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Captain Paul Watson is a Canadian-born environmental activist. He believes in a biocentric philosophy as opposed to anthropocentric and that humans should live in harmony with nature in accordance with the laws of ecology.
Watson co-founded the Greenpeace Foundation in 1969. Due to his confrontational methods he left in 1977 and founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Ousted he founded the Captain Paul Watson Foundation in 2022 to promote and further his legacy.
His book Earthforce! is a strategic guide for the environmental activist.
Change comes from the passion, imagination and courage of individuals.
Becoming an environmentalist is in reality a question of self-preservation.
The strength of an eco-system is dependent upon the diversity of species within it.
Environmentalism is the most universal, noble, just, and moral of causes, and most importantly, represents the interests of every living thing upon the Earth.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
For the environmental movement to succeed the objective must be peace. The strategy of the ecological warrior must be stealth. The media needs to be utilized like a weapon of modern warfare. The loyalty, courage and passion within the movement and the moral superiority of the cause will triumph in the long run.
There is nothing of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.
The ecological warrior needs to develop complete mastery over himself and a sense of oneness with nature. Worldly, spiritual, and aesthetic skills need to be acquired to merge into a single harmonious whole.
Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
More than ever before does the media define culture and determine reality as it is perceived by others. The ecological warrior needs to understand the different mediums of media and how they require different approaches to deliver the message. The chosen medium is part of the message.
Before implementing the media to deliver your message you need to think about:
Masses may easily be reached through emotions.
Politicians and business executives may need a fact-based approach.
If the oceans die, we die!
Paul Watson has taken hundreds of sea-going expeditions and thus successfully interfered with numerous illegal activities exploiting marine wildlife. All this was accomplished without causing or sustaining a single injury to his opposition or his crew. Not a single one of his missions has resulted in a criminal felony conviction against his organisation, his crew or himself.
He did so by applying the ingenuity of Sun Tzu, the self-discipline of Musashi, and the perceptions of media and culture by McLuhan.
Be the foundation. Know the smallest and the biggest, the shallowest and the deepest. Always keep an open mind. Nothing is final or firm.
Let the spirit become like water. Adapt to your surroundings, be a rivulet or a wild sea.
Water is clarity. Water is purity. Water is life.
This is the path of combat and confrontation. Fire is fierce regardless of the size of the flame. Make decisions without hesitation. Don't change spirit.
Fire is spontaneous. Fire transforms.
To know yourself you must know others.
Understand the lessons of the past and all cultures.
Do not diverge. All roads have side paths. A small divergence now will later become a large divergence.
Controlling dreams and transforming them into reality is the way of the warrior dreamer.
Surrender reason to intuition.
Do not fear death.
The answer is there is no answer.
A strategist must choose a strategy based on intuitive inclination.
The healer wants to restore, rejuvenate, refresh, and repair the negative consequences of human action. The healer is gentle and caring. The healer must have the ability to absorb the negative from without while preserving the positive within.
"Healing oneself takes courage and patience, healing others takes compassion and patience. Healing the planet requires extraordinary patience, tolerance and strength. When we heal ourselves, we heal others, when we heal others, we heal ourselves and when we heal the planet we heal all life upon it."
The communicator propagates the ideas of the ecological movement and teaches the way of the ecological activist. The communicator is curious, skilled in writing, and has the ability to speak and be understood.
"You are the hammer and your message is the nail. Hit it hard and hit it again, and again and again until the message is deeply embedded into those you wish to communicate with."
The artist exhibits respect for the Earth, bridges the gap between biocentric and anthropocentric humanity, and connects the present with the past and future. The artist is intuitive, imaginative, and can communicate effectively.
"The creations of the Earth are supreme and the only importance. The creations of humans are primarily vanity. [...] meaningful art is an inspiration."
The objective of the infiltrator is to affect change from within the opposition. The infiltrator needs to be skilled in espionage, creative sabotage, and proficient in the skills valued by the opposition. The infiltrator needs strong determination and dedication. The infiltrator must be a master of deception, absolute confidence and supreme courage.
The objective of the catalyst is to confront and provoke. The catalyst is stubborn by nature. The catalyst has great courage, determination, ambition, leadership skills, and complete dedication.
The shaman connects the spiritual to the material reality. The Shaman is the spiritual guide for the movement. The shaman has great intuition, and the ability to tap into and be guided by the dream world. The shaman is perceptive, empathetic, selfless, and completely dedicated to the cause.
