Jon Rappoport: advice to writers

Jon Rappoport: advice to writers

November 5, 2013

This has nothing to do with getting published or formatting stories for editors.

It’s about the process of writing, about how you think and create. It applies to journalism and short stories and novels and plays. It’s about what happens when you don’t try to fit into a mold.

What happens is: you’re writing what you want to. You’re moving in a number of different directions, because you’re deploying imagination.

Even in journalism, this happens, because there are many ways to present the same set of facts.

The advice is this: don’t pull back. Don’t try to stick a peg that has 16 sides and spikes and ornaments and asymmetrical grooves into a round hole.

Finding a cogent way to communicate comes later. If you start there, you cut yourself off at the knees. You squash your own adventure. You lose.

If you start out on road A and suddenly realize you want to make a sharp turn into a bumpy field, do it. Cross the field. You’ll see a winding path into the mountains. Take it. Half-way up, you’ll come upon a pristine lake. Jump in. Underwater, you’ll find a portal into a lost tunnel. Enter it and follow it all the way to a buried city…

If you opt for simplified boiled-down form right from the beginning, you’ll never know there was a lake and a tunnel and a buried city.

Here’s a story of mine. I print it to show you what can happen when you go where you want to. It may not reflect where you want to go, but it should give you some idea about leaving conventional symmetry and tiresome plot line and typical narrative flow in the dust.

Robots love simplified symmetry, harmony, perfect balance. They love it over and over and over.

We’re not robots.

Illusion Breakdown

-a short story-

by Jon Rappoport

Is history a thing that repeats itself, a cell that reproduces? Can we break out?

—A local scribe wrote about the outcast, the outsider:

Just like his father, they said, when he went over the hill and down into the mine, but when he came back up, his face shining, his bare arms clean, unblistered, untouched by the heat and the pain, they shrank away from him as if he had been cursed, and shunned him in the tavern and the marketplace and the church, and his family cast him out and he took up residence in an old half-burned cabin at the edge of town.

He went back down into the mine every morning, and he was never affected. His fellows avoided him.

This was all a great mystery, and a few of the men went to the priest and asked him about it. An old man who only seemed to come alive on Sundays, when he lit the candles and intoned the ceremony of sacrifice, he shrugged and said it was the way of the Test, and could not be interpreted.

The Test was obscure, it never spelled itself out, it never intruded in any visible fashion, or with signs.

The young outcast, living apart in his cabin, went down into the mine and brought up his share of the universal vapor every day, riven out of the rocks, and took it in his sealed buckets, as all men did, to the representative of the absentee owner in the shipping station, where foreign agents oversaw its transport, by train, to the pleasant happy villages all over the countryside of the former Earth colony—for many centuries now, independent.

The outcast sat outside at night, on the barren ground, and laughed like a fool. He ran on the hills in the deep darkness, as if he might take off and fly above the cottages and the cattle pastures.

He never questioned who he was or why he was here. When he slept, time dissolved and then he awoke fresh and with new energy.

Finally, the men planned an attack, because it was, they earnestly believed, warranted. How could they live alongside the young man?

He knew it was coming. On an evening, he went to his family home and spoke to his father and mother and his sister. They were silent before him. He said he was going to make a stand and they should ignore what was going to happen. They should simply go on. Then he left.

At his cabin, he built a small fire and brought dry grass and set it in the flames. He made a path of grass to his front door. The fire spread and it caught on the wood of two posts and climbed them and moved to the walls. Within a short time, the whole cabin was engulfed.

He heard the men approaching in the dark. He felt their anger and their madness.

When they emerged into the aura of the burning cabin, he stepped into the flames and ignited.

They shouted and screamed. They ran toward him. They stopped and watched as the fire consumed him.

Eventually, there was only smoke.

And he stepped through it, whole. Untouched.

They wanted to flee, they wanted to die. They were riveted in place.

He said: “Every day you go down. You chop and hammer at the sanctified rocks. You release the vapor of suffering, because it is the law. You deliver it in your buckets to the agents, and they send it to the happy villages and pour it into the air, and the people slowly shrink into a state of misery and sickness, because that, too, is the law, the faith. You believe it is part of the Test. Nothing can shake your belief. But now I’m here. I deny. I refute. I’m as you were, before you drove yourselves mad. Once, this was a colony, and then we gained our freedom and knew what it was to live. But the owner came, he had his men dig the mines, you went down, and slowly the plague took over. Remember?”


The men fell on the ground in front of him, and with the eyes of supplicants, mutely asked for forgiveness.

No,” he said. “I’m not your priest or some phantom.”

He walked away from them in the night.

All these years later, he is still gone.

No one has heard of him.

Now, they light candles and go to the spot of his immolation every Sunday and pray and leave offerings.

The church has crumbled, and the priest has died. This is the only place of worship.

The men go down into the mines every day. And bring up the vapor.

A few try to remember what they were before the great suffering.

Before they participated in the great poisoning.

—The legendary elements in what you’ve just heard, ladies and gentlemen of the court, are pure nonsense, of course. The written account, penned by a local scribe, was discovered by our field operatives. It’s in my training manual for the mission.

The mines are quite real, but they produce a rare mineral growth factor that obviates the need for developing costly hybridized crop variants.

The growth factor enables major increases in food output.

I came in low over the company town, locked in the “immolation” memorial, and incinerated it. Those were my orders.

The prosecution asserts that I illegally destroyed a heritage site, without my employer’s knowledge. This is patently absurd. Why would I travel all that way for such a purpose?

