Appalachian Basin

Presenting, From the Wild Side – The Flowback (Part 1)

A publication called The Flowback has turned heads in the Southern Tier but it turns out the entire thing is not only fatally flawed, but also financed by some very wealthy NIMBY types using an eccentric UFO follower as the author.

Denise LaTourette, in a guest post on this site, recently debunked a newsletter known as The Flowback, which has been distributed throughout the Southern Tier and has been recommended by Chip Northrup.  Northrup suggests the author deserves financial support for her efforts, indicating the anti-natural gas community views this propaganda as valuable ammunition in their campaign to deny New Yorkers clean, safe and economical energy, not to mention a whole lot of jobs.

Fred Dicker, the well known investigative reporter at the New York Post who also does a regular radio program and frequently interviews Governor Andrew Cuomo, destroyed The Flowback in a piece that appeared on October 22 in the New York Post.  He noted, as did Denise, its publishers incorrectly attributed destruction in a photo depicting mountaintop mining operations to natural gas operations.  Dicker also related some of the dubious history of Bonnie Jones Reynolds the author of the newsletter.  Dicker, in just a few words, shredded Reynolds’ credibility, but there is still more to know.

Bonnie Jones Reynolds is a former actress, dancer, model, magician’s assistant and novelist who, in addition to running a farm sanctuary, engaging in mental telepathy with animals and attacking natural gas development, also claims to have “experienced poltergeist activity” and is a self-declared UFO expert.

Logo of ISIS Paranormal Radio

She participated in a radio program called ISIS Paranormal Radio on December 18, 2010, for example, where she told her hosts our ancestors made depictions of aliens as long as 29,000 years ago (4:00), there are several “different models of spacecraft” (4:35) and “without a shadow of doubt, we have been visited again and again by extraterrestrial beings and alien visitors.”

She goes on to say it is “very possible aliens are coming in to convert us to their religion” (34:40), having preceded this suggestion with several bizarre interpretations of Biblical incidents.  She also offers some equally bizarre theories about our world being a hologram or something (38:20).  Frankly, it’s hard to follow.

Reynolds goes on to talk about seeing two flying objects in Australia (45:10) and a number of other incidents in her life that will raise eyebrows, including still another flying saucer on fire over Utica, New York (48:50).  There’s much more though worth knowing about Reynolds and the website promoting this particular program offers some additional insights worth noting:

After becoming a successful novelist and while on tour for the Confetti Man, Bonnie experienced poltergeist activity on the road and at home.  Strange clawings, footsteps, and electrical malfunctions occurred causing incredible difficulties during Bonnie’s interviews: cameras would malfunction, lights would go out, and recorders would fail repeatedly.  After moving to Sidney Australia, her experiences continued.  She experienced a spiritual rebirth in the 1980’s after encountering the books of Seth. Tonight, she re-joins us on the show to discuss her personal UFO experiences and the theories about the connection between the Bible and alien activity.

A cursory review of Reynolds written works reveals the depth of her odd beliefs.  Confetti Man, ranked #2,898,633 on Amazon, was labelled “surreal and hypnotic” by a reviewer.  The Truth About Unicorns, reaching #994,998 on Amazon, received admiring reviews from some readers regarding its strange tales and tone with one noting, “The struggle is truthfully and touchingly portrayed in a setting that has supernatural, mythical, and more sinister satanical elements as its backdrop…”  No doubt.

Reynolds is also a devotee of Seth Speaks, a book described by an Amazon reviewer as “channeling the voice of a spiritual entity who was once a 4th-century Pope.”

Further illustrating her far out views is this description from her own website:

Most importantly, through my talented friend and business partner, Dawn Hayman, I learned of, and began to practice, Interspecies, or Animal, Communication, which is based, quite simply, on the realization that telepathy is the language of the Universe, and that all things, both living and seemingly inanimate, are in constant communication through telepathy. Every particle of the Universe is in complete communication with all other particles. Because each particle is part of the true god All That Is.  Interspecies Communication is the recognition and utilization of the language of All That Is.

