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Jul 2, 2015

Sea Change

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When I was a kid, I got into an argument with some of the grown-ups at my church. (Yes, I have always been as I am today.) I had been at a youth service where we had sung fun, kid-friendly songs instead of hymns. One of the songs was "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love." These are the lyrics.

We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord

And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side

And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love, our love
By our love, our love, by our love, our love, by our love, our love
By our love, by our love, by our love, our love
by our love

Jun 24, 2015

Psychic Pets and Other Proven Things



I touched on this experiment in intellectual dishonesty in this post, but Rupert Sheldrake here presents the documentary proof that Richard Wiseman misrepresented his own data to proclaim all evidence of psychic pets so much hugger mugger. What always kills me about things like this is that headlines always win. That's true even when the headlines are at odds with the articles they introduce, let alone when the journalism is equally shoddy. Wiseman's widely covered "debunking" of Sheldrake's meticulously documented pet telepathy experiment was the shot heard round the world. No one from the press bothered, apparently, to note that he was shooting blanks.

In that same post, I quote Wiseman admitting that the only means by which serious scientists can continue to dismiss evidence of remote viewing is by putting a thumb on the scale.

I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do... Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions.

And, yes, he also commits the cardinal error of misusing the phrase "begs the question." I tire of saying this, but while it may raise the question of whether or not to disregard any standard by which science might remain a truthful and dispassionate practice, it does not beg it. To beg the question is to commit the logical fallacy of petitio principii, circular argument. That Wiseman also has little facility with logic and critical thinking should probably come as no great shock.

Jun 21, 2015

Coraline and the Blue Pearl




My dear friend Frog recently created this satire of Coraline called Cameline. His point is that there are some very odd parallels between Cameron Clark's experiences in House Teal and Coraline's in the Pink Palace apartments. It got me thinking about some of the deeper elements of Coraline, things I'd overlooked when I saw it in the theater. So, I've given the film a fresh look and moved Neil Gaiman's award-winning book up on my reading list, which is to say, I've now read it.

It goes pretty well without saying that Gaiman is a genius. Coraline, the novella, is a masterpiece. Like Alice in Wonderland, to which it is often compared, there's a nod to the shamanic ability of children to transverse worlds through the odd doorway. The story has its own version of the Cheshire cat and even a tea party of sorts.

It is also a brilliant depiction of narcissism. The Other Mother lives in her own world, populated by puppets she controls. Those who defy or bore her – who no longer reflect her desires – she throws behind a mirror. She eats up the lives and souls of anyone who crosses her path. Anyone who has ever been taken in by a narcissist for any length of time knows the kind of creeping surreality, the warping of perception, that comes from being caught up in their world view.

Henry Selick expanded on Gaiman's book, which wasn't really long enough for a feature film. Characters were added and storylines were extrapolated. What I now realize about the film, is that a mythic subtext was woven through it and that these themes are revealed in striking visuals.

Jun 16, 2015

Wesolowski to be Tried by Vatican Court



Could Vatican culture finally be changing?

A Vatican prosecutor on Monday ordered the trial of a former Roman Catholic archbishop accused of paying for sex with children while he was a papal ambassador in the Dominican Republic and of possessing child pornographic material.

Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who had been defrocked by a Vatican tribunal, last year became the first person to be arrested inside the Vatican on paedophilia charges.

A statement said the trial, the first on paedophilia charges to be held inside the Vatican City, would start on July 11.

Wesolowski was the Vatican ambassador to Santo Domingo, when local police found that he was procuring underage male prostitutes. Vatican investigators then found child pornography on his computer.

Jun 9, 2015

Shadows Before Despair



A little birdie delivered some screenshots to me last night. Apparently, there was a little dustup on Teal Tribe. It was quelled pretty quickly. The unintentional instigator either quit or was banned in short order. (In the third screenshot, you can see the little grey check that indicates that this former triber has left the building.) So, what was the cause of this well-contained incident? Once again: the shadow work.




May 19, 2015

Shadows Before Suicide




I've always found the theme song from M*A*S*H to be darkly compelling. Beautiful and melodic, it is an oddly seductive paean to ending it all. Reading the latest from the marvelous Gaby Petris, it occurs to me that for many people, Teal Bosworth Scott Swan's relentless obsession with suicide has a similar allure for many of her followers. She is far more dangerous. When she speaks of suicide as, not only painless, but blissful, she does so without tongue in cheek. Hers is a kind of siren song pulling her many suicidal followers closer and closer to the rocks.

