Sandy Hook in a New Light:
Lately I find myself attempting to fit both personal experience and global events into a General Systems framework. General Systems Theory is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry pioneered by biologist Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy. It seeks to expound principles that are applicable to a whole variety of systems, including social systems.
So what, if anything, can Systems Analysis reveal to us about an event such as the Sandy Hook Massacre? What good could possibly come out of such a disorienting debacle? Is it just another sign of how rotten the world is, or can we take a step back and somehow tease out a silver-lining?
We have to approach these sorts of questions with a non-linear brand of logic. It is necessary to leave our dogmatic assumptions at the door. In doing so, we are able to accept that notions of direct causality and random occurrences are illusory within the context of complex, chaotic systems. There are no isolated, meaningless accidents in an open and interconnected world. The collective inertia of human culture is being drawn to what might be called a strange attractor; a destination point.
As fractured constituents of the whole, it is understandably difficult for us to comprehend this larger picture. Regardless, the natural trajectory of ecological systems including our own is toward ever-increasing efficiency, cooperation, and adaptability. Hidden order is nature’s rule, not some special case.
As we continue to develop, mistakes and contentiousness should be expected and thought of as necessities for progress. They are not unpleasant experiences to be avoided. They exist within models of complex systems because they serve as positive feedback mechanisms; they help regulate interdependent ecologies like ours. Over the long term, the dialectic process serves to increase the system’s integrity and stability.
I think most of us understand that we learn and grow wise through both direct experience and peer-to-peer interaction. Sometimes the experience is painful, or uncomfortable, but it is not without merit. With this in mind, we can come to comprehend tragedies such as Sandy Hook and the rabid debates surrounding them on a deeper level. These types of events are in fact turbulent fluctuations that, in time, add up to the constructive reordering of society as we know it. They serve to lead us into a new maturity as a species.
We are witnessing this primordial process play itself out via the flurry of online, wildcat journalism revolving around the Sandy Hook story. We have seen an unprecedented cascade of bi-directional information flow. Abundant dialogue and grassroots intelligence-gathering is emerging from all sides of the issue.
Because our social order is an embedded part of the planet’s ecology, we are unwittingly subject to its flows and processes. This is not to say we are deterministic slaves. Rather, we have the choice to act in accordance with the ebbs and flows of nature or we can choose to vainly struggle against them. We can either co-create or self-destruct.
But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me first dissect the evidence surrounding the December 14th shooting. Since mid-December, it has morphed into a truly surreal and polarizing storyline that has yet to produce a completely coherent narrative or body of evidence. A plethora of logical and evidentiary inconsistencies have cropped up all over the place. These clear patterns of contradiction should give us serious pause; enough so to demand a careful reconsideration of the official story.
Dissecting the Event:
The mainstream narrative as most of us now know is that a mentally-disturbed, heavily-armed lone gunman named Adam Lanza stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School with an assault weapon and four handguns. He supposedly killed over twenty people before turning the gun on himself and committing suicide. Lanza was reported to have killed his own mother as well, who was initially thought to be a teacher at the school. Rising in opposition to this storyline, the conspiratorial camp argues that hardly any of this holds up to close scrutiny. Many Truthers believe that the entire event was a staged theatrical event; a false-flag.
I believe the truth, as it usually does, lies somewhere in the middle. If you look closely at the arguments, you can see that both sides are succumbing to the same sort of fundamentalist trappings that are ubiquitous in Western culture. Each side seems all too happy to ignore inconvenient pieces of evidence that might endanger their rigid positions. Meanwhile they are failing to unite around the major, unresolved issues that everyone should be interested in getting to the bottom of.
First let me state that I don’t believe the entire event was faked; I do think people were killed. However I am inclined to believe the shooting did not happen as reported by the mainstream media, and is quite possibly some manner of a false-flag operation. In my opinion, it’s far too inconsistent and politically convenient to be anything but.
This really isn’t that radical a position to take if one adopts a historical perspective. For example, very few people living in 1930s Germany believed the Burning of the Reichstag was the handiwork of their own domestic government, but it was. Likewise how many Americans realize, or even care, that a cabal of fascist business-interests attempted to enlist hero-marine Smedley Butler to lead a violent coup in 1934? The conspirators hoped to overthrow the very foundations of American democracy. The plot might have succeeded had Butler not had the integrity and wherewithal to report the conspiracy to Congress.
