Here is Part 1 of my interview with blogger and former Worldwide Church of God member American Kabuki from The Light Agenda on July 11. Part 2 tomorrow. Thanks, as always, to Ellen for transcribing.
You can listen to the full interview here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/inlight_radio/2012/07/11/the-light-agenda
Stephen Cook: Hello, and welcome to the Light Agenda. I’m Stephen Cook and thank you so much for joining me and my special guest, blogger American Kabuki today.
Now, just before American Kabuki and I get chatting about his own mind-blowing light agenda, I’d like to read a beautiful note last week’s guest Fran Zepeda sent to me by email yesterday. Now, in it she wrote, “Hi, Stephen. I just wanted you to know that since the show went to air I’ve had such a great response from listeners, and they’re all telling me how much we together helped them, and that they even experienced healing and clearing from it. We did good, Stephen.”
Well, thanks, Fran, and thank you to all those people who received healing and clearing last week when Fran was on. That’s exactly what I hoped for all of us, that even me, you know, me as the person who hosts the show and you as the listener would get from the people that come here and share their light agendas with us.
My guest today, American Kabuki, has endured and enjoyed a very different light agenda to Fran. He’s not a channeler or a healer in the context that most of us would know it, but he is healing the world in his very own way. And in fact he’s also helped heal over 50,000 people as they made their somewhat traumatic break from a major organised religion that he also once belonged to.
Now, he’s also assisting on gathering news and views and getting the good word out there, and he has literally come back from the dead — and we’ll be talking about that in a little while, too.
American Kabuki came to prominence when, early this year, he began compiling endless lists of the mass resignations, departures, whatever you want to call them, of the many, many senior figures in the banking world. Now, he didn’t just give us their names, he also gave us links to all the articles from all around the world, from countries like the US, UK, China, Pakistan — oh, my gosh — India, South America, Japan, so we could actually all then cross check the stories that appeared, so we could realise that, one, they had credibility and also we could actually see what was really going on.
That resulted in enormous traffic to his blog site, which is AmericanKabuki.blogspot.com, and that included me because I was fascinated by what he was posting. And since then he’s actually posted hundreds of stories, from others as well as his own original intel, and he’s kept us all up to date with what he hears, resonates with and understands is going on out there.
Obviously, American Kabuki is a pseudonym. That is his posting name, and he simply chooses to keep his real identity quiet from the wider world for the moment just for family privacy reasons. Now, that doesn’t mean that he’s not willing to share his incredible life story, as you are about to hear now.
American Kabuki, welcome to the Light Agenda.
American Kabuki: Good evening, Stephen.
SC: Now, first tell me, where did the name American Kabuki come from?
AK: It started out, it was going to be a satire site, poking fun at certain media figures, certain news figures. And it sat idle for two years, but I had created the graphics and I had built the blog. But I was just too busy to deal with it.
SC: But where did you get the idea for the name? Because some people have asked me, “Oh, he must be Japanese!” [laugh]
AK: No. I do have a fascination with Japanese culture and gardens, and I love samurai movies, and…. But Kabuki means “bizarre theatre” in Japanese, the actual literal meaning of it. It also means dance, but it has a connotation and an annotation or denotation that relates to dance and bizarre theatre. And it seemed like what was going on in America was a very strange theatre of the absurd. And…
SC: [laugh] And the whole world!
AK: Yes. And there was a time I felt like I was alone and everybody else had gone crazy, but I know I wasn’t, because I’ve met so many people since, but …
SC: Oh, yeah. We’re all crazy.
AK: Yeah. But there was a blood lust in the country. I called it Kabuki because I thought, you know, this is so surreal, what was happening in my country, it was so different from the 1990s. And that was the original thinking about it. It was really directed towards what I felt was going on in this country. But when I started doing the banking list, it seemed to fit.
SC: Well, that’s what I was going to say. Your whole original aim was just to do this spoof that you kind of really didn’t get happening. And then suddenly you were posting about bank resignations. But what made you get to that point?
