March 1993; p. 16, 18


by Jill Karlin & Lee Butler

If aliens were to land in Florida, where would they land, I wonder. A place called Cape Canaveral, or a place called Venus? If they did land in Venus. I know there's a landing pad ready to accommodate their ship, and two humans who would make the most enlightened interchange with our galactic or intergalactic relatives ready to recieive them: Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows.

Jacque Fresco is 76 years young. His missionary zeal and intensity of purpose keeps him that way, with no time for backsliding. His mission – along with his companion, "coeverything" Roxanne – is to change the course of human history.

According to Jacque and Roxanne, humanity has fallen so deeply into the abyss that the only way out is onto a path of brotherhood and love, where we live in harmony with nature and with the earth. Their systematic plans for accomplishing this begin with a film (which they hope will be more popular than Star Wars) that will explain the workings of what Jacque calls sociocyberneering: "a comprehensive design of the best science and technology for enhancing the lives of all people.''

According to the ultimate plan, cities will be completely self-sufficient, the drudgery of work as we know it will no longer be necessary, and there will be no such thing as war.

[missing from original]...and him to do his own thing, and roped off the back of the classroom, asking the teacher not to disturb him! A truant officer who once caught up with Jacque (again amazingly) was also sensitive to the unusual boy. When he saw the serious work of inventing and exploring Jacque was into, he allowed him to go off on his own. The inventor, explorer, and problem-solver has never looked back.

Interested profoundly in human behavior, Jacque started off studying insects, spending years exploring their behavior. He then trained rats to respond to visual data, and pigs to clean up their rooms and make their beds before they got fed!

It seems Jacque Fresco has spent his entire life in one form of laboratory or another. As a young man he was known for his ability to work with hardened criminals in New York. His reputation for being able to help shape convicts into positive contributors to society grew not only with the officials but also among the criminals themselves, who considered him someone they could trust. Jacque's method for winning these troubled people over went something like this: At first he would show them the flaws in their destructive designs, particularly of weapons, pointing out how they could make the designs more efficient. Then he would slowly guide them off weapons into books and self-improvement.

Jacque tells a story about meeting one of AI Capone's henchmen, back in the 1920s. The fellow came to him seeking help for a personal problem. "Ya see," the gangster said, "I love ridin' in niggatown with my big Rolls Royce, with a blonde babe on my arm, and just watchin' all dem nlggas look at me, and I wanna know why dat is, Jacque." Jacque told him why It was – that the man had no real friends, that people hung around him just for the stuff he gave them, and that he had been just like those black men and boys who gawked at him, his blonde, and his Rolls. He reminded the man that as a youth he had also thought men with the fancy babes and cars had everything, expecting that when he had all that stuff himself he would find true happiness. Of course it didn't happen that way. Well, wouldn't you know it? That hood wound up agreeing with everything jacque said about him!

The consumerist dream the gangster bought into is not too different from the one that most people buy into today. Jacque and Roxanne have divorced themselves from the consumerized world as much as possible, although Roxanne meets it in her work as an architectural model-builder and delineator and Jacque ventures into it whenever he is invited to lecture somewhere (such as Princeton University, a recent national environmental conference in Washington, D.C., and the University of South Florida). Occasionally the world comes to Jacque, as he is often asked to solve problems for a variety of industrial companies. In fact, the landing pad on their land is a heliport that was built for deliveries from major contractors.

Over the last ten years, Fresco and Meadows have created the beginning of their "newtopian" dream on their own 25-acre spread in Venus. When they bought the land, it was all cypress swamp, tomato fields, Florida scrub, and wild vegetation. They dug ponds, filled land, and planted. Today, the landscape, as Jacque likes to describe it, is  "like Madagascar." A series of grassy garden paths, bordered by a huge variety of native, flowering, and fruit-bearing trees, leads to several semi-concealed free-form concrete structures. One of these serves as Jacque's lab, another as his studio, a third as Roxanne's lab, and a fourth is for conferences. Their home perches on a hill overlooking a beautiful man-made lake, draped with palms. By bending trees as they grow by the lake. Jacque and Roxanne have managed to make a relative ly new landscape look the way years of jungle life would have done. A pipe-and-concrete bridge spans a canal behind the lake, where a path leads to a natural cypress forest. Everything is completely organic and natural. Their little Garden of Eden has attracted all the area wildlife, including alligators, deer, panthers, foxes, raccoons, and birds of all kinds.

Once, when he was planting around the lakeside nearest to the house, Jacque saw the familiar site of an alligator poke its head up through the water and then slowly and silently submerge itself. What he didn't notice was the reappearance of the alligator, who had come up behind him (Jacque is petite in stature) and was proceeding to bite his arm. Instinctively Jacque bopped the alligator on the head, and the alligator released its grip. Fascinated, Jacque began to read extensively about encounters with alligators, but he couldn't find one quite like his own. He now suspects he had come too close to a nest of alligator eggs and that his attacker may have been a mother protecting her nest. Although the incident might have shocked him, in his inimitable fashion Jacque preferred to search for an explanation rather than being alarmed or angered.

Jacque remains the most conscientious problem-solver. Every problem brought to him seems to open doors for limitless exploration. He and Roxanne are dedicating every moment these days to launching their film. Resources, as well as serious investors, are needed. They invite participation from conscious lightworkers who have money, connections, business skills, writing s kills, and film and video skills, as well as folks who just want to start talking about the project and spreading word of its wonder.