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Ruppert's 2-cents on masks

excerpt from pdx indymedia interview with Mike Ruppert in eugene:
Barbara asks Mike Ruppert: There was an interesting newswire item on indymedia; someone encouraging everyone to wear masks because they felt like, you know, it wasn't safe to be out dissenting in the streets and have your face shown. And so that became a feature because there were so many people adding to it, and some people felt like, yes, masks are very important, and other people felt like, no, I'm going to be out there, I'm out there with the truth, and I have nothing to hide and no reason to hide. There's a lot of fear right now among people who are dissenting.

Mike: You want to know what my opinion on that is?

Barbara: Yeah.

Mike: The people who were suggesting that you wear masks are probably government COINTELPRO, and I'll tell you why. Two reasons. First of all, they're teaching you to be afraid. They're teaching you to operate from a standpoint of fear. Already that's a psychological warfare game that you've surrendered to the moment you put on the mask. But secondly, they know, if you're filmed and on the nightly news and mainstream America sees a bunch of people wearing masks, they associate you with terrorism.

Barbara: And that's an argument that was put up there. And someone also said that the survelliance equipment that the FBI has would be able to get through the mask, identify your movements, etc., and they'd be able to figure it out anyway. So a mask certainly isn't going to hide your identity.

Jeremy: Mike, those people who are suggesting that we wear masks, they might not necessarily be COINTELPRO themselves, but there are these ideas that get dropped in by COINTELPRO --

Mike: These are susceptible people, gullible people, who really don't understand how it works, and they have no real compass. So it's like, "Oh, did you hear that rumour?" and they go this way until they hear the next rumour, and then they're going that way. Those people are what we call in the intelligence world, or as a journalist, "dilletantes". They're dangerous. They're very dangerous. Especially when they get in over their head.

original post:

What demonstrations has Mike Ruppert attended 19.Apr.2002 02:04

just an unmasked organizer

Perhaps Mike Ruppert knows a little about police work and intelligence agencies since, admittedly, he was a cop.
This doesn't mean that he knows beans about the organizing of mass movements, demonstrations, rallies or larger struggles.
Ask yourself: What demonstrations or rallies has Ruppert helped organize? What movements has he been a central part of? He left the LAPD a while ago, surely there has been time to catch a protest or two.
Again, I don't deny his connections with police work or even his CIA connections, though there are no ways of verifying the latter. But are you folks going to be asking him how to change the baby's diapers next? When is the Ruppert worship by Portland Indy Media gonna end?
In some circumstances, as with the Zapatistas, wearing masks is a life-or-death matter. In other cases, as with Carnival or Halloween or MayDay in Portland, it's not. The inability to make such distinctions is the mark of the dogmatic thinker.
When I see Ruppert next to me or anyone else in the streets I'll be glad to listen to his opinions about masks. Until then, perhaps you will forgive me for thinking him a 'dabbler' (I can't spell 'dilentante').

FEAR 19.Apr.2002 08:16

no fear

a person does not need to attend a protest to know that hiding ones face is an issue of fear. i however, have attended many protests, one of which was becoming violent, and i agree that masking is about fear. fear of being recognized, fear of being watched, maybe followed. i have nothing to hide, and am on the side of truth, therefore have no reason to hide my face. sounds like that was what ruppert was basically saying.

fear can play into it 19.Apr.2002 09:21


Yes, fear can play into it, but for me it can be the fear of getting identified when I'm doing whatever I deem neccessary to try and make a difference.

The Mask and a Loss of Privacy 19.Apr.2002 09:48

Concerned Activist and Deadhead

I love Mike Ruppert!

There is one thing missing from this question: There was no mention of the incidents in Denver:

Perhaps if Ruppert knew about this article he wouldn't have suggested I am "government COINTELPRO" . This is a quote from the Denver indymedia, and this is the whole reason for the Mask post:

"The Denver Police Department currently maintains over 3,000 permanent files on peaceful political activists - calling them "criminal extremists" and keeping watch on their vehicles, the homes of their friends, and monitoring their appearance at political rallies. "

I smoke marijuanna and I do not want Police to watch over me like this. I want privacy.

Perhaps Ruppert doesn't understand the fear I have about the "War on Drugs" because he worked for Narcotics and put people in jail for marijuanna.

Since I made the original post, more information on security camera's has surfaced:

SMILE! You're On Homeland Security TV!
EPIC launched "Observing Surveillance" web site - to document the growing presence of video spy cameras in the Nation's Capital. "

This is an issue of privacy.

