Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 19

The Black House Manifesto

Introduction

This book is meant to serve as a practical yet inspiring guidebook for a rallying force of
human beings to usher in a better, more beautiful world than the one we currently inhabit. It is
meant to inspire collaborative action amongst the readership—via a call to unite and conquer.
Some readers will merely read this book and then put it aside. Other readers, perhaps yourself,
will feel the book’s call to action and form new or join existing networks of reformers. This book
is an invitation. To you. To her. To him. This is why I have provided contact information and
resources herein.
The reading of this book is an interactive process. As a reader you contribute greatly to
its value because this book calls upon you to Act, Think, and Share what you have to offer with
humanity and with the planet.
The ideas contained within these pages have been with me for quite some time yet it
had never dawned on me that I should put these ideas into the form of a manifesto. Until now.
It is the proper time it seems.
I feel it is important in the undertaking of this task to be both subversive and wise in the
face of what we are up against. I feel it is also important to handle what could easily be
rendered dry political topics as an artist would render her subject via abstraction and an eye for
contrast and beauty.
I truly feel that the inherent power of uniting like minded activists, artists, healers,
teachers, dreamers, and intellectuals is so much greater than we can conceive of. That is part of
the purpose of this book. It is in part a bird’s call into the dark wilderness. When we hear the
song of our own kind echoed back to us we know we are not alone. And furthermore we can
become aware of each other’s presence and then gather in the same tree and build nests
together. We can organize. And when we organize there is no limit to what we can achieve.
Each of us serves a distinct yet complex function in the healing of human kind and the
healing of this sacred planet.
This bird call into wilderness is meant to gather the parts together so we can then
assemble them and function together as a whole.
In this process ... in this way...we are each unique like snowflakes yet when we
implement our uniqueness into the calling of this social and planetary movement we are
functional like cogs. We become like a hybrid of a snowflake’s individuality and a cog’s sense of
purpose and function to serve something greater than itself.
Look at the world we currently inhabit.
Look at it.
The oceans are filled with garbage and oil from oil spills and toxic nuclear waste.
Resources are dwindling. The rivers and oceans are dying. Infinite stretches of automobile traffic
pollute and poison the air. The lungs of the earth, the rainforests, are being clear cut every day.
A great deal of the earth is war torn. Children are dying. Women are dying. Men are dying. And
all of this is just an outward manifestation of our own collective inner turmoil.
We need to come together as a people and heal ourselves now. We need to come
together and figure out viable solutions to overcome daunting obstacles and act on these
solutions. As soon as possible.
May the wind be at our backs.
What is Government?

The English word “government” has its etymological roots in the Latin language. It is
derived from two words. “Guvernare” which means “to control”. And “Mens” which means
“mind”. So lo and behold… the purpose of government, and how it maintains its power over the
many, is revealed to us, plainly enough, by its name. The purpose of government is mind control
and it maintains its power over the many by mind control.
We are all, to varying degrees, influenced by the mind altering power that government
wields. But part of government’s real power comes from the fact that they tightly control the
minds of martial forces, whether those consist of military men or spies or riot police. This saves
them the trouble of brainwashing every individual. Fear and violence, or the threat of violence,
keep the rest of the herd in place.
So in what ways does the government control our minds? It is important to come to
understand the influence of government on our common every day perceptions of reality.
Let us begin with the concept of borders.
We live on a vast and beautiful planet that is constantly encircling an enormous--though
enormous is an understatement—ball of fire in the midst of black empty space. It is quite
extraordinary. It is quite beautiful. On this planet there are oceans and rivers and valleys and
cliffs and canyons and volcanoes and icebergs and deserts and mountain ranges and plains and
forests and jungles. Food and medicinal plants grow up from the ground. Rain pours down from
the skies. The beautiful and ever changing moon encircles us. Animals hunt and eat and sleep
and mate herein. There are no inherent borders. None.
The following statement may be overly subversive for some, but I do not shy away from
stating it, for it is truth: The belief that we live in a country named America (or any other country
for that matter) is merely a product of governmental mind control. It is an unreality by
consensus. It is an enforced and commonly held delusion. And everyone buys into it. We were
educated from youth to believe in the concept of borders.
Borders imply separation. The truth is that we are all one.
Borders lend to and enable governance, law, false authority, taxation and war. These
are also products of mind control and unreality by consensus. Let us explore the concept of
false authority: What gives a president or police man authority over civilians? There is no
inherent power without consensus. The populace is forced to swallow the lies of false authority
and law at gun point. The police man’s badge is inherently just a prop in a game that we are all
playing. It has no inherent power. We all collectively give it power. The fact that they are
equipped with hand cuffs and guns doesn’t hurt their claim to power either.
But when we stop playing the game how much actually changes? We cannot go head on
against the false authorities and tell them that their game holds no power over us. They will kill
us or imprison us regardless. They don’t care if we believe the game is real or not. They have the
weapons and the “legal” permission to use them to deadly ends. They have the perceived power
to incarcerate. Their imaginary laws within imaginary borders are very real to them. They don’t
care if we buy into it or not. So we’re in quite the pickle. Even if we’re not sold on the lies, we
still have to deal with their relative and perceived existence
The acknowledgment of the fact that we face this incredible opposition to manifesting
our utopian dreams in the form of violent and destructive false authorities is an integral part of
this book’s exploration of our current situation. Part of this book’s overall aim is to explore ways
of subverting the dominant patriarchal paradigm while working within its confines. Water goes
around its obstacles and eventually wears them away. We will explore many of these strategies
in the coming chapters. A good deal of this book is devoted to such topics.
As I stated in the introduction: May the wind be at our backs.

