The Values That Shape Peak Prosperity

I want to address this question: What is Peak Prosperity?

While the skeleton of Peak Prosperity is a framework of ideas that help us all make sense of the world, the beating heart of Peak Prosperity is the community of people who have been drawn to both the messages and the values of the site.

As the world struggles to adapt to the reality that its default mode of endless growth on a finite planet is on its last legs, having a trusted community becomes incredibly important.

I’m reminded in this moment of the incredible journey we’ve embarked upon together since we began this journey many years ago. It fills me with immense gratitude to see how our community, teeming with diverse minds from across the globe, has grown and flourished.

Every conversation, and every interaction has been an opportunity for all of us to learn, challenge ourselves, and further our understanding of the world.

But now we face many threats as individuals and as a community, not least of which is a hostile ruling class that wants us divided and angry at each other, like rats in a cage, presumably to take the heat off of them.

At times like these, communities based on agreements fall apart. Those founded on values survive and can even flourish.

For example, we can all click a box agreeing to terms & conditions that say we’re going to be civil and back up our assertions with data and context, but when our own buttons get pushed, we always default to our values.

So what are the Peak Prosperity values? What are we building and modeling here?


The #1 value of Peak Prosperity is Open-Mindedness. According to several personality tests I've taken, this is my own top-most value. So it's not surprising that this value figures prominently at the website and community I founded and oversee. If we want to be prosperous in an ever-changing world, it’s vital that we remain receptive to new ideas, different perspectives, and challenging viewpoints, so that we can foster an environment where individuals are willing to change their minds based on evidence and reasoned arguments.

As many who have gone through the awakening process can attest, what you thought was true, what you were taught by your culture and prior generations, often ranged from being slightly wrong to entirely wrong.

What I learned about health from our medical system. Wrong. What the CDC still promotes as the optimal nutritional pyramid with grains on the bottom. Wrong. What I was taught about Darwinian evolution. Wrong enough to warrant a complete review. The idea that the Federal Reserve seeks full employment and stable prices….an entirely false myth.


The next value is Integrity. If the post-Covid period was about anything, it was finding out who out there in the world of ideas and leadership was operating from a place of integrity and who was not. I certainly learned who the intellectual frauds and moral cowards were.

The difference, mainly, came down to a specific definition of integrity.


The definition of integrity I like best is, “The willingness to be completely reeducated at any given moment.”

That’s why ‘ideological rigidity’ is its opposite in the above diagram. Integrity in this context means one is so solid with their inner integrity that they are free from attachment to any particular idea. I know most people think of integrity as some sort of a steel beam, or inner solidity, but I’m reframing it here from an intellectual standpoint as being wide open to changing and growing, as seeking truth before defending ego.

This does not mean wishy-washy or uncertain. Far from it. It means building up one’s knowing to the point where you know what you know, and you know what you don’t know. It requires quite a bit of wisdom and experience.

“The older I get, the less I know for sure.”

This also explains why I don’t do identity politics or take sides in the various wars that my dominant culture keeps trying to ram down my throat. The drug war is a complete and abject failure. The war on poverty and the gender culture wars are all misguided and delivering the exact opposite of what they claim as objectives.

The problem is they are fighting along the wrong axis. They aren’t rooted in Open-Mindedness and therefore they lack integrity.


A closely related value to the above values is Curiosity. At Peak Prosperity, we are always free to be curious and to explore any and all topics in depth, to ask questions, and to engage in meaningful discussions that lead to deeper understanding.

A corollary is that sometimes members who come in with a trigger point, who want to shut down a conversion by shaming or shouting or over-emoting, are asked to leave. There is no greater crime against achieving understanding than making certain lines of questioning off-limits.

Peak Prosperity stands for a commitment to continual learning.

When asked why he still practiced daily at the age of 90, acclaimed cellist Pablo Casals remarked, “Because I think I am finally starting to notice some improvement.”

Intellectual Integrity

Going deeper, the above values are strengthened by Intellectual Integrity. We ask for and practice honesty and intellectual rigor in discussions. We ask everyone to present well-researched, fact-based arguments and to admit when they are wrong.

