Welcome, Guest
You have to register before you can post on our site.



Search Forums

(Advanced Search)

Forum Statistics
» Members: 90
» Latest member: WalksInSilence
» Forum threads: 3,747
» Forum posts: 27,260

Full Statistics

Online Users
There are currently 60 online users.
» 1 Member(s) | 59 Guest(s)

Latest Threads
One of the Greats Has Die...
Forum: UFOs, Aliens and Universal Questions
Last Post: guohua
57 minutes ago
» Replies: 2
» Views: 30
Anthony Weiner to be Rele...
Forum: General News and Events
Last Post: Mystic Wanderer
1 hour ago
» Replies: 0
» Views: 13
Banners Like There's No T...
Forum: The Rogue-Nation Graphics Lab
Last Post: BIAD
1 hour ago
» Replies: 1,589
» Views: 465,910
Rogue Writers Contest - "...
Forum: Rogue's Writers Contests
Last Post: guohua
3 hours ago
» Replies: 26
» Views: 904
Hey, YOU Al Gore!
Forum: The Great Climate Change Debate
Last Post: guohua
3 hours ago
» Replies: 3
» Views: 70
No Borders... Here's One ...
Forum: European Union
Last Post: BIAD
3 hours ago
» Replies: 178
» Views: 26,834
Other Truths,,, for you
Forum: JFK, the Moon and the Truth out There
Last Post: BIAD
4 hours ago
» Replies: 8
» Views: 108
More Clinton classified d...
Forum: Political News and more
Last Post: Mystic Wanderer
Yesterday, 03:51 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 87
[VIT2018] My Veil Is Igno...
Forum: Rogue's Writers Contests
Last Post: guohua
Yesterday, 03:42 PM
» Replies: 2
» Views: 52
No hope for the UK
Forum: Off Topic
Last Post: BIAD
Yesterday, 10:40 AM
» Replies: 7
» Views: 202

  Meet the Igigi: Ancient Astronauts
Posted by: Mystic Wanderer - 06-06-2016, 07:04 PM - Forum: Lost and Ancient - No Replies

According to ancient text, the Anunnaki are said to have created the human race by genetically modifying early humans so they would have a slave race to use for labor. But before humans were created, the Igigi were used for that purpose... until they rebelled.

[Image: igigi.jpg]

Quote:It is said that the Igigi –they who turn and see—were the Ancient Astronaut Gods of the younger generation, the servants to the mighty Anunnaki who came to Earth to mine gold.

The terminology used to describe the gods is extremely complicated and still needs much study.- Researchers believe the term Igigi is of Semitic origin and indicates the group of gods in the Mesopotamian pantheon. It is still unclear which ancient gods belonged to the Igigi, but many scholars suggest Mardik –the patron god of the city of Babylon—was one of the Igigi.

Mainstream scholars use the term Igigi to make reference to the Sumerian mythological deities. According to mainstream scholars, mythologically speaking, the Igigi were the younger servants of the Anunnaki who initiated a rebellion against their masters and dictatorship of Enlil. Eventually, the Anunnaki replaced the Igigi with humans.

Below are some quotes that relate to this myth:

“The Seven great Anunnaki were making the Igigi suffer the work.” (lines 5-6)  (Source)

“When the gods, man-like, Bore the labor, carried the load, The gods’ load was great, The toil grievous, the trouble excessive. The great Anunnaku, the Seven, Were making the Igigi undertake the toil.”

Quote:Ancient Astronaut hypothesis suggests that the Igigi were similar to the Anunnaki, remaining in constant orbit around our planet. They were basically considered as intermediaries between our planet and Nibiru –home of the Anunnaki.

Many believe that the Igigi remained in constant orbit around our planet in giant platforms which processed ores which were delivered from Earth. After processing the minerals, the material was transferred to other ships and eventually transported to the home planet of the Anunnaki.

The Igigi were apparently ever encountered by mankind. It is said that several texts make reference to them, saying the Igigi  were “too high up for Mankind,” and consequently “ were not concerned with the people.”

After years of tenuous and hard work for the Anunnaki, the Igigi rebelled against their masters. It is sad that they ‘set fire to their tools and surrounded Enlil’s great house by night’ forcing the ancient Anunnaki to find another source of labor.
This is why the ancient Anunnaki replaced the Igigi after genetically engineering ancient humans creating a greater workforce.

Many authors suggest that the human ‘slave race’ was created after the ancient Anunnaki genetically modified their genes and that of early humans nearly 500,000 years ago.


I watched a very interesting video last night that I would like to include here.

If you have time, it is definitely worth the watch; Trey Smith explains it all so well.

Nephilim: TRUE STORY of Satan, Fallen Angels, Giants, Aliens, Hybrids, Elongated Skulls & Nephilim

Quote:Nephilim: Origin of Genetic Evil takes a deep look at human genetics, elongated skulls, "Nephilim Skulls" ancient giants, "Nephilim giants" giant skulls (fragments) and Neanderthal skulls (genetically) -- all this in an EASY walk through of precise Hebrew, Babylonian - Sumerian, Egyptian & Book of Enoch accounts of Nephilim / Annunaki, Ancient Alien / Demons, Fallen Angels, and even the father of all lies --- Satan... From the depths of the underworld & Lucifer (Luciferian) occult of Hell's gates.... to the ancient pages of Biblical revelation and prophecy... to the very words of prophecy from the lips of Jesus Christ Himself....