Capitalism, Economics and Ecology

It is hopefully already apparent to you that our current consumerist culture is killing the
planet. She whispers in our ears, “Buy buy buy”. “Consume prolifically and endlessly”. “The
more we consume the better off our ‘economy’ is”. Why though? Who is it exactly that decided
that the health of our world is entangled with how much we consume? Why is the health of our
economy not determined by how much we heal other people and the earth itself? That would
be sanity. But we are far removed from it… from sanity.
Why do we need advertisements to shove more and more garbage down our throats?
Why do we need to be coerced to fill an infinite void within our self that cries more, more,
more? These goods we are being sold on can never fill that void because there is a great
difference between what we are sold on wanting and what we actually need.
We need the camaraderie of a local and global tribe, a sense of family, love, sacred sex,
healing, laughter, and beauty. Marketers cleverly and insidiously use all of these essential
embodiments of spirit to fool us into thinking that the items and services they want us to
consume contain the embodiments of spirit themselves. I have literally read nutritional panels
for foods that state that one of their ingredients is “love”. Sex sells. But love perhaps does it
better. And what better way to sell someone love than to deprive them of it first. If we already
have love within ourselves and our communities we wouldn’t need to buy it from whoever’s
selling the snake oil version of it. So, clearly the commercial powers that be benefit from
manufacturing our dearth of spirit.
From what I learned in school, part of what pulled us out of the great depression in
America was the economic stimulus of World War II. That says a lot. If war is good for us
economically then what exactly are the values of economics? Destruction? Death? We must
determine the answers for ourselves.

Top Down versus Bottom Up/Grassroots Jobs

We live in a society wherein most people believe that we have to justify our existence
by working a job. If we don’t work we don’t eat. Period end. It doesn’t matter whether the job is
healing the planet or destroying it. It doesn’t matter whether the job is healing or hurting people
or animals. It doesn’t matter whether the job is necessary or beneficial in reality. It only matters
that the job benefits the holy and esteemed aim of growing the economy. Just make sure to
keep yourself busy and occupied with some tedious and possibly pointless labor.
Inherent to the “work or starve” mentality is the belief that people will not work unless
they are either monetarily motivated to or forcibly coerced to do so. This is an erroneous
assumption. When people feel passionate about something they work. This has been
demonstrated in progressive countries that provide their citizens with basic income, which is
essentially free money for basic living expenses. People find meaningful work to give them a
sense of purpose. They are more than willing to work when their work has meaning.
When we free up people’s time from tirelessly working pointless/destructive jobs we
enable a greater portion of the population to find meaningful work that actually benefits
humanity and the health of the planet. All stand to benefit from such a paradigm shift. So how
do we accomplish this transition from feeding the ecologically destructive monetary economy
with our jobs to feeding the hungry and the health of the planet? To answer this question we
must first explore how jobs are currently created and offer an alternative.
The vast majority of existing jobs have been created via a top down process by
speculators and wealthy investors. The investor sees an opportunity to make more money so
they start a business and hire people, thus creating jobs. It is important to note that the nature
and purpose of the work then revolves around the investor’s desire to acquire more capital
because that’s what created it in the first place. Often this implies paying the workers as little as
possible. Other times this involves advertising to generate desire for a product where there
would otherwise be none thus increasing humanity’s carbon footprint. The environmental
impact of the business is considered an externality and does not affect their bottom line. There
is no driving incentive for the business to make the world a better place unless of course they
can draw more customers in from demographics that are conscious about their impact on the
health of the planet (a form of niche marketing).
One of the consequences of this top down job creation process is that if there’s no
money in it then it won’t get done. What capitalist in their right mind would start a litter
cleaning business? Litter is everywhere and recyclables dearly need to be sorted out from the
trash but there’s no money in that. You can’t monetize picking up litter. So it just never gets
done. We need composts and compost toilets and grey water systems and earth ships and we
need to convert lawn spaces to permaculture gardens to localize food growth. But once again, if
there’s no money in it then it won’t get done. That is, If we play by the rules of capitalism.
But there is another way:
What if we as a people could create jobs for others and for the earth by pooling our
monetary and non-monetary community resources together. Free school teachers.
Permaculturists who convert lawn space to gardens. Compost toilet builders. Litter remover.
Street art installer. Activist. Tree sitter. Public educator. Think tank participant. Safe space
facilitator. Racism and sexism educator. Zine writer.
When we create grassroots/bottom-up jobs we look at our world and after having made
an assessment we say that “this, that, or the other thing” must be done to edge us ever closer to
the goal of a utopia on earth. Or alternatively someone comes forward and says “I have this
service to offer the world but I need your help to keep me alive and well and living in abundance
because no capitalist will pay me for what I have to offer”. It’s a very heart centered and
community based way of creating jobs.
Now, of course, one of the biggest obstacles is how to compensate the people who
work these grassroots jobs. The current existence of uneven wealth distribution is staggering
and not in our favor. Even if the people pooled their money together to hire people for these
bottom up/grassroots jobs we would be relatively limited in what we could afford to create and
accomplish. We would not have the same hiring power as those who utilize the top down
method of job creation because they are hoarding all the money/capital. But nonetheless, we as
a people do have some job creation power… imagine a website that showcased grassroots jobs.
You could donate to any of these people and their cause/position/function. It is also likely that
such a movement would garner the attention of angel investors (people who donate particularly
large sums of money). The larger our network the more jobs we can create. The more heart
centered jobs we create the better our world becomes.
I am not saying that this solution is not without flaw. In this book I will offer many
solutions to differing problems and this particular solution, the grassroots job creation solution,
happens to be among my least favorite solutions as its implementation would prove to be
particularly challenging. However it’s not impossible to implement by any means and it is a lofty
but worthy goal. It just faces challenges is all. I encourage the reader to keep an open mind
about it as one possibility for ushering in a better world while not hinging too much on it. It is
only one of many solutions. I also openly invite the reader to bring their own vision to the design
of this bottom up jobs creation solution by asking these questions:

+ How would you envision the implementation of an alternative currency into the
bottom up/grassroots job creation system? Is this in any way feasible?

+Are there any good examples of potential grassroots jobs that I did not mention?

+If you were to work a community created job you were passionate about part time
(let’s say 5 or 10 hours a week) that had a significant impact on the health of the planet would
you be willing to accept non-monetary payment via access to a pool of community resources
and services? And what would that pool of community resources look like?

+Does this idea make you see or think about the world differently? And how? What has
changed for you if anything?

+What would you modify or add to the author’s vision of this grassroots job creation
system? Your answer to this question is deeply valued, for one man alone cannot build an
empire.

What is the Black House Project?

