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The Starship Enterprise; credit: Madelaine Ramey

When I was a child, I used to watch Star Trek regularly with my brothers. How can I ever forget the opening lyrics to the show:

Space, the final frontier
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise
Its five-year mission
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life
And new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

The theme of space travel and exploration was a dominant theme in the TV series. However, there were other more important themes in the show, especially to an impressionable child who was full of hope for the future. If one were to believe that Star Trek represented what the future would be like for humanity — as I did — it would have been an amazingly wonderful and desirable place to be. It would have been a place where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds (even Vulcans and other strange, intelligent beings) could live together in peace and harmony and work together to achieve scientifically and technologically exciting feats, and all in a spirit of humanity and progress and unity. Yes, there were bad guys among the society from which the Starship Enterprise and its team came — sociopaths — in the Star Trek series, but they were few and far between, and the good people were united in opposing them. The baddies never stood a chance. The people of the Starship Enterprise society were an evolved people.

For example, in the Star Trek series, the question “What should I do if my neighbor is suffering and in need of medical assistance?” would never have been asked, because everyone would have known the answer: “Naturally, I should do all I can to render my neighbor medical assistance — and the best medical assistance that I am able to give.” “Bones,” the doctor on board the Enterprise would certainly have done his best to heal the sick, no matter who it was. The question: “Should all children receive the same level of education and the same educational opportunities?” would never have been asked. People in the Star Trek series would never have agreed to allow the poorer children to receive a lower quality of education, as they would all have been aware of how important education is and how all children deserved to receive the best education available. In essence, in the Star Trek series, there existed a culture that was evolved and free of injustice and prejudice, and the kind of petty, dog-eat-dog mentality that permeates so many people’s thinking in today’s society. What was good for people was what was to be done. People competed with one another, not against one another; and not for their own private, selfish ends and personal profit, but to attain together what was good for the community and for humankind.

I believe that humanity was heading toward a kind of Star Trek future, and that we, in fact, were closing in on it during the Kennedy administration — at least closing in on the path toward it; much as when Captain Kirk, Spock, Sulu, Uhura, and Chekov, on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, would lock the course of the spaceship toward a faraway destination.

In what amounts to a great national tragedy, the ultra-powerful of the 1960s — the top dogs of that elitist group, anyway — succeeded in having Kennedy assassinated. Of that, I am convinced from my research. Along with President John F. Kennedy, they succeeded in assassinating our bright future, which would have been the natural and logical outcome of the preceding decades of history and politics and our upward social and political evolution in the U.S., from the times of the administrations of FDR to JFK.

After the assassination of JFK, Americans were immediately thrust into the Vietnam War and forced to give our taxes and allegiance to the Military-Industrial Complex — something JFK had, to the great irritation of the rogue CIA at the time (which has become much more rogue since), refused to allow. Then our rights and freedoms were taken away from us. Some were snatched away from us immediately, such as our right to have control over our money and monetary system; with Johnson’s executive order reversing Kennedy’s executive order #11110, which had placed the authority to print and lend money back under the U.S. Treasury Department, as it had been established by our founders. Some of our rights and freedoms were taken away from us gradually, such as our right to freedom of the press, with the unconstitutional permissions granted the ultra-rich by our executive and legislative bodies — our ‘democratically’ elected officials — to gradually take over and consolidate our mainstream media companies. Our executive and legislative branches also gave permissions to the ultra-rich oligarchists (now oligarchs) to gradually take over our formerly much more free, fair, and democratic elections and our major electoral parties. Our own democratically elected representatives were gradually bribed into these unconstitutional acts by the ultra-rich — people who, many for generations, were expert at hiring people who were expert at playing chess, only with real people.

