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A Journey Through Pharmaceutical Induced Illness

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pharmaWhen I realized that Cipro was the cause of my body going completely hay-wire (I didn’t know immediately because my reaction was delayed), and I saw stories on the internet of people getting worse and worse indefinitely, and/or living with pain and disability caused by fluoroquinolones, I thought that I had accidentally killed myself. I thought of writing letters to my family and friends to say goodbye, to let them know that I was gone and that I was so, so, so sorry that I had taken those pills.

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In some ways, even though I survived, obviously, I think that I should have written those letters (even though they would have scared the crap out of my loved ones and probably gotten me locked in a psych ward). Because I am different now. The old Lisa is gone. I certainly didn’t die in the physical sense, but who I was changed in an instant, with those 6 pills.

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Before I got sick, my identity was formed by what I did, thought and felt. I was active and athletic. In the summer of 2010 I hiked the entire 500 mile Colorado Trail. I was a gym-rat. I’d get up at 5:30 so that I could hit the gym before work. I was trying out CrossFit gyms just weeks before I took Cipro. I took pride in being strong; in being healthy, active and fit. My appetites in all areas was larger than most. I loved food and I could pack it away (only keeping my weight in check by being as into exercise as I was into food). I liked to drink and I was good at it. I liked sex and, well, I dunno, I’ll tell you who to ask if you care. :p I had strong opinions on politics and religion and would express them willingly. I liked to travel and I was proud of my travels all over the world – I have seen and done some interesting stuff. I was a voracious reader as a kid but had slowed down a bit as an adult, but I still read The New Yorker regularly. I considered myself to be smart. I considered myself to be a good conversationalist.

All of that went away while I was sick. I could barely walk, I certainly couldn’t go to the gym, and CrossFit is a recipe for torn tendons for a Floxie. I was weak. I lost my energy. Strong is not something anyone would call me. I stopped eating and didn’t care about food in the least – it actually scared me a bit. Sex was approximately the last thing on my mind and I was scared of it too – it can lead to urinary tract infections and urinary tract infections can lead to antibiotics, and that chain reaction had gotten me into the rotten place where I was. My ability to handle alcohol was diminished. Even if I wanted to drink, and I didn’t, I couldn’t drink much and it wasn’t fun any more. I lost my reading comprehension. I lost my memory. I lost my capacity to do many mental tasks, so I couldn’t consider myself to be smart any more. I felt anxious in social situations and I couldn’t seem to find the words to communicate or connect with people, so I certainly wasn’t a good conversationalist.

All of the things that I thought made me who I was, were gone.

But I was still alive. I was still breathing. I wasn’t able to do the things that I thought made me me, but I was still a being, just now I was a being without any of the things that defined me.

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So I fought to get those things that defined me back. I took supplement after supplement, hoping that the next one would be the cure that would bring me back. I scoured the internet, looking for the magic cure, whether it be in the form of a diet, a pill, a specialist or a method. Some of the things that I tried were helpful, some were harmful, most were neutral. None of them turned back the hands of time.

I started the spirituality sampler platter. I meditated. It helped immensely. I went to a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class. It helped me as well. I went to Buddhism classes and retreats. I read Marianne Williamson’s, “A Return to Love” and went to classes on A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I went to Hippy Dance Class / Rhythm Sanctuary / Hippy Church and felt the healing power of Hippies saying “OM” together and dancing to trance music. I learned about Chakras. I went to a Crystal Bowl concert.

Meditating, Buddhism classes and a course in Miracles all helped me to get to a point where mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I came to terms with my inability to turn back the hands of time. I started to accept what life had brought me. I started to feel okay about the fact that, even though I couldn’t run, I could still walk. Even though my memory and reading comprehension were shot (those scared me so much), I could still work (sort of). Even though I couldn’t do the things that I thought made me me, I could still breathe, love, feel and see beauty and depth in the moment, etc. With meditation, Buddhism and ACIM, I was able to gain patience, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, etc., mainly for myself, but for others as well.

Eventually I got to a place where I started to like who I was post-flox. Even though I wasn’t as physically strong as I used to be, I found out that I was a fighter. I learned that I’m a survivor. Cipro messed with my ability to communicate verbally, but I could still communicate through writing, and I became a writer. I found something that I feel passionate about, something to scream about, and I stopped hating that my world-view had changed and started to appreciate, in a strange way, that I now had a cause to fight for.

