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This Man’s Work Is Incredibly Important But Gets Lost Due To Controversy

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gurdjieffThe book Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – The Man, The Teaching, His Mission is a work of immense power and love by William Patrick Patterson, a teacher of “the Work,” as Gurdjieff’s teaching is called and the author/ producer of several books and videos on the subject.

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It is over 600 pages long (over 400 narrative with 200 supplementary) and is a painstakingly precise account of two figures little known in the mass media, almost overlooked in popular history, and yet who may have been among the greatest thinkers of their time.

Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (G) appeared in St. Petersburg in 1916; P.D. Uspenskii (as Patterson refers to him) met him shortly thereafter and it later turned out that Gurdjieff had sought him out for his writing ability and notoriety in intellectual circles to help build his following.

Patterson has gone through the personal papers and books of Gurdjieff’s students and G’s own writings to piece together his early years, including his brush with death and his apparent teachers, as well as the society of seekers of which he was a member before he appeared in St. Petersburg. Patterson himself has written extensively about the teaching and some of the material, for example the section on the women who studied with Gurdjieff in Paris (a group called the “Rope”) presumably echoes his earlier work.

Patterson has also pieced together the early life of P.D. Uspenskii, including his own searches for ancient wisdom and personal relationships, and brings the two men together in the strange circumstances that were pre-revolution Russia, circa 1916.

But what is extraordinary is how Patterson describes Gurdjieff’s method, wonderfully echoing Uspenskii’s own description of how he was exposed to the teaching which is the spine of Uspenskii’s great work, In Search of the Miraculous.  Prospective students were introduced mysteriously and led to a strange space with Persian carpets and strange artifacts, where they met a man they each described as unique, powerful, insightful and with the capacity to see right through them.

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Everything was kept secretive and private. You had to know someone who knew someone to meet Gurdjieff and become a follower in St. Petersburg, and also later. It was also made clear that if one did not sieze the opportunity to take advantage of the moment, one might never get another chance.

One who did seize the opportunity was a particularly impressive young man, Paul Dukes, whose encounter Patterson describes in some detail. It is also worth noting that Dukes wrote about the encounter as well in his own biography, “Unending Quest.” As Patterson writes, Dukes was known as the ‘Man of a Hundred Faces.’  He assumed a number of identities and disguises and infiltrated numerous Bolshevik organizations, including the Communist Party, the Comintern and the Cheka, the Soviet security organizations. In 1920, he was knighted by King George V who called him the “greatest of all soldiers.”

He was presumably the first James Bond, spying on the Bolsheviks when he met Gurdjieff in one of his many roles or identities. Another of Patterson’s immense skills is recreating the effect of how Gurdjieff was a completely different personage, and elicited completely different responses, from those he encountered and taught.

For Dukes, for example, Gurdjieff was the strange Prince Ozay who was beguiled by the young Englishman’s sincere search for truth and his work with yoga, breath and the deeper hidden (esoteric) meaning of The Lord’s Prayer.

ASIDE: Another current student of Gurdjieff’s work and author is Dennis Lewis, whose book about breath work, Free Your Breath, Free Your Life: How Conscious Breathing Can Relieve Stress, Increase Vitality, and Help You Live More Fully, was recently reviewed by Michael Jeffreys here on CE, you can read that review by clicking HERE.

Patterson is scrupulously objective in his narrative, but there is magic in the footnotes where he ventures some commentary and speculates about the players’ intentions and real motivations. Here he provides a true taste of the “friction” between students and teacher, and particularly the uncanny allure of Gurdjieff’s magnetic personal style. Here is a sample Footnote from page 7:

“That Ozay plays chess and Gurdjieff once said that playing chess was ‘pouring the empty into the void’ actually supports Gurdjieff being the Prince, as this is a favorite saying of those who have seriously played ‘the Royal game’ and given it up…. “

Patterson describes how taken with Gurdjieff Dukes was, and how he became one of his many followers before the Russian Revolution, along with Uspenskii and other Russian intellectuals and artists. The narrative follows the growth of the groups and Gurdjieff’s methods for ferreting out the insincere by making prospective students jump through many hoops, and the teaching was veiled in secrecy.

Man Is Never The Same

Uspenskii became convinced that Gurdjieff had access to ancient wisdom and wanted it for himself—but Patterson describes how at various turns Gurdjieff “played” with his individualistic personality to try to make him see his own habitual tendency – that is, to live in his head and not his heart.

The Gurdjieff/Uspenskii groups fled the Bolsheviks and survived many hardships, often through luck and more often through Gurdjieff’s cunning understanding of human nature. Eventually Uspenskii could not continue to accept many of Gurdjieff’s methods and peculiarities and broke away, although his wife continued on with Gurdjieff for some time.

Patterson weaves both the history and the psychological studies of these two men together beautifully with a sense of a time that few of us can comprehend; he intersperses the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany as he alludes to the larger forces that influence the various individuals and their struggle to discover their own capacities with this teacher. Later Gurdjieff suggests that he anticipated the rise of Fascism and wanted to see how the world would react before writing his final work, ‘All And Everything.’