In America we have a twenty-four hour convenience store like 7-11 or Wawa every two
or three square miles. However, tragically, there are no “make your world a better place”
places. That is supposedly the function of The White House. It is apparently intended to be a
place for fairly elected representatives of the people to convene together with the aim of
making our country the best it can be. However the majority of politicians in the white house
are purchased puppets for corporate interests. Money is their only god. And that is why the
black house project is so named. Because we are the antithesis of what the white house has
come to represent.
Every day people gather en masse to be entertained by sports stars and musicians.
Imagine if people were to gather together with equal fervor over the purpose of ushering in a
better world. That is a powerful vision. Clearly though there is a problem with such an aim:
When we gather en masse pressed shoulder to shoulder we can’t effectively organize. So what
do we do?
We gather in smaller numbers of people who work effectively together to think globally
and act locally.
Imagine for a moment a three or four bedroom apartment or home. It has been rented
specifically to serve the function of a “make your world a better place” place. Round the clock
there are four or five people dedicated to sustaining the mission of the black house project who
together embark upon a labor of love.
One room serves the function of the brain. This is the think tank. Public education
efforts are cooked up here. Mini community protests (more on this later) are dreamed up and
planned. Networking with existing reformation/resistance groups such as The Transition Town
Network and other existing black houses are facilitated here. Event hijacking and thought
provoking performance and street art installations are established. Creation of community
resources and events are put into action. How to convert as many lawns as possible into
permaculture gardens is determined. Networking with celebrities who would be sympathetic to
our aims. Managing and securing donations and determining how to best put them to use.
Creating transparency in how we use donations. Ways of subverting the dominant patriarchal
paradigm. Writing open letters to high profile people we wish to critique. Managing our social
media, websites and creating thought provoking and educational youtube videos. I can go on
and on.
Another room serves the function of the heart. It is a healing space. Guided meditations
and yoga lessons are held here. Music therapy, primal screaming and trust falls occur here. I
deeply believe that when we heal ourselves we heal the planet. There is such a lack of
community in our lives. Urban centers can be so isolating because they rarely offer true
connection. It is as the saying goes “Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. The
healing space is a place where we can drink of the ambrosia of meaningful connection. It is also
a place for us to practice authenticity. It is a place for us to break and dismantle the cultural
programming that keeps us from embodying a true sense of freedom.
Another room serves the function of the vocal chords and mouth. Its purpose is to
communicate. This is a good room for newcomers to visit. They can catch up on what black
house culture is like. They can learn about the destructive shortcomings of capitalism, the
staggering truth of uneven wealth distribution, the destructive and inhumane nature of cattle
farming, and many other topics. This is an initiatory room. It enables the creation of an outer
circle of friends and allies to the black house. The more unity we have among black house
members, the more people we have in our network, the more we can accomplish. It is an offer
for people to drop out of the cult of the dominant patriarchal paradigm and concentrate their
efforts on creating a new regenerative and sustainable emerging culture. Ultimately much of the
power of the black house hinges upon the creation of a community-based resource pool (this
will be discussed in greater detail in a later chapter). For now it will suffice to know that the
more people we have in our network the more we can accomplish. It is a kind of snowball effect.
We start off small, accumulating mass then grow exponentially. There is truly nothing we cannot
accomplish with a large and tightly knit network of reformers who are not afraid to step out of
the dominant paradigm and into the new.
It is important to note that each individual home/apartment is referred to as “a black
house”. The network of all the houses put together is known as “The Black House”.
I now turn the creative efforts of designing the black house over to the reader by
prompting her/him with a series of related questions. Do not worry if you don’t have an answer.
This is just designed to stimulate your thinking and perhaps your own questions.

+If you could add a fourth room to a black house what would be its function?

+What would an interactive website for the black house look like that is functional in the
task of organizing a network of black house members and allies?

+What community resources could we create together that would benefit our local and
global communities?

+What would the décor of a black house be like?


+If you established the flagship black house (the first one) would you be willing to travel
to another community to help them establish their own black house?

+Should there be requirements that a new black house has to meet in order to become
an official part of the black house?

+If there were a required reading list for inner circle black house members what book or
books would you put on it other than this one? The book could have to do with how to relate to
people or it can be an inspirational, eye opening take on engaging in reformative politics or
anything really for that matter.

+Is transparency regarding how we manage our donations important?

+What would a short video introducing newer members to the black house mission and
culture look like?

+How would we sustain peaceful relations with one another while having a zero
tolerance policy for racism and sexism?

+What is the potential and transformative power of authentic being and community?

The Relative Futility of Mass Protests/Marches

When we march en masse, pressed shoulder to shoulder holding signs and chanting, to
demand that the “powers that be” bow to our wishes we are sending out many mixed
messages. Some of these messages are beneficial. One is that we are many in number and are
passionate about the change we wish to see. And anyone who has ever participated in this form
of protest knows the feelings of hope and strength of a rallying community that come along with
it.
However we are making a few other powerful statements. One is that we are an
unorganized mob. The other is that “you” not “we” hold the power. Otherwise we would not be
appealing to your authority. It ends up being a kind of singing to the choir.
If the protest incorporates civil disobedience the story is a little different. If protestors
are hunger striking or refusing to work en masse or boycotting then this is true power leveraged
through civil disobedience. However the weekend protest is very common. People march then
go back to their jobs. They’re not leveraging power. Nothing really changes.
I am not saying marches are pointless. The camaraderie and energy are potent, but
there is a more effective way to protest which is rarely seen.
I call this protesting your neighbor.
Instead of appealing to false authorities we appeal to our neighbors. It might seem to be
kind of combative on first looks, invoking a kind of “us and them” mentality. The worst example
of this I can think of is when “pro-life” people protest on the lawns of Planned Parenthoods.
That’s their right and their hearts are in the right place and they should certainly be able to do
so, but it’s combative. We need to find ways of critiquing and opposing our neighbors while
holding them in love. And oddly enough… by protesting them we are empowering them. We’re
not appealing to congress. We are going around the power of the “powers that be”. We are
appealing to people power. We are invoking people power.
So what should we protest? These are just a few examples. But they are powerful
enough to stand on their own, truly:
Biodiversity/Permaculture Gardens not lawns.
Reusable silverware and bags… not disposable.
Buy local. Boycott conglomerates.
Transition towards a more vegan diet… and why. (It is okay if you are not vegan. But
there truly is enormous global benefit to this subversive diet).
There are so many other examples but as I said… these are powerful enough to stand on
their own. If we can change those four things we can change the world.
When we challenge the way people think and feel and offer them a new paradigm their
eyes are opened. Most people don’t think of themselves as empowered. But by confronting this
belief that we are collectively powerless we empower our neighbors. And ourselves.
In fact we don’t even need to really protest. We just have to educate and inspire. We
could even stand in a high foot traffic area with a large sign entitled “Humanity’s To Do List”. We
could list very global problems. Like ending war and hunger. Transitioning away from fossil fuels
to renewable energies. And the most resistant among these people we encounter will say, “but
we are powerless to change those things”. And we can simply state the question… “Are we
really though?”
I used to do door to door fundraising for an environmental non-profit. The people who
trained us would always say “focus on the supporters, forget about the opposition. They’re a
waste of time and energy.” This is wise advice. Sometimes convincing people even when you’re
armed with all the supportive evidence and facts in the world is like trying to draw blood from a
stone. People cling to their dogmas doggedly. It’s just the way of the world. It’s something we
must accept. But when we take to the streets and protest and educate we find many allies who
are in agreement with our aims. These people we welcome into the black house network. We
can invite them back to our home base to become further involved in our overall mission. They
will be delighted to know that people are doing what we’re doing. They will want to help us.
And we can surely help them.
So protesting and educating our neighbors is a great way to build our support network.
And we need a sufficiently large network to break free of the dominant money and corporation
driven paradigm. This is clearly all about people power. We can unite our resources and skills
and services and belongings. We can change the world.
I now once again turn the creative process of solution design to the reader by asking a
series of question:

