Inside Look Interview with Deborah Dupre’
By Inside Look Magazine on Sun 15 of March, 2009 08:15 PDT
Inside Look caught up with Fuel's Deborah Dupre' for an exclusive interview!
Inside Look Interview with Deborah Dupre
How did you get involved with conservation, green living, alternative energy, and alternative healing?
When I was a little girl, my favorite aunt who lived on the bayou in
South Louisiana, and my father who’d grown up there, taught me Native
American ways. We’d walk to nearby Indian mounds on the bayou and
they’d teach me green living that was natural to First Nation Peoples.
These are among my fondest memories from girlhood.
As I grew, I learned to respect words of age-old wisdom such as
those by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, from White Buffalo Teachings, "We
see what's going to happen, what will surely happen unless we come
together---we, the Peoples of all Nations---to restore peace, harmony,
and balance to the Earth, our Mother." I learned that living in harmony
with Mother Earth, loving people of all walks-of-life, and respecting
nature were principles I needed to incorporate into my life.
Fortunately, both of my parents helped me learn the importance of
I practiced these teachings mostly on “the bayou” and in the Girl
Scouts of America of which my mother was a long-time leader. Camping,
exploring, canoeing, climbing trees, and singing in a circle of friends
around a campfire were my favorite past times. I smile when reminiscing
of being one of Baton Rouge’s only young women still in Girl Scouts as
a high school senior; not very cool but I cherished and respected this
organization because it taught me hands-on conservation.
Later, through my Catholic upbringing, I learned compassion for the
have-nots and importance of searching for inner peace that passes all
understanding. Without this background, I may not be as active in the
peace movement and serving the poor today. I may not have travelled for
a year in my own makeshift peace symbol and flower-painted motor home,
feeding and working with conscientious objectors during the Vietnam
During my Bachelor of Science degree work at Louisiana State
University in Baton Rouge, I became fascinated with natural healing
practices. After graduation, I moved to Australia where I discovered
natural healing was more widely practiced than in the United States. I
then studied injury prevention and community development at University
of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, graduating from
there with a Post-Graduate? Diploma in Continuing Education in 1985.
By 1984, my mother was very ill. I moved back to Louisiana with my
two sons. After my mother’s death, I returned to L.S.U. to merge my
interests in Environmental Sciences, Prevention, Vocational Education,
International Development and Social Work for a multi-disciplined
research and development curriculum and earned my Master of Science in
Vocational Education. Since then, I’ve pursued this multi-discipline as
a change agent, including my professional background as a: youth and
family mental health therapist practitioner in Louisiana; Family
Structured Interventionist; consultant for the World Health
Organization in Least Developing South Pacific Island Nation, Vanuatu
(formerly the New Hebrides) in the early 2000s; and research consultant
in remote Australian Aboriginal communities until 2009.
I’ve learned that one of my healing gifts is performing structured
interventions with people with various addictions. Structured
Interventions use ancient healing techniques of sitting in a circle;
using open, honest communications; telling stories in graphic details,
in a calm, loving, supportive way. Today, support circles are
flourishing. Revisiting these basic, effective techniques and universal
values of good living passed through the ages, successfully heals the
spirit and therefore the body as effectively now as in years gone by.
Research and development grants afforded my opportunities to live and
work with Australian Aboriginal Elders and their families who live in
impoverished conditions. Together, we created and implemented
empowerment programs to help restore their ancient ways of circle talk
healing from which they have been deprived.
Did this have an impact on your son? How?
Many mothers who see FUEL ask me, “How did you create such a
compassionate person?” Perhaps Joshua learned some of his compassion
and appreciation of nature because I taught him what had been taught to
me: to strive to live in accordance with nature; to learn
independently; to serve the poor; to appreciate Structured
When Joshua was a baby, I’d carry him on my hip so I could see him
and talk to him about what he was seeing. Some of my favorite memories
with him were walking carefree through Australian countryside and
orchards, pointing out and talking to him about goannas, kangaroos,
fish, birds, other animals, flowers, and trees. I tried to help Joshua
learn what I’d learned in my university studies, the importance of
learning “TLC,” learning to Think, learning to Learn, and learning to
Joshua’s advocating against violence and war through his movie might
be resultant of his early childhood experiences with me. When we rear
children compassionately, they are more likely to be compassionate.
