Michael C. Ruppert (February 3, 1951 – April 13, 2014) was an American author, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, investigative journalist, political activist and peak oil awareness advocate.
Until 2006, he published and edited From The Wilderness, a newsletter and website covering a range of topics including international politics, the C.I.A., peak oil, civil liberties, drugs, economics, corruption and the nature of the 9/11 conspiracy. He served as president of Collapse Network, Inc until he resigned in May 2012, when he gave 35 percent of his 55 percent share back to the company's founders. He hosted The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network until 2014. He has been described as a conspiracy theorist by numerous mainstream media outlets.
Ruppert was the author of Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. He was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Collapse, which was based on his book A Presidential Energy Policy and received the New York Times' "critics pick". In 2014, VICE featured Ruppert in a 4-part series titledApocalypse, Man.
On November 15, 1996, then Director of Central Intelligence John Deutchvisited Los Angeles' Locke High School for a town hall meeting. At the meeting, Ruppert publicly confronted Deutch, saying that in his experience as an LAPD narcotics officer he had seen evidence of CIA complicity in drug dealing. The confrontation was handled poorly by Deutch, resulting in Deutch's termination from the CIA.
He went on to become an investigator and journalist and established the publication From The Wilderness, a watchdog publication that exposed governmental corruption, including his experience with CIA drug dealing activities.
Ruppert is the author of Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, published in September 2004. Crossing The Rubicon claims that Vice President Dick Cheney, the US government, and Wall Street had a well-developed awareness of and colluded with the perpetrators of 9/11.
Numerous documentary films have featured Ruppert, including the The 911 Report You Never Saw - The Great Conspiracy, Peak Oil - Imposed by Nature, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, The End of Suburbia, American Drug War: The Last White Hope, Collapse and Apocalypse, Man.
Ruppert correctly predicted the financial crisis in the US five years before it happened.
He has been termed a "conspiracy theorist", to which he has said he "deals with "conspiracy fact" rather than theory." His book Crossing the Rubicon was a "favorite among conspiracy theorists", according the The Wall Street Journal. After writing it, and subsequently moving on to peak oil, he said "I walked away from 9/11 five years ago," he says. "I have nothing to do with the 9/11 truth movement."
From The Wilderness
From The Wilderness was a newsletter published from 1998 to 2006 by the media company From The Wilderness Publications. The newsletter covered political and governmental issues. It was published eleven times per year but featured weekly updates online. Critics such as David Corn and Norman Solomon argued that Ruppert on occasion veered off into making unsubstantiated conspiracy theory claims.
In the summer of 2006, claiming government harassment and fearing for his life, Ruppert with Raul Santiago left the United States for Venezuela, vowing not to return.
The Ashland Daily Tidings would later report that, in June 2006, Ruppert had accused a former female employee of burglarizing the offices of From The Wilderness, a case in which Ruppert himself was considered a potential suspect. Around the same time, the former female employee accused him in turn of sexual harassment. Ruppert would later in 2009 be ordered to pay a $125,000 fine by the Oregon labor board in the case. The female employee claimed Ruppert fired her after she refused his sexual advances, Ruppert denies this and claims he fired her for "disruptive behavior, poor work performance and wearing inappropriate clothing". The former employee further claims Ruppert approached her in her office "wearing only his underwear and a smile", something Ruppert doesn't deny.
The end of From The Wilderness was announced in a post at the website on November 7, 2006. Reasons for the closure were detailed in the article. Ruppert claimed his bad health, glitches that disabled their web store, "problems of human origin" and his departure to Venezuela had led to the demise of From The Wilderness.
Later that year, Ruppert flew to Toronto, Canada, for medical treatment. The following statement was posted on the From The Wilderness website on November 26, 2006:
"Personally, I am through forever with investigative journalism and public lecturing. I am leaving public life. It is my hope that by continuing to repeat this sincere position that many of the inexplicable difficulties which have dominated my life over the past months will ease. It is time to move on. I spent twenty-seven years as a dedicated public activist and that is something which I am no longer able or inclined to do. The price was ultimately too great."
After shutting down, From the Wilderness was sued by their landlord for unpaid rent owed on their Ashland office space.
A posting from Ruppert on the From the Wilderness Web site said he was back in New York, receiving treatment from "sympathetic physicians" for a variety of ailments.
Ruppert still occasionally contributed to the Collapse Network news desk, run by former From the Wilderness associate and longtime friend, Jenna Orkin.
As recently as 2010, Ruppert lived in Los Angeles, California and launched Collapse Network to build sustainable communities across the world. In 2011 he announced on his Lifeboat Hour radio show that he was relocating to Sonoma County, California, because he thought that it would be a safer location in the event of societal collapse. Ruppert left the Collapse Network in May 2012.
The New York Times, in its review of Collapse, wrote "the majority of his premises are verifiable, any weakness in his argument lies in inferences so terrifying that reasonable listeners may find themselves taking his advice" and that in it, Ruppert "emerges finally as an authentic human being, sympathetic even when the film that embraces him is not."
Columnist Norman Solomon has argued that Ruppert has a flawed analytical model. "Some of the problem is in how he characterizes news reports. These citations can be narrowly factual yet presented in a misleading way. Yes, such-and-such newspaper reported that thus-and-so claim was made by so-and-so. The paper reported on the claim, but that doesn't mean the claim is true."
Columnist David Corn has also criticized Ruppert's methodology, and dismisses the idea that conspiracy theorizing is useful: "In fact, out-there conspiracy theorizing serves the interests of the powers-that-be by making their real transgressions seem tame in comparison." Ruppert responded with an open public letter to Corn saying that Corn is not able to disprove any of Ruppert's claims.
On April 13, 2014, Ruppert was found dead in Napa County at home just outside of the Calistoga, CA city limits. Ruppert died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. This has been confirmed by close friend and property owner/landlord Jack Martin. Martin is the man who found Ruppert's body.
According to his business partner and last Attorney of Record, Wesley Miller, Ruppert shot himself after taping his final broadcast of The Lifeboat Hour with friend and colleague Carolyn Baker, Ph.D.
- Ruppert, Michael C., Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, New Society Publishers, 2004. ISBN 0-86571-540-8
- Ruppert, Michael C., A Presidential Energy Policy, New World Digital Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-61539-257-5
- Ruppert, Michael C., Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-60358-264-3
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