Dave Foreman, RIP

I just learned yesterday that Dave Foreman had died last September at the age of 75. This got me to thinking and wondering about him, how genuine he was, and how real the group he helped found, Earth First!, was. I long suspected that EF! was an Intel front, used to demonize real environmental groups, a large blackwashing effort. The group was certainly divisive. I remember sitting at a restaurant up in northwest Montana, where a cooler sported a bumper sticker that said

Earth First!
We’ll mine the other planets later.

The reason I am now suspicious of Foreman and Earth First! is one of its leaders from Mendocino County, California, Judi Bari. She was a high-profile environmentalist who died at the young age of 47 in 1997.

Hers was an interesting life. She married Mike Sweeney in 1979, and they divorced in 1988, sharing custody of two daughters. On May 24, 1990 she was driving a car with friend Darryl Cherney when a pipe bomb planted under her seat went off, leaving her with severe injuries. She was subsequently arrested by the Oakland Police Department for transporting that bomb. Those charges were dropped in 1991. She subsequently sued OPD and the FBI for damages stemming from the investigation of the bombing. Though she died in 1991 (breast cancer) the case was found in her favor in 2002, and damages were awarded to her estate.

Subsequent to the car bombing, a small newspaper in California, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, mounted what appeared to be a smear campaign, publicly accusing Bari’s ex-husband of planting the bomb. The owner/editor of that paper, Bruce Anderson, repeatedly mounted the charge against Sweeney. I wondered at the time why Sweeney did not sue, presuming that his guilt forced him to keep quiet.

Bari lived in Santa Rosa at the time of her death. Had she lived, she would today be 73 years of age.

OK, let’s cut the bullshit. Bari was not car bombed, her legal proceedings were fake, as was her death. People around her were too, it appears, including Bruce Anderson. She was a spook, a paid agent provocateur. She is alive and well, living in Santa Rosa, not even bothering to change her name!

I was long suspicious that the whole Bari/Cherney/Sweeney thing was faked, that there was no car bombing, that Bruce Anderson knew her car bombing and later death were faked, and for that reason knew he could publicly accuse Sweeney of planting a bomb that was never planted. Bari was most likely an Intel agent, and when her work wrapped up, she left the scene. What is amazing to me is that she lives openly by her real name in Santa Rosa. (All information on her from Truepeoplesearch agrees with Bari’s Wikipedia page, except that Wiki does not know she is still alive.) (The spelling of her first name, Judi, is not uncommon, but is an additional clue that this is her.)

A while back I contacted Bruce Anderson to see if he was aware that Bari is alive and well. Crickets.

This brings me back to Foreman. Edward Abbey had written a popular work of fiction called The Monkeywrench Gang.  Foreman and associates were said to be inspired by that book,  which was about fictitious sabotage of development out west. Plans in founding Earth First! in the 1980s included industrial sabotage. Foreman, however, while espousing illegal activities, was never accused of any crimes (other than a misdemeanor for handing some literature to an FBI informant). He never spent a day in jail or custody. That makes me suspicious. Was EF!, like Judi Bari, an Intel front?

At age 75, Foreman’s death is certainly real. I wonder if Judi Bari, herself said to be dead, attended services on his passing. She could at least send flowers.

6 thoughts on “Dave Foreman, RIP

  1. In the 1970’s Foreman was employed at The Wilderness Society in New Mexico, later moving up to become their Director of Wilderness Affairs in Washington, DC. I had the unpleasant encounter with his wife, Debbie Sease, a Sierra Club lobbyist in D.C., testified for our 2o million-acre, “all in,” 5-state, ecosystem bill, AND Pat Williams’s wilderness “release” bill that only protected 1.3 million of the 6.5 million roadless acres in Montana — all on the same day at a U.S. House committee hearing.

    I attended one of the national, annual gatherings in Idaho in the 1980s, and entertained myself outing two FBI “undercover scouts” recording speeches hidden in fanny packs. Both had some tell that made them look out of place, although I can’t remember what exactly. Where EF! went, the FBI seemed to always be nearby.

