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It’s Time To Pay Real Attention to Children’s Health

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Every year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation in honor of Child Health Day (the first Monday of October), which in turn launches Children’s Health Month. President Calvin Coolidge was the first president to dedicate a special day to children’s health, in 1928, recognizing that “the conservation and promotion of child health places upon us a grave responsibility.” The U.S. is not living up to that vital responsibility and, in fact, is failing children miserably. American children’s ability to develop and thrive is being sabotaged by an avalanche of chronic ailments, with pediatric rates of some chronic conditions among the highest in the world.

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An abysmal children’s health report card

Nationally representative studies show that the chronic disease burden shouldered by children in the U.S. is not only heavy but has increased steadily over the past three decades. One of these studies, published in 2010 in JAMA, used national longitudinal survey data to examine the prevalence of four types of chronic conditions (obesity, asthma, behavior/learning problems and “other” physical conditions) in American children and youth from 1988 to 2006. The researchers found that prevalence of these conditions doubled—from 12.8% to 26.6%—over the 18-year-period.

The results of a second national study were even worse. Over two-fifths (43%) of children participating in the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health had at least one of 20 chronic health conditions (see list of conditions in Table 1), and when the researchers added overweight/obesity and moderate or high risk for developmental/behavioral problems to their analysis, over half of all children (54%) suffered from at least one chronic condition.

Table 1. Chronic health conditions assessed by National Surveys of Children’s Health

Type Conditions
Developmental/neurological* Developmental delay; learning disability; conduct or behavioral problems; speech problems; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; Tourette syndrome; epilepsy or seizure disorder; migraines
Other brain-related conditions Brain injury or concussion
Mental health Anxiety; depression
Autoimmune Diabetes
Atopic Food/digestive allergies; environmental allergies; asthma
Other Chronic ear infections; hearing problems; vision problems; joint or bone problems

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines developmental disabilities as physical, learning, language or behavioral impairments.

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The picture and trends for specific chronic conditions are equally bleak:

  • Developmental disabilities: Overall, more than one in six children (15%) between ages 3 and 17 have at least one developmental disability. The CDC notes that these disabilities “usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.”
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): In 2012, the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network identified ASD in one in 68 children (1.5%); by 2014, the National Health Interview Survey (as reported by a different branch of the CDC) estimated autism prevalence at one in 45 children (2.2%). Parent-reported lifetime prevalence of ASD rose by almost 400% (from 0.5% to 2.0%) from 2003 to 2012.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): As of 2012, about one in nine 4-17-year-old children (11%) had ever received an ADHD diagnosis, up from 7.8% in 2003.
  • Tourette syndrome (TS): An estimated one in 162 children (0.6%) have TS (tics); of these, the vast majority (86%) have at least one additional neurobehavioral condition.
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorders: Roughly 0.7% of children have a seizure disorder. The risk of epilepsy is “strongly associated with increased number of allergic diseases.”
  • Food allergies: Allergies to food, including severe anaphylactic reactions, increased by 50% in children aged 0-17 (1997­–2011).
  • Asthma: In a nationally representative study of kindergarten-age children born in 2001, almost one in six children (17.7%) had asthma, and 6.8% had been either hospitalized or taken to an emergency room for asthma. Another study estimated that the lifetime prevalence of asthma increased by 18% in less than a decade (2003–2012).
  • DiabetesType 1 diabetes in youth (< age 19) increased by 21% from 2001 to 2009, for a 2009 prevalence of 1.93 per 1,000. Over the same time frame, there was a 31% increase in type 2 diabetes in children aged 10-19.
  • Obesity: Almost one in six children and adolescents (17%) are obese.

Vaccination and chronic illness

American children also are the most highly vaccinated in the world. Since 1990, when the U.S. began substantially expanding its vaccine schedule, the number of vaccines required for school entry has increased by approximately 260%. There also has been a growing push to recommend certain vaccines (especially influenza and the Tdap vaccine for tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) to mothers-to-be, even though the package inserts for these vaccines openly state that “safety and effectiveness have not been established in pregnant women.” Currently, children receive repeated shots for 16 distinct illnesses (antigens). Counting vaccines administered during pregnancy, this adds up to as many as 73 total doses of the 16 antigens by the time children are 18 years old (Table 2).