Babies and children learn to do what they see adults do. I taught
passivity and dialogue instead of using corporal punishment. I wanted
my children to learn that violence and bullying is never OK, that
compassion and dialogue are more effective in solving problems.
I’ve been a Family Structured Interventionist for nearly two
decades. This carefully orchestrated type of intervention renews a
spirit of family empowerment; breaks denial in a loving but graphically
accurate way so people can see their harm to self and others and
willingly take action to change. Perhaps Joshua learned the importance
of this type of intervention and applied it to help break the global
addiction to oil. His movie, FUEL, is a carefully orchestrated
intervention that breaks the malaise of denial in a graphically
truthful, loving way and gives the great gift of new, healthy options
so that people seeing it are empowered to take action to change.
Joshua also witnessed my South Louisiana loved ones suffering from
cancer. He saw me grieve after their deaths. Within 18 months, three of
the most significant women in my life since childhood each died from
When I then suggested to Joshua that, for his science project, he
test waterways north of New Orleans in Covington and Mandeville,
Louisiana, and told him I would help by driving him to them and
facilitating his working with scientists in the area, he agreed
wholeheartedly. It was one of the best things we did together. He then
discovered, however, not only high levels of toxins in the waterways,
but also the influence of petrochemical companies on the Environmental
Joshua also saw me suffer with symptoms that my loved ones had
exhibited before they died. Those experiences as a young boy, after
having lived in a clean, free-spirited, healthy environment in
Australia with healthy people surrounding him, undoubtedly had a great
impact on him.
In Fuel, Josh mentions that you were sick. What was your condition?
When I was a baby, my family moved from New Orleans to North Baton
Rouge, a couple of blocks from a major oil refinery. As a child, I
suffered from and was diagnosed as having allergies. Later we moved
from North to South Baton Rouge. Even then, after car rides with my
family to New Orleans, I’d become too drowsy to stay awake. By the time
we’d arrive at my grandparents’ home, I’d have to sleep for a couple of
hours while my brothers and sister would get to run and play with our
cousins. Scientific research reflects a high correlation between
petrochemical pollution and development of allergies. As a child, I was
probably suffering from allergies resultant from oil refineries and
exacerbated by the ominous, low-level, toxic, chemical clouds that we
drove through to get to New Orleans and then again, to return to Baton
Research also reflects a high correlation between petrochemicals and
reproductive health disorders. The movie FUEL highlights this in an
interview with an attorney and documents her working with Louisiana
women with reproductive health disorders. After I had nine
miscarriages, my weight dropped to 106 pounds; I experienced continual
hemorrhaging and low-grade fever; and I became too weak to live a
normal and productive life. My doctors strongly recommended a
hysterectomy. Even after this procedure, however, my health continued
to deteriorate. Doctors then diagnosed me as having Lupus and being in
a “pre-cancerous state.”
I remember during that time, when I was at work, during my lunch
hours and even 15-minute breaks, I’d collapse and sleep on the floor
behind my desk or in my car. My entire body was in pain, my fevers
increased, and my energy level dropped to an all time low. It seemed
obvious that my life was ending and that I was following the same path
as my mother who’d intensely suffered physically before dying at age
How did you get better?
To heal, I discontinued following my doctor’s advice and ultimately
moved from my beloved native state, Louisiana, to cleaner environments
in Florida. It took much more, however, than just a cleaner
environment. I’d probably not be here today had I not followed two
1) For physical healing, I followed Ann Wigmore’s Hippocrates Center
diet including wheat grass juice twice daily and 75% raw foods daily
plus I used massive doses of Co-Enzyme? Q 10.
