Animal Protection > AR Interviews

David Barbarash on the A.L.F, on Secret Societies and Making Peace In The World
By Claudette Vaughan

Q. Whatís been happening to you since you resigned as the North American spokesperson for the A.L.F?

A. Iíve been concentrating on screening films in my local community, British Columbia, the province where I live in Canada.

Q. And what are your thoughts on 9/11? I know you have definite thoughts on what really happened that day.

A. There is quite a few documentaries and information out there, questioning the official story on what really happened on September 11, 2001. I have a particular interest in this issue just because itís so almost perfectly depicts the duplicity and insidiousness of the Bush regime and U.S. Foreign Policy. The evidence to suggest that something else happened aside from what the Bush regime told us is overwhelming and I felt that the information is very important to disclose to people.

Q. Was the CIA involved?

A. Absolutely. If they didnít actually have a direct hand in what happened, they certainly knew it was going to happen, and allowed it to happen, to further their own agenda.

Q. Why do you think the Left in America hasnít embraced the animal rights/liberation struggle in any significant manner?

A. I think that the United States is a huge country with hundreds of millions of people in it. Issues that face the everyday person in the U.S. are multi- complex. The U.S. is an example of how a society can be almost perfectly controlled through the use of lies, propaganda and mainstream media. It done by withholding health care, basic life-support and various social services like welfare and food programs. All this combined basically puts the population in a place where they are struggling to stay healthy, struggling to feed themselves. People want to find jobs. They have personal survival issues to consider and these, seemingly, take precedence over animal rights and the environment.

Q. I want to ask you if you accept the notion that the Illuminati exists? That there exists a secret elite behind Bush pushing for an agenda that includes a one-world government?

A. I donít accept that classification of the ĎIlluminatií other than the concept itself. What I do believe is there exists a cabal of individuals not necessarily patriotic to the United States of America using the U.S. as their tool to advance their own agenda. I think that most of these people are from the U.S. and they, for example, include Nazis who came over from Germany after the Second World War.

Q. Who else?

A. Itís a hard thing to put your finger on. Itís like their own secret societies and they have formed in various ways. There is the Scull and Bones SocietyÖ

Q. Wasnít Alex Jones one of the few people ever to get in and secretly tape their rituals?

A. No. Youíre thinking of Bohemian Grove and thatís another gathering place that these people use to organise themselves. Scull and Bones is a fraternity from Yale and where most of the U.S. recent presidents and candidates have come from. Itís a group of elite individuals who arenít aligned to any one nationality but are more aligned to corporate control and ultimately to ceasing total control for themselves.

Q. Have you read the book " War Against the Weak: Eugenics and Americaís Campaign to Create a Master Race", by Edwin Black?

A. No.

Q. Itís about how the eugenics program was first initiated from academics out of Long Island, U.S.A. Eugenics werenít created in Nazi Germany but was implemented to eliminate so-called "undesirables"Ö to perpetuate a fascist agenda, that some say continues today. Their war is a war against blacks, gays, women and the natural world.

Let me ask you this: Will animal liberation concerns be further sidelined while the Left in America are forced to devote ever more resources to defending basic civil liberties against not only the likes of the Patriot Act legislation, corporate conglomerates and the military but also against a Ďpiousí social agenda advanced by the evangelical Christian Right?

A. Thatís certainly a good point. Civil liberties in the U.S. have been eroded incredibly in the past few years by the Bush administration. So not only are a large number of people devoting their time to preserving whatís left or fighting for whatís been taken away but I think people are generally afraid. I think a lot more people live in fear for what will happen to them if they speak out. Itís bizarre but itís not unlike what the American government and population were saying about the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Itís a very frightening place to live especially for activists right now in the U.S.