Gurdjieff admired  the energy and power of America and also satirized the materialism of the United States, and used his visits to raise capital by “shearing” the wealthy to subsidize the work and the lessons of the less fortunate. Patterson spans decades as he follows Gurdjieff to his Prieure (institute) in Paris and describes his methods of hard work to break the conditioning of students—intelligentsia would clean toilets and garden—and his conversations over meals and in cafes where students would toast themselves as various kinds of “idiots.” Here is a Toast to Compassionate Idiots:

“Everyone an idiot, even God.  But when these idiots see another who is another kind of idiot from themselves, they become angry and curse him.  This is very characteristic of these idiots.  No compassionate means that among this company exist idiots who know that all are idiots together, so that pity all and not become angry.  These are compassionate.  I am unique idiot so I am no more this idiot compassionate.”  (369)

A major part of being an “idiot” is believing in the imaginary concepts of the mind as opposed to what one has gotten for oneself. At one point he hears Gurdjieff’s voice in his head with nothing being said verbally. This is precisely the sort of “miracle” Upsenskii had been seeking and yet he needed to analyze it and could not simply accept it as a clear indication of his position under his teacher and his need to sublimate his own formative mind and the “need to know.”

Was this “real?” Was this telepathy -our scientific term of a phenomenon not proven by conventional science? Perhaps it was hypnotism– suggestion –Mesmerism or some other magical ability? Was it “super” natural or a part of nature that he had learned in Egypt as an initiate, in Tibet, in the Caucasus…  Was this how Gurdjieff understood his “clients” and “sheared” them of funds—and perhaps worked as a secret agent in his own right?

All of these mysterious aspects are hinted at and yet not posited authoritatively by Patterson, the consummate researcher and observer. What is posited is simply that such events occurred –the meaning and interpretation (the knowing) remains a mystery. Finally Uspenskii broke completely with Gurdjieff and founded his own school, first in England during the Second World War and then in the United States.

As Patterson calls the teaching a “sacred science,” what Gurdjieff saw in Uspenskii was the ability to convey his “system” scientifically, due to his great intelligence. This would make it a bridge between East and West and comprehensible in terms of the Renaissance and Enlightenment in the West. Where Uspenskii fell short, apparently, was his own egoism and coldness—he did not seem to manifest Gurdjieff’s own capacity for kindness and compassion. He did not live the Work as much as he seemed to relish the role of revered and admired teacher/ writer.

Gurdjieff, on the other hand, for all of his acerbic nature and generalizations meant to tweak the “corns” of his students, and expose their vanities and conditioning. He did this by living as suggested, with a general manner of a man of courage and “being” towards how one ought to behave.

For example, as Patterson describes Hitler’s rise he also mentions Gurdjieff’s assessment of racial characteristics of Jews; their tendency to remain apart and not “assimilate.” Yet on pg. 406 we learn that in the midst of the Nazi occupation of France– “Gurdjieff tells pupils to hide Jewish pupils who could not escape.” This is testimony to Gurdjieff’s ability to model both aspects of the teaching –knowledge he seemingly alone possessed of the historical context of what is taught –and BEING – and how it could be lived and applied in “organic life.”

gurdjieff pentlandSomehow many of the exchanges between Gurdjieff and students are retold, with the singular acerbic humor that Gurdjieff employed to strip the veneer of conditioned beliefs from his students and expose them to the truths of Life -including their own inevitable deaths and their petty personal prejudices. No one who took themselves seriously in his presence was spared his barbs, not even the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose young wife was a student of Gurdjieff’s.

Patterson follows both Uspenskii and Gurdjieff’s personal journeys and describes the work of many of their followers, some self-appointed or anointed and others viable. One such personage is Lord John Pentland, who studied with both Uspenskii and Gurdjieff and later led the Work in the U.S., becoming the beloved teacher of the author, Dennis Lewis and also Jacob Needleman, all of whom describe him in their respective works.

What is gathered about Lord Pentland was his objective ability to impartially provide conditions for the modern students to grow and see through the conditioning of the time. While Lord Pentland was originally a student of Upsenskii, upon Uspenskii’s death Lord Pentland was sent by his widow to seek out Gurdjieff himself, and he was selected to spread the teaching to America. There is a nice story of Lord Pentland’s daughter Mary, who is asked by Gurdjieff “who is the greatest man she knows,” and when the young girl replies “her daddy,” Gurdjieff roars with approval because he deems the following of the commandment to honor your parents as a sign of great inner “being.”

From Jacob Needleman’s account it is clear the Lord Pentland was a successful businessman who kept his association with the groups private, but in fact lived the tenets of “The Fourth Way” by employing the teaching in his direct contact with both the commerce of “the world” and of course his students. The effects were far reaching.

As you read through the dialogues and studies you can’t help but see the threads of modern New Age thought as well as teachings like Advaita and Nonduality, along with the historical motifs of Theosophy and mysticism that were concurrent with Gurdjieff’s arrival on the scene.

For example Krishnamurti’s teaching galvanized Americans, and Uspenskii is asked about him at one point:

“He says a system cannot awake a man.  Certainly it cannot.  Mathematics cannot build a bridge.   But if a bridge is built without mathematics, it collapses.  If Krishnamurti keeps to this point of view–he will not be alone.   Many people believe in spontaneous awakening, just be realization, and without a system and without following another man!”

ouspensky008aHere we can sense the immensity of Gurdjieff’s contribution in its effect on Uspenskii, a man who wants scientific proof of miracles but has been opened to the limitations of science by his teacher, Gurdjieff, who brought a system of “sacred science” that bridged the heart and formatory (left brain) mind (Ego).

It was no small feat that Gurdjieff attempted to introduce this system in the “Christian” west at a time when conventional religion ran the show. But as Jacob Needleman describes in his book Lost Christianity the ‘real’ teaching that preceded the human teacher that was Jesus was in fact “scientific” and impartial in its original form. True Christianity was a sacred science which attempted to confront life in its full grandeur and immensity from a position of awe. Such an impartially scientific view sees “what is” as what “could not be otherwise (as Eckhart Tolle writes),” and all suffering is simply viewed as the result of the human mind’s inability to accept and surrender to its Greatness.

This is reminiscent of the “neters” of Egypt, where deities represented the organic reality of natural forces like the wind, sun, tide and so on, in which man plays his part naturally and without the urge to “conquer” nature.  (Interested readers might look up Patterson’s DVD, “Gurdjieff in Egypt” which traces the author’s own journey to Cairo and his description of Gurdjieff’s sources and influences.)

For Gurdjieff there is indeed a notion of what is sin, in this pre-Christian context:

“If you acknowledge your sin,” Gurdjieff says, “and feel remorse of conscience for having done wrong, your sin is already forgiven.  If you continue to do wrong, knowing it to be so, you commit a sin that is difficult to forgive.”  (237)

This seems to be at the core of inner transformation –the capacity for some element of choice –paradoxically –within a natural framework sacred determinism shaped by greater energies and higher forces.  Such “right action” of true conscience is always a reflection of being, not knowledge. This is why our modern science can create genetically modified organisms that fight nature in a way that goes against the sacred order of natural Life.

But where Gurdjieff diverges with modern Western religion is in its anthropomorphism and personalization of a “God.”  God and all of the vital life forces exist for Gurdjieff but at a level beyond man’s scientific and logical comprehension. All is impersonal and impartial, even sex.

“It is not necessary to mingle the acts of sex with sentiment.  It is sometimes abnormal to make them coincide.  The sexual act is a function.  One can regard it as external to him, although love is internal.  Love is love.  It has no need of sex.  It can be felt for a person of the same sex, for an animal even, and the sexual function is not mixed up here.  Sometimes it is normal to unite them; this corresponds to one of the aspects of love.  It is easier to love this way.  But, at the same time, it is then difficult to remain impartial as love demands.”   (409 – Gurdjieff answering a Group question).

This goes against much of modern pop culture, psychology, conventional thought and religion and also rubs against parts of our interior conditioning— since we are committed to notions of romantic love. Gurdjieff’s “love” is seemingly an impersonal and objective love of What Is –the Great System that he brings to light and tries to convey to his students both through his lectures and perhaps more importantly, through the drama that was his own Life.

In Patterson’s enormous breadth of research and narration he truly delivers the reader into the full context of the historical period that is no more –before computers and the Internet –where these two men in fact anticipated such scientific wonders and saw the vast intelligence that is inherent in what Gurdjieff referred to as “Great Nature.”

What also comes through is the respective humanity of both Gurdjieff and Uspenskii – how they struggled intellectually and personally with one another and their own demons of alcohol and the need for the company and charms of women. Patterson describes the rift between them which deems to have been the result of Uspenskii’s “chief feature, his need for intellectual validation and recognition, and the author makes it clear that those who saw them together, and to the author himself, the level of being was palpable: Gurdjieff was the teacher and Uspenskii forever would be his most famous student.

Many kinds of reader will profit immeasurably from Patterson’s work. Interested seekers like me, who never fully committed to a “school” but were intrigued by the legend of both men and their system will gain a profound understanding of the meaning and sense of “the Work” including its historical context and the unique individuals who came in and out of the teaching. The tenor of the time is illustrated with wonderful photographs of the surroundings in early 20th Century France, Russia and the United States, and portraits the main players, along with the pithy commentary.

I am sure that direct students of the disciples of Lord Pentland’s line to Uspenskii and Gurdjieff will gain a great deal more in terms of both historical context and insight to the machinations and methodologies of their teachers and fellow students. Again this amazing biography is a work of great tribute and love by a truly devoted student and teacher.

* * *

My Interest in Gurdjieff/Ouspensky
When I was in my twenties I worked in resort areas and one day a friend gave me a copy of The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin by P.D. Ouspensky (same man, different spelling).  I was intrigued by this short novel about a seeker who meets a strange magician whom he beseeches to allow him to go back and change some of his life choices.  The magician says he can send him back but it will all play out the same way—and it does.

The man goes back to his youth and confronts the same pivotal choice with a woman he loves at a train station, determines to alter the course of his life, and ultimately life conspires to make it play out as it always had. Eternal recurrence… Determinism –Fate.

I read Ouspenky’s seminal work shortly thereafter, ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ and was forever changed. In my travels I had long suspected that there were secrets of wisdom and ways to transform my consciousness, and this book told the story of Ouspenky’s own search in ashrams and the far east, only to return to his native Russia (during the days before the revolution where he encountered a strange mystical figure (the magician of Ivan Osokin).

Ouspensky (author of Search for the Miraculous) described G’s teaching and cosmology in a way that completely  sold me.  While I could “understand” only a fraction of the “science,” the main concept of most people behaving as automatons and unaware of their habitual conditioning struck me as truth even then. Gurdjieff also hinted that his teaching came from “Pre-Sand” Egypt –that he had found a map that showed the Sphinx at a time when the Sahara was fertile, and described the birth and death of many civilizations because of humans’ propensity to go insane and destroy each other due to influences that came far beyond Earth –from the galaxy and universe.

I would read ‘In Search for the Miraculous’ as I dealt with the mundane needs of tourists who seemed completely brainwashed and unable to enjoy their vacations unless they played rounds of golf, ate in expensive restaurants or went on expensive shopping sprees.  Meanwhile the “natives” in the resorts, while mostly poverty stricken, were better adjusted and emotionally happier than my clients.

