Amusing Monday: Jesse Ventura’s water conspiracy

Jesse Ventura, professional wrestler who became governor of Minnesota, weaves a fantastic, interwoven tale of conspiracy that leaves your head spinning in his program “Conspiracy Theory” on Tru TV.

His latest program, purporting to uncover a worldwide conspiracy tied to water, contains just enough truth to make you wonder whether the worldwide population is destined to die of thirst unless we turn over all our money to corporations.

Worldwide Water Conspiracy, Part 2

Worldwide Water Conspiracy, Part 3

I think the show is supposed to be seriously dramatic, but I found myself laughing out loud by Ventura’s gruff voice and his over-acting, as if playing the role of an investigative reporter who has discovered something that no other environmental reporter ever imagined.

I realize that some people never question what they see or hear on television, but I’m suggesting that every segment of Ventura’s show is fraught with exaggeration. I hope I’m not the only one who sees humor in this program. Please tell me I’m not alone!

I was already planning to feature Ventura’s overblown rantings for today’s “Amusing Monday,” when GroovyJoker, a regular participant on Water Ways, beat me to the punch. Groovy mentioned Ventura’s program in relation to water-related comments made by our newest Supreme Court justice, Charlie Wiggins. I think GroovyJoker was smiling, but I’m not sure.

Of course, water is a critical issue. Otherwise, I never would have created this blog. And some of the issues raised by Ventura are worthy of discussion and perhaps government or court intervention. But Ventura offers no possible solutions, and he barely mentions ongoing efforts to deal with all these problems.

I won’t try to list the exaggerations made by Ventura. I looked for an article, blog or video that took apart his conspiracy theory, but I couldn’t find any straightforward analysis. So, again, I’m hoping that readers of “Watching Our Water Ways” know enough to laugh or at least to investigate these claims.

Here is some dialogue from the show that I found amusing:

From Part 1

Jesse Ventura (gruffly): It looks to me like somebody is trying to control the world’s water. That is a conspiracy.
Announcer: Coming up: Jesse Ventura targets the ruthless powers that will let you die of thirst before they give you a drop for free…. Later, he confronts a giant corporation’s plot to drain the Great Lakes dry.
Ventura: They are coming here and raping and pillaging the water.

From Part 2

Ventura: Washington, D.C.: I was going to face the real power in this town — not the government, a lobbyist. Michael Deane is the director of the National Association of Water Companies. He represents bottlers and privatizers. It turns out he’s from Minnesota, too. Maybe he thought we’d bond. Fat chance!
Ventura: (speaking to Deane)
Is there conspiracy out there to control the world’s water?
Michael Deane: Uh, I don’t believe there is a conspiracy to control the world’s water…
Ventura (voice-over): When it came to the companies he rep(resent)s, there were some things he couldn’t deny.
Ventura (speaking to Deane): Your organization represents cities that have been messed up by water privatization, and the list is long.
Deane: I’m not sure what is behind the list.
Ventura: Well, they’re there for profit. Wouldn’t this be ‘water for profit’? … When conspiracy theories float around out there, it’s generally because people aren’t given answers. Why would people start up theories about water?
Deane: Water is a highly political matter…
Ventura: It can’t be anything sinister? You could control great populations. You could really decide who lives and who dies if you control the fresh water, right?
Deane: Yes, but, as I said, private water companies are not gathering up water, hoarding it, sending it around the world.
Ventura (voice-over): It looked like this guy was wrestling me to a draw until I met somebody who would make him eat his words… (Producer Michael) Braverman showed up with Leuren Moret, who is a radiation specialist at Lawrence Livermore National Nuclear Laboratory…. Leurin Moret told me that she has found uranium in our drinking water …
Leuren Moret: … Since uranium is an estrogen- and a hormone-disruptor, the female population is expanding and the male population is shrinking.
Jesse Ventura: We’re being neutered!


Jesse Ventura: If anybody has a right to anything in this world, you’d think it would be water. But now it’s just like oil … another product to be bought and sold by faceless greedy corporations, hungry power brokers and all the evil bastards who want to rule the world. And they are ruling the world by controlling the one thing all of us need to survive. They’re doing it right in front of us in ways we can’t even see. Every time you pay for a bottle of water, you are part of the conspiracy.
And what happens when the water runs out? They’ll just find a way to control the air you breathe. Think I’m kidding? Don’t hold your breath!

7 thoughts on “Amusing Monday: Jesse Ventura’s water conspiracy

  1. I agree, some of Jesse’s remarks and sensational wording amused me; overall, I couldn’t tell if it was a spoof or an attempt to have us take action or support some movement. I waited for the punch line but it never materialized. At times, as we watched him cruise around in his big black car, I felt like I was watching NCIS or some other crime program. Anyway, on this first Monday in a new year, I feel more perplexed by the Ventura film than amused. Maybe it’s just me being another year older and frustrated by the state of our world and the way we communicate in modern times.

  2. To be honest, while I find Conspiracy Theories enjoyable to watch simply to engage in some fun “What If?” TV. However, after watching this show I was forced to run to the computer and do some research to see if this was nonsense – particularly as I supported Pickens’ renewable energy ideas. I certainly wanted to know his stand on water resource management. The more I checked, the more I found a majority of what Jesse reported was old, and public, knowledge – verifiable. I could not verify the report that we were selling water overseas in large inflatable bladders dragged by tugboats.

    So, for the most part, anyone can look up the main points of his show and find a number of reputable sources, including Blue Lights valuable Newsweek multi-page in-depth report (link above).

