Dear friends and comrades – Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful that I survived the war, both physically and mentally, thankful for my wonderful wife and my new home, thankful for my friends and comrades, here and around the world, who have made real contributions, been a genuine part of what we have accomplished here, and without whom I would not have survived. From my heart, I thank you all!
December 7th is the fifth anniversary of the day I arrived in Donetsk, December 7th, 2014. When I came here, in the dead of winter, hardly knowing a word of Russian, at the age of 54, to fight on the small side of a big war, I did not expect to live to see the spring. In spite of having been in major battles, under fire daily in some of the hottest positions in this war, and because of good comrades, skill and a whole lot of luck, and above all, thanks to God and Guardian Angels, I survived. My reputation as a soldier is well known among those who are qualified to have an opinion on the matter; those I stood beside in battle, on the Front in 2014, 2015 and the summer of 2017. They saw my work. They appreciated and respected it. We stood together when times were dark and hard, and we stand together to this day, brothers in arms.
And the work I have done here since I left the Army can also be seen. In the Information War, I’ve done battle with government and corporate propagandists who have literally multi-billions of dollars, against my financial backing of a few thousand dollars by a handful of generous and committed supporters. David vs Goliath? A billion versus a thousand is a million to one. And yet we survive. When they have attacked me and the Republic and cause I serve, I gave back as good as I got, and in many cases, exposed their lies, and turned their own propaganda against them and actually defeated them in the arena of public opinion. And I’m not talking about some obscure blogger or unread website, (though there have been a few of those too) I’m talking about the Big Boys, the Heavy Hitters of pro-nazi corporate propaganda – VICE NEWS, the BBC, ABC, The Guardian, Texas Monthly, The NATO mouthpiece Atlantic Council. They’ve all attacked me personally, with propaganda, innuendo and outright lies. It has been said that you can take the measure of a man by his enemies. And these are mine. And yours. One thing for sure, with powerful enemies like these, I need some good, real friends of my own, comrades, who are ready, willing and able to do more than just talk.
The Info War is a real war, and when these professional liars and bullshit artists attacked, I hit back. I hit back with the truth, and our few thousand dollars of truth have proven a powerful counterpunch to their billions of dollars worth of bullshit. My videos have been seen more than 5 million times, my articles, more that a million. They’ve won hearts and changed minds, and I can surely say that with a little help from my friends, I’ve done my part, and done it well. I’m still here, and our Republic still stands. That means we’re still winning. But the war goes on, “Info” and otherwise. And the hardest fight is still ahead. Not just defending the Republic, but defending the truth and reality itself, from professional liars and their father, The Father of Lies.
As disinfo and distortions increase in scope and intensity, those of us who tell the truth are targeted for de-platforming and economic strangulation.The limit on funding is the most effective way for our enemies to limit my ability to fight their propaganda and intentional deception. Removing the funding removes the ability. Truth is the weapon, but dollars are the ammunition. Without financial support, I am like a soldier at the Front with an RPG but no rockets, or an AK with no bullets. An ineffective and easy target. Send me some ammo, I’ll keep fighting!
On the Human Aid Front, we have changed many lives and even saved some with our work. In my work with Суть времени (“Essence of Time”) I was involved in distributing hundreds of tons of human aid in both the DPR and LPR. With Donbass Human Aid, since we started in 2015, by the end of 2019, we will have distributed over $100,000 worth of human aid in the DPR, mostly to schools, orphanages, hospitals and to civilians directly impacted by the war. Donbass Human Aid is a registered 501(c)3 charity organization, and unquestionably the most open, honest and transparent, as well as the most well audited and documented human aid fund operating in Donetsk. Period.
I could not have done what I have done, our Republic could not have survived, I could not have survived, without the help and real support of good people from all over the world. To these friends, these comrades, who have been with us all the way, from the beginning or otherwise, who have stood with us, and made real contributions, the Republic and I give our heartfelt thanks and a comradely salute. Together, we have changed and saved lives. Equally as important, we have opened and changed millions of minds, all over the world.