+Are there any other good topics that we could protest our neighbors about that the
author has not mentioned?

+How could we incorporate performance art or art in general into our protests to give
them more heart?

+If we are well organized can we take on “the powers that be” with strategic civil
disobedience?

+What are some strategies for dealing with opposition?


+What are some ways of managing a rapidly growing network of allies and supporters so
we can get the most benefit out of it?

An Experiment in Advanced Sharing:


The Su Casa Sharing and Trade Market

We have all heard in passing the Spanish phrase “Mi casa, su casa”, which roughly
translates to “My house is your house”. It is a beautiful phrase indicative of the possibility of a
much more hospitable and open world than we currently inhabit. When we live fully by this
phrase we turn our possessions over to others, they turn theirs over to us, and both are all the
more wealthy for having done so. This is collective strength.
It has been written that “Property is theft”. These three words make for a strange,
controversial, and thought provoking phrase. When I hear it I immediately think of beach front
private real estate. The beautiful shore line and stretches of sandy beach, nature’s gift to all
humanity, are privatized for the sake of one family at the expense of all of nature’s children, as
there is no trespassing on this legally privatized land. It is nearly tragic. “The people’s beach” has
been stolen from them.
I understand that the former paragraph presents a very controversial view point and not
everyone is bound to agree upon it—hell there are people who don’t even believe that clean
drinking water is a human right, let alone uphold the people’s right to gallivant about on the
face of the Earth wherever they please in spite of No Trespassing signs. Either way, the idea of a
person’s right to private property is a deeply entrenched belief among Americans, I know. And
this is a belief that I am in partial agreement with. I believe there are places and times for
private property, but I think we overdo it to the point of cutting up our world into non relating
segments when we would fare better with a more interconnected world. Just imagine a world
where we could share more deeply. There is still a place for private property but we still share
more deeply. Think of how many circular saws there are collecting dust in men’s garages. In two
square miles of suburban sprawl there might be five or ten of them when one single circular saw
in a tool library would do just as well. What a waste of resources and money!
I have heard of people doing this with their wardrobes. They do clothing swaps. How
abundant and overflowing can your wardrobe be when you find people willing to share theirs
with you and vice versa?
If people learn to share resources effectively then our experience of true abundance can
manifest. But we’ve been trained and indoctrinated into accumulating our own personal
kingdoms of possessions. Keeping them all stored up in our little box.
The idea of “This is my little box. That one’s yours.” can be totally smashed if we
become subversive enough.
Imagine contributing a good portion of your possessions into a community wide
accessible “Sharing/Free store”. You maintain whatever you want to be your private property
but the more you contribute to the Free Store the greater is your level of access to its contents.
Your contribution can be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 and this rating allows you access to differing
levels of access to the free store’s contents. You can even keep a lot of the items you donate in
your home until they are requested from a list that is posted in the store.
This is a simplified example of how the market would work. In designing a “Su casa
share and trade market” there is infinite room for creative systems thinking. I’ve only hinted at
the greater possibilities of its design. But to hint at the possibilities there could even be secret
free stores that only certain people know about. This can even be implemented into the bottom
up/grassroots job system.
I only have one question for the reader in this chapter:
In talking stick circles we pass a stick around. Whoever is holding the stick may speak
their piece. If you were in a think tank session that was devoted to designing the su casa share
and trade market and someone passed you the stick what would you say? It’s alright if you don’t
have an answer. You can always pass the stick and say nothing. Sometimes silence is the most
powerful sound.

Overpopulation and the Power of True Democracy

One of the biggest challenges that we face as a species is our exponential population
growth. This is easily one of the most dire problems we face yet no one is talking about it,
despite the fact that there are already more people than the earth can sustain and we're
growing exponentially. Like many other doomsday-esque problems we face, there is a silent
agreement not to talk about it. It is taboo. But if we're not to kid ourselves about where we
stand in relation to these frightening issues then it is time for humanity to begin a conversation
about all that is doomsday-esque, including population growth.
It may come as a surprise, but we are actually already, in our present condition, fully
equipped with the social technology to democratically deliberate an agreed upon solution for
exponential population growth--even if that agreed upon solution is to do nothing and accept
our destined destruction.
There exists a little known but incredibly powerful democratic process for solving
nationwide/worldwide disagreements for the greatest benefit of the whole. The name of this
social technology/democratic process is Citizen Consensus Councils or Citizen Deliberative
Councils. The process has settled cutthroat debates in both America and Canada. It is ingenious
but simple: One or more citizens is scientifically chosen from each and every demographic that
will be affected by the outcome of a political decision. Each person, or small group of people,
are selected to represent a larger segment of the population via their differing
viewpoints/racial/economic background along the political spectrum.
The scientifically elected representatives, which together speak for the population as a
whole are then presented with the problem at hand. They are educated about the facts and the
different plausible options/solutions... and they are encouraged to bring to the table their own
creative solutions. Their discussion, all the meanwhile, is facilitated by a conflict resolution
specialist. And eventually, after days or weeks of deliberation they arrive at a solution that is in
the best interest of the whole.
This incredibly powerful democratic process needs to be practiced and applied more
often. It has worked wonders in Canada, solving the cut throat debate between Quebec
separatists and the nationalists and it has been used successfully in America to solve cutthroat
debates as well. I would like to also suggest to the creative mind of the reader the possibility of
involving an even larger audience and participation by combining the process of the Citizen
Consensus Council with the communicative technologies of the internet.
If you are interested in learning more about creative democratic processes including
CCC and CDC check out the book The Tao of Democracy by Tom Atlee. It comes highly
recommended.
Inventive Language