Print this item

  Learn What Was Really Found on Mars...
Posted by: Mystic Wanderer - 06-06-2016, 06:23 PM - Forum: JFK, the Moon and the Truth out There - Replies (5)

[Image: plants-artificial-structures-mar-1024x576.jpg]

During the past several years, many people high-up in the government have decided it's time to disclose what they know about UFOs, Mars, and Alien life.

Quote:In the last couple of years, high-ranking individuals from politics, government and military have spoken out freely about the UFO phenomenon, suggesting that its real and deserves more attention.

However, one of the most important and influential quotes about alien life, and the UFO phenomenon comes from Dr. Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut, and Princeton Physics Professor, who said: “There is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been contacting us for a very long time.”

The UFO phenomenon, however, is not an isolated event only seen on planet Earth. While there are millions of people around the globe who claim to have seen objects in the sky that defy explanation, astronauts in space have witnessed incredible things in the last decades.

From the Apollo mission to the International Space Station, there is enough footage to make a strong argument when it comes to otherworldly visitations. Simply put, there are things that even science cannot explain.

Whether we are talking about Earth, the Moon, or Mars, the UFO phenomenon is everywhere, and one of the most interesting statements made in recent years comes from General Stubblebine.

Albert “Bert” Newton Stubblebine III retired from the United States Army as a major general. His career spanned 32 years and he is considered one of America’s most distinguished soldiers and was chief of U.S. Army Intelligence. He is quoted as saying...

“There are structures on the surface of Mars. I will tell you for the record that there are structures underneath the surface of Mars that cannot be seen by the Voyager cameras that went by in 1976. I will also tell you that there are machines on the surface of Mars, and there are machines under the surface of Mars that you, can look at, you can find out in detail, you can see what they are, where they are, who they are and a lot of detail about them.”  (Dolan, Richard. UFOs And The National Security State: New York: Richard Dolan Press)(source 2)

Not only do we have Stubblebine's statement, but we have many pictures from NASA's Mars Rovers:

[Image: Alien-city-on-Mars-1024x973.gif]

[Image: Mysterious-dome-on-Mars-Ancient-Code.jpg]

[Image: stonehenge-mars2.jpg]

[Image: maxresdefault-1024x576.jpg]

Read more:Source

Also, from another article, we have a new image that backs up General Stubblebine's statement about there being machinery on Mars.

Quote:An online UFO hunter claims to have finally resolved a dispute sparked earlier in the year among UFO researchers by a mysterious object spotted in a Curiosity rover image of Martian hills.

When UFO and alien hunters first discovered the image in March, 2016, they were unanimous that it appeared to show an alien entity peeping stealthily from behind rocks, apparently monitoring NASA’s Curiosity rover. However, they were unable to agree whether the image showed a biological alien entity or an alien-built robotic device exploring the Martian surface.
But UFO researcher Paranormal Crucible has announced in a video uploaded to YouTube on June 4, 2016, that latest digital analysis and enhancement of the controversial Curiosity rover image appears to have resolved the dispute in favor of alien researchers who believed the image showed a robotic device on the Martian surface.

2nd Article Souce Link

So, it looks like someone got to Mars before we did, if this is all true.  I, for one, believe there has been life there in the past, and possible they are still there living underground.

It is fascinating to discover that "someone else" may be checking out the Red Planet with their own "Rover", too.  
It looks mean.  I hope it leaves our Rover alone, but if we suddenly loose contact, well...   :huh:

Print this item

  SignatureFest is Open !!
Posted by: Sol - 06-06-2016, 01:09 PM - Forum: The Rogue-Nation Graphics Lab - Replies (1)

Everyone loves a nice signature !

Sometimes, to match an Avatar,

sometimes to show a belief,

an opinion,

a personal website

or just for the fun of it !

Welcome to SignatureFest !!!

This one is from a suggestion made by Guohua...

For the Rogue in you :

[Image: ejHlvrr.png]


Print this item

  Bees can sense flowers’ electric fields, researcher finds
Posted by: senona - 06-06-2016, 06:17 AM - Forum: Fragile Earth - Replies (2)

[Image: bee-on-bluebell.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x723.jpg]

I thought this to be pretty cool!

Researchers say the fuzz that covers bees' bodies helps them sense flowers' natural electric fields, allowing them to home in on their favourite plants.

Quote:In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week, Sutton reported that the fuzz that covers bees’ bodies helps the tiny critters sense flowers’ natural electric fields, allowing them to home in on their favourite plants to pollinate.
“The bumblebees can feel that hair bend and use that feeling to tell the difference between flowers,” Sutton told NPR.

The 2013 discovery that bees can sense electric fields came as a surprise to Sutton and his colleagues. Though lots of creatures have that ability — sharks, eels, platypuses — they all need to be in water to use it.

But the bees that the British researchers studied seemed able to discern minute fluctuations in the electric charge of an artificial flower (flowers generate a faint electric field through their interactions with the earth and air around them), which helped them track down the sweet treats at the bottom.

They could also sense the natural changes in charge emitted by petunias. Indeed, bees could tell when the charge of a flower had been altered by another bee landing on it.

Pretty interesting, huh?

