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Virtual Reality Porn: The Real-Life “Westworld” That Could Transform Sex Culture

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The pornography industry has undergone significant changes over the past few decades, experiencing exponential growth and an overwhelming increase in supporters, and it’s about to endure another massive transformation with the rise of virtual reality porn.

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The number of views of virtual reality (VR) pornography on Pornhub reached an all-time high at 900,000 on Christmas Day 2016, three times the number of views in comparison to a month ago. Daily views of VR porn are now approximately 250% higher than a year ago.

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VR is allowing porn to truly come to life by implementing greater amounts of interactivity, allowing users to taste, touch, and smell their wildest dreams. Porn is already negatively affecting modern sex culture and our physical and emotional connections to one another, so how could VR worsen this issue?

What Is Virtual Reality Porn and What Are Its Dangers?

Imagine taking pornography one step further, so you’re not just an observer, but an active participant instead. Virtual reality essentially allows users to step into a realistic pornographic scene and fulfill their fantasies using advanced technology. When users put on that headset, they have the ability to travel into any pornographic dream they choose and actively play out the scene, making it extremely realistic for users.

Not only does it give them a 360 degree view of the scene, but certain technologies even allow you to touch, smell, and taste different elements of the VR. More advanced headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift come with controllers that allow users to touch and manipulate objects.

So, if more people start using VR porn that mimics human interaction, what will that do to our actual connection to others? Furthermore, how will that affect sex culture as a whole and how does this relate to sexual violence?

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A Newcastle University study explored the potential effects of using VR porn, particularly as it relates to revenge porn and issues of consent. The study asked participants to create a VR porn scene for “Jack” to enjoy and play out his wildest fantasies whenever he wanted to. Though many of their answers were seemingly “harmless” to the researchers, some expressed the idea that Jack would become too obsessed with VR porn, allowing it to take over his life and ruin his actual relationships with others.

Particularly worrisome to the researchers, some of the participants described sexually violent scenes or extremely degrading scenes of women conducting disturbing sexual acts. Issues of consent and “revenge porn” arose when participants either designed an exact VR replica of their partners or their exes and forced these technological versions of them to commit acts they likely wouldn’t have agreed to perform in real life.

Madeline Balaam, co-author of the research, said:

As a society we are always looking for new and novel experiences but the porn industry brings with it an added risk because of its sexist stance and exploitation of women.

We are already obsessed with body image and the digital industry is no different, creating the perfect virtual woman from Lara Croft to sex-robots. VR porn has the potential to escalate this.

Our research highlighted not only a drive for perfection, but also a crossover between reality and fantasy. Some of our findings highlighted the potential for creating 3D models of real life people, raising questions over what consent means in VR experiences. If a user created a VR version of their real life girlfriend, for example, would they do things to her that they knew she would refuse in the real world?

Research lead Matthew Wood said:

We found that for most people the potential of a VR porn experience opened the doors to an apparently ‘perfect’ sexual experience – a scenario which in the real world no-one could live up to. For others it meant pushing the boundaries, often with highly explicit and violent imagery, and we know from current research into pornography that exposure to this content has the potential to become addictive and more extreme over time.

Why is it that so many people fantasize about combining violence and sex, anyways? Why does modern sex culture include rough language like “dominated” and “plowed,” when the type of energy two people create when having sex isn’t something of destruction and violence but rather creation and love?

Though many would argue that people who engage in sexual violence do so because “they’re born that way,” I believe that these acts are actually a product of society. Porn is already extremely addictive and negatively impacts sex culture, and as a result, sexual violence has only increased. Sexual violence isn’t innate; it’s a product of our environment and only worsens as a result of consumerism and societal norms.

Will VR Porn Become a Real-Life Version of West World? 

The first story I read on VR porn immediately reminded me of the TV show Westworld. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically a sci-fi that takes place inside of Westworld, a Western-themed amusement park filled with AI that resemble real human beings. However, instead of treating the AIs like actual people, most of the guests dehumanize them by killing, torturing, and raping them, or committing other violent acts. It’s easy to see how VR porn could eventually turn into something similar to Westworld.

