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Editor's Desk

Oh Say, Can You See?
By Ken Anderson
Jan 23, 2004 - 3:40:00 AM

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In June of 2003, the Millinocket town council voted, unanimously, to award a $60,000 proposal to a Wiscasset company by the name of Advanced Management Catalyst, Inc. (AMCi) for consulting services related to the consolidation of area municipal and school departments and services. The selectmen of East Millinocket and Medway did likewise, although I'm not sure if the votes were unanimous.

A couple of weeks ago, they came back for more money. Millinocket voted unanimously to give them an additional $7,500. East Millinocket and Medway said no. There were hints that an additional $30,000 might be required in the future.

What's this all about, anyhow?

Michael Kelly and Larry Lemmel of AMCi, in conjunction with other agencies and individuals, were invited to schedule a series of what was billed as informational meetings, hosted by the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC). Following this, a committee of 86 carefully selected citizens of the Katahdin area of Maine, including the towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, and Woodville, were chosen to represent their respective communities in what was termed a "vision conference" or a "visioning process."

The good people involved in the Katahdin area visioning process were under the impression that there was no preconceived agenda, and there was no indication that these efforts were in any way connected to United Nations Agenda 21.

I presume that most of these people are sincere in their beliefs, and honest in their answers.

However, I strongly believe that they are wrong, and I am going to try to put together the pieces of this carefully constructed puzzle. When you add to this the fact that these visioning sessions are going on in communities throughout the United States and the world, it will become obvious that this is bigger than AMCi, and that this is not a process that was developed by them, although they may have tweaked it. You will see that there is a central plan.

I am convinced that this plan is Agenda 21.

Agenda 21

In some parts of the United States, and in most other countries, the sessions are openly referred to as "Local Agenda 21" initiatives. Since the United Nations has not earned a very good name among many in the United States, the process here is usually disguised, or called something different.

The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage web site, for example, doesn't hide the relationship between U.N. Agenda 21, sustainable development, and the visioning process.

The page is entitled: Ecologically Sustainable Development: Local Agenda 21.

From this site, if you would click around to some of the Section 1 - Action Areas pages, you will see that it describes a process very similar to that which AMCi claims to have developed.

You will also find the terms "visioning process," "Agenda 21," and "sustainable development" used often, and clearly tied together. "Sustainable development" is sometimes referred to as "smart growth," but it's the same thing, or a part of the same process.

I'm not going to quote from every document that ties the visioning process together with Agenda 21, as there are too many, but I will include several of the links.

The U.S. Office of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, in Berkeley, has a lot to say about it. The following are direct quotes from a report published by this organization, and hosted by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives:

Although the U.S. lacks the coordinated national attention to, or assistance for, local governments' sustainability efforts as set out in the Local Agenda 21 process, many of our cities, counties and regions are beginning to incorporate such principles into their community strategic planning processes.

Developing a Local Agenda 21 process takes a long time. Many communities start by taking a baseline assessment of their current situation; others begin with a 'visioning' process (i.e., a series of public meetings at which residents and other interested people define the sort of community they would like to see in the future).

The same site, hosted by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, has a Local Agenda 21 Guidance and Training Programme which you might find interesting. Outside of the United States, the agenda is no secret.

The following is a direct quote from the briefing sheet:

A Local Agenda 21 Forum brings together representatives of these groups to steer a public participation process. Once Stakeholder groups "buy in" to the process, their existing organisational structures are ideal for distributing information and gathering wider public opinion.

If you'd like to do some of your own research, a good starting point might be the Sustainable Communities Network web site.

The SCN index page alone ties sustainable development and smart growth, both synonymous terms. For fun, type "agenda 21" into the search box that you will see along the left margin of their index page. After you've reviewed the results from your search on "agenda 21," type "visioning process" into the search box. When you're through with that, if you still have time, type "maine" into the search box.

Please take a close look at the SCN site. But remember that this site is maintained by people who believe that sustainable development is a good idea.

The tools that can be downloaded from the SCN site, including software, should allow you to compete with AMCi, if you were so inclined. You could even pretend that you came up with it by yourself.