The life of a human is equal to the life of an animal. The life of an animal is equal to the life of a plant. The life of a plant is equal to the state of being of a mountain or a lake.
Learn from the past. Let the future guide your actions. Live in the present.
It is only in the present that you can act. The present is for the true activist.
Find your own way. You must walk your path alone with courage and dignity.
Let your guidance come from within and not from without.
The Earth comes first - always. Believe in the sacredness of the Earth, the sanctity of nature, the holiness of the wilderness.
In anthropocentric society, a harsh judgment is given to those that destroy or seek to destroy the creations of humanity. Monkey-wrench a bulldozer and they will call you a vandal. Spike a tree and they will call you a terrorist. Liberate a coyote from a trap and they will call you a thief. Yet if a human destroys the wonders of creation, the beauty of the natural world, then anthropocentric society calls such people loggers, miners, developers, engineers and businessmen.
Earth is a spaceship. It travels at 250 kilometers per second. It has an outer hull and a force field protecting its occupants from space radiation. Its engine is remotely placed some 93,000 million miles away that sends power in the form of light and heat. Earth's internal generator provides additional heat, magnetic and electrical energy. Its life support system, the biosphere, provides everything its occupants need: oxygen, food, water, waste control. The biosphere is a complex system working with basic chemical elements in a medium primarily of water.
We may look pretty, we may breed like yeast, we may believe we are the greatest creation under the stars, but the truth is that we exist by virtue of the fact that billions of creatures from millions of species make it possible for us to exist at all. Without them there would be no art, no music, no poetry, no science, no civilization.
Bacteria, seaweeds, plankton, trees, worms, bees, ants, beetles, flies, fish: These are the essential beings that maintain the life support system. These are the species that make up the crew of spaceship Earth. These are the species that nurture and sustain us.
Worms, ants, bacteria and fish are more important than human beings for the simple reason that worms, ants, bacteria and fish do not need humanity to survive but humanity needs them to survive. They are essential for our existence. We are not essential to their existence.
All living things upon the Earth are a part of the Earth. All living things upon the Earth have always been a part of the Earth. All living things upon the Earth will forever be a part of the Earth. This is the Continuum.
Our actions and decisions must weigh the future consequences.
Anthropocentric human civilization has all but destroyed the natural wonders and treasures that were dwelling in harmony.
We of the present are responsible for the actions of our species in the past.
We of the present are responsible as a species for the well-being of those yet to be born.
Not adhering to the laws of ecology will lead to:
It is not too late. We need to act NOW!
Solutions can be found through courage, imagination, passion, and love.
Understand that we are part of the continuum.
Refuse to participate in the anthropocentric illusion.
The consequences of our actions aren’t going to happen centuries from now. They’re going to happen within this century. Oceanic ecosystems are collapsing, now! The planet is getting warmer, now! Phytoplankton is being diminished, now! The planet is dying now, and we are killing it!
A good strategist must be able to favorably use the opposition's philosophical arguments. Praise the Lord and wrap yourself in the flag if this is what it takes to get your message across.
Strategy is of paramount importance.
Failure to understand strategy may result in injury, imprisonment, or death.
Don't attempt to carry out a campaign without a good strategy in place.
All strategy requires the careful and meticulous laying of plans.
According to Sun Tzu strategy is governed by 5 factors:
Remain Virtuous in your adherence to biocentric principles.
Deception is a weapon. Do not direct it towards your allies. Beware of self-deception.
Strive to attain a complete understanding of anthropocentric thought.
Justice is a matter of perception. People see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear.
Manipulate media instead of being manipulated by it.
Your truths can be transformed into lies by modern media.
You must present your moral superiority in an attractive anthropocentric wrapper.
The best equipped activist is the one not noticed, that infiltrates and assimilates.
Never lose your temper! Be calm, project confidence, never be at a loss for an answer.
The nature of the mass media today is that the truth is irrelevant.
The truth is defined by manipulation of facts and events.
As long as the spirit of your message is truthful, statistics and details are secondary.
Don't get sidetracked by trivialities.
Use fiction to convey the truth. A fictional story can be more effective than a non-fictional narrative.
Appeal to the puplic through powerful symbols.
Emphasize the noble, beautiful and innocent.
Do not abstract. Modern media abhors abstractions.
Appeal to anthropocentric preconceived notions.
Accentuate the beauty and nobility of the cause.
Subtly attach the cause of the less appealing to the public campaign.