I want to show you a precarious vortex that is massing around the teacher Teal Swan. Within it suffering people seeking an answer are circling. I want to communicate a sense of its dangerous undertow. That pulls people in. And under.

I first became aware of Gaby's writings, when her first post on this topic was recommended to me in a comment on my last post on teal. It is also must reading. When I learned that she was working on a more in-depth piece, my only question was, how can I help? Together, Gaby and I sorted through screenshots we've both collected of Teal Tribe discussions about the suicide option, and about the 22 year-old triber who recently took his own life.

When I really delve into the patterns of teal's communication with her flock, the picture that emerges always proves to be so much worse than I'd thought. I am eavesdropping, I know, as I look at these snapshots of Teal Tribe conversation. I am not a tealer or a triber. I am an observer, a rubbernecker, watching accidents occur in slow motion. And it is an awful thing to see the train coming and be so unable to stop it.

Teal Tribe is brimming over with creative, intelligent, even brilliant, people. Many are also wounded and vulnerable. And, far too many are suicidal.

May 2, 2015

In Which Michael Shermer Finds the Time



As I noted here, Rupert Sheldrake challenged professional skeptic Michael Shermer to a debate in 2003. He accepted. And now, a mere twelve years later, that debate will take place.

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who was caught giving critiques of  Sheldrake's work without reading it, agreed to debate Sheldrake... if only he could find the time.

In March 2003, Dr Sheldrake challenged Shermer to a debate, which he accepted, and several times and venues were suggested, but all were rejected by Shermer. As of 2009, the debate has still not taken place.

Well, better late than never. The dialogue, hosted by TheBestSchools.org, commenced on May Day with opening statements from both thinkers.

Apr 12, 2015

Doctor Who and the Approaching Skingularity



William Henry believes that we are facing a time of decision. Will we choose to remain fully organic beings or will we merge so completely with artificial technologies that they become part of our very skin? Henry has released an eBook, free to whomever asks for it. I recently received my copy and have only just started reading it and poring over the spectacular images. More information on The Skingularity is Near and how to receive your copy can be found here.

In March, Henry appeared on Coast to Coast AM to discuss our future, what is increasingly possible and what is our true potential. Whether or not you agree with Henry that humans are inherently and organically capable of transforming into light beings, the vision of tech companies to transfigure us through technology should reasonably terrify you. They're wearing us down, though, by promising ease, interconnectedness, and even virtual immortality.

Many of the technologies under development mimic the language, the imagery, and even the properties of cross-cultural resurrection and ascension mythologies. The possibilities entice not only because the promises are fantastical but because they resonate with core archetypes. Henry points out that it may well be a devil's bargain. We may be handing over our fundamental liberty to a convergence of state and corporate power. What looks like an enhancement of human power could really be very cleverly packaged tyranny.

We humans have an instinctual fear of merging with inorganic machines that has long played out in our modern mythologies. The Borg of Star Trek: Next Generation portray our primal terror of losing our humanity and independence to co-optation by intelligent machines. The Matrix trilogy depicts a world lost to our development of artificial intelligence, as self-aware machines reduce humanity to batteries and trap our consciousness in a VR simulacram. But the most direct parallel to Henry's "skingularity" and it's conflict with natural human evolution plays out in Doctor Who.

Apr 6, 2015

Rapid Pole Shift in Our Lifetime?




As I mentioned here, pole shift appears to be underway. It also appears to be happening far more rapidly than has long been predicted by the establishment. In this episode of Dreamland, Linda Moulten Howe interviews UC Berkeley's Dr. Paul Renne about geological data that dramatically accelerates the predicted timeline. Renne worked with an international team of geologists to analyze volcanic ash sediments in a lake bed in Italy. They were able to track the shifting patterns that preceded the last pole shift, the Brunhes-Mutuyama event, and have determined it was quite rapid, probably under a hundred years.

The authors, including Berkeley graduate student Courtney Sprain and her supervisor Professor Paul Renne, are not the first to suggest the last flip was unusually fast, but Sprain says the evidence they have found in the Suilmona Basin, east of Rome, is very clear. “The paleomagnetic data are very well done. This is one of the best records we have so far of what happens during a reversal and how quickly these reversals can happen,” says Sprain.

Volcanoes upwind of the basin, including Sabatini and Vesuvius, erupted frequently during the reversal, and the changing magnetic field can be seen in the sediments laid down. Argon-argon isotopic dating allowed Sprain and Renne to date the ash layers far more precisely than has been done before.