AK: There was a bit of a lull in what people call the light-worker community, in January or February, and it seemed like everybody felt that nothing was happening. So, I was on a blog and I saw this … somebody posted about eight or nine significant bank resignations, of very prominent, senior people. And it struck me, I said, you know, that can’t be accidental.
And, so, I started researching. I just started doing key word searches on Google, using Google Advanced Search. And I just kept finding more and more and more, each day. And I kind of just started making lists of them. You know. First I had like 60, then 80, then it was 150, and 161, and, you know, people just kept coming and I kept creating new posts. It just went viral.
SC: I know. I remember, because I was one of those people that came to your site. And then we started posting on the 2012 Scenario. But I remember thinking at the time, oh, my God, how boring to have to put all this list together, and thank God someone else is doing it!
AK: [laugh] My … my hand … I type really fast, and my joints started aching after a while. I did have help, though. There was a couple of women who did a lot of research for me. There was a woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, who actually works in Wall Street, that gave me a lot of good inside information.
SC: So, did people just start coming out of the blue at that point in time and actually feeding you information even then?
AK: Oh, yes. They still do.
SC: Right. Because, I’ve always wondered, like … in the last … I mean, the blog itself has actually evolved. You’ve got new stuff. Every now and then you actually will report on intel that someone’s given you. So, how are you deciding what you’re posting, and where else is that information coming to you from now?
AK: I have a number of friends around the world — either through work or from college — on various continents, and they feed me information. I’m also making …. I’m making new contacts all the time. That’s pretty much where a lot of it comes from. It kind of snowballs, you know, because the more people I meet the more people … that just keeps feeding on itself.
SC: But then, how are you discerning, how do you know if someone’s telling you something that’s not necessarily … I mean, truth is always that very indeterminable thing. But how do you know whether something’s as fact-based as possible at that time?
AK: I look for whether … if they come at me trying to massage my ego, I usually throw it out. If they come at me very hatefully, you know … and I know where they’re coming from. There’s a lot of people who are just paid to do that kind of thing. There’s a whole industry that does that. And then there’s ….
SC: Which I think a lot of people forget at times, too.
AK: Oh, yeah. There … it’s not grassroots stuff, it’s organised. Some of it is actually AI generated.
SC: Sorry, what do you … what do you mean by … you mean artificial intelligence-generated?
AK: Yeah. They generate these random, generic attacks that really don’t address anything specific. They’re just … they’re just designed to rile you. And, you know, I see it so much, I just throw it out.
SC: But those secret contacts you’ve had, they’ve given you some really good stories. So, if you’ve got a couple of really favorite stories that you’ve gone, yeah, I … well, not necessarily from an ego base, but, like, “I managed to break that story,” or that was … “I’m really glad I got that out there”?
AK: Often when I get something, I look at it and I try to post things that resonate with me.
AK: I go a lot by what I feel inside. There’s times that I see people post things on other sites that they feel are important, but, you know, they just shut me down cold. So, I’m selective in that sense. It’s … I can’t really describe the process, but there are certain sources that are reliable, I think.
When it comes to, like, channelings, I look at them in aggregate. You know, you’re dealing through humans who have moods, they have personal problems, they have ups and downs of life, and I think sometimes that comes through in channelings. So, while I post channelings, I tend to take them in aggregate as to the points they agree on and I don’t concentrate on the points so much where they disagree. And I try to encourage people not to give up their personal power and their personal common sense just because someone says that they have a contact with somebody.
You have to evaluate the information. Does it resonate, does it … Do you come away from it and feel like, oh, my God, I’ve got to hide under a rock?
AK: Or, do you feel like, things are … things are going to work out, and we’re … it’s going to be okay? You know?
SC: Speaking of that, though, when you talk about things are going to be okay, your sources — you’ve said Wall Street — where else are they coming from, and are they usually friends you’ve had for years?
AK: No, they’re not. Some of them come from, oh, people watching what’s going on in maybe their industry. They have inside information. A couple of times they’ve been military sources.
SC: Well, let’s go back to your childhood. You were born and raised on a cattle ranch in east Montana, and you grew up in Scottsdale, which is in a citrus, cotton and alfalfa growing area. And your mother and father are both quite interesting because of their kind of backgrounds.