As I read the material it resonated deeply and I had the sense that it was deeply connected to the true sources of ancient wisdom and also comprehended man’s real nature and his relationship to the cosmos, and to Life, in a way modern science and my formal education failed to achieve. When I returned to the States I tried to find an esoteric school of the sort Ouspensky described, and first ran across one in San Francisco. I thought it was an amazing coincidence that I saw a young woman carrying his book at the St. Francis Hotel, and after we talked, I eagerly went to several meetings. But I learned later that there were “scouts” like her with books trolling San Francisco for prospects–and I had a ticket for Hawaii, so I left.

ASIDE: For many the teaching has the flavor of a “cult” and I am sure that many cult leaders have appropriated some of Gurdjieff’s methods and ideas; however my experience is that those with a direct connection with the teaching are sincere in their beliefs and completely private with no need to proselytize. In fact, finding and being accepted in a true “school” is still both arduous and difficult.

Fortunately there is now a great deal of material online, and books by authors like Patterson, Dennis Lewis and Jacob Needleman have made it into the mainstream. Much of my own reading and teaching stayed with me and informed my relationships and personal journey, for better or worse.  When articulated, the ideas of man’s sleep and the conditioned state of most institutions are viewed as unconventional at best and often as subversive.

It is impossible to take in this teaching without coming into conflict and friction with conventional reality and society. One loses interest in much of what many people take for granted as important goals and strivings as one tries to connect with what one senses is a higher intelligence and meaning to life. But the teaching intrigued me and I bought books by Gurdjieff and other students up until recently when I fell in love with the work of Jacob Needleman, who wrote a series of books including ‘Lost Christianity’ – which echoed the teaching and made it more modern. For an introduction I would recommend reading Why Can’t We Be Good (2007) which in many ways triggered my current search for truth.

I eventually met Dr. Needleman and attended some classes and lectures and approached a group in Los Angeles. Even today the teaching is well guarded and kept separate from “ordinary life” so I went my separate way, almost as Uspenskii did with Gurdjieff. But fortunately through the current openness of the Internet much of the teaching (both real and distorted versions) is now available online.

For myself, I see so much of it reflected in my work with Michael Jeffreys, the teaching of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie (who also calls her material “The Work”) and even the more popular psychologies of Wayne Dyer, along with people like Anthony Robbins, Werner Erhard and Deepak Chopra, among others. What I have discovered is that the teacher is important but it is the openness of the student that is paramount. For example, Gurdjieff suggested that his task was to create “the conditions for growth.”  In his time this was seen as arduous labor and “intentional suffering.” For me, perhaps as a result of rationalization (my “chief feature”?) I believe that deliberate mindfulness and acute self observation need not require construction work and cleaning toilets. However, as Eckhart Tolle suggests, some personal suffering and often hitting rock bottom is most often the stimulus for a new, serious attitude toward life.

Patterson’s immense contribution is crystalizing the many diverse aspects of Gurdjieff’s contribution to humanity’s comprehension of its true nature and station in the cosmos. His stated aim was to understand the “significance and purpose of Organic Life on Earth.” To me there can be no greater goal of wisdom.

Gurdjieff anticipated, among other things, the Hubble telescope’s findings, perhaps black holes, quarks, dark matter and energy and certainly much of modern neuroscience and quantum physics. As I’ve written in previous blogs, the search for the “real self” has evaded those neuroscientists who have searched it in the neurons and synapses – it is apparently a “virtual” entity or entities that exist in the space and energy within complex networks. Perhaps Gurdjieff’s greatest admonition, however, was to accept nothing at face value or on hearsay.

Investigate for yourself. Validate or reject for yourself.  Be the scientist in your own life.  That is the essence of what he brought.

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Alternative News

Why We Need To Stop Bashing R. Kelly If We Want To Stop Teen Sexual Abuse & Pedophilia

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Singer superstar Robert Kelly has been charged with multiple accounts of child porn, rape, abuse, and running a sex cult where he kept several young women as sex slaves inside his home.

  • Reflect On:

    If we only react to crimes with judgement, anger, and hatred, do we ever give ourselves a chance to understand why this happens? If we don't take the time to do that, how can we ever stop it? Today, it's turned into an epidemic.

R. Kelly is a hot topic right now, as he’s been accused of raping minors, keeping minors locked up in his home for sexual purposes, and having inappropriate relationships with minors. We are talking about teenagers who ultimately are still just children. The testimony of many women and those close to him have illuminated  what Kelly has done, although he still denies these claims. As a result of a recent docu-series on Lifetime called ‘Surviving R Kelly,’ he is being made fun of, judged, and hated on publicly by many within the industry as well as outside of it. On the surface, this is understandable given the crimes and atrocities he’s committed.

The star is known as a predator of teenage girls. When he was 27, he married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah at a secret ceremony in Chicago. Vibe magazine later discovered that they were able to change Aaliyah’s age on the wedding certificate listing herself as 18, even though she was only 15 at the time. The marriage was annulled in February 1995.

A girl by the name of Tiffany Hawkins sued R Kelly for the personal injuries and emotional distress she suffered during a three-year relationship with the star. In court documents, she said she began having sex with Kelly in 1991 when she was 15 and he was 24.

He has been charged with 21 counts of making child pornography involving intercourse, oral sex, urination, and other sexual acts. Chicago police accused him of videotaping each of these acts and enticing minors to participate in them.

Back in July 2017, a crowd gathered in Chicago as Timothy Savage told the world that he believed his 21-year-old daughter was being “held against her will” as part of an alleged sex cult led by R&B singer R Kelly.

As it turns out, she wasn’t the only one. Apparently, there were several women held captive as sex slaves in a home he owned.

