The Pandora Papers and Facebook’s face-plant

On 4 Oct 2021 the Pandora Papers were released amidst much hoopla about exposing some of the most corrupt leaders and billionaires on the planet. Featured in Western mainstream news, unsurprisingly, was Vladimir Putin. Putin’s face loomed the largest in The Guardian’s coverage of the papers, yet he was not directly singled out as one of the soiled leaders. That automatically raised suspicions amongst the independent media. Then, later that day Facebook and its subsidiaries (WhatsApp and Instagram) went down as well. So the big question is, what was really going on and what does the astrology for the day say about it?

We’ll just dive right in and get to the heart of the release of the Pandora papers. The chart for noon in Washington with transits and directions is below (bigger):

This post brings in a dimension that has gotten little if any notice on this site, and that is the use of asteroids in astrology. It is that upon which we will focus in this post because it adds a particular element that will serve to work against the source of the Pandora Papers in the long run, though other planetary dynamics will be added toward the end. The asteroids should not be ignored, as they add a real finesse to astrological interpretation. There is actually an asteroid called Pandora, and to no one’s surprise, it featured strongly on the day. It is shown on the chart in the red box to the left.

55 Pandora was in a partile conjunction with retrograde Mercury on the day, both of them approaching a square with Pluto, within 2°, as well as 2° away from a conjunction with transiting Eris. All that is particularly significant for the United States and it figures in the US chart. What all this suggests is the Pandora Papers were put forward as a divisive initiative, as will be outlined below. It was not simply an exposé on tax havens and corruption. Eris is the planet associated with discord, and upon her golden apple, from her mythology, were inscribed the words, “To the fairest”. That will have a significance later on in this post.

A couple of simple interpretations for the Mercury/Pandora conjunction would be words spoken with ill intent that have a way of causing harm long thereafter, or news received from an malign source meant to cause long-term harm, or lastly, nervous troubles caused by ill-conceived actions or interactions. Mercury/Pandora can also result in blow-back from news meant to cause unrest in another. It is this latter interpretation that will probably hold true for the Wstern powers as a result of the Pandora Papers. Here is what we know about the asteroid:

Pandora is a rather large asteroid in the Main Belt, at about 67 km in mean diameter, and the 55th named asteroid. It named itself after Pandora of Greek mythology:

“It is named after Pandora, the first woman in Greek mythology, who unwisely opened a box that released evil into the world. The name was apparently chosen by Blandina Dudley, widow of the founder of the Dudley Observatory, who had been involved in an acrimonious dispute with astronomer B. A. Gould. Gould felt that the name had an “apt significance”. The asteroid shares its name with Pandora, a moon of Saturn.”

For more on the mythology, there is this:

“PANDORA was the first mortal woman who was formed out of clay by the gods. The Titan Prometheus was once assigned the task of creating the race of man. He afterwards grew displeased with the mean lot imposed on them by the gods and so stole fire from heaven. Zeus was angered and commanded Hephaistos (Hephaestus) and the other gods create the first woman Pandora, endowing her with beauty and cunning. He then had her delivered to Prometheus’ foolish younger brother Epimetheus as a bride. Zeus gave Pandora a storage jar (pithos) as a wedding gift which she opened, releasing the swarm of evil spirits trapped within. These would forever after plague mankind. Only Elpis (Hope) remained behind, a single blessing to ease mankind’s suffering.”

The Greek myth echoes that of the Biblical Eve of the Garden of Eden. The discovery chart for 55 Pandora echoes the mythology. We will not cover that here. But the bolded text is of particular interest here, as it applies to what the Pandora Papers actually represent and what is likely to be returned to the US in kind. There are several things to parse regarding these papers.

The Pandora Papers are comprised of close to 12 million ‘leaked’ documents, described as follows:

“The leak exposed the secret offshore accounts of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state as well as more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders. The news organisations of the ICIJ described the document leak as their most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet, containing documents, images, emails and spreadsheets from 14 financial service companies, in nations including Panama, Switzerland and the UAE…”

It is dubious these documents were leaked. It is more likely they were a dump from US and UK intelligence services. The reason a leak is dubious is as follows, from MoonofAlabama:

“There is however not hint of how these papers were acquired. Who had gained access to them? How? What was the chain of custody for these? Are these the complete files of those 14 companies or were some removed before publishing? Which ones? Are all of those files authenticated and verified or is some forged material mixed in between them?

