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“We Are Not Alone” The Shamans of the World Tell Us

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To disregard the problems facing the Earth and to proceed with business as usual in education would be a betrayal of trust. Our students want to know how to make a difference. They need hope. And it won’t come if all we can offer is another scientific theory or technological fix. We must expand our vision to seek non-scientific alternatives. To make a difference, we must search for different understandings. Let us look to the wisdom of our ancestors. They believed that intelligence is not restricted to humans but is possessed by all creatures – plants as well as animals — and by the Earth itself.

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They also believed in spirits. Human welfare was understood to depend on tapping into these wellsprings of wisdom, and all ancient societies (just like indigenous peoples today) had specialists skilled in communication with the natural world and with spirits. These people we now call shamans, and this article argues for the inclusion of shamanic practice in the educational curriculum. Shamanism gives working access to an alternative technique of acquiring knowledge. Although a pragmatic, time-tested system, it makes no claim to be science. Its strengths and limitations are different from those of the sciences and thus complement them. Being affective and subjective, shamanism offers another way of knowing.

Reason sets the boundaries far too narrowly for us, and would have us accept only the known – and that too with limitations – and live in a known framework, just as if we were sure how far life actually extends. . . . The more the critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes. . . . Overvalued reason has this in common with political absolutism: under its dominion the individual is pauperised. – Carl Jung

Of course science will offer some valuable new directions, but at the same time we must expand our vision to seek non-scientific alternatives. To make a difference, we must search for different understandings. I am fortunate to live in a country, New Zealand, where many of my compatriots have an understanding of past and future that is fundamentally different from the prevailing ‘Western’ view. Most in our civilisation consider it self-evident that we stand facing the future with the past behind us, but traditionally for New Zealand Maori it is the future that is behind them.

They stand facing the past and their ancestors, who are a living presence in spirit. It is the vision of the ancestors that guides the present generation into the unseen future, with one clear and overriding purpose: to prosper the generations yet to be born.

Nga wa o mua “The days of the past to which we are coming.” — Maori proverb

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Let us take our cue from Maori and consider the vision of our own ancestors. No matter what our ethnic background, we will discover that our ancestors (except some of the most recent) believed, like Maori, in the existence of spirits. They also stood in awe of the rich diversity of life forms, and they believed there is mutual interdependency between these forms, humans included, given that everything that exists is alive and conscious. They were of the opinion that intelligence is not restricted to humans but is possessed by all creatures – plants as well as animals — and, for that matter, by the Earth itself. Rock, soil, stream, ocean, wind, air, sky, the stars – all are imbued with consciousness.

Recognising that the Earth and many of its creatures vastly predate humanity and are therefore possessed of much older wisdom, our forebears honoured selected landforms, trees, plants, and animals as their ancestors. They understood that there is deep wisdom in the rhythms of the Earth and an infinite variety of life experience stored by our fellow creatures and by spirits. Human health and welfare were understood to depend on tapping into this wellspring of wisdom. On a planet that is everywhere alive, conscious and inspirited, humans were believed to have many wise allies for counsel and aid.

What is the relevance of this to our current concern about the fate of the Earth? If the ‘star billing’ given by us moderns to our species is unwarranted – if sapiens (wisdom) is not exclusive to homo (humanity) – then could it be that the fate of the Earth is not exclusively or even primarily in our hands? By our ancestors’ measure, we have grossly exaggerated our self-importance in the intricate web of life. Is it not conceivable that among our intelligent companions on this whirling voyage through space are some who may be capable of restoring the balance we humans have disturbed, of undoing the damage we have wrought? Possibly there are many more shoulders sharing this burden than we think.

Some of the strongest of those shoulders may be the smallest, as was demonstrated dramatically in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion. As millions of barrels of oil poured unchecked into the ocean from the uncapped well, there was a scramble to devise human technologies that would mitigate an environmental disaster of colossal scope. It took months before the flow was stopped, but in the meantime it was discovered that petroleum-eating bacteria had flourished in the oil plume and contained a vast amount of it. The micro-organisms had not only multiplied at an astounding rate, they also had ramped up their own internal metabolism to digest the oil efficiently. They formed a natural clean-up crew capable of reducing the amount of oil in the undersea plume by half every three days.

We may take hope from the fact that this kind of help is available, but we must also start paying attention, as did our ancestors, to what our travelling companions have to say to us. Every ancient society developed communication with the natural world and with spirits, and they had specialists skilled in the techniques of that communication. These women and men were held in high regard, but they were approached with trepidation, because they were perceived to be communing with mysterious and awesome forces. In Old French they were called “sorcier,” those in touch with the “Source.” The Anglo-Saxons spoke of the “Ways of Wyrd” known to “wizards” and “witches.”

Shamanism is the term now applied to what has come to be recognised as a worldwide phenomenon, whose practice can be found as far back as we can go in human history. Given the association in the popular imagination of the term shamanism with ‘native, tribal’ cultures, it will come as a surprise to many to learn that their own ancestors practiced shamanism. We are all descendants of shamanic peoples.