Mike Ruppert says: "These are susceptible people, gullible people, who really don't understand how it works"
"Those people are what we call in the intelligence world, or as a journalist, "dilletantes". They're dangerous. They're very dangerous"

Sure, I am dangerous! Ha Ha Ha! Perhaps he should have read the whole story. Ruppert was dangerous to peaceful pot smokers when he threw them in jail. I would like to read an apology from Ruppert for throwing non-violent people in jail during his career in Narcotics working for the DEA.

The "War on Drugs" is dangerous. I am not dangerous. I don't think I am being paranoid because I have many friends who are in jail because of marijuanna. I do not want to join them. I've seen how the DEA operates at Grateful Dead and Phish shows, they are not very nice people and they scare the hell out of me. The DEA is a danger to my freedom.

Copwatch spreads fear to control movement 19.Apr.2002 10:18

Cort Greene

Copwatch is one of the biggest fear mongers in Portland. I have to agree with Mike about the use of fear by pro goverment groups like Copwatch.They red bait and spread lies and slander about people.

So frustrating 19.Apr.2002 10:39


For some reason this question about masking up at demo's is still going on, like someone stated above, Zapatistas and other armed resistance movements wear masks so they aren't recognized by the government/military/police force/capitalist class/media who are diametrically apposed to what the resistance group stands for. In my oppinion we have to move beyond the glossy, "we need to look good on corporate television" attitude and realize that no global justice movement is going to succeed based on souley on public opinion, especially when the majority of the public is watching a slanted media program to begin with.
If a certain individual wants to carry out direct action it makes perfect sense to mask your identity to evade prosecution. But these are my opinions, and I would never feel the need to berate someone who chose not to mask up at a demo, why should I care, its their personal choice. On the same note I would lose all respect for someone at a demo who told me to take my mask off because it was hurting the movement, or alienating others. People who set rules for protests are no better than the real police. Embracing all individuals and their tactics is in my mind essential to having any kind of unified movement.

i think that it matters 19.Apr.2002 11:07


i think that the mask issue is relavent. we want to use tactics that get the rest of america to sit up and listen, to pay attention. this is the reason that i do what i do - to spread truth. therefore, as mainstream america as my audience, i am very certain that it matters how i appear to them. i want them to hear me, and see my face.

i do not think that this discussion is asking those who want to wear a mask not to do so, it is simply referring to an original post requesting that all protestors wear masks while at an action. this is a tactic that obviosly needs dialoging. we are trying to work together on these issues to make the world a better place...aren't we?

curious about copwatch 19.Apr.2002 11:13


cort, i really do not know anything about copwatch. what is is that they are doing that spreads fear and how do they "red baiting" people?

Ignore Cort 19.Apr.2002 11:47

Cort's Best Friend

Ignore Cort, he hates any and all things. Everything is out to stop him and his movement, everybody is wrong and government but him and yet he's the only one who comes on here and consitantly attacks people. Watch, next he'll put that lame Trotsky quote about how leaky hte theories of anarchsim are.

ignoring isn't my style 19.Apr.2002 12:05

questioning (curious) girl

i question everything, so I would like to hear from cort himself what his issues are re copwatch

Denver Permanant File 19.Apr.2002 12:21

C.A. and Deadhead

Fear-less writes:
"i do not think that this discussion is asking those who want to wear a mask not to do so, it is simply referring to an original post requesting that all protestors wear masks while at an action. "

I made the original post. I should have specified:

Not all protesters should wear masks.

If you don't mind being in the Police Permanent file, do not wear a mask.
If you do not want to be in the Police Permanent File (like the one in Denver), wear a Mask.

if your not doing anything ILLEAGAL... 19.Apr.2002 16:11

no mask

if your not doing anything ILLEGAL, dont worry about a mask. i seroiously think the people who wear masks are either: 1.out to break things or 2.scared to be who they are.

you make the call. i know when i protest im not breaking any laws and i am not ashamed to show my face in public.

with all due respect to whats been going on in denver with the list and shit, i dont worry about it. so they got my name. IM NOT DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL EXCEPT SPEAKING MY MIND.

i think those who DO wear masks have something to hide (yeah, im talking to you, you dumb fuck anarcist's!!!).

i also do think that when the media see's people wearing masks it does send a message of, i dont know, but im sure it really freaks out people at home and thats not what you should be trying to do. were trying to prove that war is bullshit, and masks do not help!


