The following article was originally published on elephant journal on 11-22-11.

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Just after 11:11am on November 11th, I posted a Facebook message reading: “We have just passed through the portal.” It seemed like the thing to write, although I actually had no idea what I was talking about. Like many people, I couldn’t help but attribute some significance to that auspicious alignment of ones, and spent the day with my psychic antennae fully extended, hoping to pick up on whatever transmissions might trickle through the noosphere.

As evening approached, I was ready to put the whole triple-eleven meme down for a century-long nap. I’d heard no angelic choir, felt no activation of my DNA, and experienced no shift in consciousness except that provided by Earl Grey. The thing that had most piqued my interest that day was the premiere of an “unconventional documentary” called Thrive: What On Earth Will It Take? that was to be screened in dozens of places in the Bay Area and beyond. The trailer looked compelling, so I headed down to my local metaphysical bookstore with my antennae at half-mast.

The film is the brainchild of Foster Gamble, whose family comprises one half of the Fortune 500 company Proctor & Gamble, who brought us Tide, Crest, Downy, and the anal leakage associated with Olestra. Groomed for business leadership, Foster instead became interested in sacred geometry and profane geopolitics, which inspired him to devote most of his life and inheritance to the making of Thrive. For all his silver spoon slickness, Foster makes a great narrator, speaking clearly and earnestly about his quest to understand why most humans live in suffering, despite the earth’s abundance and our natural capacity to thrive. The question is a salient one, and Foster’s thread of reasoning is surprisingly easy to follow, even as it weaves through free energy technology, ancient aliens, crop circles, international banking, and the global domination agenda, tying them all together in a seamless package.

Along the journey, we encounter such New Age and countercultural icons as Nassim Haramein, Vandana Shiva, John Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Catherine Austin Fitts, John Perkins, Paul Hawken, Amy Goodman, and Barbara Marx Hubbard. The ride is so smooth that I found myself wondering: “Who wouldn’t eagerly climb on board Foster’s truth-seeking, computer generated, toroidal spaceship?” The most obvious demographic, as the movie reveals, is the global elite, those sinister banksters who apparently conspire to keep humanity docile, subservient, and ignorant of its true potential. In venturing down this particular rabbit hole, Foster taps the twisted brain of David Icke, who, while explaining his insightful “problem-reaction-solution” equation of control, comes dangerously close to making his asinine assertion that global warming is a liberal hoax. By giving so much airtime to Icke, the movie treads onto thin ice when it could safely remain on relatively solid ground (assuming aliens can be associated with terra firma).

An even bigger problem, however, is that the movie devotes so much time to the global domination agenda and to a fear-based narrative. Indeed an entire section of the film is spent speculating on what the agenda might be and what its endpoint might look like, invoking a fascist police state engaged in constant surveillance, mind control, violent suppression of dissent, and torture. The section ends with the ominous warning that “there will be nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.” After dragging the audience through his New World Order nightmare complete with clips of goose-stepping soldiers, Foster calmly admits that the future is uncertain, but what is certain is that the domination agenda is based on fear and scarcity. Does he not see the irony, or did he hire a counter-production team?

After spending far too long on Illuminati stuff, the film finally moves on to proposing a set of solutions, most of which would please your average Occupy assembly, such as: abolish the Fed, bank locally, take part in critical mass actions, help keep the Internet open and free, consume independent media, support organic and non-GMO agriculture, reform campaign finance, and invest in alternative and free energy technologies. Just as remarkable as the filmmaker’s prescience is his preparation, as he directs the viewer to a substantial, well-designed, interactive website, which not only allows you to watch the film and “Play it Forward” but highlights the movie’s core themes, documents all of its assertions, and provides a host of resources for people inspired to change the paradigm and save the world.

Despite its shortcomings and overindulgences, Thrive manages to capture the zeitgeist, even more successfully than the movies and movement of that name, with which it can be compared. After flying through the cosmos with a room full of aging hippies and Gen X-ers on 11-11-11, I felt more certain than ever that the long-awaited shift is indeed underway. Hold on to your hats and let go of your hang-ups, because we’re passing through the portal.

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