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4000 Google Employees Sign Petition To End Controversial AI Drone Contract With The U.S. Military

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There is a story from World War 2 that always struck me as the essence of what it meant to have a conscience. A German soldier who was a member of a firing squad told his commanding officer that he could not bring himself to fire upon and kill a lineup of helpless, innocent Jews. The commanding officer told the soldier if he did not follow orders and kill the Jews that he would have to join them. To the officer’s surprise, the soldier laid down his rifle and walked across to stand amongst the Jews. The officer gave the command and they were all shot to death.

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Acts of conscience are never in vain, even if they are never heard about. No doubt, every time we hear of someone challenging authority to do what is inherently right, there are a thousand other such instances that are hidden or covered up. But these acts all contribute to our collective consciousness, and help to move our shared sense of self a little closer to the light.

--> Our latest podcast episode: Were humans created by extraterrestrials? Joe sits down with Bruce Fenton, multidisciplinary researcher and author to explore the fascinating evidence behind this question. Click here to listen!

Pushback From Google Employees

Today, one of the major battlegrounds of conscience is the corporate office, where a small but growing number of the rank and file of the employed have started to question their own complicity in corporate policy and activities that is detrimental to humanity.

Google employees learned three months ago about the company’s decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as ‘Project Maven’, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people.

This has spawned a petition signed by nearly 4,000 Google employees that asks Google to immediately cancel the contract and institute a policy against taking on future military work. The petition reads,

‘We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards.These are life and death stakes.”

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Open Letter Lays It Out

In support of Google employees, a recently written open letter from more than 90 academics in artificial intelligence, ethics, and computer science calls on Google to end its work on Project Maven and to support an international treaty prohibiting autonomous weapons systems. In the letter, they outline the implications of Google’s partnership with the military:

With Project Maven, Google becomes implicated in the questionable practice of targeted killings. These include so-called signature strikes and pattern-of-life strikes that target people based not on known activities but on probabilities drawn from long range surveillance footage.

While the reports on Project Maven currently emphasize the role of human analysts, these technologies are poised to become a basis for automated target recognition and autonomous weapon systems. As military commanders come to see the object recognition algorithms as reliable, it will be tempting to attenuate or even remove human review and oversight for these systems. According to Defense One, the DoD already plans to install image analysis technologies on-board the drones themselves, including armed drones. We are then just a short step away from authorizing autonomous drones to kill automatically, without human supervision or meaningful human control. If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection – no technology has higher stakes – than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability.

Google Balks At Petition

An article on Gizmodo notes that ‘the mounting pressure from employees seems to have done little to sway Google’s decision—the company has defended its work on Maven and is thought to be one of the lead contenders for another major Pentagon cloud computing contract, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, better known as JEDI, that is currently up for bids.’

In the face of this intransigence, a dozen employees have decided that the only thing left for them to do in good conscience is resign in protest. Their reasoning points to the contention that Google was not living up to its founding policies, and their very legitimate concerns were not being seriously considered:

Historically, Google has promoted an open culture that encourages employees to challenge and debate product decisions. But some employees feel that their leadership no longer as attentive to their concerns, leaving them to face the fallout. “Over the last couple of months, I’ve been less and less impressed with the response and the way people’s concerns are being treated and listened to,” one employee who resigned said.

“It’s not like Google is this little machine-learning startup that’s trying to find clients in different industries,” a resigning employee said. “It just seems like it makes sense for Google and Google’s reputation to stay out of that.”

One employee explained that Google staffers were promised an update on the ethics policy within a few weeks, but that progress appeared to be locked in a holding pattern. The ethical concerns “should have been addressed before we entered this contract,” the employee said.–Gizmodo article

Hmm. A small company starts off with a big idea, grows by virtue of an open and inclusive policy with its employees, gets big and financially viable, and slowly abandons its founding principles in favor of power, control and influence. Where have we seen this before? Everywhere. It’s happening every day in our Corporatocracy, where the insane wealth and power at the top of the pyramid is able to gobble up companies any time they begin to present problems. Even more insidious is when they let them grow into a potent entity, with time-tested mechanisms in place to eventually infiltrate, compromise and corrupt any once high-minded and open company.

