Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Walking Away From The King

Walking Away From The King

by Mike Penney
The time has arrived to "walk away from the king." The change necessary to save the human species and salvage the planet from impending ecological disaster cannot come from the powers that be, who only perpetuate their own ill-fated system.

A swell of diverse grassroots movements has arisen to create a very different culture than our contemporary world controlled


The time has arrived to "walk away from the king." The change necessary to save the human species and salvage the planet from impending ecological disaster cannot come from the powers that be, who only perpetuate their own ill-fated system.

A swell of diverse grassroots movements has arisen to create a very different culture than our contemporary world controlled by corporations and plutocrats. Rather than the status quo with its patriarchal, domineering, and exploitative culture of Empire, these groups favor a truly democratic Global Community, centered on bottom-up ecological revival, gender equality, cooperative action and individual responsibility. Collectively, they have determined they must "walk away from the king," in preparation for a Grand Transition from contemporary self-destruction to a world of resilience and sustainability.

A prominent co-partner in the struggle is an organization calling itself Gaia/Universe. Many have galvanized behind its spokesperson, Bruno Panoka. A charismatic third generation televangelist that has turned from the "Heavenly Father" to "Mother Earth," Panoka steps over the line and enrages the powers that be when he espouses the use of psychedelic mushrooms to expand consciousness, so as to jumpstart massive cultural change, and in turn economic and political change.

By throwing down such a gauntlet, the renegade preacher realizes he's threatening the government's full imperial powers, yet to him it seems the most effective course if the downward spiral of the species and the planet is to be reversed.

When attempting to recruit a key character, it's all so obvious to Panoka:

"Don't you want to see a different world?" Panoka demanded. "Haven't you had enough of our eco-destructive age? Aren't you prepared to become a steward rather than a pillager of the planet? Can't you see that the corporate model must necessarily be upended in favor of co-ops and employee owned companies? Do you fail to understand that distributional equity and generalized prosperity is the only way a market economy can be sustainable over the long term? And can't you see that it's time to tax the bejesus out of everything relating to fossil fuels so as to fund a transition to a carbon-free economy?
"Don't you understand, Wimp, that none of that is possible without a consciousness expansion by a critical mass of the populace?" the renegade preacher entreated. "And you know as well as I do the catalyst for a paradigm shift in cultural awareness is the psilocybin mushroom and the individual psychedelic experience. It will be the springboard that transforms our destructive and out of control species. Don't you want to see a different world?"

Naturally, those in control of Empire's minions hardly agree with Panoka, and there are even co-partners within Gaia/Universe that question his methods. The government forces eventually surround the Gaia/Universe compound in the Arizona desert and tensions rise as a desperate standoff develops.

The non-violent world that Gaia/Universe once espoused has transformed into an armed, defensive camp as the imperial noose draws ever tighter around the desert compound. And yet, though under siege, there are those still true to their vision of a peaceful Grand Transition to Global Community. There are some within Gaia/Universe that might yet survive the inevitable government conflagration, and possibly, successfully, - "walk away from the king."

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
From Penney (Behind the Gates with the 1%, 2012, etc.) comes a novel about a new psychedelic movement, its charming leader and the variety of people caught up in the details. Bruno Panoka has come a long way from being an evangelical preacher. "Whereas the documentaries of Bruno Panoka as a child prodigy televangelist…regularly opened with singing, clapping, and raising hands to the Lord," the narrator says, "here he was kicking things off with a mesmerizing Chakra chant." Panoka's latest message is one of spiritual exploration with the aid of psychoactive mushrooms. With his Gaia/Universe organization, Panoka pledges to spread his beliefs. He proclaims on television that "because Sacred Mushrooms are at this time illegal and a tool of Empire's thought control, it would be self-defeating…to actively promote or engage in the physical ingestion of Sacred Mushrooms." However, he says, "If we can't use Sacred Mushrooms, we can indeed talk about the ingestion of Sacred Mushrooms and the opening and freeing of minds—and indeed we will." Utilizing financial resources and leagues of followers, Panoka is perceived as a threat by mainstream America. Organizing quickly, the opposition strikes with considerable force by protesting and hacking into the Gaia/Universe system. How a man as self-assured as Panoka will respond is anyone's guess. Meanwhile, ex-convict Harry Wimple follows Panoka's progress from his dilapidated north Phoenix apartment. Having fallen in love with a beautiful acupuncturist, Wimple is doing better than usual, though still not great. The acupuncturist has a boyfriend with whom she seems unlikely to part. When Panoka ends up looking for help from Wimple, he will be faced with a decision that could land him back in jail for the rest of his life. Mixed with characters of different stripes, the book focuses not just on major movers and shakers but on the people they affect. Panoka's organization doesn't function on his word alone; it requires administrators, devotees and, eventually, security. Throughout the drama, these and others play their parts; some change to provide novel perspectives, while others remain stereotypes. Whiskey-drinking Walter Dellenbach the Fifth belongs to the latter category, providing little insight into the type of man who wishes to crush Panoka, declaring merely that "We cannot render up control of the species to the rabble." Slowed initially by Panoka's penchant for wordy speeches, the action builds in later chapters as readers discover what happens when worlds of disparate philosophies collide. An exploration of radical movements and the people involved in them, with both action and insight in digestible doses.

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Mike Penney was born in Colorado and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied Philosophy and Literature. Following college, he lived in various locales throughout the West, including California and Washington State. After sailing his boat from Ventura, California to Honolulu, Hawaii, he was fortunate enough to reside on the Big Island for over a decade and a half. Presently, Mike once again calls the Colorado Rockies his home.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews