Changing the Script

Changing the Script


 Joe Withrow

Author of "The Individual is Rising"


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller


The unsustainability of the current Pax Americana paradigm has been discussed here at length. We know sovereign U.S. debt is exploding exponentially. We know the true debt figure is actually north of $200 trillion – largely consisting of Social Security and Medicare unfunded liabilities. We know the Federal Reserve has pumped huge amounts of liquidity into the financial system in an effort to pump up asset prices and push down interest rates. We know even a slight up-tick in interest rates would dramatically impede the Treasury’s ability to service the US sovereign debt.

We know the official unemployment and inflation numbers are fudged and the economy has not magically fixed its underlying structural problems, thus there will be no ‘growing our way out’ of this mess. We know roughly fifty percent of the U.S. population is dependent upon government benefits in some capacity and we know 10,000 people will be turning 65 every single day for the next decade. And we know that which is unsustainable will one day cease to exist.

But we also know dying paradigms have an uncanny way of hanging around for a lot longer than we think possible.

Upon waking up to the demise of Pax Americana, the tendency is to react with anger. Throw the bums out! Route the globalists! Rebel against the New World Order! Let's collapse the system!

When the state of constant anger becomes unsustainable a feeling of hopelessness and depression kicks in. Everything is corrupt! The police state is omniscient – they monitor everything! There is nothing but injustice everywhere! Society is going to collapse any day now!

The tendency then is to switch back over to anger after the depression has run for a while and the cycle becomes self-perpetuating. The anger says “We need to change it now!” while the depression says “There’s nothing I can do!

Our anger and depression are both stuck within the current paradigm; we perceive the wall to be higher than what it is thus we make no effort to peek over the top.

There are only two ways out of the anger-depression cycle: (1) re-assimilate back into the matrix or (2) change the script.

Re-assimilation becomes extremely difficult once one has peeked down into the rabbit-hole. Conversely, changing the script becomes surprisingly simple once one takes the time to rise up and peek over the wall.

The Beginning is Near - Clean Small

There are plenty of articles out there discussing all the ills of the current System, and there are equally as many articles explaining why we should be afraid of collapse.

There are also all manner of articles and ideas floating around out there promoting one utopian macro solution after another. Can any of these solutions work? Maybe, but I rather doubt it.

The human race is rather amusing in that, generally speaking, much of it seems to desire conflict, struggle, and competition for its own sake. Some people seem to have a natural desire to play the ruler and boss others around. Some have a natural desire to play the victim and be bossed around. Some seem to wish constant illness upon themselves and they revel in sympathy. Some seem to be chronic gamblers who get a thrill out of risking it all and subsequently hitting rock bottom. Some seem to lack empathy altogether and they enjoy harming others. Some seem to feel the need to play the hero and seek to improve every nook and cranny of the world. Some just want to be free to live their life as they see fit.

It is that last segment of the population that seems to get the short stick throughout all of history. There's always some collective boondoggle demanding their support. Holy wars, witch hunts, manifest destinies, wars for democracy, wars to end all wars, new deals, great societies, wars against poverty, wars against drugs, wars against terror, you name it. There’s always something deemed more important than laissez faire.

Too often the frustrated response is to fight the entrenched System. We can see extreme examples of this by looking back at the many violent revolutions which have taken place throughout history where subjugated people rose up to overthrow their ruling class. Many of these revolutions were in the name of freedom or equality and, when successful, the revolutionaries went to work setting up their own governments supposedly based on their espoused principles.

In some cases the new government soon became more oppressive than the old government – just with new insiders doing the oppressing. In other cases the new government was more respectful of liberty in its infancy. But even these ‘better’ governments eventually became corrupt, bloated, and hostile to liberty over time. The historical record clearly shows that fighting the System is not a long-term solution because it is always grounded in the current paradigm; the fighting is motivated by an intense desire to force change and make the System better or more efficient or more equitable or what have you.

A big part of the problem is people think of government as a service organization. This is what we are taught in our history textbooks and civics classes in the ‘public’ educational system and it is reinforced by news media and popular opinion once we reach adulthood.

But government is not in the service business, it is in the government business. Sure government provides some services. It delivers the mail, maintains the roads, and provides some semblance of legal and defense services that most people would consider to be necessary societal functions. But government doesn’t exist to do these things - arguably every one of these services could be done better and at a lower cost by local communities and private organizations. Government maintains a monopoly on these services only because it must do so in order to keep the masses docile in order to stay in business.