So, about Ruppert 19.Apr.2002 16:48

just an unmasked organizer

My original post asked several questions in response to Ruppert's "two cents worth" excerpt.
First, what movements or social struggles is Ruppert involved in? When, since the time he was a cop, has he been in the streets or organizing in the broader social justice movements?
Second, as a journalist (or member of the "intelligence community" as he refers to himself in the "two cents worth" excerpt), his opinions are worth listening to. But why do Barbara and Jeremy and other members of Portland IndyMedia fawn over his every comment on everything? There is a simple reason for many demonstrators in Los Angeles, for example, to be masked. They are undocumented workers who can be deported for the very act of protesting. Ruppert, who is from LA and a former member of the LAPD, must know this.
And finally, though I didn't ask it at the time, why are IndyMedia folks like Barbara so lazy? (I don't mean to point fingers, but read on.) If the FBI has the means to 'find out who people are even though they're masked', as she repeated, why doesn't she do the research to find out if that is true and publish that on IndyMedia rather than spreading an unverified rumor? Ruppert at least has the chutzpah to assert that what he says is fact and he will supply the documentation.
And, dear readers, I think it is almost hilariously hypocritical when folks post attacks on people who are masked at demonstrations, but then DO NOT POST THEIR OWN EMAIL ADDRESSES. Aren't you masking yourself on the Internet?
Finally, for "curious". Yes, if there is a Cort Greene in Portland, he should make all of his attacks on Copwatch public. But if Copwatch is dangerous and pro-government, as he asserts, he should appear in a public forum, as was requested many months ago. This is known as public debate. Again, Ruppert stands up in public and says, 'This is what I believe. I take responsibility.'
People such as Cort Greene, if they actually exist, should make their statements in a public forum and allow others to respond. I, and many others, would guarantee his ability to talk. But I, and many others, would gladly respond about why Cort Greene is not allowed to participate in many large and small organizations in Portland, ranging from Liberation Collective to Jobs with Justice.
PS. Portland Copwatch has public meetings. They announce them on Indy Media. Go to one. Make up your own mind. I am glad that Copwatch exists. Cort Greene could disappear from our lives and no one would notice. There are scores of people in Portland who can tell you that Copwatch had their back when it was important.

Anarchy, masks, the media, and mind control 19.Apr.2002 17:49


Dumb fucking anarchists?
We'll I'm one of many dumb fucking anarchists who just might have CREATED THIS FORUM, built your home, fought for your right to live in a world with forests, stood witness to any injustice the police should bring down apon you, stood in the way of that billy club aiming for you at that lame peace protest, baked your bread, dupstered the food at your rally, spoke up when they said that you were some how less deserving- less human- and as such not deserving of dignity, grown the food you eat, printed the books you read, tore at the lines of our common oppressor, spent my last penny so that i could get there to defend your liberty, your right to have a community, taught you how to to mend your injured, sung the songs to which you dance, fixed your bike, did that workshop you liked so much,
and I wore a mask then.
As I will tommorrow.
AND you still don't know me.
See we believe in self determination
This is a faith wich inheriently encourages a DIVERSE range of expressions. Diversity is the halmark of a free society. If we are individuals in villages baised around common ideas or representations of our belief in liberty then we have taken the largest step to smashing a culture which demands that YOU toe the line.
So ok you dissagree with my tactics.
That doesn't make me stupid or my PEOPLE'S contribution to this movement any less valid. If you want my help, If you want my respect, then validate your claims. If you don't then people everywhere THAT DO CARRY the force of TRUTH in thier hearts will see through you. See that you are making excuses for your lack of interest in fighting for our common freedom, in questioning the roots of the authority to which we all must submit, in escalating our common ideas beyond conspiracy theories.
You like to go off in this exestentalist manner justifiying your pretentions with fortune cookie wisdom.
It's sad that this is all your fucking movement has to offer.
I know you appreciate exestentialism so here's a thought.
Could it be that MY MASK IS YOUR SHAME?
Could it be that if this movement actually showed some movement and took massive direct action I wouldn't need a mask? That I must wear a mask to defend my self from your shame? Your lack of desire to risk more than words for our common liberty? - A book wich might offer ilumination as to how this process of thought works is "Invissible MAN" by Ralph Ellison. It applied to a differnt person of a different day, but like all clear thinking it stands the test of time.
I encourage anyone thinking of wearing a mask to anything to determine for your self weather this is the right thing to do. NO one is more qualified than you to determine the course of your own life!
Now why do I wear a mask?
I wear a mask because I just might take action if the opportunity presents it self. I wear a mask because even I don't take action (the economic sort) right then I want to show the world that I am not only not afraid but eager to support the people who do. I wan't to contribute to the idea that we're not gonna take it anymore. I wan't to act in solidarity with all who don masks- untill the day when our ideas about liberty are faced on thier merit and not with slander.
I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT BIENG AN ENTERTAINING SPECTACLE FOR THE CONSUMERIST MASSES. By LENDING your support to thier complaciency you undermine all of our efforts to be free. Maybee you don't want liberty, maybee you'd settle for a new ADMINISTRATION. (like we deserve to be treated like employees of some fachist corperation)
People that seek truth will find it. DESPITE the media's lies. Weather you are a force for truth is the real factor which will decide how others view you.