Research over the past 150 years by scholars of comparative religion, pre-history and anthropology has revealed strikingly close similarities in the shamanic techniques employed in ancient cultures and in modern indigenous societies worldwide.(4) The word shaman is borrowed from one of those contemporary indigenous societies, the Tungus of Siberia. We are fortunate there are native shamans still at work, despite the sustained, and in many cases brutal, efforts of colonial governments, Christian churches, and medical authorities to suppress them. In the past forty years there has also been a Western revival of shamanic practice inspired by indigenous teachers and reinforced by the recognition that these ancient spiritual traditions are our shared inheritance.

The Role of Shamans

What do shamans do? They work to maintain or restore harmonious balance between humans and the rest of nature through powerful connections with spirit helpers. This requires a mastery of the techniques of journeying.

A shamanic journey is a trance state purposefully induced by a mind-altering activity such as rhythmic movement or repetitive sound, most often steady and sustained drumming. Less commonly, a psychotropic substance is ingested. In their altered state of consciousness, using disciplined techniques, individuals can experience visions of flying or entering into the Earth. On their journeys, participants ask animal or guardian spirits to appear and help in finding the answer to a question about their life or about someone else who has requested aid. Healing is the primary shamanic work. This includes healing of the Earth and its plants and animals. It also includes human healing, both the healing of dissension in groups and of physical and emotional illness in individuals. In the shamanic worldview, dis-ease is understood to result from loss of connection to the spirits of nature and consequent loss of soul – individual or collective.(6) Shamanic journeys take us to places where we can recover fragments of lost soul.

Journeying is useful for a wide range of practical purposes, and the experience can be powerful, often surprising the beginner with the cogency and helpfulness of what is revealed. Here is a personal example. Buying property is tricky at the best of times, but when you have been living in America for 30 years and would like to find a place in your home country, New Zealand, it’s a major challenge. That’s how it was for me in 1991, and I needed help. I received it from a guardian spirit, an eagle. In a shamanic journey, the eagle took me flying over the Marlborough Sounds and showed me a remote property in such detail that I was able to draw a sketch map: the position of the house in relation to two garden plots; the boat shed; the jetty; the shape of the bay. My wife Jo and I brought the map with us when we came to New Zealand three years later. We found a place listed at the first real estate office we visited, and when we were taken to the land, we knew within ten minutes it was the place to which my eagle had flown me. We had no need to look at other properties.

I have another story of shamanic success in real estate. I once participated with 30 others in a shamanic journey to look for a new campus for the California Institute of Integral Studies, the small San Francisco post-graduate school of which I was then president. Many participants found themselves led by their spirit guardians to one particular city neighbourhood. Three people in the journeying group described ornamentation on the outside of a building. One went down a chimney and saw a room with a polished wooden floor and an oriental rug. Another person reported a delicious aroma of baking. Most amusingly, some in the journeying group remarked on a pervasive smell of marijuana in the area. Little wonder. Three weeks later, we found an excellent property half a block from the corner of Haight and Ashbury Streets! As we were to discover, the nearest shop, just two hundred metres from our new campus, was a deli, whose baked goods would become favourites of students and faculty, and the journey details of the ornamentation on the building, the chimney, and the room with the polished wooden floor and oriental rug all proved equally accurate.

As this suggests, shamanism can be fun! Shamans are theatrical. In order to rivet the attention of participants, shamans typically wear dramatic costumes and display colourful talismans as they burn herbs and rhythmically whirl, stamp, clap and drum loudly. Almost all of the physical senses of the participants are engaged. As teachers, we should acknowledge shamans as exemplars of excellent educational practice. People learn most forcefully from forms that engage more than their intellects. They remember best what they do, rather than what they read or are told. Effective education must have a large experiential component, and shamanic practice can be a totally engaging experience.

Shamans may be playful, but they are not playing games. Their work has a serious purpose: the evocation of powerful spiritual forces. Shamanic practitioners, as a consequence, must assume responsibility for the welfare of the individuals and groups they guide. As with psychotherapy and similar practices that may bring to awareness deep subconscious memories arousing strong emotions, shamanism must be practiced with disciplined restraint and ethical integrity. Also, with humility. “In shamanism (as well as with other forms of healing) it is not the shaman who does the work,” shamanic counselor Sandra Ingerman observes. “Shamans are just the instruments through which the power of the universe works. Therefore, asking the spirits for help and trusting that they will be there is the basis of the shaman’s responsibilities. Remember, an instrument cannot play itself.”

Reconnecting With Nature

Effective education must have a large experiential component, I said. Given the current critical imbalance between humans and other species, nature should be a primary area of experiential education. We should balance the abstractions of our classrooms with experiences of the wholeness of living, growing wild things. Following the centuries-old practice of shamans, students and their teachers should spend time in wilderness to restore direct awareness of the intricate interconnections that sustain life. Quiet time spent away from the elaborate constructions of our cities can help us gain the stillness in which we may hear nature’s voices.

