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I am frightened by the culture I was born into (a list poem)

This week we examine our fear, Patrick writes a poem on the subject, and we listen to an elder from the past on the nature of fear, which we offer as critical listening for this present moment and immanent future.

Here’s the audio of Patrick’s poem, I am frightened by the culture I was born into (5 min listen). The text of which (with links) is below:


I am frightened by the culture I was born into

Yeah well my phone’s fucked and they won’t give me a new sim until I get vaxxed so I gave in, just got the first shot. I need the phone to log onto my computer for work. Work also breathing down my neck with a deadline of the 17th for declaring my ‘status’. So whatever. I hope the bastard thing kills me. (Melbourne academic, email to Patrick Jones, 1 December 2021)

I am frightened by the culture I was born into. I am scared of scientific reductionism. I fear the aggregation of poisons from industry and the increasing intransigence to heterodox thinkers by governments and universities. I am worried by what the expert class brings to Country. It distresses me few read global development as an extension of colonialism, and in its currency colonialism is again unseen by mob morality.

I feel ill the educated are uncritical of the State-Pharma nexus. I fear the results when doctors and researchers who raise red flags are demoted, disappeared and censored. I’m terrified by the many who don’t question and who in their shame attack the other others. I’m sickened by the profits of patriarchal medicine and how this profit blooms in biomes and inflames bodies. It distresses me medical journals have become “information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” My gut turns with the lack of consent. Communitarian is bottom up, grassroots consensus not powering over the other from above. I’m dismayed by friends who, having been coerced – having to feed their families – now turn on me parroting, ‘White-supremacist! Conspiracy theorist! Anti-vaxxer!’

Even if I refuse directly what industry brings to Country, the rush now on gene engineering and editing means my family and community are likely not free from the spillovers, mutations and contaminants. Antidepressants are awash in the riparians of Country. Nanoplastics in every cell, every biota, and thus in our food, our bodies. Body and food sovereignty is dying, and how I’m reading it, the single greatest threat to life is the romanticisation of progress leading us all into digital prisons cheered on by the movement I’ve served my whole adult life – the Green-Left – until now. Diversity at all costs, except for Them, the deplorable contagions!

I’m scared that people like us, who will again refuse the coming assault of biotechs, will be further discriminated against. I’m alarmed and shocked at how few want to examine the coercion, intolerance and abuse of the past few years. I’m predicting a future of incarceration for those who resist Pharmacolonisation, and I feel no hope for a society that’s constructed “man-made mass death” as its modus operandi, and this fear is traumatising to me.

I will continue to serve the worlds of the world, and serve the communities of life who stand for life, and in doing so stand against the cult of Scientism, against “patriarchy’s project”. In this continuum of service I will name my fears alongside my shame and grief, and cry out my sacred, old briney waters into the rich, life-bringing humus of Mother Country, for anyone or anything connected to hear. I won’t wield my sword in war-like reaction, even in chains I will dance with it like my old people before me.


We’d like to add to this post a little zooming out. Here is the wisdom of Krishnamurti on the subject of fear, and the possibility of ending it (25 mins):

Your thoughts and feelings at this time are precious to us. What are your current fears? What processes do you employ to face them? And anything related, or not, is most welcome.

Sending spring renewal and warmth to you, or autumnal abundance (if you’re north), Dear Reader.


  1. BAA TV says:

    And yet, knowing all of this – we must not surrender to fear even when surrounded by the unseeing flock. For it is the tool of coercion & control.

    1. Absolutely, but there are many ways to dance, and not engage in warfare, ideological or otherwise.

  2. Rachel says:

    What a beautiful and sad piece, yet encouraging remembering and hope at the same time.

    1. Thanks for hearing all of that in this offering, Rachel!

  3. Peter Gumley says:

    The facts are plain and clear. So many “conspiracies” are now reinforced by sustainable emerging data as the veil of hegemony is swept away. But yet, there are many who still timidly comply with the narrative that spurns their freedoms without regret. Why can they not see the wisdom of truth and the power of individual free thinking?

    1. Yes, the ‘conspiracy’ shame label is just an extension of McCarthyism and Maoism rolled into one. It’s effective at silencing dissent, or at least it was. It doesn’t seem to have the same amount of power now as people are taking a second look at things. As the meme goes, ‘if after 3 years you’re not suspicious…’

  4. Bronwen says:

    I’m so sad that you feel like this Patrick. You and Meg have been such beacons to me and most likely many others during the past 3 years. I have had many times over the last year where I’ve felt very similar thoughts and emotions and I agree there is a lot of grief in it.

    After a year of basically not doing anything, after fleeing the mandates in Victoria in 2022, and returning to Adelaide, I have taken a big rest during winter, looked inwards, and found some peace with what has and is happening. So much so, that I’ll be returning to Western Victoria very soon, I hope.

    I am feeling a lot of hope by tapping into the work of Tom Barnett and David Armstrong on their Living Free platform. I’d highly recommend a listen to Tom’s work and his approach which is all about the offers we are proposed, and holding our own authority in accepting or refusing these offers.

    You and Meg and family were so much better prepared than many of us, and your wisdom and knowings are so helpful to others at this time – maybe not the mainstream, but definitely kindred spirits like me.

    1. Thanks Bronwen, we’ll check out Tom and David. The process of facing our fear and sharing it publicly is (for us) being ok with being vulnerable. We are not hopeful nor fearful right now. We’ve found that fear passes if faced, if we open to it, hence the list of fears that constitute Patrick’s poem. Nonetheless, more control, division and coercion is on the way. All we have is what the poem ends with, even in chains we are free. Krishnamurti’s work also centres on holding our own authority. Gentle travels back to Victoria. Thank you for your warm message.