All respect to the earth warriors, freedom fighters, famlies and tribes fighting for the community based solution.


Mask = Target 19.Apr.2002 23:16


I seem to recall that the Portland Police and perhaps police in other cities have actually threatened to arrest anyone who wears a mask. They have decided that it's illegal to hide your identity and they will assume that if you're wearing a mask that you must have something terrible to hide. In the past the Portland Police have definitely targeted mask wearers and yanked them from the midst of hundreds of other protesters, trampling anyone in their way with their horses. If EVERYONE wore masks that would be quite a statement. Unfortunately it's unlikely that it will be possible to get everyone to do the same thing tomorrow. Just be aware that, as usual, if you're wearing a mask you will be treated as a threat.

Nothing wrong with masks 20.Apr.2002 04:02


I cannot believe there is even an argument regaring wearing masks.. Of course we live in fear, the present state of society forces everyone to live in fear!

If you are participating in any anti-whatever action it is best not to flaunt your identity unless you are look for an ego trip.

Aside from the age old arguments, which I will not repeat here, current technology such as facial reconition technology requires it. True, this technology doesn't work all so well, but that's all they (the cops) need to haul you off. Even if your intentions are legal, Once they haul you off because their software identified you (whether it did or not.. they can make up this stuff!) your address is now associated with the action you participated in and you can expect to be watched. Maybe it's just me, being in a situation where my beliefs brought housing inspectors out to site bogus claims causing an emergency condemnation forcing me to lose my home, or maybe I actually have a point.

All arguments aside, people who want to participate who might have legitimate reasons to wear a mask should not have to sit and listen to people telling them they should not wear masks.

to mask or not 20.Apr.2002 20:58


i personally like to see some of the people who come to the actions masked up . . .it adds a certain quality i like. . .live and let live. . .people who want to, go ahead, and people who dont, dont

however, i am uncertain as to the actual effectiveness of preventing identification.

for example, i can usually recognize people quite easily who i know, and even people i only know a bit.

lots of people are easily recognizable by unique clothing, certain patches or tatoos and by other means, which few seem to take pains to hide even though they are wearing a mask

also, i often see people putting on their mask, or taking it off. . .it seems likely that a police videographer can catch people doing this and identify them. . .

i wonder if the wearing of the mask gives a sense of anonymous identity that is not warranted?

perhaps discussion along these lines would be more fruitful

Anarchy and Freedom Quotes 22.Apr.2002 10:18

C.A. and Deadhead

Here are some great quotes related to the anarchy discussion above. Anarchy will happen after people become conscious. Meditation is the path to consciousness. Look to the Native American societies to learn about beautiful communities living in anarchy, in freedom. The authors Winona LaDuke, Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, and the book "Black Elk Speaks" are good places to start.
Anarchy will happen in the Afterculture:

Quoted from  http://www.osho.com :
"I am not a philosopher, I am not a systematizer; I am absolutely anarchistic, as anarchistic as life itself. I don't believe in systems. I am a nonsystematic, anarchistic flow; I am not even a person, just a process. I don't know what I said to you yesterday, and the person who said it is not here to answer; he is gone. I am here, and I am answerable only for this moment. So don't wait for tomorrow because I will not be here. And who is going to make consistency, who is going to find a thread that is not contradictory? There is nobody. And I would like you to be the same."

"A free man belongs to himself and nobody else. A free man is simply an energy with no name, no form, no race, no nation. The days of nations and races are past, the days of the individual are coming. In a better world there will be no Germans, no Indians, no Hindus, no Christians -- there will be pure individuals, perfectly free, living their life in their own way, not disturbing anybody's life and not allowing anybody to disturb their lives"
- Osho -

Quoted from  http://www.otoons.de/osho/askosho16.htm :

Question: What is a free man?


It is one of the perennial questions of humanity: the question of freedom and responsibility. If you are free, you interpret it as if now there is no responsibility.

Just a hundred years ago Friedrich Nietzsche declared, "God is dead, and man is free." And the next sentence he wrote is, "Now you can do whatsoever you want to do. There is no responsibility. God is dead, man is free, and there is no responsibility."

