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Mass Shootings: The New Manifestation of an Ancient Phenomenon & Their Link to Psychiatric Drugs

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Individuals perpetrating unspeakable acts of violence is not a new phenomenon. What’s new, rather, are the altered states of consciousness induced by antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs well-documented to promote homicidal and suicidal behavior in susceptible individuals.

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Although semi-automatic weapons have enabled the infliction of mass casualties at an unprecedented scale, massacres perpetrated by lone individuals are not new phenomena. Rather, these tragic and inexplicable events may represent an incarnation of a more ancient phenomena called “running amok,” formerly believed to be a culture-bound syndrome isolated to certain societies.

The Resemblance of Mass Shootings to Running Amok

Used in colloquial verbiage to indicate an irrational individual wreaking havoc, the linguistic origins of “running amok” stem from the description of a mentally perturbed individual that engages in unprovoked, homicidal and subsequently suicidal behavior, oftentimes involving an average of ten victims (1).

Although it was not classified as a psychological condition until 1849, amok was first described anthropologically two hundred years ago in isolated, tribal island populations such as Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Laos, where geographic seclusion and indigenous spirituality were hypothesized to be cultural factors implicated in this culture-bound syndrome. In his eighteenth century voyages, for example, Captain Cook recorded Malay tribesman randomly maiming or executing animals and villagers in a seemingly unprovoked, frenzied attack (1).

Culturally-encapsulated explanations localized blame to spirit possession by the “hantu belian” or evil tiger spirit of Malay mythology, which was believed to have been the source of the involuntary, indiscriminate violence that characterizes amok. In native cultures, sacred healers of the folk sector operated under cultural ideologies where illness was believed to be of supernatural origin, so amok was tolerated as an inevitable element of the cultural experience and offenders were brought to trial (1).

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As Western expansion encroached on remote cultures, incidence of amok decreased, reinforcing the biased view that so-called primitive cultural ideas were responsible for its pathogenesis. Meanwhile, episodes of violence in Western civilizations began to escalate, culminating in the unparalleled modern statistics where shootings have become so frequent that those unaffected become numb and desensitized to their devastating effects, and all live with the threat of an impending shooting as an everyday reality. Formerly considered a rare psychiatric culture-bound syndrome, researcher Dr. Manuel Saint Martin (1999) argues that amok is also prevalent in contemporary industrialized societies (1).

Resurgence of this Ancient Construct in Modern Shootings

Saint Martin postulates that the escalating frequency of mass homicides in industrial cultures in the past quarter century represents amok, citing that attackers often have a history of mental disturbance and that modern-day episodes involve similar numbers of victims (1).

He likewise disputes classification of amok as a culture-bound syndrome, since it seems to appear cross-culturally, and argues instead that culture is the mediating mechanism that determines how the violence manifests (1). For example, Jin-Inn Teoh (1972) claimed that amok appears universally but that its mode of expression in terms of weapons and methods used are culture-specific (2). Furthermore, John Cooper (1934) postulated that its affiliation with suicide, a practice transcending arbitrary cultural boundaries, disproves the classification of amok as a culture-bound syndrome (3). Cooper further highlights that amok may be an indirect expression of suicide, induced by the same psychosocial stressors that produced suicide in contemporary cultures (3) In essence, the author contends that amok is a product of mental illness, which has similar etiology and psychosocial precipitants worldwide (3).

In his comparison of amok to modern-day shootings, Saint Martin advocates prevention by identification of individuals with risk factors and treatment of underlying psychological conditions (1). In addition to coworker, neighbor, friend, and family observations of susceptible individuals, Saint Martin states that physicians are uniquely positioned to collect data regarding those vulnerable to amok, since, “Many of these patients preferentially consult general and family practitioners instead of psychiatrists owing to the perceived stigma attached to consulting a psychiatrist, denial of their mental illness, or fear of validating their suspicion that they have a mental disorder” (1). However, the arsenal of tools wielded by the conventional allopathic doctor, with their magic bullet remedies and treatment algorithms, often falls short.

Addressing the Root Cause: Psychiatric Drugs Engender Violence

Although amok explains the deep-seated human tendency to engage in acts of violence, it does nothing to explain the recent increase in frequency. While many argue that access to semiautomatic weapons explains the explosion in mass shootings, one long-neglected element of the conversation is that the recent rise in mass homicides coincides with the greatest use of cognition-altering psychiatric drugs ever observed in human history.

Oftentimes, shooters are branded as bad apples, a narrative that allows for the rationalization of such heinous crimes and marginalizes assailants as social deviants and mentally deranged anomalies. However convenient this rhetoric is for imparting meaning to the unfathomable, it does nothing to prevent future incidents or to understand the trajectory of events or the biological and psychological variables that enabled individuals to perpetrate these tragic acts of terrorism. It enables the system and society to wash their hands of any culpability and critical analysis of how people can commit unspeakable violence.

