Modified and reprinted with permission from Moonshine Ink.
People have been inspired by my actions; many have called me negative.
I’m just a truth and wisdom seeker who long ago removed the rose-colored glasses, taking the red pill to really “see” what was going on. I was shocked at what I discovered. I came to know I was lied to and propagandized by the powers that be and that I didn’t want to be a sheeple: easily controlled, dumbed down, apathetic, and the type who deigns personal responsibility for the easy path and head in the sand. I relinquished my sacred cows, cultural indoctrination and looked into the dark abyss so as not to “feed the beast” with blissful ignorance.
I am the fighter, the change I want to see. I am the one who refuses to reward bad behavior, who eats like I give a damn, who doesn’t use my wallet to enrich the gaping corporate maw, the corrupt, the oppressors, or the cruel. I’m the one who believes I’m obliged to leave a better earth for the next generation. I am the social activist, and these are my Ten Non-Fiction Books to Read Before You Die.
1. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters ~ James Douglass
There’s no better place to start our list then here, for America has been drowning beneath the murky debris of the murder of JFK—and subsequently RFK and MLK—by what Douglass terms “the unspeakable.” Douglass reveals the machinations of a truly unspeakable force that destroyed America’s promising future. At times, I could literally feel the evil presence of the unspeakable as I turned the pages. You will discover why Presidents bow to corporations and to the military industrial complex, and why the U.S. will always monger. It is not easy to accept the existence of the unspeakable, but the road to truth is indeed a rugged one. For this one friends, read it and weep.
2. One Makes the Difference: Inspiring Actions that Change our World ~ Julia Butterfly Hill
Hill is a favorite activist to many, for she did what few could; to save some redwoods from being cut down, she climbed the ancient boughs of one and then didn’t touch ground again for 738 days. In One, Hill proffers up ways in which individuals can help the planet, but the best parts are the sidebars about people across the globe who singly made a difference. For inspiration, and especially to encourage a young person, pick it up.
3. The Sociopath Next Door ~ Martha Stout
As a psychologist and clinical instructor, Stout has plenty of information about sociopaths/psychopaths from the numerous trauma victims she has treated. I’m not going to tell you how to spot these deviants, as you need to read the book, but put aside your belief that they are all serial killers such as Bundy and Dahmer. In fact, there are way more non-criminal psychopaths lurking about. The most common figure is that 1 in 25 people is a psychopath. This may be one of the most important books you’ll ever read, and to me necessary for understanding why history keeps repeating itself: These ultimate predators rise to the top in business, government, industries, etc., and have made life hellish for the rest of us. Only through understanding their deviant behavior, unmasking them, and not falling prey to their need for power, money, to dominate, control, and harm will humankind ever be able to have the gentle, free world it so seeks.
4. A People’s History of the United States ~ Howard Zinn
This classic is a must for the social activist and high school to college student. Instead of the whitewashed history texts that glorify the state (as all countries churn out), Zinn tells our history from Columbus to BushCo, and often from the viewpoint of the commoner, who, if you weren’t white, rich, a property owner and if you were a woman, a black, or a white man who wasn’t a property owner, life was pure misery in the new world. (Geez, rich, white guys are still running the show) In his words: “I want young people to understand that ours is a beautiful country, but it has been taken over by men who have no respect for human rights or constitutional liberties.” From genocide, colonialism, slavery, economic inequality, and 20th century wars, this book is interesting and sobering. The late Zinn was an academic, a political science professor and a great social activist for the country, and I’m glad we had him. If you know where you came from, you can know where you are going.
5. Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation ~ Dave McGowan
This is not a book, but you can read McGowan’s engaging, short chapters at www.davesweb.cnchost.com. I’m adding it to our list for its sheer, mind-blowing badness and McGowan’s sardonic writing style. McGowan reveals that many of our beloved ‘60s musical icons came from the intelligence community. Wow. Entertaining as all get out, we get murder, drugs, sexual abuse, mysterious deaths, splashes of Satanism, and more murder. Did I say murder? From CSN, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Zappa, the Mamas & the Papas, to Manson, the Beach Boys, producers, nightclub owners, miscellaneous entertainers and everyone in between, this is one staggering ride with the Laurel Canyon crowd.
6. Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country ~ Peter McWilliams
This book was published some time ago, but I recall being rather astonished by it. Victimless, or consensual crimes, are when adult parties in mutual agreement engage in what the government has imposed to be morally illegal: sodomy, prostitution, drug use, etc. McWilliams asks: are these laws based in religion thus violating the separation of church and state? Do they create an oppressive society and hamper personal freedoms? Are people needlessly penalized for actions that didn’t harm anyone but just themselves for their bad choices? Do taxpayers need spend millions to prosecute victimless crimes? This book will have you thinking, which is good. Social activists think. In fact, we have a thinking problem. Incidentally, McWilliams died of AIDS complications while awaiting sentencing for a marijuana conviction. Critics of U.S. drug policies denote his death as murder by the government for denying him the use of the medical marijuana. He was said to be in pain and vomiting at death.
7. Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth ~ John Robbins
Those who know of John Robbins would probably bow at his feet, for he may be the ultimate social activist. Robbins was the heir to the vast Baskin-Robbins ice cream fortune. As a boy, his father took him to their ice cream stores decorated with sepia posters of happy cows in rolling fields. But one day, his father took him to one of their factory farms where the brutal reality of the dairy industry was revealed. Robbins then gave up his future empire to work to create a world respecting and living in harmony with all life. Gobs of books have been written about food, but Robbins was the first to connect food choices to environmental destruction, world hunger, poor health, and the immense suffering of animals, exposing the actual inconvenient truths the cruel ag industry is never held responsible for. Robbins became a household name and still works for a sustainable, kinder planet. The social activist will read this book because the social activist always strives to do the right thing and to be “the hope.”
8. The Creature from Jekyll Island ~ G. Edward Griffin
In 1910, an elite group of financiers made a stealthy, 800-mile journey to J.P. Morgan’s private resort on Jekyll Island in Georgia. Their purpose: to create the Federal Reserve Bank. FYI, there is nothing “Federal” about this private cartel and they have no reserves. Learn the amazing story of political domination, immense money and hidden global power in this part history, part thriller, part who done it. Griffin details the crimes of perhaps the most dangerous creature to ever stalk the land – ignored by mainstream media – and which causes wars, boom-bust cycles, inflation, depression, prosperity, unfair taxes, and totalitarianism. This is one of the juiciest books on our list.
9. The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot ~ Naomi Wolf
This award-winning book highlights recent assaults on American democracy (mostly during the Bush era though policies are current and ongoing), paralleling these assaults with the nasty policies of countries like China, Russia, Germany and Chile, and laying out how specific steps to create a repressive regime are being employed in the U.S. to destroy our freedoms, liberty, and our very democracy. It’s pretty much another read it and weep but one that would galvanize the social activist. You know that bumper sticker: “If you aren’t outraged you aren’t paying attention”? Well, you aren’t if you haven’t been aware that these steps to fascism have been steadily and methodically put into action on our dear soil. Call the social activist paranoid or unpatriotic all you want, but the truth is in the pudding, and with most American’s suffering from cognitive dissonance and “USA #1!” ego driven buffoonery, you aren’t going to want to eat this pudding. The social activist will however, because he or she is a courageous truth seeker who cannot be socially engineered, who sees beyond propaganda, and who will work to protect what is left of lady liberty.
10. Suppressed Inventions & Other Discoveries ~ Jonathan Eisen
This book details the suppression of alternative medical therapies, cures, breakthroughs, alternate energy, and UFO, archaeological and scientific cover-ups and disinformation. Step out of bounds in the eyes of the profiteers and controllers and you’re likely to get your lab raided, your professional career destroyed, or even be harmed. Learn of the struggles of those who have sought to help mankind only to be thwarted by corporations, institutions, big pharma and other powerful forces that don’t have our best interests at heart.