History demonstrates over and over again that political elites and financial power brokers manufacture atrocities for personal gain; why should 21st-Century America be so special? Conspiracies are nothing unusual historically speaking. We are totally deceiving ourselves, and being intellectually lazy, when we dismiss the word conspiracy out of hand without really looking at the evidence.
Before you label me as some sort of dogmatic zealot, let me first point out what I believe to be some rather tepid pieces of evidence coming out of the conspiracy camp. Contrary to the view of some Truthers, I believe that Sandy Hook was a legitimate, fully-operational school. Just because a few overhead shots from Google-Earth don’t show it swarming with activity on a particular day, doesn’t mean anything of substance.
I also feel that many people were in fact killed on that day. 1st-grader Emilie Parker was not pictured with Obama a day after her reported death. Several thorough YouTube videos and blog-posts have presented convincing photographic evidence of the Parker family that prove neither girl pictured with the President was Emily. I find it very hard to believe that any coalition clever or ballsy enough to attempt a huge false flag would make such an amateurish mistake.
The same logic can be applied to the alleged faux-charity sites. These appeared to have been set up a day or two before the shooting took place. Once again, I think this view has been refuted by the online community. These discrepancies are much more likely a byproduct of time-stamp programming glitches rather than some insanely idiotic and blatant misstep by a secret cabal. Other questions, like those surrounding the fishy behavior of resident Gene Rosen, don’t seem all that important to me either.
Compared to other pieces of irreconcilable information, weak evidence like this is negligible. It only serves to muddy the water. It’s flimsy, and it’s unhelpful in actually waking people up to the truth. Do we really want justice, or do we just want to flatter our own biases? What should be focused on is quality, not quantity. It only takes a couple pieces of tenuous and silly-looking evidence to completely discredit your entire case in the majority’s eyes. So what should we consider as strong evidence for some sort of cover-up? Or at the very least, evidence of a completely unforgivable and botched reporting job by the corporate media?
1) First and foremost, who is that fellow in camouflage pants and a dark jacket funning from police in the woods behind the school? This mystery man was later witnessed by onlookers and parents to have said, “I didn’t do it” as he was escorted through the parking lot. He was then put in the front seat of the police car, and never heard of again. Was this a possible accomplice?
Some have attempted to explain this away by citing an LA Times article about a Newtown resident named Chris Manfredonia. Mr. Manfredonia allegedly had a 1st-grade daughter attending the school. He reportedly went that day to help her class make gingerbread houses. He was later found “running around the school” by police, and handcuffed for a brief time. This storyline appears to have been corroborated by a child eye-witness. However, the scene that played out in the woods in no way matches this description.
In yet another attempt to dispel the enigma, a Newtown Bee article provided an alternative and extremely vague explanation:
”A man with a gun who was spotted in the woods near the school on the day of the incident was an off-duty tactical squad police officer from another town, according to the source.”
What was an armed, off-duty SWAT member with no connection to the school or town doing there? Regardless of that, why did he feel the need to run from fellow officers? What was his name and what were his motives? What source provided the Newtown Bee with this information? Details have not been forthcoming.
2) After initial reports identified the Bushmaster assault rifle as the primary weapon used in the shootings. This story quickly changed, and for the next two weeks it was reported by the likes of NBC News that the assault rifle was not the primary weapon. The Bushmaster was believed to have been found in Lanza’s trunk. However, video evidence showing police personnel sloppily removing the alleged rifle from the trunk was later pointed out to be footage of a shotgun, not an assault rifle.
How could such blatantly sloppy and inaccurate reporting continue for weeks, even after medical examiner Wayne Carver confirmed at his press conference a day after the shooting that the victims were subdued by the Bushmaster rifle? Why such prolonged confusion over such a simple yet highly relevant piece of information?
3) Adam Lanza’s mother was initially reported to be a teacher at the school. This wasn’t just some minor journalistic oversight. This confirmation allegedly came from an interviewed eyewitness: a school nurse named Sally Cox who managed to escape the bloodbath. She was reported to have known Lanza’s mother personally, and told the on-site reporter what a wonderful teacher and loving person she was. Then later that evening on a local Channel 3 newscast it was confirmed that Lanza’s mother had no connection to the school. Was this distraught nurse really who she said she was? And if she was legitimate what accounts for such a highly misleading account? How can we possibly reconcile these stories?