Recruit celebrities to speak for and support your cause.
Confidence is the defense against ridicule and criticism.
Always prepare an effective media strategy.
Modern media can serve two purposes: increase awareness and make things happen.
Humor is the best strategy for deflecting criticism.
The way of the Earth warrior is the twofold way of camera and confrontation.
Avoid adverse conditions when defending.
Exploit adverse conditions when attacking.
Know how to survive in your environment.
Be aware of and familiar with your environment.
Incorporate all circumstances and possibilities into your planning.
Have trusted allies.
Attack when your enemy is unprepared.
Appear when you are not expected.
Bait the enemy. Pretend to be disorganized, then strike.
If your enemy is of superior strength, evade.
If your enemies are united, seek to divide them.
If your enemy is short-tempered, irritate.
Prepare for death.
Live each day fully as if it were your last.
Do not burden your soul with unfinished business.
Be at peace with those you love.
Never surrender to fear.
Sometimes you have to do things without an escape option simply because it is the right thing to do.
Strategy must find ways to wed seemingly unattainable goals with workable tactics to secure the desired outcome. But sometimes you just have to go for broke and take whatever risks are required, trusting in your intuition and perception of the situation.
There are 9 types of leadership:
The way to victory:
Modern media is a battlefield of opposing ideologies.
Truth is turned into a tool of strategy.
Through media you can control the perception of reality.
The difference between lying and deception is based on perception. The truth is always a lie in the eyes of the opposition.
Through unpredictability and deception comes success.
Criticism from the enemy is an indication of success.
If your enemy makes accusations, ignore them.
If your enemy becomes angry, antagonize them.
Don't trust the conciliatory enemy.
Be vigilant against the quiet enemy.
"Those who talk, rarely act. Those who act, rarely talk."
Prolonged confrontation will lead to greater expenses, fatigue and disenchantment of the followers, dissension, and ultimately rebellion.
Keep confrontations short! Attack and retreat. Expend energy and resources only in short burts.
Achieve swift and decisive victory! Or use hit and run tactics.
Never leave yourself open to attack!
Never allow bureaucracy in your ranks.
Defending the environment is a guerrilla movement by necessity.
"Environmentalists must have no illusion about decisive victory or even victory in our lifetime. We are simply buying time for the future."
Violent interference has moral and legal consequences.
Environmental activism needs to be aggressive, but non-violent.
Embrace the power of a movement. An individual can be stopped, a movement however cannot be easily suppressed.
"The breaking of non-indictable laws is justified on two points. The first point is to challenge the law and the second point is because the particular law is unjust. Justice must always take precedence over laws covering non-capital offences."
It is imperative to achieve victories without causing or sustaining injuries or fatalities. Open engagement in conflict is the last resort. Never besiege!
If you know yourself and your enemy, you will triumph.
Never kick a defeated enemy.
Do not publicly battle an ally.
Promote harmony and display a mutual non-aggression policy.
If your organization is infiltrated, you need to isolate the infiltrators. If the infiltration becomes to strong, you need to abandon the organization and regroup.
Turn all attacks into strategies of retaliation.
Use your enemy's force against them.
Employ your enemy's arguments and tactics in your strategy.
If you understand your enemies, they will provide the key to your victory.
When the vermin move in, simply move out.
"You must always put yourself beyond the possibility of being defeated and then wait for an opportunity to defeat the enemy."
To be victorious you need to:
When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.
The control of your forces, may they be large or small, is a matter of preparation and organization. Large groups are divided into smaller groups. Set up a chain of command. Divide your followers into ordinary and extraordinary, the ordinary to engage, the extraordinary to win. Utilize moderate and and extremist factions, the moderate for open and the extremist for covert activities.
Be prepared to defend yourself in court and media.
Direct action speaks louder than words.
An effective environmental action group must be ruthless in its pursuit and quick with decisions.
I called the crew together and told them that it was my intention to ram the Sierra to end its career. [...] We picked up speed [...] and struck them again, ripping the hull clear down to the water line. I was brought before the Port captain and told that I would be charged with gross criminal negligence. I replied that there was nothing negligent about the action and that I hit the whaling ship precisely where I intended to hit it. The Port captain laughed [...] we were free to leave. [...] Sometimes you have to do things without an escape option simply because it is the right thing to do.
