Sunday, December 19, 2004

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Snapshots in the life of Meria Heller, cybercaster at, the alternative Internet's 'Mouth That Roars'

By Douglas McDaniel

You walk into her life, or it walks into you, like a complete download of some disc mailed to you from Chapel Perilous, that many-roomed mansion of paranoia and apocalyptic dread. The information comes to you in torrents -- the media, that is, and the message. Think of her as the anti-Fox Network, as a razor-sharp scythe cutting through the pablum served by mainstream towers of so-called truth in journalism.
Author Greg Palast, author of the book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," says of Heller: "Meria is the best weapon of Mass instruction we have."
Yes, she is loaded for the information way, and yes, there is a lot of highly organized stuff inside the North Phoenix home of Meria Heller, "The Mouth That Roars," among a top 20 or so alternative streaming media voices in the wilderness of the Web, one of a million of such voices in a sea of four billion Web pages, but as a cybercaster for five years at, five years in the box, in the cage of the Web, roaring, the whole act comes through with undeniable force, enough to build a sizeable international following.
"I survive by my friends and people who listen to the show," she says at 8 a.m...., the coffee brewing, smokes fuming, as the 54-year-old Heller, a healer, a metaphysician, an incurable reader and absorber of empirical data, a chief priestess of the huffing and puffing leftist liberal media wing ("liberal," as in, "liberty"), a thrower of lightning bolts of rage at the New World Order, the Saudis, the Skull and Bones Society, whatever ... 911 running in her veins, the outrage for what she views as a clear cut black ops job, as in conspiracy dreamt up by the reptilian Republican machine ... it being a machine, being, well, everything.
It is 8:30 a.m. and the coffee is ready. Three cigarettes gone; yes, one begins to smoke heavily when Heller is talking. Her peculiar Capricorn gifts for absorbing so much information, then distilling it for communication after speed-reading say, 600 e-mail per day, a book or two for upcoming guests on her online talk show, would be for most people, too much input. But Heller thrives on it. Feeds on it. Sends it on back down the hill. It's 8:35 a.m., little more than an hour before she needs to prepare for the daily cybercast.
Right after more coffee, washing the sleep away, making the bed, perhaps a sip of Noni juice for the amps, since she is, in fact, a naturally gentle, communicative, loving soul, and yes, to cut through the morning's disinfo, another cig is needed out on the porch. A magical panache of lawn furniture, 14 angels, gnomes, chimes, and one large circle of stone, the Wheel, in the middle of the yard. For the NSA satellites to see, one presumes: Heller assumes. The stone circle, subject of her new book, "Reinventing the Wheel," she will clearly indicate, is one to enter with the right frame of mind.
The doorbell rings. A long-time friend and former student from a class on the medicine wheel, Ken, has come to visit, dropping off orange habanjero peppers. The former World War II artillery spotter for the Battle of the Bulge, the stocky retiree vet comes across and complete supporter for the show.
"She puts you at ease pretty fast," he says of her teaching methods. And of the show itself: "It's not one of those crossfire things. On her show, she conducts an interview on a humane, intellectual level." The list of guests reads like a who's who of the new cognoscenti of spy book authors and new age gurus and political insiders: The Web site lists "Nafeez Mossaddeq Ahmed, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Kristina Borgesson, Francis Boyle, Vincent Bugliosi, Helen Caldicott, Cliff Carnicom, Victoria Collier, Daniel Ellsberg, Mark R. Elsis, Catherine Austin Fitts, Bruce Gagnon, Dr. Arun Gandhi, Thom Hartmann, Kyle Hence, Stanley Hilton, Leonard Horowitz, David Icke, Mark Karlin, Charles M. Kelly, Dennis Kucinich, Paul Loeb, Howard Lyman, Henry Makow, Robert McChesney, Mark Crispin Miller, John Nichols, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, William Rivers Pitt, Ted Rall, John Robbins, Marshall Rosenberg, Robert Gaylon Ross, Matthew
Rothschild, Danny Schechter, Karl Schwarz, David Sirota, Solara, Neil Solomon, David Suzuki, Webster Tarpley, Jeff Trueman, Mordechai Vanunu, Harvey Wasserman, The Yes Men, Howard Zinn ..." The wall of her home studio includes an astonishing mix of non-denominational paganism. She's a minister for the Universal Church, a teacher of Reiki therapy, as well as a practitioner ... a former leader in the New York East coast scene before coming to airy lands out West, organizations such as the Brotherhood of Four Directions, unity Spiritual Science, as well as a proclamation from officials from the city of Long Beach for a Earth Day celebration that was put on, peacefully, (that is, there was no damage to any property or machines).
The peppers fly back into the house, as Meria, arranging her kitchen, saying, "My father taught me how to make peppers into liquid fire." Her family, of Sicilian descent, first came to this country at the beginning of the last century, more or less in New York City. "My grandparents came here through Ellis Island in the early 1900s," she says. "I am a second generation American with lots of love for my country and my planet."
What is your ultimate hope for the Wheel book, which is more or less a manual on practicing use of the wheel in much the same way the Native Americans do, in terms of a regular ritual.
"My ultimate hope for the wheel book is to see people all over the world get the book, apply the information in it, and easily have a happy peaceful life and world."
Behind it all, global environmental awareness, especially how it corresponds to the spiritual components of the human psyche, is where Heller lives. According to co-editor Jaimie Dunn, who began to work with the wheel after she investigated the teachings of the book, "So many people are searching for spiritual solutions to their personal problems, and we feel so powerless to make any positive difference in the world we live in. Meria's book lets people know in very straightforward yet eloquent terms that they do have the power to heal themselves and make a positive impact wherever they are. Spirituality doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. Quite the opposite; truly spiritual people speak in very simple terms. Working with the wheel is a very easy and powerful way to begin to transform your life and be the change you seek."