Certainly, this mental, emotional and spiritual healing was possible because I was healing physically. I had the benefit of my body cooperating with me and ceasing the downward spiral that it was intent on for a while. But it’s all interconnected. Our emotional, mental and spiritual health is related to our physical health, and vice versa.

Getting better physically was a long, slow process. Most of my issues were central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system issues. Nerves take a while to heal. They just do. Tendons aren’t fast healers either. But the jumps in my identity, the shifts in my psyche, were sudden. Just the other day, my appetite came back. I started to want food again. Dating has more appeal than it used to (I dated through being floxed, it just felt different). As I’ve been writing, I’ve started to feel smart again. I started to feel like ME again – like the old Lisa. Perhaps these changes (changes back) are just part of healing, part of my brain rewiring itself back to how it was for 32 years, but I prefer to think of it in more spiritual terms. As soon as I accepted and appreciated my new self, my old self returned. Life is interesting, strange and funny like that sometimes.

Even though some, maybe most of my old self traits are back, I now realize that all of those things, what I do, what I think and even what I feel, are transient. I am not the same person as I was before I got sick. But you know what? That’s okay. Because I wasn’t the same person as I was just before I got sick 2 years prior to that. We are all constantly evolving and changing. Nothing is permanent, except, perhaps the soul, love, God, whatever you want to call that constant that is in each of us. Sudden, painful changes that are thrust upon us from the outside are lousy ways to change, and they invite some resistance, but I truly did find peace, and even healing, in acceptance of the changes that came and letting go of resistance and fear.

I suppose that anyone who goes through a life-changing or traumatic event goes through what I went through when I got knocked down by Cipro. When you lose your health, your job, a loved one, etc., whenever something changes for the worse in a way that can’t be reversed, there is the tendency to want to claw back to where you were before the trauma happened, because where you were was good and where you are now is bad. It’s natural. But it never works. It’s impossible to turn back time. You can only move on. Part of moving on is acceptance of where you’re at. Acceptance does not mean that what happened is okay in any way shape or form, it doesn’t mean that you’re complacent and it doesn’t mean that you’re going to stay where you are, it just means that you let go of the notion that you can go backward. Moving forward, from where you’re at, can be an amazing, beautiful thing. It in no way means that you stay sick, or stay where you’re at in life. It’s just as impossible to stay where you’re at as it is to move backward, but in order to move on, to go forward, I have found that acceptance of the impossibility of going back, is crucial.

So, I guess that my closing message to anyone who is struggling with the loss of their former self, is to breathe. Cry and grieve for the parts of yourself that have been brutally taken away from you. Then, once you are done with the grief, know that you can’t go backward, accept that you can’t turn back time, and find some ways to move on, to find peace, happiness and healing. It worked for me. I will hope and pray that it will work for you.

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Super Moon In Capricorn: Proceeding With Changed Perceptions

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a Full Moon in Capricorn on June 24th/25th, which will appear the brightest on the night of the 24th throughout the world. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10th which is still affecting this period and beyond. It will also be a ‘Supermoon’, which is when the Moon appears larger and brighter due to its closer proximity to the Earth.

The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Capricorn and the Sun in Cancer. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us; with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Capricorn side and others expressing the Cancer side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Sun In Cancer Opposite Moon In Capricorn

Cancer season began when the Sun entered this sign on June 20th/21st which will conclude on July 22nd. Cancer is associated with family, domestic life, security, emotional needs, emotional sensitivity, nurturing, and nostalgia. It is caring, personal, motherly, empathic, vulnerable, instinctual, intuitive and protective. Cancer can also be moody, clingy, insecure, as well as overly subjective.

This Full Moon is in its opposite sign of Capricorn, triggering a push-pull or integration effect between both of these signs. Capricorn is associated with ambition, achieving, duties, career, productivity, and discipline. It is responsible, cautious, prudent, practical, orderly, masterful, worldly, business oriented, realistic, and a social climber. Capricorn can also be cold, narrow minded, controlling, pessimistic, cynical, and overly concerned with status.

Although Cancer is the emotional sign here, the Moon rules emotions and the sign of Cancer. With it being in Capricorn, emotional drive will generally lean towards Capricorn needs and expressions. The Cancerian themes will generally be more expressed externally or through ego, even though they can be emotionally oriented. However, these are all generalizations, and each of our experiences and perceptions of this polarity actualizing will be different from each other.

