About the Authors Our Journeys

John Vibes

Since as far back as I can remember I largely rejected the cultural traditions that I was born into, because they seemed unnatural, irrational and oppressive. School was difficult because even from a young age I refused to conform and somehow understood that I wasn’t going to learn anything of value in school. Most of my teachers in elementary school resented me because I would bring in books on topics that I was interested in and I would read them to myself while the class was going over their indoctrinating lesson. By the time high school came around I was so sick of the whole thing that I spent my class time sleeping, drinking and doing drugs, and from time to time I would still read. The oppressive nature of the school system only pushed me to hold greater resentment against authority and mainstream society. Unfortunately, that resentment pushed me toward some naive conclusions.

Although I had my suspicions about society and the status quo, I was still heavily conditioned by media and operating on a fairly low level of consciousness. I was still seeing the world in black and white terms and was pushed towards ideas like Satanism and Communism, because I was so turned off with the typical mainstream culture that I was subject to, that I just ran in the total opposite direction for solutions. Like many of the pitfalls I encountered, this was a necessary adventure along my path, and vital to my learning experience. Those interests led me to a wide variety of philosophical studies, but nothing would really make sense to me until many years later when I had enough information to get a clear picture of how things really worked. Most of my adolescence was filled with misplaced angst and overindulgence, which I hear is fairly typical. Regular drug tests pushed me towards heavy alcohol and pharmaceutical use, so although I was using psychedelics and researching philosophy I was still very clouded because of the mind numbing chemicals that I was putting into my body and the media that I surrounded myself with. Through those years I was faced with many synchronistic situations that slowly led me toward a more conscious lifestyle and informed perspective, but it would be many years before I broke free from the state of sleep that I was in.

There is no doubt that every single one of us has our whole perception of reality crafted by our environment and the things we experience, I’m obviously no different. Like most of the people on the planet I was born into a life of serfdom and grew up being constantly reminded about the struggles and obstacles that came along with financial slavery. Many times I was shown firsthand the senseless violence of war and the threatening oppression of the legal system, as you can tell my story is not unique, almost anyone can relate. The issues that have impacted my life and the ones I discuss in this book affect everyone, they are not limited to my experience.

Things did begin to get a little bit out of the ordinary when I started working at a funeral home at the age of 17. Looking back it’s hard to imagine that I was drawn to that kind of profession, but at the time I was a very confused person. I ended up spending about 6 years as an apprentice mortician and those were quite possibly the most turbulent times of my life. I’m sure that the late teen to young adult phase is no cakewalk for anyone, but my job and my drinking problem seemed to at least keep things interesting.

They say you should never regret anything, and for the most part I agree, but if I could take back anything I wouldn’t have let my drinking get so out of hand. At the time I was very ignorant, and underestimated the toxicity of alcohol due to its cultural acceptance. I was left with health problems that I’m still trying to sort out today. I was never an aggressive drunk, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t an extremely stupid drunk that caused a lot of trouble for myself and other people. Believe it or not it would take an enlightening shamanic experience to make me realize that I was destroying my body and that I should probably phase out my alcohol use. After 7 years of drinking hard liquor on a daily basis it was a lot easier to quit then I ever thought it would be, and with every day that passed I became more conscious of what was going on around me.

Due to my own personal experience and my earlier research into philosophy I was always untrusting of power, government, war, finance, religion and authority in general, but I didn’t have enough of the specific background information to fully understand the true nature of our reality. I had a very limited knowledge of occult history for most of my life and was heavily sedated by chemicals and cultural assumptions that I greatly underestimated due to my ignorance. That all began to change when my physical and mental health started to deteriorate from alcohol abuse, heavy smoking and extremely poor eating habits. I was partying constantly because I was so disgusted with society and the life that seemed to lie before me, because it just seemed so confusing and backwards. I saw a world consumed with greed, violence, pain and misunderstanding for no apparent reason. This wasn’t the kind of world I wanted to live in. I didn’t want anyone to be subject to violence and I didn’t approve of the status quo, but I was so convinced that this was the only world that was possible that I made no attempt to do anything about it and led a hedonistic lifestyle in order to fill a void in my soul.