Am I the only one who’s been noticing how the mainstream media keeps airing an oversized — in relation to the apparent need or desire for it on the part of the average American — amount of news about Great Britain, and the way in which it is delivered by ‘our’ mass media: as if the U.K. were one and the same as the United States? On a similar note, am I the only one who is fed up with seeing “top stories” alongside real top stories (well, as real as they get in the mass media) about the goings-on of the royals, especially William and Kate, and Harry and Meghan? I haven’t any more interest in them or their trivial lives than I have in those of the Kardashians. These stories should be posted to the gossipy news pages and media outlets, such as People Magazine and The Enquirer, and not grace the political or government news pages and media outlets. But there they are constantly. Perhaps there’s something in the air. I don’t know, but it makes me wonder. Perhaps the billionaire oligarchs have plans for the U.K.’s vast, under-the-radar banking industry in which $trillions are hidden (mostly in the Caribbean) and the U.S.’s $trillions in hidden loot (much of it by ‘our’ CIA, NSA, Pentagon, and Military) and our unconquerable military — and our ‘glorious,’ intertwined, imperial histories. Perhaps they see the two countries eventually getting — dare I say it? — ‘married’ in order to enable them to better continue their futile, imperialist, human- and world progress-wrecking agenda into which nightmare we in the U.S. and U.K. have all been taken hostage, drafted, and forced to become mercenaries … for what? To cause our fellow human beings suffering? To destroy nature and nature’s creatures in order to enrich those who are already much too wealthy?

I say much too wealthy because the excesses of too much wealth are precisely what corrupt the ultra-rich in the first place — and always have been throughout human history. Further, the ultra-wealthy have always used their excessive wealth — shall we say, their “massive amounts of disposable income”? — to corrupt our governments so as to rig them in their favor and against the rest of the us. It is a no win-no win situation, though they fool themselves, and many of the rest of the people, into thinking it’s a good way to run a country and that good things come out of their unjustifiable levels of wealth (and extreme wealth inequality) and smothering power over the rest of us. And, this smothering power extends to foreign people, as well — and always has. Greed and power hunger have never stopped at the border.

I believe that if it were not for the U.S. and Europe’s imperialist tendencies (and those of Russia and China), the world would be a much more free, morally uplifted, evolved, humane, educated, peaceful, and environmentally healthy place; as well as a much less overpopulated place. For one, it has always been the ultra-rich throughout history who have started unjust wars: wars for profit and not for defense — though they have framed them as wars for defense in their propaganda campaigns. However, there have been many major efforts throughout history to reform the nations of the world in an effort to prevent war.

After World War I, which was a terribly destructive war that engulfed Europe mainly, the League of Nations was established with the prominent influence and participation of then U.S. President Wilson. However, much like an alcoholic/addict who has recovered from a terrible bout of drinking and/or using and no longer feels they need sobriety anymore and no longer feels any remorse over the suffering their abusive behavior has caused, the leaders of the U.S. ‘recovered’ and felt they did not need The League of Nations anymore. If this sounds like a far-fetched analogy, just consider the fact that greed and power hunger, which are so closely related that they are practically one and the same, are addictions. The U.S. never did take part in the operations of that promising institution.

After World War II, which engulfed so many countries of the world and all of the most powerful militaries at the time, the United Nations was established. The U.S., Europe, the U.S.S.R, and later, China, have all been quite active in the operations of this promising and nobly established institution, which was founded with the purpose of preventing future wars and furthering international cooperation — and which envisioned a bright and just future for the human race, much like that envisioned in the Star Trek series. Of course, after WWII, Russia immediately launched upon an imperialist path of taking over Eastern Europe and much of Central Asia and gobbling them up into what would become the future U.S.S.R. — but aside from that, there was much progress made at the United Nations, on and off, in between the imperialist twitches to come. President Trump strayed from cooperating with The United Nations, but he was an aberration, in more ways than one. The other U.S., European, Russian, and Chinese leaders have at least paid lip service to the purposes and functions of the United Nations.

With the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons, the most powerful military powers, those of the U.S., Europe, Russia, and China reached a stalemate that none could break: the Balance of Terror. This balance has been much more effective in preventing any further world wars than the previous balances of power were. But unfortunately, it has not prevented small wars, which have been numerous and devastating.

The imperialist twitches of the ultra-rich have not only led to many small wars but have also led to many instances of meddling in the governments of less economically developed countries that were destined to make great progress if they had been left in peace, and often have caused these countries instead to slide into extreme poverty and even greater underdevelopment with no real hope for a better future; and hence to seek the only comfort available to them: those of family (the more, the better) and religion (the more fundamental, the better). As Karl Marx stated: “Religion is the opium of the people.” In the face of despair, it soothes their pain in ways that only a spiritual remedy can, and is not 100% a bad thing. But in fanatical forms, it can lead to bad decisions and actions. As Voltaire so aptly stated: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” And it is precisely the absurdities of propaganda — the untruths — that distinguish propaganda from factual information. This historical pattern of foreign meddling and oppression leading to the suppression of development in less economically developed countries has been the bane of modern history and most likely all of human history, and is one piece of the puzzle that explains why we are not living in something more like the Star Trek days.

