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You’re Being Fooled: The Problem With ‘Alternative’ News Websites

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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.

It has become possible for anyone to start a news website. While this has many advantages, both to the creator and to their audience, it also poses some serious problems. On the one hand, people get a voice — the ability to say and share what they want. On the other hand, people can say and share whatever they want — and other people believe it to be truth.

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I’ve been running a conscious alternative news platform for over seven years now. In the course of that time, I’ve seen some truly amazing things, and some troubling things, too. But now, more than ever, I believe it’s important for people to recognize the problem with some alternative news websites and to understand what really goes on. They are harming the face of independent news and I feel it needs to stop.

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Why Alternative News Is Necessary

It’s not hard to understand why alternative news exists at this point. With the majority of the mainstream media being owned by just five corporations, diverse viewpoints and interpretations of world events have become scarce. And when you understand that most outlets are serving some sort of corporate or political agenda, you start to notice how those biases play out in the representation of certain stories, and even in how frequently they’re covered. Showing certain stories over others, and showing them repeatedly, goes a long way toward shaping public opinion.

Many are unaware of how often important stories are blacked out completely by all of mainstream media. The major pipeline spill that occurred during the Standing Rock protests or the revelation that the Pentagon paid a PR firm to create fake terrorist videos are just two recent examples. Are these not things the people should know about? Why aren’t they being reported on?

This leads us to wonder if there is in fact an agenda to hide this information. And how might that work? Sharyl Atkisson, a former CBS investigative journalist, explained that “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests, are very effectively manipulating and distorting mainstream media messages.

Further, here is a document declassified by the CIA that outlines their involvement in manipulating media, journalists, authors, films, and more to have “reporters postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.” The ‘national security’ play has always been a way for these agencies to justify shady actions.

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Given the shady dealings, agency manipulation, and ownership structure of most of mainstream media, the need for alternative voices is clear. But how should we view those alternative voices? Do we take their work at face value?

The Problems With Alternative News Websites

I have seen a lot in the past seven years and I have seen a movement that is very important lose a lot of credibility — for GOOD reason. It’s easy to dismiss alternative news websites because so many of them so carelessly carry out their work. There are good ones out there, but they are vastly outnumbered by the bad.

I decided to write this because, as someone working within this movement and who cares a lot about creating a better world, I want people to know the truth so they can make informed decisions. As much as I respect many people for what they do, there is an inherent danger in not raising awareness about this. If we expose mainstream media, we should expose alternative media too; it’s only fair. I hope this encourages many of these outlets to do better work.

Given the ease of creating alternative news websites these days, and the ease of making advertising revenue, it’s easy to see why much of the content that gets posted is questionable.

Usually Run by One or Two People

Many alternative news or health websites are run by just one or two people. While this isn’t bad when it’s a passionate person who’s doing work the right way, it can become a problem when that person is simply doing it for a business. They are driven to make money by exploiting a niche market, not a desire to create change, and so they make low quality websites and content so ads can be placed on the website. As you might imagine, it begins to create some or even all of the following issues that I believe do more harm than good to the movement.

Too Driven by Ad Revenue 

Many of the outlets I’ve worked with firsthand are highly driven by ad dollars. While it would be naive to suggest anyone should run a business without making money, since we need money to survive on this planet and simply hosting a website requires it, a desire to do good needs to remain the bottom line. Many outlets will post just about anything to make ad revenue. They will even go so far as to venture completely outside of their initial intention simply to keep up with making funds. I’ve had people ask us to post something on our page for even just 10 or 15 minutes, even after I told them it was a fake or false story. Even when you let them know that a story or health tip is false, they will post it anyway to get as many hits as they can before people figure it out — if they do. And this leads to the next problem.

Copying Content

Since it is typically only one or two people running each of these huge websites and Facebook pages, they can’t possibly write original content each day. And so, the majority of the time, they simply copy and paste the most viral and trendy stories onto their own website. No adding their own thoughts, opinions, insight, etc. — just taking content and adding a little link at the bottom back to the original creators. Now some have legitimate syndicated content partnerships, but this is rare. What typically happens is websites will copy and paste the most viral content each day or simply change the first few lines so the content looks fresh. This entire process takes away from the few websites that do write original content and pay a lot of money to do so.

Taking other website's content.

Taking other website’s content.

The next time you read an article from an alternative news website, have a look at where the content originally came from. Check to see how many times that thread goes back from website to website to website. Often the content originates from six or seven sites back. Certainly at CE we see our original content posted on other websites all the time, sourced back to another site that took it from us (and another site, and another site).

Risk for False Claims and Poor Fact Checking

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False Information being spread

Since many of these websites are run by one person, they take their content from other websites. And since their primary objective is to make as much ad revenue as possible, they often look for the most trendy or viral topic and repost without ever checking to see if the story is true. Health research, political scandals, lifestyle suggestions, and more — these topics often contain false information and there is no research behind it! People then spread this ‘exciting’ information, and since things can go viral quite easily, false information about real issues travels all over the web, all in the name of carelessness and profit. The very things they expose the mainstream for doing, they are doing themselves.

Check the article for sources, legitimate ones. Are there any? Do they link to credible information? Oftentimes you will find they don’t.

Why It Has to Change

People are starting to realize en mass that the mainstream media has its own agendas, and rarely, if ever, do they align with our well-being. They are starting to move away from this sponsored, biased content and looking for other sources. The question becomes, what will they find instead? The bevy of alternative news websites that aren’t being run ethically or with integrity? Alternative sites that kill the credibility of the entire movement because of the way they title, image, and spread content that is false?

As a media organization that spends a lot of time doing what we do, hiring the necessary people to make sure work is done right and articles researched properly, we have to stand up and fight against laziness and greed, and we have to fight for the truth. It’s only fair. How could we possibly justify holding mainstream media accountable but letting alternative media slide?

So now you know. You know what to look out for and what to do. My advice is, stop supporting and sharing content that isn’t sourced or well researched. Sharing it only further denigrates this movement and supports these bad habits.


If you recognize how good alternative websites operate compared to the not so good ones, awesome! You are aware and on the ball. Support those sites! If you love what we do here at CE, check out our funding campaign for CE NEWS, as we are taking our high quality media to the next level! http://www.cenews.tv

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

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.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

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.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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General

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

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.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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