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The True Reason Behind The 40-Hour Work Week & Why We Are Economic Slaves

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(EV via anonhq) Economic slavery, or wage slavery, refers to one’s total and immediate dependence on wages to survive.

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Although people throughout history have had to work to get by, we now live in a culture where we are led to believe we have economic freedom, when unbeknownst to most citizens, we are in fact bound in servitude.

We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive. There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours—you either work 40 hours a week, or you don’t get to work at all. We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we’re allowed to eat, and even when we’re allowed to use the restroom. How is it we have come to allow this?

The 40-hour-work week came about during the Industrial Revolution in Britain when at one point workers were putting in 10 to 16 hour days and began to protest. Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.

There are many contributing factors that have led to our current economic system and continued acceptance of the 40-hour workweek, three major factors being consumerism, inflation, and debt. First, it’s important to understand exactly what inflation is, how it works, and how it leads to debt.
Inflation:

To put inflation simply, let’s say the U.S. government needs money for whatever war they’ve decided to wage this year. They ask the Federal Reserve for a loan, and the Fed agrees to buy bonds (sort of like IOU’s) from the government in the amount of the requested loan. The U.S. government then prints up a bunch of pieces of paper that say “Treasury Bond” while at the same time, the Federal Reserve prints up a bunch of little pieces of paper that we know as money. A trade is made between the government and the Federal Reserve—the bonds for the money—and the U.S. government directly deposits this newly printed money in a different bank, which in turn, takes its cut in fees and interest. Voilà, money has been created out of thin air.

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—Find out why we are living in the most important time in our history.

Although this process takes place electronically now (only 3% of money is in physical form, the other 97% exists in computers) the problem either way is that it depletes the worth of the dollar. At one point in time, currency was worth gold. That was what gave money its value, but now the value of money is trusted to the Federal Reserve who has no moral objections to reducing that value by printing more money (basically legal counterfeit). For the cost of printing, the Federal Reserve creates money that the U.S. government has promised to pay back—money that didn’t even exist in the first place.

It works like this with private bank loans to citizens as well. Each time a transaction of this sort happens, it reduces the value of actual currency, and thus we have inflation. One dollar in 1913 required $21.60 in 2007 to match its value. That’s a 96% devaluation since the Federal Reserve came into existence. How does this lead to economic slavery? By the debt inflation has caused.

DEBT:

Since money is created through loans, that means it’s created through debt. Money equals debt, and debt equals money. So the more money there is, the more debt there is, and vice versa. What this means is, if somehow the government and every citizen in debt were able to pay back those loans, there would not be a single dollar in circulation.

Interest plays an important role in this equation as well. When you take out a loan and the bank gives you money that technically doesn’t exist, they also expect you to pay additional interest with it. If the money loaned is coming from the Federal Reserve, where is the money for the interest supposed to come from?

The answer is nowhere.

That means no matter what, the nation will never be able to get out of debt, and that is exactly the purpose of this meticulously orchestrated system. Like a toss of the coin, somebody somewhere will always go bankrupt to make up for the interest that is being paid with even more debt. And so, as the nation sinks further in the hole while the cost of living increases, surviving in the economy becomes more difficult. This desperation to survive, coupled with the fact that we were born into this system, is ultimately what causes us to accept the 40-hour workweek without a moment’s thought.

So now we understand the element that forces us to accept our predicament, but how does the 40-hour workweek benefit banks and corporations? After all, studies show that the average office worker gets less than three hours worth of work done in an 8-hour work shift, and according to reports, US corporate profits are soaring while wages are declining. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that productivity has increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, while hourly pay only increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, and this has been the basic pattern for some time—it adds up after a while. Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years, so why aren’t we being paid more, working less, and providing additional jobs to those who need them? This brings us to consumerism.

CONSUMERISM:

Consumerism is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services. At one point in time this belief may have rang true, but with the current capitalist system and cost of living, consumerism has begun to have negative effects on our society, especially when you take inflation and the increasing debt into consideration. The more we buy, the more we feed the corporations and banks who are in turn pushing us into economic slavery.

