Blood and Treasure / Edward Bear Miller

The Colonization of Your Mind: A Short Story of Counter-Insurgency in the Americas. (Part One)

Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilized world. — Jose Ortega y Gasset

Step One: Infiltrate

The most powerful element of a counter-insurgency strategy is simple and elegant. Those being targeted seldom, if ever, know what is happening to them. Even after it is too late. This is by design.

For many months, through the dead of winter, an exceptional community of disparate groups came together in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. They didn’t stand a chance.

And of course, they failed to ward off predatory forces.

A shadowy mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project. — The Intercept

Even more revealing than the documents and the revelations is the fact that not one major news outlet picked up the story. Not one major news outlet found or finds it newsworthy that highly trained mercenaries were hired by a Fortune 500 Corporation to prepare and execute a counter-insurgency strategy against American citizens, many of them veterans of US wars. Further, the irrefutable fact that men, deeply trained to kill, disable and destroy other human beings, were able to successfully coordinate their activity with police departments across five states and in alignment with Federal agencies also appears to be unimportant to every major news outlet in the world.

This symbiotic relationship between mercenary, company, media, police, government and the general public reflects a collective mind that has been colonized.

And before you start shaking your head in agreement or disagreement — as if you, your family, your money, your house and your freedom to move about is not a part of the play here — understand the documents reveal that the counter-insurgency against those at Standing Rock was just the first move in many moves to be emacted all over North America this summer and beyond.

The collective, tacit agreement across every segment of the society to be complicit, represents the culmination of Step One: Infiltrate. Colonize the mind of the enemy.

Step Two: Distract

Everything that you see happening on the Shakespearean stage that has become the US Presidency is a carefully orchestrated distraction. Our entire society has their eyes glued and emotional energy connected to the show almost minute by minute. All of this is by design.

But don’t be fooled. The president is just one actor among many. All the progressives and liberals engaged in their acts of resistance and ethical economics play a critical role in the plot. Their titans of industry and philanthropists worshiped by nearly all play a critical role. The “bad guys” like the Koch Brothers, Monsanto and Exxon play their role.

And of course, the economically stifled rural voting block has theirs as well. Look within this framework and you will see one very well choreographed dance fueled by distrust, confusion, a thirst for power or revenge and the most intoxicating distraction of all: the quest to be right at all costs.

Meanwhile, something else, something almost too dangerous and scary to look at, works tirelessly in the background.

Step Three: Destroy

At the center of the ongoing tug-of-war between the ideology of the left and the ideology of the right is a strange paradox. Both groups believe with deep conviction in the existence of a “shadow government” that is designed to do them harm. For the left, the shadow government’s job is to do the bidding of the super rich. For the right, the shadow government is a liberal juggernaut out to dismantle their freedoms, values and upward economic trajectory.

The very plain reality is that no such thing exists. In order for a strategy to be highly-coordinated amidst disparate groups — like what we see at Standing Rock — it must, by definition, exist in plain site. Even the so-called “Deep State” is not really deep at all; rather, it is manned and operated by mostly bored and disinterested government staffers in bland offices all over the land.

For close to 15 years I worked in what I like to refer to as the real shadow side of the U.S. I worked in prisons, mental institutions and hospitals, on Native Reservations, in foster homes, communities of great poverty and with a wide swath of very bored and disinterested government officials.

I worked with children that had been taken to state mental hospitals as early as 4 and 5. They were given powerful drugs to subdue their minds and emotions that are arguably not even safe for adults. They were submitted to conditions of depravity and violence that are impossible to write about. Even if I were to try, I could never do justice to the actual events themselves.

I worked with teenage girls across nearly every demographic — rich and poor, white, black and brown — that had been systematically raped and maligned to such a degree that the mind of the outsider simply cannot grasp, let alone accept, the truth of their experience. Nor how widespread and pervasive it is in nearly every community in our lands.

I worked on Native Reservations where I saw 11 year old girls and boys vacant and addicted to meth. And where I saw other things that I cannot repeat out of respect and — if I am to be perfectly honest — out of fear.

Among a circle of Native men and women that I worked with for years there were many former American Indian Movement members. One of them, the most famous, burned an American flag as an act of protest in Washington D.C. on a Monday, and woke up on Tuesday to learn that his wife, mother-in-law and two small children had all been burned alive in their family home many states away from the nation’s capital.

In my early days, I carried a caseload of hardcore gangsters; Bloods, Crips, 13th Street, 18th Street, La Familia and the list goes on. I became very close with one of them, a newly minted 18-year-old Navajo man that possessed a wit and intelligence of wonderful quality. Soon after his birthday, rage overcame him and he committed four robberies in a two-hour span netting around 27 dollars and some cheap snacks. He had a knife, and was sentenced to 18 years maximum security prison-time as part of a mandatory minimum sentencing program, despite this being his first offense.

A former prolific AIM member, now in his 60s, was the young man’s spiritual advisor. Within 2 weeks of landing at the state prison a shank was placed in his room and he was immediately put into the 23.5 hour isolation unit with no natural light, nor natural darkness, for 12 full months. At 18 years of age.

A beautiful Native woman I worked with had three very energetic young boys. When I was in their house on a visit, the boys entered into a state of highly charged rapture due, she told me, to the presence of a man in the house (I found this funny as I was barely 25 at the time). One day she told me the story of her father, a wondrous and gentle white man, and her mother, a full-blooded native American Indian. Her father was a labor organizer back at a time where such a thing meant something and was quite dangerous. He was the rare quality of man that stood with his heart and mind for justice and fairness.

One day, when she was still little, her father disappeared. Nobody knew what happened to him. Two years later he returned, but the father she knew and loved did not. In his stead was a man that was visibly damaged, angry, impatient and wicked of temper. Soon, it became known to many in the community that he had been taken, placed in a mental institution, and given repeated sessions of electric shock therapy.

This level of devastation exists everywhere, inside people and hidden in plain sight. Many of the mercenaries in our story were undoubtedly recruited out of situations like I saw; both victim and killer irrevocably linked in their origin stories to an almost unthinkable environment of systematic violence. Pure devastation of body, mind and spirit.

And thus the strategic circle is closed.



I share all of this with you, my reader, in part because I must release some of the pain and anguish I experience when I read of the mercenaries. Even though I know that world well, it still enacts a powerful pull on me. I am looking at it once again — seeing men so brazen and without fear of consequence operate in the plain light of day — and I see very, very few among us in possession of the discipline and courage to pull their mind out of the circus sleight-of-hand and stand for reality.

Perhaps my most cherished lines of poetry from the Americas were written by a man of almost mythical courage. His name was Otto Rene-Castillo and he was from Guatemala. He was a writer, beautiful thinker, father of two, and a true revolutionary. In 1967 he was captured, tortured and burned alive by counter-insurgency forces. These words haunt me with power and resonance:

Only in ourselves
the light, the dawn,
or nowhere.

The time is now upon us to see clearly and act with purpose. The requirement is simple. Pull your thought out of the play, access your own information, and release the power of your imagination into the world. Bypass all that is held as ‘common sense’.

Darkness is real, and so is light. Both possibilities encompass a path and a choice that must be made by every one of us. Today. In this very moment.



Andrew Markell is a Co-Founder and Strategy Lead of FORGE, an Intelligence +Asset Creation Platform building a new market ecosystem. He is also a co-Founder of Exile, a group that creates, advises and helps capitalize transformative companies and market ecosystems dedicated to supporting people + planet.