But how did they do that, discover that it was their fuzzy hairs that bend in response to charges in the natural world

Quote:Initially, Sutton suspected that the bees were using their antennae. But when he tested that theory, the feelers weren’t particularly responsive.

“So, we looked at the big fuzzy hairs on the bumblebees: they’re so fuzzy!” Sutton told the Christian Science Monitor.

So fuzzy indeed. Using a laser beam capable of detecting very small motions in the bees’ hairs — and a electrode that could record activity in nerve cells at the bottoms of the hairs — they found that the fuzzy strands bent in response to the electric fields, much the same way human hair will stand up when mussed with a balloon. The bee hairs then sent signals to the bees’ nervous system, allowing them to sense the electric fields and react accordingly.

“I’m very excited by this because these little mechanically sensitive hairs are common all over the insect world,” Sutton told NPR. “I think this might be something we see in more insects than just bumblebees.”

Robert Gegear, who studies pollinating insects at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., agrees.
“Basically this just adds to the long list of incredible things that bees can do,” he told NPR.

Quote:But it’s still not clear whether the bees are really using their electric sensors to find the flowers they like, he added. Flowers have plenty of other distinguishing characteristics, and it’s possible that the bees rely on the hairs for another purpose entirely — such as navigation.


Mother Nature's world sure is full of intriguing little surprises!!

[Image: bumblebee-smiley-emoticon.gif]

Print this item

  A 6,000-year-old Vimana Found by the Military?
Posted by: Mystic Wanderer - 06-06-2016, 03:08 AM - Forum: UFOs, Aliens and Universal Questions - Replies (3)

[Image: VIMANAS_of_INDIA__20824.jpg]

According to several reports, in 2012, during a top-secret mission in Afghanistan, eight soldiers allegedly found a Vimana or at least parts of one, inside a cave.

Quote:The leaked report by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service created for President Putin, speaks of the discovery of a mystery craft spotted by military personnel in Afganistan. Inside a cave, 8 soldiers discovered traces of advanced technology which ultimately led them towards the mystery craft.

The Vimanas are described in ancient sacred texts called the ‘Vedas’ as incredible flying ships that visited our planet over 6000 years ago. Interestingly, ancient cultures around the globe mentioned incredible stories where visitors from the heavens came down to Earth with similar ‘crafts.’

The vimana discovered is believed to be between 5,000 and 6,000 years old, and it has an advanced energy shield that has kept it safe for thousands of years.
Allegedly, the eight men that discovered the vimana disappeared while trying to remove it from the location.
Were they transported into a parallel world through the energy field surrounding the craft? 

Listen to this discussion on Coast to Coast concerning this incident:

Read more: Source

That is certainly bizarre!  What are your thoughts?

Print this item

  Photo of Pluto May Show Cloud for 1st Time
Posted by: senona - 06-06-2016, 12:37 AM - Forum: Science and Space...the Other Final Frontiers - Replies (6)

[Image: https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production.s...othumb.jpg]

A newly-released image taken during New Horizons' flyby of Pluto shows the back lit dwarf planet in a detailed new light. 

The photo, captured just minutes after the spacecraft's closest approach with Pluto on July 14, 2015, reveals the world's atmosphere illuminated by the rays of the distant sun nearly 4 billion miles away.

Quote:A spectacular new image of Pluto shows rugged mountains, nitrogen-ice plains and, perhaps, a big cloud scudding through the dwarf planet's exotic skies. NASA even described the view as the "twilight zone" of Pluto.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured the photo shortly after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, when the sun was on the other side of the dwarf planet from the probe's perspective.

In the backlit twilight view, sunlight filters through Pluto's many-layered atmosphere and lights up certain features, including the towering Norgay Montes mountain range and the vast plain known as Sputnik Planum, whose surface is likely renewed every 500,000 years or so by churning convective processes.

Also illuminated is a bright wisp tens of miles across "that may be a discrete, low-lying cloud in Pluto's atmosphere; if so, it would be the only one yet identified in New Horizons imagery," NASA officials wrote in a photo description Thursday (June 2) that dubbed the image Pluto's "twilight zone." "Atmospheric models suggest that methane clouds can occasionally form in Pluto's atmosphere."

These features — mountains, plains and possible cloud — all lie in a sliver of sunlight, at the top limb of Pluto. But intriguing landscape details are also visible near the bottom of the photo, which depicts Pluto's night side.

[Image: 8a2055ea9076418484a3f660b730cc0e.png]
This backlit Pluto photo was captured on July 14, 2015 by NASA’s New Horizons probe, shortly after its closest approach to the dwarf planet. Mountains, ice plains and a possible cloud are visible in the sunlit portion of the photo (top inset), while rugged topography is apparent on Pluto’s dark side (bottom inset).

I can't wait to see what else they discover about Pluto.
Pluto appears to be a world filled with fascinating geology that scientists are trying to figure out.

They are still waiting on more data to be downloaded, which may take a few more months.

Quote:New Horizons is still beaming flyby data home, and will continue to do so through this coming fall. (The probe is currently about 3.2 billion miles, or 5.15 billion km, from Earth; such a vast distance makes transmission rates slow, due to the significant weakening of New Horizons' radio signal.)

