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The Special Ed Epidemic: Uncovering the Answers (Part 4)

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By Sheri A. Marino, MA, CCC-SLP for Focus for HealthWorld Mercury ProjectPartner

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In this four-part series, World Mercury Project’s partner, Focus for Health (FFH), examined thespecial education epidemic, its crippling effects on the US economy, as well as housing and employment issues for individuals with disabilities once they age out of school. Now, let’s look at what could be causing this epidemic, and unlike the broken regulatory agencies and healthcare system, put an end to this crisis by empowering the public with the knowledge to help make informed decisions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just announced that autism prevalence is up 16% with new data showing that 1 in 59 US children have autism.  Autism, developmental delays, and chronic illnesses including allergies and asthma are at an all-time high, affecting 1 in 6 children across the US. The CDC reports that disability costs our nation $400 billion annually in healthcare expenditures.  Autism alone is on track to cost the US $460 billion dollars annually by 2025. Genetic studies have failed to turn up genes responsible for allergies, asthma, autism, or ADHD, yet funding for research identifying environmental causes pales in comparison to funding for genetic studies.

Although genetics plays a role in many disease processes, environmental influences can be triggers that turn on those genes.  Known as epigenetics,  gene expression can be altered from exposures to environmental toxins which can lead to negative health outcomes.

While we may not be able to control our genetic make-up, knowing how certain genetic conditions may affect us and our offspring allows us to take every precaution possible to manage those conditions. Likewise, we may not be able to avoid all environmental toxins, however, if given essential information, individuals can make choices about what environmental risks they are willing to take to keep their total toxic load at a minimum.

A combination of genetic vulnerability and environmental exposures creates susceptibilities for oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, endocrine disruption, and chronic inflammation ultimately leading to immune dysregulation.

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Toxins are found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the products we use, and the vaccines we inject.

If manufacturers like Monsanto (being purchased by Bayer for $62.5 billion) monopolize the food industry, our right to make healthy food choices free of toxins such as pesticides and herbicides is significantly reduced.

If the pharmaceutical industry is not effectively managed by regulatory agencies, we will continue to be manipulated by advertisements for those very same medications which are responsible for poor health outcomes in our children.

If our state governments continue on the path of mandating vaccines, we lose our choice to say no to medical procedures which contain neurotoxins such as mercury and aluminum.

Taking control of our health and the destinies of our offspring starts with having the basic human right to do so. That begins with having essential information which empowers us to make the best decisions for ourselves and our children, and that ends when our basic human rights are taken from us. For all medical procedures, this is the basis of informed consent.

WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?

Through an extensive review of the research, FFH presents a collection of science-based theories on the causation of chronic disease and developmental disability. Individuals are not always informed of their risks by the medical community. While some risks are unavoidable, FFH believes knowledge is power and with access to information, individuals can learn what their risks are to make better healthcare decisions to potentiate positive outcomes, and ultimately protect vulnerable children.

…children who were exposed to more toxins in the womb had more autistic-like behaviors.

What the Science Says on Environmental Exposures

Toxins exist naturally in the environment, however, toxin exposure has increased in developed countries due to the increased use of pesticides and production of synthetic chemicals to manufacture foods and other products. Studies show environmental toxins result in epigenetic alterations to DNA leading to many chronic health issues and disorders.

Toxins can affect the functioning of the brain, heart, lungs, nervous system, and can also alter the bacteria that compose an individual’s microbiome. Furthermore, some toxins act as endocrine disruptors, meaning that they interfere with the body’s biological signals and hormonal system.

The toxins a mother encounters throughout her life will accumulate in her body. This is known as her “body burden.” A mother’s body burden will affect the environment of her womb, which may have a direct impact on the development of her baby. A fetus is particularly susceptible to toxicity because its organs are developing and it has not yet developed its brain-blood barrier.

One study from the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has found that children who were exposed to more toxins in the womb had more autistic-like behaviors. Anotherstudy found that close proximity to certain pesticides during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with autism by 60%. Toxin exposure during pregnancy is also associated with high blood pressure, ADHD, heart disease, and various mental disorders. The Environmental Working Group identified 287 toxins in an umbilical cord. Of these chemicals, 180 are known carcinogens to humans and animals, 217 are toxic to the nervous system, and 208 are known to cause birth defects in animal tests. Studies also show that pesticide exposure impacts sperm quality in men, which can affect pregnancy outcomes.

What the Science Says on Diet

According to the CDC, more than half of children worldwide ages 6 months to 5 years suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies.  Studies have found that micronutrient deficiencies can negatively impact growth, cognitive ability, neurological, and immune system functioning. One study has found that individuals with ASD are more likely to have micronutrient deficiencies. Another study found that children who consume diets high in fats are more likely to have cognitive impairments. Other studieshave found that children who eat more fruits and vegetables have better cardiovascular health compared to those who do not, and they have better health outcomes as adults. Their findings indicate what people eat when they are young is more important for achieving good health outcomes than what people eat when they are older.