Full Moon Sextile Jupiter & Trine Uranus

This Full Moon is in a sextile with Jupiter in Pisces which has begun its retrograde four days prior and is nearly stationary. Jupiter ruled areas of education, beliefs, experiential pursuits, and travel may be more prominent. Business wise, it could have to do with marketing and publishing. Considering it is in Pisces with Neptune also about to retrograde here, themes or manifestations pertaining to spirituality, compassion, creativity, escapism, or idealism may also come up.

This Full Moon is also in a trine with Uranus which brings the potential of originality, positive surprises, or perhaps experiences that can be liberating, stimulating, new, or unconventional. This can be good for changing things up, experimentation, or some sort of renovation. This energy will come up more so on July 5th/6th when the Sun is aspecting Uranus.

Mercury Is Now Moving Forward, Applying Square To Neptune 

Mercury in Gemini ended its retrograde on June 22nd/23rd and is now slowly starting to move forward (from our Earth perspective) as it gradually increases in speed. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde and pre-retrograde shadow since mid-May will go through a conclusion process over the next few weeks. This may start to become apparent over the coming days.

We will have a better perception on how to proceed forward in regards to certain circumstances and developments that come up over the last 5-6 weeks. Things can fall into place more easily and we may experience resolutions. We can feel that we are in a better place to move forward in the areas of life that have been impacted (reflected in our individual astrology charts) and pertaining to how Gemini themes played out for you.

As Mercury moves forward it is applying towards a third square with Neptune. Although we are in this post-retrograde period, in some ways it can still feel somewhat like retrograde until July 5th/6th when the square occurs and is most potent. This can play out as some confusion, lack of focus, scatteredness, unrealistic thinking, missing details, or complications involving communication, misinterpretation, or technology. Due to this. it would be best to wait until after it is done (from July 7th/8th onward) if you need to make important decisions.

Saturn Sextile Chiron,  Mars & Full Moon Also Aspecting Chiron 

At the time of this Full Moon and the weeks before and after, Saturn in Aquarius is in its second exact sextile with Chiron in Aries. This is part of the astrological backdrop all year as the first sextile was in February and the final one will be at the end of the year. Although this isn’t a very strong aspect, it can be supportive depending on how we apply ourselves.

This is good for taking a disciplined approach to healing, overcoming negative patterns, and addressing some of our core wounds. It can also be good for efforts that are integrating, bridging, holistic, unorthodox, or reflective of our natural gifts. Mars is in the mix this time around, peaking July 2nd, which emphasizes being proactive in this way. This Full Moon is in a square with Chiron as well, and perhaps some of the themes or potential conflicts we experience at this time may require some sort of bringing together of opposing or fragmented factors.

Mars In T-Square With Saturn & Uranus

Mars in Leo is moving towards an opposition to Saturn in Aquarius and then a square to Uranus in Taurus, creating a T-square pattern. This combined energy peaks from June 30th-July 4th and Mars will also be making its trine to Chiron (mentioned above) at this time.

On the days leading up to July 1st/2nd, and especially at that time, we may experience our actions being blocked, restricted, resisted, or limited in some way as Mars’ opposes Saturn. We can get frustrated more easily and we may need to do things with caution, better structure, or extra effort. Conflicts around boundaries may also come up.

Mars’ trine with Chiron in the first few days of July and square to Uranus in the following days can be good for taking an unorthodox approach or applying creative solutions. However, Uranus in the mix can also play out as rebellious and impulsive energy.

Mars here is also triggering the Saturn square Uranus aspect that is happening all year. As a result this can also play out as conflicts around, or assertiveness towards, ‘old versus new’, ‘restrictions versus freedom’, ‘the status quo versus revolution’, ‘commitments/responsibilities versus liberation’, ‘elder versus youth’, ‘progressiveness versus tradition’ and so forth.

Things To Consider

What have been the main themes for you over the last month and is there anything coming up now that could point to some sort of conclusion or an important next step forward? What area of your life is calling for more determination? Is there something that you need to achieve? Should you be experimenting with new or unusual approaches to things?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak of this Full Moon is at 6:40pm Universal Time on June 24th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Epstein Victim Among 34 Suing Pornhub For Posting Videos Of Her Being Abused At Age 10

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    34 women are suing Pornhub for posting non-consensual pornographic videos of them being abused as children. One claims she was raped by a ring of Hollywood men and financial elites like Jeffrey Epstein since the age of 7. Pornhub calls claims absurd.