Table 2. Number of Vaccine Doses Administered to U.S. Children through Age 18

Type of Vaccine Disease Antigens
(Number of Doses)
Hepatitis B (HepB) 3
Rotavirus (RV) 2 or 3
(by brand)
Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) 15
(5 shots x 3 antigens)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) 3 or 4
(by brand)
Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) 4
Inactivated poliovirus (IPV) 4
Influenza (IIV) 19
Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) 6
(2 shots x 3 antigens)
Varicella (VAR) 2
Hepatitis A (HepA) 2
Meningococcal (MenACWY) 2
Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) 3
(1 shot x 3 antigens)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 2
Tdap (pregnancy) 3
(1 shot x 3 antigens)
Influenza (pregnancy) 1
TOTAL DOSES
Without pregnancy vaccines
With pregnancy vaccines

67-69 doses of antigens
71-73 doses of antigens

There can be no dodging the observation that chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders in children have increased in tandem with the burgeoning vaccine schedule. Unfortunately, citing bogus ethical concerns, the CDC has steadfastly refused to carry out a study comparing total health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, even though a study of this type would help elucidate the apparent association. Filling this research breach, evidence from other studies has been slowly accumulating, highlighting telling differences between the two groups of children.

Health status: A pilot study published in 2017 by Anthony Mawson and colleagues in the Journal of Translational Science compared the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12-year-old homeschool children (N=666) in four states (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon). In the U.S. in general, a higher proportion of homeschool versus public school children are unvaccinated; in this sample, 39% were unvaccinated. Otherwise, homeschool families are generally representative of U.S. families as a whole. For most of the analyses in this comprehensive study, the researchers defined “vaccinated” as either partially or fully vaccinated.

The study furnished a number of revealing results:

  • Chronic illness: Compared with unvaccinated children, vaccinated children had a more than twofold greater odds of having been diagnosed with any chronic illness and a nearly fourfold greater odds of a diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder (learning disabilities and/or ADHD and/or ASD). One in 13 vaccinated children (7.5%) had a neurodevelopmental disorder. Vaccinated children also had a greater odds of having a diagnosed atopic condition—allergic rhinitis, other allergies or eczema.
  • Partial versus full vaccination: Partially vaccinated children had intermediate results (between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated children) for most of the atopic and neurodevelopmental health outcomes.
  • Acute illness: Vaccinated children were significantly more likely to have had pneumonia and otitis media (middle ear infection). Unvaccinated children were more likely to have had chickenpox or pertussis. There were no meaningful differences for the other illnesses targeted by pediatric vaccines.
  • Preterm birth: Evidence (expanded on in a separate publication by the same authors) showed a synergistic increase in the odds of neurodevelopmental disorders in children who were preterm and vaccinated, suggesting that vaccination may “precipitate adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants.”

As far back as 1992, a New Zealand study produced almost identical findings, comparing the prevalence of 11 chronic health conditions in 226 vaccinated (46%) and 269 unvaccinated children (54%). With the exception of diabetes (zero cases in either group), the incidence of the remaining ten conditions (including asthma, tonsillitis, hyperactivity and “slow development of motor skills”) was two to ten times higher in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. 

Use of health care services: In the Mawson et al. homeschool study, the vaccinated children were significantly more likely to use medications, to have visited a doctor when sick (past year) or to have had a hospital stay (ever). Echoing this pattern, a large 2013 study of pediatric clients at managed care organizations (MCOs) similarly found that “age-appropriately vaccinated children” used more health services than “undervaccinated” children. The MCO study, which included several hundred thousand children (N=323,247) born between 2004 and 2008, assessed undervaccination at two years of age based on “the difference between when the vaccine dose was administered and when the vaccine dose should have been administered.” The researchers also reviewed medical records to ascertain which children were undervaccinated for “nonmedical reasons” (that is, by parental choice). By these measures, half (49%) of the children were undervaccinated for any reason in the first 24 months, and an estimated 13% were undervaccinated due to parental choice. Undervaccinated children in the parental choice subgroup had significantly fewer outpatient and emergency department visits—both overall and for acute illness—compared with children vaccinated according to the standard schedule.