Your father had a major impact on you as a child, and he was actually a fighter pilot in World War Two. And he actually told you about UFOs when you were quite young. Tell me a little bit about that.
AK: Well, dad saw them flying over Germany. They were bright and they would fly really fast by them, and they couldn’t catch them. He also saw a lot of the sonic German jets. He said they were breaking the sound barrier even back then. They broke it way before Chuck Yeager did.
SC: Well, speaking about sound barriers, though, your mother also had an interesting background, because her father rolled the uranium rods for the first atomic reaction at Fermi in Chicago. But in terms of speed, her cousin set the land speed record.
AK: Yes. He had like this rocket car at the Bonneville salt flats. I don’t think it’s ever been broke that record.
SC: Oh, even now you think it still stands?
AK: It does.
SC: Oh… And did you have brothers and sisters?
AK: Yes, I have three sisters and two brothers.
SC: And do you feel that your father would have shared and your mother shared like information like that with them at that time?
AK: No, it was just mentioned in passing one time when I was working with him. My father was interested in an awful lot of subjects. He was a huge sci-fi fan, he always had all the latest sci-fi magazines, and… I mean, I remember when I was five years old him sitting me down, and pointing to the moon, saying, “We’re going there.”
SC: [laugh] Now, he also though had a really big impact on you, because he was a very early member of the Worldwide Church of God, which was founded by radio preacher Herbert W. Armstrong. And that church, if I’m right, is an organisation that believes they are the remnants of the Jewish Christians from Jesus’ time, and not descended from the Roman church. Is that correct?
AK: That was their belief.
SC: And is that like, for those who may not know about the church, is that a really evangelistic Christian church? Or how does the Worldwide Church of God function?
AK: Well, at that time, it was initially called the Radio Church of God, because Herbert Armstrong had this…. It started in the 1930s, and he had a very good voice for radio. He was an advertising man who went bust in the Depression, had this conversion…
SC: [laugh] I’m just thinking, he ended up advertising a completely different product!
AK: He learned how to pack a Christian, apocalyptic … gospel, is what he did.
SC: And did your father’s involvement in the church have a major impact on your life as a child? Like, were you constantly going to church? Was it drummed into you, the beliefs of the church?
AK: Yes, it was. My father was not particularly religious when I was little. In fact, he was very non-religious. My mother was Methodist, and she used to take us to Sunday school. I remember going to Sunday school in my … the Sunday school instructor, this … she was teaching us about Jesus, and he’s the son of God, and et cetera, et cetera. And so I raised my hand, and I said, “Well, how did he get to be the son of God?” She said, “Well, he lived a perfect life.” And I said, “Well,” I said, “Well, if I live a perfect life, do I get to be the son of God too?”
SC: Were you cheeky as a kid?
AK: Oh, I was … I always asked these kind of questions to people, and they’d think … well, I guess it would be considered cheeky, smart mouth. But I really didn’t have any intention to, you know, put anybody on the spot. I just wanted the question answered.
SC: Now, as a child, though, you also had serious asthma, and you were also mauled by a dog, and on both occasions you were taken to your local church minister.
SC: And he did what?
AK: Well, in the Worldwide Church of God they did believe in hands-on healing.
AK: It was kind of quiet. They didn’t make a show out of it. You know, it wasn’t a TV thing. What they did was they would take a bit of olive oil, put a little drop on your forehead, put their hands on your head and say a prayer, and ask God to heal. And that was pretty much it. And …
AK: Yes. It was the same individual. This man seemed to have a gift of healing. And not all of them did, only certain individuals. He anointed me, and then I … I never had a scar from it.
SC: Obviously that taught you the power of healing itself. But at six, you also got bullied by another kid at school, and you retaliated, but your retaliation caused you quite some angst, didn’t it?
AK: Yes. This kid used to chase us around with a two-by-four. He was a real violent little kid.
SC: As in like a block of wood?
AK: Yeah. And he used to try to hit us with these things, and I picked up this rock the size of my palm, I chucked this thing at him, and it hit him in the scalp, split his scalp open right on his forehead, and …
SC: And there would have been blood everywhere.
