How I took the laboratory into the real world, Part One.

I

With all the seriousness in this web site, it can be easy to think there is no silliosity in me, but that would be very wrong.

I have always been eccentric and enigmatic. I have my own little cloud in the sky where I find rainbows to amuse me, lightening bolts to inspire me, and thunder to let my feelings become amply known.

In other words, you are not going to figure me out reading this web site or everything I ever wrote.

You are not that clever -- and neither is anyone else who ever breathed on this planet.

You want to know a human being -- including yourself, you have to work.

And work requires an open mind, and not following a little script.

Just for the record, if you do not like me, that is your loss and not mine. I am not losing sleep over it or jockeying to be invited to your birthday party.

I am about to divulge some truths. You will not like them. At all.

Unless you have emotional intelligence, and a good-natured sense of humour.

So let's begin...

II

In the beginning, I was a very happy-go-lucky teenager who skipped grades, was yearbook editor, published a literary journal for my high school, was on Students' Council, had been published with no one's influence, got good grades, was in a gifted program, and dressed outrageously. I had been political, too, working on Anti-Apartheid projects that netted me local coverage and got my high school good press.

I was a gutsy girl scientist who loved writing, read Jack Kerouac, Sigmund Freud, Nellie Bly, and William Shakespeare.

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I was doing all sorts of serious things, but strictly in a fun and different way.

All on my own. I didn't have a momager. I was the first in my family to follow this kind of path, but my family had its mavericks.

I went to university a couple of years younger than the rest. I had the grades, but there was resistance from teachers who thought a female student couldn't handle it.

I did more than handle it. I flourished.

Because I was having genuine fun. 

Even when everything was grim. I was never disrespectful, but no one was going to tell me how and what to feel. I would follow my instincts, and my instincts told me that you see life as a challenge that tested your resourcefulness and mettle.

Because life was short and cruel.

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I was not in it for a short time. I wasn't going to be cruel.

But I knew that anger, fear, and hatred made you a gullible dupe, and I wasn't going to be that, either.

I wasn't going to sunny spin rot. If something was vile, I would call it out, but I would be determined to improve the problems, not try to repackage them into something positive.

That would be an evil thing to do.

I went to university and studied experimental psychology, graduating Summa Cum Laude. I studied hard and my undergraduate thesis was in Psychoacoustics as I discovered our perceptions of reality were not actually consciously aligned to it, but I also studied evolutionary psychology with me studying how war propaganda manipulated our evolutionary instincts, as well as Artificial Intelligence, studying the mechanisms of evolutionary phobia.

My politics were clearly on the Left at the time. I was always a feminist. 

I still am a feminist, but my disillusionment of the Left came when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, and I was in for the shock of my life.

I saw how the Left abandoned every one of their beliefs when it suited their own purposes. People who were allegedly all about peace were actually calling for bombing people and even mused about rounding up people of a certain nationality and religion and throwing them into camps.

I saw and heard all of it.

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The Democrats were in office and President Bill Clinton was all hawkish.

And so was the supposedly Left mainstream media.

I didn't just stand around and whine.

I did go marching in protest, but that was a pointless exercise.

What I did was put my university-educated brain to use, researching the media coverage, and finding out just how horrible it was.

Public relations firms were hired to skew the coverage -- and the press knew it, of course, because that was the true source of their information.

I got my hands on those press releases, being the resourceful teenager that I was -- and lo and behold -- whatever tripe was scribbled on the press release, was what the news media parroted.

With no deviation.

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I found out even more than that: I discovered how to track down which PR firms were hired thanks to FARA. I manage to go through those news stories and press releases to independently verify what was written and said, and wouldn't you just know it? the information was either a flat-out lie, or a skewed distortion.

I learned how to get all sorts of reports into my possession, from UN reports to periodicals for the intelligence community. I was a one-teenaged girl newsroom. I even managed to get information before the press, and I could predict what nonsense the traditional media would spew.