Gorgeous 'Twilight Zone' Photo of Pluto May Show Cloud for 1st Time

Print this item

  You HAVE GOT to be kidding !!!
Posted by: Sol - 06-05-2016, 12:48 AM - Forum: Daily Chit Chat - Replies (17)

A "bacon critic" is an actual job and it could be yours !

Quote:Do you like eating bacon? Do you have strong feelings about what makes good bacon good and what makes bad bacon bad? If you answered, "yes" to those questions - here's your chance to cash in on your passion. Extra Crispy, a new website dedicated to all things breakfast, is hiring an official Bacon Critic to write about, well, bacon.



Quote:According to a posting on the Extra Crispy site, the job, which is a paid three-month position, requires "serious writing chops, an unmistakable voice, a sense of adventure, and an insatiable hunger -- for bacon."

A sense of adventure? wait..what?



[Image: e2b63955cbafa628d8183704b4bc70b2.jpg]

Quote:The Bacon Critic can live anywhere in the United States, but "needs to be opinionated and thorough in his or her research, and will be expected to eventually decide which bacon is the best in the country."



[Image: CanadianCuisineChart3.jpg]

Quote:Whoever is offered the job, will have their work cut out for them since bacon can be found in everything from alcoholic drinks to deserts.

Lucky basterds.....

[Image: 3d434178b0834ef14822d0f645169b6f.jpg]  [Image: bacon_apple_pie-450x309.jpg]

Quote:There are even entire festivals devoted to bacon.


[Image: baconfest12.jpg]


[Image: Screen%2BShot%2B2015-06-24%2Bat%2B11.13.23%2BAM.png]


Life ain't fair.



Print this item

  Operation Rebirth: Phone Booths, Deloreans, And Particle Accelorators
Posted by: Armonica_Templar - 06-04-2016, 11:27 PM - Forum: Short Stories - Replies (6)

Our Future

"Andros Nicodemus Colt," An older blonde narrowed her eyes as her assets showed through her T-Shirt.. "Just what are you up to Rear Admiral!"

Andros is holding two infants, "Austin..They followed me home from the hospital.. June.. Darling dear.."

A hispanic woman walked into the Living room.. Seeing the Little Wendigo infant, "Madre Dios.. Its.."

Andros hands the Wendigo over to June, "Its Si'Ez'Chin.." Andros turns as Another woman walks down the stair, "Diana.."

Seeing June take the Little Wendigo, "Andros Nicodemus Colt.. Is that.. Its.."

"Austin Artemis Colt, Diana Minerva Colt.. Allow me to introduce you to Abigail Fiona Colt.." andros had a tear fall down his face as The Infant cooed, "Your home babygirl.. The mean blonde one is Mama Austin.. The one with brown hair and Larger Tits is Mama Diana.."

The door opened as a Woman in a colonel's uniformm walked in, "Dad.. I got the.." Seeing the look on their faces, "S#$% they just found out.."

"Jessica darling," Diana narrows her eyes.. "You knew this was gonna happen.."

An older Black man comes in with his two sons, "Boys.. We have to get this up stairs for little Abigail.. I made a deal with Andros.. We put up all of Abigail's stuff and we get all the Crap for your little brother free.."

"Dear husband.. Mr. Dimitrious," June pauses when Siez reaches for her breast.. "Little one their is no milk in there.." Seeing her youngest son carrying groceries, "Take the Formula out Shaka.. Make the bottle for me.. Kitchen now dear husband.." Seeing the infant about to cry, "Its ok.. You will be sleeping with me tonight.. Your dear father is gonna sleep in the dog house.."

Austin sees Another woman coming in, "Mammy Colt.."

The woman walks in wear very expensive clothes, "Abigail.. She is home.." The one eyed woman walks over to Andros and lifts the infant into the air, "My little supervillian.. Austin be a dear.. I think her mean father hasnt feed her yet.. As one of her two mothers it falls to you, because you are the oldest.."

Austin gets a pissed off look on her face," Mammy.."

"Diana.. austin.. She is a member of the Colt household.." Seeing the look in there faces, "This time you two get to help smooth out rough spots.. I want you both to call your mother and talk with her.. You are mothers now.."

"What do you mean everyone is coming by.." June sounds panicked, "their is no food set out and.."

"June Darling.. Your family," Mammy walks into the Kitchen after handing Abigail over to a pissed off Austin. "We are having it catered.. You are going to relax and show off your little boy to the world.. Relax Mammy is here.. You will of course supervise the caterers.." 

Print this item

  Facebook and Messenger App
Posted by: senona - 06-04-2016, 11:17 PM - Forum: Computers, Internet and the Digital World - Replies (2)

I never have downloaded Facebook Messenger app, due to most apps are very intrusive when it comes to your phone.

And I have always been able to view the messages straight from phone.....until today.
It flat refused me access to my message unless I downloaded said app.

So I get on computer and just for the hell of it, check out what "permissions" it wants before I go any further.

And dayuum, at what all FB Messenger can do with your phone once the app is downloaded and I betcha most people do not even know.

