Guilty Pleasure


I’ll come clean and admit a guilty pleasure – I’m addicted to television, not just any TV, specifically the History and Discovery channels. My PVR is set to record anything about the universe, ancient history, aliens, or conspiracies. The first two are easy to digest, the last two – not so much. Far from being a conspiracy or alien nut there’s still plenty of thought provoking ponders to sift through.

Ancient Aliens has sent me along the research path countless times. The show becomes tiresome, and I hardly ever make it to the end, but along the way I do pick up questions that are difficult to answer. Not for an instant do I think we are alone in the universe, nor do I believe Hitler escaped in an alien time capsule, the Sasquatch is an alien, or ancient Egyptian and Maya kings travelled through a star gate to distant worlds. I do wonder how precisely cut stone weighing up to 100 tons could be quarried miles away and transported across river valleys to the top of mountain peaks, then set in place so precisely you couldn’t slip a hair between them. It plants a smile on my face to know pyramids in Mexico are lined with Mica quarried 3000 miles away in South America. Rather than alien intervention I believe in lost civilization; I’m certain thousands of years history pre-date our accepted historical timeline.

Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura or Brad Meltzer’s Decoded are way out there. Just the same; I thank them for my knowledge of the Alaska triangle and Bohemian Grove. While reassured that George Patton wasn’t murdered, I’m not buying that copper from the Great Lakes fuelled the Bronze Age or the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail in America.

Anything you ever wanted to know about the universe is waiting for you on television. Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, The Universe, Known Universe, Cosmic Front – it’s all there. For the first time in my life I “get” string theory, know the difference between White Dwarfs and Red Giants, understand why tossing a cast iron frying pan into the sun would create a super nova, and that one day the universe will run out of hydrogen and go dark. Aftermath and Life After People have shown me what would happen if the world ran out of oil, the earth stopped spinning, we had no moon, or were hit by a massive asteroid.

I fall asleep listening to Monarchy by David Starkey or Neil Oliver’s The World After Stonehenge; something about a British accent that sends me off to sleep. In my corner of the world we have the Knowledge network; commercial free programs like The Story of India, Spice Trails – chronicling the early spice trade, or Brazil with Michael Palin.

Admitting my guilty pleasure is not a source of shame. I’m smart enough to take things with a grain of salt, put them in perspective, or use my research skills to learn more. In all honesty i would be lost without a voice to put me to sleep every night.

Bohemian Grove


History is speckled with colourful tales surrounding the true mission of secret clubs and societies. From the Knights Templar, Freemasons, Friars Club, to Fred Flintstone with his secret water buffalo handshake – the “old boys” club has always attracted whispers. Without question human nature dictates that the excluded will spin tales.

Precisely why my pondering has landed squarely at the foot of “The Grove”. Bohemian Grove is an exclusive compound a short distance from San Francisco  Founded in 1872, every Republican and a few Democrat presidents since 1923, have been members. We’re talking FDR, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton to name a few. Toss in CIA directors, heads of not only banks, but the Federal Reserve, military contractors, ( Halliburton ), oil men, railroad men, and nuclear utility CEO’s – you have quite the party.

Best known for a meeting of principals involved in the “Manhattan Project” – hence the atom bomb, it’s the forty foot owl nestled in the redwoods that caught my attention. Constructed of concrete and steel, full of audio visual equipment, and to this day speaking the voice of former member Walter Cronkite – this mossy old statue is centre stage for the “Cremation of Care” ceremony.

Every July members gather for three weeks of fellowship, bonding, networking, or whatever it is boys do at secret clubs. The “Cremation of Care” ceremony is the grand finale – a performance in the woods, complete with up to 300 participants, pyrotechnics, and over the top production values.The annual gathering concludes with a play written and performed by members in front of the gargantuan owl.

By all accounts; members dubbed Bohos, have a particular fondness for urinating on the old growth redwoods.   So much so that members” freedom to urinate” at will, was taken to court in 1978. Not only has no woman ever become a full member, no woman had ever been employed. When charged with discrimination in hiring, the grove argued in a 1978 court room that female employees would hamper members ability to urinate where and when ever they wanted. Rulings for and against led them to the California Supreme Court in 1985; they lost. Reviews were denied, and it has now become a precedent for tax exempt organizations being excluded from the  “Unruh Civil Rights Act”.

I suppose boys will be boys. These “big boys” happen to like peeing on a forest, in the company of a rather ancient, monolithic owl. I have no problem with that – really no different from blowing off steam at a strip club. Back door deals will always take place – I just wish it didn’t seem so silly. The Knights Templar can have their “Holy Grail”, the “Freemasons” their “all seeing eye”, and the “Bohemian Grove” their musty old owl.