Since the 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution, “consumers” have been spending increasing amounts of money on frivolous purchases. This over-indulgence has been nurtured and fed by the corporations using commercialism (the attitude or actions of people who are influenced too strongly by the desire to earn money or buy goods rather than by other values—Merriam-Webster) as a tool. Psychological insinuations have been planted into society’s subconscious for generations through consumer advertisements which have ultimately led to certain habits and beliefs. Some examples are:

“Buy now pay later” – The General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) started this mindset when it was established in 1919 and began to promote giving loans to people who bought cars. Americans eventually started to use the new credit plans on just about everything.

“Keeping up with the Joneses” – Commonly thought to be the beginning of the American consumer culture, this mindset began when GM introduced the yearly automobile model change. People wanted to have the latest model each year, and soon this idea spread out. Most of us, whether we want to admit it or not, are familiar with this mentality. Rather than keeping our old toaster that works perfectly fine, we want the new retro-style stainless steel model because it looks swanky sitting on our kitchen counter.

“1929-1945 Depression and War” – Soon after The Depression came WWII, during which advertisers promised products to be available when there was peace. As a result, customers (consumers) were eager to take up spending immediately after the war was over.

“Peace” – When the war ended, consumer optimism and economic growth accompanied victory.

“Charge it!” – Credit cards were first promoted through the Diners Club—a charge card company that services affluent and well-traveled individuals from around the world. Other companies followed suit and started advertising credit cards as a “time-saving device” rather than a way to spend money that wasn’t actually there.

“Bigger is better” – During the 1970’s, companies began to send credit cards out by the masses to those who had not requested them. While Americans had already been developing the idea that “bigger is better”, the credit card boom ended up exploiting that idea. Now people had the means to obtain extravagant items they couldn’t before, even though it put many in colossal debt. Congress soon had to regulate the credit card boom, and ban sending cards to those who never requested them in the first place.

Companies in all kinds of industries hold a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be careless with their money, and they encourage this habit of casual or non-essential spending when they can. For example, in the documentary The Corporation, a marketing psychologist discussed a method she used to increase sales that involved encouraging children to nag their parents to buy toys. Studies showed that 20% to 40% of purchases of this sort resulted after children nagged their parents.

“You can manipulate consumers into wanting, and therefore buying, your products. It’s a game.” Lucy Hughes, co-creator of “The Nag Factor”.

The 40-hour workweek is the ultimate tool for corporations to sustain this culture of over-indulgent spending. Under our current working conditions, people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. We find ourselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because we rarely have any free time. When we do have time to ourselves, it’s usually fleeting, and we eventually find ourselves neglecting those activities which are free—walking, exercising, reading, meditating, sports, hobbies, etc.—because they take too much time.

While having extra money comes at the sacrifice of personal time for some, for others they not only are robbed of their personal freedom, but they struggle to make ends meet on top of it. The “perfect” consumer works full-time, earns a fair amount of money, indulges during their free time, and somehow just makes it by each month. However, even those who don’t earn fair wages sometimes find themselves wasting small increments of money on unnecessary items for the wrong reasons—a cup of Starbucks here, a McDonald’s cheeseburger there, and those really cool fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view of your 1993 Honda Civic.

Any way you look at it, we have become an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society. We buy silly items for a few moments of happiness before getting bored and moving on. We feel a need to keep up with fads, or to fulfill our childhood vision of what adulthood would be like. We hide our insecurities, avoid issues, and replace psychological needs with material items. By keeping society’s free time scarce, people will pay more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.

Keeping America unhealthy has become extremely profitable for big-business, and so far their efforts have paid-off beautifully. Our society has been transformed into an industry fueled by economic slavery, and consumerism is a key factor in this corrupt system—one the people have direct influence over. Consumers are the only ones who can stop consuming.

Sources:

Cain, David. True Activist. Dec 7, 2014. (http://www.trueactivist.com/your-lifestyle-has-already-been-designed-the-real-reason-for-the-forty-hour-workweek/)

Ethos. Dir. Pete McGrain. Cinema Libre Studio, 2011. Documentary

Graph supplied by: (http://economagic.com/)

Jones, Shannon. World Socialist Web Site. Dec 4, 2014. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/04/wage-d04.html)

Mt. Holyoke College Research Study. American Consumerism and the Global Environment. 2009. (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~kelle20m/classweb/wp/index.html)

Zeitgeist: Addendum. Dir. Peter Joseph. GMP LLC, 2008. Documentary.

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New Plastic “Zeoform” Turns Hemp Into Almost Anything

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Zeoform is a material that changes everything. It's made from cellulose fibres and water. Their patented process converts cellulose fibres into an industrial strength moulding material capable of being formed in into an array of products.