Due to media distortion, the story line disseminated in public spheres diverges dramatically from the conversations played out in the academic sector and these questions remain largely absent from the mainstream dialogue. A perusal of the academic research, however, reveals that psychotropic drugs may be contributing to the epidemic of mass shootings. In 2011, 26.8 million adults in the United States used pharmaceutical drugs for mental illness (4). Two years later, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) found that nearly 17 percent of American adults filled at least one prescription for a psychiatric drug.

Psychiatric drugs, many of which are based upon the flawed serotonin theory of depression, send almost 90,000 people to the emergency room yearly as a result of medication side effects ranging from delirium to head injuries to movement disorders, and one in five of these visits culminates in hospitalization (4). This figure is an underestimate, as it excludes visits to the emergency department secondary to drug abuse, self-injurious behavior, or suicide attempts (4).

Preliminary reports from the Las Vegas shooting that left at least 58 people dead indicate that the alleged killer was prescribed Valium, a sedative-hypnotic drug classified as a benzodiazepine (5). Relevant to this insight is a meta-analysis of 46 studies published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, which illuminated that, “An association between benzodiazepine use and subsequent aggressive behaviour was found in the majority of the more rigorous studies,” especially in those individuals with an underlying propensity toward anxiety and hostility (6). In addition, a prospective cohort study of nearly one thousand Finnish subjects published in the journal World Psychiatry demonstrated that current use of benzodiazepines elevated risk of homicide by 45% compared to controls (7).

Data compiled from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adverse event reporting system similarly highlights that use of some antidepressant medications is disproportionately related to an increased number of violent events (8). The authors report that, “Varenicline, which increases the availability of dopamine, and antidepressants with serotonergic effects were the most strongly and consistently implicated drugs” in case reports of “homicide, homicidal ideation, physical assault, physical abuse or violence related symptoms” (8).

Psychotropic Drugs and The Absence of Informed Consent

At the epitome of this discussion is that deleterious side effects of psychotropic drugs are ill-publicized and patient do not receive sufficient information about the devastating sequelae that can result from their use. Little of the public knows that in 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black-box warning for antidepressants, advertising that they are associated with suicidal ideation and behavior in two to three children out of every hundred who are administered these drugs (9, 10). In fact, a meta-analysis of 372 randomized clinical trials entailing nearly 100,000 subjects elucidated that the rate of suicidal thoughts and action was double in those patients assigned to receive an antidepressant compared to placebo (11).

Notwithstanding the tendency of psychotropic drugs to predispose individuals to homicidal and suicidal ideation is the evidence that antidepressants elevate risk of death and cardiovascular disease, which is often not shared when a physician dispenses a slip from their prescription pad. A meta-analysis of 17 studies published in the journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that in the general population, antidepressant medications increase all-cause mortality (death from any cause) by 33% and the risk of cardiovascular incidents (heart attacks and strokes, for example) by 13% (12). According to researchers, “The results support the hypothesis that ADs [antidepressants] are harmful in the general population” (12).

Also rarely discussed with patients is the potential of psychotropic drugs to distort emotional affect. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have mind-numbing effects, as demonstrated by their ability to blunt emotions and produce apathy, disinhibition, and amotivation similar to a frontal lobe lobotomy, all of which would be consistent with a mindset that might predispose an individual to homicidal behavior (13). As a corollary, SSRIs are known to induce serious movement disorders, including akathisia, dyskinesia, tardive dyskinesia, dystonia, and parkinsonism (14). Pertinent to this discussion is akathisia, a form of severe agitation also induced by antipsychotic drugs, which can cause suicide and violence (15). Further, almost one in ten admissions to hospital psychiatric units have been attributed to antidepressant-induced mania or psychosis (16).

Moreover, it is often not disclosed that antidepressant therapy can exacerbate the severity and chronic nature of depression and lead to poorer outcomes. For instance, one retrospective study of nearly 12,000 patients in the Netherlands revealed that 72 to 79 percent of those who were treated with antidepressants during their first depressive episode experienced relapses (17). It is telling that despite record high rates of antidepressant use, prevalence of depression continues to soar.

Lastly, meta-analyses, which compile data from placebo-controlled trials, indicate that the differences in levels of symptoms resulting from SSRI use “were so small that the effects were deemed unlikely to be clinically important” (18). Further, a meta-analysis involving 6,944 patients participating in 38 studies underwritten by drug manufacturers found that “Antidepressants demonstrated a clinically negligible advantage over inert placebo” (19). This is all the more shocking, since the efficacy of the drug was likely artificially inflated. Researchers state, “This analysis probably overestimates the antidepressant effect because placebo washout strategies, penetration of the blind, reliance on clinician ratings, use of sedative medication, and replacement of nonresponders may penalize the placebo condition or boost the drug condition” (19).

