Questions that have been popping up more frequently as it pertains to the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project process and spending are:
“…how did things get this far, how did they spend this much without anything to show for it…”.
While the questions are valid, the dynamics surrounding them are a little more complicated.
The Fargo Moorhead Diversion Authority (FMDA) started with a concept called the Fargo Southside Flood Control Project (for which FEMA withdrew its funding and support), then expanded the scope under the false pretenses of the “greater good” and morphed it into a cult centered around money, development, flood plain encroachment and the usurping of individual property rights.
Generally speaking, there are 4 basic types of cults.
|Category||Type – Trait|
|Psychological||Self Help / Enlightenment|
|Commercial||Pyramid and Multi-Level Marketing Schemes|
|Political||Organized around a political dogma or agenda. Nazism was originally a cult.|
www.workingpsychology.com defines a Cult as:
“…a group of people who organize around a strong authority figure. Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. However, to achieve these ends, destructive cults employ a potent mixture of influence techniques and deception to attain psychological control over members and new recruits…”
There are basic steps in creating a cult:
|Name Your Agenda||Fargo Diversion Authority; etal|
|Empower your agenda with a common focus, but insulate your hierarchy.||Metro Area Joint Powers Authority – Member etities are appointed, not elected by population. Power is “derived” under the auspices of extended powers from political entities.|
|Constant Reminder||Fear of Flooding, FEMA Flood Insurance. Use propaganda claiming $15 billion loss if Fargo floods.|
|Easy Buy-In||Prey on fears, invent a crisis, use deception and make false claims of flood control being needed for 20,000 homes.|
|Make it Ambiguous||Keep people confused; Terminology, FEMA 100 year Level, EOE Hydrology, Existing vs With-Project Conditions, Impact Area, Historical Flood Levels, CFS Hydrology, Staging and Storage, Walaker’s Laser Light Show – avoid specific issues that could reveal true intentions (ie: control structure, embankment = dam)|
|Establish a Standard||EOE Flood Levels vs FEMA|
|Prophecy||Prognosticate future weather conditions years, if not decades into the future. Yet, repeatedly miss short-term flood forecasts by several feet and ignore flaws in methods and flood prophecies.|
|Use Symbolism||Flood Pictures, using the late Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker sound bites in commercials during NDSU Bison games.|
|Define an Opposing Force||Farmers, Drain-tiling, Downstream and Upstream Impacts, Richland Wilkin JPA, MNDak Upstream Coalition, Minnesota DNR, MN Governor Mark Dayton, MN Representative Paul Marquart, U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson.|
|Create a perceived Evil and be Intolerant||Opponents are against Fargo flood control.|
|Overstate Authority||Extort public trust, claim someone has to make the hard decisions and fabricate an air of honesty and respectability to distort people’s perceptions. Claim that those in power are the “enlightened” and the only ones capable of delivering the masses from imminent flood destruction.|
Behold, the cult of FMDA, their EOE (Expert Opinion Elicitation) prophets, disciples (seated board members, contractors), ministers (talking heads, spokespersons, co-opted media and “hack” talk radio hosts), followers (project proponents).
I know, sounds kinda far fetched doesn’t it?
Then ask yourself who financially benefits from this project “in the present” for a theoretical flood threat, based on junk science, that has not been scientifically proven and may never occur?
Remember, in 23 years (1993-2016) Fargo, ND spent a cumulative total of $36.9 million on all flood fights…, yet has pumped $262.7 million into a project that has not turned a shovel of dirt for the dam or diversion channel, nor provided any measure of certified flood protection for the FM metro area.
So how is this all implemented?
|1. Submission to Leadership||Diversion Official members view themselves as the exalted unto themselves, absolute appointed authority determining the direction of metro and regional flood protection without public oversight. Lesser members are manipulated by the core agenda and leaders refuse any alternative water ideologies.
Fargo’s development agenda, under the guise of the FMDA cult, insists that property owners without representation must submit to the will of the FMDA and accept permanent restrictions on land use to benefit the FMDA agenda.
|2. Polarized View of Fargo||Fargo is all things to the Red River Valley and all flood levels are tied to Fargo’s river gage. Flood protection that will foster natural flood development is good, all other viewpoints are bad.|
|3. Feeling Over Thought||Appointed leaders are tired of fighting floods and adherence to unproven theoretical (EOE) assumptions are promoted as more important than rational conclusions.|
|4. Manipulation of Feelings||Use of overstated EOE hydrology is used to create fear of greater floods and pit mandatory FEMA flood insurance against the dam and diversion doctrines.|
|5. Denigration of Critical Thinking||Open disdain and mis-characterization of any independent thought as selfish, and any rational use of intellect as evil. Fargo Mayor, Tim Mahoney and Diversion Chair, Darrell Vanyo have often referred to critical thought as being “un-informed” or someone that “doesn’t understand the project”.