This is the core of the “how” we go about having conversations at Peak Prosperity. We back up our opinions with data, and when the data changes, so do our minds. This is always a process, not an event, and often it requires us to have a very high emotional quotient or EQ (to go along with our IQ).

To the extent we can, everyone should be transparent about their affiliations, biases, and motivations when engaging in discussions, which can help others evaluate their arguments more effectively. This is where we all need help, because our own biases and lack of objectivity are usually hidden from us, but not from others.

Our partners can see things about us that we cannot. To foster the necessary levels of trust to be vulnerable with each other is difficult enough in person, but an order of magnitude more difficult when online.

Written words do not carry nearly enough subtle information for us to always get what the other person really means.

Respect & Empathy

So we ask that all members be treated with respect, regardless of their backgrounds, beliefs, or opinions. Our aim is civil and constructive discourse, free from personal attacks or insults.

One reason this is vital, beyond the limitations of being an online community, is because we know that changing how we see the world is not a matter of finally seeing the right information (although that’s often a necessary first step) but because we know that it is a matter of shifting beliefs. That, my friends, is an emotional process, not an intellectual event.

It’s simply how we humans are wired. Nature, in her infinite wisdom, decided that human brains should mostly be wired up to believe a set of things, and that any re-wiring projects should only be undertaken rarely and only if absolutely necessary.

So, changing our beliefs is “hard.” We experience the process as uncomfortable, emotional, or even terrifying. This is why people often don’t change until they receive a real scare in life, or hit absolute rock bottom.

Because we know this, we ask for members to consider the feelings and experiences of others, especially when discussing sensitive or controversial topics. Empathy can lead to more constructive conversations.


If we do all of these things, people will feel comfortable sharing more of their own unique wisdom and life experiences as they develop a sense of belonging to an inclusive and civil community that is dedicated to seeking truth.

In a world that’s going crazy, you can’t put a price on the value of belonging to a group of people who have their wits about them.

All challenges are welcome, as long as they are respectful and backed by facts and data. I welcome being challenged and know that my best work has been sharpened by others, even if the ‘challenge’ is no more than “I didn’t quite get that.”

On “staying in my lane”

From time to time, someone will come along and admonish me to “stay in my lane” or accuse me of not knowing what I am talking about. While this is always a distinct possibility, and I will always defer to someone with greater authority who has a more complete explanation, I also know that sometimes the people with the greatest depth are also those who have the largest blinders on.

This happened recently with virologists on the subject of the origin of Covid. My initial analysis, which hasn’t changed, pointed to a lab origin as being far and away the most likely. I figured this out by early May of 2020 by listening to people who weren’t world-acclaimed virologists, but who made a lot of sense and came armed with facts.

In 2007 I got in a lot of ‘trouble’ with real estate professionals who took strong exception to my analysis that there was a housing bubble. Now virtually everybody claims to have known that there was a housing bubble at the time, but I can tell you that there were only 5 other people I knew about who were publicly saying that at the time. I was among them, again simply by virtue of deciding for myself what was what.

In 2011 when Fukushima was unfolding, within 36 hours I had determined that three out of the four cores had melted down and escaped their containment vessels. At the time I had a nuclear sub engineer telling the Peak community that I was nuts, had no expertise, and didn’t know what I was talking about. Almost 2 years later the eventual truth was revealed and, yes, three cores had escaped their containment vessels.

In that case, I had paid for a satellite photo to be taken, and discovered a few frames in a Japanese helicopter flyby that they had forgotten to scrub showing what I called the “crack of doom” glowing white-hot beneath the rubble. Logic said that the only source of heat that could cause such a heat signature underground was nuclear.

I followed the same process for Covid treatments. Some data made sense, and some didn’t, but I was up against an entire system that was determined to yell me down for being out of my lane, not an expert, and unqualified to step into the medical arena. Guess what? Together this community managed to pull together, parse the data, read studies, and separate the BS from the truth.

Ditto for figuring out that Russia wasn’t losing and that Ukraine wasn’t winning. That was easily determined by a dogged and daily review of battlefield videos, which also instructed me that warfare has changed forever. Precision drone attacks and super and even hypersonic missiles have yet to be fully factored into the West’s military thinking and, once again, I find myself being told that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Then there is the topic of high finance and the apparent safety of derivatives I’ve been told by experts in the business that I don’t know what I’m talking about. We’ll see about that.