The late Terrence McKenna—psychonaut, intellectual, orator and author—claimed that


“The world is made of language”. This is especially true of abstractions and conceptual language.
It is possible that without giving a name to a tree that we can see a tree as something that
exists. In this case giving a tree a name helps us to capture the essence of a tree and invoke or
communicate the concept of a tree to others. But when it comes to abstract and conceptual
ideas such as “science” or “blasphemy” or “purposefulness” or “racism” or “unfair” or
“insidious” these things and the ways we see these things is very dependent upon and rooted in
language. Even if we don’t need words to experience these concepts, having a word for them is
tremendously helpful in the realm of communication.
The difference between a discussion and an argument can be quite subtle and having
language for these two concepts is helpful in the realm of communication.
The Inuits, the indigenous people of Alaska, have somewhere around fifty words for
snow. This is because they deal so closely with snow. As inner circle members of the black house
project we will be similarly engaged with and surrounded by discussion, debate, and argument.
So knowing this it would behoove us deeply to develop an inventive language that can shine a
light on common occurrences in discussion, debate, and argument so we can see them more
clearly, identify them, and react appropriately to them.
We need to create words for things that exist without a given name. We can also utilize
hand gestures/signing to communicate.
It is unfortunately very common for people to employ logical fallacies in their
arguments. Having a hand signal for different logical fallacies can be tremendously helpful in
shutting down manipulative, spinster-like, and illogical arguments. It is a way of telling someone
that their argument is invalid. Imagine if everyone else in the room throws the hand signal in
agreement. This is a powerful statement.
I have noticed a very common occurrence in online and in person debates/arguments
that is currently without name. This occurs when two people are arguing over something that
causes great harm to people, like corrupt capitalistic practices such as third world labor
conditions or “race blindness”. One person is defending the thing that causes harm to people
(though they don’t think of it that way, as they are blind to the harm they are espousing). For
them the argument is very much an intellectual endeavor. For the other person though it is an
argument deeply entrenched in emotion. They see the harm the former person is espousing.
And they become emotional. They threaten or insult the person who is “unknowingly”
espousing harm and perhaps violence. The former person then calls the emotional person out
on this and says, in so many words, “Oh you’re threatening me/insulting me… You’re not being
nice so you lose the debate”. But the person is completely blind to the fact that they are the
one who has initiated violence. For them this all exists in the realm of thought but in fact it is
rooted in real life suffering and injustice. We can call this phenomenon the “nice contest of
masked initiatory violence”. And we can say to that person do you know what I mean by that?
And he will say “no”. Then briefly explain it and say… “this isn’t a nice contest. This is intellectual
for you. For us it’s very real… you initiated violence by espousing it”. Then everyone who agrees
can throw up a hand sign that means “I agree” or even “Amen”. We can also, instead of giving it
a long multi-word name, create a single word that etymologically describes this phenomenon.
I hope you can see that we can deeply empower ourselves via inventive language
creation.
We can have hand signals for subtle manifestations of racism or sexism or ableism. We
can also have a signal that means “I see you, I appreciate you, I love you” or “that went over my
head” or “I resonate deeply with what you said” or “I need to speak with you privately when you
get a chance” or anything really. The possibilities are endless and it is truly a group endeavor to
create inventive language. I can only prime your imagination. I cannot do it alone.
As we explore the realms of debate, discussion and argument we can become
increasingly aware of common occurrences. Things that exist without a name. And then we can
give them a name or sign to see more clearly. A fair deal of think tank time will be dedicated to
expanding our inventive language. We could potentially create an entire guidebook of inventive
language. This is a constant process of exploration, witnessing, and learning.
I now turn the creative process over to the reader:

+Is there a common occurrence that you have noticed in debate, discussion and
argument that you can give a name to?

+If you were to invent two hand signals what would they communicate?

+Do you think having our own private language would make newcomers feel alienated?
If so could we give newcomers introductory lessons into how we utilize language and signing?

+Should we teach classes on logical fallacies?

The Reclamation of Death and Birth as Sacred Rites

In between birth and death there exists life. How we honor the beginning and end
determines how we experience the middle.
It is my feeling and belief that no one should have to give birth or die under fluorescent
lighting surrounded by a sterile, unfeeling, and cold environment. There should be incense and
soft lighting and serene music and love and friends and family and an overall sense of
acknowledging both passages (into and out of life) as sacred.
As a speaker in the documentary “The Business of Being Born” says: Most people spend
more time researching a car or computer they want to buy than they do with their options for
giving birth.
An immensely powerful woman shaman I met in passing told me “Women have
forgotten how to give birth”. Men with PHDs who see birth not as sacred but as a something
akin to a medical procedure have stolen authority on birth-giving from the midwives and doulas
and molded birth into a drug induced patriarchal construct. Something as simple as the fact that
it is not anatomically healthy for the woman to give birth while laying down is ignored by these
“medical experts”.
It is also important to note that America does not have an exemplarily low rate of
maternal death.
Our culture has also succumbed to normalizing genital mutilation in the case of male
children. I understand that people have been swayed into believing this is no big deal and just a
normal affair but circumcision is a needless, painful and altering operation in truth. One needs
only to do a minimal amount of research to understand that the process is not medically
necessary. More often than not anesthetics are not used. Most people think it’s just a tiny flap
of skin that is removed but the foreskin makes up for quite a percentage of the child’s phallus. I
recommend using an internet search engine (preferably Ecosia over Google) to find images of
the “circumcision procedure”. I have made this search and I can say rightly that it looks painful
as all hell. Evidence shows that the trauma from the pain of this cruel initiatory passage into a
cruel world makes lasting effects on the brain of the child. The foreskin is also teeming with
nerve endings so there is a marked decrease in the amount of sexual pleasure a cut male can
experience. There is literally a Reddit group full of men devoted to manually manipulating their
cut phalluses to re-grow their foreskin because they are trying to reclaim their natural biological
state… which is a process that apparently takes circa two years of daily labor.
When I told the shaman woman I had mentioned earlier about the fact that I wish I had
not been circumcised she told me “I’m deeply sorry that that happened to you, but it was
allowed by your mother because she was made to forget her own maternal power and fiercely
protective nature by the powers of patriarchy.” That resonated with me deeply. We have all
been relentlessly conditioned to forget our true power and we doubt ourselves at every corner.
We have given away our power. Or perhaps it has been taken from us.
Either way… it is time for us to take it back.
We don’t need to ask anyone for permission to do this. We only need educate ourselves
and our neighbors. If someone you know is expecting, recommend to them that they read Tina
Cassidy’s Birth and watch The Business of Being Born. It takes a village to bring a child into this
world and it takes a village to see them on their way out.
May we honor both birth and death.
And may way thereby honor life.