2) For spiritual healing, I followed the advice of one of
Australia’s leading Naturopaths and author of a university textbook on
natural healing. He emphatically explained to me: “You do not have much
longer to live unless you stop everything you’re doing now, follow your
passion, and do not let anything or anyone stop you from it.”
Giving to self as a temple and to others as part of self, are keys
to healing self and Mother Earth. I moved back to Australia where I
could develop and use my unique, creative gifts to garden, eat my
organic food, drink and bath in non-chlorinated water, become a
self-taught artist, and work with Indigenous Peoples. I’d passionately
wanted all of this since I was a girl.
I knew that a holistic approach to healthcare enables us to treat
the individual as a part of the whole. I became more familiar with
Ayurveda, the 5000-year old science of living in harmony with forces of
nature. Understanding one’s personal nature and the environment’s
impact on one’s life offers us clarity of the most appropriate
lifestyle applications that best serve us and the planet. This journey
of holistic healing was what I needed to take to survive and be
You mentioned the connection between spirituality and conservation in our last conversation. What is your take on this?
To me, spirituality equates to compassion for each other and for the
planet, living in harmony with nature. This is part of what I address
in my lectures and presentation: “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Technology.”
Compassion for each other and for the planet is the opposite of
greed or extracting from the planet more than we require. It’s an
awareness of connectivity as explained in FUEL. Each person is
physically and spiritually connected to each other, the Earth, and the
heavens. FUEL, reminds us that when we look at another human being, we
see the entire history of humanity because we’re all connected to all
that is and what has been. Connectivity is spiritual union, Oneness,
communion. The Australian Aboriginal word for connectivity is Kanyini,
that by the way, is the name of the documentary I’m representing here
in the U.S.A.
What people call their “passion in life” is in a healthy, positive
sense their spiritual gift that may be an art form, teaching, healing,
problem solving, etc. When we do not develop and share our unique gift
with the rest of the world, we are actually being selfish and Mother
Earth becomes spiritually ill and then physically ill. This selfishness
is one of the things that we see today and what we need to reverse to
heal self, others, and the planet.
The world seems to be going through a growing period where
everyone is becoming more conscious. Some people call this the
beginning of a higher age. Any comments?
In Abraham Maslow’s 1943 “Hierarchy of Human Needs Pyramid,” only
the small percentage of people at top of the pyramid are involved in a
more conscious life, what Maslow called self-actualization. In his
pyramid, the vast majority of people comprised the largest and lowest
section of the pyramid where basic needs for survival are all
consuming. Today, we see that bottom section of the pyramid has grown.
More people starve to death today than ever. The fact that twenty
million people per year are dying of malnutrition, with this number
increasing, hardly reflects a higher age.
I believe FUEL helps us learn that the “higher age” needs to be
equally for all. I view FUEL as a vehicle for higher consciousness
through the movie’s intervention implementation because it graphically
documents the intertwined oil addiction and addiction to war plus it
lovingly demonstrates a higher way of living through renewable energy
that can be accessible to all of humanity.
What is your take on “green living” today?
Ancient wisdom that was based on peaceful life in harmony with
nature has been replaced with what educator, Paulo Freire named his
book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed,
a system based on what those in control want us to learn, believe and
thus, ultimately how to behave to serve those in power. Such oppression
negates education and knowledge as processes of inquiry, the type of
inquiry we need today to increase green living. In recent years,
there’s been an escalation of oppression of independent thinking and
learning for environmental progress plus peace, human rights, and
independent scientific research and journalism, despite their peaceful
activities. This oppression stifles green living, living in harmony
with and harnessing nature’s abundant, peaceful energy resources. FUEL
helps reverse this oppression by empowering people to participate in
both the process of inquiry and implementing solutions required for
Universal principles important for humanity to experience green living are based on 2 things, connectivity and compassion:
1) When I say “connectivity,” I’m referring to the principle that we
are each connected to each, all Peoples throughout the world, and to
Mother Earth. Green living requires that we first become conscious that
what we as individuals do in our daily lives impacts the lives of
everyone else on the planet and Mother Earth.