One of the documents describes the visioning process in Australia:

Participants individually look ahead to an ideal future and enter their ideas on paper. They rank their visioning ideas on a scale and a facilitator arranges these ideas according to ranking by the individuals in the group. The group then discusses these and tries to arrive at a consensus of agreed priorities.

If you have attended one of the Katahdin area vision sessions you should by now see the obvious similarities. Coincidence?

So what's wrong with Agenda 21?

The terms, "sustainable development" and "smart growth" hardly sound evil. Sustainable, development, smart, growth ... these are all nice, positive words.

The words are good, but the ideas behind them are not.

Sustainable development is based on a new set of values where, for example, nature takes precedence over man and where non-elected committee members decide what we can and cannot do. Sustainable development is the antithesis to the ideals upon which this nation was founded.

Vision Statement

To begin with, the Katahdin Region Vision for the Year 2050 was not truly developed by the people of our community.

Read the Vision Statement, and remember that this was developed during a September, 2003 session of the vision committee, supposedly made up of people who were representative of the Katahdin area.

Who were the people of the Katahdin area in September of 2003? Many of them have moved by now, but still the people of the Katahdin region are mostly retired and, at that time, recently unemployed paperworkers, people who were employed in businesses supporting the paper industry, and a smaller mix of other citizens, including teachers.

The chief concern of the people who lived here in September of 2003 was getting the mill back in operation, if possible, or finding a replacement employer, if not.

Read the vision statement. Does it look like something that would have been developed by a group of retired and unemployed millworkers?

"But I was there," you might say. "I was a part of the vision process and this statement was the result of the concerns that we expressed during that Saturday session."

Was it really?

Psychology

The key to developing a means of directing change in a person's thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and attitudes is in understanding the psychological mechanisms involved.

Before change can occur, the need for change must be demonstrated. One of the most effective means of establishing such a need is to cast doubts on currently held beliefs and attitudes.

One of the best ways in which to demonstrate the need for change to an individual is for someone the person respects (a scientist, educator, or other authority figure) to raise questions about the validity of a position and to suggest alternatives. The authority figure might strengthen his case by pointing out that there are many others who disagree.

The basic idea is to show the person (or group) to be changed that change is in his (or their) best interests, thus establishing motivation for the change.

Well-directed group sessions can accomplish this end without the involved individuals being aware of what is happening.

A skilled facilitator will focus on broad issues upon which nearly everyone agrees, pointing out how certain individual positions may be in disagreement with the so-called consensus, thus raising doubt in the person holding that position.

Self-doubt is a form of guilt and is uncomfortable. The individual is forced to reexamine his positions in a subconscious effort to find a way in which he can move to a more comfortable one without losing face, or having to admit it to himself. Seat someone in an uncomfortable chair and he will soon move to one that is more comfortable.

Among the ways in which a facilitator can move a person from one position to another are:

  • Demonstrating how words can mean something different to someone else, or by subtly shifting the definition of a word. Once it was thought good to be a man of discriminating tastes, but now the word carries a negative connotation.
  • Convincing the individual of the need to broaden his perception of a subject, to consider other opinions as equally valid.
  • Helping the person establish new standards of judgment by getting him to see that the reasons for his position may be based on evidence that is out-of-date. This is known as the everything-is-relative approach, and is a standard in our public schools today.

In the end, what the facilitator has done is a process that is commonly called "brainwashing."

During the visioning process, some neighborhood residents were recruited to join planning committees, but selective community presence in name and/or participation was designed only to give the appearance of broad community support for a plan that had been predetermined, but not fully revealed.

The trails plan, for example, was published on the EMDC web site even before the vision committee held its first meeting.

Whatever you may have been led to believe, the plans that the vision committee ended up with were not local and they are not popularly driven. All of the plans that the Katahdin region vision committee produced had a predetermined outcome and follow guidelines similar to those presented in "The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide - An Introduction to Sustainable Development Planning" available through a number of sources, including but not limited to:

This process was not developed by AMCi, and it follows an agenda that was something other than what you were led to believe it was.