Undervaccinated children in the parental choice subgroup had significantly fewer outpatient and emergency department visits—both overall and for acute illness—compared with children vaccinated according to the standard schedule.

Toxic pathways to chronic illness

Increasingly, experts are studying how epigenetic factors contribute to the development of serious chronic diseases and disorders in children. Epigenetics looks at “de novo” genetic changes that “spontaneously arise within the child and are not present in the parents’ genes.” These changes control which genes switch on and off (gene expression). Many studies have described how environmental toxins prompt epigenetic changes that lead to developmental abnormalities and diseases. As the National Institutes of Healthconcedes, these environmental toxins include chemicals and medications.

According to the CDC, vaccines contain an astounding variety of ingredients, including preservatives and antibiotics to prevent contamination, adjuvants to stimulate a stronger immune response, stabilizers to enable transportation and storage, cell culture materials to grow antigens and inactivating ingredients to kill viruses or inactivate toxins. It is disingenuous to deny that these vaccine ingredients—both “chemicals” and “medications”—carry a sizeable toxic load straight into children’s bodies. Vaccine-friendly celebrity doctor Robert Sears acknowledges that parents are right to worry about the developmental impact of the “chemicals and metals and artificial things” harbored in vaccines. To name just four ingredients:

  • The neurotoxic ethylmercury-based preservative thimerosal is present in seasonal influenza and Tdap vaccines and can lead to accumulation of inorganic mercury in the brain in vaccine-relevant concentrations.
  • Aluminum adjuvants contribute to chronic neuropathology via multiple mechanisms, including through direct and indirect reductions in mitochondrial performance and integrity.
  • Formaldehyde, used as an inactivating agent, is both neurotoxic and a known carcinogen.
  • As an excitotoxin, monosodium glutamate (MSG) overstimulates nerve cells; neonatal exposure to MSG can produce “a significant pathophysiological impact on adulthood,” including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

The ingredients of the Pediarix (DTaP-HepB-IPV) vaccine further illustrate the toxic soup injected into infants. They include formaldehyde; three different types of aluminum adjuvants; bovine, calf and monkey products; the inflammatory emulsifier polysorbate 80; and two different antibiotics. The complete list is as follows: “Fenton medium containing a bovine extract, modified Latham medium derived from bovine casein, formaldehyde, modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium, VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells, calf serum and lactalbumin hydrolysate, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, aluminum salts, sodium chloride, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, yeast protein.”

Neurodevelopmental experts have described a number of biologically plausible mechanisms whereby the heavy metals in vaccines may trigger neurodegenerative processes by prompting chronic microglial activation and excessive immune stimulation; interacting with autoantibodies (which are associated with higher blood mercury levels); impairing detoxification pathways; and causing mitochondrial dysfunction. Both thimerosal and aluminum harm astrocytes, which play an important role in higher neural processing.

Questions that need to be answered

The parallel timing of the increased vaccination schedule in the U.S. and the chronic disease epidemic in children cannot be dismissed as a coincidence. Moreover, there are many additional vaccine-related questions that urgently demand answers. For example, what are the synergistic effects of multiple toxins such as thimerosal and aluminum, and what happens when these toxins build up over time? What is the association between the timing and spacing of vaccination and subsequent health outcomes? Is there a down side to tinkering with the innate immune system so early in life? On this latter point, Dr. Suzanne Humphries comments that aluminum adjuvants “create a red-alert situation forcing the infant’s innate immune system to respond in the opposite manner to the way it should function in the first year of life.”