One example: the 1953 U.S. and British-led overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected, socialist leader, Mohammad Mosaddegh, with the help of the Iranian clergy. Surely, with his great academic accomplishments and leadership qualities, and the great respect he commanded, Mosaddegh would have led the Iranians out of the darkness of dictatorship and underdevelopment, and into higher levels of social evolution, education, technological and economic advancement, and advancements in human rights.

After the coup of 1953, the Iranians suffered more decades of the Shah’s brutal dictatorship, which the U.S. propped up. Whereas Mossadegh had nationalized the oil industry in Iran and had kicked out the foreign oil corporations, the Shah rescinded those economic moves; which would have made Iran a much richer country, as it would have allowed Iran to reap more of the benefits of its oil. Naturally, the overarching motivation for controlling Iran and its neighbors was the fact that they possessed so much of the world’s easily extracted oil.

Looking at the big picture, we can see that it would have been a good thing for the U.S. and the U.K. to have left Iran in peace, not only for the Iranians but for the rest of the world as well. Just think how much less oil would have been burned since 1953 if the U.S., U.K., and other foreign oil corporations operating in Iran and other countries of the Middle East had not had such a great economic incentive to promote the use of oil? And further, there would have been much less incentive on the part of oil companies to work so hard to hide the truth about the link between the burning of fossil fuels and global warming. In fact, they and others would have had much greater incentives to pursue other forms of energy, cleaner and more renewable forms of energy, and further the science and technology in these areas.

With the overthrow of the Shah, the Iranians went through the installation of an oppressive theocracy under the name of Islamic Revolution — though many Iranians did not want this. It was the clergy who wanted this, and the fundamentalist Muslims. Many, especially among the young and well-educated, desired and were actively working to establish a secular and socialist government — something the U.S. and Europe had been fighting against in many countries under the “red scare” propaganda that the U.S.S.R. and China were going to take over the world.

Because of the Balance of Terror, this was never possible, not for one minute. Also, if one were to objectively analyze the internal politics and economics of the U.S.S.R. and China, one would have come to the conclusion that their style of totalitarian dictatorship over the political and economic lives of their peoples was creating conditions that were building up corruption, political discontent and economic inefficiency; and that they were heading toward inevitable economic and political collapse. This is why the Berlin Wall fell and the U.S.S.R. disintegrated and became much freer politically and economically — it was not due to the speeches made by Ronald Reagan in which he made such seemingly omnipotent declarations as, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” That statement was no less illusory in its seemingly magical power than are the acts of professional performers of magic illusions. For the same reasons, the Communist Party of China loosened its grip on their economy, allowing it to evolve to include many elements of free enterprise.

It is ironic that the same U.S. president who was sympathizing with the people of the U.S.S.R. for being deprived of political and economic freedom was working hard at the same time to curtail our Constitutional rights and freedoms (as had Johnson and Nixon), with the laws he got passed which destroyed the Fairness Doctrine and started the gradual consolidation of our press and elections into a few hands of the ultra-rich oligarchists. Life is stranger than fiction, and what Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan, and later George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush ‘accomplished’ was quite similar to what would have happened in the U.S. if the baddies of The Manchurian Candidate film of 1962 had succeeded in their treasonous plot: dictatorship by a few, or oligarchy.

Getting back to the example of Iran, immediately after the overthrow of the Shah in 1980, Iraq, which the U.S. was now supplying with military hardware, started a devastating war with the now economically and militarily weaker Iran, which lasted almost eight years and resulted in the devastating loss of millions and millions of Iranian lives and economic ruin in Iran. Prior to the overthrow of the Shah, the U.S. had viewed Iraq as its enemy, as it was allied with the U.S.S.R. In fact, the U.S. and its allies, and the U.S.S.R. (now just Russia, having lost control over the countries it took over after WWII) and China, had all been playing chess with the smaller countries in their political orbits for many years and still do. Since the end of the war with Iraq, the Iranians have suffered under endless economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe, which have caused extreme economic instability and poverty. Is it any wonder the Iranians are fanatical and jihadist in their thinking? Is it any wonder that they have not advanced and progressed more in the political, economic, and social arenas?