  • Reflect On:

    Zeoform is 100% non-toxic, biodegradable, compostable and ‘locks up’ carbon into beautiful, functional forms. A perfect solution for emerging hemp industries and bio-waste nations. Solutions exist, finding solutions are not the issue, so what is?

What if today’s plastics could be made from materials which were not only sustainable, but non-toxic? At the moment, our plastics are made from oil, which means not only are we putting toxic chemicals into our atmosphere, but we are also filling our environment with products that cannot bio-degrade.

To combat this problem, a company out of Australia has created a promising new product called Zeoform, made entirely out of water and cellulose taken from hemp plants. This means their plastic is not only eco-friendly in production but is also biodegradable!

As stated on their website:

Zeoform is a revolutionary material that changes everything. Made from cellulose fibres and water – and absolutely nothing else! Our patented process converts cellulose fibres into a super strong high tech moulding material capable of being formed into a multitude of products. ZEOFORM is 100% non-toxic, biodegradable and ‘locks up’ carbon from waste into beautiful, functional forms.

zoeform_chair

According to Zeoform, their product is very durable and relies only on the natural process of hydrogen bonding that takes place when cellulose fibres are mixed with water. No glue or bonding material is necessary because the bond created is already so strong. The final material can be formed into almost anything and can be cut, routed, machined, drilled, screwed, nailed, and glued in the same way wood and wood composites can be. It can also be coloured/dyed, and finished in any way creators like.

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The material is inherently water- and fire-resistant and can be reinforced further in both categories with some small adjustments to ingredients. Zeoform can also be made into anything, from car parts to paper, moulds, furniture, and even musical instruments – the possibilities are endless.

zeoform_guitar

Given the practicality of this material, the company hopes to expand their patented technology and begin offering manufacturing licenses to larger facilities around the world. Since there is plenty of infrastructure already set up where this type of product can be built, switching over from our current unsustainable and toxic method of production is very possible and should be a high priority, especially considering our environmental state. Sure it might mean disaster for big oil, but isn’t it time we put us and the environment ahead of profit?

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Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein & Ghislaine Maxwell Pictured Together At Princess Beatrice’s Party

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Sun has obtained an image of Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein & Ghislaine Maxwell pictured together at Prince Beatrice's 18th birthday party. Beatrice is the daughter of Prince Andrew.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this really surprising, how deep does the sex trafficking of children go, and who else could be involved?

As a company, Collective Evolution has been creating awareness on elite level child trafficking, sexual abuse, ritual abuse and murder for quite a long time, but we are an independent media organization, and it’s a topic that mainstream media did not touch for quite a while. But that all changed when the Jeffrey Epstein/Prince Andrew drama emerged. Now more than ever, more people are starting to ask questions about elite level child trafficking and pedophilia, as well as a phenomenon that’s referred to as ‘satanic ritual abuse.’ We will get to a bit about that later on in the article, but for now we’d like to bring attention to an image that was obtained exclusively by The Sun, showing Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Epstein’s girlfriend at the time Ghislaine Maxwell, together at a party hosted by Prince Andrew, for his daughter Princess Beatrice and her 18th birthday party.

James Beal from The Sun writes:

As they mingled with royalty at Beatrice’s 18th, police had already prepared an arrest warrant for Epstein on child sex abuse charges and raided his Florida mansion. Eight days after the billionaire posed in a US Navy Seal uniform for this snap he was in cuffs. Tuxedo-wearing Weinstein is due in court next month accused of a sex offence in 2006 – the same year this photo was taken. Maxwell, seen in a gold mask and red headdress, is now being investigated by the FBI on suspicion of procuring girls for Epstein. A source told The Sun on Sunday: “This photograph sums up just why the Epstein affair has been so disastrous for Andrew. “He brought these people into the royal fold, to Windsor Castle no less, where they could rub shoulders with the great and good.“It is an astounding lack of judgment at the very least. “This picture will raise further questions about Andrew’s interaction with these individuals.”

It’s important to mentioned that not everybody who has ever been pictured with Epstein means they were involved, or even had knowledge of his activities,  but this is different, because it’s Harvey Weinstein.

The picture is not surprising. Based on our research, many of these people who hold, or held, great power in the world are involved in such activity. Many presidents and prime ministers over the years have been accused, countless amounts of politicians as well, and it turns out that people like Epstein might have been tasked to entrap these people for the purposes of blackmail.