The point here is to invite everyone to follow the same methods that I do, which center on the idea of trusting yourself. If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t. Which means it’s time to go digging for answers.

To do so is to take risks. You will get things wrong from time to time, but we often learn the most when we’re wrong. So resisting the demands to ‘stay in your lane’ is important because, as Wayne Gretzky said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The “expert” gatekeepers aren’t there to protect or to help you nearly as often as they are there to protect their own sense of importance and identity.

If 2020 to 2023 was anything, it was a long warning against trusting experts.

My role is ‘information scout’ and I can only do that when I have the freedom to ask any question, challenge any belief, and gore any sacred ox.

Freedom of speech means nothing without freedom of thought.

The latter precedes the former.

Mission: Resilience

The mission of this site, and the reason I get out of bed every day excited to keep doing what I do, is to help as many people as possible become resilient. Hard times are coming, possibly catastrophically hard times.

The path to becoming more resilient is often less about doing or buying things, but about letting go of the past and releasing the models that no longer serve us. Again, that’s a delicate process guarded by various illusions and emotional walls.

The best we can do online to facilitate this mission is to have a community of high integrity and exceptional people. The good news is that we have that. In spades. The volunteer moderators are a vital part of maintaining this site. So too are the efforts of every member who contributes thoughtfully, or flags posts or spam for review. The Peak team is comprised of people who are so dedicated to the project that I get teary with gratitude just thinking about their dedication and how lucky we all are to have them.

Together, we are building a durable community that is one of the very best to be found anywhere online, and I’m proud of that. We’re doing something special – we’re growing stronger together and learning from each other even though the whole world seems to be demanding that we fracture, divide, and shut down.

In Closing

So, I urge you to join the discussion. Come with integrity and curiosity, bring what facts you can and an open mind, respect the diverse backgrounds and knowledge of our community, and let’s seek truth together. If do this, we have a shot at creating a world worth inheriting.

Thank you.

Your faithful information scout,
Chris Martenson

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

1 Like

This Talk Is Perfect

This is why I love PP!! So right and well put.


Thank you!

Fantastic Mission Statement!

“Where thought-leaders and truth-seekers converge, challenging the unsustainable status quo through facts and empathetic discourse, cultivating a resilient and inclusive community.”


Re Integrity

Thanks, Chris, for a very timely article. The clarification of PP values and what this community is all about is much appreciated. We are a mixed bag of new as well as older members who bring a diversity of contributions, which is a good thing! It does not hurt from time to time to revisit the core attributes that make this such a special community, especially for newer members who may not be aware of the rich, long (in internet terms) history of intelligent, civilized discourse that is present here, and which IMHO, is a rarity.
With regard to this :arrow_heading_down:

The definition of integrity I like best is, “The willingness to be completely reeducated at any given moment.”
I would like to add something that I think is crucial: integrity is an all or nothing proposition. One cannot have "a little integrity". One must be willing & open to be reeducated on any given subject; to engage in self-reflection & examination of data that pertains to all belief systems. To know that cherry picking specific beliefs, ideologies and causes does not cut it. To me, expressing selective moral outrage, as is becoming normalized for "the current thing", whatever it may be, is akin to having "a little" integrity. (Change my mind ?) Change in deeply held belief systems is possible. As a brief example, when I first joined PP over a decade ago, I was the typical Canadian who thought Americans a bunch of gun loving yahoos. By participating in discussions, getting my ass seriously kicked a few times, but continuing to participate, undeterred, I came to see I needed to change my beliefs. Over time I grew to really and truly understand the reasons behind the 2nd Amendment, why it is so valued by so many. That there was genuine reason to fear government. Fast forward to the Covid years, and I too, for the first time in my life, became truly afraid of my own government. In that moment I unquestioningly understood the importance of the right to bear arms. To those members who have had feathers ruffled the past few weeks because of the at times emotional discussions, who are saying they are leaving or cancelling their subscriptions, I encourage you to stay. Leaving will not resolve anything, just leave loose ends, and will limit an opportunity to learn and grow. What does that accomplish? What we have here in this community is priceless. As long as we collectively buy into the PP mission, and do so with integrity, we will be okay. What each person does is up to them. I can only say I am going to keep going, no matter how difficult times and conversations become. And I will do my best to always do so with integrity. I can't go on. I will go on.

