Michael Ruppert’s six part series Apocalypse, Man, put together by Vice TV late last year.
Michael Ruppert died a few days ago, by his own hand. For those of you not familiar with him, he was a writer, activist and renegade–he’d been inside the Law Enforcement system and blown the whistle on criminality he saw firsthand as a police officer in the LAPD. He was destined for bigger things (his father had been in the CIA, and he was being groomed for bigger jobs). But he blew it all up, which you can watch in this video. In a public hearing, he confronted CIA director John Deutch with his own first-hand knowledge of CIA complicity in the cocaine trade in Los Angeles. Deutch was not prepared to answer someone who had real information, and the hearing (broadcast on C-SPAN) was a major blow to the agency. By then, Ruppert had burned his bridges and set out to be a journalist.
Throughout the last decade he was reporting things that no one else would touch. His website ‘From the Wilderness’ was the first to do real sourced reporting on the discrepancies between the events of 9/11 and the official story. He did a long article in 2002 called LUCY, YOU GOT A LOTTA ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO that pulled together reporting from all over the world on 9/11. For Ruppert, it all came down to energy. Ruppert was one of the people who tried to tie otherwise inexplicable government behavior with Peak Oil. His book CROSSING THE RUBICON lays out all the military issues involved in the wars in Iraq and the militarization of the Gulf. And he had connections in the intelligence and law enforcement business–he published reports on his website that had been leaked from military sources on a variety of oil-related issues.
And then in 2006, his operation was sabotaged. Someone destroyed all of the servers carrying his site and trashed his offices. He briefly escaped to South America but eventually came back to California. He is the centerpiece of a documentary called Collapse that was filmed in 2009. Ruppert had been driven into bankruptcy and was shunned by many of his former supporters. And his depression did not ease when he joined a Native American community where he lived out the rest of his life. It is clear in Apocalypse Man that he has had enough. He’s ready to transition to a next state of existence.
If you’re prone to depression, skip the fifth installment of Apocalypse, Man (he talks at length about Fukushima in a way that makes mere Doomer porn look limp). Though he is apoplectic about climate change and our inability to understand that the planet won’t support infinite growth, he was more concerned in recent months that Fukushima was a human extinction-level event.
On some level I followed Michael Ruppert’s reporting as I would want to watch a sportscaster who’s predicting a loss for a team I’m rooting for. You want to watch the game to the end just so you can see the sportscaster eat some crow. Unfortunately, I’m not sure he’s wrong. It’s especially disheartening to hear of his self-inflicted demise right now–Ruppert was one of the writers I followed when I started to explore Peak Oil, and many of his ideas are encapsulated in my new play The Hubbert Slope. Which is not to say I want people who watch this new piece to be suicidal. But I do hope Ruppert was at least partially wrong.
Update 4/18: I found a tribute from the people at the Resilience website (part of the Post Carbon Institute). If you aren’t familiar with Michael Ruppert’s work, this is as good a place as any to start. His work meant a great deal to many people.