4) The controversy surrounding Principal Diane Hochsprung followed a similar script. The morning of the shooting, the Newtown Bee published this account on their website:
“Sandy Hook School principal Dawn Hochsprung told the Bee that a masked man entered the school with a rifle and started shooting multiple shows – more than she could count – that went “on and on.”
Here’s the problem: ABC News ran an official story that same day confirming that Dawn Hochsprung was one of the first to die in the massacre:
“In her final moments, Hochsprung, 47, reportedly gave her life Friday to save the lives of countless students and teachers when she sprung from a conference room at the sound of gunshots and confronted head-on the armed shooter who had barged into the school.”
The Newtown Bee did in fact issue a retraction stating:
“An early online report from the scene at the December 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School quoted a woman who identified herself to our reporter as the principal of the school. The woman was not the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the Friday morning attack. The quote was removed from subsequent online versions of the story, but the original story did remain in our online archive for three days before being deleted. We apologize for whatever confusion this may have caused our readers and for any pain or anguish it may have cause the Hochsprung family.”
But once again, what are we to make of this? How was contact with this faux-witness made? Why would this individual feel inclined to manufacture such a horrible lie? Was it simply some manner of sadistic mind-game being played by a sick-minded scammer? Or was it a purposefully misleading plant meant to create a false impression about the shooting in the public consciousness?
5) Also worth calling into question is the testimony given by lead medical examiner Wayne Carver during his press conference a day after the shooting. Amongst other things, Dr. Carver offered a rather questionable comment about the bullet wounds inflicted by the Bushmaster rifle:
“This type of weapon is not, uh … the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy—this is very clinical. I shouldn’t be saying this. But the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in [the tissue].”
Is that really accurate? As Media Studies Professor Jim Tracy has noted on his blog Memory Hole:
“In fact, the Bushmaster .223 Connecticut police finally claimed was used in the shooting is designed for long range field use and utilizes high velocity bullets averaging 3,000 feet-per-second, the energy of which even at considerable distance would penetrate several bodies before finally coming to rest in tissue”
Considering Dr. Carver proclaimed earlier in the press conference that he “probably knows more about firearms than most pathologists,” his prior statement appears even more dubious. On top of this, Dr. Carver could not even answer how many boys and how many girls were killed. Shouldn’t someone who was in charge of the postmortem know something this basic by heart? Carver also admitted early on that he had not done autopsies on the suspected shooter or his mother. Yet, when he was asked by a reporter whether Lanza had killed himself with the Bushmaster, Carver said:
“No. I—I don’t know yet. I’ll-I’ll examine him tomorrow morning. But, but I don’t think so.”
Why would Carver have any reason to believe Lanza didn’t shoot himself with the rifle if he had not seen the corpse? If he had yet to examine the body, why would he even consider speculating on this point at all?
6) Soon after the shooting took place, emergency medical personnel were inexplicably turned away by officers and quarantined off at the nearby firehouse. This obviously prevented the medics from identifying and reviving any potential survivors. In what appeared to be a complete breach of standard protocol, the police decided it was a better idea to assume the role of medical practitioners themselves. They proceeded to pronounce 26 of the 27 victims dead on site without input from the onsite professionals. Once again, why? Was there something the authorities did not want the paramedics to see?
7) Adam Lanza, a slender autistic with no known weapons training, appears to be the most statistically lethal killer in United States history. His killed to wounded ratio was 26:1; an absolutely astonishing kill rate of 96%. Considering what a highly unwieldy weapon an assault rifle is, how could a lone, inexperienced shooter prove to be so deadly? This certainly adds more weight to the idea that he may not have acted alone.
This is by no means a comprehensive accounting of the evidence. But for the sake of brevity I will leave it at that. What all this indicates at best is that legitimate journalism in this country no longer exists; at worst it represents a concerted effort to conceal a larger truth. Either way we have much to be concerned about.