Well Said Once Again

Im always attentive to people living their giftedness. Most often society notices these folks in sports, music, etc. Its when i see more regular people doing what they were meant to do, that i celebrate seeing their process play out.
My head would hurt if i tried to absorb, much less process, the volume of input that you do. Much gratitude for your efforts and the high standards youve set. A community only thrives when built on a firm foundation. Thank you!


Thank You



Integrity, Values, Principles, Agreements

So much can be said about integrity. I appreciate this community built on values and principles, not only agreements, and the commitment of the members to maintaining and building the culture.
I’ve spend many hours and conversations exploring these topics.
Here are some thoughts…
Regarding agreements, agreements that are based on underlying values and principles, create a foundation for well-being, for individuals and communities. What happens when agreements are broken, or someone wants to change agreements? Or when the agreements are not what is best for a person, or the community? How do people learn, how are people held accountable, and how does the system evolve? What is the balance of grace and judgement?
It seems to me that building and rebuilding integrity is an ongoing process, and I have found the most value in making this a practice.
Not viewing integrity as a static thing, more as a dynamic interplay.
Asking, where is the integrity out?
How willing are you to notice where integrity is missing and put it in?
How do you respond when someone points out a lack of integrity?
And the same for leaders. How willing are they to notice? How do they respond when someone points something out?
Here’s a paper that some may find useful… “INTEGRITY: A POSITIVE MODEL THAT INCORPORATES THE NORMATIVE PHENOMENA OF MORALITY, ETHICS, AND LEGALITY” by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, and Steve Zaffron.
full paper:
The programs offered by Landmark Worldwide have been immensely valuable for me, and I recommend them highly for everyone.

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Curiosity, Flexibility & Accurate Maps Of Reality

Thanks, Chris, for laying out these points and energetically maintaining this forum for discovery and reasonable discussion.
Maybe a year back, when attempting to gingerly share some data about vax injuries in boys, and a story about FBI suppression of information flow in the media, my unreflecting MSM-consuming friend remarked that she thought I “was coming from a place of ego” in offering this information—and that I clearly (and somewhat annoyingly) “wanted to be right.” She claimed that “everything was relative”: I had my sources for news, and she had hers, so it was all a wash because they cancelled each other out.
That was a remarkable statement—but also one fairly typical of someone (mis)educated in late 20th century America, with its dogmas of cultural, moral, and even factual relativism. Having been taught—and hearing the media constantly repeat—the secular doctrine that “everything is relative,” and that all signifiers empty and ultimately meaningless, she was quite content to ignore or dismiss any information or arguments outside what was comfortable for her.
And comfortable for her meant whatever was endorsed by the powers who flattered her self-image and courted her to identify with their program—and it did not seem to matter that theirs was an ever-shifting program that erased its own history like a clever fox eliminating its scent by running through water.
All things are not relative, and when it comes to matters of actual fact, contradictory claims do not “cancel each other out”. If Website One states, say, that cyanide is poisonous, and Website Two asserts it is perfectly benign (and that anyone who says otherwise is a Russian bot spewing harmful misinformation)—an intelligent person should be able to tell the difference. Cyanide is a simple example, of course, but even for emergent matters—like, say, vaccine injury—there are such things as data signals and logical ways of interpreting them that would enable early identification and halting of those harms (—if The System had integrity, which, alas, it does not).
My friend is actually quite “a nice person,” but like so many (and perhaps even most) “get-alongers,” she lacks curiosity about nearly everything that will challenge her world view and is very easily herded into accepting newly-minted dogmas and taboos. All the more extraordinary considering she has athletic young boys for whom she is making health decisions.
Like others at PP, I’m not particularly interested in “being right” for ego-gloating, faux-omniscience reasons (I’ve switched positions when I’ve gotten better information) but for the much more elemental reason that it’s easier to survive and flourish with an accurate map of reality. We live in bewildering times, and when lost in the wilderness, we have a better chance of getting out with a good map.
As I attempted to suggest to my friend, people seeking the truth are not necessarily egotists, but rather Reality-Philes. They want to know what’s actually out there.