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The story made global news, and put the spotlight on the 51-year-old superstar’s private life – in particular, the rumours about his alleged sexual relationships with underage girls.

Savage claimed his daughter, Jocelyn, was part of an abusive sex cult, in which young girls were groomed and physically/sexually abused by Kelly.

R Kelly’s wife, ex-wife, and daughter have also been quite outspoken about his abusive behaviour, even more so now that so many people are gathering together and sharing their stories. When R. Kelly was making millions for record companies, it seemed to be swept under the rug. Along with these accusations also came many awards, fame, and notoriety.

It’s important to note that what we hear and what leaks out into the mainstream probably represents only a fraction of Kelly’s illegal activities. Many celebrities and members of the elite are often protected from the law, and many abused women and children may not feel comfortable coming forward.

How Should We React?

Amidst all of the judgement, anger, resentment and hatred towards R. Kelly, and any sexual predator, criminal, etc. for that matter, we often fail to address one of the most important questions: We forget to ask why and how.

There is no denying people have been hurt here, and it’s important to discuss what’s happened, but we must also discuss solutions. All we seem to do is judge, hate, and punish without asking why and how these things happen. It reminds me of how we operate prison systems in the western world. We claim to rehabilitate individuals, but really we just force them into incredibly poor conditions that often make their state of mind worse by the time of their release, and then we send them back out into society expecting that the past won’t repeat itself.

If we continue to judge, make fun, and ‘bash,’ we simply reinforce the cycle and allow it to continue without ever getting to the root cause of it, thus prolonging the issue instead of stopping it. In essence, just as we must provide a loving space for victims to process their experiences, we must also create that space for perpetrators.

As much as people may not want to hear it, ask yourself the question: Are we really changing anything by holding so much hate and judgment toward perpetrators? What happens when those hated individuals enter into bad rehabilitation systems and are out of prison a mere 5 or 10 years later? We’re perpetuating a cycle of disconnection.

Flipping The Script

People like R. Kelly are ‘sick,’ in the same way murderers, other rapists, and criminals are ‘sick.’ The only response from society has been judgement, and the result of that judgement is jail time which largely benefits politicians and corporations. It’s a modern day example of slavery, and actually has nothing to do with rehabilitation and fostering understanding and compassion.

When it comes to sexually abusing children, those who participate in this type of activity have often been subjected to severe childhood trauma themselves. It could be sexual or something else. As a result, they grow up and repeat what they have been through or look for other unhealthy ways to cope as they struggle to fit into society. This is something that has not been addressed nor understood by all of those who are participating in what’s become known as ‘elite level sexual abuse.’

In the case of R. Kelly himself, most people probably don’t realize he is a victim of child sex abuse. He has detailed in his autobiography how he was raped when he was eight years old, which continued for years. His brother also recently gave an emotional interview detailing how both of them were repeatedly raped at very young ages by their older sister, starting from when they were about 6 years old. They were forced to perform sexual acts on her as well as have intercourse. (source)

Think about what this does to a child at that age. This is trauma, and his behaviour may be a result of this trauma. Further, the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R Kelly clearly shows Kelly tries incredibly hard to protect himself from getting hurt. This is likely part of why he is so controlling. As hard as it is to watch and hear, it seems like he attempts to control every aspect of his life so that he avoids getting hurt. Does it mean it’s right to do? Of course not, it simply shows the frame of mind he’s operating from, and understanding that helps us figure out how we can help R Kelly. If we don’t put aside our hatred and judgement in order to feel compassion for these individuals, we will never find a solution. If we refuse, we not only fail to help the perpetrator, but we end up further perpetuating the issue and creating more victims.

Another great example would be the Vatican. Take Cardinal George Pell, for example, who recently became the highest ranking Vatican official to ever be convicted of child sexual abuse. This is something, most likely, he grew up experiencing himself. To him, it could be ‘normal’ behaviour, even if that’s at the subconscious level. Many of these Cardinals have been in the church since they were children. Not long ago, decades worth of sexual abuse was reported in a choir that was led by the retired pope Benedict’s brother. In that specific case, there were approximately 600 members of a Catholic boys’ Dompatzen choir in Regenburg, Germany who where physically and sexual abused from 1946 to 1992. Georg Ratzinger, the former Pope’s Benedict’s brother, was the choir’s head from 1964 to 1994.

Without treatment, many of these children may grow up and abuse young children. And if they don’t leave the church, they could end up further perpetuating the cycle of sexual abuse within it.

Asking The Important Questions

Register to watch our exclusive 4-part interview series with Anneke.

What does hatred do? What does judgement do? What progress will we ever make by making fun of these people, labelling them as psychopaths, and locking them up? On the other hand, what will love do? What does understanding do? What progress would be made without judgement and punishment, but rather with understanding, openness, transparency, and communication? We may need to detain these people to stop them from hurting others, but we must think of better ways of approaching this than our current methodology.

Don’t believe me? Hear it from a victim of elite child sex trafficking. We just put out a 4-part interview series with Anneke Lucas on January 17th, where she describes in detail her involvement as a child in an elite Belgian pedophile ring, her remarkable escape, and her healing journey over the last couple decades.

In the interview, she explains how vital it is during the healing process to not feel like a ‘victim,’ and that you actually empower your abuser by taking the victim stance or by labelling them as ‘crazy satanic pedophiles.’ She learned to look at them from a different perspective. Eventually, she felt sorry for her perpetrators and realized that the abusers are in need of something society is not ready to provide them with: the opportunity to heal.