Finally, it is important to remember that vaccines have been associated not only with morbidity but also with mortality. Infants in the U.S. receive more vaccines in their first year of life than anywhere else in the world, yet the U.S. infant mortality rate is much higher than in other high-income countries. A group of researchers examined reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccination (1990–2013) and found reports of 896 deaths (median age=6 months); 749 records cited a cause of death, and 51% of these (n=384) listed the death as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although the vague SIDS moniker often has made it difficult to definitively pinpoint a causal role for vaccines, in July 2017, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims handed down a decision ruling that the parent-petitioners put forth “preponderant evidence” that vaccines “actually caused or substantially contributed” to their son’s SIDS death. Corroborating a vaccine-mortality association, a study in the African country of Guinea-Bissau found that infant mortality in children who received the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and polio vaccines was roughly double (10%-11%) the infant mortality observed in the no-vaccination group (4%-5%).

Infants in the U.S. receive more vaccines in their first year of life than anywhere else in the world, yet the U.S. infant mortality rateis much higher than in other high-income countries.

At this juncture, millions of children’s futures are at stake. It is critically important to honestly assess whether vaccines have had a net negative impact rather than the “enormous” beneficial impact that the public health establishment likes to present as fact.

The World Mercury Project is recognizing October 2017, Children’s Health Month, by launching a set of videos highlighting the chronic health issues plaguing our children. In our Campaign to Restore Child Health, WMP are also asking for everyone’s help to demand vaccine safety science. Our government health leaders who should be protecting children’s health are urging parents to vaccinate all children without doing the necessary safety studies. Watch the videos and read about the campaign.

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Defending the Amazon, Indigenous Rights & Planetary Integrity

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As the Amazon Rainforest crisis persists, our inability to protect our planet poses an existential threat to all of Earth’s inhabitants. As the sky recently turned black over Sao Paulo, Brazil because of smoke (thousands of kilometers away) from the fires that is so thick it can be viewed by NASA space satellites, the world’s leaders were assembled at the G-7 summit in Europe, seemingly more interested in exchanging sophomoric insults than solving the world’s most pressing and urgent problems.  According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, almost 73,000 forest fires have been documented this year alone. That’s an alarming 84% increase from what was observed in 2018. 
As Indigenous groups and conservationists scramble to defend the lungs of our planet, Brazil’ President Jair Bolsonaro audaciously shrugged off the news and blamed NGO’s and Indigenous groups for the glaring uptick in fires in the Amazon. Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has promised to roll back environmental protections and indigenous rights in order to exploit the Amazon for increased farming and mining, and he has made good on that promise.
Invasion of indigenous territories are on the rise in Brazil, and indigenous groups are increasingly under threat as titans of industry within mining, logging, and animal farming continue to encroach upon indigenous land and destroy precious parcels of the Amazon for commercial exploitation.   Bolsonaro has emboldened these invasions. Recently, a group of heavily armed miners invaded indigenous land in Northern Brazil and assassinated one of the community’s indigenous leaders.
Indigenous peoples in Brazil are once again on the front lines today of one of the most brutal attacks on their rights and on the forest in recent history. We’re now seeing the drastic rollback of 30 years of progress on human rights and environmental protection in Brazil under Bolsonaro’s regime, which romanticizes Brazil’s past when military dictatorship took helm and presided over wanton destruction of the forest. The Munduruku people have been resisting encroachment and destruction of their land for centuries, and their fight (along with other indigenous groups and the very spirit of the Amazon jungle itself) is more urgent than ever as Brazil’s government and commercial industries continue to violate with impunity.

The tragedy currently taking place in the Amazon is indicative of a broader cultural problem in regards to our relationship with our planet. 1/5th of all the world’s plants and birds and about 1/10th of all mammal species are found in the Amazon. Earth has lost half its wildlife in the past four decades. Based on an analysis of thousands of vertebrate species by the wildlife group WWF and the Zoological Society of London, our way of life has presided over the destruction of 60% of our animal populations since 1970. The report calculates a global “ecological footprint,” which measures the area required to supply the ecological goods and services humans use. It concludes that humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.5 Earths to supply these goods and services each year.

With the planet’s population expected to grow by 2.4 billion people by 2050, the challenge of providing enough food, water and energy (while sustaining planetary health) will be difficult. This should be the real “RED ALERT” placated all over the media, as the shocking and rapid decline of planetary biodiversity poses an imminent catastrophe that plagues all of us, requiring urgent and bold alterations to our way of life.