Unfortunately, I did not have social media to put out my information. The traditional media held all of the cards. I wrote to them to let them know that I knew they were full of it and where they were getting their propaganda, but it didn't do me any good.

Because the press were the gate-keepers, and they were not going to admit a teenager had the dirt on their sketchy news-gathering methods.

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But I wasn't going to fall into despair and give up.

It was just me and an entire industry who were much stronger than I was. I didn't have rich parents who could indulge me in the way that I needed to expose the press.

So I had to think of the ways I could bring justice with a very unjust system.

Yes, I was a happy-go-lucky, silly, and idealistic kid.

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III

And I still am.

But back then I had very little life experience, and a psychology degree.

And bankers' boxes filled with incontrovertible evidence that the press never actually covered the Civil War in earnest.

I couldn't just write a book. My author's qualifications were nil. A psych degree isn't going to get a publisher all that interested in what I had in bankers' boxes.

And that got me to thinking.

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I didn't know what journalism was all about.

I had evidence that the press ran with press release propaganda, but not how that got sucked into the media machine and corrupted stories.

There were a couple of articles about how the coverage was skewed, but these were small and mostly foreign publications. One book from France, and a few articles from the UK. It wasn't enough to break a barrier.

But I had a theory, and a theory is just a shot int he dark.

You have to test the theory to know if it is reality, or just a guess.

There was a way I could test my theory.

I could become a journalist in order to study it.

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That was eccentric enough and was a perfect job for me: becoming a journalist with a series of empirically-sound experiments to conduct in order to be the Intrepid to break journalism's code.

I would be walking among my test subjects. I would be one of them. I would have no virtuous airs because I was also a subject in the experiment.

Just as I was a subject in my undergraduate thesis, running myself first before running others, I would undergo every test condition.

I would be bringing the laboratory out of the Ivory Tower and into the real world.

III

This experiment took years to conduct and the experiments took months at a time.

I was thorough and inventive.

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I was also resourceful and uninhibited, but never unethical.

I wasn't manipulating people. I wasn't putting them under unnatural conditions.

I would observe the regular and natural settings, and then figure out how to study that environment in such a way that I could have empirically sound feedback.

The most basic was sending pitches to various publications. They would accept or reject the pitch -- but their responses would be something I would study, comparing and contrasting various levels.

Job interviews were also a motherlode of information. Many interviewers would hint that the way to get a job was the casting couch, but in such a way that it would seem as if it were my idea to do it.

Of course, I never took the bait -- or got the jobs in that experimental condition.

But it was funny that those interviewers would call me back multiple times for what I called a jobless interview.

I did nothing to encourage such behaviour. I also was qualified for those jobs, but it was clear that women in the business were treated very differently than the men.

I also discovered that people with nepotism advantages overran the newsrooms in Canada.

It soon became obvious that journalism had other issues than just cribbing from press releases, and I expanded my studies to include other factors.

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The pay in the profession was lousy. It was meant to keep the poor and middle class peons from staying in the game too long. The wealthy ones could be supported by their parents as they went on the active prowl to find a wealthy spouse to support them.

The ones of modest means who wanted a job had to settle on marrying someone from the public service who had a good pay check to keep them in the game.

I didn't use every experimental nugget I dug up. People's private lives weren't all that interesting in my experiment.

But the very poor pay was important because it said a lot about the profession: wealthy media tycoons whose content was provided by people making less than a middle class wage.

Very few hit six figures, and the ones who hit seven or more did not represent one percent of the industry.

But reporters's political views were my business.

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The filters were crucial, and while you would expect the profession to be political atheists, most skewed Left if they worked for a mainstream outlet, but there were those who were firmly on the Right.

It always skewed coverage. I wasn't getting pulled in on either side of that dividing line. I learned my lesson years ago.

IV

I was having fun being a Method Researcher. I wasn't exactly having a secret identity or being a superhero, but I was being a scientist who made a promise to find the truth and liberate it, and I keep my word.

