0 Items  Total: $0.00

Spy On Me?! by Oliver DeMille

nsa_spyingI am really angry. Upset. Surprised. Shocked.

Mainly angry.

I have been studying history, freedom, and current events for well over two decades now, and I don’t think I’ve ever been this upset.

I’ve built several businesses, taught thousands of people the classics of liberty and free enterprise, written a number of books, researched and given hundreds of speeches, built a twenty-four year marriage, raised a family of eight children, faced major health challenges.

In all that time I can’t remember ever being this angry.

My wife walked in, saw tears running down my cheeks, and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I’m so angry I just can’t stop the tears,” I told her.

She looked at me strangely. “This is new,” she said softly.

“I mean, what kind of America are we living in today?” I asked her.

Then we talked. I slowed down, took a breath, and told her what happened. Here’s how it went:

I read an op-ed from the New York Times (“Bill Schools Barry on Syria,” June 15, 2013), which characterized the majority of the American people’s view of the government spying scandal as: “Spy on me.”

Individuals care when the government spies on them and uses it against them personally, but most Americans don’t care that the government spies on everyone.

Some feel that spying is okay if it helps national security, and many have just become cynical: “Of course the government spies on all of us,” is the new common response. “We’ve known that for years.”

“Whatever,” they say as they shrug their shoulders.

This is the very definition of apathy, and such indifference always comes toward the end of the historical pattern nations follow when they lose their freedom.

Maybe people are so tired of fighting for the 2nd Amendment that they just don’t have the energy to stand up against the Obama Administration’s attacks on the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th Amendments.

In case anyone is counting, that’s seven of the ten Bills of Rights under direct attack — from the U.S. Government, the most highly-funded, most humanly powerful entity on earth.

For that matter, the Bush Administration started the attacks on Amendments 1, 4, 5, and 8, and the spying as well, so the momentum against freedom is growing.

If the majority of Americans don’t care that our government spies on us, then they don’t care if it unjustly arrests, tortures and imprisons citizens. And if we don’t care about these things, we don’t care about freedom.

That’s where we are as a nation.

Freedom is hanging by a thread.

Unless something changes, something big, we will soon lose our freedoms for good.

“It can’t happen here,” someone is sure to say.

But it always happens. It has happened in every free nation in history. And it is happening to us right now.

“I don’t really care what the government does. Just keep me safe. Spy on me.”



Maybe too many decades of relative peace and plenty have created an American citizenry that doesn’t realize just how precious our freedoms are. Maybe we’re too caught up in our own challenges at work or home to do something when freedom is being lost.

If so, we don’t deserve freedom.

An earlier generation of Americans refused to allow British tea to be unloaded on their continent because it would mean accepting a tax without representation. They drew the line on principle, and suffered greatly for it.

But it was worth it.

In contrast, we don’t even stand up for freedom when our own personal privacy is at stake.

“Forget the Bill of Rights,” our generation seems to be saying, “and forget the Constitution. Leave these things to the experts. We are too busy making a living and enjoying our freedoms to get involved in something as silly as the government spying on its people.”

When John Adams heard that the citizens of Boston had thrown the tea into the harbor, he wrote that he considered it the beginning of whole new epoch in history.

And when the great British leader William Pitt, Lord Chatham, heard that America was in open rebellion, he rose in front of the British Parliament and declared:

“I rejoice that America has resisted. Three million…people so dead to all the feelings of liberty, as voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the rest [of the British Empire].”

I wonder what he would say about our generation finding out that its own government is spying on us all, including the press, and a majority saying, “Duh! Of course they are,” and going back to whatever they were doing without a second thought.

Three hundred million American people, a majority of whom are apparently “dead to all feelings of liberty,” is itself the beginning of a whole new epoch in world history.

“Spy on me”?!

Wow! How far we have come since, “Give me liberty, or give me death” and “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

When did the American people shift their motto from “Don’t tread on me” to “Spy on me”?

It is time for anyone who cares about freedom to take a serious look at our life. Are we really going to just sit back and watch freedom die?

If this sounds too melodramatic, then we don’t live in a nation where the majority can be characterized as choosing: “Government, spy on me.”

Yet we do. That’s how the majority of Americans now feel about our freedoms. That’s not melodramatic, that’s reality.

It’s time to get real: Freedom is being lost, and few people are doing anything at all about it.

Of course, I’m not suggesting violence. That won’t solve our current problems. Not at all. We need real solutions, not angry posturing or stupid violence. These would only make things worse.

What will actually work is for regular citizens to get outside their comfort zone and find ways to really influence our government.