Unfortunately none of the reports about the ‘leak’ I have read has covered those questions. But there are at least two big hints that these ‘Pandora papers’ are, like the ‘Panama papers’ five years ago, and the ‘Paradise papers’ four years ago, part of an ‘information operation’ by the usual 5-eyes suspects, the secret services of the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand…”

At which point the explanation is given in that post, well worth reading for background. With that background, what does the chart show? The first thing we notice is shown from a picture in the release, shown below (bigger):

What is interesting is what is missing. The US, Australia and New Zealand are shown in white, indicating no corrupt politicians or billionaires, while one of the most heavily colored regions is Russia, with Ukraine right out in front. Compare that with the secrecy locations, shown below (bigger):

The Cayman Islands are shown to have the largest number of secreted locations, while the United States is number 2, ahead of Switzerland, Hong Kong and the UK. Of course, the Caymans are a British Overseas Territory (BOT), so the rating for the UK is a little misleading. When one takes into account all the BOTs, the UK stands way out in front as the world’s leader in secrecy locations.

What the maps tell us is that despite the secrecy locations, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are singularly free of corrupt and corrupting billionaires and politicians – nations pure as the driven snow. That’s sarcasm, by the way. Thereby we see the emphasis of Eris in the release of the documents, seeking to paint Western nations as being ‘fairer’ than the colored nations in the map. We all know corruption is rife throughout the West and has been on the increase since the ‘80s when neoliberalism became the ‘gold standard’ in finance. The number of billionaires worldwide has exploded, along with their increasing control and influence over their respective governments. A little history is in order.

Hong Kong used to be a British colony and it was set up as one of their first secrecy locations/jurisdictions. The recent protests there were partly about protecting those HK tax havens from scrutiny. Where does the UK fit in the scheme of the Pandora Papers? It shows as slightly more corrupt than most nations, and aside from the Ukraine, as the most corrupt in Europe. Oh, but that would be because of the resident Russian oligarchs in London, right? Hardly.

There are a number of Tory MPs and some Labour and Lib Dem peers, too, who have money and controlling interests in overseas tax havens. And that is not counting the Royals, who also have holdings overseas. Major US corporations also run money through those locations. Such activity is largely done to avoid paying taxes.

As the British Empire faded into history, the elites in London began to set up Britain’s 2nd Empire, but instead of land, they focused on finance. This took place largely in the late ‘50s after the Suez crisis and in the ‘60s. The Americans soon caught on and began their own version of the same. There is a video well worth the time which outlines it all, which begins with the following:

“At the twilight of the British Empire, bankers, lawyers and accountants from the City of London set up a spider’s web of offshore secrecy jurisdictions that captured wealth from across the globe and funnelled it to London.”

Take an hour or so and watch the video and then understand why corporations and the wealthy pay little tax if any. With this background in mind and looking at the maps and the chart again, what are the Pandora Papers really showing us?

The Pandora Papers come in the context of a concerted propaganda campaign by Washington, which we will get to. If we take a closer look at the people named in the papers, we see they are none too favoured by the Beltway. The King of Jordan, for instance, was recently on the phone with Bashar al Assad of Syria, showing signs of normalizing relations between Syria and Jordan, at a time when Washington is trying to stop Syria’s redevelopment. The king featured in the papers. Curiously absent – perhaps not curiously – are any US billionaires or high profile figures. Essentially, the Pandora Papers are a smear campaign against people the US doesn’t like.

On the other side, the Pandora Papers also suggest, without saying so, that US tax havens would be a better bet, such as the 200+ havens recently set up on South Dakota, Alaska, Nevada and Delaware:

“The Pandora Papers contains details on over 200 trusts set up in the U.S. in recent years. In dozens of cases, clients have abandoned more traditional havens, such as the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas, in favor of the U.S. The most popular destination has been South Dakota, where the past decade has seen the value of assets held in trusts reach more than $360 billion. State laws in South Dakota allow for the establishment of secret trusts which don’t have to pay a cent of tax to the state for any earnings.”