Chemical pesticides such as glyphosate are used in agriculture to protect produce against weeds, insects, and other plant diseases.

Pesticides may be toxic to humans, and regular consumption of pesticides from a young age can heighten an individual’s risk for various health problems. Pesticides have been linked to respiratory problems, immune system problems, gastrointestinal issues, impaired cognition and memory, neurological diseases, and various cancers.

There is mounting evidence that suggests gestational pesticide exposure can lead to developmental delays or autism.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are an additional dietary concern for children and adults. Crops which are genetically modified to withstand pesticides, to self-produce insecticides, or to exhibit other desirable traits, are claimed to be harmless to humans, however, comprehensive long-term studies are lacking and some studies show that GMO’s may be hazardous. One study has found that the increasing incidence of 22 different chronic diseases can be linked to the increased use of GMOs in agriculture.

There is a lack of studies that examine the relationship between EMF exposure, autism, and other health conditions. However, some reports suggest that EMF exposure increases the risk for autism and can increase the severity of autism symptoms.

What the Science Says on Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

Electromagnetic radiation exists naturally in the environment. However, the expansion of technology in the 20th Century has introduced an increasing number of manmade electromagnetic field sources into the environment. Today, 100% of the population is exposed to EMF. The 5 most common sources of EMF include electric fields, magnetic fields, power lines, metal plumbing, and wireless communication.

There appears to be a subset of the population that is more susceptible to EMF than the majority of the population. These individuals are proposed to have “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”. They may experience skin conditions (redness, tingling), fatigue, dizziness, nausea, digestive disturbances, and concentration issues. This condition is somewhat akin to multiple chemical sensitivities.

One study suggests there are “remarkable similar biological features between EMF exposure and ASD from cellular oxidative stress to malfunctioning membranes, channels and barriers to genotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, immune abnormalities, inflammatory issues, neuropathological disruption and electrophysiological dysregulation”. This study also suggests the rise in ASD is parallel with the increase in electromagnetic and radio frequency exposures over the past few decades.

There is a lack of studies that examine the relationship between EMF exposure, autism, and other health conditions. However, some reports suggest that EMF exposure increases the risk for autism and can increase the severity of autism symptoms.

…calculations show that the levels of aluminum suggested by the World Health Organization place infants at risk of acute, repeated, and possibly chronic exposures of toxic levels of aluminum in modern vaccine schedules.

What the Science Says on Aluminum

Aluminum is neurotoxic. Aluminum exposure has been associated with disorders including Alzheimer’s and autism. This metal is found in foods we eat, the water we drink, products we use on our bodies, and it is used as an adjuvant in vaccines to enhance immunogenicity. Neurotoxic effects of aluminum are controversial however, a study of human brain tissue from donors with autism showed consistently high levels of aluminum content present in microglia like cells and cells in the meninges, vasculature, and grey and white matter. While regulatory agencies determine how much aluminum is needed to enhance antigenicity and effectiveness of vaccines, they do not take into account safety considerations. In fact, no known published studies have determined levels of aluminum in vaccines based on safety studies.

A new report titled “Reconsideration of the immunotherapeutic pediatric safe dose levels of aluminum” states “When aluminum doses are estimated from Federal Regulatory Code given body weight, exposure from the current vaccine schedule are found to exceed our estimate of a weight corrected Pediatric Dose Limit. Our calculations show that the levels of aluminum suggested by the World Health Organization place infants at risk of acute, repeated, and possibly chronic exposures of toxic levels of aluminum in modern vaccine schedules.”

There is no safe level of mercury exposure.

What the Science Says on Mercury

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mercury is considered to be among the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. It is known to impact the brain, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and immune system. There is no safe level of mercury exposure.

Dental Amalgams

Dental amalgams have been used for the past 150 years by the dental industry to fill cavities. Dental amalgams contain mercury, a known neurotoxin dangerous to humans even in trace amounts. Mercury vapor leaks from dental amalgams and accumulates in various body tissues or organs. Therefore, the fetus of a mother with dental amalgams will be exposed to mercury for the entire duration of the pregnancy. Mercury is known to cross the placenta, and directly impact the fetus, where it can interfere with the development of the fetus’ brain and central nervous system. The child may continue to be exposed after birth through the mother’s breast milk. One study found 6 or more dental amalgams in the mother raises the risk of having a child with autism 3.2-fold. Furthermore, the severity of autistic behaviors increases with the number of a mother’s dental amalgams.

Other sources of mercury include some over the counter medications, personal care products, and certain fishes such as tuna. In addition, some vaccines still contain mercury.