I believe skeptical dialogue is healthy in an authentic democracy. America was founded upon the premise of questioning entrenched and arbitrary authority. Skeptics with integrity, like Professor Wayne Tracy, should be applauded for their iconoclastic stances. Instead they are made targets of character assassination. While the flurry of information one sees online is not always the most precise, tactful, or balanced, I believe it is working to collectively pull us toward a greater truth. We need to respect that possibility.
The Dirtiest Word of All:
Many people find these ideas deeply unsettling. If Sandy Hook was revealed to be a major psi-op, wouldn’t the United States become irreconcilably divided over the issue? Wouldn’t we spiral down into anarchy? Might it possibly lead to the dirtiest S-Word in the English language: Secession?
Even if a bona fide conspiracy is never fully revealed, the ensuing debate surrounding gun control and individual sovereignty could prove to be equally divisive issues. As former CIA-Officer and Open-Source Intelligence pioneer Robert David Steele has noted:
“I would ask the political left if they understand that this is only a temporary argument over gun control. Do they understand it will quickly become an argument over whether or not the country continues to exist as a single fifty state entity or breaks up into separate countries? I don’t think they do. Indeed, I don’t think most Americans understand that once this fight begins, in earnest, there will be no turning back and when it is ended—there will be no going back, either.”
In November of 2012 eight separate petitions from eight different states (including Vermont) accrued over 25,000 signatures a piece in favor of secession. Obviously this is clear evidence of a huge groundswell of disaffection throughout America. And if you actually care to study what the petitioners’ specific grievances entail, you quickly find that their motivations are not easily stereotyped or dismissed as simple minded.
However, many people caught up in the political mainstream strongly disagree with this point of view. Take for example Huffington Post contributor Jeff Schweitzer, a former White House Senior Policy Analyst. Schweitzer in his article titled ‘Secession Movement: It Is Neither Cute, Nor Funny’, puts forth what I believe to be an intellectually bankrupt and dogmatic appraisal of both secession movements and the historical record. He chooses to employ boot-licking rhetoric that strokes the current administration, while conveniently avoiding any legitimate criticisms of blatant constitutional criminality that would neutralize his entire argument.
He opens his article by stating, “Let’s be clear that the secession movement is racist no matter how vigorously that may be denied. There would be no movement if a white man was sitting in the oval office.” As to be expected, Schweitzer makes no mention of the Obama administration’s sanctioning of extrajudicial imprisonment and murder of US Citizens. Instead Schweitzer chooses to applaud the administration’s failed economic programs. He then resorts to ad hominem attack by stereotyping all secessionists as ignorant, racist Texans. In closing he states, “Secessionists cannot be patriots…Anybody signing a secession petition should be deeply ashamed…Secession is treason…Make a choice; be a proud American or a proud Secessionist. You cannot be both.”
This sounds startlingly similar to George W Bush’s famous ultimatum: “You’re either with us, or against us.” What does this brand of adolescent silliness accomplish beside deepening people’s prejudices and animosity toward one another? As Schweitzer’s statements clearly demonstrate, there is no substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans; it’s a two-party tyranny. They both possess a total lack of self-awareness and empathy. While I could disassemble his nonsensical arguments further, an anonymous comment posted in response to Schweitzer’s article has already done so for me:
“So, you’re telling me that wanting to succeed because the president has legalized the murder without trial of Americans, the torture of prisoners of war, wire tapping, spying on our own citizens, and other acts of Tyranny is Racist?
And yes…there are people who want to succeed due to racist motivations. But don’t dye us all with the same brush. Some of us are legitimately concerned about the rapid erosion of our constitutional rights, the loss of due process, and the pin-pricks in congress.”
While I don’t believe that secession is an absolute necessity, if there is no other reasonable or actionable plan on the table to curtail the outrageous ineptitude, arrogance, and warmongering of the corporatist government, I think it’s a viable option worth exploring.
Before moving forward, let me briefly touch upon concerns about Civil War. The American Civil War was not some straightforward, melodramatic conflict between heroic abolitionists and evil slaveholding secessionists. In reality many Northerners happily upheld the institution of slavery. Meanwhile down South huge numbers of uneducated, poor whites were politically marginalized and deceived by the elite land-holding gentry. While black slaves certainly had it worse, poor whites were also desperate victims who suffered similar indignities.