For all intents and purposes, the Pandora Papers have all the appearances of an intelligence operation, funded and weaponized by Western institutions and governments. That weaponization is shown, along with the large tranche, by transiting Jupiter trine the US Mars and the transiting Mercury/Pandora/Eris combination. Organizations like the OCCRP and the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), though non-profit, are not unbiased. That they receive their support and funding from the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and solely Western concerns leans toward their support of Western agendas.

Like the Panama Papers five years ago and the Paradise Papers a year later, these were not obtained by leaks from concerned citizens. These were data dumps from intelligence services. When we step back and look at what is developing in the US and UK, a bigger picture emerges.

Recently there was bipartisan support in the US Congress for a $300 million bill called the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021”, aimed at countering China, with another bill being pushed called the “Endless Frontier Act”, which calls for $100 billion over five years to develop ‘technology hubs’ – more likely for weapons research and information tech (cyber warfare). The latter bill is aimed at out-competing with China. It might take a little more than throwing money at US laggardness in that regard.

In the UK they are looking at setting up a headquarters solely for performing cyberattacks in ‘retaliation’ (that’s warfare by any other name) on ‘belligerent states’, meaning Russia and China primarily. This would come at a cost of a cool £5 billion. The unit would be a fifth domain in the UK military infrastructure, dubbed the “Cyber Force”. Skynet comes to mind. This comes at a time when the UK would be better off trading with China and Russia rather than poking at Dragons and Bears. We might recall the UK having troubles even obtaining gasoline recently, and now the higher-ups are pushing for a Cyber Force.

All the activities mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs point to the desire of the US and UK establishments at maintaining their economic supremacy. They have already lost their military supremacy. The recognition of this came with the AUKUS pact and the fall of Afghanistan. The only avenues left at stopping China’s rise and Russia’s as well now are primarily via financial and cyber means, the latter being through propaganda and cyber-warfare.

The propaganda value of the Pandora Papers is seen clearly in the chart of the US, above. The Mercury/Pandora conjunction is in the US 10th house (national prestige) along with transiting Eris, squaring transiting Pluto in the 2nd house (national self-esteem). America’s natal Pluto is in the 2nd house, too, and transiting Pluto is beginning its first Pluto return. Pluto represents the plutocracy that has emerged in the US and its control over banking services. That is all currently under threat, mostly from internal pressures and poor policy, not to mention greed. Why not distract the public and build a case for fighting corruption abroad, while ignoring or covering up one’s own?

The Pandora Papers, without saying so, point out certain unsettling facts:

          • The intelligence services of the US have access to the financial transactions of the rich, powerful and famous worldwide, which means they have access to ours as well, should they desire to look.
          • The US is going to use these papers as fuel for increased lawfare. The Atlantic Council just put out an article saying as much, say the fight against corruption unites the parties in the US and that Biden should use that push to unite the nation.
          • They expose the UK as the fulcrum and backbone of capitalism worldwide, while the US tries to whitewash its own. This does not help the ‘special relationship’, either
          • They go on to further show the public where all their tax revenue is going – not into infrastructure and social programs, but into building dynasties of wealth.
          • To those paying attention, the papers expose their rank propaganda value for the media, as seen in the Guardian article where Putin was the big standout and the US hardly featured, except as an advertisement for tax havens in the US. The Guardian is a known Russophobic publication.
          • They also show an aspect of destabilizing activities by Western governments in other nations, with the featuring of King Abdullah of Jordan, for example.
          • The US is doing the same thing as Wikileaks, as in dumping data certain people would rather not have the public see now, but is doing it for its own purposes, some of it malign.

        The information warfare the US is engaging in now is shown by the Pluto return across from the US Mercury – control of the narrative – with the transiting Mercury/Pandora conjunction also square the US Mercury. There is a double Mercury/Pluto emphasis here. Added to the mix as well is the transiting conjunction is also applying to transiting Eris, itself in partile square to transiting Pluto and the US Mercury.

      • The oligarchy in the US is fighting for its survival. In turn, that transiting conjunction was sextile to the US Neptune, showing a successful intelligence operation, as the US Neptune is also receiving a Neptune opposition by transit. Propaganda, as the Pandora Papers should rightly be called, is being strongly pushed now.