  5. Bish says:

    The Means Justifies the End, not the Ends Justifies the Means

  6. trace balla says:

    gratitude for your sharing… we all feel so much, yet suppress so much of the full spectrum of who and how we are… so it sits stagnant… bringing dis ease… keep on being your full self, including questioning, and dancing with your sword in the rich earth… may the fear rise up in us all, along with those other feelings like anger, shame, despair, emptiness grief… that our society asks us to mask… to create change for a better way forward… I find the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed to be very inspiring around this… my heart hears you, Trace

    1. Thanks Trace, so beautifully said. Gratitude sister!

      1. Joel says:

        Such a great peice of writing, from the email which is the perfect setting for the lament. This and the last post are important aggregates of your place in the world, statements and manifestos, making clear your purpose.
        I see your image is inverted, upside down – a visual representation of the vertiginous disorientation of the times. We’ve been exploring the Carnival – the topsy-turvy turvy inversion, King for a day, and the open derision of authority – you know me – I try to live it everyday!
        I’d never seen krishnamurti, what fierce, firey dude! The root of fear! The disciple! And his evident humour. It reminds of the roots legends, Lee Scratch Perry, ‘if Jah is my light and foundation, then in whom shall I fear?’ And makes me think of the sugar eating bacteria that roots into the gut wall, making it leaky and weakened – the trees of fear.
        And I hear Blakes echoes in your sword dance ‘ I shall not cease my mental fight nor shall my sword lay in my hand till we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land’. And finally, Marley’s call for freedom, redemption song, ‘have no fear for atomic energy, for none of them can stop the time’.

        1. What a superb compost, Joel. It was well worth publishing this post just for your rich riff!

    2. Elanor says:

      Thanks for this. The last line in particular, what a beautiful and truthful ending.

      1. Yes, all above the last line is the ‘compost’ that gives it its agency. Thanks Elanor!

  7. Kate Smiley says:

    Again, dear Patrick, your words speak for so many of us. It’s a grief that is so enormous and overwhelming that it seems to have a momentum of its own. We have found a like-minded community in South Gippsland that indicates a better future, and I know that you guys are busy in your own area. Being connected with other disparate groups online – Bitcoin bros, educating biologists and wonderful statisticians, and meeting first-people’s elders, has shown that the commonly held solution is grassrooted, decentralised, gardening-based, creative and very very possible! Keep pushing and writing and we can make it I think xxx

    1. We love this inspiration, Kate. Big thanks and heart! AaF

  8. I sit holding. This too shall pass but holy shit what a farce. We now are as indigenous as any people have been by simply holding on to our desire to live with nature.

  9. Thanks Nathan. This reminds us of one of our Indigenous teachers, Martín Prechtel: “For the Indigenous Souls of all people who can still remember how to be real cultures, life is a race to be elegantly run, not a race to be competitively won. It cannot be won; it is the gift of the world’s diverse beautiful motion that must be maintained.” – from his The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive.

    1. Natasha says:

      Even in chains I will dance with it…. I will continue to serve the world….
      Thank you for being in this world.

      1. Thanks Natasha! It’s a blessing to have your family in our lives.

  10. Shane says:

    Excellent summary, Patrick! I think of fear as being either healthy or unhealthy. The fears you express – on behalf of so many of us – are healthy, natural & sane, & in articulating them so precisely, you ground & set a boundary on them by placing them in perspective, in their context. Fear is what makes courage possible. I think unhealthy fear – free-floating, unvoiced & repressed (& whipped up by deliberate scaremongering) – is to a large extent behind the mindless compliance w/ vax directives – & indeed explains why, to take just one example from our toxic landscape, Pharma can market so much harmful yet ineffective crap. Maybe it’s time we redefined what ‘educated’ means? Thanks, as always.

    1. Love this, Shane. So wise… “Fear is what makes courage possible.” Beautiful! Cornel West says something like, ‘without courage all the other virtues are rendered useless.’

  11. Tiago F. says:

    Dear Patrick, this poem is just a blasting. Not only reflects the dangers of this modern society modified by the agents of Pharma and governments but also shows a light on the dangers of the GMO´s in vax and horrendous new developments of the crazy biotech´s that surrounds us more and more. This kind of mask of “progress” blinds the societies as a evolution of the homo sapiens. Makes me conclude that the general people don’t understand that our relation with nature is fundamental as a solution to stand alive and make a continuity of our species in a safe world. This reminds me what Edward Abbey wrote on Desert Solitaire: “If I had been as capable of trust as I am susceptible to fear I might have learned something new or some truth so very old we have all forgotten it.” Love your words and inspirational wise life, thanks a lot, Tiago F.

  12. Thanks Tiago, an excellent quote. We were called by a survey company acting on behalf of the Victorian government here in Oz a few days ago. The guy on the phone asked me whether I felt safe enough to take the call. I replied: “What? Do I feel safe enough to take this call?” He responded, “Yes, do you?” He didn’t care about my answer, he just had to ask it. It’s a protocol now, apparently. “Why would I take a call if I felt unsafe?” I responded. He also asked me if I had experienced discrimination in the past 12 months. “Yes, from the very government you’re working for,” I said. “Did I report it? he asked. “What would be the point of that,” I replied, “why would I report back to the very government who has been discriminatory, where would that get me?” He didn’t have boxes to check for most my answers. He asked me how I identify sexually. I said, “I’m sexual.” He said he didn’t have that as a category. I said you have asexual, but not sexual? He became quite confused. Anyway, somehow this is related to what you bring here, Tiago, warm regards, Patrick

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