The Takeaway

Sexual abuse has been an issue deeply ingrained in society for centuries, and it’s in part because society fails to respond with compassion. We do the exact opposite of that. We make fun of, vilify, point fingers, punish, and kill criminals. We do not rehabilitate and we do not give a chance for ‘lost souls’ to connect to the light that exists within them, that light that exists within all of us. There is no talk of past trauma and healing, and this is one of the biggest problems when it comes to alleviating various crimes including sexual abuse and pedophilia.

These people have nobody to talk to, their always running and hiding and never addressing the root cause of their problems. As a result, many people experience pain and trauma, and the cycle continues.

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Awareness

Tylenol Damages The Brains of Children, Research Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Tylenol has a wide range of toxic side effects you should be aware of, especially if you are pregnant or use it with your children. Article written by William Parker, Ph.D for Greenmedinfo.com, published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we keep taking Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs when it's unquestionable that they do more harm than good? Why don't we ever look into healthy ways to alleviate our symptoms?

Original Article Link

A number of non-peer-reviewed articles have been written and published on the web claiming that there is literally nothing to fear from acetaminophen during pregnancy. There are two types of articles that fall into this category. First, reputable watchdog organizations have weighed in on the issue, declaring acetaminophen use during pregnancy and during childhood to be proven safe. In particular, the National Health Service of the UK and the Center for Accountability in Science have both strongly criticized the Spanish study from 2016 showing a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and ADHD/autism.

The second type of article is generally written by a science writer working for an organization that runs a website. Often quoting one to three experts who claim that is perfectly safe and that pregnant women and families should not be concerned, many of these articles are published by reputable sources that are generally trustworthy. Typically, an expert is being asked to comment on one particular publication showing a link between acetaminophen use (usually during pregnancy) and some sort of neuropsychiatric problem (autism, lowered IQ, hyperactivity, and/or social/behavioral problems, depending on the study). There are several important things to consider when evaluating these articles:

1.  There are a number of University Professors who have studied the use of acetaminophen on the developing brain and who are keenly aware of the potential dangers. A partial list of these individuals is provided below.

2.  Being an expert in acetaminophen neurotoxicity during development means that considerable time has been invested in studying the issue. Any true expert in this issue will be aware of basic facts regarding acetaminophen neurotoxicity. These facts include the following:

(a) Studies in animal models (both in mice and in rats) demonstrate that acetaminophen use during a sensitive period of brain development causes long-term alterations in the brain and is manifested as problems with social function.

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(b)  Margaret McCarthy, Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, has worked out the probable mechanism by which acetaminophen-induced brain damage occurs. Her research team has found that the male brain is considerably more sensitive to acetaminophen than the female brain, possibly accounting for the gender bias in autism.

(c) There are (as of January 2017) a total of 8 published studies evaluating the long terms effects on children of acetaminophen use during pregnancy or during childhood. Two of these (one in 2014, one in 2016) were published in JAMA Pediatrics, one of the most highly respected pediatric journals. All studies point toward acetaminophen use being associated with long-term problems with neurological function. Each study design has included some attempt to control for indication. In all studies, acetaminophen use rather than indication has been identified as the key factor associated with cognitive problems. A formal meta-analysis is not currently possible because of the varied outcome measures and study designs, but all 8 studies point in the same direction: Acetaminophen is neurotoxic to the developing brain. The studies are not “cherry picked”, selecting only those which find an effect. All studies point toward a neurotoxic effect of acetaminophen in the developing brain.

(d)   Acetaminophen substantially alters brain chemistry and temporarily impairs awareness of social issues in adult humans.

(e)  Testing of acetaminophen safety in children did not include any evaluation of brain function, and no long-term studies were ever conducted. The primary manufacturer of acetaminophen in the US acknowledges that the drug has never been shown to be safe for brain development when used during pregnancy or in childhood. All safety tests were performed with the assumption that any side effects would be acute in nature (e.g., bleeding or acute organ damage). This assumption was based on observations made with acetaminophen in adults and with aspirin in children. It was not based on any experience with acetaminophen use in children.

3.     Having prescribed tens of thousands of doses of acetaminophen does not make anyone an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen, any more than eating thousands of pounds of chips makes somebody an expert in the effects of an inflammatory diet. Credentials and certifications that allow physicians to prescribe acetaminophen do not make them experts, and elevated positions in the medical community do not qualify anybody as an expert on the effects of acetaminophen. If somebody does not know those basic facts listed above, then they are not an expert on the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen. Usually, the experts will have published one or more peer-reviewed manuscripts on the topic. Those are the people to ask when an expert is needed.

4.     It is tempting to point accusing fingers at physicians who say that acetaminophen is safe when they literally have no grasp whatsoever of the relevant scientific literature. However, this would be a mistake. I have tracked down a few of these individuals who were quoted in a very public format, and one individual, in particular, didn’t even remember having made a comment on the topic. The most likely explanation is that a reporter asked them if acetaminophen was safe, and their response based on their training (not on the knowledge of the literature) was that it is safe. After all, if they didn’t think it was safe, they would not be administering it dozens of times per day. So, if a reporter asks a physician if something is safe, and they provide their knowledge based on what they have been taught and how they practice, then it is hard to blame them. The reporter didn’t ask them to spend days or even weeks reviewing the literature in detail, but rather assumed that any physician administering something dozens of times per day would know the literature. (This is a false assumption. No physician has the time to study all current literature on every drug they administer.) So, in a nutshell, a tragic propagation of incorrect information is occurring despite the best of intentions of all parties involved.