I’m a registered employee of Religion Inc. Churches, which as you know, maintains an exclusive contract with the Earth Council, for Sectors One through Seven. No other religious organizations are permitted to conduct business in that area.

Doesn’t it stand to reason that my employer issued the destruct order and I merely carried it out in good faith, in a perfectly legal fashion?

Mission orders are held at corporate headquarters, as are training manuals, for security reasons. So I can’t lay before you proof that I was on the books for this operation.

My employer has deniability. Because my attack on the memorial has caused a local uproar and a strike of the mine workers, Religion Churches Inc. has thrown me to the dogs. They hope to avoid negative publicity.

I’m not here to plead for mercy. I’m here requesting justice.

—Sir, the court requires, in cases of this nature, that the defendant provide evidence of work status. You have failed that standard. Religion Inc. Churches shows no record of your employment during the period in question. Therefore, we are compelled to consider you an independent operator.

You admit to the mission. You carried it out. The penalty is clear. Your accounts and assets will be stripped. Those funds will be used to defray, in part, the expense of sending you to the place where the crime was committed, where the people of that jurisdiction will determine your sentence.

—After much debate, we the assembly of the town, in these proceedings, make a unanimous ruling that you will be sent down, among us, into the mines for the remainder of your life. Your labor will never repay us for your sin, but at least we will make use of you for a good purpose. In this, we show mercy. It is not our bent to seek vengeance.

We believe that our absent prophet would concur. We attempt to understand his heart in all rulings.

—I have been going down and coming up for two years now. I watch others grow ill and die, and I feel myself growing weak. They do not seem to understand what they are doing and what effect it has on them. They are consumed by a sense of obligation to their legendary prophet, although judging by their Myth, I can hardly imagine why he would want any of them going into the mines.

Apparently they believe he was revealing and demonstrating a supernatural immunity to harm. They say the mine vapors are emanating from a fire in the center of their asteroid, and fire is a symbol of his immolation. On that basis, the vapors are holy.

I have seen and experienced the truth. There are no rare minerals in the mines. This has nothing to do with improvements in agriculture technology. This is a mysterious program to spread poison.

Twice a year, they permit me to transmit messages to my former employer asking for intervention and a supreme reconsideration. I have received no replies.

—every night when he comes up from the mine, guards take him to an office at the shipping station and lock him in for the night. He looks haggard, but he is quite handsome. I want him for myself.

None of the other eligible men please me. He has a force about him. This is what I need. His legend is much lower than that of our prophet, but it appeals to me. Both he and the prophet, in their own ways, wrought destruction.

We women know, even if our men do not, that destruction is our destiny. But rather than endure it in small doses, I would have it all at once. If they catch me with him, they will exile us to the ice caps. I am willing to take the chance.

—I’ve met a woman. She and I have been together. I believe she is pregnant. The trouble from this could be fatal for both of us and our unborn child.

—Years ago, they exiled my mother and father to the ice caps. But they kept me among them.

The absentee owner maintains and spreads the story that the mines are a source of minerals for food crops. But of course, this is false. The vapors are poison. My people have been suffering from their religious fantasy for untold generations.

There is no understanding it. But I can perform a feat that will challenge them. I can risk everything. I can stand in the center of the strongest underground vapors, breathe them in, and if I survive, I will become a miraculous figure to them, a prophet. And then I can tell them the truth.

—Ladies and gentlemen of the court, I am an employee of Religion Inc. Churches, despite what you have heard. Recently, a boy sacrificed himself in the mines of a distant asteroid, and the people of a company town built a crude pasture memorial in his name. This, of course, by the terms of the Colonization Directive, is illegal. No other religions are permitted to practice in that Sector.

So I was ordered to make a flight and incinerate the site. I did this. I carried out the mission. In the aftermath of local riots and protests, my employer decided to avoid negative publicity by casting full blame on me. They have labeled me a rogue operative. This is patently absurd. Why would I commit this act on my own?

It is apparently not the first time an immolation has occurred on the asteroid, although the record is obscure. And there is a spotty history of the region that alludes to a prior mission, launched by my employer, to incinerate the site of another memorial on the very same asteroid.

If there is a pattern of corporate crime, it needs to be investigated before you pass judgment on me.

—I am now working in the mines. I was shipped here so a local verdict could be rendered, and this is the outcome. I go down every day, with the townspeople, and bring up the poison vapor.

A woman has approached me in secret. She wants to have a child. She is quite deluded. She claims this child will have magical qualities.

Does it matter what she thinks? We are all desperate, and if we can find a little pleasure in our suffering, so be it.

—Years ago, my parents were exiled to the ice caps. The people of the town kept me here. There is probably nothing new under the Dome, but I have an idea.

I am now working in the local office of the absentee owner. I have never met him, but I am quick and bright, and I believe I can be promoted from this outpost to his home headquarters, wherever they are. Once there, I can discover the details of his business and expose them. If I am lucky, the news will spread out to the wider Sector and cause an uproar.

The other day, I came across a file that presented a clue.

It seems the absentee owner’s company, which undoubtedly operates under many names and subsidiaries, is licensed on Earth as Religion Inc. Churches.

They appear to hold a monopoly on worship in Sectors One through Seven. So perhaps my father was, in fact, working for them when he flew over and incinerated the pasture memorial.

But if Religion Inc. is also in charge of our mines, they are directing the operation to spread the poison vapor.

A religious monopoly; destruction; sickness; plague.

Is this what faith has come to mean?

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

Filed under: Energy & Imagination