Government, it turns out, is unbridled self-serving force and coercion. That is the government business and that is why all governments, even when originally harmless, are eventually co-opted by sociopaths seeking to use the force of government for their own gains. Mao was correct about one thing: political power does grow out of the barrel of a gun. Even the ‘good’ services provided by government in the current paradigm require coerced taxation with the implied threat of force. Just ask Wesley Snipes if you don’t believe taxation implies force.

Civics - Clean

Einstein advised “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. Yet that’s mostly what I see happening today on many levels.

On the national level, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements personified anger fighting the System. One side raged against government and demanded more liberty. The other side raged against Wall Street and multi-nationals and demanded more equality. Both movements sought to collectively force change upon the System. While both of these movements have since been co-opted by established interests, the underlying sentiments still linger throughout the population.

On the local level, it looks like every community in the U.S. is spearheading an ‘economic development’ campaign. While the idea may be admirable, these campaigns all seem to be grounded within the current paradigm: they seek more. More tax revenue, more federal grants, more state grants, more population growth, more stimulus, more demand, more consumption, more everything. But more is backwards looking. More worked from roughly 1980 to 2008. It’s time has come and gone.

The solution is to change the script; to stop fighting the existing realty and begin creating the future.

Of course, the established order is not interested in change. Change is a threat. Change means more competition. Change means less power and wealth for the insiders. The establishment – governments/central banks/Wall Street/multi-nationals/Big-Agra/Big-Pharma/Big-Insurance/Big-Science/mega non-profits – will fight against change until their dying breath.

Thus the script must be changed at the individual level first. The individual must lead society, not the other way around.

The neat thing about this is there is no singular rigid model; no one cookie cutter solution. There is a basic regulatory framework rooted in common law (do not aggress upon others or their property) and contract law (do all you have agreed to do and nothing you have agreed not to do) but within this framework there is a blank canvas awaiting each individual artist.

My personal view is changing the script is simple. Not easy, but simple and intuitive. What follows are my experiences and thoughts on changing the script. What works for me may not work for others, so I share my perspective matter-of-factly with no implied suggestions, implications, or judgments. I am under no illusion of significance and I am well aware of the fact there are many others who have distanced themselves from the System much more so than I have. I offer my perspective only because I believe the sharing of ideas is what enables civilization to thrive.

My wife and I met in corporate America. We found ourselves working in the same department at the same mega-bank in the same metropolitan city. We were married at a downtown chapel in that same city a little over three years later. Our lifestyle was modeled after the mythical American Dream because that is what we had been conditioned to seek

It wasn’t long before we started to see through the deception and we made the decision to change the script. We ended our corporate careers, sold our home, liquidated our government-approved retirement accounts, and moved to a rural property with a little bit of land.

Knowing we will never be completely self-sufficient, our first order of business was to make our small homestead as resilient as possible. We stocked up on a reasonable amount of food, water, and provisions, bought a small solar-compatible battery and several propane tanks to store energy, stacked a cord of firewood, made a few minor repairs to the property, and most importantly stocked the wine cellar. After the initial outlay, maintaining this basic level of resiliency costs very little. We don’t think civilization is coming to an end, we simply think it is our responsibility to be prepared for what comes with the inevitable collapse of the funny money Ponzi as well as any other disaster or emergency that decides to come our way.

We have reduced our consumerism and our consumption of processed foods and we save 75% of our income like clockwork. We spread our savings across several asset classes according to our personal asset allocation model with most of our cash held within a high-cash value life insurance policy structured according to the “Infinite Banking Concept” to allow it to compound outside of the banking system and government-approved accounts. We are actively working to create diverse income streams for our family so we do not have to be slaves to a wage and we plan to plant our first garden this coming spring.

While we still carry health insurance policies in case of major emergency, we have divorced ourselves from every other aspect of the corrupt health care industry. Regular exercise and a healthy diet based mostly on paleo principles have virtually eliminated illness from our household. Natural supplements have told Big-Pharma to take a hike. We have no primary care physician nor do we fall in line to get our flu shot.

My wife gave birth to our first daughter in October... in our dining room. We completely shut out the Big Government/Big Insurance/Big Pharma health care cartel on that one.

We paid cash for midwifery services and received much more care, support, and education than we paid for when it was all said and done. Our daughter was born completely naturally without ever coming in contact with a hospital. There were no unnecessary prenatal tests or medications, no I.V.’s, no monitors, no labor-inducing drugs, no pain killers, and no invasive interventions. Upon her birth directly into her father’s hands, there were no meddlers waiting to rush our daughter off to be poked, prodded, weighed, measured, tested, vaccinated, or placed under a lamp. The only things awaiting her arrival were her mother’s loving embrace and her midwife’s gentle inspection.