America’s Pseudo-Democracy Versus the Rarely Ever Spoken About


Alternative Concept of a Democratic Meritocracy

A recent study performed by Princeton University revealed that America is not a


Democracy, but an Oligarchy. An oligarchy is defined as “a form of government in which all
power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.” This
is not terribly surprising.
I would say there is no real need for a study into this inquiry. It is self evident.
The existence of the electoral college is ridiculously undemocratic, but what is even
stranger to my mind is the fact that people still vote for the president even though it’s quite
clear that the existence of the electoral college renders their vote for president a purely
symbolic gesture. I don’t mean to knock anyone for voting. I totally get it. But it’s just self
evident. It’s symbolic. It has no real power. Look at George Bush Jr. He got in despite losing the
popular vote.
Many local elections also boil down to who spends the most money on their running
campaign. Having a lot of money to throw around—or worse, having a lot of corporate money
invested in the candidate’s campaign that renders him a pawn for said corporate donors—is not
a good qualifier for political candidacy.
Most of the prior chapters in this book focus on solutions that do not require appealing
to or ousting false authorities. This current chapter is written with a partial focus on idealistic
conditions. But it can also be applied to selecting leaders within The Black House framework, for
which we need not have to ask permission of or oust established false authorities/governmental
figures.
But as a physicist ignores air resistance in his equations that analyze how fast a feather
and bowling ball fall when dropped from the same height, let us also take certain factors out of
our equation to open our minds to possibility. Let’s say that we could simply, without resistance
from established powers, radically redesign the governance of America. What would that ideal
governance look like?
This admission may tar my image in the eyes of some but I will confess that part of me is
a romantic and I find there to be great allure in the “no gods, no masters” philosophy of
Anarchy. In an ideal world a lack of hierarchy is attractive, but I think it is also natural for people
to depend on people in leadership positions, preferably leaders who encourage others to lead
themselves. So if I had to pick a form of governance it would be that of a Democratic
Meritocracy.
In a democratic meritocracy leaders would be selected by their merit. This can be done
scientifically and democratically. The people could come together as a whole and determine
what qualities and values their ideal leaders would embody. Then the populace could be
scientifically searched for people/potential leaders who embody those values and qualities.
Qualities embodied could include empathy, sensitivity to the suffering of others, the
willingness for self sacrifice, an innate desire to share wealth and see all humans as deserving of
all that life has to offer, humility, a great sense of responsibility to others, relative immunity to
the corrupting nature of power, wisdom, open mindedness, strength, the ability to listen deeply
and communicate effectively, the ability to inspire, intelligence, expertise in many relevant areas
of life and thought, self awareness, conviction, a willingness to acknowledge mistakes, bravery,
and a sense of honor.
Values held could include opposition to bigotry in all its forms, a utopian mindset, a
placed importance on the value of love, deep care for the health of the planet, a desire to see
wealth more evenly distributed, the desire to eliminate as much suffering as possible, a disdain
for war, a love of peace, a disdain for corruption and greed, a love of liberty and freedom,
emphasis on the importance of art, the desire to see education reformed, a love of children,
care for the sick and dying, the desire to oppose patriarchy and rape culture, and the desire to
create sustainable and regenerative cultures.
In an extreme case, theoretically, a potential leader could be tested via a staged setup.
They could be tested for their willingness to lay down their life to save others from harm. I am
not necessarily advocating such an intense happening. I don’t think it is necessarily kosher to
play with someone’s sense of reality. I am merely seeking to prime the imagination of the reader
regarding the possibilities of a meritocratic approach to selecting leaders.
It should be clear that in an ideal world the implementation of this meritocratic
approach would serve us better than the current pseudo-democracy by which we are ruled.
How to implement it is a whole other story. However, we can abide by this meritocratic ethos
within the black house culture if we need to structure leadership. If we can prove through
example that this method works then we can sway people to demand that it be implemented on
a larger scale.

The Snowball Effect: Win Hearts and Minds


Then Win by Practicality

In the beginning stages of the development of the black house network we will mostly
be appealing to people’s minds and hearts. If we demonstrate to people through
communication the possibility that a range of our solutions are potentially viable then they may
be willing to test the waters and contribute.
However as our resource pool grows with our growing numbers we have more to offer
on a practical level.
Imagine someone who lost their job. Someone in this position may be more than willing
to accept non-monetary compensation in the form of access to the community resource pool for
their working of a grassroots/bottom-up job.
Imagine a resource pool so large that we can sway a landlord to donate an apartment to
our resource pool. We can then offer people places to live on a non-monetary basis for working
grassroots jobs. Essentially the more people we convince to drop out of the dominant
capitalistic/patriarchal paradigm the more we can offer practicality. It is much like how birds
migrate from one place to another when the resources dwindle or the weather changes.
However I must note: I find it is important to juggle grand visions of hope with realistic
expectations. Even the smallest impact is worthwhile. The value of hearts and minds may
perhaps outweigh practicality.

