Encountering the Overseers - by Mark E. Smith

I’ve been a conspiracy theorist for decades, as my friends and regular readers know. In some cases I’m fairly mainstream among conspiracy theorists, as in my belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy in the JFK assassination, and in other cases I’m somewhat extreme, as in my belief that there were no civilian planes involved in the 9/11 demolition of the World Trade Center buildings. But when it comes to David Icke’s alien lizard theory, I’ve wavered back and forth. I find it difficult to believe, but then again, I’ve never come across a better explanation for why the rich kill billions of poor people, have made parts of our planet uninhabitable, and are constantly trying to destroy the entire planet. Until recently, that is, when some alien lizards bought the senior apartment building I live in, and I had the opportunity to meet and talk with them one-on-one on several occasions. Icke himself had met many such “people” before he formulated his theory, but I wasn’t as unlucky, so I’d foolishly questioned it. Seeing, however, at least in my case, turns out to be believing.

It all started when one of our previous landlords got a gambling habit and lost millions of dollars at a casino. To compensate for her losses and bail her out, her sisters, who were co-directors of the foundation that owned our building, decided to sell it. The decision was made easier by some tenants here who had been causing the foundation a lot of trouble, so the decision solved two problems with one sale. This is a HUD building that provides subsidized rents to low-income seniors. The new owners were a non-profit off-shoot of the San Diego Housing Commission, and before the sale was finalized, they had to get huge loans to finance it. To get our support for their loans, they held meetings where all the residents were invited and told us how wonderful the building would be once it was renovated. Many became enthusiastic and are only now learning that everything the new owners told us was untrue. A handful, the original troublemakers, haven’t figured it out yet, and probably won’t until they find themselves homeless in their old age, and might not even understand it then. They’re the ones who vote against social programs, like the housing assistance that they themselves benefit from. They tend to be extreme right wing, usually Republicans or Libertarians, and are bigots who hate immigrants and the poor. They themselves are poor, but they identify with the interests of the rich and can’t understand that they are opposing their own interests.

The new owners assured us that the renovations would provide us with all sorts of benefits, and that this would be done without causing us much inconvenience. When some questioned how they could redo this building’s old, and often non-functioning, plumbing, and give us new stoves, refrigerators, cabinets, and other improvements, the lizards assured us that they would have millions of dollars in loans, so such expenses were trivial. It was all to be done for us, with our comfort and security in mind at all times.

I was one of the very few who opposed the renovations. I was happy as things were and I suspected that the renovations would involve toxic fumes from new paint, flooring, cabinets, etc., that would endanger my health. None of us had any idea that we’d be extremely inconvenienced for over a year during the renovations. Of course we can stay in our apartments for most of that year, despite the noise, the dust, and having to walk an extra block or two to get to a bus stop, but the apartment units are renovated in groups and each group has to move out for three weeks while their apartments are worked on. We were told we’d be moved to hotels. As it turns out, they’re putting us in a youth hostel, the cheapest transient housing they could find in San Diego, and which is very unsuitable for seniors who aren’t accustomed to living next to loud young people who stay up all night. Since stress can take years off people’s lives, and because disruptions to one’s routine, loud noises from construction, and moving are stressful, all the seniors in this building can look forward to an earlier death.

But that’s not the worst of it. They told us they’d be doing a lot of things, but they didn’t mention that they’d be removing the outside bedroom walls and replacing them with windows. This doesn’t benefit us in any way, but it increases the floor space of each apartment by a few useless square feet, thus raising the fair market value of each unit and enabling the new owners to force HUD to pay a higher price for the subsidized portion of our rents. This, of course, means that the next time Congress cuts HUD funding, we’ll be one of the most likely buildings to be on the chopping block. We might still be able to stay, but our rents would double or triple, and for most of us that would mean no money for food. We’re all on Medicare, and we can eat two free meals a day at the senior center, or sign up for meals-on-wheels if we can’t get to the senior center to eat, but that means a very unhealthy diet. With subsidized rent, I’ve been eating organic and non-GMO foods exclusively, although to manage it I have to buy a lot of stuff from the day-old and reduced shelves at the healthy grocery. If my rent increases, I won’t be able to keep that up.