Shamanic journeying also can lead to an intimate acquaintance with Nature. In his book The Adventure of Self-Discovery, psychotherapist Stan Grof reports that in the journeys he and wife Christina direct,(8) many participants experience “complete and realistic identification” with animals and plants and are given extraordinary knowledge of organic processes. In this mode of consciousness, “it is possible to gain experiential insight into what it feels like when a cat is curious, an eagle frightened, a cobra hungry, a turtle sexually aroused, or when a shark is breathing through the gills.” This can lead to profound new understandings. “Subjects have reported that they witnessed botanical processes on the sub-cellular or molecular level” and had “experiences of plant consciousness.”

Grof commented that to speak of plant consciousness might seem “fantastic and absurd … to a traditional scientist.”(10) He was writing in the late 1980s when biology was dominated by molecular geneticists, who, at the time, were supremely confident that all biological function was programmed by DNA sequencing. In the subsequent 20 years, however, there has been a conceptual revolution in genetics and cell biology, with the recognition that cellular networks in organisms are dynamic systems responding intelligently to changing external conditions, even modifying the structure of DNA where necessary. In his 2005 book, The Biology of Belief, cell biologist Bruce Lipton writes:

… each cell is an intelligent being that can survive on its own. . . . These smart cells are imbued with intent and purpose; they actively seek environments that support their survival while simultaneously avoiding toxic or hostile ones. Like humans, single cells analyse thousands of stimuli from the microenvironment they inhabit. Through the analysis of this data, cells select appropriate behavioral responses to ensure their survival. Single cells are also capable of learning through these environmental experiences and are able to create cellular memories, which they pass on to their offspring.

On the basis of such path-breaking research, Fritjof Capra concludes: “The organising activity of living systems … is mental activity. . . . Mind … is immanent in matter at all levels of life.”

Shared Consciousness

We have already observed that this perception of universal consciousness is the crux of the shamanic worldview. By entering the eagle’s keen eye, the bear’s great strength, the herb’s healing power, or the flame’s searing heat, the shaman shows us passageways to the spirit wisdom of natural forms. Shamans are shape-shifters, teaching that the boundaries between forms are not as impermeable as they may seem. Dramatically, this ancient knowledge that “there is no wall between species,” rejected for three centuries by reductionist Cartesian science, has been rediscovered in this decade by molecular biologists. Lipton again:

Recent advances in genome science have revealed [that] living organisms … actually integrate their cellular communities by sharing their genes. It had been thought that genes are passed on only to progeny of an individual organism through reproduction. Now scientists realise that genes are shared not only among the individual members of a species, but also among members of different species. The sharing of genetic information via gene transfer speeds up evolution since organisms can acquire ‘learned’ experiences from other organisms. Given this sharing of genes, organisms can no longer be seen as disconnected entities; there is no wall between species.

“It seems that every process in the universe that one can observe objectively in the ordinary state of consciousness also has a subjective experiential counterpart” in altered states.(14) This observation by Stan Grof suggests an important reason for the inclusion of shamanic practice in the educational curriculum. Shamanism gives working access to an alternative technique of acquiring knowledge. Although a pragmatic, time-tested system, it makes no claim to be science. Its strengths and limitations are different from those of the sciences and thus complement them. Being affective and subjective, shamanism offers another way of knowing.

Science As A Construct

In this it serves as shock therapy for students who have grown up with the unexamined belief that modern science is the only true path to knowledge. They have been taught that the scientific method is of a different order from all other human systems of understanding. The claim is that science, and only science, provides a clear window on reality and has the ultimate capacity to answer every question about nature. These assertions are untenable. Modern Western civilisation’s representation of reality is limited like that of every other civilisation. The sciences are cultural constructions to help us get by in the world. “A scientific theory is just a mathematical model we make to describe our observations,” cautions Stephen Hawking. “It exists only in our minds.”(15) Science is a simplification of the universe, which in its unfathomable vastness is always threatening to overwhelm the limited capacity of the human organism to comprehend. “I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we can’t conceive,” observes Martin Rees, British Astronomer Royal. “It could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.”

Nonetheless, science reigns supreme and blinds most of our students, like the vast majority of us, to the diverse and richly varied paths to knowledge offered by other civilisations, contemporary and historic. “Today, the doors of the faerie hills remain sealed against us, for we keep the eyes of our mythic consciousness shut equally tight, refusing to allow cracks to appear in the walls of our present, desacralised world-view.” The writer is Mara Freeman, whose field is Celtic and British folklore. “Few of us dare to open what W.B. Yeats called the ‘flaming door’ and explore the power that crackles on the thresholds of our reality structures. But to do so might send a revitalising current through the wasteland of our culture.” Traditionally, Freeman says, it was shamans who had the courage and skill to throw open the “flaming door.” “Those skilled in walking between the worlds knew how to harness the power of the threshold where the normal rules of time and space hang suspended.”

Shamans are edge-walkers and shape-shifters, who dispel the illusion that all is fixed and orderly and controllable.

A stone’s throw out on either hand From the well-ordered road we tread, And all the world is wild and strange; Churl and ghoul and Djinn and sprite Shall bear us company to-night, For we have reached the Oldest Land Wherein the powers of Darkness range. – Rudyard Kipling

Shamanism is an acknowledgment of the awesome spiritual powers that shape the universe. It is an acknowledgement that mystery will remain despite all our science and scholarship.