It is incumbent upon physicians to provide patients with true informed consent as to the potential disastrous consequences of consuming mind-altering psychotropic drugs, to identify at-risk individuals and mobilize support, and to provide alternatives where applicable. For instance, luminary Dr. Kelly Brogan, who has been a pioneer in debunking mythologies of conventional psychiatry, recently published the success of her holistic protocol incorporating mind-body techniques, dietary and lifestyle interventions, detoxification modalities, and targeted supplementation in producing dramatic clinical remission in a patient with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (20).

Other Risk Factors for Amok and Mass Shootings

Compounding the effect of skyrocketing prescription rates for violence-promoting psychotropic drugs is the unprecedented social isolation that accompanies the digital age. The common thread uniting amok and contemporary mass shootings is what is branded mental illness, which is often inextricably intertwined with social alienation in a chicken-or-egg scenario.

In the anthropological curiosity known as amok, dimensions such as grief, acute loss, and interpersonal stress are intimated to be contributing factors (1). For instance, an 1846 Malay incident was concluded to be caused by an elderly mans bereavement of his wife and child, while the offender in a 1998 Los Angeles incident suffered financial bankruptcy (21). Furthermore, individual characteristics, such as predilection to aggression, and recurring cognitive themes such as persecution and revenge are speculated to constitute instigating elements (1).

Undoubtedly at play in mental illness is that we are divorced from our nuclear families, proverbial islands adrift from the quintessential tribe and support system to which we are evolutionarily adapted. Social ostracism was historically the ultimate ancestral punishment, as an individual was ill-equipped to survive when banished from a community. Moreover, admissions of psychiatric disorders are met with derision and social stigmatization, and the mobilization of social and professional support needed to contend with mental illness is radically deficient. Therefore, many individuals are deterred from seeking professional help.

Initial narratives by amok witnesses chronicled two forms characterized by differential causative factors: “The more common form, beramok, was associated with a personal loss and preceded by a period of depressed mood and brooding; while the infrequent form, amok, was associated with rage, a perceived insult, or vendetta preceding the attack” (1). Many of these traits can be reconciled with the diagnostic criteria for modern psychiatric disorders such as depressive, mood, psychotic, dissociative and personality disorders, as well as paranoid schizophrenia (1). Some argue that psychiatric classifications are not reproducible or diagnosable with objective biomarkers, and therefore do not constitute objectively delineated and non-overlapping categories, but they do have utility in their ability to describe and operationalize behavior in recognizable terms.

According to Saint Martin, “Viewing amok from this new perspective dispels the commonly held perception that episodes of mass violence are random and unpredictable, and thus not preventable” (1). However, the modern medical infrastructure has failed to support these individuals with anything other than pill-for-an-ill psychotropic cocktails and psychotherapy, rather than undertaking a holistic, root-cause resolution approach consistent with the precepts of personalized medicine. Instead of deferring to this standard of care, which has proven inadequate, we would be wise to use these societal tragedies as impetus for revolutionary reform and the heralding of evidence-based natural approaches that address the underlying causes of mental illness rather than applying symptom-suppressive chemical band-aids.

Going Forward: Making Sense of Devastation

In summary, the behavior exhibited in modern mass shootings bears uncanny resemblance to amok, indicating that indiscriminate violence has long been intrinsic to the human psyche. It is fundamental to recognize, when drawing parallels between the two constructs, the role that social isolation, collective disillusionment, violent proclivities, and mental instability play in precipitating this behavior in order to generate effective solutions. More recently, the widespread use of psychotropic drugs no doubt contributes to the rising incidence of mass shootings, yet it is a topic mainstream media outlets fail to broach.

However, the prescribing of these pharmaceuticals is only symptomatic of more upstream causes of psychological imbalance, many of which remain to be elucidated. Fundamental, though, is the profound disparity between the circumstances to which we are evolutionarily accustomed and the modern-day stressors we encounter, such as micronutrient deficiency, toxicant burdens, a genetically engineered and irradiated food supply, and a deeply-entrenched sense of dissatisfaction and loss of social connection.

This is not meant to catalogue excuses for such egregious and monstrous behavior, or to rationalize the very worst in humanity. Nor is it meant to represent an exhaustive survey of all the multifaceted socioeconomic, psychosocial, and geopolitical variables that contribute to acts of mass violence. But rather, this article serves as a commentary on some of those little-discussed instigating variables and the pharmaceutical industry-promulgated predecessors to such tragic events. It also attempts to paint a portrait of how massacres are not isolated to the modern era, and that by using critical analysis of the historical patterns of amok we can garner insight into shared risk factors such as detachment of an individual from the fabric of society and lack of supportive resources or constructive coping mechanisms.

By finding common psychological threads, and exploring their physiological origins, as well as unearthing novel variables such as psychotropic drugs which contribute to the never-before-witnessed frequency of fatal massacres, we can take productive action to prevent their recurrence. We can transform our righteous indignation into meaningful change. Although it is tempting to abdicate all blame and to employ the bad apple narrative, this does nothing to prevent the recurrence of these home-grown acts of terrorism, but rather, represents a society-wide coping mechanism and means of distancing oneself from some of the sources of these ultimate acts of unimaginable aggression.