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Oddly enough, one magazine profile on me did see me as being something from a comic book, and I liked it.

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I thought I was more like a magician, but one who had a set-up lasting years, but there had to be a pay-off somewhere.

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It wouldn't be a magazine or newspaper article. It would have to be in a book form.

And as I was getting experience as a journalist, I had to think about the end game. 

My experiments had to bring enough useable results to have meaning.

It did.

I realized every facet of journalism was flawed, but those flaws were going to haunt them because something new was coming up at the same time I was being an experimenter: the World Wide Web.

The Internet was becoming a control group for me, and I could see how breaking the gates and taking control away from traditional journalism would bring serious trouble for the profession, and I even knew how it was going to happen.

While the profession was groping in the dark, the very nature of my self-created job shined a light that told me the clock for journalism was ticking.

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My book proposal got many rejections. No one thought lies becoming news was a problem, even as I had an ever-growing list of stories that were proven to be false.

I even used the cases where the media outlets in question owned up to it because the book was a tough enough sell as it was.

Eventually, a publisher did see the merit, and they let me reveal the results of my escapade.

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I was the Rosetta Stone of journalism. You don't pour over tens of thousands of sources and stay clueless as to why journalism was dying.

And in 2005, it was terminally ill. It did not have to collapse.

But by 2016, the profession did destroy itself.

I thought I was finished once my book was published, but of course, you don't do all of that hard work and research and just walk away.

Because it is an Age of Propaganda, and we need information.

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V

So how does a woman who created a unique job for herself create a better encore?

It is not as if Western society appreciates maverick and eccentric women.

I was groping in the dark, not knowing what to chase. I had even created a feminist hard news site called Chaser News...it was another laboratory, but it lacked a grit of traction I needed; so I went to the drawing board, although I was none too pleased when one Leftist online publication wondered why there wasn't a feminist Intercept, even though I created it years before the Intercept.

As I said, I didn't know what I couldn't see.

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So I followed my instincts, and realized that journalism was dead.

It did not mean I could not create an alternative to it because I had created it the day I embarked as a journalist who became one to study the profession.

But it meant getting back in the saddle even though was I an adult who had no convenient time or space to ride.

I didn't let it stop me.

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I was still someone who was willing to be an experimenter to learn and to evolve.

The world was more than my laboratory and stage: it was also my playground.

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I started by creating A Dangerous Woman Story Studio, an alternative structure of telling fictional stories, and I dubbed it Matriarchal Storytelling, weaving fiction and nonfiction work that all interlocked and interconnected.

And then I focussed on the nonfiction, coming up with a system called F.R.E.E.D.: the alternative system -- both structure and content -- of informing a public.

It is the system made as a way to bring information to people without the narrative slant.

I was focussed on the future.

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I am determined that both the Matriarchal -- and F.R.E.E.D. break through barriers.

We are a species confined by thought, restricted by fear, deceived by hatred, and misdirected by anger.

We fall into bad and unnatural rote habits, and then misapply pride by preventing us from shedding the thoughts and emotions that are wrong and prevent us from expanding and evolving.

I have no problems doing it because I savour the ways of the experimenter, magician, and detective -- all callings that require an attitude of flexibility and humility.

But always with levity -- even in the grimmest of circumstances. Levity is not an emotion of disrespect: it is one of defiance and rebellion of all the darkness that tries to blind us to deceive us.

I will not give in to wallowing. I will always fight to make a kinder world as I face reality.

I will not be tricked by the false morals of perpetual outrage and offence, and I will not hinge my self-respect and esteem on the validation of others.

It is time for the world to face reality -- but never with fear or anger: those are the tricks of tyrants and manipulators on both sides of that line in the sand as they wear silly paper crowns.

I don't take orders from those clowns. Life is too short to give in to schoolyard bullying -- and the freedom that comes from laughter, kindness, and sensitivity is a precious gift I will never disrespect or squander...