  • Reflect On:

    How prevalent is child sex trafficking among the financial elite and others in positions of "power" ?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

34 women have come together and accused Pornhub, a parent company of MindGeek, a Canadian based company that primarily focuses on pornography, of allowing “trafficked, illegal content” to be distributed on the site. Affiliates, like Visa, are also implicated in the suit. The plaintiffs state that this is a “case about rape, not pornography” and that it’s a “case about the rape and sexual exploitation of children” as well as men and women. They claim that the defendants knowingly and intentionally capitalized and profited from “the horrendous exploitation and abuse of tens of thousands of other human beings.”

Not only did these defendants allow users to populate MindGeek’s platform with non-consensual content, and restore the non-consensual content of those users when removed, they also acquired and populated the MindGeek platform with their own non-consensual content. The MindGeek defendants frequently purchased in bulk trafficked content from known trafficking areas such as Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America. In doing so, they used third-parties to upload that content in a way that made it look like user uploaded content. In executing this scheme, MindGeek used its byzantine international corporate structure of hundreds of sham shell corporations to mask the process and launder the payments.

One of the claims include allegations from a woman named as “Jane Doe No.1” who says she was unable to have seven explicit videos of herself removed from Porn hub. At the time, the videos of her were made under duress when she was a child and a victim of child sex trafficking. The woman claims that from age seven she was trafficked for more than 21 years.

No. 1 was raped, trafficked, and exploited by a ring of Hollywood men and New York financiers, including Jeffrey Epstein. These interactions were often recorded and since no later than 2007 have been widely and continuously distributed on Pornhub.

The claim that “interactions were often recorded” does corroborate with other information and claims we’ve reported on. For example, Christopher Mason, a  TV host and journalist/reporter has gone on record stating he was told Epstein rigged his multiple homes with cameras and kept tapes of everyone/everything. He says Ghislaine Maxwell has access to this footage.

In an interview with Zev Shalev, former CBS News executive producer and award-winning investigative journalist for Narativ, the former senior executive for Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, Ari Ben-Menashe, claimed to not only have met Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madame Ghislaine Maxwell, back in the 1980s, but that both Epstein and Maxwell were already working with Israeli intelligence during that time period, running a possible sexual blackmail operation. This type of thing has long been a tactic used by intelligence agencies, as well as the American mafia.

This kind of stuff is all over the place, and the theme involves high ranking people. As a paper published in European Psychiatry details:

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 1989 when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment’ members. Former state senator John W DeCamp, cited as one of the most effective legislators in Nebraska history, is today attorney for two of the abuse victims. A 15 year old girl disclosed that she had been abused since the age of 9 and was exposed since the age of 9 and was exposed to ‘ritual murder’ of a new born girl, a small boy (who was subsequently fried and eaten) and three others.

But I digress, you can dive deeper into the possibility of Epstein and Maxwell using child trafficking to blackmail and entrap powerful people, here if interested.

Back to MindGeek,

Appropriately dubbed, “The Monsanto of Porn,” MindGeek is a classic criminal enterprise carried out through wide-ranging criminal activities, including, but not limited to, human trafficking; child pornography; criminal copyright piracy; internet hacking, stalking, and doxing; blackmail and extortion; mail and wire fraud; embezzlement, bank and creditor fraud; tax evasion; and money laundering. The company’s top management and shadowy international financiers and their investors are the “bosses” of this Enterprise and, together with their “capos,” run its rackets and schemes.

MindGeek has responded to the allegations, stating that

“Pornhub has zero tolerance for illegal content and investigates any complaint or allegation made about content on our platforms. The allegation in today’s complaint that Pornhub is a criminal enterprise that traffics women and is run like ‘The Sopranos’ are utterly absurd, completely reckless and categorically false.”

What brought this issue to light for many people is The Traffickinghub campaign. It’s a movement founded by Laila Mickelwait and powered by the anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry. It’s a non-religious, non-partisan effort to hold Pornhub accountable for enabling and profiting off of the mass sex-trafficking and exploitation of women and minors. The campaign is supported by a broad spectrum of over 300 child protection, anti-trafficking, and women’s rights organizations, as well as experts and trafficking survivors of all backgrounds.

The Traffickinghub started a petition to create more awareness. It now has well over 2.5 million signatures and reads as follows:

Pornhub, the world’s largest and most popular porn site, has been repeatedly caught enabling, hosting, and profiting from videos of child rape, sex trafficking, and other forms of non-consensual content exploiting women and minors. We’re calling for Pornhub to be shut down and its executives held accountable for these crimes.