Let's look at the qualifications of the AMCi people who were most closely involved in the Katahdin region visioning process:

  • Michael Kelly has a Ph.D. in psychology.
  • Larry Lemmel was a classical musician, college dean, and college president.
  • Dan Thompson has the strongest qualifications to assist us in our greatest need, which was to bring business and development to the Katahdin area. Thompson served as Wiscasset's town planner from 1989 to 2001. Shortly before he left that position, it was revealed in a story published in the Wiscasset Newspaper that Thompson had tried selling his own land to a developer while he was being paid to represent the town's efforts. Dennis Jumper, Wiscasset's attorney, said that Thompson "was using information he obtained as town planner to, in effect, compete against the town's sale of its middle school property." The town lost its suit against Thompson, but it's interesting that his profile doesn't mention his having worked for more than ten years as Wiscasset's town planner.

They may have other qualifications, but it would seem odd that they wouldn't mention them on their respective business web sites.

Agenda 21 is a world-wide blueprint for implementing sustainable development that is designed to control everything we do, from the cradle to the grave, and the bedroom to the boardroom.

The foundational infrastructure for sustainable communities is created by implementing a process called smart growth. Smart growth policies are characterized by the development of rails, trails and high-density real estate, accomplished by central planners in coalition with select businesses. Under these policies, private automobile use is discouraged, residents are crammed into dense living and working conditions, and control of public utilities and natural resources is consolidated in a central authority.

Once the process is completed locally, several years from now, the Millinocket area would remain, but as a sparsely populated outpost, used as a supply point for people visiting a vastly expanded international park. The population of the area will be reduced by attrition, as people are increasingly unable to find work, develop businesses in this area, or pay increasing taxes.

The concept of sustainable development emerged from the 1987 United Nations Commission on Environment and Development. The concept was then molded primarily by three major non-governmental organizations (NGOs): the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Membership in the IUCN consists of more than five hundred NGOs, including the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy, along with agencies of national governments, such as the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more than fifty sovereign nations. The groups named above met in regular sessions to translate their concept of sustainable development into the document known as Agenda 21.

The Nature Conservancy was one of the sponsoring organizations. Not long ago, they bragged about their involvement in Agenda 21 on their site, but that page is no longer available.

If you go to the United Nations Sustainable Development page and enter "nature conservancy" into the search box, you'll get about 199 hits. Defining your search further, do a search on "nature conservancy" "agenda 21" - with both phrases in quotation marks, and you'll find more than 50 hits. Several of them specifically name The Nature Conservancy as a member organization and a partner in Agenda 21.

During the meeting that The Nature Conservancy held at the Sno-Rovers Snowmobile Club in East Millinocket on September 13, 2003, Kent Womack, a TNC executive director, said, "I understand you've been going through a visioning process within your communities. We've been working closely with you in this."

He's right. They have.

There are many more. This is not a local issue, by any means.

The more I hear about the Katahdin region vision effort, and the more I look at the total picture, the more convinced I am that this is the first stage of implementing a Local Agenda 21 initiative in our part of Maine.

A Local Agenda 21 initiative is a method of implementing, region by region, the provisions of the United Nations" Agenda 21 plan for the world of the 21st Century. This plan was drafted at the World Summit Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The stated goal of Agenda 21 is to bring the world into a "sustainable" condition, which means that no one uses more than his fair share of the world's resources and that current generations don't use resources faster than they can be replaced for future generations. In other words, we must live and function in a way that can be sustained in perpetuity.

That doesn't sound so bad. We have polluted our rivers, filled our air with noxious fumes, created acres of landscapes filled with the remains of discarded automobiles, and so on. It is precisely because we have all seen evidence of this abuse that we are susceptible to claims that the world is in crisis.

Thoughtlessly, we allowed, and sometimes even encouraged the rape of portions of our planet. We were poor stewards, and we need to be better stewards, but we do not need to listen to the extremists. Their answers would prove even more disastrous than our poor stewardship.

Certainly there are sincere environmentalists, but this great concern for the environment is a path that some people see to their goal of one-world government. It is a convenient "crisis" and they intend to exploit it to the utmost.

Some people believe that these community plans will help "guide", "preserve" and "enhance" the Katahdin region. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the words "guide", "preserve" and "enhance"? should be substituted with "control."