During that period I was immersed in the heavy metal circuit in Baltimore and although mostly everyone was distracted by sex, drugs n rock n roll, I synchronistically met some activists and artists who were using the scene as a social platform. My new friends and acquaintances taught me all sorts of new information about the monetary system, social engineering and specifically the new world order. After putting a few tidbits together with the research I had done in the past, light bulbs went off all over the place in my head and I began to scour the internet for more information. There I found piles of documented evidence that supported what I knew all along but had no clue how to put into words. Eventually after enough research, it became easier to find the words and I could accurately explain to myself and others why I disapproved of the status quo and exactly who was responsible for perpetuating it.

Unfortunately, even with my newfound knowledge I was still making poor decisions and still had a very negative outlook. My whole worldview was still heavily conditioned by years of media, schooling, and cultural norms. I was still looking at things in a very nihilistic way, where I had no understanding of the higher spiritual levels that existed or the unbelievable things that could be achieved through love and human cooperation. I really hate to be cliché here, but I was to learn all of this at my first hippy festival. I’m going to spare the names, dates and places out of respect for the promoters, but ill share the basics of what happened. This event was something that I had never experienced before and I had no clue what to expect. It ended up being a whole weekend almost completely removed from the mainstream American culture which had held me prisoner for most of my life.

My many adventures and realizations over that weekend would have a huge impact on my future path and encouraged me to delve deeper into the counter culture. After the enlightening weekend I had at that event. I spent the rest of the summer touring similar festivals on the east coast, seeking to clock more time outside of the mainstream culture and return once again down the rabbit hole. That summer my travels brought me to an outdoor rave that was on the water. That was probably one of the best parties I had ever been to, until around 3am when fire trucks, cop cars and other emergency vehicles began to surround the event. Things became very frantic at that point and I decided that I should leave the area where everyone had assembled and find another way out. Just before the area was raided I saw a fishing boat and began to shout to them for help and they came ashore to see what was going on. I offered them 20 dollars to take me and my friends out of harm’s way toward where we had parked our car, and luckily the agreed to help us. That certainly wasn’t my first close call with the Gestapo that summer.

After a few of these encounters I came to realize that the counter culture truly was outlawed in this Orwellian society I had come to find myself in. I always had a deep suspicion of authority, but now that I had the proper information and witnessed this peaceful culture being demonized by those authoritarian forces, I understood the reality of how our “civilization” operates.

In addition to the personal realizations that came to me at that show I had also made connections which would eventually help me establish myself as a rave promoter. At one of these events I met a promoter from Philly who said he hosted parties at a place called “Gods Basement” and that I should check it out sometime. If it wasn’t for that synchronistic random encounter it is highly possible that I never would have wrote this book, thrown a single rave or even met my wife. Without Gods Basement and the time I spent there I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like today. While I had been to some club and underground events in the past, Gods Basement was my official introduction into the underground rave scene.

When I started partying at Gods Basement, I was still in that part of my life where I was drinking on a daily basis and working at a funeral home in Baltimore. Nearly every day after work I would stop at local bars to kill time before traffic died down and most times I ended up at a place called The Black Hole. Eventually I took on a second job there working the door during rock and hip hop shows to make some extra money. Eventually, The Black Hole began getting involved in raves after a friend of mine made a suggestion to the owner. I helped book and promote a few shows there when things were starting up but was always helping other crews, doing my own shows never really crossed my mind at that point. After a while I began to spend most of my time in Philly and New York networking and promoting for shows at Gods Basement and the The Black Hole, with my wife Kali. At the time we had just recently met, but now we are happily married and I don’t know what I would do without her.

Gods Basement was one of the main party spots on the east coast when I began promoting, and The Black Hole was still getting itself established and building its base crowd. Gods Basement is still to this day one of the most awesome venues I have ever been to, and I feel extremely lucky for the time I was able to spend there. As they say though, all good things must come to an end. When Gods Basement came under fire I learned just how corrupt and one sided the media is first hand. At the time I was familiar with media bias but I was still under the impression that the talking heads on the news were just mistaken with good intentions. However, as I would learn, the media consistently and deliberately constructs lies, falsifies reports and intentionally spins stories in order to uphold the status quo.