Let us encourage our students to delight in the permanence of the unknowable and to sit in reverence and awe before the majesty of the mysterious. Let us encourage them also to hear the message of the shamans that the moving force in the universe is spirit, which makes life possible and gives it meaning. The exhilarating news the shamans bring is that we are not alone. On a planet that is everywhere alive, conscious and inspirited, humans have many wise allies for counsel and aid. We should lay to rest our exaggerated fears that we do not have the resources to keep this show going. Equally, we must learn humility. The hubris of homo sapiens in claiming superiority over all other species has been the source of severe damage. Humanity is merely one spirit form among countless billions.

The smallest indivisible reality is, to my mind, intelligent and is waiting there to be used by human spirits if we reach out and call them in. We rush too much with nervous hands and worried minds. We are impatient for results. What we need … is reinforcement of the soul by the invisible power waiting to be used. . . . I know there are reservoirs of spiritual strength from which we human beings thoughtlessly cut ourselves off. — Henry Ford, Detroit News, 7 February 1926

————————–

Written by John Broomfield. John is a teacher, writer, educational consultant and leader of cross-cultural study tours and shamanic workshops. Former Professor of History at the University of Michigan and President of the California Institute of Integral Studies, he is the author of Other Ways of Knowing: Recharting Our Future with Ageless Wisdom published by Inner Traditions. A student of sacred ecology and interspecies communication, he lives on remote land in the Marlborough Sounds, NZ, to learn directly from animals, plants and earth.  His website is www.eagle-tours.co.nz and he is available at eagle@ts.co.nz.

SOURCES

This article is reprinted with permission from Social Ecology: Applying Ecological Understanding to our Lives and our Planet (eds. David Wright, Catherine Camden-Pratt & Stuart Hill, Stroud, Hawthorn Press, 2011).

C.G. Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections (ed. Aniela Jaffé, New York, Pantheon, 1961) p. 302

Terry Hazen et al.: ‘Deep-sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-degrading Bacteria,’ Science (26 August 2010,  online)

Piers Vitebsky: Shamanism (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001); Jeremy Narby & Francis Huxley eds.: Shamans Through Time: 500 Years on the Path to Knowledge (New York, Tarcher/Putnam, 2001); Ralph Metzner: The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe (Boston & London, Shambhala, 1994); Tom Cowan: Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit (San Francisco, Harper, 1993); Joseph Campbell: The Way of the Animal Powers: Historical Atlas of  World Mythology, vol. 1 (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1983); Mircea Eliade: Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (translated by Willard R. Trask, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972).

Narby & Huxley, op. cit., pp. 243-305; Vitebsky, op. cit., pp. 150-153 & 168-170; Roger N. Walsh: The Spirit of Shamanism (Los Angeles, Tarcher, 1990); Michael Harner: The Way of the Shaman (San Francisco, Harper, 1980); Sandra Ingerman: Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self (San Francisco, Harper, 1991); Jeanne Achterberg: Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine (Boston & London, Shambhala, 1987): Journal of Shamanic Practice (Olivenhain, California, twice yearly).

Stanislav Grof: The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration (Albany, SUNY, 1988) pp. 52-53 & 58-59

Grof, op. cit., p. 59

Bruce H. Lipton: The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles (Carlsbad CA, Hay, 2005), pp. 37-38

Fritjof Capra: The Hidden Connections (London, Harper Collins, 2002) p. 30. See also Evelyn Fox Keller: The Century of the Gene (Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard, 2000).

Lipton, op. cit., pp. 44-45

Grof, op. cit., p. 62

Stephen W. Hawking: A Brief History of Time from the Big Bang to Black Holes (NY, Bantam, 1988) p. 139

Telegraph.co.uk, 22 February 2010

Mara Freeman: ‘The Flaming Door,’ Parabola, vol. 25, no. 1, February 2000, pp. 45-51

Rudyard Kipling’s Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885-1918 (London, Hodder & Stoughton,), pp. 575-576

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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Media Misses Key Detail On Recent Trump GMO/Pesticide Ban ‘Lifting’, Here’s Why

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Trump's administration recently released a memo cancelling a 2014 Obama-era memo about GMOs and neonicotinoid pesticide use. The media covered this story as a 'lifting of a ban' on GMOs, yet that's not what either memo says.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we still leaving the door open for GMO and pesticide use in both administrations? Why is the media, across the whole board here, using any story possible to put people against the current administration? Has the deep state lost control?

In early August, Trump’s administration released a new memo from the Fish and Wildlife Service stating that the 2014 version of the memo, out of Obama’s administration would be cancelled and the terms of the new memo would now be in place.

The memo was in reference to a GMO and neonicotinoid bans that put in place to help protect the bee population and wildlife refuges. The 2014 memo was a positive step forward as it was publicly stating, even at higher governmental levels, that GMOs were harmful to agriculture and wildlife, as were neonics. This initial memo was coined a GMO and neonics ban, even though the language in the memo doesn’t actually say that.

Before we continue, we recognize and have painstakingly covered, the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticides and GMOs on our environment and wildlife. We have called for an all-out ban, based on our research, numerous times over the last 6 years and still hold completely strong to that truth.