“What’s incredible is that you go from reverse polarity to a field that is normal with essentially nothing in between, which means it had to have happened very quickly, probably in less than 100 years,” said Renne. “We don’t know whether the next reversal will occur as suddenly as this one did, but we also don’t know that it won’t.

We are left with a lot of unknowns. Geophysicists still don't understand why this happens, how frequently it happens, or how varied the effects are. What is clearer is that past events have caused enough thinning of the earth's magnetosphere to allow serious damage from solar and cosmic radiation. This may, in fact, have caused the extinction of the Neanderthals.

A complete write-up of this interview can be found here on Howe's website.


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Mar 29, 2015

Medical Cannabis DeleTED



Here's another TED Talk you're never going to see because they're scared. The official reason: "Boca Raton is not ready for a talk on Cannabis." But we all know the real reason. TEDx Boca Raton is afraid of having their charter pulled by TED and being left in the lurch like TEDx West Hollywood. They've been reined in by the parent organization.

You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that new discoveries are being made about the healing properties of cannabis. And what is most troubling here is that this talk wasn't even about the kinds of medical marijuana that make people high. It's about non-psychoactive compounds that are currently being developed into effective medical therapies. Graham Hancock has posted the text of Michael Zapolin's proposed talk, so you can at least read it. Here's just a smidgen.

Cannabis Sativa comes in two varieties, one is the traditional marijuana plant that is smoked, vaporized, and eaten for its psychoactive effect. The other is called industrial hemp, which is used worldwide as a food ingredient and to make products like rope and clothing.

What is virtually unknown is that there are over 70 different elements in the plant including a group referred to as Cannabinoids. What makes this really interesting is that each one of us has an endocannabanoid system in our bodies that allows us to interact with these different elements. The question is … why would we have this system inside our bodies unless we were supposed to be interacting with this plant?

. . .

What wasn’t realized until recently is that the Industrial Hemp variety that is non-psychoactive, has naturally high levels of CBD, higher than are found in the typical marijuana plant. Industrial hemp characteristically has less than 1% THC and high levels of CBD. The evidence is showing that these Cannabinoids are not specifically a cure for epilepsy, colitis, diabetes, or cancer, but what they’re doing is helping boost your own immune system so you can naturally fight off whatever it is that’s ailing you.

. . .

So how can something this amazing not be available? As usual, with any conspiracy, it’s important to follow the money. At one time in United States history, hemp was the number one crop because it is so incredibly strong and cheap to grow. Some of the many uses of hemp were rope, clothing, building materials, sails in ships, and as a bio-fuel. Not to mention the Constitution of the United States is written on hemp paper. There were also some very powerful industries and individuals that played a huge role in the prohibition surrounding hemp. The Dupont family controlled the cotton industry, which saw hemp as an obvious threat. William Randolf Hearst’s newspapers were printed on paper and he owned significant timber reserves. These powerful families wrote the very legislation that outlawed hemp and funded the propaganda campaign known as “Reefer Madness” where they predicted that marijuana would make people go insane and destabilize society. Many industries since then have also been threatened by cannabis and have fought hard to keep it illegal. The pharmaceutical industry fears it because they can’t patent and own it, and the alcohol industry sees it as a natural enemy. Our own government, it is said, has kept it illegal for the reason that they don’t need everyone walking around freethinking, asking questions like “Why am I paying taxes? Why are we in so many wars?”

And as usual, with any topic that is too hot for TED, you simply follow the money. Chris Anderson has turned "ideas" into a cash cow for himself, with donations and outrageous ticket prices, while giving a lot of unpaid speakers their fifteen minutes of fame... and a healthy dose of cultish indoctrination.


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Mar 22, 2015

Oprah Interviews FLDS Turncoat

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Possibly of interest, Willie Jessop, former Warren Jeffs bodyguard, current apostate, was interviewed by Oprah in a show to air tonight.

Winfrey catches up with Jessop in an episode of "Where Are They Now," to air Sunday on the OWN network

Jessop parted with Jeffs just before Jeffs' trial in 2011. He since has started cooperating with federal and Utah authorities, so much so that the United Effort Plan, the polygamous trust operated by the state of Utah, agreed to sell him land at a reduced price.

He also took possession of Jeffs' compound in Hildale and turned it into a bed and breakfast.

Jessop remains a controversial character, with many continuing to doubt his motives. But he did give us a lovely tour of Warren Jeffs's former compound before turning it into a bed and breakfast. Maybe tonight he'll explain how one repurposes a rape room and makes such a place a charming place to stay on vacation.


Comments on this entry are closed, on this blog. If you wish to comment, please find this and all newer blog entries crossposted on Celestial Reflections.