2) When I say “compassion,” I refer to both compassion for each
other and compassion for the planet. Green living requires that we also
become compassionate to not only those we see each day, but for all
Peoples of the world since we are all connected. What we do affects
everyone else and what we do to the least of our brothers and sisters,
even by neglect, affects us all in the long run.
What are we missing? What needs to happen?
We’re missing fully embracing the depth and breadth of connectivity
to each other, Mother Earth, and the Universe. We’re missing the deeper
compassion for each other and for Mother Earth.
Without recognizing connectivity to all that is, it’s easy to not
have compassion and for evil to slip into our lives personally and as a
human race and conquer. We’re missing opportunities to learn
connectivity and compassion, a learning gap that FUEL fills.
If we as a society recognize, respect, and engage in demonstrating
connectivity and compassion, we can manifest abundance for all Peoples,
and Mother Earth returns this abundance to us. Josh makes this point in
FUEL when he emphasizes that if we together learn about existing energy
technology to access what nature provides from the sun, the wind, the
water, and if we use this technology, then “there’s enough energy to
sustain every living being on Earth now and for those to come.”
Individually, we need to be active in local, state, and national
political systems to hold elected officials accountable and to ensure
that our tax dollars pay for what we need. We need to learn about
issues through independent journalists and media sources. Otherwise, we
run the risk of learning news from sources remunerated by corporations
that profit from weapons manufacturing and war.
In communities, we need to begin a peaceful decentralization
process, first by learning from each other in neighborhoods, sharing
our stories, strength and wisdom to heal and survive together with
family and neighbors. As the global economic crisis intensifies and
impacts us locally, this process will become paramount for survival. It
is common in Western society to not know our neighbors or work with
them to solve problems in hard times. Now is the time to change this,
starting with community meetings. It’s up to each of us to create these
meetings. Nobody else is going to come in and do this for us.
To survive crises, some of Earth’s oldest cultures knew and
practiced crisis intervention by learning and healing together. By
sitting in circles, being honest with each other, and storytelling,
they managed to survive. In the same way, we need to gather with our
neighbors and start creating the way we can survive and be healthy
together. Collectively with help from nature and technology, we each
have unique, valuable resources. Nobody, however, has everything it
takes to survive and be healthy. We need to cooperate more with others.
We need to be gathering with neighbors to design a system based on
sharing and bartering that creates what each participant needs,
beginning with community capacity building and mapping.
In a mapping exercise, people gather and participate in respectful
dialogue and then information gathering. They democratically decide
what unique knowledge and physical resources are available to them and
what is lacking, who has the needed resources or access to them, and
how to combine all of these neighbor resources so needs of everyone in
the group are met. For example, every household in the cluster might
not be able to install solar panels right now, but maybe one solar
system could be installed that would supply several houses. Maybe one
house has room for a wind turbine that could generate energy needed for
several families. Maybe one family has finances but not time. Maybe one
home has more room for a garden to be worked by several families and
feed all of them. Maybe one family can produce biofuel to share. A
transformation occurs by neighbors participating in identifying and
creating solutions together.
This community transformation is happening in many parts of the
world including in theaters after people experience the movie, FUEL.
Instead of leaving after seeing FUEL, they meet each other in the
theater foyer, share ideas, gather more information, discuss and plan
how they can personally contribute to healing the planet, and what they
can do collectively with their groups locally and nationally. They
commit to recruiting others to see and learn the powerful teachings in
FUEL. They donate tickets for less fortunate people to become empowered
by FUEL. Teachers commit to giving extra credit to their students who
see FUEL. Theater managers told me that they’ve never seen any movie
result in people remaining and talking to each other in the theater
afterwards. This is what Josh wanted, designed, and spent 12 years
creating: a peaceful energy transformation for the betterment of all
As a nation, we need to put down our weapons and stop supporting
wars of aggression. For national and economic security, we need to
transfer the petroleum military complex resources to domestic energy
education and technology. For modern society to have spent 3 trillion
dollars on weapons while people starve is unconscionable. The
petroleum-military-industrial complex increases aggressive competition
and greed rather than cooperation for the common good.