So I will post the permissions here (for android)
But there are so many permissions needed, it took more than 1 screenshot, so there are several images:

[Image: e0a46b4001c140c8b89e5ecbb2579718.png]

[Image: 756bbbdc16894b4ea08eb325323c7211.png]

[Image: 04e4acf098df4b85818e5e6ec34c7c69.png]

[Image: 87ba806802da4eb3a346c889e887b484.png]

[Image: 71788e1f1c2e4e0b9cbb108d7f7fd64b.png]

Now then, for "Other" that in of itself required a couple screenshots...
There are 3 under above, but will start over

[Image: 03c47ee12d364deba3fb7369161492f0.png]

[Image: c00e466c79f54469bcca2a01ef89de3a.png]

Hmmm, think they left anything off of there?
Damn, they can just about take over and control your phone from the sounds of it.
Scary, huh?

No way in hell will I ever download such an intrusive controlling app.
The Messenger App has got to be one of the worst I have come across yet where permissions are concerned.

Sorry Mystic, if FB no longer allows me access from phone to read messages, I will have to wait until I get on computer. Ha
Never will I use that app!!!!!

So please, stop and read what permissions are required before installing ANY app, whether it be for Android or IPhone.
They put the app 'permissions' waaaaay down below the ratings/comments, but they are there.
Just hoping you will not take the time to look for it and read it.

Print this item

  Propaganda watch
Posted by: Armonica_Templar - 06-04-2016, 08:26 PM - Forum: Political News and more - Replies (121)

Propaganda watch

I decided to no longer be very quiet on this..

In honor of the white house echo chambers

The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru

Please note I am including the whole article to prevent editing by the sit owner

Quote:icture him as a young man, standing on the waterfront in North Williamsburg, at a polling site, on Sept. 11, 2001, which was Election Day in New York City. He saw the planes hit the towers, an unforgettable moment of sheer disbelief followed by panic and shock and lasting horror, a scene that eerily reminded him, in the aftermath, of the cover of the Don DeLillo novel “Underworld.”

Everything changed that day. But the way it changed Ben Rhodes’s life is still unique, and perhaps not strictly believable, even as fiction. He was in the second year of the M.F.A. program at N.Y.U., writing short stories about losers in garden apartments and imagining that soon he would be published in literary magazines, acquire an agent and produce a novel by the time he turned 26. He saw the first tower go down, and after that he walked around for a while, until he ran into someone he knew, and they went back to her shared Williamsburg apartment and tried to find a television that worked, and when he came back outside, everyone was taking pictures of the towers in flames. He saw an Arab guy sobbing on the subway. “That image has always stayed with me,” he says. “Because I think he knew more than we did about what was going to happen.” Writing

Frederick Barthelme knockoffs suddenly seemed like a waste of time.

“I immediately developed this idea that, you know, maybe I want to try to write about international affairs,” he explained. “In retrospect, I had no idea what that meant.” His mother’s closest friend growing up ran the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which then published Foreign Policy. He sent her a letter and included what would wind up being his only piece of published fiction, a short story that appeared in The Beloit Fiction Journal. It was titled “The Goldfish Smiles, You Smile Back.” The story still haunts him, he says, because “it foreshadowed my entire life.”

It’s the day 
of President Obama’s final State of the Union address, Jan. 12, and the news inside the White House is not good. Luckily, the reporters on the couch in the West Wing waiting room don’t know it yet. The cream of the crop are here this early p.m. for a private, off-the-record lunch with the president, who will preview his annual remarks to Congress over a meal that is reported to be among the best in the White House chef’s repertoire.

“Blitzer!” a man calls out. A small figure in a long navy cashmere overcoat turns around, in mock surprise.

“You don’t write, you don’t call,” Wolf Blitzer, the CNN anchorman, parries.

“Well, you can call,” shoots back his former colleague Roland Martin. Their repartee thus concluded, they move on to the mutually fascinating subject of Washington traffic jams. “I used to have a 9:30 hit on CNN,” Martin reminisces. “The office was 8.2 miles from my home. It took me 45 minutes.” The CBS News anchor Scott Pelley tells a story about how members of the press destroyed the lawn during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and were told that they would be allowed back once the grass was replanted. The National Park Service replanted the grass outside the White House, but the journalists weren’t allowed back on the lawn.

Unnoticed by the reporters, Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”

The Boy Wonder of the Obama White House is now 38. He heads downstairs to his windowless basement office, which is divided into two parts. In the front office, his assistant, Rumana Ahmed, and his deputy, Ned Price, are squeezed behind desks, which face a large television screen, from which CNN blares nonstop. Large pictures of Obama adorn the walls. Here is the president adjusting Rhodes’s tie; presenting his darling baby daughter, Ella, with a flower; and smiling wide while playing with

Ella on a giant rug that says “E Pluribus Unum.”

For much of the past five weeks, Rhodes has been channeling the president’s consciousness into what was imagined as an optimistic, forward-looking final State of the Union. Now, from the flat screens, a challenge to that narrative arises: Iran has seized two small boats containing 10 American sailors. Rhodes found out about the Iranian action earlier that morning but was trying to keep it out of the news until after the president’s speech. “They can’t keep a secret for two hours,” Rhodes says, with a tone of mild exasperation at the break in message discipline.

As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. He is, according to the consensus of the two dozen current and former White House insiders I talked to, the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Potus himself. The president and Rhodes communicate “regularly, several times a day,” according to Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, who is known for captaining a tight ship. “I see it throughout the day in person,” he says, adding that he is sure that in addition to the two to three hours that Rhodes might spend with Obama daily, the two men communicate remotely throughout the day via email and phone calls. Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of

American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. “Every day he does 12 jobs, and he does them better than the other people who have those jobs,” Terry Szuplat, the longest-tenured member of the National Security Council speechwriting corps, told me. On the largest and smallest questions alike, the voice in which America speaks to the world is that of Ben Rhodes.

Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling.

Part of what accounts for Rhodes’s influence is his “mind meld” with the president. Nearly everyone I spoke to about Rhodes used the phrase “mind meld” verbatim, some with casual assurance and others in the hushed tones that are usually reserved for special insights. He doesn’t think for the president, but he knows what the president is thinking, which is a source of tremendous power. One day, when Rhodes and I were sitting in his boiler-room office, he confessed, with a touch of bafflement,

“I don’t know anymore where I begin and Obama ends.”

Standing in his front office before the State of the Union, Rhodes quickly does the political math on the breaking Iran story.

“Now they’ll show scary pictures of people praying to the supreme leader,” he predicts, looking at the screen. Three beats more, and his brain has spun a story line to stanch the bleeding. He turns to Price. “We’re resolving this, because we have relationships,” he says.

Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.” I watch the message bounce from Rhodes’s brain to Price’s keyboard to the three big briefing podiums — the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon — and across the Twitterverse, where it springs to life in dozens of insta-stories, which over the next five hours don formal dress for mainstream outlets. It’s a tutorial in the making of a digital news microclimate — a storm that is easy to mistake these days for a fact of nature, but whose author is sitting next to me right now.

Rhodes logs into his computer. “It’s the middle of the [expletive] night in Iran,” he grumbles. Price looks up from his keyboard to provide a messaging update: “Considering that they have 10 of our guys in custody, we’re doing O.K.”

With three hours to go until the president’s address to Congress, Rhodes grabs a big Gatorade and starts combing through the text of the State of the Union address. I peek over his shoulder, to get a sense of the meta-narrative that will shape dozens of thumb-suckers in the days and weeks to follow. One sentence reads: “But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.” He retypes a word, then changes it back, before continuing with his edit.

“Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks, twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages — they pose an enormous danger to civilians; they have to be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence.”

Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked

Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the

American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”

Having recently spent time working in Hollywood, I realize during our conversations that the role Rhodes plays in the White House bears less resemblance to any specific character on Beltway-insider TV shows like “The West Wing” or “House of Cards” than it does to the people who create those shows. And like most TV writers, Rhodes clearly prefers to imagine himself in the company of novelists.

“What novel is this that you are living in now and will exit from in eight months and be like, ‘Oh, my God’?” I ask him.

“Who would be the author of this novel?” he asks.

“The one you are a character in now?”

“Don DeLillo, I think,” Rhodes answers. “I don’t know how you feel about Don DeLillo.”

“I love Don DeLillo,” I answer.

“Yeah,” Rhodes answers. “That’s the only person I can think of who has confronted these questions of, you know, the individual who finds himself negotiating both vast currents of history and a very specific kind of power dynamics. That’s his milieu. And that’s what it’s like to work in the U.S. foreign-policy apparatus in 2016.”

It has been rare
 to find Ben Rhodes’s name in news stories about the large events of the past seven years, unless you are looking for the quotation from an unnamed senior official in Paragraph 9. He is invisible because he is not an egotist, and because he is devoted to the president. But once you are attuned to the distinctive qualities of Rhodes’s voice — which is often laced with aggressive contempt for anyone or anything that stands in the president’s way — you can hear him everywhere.

Rhodes’s mother and father are not interested in talking about Rhodes. Neither is his older brother, David, who is president of CBS News, an organization that recently revived the effort to declassify the contents of the redacted 28 pages of the Sept. 11 report on the eve of Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia, on which Rhodes, as usual, accompanied the president. The brothers are close, but they often go months without seeing each other. “He was like the kid who carried the briefcase to school,” Ben says of his brother, who worked at Fox News and Bloomberg before moving to CBS. “I actually didn’t do that great in high school because I was drinking and smoking pot and hanging out in Central Park.”

Rhodes’s impassioned yet depressive vibe, which I feel in his stray remarks and in the strangeness of his decision to allow me to roam around the White House, stems in part from feeling overloaded; he wishes he had more time to think and write. His mother is Jewish from the Upper East Side, and worships John Updike, and reads The New Yorker. His father is a Texan lawyer who took his sons to St. Thomas Episcopal Church once a month, where Rhodes felt like the Jewish kid in church, the same way he felt like a “Jewish Christian” at Passover Seders. His New York City prep-school-kid combination of vulnerability, brattiness and passionate hatred for phonies suggests an only slightly updated version of what Holden Caulfield might have been like if he grew up to work in the West Wing.

Rhodes’s windowless back office, which doesn’t have a TV screen, is an oasis of late-night calm in a building devoted to the performance of power. The walls are painted a soft creamy color, which gives it the feel of an upscale hotel room with the drapes closed. He arrives here every morning between 8 and 9 from a modest two-bedroom apartment in a grad-student-type building in an unpretentious Washington neighborhood around the corner from his favorite post-collegiate bar. Before coming to work, he walks his 1-year-old daughter to day care. Then he drives to work in his Beamer, which appears to be the one grown-up luxury he and his wife, Ann Norris, who works in the State Department and longs to return to her childhood home of California, can afford. When his wife takes the car, he rides the bus, which offers him a touch of the anonymity he craves. His days at the White House start with the president’s daily briefing, which usually includes the vice president, National Security
Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser Avril Haines and Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco.