References

1. Saint Martin, M.L. (1999) “Running Amok: A Modern Perspective on a Culture-Bound Syndrome”. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 1(3), 66-70. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181064/?tool=pmcentrez

2. Teoh, J-I. (1972). “The changing psychopathology of amok”. Psychiatry, 35, 345–351.

3. Cooper, J. (1934). Mental disease situations in certain cultures: a new field for research. Journal of Abnormal Sociology and Psychology, 29, 10–17.

4. Hampton, L.M. et al. (2016). Emergency Department Visits by Adults for Psychiatric Medication Adverse Events. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, 71(9), 1006-1014. doi:  10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.436

5. Harasim, P. (2017). Las Vegas Strip shooter prescribed anti-anxiety drug in June. Retrieved from https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/the-strip/las-vegas-strip-shooter-prescribed-anti-anxiety-drug-in-june/

6. Albrecht, B. et al. (2014). Benzodiazepine use and aggressive behaviour: a systematic review. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(12), 1096-1114. doi: 10.1177/0004867414548902

7. Tilhonen, J. et al. (2015). Psychotropic drugs and homicide: A prospective cohort study from Finland. World Psychiatry, 14(2), 245-247. doi: 10.1002/wps.20220

8. Moore, T.J., Glenmullen, J., & Furberg, C.D. (2010). Prescription drugs associated with reports of violence towards others. PLoS One, 5, e15337.

9. Friedman, R.A. (2014). Antidepressants’ Black-Box Warning — 10 Years Later. The New England Journal of Medicine, 371, 1666-1668.

10. Harris, G. (2004). F.D.A. Links Drugs to Being Suicidal. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/14/health/fda-links-drugs-to-being-suicidal.html

11. Hamad, T., & Racoosin, J. (2004). Relationship between psychotropic drugs and pediatric suicidality: review and evaluation of clinical data. Silver Spring, MD: Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/04/briefing/2004-4065b1-10-TAB08-Hammads-Review.pdf

12. Maslej, M.M. et al. (2017). The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86, 268-282.

13. Garland, E.J., & Baerg, E.A. (2004). Amotivational Syndrome Associated with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Children and Adolescents.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 11(2), 181-186.

14. Gerber, P.E., & Lynd, L.D. (1998). Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor-induced movement disorders. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 32(6), 692-698.

15. Shear, M.K., Frances, A., & Weiden, P. (1983). Suicide associated with akathisia and depot fluphenazine treatment. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 3, 235–236.

16. Preda, A. et al. (2001). Antidepressant-associated mania and psychosis resulting in psychiatric admissions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 62(1), 30-33.

17. van Weel-Baumgarten, M. et al. (2000). Treatment of depression related to recurrence:10-year follow-up in general practice. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 25, 61-66.

18. Moncrieff, J., & Kirsch, I. (2005). Efficacy of antidepressants in adults. British Medical Journal, 331 (155). doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7509.155

19. Antonuccio, D.O., Burns, D.D., & Danton, W.G. (2002). Antidepressants: A Triumph of Marketing Over Science? Prevention & Treatment, Volume 5(25).

20. Brogan, K. (2017). Resolution of Refractory Bipolar Disorder With Psychotic Features and Suicidality Through Lifestyle Interventions: A Case Report. Advances in Mind Body Medicine, 31(2), 4-11.

21. Burton-Bradely, B.G. (1968). The amok syndrome in Papua and New Guinea. Medical Journal of Australia, 55, 252–256.

About the Author

Ali Le Vere holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Biology and Psychology, minors in Health Promotion and in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society, and is a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine candidate. Having contended with chronic illness, her mission is to educate the public about the transformative potential of therapeutic nutrition and to disseminate information on evidence-based, empirically rooted holistic healing modalities. Read more at @empoweredautoimmune on Instagram and at www.EmpoweredAutoimmune.com: Science-based natural remedies for autoimmune disease, dysautonomia, Lyme disease, and other chronic, inflammatory illnesses.

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Encounters With Star People: An Extraterrestrial, A Spacecraft & An Alaskan Blizzard

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University who is Cherokee/Choctaw has been researching the Star People, and collecting encounters between them and Native Indians for many years. This article shares one of many.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we alone? If not, what are the implications when the public becomes fully aware of this? How will it change the way we perceive ourselves, the cosmos, spirituality, consciousness, history, science, technology and more?

The topic of UFOs seems to be getting never-ending attention these days by the mainstream media, which is something quite different from a decades long ridicule campaign that’s taken place. Recently, the New York Times covered a story about Eric W. Davis, a renowned astrophysicist who worked with the Pentagon UFO program, stating that he gave a classified briefing to a Defense Department Agency as recently as March about retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.”