5.     Unless an organization such as the National Health Service has the time to review a topic thoroughly, they should remain silent on an issue. It took a team of us two years to put together our summary of the evidence, both direct and circumstantial, regarding the potential neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during development. It took the NHS only days to publish their recent criticism of the 2016 Spanish study. Offering questionable criticisms of a single paper without reviewing the literature to see how that publication fits into the big picture is a disservice to the public being served.

6. Reading the published quotes from many “experts” who exonerate acetaminophen, it is apparent that the logic falls into one of two categories.

(a) Everybody is doing it, so it must be OK.

(b) This single study is not perfect, so no change in practice should be made.

Neither of these criticisms is logically sound, of course. These two criticisms are often combined and were, in fact, part of the critical comments directed toward the first paper showing that acetaminophen probably has substantial neurotoxicity during development (published in 2008 by Steve Shultz). Further, the evaluation of study weaknesses is usually skewed and not entirely valid. Since the idea that acetaminophen is safe is being embraced, then any merit in the paper is often undermined to make the case. This is certainly true of the published (peer reviewed) criticisms of the 2008 Shultz paper.

7.     Many on-line sources support the view that acetaminophen can be very dangerous to the developing brain. Probably the most reliable source, the FDA, is remaining silent on the topic until something more definitive is done. The FDA knows that this is extremely urgent, but unfortunately, our FDA is not linked well (in a practical manner) with our NIH, and thus they can’t dictate research priorities.

8.     Here is a list (not comprehensive) of experts regarding the neurotoxicity of acetaminophen during brain development.

a) First, I’ll thank the wonderful team of individuals who helped put together our comprehensive review on this topic. Shu Lin, a professor with me in Duke’s Surgery Department, is a very dear and long-time friend of mine who has supported me through countless projects over the past 22 years. Staci Bilbo, director for research on Autism at Harvard, is a friend and collaborator who has helped me understand what causes inflammation and the role of inflammation in brain dysfunction. Chi Dang Hornik, a pediatric pharmacist at Duke, contributed greatly to our understanding of the frequency of acetaminophen administration and the available formulations of the drug. Many thanks to Martha Herbert. As a Harvard professor and clinician, she has a great appreciation for the clinical data obtained from patients with autism. Cindy Nevison, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, rounds out our team, providing critical information about the epidemiology of autism. (Thanks also to our interns (Rasika Rao and Lauren Gentry) and research analyst (Zoie Holzknecht) who were a tremendous help in compiling information and preparing that information for publication.)

b) Margaret McCarthy, chair of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, it the most knowledgeable person I know regarding the biochemistry of the human brain and how that is affected by acetaminophen and other drugs in that class.

c) Chittaranjan Andrade, Chair of Psychopharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, has written a peer reviewed paper on the topic of acetaminophen induced brain damage. He nicely summarized a number of studies looking at the connection between acetaminophen and neurological damage. His final conclusion is that the drug is probably more associated with ADHD than autism, but the conclusion was limited to exposure during pregnancy and his work was conducted before some critical studies were published in 2016.

d) Henrik Viberg is a professor in the Department of Organismal Biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has studied how exposure of mice to acetaminophen during development can cause long term brain damage.

e) In 2015, a group of scientists working with Laurence de Fays at the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Brussels acknowledged the clinical studies and the studies in animal models which indicated that acetaminophen could be dangerous to the developing fetus, but concluded that paracetamol is “still to be considered safe in pregnancy”. At the same time, they state that “additional carefully designed studies are necessary to confirm or disprove the association (between acetaminophen and brain damage to children)”, and that “care should be taken to avoid raising poorly founded concerns among pregnant females”. We very strongly agree with the conclusion that more studies are needed, but very strongly disagree with the conclusion that women should be kept in the dark about the matter. It is important to point out that several more studies have come out since Laurence de Fays’ report. One of those is a 2016 manuscript in JAMA Pediatrics(see the next expert), a highly reputable peer reviewed journal, which addresses the concerns raised by de Fays, so it is possible that de Fays’ group may now have a different opinion.

f) A team of scientists and doctors working with Evie Stergiakouli at the University of Bristol analyzed data from a prospective birth cohort, and concluded that “children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties”. They found considerable evidence indicating that the association was not due to the confounding factors that concerned de Fays’ group (previous expert).

g) Jordi Julvez at the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain worked with a team of a dozen clinicians and scientists to publish their 2016 study linking acetaminophen with autism and ADHD.

h) Amany A. Abdin, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Tanta University, Egypt, wrote a review of the acetaminophen/autism connection and published it in the journal Biochemistry and Pharmacology: Open Access. Her conclusion in 2013 was that the drug is not safe and that the acetaminophen/autism connection should receive attention.

i) The original paper that identified a connection between neuropsychiatric disorders and acetaminophen was published by Steve Shultz while at the University of California at San Diego. Coauthors on the paper included Hillary Klonoff-Cohen, currently an Endowed Professor and Director of the MPH program at the University of Illinois.

j) Four scientists, including research scientist Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen and professors Hedvig Nordeng and Eivind Ystrom in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo, coauthored a study showing a connection between adverse neurodevelopment and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

k) Jorn Olsen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at UCLA, published one of the more recent papers (2016) showing a connection between autism and acetaminophen use during pregnancy.

l) Five professors (John M. D. Thompson, Karen E. Waldie, Clare R. Wall, Rinky Murphy, and Edwin A. Mitchell) from four different departments at The University of Auckland published their findings in PLOSone in 2014 which “strengthen the contention that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy increases the risk of ADHD-like behaviours. Our study also supports earlier claims that findings are specific to acetaminophen.”