But the new owners are happy because they’re increasing the property value. Increasing property values is a driving force in causing homelessness, so whenever they see a homeless person near their parking lot, the new owners call the cops. They’re had more cops preventing homeless people from sleeping on the sidewalk outside the parking lot than there are Secret Service people protecting the President. They’ve got pull. But of course they do. The new owners are a non-profit that is an off-shoot of the Housing Commission. and in a city run by real estate developers, they get top priority with the cops. The homelessness their gentrification creates can bring down property values, so they need to have the cops drive the homeless away. So does every other business in the city. But they get their loans because their housing is dedicated to low-income people, including seniors, veterans, and the homeless. Where else would the government loan millions of dollars to developers who hate homeless people, for the purpose of housing the homeless?

Remembering that I was homeless for many years, and how Pastor Niemoller didn’t speak out for those who were suffering because he wasn’t one of them, I tried to speak out every time the residents or owners lied to the cops and said that the homeless people across the street were obstructing the driveway, using drugs, or urinating on the street--none of which was true. But it didn’t help. In the end they came for the homeless people exactly as they’ll eventually come for me.

Because the new owners are doing the renovations on the cheap, taking the lowest bid on everything, the Potemkin Village they’re constructing will start to fall apart in a few short years, which means they’ll have to flip the property quickly to make a profit. And that’s what capitalism is all about. The term “non-profit corporation” is an oxymoron. If it is a corporation, it is all about profits. The suffering used to support non-profit corporations is necessary to the corporate well-being, and the victims are just collateral damage.

But I’ve spoken with these new owners. They are very polite and pleasant people. They look exactly like human beings. If not for the fact that they lack any shred of humanity, I’d have believed that they were people rather than alien lizards. But what other explanation can there be?

This is exactly how “non-profit” capitalism works everywhere. Cause a problem, or in some cases find or imagine a problem, get millions, billions, or trillions of dollars to solve the problem you caused, found, or imagined, make the problem worse, then take the money and run. That’s what we did in Afghanistan, that’s what we did in Libya, that’s what we did in Haiti, and that’s what we do here at home.

It’s a post-apocalyptic world outside my window. Buildings, pavements, occasional cars, and except for the construction slaves on weekdays, no sign of human life whatsoever. Seeing the homeless people across the street before the owners had the cops chase them away made me realize how much sensory deprivation I’m enduring. I’m not in a windowless prison cell. My subsidized senior apartment is large and well-appointed. I’ve often called it the comfiest minimum security prison in California. But outside my window there is only the equivalent of a prison yard on lockdown. The alien lizards don’t like to see humans because they bring down property values and we’re not flat with straight lines like man-made property. Seeing some that aren’t fully imprisoned or enslaved infuriates them, so they call their inhuman cops.

I often daydream of escape, but of course I have no place to go. I can’t afford unsubsidized rents here and I don’t have sufficient assets to qualify for a residence visa in another country. The socialist countries that eliminated homelessness like Libya and Venezuela have either been destroyed or are under attack by the United States. The concept of housing as a human right is anathema to the lizards. Living in the belly of the beast is as calm as the eye of the hurricane. And as silent. There are no signs of life.

There are occasional visits to the property by those pleasant owners, those wealthy alien lizards who look just like people, but apart from their worker slaves and the poor people they’re paid to house, there is only the barren city block without any signs of life, because that’s how the lizards like it. For now, I am one of the lucky ones. But the US economy is based on war, the murder of millions of innocent people to enrich defense contractors and the politicians they subsidize, and the only way to keep the wars going is to cut social programs. Once the building loses its HUD contract and the government stops subsidizing my rent, I’ll become human trash once again, of no use to the lizards, to be cleansed away by the cops when seen.

Inside my apartment there are houseplants, a bed, a love seat, and bookcases full of books. Outside my window, the matrix is stark and bare. The overseers themselves are loveable, polite, intelligent, well-spoken, and oozing with apparent empathy and concern. But I see what they do to humanity and the only possible explanation is that they're alien lizards, because there's no way in hell they could be human.


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