Mainstream media coverage of the UFO topic is a deep discussion, and it’s a topic, like everything else, where the ‘powerful interests’, for lack of a better word, will no doubt try and control the narrative and shape our perception of this reality. You can read more about that and dive a little deeper in an article I recently published about mainstream UFO coverage, here.

All in all, at this point we know what has been denied for decades, UFOs are real. The next question now is, what are they and who’s manning them?

Back when UFOs were still considered a “conspiracy theory” there was ample evidence clearly showing that they were indeed real. It’s a shame that something has to be acknowledged by the mainstream for it to be considered real. Just as the evidence was there for the existence of UFOs when they were ridiculed, “there is abundant evidence” that “civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time.” – Dr Brian O’leary, NASA Astronaut, Princeton Physics Professor. That is to say, there is ample evidence, in my opinion, suggesting that some of these UFOs are made by and operated by beings from other planets, civilizations and dimensions.

With this belief, I’ve dived into the lore of extraterrestrial encounters for quite some time. I find it fascinating how thousands of stories can corroborate with each other, and I find encounters with extraterrestrials, although they cannot be verified, to be a critical part for anybody to investigate if they want to have a broader perspective on the UFO phenomenon. Unfortunately, most people don’t actually research the subject and this often leads them to think there is no real evidence, and even report that to be the case.

At the very least, these stories which number in the tens of thousands, if not millions, are very fascinating.

Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University who is Cherokee/Choctaw has been researching the Star People,and collecting encounters between them and Native Indians for many years. In her book, “Encounters With Star People, Untold Stories of American Indians” she details many of these stories, and explains how her fascination with Star People came from stories told to her by her older relatives, like her grandmother, when she was a child.

I’ve shared stories from her book before in the articles linked below:

Encounters With Star People, Untold Stories of American Indians (Continued)

Indigenous Elders Share Stories About “Star People” Living Inside The Earth

The book is filled with many interesting encounters, in one of the chapters, she describes a story told to her by an Alaskan Native, who apparently “came upon an alien in the middle of the road during a blizzard. True to the Alaskan code of honor, he invited the alien to join him in his vehicle for fear he would freeze in the 70 degree below zero night.”

His name was Ross, and he had heard about Clarke and how she collects stories about extraterrestrials and UFOs from Indian people. They met at a restaurant, and Ross told Clarke his story.

Ross operated a snowplow for a living, and on the night of his encounter he was working a 50 mile stretch during a terrible snowstorm where visibility was almost zero, and the temperature with the wind chill hovered at nearly 70 below.

In the book, Clarke outlines a conversation between her and Ross. I left out most of what Clarke asked and focused on key quotes from Ross describing the encounter:

Ross: My partner comes from the south. We drive up and back over that stretch of the highway keeping the roads clear. Sometimes we drive 18-hour shifts. Sometimes more. We usually meet each other around Lucky Gil’s. Clarke: I recognized the place that he was talking about. It was a halfway inn consisting of a bar, restaurant, and gift shop. Ross: About an hour into the shift that night, I got a call from Bill, the other driver, that there was a strange glow up ahead of Lucky Gil’s. He asked if I saw it. Before I had a chance to respond, I came upon a disk sitting in the middle of the highway. It covered the full two lanes. It was round with bright orange lights around the bottom. I stopped within 20 feet of it. I flipped my lights up and down. I tried calling Bill, but my radio was dead.

Suddenly, blinding white lights came on and the craft moved upward and was gone. I watched until it was out of sight, but that was not long because the storm cut the visibility that night to nearly zero. When it was gone, there was darkness all around me…I sat there for a moment, I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. It was at that moment I realized my engine was off. I never turn off the engine for fear it would not turn over again in the extreme temperatures, but it was off. I held my breath when I turned the key in the ignition, and fortunately the engine came to life on the first try. I put in in gear and began to move forward. Just as I got up a little speed, I felt a bump under my right tire as though I had run over something. That freaked me out. I thought it might be something from the space-craft. I stopped the plow and readied myself to go outside. As I tited the string of my parka under my chin, I saw a hand reach upward and pound on the side window. Then a second hand appeared.

It was the scariest damn thing I have ever seen. I swear to you. Those hands only had four digits…I turned on the light inside the cab and suddenly a face appeared and stared at me. Suddenly, it turned and ran across the road to a stand of trees and disappeared.

It ran across the road into the woods. I had no intentions of following it. Leaving a vehicle in a blizzard could have deadly results. I thought that was the end of it, but it wasn’t. Suddenly, the creature re-appeared in the middle of the road ahead of me. Somehow I understood that it was cold and needed a place of shelter. I offered him to come inside my snow plow but he wanted nothing to do with it.

He stood in the middle of the road an told me he was cold and it was my fault. He said the vehicle took off without him. He was outside when I came upon the craft. In their haste to evacuate the scene the other crew members left without him…I invited him inside the snowplow again. I told him I had to clear the roads and I could not leave him outside in the cold. Reluctantly he came inside, but not like you and I would climb inside. He just appeared. One minute he was standing in the middle of the road, the next minute he was inside the cab with me.

