In 2002, it seems the feds did a number on my credibility.
That May and part of June, I did media work for the historic federal trial, “Judi Bari vs the FBI” – where I experienced weird, nighttime altered states of consciousness (which seemed electronic in nature), then came home to read for the first time websites on mind control, which terrified me – and also let me understand my life – a simultaneous, contradictory relief, which barely counter-balanced my urge to quickly find a way to die.
Between bouts of serious disability, I pulled myself together enough to produce this radio show titled, “Spooks” – which aired on our community radio station on Halloween night, 2002.
(For the innocent – spooks is a term commonly used for government spies.)
The story was meant to address the paranoia in our local Earth First! community that year over spies and infiltration, but do it in an inspiring way. So, I self-deprecatingly presented my story of having recently been “bad jacketed” – an FBI tactic, to cast suspicion on certain people, to discredit them.
So I produced this piece while reeling from four major shocks: first, daily close proximity for six weeks to FBI liars who protected a would-be assassin, arrested the wounded activists, harassed scores of activists with their “investigation,” and put our friends at further risk with false accusations to the media; second, experiences of what I assumed were electronic harassment at night; third, realizing I’d been a mind control subject since childhood and was still almost certainly being monitored; and fourth, having my sincere attempts to calm the group anxiety with simple education turned into my being personally attacked as a probable spy!
I was shocked, dumbfounded, and deeply, deeply hurt.
But, ironically, I probably was a spy! I just didn’t know it then. It would dawn on me slowly that, as a mind control subject, I most assuredly had been some sort of threat to them, albeit unconscious, but this hadn’t quite sunk into my mind during those first terrifying months of realizing I’d been a mind control subject since childhood.
So my local Earth First! was probably right to eject me, but the reason was wrong, and the manner was horrifying to experience.
[My voice sounds very young on this recording, even though I was 50 at the time. (That’s multiple-ness for ya.) Maybe my younthful-sounding voice is also part of my attempt to assure listeners that a reasonable, even cheerful person could be an Earth First!er – even though the national media had usually presented us as the opposite.]
Now that I’ve listened to this feature (not an extemporaneous yack, but a carefully crafted, radio feature) for the umpteenth time in the last 12 years, and I’m proud of it.
It’s an important story – and world news not covered by the US major media. (So you’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of this story which everyone should know.)
Wait! I almost forgot:
How this production was used to discredit me: For the first 16 minutes, I tell the story with music, then I present my solution to fear (which I sorely needed, to deal with my special load): I borrowed a few lines from Leslie Marmon Silko’s book, Ceremony, which quotes Thought Woman:
Stories…aren’t just entertainment. Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see – all we have to fight off illness and death.
You don’t have anything if you don’t have the stories.
Their evil is mighty. But it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories. Let the stories be confused. Or forgotten. …
There is life here for the people – and in the belly of this story.
Very content with my production, I sat in my desert hermitage on Halloween night beside the fireplace, listening to the show being aired. Suddenly the host cut short my production – just before I introduced my uplifting solution, leaving a long litany of scary shit the feds had done just hanging, resonating fear, fear, fear, with no solution, and said, “Thank you, Jean Eisenhower, for this radio show on fear.
My work had been turned up-side-down! My lovingly-created, artistic effort to offer something spiritually uplifting to my community was chopped in the worst place possible, making me sound, instead, like a fear monger – the #1-hated boogeyman among EF!ers that year.
The host later agreed to air the piece in its entirety, but instead he did a bad fake of a cassette tape sticking and dragging (then described it as being “eaten,” a different sound), apologized to the audience, and threw my tape in the trash – or so he said, apparently hoping I hadn’t made a copy.
I had, and then he changed his mind and refused.
The next week, I got his co-host (having a tiff with him also) to air my entire show on her (recently split-off) first half of their show.
This is the sort of “mild harassment” that’s been done to labor, civil rights, and other social justice activists for decades – along with random murder attempts.
One FBI agent, Wesley Swearingen, wrote an excellent memoir late in his life, describing his misdeeds before he died: FBI Secrets: An Agent’s Expose’.
We in Earth First! experienced many sorts of dirty tricks similar to his accounts. And this treatment of me was classic.
Here’s my story.
(I used a hand-held cassette player to record my voice, then copied it, section by section, interspersing snippets from “Subterranean Blues” off an old vinyl record. Edits sound like they were made on equipment with funky, imprecise functions – which was the case! Many thanks to Leo Mellon for his tech and other support for this project.)