How has this film changed your life?
FUEL has renewed my hope for a better future for humanity,
reportedly as most people who see, even corporate heads, one of whom
cried after seeing FUEL and committed to a dramatic change for the
betterment of humanity.
Personal involvement with FUEL has meant that I could return to the
U.S. from Australia with my younger son, Jeremiah, and be closer to
each other as a family and support Josh and his movie, FUEL. I moved
from one of Earth’s most remote communities with one of its oldest
living cultures, now in dire poverty, where life expectancy has dropped
to 38, to a modern metropolis of extraordinary material wealth,
remarkable industrial diversity, and achievements with excessiveness
and 10-lane freeways.
Now, almost a year later, my pivotal role in FUEL has provided me
with more collaborative opportunities with many people of goodwill so
that I can be a greater voice of those without a voice, those with whom
I’ve advocated as a human rights worker over 25 years. What I can
contribute now is more than what it would have taken me lifetimes to do
without the opportunity of being in what people consistently say is a
powerful role in FUEL.
There’s no project I know that can intervene and help expedite peace
more than FUEL, or I’d not be as passionate about it. One 2-hour
screening of FUEL to a group of disengaging youth can result in their
engagement and reason to live that may have taken years of therapy that
One of the most interesting comments about FUEL was by a mother who
had watched it with her children. She then wrote, thanking me for
courage to say what I did on camera. She explained that my statements
and the political parts Josh included in FUEL made it possible for her
family to discuss matters that it had never been able to discuss,
likening these issues to the way rape discussions used to be, taboo.
Until rape became a public issue, its victims suffered in silence. She
said that FUEL had brought her family members closer. They were able to
not only discuss, but also to begin working to resolve these issues as
a family unit in their own way. I guess this shows how our sharing
openly and honestly, even our innermost challenges, helps others heal.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ll continue advocating for FUEL and participating in its movement,
especially with disengaged youth and their families. I’m happy to be
involved with America’s First Green Team, the San Antonio
pro-basketball team in the ABA League, that after seeing the movie
changed not only their fuel, but their name to “Texas Fuel,” and its
mission to educating about renewable, peaceful energy at its half-time
shows. They’ve entitled me, “Darling of Texas Fuel,” for which I’m
honored. The team mentors inner city youth, so this project is
conducive to my work. I’m also continuing to accept invitations to
speak on behalf of the voiceless about “Ancient Wisdom and Modern
Technology” at eco-peace, parenting, and health events.
I’ve been asked to be the U.S.A. representative of the new, award-winning movie, Kanyini,
a heart-warming revelation of Australian Aboriginal history of
connectivity to the Earth, each other, spirituality, culture and
Aborigines’ plight to survive modern challenges without this
connectivity after being separated from it. Kanyini has an
associated valuable curriculum guide that I’m keen to promote. I’m also
interested in developing an environmentally based community development
consultancy to empower families and communities with their ancient
wisdom, modern healing, and cutting-edge environmental technology. This
next generation, non-food biofuel technology uses marginalized land
unsuitable for food crops, HDSR trees that clean air and water plus
provide cost effective building supplies, and the high-yield mustard
Deborah Dupré holds a Master of Science degree from Louisiana State
University, Baton Rouge, LA, U.S.A. and Post Graduate Diploma from
University of New England, NSW, Australia. Dupré has been a human
rights and peace advocate for over twenty years; led research and
development teams in S. Pacific Islands and Australia with Indigenous
Peoples; provides the pivotal role in FUEL; lectures on Ancient Wisdom
and Modern Technology. Her consultancy includes profitable
opportunities by planting 2nd generation, non-edible biomass source
seeds and trees for biofuel . She can be contacted through www.DeborahDupre.com, emailing GDeborahDupre@Gmail.com or phoning 310.310.1997.