Sonia Poulton, a British journalist, social commentator, and filmmaker, has been investigating the dark web of pedophilia for years. Some of her research has been complied into a documentary called “Pedophiles In Parliament.”

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Trevor Victor Norman Fortescue, CBE, also known known as Tim Fortescue, was a British politician. He was the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Liverpool Garston from 1966 to 1974, in a clip from that documentary also reveals something significant.

Fortescue was appointed  by Edward Heath as an assistant whip under Francis Pym, served as a senior whip, Lord Commissioner of the Treasury from 1971 until he resigned in September 1973. According to him, as stated in the documentary referenced above:

For anyone with any sense, who was in trouble, would come to the whips and tell them the truth, and say now, I’m in a jam, can you help? It might be debt, it might be… a scandal involving small boys, or any kind of scandal in which, erm er, a member seemed likely to be mixed up in, they’d come and ask if we could help and if we could, we did. And we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points… and if I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.

This kind of thing has been floating around out there for decades. For example, a member of the Royal family was claimed to be part of a suspected pedophile ring under investigation by the police in the late 1980s, a former police officer has said. The former Metropolitan Police officer said he was told by a detective sergeant that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons. “I was in a car with two other vice squad officers … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. “He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

Peter McKelvie, a former child protection chief in the UK, gained attention when he claimed that senior politicians, military figures and even people linked to the Royal Family were among the alleged abusers. While working in Hereford and Worcester, he helped to convict notorious child abuser Peter Righton, who was once one of the country’s most respected authorities on child care.  This highlights a great point, and something that I’ve come across multiple times in my research. Many people who work for national child care protection programs are directly involved in this type of thing. McKelvie  is one of many who told the world that these types of powerful VIP pedophile rings have been running in secrecy for multiple years. (source)

Epstein & Weinstein’s connections to Israeli Intelligence

For those who have examined Epstein’s ties to intelligence, there are clear links to both U.S. intelligence and Israeli intelligence, leaving it somewhat open to debate as to which country’s intelligence apparatus was closest to Epstein and most involved in his blackmail/sex-trafficking activities. A recent interview given by a former high-ranking official in Israeli military intelligence has claimed that Epstein’s sexual blackmail enterprise was an Israel intelligence operation run for the purpose of entrapping powerful individuals and politicians in the United States and abroad.

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 not only to have met Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, back in the 1980s, but that both Epstein and Maxwell were already working with Israeli intelligence during that time period. You can read more about that story, in detail, here.

As far as Weinstein, he hired ex Israeli intelligence officers to threaten and spy on his victims.

So that’s interesting to note.

”They use all forms of persuasion to prevent people from speaking out, to silence people. Threats, intimidation, blackmail, financial deprivation. And all types of harassment such as put under intensive surveillance, telephone tapping, all of this. They pull out the stops and they have unlimited funds because those funds are supplied by the tax payer” Andrea Davison, Former Intelligence Agent (source)

It Goes Deeper Than Pedophilla

A paper published in European Psychiatry titled The cremation of care ritual: Burning of effigies or human sacrifice murder? The importance of differentiating complex trauma from schizophrenia in extreme abuse settings” by Dr. Rainer Kurz, a chartered occupational psychologist (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at The University of Manchester. Master of Science (MSc) Industrial Psychology at The University of Hull) explains:

In the wake of institutional abuse enquiries and the ‘unbelievable’ child abuse perpetrated by celebrities like Jimmy Saville and Ian Watkins, a ‘new reality’ is setting in that child abuse is pervasive and knows no limits. Reports of elaborate rituals with ‘mock’ human sacrifices at the highly secretive annual ‘Bohemian Grove’ summer festival point towards a pervasive interest in the occult in high society. Mental health professionals have a ‘duty of care’ towards their service users. Unless clear and irrefutable counter-evidence is available it is inappropriate to claim that disclosures of extreme abuse and/or human sacrifice rituals are ‘delusions’ and indicative of Schizophrenia.