After the Iran-Iraq War, in 1990, the ‘ambitious’ Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, used his powerful military to invade another of Iraq’s neighbors, Kuwait. Kuwait was one of the U.S. and Europe’s Gulf State allies. So, the U.S. and its allies went to war against Iraq — and once again, in 2003, under the false narrative that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The real reasons were financial reasons — on the part of the ultra-rich — as are the real reasons that the U.S. and Europe recently went to war against Syria and Libya. Now they — and so, we — seem to be against both Iran and Iraq, but more so against Iran.

In any case, both Iran and Iraq have been through hell for two-thirds of the past century because of the imperialist twitches of the ultra-rich oligarchs of the U.S. and Europe (and the U.S.S.R./Russia). Further, because of this and other instances of U.S. and European imperialism, the American and European people have been enslaved by endless war and instability. I for one am all for the idea: “Make 1984 fiction again.” The same is true of the Russian and Chinese people. And looking at the big picture, it becomes apparent that, more importantly, we the people of the United States and of the world have also been thrown off our course toward that evolved and noble destination we were heading toward: something similar to the Star Trek days. We gradually descended from the evolved and noble days of “Camelot,” as the Kennedy administration was called, to the backward and ignoble days of the Trump administration.

There are scores of Irans in the world whose governments have been meddled with, and overthrown, and whose people have been kept down and kept behind. Venezuela is currently on the rack, along with Iran, Cuba, Palestine-Israel/Israel-Palestine, and … the list is long, but the main imperialist powers remain the same: the U.S., Europe, Russia, and China. Is it any wonder the world human population is heading toward 8 billion? It was only 3 billion in 1960. Is it any wonder that we are still relying on fossil fuels in the face of environmental catastrophe? That we are living through the sixth mass extinction? That we are actually going backwards in terms of life expectancy (in the U.S.), height (in the U.S.), and the elimination of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and disease (especially in the U.S.)? That we are in a moral and spiritual crisis of humankind’s inhumanity to humankind? That levels of sociopathy, narcissism, divorce, domestic violence, bullying in schools, racist hate-crimes (both on the part of the police and ‘private’ citizens acting ‘unofficially’), homelessness, drug addiction, and other such social evils are at epidemic highs?

With all the advances in science and technology, productivity, and overall wealth that have come to us in the past few centuries, and especially in the past few decades, how can this be? What went wrong? How did those bright, noble days of the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations go so dark? The answer is: ever so cleverly and gradually, so much so that the vast majority of the people did not even notice the treasonous takeover by the greedy and power-hungry few, the ultra-rich oligarchs, whom our U.S. presidents from FDR to JFK had so vehemently warned us about. With the assassination of JFK and the rogue CIA, they finally got their foot in the door. The rest is travesty.

On the positive side, recently there have been experiments carried out in which human ageing has been reversed. There was one experiment carried out in Israel that was amazing in that it resulted in the telomeres of people’s DNA being increased in length and the percentage of senescent cells being reduced. Translation: it reversed ageing in the subjects. With recent advances in science, technology, and medicine, which augur the reversal of ageing in humans; and other advances which augur the conquering of diseases, there could very well be a revolution in the conditions of human life on earth for the better. But, unfortunately, the ultra-rich and ultra-powerful oligarchs do not have the kind of dispositions that would lead them to desire to share these breakthroughs with anyone other than their families and cronies. The rest of the people are just fodder to them. They have long since passed that marker of loving money and using people, instead of the more natural and humane opposite.

But again, how did we get here? How did the oligarchs pull off the crime of the century — or more appropriately, the crime of the past two centuries? The plot was being put into full swing shortly before the year of our Bicentennial, 1976? There are two primary and fundamental strategies they used: the takeover of our formerly much freer press (our media outlets, our means of mass communication) and the takeover of our formerly much freer elections (they have always suffered some level of corruption). It is painful for many people to witness how distorted the mainstream media news has become, and how worthless most of it is. It is equally painful to witness our ‘democratic’ elections going to the highest bidders and our major political parties being controlled by the ultra-rich. When you put these two together, you see that the oligarchs are now running the country in a way that is fast approaching totalitarianism — especially if you add to this their control over the major corporations — including the banking and investment banking sectors — and the military-industrial complex.