    His primary point, that I obtained, was one of the largest groundwater sources, the High Plains Aquifer is being overpumped. USGS report on this aquifer here –

    “Approximately 27 percent of the irrigated land in the United States is in the High Plains and about 30 percent of the ground water used for irrigation in the U.S. is pumped from the High Plains aquifer. Irrigation withdrawals in 2000 were 17 billion gallons per day. In 2000, 1.9 million people were supplied by ground water from the High Plains aquifer with total public-supply withdrawals of 315 million gallons per day…..The 1,504,000 acre-feet of water withdrawn from the High Plains aquifer during 1980 in Colorado and New Mexico greatly exceeded the 196,000 acre-feet per year of natural recharge to the aquifer in these States. Annual withdrawal probably has exceeded annual natural recharge since the mid-1960’s. Long-term withdrawal from an aquifer that exceeds recharge will cause a long-term decline in water levels and a decrease in saturated thickness.”

    Another point he made was that people were engaged in marketing of water, most notable Nestle’s and T.B. Pickens.: T.B. Pickens has purchased more land above this aquifer and has created a water company out of his private ranch. Please note the difference between how his company describes the water resource availability and how the USGS describes it above, or from the links I provided.

    Here is his company’s website- the language is from the website’s front page:

    “Mesa Water represents a group of Texas Panhandle landowners, led by Boone Pickens, who put a lot of stock in two basic things . . . land and family.

    For generations, these families have lived and worked in the rolling hills they love. God blessed their land with an underground aquifer filled with naturally pure groundwater. And thanks to the Ogallala Aquifer, these landowners have more water than they can ever use.

    With the population of Texas booming and a perpetual drought predicted to hit our area as soon as 2021, water planners, state and local leaders are looking everywhere for a solution. They know the key to secure, drought-proof, long-term water planning is diversity . . . building reservoirs, encouraging conservation, capturing and purifying runoff and buying water from another region and piping it to where it is needed.

    Today, Mesa Water is ready to sell water to communities that don¹t have enough for the future.”

    This sounds fine and dandy – a market opportunity. Perhaps we do have enough various freshwater resources to engage in this type of market venture without environmental degradation, or depletion of future water resources. (“We live in a world 70% water, we will always have enough”). To me this rings suspiciously like the way we spoke prior to the collapse of the timber industry (“Tree farming is the answer.”), or before the salmon fishery went kapoof (“Hatchery salmon is the answer”). Can you blame me for being skeptical about our ability to manage “renewable” resources? I do not think abundance has anything to do with whether or not humans could safely “manage” a resource. Look at our air and atmosphere for a perfect example – and then consider the climate change and global warming debate. 😀

    To tie this up – is this really funny or tongue-in-cheek; to the extent that Jesse’s program is designed to be that way. The fact remains that after doing research on my own, it appeared that there were many valid websites that supported the idea of privatization of freshwater as an emerging market trend.

    There are also a number of community websites addressing many concerned folks and the Nestles plant.

    Forum discussions (2007)

    WaterWars – A brief of Nestle’s water battles in Michigan

    “In 2005 on appeal by Nestle, the Appellate Court reversed the lower court decision that landowners along streams have legal standing superior to those bottling water and exporting it out of state. At this time, the Supreme Court is evaluating a segment of the case addressing the legal right to file suit”

    FRESH: Boycott Nestle and Wyeth

    Tribes band up against Nestles

    There is one statement Jesse states I (hate to)agree with.

    “Follow the Money.”

  3. Yes, there is a story behind every issue that Jesse brought up in his program. If any of these issues were in our area, I would make sure that people were aware of the problems — which is being done by local reporters in those communities as well as a few national reporters.

    Are these events connected in a big conspiracy? Did Jesse Ventura’s investigative journalism uncover anything new? Did he explain any of these stories in a way that helped people understand the problems? No, no and no.

    I may have struck out with this week’s “Amusing Monday” if I’m the only one who finds Jesse’s entire approach laughable. Still, if Mr. Ventura caused people to seek out the truth from reliable sources, I guess he accomplished something after all.

  4. Maybe an objective press shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss – and attempt to marginalize – those not on the “approved source” list provided by Journolist.

  5. Information is power, because the world turns on information. “Conspiracy Theory” is an attempt to inform the public about serious issues they may not be fully aware of. Once people know something about what is happening that concerns them, they can begin to investigate and do their own research to learn more. This is a great service to the public, even in just a short one hour program. I am a radiation scientist working with other specialists around the world, and we began to investigate the global pollution of the biosphere with depleted uranium dust from the wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. Dr. Chris Busby used data from 1998-2003 from the British nuclear weapons lab at Aldermaston, that proved the depleted uranium poison gas and dust from wars in the M.East and C. Asia takes 7-9 days to reach the British atmosphere, causing birth defects and illnesses in Britain and across Europe. I plotted the depleted uranium levels in Los Angeles drinking water that was reported in annual reports from the LA Dept. of Water and Power, and found that battles in Iraq (2003 attack, Fallujah, Mosul, Sadr City etc.) caused uranium levels in LA water to increase noticeably. Uranium is a hormone and estrogen disruptor and even small amounts are causing subtle and not so subtle changes in reproductive tissues in humans and animal studies. Male fish turn to female in radiation contaminated waters, both male and female reproductive cells and tissues are now reported in the same organism in humans (hermaphrodytes) and animals (fish, polar bears, etc.). These are permanent changes causing reproductive problems, sterility in males and infertility in females, and should be cause for great concern globally because the documented effects have been reported globally. Jesse Ventura interviewed me about these serious issues in the Great Lakes episode, the first time mainstream media has addressed this topic. In one short TV hour serious issues cannot be fully covered, but the internet provides a rich source of information on practically any topic, and just being aware of this danger empowers people to do their own investigation sitting at the computer. Thank you Jesse Ventura for helping to making this a public issue.
    Leuren Moret, Geoscientist, Livermore Nuke Lab whistleblower

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