Bonnie Jones Reynolds

Well, that’s certainly interesting.  You can read more about it and her Spring Farm CARES organization here.  It is a non-profit corporation known officially as Spring Farm Center Alternative Research Education Sanctuary, which had net assets of $20,529,891 in 2010 according to their tax return.  The group’s 2003 tax return indicates it was depreciating $44,394 of assets in fine art, oriental rugs and jewelry.  Chip, if you’re reading this, you might want to put a stop-payment request on that check you wrote.  Reynolds’ organization apparently doesn’t need it.

Reynolds tells us The Flowback is funded with assistance from the Sustainable Markets Foundation. This organization doesn’t seem to have a website, perhaps, for good reason as it is a pass-through entity that other organizations use to fund activities like The Flowback.  The story on the Sustainable Markets Foundation from an environmentalist perspective is told in this piece, the following being some of the most relevant excerpts: is registered by Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF). Who is on the SMF Board of Directors?  Of three board members cited, one name is listed. Her name is Elizabeth Hitchcock. Hitchcock is public health advocate for US PIRG and the US PIRG Education Fund. Hitchcock researches and conducts advocacy campaigns. Prior to becoming public health advocate, she served for eleven years as the Communications Director for US PIRG, working with the program and field staffs of the state PIRGs to release reports to the national and local media. Prior to joining the US PIRG staff in 1990, she worked on a number of environmental campaigns with PIRGs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and Florida.

The domain belongs to that of a Jay RHalfon. An associate of Rockefeller, Jay RHalfon is also listed as the executive and Director & General Counsel of Sustainable Markets Foundation.

Halfon was executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), with over 25 offices throughout New York State, for a decade ending in 1997.

Halfon is a practicing attorney specializing in the law of tax exempt organizations and a public policy strategist. He represents tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, private foundations, advocacy groups and political entities. From May 1998 to December 2001 Mr. Halfon served as executive director and general counsel of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a broad range of experience influencing public policy in both Congress and state legislatures. He is the director of Earthworks and former Director of TechRocks.  TechRocks came into play from the merged operations of the Rockefeller Technology Project and Desktop Assistance.

The Sustainable Markets Foundation, as the reader may have guessed from the above, is funded by the Rockefeller family and is closely allied with 350.0rg, Bill McKibben’s organization, which is also financed by the famous family.  Both organizations are also closely connected to Attorney Jay Halfon, who represents New York’s trial lawyers and Ralph Nader’s lawsuit rainmaker PIRG groups.  Specifically, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave the Sustainable Markets Foundation $603,000 between 2008 and 2010.

Their 2010 tax return explains something else, on page 8 of the return (page 12 of the pdf) – namely that Walter Hang’s Toxic Targeting enterprise was paid $281,000 that year for services.  Given that Toxic Targeting is a provider of Phase I Environmental Database Services provider and the Foundation is an unlikely user of such services in this bulk (a typical Phase 1 audit might cost $5,000 or less), it’s fair to assume this was compensation for Walter’s anti-natural gas activities.  Surely, he felt right at home doing it, having been an employee of Nader’s PIRG groups in the past.

Even more interesting is another of the funders of the Sustainable Markets Foundation, the Park Foundation.  The latter has provided the former with $150,000 to date in 2012 to  support “Frack Action,” finance the “Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy,” which “assembles and disseminates peer-reviewed research and information on hydrofracking,” and “help coordinate the broad movement of opposition to shale gas drilling in New York.”

Altogether, the Park Foundation has funneled $562,000 through the Sustainable Markets Foundation since 2009, meaning the Park and Rockefeller families (which also fund NRDC, of course) have given this entity a minimum of almost $1.2 million over the last four years to help fund natural gas opposition.  This includes not only projects such as The Flowback, but also Gas Free Seneca, the less than cordial opponent of Inergy’s propane storage facility in Watkins Glen and Water Defense’s “Water for Dimock” campaign.   Then, there’s Frack Action, of course, and the Coalition to Protect New York plus a host of other similar groups pretending to be grass roots organizations.

The Flowback, as it turns out, is just another piece of ammunition in the arsenal of two wealthy NIMBY families opposed to natural gas development in New York and operating under various guises.  This, by itself, is enough to dismiss the whole thing as propaganda, but it’s worse than that, as Fred Dicker so aptly illustrated with his expose.  The most fundamental facts from the The Flowback are not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong.  More on that tomorrow.


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