The best type of information to distribute in terms of the looming environmental catastrophe: "The truth," she says. "Ten percent of all bird species to die out this century, the affects of global warming, the greed and result of oil and coal burning; 40 percent of the animal kingdom going extinct, and the eventual extinction of the human race through bastardization of our web of life. The stuff the media and government doesn't want you to know. The polluted air (chemtrails, weather manipulation).
When she makes appearances as various New Age events, gatherings, or oddities such as raves, where she can speak before young people, she says: "I tell them that their world is being stolen from them and they must speak out as loudly as possible to take back what is lost to them. The environment, the political system, the lying corrupt corporate media."
As an eight-year veteran working within both the metaphysical and political society in Arizona, she says the majority of the "new age" society in Arizona is no different than it is in it's entirety. "A lot of snake and oil salesmen," she says. "A lot of old outdated controlling thoughts and teachings. No different than any other religion or cult's control techniques to keep people 'following' instead of 'leading.' "
Her Long Island, New York upbringing gives her a streetwise sensibility, like she's wearing leather in life. You can see it in the punky streaks in her short-cropped hair and the way she comes across as nobody's fool. With "Don't support media that lies to you" as her bumper-sticker mantra, broadcasts in a roar making the clowns on Air America look like, well, mere puppet show entertainers. If you register to her Web site, a conspiracy buff's dream of content will come streaming into your e-mail on a daily basis, in one day more than enough for one person to digest in a week. If you are into the "theys" of the so-called secret history of mankind (Knights Templar, Freemason, Bavarian Illuminati, plain old Illuminati, Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, on and on), then Meria Heller is the place to confirm your deepest fears.
You can now hear her voice down the hall as she strategies with this day's guest, Hepsehboah, who writes by the name, Thunderbird Woman, who wants to talk about alien travellers and assorted prophecies and what's in her book, "The Etherean Travellers & The Magical Child." Says Heller on her extensive list of radical book links at her Web site: "Meet Hepsehboah, a true Magical Child and Oracle from the Stars. Her story and her predictions are outstanding! I read the book in ONE day and booked her for the show. Spiritual knowledge, ritual and mind blowing prophecies with an outstanding record."
It is now 10 a.m. in North Phoenix, and the prophets are calling. "Good morning Meriiiiiiaaaa," says the flamboyant Mediterranean voice on the blak end of the mic. The Webcast creen pulses a green bar to radiate voice levels, a chat box pops open: "Hi, Meria." There's a smiling emoticon.
Of all that her guest then forecasts (including major trouble at the Democratic national convention ... which failed to transpire ... and Dubya's re-election, which did ... martial law, dogs and cats living together, to be announced), her new age prophet guest rails on about one-world government, the secret government that apparently rules America, concentration camps and secret bases beyond the borders of Canada, secret air bases for the Ethereans (alien watchers), too, Meria takes it in stride, like she's well familiar with the material: like she's heard it all before.
"The Ethereans are those that come out of the second universe," the guest, who was originally declared as dead as a breach birth, and has since experienced a childhood, upbringing and career as a sought-out mystic with a strange, even dangerous past. "They are being that evolved throughout the ages, serving the universe. They are close tot he earth, living underground in cities in Africa ..." and then, immediately after, "the island of Victoria in Canada will be the home of the New World order. There are big landing strips for ocean plans. underground, it's state of the art."
The woman just talks, is allowed to go out there as she says, "Rome is still working to eradicate history." Then, another chat box message comes in: "Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say to build churches."
After the show, it's a little after 11 a.m., and she complains about the mouse noise picked up by the mic, about the strange jamming she's been getting lately, the mercurial Web foes pulsating waves of discord on their own. There's more multi-tasking, chat, more phone. Usually, she says, she's drenched in sweat after the one-hour show. "Then I go to the gym, unwind," she says. "My life is an open book. i don't live in fear. Because I'm a fucking realist. This shit has been going on before I was around, and it will be around after I'm gone."
Since a frenzied period of activity since the Presidential Election, Heller's plans for the show include moving toward a more spiritual, and therefore environmental, branch of exploration. Her new book, "Reinventing the Wheel," is at the center of the effort as she sells and distributes the self-published work from the seat-of-her-pants basis of her Web site.
"It's done," she says of the election. "I'm going back to the spiritual stuff. It's time to get back to teaching. To wait, and watch."
By about 1 p.m. on any given day, Heller is likely to be found at the gym, channeling the excess energies on a cardiovascular device. With unbounded energy, it seems, she grouses about finding time to read all the books from her guests, but does it anyway, since she wouldn't allow for anything less than being fully informed before they go on the air together. Later in the day, she will go shopping with her grandchildren, paint, spend time with her life partner, Mark Rice, and, between the good stuff, tackle the problem of responding to and dishing out e-mail by approaching it at ritual intervals of morning, noon, afternoon and night. And at different points during the day, the universe gets peaceful, the rules of love apply and she keeps watching the wheel go round and round. On any given sunny day in the Valley, Leviathan is far away.
"I'm still here to have my life," she says. "I just didn't come to this world to figure out what Satan is up today."