue to teach torture, create monsters the likes of which most of us can’t even imagine, then install them in high military and governmental places of power. This is the history that is never taught in schools or universities, this is the hidden history that so quietly carries on its sick and inhuman traditions while most Americans do whatever it is we do. If readers don’t know what SOTA is r their long sordid history, enter these words into a search (not google): us,school of the americas, El Salvador, cia,
In healthy traditional cultures these men would have been warrior protectors, hunters and athletes. When my own traditional tribal culture broke down during colonization, for the very first time, we had young tribal males preying on our own people; because the traditional outlets for their natural aggression and manhood were denied them by the peace treaties and assimilation. So for the very first time ever my tribe had to create our own law enforcement agency to protect us against our own young men. Those tribal young men who became outlaws way back then were not funded or given weapons by the US government or controlled by the CIA or hooked on drugs, etc. They were simply denied access to the traditional cultural tools of healthy manhood. That alone was enough to turn them rogue.
I recently dropped into one of our local village community cafe events and asked the question of the people there 'what is it that needs to change to create a healthy (define how you want) local economy, ecology, community, polity etc..
Whilst they were surprised, they entered into a really interesting discussion. The consensus was attitudes. But, it became clear to me that what they really meant was other people's attitudes.
When I was mulling over the discussion later, I realised a better question to ask might have been 'what is it about me (as in each of us) that needs to change to create a healthy ..... ?
Major turning point in my life was during a three month incarceration experience. Last place I thought I’d be. It challenged me as does looking at these photographs. Thank you for sharing.
I've been watching El Salvador for the past few years because of my work in the Bitcoin/energy space. From my perspective in Canada, I have no way to fully understand this situation, but when speaking with my friends who live in El Salvador, they see this as a good solution, for now. They are exhausted living in fear and this gives them some breathing room to relax and get on with life, as one described it. It's not political for them. It's purely a survival strategy, like locking your house at night.
This could lead to bigger cultural shifts over the long term, coinciding with things like Bitcoin adoption, tech investment and tourism which will free the country from the shackles of the Mister Global, Davos and US imperialism. There is a distinct energy and optimism that we've never seen before in that tiny volcano nation. Oddly, these images are part of that.
One key tenet of Bitcoin-ism is that it frees us from violence and wars, because it challenges a fiat system built on power and control that use those tactics. Bitcoin erases those anonymous, centralized forces and allows every man to assert himself and interact freely with others, with no 3rd party providing permission. In that context, trust becomes unnecessary, because we only have the singular, locked truth of each individual peer-to-peer / node-to-node transaction.
The Bitcoin system would gradually erase oppression of the people by gangsters, banksters and govt overlords because they will be rendered useless and powerless in how we relate to each other. First we lock up those who would steal from you or hurt you, and then we unlock a new form of wealth that is nearly impossible to steal and liberates you from your masters. That's never been done before.
It is ironic that we need a government like Bukele's with its 'friendly' authoritarian tendencies, to install a destabilizing infrastructure like Bitcoin to bring order to a disordered place.
What I have loved about your writing since discovering you during the covid coup era is your ability or willingness to face reality in its political and "real" dimensions while at the same time always attempting to go beyond the limits imposed on us by the cultural and political manufacturers of consent that work so hard at ensuring that the "real" be contained by the discursive walls of "reason".
Beautiful! As always, this helps me so much along my path. Feeling deep gratitude for everyone currently doing their part, it supports me so much! And to everyone who isn't: it will come in due time ✨
My future daughter-in-law's parents moved from El Salvador to the US. Her father began working in construction, then opened his own very small construction company and seems to have done well for their family. Her mother worked cleaning houses, then opened her own company doing the same. They told me they immigrated to the US because of the crime in El Salvador. Her father stated, "I don't know if I am a democrat or a republican, but I know I'm for whatever this guy (Bukele) is for." When questioned a bit more, he stated that the majority of girls in his previous homeland over the age of 16 have been raped by gang members. In fact, some folks there don't even know of a girl 16 or older who hasn't been raped by a gang to get into the gang as initiation. Girls who refuse are killed. He elaborated more, buy I understood the picture, it was a very violent place, they lived in fear daily. Their family that remains there still live in great fear.
After reading Charles' writing, I wonder if he would offer himself a test such as imagining having a conversation with a 16 year old girl after she was raped, or a parent of a child killed by a gang member, on a soul-to-soul level. The parent asks Charles, “What were you doing while my daughter's youth, her dreams, her body, her mind, her innocence, her very last breath was being torn away from her by a criminal who has done this to others in our neighborhood?” Could Charles then offer his answer? Can he look the parent in the eye without shame? If he says, "I was planting a garden, I was playing with a child, I was working to end hunger in Haiti, prisons in America, or war in Ukraine; if I say I was protecting a forest somewhere, I was healing a person or a patch of soil or my own trauma; even if I say I was with my mother in her dying days". The parent will nod their head, knowing that all of these things do nothing to stop the present situation, the present hell that envelopes their world.
The first thing we have to do is reorient our focus from disturbing news from far away, where our impact may be questionable, to making an impact immediately around ourselves.
So powerful, Charles. I was reading in my Course this morning that we're turning from the game of fear that tired children play to the happy game of salvation. I see this everywhere. I'm recording this morning an episode on a CIA operative acting in the capacity of the leader of the vaccine resistance. Common sense says I should be at least nervous, if I believe what I'm saying. But there have been too many 'coincidences' leading me to this piece of the puzzle. It's mine to put into place. And there's nothing to fear.
If there was even ONE successful intentional community that was able to largely provide for its own needs, while serving as an example of deep inter-dependence among its members, and its members and the land, these problems will be mostly gone. We would still need individuals to do their spiritual work, and higher levels of organization to function well (like families, villages, tribes, ICs, municipalities, states, companies and the UN) but the levels of family and community have been outcompeted by the global economy and they need to be restored. I don't think the problems will go away if only individuals meditated or acted kindly. It's a multi-level problem.
Charles, you have the opportunity to contribute to one community that could really make an impact. What is your opinion of the conversation with Marcello?
1:20:32 was particularly illuminating for me, when Marcello is stumped by a question that is very dear to me: "If most of the residents are working online, how can they be held accountable to each other, since they are not providing for each others' needs?" He does not get what many of us are getting at (he says he is not "smart enough to answer") so asks Charles to answer. That question is out of his worldview. Charles sort of answers the question, but even Charles doesn't get that deep interdependence goes way beyond food, and even beyond some of the non-material gifts and needs that he talks about. Sure, you can keep working on the internet, because you are contributing to other people more that way than you would by just gardening. But I hope you can also use your gifts for heartful and clear thought to connect directly with the other people there, and to invite people without much money to come, and not be indentured servants.
Also interesting is when Charles asks "how do people without much money come here?" Marcello answers in a utilitarian way: they can contribute by selling their labor for lots. I like Charles' answer better. Marcello would probably be OK with having those prisoners working like slaves to pay their way. And of course he would not be OK with them coming to his ecovillage. I don't blame him, but I think eventually, once the ecovillage is thriving and has the resources to deal with highly traumatized people, it could become a haven for some of those prisoners. And help other ecovillages take off.
I live in a part of the USA where so many people use meth and fentanyl. This shows the brokenness of our society in that happiness is not accessible for many in how things are structured. We have exported this brokenness to the countries that supply our drugs in the money we pay for the drugs. Truly filthy lucre.