Friday, May 09, 2014

Mike's Story Part 17: Fallout

By Jenna Orkin

   Back at FTW, another fire erupted:  Readers were placing product orders which could never, under the current administration, be fulfilled.  When Mike learned of the situation, he emailed those in charge that it could constitute fraud; they were to return whatever money had come in and freeze the sales portion of the site immediately.  (If I remember correctly, the same problem later arose with respect to subscription renewals.)

   A trusted friend and colleague offered to buy the site.  Mike thought this might prove to be a way out of what was devolving into an unworkable arrangement:

First of all let me say that it has become apparent to me that the chief obstacle to a way out of the current predicament, is me. I apologize to all for my outburst yesterday and B.´s depiction of me as an angry Panda was pretty appropriate although the bear looks better than I do. As a result of Carolyn Baker´s message to me yesterday, a couple of things have become clear. Once I accepted these facts a way out began to appear. I emphasize that I think there´s a way to get everyone paid, close up FTW and do so without leaving a mountain of debt and resentment. We might actuall make some money.
 1. After nearly 30 years of fighting these intense fights I no longer have then energy, or the will, to continue to do what I have done. I have never doubted my judgement until yesterday. After 30 years I am burned out. Very soon, I will announce my permanent retirement from political and economic journalism. That opens all the necessary doors to the successful and equitable dissolution of FTW.
  2. [A friend/colleague] has sent some profound messages to me lately. I thank her for both her personal counsel and business smarts. But it is clear that she sees the same very real assets that I do. These assets have serious value and they can be sold in a proper way to pay off all of FTW´s debts (including credit cards) and get all employees all back-owed monies. As always I will wait at the end of the line.
  The basic plan is to turn as much over to [the friend/colleague] as possible, as she wants to structure it.
  1. EMAIL SUBSCRIBER LIST '' This list CAN be sold to a consortium headed by [the friend/colleague] because all of our subscribers love her any way.That would never be viewed as a ale to a list company of the government. [The friend/colleague] would keep it as secure as I have. The way to do this is to make a public announcement of FTW´s closure and liquidation with an announcement of that sale and by giving subscribers 30 days to request that their information be removed from that list. Very few will ask for it. That alone is worth at least $50,000 but I will leave valuations to [the friend/colleague] since she does that better than anybody.
  2. The FTW ARCHIVES are also worth a lot of money. All of those could be purchased and I would relinquish copyright ownership of them to a group headed by [the friend/colleague] to satisfy debts.
  3. The copyrights to all FTW DVD´s also have great value. They go into the package.
  4. All of my FTW computer research files, 9 years worth, would go to [the friend/colleague]. There are more than 800 (est.) separate files here divided between Research and FTW business. The FTW bBsiness file are not accounting files but rather files on all pesons, corporations, media outlets and entities with which FTW has had inerraction or correspondence. these range from Alex Jones, to ASPO, to the Pentagon, to AIG, to hundreds of major and minor figures throughout our little universe, both good and bad. These also include the files on all previous emploees, writers, researchers and lecturers we have encountered.
  There are more than 400 research files loosely divided between pre 9/11 and post 9/11. There are more than 150 files on people alone. I am, after all, German.
  All of these files are a great intelligence and analytical research base and I know that [the friend/colleague] would use them to their fullest extent possible. Carolyn has copies and she can attest to what´s in them.
  5. Carolyn Baker and Mike Kane would be free to write for the new entity that would preserve a substantial portion of FTW´s legacy and make it useful to all of those who want and need t keep it alive. [The friend/colleague] might not be able to pay them as well as FTW did, but I know she will honor and treasure them as I have. Maybe even Stan Goff could get in later. We will all miss Jamey.
  I had already begun to have a new Power of Attorney drafted giving NY attorney, international lawyer and longtime close friend Ray Kohlman, full authority. It is apparent that Ken´s many other obligations will keep him from participating in this in a meanignful way but that does not spell the end of the world. This should actually relieve Joe. The rest of this message might want to make him at least ensure a smoother transition.
  Under this plan I would be out of all future decision making over these these assets. I have no idea what our current debt status is because I´ve seen no financial statements and recieved no reports in three months. However, I would estimate that our total debt (including all back salaries, wages Ken´s royalties, Joe´s ees and credit cards), could not posibly exceed $70,000. The lease is a separate issue but I think it can be negotiated and settled.
  Clearly, and I pray that [the friend/colleague] will agree, we have a lot more value in assets than debts. Now the question is how to keep the office running long enough to pull it all together. MARION, what would really help me, [the friend/colleague], and Ray Kohlman enormously is an itemized statement of debts including credit cards that I used to finance FTW over the years. If I am going to walk away losing most of my equity then I need to walk away debt free.
  I am specifically authorizing MARION to give the friend/colleague anything shes asks for, hopefully understanding that [the friend/colleague] is someone who can help.
  I want to stress that should it become necessary for me to temporarily return to the states to execute all of this I will do so, regardless of the risk, but only after I have formally announced my retirement from public life. I cannot and will not leave all of you hanging in the lurch. I only wish that I had known how far things had gone south long ago. It was not until yesterday that someone finally told me that Marion was not even getting paid. We cannot undo the lack of information sharing until now, nor should we take time to condemn it. We must deal with things as they are today.
  From my limited knowledge of the financial situation my undestanding is that $5,000 would see us through the immediate crisis. With one single essay I can raise more than twice that amount easily provided that it goes up on the web site and the blog.
  What I need to know from [the friend/colleague] ASAP (before I write it) is whether she sees merit in these ideas and has any suggestions, directions or other requests. [The friend/colleague] can structure this transition with ease because that is exactly what she does. I would also need to know from Ray Kohlman whether he sees any impediments.
  All I need is a basic yes from both [the friend/colleague] and Ray and we´re on the way. Had I fully known and understood the true situation sooner it wouldn´t have gotten this far. But I want to emphasize that this is far from over and no one´s going to get financially screwed if I can help it. I founded and ran the company for almost nine years, taking it to peak earnings of just under $600,000 a year, and overcoming a multitude of obstacles other businesses never face. I have learned a thing or two and I am here now to use that experience.
  But, personally as a journalist and earth shaker, I am burned out beyond belief. The smashing of our computers took something out of me that will never come back. Things are looking up here in Venezuela with the government but it is starting to look like they want to create a Mike Ruppert here doing the same thing he has done for 30 years already, with the same energy, and even more dangerous risks. I think I need to give myself a choice here and I am.  I have done enough for one lifetime.
  So, I ask everyone to please accept my amends. I accept responsibility for leaving FTW the way I did, even though, on a hundred levels, it was absolutely necessary to leave when I did. Please accept my apologies for any personal insults made in retaliation. One of my favrite books contains a passage about self-will and the observation that sometimes we can become producers of confusion, rather than harmony. Mea culpa.
  FTW is me, was me. As I went into the confusion, soul-searching and change that marks all spiritual and personal evolutions it was obvious that FTW would have to mirror that confusion.
  The remainder of my amends will be amends of action rather than words. Please bear with me on a couple of things. I have a prgressively worsening cataract in my left eye that is impairing my vision and I have another unknown medial condtion that I don´t want to discuss via email. There is no free health care here for people who don´t have official status and that may take as long as year for me. As you all know, I am almost out of money but we all will make it. I´m quite sure of that now that I have some calrity.
  Please do whatever is necessary to protect my personal library, my research files, whatever remains of my photographs nd the Ruppert Family Trust.
  I will await your feedback and suggestions from anyone in the top addressee line.