I suspect that most of the people involved in the Katahdin region vision process have never even heard of Agenda 21, and are fully convinced the steps they are taking will lead to greater prosperity for the region and better living conditions for the people who live here.

Some are elected public servants who see the vision process as an opportunity to get a better fix on what their constituents want from government.

Others are good citizens who want to do something positive for their community.

I hold no ill will for these good folks, but I am firmly convinced that they are being misled and that the motivating force behind the scenes leads directly to the halls of the United Nations and its quest for a New World Order, the prize at the end of the humanist rainbow.

Coincidence?

I can't prove this to you beyond any doubt, but the evidence demonstrates clearly that the visioning process currently underway in the Katahdin area is but one of many similar actions that are taking place simultaneously across this nation and around the world.

I believe in coincidence to a point, but it is beyond belief that there could be hundreds of efforts popping up all around the globe, all employing the same techniques, all following the same basic outline, all but those that are taking place in this country admittedly aimed at achieving the goals of Agenda 21, and that we suddenly have one in our area that is unconnected to any of the others.

It is commendable that good citizens might devote time and energy to an effort that promises to improve our economy, our standard of living, and promote safer environmental practices; but I am asking you to look beneath the surface to discover the the ultimate cost of sustainable development. My father, and perhaps everyone's father, told me that when something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

We should also consider that, while most of those who have taken part in the visioning process are innocents who, with good hearts, were taken in, there are others who came here for just this purpose, driven by an environmental agenda, possibly, or for what they can get out of it. Clearly there are those who stand to gain from this process, but I contend that their gain will come at the expense of the community.

There are some in our community who seem to have no reason to be here other than to be involved in the planning process.

Michael Shuman, the director of the Green Policy Institute, took part in the vision conference and has been involved in the Worksphere program, including the Time Dollar Exchange.

Shuman is the author of "Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age," a primer on sustainable development which I have read.

It's not all bad. Shuman is a highly credentialed and intelligent man, one with some very impressive ideas, some of which might truly help us, but let's not forget that he has an agenda that goes far beyond the needs of the people of the Katahdin region.

Do a search on Google for "michael shuman," then search for "green policy institute" and the agenda will show itself.

Why?

Why do we need a non-governmental organization or committee establishing the development goals of the Katahdin region?

I contend that regional planning is intended to bypass our elected governments, under the guise of being partners with those governments. I believe that the initial plan that these governments will be asked to agree to will be open-ended, one that will provide for the details to be worked out later, but will essentially commit the towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket, and Medway to a contractual agreement that will give them very little control over the final details. We've already seen some of this.

Pressure will be placed on the local governments to come together on this because "it is what the people have said they want."

The truth is, that even if there were hundreds of people at each of the visioning sessions, the process would have involved only a fraction of a percentage of the people who are living in this area. Only about 60 people are deciding the future of the Katahdin area.

The Process

The vision committee sessions are constructed in such a way as to make it impossible for anyone to know if the outcome represents the input of the people present.

A large meeting is broken down into a number of smaller meetings, so that all that any one individual knows is what happened during a meeting of from a half dozen to a dozen individuals. The control is in the hands of the facilitators.

The consensus building process is, by its very nature, a directed process. If it were not, consensus could never be reached among a group of any size.

Surely we have issues that need to be addressed, but we already have a governing body in place to do this. The process may not be as quick or as efficient as that proposed by the facilitators of the visioning process, but it was intended to be. Government is supposed to be slow and laborious. This is what keeps us from making rash decisions that we may later regret.

We lose control of our government when we turn the decision making authority over to a non-governmental organization or any other non-elected body. This is the end product of Katahdin Region 2050.

In order to understand why I am so concerned about signing on to the concepts incorporated into Agenda 21, let's look at what resulted from a United Nations Conference held in Vancouver, Canada in June of 1976.

Vancouver Plan

From this Conference came a number of recommendations, referred to as The Vancouver Plan of Action. I'll quote some of what came out of that gathering, and I ask you to keep in mind that the United States had representatives at that Conference who agreed to the Plan of Action it produced:

Preamble

1. Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.

In essence, this paragraph says that land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals. Private land ownership contributes to social injustice. Social justice can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.