Mercury in thimerosal has been linked to tics, speech delay and language delay in children (Thompson et al. 2007 NEJM, Barile et al. 2013 J Pediatr Psychol, Verstraeten et al. 2003 Pediatrics, Andrews et al. 2004 Pediatrics) and many published studies also show a relationship with autism and ASD (Geier et al. 2013 Translational Neurodegeneration 2:25, among others).

The CDC recommends pregnant women receive the flu shot, however, if the shot comes from a multi-dose vial, it also contains mercury from the preservative thimerosal. Multi-dose vials are often provided to clinics and pharmacies in lower socio-economic areas. It is estimated that during the 2017-2018 flu season, 20-30 million of the influenza vaccines distributed will contain thimerosal. Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCV’s) may expose pregnant women to 25 micrograms of mercury. With no blood-brain barrier, the fetus is also exposed as the mercury accumulates in the placenta and cord blood. Furthermore, as indicated in the vaccine manufacturer’s product inserts, no safety or efficacy studies have been conducted on pregnant women or their infants.

…women receiving the seasonal flu shot in the first trimester of pregnancy had 25% greater odds of having a child with ASD.

What the Science Says on Maternal Immune Activation (MIA)

During pregnancy, the developing fetus is vulnerable to the mother’s normal biological response to immune challenge. Recent epidemiological studies indicate that prenatal exposure to inflammatory signals from parasitic, bacterial and viral pathogens including the flu, shows significant correlations with neurological and immunological abnormalities, like autism spectrum disorder. Termed maternal immune activation (MIA), the role of inflammatory mediators during critical gestational periods has been shown to have adverse effects on fetal development.

There are many ways in which the maternal immune system can be activated. A study titled “Prenatal Fever and Autism Risk”supports the hypothesis that maternal fever in pregnancy, regardless of trimester and cause of the fever, is associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among offspring. While earlier studies found that prenatal exposure to infectious agents increased the risk of ASD in offspring, this study supports more recent findings that activation of the maternal immune system has deleterious effects on fetal brain development and plays a role in neurodevelopmental consequences. In this study, fever-associated ASD risk increased markedly with fever frequency particularly after 12 weeks gestation. Acetaminophen worked minimally to mitigate the risks for fevers occurring in the second trimester. Of the 538 cases, ASD was five times more prevalent in boys than girls. The authors’ findings support the hypothesis that in a subset of ASD cases, fever and associated immune disturbances may be implicated.

Vaccines are designed and intended to produce the same biological immune response as natural infection.  When a person gets a vaccine, whether during pregnancy or at any other time, an immune response to that vaccine occurs.

Studies show that roughly 5% of the general population will acquire the influenza virus annually, however, if the influenza vaccine does its job, immune activation will occur in 100% of pregnant women who receive the flu shot. Although the Zerbo et al. paper did not show a correlation between the actual flu in pregnancy and ASD, it did show women receiving the seasonal flu shot in the first trimester of pregnancy had 25% greater odds of having a child with ASD.

What the Science Says on Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets the body’s own cells, tissues, or organs as opposed to foreign antigens invading the body. These self-destructive antibodies create inflammation processes ultimately causing organ damage. Autoimmunity is a result of defects in the B and/or T cells of the immune system and is believed to result from the interplay of genetics, infections, and other environmental exposures.

Mothers with abnormal autoimmune antibodies have a greater risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.  There is mounting evidence that shows a mother with autoimmune antibodies is more likely to produce anti-brain antibodies that can cross the placenta and attack the fetal brain, inducing fetal brain inflammationOne study shows mothers of children with autism are 4 times more likely to carry brain reactive antibodies than mothers of typically developing children. Mothers with brain-reactive antibodies were also likely to have an increased prevalence of autoimmune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Mother’s with celiac disease have a particularly high risk of bearing children with autism or other chronic illness. Celiac disease, a genetic disorder of the small intestine triggered by dietary exposure to gluten (a protein found in wheat), is associated with inflammation, diarrhea, malabsorption, and other gastrointestinal issues. Untreated celiac disease may result in impaired fertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes from autoimmune related mechanisms or nutrient deficiencies. According to this study, “Celiac disease, especially if untreated, appears to increase the risk of repeated miscarriages and premature deliveries, and impaired fetal growth with reduced birthweight.”  Additionally, the rate of cesarean delivery was increased if the parents had celiac disease.

Other autoimmune diseases that appear to increase the risk of ASD in offspring include lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. Women with rheumatoid arthritis were 80% more likely to have a child with ASD, while children born to diabetic mothers are 4 times more likely to develop autism.

What the Science Says on MTHFR Mutations

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a gene that is responsible for producing an enzyme that converts folic acid to methylfolate, a bioavailable form of vitamin B9. Nutrient deficiencies of Vitamin B6, B12, and folate increase homocysteine levels which cause inflammation in the body. The ability of this gene to turn this switch on or off is crucial for the production of glutathione, the body’s most important antioxidant.