As demonstrated by historian Sharon Smith in her brilliant book Subterranean Fire, racist sentiments among common people were a manufactured contrivance; a byproduct of propaganda and scapegoating initiated by opportunistic political elites. These manipulators leveraged people’s desperation and ignorance for their own gain. We see the same theme repeating itself today as slick political interests attempt to blame Mexican immigrants for the dilapidated state of the U.S. economy.
At its heart the Civil War was fueled by cynical, financial power-games being played by political elites and industry power brokers; nothing more, nothing less. To blame the eruption of war on a philosophical commitment to true freedom is narrow-minded at best. We do a great disservice to the memories of those who died by attempting to phase out historical nuance. If political warmongers think it’s appropriate to coerce people through force then they are the ones choosing the violent path. As it currently stands, the Federal Government no longer serves the people. It does nothing but protect white collar criminals from accountability and mutilate Middle-Eastern people with depleted uranium. I ask you: what exactly is worth preserving about this despicable Union?
Returning to Systems Theory:
There is little doubt that centralized, hegemonic, hierarchical forms of organization soon meet with diminishing returns on efficiency over time. Broken systems like ours become unable to efficiently channel the ever-escalating flow of human energy, complexity, and creativity. When this happens, just as it does in all non-linear systems, divisions occur. More efficient structures emerge out of necessity to constructively channel and spend this pent up human potential. As the brilliant Systems Philosopher Sally Goerner articulates it in her book Chaos and the Evolving Ecological Universe:
“Problems with the current [centralized] strategy are easy to see. Control is linearized. Information becomes more and more filtered as it is transmitted and retransmitted up the hierarchy…control stifles the creative self-organizing activity that is likely to lead to the greatest strides in development. Since ecological growth [and evolution] unfolds in endlessly surprising ways, trying to over-fit it to a pre-planned direction works only for systems of a limited complexity…Dominator societies contain the seeds of their own destruction…”
“Before its exhaustion and shortfall, we experience relative constancy. Yet, in fact, existence oscillates between local, relative constancy and inexorable change. Absolute rest and permanence do not exist. Adaptation to a homeostatic status quo is not an appropriate model for survival — especially in critical times…Division is one way for the field to increase its efficiency…Splitting increases overall entropy production and increases the efficiency of that production.”
Clearly then, a defining feature of a highly successful and cooperative system is its decentralized character. The United States, in both the private and public sectors, is so overly centralized that crony capitalism and politics-for-hire will never be weeded out of the system as it currently stands. The entrepreneurial spirit of America is literally being smothered by cartel-capitalism and bureaucratic imposition; you can’t even put a simple hoop house up in your backyard without the regulatory authority showing up to threaten you. People are punished in this country if they attempt to adopt a self-sufficient and off the grid lifestyle. Therefore secessionist suggestion is not something to be spit upon, but rather something to be discussed intelligently.
As the Hidden Order Principle of Systems Theory implies, the planet is moving toward a more sustainable direction by inducing fractures in the over-grown, dysfunctional collective. Creation and Destruction are two sides of the same coin; we cannot have one without the other. This means we should not fear abandoning a sinking ship for greener pastures.
Instead we should seek to build a saner future by moving away from centralized solutions. Establishing Open-Source models and cultivating local resilience should be our prime directive. These alternative models already thrive in small pockets all over the planet; they are simply awaiting their opportunity to blossom and take shape on a large scale. In time, I believe we will rediscover sustainable models of coexistence resembling the Native-American Confederacies that thrived in North America long before Imperialistic-Europeans arrived on the scene.
While Sandy Hook is certainly depressing, when viewed from the appropriate angle, it gives us all a reason to be enthused about being alive in the here and now. The world as we know it is not in the situation it is because humanity is evil. Rather humanity has become stuck in a state of arrested development; our evolution as a species has plateaued and it’s driving us toward madness. This is because corrupt people in power have pressed the pause button on progress. I assure you, we are meant to move beyond this antiquated paradigm.
In the same way 9/11 awakened legions of people to a deeper understanding of world events, I believe an event like Sandy Hook has the potential to completely topple people’s faith in the current broken paradigm. I think no matter where we stand on certain issues, we can all agree that certain values never go out of style and are worth uniting around: Justice, Fairness, and Equity for all.