That being said, we have more than enough resources to profit food and shelter to billions of people. Solutions done seem to be the problem, it’s human consciousness, greed and ego.

Outrage is an understandable response to the Amazon crisis, but not sufficient to redress the problem.  We need to take individual action in our daily lives by altering our lifestyles. One of the most under-reported aspects of Amazonian deforestation is our addiction to consuming meat. Beef, soy, palm oil and wood drive the majority of tropical deforestation.

Animal agriculture is devastating for the Earth. Raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk uses about 70% of agricultural land, and is a primary factor in the proliferation of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.

“1.2 billion farmed animals are slaughtered globally every week for human consumption. In one week, more farmed animals are killed than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout history. Although these animals are treated as commodity, they are — in fact — sentient beings — like your pet cat or dog. We tend to assume that only vegans and vegetarians follow a belief system — but when eating animals is not a necessity (which is the case in much of the world today) — then it is a choice, and choices stem from beliefs. “Carnism” is a dominant philosophy — as eating animals is just the way things are — yet it runs contrary to core human values such as compassion, justice, and authenticity. And so — they need to use defense mechanisms that distort our thoughts and numb our feelings so that we act against our core values without fully realizing what we are even doing.” ~Dr. Melanie Joy  

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The challenges that face our planet, our indigenous family, and our own imminent future are immense. It is easy to feel discouraged, angry, and hopeless about the state of the world, but the ability to harness humanity’s intelligence, creativity and compassion to steer the planet in a new direction is with us right now. We can take individual responsibility today, which can resonate immediately and create waves of influence that can lead to a collective change in behavior and attitudinal shift towards our relationship with nature and with ourselves.  This change starts from within, and this work begins with each of us making the choice to defend and protect this wondrous planet which has so graciously hosted our livelihood.

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Suzy Amis Cameron’s ‘MUSE School’: Are They Taking Things Too Far With Kids?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A parent of a child formerly enrolled in the MUSE school in California sent us an email detailing the school's use of the Process Communications Model (PCM), while observing that the school is not as inspiring as their promotional materials suggests.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you know when a fundamentally good idea is going too far?

A cursory glance at the ‘MUSE School,’ co-founded by James Cameron’s wife, and you see an educational institution that aspires to be inclusive, inspiring, and liberating for children of all ages. The motto on their school’s website is “Inspiring and Preparing Young People to Live Consciously with ThemselvesOne Another, and the Planet.”

There is much to admire about the goals of this school. It started off as a small group of kids whose parents were celebrities, including James Cameron’s own. The focus was a personalized curriculum based on learning through passion projects while being exposed to the practices of environmental sustainability. Since the program has grown, in-house vegan meals have been included in the annual tuition, which ranges from about $22,000 for pre-K children (2.3-4.9 years old) to about $33,000 for high school kids (grades 9-12).

The school was also founded by Suzy Amis Cameron’s sister Rebecca Amis, who was the first head of the school. Rebecca Amis had previously tried to start an early childhood education center called ‘childspot!’ in Witchita, Kansas, which Amis’ then-husband Scott Taylor was to be the business manager for. Surprisingly, there is no searchable information on the internet for childspot!, although our reader did provide this article from 1998 in which plans to start their early childhood education center were mentioned.

Introducing PCM To Students

A little while after co-founding the MUSE school in California, Rebecca Amis installed her new husband Jeff King as head of the school. He brought on board a new ‘communication’ methodology into the classroom. The introduction of this method to children as young as 2 years old is the main subject I will cover here. Instead of describing this methodology myself I will start off with testimony that was emailed to me from the parent of a former student to provide some background and reveal her feelings and experiences around the use of PCM in an academic setting:

“Jeff King is the one who introduced the ‘Process Communication Model’ (PCM) to the school, having himself obtained a master trainer title. Many families at this point left the school, not being comfortable with the idea of their kids being the subject of what was clearly an experiment. The school turned plant-based at the same time so they blamed the drop in numbers to people not being happy with the new menu  (which is completely false).

Now let me give you some background on PCM.