This will be hard, but it will work. This is what I’m suggesting.

I’m suggesting activism. I’m suggesting getting angry, scared, or SOMETHING enough to get involved. In elections but even more between elections. I’m suggesting making your voice heard, and making a difference.

I’m suggesting not just going with the flow when the flow is headed off a cliff. And make no mistake: that is exactly where we are headed.

I’m suggesting that unless a lot more people stop being complacent and actually get involved — right now — in influencing government, we will witness the end of freedom. I’m suggesting that YOU are one of those people.

One thing is absolutely clear in history: People who don’t take a stand for freedom lose it. And people who don’t even care about protecting their freedoms enough to take real action lose it very, very quickly.

I hope you are angry, too. Have you shed some tears that we’ve come so far in losing our freedoms that a majority of citizens are okay with being spied on by the government?

Think about it. Cry. Weep.

Tremble for your country.

I know this kind of emotion is dismissed, even ridiculed, by many in the current press and academia, but this is a low point in America every bit as shocking as the Boston Tea Party was a highpoint against monarchies.

It’s a game-changer. Tears are appropriate. Freedom is dying.

When are regular people who care about freedom going to make their desire for freedom really known to our leaders?


Figure out how you can best, most wisely, effectively promote freedom and make a real difference. Be smart, be respectful, obey the law, and take action!

Don’t tear anyone else down — that doesn’t really help. Find a way to positively build freedom. Do something that will really, truly help the cause of goodness and freedom.

Do it soon.

Seriously, if you care about freedom, do something to promote it. Something good. Something uplifting. Something positive.

I don’t know what you should do, but put your talents, gifts, time and resources to work for freedom. Figure out the best way you can truly influence freedom, and do it.

The world needs you.



odemille Oliver DeMille is the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.


  1. Oliver,
    Magnificently said!
    It was, as always, an honor and distinct pleasure to hear from you in Columbus.
    Keep being a watchman on the wall. Some of us are listening. Some of us are learning to watch with you.

  2. Of course I agree with you, but how does one go about fighting national apathy?

  3. Thank you for the wake up call. It is scary how easily we can be lulled into feelings of apathy when freedoms are being eroded all around us. I encourage everyone who reads this to forward it to everyone they can. Action starts with information. Like the comment above, people want to know, “But what can I do?” We all need to figure out individual and collective things we can do. Thank you, again.

  4. James,

    You fight national apathy by first fighting state, local and individual apathy. And how do you fight individual apathy? You become so enthusiastic yourself that you inspire others to care around you. You might also consider teaming up with a positive freedom loving group in your area, or creating one yourself.

  5. Drew Harvey says

    Well done Oliver

  6. I just posted Oliver’s comments to our Facebook Page.

    Affecting national apathy starts at the local level. Throughout our country the Republican Party has become the lager problem; taken over by people concerned about getting re-elected rather than protecting our Constitutional freedoms. It is here – at the local level – where the STAND must start.

    So,the real question is; what are YOU going to do to gain consensus and make a public stand against those who claim to represent you, but do not?

    And, who is going to step up to be the new candidates? The largest issue we have is that We the People do not provide candidates for these elected offices. Where is Public Virtue?

    I’m afraid it is too late – and, this is our fault. We allowed it to happen.

  7. I watched a video the other day called “Agenda” – a documentary about the Communist agenda for the US. And it seems to be following what is happening to our government. And our current administration is their choice for the finalization of this agenda. I pray that we are not too late to stop this from happening. There are so many young people that have already been indoctrinated, including my own adult kids. And I learned too late what the government was doing to our kids in the schools. I am now attempting to keep it from happening to my grandkids, but my children are making that hard…”they need to go to public school”. Of course, that is where the indoctrination occurs. The video is on VIMEO and it is 1:32 min long if anyone wants to watch it. It is VERY disconcerting. Everything they talk about is happening today…

  8. Mark Harrison says

    I believe the best thing we can do is begin communicating with each other. Talk to your family and friends, your neighbors. If they are unaware, make them aware with facts. Start to break them from their trance.
    Speak with passion. ACT as though someone has taken something very dear from you. That “someone” has.
    There is strength in numbers. As Benjamin Franklin said , “We must all hang together or we most assuredly will hang separately”.
    Know that life is a gift and every day is a miracle from the Creator. Every breath is a miracle. Make every moment count.
    1. Step outside your routine.
    2. Read and become empowered.
    3. Speak to family, friends and neighbors.
    4. Turn off the television when you are speaking. What YOU have to say is ONE THOUSAND % MORE IMPORTANT than ANyTHING coming from the television.
    5. Join an organization that promotes liberty and freedom. I am a member of The
    John Birch Society. They keep their members updated on current affairs.
    6. Do not accept the “mainstream” media as the final word on current events.
    They receive their funding from individuals and corporations, each with an agenda.
    7. Know and hold dear in your heart that you were out here for a purpose at this critical time. If you believe in freedom, fear no man, woman or government.
    8. During quiet times, reflect ( pray, meditate) even for 2-3 minutes, for peace and freedom. Make it heartfelt. Pray for your family and friends. Positive thoughts and emotions are ALWAYS heard.
    With liberty and dignity,
    Mark Harrison