Q. Also the tactics to create enemies in keeping people frightened as a means of control...

A. Yes. George Orwell was a visionary and really, itís the endless war. Itís not about Osama Bin Laden, or Syria, or Saddam Hussein, or Iran, or what-have-you. Thereís always going to be an enemy to fight and this is what will keep the cartel in power. They need to keep people in fear of this Ďenemyí and they are going to strike them down and take away their freedom. The irony is the U.S. government is taking away all the freedoms of the U.S. population.

Q. Looking back over the history of the animal liberation movement, was there ever a time where you thought it may have been possible (e.g., at the height of the ALF actions in the 80ís) to have struck a raw nerve within temporary petit bourgeois society but for some reason, best known to themselves, the self-appointed leaders of the movement chose welfarism over liberation?

A. In Britain the animal liberation movement has taken off. I think Britain perhaps stands alone in the liberation movement as a place where the majority of the people actually have compassion for animals and notes the legitimacy of the animal rights struggle there. I donít think that possibility ever existed in the U.S. There are simply too many people, industry is too strong Ė the pharmaceutical, the food, the dairy, and meat industries to name a few. All of these are very powerful industries and they got that way because the U.S. is such a large country in geography , population, and the economy. Iím not certain there ever was an opportunity in our brief history that animal liberation would have really taken off.

Q. What about Canada?

A. Itís pretty much the same here. Canada is somewhat of a more compassionate and tolerant society than the U.S. but economically and politically weíre still pretty much controlled by their influence. We try to forge our own path in some ways but when it comes to major issues like animal liberation, that effects a large segment of the economy, I donít think that we can really separate ourselves from them. In that way, weíre not that independent.

Q. Do you look back with pride at the work youíve achieved as the ALF spokesperson or do you remember it as a time a mass harassment from law enforcement agencies?

A. I donít regret anything I have done with the ALF or as a spokesperson or my involvement in the animal rights movement at all. I see every thing I did as very valuable for the evolution of the movement and my own personal evolution. At this time, and because of the way activism is now portrayed by governments and media as terrorism I certainly question the strategy of using the name of the ĎAnimal Liberation Frontí to claim illegal action activities. I think that animal liberations are still a very valid activity to do, although they are more difficult these days and I believe that destruction of equipment that tortures and kills animals is still a very valid activity to do. But I think that activists who are thinking of engaging in these activities should be doing actions solely for the animals sake, not for any publicity or self-gratification or anything such as that.
     You know if you are going to burn down a empty factory-farm or release minks into the wild, or destroy a lab, the people who are effected by these actions Ė the people who own those corporations and industries, are going to know very clearly why they were targeted and who was responsible. You donít need to leave a tag saying ĎALFí. You donít need to do any of that because the message will have been received loud and clear. And your actions will have been noted and the economic damage will have taken place and the animals will have been rescued. And this is all you need to do. The media has never been on the side of the ALF and will never promote or condone illegal direct action.

Q. Besides that, the media mould has already been set when you see FOX News, Murdoch and all those other right-wingers dictating what can be seen or not seen by the general public. Itís not possible at this time to consistently promote animal liberation in a noble light or expose vivisection en mass when the media template has already been set.

A. Thatís right. The media is not prepared to portray us well.

Q. Do you have any insights into why animal rights have never taken off in Asia at all?

A. Iím not sure. I can look at stuff in Central America and say, the animals, animal abuse and the consumption of animals has always been such an ingrained part of their society. The human condition has always been so depressed and desperate. The more that people are struggling to survive they are not going to care about nonhuman needs. You know, if thereís a dog in the street they are not going to care about feeding it, they are going to care about whether that dog is going to take away their piece of meat and if it is, then they will kick him out of the way.

Q. Seriously flawed through the political process is, would not nonhuman animal rights issues be bolstered if a political party with voting power and clout emerged? Or is working within the system a waste of precious time? I mean, look at the Greens. They started out like us - a motley crew of direct actionists - and look how far they have come since their humble beginnings. They have become a serious contender on the political scene yet the political voice for animal liberation worldwide is conspicuous by its absence.