The midwife made a 36-hour and then a five-day house visit to check on mother and baby and she answered numerous text messages and phone calls at weird hours during that stretch as well. As a result, mother and baby did not have to leave the comforts of their home for more than two weeks after birth. Three-week and six-week office visits that required no form-filling or waiting-room sitting completed our private contract with our midwife. Despite this, she offered to answer any questions at any time via phone or email going forward. Needless to say, there will not be any pediatricians in our daughter’s future. You just don’t go back to the cartel after such extraordinary health care service.

The wonderful homebirth experience was just the tip of the iceberg of our vision to provide our daughter with a mindful childhood free from the forceful expectations and coerced indoctrination that characterize so many American childhoods. Instead of viewing her as an ignorant child to be molded into society’s likeness, our daughter will be treated as a beautiful individual with innate untapped wisdom that very well may exceed our own.

When the time comes we will cater a home schooling program to her unique personality, skills, and interests. Her education will be as rigid and demanding or as free and creative as she needs it to be. As she grows in maturity, her home school program will become more self-guided and our role will move more towards encouraging her to pursue her own unique talents and passions.

Rather than ignoring financial education and hoping Social Security is still around in the year 2079, we will incorporate sound finance into the home school curriculum. Our daughter will learn the merits of saving, capital formation, and asset allocation at an early age. She will understand that fiat money is an illusion not to be cherished, but at the same time every individual has to make their own way.

We will also help her test her skills in the marketplace should she have such a desire. If she enjoys writing we can help her self-publish a book. If she is a skilled musician we can help her record an album for sale. If she likes baking we can take her to the farmer’s market to sell her goods. Any income derived from these enterprises would help her get real-world personal finance practice as well.

There will be no pressure to go to college upon completion of her home school program. We are capitalizing a small IBC insurance policy which will be given to her when she reaches adulthood to get her started on whatever path she chooses. If she chooses college she can go with no student loans necessary. If it is travel that calls to her she will have the means to begin her journey guilt-free. If her desire is entrepreneurial in nature she has the start-up capital already secured. Given the freedom to discover and pursue her passions at an early age, I suspect she will know what her next step will be well before ‘graduating’.

There is no doubt in my mind this script will enable our daughter to quickly mature into an intelligent, rational, logical, caring, passionate, and skilled adult. I contrast this with my own script that involved twelve consecutive years of public education followed by five consecutive years of higher education at a public university. It took me nearly a decade afterwards to shed the social conditioning and indoctrination and to mature into a free-thinking individual. By then my balance sheet was a wreck, my skills had atrophied, and my philosophical awareness was non-existent. Digging out of the hole of my own lost decade was exhausting.

I can’t help but imagine a world full of independent-minded individuals following the script of their own choice. What if individuals with infinite potential were not automatically plugged into the inner workings of the machine to perpetuate the System? What if more people were not exposed to all of the social conditioning throughout their childhood? What if more people did not get their news from the corporate media? What if more people recognized their true worth and settled for nothing less than following their own path? I can’t help but think such a world would be a much happier, healthier, and wealthier place.

But then I stop myself. For now I only need to concern myself with envisioning a world in which one family successfully writes their own script.

The rest is probably none of my business.

Joe Withrow


For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and the Infinite Banking Concept please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at....

"The Individual is Rising"

The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.


Sunrise - Clean

7 thoughts on “Changing the Script”

  1. Hello Joe:

    Thank you for this interesting article. I do have some questions which are all in the same vein, at least in my alleged mind. What age bracket are you in? And, please describe what ‘you’ are actually doing when you said, ” We are capitalizing a small IBC insurance policy….”, – because it seems that you are planning to use some parts of the system to avoid other parts the system, or at least that’s my interpretation.

    I understand changing, at least to the degree that I have done an awful lot of it, yet I still see that there is still an awful lot that still lies ahead for me ….is there no end, so to speak. So what it is that has grabbed my curiosity about your essay is how you might see your current personal needs for relative changes morphing into needs for permanent changes about being any part of the ‘system’?



  2. Hey Glynn,

    Thank you very much for taking an interest in my essay.