    I always had thoughts of some kind of honeypot type setup that attracted possible true revolutionary thinkers into some category to study, making for a more manageable file for further surveillance and/or deeper infiltration. Maybe there really never was an EF! as we understand organizations with typical structure and mission. Maybe the whole thing was a simulation to convince the public at large that there actually was a “radical environmental movement.” I’m not so sure. Lots of anti-this, and anti-that, which in the long run empowers the system itself, no? Anyway, from my perch, a lot of smoke, and very little fire, would describe my impression of the whole story. Of course, I could be completely wrong about all of it. Who knows?


    1. I found out about Foreman’s (real) death via Wilderness Watch and Howie Wolke. Maybe WW is a false front. Was EF! a real thing? Hard to say, but it seemed to me, even back when I thought things like this were real, that they were at the least agents provocateur. People like you were doing real work, they were sliming you in the public eye by inciting violence.


  2. Here’s what I think links EF! to its “bird feeder.” https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/foundation-for-deep-ecology-fde/ Hardly an anti-capitalist, ultra-left profile. Oddly, most “rank and file” followers were just that.

    For all the talk of ‘biodiversity’ and ecosystems, there was never a 4-corners ecosystem act introduced into Congress. Tompkins and Foundation for Deep Ecology kept a handful of EF! “loyalists” in coin, but spent most of the pot on buying huge chunks of Patagonia, and then giving it back to the government. I never did “get it.” I always chalked it up to an aversion to making U.S. political actors/figures look bad in the so-called “environmental movement” or green cult, with all its hierarchy, hidden money sources, and control. We always got the “black sheep” treatment from the Democrat worshipers, and the EF! woo-woo crowd. Just not group material, I guess.


    1. Excellent link. Foreman turns up about 2/3 down, right in the mix. I linked Bruce Anderson to this piece, as he was so heavily invested in Bari/Sweeney/Cherney and knew about EF! and Abbey, who appeared to be a deer in the headlights even as they used Monkeywrench Gang to promote themselves. (The reason I knew about the Anderson Valley Advertiser was that it was promoted by the Wall Street Journal, who allowed a weekly op-ed by Alexander Cockburn, and who wrote gratuitously for AVA.) Anyway, Bruce Anderson might be a DITH too. I linked him to this piece and he responded, after having years for attacked Sweeney for car bombing his ex wife, “I don’t get it.” “Well said,”I replied. The concepts of Intel infiltrating popular movements and fake deaths seems foreign to him, it appears. Hard to imagine, as (it’s been years) he seemed highly intelligent and is a good writer.


  3. There was/is a very solid literary connection to almost all of the players in this game. Many wrote books, and the “Wild Earth” magazine was full of articles edited by Foreman and John Davis.

    Wiki: History and profile
    “Wild Earth came about when the original Earth First!: The Radical Environmental Journal (edited by Foreman during most of the 1980s) ceased publication in late 1990.[3] The founders of Wild Earth were Dave Foreman and John Davis.[3] That publication was associated with the environmental group Earth First!. In 1990, following increasingly acrimonious debate over the direction of Earth First!, the organization split and the original Journal folded. Those who wished to continue activism under the Earth First! name, including anarchists and a west coast faction led by Judi Bari and Mike Roselle, relaunched the Earth First! Journal under their own editorial control. Much of the “old guard” who founded Earth First! in 1980 did not wish to continue under the Earth First! name and launched the magazine, Wild Earth. Wild Earth differed strongly from the Earth First! Journal in that while the latter emphasized direct action and a style rooted in the counterculture, Wild Earth emphasized conservation biology, science, and wilderness proposals, and a style rooted in the conservationism movement. Wild Earth was published quarterly.[2]

    At first, Wild Earth was solely a magazine. The publisher was Cenozoic Society, Inc.[2] Later, a new environmental group, the Wildlands Project, was formed and the magazine became the official periodical of the Wildlands Project.

    Wild Earth ceased publication in 2004 due to budgetary concerns at the Wildlands Project, as the magazine became increasingly unprofitable to publish and other priorities at the organization were deemed more important than subsidizing a magazine which was no longer profitable.”

    What remains, apparently, is the “Earth First Journal,” which even has its own Twitter page has been the philosophical/theological compass throughout. https://twitter.com/efjournal?lang=en

    Anyway, these guys liked to write, philosophize, smoke cigars and drink single malt whiskey, often in costume (military-looking camoflage), and were good at it. Quite a run, for a disgruntled band of burned out The Wilderness Society establishment types, I’d say.


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