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Created by Dr Taibi Kahler, a psychologist from Arkansas, it was designed mainly for the corporate world. According to Kahler, there are six distinct personality types: HARMONIZER, THINKER, PERSISTER, IMAGINER, REBEL, AND PROMOTER. Each of us develops a predominant personality type early in life, and that does not change. It is our basic Personality Type all our lives. Each type has specific Motivators characterized by differences in Character Strengths, Psychological Needs and Perceptions.

Each personality comes with a set of psychological needs and specific communication ‘channels’ which include specific words, tone and facial expressions. Although it was never intended for children, Mr. King decided to make it the innovative tool that would differentiate his school from others.

This sounds all wonderful from the outside. What parent wouldn’t want their kids to have tools that will help them communicate better with one another and the world?

Unfortunately  the truth is far from that.

Since the personality test cannot be officially administered to the student until high school, they teach the lower grade students PCM through play and activities. The teachers (some brand new to PCM) use their own judgment to asses the kids’ personality so they can start using their appropriate channels with them. (I have plenty of pictures I can send you giving you examples of how they teach PCM to the kids).

The teachers are constantly applying PCM to the students and using what they believe is their specific channel. In return they expect the kids to respond in the teachers’ own channel. Some are pretty rude and direct and yet the kids are expected to learn to use such language. For example, if the teacher’s channel is “tell”, she expects the students to communicate in sentences that are “tell”. So instead of “may I please have a pencil”, the tell channel will be “give me that pencil”.

I have myself seen teachers snapping at students or at colleagues because they weren’t using the correct channels.

Last year the high school students voted to stop practicing PCM in the high school campus. Unfortunately, the younger children are subjected to this on a daily basis. Each child is labeled a personality type and their behavior is almost always excused to their personality label. The parents take the official PCM personality test and the results are then shared with all the faculty members (the parents are unaware of this and never were asked to sign a release form for that). The staff will then go out of their way to address you in the designated channel as they believe that’s what’s needed to keep you a happy customer.

Issues brought up by the students or their families are disregarded as they are seen as a sign of distress. Once that happens the main focus of the faculty is to get the parent or the child out of the system by using manipulation techniques mixed with PCM jargon.

Kids that are being bullied are made to believe that they are just as much at fault as the bully. Parents are constantly told that there are absolutely no issues to worry about and the ones that dare to protest end up always getting kicked out of school or forced to leave.

Discrimination is obvious based on your personality type, whether it’s a student or parent. There are a couple of personalities that are viewed as more troublesome and risky, and the school is keen to identify those individuals. PCM was born as a tool for the corporate world, not for a school and this is the only school in the world that uses it. It is very much a “cultish” atmosphere. The staff is so concentrated on listening carefully to your words and observing your body language in order to figure out what channel to use and if by any chance you have ‘phased’ to another personality then it becomes impossible to have a real honest conversation. And they do the same with the kids depriving them of an authentic connection or the tools to learn to connect with others.

By third grade kids and parents are in full mode PCM. The kids are robotic and set into their ‘personality’. They have a set language and manners which unfortunately the outside world does not always understand.

I wish you could meet some of the students. Some are like robots, they just seem to repeat scripts. There is no talk of consciousness or free thinking which I guess is ’normal’ in many schools, but PCM is close to brainwashing. It’s like an instruction manual on how you should behave, think and speak.

I watched our own child going through the struggle of mentally detoxing from it once we were out of the school. For a while my child was confused, lost in a way especially when the world didn’t respond to my child’s PCM channel, unable to relate. And we are talking about a healthy bright child with no social or personal issues.  And now my child doesn’t even want to hear the word PCM.

In my experience Mr. King (as per the book he published – Beyond Drama) enforces the belief that everyone is okay and there are no issues. In order to stay out of drama, individuals must believe that they are okay and everyone else is okay. So basically there are never any issues. They believe and support that philosophy to an extreme and therefore refuse to really acknowledge any real serious issue brought to them. So they hide the problems hoping time will make them go away without having to act on them.

Naturally when real issues are brought up to him by parents, the concerns are dismissed and seen as a sign of distress of the parent. At this point all effort are made to PCM the parent out of the distress and pretend all is good.