What is discussed in both of these memos in regards to how to go about using pesticides and GMOs are NOT safe for our environment and wildlife. The fact that both administrations are leaving the door open for use is not in humanities best interest.

The 2014 Memo

Specifically, the 2014 Obama-era memo states that when it comes to both GMOs and neonicotinoid pesticides, they can be used on a case by case basis when refuge managers request such and the case is brought through the proper channels of approval.

Below is a piece of that memo, which can also be viewed here, referring to the requested use of neonics.

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2014 memo referring to neonic pesticides.

When it came to the subject of GMOs in the 2014 memo, Obama’s administration made their stance very clear as well:

2014 memo referring to GMO use.

In both cases, we see that it was never an all-out ban, but simply an open door where neonicotinoid pesticide use and GMO use to be requested and reviewed on a case by case basis.

Now let’s have a look at the 2018 memos that resulted in media coverage alluding to a ‘lifting of the GMO and neonic ban’ put in place by the Obama administration.

“The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era ban on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted.” Reuters

The 2018 Memo

When referring to GMOs, the 2018 memo states:

And when speaking about neonicotinoid pesticides the 2018 memo states:

As you can see once again in both cases, the language is the same. There was never an all-out ban in place, and all uses will be based on approval on a case by case basis.

What Media Coverage In This Way?

When we initially printed this story, we only had access to the 2018 memo that was recently released. Based on widespread media coverage and the memo itself, it appeared as though this was, in fact, a lifting of the ban. But once we got our hands on the 2014 memo from the Obama admin, it became clear this was the same language, and that the media was now weaponizing this story against Trump’s administration.

You may follow CE’s work a lot, or you may be new to it, we are politically neutral and do not side with political parties in any way. We report on what ACTUALLY happens, not a slanted angle based on a political agenda. In that perspective, we are not attached to events but can instead see how they play into a big picture.

With that said, why did the media cover this story in a manner that was so damning to the Trump administration?

We have been reporting on the fact that from our observation, experience, and analysis, as well as our conversations with contacts we have connected to the intelligence communities, we feel that Trump has come into this space as an outsider to the specific cabal/deep state group that has been in control for many many decades. This was the cabal group that would have put Hillary in place if there wasn’t a divide taking place in the intelligence community that had the plan flipped. You can learn about that in detail here.

Leading up to the election, and since he has been POTUS, Trump has been all out attacked by every single news station, with the exception of FOX, in a big way – an unprecedented happenstance. Since we know that only 5 corporations own all of the US media, and these 5 corporations are tied to powerful elite within the deep state, it would begin to seem like a war on an outsider more than anything else. Again, a detail we have covered in depth over the last 2 years as many examples of this have surfaced.

Below is a video that dives into this story and the deep state involvement in more detail, but the thing to note here is, we must step beyond identity politics and siding with a political party in general if we want to see the truth of our world and begin to change it. This is the illusion being set forth to divide us and keep us from unifying under a deep understanding. Before we react to and believe much of what is coming out of the mainstream media today, we must recognize this deeper war taking place here and dig deeper to find the truth.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

We interviewed David about what is happening within the cabal and disclosure. He shared some incredible insight that is insanely relevant to today.

So far, the response to this interview has been off the charts as people are calling it the most concise update of what's happening in our world today.

Watch the interview here.
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World’s Largest Study On Cell Tower Radiation Confirms Cancer Link

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A groundbreaking study shows the strong connection between Cell Phone towers and cancer. It's one of many showing how electromagnetic radiation is harming human health at an exponential rate, and another example of industry trumps science.

  • Reflect On:

    There are thousands of scientists creating awareness about this, but the industry has become so powerful that they can do whatever they want. How are they allowed to continue when we have definitive proof of harmful health effects? What's going on?

Scientists call on the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer to re-evaluate the carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation after the Ramazzini Institute and US government studies report finding the same unusual cancers.

I am posting this article with the permission of Environmental Health Trust and can be found online at ehtrust.org.

(Washington, DC) – Researchers with the renowned Ramazzini Institute (RI) in Italy announced that a large-scale lifetime study of lab animals exposed to environmental levels of cell tower radiation developed cancer. A $25 million study of much higher levels of cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation, from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), has also reported finding the same unusual cancer called Schwannoma of the heart in male rats treated at the highest dose. In addition, the RI study of cell tower radiation also found increases in malignant brain (glial) tumors in female rats and precancerous conditions including Schwann cells hyperplasia in both male and female rats.

The study findings are making headline news. Read the Corriere Di Bologna article “Cellulari, a study by Ramazzini: “They cause very rare tumours.

“Our findings of cancerous tumours in rats exposed to environmental levels of RF are consistent with and reinforce the results of the US NTP studies on cell phone radiation, as both reported increases in the same types of tumours of the brain and heart in Sprague-Dawley rats. Together, these studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to re-evaluate and re-classify their conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans,” said Fiorella Belpoggi Ph.D., study author and RI Director of Research.