FMDA cult leaders orchestrated a hostile environment that hampered public dissent and criticism of the corrupt DPAC assessment process and vote. Meeting planners attempted to dispense with an open Questions and Answers forum to impose a written question that were paraphrased, summarized or summarily dismissed.
Recent questions advanced by Fargo city commissioners on funding, permitting and scope of the entire project have been met with contempt and ridicule by propopents.
|6. Salvation, Protection or Fulfillment can only be realized via the Fargo Diversion Authority; etal||Diversion leaders proclaim the dam and diversion project as the only solution to preserve the Fargo area and the economic engine for the state.|
|7. End Justifies the Means||Fargo’s land grab must occur and diversion must be built, no matter what the cost. Despite considerable funding obstacles and rising costs, the pervasive mission to advance the project is regarded as greater than the sum of the parts. FMDA Cult Leaders corruptly gerry-mandered the DPAC vote to encumber properties for future potential taxation. Fargo Mayor, Tim Mahoney and other Diversion Cult Leaders suggest that extending sales taxes to tax future generations, that will be denied a right to vote on said taxation, as justifiable to achieve Diversion Cult goals. Any threat to the afore-mentioned are met with a coercive threat of mandatory flood insurance for the largest city in the state.
Despite the Buffalo Red River Watershed District refusal to pass the FY2015 and FY2016 FMDA budget, the FMDA formed an adhoc Dakota Chapter outside the FMDA charter JPA to force the FMDA agenda at all costs.
Additionally, efforts to encumbered taxpayer with funding via P3 funding options are disingenuously being used to justify advancing a project that is not financially sound.
|8. Group Over Individual||The FMDA has willfully disregarded Minnesota’s state agencies and advanced the FMDA agenda claiming the FMDA has a federal project and is not subject to Minnesota state agencies, despite contrary wording in the FEIS indicating that all state permits must be obtained.|
|9. Warnings of severe sanctions for defection or criticism of the FMDA||Former Mayor Dennis Walaker threatened to print the names of project opponents on the front page of the paper to peer pressure to quell opponents. Likewise, Fargo Mayor, Tim Mahoney disseminated a letter reminding major businesses that DPAC voting is an open record and media would will be interested in how organizations voted. Blatantly, resorting to threats of public shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control support for the FMDA project.
In addition, hyper-inflated population statistics are disseminated to federal, state and local media to cajole support for FMDA project.
Example: 1 in 5 North Dakotan’s would be protected by the FMDA project. Despite 80 percent of North Dakotan’s receiving ZERO benefit from the proposed project.
|10. Severing of Ties with Past, Family, Friends, Goals, and Interests||Essentially, a philosophy of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”. Critical discussion and viewpoints of the FMDA project is perceived as a “toxic” viewpoint that must be avoided. Opponents of the FMDA project have been encouraged to curb their dissent to maintain a positive working environment by fear reprisals to themselves or others. Property owners, such as in Oxbow, ND – that do not align ideologies in favor of the FMDA project and OHB ring-dike have described a hostile environment where independent thought is ostracized.|
|11. Barratrous Abuse||The FMDA and agents working on their behalf resort to threat of impending legal action to advance the FMDA project and intimidate FMDA critics into silence. Including, but not limited to, right of entry, eminent domain, quick take – eminent domain, condemnation, takings, forced construction easement, forced water easements and economic blight to coerce property acquisitions.
The FMDA, on several occasions, used overtones of legal action to force Minnesota to pay “its portion” of the proposed project.
The newly proposed FMDA JPA agreement establishes a framework to sue FMDA members that do not comply with the FMDA agendas or that pursue litigation against member that may choose to discontinue their association with the FMDA.
The FMDA cult and various talking heads rely on deception, dis-information, mis-information and agenda driven narratives to blur the relationship between propaganda and reality; keeping people confused to ensure that nobody can be really be certain WHAT they believe, because it is all so nonsensical to begin with.
Here are 10 tips to protect yourself against the FMDA cult?
1. Avoid FMDA boards or individuals who claim to know what’s best for you.
2. Develop your assertiveness: learn to say NO.
3. Value your doubts about the FMDA and control feelings of inferiority.
4. Develop your critical thinking skills. Question EVERYTHING the FMDA says and does.
5. DO NOT rely on verbal or inferred promises made by the FMDA.
6. DO NOT trust that the FMDA and its agents are experts working to protect YOU.
7. REJECT theoretical assumptions advanced by the EOE (Expert Opinion Elicitation).
8. Always determine who stands to gain monetarily.
9. Know that your value is not determined by the FMDA.
10. Lawyer UP! Protect your rights and interests and oppose every FMDA legal action.