In the Vancouver Plan of Action, the section devoted to Settlement Planning contains this quote: "In this constant process of adjustments and reconciliation, the notion of region becomes central to settlement planning as a unit smaller than the national whole but larger than the individual settlement itself..."

Could this be where the idea of regional planning, such as that employed in the visioning process, stems from?

Another quote from this same section: "Settlement and environmental planning and development must occur within the framework of the economic and social planning process at the national, regional and local levels."

Three themes that run throughout Agenda 21 are: environmental, economic, and social. Just how do you feel about some international organization, the members of which are appointed, not elected, telling you how you must plan for your future?

From the Shelter Infrastructure section of the Vancouver Plan, we find this quote: "If the improvement of the quality of life in human settlements is to become a reality, housing must be close to employment, schools and clinics must be placed near the dwelling, food production must be associated with food consumption .. and so on."

New World Order

The mentality of the people writing these plans is that they are the ones who know what is best for the world's populations, and it is only through "managed planning" at the upper levels that mankind can be led to achieve its true potential.

The more one reads in these United Nations documents, the more the arrogance of the would-be world governors comes through. Don't take it from me. Read these documents for yourself, and pay close attention to detail.

The proposed New World Order will be far different that what we are used to.

And now we are faced with the proposed Climate Change Treaty. If this treaty is passed and the United States signs it, we may as well have a UN inspector stationed at our local service station, making sure that no one gets more than his allotted share of gasoline. Heating fuel will be regulated, and it is quite possible that air conditioning will be prohibited.

Industry will feel the impact; as a nation, much of our remaining industrial base might very well be moved to third world countries that will be exempted from the treaty provisions.

Once Agenda 21 has been accomplished, most of humanity will be housed in designated population centers, preventing urban sprawl. Outpost areas, such as the Katahdin area, will be kept small, with about half the current population.

Environmentally correct businesses that go along with the plan will be encouraged, although severely restricted. Individuals and businesses that do not cooperate with the planners will be effectively shut out.

Owning or controlling the media is an important part of implementing Agenda 21. Locally, the Katahdin Times has already been attacked publicly for not playing along, and I'm sure I'll hear about this article.

Do you think it's a reach?

Read number 12 of Consensual Democracy Principles, as found on Larry Lemmel's site:

12. Organize and govern the community's civic center.

Summary

The real objective behind sustainable communities and regional planning is to restructure government by taking clearly defined political boundaries represented by elected (and locally accountable) officials and incorporating them into larger intraregional councils run by non-elected bureaucrats who are not accountable to local authority.

This creates an opportunity for the formation of new councils, committees, associations, organizations, and agencies that typically report to higher apex councils.

This is, by the way, the same governmental system that was used in 20th century Russia and throughout the Soviet bloc.

Its purpose is to "partner" government with business, thereby gaining control over the production and distribution of resources. Think about it.

Thursday night, the Millinocket town council voted to approve the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council (MAGIC), a non-governmental organization, authority to speak for the town in matters relating to development, specifically within areas designated (in part by MAGIC) as Pine Tree Zones.

Regional plans, committees, and councils set up in conjunction with the visioning process shifts the power of decision from the people who live here to a coordinated, but often unknown, system of councils that partner with government agencies.

We no longer elect the people who make the decisions that impact our lives.

References

The links that I have given you thus far are to the web sites of organizations who are proponents of sustainable development.

I did this because I wanted you to see the truth through their own words, rather than through those of someone opposed to the plan.

I ask you now, not to take my word for it. Follow the links that I have given you, spend some time on the sites, looking beyond the pages that I have led you to, only recognizing that these people seldom say what they mean.

Do a search on Google for related terms, such as "sustainable development," "smart growth," "agenda 21," "urban sprawl," and "1000 friends." To narrow the field, try searching on some of these phrases together.The proponents are many, prolific, powerful, and they often have the advantage of the use of our tax money, so you might have to read between the lines. I am confident that you won't have to squint.

Now I am going to give you some other sources of information. Please look through these sites, considering what I have said here, and in light of what you know about the vision process in the Katahdin region.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Giver: Although the novel does not so claim, The Giver is a story of a future where Agenda 21 has been accomplished. The setting could easily be Millinocket. Buy the book from Amazon.com.


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