The books on his shelves are a mix of DeLillo novels, history books, recondite tomes on Cuba and Burma and adventure-wonk stuff like Mark Mazzetti’s “The Way of the Knife.” C. S. Lewis makes an appearance here, alongside a volume of Lincoln speeches (Obama tells all his speechwriters to read Lincoln) and George Orwell’s “All Art Is Propaganda.” I have seen the same books on the shelves of plenty of Brooklyn apartments. Yet some large part of the recent history of America and its role in the world turns on the fact that the entirely familiar person sitting at the desk in front of me, who seems not unlike other weed-smokers I know who write Frederick Barthelme-type short stories, has achieved a “mind meld” with President Obama and used his skills to help execute a radical shift in American foreign policy.

So I wonder: How did he get from there to here?

The story that
 Rhodes published in The Beloit Fiction Journal is a good place to start.

Quote:The goldfish idea, I’m told, had been Ms. Wellberg’s.
“Why?” I ask. She is dyed blond, slim, petite, attractive.
“You take meticulous notes,” she slurs.

The editor at Foreign Policy who read “Goldfish,” which Rhodes attached with his query letter, said that the young M.F.A. would be bored with fact-checking. Instead, he suggested that he apply for a job with Lee Hamilton, the onetime congressman from Indiana, who was looking for a speechwriter.

“I was surprised,” Hamilton remembered. “What the hell does a guy who wanted to write fiction come to me for?” But he had always found writers useful, and Rhodes’s writing sample was the best in the pile. So he hired him on at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. Though Rhodes never said a word in meetings, Hamilton says, he had a keen understanding of what was going on and a talent for putting the positions of distinguished participants down on paper. “I immediately understood that it’s a very important quality for a staffer,” Hamilton explained, “that he could come into a meeting and decide what was decided.” I suggested that the phrase “decide what was decided” is suggestive of the enormous power that might accrue to someone with Rhodes’s gifts. Hamilton nodded. “Absolutely,” he said.

Quote:The notes go on and on. They have ideas with subsets of ideas and reactions to ideas indented beneath the original ideas. The handwriting is perfect. The representation of what happened in the meetings immaculate, like a mirror’s reflection after it has been scrubbed clean. I have a reputation for my notes.

Rhodes served as Hamilton’s staff member on the 9/11 Commission, where he met Denis McDonough, another Hamilton protégé, who had gone on to work for Tom Daschle in the Senate. Rhodes then became the chief note-taker for the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission that excoriated George Bush’s war in Iraq. He accompanied Hamilton and his Republican counterpart on the group, former secretary of state and Bush family intimate James Baker, to their meetings with Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, David Petraeus and many others (Vice President Dick Cheney met with the group but didn’t say a word). According to both Hamilton and Edward Djerejian, Baker’s second on the I.S.G., Rhodes’s opinions were helpful in shaping the group’s conclusions — a scathing indictment of the policy makers responsible for invading Iraq. For Rhodes, who wrote much of the I.S.G. report, the Iraq war was proof, in black and white, not of the complexity of international affairs or the many perils attendant on political decision-making but of the fact that the decision-makers were morons.

One result of this experience was that when Rhodes joined the Obama campaign in 2007, he arguably knew more about the Iraq war than the candidate himself, or any of his advisers. He had also developed a healthy contempt for the American foreign-policy establishment, including editors and reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere, who at first applauded the Iraq war and then sought to pin all the blame on Bush and his merry band of neocons when it quickly turned sour. If anything, that anger has grown fiercer during Rhodes’s time in the White House. He referred to the American foreign-policy establishment as the Blob. According to Rhodes, the Blob includes Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and other Iraq-war promoters from both parties who now whine incessantly about the collapse of the American security order in Europe and the Middle East.

Quote:Boost thinks very highly of me. My notes are so impressive that they have taken on the form of ideas, he feels. I capture other people’s words in a manner that not only organizes them, but inserts a clarity and purpose that was not present in the original idea. Connections are made between two opposing ideas that were not apparent in the meeting. I have gotten at not only the representation of things, but the way that the mind actually works.

Jon Favreau, then the campaign’s lead speechwriter, felt as if he could use a foreign-affairs expert who could write. “Foreign-policy advisers kept changing all the language that made Obama sound like he wasn’t part of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment,” he remembers. “The idea of someone with a masters in fiction who had also co-authored the Iraq Study Group and 9/11 Commission reports seemed perfect for a candidate who put so much emphasis on storytelling.” The two young speechwriters quickly found themselves to be in sync. “He truly gives zero [expletive] about what most people in Washington think,” Favreau says admiringly of Rhodes. “I think he’s always seen his time there as temporary and won’t care if he’s never again invited to a cocktail party, or asked to appear on ‘Morning Joe,’ or inducted into the Council on Foreign Relations hall of fame or whatever the hell they do there.”

Quote:I sit next to Boost in the meetings. The ideas fly like radio waves. I am silent in these meetings, taking notes.