May I Offer A Slightly Different Perspective.

Hi Chris:
Thank you for articulating this for the community.
As I read through your statement of values, I found myself with a slightly different perspective on definitions.
You state that your favored definition of integrity is the willingness to be re-educated at any moment. May I suggest that this is a hallmark definition of open-mindedness?
It seems to me that open-mindedness, the ability and willingness to consider broad perspectives and be educated by them in the pursuit of truth, is a manifestation of integrity, but not its core definition.
For me, the term, integrity, is rooted in the notion of intrinsic unity and wholeness. An integral, for example, is a whole number.To be integrated is to have parts functioning together as a whole, whereas to disintegrate is to come apart and disfunction, An integral part is essential to the metaphysical whole, the whole cannot exist without it. In math, the integral is the area under the curve, whereby one adds up all the components to determine the whole value.
I’m not sure I can propose the ideal definition of human integrity, but it has the following attributes consistent with morally integrated wholeness. Human integrity is the quality of possessing a coherent set of ethical principles guided by the transcendent values of truth, goodness, and beauty. People with integrity conduct themselves consistently in pursuit of these and make them integral to their being. This pursuit guides the person and becomes an integral part of who he or she is.
Consequently, people with integrity adhere to principle despite shifting morays, but — importantly — so long as the knowledge the person possesses indicates that the pertinent beliefs are justified, true, and promote what is good.
When a person has integrity, the person’s moral core does not split apart on the basis of expediency. Their ethics remain integrated in changing situations. For instance, the person’s ego is not threatened if new information comes along to challenge a belief. The person can integrate that new information into a coherent whole without anxiety. This is because their lodestar is truth.
The person with integrity will not use others or manipulate others as tools or as a means to an end. This is because their lodestar is goodness. They will the good of the other, not simply the good of themselves. The person with integrity respects others because they recognize their shared humanity. Such a person does not need to feel superior, rather recognizes that there is value in the perspective others offer. The person with integrity will steward the land because it is good for posterity. They will choose to develop it in ways that maintain beauty. They will write poetry or make music or offer a sermon because these touch the soul and make life beautiful.
The core to integrity is that when aligned with truth, goodness, and beauty, one’s sense of a coherent self is not easily threatened. These are the North Star and one continues their pursuit in the face of adversity or shifting tides.
Sorry this is so belabored, I am trying to communicate integrity as a kind of whole-heartedness guided by transcendent principles.


Thank You For This.

As a new member, I have been hesitant to comment on the boards because I don’t want to be misunderstood, judged, or attacked for expressing my point of view, and I also don’t want to offend anyone. After the last few years of going against the grain, I feel weary and vulnerable. Covid PTSD, perhaps.
Thank you for laying the framework for a safe place to communicate. I value the experience and intelligence of the people I have met in PP in the short time I have been a member (HB was a fantastic event)! I have already learned so much! I hope I will bring value to the group with my future contributions…


The Elephant In The Room

Hello Chris,
Thank you for everything that you do for the community.
In the spirit of open mindedness as discussed above, I would very much appreciate your take on the subject of germ theory, specifically the proposition espoused by the Baileys, Andrew Kaufman, Stephan Lanka, Tom Cowan and many others, that viruses have never been proven to exist because no virus has ever been isolated as per the dictionary definition of the word.
In my opinion, this is a critical conversation to have because, if it is the case that there is no such thing as an infectious submicroscopic agent that can be passed from person to person and cause disease, then the whole vaccine racket, as well as the Covid and AIDS scams, are holed below the waterline.
I am pretty sure that any of the above-named would be prepared to contribute to the conversation given the opportunity.

There have been numerous discussions about germ theory, which you can find by using the forum search function. I linked to some of the discussions below.
I do not know if Chris ever weighed in, but no doubt he would if he found something compelling to comment on. I cannot recall exactly, but if memory serves I do not think that theory gained any traction here at PP. But by all means start a new forum or add to any of the existing forums if you have something new for everyone to review. ??