AK: Oh, there was. It was horrible! And I thought I’d killed this kid. And I thought, you know, the cops are going to come and put me in the electric chair. I was not going to harm another person after that.
SC: Now, you had what you believe was your first UFO star brother experience in Arizona. I think you were hiking with some friends, and you were like nine. And it was kind of like one of those cowboys and aliens experiences. So, what did you actually see?
AK: We were lost in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. And we were looking to go up to what’s called La Barge Canyon, which leads into Canyon Lake — it’s one of the reservoirs. We were running out of water, it was like 115 out, our canteens were dry, and you can die really easily in the desert . And this man came out of nowhere.
He came walking up and he looked just like a normal man in his probably late twenties, early thirties. He had a cowboy shirt on, but it was like he’d ironed it, you know? This is … and this is like 115 out and we’re all sweating. He walks up, and he’s just perfectly pressed. He didn’t have a cowboy hat. He had cowboy boots on, and he had pressed blue jeans — they were just immaculate.
He walks up and he says, “What’s the trouble?” He says this to my father and he says this to the lead guy who was leading us. “We’re lost.” He says, “Well,” he says, “where you want to go?”
“We want to go to La Barge Canyon.” He says, “Oh,” he says, “I’m going there myself. Follow me up the hill.”
So he walks off at a real fast pace and up this hill. And you can see all the way up this hill there’s just … there’s no other way out, okay? So we turn and we follow this guy, and we’re grateful that we know where we’re going now. And we get around the boulder, and the man is gone!
And I remember my father and these men saying, “Who was that?” You know, “Where did he go?” And, but basically he saved, you know, 30 kids from dying out in the desert.
SC: And what was your feeling at the time? Like, did you feel that it was somebody that may have been not from this planet?
AK: I thought it was an angel, because of our religious context. But, it … I didn’t know what it was, but … or who he was. But he was definitely real, he was very nice and very cordial, he dressed appropriately for the culture and the time period, he … I mean, I wouldn’t, think twice about seeing him. He didn’t stick out.
I remember my dad talking more than anything, because I was very close to my father, and, you know, he said, you know, “Did we see an angel?” You know, “What was he?” You know. It was just amazing.
SC: So, he was there and then he was gone! [laugh] But he helped you all find water at that time.
AK: Yeah. And then we went up … we went up a few … we went up about a half mile, and we found this beautiful stream with these water holes, and we were jumping off cliffs into the water, and had a good old time. And filled our canteens and everything, and everything turned out okay.
SC: Let’s talk briefly about your working life, because you’ve actually had a variety of jobs, which kind of amazed me. You’ve been a carpenter, you’ve been a tool maker, you’ve been a die maker, but most of your life you’ve spent in IT, And a lot of those jobs in IT you’ve been constructing major mainframes, from airlines ticketing systems, you worked for the Bank of America, and you even worked on the French Channel Tunnel train for quite some time.
And it’s a career that’s seen you … you’ve lived in the US where you live now, but you’ve also lived in England and in France. And you’ve traveled extensively with your work. So, do you think that’s allowed you to have a broader perspective of life than possibly most?
AK: Oh, most definitely. Yeah, it does. It enables you to see America from a foreigner’s perspective.
SC: Um-hmm. But in doing that, though, you’ve also seen some quite major anomalies occur in business situations. And that’s actually made you quite concerned at times.
AK: Yeah, I … I saw indications that EU … either EU Parliament or EU bureaucrats were forming consultant companies and front-ending projects with their own consulting companies through Channel Island companies and Irish companies.
SC: And how long ago was that?
SC: Okay. And you could feel that that was illegal or improper at that time?
AK: Europe tends to do business by collusion. They do not really like competition. And that’s one of the problems with Europe.
SC: But in terms of your work itself, though, you saw other things that didn’t quite sit comfortably with your own personal … I suppose your own personal ethos and morals.
AK: Yeah. There were some … there was corruption, usually with consulting companies, and some of the airlines.
SC: In what way, though?
AK: Kickbacks, inside information, people getting contracts they shouldn’t get, exclusive contracts.