The corporation in the TV show makes a fortune by capitalizing on people’s sexual urges, lack of intimacy, obsession with technology, and consumeristic and addictive tendencies, mirroring the rise of the porn industry, which developed shortly after religion became less popular and the women’s rights movement emerged. We began to rebel and to explore our sexual desires in ways we hadn’t before because it was no longer shunned by religion or treated as only a man’s right. Then, corporations decided to capitalize on this opportunity, so porn was born and we started to see more sex in films, music, and the media.

In Westworld, most of the people visiting the park are men, just like with porn sites. Society sees their constant visitations as “natural,” and their partners deem it necessary so that they can keep their sexual and violent urges at bay, similar to how people treat porn. However, we have deviated far from our “natural” sexual connection to one another. Sexual energy is also creation energy and creative energy, and though it can be very pleasurable, it can be used for far more than pleasure. Porn teaches us that sex is only physical, but in reality there are energetic implications to sex as well. Porn also suggests that sex is always promiscuous, when it’s actually a human instinct that is necessary for us to procreate.

Many people’s first sexual experiences happen directly through porn, which can create unrealistic (and often unhealthy) expectations for them. This can continue to affect people throughout their lives, even when they’re having sex in real life. Many people who watch porn regularly state that it completely alters their sexual experiences, as they have difficulty staying present in the moment while having sex. We watch this theme play out in Westworld, as even the people who think they won’t engage in sex with the AI end up falling for the darkness within the amusement park and becoming addicted to it.

At the end of Westworld, we discover that the AIs have consciousness. Those robots that the guests were treating as objects, similar to how women are treated in the porn industry, were actually thinking, conscious beings. We know that everything on Earth is made up of consciousness, and that everything affects the collective consciousness, so how does that relate to VR porn?

When I first looked into VR porn, it reminded me of a quote from the show: “These violent delights have violent ends.” I believe that porn has played a role in creating further violence and chaos within our local environments and worldwide, as we become more and more desensitized to violence because of the media. If society is too lazy and ignorant from watching porn and further perpetuating a sex culture that not only includes violence and disconnection, but encourages it, then we will be too blind to actually see the bigger picture.

Lastly, when we discovered that Westworld’s AIs were actually conscious beings, it turned the guests from being “players in a game” to actual rapists and murderers. People either all of a sudden felt immense guilt for these despicable acts they committed, or they were too desensitized to even feel remorse for their victims. This begs the question: Are the lines blurred when it comes to VR porn users as well? If you’re raping someone in a VR scene, does that make you a rapist? Of course, this is completely up for interpretation, but it’s certainly something to consider.

What Does Watching Porn Actually Do to Us?

If you’ve never considered what the issue is with watching porn, that’s completely understandable. We live in a society where sex is devalued, and at the same time it’s encouraged and normalized. It’s commonplace to have sex with multiple partners and to masturbate while watching porn. We live in a system that further perpetuates this type of sex culture, which ultimately further disconnects us from one another.

Porn can negatively affect the health of your physical body, too. A study out of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin has found an association between watching pornography and the volume of grey matter in a particular region of the brain. Scans taken while watching pornographic images revealed a decrease in brain function in the area of the brain often associated with motivation. The research also suggested there was a negative link between the functional connectivity between the right caudate and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while watching porn (source). Read more about that in our CE article here.

Perhaps the greater issue with the porn industry is how it affects modern sex culture and society as a whole. To further understand this, check out the following excerpt from an article written by Brett and Kate McKay called “The Problem With Porn“:

Pornography is such a polarizing issue, that it’s easy for people to take extreme sides when approaching it. Oftentimes, religious people, while very sincere in their beliefs, brand porn as vile filth that turns good men into sexual perverts and unclean lepers. I’ve sat through plenty of church sermons where porn is approached this way. However, such a approach hardly helps men rationally think through the issue. Rather it transforms porn into an even more desirable forbidden fruit, pushes porn consumption into a secretive underground fetish,  and prevents men from being honest in their need for help.

The other extreme sees porn as just a healthy expression of sexuality. Pornography is heartily encouraged in order to help people discover what pleases them sexually, no matter how graphic or violent the material is. The people in this camp will argue that as long as consenting adults are involved and no one gets hurt, then anything goes. However, this approach fails to recognize the detrimental effects porn can have on an individual, on women, and on society.