Epstein, Schwartz & Schwartz (2011) described cases of ‘Forced Impregnation’ by cult members which were followed by Human Sacrifice rituals. They also described UK based abuse groups forced ‘child-on child’ sex abuse salient to the case. Scott (2001) described the casual ease with which some abuse perpetrations torture and kill. 36 survivors completed her survey of whom 34 claimed abuse by members of their immediate family, and 21 by one or both parents. For 34 ritual abuse in childhood involved murder and for 16 involved forced childbirth/abortion. Bekker, Karriker, Overkamp and Rutz (2008) found in their extreme abuse survey that ‘forced impregnation’ by 40 % of 1041 of adult survivors and 33 % of  82 child survivors, and disclosed to 70 percent of 221 professionals bearing witness. Murder of a ‘breeder baby’ by the perpetrators was reported by 26%, 18% and 55% respectively. Witnessing murder by perpetrators was reported 56%, 43% and 77% respectively.

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 19819 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.

The key sentence above is “when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment, as referenced with the information above about Epstein.

Our Interview With A Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking

Anneke Lucas is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims, founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, and creator of the Unconditional Model.

Her work is based off her 30-year journey to restore her mental and physical wellbeing after surviving some of the worst atrocities known to humankind before the age of 12. Sold as a young child into a murderous pedophile network by her family, she was rescued after nearly six years of abuse and torture.

We recently conducted an interview her her. Below is a clip from the four part series, as it was a very long and detailed interview. You can access the full interview HERE on CETV, a platform we created a platform we created to help combat the censorship we are experiencing and allow us to continue to do our work and get the world out about various issues and topics.

The Takeaway

This information can be difficult to take in, and what’s presented in this article is simply a tidbit of what’s really going on. It’s quite deep. The key here is that people with great power and resource control are clearly involved in such activity, yet we let these people make important decisions about our world. Many seem to have quite a disregard for human life, and the fact that our world is in the state it is today is no doubt reflective of psychopathic behaviour. This is a perceptional shift, one of the multiple sparks to begin questioning who our ‘leaders’ are and why we keep putting power into their hands. This questioning and awareness alone will lead to change, based on what we know with regards to consciousness and quantum physics, the simple will and desire for change that’s put out by the collective can have a direct impact on our physical and material reality. Furthermore, awareness always leads to action.

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“I Was Aware of Everything” – The Man Who Woke Up After 12 Years In A Vegetative State

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. He was diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis, which put him in a vegetative state, but not forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Others who are in a vegetative state should not be deemed 'brain dead.' For all we know, they are totally awake, with their mind working sharp without the use of their body.

My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control, and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I’d become aware again. I was invisible – the ghost boy.” -Martin Pistorious

Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. His parents, Joan and Rodney Pistorius, explained how Martin insisted that he would one day be an “electric man,” infatuated by any type of electronic equipment he could get his hands on.

But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. Coming home from school one day, he told his parents that he was feeling sick. This wasn’t any normal flu, however, as Joan and Rodney watched their son begin to sleep for endless hours of the day, almost like a baby. Even worse, he couldn’t eat, refusing anything they put in front of him.

Martin was tested for everything in the book, including Parkinson’s, TB, mineral deficiency, and more, yet everything came back negative.

As the months went on, Martin’s parents watched as their son slowly began to shut down — first his ability to move, then his ability to make eye contact, and finally his speech.

“He progressively got worse, probably in the second year of his illness. He was sleeping whenever we didn’t wake him up. He was permanently lying down in the fetal position,” said Rodney in an interview with NPR.

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Finally, a test came back positive. It was cryptococcal meningitis, something the doctors said meant there was no hope for Martin.

They were told that he was a vegetable, with no more intelligence. They were advised to take Martin home, to provide him with love until his death.

Trapped inside of his own body for a decade and thought to be severely brain-damaged, Martin Pistorius was actually fully aware the entire time. His story is one marked by abuse, neglect, love and despair. An expert on what people do when they think no one is looking, Martin has become well versed on human nature and self-determination.

A Boy Who Wouldn’t Let Go

But something in Martin held on for much longer than his prognosis had estimated.

Martin just kept going, just kept going,” said Joan.

The years continued to pass as Rodney and Joan cared for their helpless son. They dressed him, fed him, bathed him, and dropped him off at the special care facility he was enrolled at on a daily basis.

My alarm was set for every two hours so that I could wake up to turn him, so that he wouldn’t get bed sores,” said Joan.

This exhausting cycle continued for another 10 years, literally taking everything from Joan and Rodney. Joan told NPR that she eventually came to a point where she said to Martin, “I hope you die.