Same for students. He doesn’t for example seem to believe in bullying and I have personally watched a 5th grader who had just been repeatedly teased to tears by a classmate being told that he must have had a part in it to deserve it. Through what appeared in my opinion as clever manipulation, the kid and the parents left the meeting believing that there was no bullying in the first place.

Global Expansion. This year, coinciding with Suzy Cameron’s new book launch (One Meal a day) the school decided to create a new for-profit corporation, MUSE Global. Mr. King is their CEO (while retaining his position of Head of the School at MUSE, which is a non-profit). The company focuses on the expansion of the MUSE School’s model globally. Despite the original school being far from successful (people keep leaving, they are unable to raise funds and students score very poorly academically), they seem to be on a mission to convince the world that their module is the best a child can get. They have already signed an agreement with some investors in China and working on more.

Power, Manipulation and Scare Tactics. Numerous families are not happy but they are too scared to say anything for fear of their kids being kicked out (it has happened to many families that dared to challenge the system, 5 in the past school year alone). Some of those families tried to appeal to the school’s board of directors (a few of the members were MUSE parents themselves). The ones that tried to help those families were forced to leave the school, their kids included. The ones who refused to intervene explained, ‘Nothing we can do, they have us by the balls.”

Unfortunately they know how powerful they are and they appear to be using that power to keep families in a state of fear. Many of the students come from families that are in the show business and nobody wants to be on the wrong side of the Camerons, no matter what their children were put through.”–parent of a former MUSE School student

My Take

We must be careful in discerning one person’s testimony. We must look for signs of an inner consistency, and a plausibility that links facts and observations with the opinions this person holds. For me, this testimony has a high level of consistency, especially around the potential dangers of introducing a fully integrated system of labeling and classifying students and teachers in an academic setting.

“Once you label me, you negate me.”–Soren Kierkegaard

When I was doing my life-coaching training, many of the coaches who had already been working in the corporate world spoke highly of the Myers-Briggs type indicator and other tools that categorized a person’s personality type. As a life coach, I always had a resistance to any form of ‘typing’ of a client into a category. I felt it would limit my perception of a person, affect the ways I would challenge them to see things differently, and, most importantly, could limit the person’s belief in what they were capable of. Even when clients would give me their Myers-Briggs ‘identity,’ (i.e. “I’m an INTJ and that’s why I see things this way…”), I would not seek to capitalize on the information behind the client’s self-classification and would remain present to the identity being revealed through the person words, tone, expressions, and so on. Categorizing oneself as the fundamental guideline of one’s sense of identity is, in my opinion, very limiting.

I understand that these personality-typing tools can have some benefits for allowing managers in the corporate world to understand better what makes each individual employee tick. It can help them accept that people have different strengths and weaknesses, learn in different ways, and get satisfaction in different ways. These insights can lead a manager to work with greater compassion, patience, and flexibility. If the information is used to benefit the employee and enable them to get more satisfaction and fulfillment from their job, leading them to become more productive, then it is a win-win proposition.

However, these tools can very easily be used as means of manipulation in the hands of those who lack maturity or have a hidden agenda to control people rather than act in service to the people they are using these tools on. In a classroom setting with children as young as two, where the foundations of a child’s perception of reality are still in their formative stages, it is reasonable to fear that PCM has the potential to cause harm to a child, perhaps in ways even worse than described above by our parent.

These are subtle matters, but certainly worth thinking about. Below is a clip from a video from the MUSE school which promotes the use of PCM techniques in elementary classrooms.

 

Does this video leave you with the feeling that empowering communication is going on here, or manipulation? And if this is what is being touted as proof that the methodology works and is beneficial, can we see the potential for this methodology to go too far and lead to discrimination and some forms of mind programming?

To some extent, good teachers naturally learn to communicate with students in different ways based on their personalities. While I applaud MUSE’s philosophy of attempting to communicate with children in the ways that they respond to best and most comfortably, it is the formalization of this process that scares me. And certainly, when we hear that young children are truly being trained to see the world through the filter of PCM, and potentially can be rebuked if they don’t respond to teachers according to each teacher’s ‘channel,’ then we can understand why parents like our reader above have had serious concerns about PCM in an academic setting.

