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Letter to the Editor: “Thrive” Filmmakers Foster & Kimberly Gamble Respond

On August 21, YES! published an article by John Robbins about the film called “Thrive.” The article described the reasons why ten progressives interviewed in the film, including himself, had dissociated themselves from it. In the letter below, “Thrive” filmmakers Foster and Kimberly Gamble respond.
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Editor's note: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Disaster by Design? What's Wrong with the Thrive Movement
A popular new film claims a secret elite create our most troubling problems to advance a “global domination agenda.” Why Amy Goodman, Vandana Shiva, and other progressives are calling it “dangerously misguided.”

In what appears to be a combination of sincere concern, remarkable misunderstanding, and blatant disinformation, John Robbins has engaged in a dangerously deceptive  campaign to undermine the message and movement of Thrive.

With appreciation for his genuine care for humanity and respect for his excellent research into the corruption contaminating our food system, we challenge his misleading assertions against Thrive, a movie which has been widely acclaimed by the more than eight million people who have seen it in the last ten months. YouTube “likes” run at over 99%.

1. Conspiracies exist and can hurt you and your loved ones whether you believe in them or not.

Robbins writes that "the Thrive movie and website are filled with dark and unsubstantiated assertions about secret and profoundly malevolent conspiracies based on an ultimate division between ‘us’ and 'them.'"

At the same time, he acknowledges that “powerful economic interests often collude with one another to deceive and defraud the public.” He goes on to admit that

It is also certain that networks exist among the most powerful that enable a remarkably few people to shape the world’s economy, to determine what is known and what is not, which views are accepted and which are not, and what priorities and policies will prevail...” [Italics ours]

By definition, that is a conspiracy: “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.” (

The very notion of a “conspiracy” has been so cleverly insulted by those who control the media and thus dictate the norms of our society (i.e., “determine which views are acceptable”) that many people, especially if they bank on their fame, are afraid to call it out. (Check out these “33 conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.”)

It is at great peril that we would ignore the clearly documented power structure outlined in the Thrive “Follow the Money” pyramid that shows how the government, and even the corporations, are dominated and controlled by more powerful forces.

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