Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mike's Story Part 18 - Decision

By Jenna Orkin

   Looking back, one purpose the Venezuela interlude served in Mike’s life was that of expiation.  Any potential friendship threatened with the most guileless of questions, “What brings you here?”  He couldn’t answer truthfully, that he was seeking political asylum (which on the phone, we referred to as “the ‘a’ word.”)  When the reporter from the US newspaper interviewed him for seven hours, Mike acknowledged only that he was requesting permanent residency.  Thus he was forced into solitary confinement with its attendant pastime, contemplating the sins that had brought him to this point.

Mike to numerous recipients 9-26-2006

   I have had much time to think about those horrible events and what I feel so utterly ashamed over is the fact that I was so terribly attracted to a very sick woman whose intent I clearly saw and understood was to destroy both me and FTW. I never crossed any lines through my actions, but I certainly did in my head and this is my great shame and embarrassment to which I now freely admit.

But, as a wise man once said, “They don’t put you in jail for thinking crazy. They put you in jail for acting crazy”.

Me to Mike, probably 9-27-2006:

if you feel like shit promise you'll email first before even thinking in terms of 'my public life may be over.'  [a phrase he'd used in his email.] this is why god invented the internet.  


Mike to me 9-27-2006


It is clear to me that the memo [the fake email] originated from within the FTW offices. we have at minimum a leak there and at worst a traitor. I´m just sick of betrayals.

  To be honest I was talking about life, life. not public life. [I had realized that but wanted to steer Mike’s thinking away from it.]  That´s how depressing things are. I am beginning to suspect that I may be too hot a political potato for Hc right now and they´re just hoping I´ll tire and go away. That would be a humiliation. The Bolivarian revolution embodies every belief I have acquired for all my years of study.

God bless [a woman who was helping him in Venezuela,] I truly believe she´s doing everything she can and she is one of those wonderful women, like you, Carolyn, Fitts and McKinney who have saved my life.

One day he called, his breathing labored, and said, "I've got to get out of here. I've got to write a notice for the blog and the website asking for emergency donations for Mike Ruppert to leave Venezuela, and to solicit offers from other countries."

Offers flooded in from England, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Thailand, Hawaii, Australia, the Philippines... all variations on that of “quarquin” who wrote... "hi Mike you can come here to Spain i have place for you You are welcome.” 
Along with them, health advice, mostly from holistic practitioners or patients.  Many readers took pains to write at length and in detail, as per the notice's request for information on health systems in the countries where they were offering their hospitality.
     One person wrote about a cottage on their property where Mike could hole up; another, about her extended family who lived down the road.
     A writer from Hawaii described a tent city whose inhabitants were fugitives from justice living simply off the land, undisturbed by the authorities.
     Mike held out hopes for Germany.  The culture wasn’t so alien; it was his family heritage.  (And although he was a California boy, his deteriorating health in the Venezuelan heat had perhaps induced a longing for cloud-cover.)  Andreas von Buelow, the former German cabinet minister who had written a blurb for Crossing the Rubicon, had once taken him to a concert of Janacek and Dvorak which had made Mike cry.
     "That's not German culture; it's Czech," I thought obnoxiously but had the sense not to say.
     He wrote to von Buelow whose delayed response, due to travel, was polite but understandably cautious.
     A correspondent from Costa Rica peaked Mike's interest with a description of the colony of intellectuals there working on alternative energy.  But an article in a local paper described the boredom of the ex-patriots, who found a life of playing golf unfulfilling, despite the idyllic surroundings.
     "I'd be a pet," Mike said, "and I don't want to be a pet."
     "No. You want to be among peers."

However, another lesson Mike had learned in Venezuela was that dabbling in a foreign culture may be fine for a holiday but in the end, one wants to be surrounded by familiar people who speak one's own language.

Most people know this intuitively but Mike had been banking on a warmer welcome in Venezuela which would have compensated for all the differences.  Failing that, he'd rather nurse his unhappiness at home.

I don't remember how the possibility arose of his coming to stay with me.  Much as I valued the connection to him as well as the conversations, having him live with me was another matter.  I'd been divorced for ten years, relishing every moment of freedom.  Being in his inner circle was all I wanted; the adage, "Familiarity breeds contempt" seemed all too apt.  And he was the last person from whom I wished to earn that contempt.
   But I was a known quantity, which mattered to him.  He knew I wouldn't treat him as a guru and ply him with questions.
   Another known quantity was Barry Silverthorn, the producer of End of Suburbia, who lived in Toronto.

Although Mike was (and remained for the rest of his life) too much of a gentleman to say so, at a level beyond his control, he must have felt disappointed, even betrayed by Venezuela.


Me to Mike 10-30(?)-2006:


beneath your admiration for chavez and the bolivarian revolution, your unconscious could be having this conversation with venezuela:  "don't you understand i'm your friend? i could help you; i've been fighting drugs in the u.s. all my life and gotten persecuted for it. now i escape here and the first night i venture out on my own, you drug me." 

i don't know why you need to tempt fate.  maybe you want something awful to happen so you won't have to fear it anymore. maybe it's your way of punishing yourself for something 'even worse' (according to your child-self) that you don't remember and don't want to, hence all the running.    

you are not lot's wife or eurydice. you can come home again if you want to, at least while the planes or even the trains are still running.  you need to accept the entirety of yourself and live in equilibrium so you're not buffeted from one extreme to the other. don't wait for your body to wrestle you to the ground.  acknowledge its needs the way you did when you went to macdonald's today, by walking slowly.

talk to u tomorrow 

Mike to me 10-30-2006

God, you know me so well.
I really want to come home and just rest but it seems so impossible. No money. Homeland Security. No place to live if I got there, not even a bed. Here, Carlos and xxxx are banking on getting me going with lectures and writing. I can´t tell them these feelings.

 Meanwhile, a plan was taking shape.

is XXXX. He lives in XXXX not far from XXX. His wife, XXX, is talking to some folks about trying to get me home. I think both of you should talk to them and coordinate. Their number is XXX-XXX-XXXX

   > On the issue of how I re-enter, I strongly suggest that we all defer to Ray Kohlman. I cannot walk accross the border lugging a huge suitcase, an overflowing backpack and a laptop case without getting searched. I know those rules. My passport will get swiped and the net result would the same as if I had landed at LAX on an American Airlines flight only I would be at the border and close to nobody, with no chance of help anywhere around.  We will do what Ray says and nothing else on that point. I have to insist on that. On legal matters we MUST listen to Ray.       The bridge is still calling. I say that not to threaten or pressure. I share it just to get it out of my head. I have had two close suicides and the breakup of an engagement in less than three years. Only now am I coming to grips with all of that and much more.       I am relieved that you guys are taking the intiative. That makes me feel as if someone actually saw all of the emergency flares I have been sending up. Mike
But a powerful faction didn't want Mike to return.

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