The reader who emailed us is not alone in their criticism of PCM and its implementation in the school. If you take a look at answers to the question ‘How would you rate your experience at this school?’ on greatschools.org from other parents whose children are/were in MUSE, you will see an interesting pattern: 55 top ‘5 star’ reviews, 16 bottom ‘1 star’ reviews, and only 7 in the 2,3,4 star category. Many of the 5-star reviews are cookie-cutter ‘agree’ comments on pre-written bullet points. Our reader told us, “During the PCM training new parents are asked to submit their reviews which at that point are generally amazing.”

The 1 star reviews tend to be long, thoughtful criticisms of many of the same points made by our reader. Some even bring into question the authenticity of many of the positive reviews: “Notice how the last 7 positive reviews were all posted on the same day, December 18, really??” If you are interested, I would highly recommend going through some of these reviews, both the good and the bad, to help you discern what you think is really going on inside the MUSE school.

The Takeaway

As I mentioned earlier, the stated goals of the MUSE school evoke hope and inspiration. Where the education of our young has long been criticized as a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach, the MUSE school has stepped boldly towards an approach to respect individual students’ differences and preferences. The only question is whether or not they are stepping too far.

If the high school students at MUSE voted to stop practicing PCM last spring, then one would suspect that this would cause school leaders to strongly question the use of PCM in earlier grades, especially Pre-K, where students obviously don’t have a voice in the matter themselves. Certainly, the MUSE philosophy speaks to a willingness to change and evolve based on the information at hand:

MUSE is ever-evolving. The MUSE community includes creative and critical thinkers who know that flexibility and adaptability are critical keys to our success. We enthusiastically embrace change and consistently challenge ourselves in our ongoing efforts to learn, grow, and improve.

However, our reader’s testimony gives the impression that rather than being listened to and incorporated, dissenting views and criticisms of the current system are shut down and dissenters are shut out of the process. Is the school’s ongoing evolution simply being fostered within an echo chamber? Do we see fear-based control mechanisms reminiscent of the operating structures of a cult?

With the development of the for-profit MUSE Global and the inclusion of PCM as one of the five pillars of the Global schools they are franchising out, we will need to keep our eyes and ears open to determine if the MUSE project is solely about “Inspiring and Preparing Young People to Live Consciously with Themselves, One Another, and the Planet,” or if there is another agenda afoot.

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Alternative News

Judicial Watch Sued To Get Footage of The ‘Plane’ Hitting The Pentagon On 9/11 (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton Tweeted today that he hopes to put 9/11 conspiracy theories to rest with the video of the AA plane hitting the side of the Pentagon on 9/11. The video doesn't seem to show a plane.

  • Reflect On:

    What does the image look like to you in the video? A plane? Or a missile? What seemed to create the hole in the Pentagon? A plane or a missile?

Finally, we can put to rest the theory that a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11. Tom Fitton from Judicial Watch released a video today on his Twitter showing what looks like a Tomahawk cruise missile going into the side of the Pentagon on 9/11. Although Fitton claims this was actually a plane that hit the Pentagon, the evidence doesn’t appear to support this at all.

The ‘plane hitting the Pentagon’ theory has been a question mark for so many people as the camera footage was instantly seized showing the entire event, and there were no plane parts to be found anywhere. Not to mention the plane would have to be flying completely parallel to the ground, JUST skimming the grass to make it into the side of the Pentagon. And of course the hole made in the Pentagon doesn’t match that of a plane at all. See image below.

Image of a Tomahawk cruise missile.

I have honestly been trying to figure out what Fitton is really up to witH this post, because I almost can’t believe he thinks this is a plane which leads me to think he is doing this on purpose to help people see the truth.

Have a look at his Tweet below, and the video below that.

Do you see a plane? Or do you see what looks a lot more like a Tomahawk cruise missile?

Related recent CE Article about 9/11: Fire Did Not Cause WTC7 To Collapse, New Study Finds

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