    My wife and I are still pups, in our thirties. As for the IBC insurance strategy, it is a concept I learned from a book (and subsequent research) titled “Becoming Your Own Banker” by Nelson Nash. He coined the term “Infinite Banking Concept” for using a uniquely structured whole life insurance policy as a way to minimize exposure to the banking system. I believe there are others who have written about this strategy and called it something different as well.

    IBC policies actually have very little to do with the life insurance itself. They are structured to build legally guaranteed cash value very quickly so that most of the fixed premium you pay in is immediately available for you to take back out at any time should you choose to do so. These policies are set up with mutual life insurance companies which are very conservative organizations. The ‘mutual’ tag means that they have no shareholders but are instead owned by the policyholders so we aren’t talking about AIG or the other big companies involved in all of the financial chicanery. As such, the mutual companies return profits to policyholders every year unless they are in financial trouble. The dividends are small on newer policies but they can be relatively large on the older policies so your cash value can compound over time. Some of these mutual companies have been in existence since the 1800s. The one I use has been around since 1909 and has paid a dividend every single year – including through the Great Depression as well as the 2008 fiasco.

    The primary goal is to keep cash in a legally favorable environment. Legally, our deposits in a bank account are considered loans to the bank which makes us unsecured creditors in that relationship. It looks like the owners of the System plan to start “bailing-in” banks from depositors when the next crash hits with Cyprus being a test run a little while back. In contrast, cash value in a life insurance policy still legally belongs to you.

    That said, you are right: the IBC strategy is not a perfect method for opting out entirely and we didn’t implement it until we were comfortable with the other aspects of our situation. For one, the insurance company sends you a check when you ask for your funds. At that point you have to deal with the bank again. The company is also investing its float in bonds and conventional mortgages which are very much tied to the financial system so there are plenty of risks there. I see the strategy as a way of riding the fence in case the big crash that so many of us are expecting never comes to fruition. And if the crash does come there may be a window of time with which to take your cash value out of the policy and get it into hard assets. Despite the risks, I think this strategy is a no-brainer for newborns because a cheap policy will grow substantially over the course of 18 years.

    Your final question is one I struggle with every single day. My wife and I have taken measures to distance ourselves from the System but we are still a part of it. I don’t know if its even possible to opt out completely, especially not in the U.S. At minimum you have to acquire fiat dollars to pay taxes on your house and land and that figure is going to go up every year. Even if you forsook everything and built a cabin off the grid somewhere you would eventually, in all likelihood, be arrested for breaking any number of laws regarding public property. Maybe self-sufficient communities could provide an avenue for opting out much like the Amish seem to have done in their own way but, as On the Beach has pointed out, most people are so immersed in the deceptions of modernity that they would have zero interest in such a community.

    Ultimately, being part of the System but not wanting anything to do with it is in itself a profound experience. If you’re only going to live here 80 years give or take a few then the experience is probably the only thing that’s important. Nonetheless, I’ll carry on hopeful that future generations create a much better world then the one they are born into.


  3. Hello Joe:

    Many thanks to you and your wife and daughter for being brave enough to do this thing you have described in your essay and for being brave enough to share this experience with others. It’s not easy to be so different and we have to thank CD and Mrs Cog for giving us this forum to discuss these sorts of issues.

    One of the persistent memes of American life is of the rugged individual: this idea that a person can do almost anything on their own. It has taken me painful years outside America to recognize this myth inside myself and to also recognize how potentially damaging the myth could be to any attempt to really get free of the psychopathy of Modernity. I think a lot of the causes of failure of intended communities and even individual attempts at self-sufficiency inside America lie within this myth. As I’m sure you know, I now live in a society that has no idea of this myth. It is impossible for a person here to think of doing anything outside the larger family group. That meme also has its limitations but somewhere in between I’m hoping to be able to develop a sweet spot.

    I know it is very difficult to think of these issues as an American inside America, but have you and your wife thought of these issues of the importance of a larger community in your efforts to disconnect with the monster?

    Good luck with that garden next year. I grew up on a family organic farm when such a thing was unknown and know how much work it can be to get going but also how rewarding once the garden is running in harmony.

    Regardless, and with deep sincerity, I wish you and your family the very best of experiences in your adventure.


    1. Hey OtB,
      Thank you very much for the words of encouragement.

      The Mrs. and I have given the community much thought recently without any shining conclusions to speak of. The individual/community balance is very difficult to nail down.