The Ramazzini study exposed 2448 Sprague-Dawley rats from prenatal life until their natural death to “environmental” cell tower radiation for 19 hours per day (1.8 GHz GSM radiofrequency radiation (RFR) of 5, 25 and 50 V/m). RI exposures mimicked base station emissions like those from cell tower antennas, and exposure levels were far less than those used in the NTP studies of cell phone radiation.

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“All of the exposures used in the Ramazzini study were below the US FCC limits. These are permissible exposures according to the FCC. In other words, a person can legally be exposed to this level of radiation. Yet cancers occurred in these animals at these legally permitted levels. The Ramazzini findings are consistent with the NTP study demonstrating these effects are a reproducible finding,” explained Ronald Melnick Ph.D., formerly the Senior NIH toxicologist who led the design of the NTP study on cell phone radiation now a Senior Science Advisor to Environmental Health Trust (EHT). “Governments need to strengthen regulations to protect the public from these harmful non-thermal exposures.”

“This important article from one of the most acclaimed institutions of its kind in the world provides a major new addition to the technical literature indicating strong reasons for concern about electromagnetic radiation from base stations or cell towers,” stated Editor in Chief of Environmental Research Jose Domingo PhD, Professor of Toxicology, School of Medicine at Reus University, Catalonia, Spain.

“The US NTP results combined now with the Ramazzini study, reinforce human studies from our team and others providing clear evidence that RF radiation causes acoustic neuromaa (vestibular schwannoma) and gliomas, and should be classified carcinogenic to humans,” stated Lennart Hardell MD, PhD, physician-epidemiologist with the Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden, who has published extensively on environmental causes of cancer including Agent Orange, pesticides and cell phone radiofrequency radiation.

“The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored,” stated University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health Professor Emeritus Anthony B. Miller MD, Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Canada and the UK, and Senior Medical Advisor to EHT who is also a long-term advisor to the World Health Organization.

“This study raises concerns that simply living close to a cell tower will pose threats to human health. Governments need to take measures to reduce exposures from cell tower emissions. Cell towers should not be near schools, hospitals or people’s homes. Public health agencies need to educate the public on how to reduce exposure from all sources of wireless radiofrequency radiation—be it from cell towers or cell phones or Wi-Fi in schools,” stated David O. Carpenter MD, former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. “This is particularly urgent because of current plans to place small 5G cell towers about every 300 meters in every street across the country. These 5G ‘small cell’ antennas will result in continuous exposure to everyone living nearby and everyone walking down the street. The increased exposures will increase risk of cancer and other diseases such as electro-hypersensitivity.”

You can listen to the full press conference below:

Ramazzini Institute investigators have completed nearly 500 cancer bioassays on more than 200 compounds, and their study design is unique in that animals are allowed to live until their natural deaths in order to allow detection of late-developing tumors. Eighty percent of all human cancers are late-developing, occurring in humans after 60 years of age. This longer observation period has allowed the RI to detect such later-occurring tumors for a number of chemicals, and their published research includes studies of benzenexylenesmancozebformaldehyde and vinyl chloride.

The Ramazzini research results come in the wake of similar findings from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) large-scale experimental studies on cell phone radiation. Both studies found statistically significant increases in the development of the same type of very rare and highly malignant tumor in the heart of male rats—schwannomas.

“This publication is a serious cause for concern,” stated Annie J. Sasco MD, DrPH, SM, MPH, retired Director of Research at the INSERM (French NIH) and former Unit Chief at the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization, France, who commented that, “some of the results are not statistically significant due to the relatively small number of animals involved. Yet, that does not mean they should be ignored. Larger studies could turn out statistically significant results and in any event statistical significance is just one aspect of the evaluation of the relation between exposure and disease. Biological significance and concordance of results between humans and animals clearly reinforces the strength of the evidence of carcinogenicity. The facts that both experimental studies found the same types of rare tumours, which also have pertinence to the human clinical picture, is striking,”

“Such findings of effects at very low levels are not unexpected,” stated Devra Davis Ph.D., MPH, president of EHT, pointing to a Jacobs University replication animal study published in 2015 that also found very low levels of RFR promoted tumour growth. “This study confirms an ever-growing literature and provides a wake-up call to governments to enact protective policy to limit exposures to the public and to the private sector to make safe radiation-free technology available.”

In January 2017 at an international conference co-sponsored by Environmental Health Trust and the Israel Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University, Fiorella Belpoggi PhD, Director of Research at the Ramazzini Institute, presented the study design and the findings that RFR-exposed animals had significantly lower litter weights. Belpoggi’s presentation and slides are available online. The Ramazzini findings of lower litter weights are consistent with the NTP study, which also found lower litter weights in prenatally exposed animals. At that time, the  Italian journal Corriere published an article about the presentation of the Ramazzini study and quoted Belpoggi’s recommendation of “maximum precaution for children and pregnant women.”