Glutathione plays a major role in the body’s detoxification of harmful, disease causing toxins. When the body’s ability to produce glutathione is decreased, secondary to genetic mutations like an MTHFR mutation, the disease process is enhanced due to the build-up of toxicity in the body. Disorders such as autism, ADHD, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, addiction, miscarriages, and neural tube defectshave been linked to MTHFR mutations. Mutations in MTHFR may lead to a condition called homocystinuria, a disorder where there are abnormal levels of homocysteine and methionine in the body which may lead to eye problems, cognitive issues, abnormal blood clotting, skeletal and congenital heart abnormalities.

Glutathione’s key role is the maintenance of intracellular redox balance (oxidation-reduction) and the detoxification of xenobiotics (a chemical or substance foreign to the body). A defective MTHFR gene creates a vulnerability to disease processes as detoxification is impaired, leaving the body more susceptible to oxidative stress, and less tolerant of toxins such as heavy metals.

In children with ASD, the heterozygous allele frequency occurred in 56% of children, whereby the frequency was significantly lower in the control group (41%). This could indicate that there is a genomic vulnerability in the folate pathway to environmental risk factors. Although a review of the research indicates conflicting analysis, some studies show an association exists between MTHFR polymorphisms and an increased risk of ASD, suggesting the modulating role of folate may be affected by the MTHFR genotype. Another study suggests that the enhanced maternal folate status before and during pregnancy may alter natural selection by increasing survival rates of fetuses who have an MTHFR mutation. Presumably, infants with an MTHFR polymorphism cannot maintain the higher folate status after birth, affecting neurodevelopment from the inability to detoxify environmental toxins. For example, individuals with ASD have been shown to have higher levels of heavy metals in their blood, leading researchers to believe that the MTHFR polymorphisms may be partly responsible for increasing their toxicity. While an association is likely, it is unlikely that this mutation is solely responsible for complex neurodevelopmental disorders and more probable that influencing co-factors exist.

Furthermore, only 2 out of the 54 most commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications have enough data available to determine how they can impact a pregnancy.

What the Science Says on Medication Use During Pregnancy

Prescription drugs may impact the fetus through several mechanisms. They can directly damage the fetus by crossing the placenta, alter the functioning capacity of the placenta so that the fetus’ oxygen and nutrient supply is reduced, induce forceful uterine contractions which can injure the fetus, or indirectly harm the fetus by affecting the internal environment of the mother.

The CDC reports that prescription and over-the-counter medication use during pregnancy has increased by 70% over the past 3 decades. Less than 10% of all medications approved by the FDA since 1980 have been studied well enough to assess their risk for birth complications, and, pregnant women are not included in drug safety trials because of liability concerns. Furthermore, only 2 out of the 54 most commonly used prescription and over-the-counter medications have enough data available to determine how they can impact a pregnancy.

There have been many studies conducted over the years that have examined how specific prescription medications taken during pregnancy may affect the health outcomes of children. Prescription medications that have been associated with an increased risk of birth defects or other childhood health complications include antidepressants, hypertension medications, mycophenolate mofetil (for treating autoimmune diseases), anti-epileptic medications, clomiphene citrate (to treat infertility), sulfonamide and  nitrofurantoin (to treat infections), and opioids.

A study from JAMA found that taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of a pregnancy increased the risk of having a child with autism by 87%, and that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) taken at any point during the pregnancy were associated with an even greater risk of having a child with autism. These researchers note that SSRIs can cross the placenta and impact the development of the fetus.  There is also evidence that autistic individuals have high levels of serotonin in their blood platelets and that their brains synthesize serotonin atypically.  Another studyfound that the asthma drugs- beta-2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR) agonists taken 90 days before pregnancy or during pregnancy increase the risk of having a child with autism.

Antibiotic use both medically and agriculturally is a major health concern. The CDC states that approximately 29% of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States in 2015 for children 0-19 years of age were unnecessary. Excessive antibiotic use puts the recipients at risk for adverse reactions or infection and can result in long-term alterations to the recipient’s microbiome. A healthy microbiome is essential for regular metabolism, vitamin production, and homeostasis regulation. Furthermore, babies born vaginally receive their mother’s microbiome as they pass through the birth canal. A mother’s microbiome will be altered when she takes antibiotics before or during pregnancy and can pass this altered microbiome to her child during childbirth.

One study has found that the antibiotics amoxicillin and clavulanate specifically may be contributing to the rise of autism. According to the study, after the introduction of these antibiotics in 1987, the state of California reported an increase in the rate of autism by 273% in a single year. The study proposes that the production of these antibiotics may yield high levels of urea/ammonia in the child. Another study found evidence that taking antibiotics during pregnancy can induce neurodevelopmental changes in the fetus in utero.

