Saturday, June 07, 2014

Mike's Story Part 43 - Ten Grand

 By Jenna Orkin    

January 28, 2007
It’s 8:15 pm and Mike’s gone to bed, partly because he wants to get up early since the water’s going to be off tomorrow for six hours; partly because he’s wiped out by the loss of the book sale - $10,000.  It helped to get the rage off his chest, first expressed to Ray as "disappointment," then vented fully in a longer email:

   MCR to Ray, Ken, (his agent and general factotum) with me bcc’ed:

   The fact that we have been unable to connect with Mr. X [the prospective buyer of the surplus copies of Crossing the Rubicon] is very upsetting. For weeks I have stressed to all concerned that I did not want to lose touch with this kind man or his offer. Unfortunately, it appears that we have let too much time lapse since we haven't gotten any response from him. But I am praying that this message might get through.   There have been two developments which change the picture. The good outweighs the bad.   New Society has done a second printing of Rubicon recently. It's the same book and looks the same. It just poses a problem for bookstores if there are returns now. That's no big deal.   The much better news is that we have as close to a full confirmation rom [sic] the [newspaper] that a cover story on me, FTW and Rubicon is going to appear in their Sunday magazine "XX", on either Feb 4, 11, or 18. It's written and "in the can".   My problem is very simple. These books are owned by me and they are stored in a warehouse under my name. They represent $24,000 of my money. But what's worse is that the storage fees are eating me alive. I have only a few thousand dollars to eat, live and get medical treatment -- critical medical treatment. Right now the books are sucking the life out of me. No one else's credit or finances are getting hurt.   The books are a black hole sitting where they are and they are threatening my ability to survive in the medium term.   X, if there's any hope of rekindling your offer I beg you to reach out to me, xxx-xxx-xxxx, or Ray Kohlman xxx-xxx-xxxx. You wrote the kindest emails and I swear I was reminding Ray Kohlman like three times a week to close the deal with you and not lose touch. He had court and I apologize if we let it go too long.   The [newspaper] story is going to create a whole new picture for the book. I'd keep them myself but I have no way to sell individual copies or even cases and ship them. I don't have any account and the books are in LA while I'm in NY.   If you're out there X, please respond and accept my apology if we have offended you.   Thanks,   Mike Ruppert

February 12, 2007

   “We have bad news,” said Mike when I came home at 6:45. 


   “Take off your coat first.”

   He was eating a bowl of cereal.

   “Is that a late lunch?  Are you going to have dinner after you go to meditation?”

   “This is dinner.  I’m not going.  Ray’s going to call at eight.”
   A first, that he hadn’t waited for me to come home and cook.  We hadn't eaten together since he imitated the way I chewed a roast beef sandwich, supposedly with the repulsive smacking noise of his mother, but I cooked enough for each of us to eat when we wished at our respective stations; mine, in "my" room which was also the living-room; his, at my grandmother's card table which he'd set up next to the tv in the bedroom.  My plan was to stop providing his food when his inheritance came through but for the moment, he needed to conserve every cent he could.

   “Y did send the ten thousand.  He has the return receipt, signed.  We never got it.  The government intercepted it, forged the signature.  Also the [newspaper] piece is dead.”

   “[The journalist] told you?”

   “Kenny.  The advertisers would have been calling by now about the book.  There’s been nothing.”

   “Dumb question: How do you know Y’s not just saying he has the signed receipt?”

   “This is the guy who sent me two grand to go to Venezuela.

   ‘Promise me you won’t call [my psychiatrist] or 911 or do anything that might get me locked up in Bellevue again.”

   I screamed at the ceiling.  “What do you mean?  If you’re here unconscious, I’m going to do what I have to do.  They won’t come lock you up.  They’ll say, ‘Has he threatened suicide before?’ ‘Yes.’  ‘Is he under the care of a psychiatrist?’  ‘Yes.’”

   “You have to let me have the option of dying with some dignity.  The government won’t leave me alone.  Maybe it’s something you said on the phone: ‘He’s planning to get back in the game.’  Or I said it, although I don’t think I said it on the phone.”

   “I didn’t say that on the phone.  The only thing I say to you on the phone these days is, ‘I’ll be home around seven.’”

   “Or in an email.  What difference does it make?  They could have this place bugged.  The point is, they won’t let up.”

   “I know,” I cried.  “I’ve always known that they won’t stop at anything.  That’s their secret...

   ‘But I don’t see how all this jives with Victor Thorn.”  Thorn, Mike's nemesis while FTW was going strong, packed his "bags," ie his website, as soon as FTW closed up shop.  If he'd been called off the case because Mike had surrendered, why would the government still be harassing Mike through other means?

   “Victor Thorn was FBI,” Mike shouted.  “He was a middle to low level employee.  They could have gotten rid of him because they didn’t need him anymore.  He didn’t make decisions.  Someone higher up did.”

   I had taken at face value Mike's conclusion that "the heat was off."  I didn’t talk about Mike’s affairs but I did keep notes of our conversations and it would have been possible for an interested party to read them, if said interested party was the government with its overweening powers of surveillance.

   “I’m a broken man, humiliated.”

   I shook my head emphatically.

   “Don’t tell me how much I can take!” Mike shouted.

   “I’m not telling you how much you can take.  I’m shaking my head because you haven’t been humiliated.  Your work is out there.  It’s still there.  You said it all.  People can find it.”

   Mike called Ray. 

   “Should I get on the other extension?” I asked.

   “Stay here.”

   Mike’s end of the conversation was terse.  I could glean only that at Ray’s house were a landlady and someone’s mother-in-law and Ray had asked only one of them about the package which had been signed for February 5.  Also, the fact that 10K was involved meant that filing a complaint could raise flags about money-laundering and "terrorist financing."  

   “Oh, for a gun right now,” Mike said.  “I used to have guns.  There’s one I could still get.”

   “If you had it sent here, I wouldn’t give you the package.”

   “You can’t send firearms through the mail.”

   “You can’t send ten thousand dollars cash through the mail either; what do I know?”

   “I’m going downstairs to smoke a cigarette, that’s all.”

   “I know.”

   He got his coat;  I followed him out.

   “Is it OK if I call Ray?  I want him to talk to you.”

   “I just talked to him.”

   “I want him to talk to you again.”


   Ray picked up his phone which was about a 1/50 chance.
   “This is really bad,” I told him. 

   When Mike came back up, Ray told him he’d trace the package.  This made no difference to Mike’s state of mind.

   “Remember [V] on my computer,” he said, naming the password for the archives.  “Because right now the website is in the hands of you and someone called [the webmaster.]”

   “No!  No!  No!”

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