I will continue doing human aid in Donbass, I will continue to fight against lies and propaganda in the Information War, with videos and essays, and if I am needed again at the Front, my bags are packed and my weapons are ready, and I am ready too. I hope my true friends and comrades will continue to support my work and be a part of it. Together, we will defend the Truth, defend the Republics and by doing so, make a better world for everybody. Davai!
I also have some major new projects for 2020. The first is the completion of the translation of my book, Donbass Cowboy into Russian, and the printing of paper copies in both Russian and English. My wife, Lyudmila, is currently working on this monumental task. She has spent hundreds of hours on it already, and it is nearing completion. Once the translation is complete, I think the book will do very well on the Russian market. Russians love to read, and they really love a good war story.
There is also another book that I will be writing in 2020 – Idiot Savant, The story of my life before I came to Donbass. If you think my life here has been interesting or remarkable, you will find the story of my whole life to be amazing. I was born with a gentle spirit, the soul of a poet, a lover, not a fighter, but my life was hard since my youngest days, and that made me tough, which is how and why I survived, but I have done my best to maintain my humanity.
Here’s a video I made about the first 50 years of my life, and though it hasn’t been easy, it’s been interesting, exciting, and a hell of a lot of fun. As I wrote in an autobiographical song, “Poet and political man, a soldier and a smuggler too, all these things that I have been, but I was born to seek the truth. All the people I’ve known and loved, all the places I did see, if I had to do it all again, no different would I be”. Yeah, I was a weed smuggler, and an outlaw, I went to prison, and I escaped from prison too, for almost 8 years. I robbed from the rich to give to the poor, and by “the rich”, I mean, $800,000 from a coke-dealing CIA pilot, $60,000 from the Vancouver Hell’s Angels, $20,000 from a Tulsa bank. And I got away with it. I was also a co-founder, and the Maitre d’, of one of the finest gourmet restaurants in Texas, wrote songs and played guitar in one of the original “Texas Cowpunk” bands of the 1980’s, spent 2 of my early teenage years living in a tent in the woods, sleeping on the ground and cooking every meal over a campfire. I also spent a couple more of my teenage years as the subject of an MKULTRA “behavior modification” program. At 30, I ran for US Senator, and I spent over 10 years of my life doing the most dangerous job in America, (Not twice as dangerous as the average job, not ten times as dangerous, THIRTY ONE TIMES as dangerous.) All that, and somehow I learned to survive, not be afraid, retain my poet’s heart and my humanity.
Both Donbass Cowboy and Idiot Savant have true stories, history and lessons you will never find anywhere else. Both of these books are part of the big Info War, my personal life history, and deserve to be widely published and read. Publishing both these books will be one of my main projects for the coming year, 2020. And if you wonder if I’m exaggerating or embellishing my story, well, don’t be silly. I don’t have to, and I’ve got living witnesses, photos and newspaper clippings to back it all up. The true story is amazing enough as it is. And besides, as everybody knows, Texac don’t lie.
I’m also working with a professional tour guide in Crimea to set up a genuine and official tour agency that will bring western friends and comrades to visit Moscow, Donbass and Crimea. We are shooting for our first tour in May of 2020, so stay tuned, and contact me if you’re interested!
By contributing just a few bucks a month, you can support and be a part of all these projects – publishing and printing two unique and interesting books, starting a Russian / Donbass tourism agency, and continuing the human aid and honest independent journalism we’ve been doing here for 5 years now.
I haven’t done a fund-raiser for myself this whole year. Now, it’s December, and it’s time for me to ask you for your support. Lyudmila and I have been living off our own money all year, and as I’ve said before and as I can prove, we have never touched a dime of money for human aid projects. We’ve been doing our human aid, videos and writing and translating for free, even spending our own money to get these missions done. Of course, we could get regular jobs, teaching English or working at a car wash, whatever, and then we would not have to ask you for your support, but that would leave little time for human aid, videos or writing. We already work full time jobs, have been for years, we just haven’t gotten paid for it, other than by friends, comrades and supporters like you who’ve been part of our missions and part of our team. So, I’m thanking those who have supported us in the past, and asking you to pitch in once again, and if you’ve been following my story and my work and haven’t pitched in yet, well, what are ya waiting for?! Now’s the time!
