ZetaTalk was born on January 19, 1995 in Michael Lindemanns ISCNI, and was instantly compelling to all who
read it - they either had to deny and dispute, or ponder the import of the message. Troubled Times grew as the
ZetaTalk message gained in popularity and began to be translated into many languages by fans. In 1997, Ron
suggested to the group of what was then about 80 individuals that we form a nonprofit to promote the ideas,
solutions to the coming times, in a way that a web site could not. A subset of Troubled Times members, less than
a dozen, formed Troubled Times, Inc., incorporated on July 22, 1997. At first the nonprofit focused on media
issues, such as what eventually became Gesons TV Clip, and entertained the possibility of having a kitchen
where unusual recipes such as worm recipes might be developed. However, it was a virtual corporation at the
In early 1998, the IRS insisted on a physical place of business before disbursement of funds could occur, to prevent Internet fraud, and the Bylaws were changed. By midyear 1998, I had made an offer to purchase an old family homestead in Wisconsin, and offered to provide an address for the corporation along with the use of 2 front rooms as a shared reception area and dedicated office. The original offer anticipated an office, only, at the main house and a houseboat demo in the marsh pond. The closing on December 8, 1998 included allowing the current tenant, my cousin, to live there rent-free for a year during the cleanup of decades of junk collection. At this time my offer to the corporation was expanded to include hydroponics and aquaculture in the basement, a windmill demo, and various plantings in the marsh such as cranberries and wild rice.
In early 1999, Ron Darby found himself in a layoff, and I suggested he camp at the new headquarters while doing a job search, as the summer offered gardening possibilities and a cottage on the premises could be occupied right away, per the closing agreement. Ron moved into a cottage which had been vacant for a decade, and suffered through the hot summer with virtually no cross ventilation or air conditioning, supervising the massive cleanup effort and cutting down dozens of young trees that had grown up to clutter the site. In addition to my ideas for how the site could be used, Ron was bursting with ideas, and a list of potential projects the headquarters site could hold was expanded to include projects such as a campground, wood gas generation and black smith shop, and classes. Later, when reviewing the Village expectations, anything involving visitors or energy generation was removed from the project list. The renovation of an old barn foundation proved impractical, so $2,000 in a designated gift has migrated to be a purchased storm shelter, requiring welded seats to become a pole shift shelter demo.
Arriving on September 25, 1999 in a U-Haul, I was anticipating several visitors who had invited themselves, ostensibly to help with the projects and cleanup. Various other drop-ins arrived too, expecting a chat with me at a minimum. House Rules and eventually rules about Participation on projects developed to control this trend. The private residence that I paid for and maintained had become a rooming house and subject to the agendas of others. The project list that the headquarters was expected to support expanded again with a designated gift in January, 2000, which specified a large short wave radio antenna and light duty farm equipment. As the Seed TEAM productivity had proven disappointing, the Troy Bilt tiller would be used to grow seed in dedicated acreage, and since no other site existed to support the short wave project, the antenna would be erected in one of the yards. A second large donation in January, 2000 supported UNIX server assembly, which likewise would be setup in the headquarters somewhere, as no other secure site existed.
In the year that has passed, I as the exhausted homeowner have found myself fending off demanding visitors, running a rooming house, and working projects that were never intended to be my primary focus. ZetaTalk has suffered, as did web wrapping the Troubled Times content. Where I expected an office and hydro/aquaponics lab in the basement, I found myself tending hundreds of seedlings and weeding an acre of gardens, gathering and drying seed, collecting earthworms at dawn, pleading the case for a 70 high radio antenna before the Village Board, researching availability of a T1 line, coordinating assembly of UNIX servers, discussing the possibility of a Green Card for what looked to be an earthworm recipe developing chef, and running a rooming house. Having invested every dime available on the purchase and cleanup of an old house, exhausting all retirement funds, I found myself physically exhausted too and barely able to make regular monthly payments on charge cards.
Its time for a change. The headquarters offer was never intended to be a rooming house arrangement, or to host visitors who invite themselves, or to be a farm for seed production, or to host short wave radio activities, or to host a rack of servers, or to allow welding equipment on site. It was intended to be an office, a single room sharing a reception area, with a mailing permit at the local PO, with a hydroponics and aquaculture lab in the basement and space for static demonstrations of solutions such as wetlands use, houseboat, and bermed metal roofed shelters. I, as the homeowner, am cutting back to this original offer for this physical place of business, and omitting any projects not already in operation at this site. I, as the homeowner, currently owe the nonprofit funds prepaid toward room and board of visitors, and over $1,000 spent on the cleanup of the storm shelter site. Since the cottage has been renovated at my expense, it can be occupied by Ron as a rental unit, at $100/month plus utility expenses, in place of room and board in the main house. Both Ron and I have decided not to work on seed production next year, though the equipment is available in this area of rich Wisconsin soil and ample water for someone else to use for this purpose.
In that I anticipate increased exposure in the media, and am working on numerous projects which are heating up, I want to cut back my involvement with the nonprofit in the near future. Under no circumstances will the corporation be impacted by an abrupt disruption of support. There are is no other physical place of business, stable and secure, and until such time as this can be arranged the front room arrangement for office space stands. The hydro/aquaponics lab in the basement has a schedule for the next year during which important lessons on the ability to grow hydroponics in fish water and worm vermiculite will be learned. This setup, and the experiments planned, should continue to completion unless another stable and secure site for the lab emerges. Ron has determined that a short wave tower is not needed at this time, so locating a more permanent site for this antenna can wait. Where 2000 saw an upsurge in donations to the nonprofit, midyear 2000 is seeing an upsurge in participation in projects, offers of help from around the country and world. In all of this, Ron has been central and key, and I frankly see him moving more strongly into a leadership position.
With the strenghtening of the Board, following the midyear election currently underway, I will tender my resignation as President at the next Board Meeting, August 20th. A committee of 6 Board members operates in place of the President, per the Bylaws, and the corporation has a strong and steady Treasurer and Secretary. It has been my pleasure to support the birth and development of the Troubled Times web site and nonprofit, but my primary role as ZetaTalk emissary and related projects came before these, and I must now drop back to these efforts as they are and will suffer unless I withdraw. I trust everyone will understand.