I’ll be the first one to admit that wild things happen at raves, but they still offer a much safer and more peaceful environment than the average rock or hip hop concert that is advertised on mainstream television and radio.

Gods Basement was eventually closed after an ignorant and close minded mother who didn’t want her 18 year old child going to the events, reported the underground venue to the local news. Instead of playing an active role in her child’s life and attempting to understand what was going on in her child’s mind, this parent decided to force her will onto an entire culture.

With her face and voice disguised, she appeared on the news calling for the shutdown of Gods Basement. This bigoted testimony was presented with fake video footage of kids doing various drugs, but long time patrons of Gods Basement could see that the clips which showed this were not even filmed at that venue. After the initial story ran, the NBC news channel received so much feedback defending rave culture that they were forced to run a second story to apparently show the other side of the argument.

As expected, that second segment was a total whitewash, where all legitimate complaints about the hit piece from the day before were mocked and marginalized, leaving the viewer with a skewed version of events. The fact that the promotion crews involved with the venue ran regular charity events and gave back to the community was completely left out of the reports and when it was time for the crew to make a statement their words were distorted and put in a context that made us look careless and unintelligent. The lies and attacks from the media eventually did result in the downfall of Gods Basement. When things got too crazy in Philly, I returned to Baltimore with a new direction and new connections that I developed working as a street promoter for Tru Skool Productions, the crew that ran Gods Basement.

By spring of 2008 I began to start thinking about doing my own shows because there were some elements that I had witnessed in the parties up north, which were lacking from the events in Baltimore and DC. Then shows up north had a more underground feel, with themes, hard dance music and decorations, whereas the parties in my area were club events, not raves. So I approached the The Black Hole with my plan and by June of that year I began hosting my own underground themed events under Good Vibes Promotions. The name was just something that came naturally to me, almost at the same time that I had decided to start a crew. From the first show on things were great, the parties were awesome, crowds came out of nowhere and packed the place every month, things were looking very promising. The only problem we really had was that the venue was in a residential area and we got harassed by the cops on a pretty regular basis. The place never backed down though and launched their own lawsuits on the police department armed with video evidence and countless eyewitnesses on their side, including myself. Unfortunately, years later the police launched a full scale raid and shut down the business, bringing an era to an end and putting many nonviolent human beings in cages. This situation was of course one of the many times in which I experienced the corruption of the legal system first hand.

In the beginning, I knew I enjoyed themed events but I was having a lot of trouble coming up with themes on my own. The names for the first few events that I hosted actually came from friends, for some reason my creativity seemed to be blocked. This was around the same time where I had really been getting deep in my activist research, spending up to 6 hours a day or more studying the things I have discussed in this book. It must have been very obvious to everyone around me that occult history and activism had pretty much consumed my interest, because many of my friends suggested that I themed my events around the things I was researching. The idea was brilliant and suddenly I no longer had any problem coming up with creative ideas for my shows. I did parties about sacred geometry, the Wall Street bailouts, free “end the fed” shows on tax day and many other events aimed at subtly educating the people who came out.

Eventually I was able to get a website set up thanks to the generosity of the raver who set up the domain and taught me the basics of the software. The website allowed me to host hundreds of educational activist documentaries and post independent news in an organized format on a daily basis. The website really took my research to a new level and eventually resulted in the book that you have just read.

I’m not the best writer in the world, I’m certainly not the best rave promoter and I’m not any smarter than your average person either. I have just spent my life confused about the social structure and why people behave the way they do, so I have continued to seek answers with every passing day. As time passed and I began to piece together more information I realized that most of what I was taught throughout my whole life was untrue. I had always suspected this but since I didn’t have all of the information, I wasn’t able to fully understand or specifically describe what I knew in my soul. I have always had a mentality that was in line with the principals of non-aggression and I was always aware that the major establishments in society didn’t live up to those standards. For most of my life that vague idea was more or less the extent to my understanding of geo political and financial events. That all changed when I started researching things more thoroughly and came across the ideas and pieces of information that are contained in these pages.