If you want to help keep the human aid going, the videos coming, see these books get written, translated and published, and if you want to read them, maybe come tour Donbass with Texac, see it for yourself, then help keep me and Lyudmila in borsch, beans and rice, help support these missions, and put us on your Christmas list and send some support while you still can.
DHA has a Patreon account. Currently, it has 8 patrons who contribute a total of $70 per month. Yes, we appreciate it, but it’s time to kick it up a notch or two. Or two dozen. Actually, it’s kind of embarrassing that the Patreon account is for so little. So, let’s go, let’s put it to use, do what we can to make it worth something, while we still can. Before they shut it down.
Here’s how it works – Make a monthly contribution on Patreon to DHA, and you want it to support me and Lyudmila and our projects, send an amount that ends in 1. You can send $1, $11, $21, $31, $41 or $51. Or $101 or $1,001, but if you send it with a 1 on the end, that means you want it to go for operating costs of the Donetsk DHA office, for me and Lyudmila, for the books and tour projects, and of course, continuing our human aid and info war work. It’s one of the best ways anybody can help the DPR and the people who are here, supporting and defending it. So, who can’t afford $21 or $11 a month or even $1 a month, to support us and our work, to be a part of it in a real and measurable way?
I’ve got over 4,900 “friends” on Facebook, and over 4,300 on VK. That’s 9,300 “friends” who can and should be supporters. If I can get just 20 of them, out of 9,300 of them, to be serious and real enough to send $31 a month, Lyudmila and I can live and work without worrying about money. Because we can easily live on $20 a day, and if we have 20 real friends, real Patrons, who can pitch in a measly dollar a day, then we’ve got enough to live on every month. One dollar a day, $31 a month, think you can handle that? If not, how about $21, or $11? Or $1? If you can’t do $1 a month, why are you even reading this? And if you can do $1, why not $11 or $21? Twenty one dollars is a lunch tab for you and a friend. So, take you and me and Lyudmila, and all our work together, out to lunch one day a month. Twenty one bucks, once a month. Come on, you can do that. Right? Yeah I thought you could handle it. And if you can pitch in $21 or $31 a month, go ahead, do it right now. RIGHT HERE’S THE LINK. Become a Patron, be a real part of the team. We really need your help. Today.
If you don’t want to pitch in for me and Lyudmila, but still want to support DHA’s human aid work, you can donate any amount that doesn’t end in 1. It will go 100% to the human aid projects and the people we’ve been helping, just like it has been since 2015. But if you send a donation in an amount that ends in 1, well, that means you want the money to go to me and Lyudmila, to support our projects, and to spend as we see fit. We won’t be buying any personal real estate or car washes with it. It will go to keep us going, continuing the missions and making a better world for everybody.
And if you want to send some Christmas cheer our way, you can also make a contribution via Moneygram to Russell Bonner Bentley in Russia. You can send it online or at local service centers everywhere. I can still pick up money from Moneygram, though Western Union has already shut me down. If you send your contribution via Moneygram, you’ll need to email me the following info:
1) NAME of sender
2) AMOUNT SENT
3) CITY SENT FROM
4) REFERENCE / TRANSACTION NUMBER
Send it to my email ( [email protected] NOTE – 2 S’s, 2 L’s,and 2 B’s – Russell B Bentley)
For me to get money from Moneygram, I have to take a 6 hour bus ride to Rostov, then I have 2 hours to get to the bank, complete all transactions and then catch the last bus, and ride 6 more hours back to Donetsk. I leave at 7 in the morning, get home around 11 at night. Otherwise I have to pay for a hostel in Rostov, which I try to avoid if possible. One more thing – each Moneygram transaction takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and dealing with Russian bank clerks can be a real pain. So, if you’re going to send a contribution via Moneygram, please make it at least $50 (or even $100, if you can). THANKS!
And if you’re in Russia and want to support our work in Donbass, you can contribute to
SBERBANK CARD – 4276 5219 3378 6422
So, Happy Holidays! After 5 years in Donbass, my work still speaks for itself, I’m proud of it, and proud and thankful for the friends and comrades, soldiers, journalists, volunteers and supporters who have been a real part of our work and our missions here. The ultimate goal is, and always has been, to make a better world for everybody, for the whole human family. Davai!