We live in a dualistic world, so it makes sense for many people to have polarizing beliefs that are considered ‘opposite sides of the spectrum.’ We went from one end, suppressing our natural instincts and sexual nature, to the complete opposite, running wild and sleeping with many partners. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this; in fact, this makes perfect sense. Living in a dualistic world, it’s completely understandable that we’d create this dichotomy when it comes to our views on sex and porn.

Let’s hone in on the topic of sleeping with multiple people. If you’re having sex with someone, an act that physically connects you in the deepest way possible, it makes sense that their energy would be imposed on you. Furthermore, it is said that when you have sex with someone, their aura leaves an imprint on you that is difficult to energetically cleanse yourself from. So, if you’re sleeping with someone who has slept with 10 people in the past, and that individual hasn’t cleansed themselves from their former partners’ energies before, you may be susceptible to 11 people’s energies. Yet, porn and modern sex culture encourage us to have tons of “one-night-stands” and keep “kill counts.”

Despite this, I still believe it is healthy to have sex, and you can always cleanse your energetic body (learn how in this CE article here). I also think sex can be used as a tool to deepen our inherent love and connection to one another through practicing tantra. Tantra is the Sanskrit word for ‘woven together,’ and through the study and practice of it you can come to understand yourself better on a spiritual level. After all, by exploring yourself sexually, whether that’s on your own or with a partner, you’re ultimately just learning more about yourself, and thus more about Source.

We are so much more than our physical bodies, and believe it or not, sex can actually teach us that! So, I challenge you to explore your sexuality without the use of porn. Who knows, maybe in searching for a more connective sex life, you’ll end up finding yourself along the way.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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Consciousness

CIA Document: “Using Psychic Powers To Break Needles & Make Them Whole Again”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A document archived inside of the CIA's electronic reading room shows that a person with gifted "paranormal" abilities was able to break/bend a needle, and then put it back together again without even touching it.

  • Reflect On:

    How much do we not know about ourselves and our abilities? How much do we still have to discover? How much of that would change the way we perceives ourselves, our world and the nature of reality?

If you go to the CIA’s electronic reading room and type in “paranormal” in the search bar, you’ll no doubt find some very interesting documents clearly indicating that people with ‘paranormal’ abilities are indeed real. There are many examples of people with all kinds of abilities, whether it be remote viewing (the ability to accurately describe a remote geographical location), the ability of gifted people and children able to transport a small object inside a closed container to another one that’s outside of that container without touching it (breaking through spatial barriers), or the ability to write on a piece of paper inside of a closed container using nothing but the mind, without even touching the pen (parapsychological writing). These are a few of many examples we’ve written about over the past decade.

The document that pertains to this particular article comes from the CIA archive, approved for release in 2001 but the work was actually published in 1984 from what appears to be a journal titled, Research Into Human Paranormal Capabilities. The document was archived by the CIA and it’s from China. It’s one of a trove of documents archived by the CIA regarding China’s research into paranormal phenomena.

Page 27 of the document outlines “an experiment using psychic powers to break needles and making them whole again.”

There have already been several research reports on experiments on using psychic powers to bend iron and break wooden sticks and making them whole again. This article reports the results of an experiment conducted on using psychic powers to break needles and making them whole again in April of 1981.

In the experiment, the needles were places in a sealed container, and the test subject (the person with paranormal abilities) was observed constantly by more than one person.

We selected at random a steel sewing needle of about 1mm diameter. We used callipers to measure its total length. Then we broke the needle into two parts. We then measured the lengths L1 and L2. The person conducting the experiment kept L2, and L1 was used as the test object. After it was psychically broken, a magnifying glass was used to match up the break between L1 and L2, and the length was checked to make sure it was the same needle. 

Researchers were able to observe that the L1 portion of the needle was broken psychically.

A Picture below from the document shows the broken end of a number 4 needle magnified 50 times. Picture 2 shows the same broken end magnified 1,000 times. Results of the analysis shows that that particular test object was pulled apart and not bent until  broken. According to the document, “this result confirms the reality of breaking needles with psychic powers from yet another aspect.”

In may of 1981 we used an electron scan microscope to analyze the seam of a needle that had been reformed with psychic powers. Picture 3 shows such a seam magnified 1,000 times. The results show that there is only the normal seam lines, and no signs of any welding. This is almost impossible to do using common methods.

We feel that the ability to break and reform needles is a psychic ability which objectively exists, and that further research into this ability, especially into the process of the super-precision reforming, could have major theoretical and practical implications.