Noting that “current standards were not set to protect children, pregnant women, and the growing numbers of infants and toddlers for whom devices have become playthings,” Davis, who is also Visiting Professor of Medicine of Hebrew University Medical Center and Guest Editor in Chief of the journal Environmental Research, added, “Current two-decade-old FCC limits were set when the average call was six minutes and costly cell phones were used by very few. These important, new, game-changing studies show that animals develop the same types of unusual cancers that are being seen in those few human epidemiological studies that have been done. In light of these results, Environmental Health Trust joins with public health experts from the states of California, Connecticut and Maryland, as well as those in France, Israel and Belgium to call on government and the private sector to carry out major ongoing public health educational campaigns to promote safer phone and personal device technology, to require and expedite fundamental changes in hardware and software to reduce exposures to RFR/microwave radiation throughout indoor and outdoor environments, and to institute major monitoring, training and research programs to identify solutions, future problems and prevention of related hazards and risks.”

“More than a dozen countries recommend reducing radiofrequency radiation exposure to children, and countries such as China, Italy, India and Russia have far more stringent cell tower radiation regulations in place when compared to the United States FCC. However, this study provides scientific evidence that governments can use to take even further action,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT.

The article is Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz base station environmental emission” by L. Falcioni, L. Bua, E.Tibaldi, M. Lauriola, L. De Angelis, F. Gnudi, D. Mandrioli, M. Manservigi, F. Manservisi, I. Manzoli, I. Menghetti, R. Montella, S. Panzacchi, D. Sgargi, V. Strollo, A.Vornoli, F. Belpoggi .  It appears in Environmental Research published by Elsevier.

This study is making headline news. See examples here:

About Environmental Research

Environmental Research publishes original reports describing studies of the adverse effects of environmental agents on humans and animals. The principal aim of the journal is to assess the impact of chemicals and microbiological pollutants on human health. Both in vivo and in vitro studies, focused on defining the etiology of environmentally induced illness and to increase understanding of the mechanisms by which environmental agents cause disease, are especially welcome. Investigations on the effects of global warming/climate change on the environment and public health, as well as those focused on the effects of anthropogenic activities on climate change are also of particular interest.

About Environmental Health Trust

EHT is a scientific virtual think tank conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health risks with some of the world’s top researchers. EHT educates individuals, health professionals and communities about policy changes needed to reduce those risks. EHT maintains a regularly updated database of worldwide precautionary policies: more than a dozen countries recommend reducing wireless exposure to children.

Ramazzini Institute Resources

Link to the Ramazzini Institute Study.

Link to Media Advisory Online With Biographies for Experts on Conference Call

How To Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation5G Factsheet

National Toxicology Program (NTP) Cell Phone Radiation

Dr. Lennart Hardell and Colleagues Comments on the NTP

Dr. Melnick Comments on the NTP

Dr. Annie Sasco Comments on the NTP/  Ramazzini Comments 

Environmental Health Trust Comments  on the NTP RF

Dr. Anthony Miller NTP Submission

Additional Resources:

Link to Infographic on Cell Phone Radiation

The National Toxicology Program Presentation on DNA Damage

 Recommendations on Reducing Cell Phone Radiation5G Factsheet

National Toxicology Program (NTP) Cell Phone Radiation

Dr. Lennart Hardell and Colleagues Comments on the NTP

Dr. Melnicks Comments on the NTP

Dr. Devra Davis/EHT Comments on the NTP

Dr. Annie Sasco Comments on the NTP

Dr. Anthony Miller Comments on the NTP 

Additional Resources:

Link to Infographic on Cell Phone Radiation

The National Toxicology Program Presentation on DNA Damage

Conference Call Bios 

Fiorella Belpoggi, PhD

Lead author of the new study will discuss how the research was designed to test cell tower base station radiation association with cancer. Dr. Belpoggi is the Director of the Ramazzini Institute Research Department and Director of the Cesare Maltoni Research Center, Bologna, Italy. Dr. Belpoggi has been invited as an expert participant to meetings on the evaluation and safety of chemicals at the European Parliament, at the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs and at the European Food Safety Agency and as a temporary advisor to the World Health Organization/European Centre for Environment and Health .Ramazzini Institute investigators have completed nearly 500 cancer bioassays on more than 200 compounds. Full Bio

Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD

Dr. Hardell is a clinical and medical research doctor at the Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles specializing in epidemiological research studying cancer risks related to exposure to environmental toxins such as Agent Orange, the herbicide glyphosate, and cell phone radiofrequency radiation. As one of the world’s leading experts on this topic, he served as an expert on the World Health Organization International Agency for the Research on Cancer EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) Working Group for the classification of radiofrequency fields in 2011. Bio here.

Ron Melnick, PhD

Dr. Melnick is a toxicologist, served 28 years a a scientist with the National Institutes of Health focused on assessing human health risks of environmental chemicals. He lead the design of the $28 Million National Toxicology Program(NTP) Studies on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation.  Dr. Melnick can discuss comparisons between the Ramazzini Institute research and the recently released NTP data on cell phone exposure on rats and mice.