There he was absolutely wrong; when there is no God, there is tremendous responsibility on your shoulders. If there is a God, he can share your responsibility. You can throw your responsibility on Him: you can say, "It is you who have made the world; it is you who have made me in this way; it is you who is finally, ultimately, responsible, not me. How can I be ultimately responsible? I am just a creature, and you are the creator. Why have you put seeds of corruption in me and seeds of sin in me from the beginning? You are responsible. I am free."

In fact, if there is no God, then man is absolutely responsible for his acts, because there is no way to throw responsibility on anybody else. When I say to you that you are free, I mean that you are responsible. You cannot throw responsibility on anybody else, you are alone. And whatsoever you do, it is your doing. You cannot say that somebody else forced you to do it -- because you are free; nobody can force you! Because you are free, it is your decision to do something or not to do something.

With freedom comes responsibility. Freedom is responsibility. But the mind is very cunning, the mind interprets in its own way: it always goes on listening to that which it wants to listen to. It goes on interpreting things in its own way. The mind never tries to understand what really is the truth. It has taken that decision already.
I have heard....

"I am a respectable man, doctor, but lately life has become intolerable because of my feelings of guilt and self-recrimination." The patient gulped miserably before continuing. "You see, I have recently fallen victim to an uncontrollable urge to pinch and fondle girls in the underground."
"Dearie me," tutted the psychiatrist consolingly, "we must certainly help you to rid yourself of this unfortunate urge. I can quite see how distressing.... "
The patient broke in anxiously, "It is not so much the urge I wanted you get rid of for me, doctor, it is the guilt."

People go on talking about freedom, but they don't want freedom exactly, they want irresponsibility. They ask for freedom, but deep down, unconsciously, they ask for irresponsibility, licence. Freedom is maturity; licence is very childish. Freedom is possible only when you are so integrated that you can take the responsibility of being free. The world is not free because people are not mature.

Revolutionaries have been doing many things down through the centuries, but everything fails. Utopians have been continuously thinking of how to make man free, but nobody bothers -- because man cannot be free unless he is integrated.

Only a Buddha can be free, a Mahavira can be free, a Christ, a Mohammed can be free, a Zarathustra can be free, because freedom means the man now is aware. If you are not aware then the state is needed, the government is needed, the police is needed, the court is needed. Then freedom has to be cut from everywhere. Then freedom exists only in name; in fact it doesn't exist. How can freedom exist when governments exist? -- it is impossible.

But what to do? If governments disappear, there will simply be anarchy. Freedom will not come in if governments disappear, there will simply be anarchy. It will be a worse state than it is now. It will be sheer madness. The police are needed because you are not alert. Otherwise, what is the point of having a policeman standing on the crossroad? If people are alert, the policeman can be removed, will have to be removed, because it is unnecessary. But people are not conscious.

So when I say 'freedom', I mean be responsible. The more responsible you become, the more free you become; or, the more free you become, the more responsibility comes on you. Then you have to be very alert to what you are doing, what you are saying. Even about your small unconscious gestures you have to be very alert -- because there is nobody else to control you, it is only you. When I say to you that you are free, I mean that you are a God. It is not licence, it is tremendous discipline.
Osho, The Beloved, volume 2, chapter 10

 http://www.barnett.sk/software/sos/osho/osho-talks/sermon26.htm !!!!!!!!

response to: "just an unmasked organizer" 23.Apr.2002 11:27


If you find stories on portland indymedia to be lacking, or don't like the work of some of the people who post here, then the best idea is to post your own stories. anyone can be indymedia just by calling themselves indymedia. there's no need for a press pass or anything special and i would prefer that everyone (from all parts of the political spectrum) jump on board, rather than having a situation where people feel like they are on the outside looking in. many of us who work with indymedia wish for just that: an inclusive, open, transparent resource from which no one feels left out, and in which making references to "indymedia writers" would be meaningless.

As for a standard of journalism you might be attempting to set up by referring to us "lazy" or "fawning", i'll just say this: i don't care about your or anyone else's ideas about what good journalism is. one of the ideas behind open publishing is that we can free ourselves from such standards as they are imposed by others and state our own truths in our own ways without having to measure up to any standard other than our own personal one.

standards of journalism, and what people are supposed to ask, and how they're supposed to ask it -- these things are dangerous. they leave people out by approving one set of approaches over others. alleged standards are what the NY Times CNN FOX etc. use to set themselves above us, and we know they're often a band of liars. I say, let us have NO journalistic standards except the ones each person might freely choose for their own work. Let us admit that it's almost all subjective, and that objectivity is an impossible state of being. And who would want to be distant and uncaring -- "objective" -- anyway? Not me. i'm trying to save the world. I can't be dispassionate or distant about that and i won't try.