For evidence-based research on the dangers of acetaminophen, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.\

Read their related article on Tylenol: 

Tylenol Kills Emotions As Well As Pain, Study Reveals

Sign Up For The Greenmedinfo Newsletter HERE.


William Parker is an Associate Professor at Duke University, where he has worked in the Department of Surgery since 1993.  William is currently investigating a number of issues associated with inflammation and Western society, including vitamin D deficiency, heart disease and alteration of the symbionts of the human body (“biota alteration”). He has been interested in “natural” immune function for some time, which has led him down a path that includes the first studies of immune function in wild rats and the discovery of the function of the human appendix.

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Alternative News

European Union Approval of Glyphosate Found To Be Based On Plagiarized Science From Monsanto

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Glyphosate, an active ingredient within Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by the European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto.

  • Reflect On:

    With so much science showing it's harmful to humans and the environment, and the fact that several dozen countries have made it illegal, why is it still approved in the UK, Canada, and US? Among a few other places.

It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to glyphosate, an active ingredient used in Monsanto’s infamous ‘Roundup herbicide,’ a product that’s illegal in many countries (not including Canada and the United States). For a number of years, these countries have been citing the devastating health and environmental effects of Roundup herbicide, namely regarding glyphosate. Sri Lanka, for example, completely banned the product because of it’s link to deadly kidney disease, whereas many other countries have cited its carcinogenic effects. The science is quite clear, and it’s been coming out for decades. Fernando Manas, Ph.D. at the National University of Rio Cuarto in Argentina, outlines how “There is evidence of high levels of genetic damage in people of Marcos Juarez (Argentina), which may result from unintentional exposure to pesticides.” (source)

Nobody can really argue against why glyphosate shouldn’t be approved anywhere in the world, especially when you take a look at the science. Glyphosate recently made headlines, as the case regarding school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit claiming that glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. There are thousands upon thousands of similar pending cases. Any jury that reviews all of the scientific evidence will not be able to rule otherwise, and Johnson’s case was a great example that showed glyphosate caused his cancer.

How are these products approved? It comes as a result of corrupt regulatory agencies here in Canada as well as within the US, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control  and Prevention (CDC). The list of examples is very long when it comes to corruption and government connections to corporations like Monsanto. This is the only way these products get approved, it’s not science, it’s simply lobbying efforts and shady politics.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691

EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, and it came based on an assessment that was plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the company that manufactures these products, instead of seeking out independent scientific studies.

A group of MEPs decides to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies.

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As the Guardian points out:

The study’s findings have been released hours before a parliamentary vote on tightening independent scrutiny of the pesticides approvals process. The authors said they found “clear evidence of BfR’s deliberate pretence of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicant’s assessment. Molly ScottCato, a Green MEP, said the scale of alleged plagiarism by the BfR authors shown by the new paper was “extremely alarming.”

Molly Scott Cato, a member of European Parliament, went on to tell the Guardian:

“This helps explain why the World Health Organization assessment on glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen was so at odds with EU assessors, who awarded this toxic pesticide a clean bill of health, brushing off warnings of its dangers.”

The study found plagiarism in half of the chapters assessing published studies on the health risk, which means that half of the science came directly from Monsanto themselves, because the plagiarism was of industry science.  And what does the industry do? Jane Goodall, although referencing GMOs, hammers home the point:

As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe. (source)

This quote came from a book written by Lawyer Steven Druker, who sued the FDA and uncovered documents showing how the agency manipulated the science and corrupted scientists in order to get GMOs approved. You can read more about that in detail here.

The same thing goes for glyphosate.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) based its recommendation that glyphosate was safe for public use on the BfR’s assessment.

According to the EFSA, “The report does not provide any new scientific information that calls into question the assessment and conclusions of glyphosate. EFSA stands firmly behind the integrity of its risk assessment process and its conclusions on glyphosate.”

Jo Lewis, the Soil Associations policy director told the Guardian:

“It is unacceptable that pesticide-industry studies receive greater recognition than scientific peer-reviewed open literature in regulatory decision-making. Whilst this paper focuses on the US EPA, similar criticisms have been made of EU decisions and we fear that outside the EU, pressure to approve pesticides will increase.”

Again, it’s weird how this is even a debate. This has been known for a very long time, and we’ve seen similar happenings with DDT in the past.

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” – October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)

Keep in mind that the use of glyphosate has skyrocketed, a 1500% increase from 1995 to 2005 was seen, and 100 million pounds of this stuff is used every year on more than a billion acres in the United States alone.

It’s found in our food, our beverages, our favourite snacks, etc.

It’s even been found in the breast milk of mothers, and in urine samples of people across Europe. (source)

The main toxic effects of glyphosate as identified by MIT’s Dr. Stephanie Seneff include:

  • Kills beneficial gut bacteria and allows pathogens to overgrow
  • Interferes with function of cytochrome p450 (CYP enzymes)
  • Chelates important minerals (iron, cobalt, manganese, etc)
  • Interferes with synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine – leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate
  • Disrupts sulfate synthesis and sulfate transport

Need I write more?

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, despite the power these corporations hold over government regulatory agencies, it’s human beings that are actually spraying this stuff. This is why change needs to occur at an individual level. One day, no human will agree to spray or use Roundup herbicide, because our lives literally depend on it. We’re simply being used as tools by these corporations, and they profit off our ignorance. Our own consciousness is being used against us. The lies and the scientific fraud that occur in order to get these products on the market actually convince people that they are safe. It’s still hard for some people to accept let alone entertain the idea that our regulatory agencies would ever knowingly do something to harm us.

This is why awareness is so important, and why we must do our own research.

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