Initiatory Rites

Throughout the history of humanity, initiatory rites—such as initiatory rights into


adulthood—have played an important role in the evolution of the individual. We lack this
mindset in our current culture. That may be one of the reasons why we have so many of what
are considered “adult children” in our society—people who have come of age but are still
dependent upon their parents or caretakers. They have not fully stepped into the role of
independent human because there was no invitation for them to do so.
It is possible that within black house culture we can reclaim the human tradition of
initiatory rights. This may sound cultish so I think this aspect of black house culture should be
voluntary and optional and not necessarily commonplace but essentially we are looking for a
very human way of offering people ways to experience our humanness. We can help people
explore what it means to be a human.
We live in a very intellectually driven world. It asks of us to come at life with a
perspective of mind. But it pays for us ask of ourselves how far can I swim, how long can I hold
my breath, how long can I stay in a freezing ice bath. These things make us more human. They
help us honor our bodies as the gift of eons of evolution that they are.
By encouraging people to test their limits we empower them. Our dominant cultural
programming plays us down, encouraging us to live our longing for personal strength vicariously
through strong fictional characters and voyeurism/fandom. If we can step into our physical
power we can step into our “spiritual” power. Many of you may have an aversion to the term
“spiritual” but by “spiritual” we simply mean our “deep essence and nature”. Our ability to hold
love in our bodies is spiritual. How we manifest and express that love is power. It may be
through art or speech or subversively taking on the “powers that be”, but either way it is our
core essence and true power.
An initiation may be as simple as holding a physically strenuous yoga asana for fifteen
minutes or as elaborate as performing a burning coal walk or perhaps staying submerged in an
ice bath for ten minutes.
Either way… life itself is an initiatory rite but that doesn’t mean we can’t implement
traditional themes of initiation into our lives to make them that much richer.

Creative Ways of Facilitating Conversation


And Problem Solving

One of the most basic ways of creatively facilitating conversation is the talking stick
circle. We simply pass a stick around and whoever holds the stick can speak their piece. This can
give shy people who do not like to interrupt others their chance to be heard.
Alternatively, we can each write a question and place it in a vessel. Each person then
draws a question, answers it, then passes the vessel to the next person.
There also exist ways of challenging “group think” by designating people at different
times to play the “devil’s advocate”.
Rapid group learning can be facilitated by weekly book reports. Each person chooses a
book. The group then unites after having read their books and each person reports to the group
the most important things they learned from the book. In this way we increase the breadth and
depth of our learning.
We can also hold conventions with different speakers and lecturers who expound
various topics in depth much in the vein of TED talks.
It is not my intention to give an exhaustive list of ways to facilitate conversation and
problem solving. I am once more priming the reader’s imagination. There is likely a source or
book dedicated solely to this topic that the author is unaware of. In this case it could perhaps be
brought to his attention.

Leveraging the Power of Existing Movements

Although what we are doing is very unique, we are not alone.


When I shared with someone years back some of the ideas that have been put into this
book she brought to my attention that there was a group called the Transition Town Network
that was doing something similar. I have researched them and to my knowledge and
understanding they are not trying to implement many of the solutions that make The Black
House Project a potentially powerful movement, but there exists within their movement a
wealth of human beings who want to act to usher in a better world. Keeping open
communication between our two groups can yield a powerful synthesis and alchemy, whereby
each one can lend to the other.
Another group that I am vaguely aware of is Deep Green Resistance. I am not necessarily
in full alignment with all their values—I will not state which ones I am in disagreement with—
but surely there is common ground. There also exist a number of think tanks devoted to solving
local and global problems of which I have read in passing. Once again, open communication
between us and existing groups can yield synthesis and alchemy.
It is important to understand that as we grow in number we will be naturally made
aware of other existing groups. Teleconferences, collaboration, and idea trading with these
groups can be incredibly effective here. It might even be in the interest of both parties’ higher
aims for The Black House movement to adopt some or all of their membership in certain cases,
particularly in the case that our movement is more effectively gaining traction and getting more
accomplished.
I read a book once named “Never Eat Alone” by a man named Keith Ferrazzi. Despite
the fact that the author was a typical capitalist obsessed with money and power I learned a lot
from him. The basic moral of the story was 1) Networking with people is incredibly powerful and
2) Write letters to high places, so to speak.
If we read books about ecology and revolution and making the world a better place
don’t stop at reading the book. That’s a one way street communication. Email the author. Tell
her what you thought of the book and let her know that you want to collaborate in some
fashion. Seek a mutual win-win relationship. Offer her what you can. See what she can offer
you.
If a celebrity—whether they be a traditional A-list celebrity or some kind of intellectual
relative celebrity in their field—comes up on your radar as being like-minded or invested in our
aims then figure out a way to get a hold of them. Talk to Noam Chomsky. Or Bernie Sanders. Or
Russell Brand. Or Lewis Black. Or John Stewart. Or whoever it would make sense to form an
alliance with. But not until we really have our act together. We must first have ourselves very
well established to effectively engage in these networking actions. As Ferrazzi made a point of
expressing in “Never Eat Alone”, you talk to people primarily about what you can offer them,
not the other way around. And what greater thing can you offer to someone than an
improvement upon the world they inhabit?