In the area of our media, most Americans are literally at the mercy of billionaire sociopaths — people who are so arrogant and self-centered that they don’t even understand empathy, let alone possess it — for their news, information, and entertainment. How many Americans turn the channel from the mainstream media sources to independent media sources, anyway? Answer: around 10%. The rest of us get all of our news, information, and entertainment from the mainstream media. And the billionaire oligarchs are continually tightening their monopolistic (oligopolistic, to be precise) grip on the mass media and elections, as well as the other important sectors of the economy and society.

We the people have been for decades kept by the mainstream media and the rigged elections like the frog in the pot of water that is slowly being heated. The increase in temperature has been so gradual that most of us are not even aware that we are getting close to being boiled to death. Put another way, it is like we are stuck in a house of mirrors with no clear way out while the billionaire oligarchs who are now in control despise us and mock us as we go bumbling about, frantically crashing into one mirror after another. Most of us are struggling so hard so much of the time, but not getting anywhere, and it’s only getting worse.

There are those of us who avoid the mainstream media, or tune into it only so we can stay current on what the oligarchs, and their government, and their corporations are doing and thinking. We also, of course, tune into it to glean what we can of the real and relevant news stories and content they broadcast or publish, this because the only media companies large enough to cover worldwide news and information are owned by the mainstream media corporate giants — at last count, there are now only six mega-corporations that own all of the mainstream media companies (all of the news and information outlets — both video and print, TV and radio companies, movie studios, Internet companies, etc.). All of this is in violation of the antitrust sections of our Constitution, and other sections guaranteeing freedom of the press and elections. And yet, there it is in full color.

Many of us are living in the ‘real world,’ thanks to having had the good fortune to meet some of the wise ones among us — the Obi-Wan Kinobe’s (of the Star Wars movies fame) — of the present and recent past and to have been blessed by their efforts to teach us some vital truths. Some of us have been privileged to stand atop the shoulders of such giants as Orwell, Huxley, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, Aristotle, Plato, and other great philosophers and commentators on the human condition. We have been privileged to have been taken outside the house of mirrors, and we know what could be: Utopia, a place of peace where you can see for miles and the air and water are clean, the food is wholesome, and people in positions of power aren’t misleading and manipulating you for their own gain. But most of us are stuck in the house of mirrors and see no other possible world except for the one that is: Dystopia, a place of endless war where the air and water are polluted, the food is unwholesome, and we are lost in a maze of endless misinformation and dead ends.

Those of us who have been outside the house of mirrors try to tell the others what it is like and show them the exits, but most of the subjects of these attempts aren’t disposed to listen to what sounds to them like irrational babbling. Here we are talking about how our elections are being bought by the billionaire oligarchs and our ‘elected representatives’ no longer represent us, the people; and how we no longer have a free press, and how the main news, information, and entertainment companies are not telling us the truth, and are not telling us what is important for us to know. Most people are disposed to tell us to go put on our tin hats and bug off. And how could they think any differently, after having been exposed only to the news, information, and entertainment that oligarchs in power who are one and the same as the owners of the mainstream media corporations want them to be exposed to? We are quickly approaching the situation of having one state-owned media corporation, and will if the trend continues. The situation would be reminiscent of TASS, the old state-owned media corporation of the U.S.S.R.

The lack of real news and the deluge of junk news is so great that, for example, if we try to tell the real-news-and-information-deprived about how the Scandinavian countries are doing very well because they are more democratic and more free, and because they practice a form of government called democratic socialism (a mix of free enterprise and socialism decided democratically); immediately, many of them will lambast us with talking points they’ve absorbed from the only newscasters and talk show hosts they are exposed to. To take one example, they say such things as, “Universal healthcare will never work here in the U.S.” “Americans are not like Scandinavians.” “Yes, but they have had to give up all their freedoms for that.” “They die waiting for operations.” But, none of those arguments is true.