I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t scare me. I was nervous and frightened. I just remembered what my grandfather taught me and stayed calm…That was the longest night of my life. I made it to my destination uneventfully; all the time the space traveler was riding shotgun in the passenger’s seat. He paused and then a smile crossed his face. I think we must have made an unusual pair.

Once I made it to the 50 mile point. I turned around and began the journey back again. It was snowing hard. The roads were covered with another four inches of snow. On the return trip, the spacecraft appeared again, in the middle of the road at the exact same spot as I encountered it earlier. The star man suddenly disappeared. Within seconds, I saw him in front of the craft. The pulsating lights outlined his shape and in the dim light I detected a brief and simple salute or a wave, I am not sure, directed toward me and then he was gone. He just disappeared in the night along with the craft.

He told me the craft had malfunctioned. They set down in the middle of the road only momentarily for repairs. He was curious and had gone outside to do some testing of the snow. They didn’t realize it was a highway because of the storm. When I came upon them, my appearance shocked them, and in their confusion they took off without him. They had not expected anyone to appear in the middle of the storm.

To add to his dilemma, they were not allowed to make human contact so he was uneasy about being discovered. So they immediately took off, leaving him behind. In the process they violated several rules of their travel. He said they were a young crew and would likely lose their rights as explorers if their superiors discovered their mistake.

He was fascinated with the snowplow and how it worked. He considered it a rather primitive machine but one that he was curious about. He told me that humans put too much reliance on oil-based machines. He said they should spend their energy on studying the use of magnetic propulsion for travel. He could not understand why our scientists had gone in this direction.

He had never experienced snow before or the extreme cold. He said on his planet, the weather never varied. He had never been so cold in his entire life and hoped never to repeat the experience.

The alien was quiet most of the time. I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to ask a man from the stars, so I was quiet too. After he was gone I thought of a million questions, but when you are there and it is happening to you, it is different.

He was small in stature. He had a human form, but he wasn’t human. He could have passed for maybe a ten year old from a distance. His ability to appear and disappear fascinated me. I asked him about it, but he said that everyone from his world could come and go like that. He said I could do it, too. I just had to learn to use my brain in the right way. I didn’t understand what he meant.”

The day after this happened, a couple of military officers showed up at work and asked if anyone had reported strange lights or UFOs on the night of the storm. Of course, my boss told him there were no reports. I had not reported it either and neither had Ed, the other driver. I thought it was best to keep quiet so I never told them about the star man. When the military showed up, I played dumb too. I didn’t want to lose work because of some government investigation. Besides, the military has too much control in the this state anyway.”

It’s fascinating to contemplate the implication of acknowledging that “we are being visited, and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, from other civilizations.” (Lord Admiral Hill Norton)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the ET phenomenon truly leaves no aspect of humanity untouched and greatly expands human consciousness and the way we perceive ourselves, the cosmos, and the nature of reality. Just think of all that would change when we consider not only the existence of off-world civilizations but also the technology they use to get here.

I feel human beings have the potential to create a human experience where everybody, including mother Earth, can thrive. I feel as if we are natural born explorers, meant to traverse the universe in search of discovering new worlds and other life. Perhaps this is what some of these beings visiting us are already doing. How do we get to experience this potential world? It seems we have to look at what holds us back. Our ideas, beliefs and worldviews, do they truly hold up to the information that’s out there? Would new worldviews create a new world, a new society? What would happen if humans were more in touch with the essence that is observing the thoughts we individually have, as opposed to just identifying with the thoughts? Is that essence who we truly are?

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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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22 Scientists Publish Paper Claiming The PCR Test Is “Useless” For Detecting COVID-19 Cases

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it's quite clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases. As a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we being discouraged to ask certain questions and share certain information that calls into question the official mainstream narrative about this pandemic?

What Happened: A recent publication titled “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” recently published in the Journal Eurosurveillance has come under fire by 22 scientists/independent researchers. The publication claims that the RT-qPCR tests used for detecting COVID-19 is quite robust and a useful tool, but the independent publication presents a number of scientific and methodological “blemishes” that has them confident “that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication.”

According to the researchers,

In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless.

The conclude by stating,

The decision as to which test protocols are published and made widely available lies squarely in the hands of Eurosurveillance. A decision to recognize the errors apparent in the Corman-Drosten paper has the benefit to greatly minimise human cost and suffering going forward.

They are not specific when they refer to “human cost and suffering, but I believe they are referring to the implications of lockdown measures as a result of COVID cases. 50,000 doctors and scientists have signed a declaration strongly opposing lockdown measures for a number of reasons, more than 100 million people will be pushed to starvation as a result of global lockdowns, and lockdowns in the UK, for example, may have already killed more seniors than COVID itself.

Is it not in the best interest of Eurosurveillance to retract this paper? Our conclusion is clear. In the face of all the tremendous PCR-protocol design flaws and errors described here, we concluded: There is not much of a choice left in the framework of scientific integrity and responsibility.