I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of reliefin my mind he’d already died.”

A Nurse Who Believed In The Soul Inside Martin

By the time Martin was in his mid-20’s, something slowly began to shift. Martin was now able to squeeze someone’s hand, a remarkable advancement considering his history. Furthermore, he was getting better at holding himself upright in his wheelchair.

However, the doctors insisted that Martin still had the mind of a 3-year old. But one nurse, named Verna, was convinced that there was something there.

She eventually convinced Joan and Rodney to get another evaluation done elsewhere. Martin was given a test where he had to identify different objects by pointing at them with his eyes. Surprisingly to many, he passed; not with flying colors, but he passed nevertheless.

I then gave up my job,” said Joan.

This 1987 photo is the last one to show the family before Martin fell ill. He is at the right. Courtesy of Martin Pistorius

Joan dedicated the next year to  teaching Martin how to use a special joystick for the computer, four hours every morning, until he finally got it.

Once he did, everything would change. Martin was now able to select words using his stick.

‘I am cold. I am hungry. I want toast.‘ These were his first bits of communication. Soon after, other things began to return to him.

He started moving his eyes and moving his head and almost nodding, asking for coffee by stirring his hands around and things like that.”

A Horrifying Realization – Martin’s Perspective

For 8 of the 12 years he was diagnosed, Martin was invisible. From the outside, he s1920x1080_martin-199x-4_custom-772c052f23f1615f33cc52799f0c2bc2f2cbb1f3-s800-c85was unresponsive, a vegetable. But deep inside, Martin said he was aware of everything.

I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up.”

Martin described the initial process,

“I suppose a good way to describe it is like an out-of-focus image. At first you have no idea what it is, but slowly it comes into focus until you can see it in crystal clarity.”

Somewhere along this process, Martin soon realized his immobility.

I stared at my arm, willing it to move. Every bit of me condensed into that moment.”

Martin recalled a moment when his father was helping him undress, and how badly Martin was trying to communicate, but nothing in his body would obey.

Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present againThe stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that – totally alone.”

Martin revealed how he spent countless hours wallowing in self-defeat: “You will never get out. You are pathetic, powerless, totally alone.”

Was this really how he was to spend the rest of his days alive?

An Unlikely Inspiration Changes Martin’s Thoughts

Martin had fully let go of hope, but as he explains, occasionally there were unlikely sparks of inspiration.

‘You can always count on having a fun day when you spend it with the people you love,‘ said Barney, the fictitious children’s show icon. Martin was constantly forced to watch Barney, a show he now admits he thoroughly despised. He used the show, along with the movement of the Sun, to figure out the time of day.

This was his first semblance of control. Simply knowing where he was in the day gave him the sense of being able to climb through it. He realized his thoughts could help him.

I’d have conversations with myself and other people in my head.”

Reengaging with his thoughts transformed his world, and slowly, life began to have purpose.

This also sometimes meant pain for Martin, such as when he heard his mother say to him, “I hope you die.”

But as time passed, he gradually learned to understand his mother’s desperation. He realized that it came from profound love for him.

She could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” Martin said.

Amazingly, this made him feel even closer to his mother.

It wasn’t long after this when Martin’s nurse, Verna, saw the soul trapped inside Martin, and insisted on getting him more help. This, as previously explained, was the beginning of an inspiring new chapter for Martin.

College Graduate, Bushiness Man & Husband – Martin Today

By leaning into those dark thoughts, Martin gained a self-understanding and humour about the human condition that allowed him to attain so much more than he had ever imagined for himself.

Progressing through various levels of improvement, he eventually scored himself a job filing papers at a local office, then moved onto fixing computers, creating a web design business, and earning a computer science degree. He even met a beautiful and loving wife named Joanna, whom he met through his sister.

“I turned around, and it was just this guy with this big smile. And it’s such a warm personality…Yeah, okay, well he’s in a wheelchair, and he doesn’t speak. But I love this guy. He’s amazing. It just so quickly turned into love,” said Joanna.

Though his success may seen simplified by this article, we cannot forget the amount of dedication and hard work it was for both Martin and his loved ones to get him to where he is today.

Martin’s story is indeed one filled with many mixed emotions – sadness, empathy, fear, agony, inspiration – yet it stands as an incredible testament to human willpower.

For more on Martin’s story, be sure to check out his incredible personal account of his journey in his book,  Ghost Boy.

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