David O. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Carpenter is a public health physician and graduate of Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization, and former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. He has been involved in this topic since the 1980s when he served as the Executive Secretary of the New York State Powerlines Project. He is Co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report and has testified on EMF issues to both houses of Congress and also to the President’s Cancer Panel. He has two books and numerous publications on EMF, and over 400 peer-reviewed publications on various aspects of human health and environmental exposures. Bio here

Devra Davis, MPH, PhD

Dr. Davis is an epidemiologist, former member of the National Toxicology Program Scientific Review Board is currently Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, Turkey. She was Founding Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. President of Environmental Health Trust, she is also an award-winning scientist and author on environmental health issues. She can address the emerging studies on cell phone radiation worldwide. Full Bio

Watch Dr. Melnick present on the NTP study last year in this video.

https://ehtrust.org/worlds-largest-animal-study-on-cell-tower-radiation-confirms-cancer-link/

© 2018 Environmental Health Trust. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Environmental Health Trust ehtrust.org. Want to learn more? Sign up for the newsletter here. Link is here https://ehtrust.org/publications/newsletters/

 

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Don’t Buy Anyone An Amazon Echo – Not Even Yourself

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A group of hackers have successfully turned the Amazon Echo into a surveillance tool to listen in on the conversations of unknowing targets.

  • Reflect On:

    Even if hacking these devices is difficult to do, does the fact that it is possible to make you reconsider using "smart speakers" such as these? What is your privacy worth to you?

In recent years “smart speakers” are becoming popular as home tools to assist with day-to-day tasks; making phone calls, searching google and basically anything else you might use your phone for. Upon command, they wake up and complete the task given and offer a hands-free, voice-activated method to make our lives easier, so what could possibly go wrong? Well, recently a group of Chinese hackers have figured out a way to use the popular Amazon Echo as a spy device and listen in on the day-to-day conversations of targeted individuals.

This group of hackers has spent months developing a new method for essentially hijacking the Echo. While it is far from a total takeover of the smart speakers, it is, from what we know, the closest thing to a practical demonstration of how these devices can absolutely be utilized as a method of secret surveillance.

During the recent DefCon security conference, researchers Wu HuiYu and Qian Wenxiang shared their presentation called, Breaking Smart Speakers: We Are Listening To You, explaining how they hacked into an Amazon Echo and turned it into a spy bug.

Now, before we start thinking Big Brother is listening, it is important to know that this hack involved a modified version of the echo, which did have some parts swapped out. However, this doctored device was still able to hack into other, non-modified devices and it does so by connecting both the hackers Echo and a regular Echo to the same local area network, or LAN. This process allowed the hackers to turn their own modified Echo into a listening bug by relaying audio from the other Echo’s speakers without any indication that they were transmitting anything.

Although this was a difficult process, the Chinese hackers proved that it was, in fact, possible and could represent a first step towards exploiting this increasingly popular device.

So, What Does Amazon Have To Say?

Before the presentation, the researchers notified Amazon of the upcoming exploit and they pushed out some security fixes back in July when asked about the attack from Wired, the company responded by stating that, “customers do not need to take any action as their devices have been automatically updated with security fixes.” The spokesperson added that “this issue would have required a malicious actor to have physical access to a device and the ability to modify the device hardware.”

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Unfortunately, that last statement overlooks the fact that the hackers did not have access to the physical device that they were intercepting — only the LAN and anyone can get their own Echo quite easily online and in stores. So, although Amazon updated the security of these devices, it is still possible that hackers could once again, figure out a way to gain access to the device.

According to the hackers,

“After a period of practice, we can now use the manual soldering method to remove the firmware chip…from the motherboard and extract the firmware within 10 minutes, then modify the firmware within 5 minutes and [attach it] back to the device board,” they write. “The success rate is nearly 100 percent. We have used this method to create a lot of rooted Amazon Echo devices.”

Do We Need To Be Concerned?

To be able to effectively and easily hack an Echo remotely wouldn’t be easy, says Jake Williams, a former member of the NSA’s elite hacking team Tailored Access Operations. However, if spies were able to take over a device like the Echo it would make a powerful tool for surveillance because unlike a phone, it picks up sound from a room, not only right next to the device, but anywhere in earshot.

“These smart speakers are designed to pick up all the noises in the room, listen and transcribe them,” says Williams. “As a result, they’d make phenomenal listening devices if you can exploit them.”

Let’s not forget about what happened earlier this year where a couple from Portland, Oregon received a phone call from a person they knew warning them to unplug your Alexa device right now, you’re being hacked. This person had received a voice mail which contained a private message between the couple talking about hardwood floors. You can read more about that here.

I Have Nothing To Hide, Why Should I Care?

This is a common response from many people in regards to privacy issues. But this issue goes so much deeper than that. As Edward Snowden says,

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

We have a right to our privacy. If these devices can, in fact, be used as surveillance tool’s then there is a very good chance that they are being used. We have already seen a tremendous level of corruption from the NSA spying on Americans’ and even Facebook violating our rights and using messenger to listen in on our conversations. Why would we feel that these devices that are literally plugged into our homes and flat out listening to us and our “commands” couldn’t be used as a method of surveillance?

Cell phone’s alone have been proven to be able to listen in even when the phone is turned off. These smart speakers have even more capacity as they pick up sound all over the place and have a much broader range.

Should you let this stop you from getting your own Echo or similar device? Well, that’s up for you to decide, for me it’s not worth it.

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

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