The Subversive Power of Being Weird

In this highly conditioned life with its placed emphasis on the concept of normalcy as a
requisite to belonging in community and the alternative concept of mental pathology it is a
highly rebellious act to be weird.
The greatest poets border upon madness.
If everything we do is a madman poem to life then we can taste her immense freedom.
As long as there exists within our own mind an inner voice of disapproval then we are under
control of the status quo. We inflict this control upon ourselves. We are in effect our own jailers.
Even when there is no one around to judge us we judge ourselves.
Freud asserted that the egoic structure is threefold in nature. Our ego is our sense of
identity and self. Our id is the primal instinct of the Human Animal. Our superego is the nagging
conscience who tells us our primal instinct and thereby our true essence is ugly and unlovable. I
watched a short film by Slavov Zizek once comparing this threefold egoic structure to the Bate’s
Motel of Alfred Hithcock’s horror film “Psycho”. The floor level of the motel is where the
murderer wears his mask of normality. This is how he presents himself to the world. This is the
ego. The bottom floor is where he does his dirty work. This is the id. The primal, self-centered
reptilian-brain-driven primal urges. The upstairs is the voice of the overprotective mother. This
is the nagging conscience otherwise known as the super ego.
When I relayed this metaphor at a group meditation/satsang one of the meditators
became visibly fearful at the notion that this is who we are in truth. That we are just in truth this
threefold egoic structure of conflict and contradiction. He asked “Well what do we do then?” I
didn’t have an answer for him at the time. The answer came to me later: What we do is leave
the motel.
When we embody freedom we rebel against not only the outer forces that seek to
control us but our own inner control-oriented-programming. Undoing our own reflexive
structures of self-imprisonment is perhaps the most rebellious action we can take. The outer
agents of control benefit deeply by the fact that we have been programmed to disempower
ourselves.
We are also programmed to disempower others in the fashion of lobsters in a bucket.
Recently it started pouring rain where I live. I live in an apartment complex. I stripped
down to my boxers and went out into the rain with my sacred hoop drum and drummed with
the powers of the earth. It was so beautiful. I felt free from self restriction but I tried to make
sure others did not see me due to likely judgments. I was still imprisoned.
So how do we rebel against inner and outer voices of criticism?
By being mega weird. Without apology.
Jump rope in the rain outside of Walmart. Slow dance with your partner in a coffee shop
while waiting in line. Speak in non-sequiter to someone who is obviously terribly stuck in the
American Nightmare and show them love in doing so. Say something random but beautiful in
conversation. Order a burrito with salsa verde and extra pico de gallo at a bank. Scream
“Consume! Consume!” in a shopping mall. Things like this remind people on the receiving end of
weirdness that they are alive. That they too can embrace freedom.
The power of breaking norms is limitless in nature.
Collaborative effort between relatively large groups of people can make “weirdo power”
unstoppable.
People are unfortunately a bit like herd animals. It has been demonstrated through
psychological experimentation that if someone steps into a crowded elevator wherein everyone
is facing the far wall away from the door and button displays that this person will conform to
this bizarre oddity and face the same direction as the other riders despite the fact that this is not
regularly commonplace and that in a practical sense they cannot see when they are supposed to
get off at their floor. This is crazy. But it’s part of human nature.
Even when we are alone we can experiment with weirdness. It comes down to
embodying a playful quality. We don’t have to take everything so seriously. No one gets out of
this alive, so we might as well be gentle with ourselves. We can be very serious in our
commitment to make the world a better and simultaneously be playful and joyous and
lighthearted.
So what happens when breaking the norms becomes the norm?
Perhaps then we can answer the question, what does it mean to be free?

The Essential Nature and Beauty of Basic Income:


Neutralizing the Threat of Automation

The age of automation has already begun. The receptionist at my local blood drawing
lab has been replaced by an electronic kiosk. People come in with puzzled looks and the people
in the waiting room direct their attention to the kiosk. Countless register workers at
supermarkets have been replaced by electronic check out machines. Fast food restaurants are
replacing their employees with automated ordering technologies and payment systems. I’ve
seen some amazing video footage of robotic chefs that prepare elaborate meals on command…
dicing onions, mixing ingredient and such. Pretty impressive stuff. And pretty terrifying to
anyone who spent good money and time on a culinary degree. Soon enough, according to what
I’ve been reading, there will be self driving delivery trucks.
With our society’s predominant mindset of work or starve this spells very bad news for
us. But if we capitalize on the opportunity it can easily be a beautiful thing.
To properly prepare ourselves for these changes, the words on everyone’s lips should be
“universal basic income”. By the powers of universal income all humans are given the basic
necessities of life and perhaps a bit more. They are thereby freed up to create art and love
deeply through voluntary work and make the world a better place. People get so caught up in
the hustle of living that they forget that the point of life is to enjoy. It is not a crime to be idle in
a world of excess.
Most people are not familiar with this concept of basic income. They are lost in the spell
cast by the work or starve mentality. But knowledge is power. When armed with the knowledge
of viable alternatives to any given problem, the populace is not easily fooled. If we don’t want
the rug to be pulled out from under us by automation we must recruit people en masse to the
ethos of universal basic income… and together we’ll explore space, both inner and outer.

Days of War, Nights of Love


(Daze of War, Knights of Love)

Every day will be a hard fought battle for the good of all, but we must never lose sight of
love or art. If our work of improving the world begins to feel like drudgery we must find the
immediate antidote for this. May we each bring our unique vision to this honor that is serving
our communities and our planet. May we laugh and heal and cry. May we live deeply with grace.
May we grow in wisdom every day. May there be peace within us. May we transform this world
through the power of love.

Important Notes for First Edition Readers

The reading of this book is only step one, for this book is explicitly meant to facilitate
deliberate action among its readership. Without action taken by the readership and author this
book is dead and lifeless. It means nothing. Like I stated in the introduction, some people will
read this book or half of it and cast it aside. Others—perhaps yourself—will take to its solution
oriented power and decide that this broad array of solutions that can be put into effect via The
Black House Project is something worth upholding. This won’t happen overnight, but we need
people working round the clock to turn these ideas into action.
As I stated earlier, this book is a bird’s call into the wilderness. When we hear the call of
our own kind echoed back to us we know we are not alone. And furthermore we can gather in
the same tree and build nests together. We can organize. And when we organize we can
together actualize the picture that this book has painted.
Upon the initial date of publishing this first edition there exists a physical space to
gather on Long Island New York. Specifically in Bayport.
If you are in alignment with our values and do not have time to contribute your “labor”
please consider donating. There will be full transparency regarding how we utilize donations.
Our website is currently not terribly impressive but you can find out how to donate at
theblackhouseproject.com. Also consider sharing this book with your friends. And if you have
anything to share you can reach me at theblackhouseprojectfounder@gmail.com. I am willing
to speak over the phone but please make your initial contact through email.
Our website is currently under construction and will be for quite some time. It will be
updated frequently to keep the readership up to date regarding our progress. I highly encourage
the reader to visit our website to ascertain where we are at in our process of development, this
way the reader can assess how they may best contribute to this movement. I do not know how
the pieces will fall into place at this point. I only bring this up to place importance on flexibility in
the face of the unknown. So we shall see.
Check out the updates on the website. Share this with your friends. Reach out to me via
email. And thank you kindly for your time and attention.