Agricultural antibiotics account for approximately 80% of all antibiotic usage in the United States. Animals are treated with low dose antibiotics to prevent the spread of disease and to promote growth. These antibiotics are transferred to humans through the meat we consume, as well as through the crops that were fertilized with the animals’ waste. Consumption of food contaminated with antibiotics can induce the same health consequences as prescribed antibiotics.

…acetaminophen use during pregnancy was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of having a child with autism and hyperkinetic disorder.

Specific over-the-counter medications have also been found to impact the health of the fetus. The commonly used drugs Ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen are some examples. Acetaminophen has long been considered relatively safe to take during pregnancy, however, acetaminophen use during pregnancy was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of having a child with autism and hyperkinetic disorder. Also, a longer duration of acetaminophen use resulted in a 2-fold increase in the risk of having a child with autism.

Since pregnant women are excluded from trials, some drugs are tested on pregnant animals instead. However, animal studies should not be considered reliable in determining the safety of a drug, as exemplified by the thalidomide incident in the 1950s. Thalidomide was a drug that was intended to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. Although it did not have any adverse effects on the pregnancy outcomes of rats during animal studies, it was found to cause severe and often fatal birth defects in infants and is now recognized as one of the most hazardous known human teratogens.

Although many studies have found associations between medications taken during pregnancy and poor childhood health outcomes, researchers state in their discussions that the exact mechanism through which the drug impacts the fetus remains uncertain.

What the Science Says on Chronic Ear Infections

Ear infections are bacterial or viral infections that occur in the middle ear. Children who experience chronic ear infections should be treated with caution as this could be an indication of a weak, dysregulated, or overactive immune system.

They may be more susceptible to infections, or their immune systems may respond abnormally to environmental triggers. In addition, ear infections are associated with auditory processing problems, which can contribute to learning disabilities or cognitive impairments. Studies have found that children with autism experience chronic ear infections more frequently than their non-autistic counterparts, which may be because individuals with ASD often have dysregulated immune systems.

Ear infections are typically treated with antibiotics. However, antibiotics can alter a child’s gut flora, which may also result in long-term health consequences. A study by B.E. Haley, suggested that the antibiotics ampicillin and tetracycline, which are used to treat such infections, can increase susceptibility to mercury poisoning. Therefore, there is potential for increased risk of vaccine related adverse events.

One study led by Eileen Curran has found that CD’s increase the risk of autism or autism-related symptoms in a child by as much as 23%.

What the Science Says on Cesarean Deliveries

Cesarean deliveries (CD’s) have risen by 48% since 1996, and now account for 32% of all births in the U.S. The trend of elective CD’s continues to increase. While some CD’s are unavoidable, many are scheduled out of convenience for the family or physician. CD’s are associated with negative health outcomes for the baby and there are multiple mechanisms for these outcomes.

Researchers believe Cesarean deliveries can alter an infant’s microbiome by depriving him or her of the beneficial bacteria he or she receives while passing through the birth canal in a vaginal delivery.  A compromised microbiome can lead to impaired immunity and metabolic dysregulation.

Several studies have found an association between Cesarean deliveries and autism. One study led by Eileen Curran has found that CD’s increase the risk of autism or autism-related symptoms in a child by as much as 23%.

In another study, researchers found approximately 40% greater risk of developing immune defects and a 10% greater risk of developing juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when born by CD. Additionally, the study shows children are more frequently hospitalized due to asthma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorder, immune system defects, leukemia, and other tissue disorders.

What the Science Says on Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding is important for a baby’s health. It provides the baby with necessary nutrients, helps to strengthen the baby’s immune system, and promotes growth. Various studies have found that children who were breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of life were less likely to contract an infection, develop diseases, or develop allergies. Furthermore, breastmilk is more easily digested, promotes digestive health, and helps to establish and maintain the child’s microbiome.

A study from Science Daily has found that breastfeeding reduces the chance that a mother’s child will develop autism. According to this study, a child may develop autism because his brain neurons are unmyelinated. Demyelination may occur because the child has an inadequate supply of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which is due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. The study proposes that breast milk, which contains IGF, increases deficient IGF levels in susceptible children and helps to prevent the onset of autism.

A mother’s breast milk, however, can also create vulnerability in her child. There is mounting evidence that shows toxins in a mother’s breastmilk increases the chances that a child will develop autism or other health complications. A mother may be exposed to toxins through her environment or diet.

Babies are particularly susceptible to toxin exposure because they are at a stage of rapid physical development and their immune systems are not fully developed. Breastfeeding provides the most health benefits for the child if the mother’s diet is healthy and clean.

What the Science Says on Low Birth Weight

The average baby weighs 8 pounds. Any baby born less than 5 pounds and 8 ounces is considered low birth weight. Low birth weight is associated with various health complications such as poor growth, increased susceptibility to infection, and a higher risk of developing neurological problems.