If you have been victimized on Pornhub or any Mindgeek owned website and want help click here. Media inquiries can be directed to Lailamickelwait@traffickinghub.com

In the last few months, there have been several shocking cases of sex trafficking and child rape films that were hosted on Pornhub. A 15-year-old girl who had been missing for a year was finally found after her mother was tipped off that her daughter was being featured in videos on the site — 58 such videos of her rape and sexual abuse were discovered on Pornhub.

Her trafficker, who was seen in the videos raping the child, was identified using surveillance footage of him at a 7-Eleven where he was spotted with his victim. He is now facing a felony charge.

Also in recent news was the case of 22 women who were deceived and coerced by Michael Pratt, owner of GirlsDoPorn, into performing sex acts on film that were subsequently uploaded to Pornhub. These women sued GirlsDoPorn and won a $12.7 million lawsuit against the company. According to a federal indictment, Pratt and his co-conspirators produced filmed child rape and sexual abuse content and trafficked a minor. Pratt reportedly fled the United States for New Zealand and is currently wanted on a federal warrant.

But there are other individuals who should also be wanted by law enforcement — CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo of Mindgeek, the company that owns Pornhub.

You see, Pornhub is complicit in the trafficking of these women and minors and probably thousands more like them.

Pornhub is generating millions in advertising and membership revenue with 42 billion visits and 6 million videos uploaded per year. Yet it has no system in place to verify reliably the age or consent of those featured in the pornographic content it hosts and profits from.

In fact, all that is needed to upload pornography onto Pornhub is an email address. No government-issued ID is required, not even to become “verified” with its trusty blue checkmark that makes everything seem a-OK.

I know this, because I tried it.

It took me under 10 minutes to create a user account and upload blank test content to the site, which went live instantly. I could have then gone on to become Pornhub-verified, and all I would need to do is send a photo of myself holding a paper with my username. That’s it.

It is no surprise that Pornhub admitted to verifying the trafficked 15-year-old girl who was sexually abused in 58 videos on its site. The official Twitter account for Pornhub wrote in response to the breaking story that the 15-year-old girl had been a verified member. After quickly realizing it had just admitted to assisting in her being trafficked, the account deleted the tweets, but the evidence of the admission was cached and still exists.

One of the most-searched terms on Pornhub is “teen” pornography, in fact it has been a top ten search term on the site for six consecutive years. The search will result in videos that are constantly being added faster than any individual could watch them. Many feature girls who look 13 years old at best — girls with braces, pigtails, flat chests, no makeup, extremely young faces, holding teddy bears and licking lollipops, all while being aggressively penetrated. A quick search for the word “teen” turns up titles such as “Young Girl Tricked,” “Innocent Brace Faced Tiny Teen F—ed,” “Tiny Petite Thai Teen,” “Teen Little Girl First Time,” on and on ad infinitum.

Pornhub has no reliable system in place to verify that those in the videos it hosts are not trafficked children being raped on film in order to line the pockets of its executives.

Recently the Internet Watch Foundation stated that it alone had confirmed 118 cases of child rape, sexual abuse and trafficking on Pornhub—half of the videos were Category A level abuse which is the worst kinds of abuse.

What all of this means is that at this very moment, there could be hundreds, if not thousands, of videos of underage sex trafficking victims on Pornhub. We already have evidence, and it is just the tip of the iceberg.

It’s time to shut down super-predator site Pornhub and hold the executives behind it accountable.

The Traffickinghub campaign is a non-religious, non-partisan effort to hold the largest porn website in the world accountable for enabling and profiting off of the mass sex trafficking and exploitation of women and minors. The campaign is supported by over 300 child protection and anti-trafficking organizations as well as experts on and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.

You can go to www.traffickinghub.com to learn more.

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The Bigger Pandemic Is The Financial Crisis – What’s The Solution?

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CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

During COVID, it is no secret that the world’s economy has suffered. Regardless of what markets might say or what PR comes from any current administration, the average person is not doing well. People are losing jobs, savings, their business, and their houses.

In response, we consistently hear the same rhetoric: “It will recover,” “we need more jobs,” “we’ll build, back, better,” “Raise minimum wage.” And while some of these things are going to be helpful in the short run, it’s truly the long run that we have to be discussing.

We need to start thinking outside the box.

In this week’s Setty Report, we seek to explore a solution to our existing global financial problems. But in order to get there, we have to first understand what the problem is, and why we can’t solve it with ‘inside the box thinking.

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