Aqeela Sherrills’ Response to John Robbins Critique

By Aqeela Sherrills

This is in response to John Robbins' Critique of THRIVE, which you can read here:

To see the full dialogue between the Thrive Filmmakers and Pioneers, and to add any comments, please visit:

I read John Robbins email and was left with a question of what's his response really about? In his analysis of the film, he eloquently argues that he agree's with 90% of what was articulated in the film. Then, he contradicts himself by saying that the ideas are "dangerously misguided"???. Is this another ego motivated article to capitalize off of the success of THRIVE and an attempt to discredit it's producers? I ask this question because all John does in the article is appropriate most of Foster's ideas and regurgitate them back on paper. Most of what John says he disagrees with are his OPINION and a matter of perspective, whereas all of the films ideas and opinions are back up with research and data.

for example, John states:

"Thrive promotes the idea that the U.N. and world treaties are the work of evil-doers intent on total world domination. These institutions are far from perfect, but it was only through the concerted efforts of the global health community and the World Health Organization that smallpox, perhaps the killer of more humans than any other disease in world history, was eradicated."

Tell that to the Native American who have been virtually annihilated by "smallpox" when it was PURPOSELY put into blankets and given to their families by the U.S. Government! Tell that to the millions of Black Americans who have been experimented on by the global elite in the name of advancing medical technology---read Dr. Harriet Washington's book Global Aparthied, which chronicles these heinous acts perpetrated humanity. And the World Health Organization?? be serious, these folks were distributing AIDS -laden condoms to South Africans and got that if you need proof.

This film is not about a perfect society, it point out the imperfection so that we can take a proactive approach in address the root causes of the problems.

If you want to disassociate yourself from the film, that's great. But when you start attaching the character of the producers with your own opinion, which is backed by NOTHING but your words and who you purport to be in the world, I take issue with that and i believe that there's a shadow behind the disassociating of these folks that's not being named.

John claims that they were never given the opportunity to view the film before it was released?? I appeared in the film and was invited, like John, to view the film. He declined to come. There has been ample opportunity for him to view the film. John literally lives a few miles from the Gambles.

Here, John shares his well stated OPINION about why he is disassociating himself with the film;

"This (THRIVE) way of thinking has an allure, for it distracts and absolves us from the troubling truth that the real source of the problem is in all of us, and in the economic systems we have collectively produced. If the ills of the world are the deliberate intentions of malevolent beings, then we don’t have to take responsibility for our problems because they are being done to us. Thinking this way may provide the momentary comfort of feeling exonerated, but it is ultimately disempowering, because it undermines our desire to be accountable for the way our own thoughts and actions help to create the environmental degradation and vast social inequity of the world in which we live."

The truth is "We" DID NOT produce the economic system that is robbing us all blind. We are PERPETUATING it out of ignorance and fear. Historically, when we've challenged the elite who controls the system, they will go to any length (discredit, maim and murder) to maintain there control. The film exposes those who created and benefit the most from this unbalanced economic system. How can one take responsibility for something they DID NOT create, let alone understand? This is why the film is so powerful because it gives context and presents SOLUTIONS.

NOW Here's the bomb.

In his December 2010 article "Who's done more damage, Madoff or Greenspan", John share a insightful story after losing all of his money with Madoff. He states,

"I didn't even know who Madoff was prior to his arrest"

This is an OUTRIGHT LIE! The truth is, John knew for at least 2 years exactly who Madoff was. He was challenged by a few of my colleagues when we discovered that he and another board member unilaterally invested the organization funds in Madoff without the expressed permission of the entire board. We fought with him over the fact that he nor his advisor new how Madoff was making this huge return on these investment. We specifically said, "Someone is profiting at the expense of other in this dynamic and we will have nothing to do with it". Especially since he didn't know how the funds were being invested".

Although we successfully pulled the organization funds out of Madoff, John's response was to liquidate his personal assets and invest everything in Madoff! A few month later, we had an emergency board meeting in which John shared he lost all of his money. He never acknowledge that we told him so, nor did he ever apologize to my colleagues! Im no ones judge, however John lost his money because he was GREEDY! I can deal with the greed, but when you write an article talking about you didn't know who Madoff was, it makes me question your character and integrity.

How does this relate to the film? Well, words carry a lot of weight. Especially when they come from sector leaders in the culture, like John. The film challenges the very idea of how the global elite maintain power and control and in the aforementioned debacle, John is perpetuating the problem. He did no research into Madoff or maybe he did and just ignored what he saw because Madoff was apart of the "Global Elite" circle. That's what the facts show. Now, you want to challenge a film that exposes these people and yet won't expose your own shadow?? WAKE UP!!!!!!

And for the record, I don't agree with EVERYTHING in the film, however the little that doesn't resonate is so insignificant that its not even worth mentioning.

Kimberly and Foster are two of the most integral people I know. The film is profound! and the world is better because of it. Thanks for exposing the global elite agenda and thank you for the SOLUTIONS you offer.