You can read the entire paper and the evidence behind their reasoning, here. The site where the paper is found was put up by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Kämmerer, specialist in Virology / Immunology / Human Biology / Cell Biology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany, Dr. Pieter Borger (MSc, PhD), Molecular Genetics, W+W Research Associate, Lörrach, Germany and Rajesh Kumar Malhotra (Artist Alias: Bobby Rajesh Malhotra), Former 3D Artist / Scientific Visualizations at CeMM – Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2019-2020), University for Applied Arts – Department for Digital Arts Vienna, Austria.

To view the credentials and affiliations of the other 19 authors, you can refer to the bottom of the paper.

Other Doubts That’ve Been Expressed About PCR Testing

The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it.

In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could also be as high as 50%.

Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon, also one of the authors of the paper discussed at the beginning of this article,  argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.

As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York times about how declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.

The Bulgarian Pathology Association claims that PCR tests are “scientific meaningless” to detect COVID-19. They cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that goes into more detail and explanation as to why.

The idea that many COVID-19 cases around the world could be false positives is quite a common theme. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that,

The false positive rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the virus.

Is Raab implying a 93 percent false positive rate?

A Portuguese court recently determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt. You can read more about that story here.

A number of everyday citizens have also come forward expressing their doubts, including some high profile people like Elon Musk for example. He recently revealed he had four tests completed in one day. Using the same test and the same nurse, he received two positive results and two negative results, causing him to state his belief that “something bogus” is going on here. He then asked his Twitter following

“In your opinion, at what Ct number for the cov2 N1 gene should a PCR test probably be regarded as positive? If I’m asking the wrong question, what is a better question?”

In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, stating that “if someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is  <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.”  The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown.

I just wanted to provide a brief background as to why there is so much controversy out there regarding COVID-19 testing and false positives.

On the other side of the coin,

According to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal:

”The rate of false positives with this particular test is quite low. In other words, if the test comes back saying positive, then believe it, it’s a real positive.”

According to Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing.

False negatives – that is, a test that says you don’t have the virus when you actually do have the virus – may occur. The reported rate of false negatives is as low as 2% and as high as 37%. The false positive rate – that is, how often the test says you have the virus when you actually do not – should be close to zero. Most false-positive results are thought to be due to lab contamination or other problems with how the lab has performed the test, not limitations of the test itself

All of this being said, there is also a scientific consensus that infection cases are much higher and comparable to other respiratory viruses for example that already infect hundreds of millions a year, and that the survival rate for people under 70 is 99.95 percent. But there is a lot of controversy surrounding this as well.

The Takeaway

It’s easy to see why so many people are confused and polarized when it comes to this topic. So many doctors, scientists, researchers and even politicians  are providing evidence and claiming that these tests are going to have a very high false positive rate. Others, who are just as “renowned” with similar credentials are claiming that these tests are extremely accurate.

There are so many odd ‘things’ happening with this pandemic in terms of information that completely contradicts other information, not only with regards to the testing to detect the virus, but with regards to the severity of the virus as well. Never before have we seen people so polarized in their views, and this in itself is creating a big problem because it creates tension between us.

At the end of the day, we need to try and understand someone who does not share the same perspective as we do, and they should do the same without getting worked up. Our state of being when communicating is of utmost importance.

With so much confusion and lack of appropriate data to justify a lockdown, and with tens and thousands of doctors and scientists explaining how detrimental these measures are, I believe governments and health organizations should simply be presenting data and making recommendations based on science. Those who want to stay inside, wear masks and shut down their businesses for example, should have the option of doing that and those that don’t should have the option of doing that as well. Respiratory viruses kill tens of millions and infect hundreds of millions every single year, it’s not out of the box to treat this virus as we do all others, but that’s just my opinion, what’s yours?

Never before have so many people opposed and not trusted their government, yet we give these entities the power to make decisions and enforce them. Is this right? Especially when such a large majority, or minority, do not agree? Do governments actually execute the will of the people? Why do we continue to allow them to make such big decisions for us? Should it not be put to a vote? Should governments have the authority to shut things down whenever they please? Are they really executing the will of the people? Why do we simply rely on entities that may not have the best interests of humanity at heart?

The trouble we seem to be having is determining how to communicate about COVID, the fears we have around it, and how to come together as a community to ‘draw a line’ as to when we may be taking things too far.

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

Alternative News

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Widespread, Even Among Medical Professionals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Public health groups, including the World Health Organization, are making a concerted effort to reduce COVID vaccine hesitancy, as many medical professionals and minority groups remain doubtful about safety and efficacy.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is information about vaccines sometimes labeled by the mainstream as an "anti-vax conspiracy theory?" Why are concerns never really addressed properly and constantly ridiculed or unacknowledged?