Many synchronicities that I experienced during my adventures in the counter culture are eventually what led me to begin writing this book. I never had many resources or big time connections so when I began to think of new ways that I could contribute to the freedom movement, writing seemed like the only real option financially and logistically. Faster computers for video editing, music production software or podcasting equipment were not a financial possibility for me, but luckily writing doesn’t cost anything. I knew that my path would be some form of art, because as I expressed many times I feel that human creativity is the only way to put an end to the violence and lack of compassion that is so prevalent in today’s culture.

After I released my first book in 2011, I began writing articles for various alternative media sources. After about a year it became apparent that I had chosen a con artist as a publisher, causing me to become very discouraged with that path, so I began getting more involved in public activism.

In 2013, I began taking on more public speaking appearances and became a daily writer for a number of websites. Prior to that I had only held seminars at the annual Big Dub Candy Mountain Festival, an outdoor rave event filled with many people that I would consider family. My first two speaking appearances in academic settings came in 2013, with appearances at the Free Your Mind Conference in Philadelphia and the Porcupine Freedom Festival in New Hampshire.

I also acted as a volunteer for all of these events, and eventually became one of the lead organizers for the Free Your Mind Conference. In 2014, Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance, the book I had worked on for many years, is finally being released in an authorized form. Now I am working on writing more books, putting together events like the raves that I host with Good Vibes Promotions, and also organizing academic events like the Free Your Mind Conference.

Derrick Broze

In my short 30 years on this planet I have been a child, a musician, a convict, a promoter, a liar, an activist, a gardener, a spiritual being, journalist and so much more. The last few years of my life I have made major efforts to heal and merge all these aspects of myself into one balanced human. It is not always an easy task but I believe this book will be an important part of that effort.

Since 2011 I have been pulled further into the direction of self-exploration and activism. Most of my experience with activism, and specifically Anarchy, has been through underground book stores, and infoshops. These community centers embodied the spirit of mutual aid and breaking down false barriers. Over time I learned that my politics did not agree with many of those who were a part of this culture but I always loved the communal, non-oppressive environment. This experience helped shaped my views and understanding of Left Anarchist politics. Without those lessons I do not think I would have come to understand Anarchy as I do now.

While I was examining my physical world and working to better understand the nature of government, I was also beginning to better know my internal world. Since I have already mentioned my time behind bars and traveling on the road I will leave those details out. Needless to say those experiences shaped my outlook greatly. Without these experiences I do not believe I would have been able to get at the root causes of my pain and begin the ever-important process of healing.

It was also my time as a provider of LSD that I first began to question the nature of reality and to push the boundaries of my belief systems. Later I would discover meditation which would set the stage for my spiritual pursuits.

By 2012 I had decided that I could no longer work for “The Man” and would rather be poor (or even homeless) if it meant I could be happy and free. Thankfully my activism began to get noticed in Houston and around the globe and in the Spring of 2013 John Vibes helped me get my first writing job. Since that time my work and network has increased and as of the printing of this book I am writing for 4 different publications, in addition to my still ongoing community activism in Houston.

My path towards Panarchy and Spiritual Awareness was equally shaped by my time as a promoter of music and art events. In 2009 I started a booking collective called Visionary Noise. Since that time I have worked with a partner to turn VN into one of the most recognized names in promotion in the Houston area. Through promoting events and local shows I have come to understand that any sustainable movement aiming to create change must be rooted in the community. We cannot just promote ideas related to economics and philosophy but we must strive to engage the artist communities to help foster a new culture that reflects our values.

Equally important has been my time as a gardener. My 2011 bike tour gave me an opportunity to spend time on farms to witness firsthand the power and beauty of a self-sufficient lifestyle. Upon returning from my bike tour I started my own gardening business, Organic Gardens For All, and have worked to bring the people of Houston closer to the ideas of home and community gardens. I have learned so much through my time in the soil and Sun.

Now here I am in 2015: a journalist; an activist; a gardener; a spiritual student; musician; promoter; and who knows what else is next! In the immediate future I plan to promote the ideas contained within these pages as well as move further into living the Agorist principles and lifestyle.

Thank you for reading our book! See you out there in the Free World!

Table of Contents

One thought on “About the Authors Our Journeys

  1. Pingback: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy & Spirituality | Josey's Libertarian Page

Comments are closed.