7 FIRST, A STORY I f you have ever met Richard Dolan in person, you know that he exudes confi- dence and energetic intelligence. So I was surprised last year when he walked into the private dining room for our subscriber lunch at the 21 Club in New York City. He looked a bit shaken – something I had never seen before. At the time, Richard was working on his new TV series and book on false flags. Greeting him, I said, “Richard, how are you?” Always forthright, Richard said, “Actually, I’m a bit shaken.” He thought for a minute and then added, “The research on false flags has been deeply troubling. I am struggling for words to express what I am feeling.” I laughed and said, “Oh, I think I know exact- ly how you are feeling. You are feeling like a chicken who has begun to see things from the farmer’s point of view and to conceptualize the science of livestock management.” Taken aback, he looked at me with surprise and said, “Yes, that’s exactly it.” It was one of those moments of sharing in- sights with a person of great intelligence and integrity when all loneliness disappears. When I first made the decision to write about control, I brainstormed my outline with an ally who insisted that I needed to introduce the topic within an overall framework as simple as possible. This is as simple as I can make the subject of control – a farmer, a flock of chickens and the art and science of livestock management. Indeed, it helps to live in an agricultural com- munity in order to understand human control systems. It also helps to get over the unpleas- antness of fathoming that we are the chickens and our leadership considers themselves the farmer. Our basic control systems are ancient. They have been evolving organically for centuries, and not all the result of evil conspiracies. Some control systems are the result of civilizations creating and maintaining ways of building consensus, remaining productive, and thriving. All civilizations involve systems. On one hand such systems are the key to our success. If we each had to do everything for ourselves without the ability to leverage our combined knowledge and infrastructure, we would lead very hard lives. On the other hand, every system we create is an opportunity for those with greater power to build more control and dependency into the system. So the benefit of each system often comes with the price of accepting more control. Our amazing smart phones give us access to immense amounts of information and instant communication. They also come with mind control, predatory capitalism and surveillance. Throughout history, control has been progres- sively reinvented to introduce new technology. Since the dawn of the 20th century, that has included the integration of progressively more powerful information technology and related weaponry. This integration has increasingly centralized control to the point where the very future existence of human civilization is now in question. Consequently, if we are going to preserve and grow a human civilization, we must under- stand control and how to shift the balance of power and increase the responsibility and leadership of humanity. “Our amazing smart phones give us access to immense amounts of information and instant communication. They also come with mind control, predatory capital- ism and surveillance.” “Governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – their own population.” – Noam Chomsky