“He was easily underestimatable,” Samantha Power recalls, of Rhodes’s arrival on the Obama campaign in 2007. Herself a writer, whose history of America’s responses to genocide, “A Problem From Hell,” won the Pulitzer Prize, Power went to work in Obama’s Senate office in 2005. Power is now the American ambassador to the United Nations. Her attire suggests a disingenuous ambivalence about her role in government that appears to be common among her cohort in the Obama administration, with a cardigan made of thick, expensive-looking cashmere worn over a simple frock, along with silver spray-painted rock ’n’ roll sneakers. See, I’m sympatico, the sneakers proclaim.

Early on, what struck her about Rhodes was how strategic he was. “He was leading quietly, initially, and mainly just through track changes, like what to accept and reject,” she says. When I ask her where Rhodes’s control over drafts of the candidate’s speeches came from, she immediately answers, “Obama,” but then qualifies her answer. “But it was Hobbesian,” she adds. “He had the pen. And he understood intuitively that having the pen gave him that control.” His judgment was superior to that of his rivals, and he refused to ever back down. “He was just defiant,” she recalls. “He was like: ‘No, I’m not. That’s bad. Obama wouldn’t want that.’ ”

Obama relies on Rhodes for “an unvarnished take,” in part, she says, because “Ben just has no poker face,” and so it’s easy to see when he is feeling uncomfortable. “The president will be like, ‘Ben, something on your mind?’ And then Ben will have this incredibly precise lay-down of why the previous half-hour has been an utter waste of time, because there’s a structural flaw to the entire direction of the conversation.”

The literary character that Rhodes most closely resembles, Power volunteers, is Holden Caulfield. “He hates the idea of being phony, and he’s impetuous, and he has very strong views.”

Quote:In Afghanistan the Taliban dynamites enormous statues of Buddha, the ancient material imploding and crumbling to the ground, small specks of men can be seen watching in the foreground. This is somewhere else. Far away.

On his first day
 in the West Wing, Rhodes remembers thinking how remarkably small the space was, and noticing that the same few dozen people he worked with at campaign headquarters in Chicago were now wearing suits instead of jeans. The enormousness of the endeavor sank in on that first day, and he realized that for all the prep work, there was no manual for how to be on the staff of the person who is running the country, particularly at a time when the global economy was in free fall and 180,000 Americans were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He became aware of two things at once: the weight of the issues that the president was confronted with, and the intense global interest in even the most mundane presidential communications.

‘He truly gives zero [expletive] about what most people in Washington think. I think he’s always seen his time there as temporary and won’t care if he’s never again invited to a cocktail party.’

The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around. It is hard for many to absorb the true magnitude of the change in the news business — 40 percent of newspaper-industry professionals have lost their jobs over the past decade — in part because readers can absorb all the news they want from social-media platforms like Facebook, which are valued in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars and pay nothing for the “content” they provide to their readers. You have to have skin in the game — to be in the news business, or depend in a life-or-death way on its products — to understand the radical and qualitative ways in which words that appear in familiar typefaces have changed. Rhodes singled out a key example to me one day, laced with the brutal contempt that is a hallmark of his private utterances. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington.

The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

In this environment, Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once. Ned Price, Rhodes’s assistant, gave me a primer on how it’s done. The easiest way for the White House to shape the news, he explained, is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. “But then there are sort of these force multipliers,” he said, adding, “We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people, and you know I wouldn’t want to name them — ”

“I can name them,” I said, ticking off a few names of prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.

Price laughed. “I’ll say, ‘Hey, look, some people are spinning this narrative that this is a sign of American weakness,’ ” he continued, “but — ”

“In fact it’s a sign of strength!” I said, chuckling.

“And I’ll give them some color,” Price continued, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”

This is something different from old-fashioned spin, which tended to be an art best practiced in person. In a world where experienced reporters competed for scoops and where carrying water for the White House was a cause for shame, no matter which party was in power, it was much harder to sustain a “narrative” over any serious period of time. Now the most effectively weaponized 140-character idea or quote will almost always carry the day, and it is very difficult for even good reporters to necessarily know where the spin is coming from or why.

When I later visited Obama’s former campaign mastermind David Axelrod in Chicago, I brought up the soft Orwellian vibe of an information space where old media structures and hierarchies have been erased by Silicon Valley billionaires who convinced the suckers that information was “free” and everyone with access to Google was now a reporter. Axelrod, a former newspaperman, sighed. “It’s not as easy as standing in front of a press conference and speaking to 70 million people like past presidents have been able to do,” he said. The bully pulpit by and large doesn’t exist anymore, he explained. “So more and more, over the last couple of years, there’s been an investment in alternative means of communication: using digital more effectively, going to nontraditional sources, understanding where on each issue your constituencies are going to be found,” he said. “I think they’ve approached these major foreign-policy challenges as campaign challenges, and they’ve run campaigns, and those campaigns have been very sophisticated.”

Rhodes’s innovative campaign
 to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency. “It’s the center of the arc,” Rhodes explained to me two days after the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented. He then checked off the ways in which the administration’s foreign-policy aims and priorities converged on Iran. “We don’t have to kind of be in cycles of conflict if we can find other ways to resolve these issues,” he said. “We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it.’ It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads that the president’s been spinning — and I mean that not in the press sense — for almost a decade, they kind of all converged around Iran.”

TBC next post

Print this item