      I very much despise the model of coerced collectivism that is so very popular today. This model seems to have come with the rise of the nation-state and it’s democracy that politicized all aspects of society. In this model, everyone is expected to have roughly the same lifestyle, the same values, and the same beliefs. Everyone is expected to pay their “fair share” and support whatever is deemed important for the group. This is hardly a way for a free-thinking individual to live, in my opinion, especially when what’s deemed important for the group is perpetual war and mass theft to support it.

      Meanwhile, despite my avatar, I am very skeptical of Galt’s Gulch style communities as well. They strike me as forced attempts at community based on a homogenous belief set.

      Communities should be organic – we can observe this by watching any other species in nature. When it comes to human beings, I think organic and volunteer go hand in hand. No one should be forced to do anything against their will lest be thrown in jail. No one should seek to live at the expense of their neighbor, their community, or their environment. People should be free to interact with each other as they see fit. Both for mutual gain and for charity.

      We certainly have many elements of voluntarism within our communities today but my observation suggests that the modern American community is more of a “walled garden” than an organic construct. You tend to be ostracized if you deviate too far from the party line and you can’t go very far without hearing someone want to initiate force against someone else – either by dropping bombs on “the terrorists”, forcing the rich to pay more in taxes, or whatever else was featured on last night’s evening news.

      This mentality seems to trickle down to local matters as well. There was a group of activists in my county last summer spearheading a political campaign to limit kayakers on the river to a specific number by forcing them to schedule their kayak trips. The group’s way to enforce this was to fine anyone caught kayaking on the river without local government permission.

      My perspective is obviously very limited, but the acceptance of self-serving force as a valid way to live seems to be universal in the Anglosphere today. Add in the fact that virtually every community in the U.S. is dependent upon continuous credit expansion in some capacity, which is just a form of theft, and authentic community becomes a daunting task. I shudder to think about what it looks like when the credit stops expanding.

      All of that said, I am sure a little community building effort would go a long way. But it’s far easier to be cynical.

      What are your thoughts on the matter?


      1. Hi Joe:

        I think there is a very fine line between cynicism and honest reality.

        I can not find a way, in most cases, for Americans to be able to build intended communities that would endure. There are so many hurdles. You mention the governmental restrictions that would crop up at every level of government. Rules meant to keep the herd inside the fences developed by the society of Lies.

        Near my house here in the Philippines is a house who’s electric meter is nailed to a large tamarind tree by the street. Try that in America.

        But my deepest concern is that most Americans are so steeped and conditioned in the structures of the lies that rule their lives they would find it almost impossible to be able to craft a new and better way out of the monster. I think in reality you and CD in your solitary attempt to slip away from the controls of the monster as much as possible might be the very best possibility you have. Still, we have to know that if a crash really happens our chances of survival are just that, a slime chance. Without a community of like minded people around us, mutually supporting each other though the terrible times, it seems very difficult, almost impossible to leverage your skills and resources to more than just a basic chance.

        But until then, until that terrible day, you can do everything you can to live outside the Lies and try to find as much sovereignty as you can.

        I think the only way to do this thing is to simplify ones life to the very most basic and essential issues for ordinary everyday survival. Learn how to do those things the very best and most simply and least energy using ways you possibly can. Anything more than that basic focus seems to raise too many other issues.

        In America it seems this process of community building always falls apart in too much planning and too much focus on issues of ownership. I think it is very difficult to make an intended community, especially starting from where most Americans are now.

        One of the hallmarks of all intended communities that survive is they are focused on a spiritual center shared by everyone in the group, or some basic shared cultural identity.

        So it is difficult but not impossible. The pathway seems to be built around a structural identity of spirituality or culture more than plans or skills or force of will. The group has to know and understand at their very soul that their well-being is in the hands of the individuals in that group. This level of trust and balance between the needs of each individual and the group in general is impossible to create and maintain in large groups and takes lifetimes to develop in the best of circumstances.

        Community building is a fascinating subject and so very far beyond prepping or survival or skills or knowledge or isolationism, more occult than anything else it seems to me. One of the reasons I wrote my series on The Antidote.


  4. Hello Joe:

    Thank you for your kind responses to my questions. Yes, the age thing makes a difference and I can see that now in your writing.

    I echo OtB’s well wishes to you and your family and feel sure that you will make whatever adaptions are necessary to keep all of you moving forward toward your goals. Please keep writing about your experiences and reactions as it does us all good to share of ourselves with like minded friends.

    My very best,


    1. Absolutely, I am honored you had enough interest to ask. Thank you very much for the well-wishes. If you wouldn’t mind fielding a question of mine: you asked about relative change vs. permanent change – would you share with me your perspective on this?


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