  9. Elaine Mallios says

    I agree! Lets get to as many people as we can and teach the truth. It has to be from the bottom up. The political system is too far entrenched in its dealings and favors, payoffs and “bribes” that it will be impossible to elect the right people. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Thank you for all you do. It was great to see you in Columbus.
    Team Rhino.

  10. I so appreciate your passion, Oliver! Thank you , again for sharing it.
    I was involved in politics in the 80s and 90s. Never again! I agree with the comments above that say it is too late (if we are talking about saving the American Empire).
    It is NOT too late to DO the right thing personally and for our friends, neighbors and community. It must be a local solution NOT a political solution! When politics (and political government) is the focus, we support a win-lose philosophy and methodology. This is never the right solution.
    Build freedom NOW!

  11. The Atomic Mom says

    Thank you, this is just how I have been feeling, but just could not put to words.

  12. sara gwen says

    I really enjoyed you at Columbus and your “Freedom Matters” audio. It is making a dramatic difference in the lives of those who listen to it! I would like to add a 4th item to the 3 you cover in Freedom Matters, which people must do to maintain their freedoms.

    Having spent years in the scriptures and coming to know their author, it is crystal clear to me that the primary thing someone must do to maintain their freedom is to sincerely repent with a broken heart and contrite spirit for that which they personally have done and continue to do, to deny the God of this Land in their own lives, hearts, and homes. God has promised that when one does that, He will then step in to heal them and upon reaching critical mass, their nation.

    God sent Jonah to preach repentance to Nineveh, a wicked city worthy of destruction.and to Jonah’s surprise, the Ninevites fasted and repented and detained its destruction.

    The pleasure-seeking, greedy merchandising, materialistic idol pursuits of the people of our nation are in need of a sincere turning to God and repenting of our idol worship, vanity and unbelief, for if we do without delay, then we may have a country left in which we can pursue entrepreneurialism and voracious reading and seeking. May we all do so and point others in the same direction is my prayer. Blessings to all!

  13. Sara, were you at Columbus this past weekend? Oliver’s talk there included an important story about “The Umbrella Girl”. The gist of his message is this: we are way too far gone as a country to ever redeem ourselves or successfully defend our freedoms. Way too far gone. But by the grace of God, after all we can do, Freedom will prevail anyway. That is the only way it has ever been won – from Joan of Arc to George Washington, and the only way it will be won now. We few who know and care must give all that is required of us, and He will make up the rest. As our dear friend Cleon Skousen used to say, “I’ve read the Book; and in the end – we win!” We, of course, being those who stand for Truth and Freedom.

  14. Zenon Berg says

    It’s always good to have another perspective on things. I personally don’t care if people spy on me as I have nothing to hide. I also believe that the role of government is to protect from foes, both external and internal and spying can be pay of that protection.
    I also realize, however, that allowing the to act like this is to allow a foothold to further injustice.
    It’s also important to realize that we have the potential to eliminate this security risk by being welcoming, involved, and committed to our communities.

  15. sara gwen says

    Yes, I totally loved Oliver’s talk and the little girl who brought her umbrella to the get-together of the people who had fasted and prayed for rain. Very inspiring!

  16. Zenon, I agree that honest people need fear nothing from honest inquiries. And on its face, allowing government the power to do even extensive inquiries in the name of protecting against real threats seems reasonable. However, the real concern is that when people delegate a power to the government (even in the face of pressing need and compelling circumstances) the government pretty much never surrenders the power, even after the need has passed. In addition, we give a power to the government with a certain intent, and we have no way of overseeing whether it will be used for other purposes, and we are in serious danger when–not if, but when–a change in administration puts that power in the hands of those who are selfish, greedy, and even traitorous and tyrannical. This is not fantasy; it has played out in history time and time again. At our peril do we suppose that this will all work out for the best. There is nothing but wishful thinking to support that view, and much evidence to the contrary.