        However, given all the preceding what will the likely effect of the Pandora Papers be? The UK for instance routinely drags its feet on legislation to rein in corruption. The same is true in the US. It is like tasking the Mafia with conducting an audit of its ranks to root out criminal activity. What will likely happen instead is blowback for the UK, and later for the US. That said, it is always better to expose corruption, but the exposure needs to be across the board, something which both the US and the UK are loathe to do.

        It is probably appropriate this latest tranche of data is called Pandora. It comes at a time when the Western world is on edge and the capitalists know their neoliberal project is in serious trouble. It is the very same neoliberal project that has given rise to the vast wealth that is routinely and hourly pumped into these secrecy jurisdictions. With any luck at all (for us) it will unleash a Pandora’s box of troubles for the ruling elites of the world, especially across the West.

        We can expect very soon, as in over the next few years, that canaries worldwide will start singing. Once one world leader has to fall on his sword, or Tory MP for that matter, it is human nature that person is likely to spill the beans on his ‘comrades’ in an effort to lighten his own demise.

        With that, we leave the Pandora Papers for now and have a very quick look at Facebook, because the astrology and transits just described can work along other lines. On 4 October 2021, Facebook and its subsidiaries, as well as many businesses who rely on Facebook for connections, saw outages lasting over 6 hours. We’ll look at Facebook and Big Tech in a forthcoming post. And as it turns out, Facebook, along with the American oligarchy, are also facing existential decline and crisis. The latter will be discussed in the upcoming Libra letter on the main site. Mercury retrograde has a hand in such blackouts, and with its square to Pluto and trine to Jupiter, it was a big outage. Add Pandora into the mix, and we saw a host of difficulties come to light.

        That downtime for Facebook was the longest in its history. Servers often go down for an hour or so, but 6 – 7 hours is unheard of. Speaking of Pandora, Facebook’s stock price fell 5% (a big hit) and Zuckerberg lost $7 billion in wealth. Software engineers had to break into the building to fix the problem because their key cards would not work in the doors. The root cause of the outage was put down to a ‘glitch’, very possible under Mercury retrograde.

        There is probably no connection between the Pandora Papers and the Facebook outage. On the other hand, the outage could also have been caused by internal sabotage and is being covered up. That would be consistent with retrograde Mercury square to Pluto, especially with Pandora’s involvement. And given the propaganda value, we should probably not be at all surprised to see articles coming out of the mainstream that this was some kind of cyber-attack by a ‘malign foreign actor’ (any guesses as to who?).

        The blackout was worldwide, not just in the US. People actually had to talk to each other or even go outside because they could not spend time staring into their phones or computers and getting their little endorphin rush from likes and friends’ posts. And more importantly, people were given a taste of what life would be like if, all of sudden, all their social media went down. Imagine having to look at our own issues for days on end instead of zoning out at a screen. Talk about Pandora!

        This little episode, mildly irritating though it was for the public, was a bigger concern for businesses. Some businesses rely on Facebook for revenue streams, as they advertise through the platform. They also connect to certain apps and sites through Facebook. The episode also showed the desirability of breaking off the subsidiaries from the parent company, as in monopoly busting. I can live without Facebook as entertainment, for instance (I don’t in any way get my news from there and can do without cute animal photos), but when WhatsApp went down communication with family and friends became more difficult. That brings up another point.

        I am also on Telegram, which was operating very nicely throughout the Face-palm episode, just to note there are alternatives. Telegram got 50 million new subscribers as a result of Facebook being down for so long.

        In all, the Facebook face-palm showed the necessity (I would say) of breaking up the monopoly Big Tech, of having alternatives handy (I wasn’t quite to the point of using the old pushbutton landline) and of getting out more. In all, this has been a very interesting study of a little asteroid who can pack a punch in the right conditions. Pandora, as a final note, also shows us where our own cunning and sense narcissism can bring us undone. The Pandora Papers may eventually serve just that purpose in time for the secrecy jurisdictions in the US and UK, too. And the folks at Facebook are no doubt having prayer meetings in their headquarters, meaning ‘vigorous discussions’ as to what went wrong.

        Featured pic from ICIJ

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