In the big picture, they do not believe that any just, harmonious, peaceful, and evolved society such as those of Scandinavia could possibly exist — or if it could, that it could really be that good — let alone believe that an even more just, harmonious, peaceful, and evolved society, such as that depicted in the Star Wars series, is possible. They are stuck believing untruths that make such an advanced, evolved society seem not only impossible, but completely inconceivable, unrealistic, and even undesirable. They have been force-fed a hundred reasons for this, all untrue. It is as if they have been blocked by a pernicious and powerful force field of fake news that keeps them within a restricted area of fake thought.

The same mass media also feeds its consumers a diet rich in racism, sexism, ageism, religious bigotry, and ‘sexual orientationism’ — depending on which media outlet the real-news-and-information-deprived people choose to tune into or read. This is an extremely successful propaganda trick in that it keeps people turned against one another and distracts them from the wrongdoings of the ultra-rich and ultra-powerful oligarchs who are creating the unfair playing field and setting the unfair rules which keep the people down.

The real-news-and-information-deprived people say such things as: “We must not spend too much on public education and higher education because we need to spend it on the military. Besides, the rich should not have to pay for the education of the poor, at least not for the equal education of the poor. That would make us communists.” This in spite of scientific evidence proving that higher spending on education for all students would yield much greater returns for our society as a whole than the costs involved, and despite the fact that the U.S. spends more on its military than the next ten countries combined. Just think how many budding Einsteins or Shakespeares have been passed up and left behind because they were stuck in one of the scandalously poorly funded school districts. On a similar note, they say, “We must not fund the education of prisoners because that would be coddling them. Why, people would be fighting to get into prison.” This, in view of the proven facts that the more education prisoners receive, the less likely they are ever to go back to prison and that educating prisoners is inexpensive in comparison with the cost of housing them. And, the fake news talking points go on.

“We must keep taxes on the rich low, or it will be bad for the economy. Trickle down works!” This in view of the fact that in the U.S., the years of the greatest strides forward in education, medicine, overall health and longevity, and social justice, and the greatest gains in overall prosperity for the 99% took place after the Great Depression and World War II, during decades in which taxation was at an all-time high for the wealthy. If you take into account that the top 1% could not have made the economic and technological strides they made in those decades without the greater society taking its greater strides, then it is clear that even the top 1% richest Americans were better off, in the big picture, due to the fact that they paid higher taxes. To assert otherwise, is to fail to take into account the big picture, which is far more significant than the income or wealth of any one or few people. And of course, it doesn’t end here.

“We must not raise the minimum wage because it will cause unemployment.” This despite the fact that economists have proven that raising the minimum wage will increase employment, as the lower 90% of the people, income-wise, spend more of what they earn on consumer goods; and this does trickle down (or across, to be more accurate) and creates a multiplier effect in the economy, creating jobs. The ultra-rich, on the contrary, save more of what they earn and use their savings to acquire such things as stock, real estate, and already established companies — more stuff that increases their wealth but does not create jobs. Also, the inability of any one or two or three people to fund the startup of a large corporation creates a situation where people are forced to cooperate; and this is good for the society, aside from limiting the corrupting power of excessive wealth.

The irrational and erroneous talking points of the real-news-and-information-deprived go on and on over the entire gamut of politics, economics, and society. It is amazing what a few ultra-rich people and their hired help can accomplish behind closed executive doors.

It is the plight of those who are living, mentally, in the real world, that the people we are trying to reach are the backbone of the system that is crushing them, and they would not have it any other way — so thoroughly deprived of real news and information are they. Naturally, I am oversimplifying things. Of course, there are differences in the precise beliefs the news-and-information-deprived people hold and in the degrees to which they hold their beliefs. Nonetheless, be that as it may, you get the picture.

In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, we persevere, and we do our best to enlighten those who are stuck in the house of mirrors, stuck in the restricted area by the pernicious force field, no matter how weary and discouraged we become. This is because we have been privileged to have been shown the truth, and it is our duty to pass this teaching on to others — and because we know that we are all in this together, and we will all rise or fall together.

I pray for the day when we will all get out of pot of hot water, out of the house of mirrors, out of the restricted area; and life will be good and just and right, and people will treat one another in humane and even noble ways, as in the futuristic Star Trek series of the 1960s. I pray that we will get back on track — or perhaps more appropriately, back on Trek (pun intended) — and that the Star Trek days will come, as they should have come a very long time ago; and that they will come before it is impossible for us to ever reach them.

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