  17. Dale Gunn says

    That “change in administration” you refer to has already occurred. That administration was took power in 2008 and was elected by the “useful idiots” to a second term. They are tyrannical and their intent is the destruction of our nation as we have known it. We only need to open our eyes to see this.

  18. Thank you Oliver for sharing this blog. I admire you for your commitment to personally grow yourself, and to share, inform and educate us along the way. You inspire me in your passion.

    God bless

  19. Even George Washington had a spy network. When people are complacent in response to recent events it is because they aren’t exactly recent. The technology has been updated, but the ideas and methods behind the CIA, NSA and FBI have been in use since long before any of those organizations were officially established.
    If another terrorist attack were to happen on US soil, wouldn’t we be outraged if the acting administration weren’t utilizing the latest technology and intelligence available? The response from officials regarding this latest surveillance revelation is that they are only looking for “the bad guys” (as laughable as that phrasing is). But the thing about “the bad guys” is that they don’t wear name tags identifying themselves as “the bad guys”. Sometimes they pretend to be US citizens. The movie Bourne Ultimatum, with the scene showing an agent standing up and saying “I’ve got a hit!” When a reporter says the word “Blackbriar” into his cell phone in England. Not exactly fiction. These tactics have been around for a loooong time.

    Look up Culper Spy Ring for more info.

  20. @Zenon, here’s an interesting take on “nothing to hide”: http://libertyacademyanaheim.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-revised-version-of-my-thoughts.html

  21. I have done something about it. It is positive and uplifting! I could use your help. My thriller, Insidious Measures, delves deeply into government spying on its people, whistle blowing, the principles of Liberty and sacrificing to protect it. I have substantial notes in the back which explain how we got where we are and references so readers can see it in the words of the Progressives moving this agenda forward.

  22. I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion.
    If the average American person were caught spying on his/her neighbor it would be called stalking or peeping-tom, both “illegal if we did that.
    If the average American person stole something it would be called theft (plunder) and “illegal” if we did that.
    If the average American person murdered someone, it would most likely be considered “illegal” if we did that.
    WHO gave the US Government a monopoly in these atrocious crimes?

  23. Yes. My sentiments exactly.

    Living in California, I became similarly impassioned and brought to tears when our state illegal overturned the voice of the people with regard to the definition of marriage. Regardless of your opinion on the definition of marriage, the fact that a handful of government officials illegally overturned the voice of the people should have ALL Californians alert and DOING SOMETHING. But, alas, not many are.

  24. Zenon Berg says

    Oliver, thank you very much for the link. It also speaks to the fact that, regardless of the circumstances, if someone has an axe to grind, I can be caught in the cross-hairs, but why make it easier? I truly believe that “people of integrity expect to be believed. When they’re not, they let time prove them right.” That philosophy shone through in the blog you linked, but not before significant trials had been suffered by the author.
    Question: What if cellphone providers started writing it into their terms of service? Would you be willing to go without a cell in fear that it could, at some point in time, be used against you?
    Also, although we see, time and again, the “camel’s nose in the tent” syndrome when we look for it, are there not supporting cases where authority has chosen not to abuse the powers given to them? If not, then we’d never have, or have had, a freedom shift.
    Finally, when dealing with people, we often find that they react to us as we expect them to. I guess I don’t know much about mass mentality, but expecting a group to abuse power might be a self-fufilling prophecy, no?
    Thank you for guiding me on my journey through these waters btw.

  25. One reader wrote; “Of course I agree with you, but how does one go about fighting national apathy?”. The best way to fight is to motivate and inspire your personal sphere of influence. It’s a statistical fact that each person has 7 people that really look up to and respond to what you say. Different people connect in different ways so if you inspire and influence positive change to 7 people and they follow suit with 7 people each you can surely see how quickly that will compound. We the people are going to have to make change happen and stop counting on others to do it for us.

  26. Zenon, on a personal level, people who don’t trust others are often untrustworthy on some level. History bears this out. And on a governmental level, history also bears out that a government with power to use bad things always eventually uses it for bad. By definition (according to Madison), men are not angels, and their government is always, in some measure corrupt; and by Newton’s laws, that corruption is bound to increase without special impetus. It just will. Abuses of power are as natural as tides, seasons and the decomposition of decaying matter. Government WILL abuse its power, unless carefully and vigilantly checked. Maybe not against every person – but if it uses bad against even one innocent person, that’s way too much. Governments promised that machine guns would only be fore deterrence – that they’d never be used. But they eventually were. Same with the atomic bomb. Same with torture. If the government has the power to spy on its citizens, it will eventually use it wrongly against an innocent person. You don’t want that. I don’t want that. So, let’s speak out against it.

Speak Your Mind