The Takeaway:

As the Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy pointed out in 1991, in a study archived by the CIA:

“Such phenomena and paranormal abilities of the human body are unimaginable for ordinary people. Nevertheless they are really true.”

There are a number of examples of gifted people doing extraordinary things, things that are deemed impossible my mainstream academia. Perhaps what we believe about the nature of reality, or what we’ve been made to believe, prevents some minds from being open to such phenomenon, but the fact remains that it’s been studied, observed and documented at the highest levels of government for many years.

We live in an era where we use technological advancements to build weaponry, not to better the Earth and the human experience. In the same way, psychic phenomenon seems to have been studied by governments for intelligence gathering purposes.  These capabilities are not openly studied and resources aren’t made widely available for people to learn. This is perhaps because we as a species are not ready for such realizations. We continue to be driven by greed, profit, fear, and ago. Until we raise our consciousness, the way we perceive ourselves and our world and recognize our deep interconnectedness with all life, until our world is governed by compassion, morals, and the desire for humanity and our planet to thrive, we will never be ready for such gifts. We must evolve, in a spiritual sense, in order to properly move forward. It’s no our discoveries and developments that propel us forward, it’s the consciousness that operates behind those discoveries and developments.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Another Lawsuit Filed Against Merck Claiming HPV Gardasil Vaccine Caused Debilitating Injury

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Another lawsuit has been filed alleging severe injury and disability as a result of the HPV vaccine. This time it's on behalf of Sahara Walker, a 19 year old girl from Wisconsin who suffered debilitating injuries after receiving the vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are concerns regarding vaccinations always unacknowledged by mainstream media? Why are those who raise concerns always considered "anti-vax conspiracy theorists?"

What Happened: Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, a law firm based in the United States, along with attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr recently filed their fourth lawsuit against Merck on behalf of Sahara Walker. Walker is a 19 year old girl from Wisconsin who suffered debilitating injuries from the Gardasil HPV vaccine.

Two days after she took the vaccine, she starting vomiting and experiencing headaches, sever body aces, extreme fatigue that had her bed ridden where she remained, unless she used a wheelchair.

Over time Sarah’s symptoms became more severe. In 2015 her medication schedule rose to 55 pills a day while she endured 54 doctor appointments. She was eventually diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, postural  postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS), a form of orthostatic intolerance called orthostatic hypotension, small fiber neuropathy and severe autoimmune autonomic neuropathy.

An article written by Kennedy explains,

Today, Sahara, 19, takes 14 prescription medications and receives an expensive intravenous immunoglobulin treatment every three weeks.

“I want to warn kids of the terrible risks for this vaccine and let other injured girls know that they are not alone,” Sahara explained. “The Gardasil vaccine stole my life. Before Gardasil, my future was filled with endless possibilities. Now, my life is a parade of accommodations and medical interventions. It’s not how a 19 year old should live. I’m fighting for all of us.”

If Merck had warned Sahara’s mother about Gardasil’s dangers, she never would have allowed her daughter to receive the HPV vaccine.

“We are pro-vaccine, but we would have never had Sahara get Gardasil if we knew the risks,” Sahara’s mother said. “She went from perfectly healthy to sick and disabled within days of the shot. It’s beyond any doubt that Gardasil caused her injuries.”

Internal documents showed that Merck cherry-picked its own data to mislead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and doctors about Gardasil’s safety and efficacy. We aim to get justice for Sahara and others impacted and to force Merck to stop defrauding the public so that we can protect our children.

Why This Is Important: Deaths and permanent disabilities have been reported as a result of the HPV vaccine all across the globe for many years.

For example, researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Cardiology pored over 28 studies published through January 2017—16 randomized trials and 12 post-marketing case series—pertaining to the three human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines currently on the market globally. In their July 2017 peer-reviewed report, the authors, Manuel Martínez-Lavin and Luis Amezcua-Guerra, uncovered evidence of numerous adverse events, including life-threatening injuries, permanent disabilities, hospitalizations and deaths, reported after vaccination with GlaxoSmithKline’s bivalent Cervarix vaccine and Merck’s quadrivalent or nine-valent HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Gardasil 9)

Japan stopped recommending the HPV vaccine as a result of serious adverse reactions. Multiple films have documented this phenomenon, we’ve written about one of them before called Sacrificial Virgins.