It’s no secret that vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, even among many physicians and scientists. This has actually been observed for a while. For example, one study published in the journal EbioMedicine  in 2013 outlines this point, stating in the introduction:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts and science. These two dimensions are at the core of vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviours and attitudes varying according to context , vaccine and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

At a 2019 conference on vaccines put on by the World Health Organization this fact was emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced, as you can see, by the authors in the study above. At the conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

She also stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…

We have to ask ourselves the question, why? Vaccines are not a one size fits all product, in the US alone nearly $4 billion has been paid out to families of vaccine injured children, and a number of studies are calling into question their safety. Aluminum, for example, seems to be a concern. You can and read about why here, but that’s just one of multiple examples.

Here’s an example of a vaccine injury I recently wrote about regarding the HPV vaccine.

Below is an article that was recently published Jeremy Loffredo, a reporter for The Defender. It goes into details about vaccine hesitancy among health professionals when it comes to the new COVID vaccines that are about to hit the market. 

As details on the latest COVID vaccine contenders flood the news cycle on a daily basis, reports of concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine are widespread among many demographics, even including the professional medical community.

As vaccine hesitancy grows agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), are stepping up efforts to build vaccine confidence through public relations and communications campaigns.

Surveys reveal vaccine hesitancy

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Karin Fielding School of Public Health surveyed healthcare personnel working in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As the Washington Post reported, they found that two thirds (66.5%) of healthcare workers “intend to delay vaccination,” meaning they do not intend to get the COVID vaccine when it becomes available. They plan instead on reviewing the data once it’s widely administered and proven safe.

Seventy-six percent of the vaccine-hesitant healthcare workers cited the “fast-tracked vaccine development” as a primary reason for their concerns. Typically, vaccines take between eight to 10 years to develop, Dr. Emily Erbelding, an infectious disease expert at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN in an article titled, “The timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months. Experts say that’s risky.”

The coronavirus vaccine frontrunners — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca — are expected to make their debut in January. The pharmaceutical giants have exponentially accelerated the average safety and review timeline for vaccine development and production, to get the vaccines to market in under a year. Erbelding admitted that the accelerated pace will involve “not looking at all the data.”

Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, said in a video that the number of physicians expressing hesitancy was “unprecedented” and “posed a real risk” to public confidence in vaccines.

A recent Gallup poll showed that only 58% of Americans plan on getting the COVID vaccine when it’s available. An October poll conducted by Zogby found that nearly 50% of Americans have concerns about the safety of the coming COVID vaccines.

A new collaborative survey project by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Langer Research found that Black and Latinx Americans are overwhelmingly concerned about the coming COVID vaccine.

The survey, as reported in the Washington post, claims to be “one of the largest and most rigorous conducted on this topic to date.” It found that only 14% of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe, while only 34% of Latinx Americans trust it will be safe.

The survey also found, in the context of COVID, only 19% percent of Black Americans trust drug companies, while less than a third trust the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “look after their interests.”

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical experts who advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fears surrounding the painful or harmful side-effects of the COVID vaccine are rooted in reality.

According to CNBC, during a virtual Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ meeting on Nov. 23, Dr. Sandra Fryhofer told fellow CDC officials that patients need to be aware that the side effects from the COVID vaccines “will not be a walk in the park.” Fryhofer acknowledged that side effects from the vaccines have been reported to mimic symptoms of a mild case of COVID, including muscle pain, fever, chills and headache.

Fryhofer, who explained that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID vaccines require two doses, worries that her patients might not come back for a second dose after experiencing potentially unpleasant side effects after the first shot.

As a participant of the Moderna vaccine trials noted “it was the sickest I’ve ever been.”

Health officials try to combat vaccine hesitancy

Despite this, officials at the forefront of the COVID response plan to combat vaccine safety concerns and hesitancy using, what some are calling, questionable psychological techniques.

For example, the WHO, which named “vaccine hesitancy” as the top global public health threat, has hired the PR firm Hill + Knowlton to identify micro-influencers, macro-influencers and “hidden heroes” on social media who could covertly promote the organization’s image as a COVID authority in order to “ensure WHO’s advice and guidance is followed.”

Cass Sunstein, the chairman of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights, recently wrote an article in Bloomberg in which he promoted the use of popular celebrities, athletes and actors as tools for vaccine persuasion against those who “lack vaccine confidence.”

“Trusted politicians, athletes or actors — thought to be ‘one of us’ rather than ‘one of them’ — might explicitly endorse vaccination and report that they themselves have gotten the vaccine,” Sunstein wrote.

Then there’s the “Guide to COVID-19 Vaccine Communications,” developed by the University of Florida and the United Nations that aims to help governments improve COVID vaccine uptake. The authors of the guide promote the tactic of covertly using trusted community leaders to help with pro-vaccine information.

Citing vaccine hesitancy among the African American community, the guide suggests that barber shops and hair salons in predominantly black neighborhoods might be tapped to help disseminate approved vaccine messaging.

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
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