The two main causes of low birth weight include preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction. Risk factors for low birth weight include poor maternal health, toxin exposure, nutrient deficiency, preexisting chronic or autoimmune disease, and low socioeconomic status. According to the CDC, mothers without a college education are29% more likely to have underweight babies.

One study found that low birth weight was associated with irregular brain structure development and smaller total brain volume. The finding indicates that birthweight can have a profound influence on health outcomes later in life.  Another study found that 5% of babies born weighing less than 4.7 pounds developed autism, while 11% of babies born weighing less than 3.5 pounds developed autism. The researchers believe that the risk for autism increases with decreasing birth weight.

What the Science Says on Chronic Stress During Pregnancy

Since maternal immune response, absent of infection in the fetus, can cause harm to the fetal brain, maternal stress therefore creates vulnerability. Studies have shown that prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) increases the production of stress hormones like cortisol which prepares individuals to deal with stress. Cortisol plays a role in the development of the fetus and in preparing the mother’s body for childbirth. However, attenuations of elevated maternal cortisol from chronic stress can cause immune dysregulation and chronic inflammation which greatly increases the risk of poor health outcomes in the fetus. Research suggeststhat offspring of mothers who experience high levels of stress during pregnancy are more likely to have problems in neurobehavioral development including autism and ADHD and have an increased risk for childhood behavior and emotional problems, language delay, cognitive problems, mixed handedness, and later onset disorders such as schizophrenia.

Additionally, maternal stress as a social determinant of health creates vulnerability in children as it is associated with low birth weight, diminishes innate immunity, and increases the likelihood of neurological dysfunction.

What the Science Says on High Testosterone

Hormones play a central role in body functions and processes, including growth and development, behavior, metabolism, reproduction, and fetal development. Fetal and maternal hormone levels are required in precise amounts at different points during the pregnancy to dictate the migration of fetal cells and mediate fetal growth. Any alterations in these hormone levels can impact the development of the fetus.

Amniotic fluids of mothers whose children developed autism were found to have elevated levels of testosterone, other sex hormones, and cortisol compared to the amniotic fluids of mothers whose children developed normally.

Male fetuses are particularly susceptible to sex hormones, and overexposure to sex hormones in the womb has been linked to reproductive malformations. It has been found that every one-percent increase in reproductive malformations in a given area is associated with a 283% increase in the rate of autism and a 94% increase in intellectual disability.

Testosterone works synergistically with mercury to enhance its toxicity. This may contribute to poor pregnancy outcomes in mothers who receive certain vaccinations during pregnancy or in those who are exposed to mercury from other sources.

What the Science Says on Advanced Parental Age

Researchers believe there are many associations with parental age at the time of conception and its deleterious effects on children’s health. Studies have shown advancing paternal and maternal age were both associated with poor pregnancy outcomes.

In one study, fathers over 50 years of age had a 66% higher chance of having a child with autism. This same study also found mothers over age 40 and under age 20 increased the risk of autism. A second study shows father’s over age 45 at time of conception, when compared with fathers between 20-24 yrs. of age, had a heightened chance of having offspring with autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric and academic morbidities. The effects of advanced paternal age on semen quality are controversial. However, the literature strongly points to issues with spermatogenesis, specifically epigenetic changes, and DNA mutations associated with increased paternal age.

Women, born with a set number of eggs, may be more susceptible to de novo mutations when an older egg is fertilized. These first time mutations are believed to be influenced by epigenetic changes affecting DNA replication, thereby increasing the rate of autism and other chronic health issues in the offspring. Epigenetic alterations associated with age can result from long-term exposures to environmental toxins, substance abuse, prescription medication usage, and diet. While younger moms have had less exposure to environmental toxins, researchers speculate their associated risk may be related to immature reproductive systems. Researchers also suggest disparity of more than 10 years between parents’ ages has also been shown to increase the risk of autism, although the mechanism is unknown.

There is contradictory evidence to support to what extent the age of the parents affects the health outcomes of their children. For example, a study published in Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, found that while children of older parents are more likely to have autism, they are not more likely to have other neurological disorders such as schizophrenia. However, another study by Nature Genetics, finds older fathers have a higher risk of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.  Furthermore, many studies draw contradictory conclusions as to which age brackets pose the highest risk for poor health outcomes of children. Ultimately, researchers believe there are underlying reasons as to why older parents are more likely to have children with autism, however, the exact mechanisms are unknown.

Many theories above are controversial because scientific studies sometimes contradict each other. This could be due to many factors including sample size, bias, and sometimes interpretation. When studies continue to show evidence supporting both sides, the science is not settled.  When it comes to protecting our children’s health, minimizing risks should be the only thing that is mandatory.