A. Itís a good question. On one hand I would say, yeah sure, if the issues were taken more seriously by politicians or by the Greens or there was a specific party that came to life that focused solely on animals and the environment then there might be a few more advances in welfare and reform but ultimately any party or people that enters the political process is inherently aligning itself with the corporate structure and you canít really break away from that. I donít really think that changing the system from within is a real possibility. The way our political systems in our society is designed are oppressive systems. They exist and they flourish specifically because of the oppression that they represent. I donít really see the current systems have anything to offer in lasting ways, not just for animals but also for the environment and human rights. We need to advance the way our societies are run. Iím talking here about capitalism and corporate control. Iím talking about these types of governments that rule over countries from the top. The whole thing needs to be thrown out and started over again. There will be some reform and some people may call them advances in different issues, e.g., like animal rights, we have the abolition of foxhunting and the abolition of some kinds of factory-farming and fur-farming in different countries and sure, these are good things but ultimately, you canít legislate freedom.

Q. in a speciesistic worldÖ

A. Exactly. We need an attitudinal change. We need a new way of looking at life. It wonít just happen overnight. It doesnít just happen through propaganda or direct action or protests. Itíll happen over a long period of time for evolutionary purposes. I think our society is entering a new enlightened age. I think this is why we are seeing a lot of extremes in politics and patterns in global changes. This is happening because society as a whole is entering a new place where the old ways of thinking and the people who are hanging on to those old ways are fighting very hard to keep control of what they know.

Q. You once said, "I donít care how liberation comes, by violent or non-violent means, as long as it comes." I interpret this to mean: The strategy itself is not in question.

A. Where I am now in my life right now I donít think that putting more violence and negativity in this world is a positive thing. I think that we really do create the world in which we live and we can not only create it by our actions, but by our thoughts and by our intentions. When we promote hatred and violence against people then we are actually in effect stopping or helping to stop a better world from coming into being because we are contributing to putting a lot more darkness into the world. I know that even if the end result is positive for animal liberation in the moment, then the long term results is not going to be positive, not just for animals but for humans as well. I donít view this world as I once did. I donít view it as a place of absolute right or wrong. Of political struggles that can be fought and won. The world has changed too drastically now. I understand the world to be going through a particularly interesting and fascinating time of change. Iím not talking about change on the material level. I am talking about a change in consciousness. The way that we view this world is changing everyday. On issues, totally unrelated to animal liberation, I think that time is speeding up and I think that our ability to develop our psychic powers, for one thing, has increased. Our evolution is quickening in terms of our minds and our state of being. In the next 8 years we can going to see some very dramatic times where our society and our evolution will be changing quite dramatically. That isnít to say that the animal liberation struggle and the human liberation struggle arenít important. They are. But I think that events in this world and with our consciousness across the planet are going to supersede all of these single issues.

Q. I would like to know your thoughts on how you think evil manifests itself in this world.

A. I guess the first question is: What is evil? I cringe at that word because it has significant religious connotations and I reject the religions that have brought evil into our world. The Christian religion is really the one that created evil, created Satan, created the opposites of a vengeful and wrathful God. I mean to say, Is George W. Bush an evil man?

Certainly there are very strong and dark negative forces at work in this world and they work through weak individuals, such as George W. Bush as an example. I think heís a very weak man, easy to manipulate. I Ďm not sure if I would call these forces Ďevilí though. I would say that they are the counter to light energy and positive energy, that people like us are trying to create in this world. I think every action brings an equal and opposite reaction. The stronger that we try and put love into this world, to create harmony and positive energy, then the stronger the people who are influenced otherwise, will be putting dark energy into this world. And Iím not sure if thatís a definition of Ďevilí or not. I personally like to keep the word Ďevilí in the realm of Christianity, Satan, and God and all of those concepts I donít subscribe to.

Claudette: Unfortunately David weíre out of time. Itís always a great pleasure to interview you. I know how well received your last interview was and to hear you speak now and know what a big influence you are on the movement is very encouraging. Thank-you.