Understand the visible and unvisible. Be first in the field, the enemy should come to you. Impose your will upon the enemy. Draw them out with bait, or strike their crucial points. Move swiftly to where you are not expected. Attack what cannot be defended, hold what cannot be attacked. Only fight when you wish to fight. Be subtle. Be secretive. Gambol if in a pinch.
Discover the dispositions of your opponent while remaining invisible.
Divide and conquer.
Always seek to place the burden of reaction on your opposition.
Force the opposition to reveal themselves.
In 1981, two of my crew and I landed on a Siberian beach to document evidence on illegal Soviet whaling activities. We were approached by two Soviet soldiers. I turned my back on them and stepped into our inflatable boat. My crew sat in the bow facing the beach as I slowly motored away from the shore. "What are they doing?" I asked. My photographer replied, "They have their rifles aimed at us. I think they're going to shoot." "Smile and wave." I replied without looking back. My two crewmembers smiled and waved and I kept my back to them until we were out of range. They did not shoot.
Harmony in the organization is vital for the success of any field conflict.
Never enter into an alliance without knowing the designs of your potential ally.
Move only if there is a real advantage.
Be sure your plans are impenetrable.
Do not interfere with your enemy if their forces are returning home. When you surround an opposing force, always leave a way free for them to retreat.
Humiliation inspires desperation. Never humiliate the enemy.
Never utilize the same strategy twice.
Do not camp in difficult terrain.
Do not linger in isolated positions.
Advantages and disadvantages must be considered together.
Entice away the opponent's best warriors and counselors.
Recruit traitors and introduce spies.
Sow dissension among the enemy leaders and followers. Corrupt their moral. Disturb and unsettle their minds.
Always be prepared to receive your opponent.
The leader answers for failure alone. Victory is shared by all.
Decisions made are the responsibility of the leader, the consequences fall on their head alone.
Decisions can only be made by those who have their head on the block.
Always exercise forethought and never make light of your opponent.
Command the view of your terrain.
Always post guards and work out a code of signals.
Always give yourself room to retreat.
Inspect locations where the enemy may lie in ambush or spy upon your movements.
Pay close attention to the signs of nature.
To avoid pursuit, do not run.
That which is obvious is sometimes less suspect.
Always plan your options for escape. Know the terrain.
Keep a clear mind.
Evaluate the risk.
Always be in control of your actions.
Trust in yourself.
Take up a position on accessible terrain.
Seize the first advantage of a situation.
On open ground you must move quickly and in a disciplined manner.
Avoid entanglement and entrapment.
Beware the prepared enemy.
Don't let the enemy bait you out onto disadvantageous grounds.
Do not allow your oppostion to choose your targets.
Never pursue or seek out the enemy after they have taken possession of restricted terrain.
Never assault a force occupying a position of height.
Decisions of strategy in the field must be made in the field, it cannot be a bureaucratic decision.
Fire is unpredictable and uncontrollable and therefore should not be utilized as a tactic by the environmental activist.
"The only fire that I endorse is the fire of passion and in truth this is the most effective fire of all." - Paul Watson
Using intelligence agents is the most cost-effective method of defeating the opposition.
Agents cost much less than taking your forces to the field.
There are five types of agents:
Utilizing all five is ideal.
23) Keep your allies distant, your enemies near.
25) Seduce Enemy Followers
26) Indirect Chastisement
27) Feign ignorance, stupidity or incompetence
28) Point of No Return: entice your opponent
29) Fireworks Strategy: baffle your opponents with bullshit
30) Transformation of Guest into Host: beware of granting influence to outsiders
32) Appearance of Vulnerability
33) Double Agents
34) Pretend to be a victim to gain support from the opposition
35) Orbiting Circles: always use numerous tactics
36) The Art of Retreat: never fight superior odds, never surrender
I thought I had the dream life. I could take pictures of fish and travel the world. It was only when I saw what was happening to the sharks that I realized I couldn't just sit back and not care. At a certain point you have to take action.
Whatever you want to do in this world, it is achievable. The most important thing that I've found, that perhaps you could use, is be passionate and enthusiastic in the direction that you choose in life, and you'll be a winner.
The strategy for your individual needs and objectives must be developed from within your own intuitive soul. You must temper it with the fires of your own imagination. It must be driven by the strength and power of your own will.
The karmic laws must be respected.
Shadows can only pretend to be warriors.
In choosing a warrior's way and dedicating your life to protecting and serving the planet, you will be richly rewarded.
The love of life inspires passion for life which will motivate the passionate defense of life.
Be alive and live, live, live.
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