Values, Knowledge, Beliefs … And Integrity

I’m really glad to see this discussion.
A lot of what gets said (even on this site) I have to confess, sometimes makes me feel “uncomfortable.”
I think another aspect of the “Integrity” thing is the willingness, nay the Obligation, to accept and embrace Discomfort as necessary to Growth in the same sense that Effort is necessary to Achievement, or Practice is necessary to Excellence, or Breathing is necessary to Singing.
Discomfort is not something to be avoided, but rather something to be highly prized.
Because without Discomfort there is no further growth.
And the very definition of life is Growth and Change.
Death is just the end or absence of both of these things.
I think I know why you produced this episode at this particular time, and I respect you for doing what must have made you uncomfortable. Even if I’m wrong about what motivated it, I think it’s timely and it’s something that needed to be said.
– Chuck


My thinking on this is close to yours. An integrated person is one who exhibits integrity; it refers to the property of consistency, often between words and deeds “walk the walk and talk the talk”). It also means that one’s ideas are consistent; the person has thought through enough to iron out contradictions in his thinking.
To illustrate the point, a person lacking integrity could be said to be disintegrated, at least between his thoughts and actions. So a hypocrite could be said to be disintegrated.

" it’s easier to survive and flourish with an accurate map of reality. We live in bewildering times, and when lost in the wilderness, we have a better chance of getting out with a good map.

As I attempted to suggest to my friend, people seeking the truth are not necessarily egotists, but rather Reality-Philes. They want to know what’s actually out there."
I wholeheartedly agree. I remember being a child and being afraid of something under my bed. Let's call it a monster, but I wasn't even sure of its form or shape. Did it have fangs and matted hair? Or was it vaporous with glowing eyes except for a bony hand that could clench around your ankle like a vise? That monster existed, from time to time, until I screwed up the courage to finally get down on the floor and look under the bed. - poof! - Monster gone. Nothing but dust bunnies and some remnants from "cleaning up my room" So maybe it was my guilty room-cleaning conscience under there the whole time. Who knows? The point is that I find not knowing to be far more anxiety-producing than actually knowing. Even if there were an actual monster under the bed, it would still be better to know. But I understand that other people are built differently. I'm okay with that now. It used to vex me; how can they be that way?!? Now my goal is to simply identify them more quickly to save us both the time and the trouble of attempting to reconcile an irreconcilable difference.

? ? Same for me.

The point is that I find not knowing to be far more anxiety-producing than actually knowing. Even if there were an actual monster under the bed, it would still be better to know.

Thank You, Chris!

You are a voice of sanity.


Great story, and remarkable in that I had the exact same experience at maybe age 5 or 6 (monster under bed, moment of courage, vanished monster, dust bunnies …
…and now that we’re all grown up, we’ve been spelunking down corkscrewing rabbit holes … there’s a deep rabbit theme here, man …
I recall the no-monster-under-the-bed moment clearly: it was one of those childhood triumphs like the day I learned to tie my shoelaces; the night I finally memorized the times table from one of those b&w marble notebooks so I could banish once and for all the classroom anxiety of not knowing); and my greatest single triumph: on Halloween–that wild night of mayhem, eggs, shaving cream and Nair–whapping an invading thug into my hood smack dead center of his forehead with an airborne 30-yard Hail Mary gleaming white egg … and running like hell to escape the wrathful revenge…

Re: “staying In Your Lane”

Telling someone to “stay in their lane” is just another form of censorship.
The most important things to learn in primary school are how to read, write, and count. Those foundational skills have allowed me to research topics for myself and form my own opinions, without “experience” or a university degree.
It’s pretty obvious that Chris doesn’t form opinions about things without doing his research first. I, for one, welcome his thoughts and insights on just about everything. I’m not saying I always agree with him, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m looking for accurate info and sound ideas, and this site doesn’t disappoint.
I’m stealing - I mean liberating - err, sharing - this list of values, by the way, with my own local community.  ? 
Thanks Chris and Team and Supporters for all you do!