There are a number of documented examples from all over the world, and they are full of debate between the manufacturer and the person injured with regards to whether or not the vaccine actually played any role in the injuries and deaths. For example, A 14-year-old boy named Christopher Bunch passed away more than a year ago, and the mother and father are claiming that it was as a result of the HPV vaccine. His mother started a petition over a year ago claiming that her son “died as a direct result of the HPV vaccine.”

On January 26th, the father of the boy, Elijah Eugene Mendoza-Bunch, wrote this via his Facebook page,

So back on December 11th 2019 I sent an email to CEO Ken Frazier of Merck song to speak with him about the HPV VACCINE and how it killed my son and how it is destroying lives. Well here we are January 25th (the day I got it in the mail) and this is the response from Merck….

You can view their response and read more about that story here.

These are just a few of many examples.

Science Calling The Vaccine Into Question: A new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”  The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

 A study published in 2013 in Current Pharmaceutical Design carried out a review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. They found that,

HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications). Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odds with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.

For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70% reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified. Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).

We thus conclude that further reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening (which carries no such risks) and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles.

Vaccine ingredients have also come under a lot of scrutiny over the years, especially aluminum, and the HPV vaccine contains aluminum.

“There has not been any clinical trials designed and carried out to test the safety of aluminum adjuvants. Not a single clinical safety trial for any vaccine that includes an aluminum adjuvant.” – Professor Christopher Exley, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry and group leader of the Bioinorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Keele University.

It’s concerning that aluminum hasn’t been tested for safety.  Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization mentioned at a WHO vaccine conference at the end of 2019, that there are clinical studies that blame adjuvants for adverse events seen as a result of administering vaccines, and how people in general often blame adverse reactions to vaccines being the result of the vaccine adjuvant. You can find a link to that conference and read more about it here.

Professor Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia in Canada explains that injected aluminum doesn’t come into the same methods of excretion as the aluminum we take in from food, for example. When we inject aluminum, it stays in the body, it may cross the blood brain barrier, enter into cells and various organs in the body.

When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr. Christopher Shaw –  Canadian neuroscientist and professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia (source)

In 2018, shaw published a paper in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry that found almost 100 percent of the intramuscularly injected aluminum in mice as vaccine adjuvants was absorbed into the systemic circulation and traveled to different sites in the body such as the brain, the joints, and the spleen where it accumulated and was retained for years post-vaccination. (source)

Exley and a team of scientists published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”

The publication goes on to address concerns it has with another paper that was published a year prior, emphasizing that the authors of that specific publication, JP Goullé & L Grangeot-Keros,

The Takeaway: Did you know that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury (NCVIA) Act has paid  out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children? This is not money coming from the pharmaceutical company. The NCVIA insures that these payments come from taxpayers, the pharmaceutical companies are not held liable. Vaccines are a liability free product.

Why is any type of information that paints vaccines in a ‘negative’ light completely unacknowledged in the mainstream? Does the information in the article alone not warrant some sort of discussion, or at least some sort of acknowledgement as to why some people are concerned?

Why does mainstream media always use terms lie “anti-vax conspiracy theorist” and ridicule? More important than facts and who is right or wrong is our ability to communicate with each other without consequences. We must learn to see the perspective of those who disagree with us, and understand and feel why they feel the way they do. This needs to be our focus, if we can’t get along with people who disagree with us, we are never going to move forward and this applies to everyone.

I would argue that there is more than enough information out there regarding vaccinations that support the idea of informed consent instead of mandatory measures.

 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Awareness

New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones

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New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.

In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.

The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).

Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.

EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.

The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.

Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”

“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”

Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.

“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing portrayal of glyphosate as a benign chemical with no negative impacts on human health,” said Landrigan.

EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.

Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:

EDC’s can:

  • Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
  • Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
  • Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone receptor expression
  • Antagonize hormone receptors
  • Interact with or activate hormone receptors
  • Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
  • Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone synthesis
  • Alter hormone transport across cell membranes

The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two:  “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.

Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.

The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.

The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.

The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical,  particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.

U.S. government documents show glyphosate residues have been detected in a range of foods, including organic honey, and granola and crackers.

Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.

Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”

Written by Carey Gillam, research director of U.S. Right to Know, where it was originally posted. 

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