Email to Mike 10-18-2006:
ok your nobility is scaring me a little. also the fucking unknown medical condition you don't want to discuss in email. before i make an asshole of myself commenting on what the vz gvt might want, i need more info. but it looks as though you're considering returning to the u.s. permanently, with the proviso you not write anymore???    
  ... we need to talk, in a RELAXED way. what do those calls cost? is that the problem? or that you don't want to be trackable?  i am so fucking clueless. i don't need answers to the logistical stuff but your email, well thought out as it is, has an 'in sound mind' quality that makes me think you might be in danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water.  [From personal experience years before, I'd concluded that suicidal ideation could result from the wish to extinguish one part of oneself that was causing distress.  But not knowing how to do that, one contemplated doing away with the whole.]
    got to go see a [young] woman in a wheelchair and oxygen mask who's one month away from getting evicted. [This was a patient with a crippling case of chemical sensitivity who'd been in a film by Alison Johnson in which I also spoke, regarding the enviro-disaster of 9/11.]  talk to u, email or otherwise, soon.

Email from Mike:  10-18-2006
Medical problem is cloudy urine coupled with chronic fatigue.
  I´m not sure I want to return to the US permanently. What contacts do we have in New Zealand?
  Will try to call u later.
  The Venezuelan thing is just for me to be Mike Ruppert. To lecture, give speeches, write, become public for the revolution. That´s both dangerous and exhausting when battling inherent Vz suspicious natures and the language barrier. I would be a sitting duck here for covert ops.
Email to Mike: 10-18-2006  

   ...the [young] woman i just got back from seeing has been diagnosed with, among other things, 'hydrocarbon poisoning.'

   your email disposing of ftw's assets must have taken a lot out of you.  it had the ring of those post-burglary 'i'm throwing in the towel' articles...  

Email from Mike to friends and colleagues:   10-19-2006


                    Apparently, the FTW stalwarts are refusing to let me retire and pull the plug. I am in control of nothing it seems. If you want to know what´s happening with me and FTW, wait five minutes.

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