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Alternative News

The Brown Mountain Lights – An Unexplained ‘Paranormal’ Phenomenon That’s Happened For Centuries

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The "Brown Mountain Lights" have been an observed phenomenon in North Carolina for a very long time. Below, there is more information as well as one out of many supposed paranormal experiences had by people who have visited the mountain.

  • Reflect On:

    Is paranormal really out of the ordinary? Or is it something that's simply normal about our world, and a type of phenomena that's been happening since the beginning of time? Just because we don't understand it, doesn't mean its not real.

What are “paranormal experiences”? I don’t really understand the term anymore, it’s used to describe events and experiences that are out of the ordinary, it implies that these events are not ‘normal.’ It’s almost 2019, and more people are starting to become aware of the fact that “paranormal” experiences are actually quite normal, quite common, and well documented throughout history. We have evidence in the form of video footage, pictures, and actual physical evidence from several different supposed events. Not only that, ‘paranormal’ discoveries have been the subject of rigorous investigations by governments and researchers around the world. The ‘Stargate’ program in the United States, for example, was one that studied these experiences in order to use them for intelligence purposes, and they worked. Here’s a great example from the Central Intelligence Agency’s electronic reading room about an individual who was able to move solid objects through solid barriers, by simply using his mind. You can read more about that, in-depth, here.

We live in a strange world, one in which we don’t quite understand and for the most part, we still shy away from and label findings in the paranormal world as different, not real, pseudoscience or the stuff of imagination. Humanity has a long history of not accepting certain phenomena based on the fact that it may shatter a few of our long-held and ingrained belief systems, wherever they may come from. We also have a long history of phenomena not being acknowledged to protect certain interests. The UFO issue is a great example, where suppression, although kept secret for multiple reasons, is kept due to the new energy and propulsion systems that could come from it.

The story that’s the topic of this article is no different, it will definitely shatter your belief systems if you’re not into this stuff, but if you are, you probably won’t be surprised, especially given the fact that the experience took place at Brown Mountain, North Carolina, which is a place full of stories similar to this one.

Brown Mountain is known for what’s now become known as the “Brown Mountain Lights.” They represent a series of strange lights in the form of multiple colours that are often spotted near or on Brown Mountain. The lights can be seen from multiple spots, there was also help from the city of Morganton (North Carolina) via building an overlook on North Carolina highway 181. They are fairly well known…

Below is one of many pictures and pieces of footage that’s been floating around out there for a very long time. Hers’s a good blogging website where citizens have also posted more information and resources.

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A website based in North Carolina who takes interest in this lore explains it quite well:

Brown Mountain is a low ridge in Burke County that, during dry, crisp evenings in the autumn, is host to a genuine and baffling mystery. When conditions are right, mysterious glowing orbs can be seen to rise up off the mountain, hover and wobble about fifteen feet up in the air, and then disappear. There’s no denying that the lights are real. They have been observed by countless witnesses and photographed on many occasions. But what they are is still unknown.

The Brown Mountain Lights have been observed for centuries, and multiple legends have arisen around the phenomenon. The Cherokee were aware of the lights, and according to some accounts claimed that the lights were the souls of Cherokee women searching for their men who had died in a great battle between the Cherokee and the Catawba that took place on Brown Mountain. Another legend says that the lights are the the ghostly echoes of lights that appeared during a search for a murdered woman in the 19th century.

The common theme this site doesn’t seem to include is extraterrestrial or extradimensional.

Below is a video that was taken from Scientists at Appalachian State University, who caught the phenomenon on camera as well. Researchers captured these glowing lights simultaneously by two time-lapse digital video cameras near the mountain, which is located just north of Morganton. The cameras are operated by Daniel Caton and his colleague Lee Hawkins, of the physics and astronomy department at Appalachian State.

The lore of Brown Mountain is filled with so many stories, real stories, from real people, that it’s surprising how little well known it still is.  As far as the lights go, there are many different explanations that have come forth. Everything from extraterrestrial to interdimensional, to ghosts and more.  Skeptics have suggested that they are headlights from automobiles from the valley below, but the lights have been observed for more than one hundred years. If you look up pictures, videos and stories about the phenomenon, you’ll see how ridiculous the headlight explanation is. Some have suggested that the lights could be a naturally-occurring electrical discharge caused by the geological fault line below the mountain.

Below is  Charles Braswell Jr. (right) who shows Carl White a photo taken of the Brown Mountain Lights. White is the host of the show, “Life in the Carolinas.”

One Experience (out of many) On Brown Mountain

This story was shared last year by a YouTuber who has a channel called “Insane Disappearances.” This man has done a lot of research into missing persons inside of National Parks. Himself and other researchers in the field describe many similar strange findings that all of these experiences have in common. He managed to conduct an interview with a person who chose to remain anonymous, due to fear. After her experience (she was also with two others), she explains how she was harassed by police as well as park authorities, asking to confiscate the pictures and the video footage she took. She kept receiving calls on a regular basis from authorities asking her about her experience, and on multiple occasions, authorities emphasized how it was a long day, she was dehydrated and simply hallucinating.