SC: Now, up until 1994, the Worldwide Church of God was a huge part of your life. So, we’re going back to when you were a child, and we’re probably talking up until you’re what, so we’re how old, by 1994?
AK: Oh, 1994 I was what, 35?
SC: Now, you’ve described that the church itself was high control. Can you just tell me about what your life was like from like five to 35, which is basically 30 years of your life, living as part of the Worldwide Church of God, if it was so controlling?
AK: Well, the … they were … they would tell you … they had a very strict diet. We didn’t eat sugar, we didn’t eat white flour.
SC: That’s good.
AK: Actually, it is. But at that time, everybody did. So, we tended to eat organic, we didn’t …. One of the things, we didn’t smoke, you couldn’t be a church member if you did, if you smoked. There were certain health things that were actually quite good. I’ve never had a cavity, for example.
SC: In your teeth? Sorry.
AK: And that’s true of me and my brother. We grew up drinking raw milk …
SC: You mean as in unpasteurised, un-homogenised? Yeah?
AK: My mother used to go to Mesa, Arizona, which is a Mormon community, get it from a Mormon farm. I think that’s why my teeth have been so strong.
SC: And just … I’ve never had raw milk. Does it taste different to pasteurised, homogenised milk?
AK: Oh, it’s wonderful.
SC: Oh, sorry, I took you off where you were going, because we were talking about the church and being controlling.
AK: Basically, they isolate you, saying, you know, well, you’re special people. You know, everybody else is just of the world. You know, they have this lingo. We didn’t observe traditional Christian holidays. Our holidays were basically mapped from the Jewish religion, and I found that Jews kind of resented that, because they considered that their identity. But we had kind of a mix of Jewish and Christian beliefs. Our holidays were Jewish, but they were … they were kind of hybrids. They weren’t truly how the Jews keep them.
SC: And was it mind controlling in any way?
AK: In the sense of Scientology or anything? It was more the continual repetition of being told one thing over and over again, you know, sermon after sermon, you know. They really trained their ministers well, and they were very forceful speakers.
They had a really good public speaking program. I’m not a very good public speaker. I’m a better writer than I am a public speaker. But they also … you know, they wouldn’t let … for example, they wouldn’t let us date outside the church, was another thing. I couldn’t go to football games on Friday nights because of the Sabbath. We had a Saturday Sabbath.
A lot of little things, that…. We gave ten percent of our gross income to the church, we saved another ten percent for these annual holy days that we had, and then every third year we saved another ten percent for widows and orphans that we gave to the church.
SC: Okay. So, it was taking money from you as well.
AK: I think I probably gave $50,000 to the church over the years.
SC: Wow. And, look, you suddenly, after 35 years, or leading up to that 35 years, in 1994, you started having doubts about the church itself. So, what were those doubts, and where were they coming from? What were you concerned about?
AK: Well, there was a number of anomalies. I had gone to the church college in Pasadena, and I was hired in the data processing department, and I had access to all the member files and the history of the church, as well as the personnel files. And I did a lot of statistical studies for Herbert Armstrong himself. I would go through the master records and count all the number of members, whoever joined and whoever left, for example, over a time period, and calculate the average fall-away rate, for example.
And what I found … you see, the … within the Worldwide Church of God, if you … you were taught that if you ever left it you lost your salvation. You know. You were, you know, you were down the rat hole of God, as it was, you know. You know, I really believed that at one point.
But I’m doing these statistics, and I’m noticing that 30 percent of anybody who had ever entered the organisation had left it over time. And, so, they had this huge turn rate. And Herbert Armstrong had this magazine, called the Plain Truth Magazine, which he gave away for free. But what he knew was, from these statistics that I did and people prior to me, that about a tenth of a percent of the people who read that magazine would become members.
SC: Sorry, a what percent?
AK: About a one tenth of a percent.
SC: One tenth, right. Yes?
AK: And so the one tenth of a percent would be giving him ten percent of their income. And, and he had … when I was doing it, the mailing list was about eight million, and they were pulling an income of about 300 million a year.
SC: Three hundred million a year!
SC: Oh, my goodness! No wonder he wanted to do that after getting out of advertising! [laugh]
AK: He had a gold mine