John Perkins (author)
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
Perkins in November 2009
January 28, 1945 |
Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
|Alma mater||Boston University (B.S.)|
|Notable work(s)||Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004)|
|Spouse(s)||Winifred (1981 - present)|
|Children||Jessica (b. April 1982)|
John Perkins (b. January 28, 1945) is an American author. His best known book is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004), which claims that Perkins played a leading role in a larger process of economic colonization of Third World countries on behalf of what Perkins portrays as a cabal of corporations, banks, and the United States government. Perkins has also written about mystical aspects of indigenous cultures, including shamanism.
Perkins graduated from the Tilton School in 1963. He subsequently attended Middlebury College for two years before dropping out due to lackluster grades. He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Boston University in 1968. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador from 1968–1970. He spent the 1970s working for the Boston strategic-consulting firm Chas. T. Main, where he was employed, according to his own account, after first being screened by the National Security Agency (NSA) and subsequently hired by Einar Greve, a member of the firm (alleged by Perkins to have been acting as an NSA liaison, a claim which Greve has denied).
Perkins's time at Chas T. Main, an engineering consultancy, provides the basis for his subsequent published claims that, as an "economic hit man", he was charged with inducing developing countries to borrow large amounts of money, designated to pay for questionable infrastructure investments, but ultimately with a view to making the debt-laden countries more dependent, economically and politically, upon the West.
In the 1980s Perkins left Main and founded and directed an independent energy company. In the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Perkins claims that his company was successful due to 'coincidences' orchestrated by those appreciative of his silence about the work he says he did as an economic hit man.
Perkins's self-described role as an economic hit man is the main theme in part II of the movie Zeitgeist: Addendum, released in October 2008. In that same year, he appeared in the documentary film, The End of Poverty?. He also appears in the films The Weight of Chains by Boris Malagurski, released in December 2010, Let's Make Money (in German) by the Austrian director Erwin Wagenhofer, released October 2008, and Four Horsemen by Ross Ashcroft, released in 2012. 
Columnist Sebastian Mallaby of the Washington Post reacted sharply to Perkins' book: describing him as "a vainglorious peddler of nonsense, and yet his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is a runaway bestseller." Mallaby holds that Perkins' conception of international finance is "largely a dream" and that his "basic contentions are flat wrong." As an example, Mallaby states that Indonesia reduced its infant mortality and illiteracy rates by two-thirds after economists persuaded its leaders to borrow money in 1970.
Articles in the New York Times and Boston magazine, as well as a press release issued by the United States Department of State, have referred to a lack of documentary or testimonial evidence to corroborate the claim that the NSA was involved in his hiring by Chas T. Main. In addition, the anonymous author of the State Department release states that the NSA "is a cryptological (codemaking and codebreaking) organization, not an economic organization" and that its missions do not involve "anything remotely resembling placing economists at private companies in order to increase the debt of foreign countries." The State Department release further reports that Perkins has alleged U.S. Government complicity in "the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., former Beatle John Lennon, and several unnamed U.S. senators who had died in plane crashes."
- Hoodwinked (2009), Crown Business ISBN 0-307-58992-7
- The Secret History of the American Empire (2007), Plume (publishing)| ISBN 0-525-95015-X
- A Game as Old as Empire: the Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption (edited by Steven Hiatt, introduction by John Perkins) (2007) ISBN 978-1-57675-395-8
- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004), ISBN 0-452-28708-1
Perkins's books on mystical aspects of indigenous cultures, including shamanism, include:
- Spirit of the Shuar: Wisdom from the Last Unconquered People of the Amazon (2001), co-authors Shakaim Mariano Shakai Ijisam Chumpi, Shakaim Mariano Ijisam Chumpi, Destiny Books ISBN 0-89281-865-4
- Psychonavigation: Techniques for Travel Beyond Time (2nd 1999), Destiny Books ISBN 0-89281-800-X
- Shapeshifting: Shamanic Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation (1997), Destiny Books ISBN 0-89281-663-5
- The World Is As You Dream It: Teachings from the Amazon and Andes (1994), Destiny Books ISBN 0-89281-459-4
- "The Veracity of John Perkins' Accounts" Memo by Steven Piersanti, President and Publisher, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. March 7, 2005
- Four Horsemen Film, retrieved 31 March 2013
- "Sebastian Mallaby biography". The Washington Post.
- The Facts Behind the 'Confessions' by Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post Op-Ed, 2006-02-26
- Confessions – or Fantasies – of an Economic Hit Man?, US Department of State, 2006-05-10