I don’t usually share stories that comprise simply of witness testimony, but after listening to this woman’s story, seeing the pictures and watching her videos of her experience, it really resonated with me and really came across in an extreme genuine fashion. The way she was telling it just makes me believe this is a genuine person who actually had a strange experience. What was also interesting to note was her urgency in getting the pictures as well as the videos up online for public access before they could be taken away from her.

The story starts off with the woman hiking with her friends. All of a sudden, her friends instantly disappeared from the trail, but everything else remained the same. She started to look for them and began to experience strange things, like the path shifting, noticing water streams in an area of the mountain where she was sure there were no streams. She heard strange noises, and captured shots of a strange orange glowing orb that appeared to follow her. She also claims that sometimes, this apparition took on the form of a humanoid looking being. Her friends also had unique experiences as she did, and when they eventually came out of the situation, they compared notes, pictures, footage and stories…

As the day progressed, I kept feeling like, almost like the forest was kind of re-arranging itself around me. I swear that I turned directly behind me but the trail would be different… I also kept hearing things and weird whooshing of air… I kept seeing what looked like these bright orange colours that were, I don’t know if they were following me…

Here’s a message from the YouTube video description:

If you have an open mind this is the place to be. Join me, become intrigued as I case-read the four hundred and eleven baffling unsolved cases about hundreds of random people from clusters all over the globe who mysteriously vanish without a trace and are either never seen again or found hundreds of miles away from their last known location; deceased under weird circumstances. Todays episode is a validations interview that will answer all your questions about what happens to people who venture into our national parks to never be seen or heard from again. But with evident proof like this everyone’s perception will always be different because of their own level of experiences. So with that being said I believe her because the people that weren’t there to see what she saw are not going to believe her at first because those people are looking for extensive detailed analyzation, picking apart the evidence in her footage, lie detector tests, etc. at the end of the day she had an experience; an amazing yet creepy experience that answered every single question ever asked

It might be time to plan a trip to Brown Mountain ;). You can find all of the pictures, footage and interviews on his channel if you want to dive into this particular mystery a little further!

Similar The Hessdalen Lights

Known as theKnown as the Hessdalen Interactive Observatory, scientists at the University of Ostfold, Hessdalen, Norway have captured and documented many strange anomalies that seem to plague the area. It’s the only official 24 hour UFO observatory in the world. Radar and cameras have tracked and filmed numerous unexplainable phenomenon, the fastest one recorded at 30,000 km per hour. (Faster than any known air-craft today.), scientists at the University of Ostfold, Hessdalen, Norway have captured and documented many strange anomalies that seem to plague the area. It’s the only official 24 hour UFO observatory in the world. Radar and cameras have tracked and filmed numerous unexplainable phenomenon, the fastest one recorded at 30,000 km per hour. (Faster than any known air-craft today.)

Below is many unexplained pictures taken from the Observatory. You can find more here.

The Takeaway

There is a simple takeaway message that goes with this article and it’s the fact that it’s okay to entertain an idea without accepting it. It’s also important to acknowledge phenomena that are not ‘officially’ acknowledged within the mainstream as ‘real,’ simply because these realities have tremendous implications, and they are indeed real. Strange stories, occurrences, and footage coming out of this area confirm without a doubt that the phenomenon of the Brown Mountain lights are indeed real, as far as what they are, remains to be unknown.

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Alternative News

New Plastic “Zeoform” Turns Hemp Into Almost Anything

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

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

  • Reflect On:

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

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

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

As stated on their website:

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

zoeform_chair

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

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

zeoform_guitar

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

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Alternative News

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

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

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

  • Reflect On:

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

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

James Beal from The Sun writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epstein & Weinstein’s connections to Israeli Intelligence

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

In an interview with Zev Shalev, former CBS News executive producer and award-winning investigative journalist for Narativ, the former senior executive for Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, Ari Ben-Menashe, claimed not only to have met Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, back in the 1980s, but that both Epstein and Maxwell were already working with Israeli intelligence during that time period. You can read more about that story, in detail, here.

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

So that’s interesting to note.

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

It Goes Deeper Than Pedophilla

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

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

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

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 19819 when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment’ members. Former state senator John W DeCamp, cited as one of the most effective legislators in Nebraska history, is today attorney for two of the abuse victims. A 15 year old girl disclosed that she had been abused since the age of 9 and was exposed since the age of 9 and was exposed to ‘ritual murder’ of a new born girl, a small boy (who was subsequently fried and eaten) and three others.

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

Our Interview With A Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

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