Why Employee Conscience In Corporations Is So Important

By our words and actions we as a collective define ourselves anew every day. Those who act with conscience against efforts that are harmful to peace and harmony on the planet help bring a better future into being. Those who avoid looking at the larger consequences of their actions out of fear or ignorance, or those who go ahead and do things they know are not right, simply because they were told to do them by their authority, are equally influential–and responsible–for defining what it means to be human.

Recall the verdict on German soldiers at the Nuremberg trials who said they were just ‘doing their job.’

When a critical mass of us make it a point to stop complying with policies and actions whose consequences are not in humanity’s best interests, that is when our collective evolution will really take hold.

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Global Food & Farming Issues: Dr. Vandana Shiva Slams Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg & Monsanto

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Physicist, environmental activist and renowned author Dr. Vandana Shiva explains modern day global food and farming issues. There are links within the article to her very informative work.

  • Reflect On:

    When organic agriculture has shown to be the best way to feed the world, why do giant corporations insist on taking over and doing things their way? Why do they have so much sway over government policy?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a renowned author, environmental activist, and physicist. Shiva founded Navdanya, an international movement started 30 years ago in India to defend seed and food sovereignty and small farmers around the world.  Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving and seed freedom, which began in response to the crisis of erosion of agricultural biodiversity and introduction of GMOs and patents on seeds through intellectual property rights (IPRs) and so-called ‘free trade’ agreements. It has long fought against biopiracy, the patenting of indigenous knowledge by self-interested multinational corporations and won cases related to Neem, basmati rice and wheat in India. Navdanya promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm, a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. It aims at regaining the common good as a foundation for a renewed sense of community, solidarity and culture of peace.

In the last 30 years, Navdanya’s research on Biodiversity based Agro-ecological farming has shown how Agroecology can increase nutrition and health, as well as farmers incomes while rejuvenating soil, water and biodiversity and enhancing climate resilience. They have a membership of more than 650,000 farmer families in 22 states of India. According to Navdanya:

The COVID public health crisis and its resulting economic devastation have accelerated calls to respond through the ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism through embracing the fourth industrial revolution. For food systems, this would mean a ‘food systems transformation’ where all areas of the food supply chain are further centralized, digitized, and mined for data in the false names of ‘public health’ and ‘economic recovery’. This push is now being supported by international organizations and world leaders who stand hand-in-hand with big corporations’ desires for further agrifood system concentration. This translated to a more aggressive push toward false solutions of farms managed through artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms, precision farming, fake foods- such as lab-grown meat, synthetically produced oils, and breastmilk- robot pollinators, biofortification, gene drives for more advanced forms of GMOs, and digital sequencing genetic information (DSI) of agro-diversity.

They recently put out a very informative report titled “Gates to A Global Empire.” Be sure to check it out. I suggest you read a recent article written by Dr. Shiva (her twitter account) titled, “Indian farmers’ 30 year struggle against corporate globalisation and 40 year struggle against the green revolution.” Her books are also a great resource documenting the takeover of seed and the immoral and unethical actions of big corporations, like Monsanto, in India and all over the world.

The clip below is from 2019 but it’s still very informative.

 

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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‘Big Short’ Investor Michael Burry Warns Central Governments Could Squash Bitcoin

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Well known hedge fund Michael Burry feels that Bitcoin could be squashed by the "legally violent, heartless central governments" who won't allow Bitcoin to stay decentralized.

  • Reflect On:

    Our societal structures, like the economy, are certainly in question as many continue to lose faith in them. Is the path towards a better future through cryptocurrency? Could humanity dream up a world without money?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

You might remember the famed hedge fund manager Michael Burry from the film ‘Big Short,’ his character was played by Christian Bale. He is best known for forecasting the 2008 financial crisis, and he made billions from that bet. In a recent tweet, Burry has suggested that governments could “squash” Bitcoin (BTC) in a coming inflationary crisis due to further pandemic stimulus.

Burry also feels that further regulation of the decentralized currency could hamper BTC’s performance in the long term. With one of the main motivations behind cryptocurrency’s like BTC being that they are intended to operate outside of government control and regulation, you can bet that the millions who invest in crypto intend that it stays that way – out of the governments reach.

In a now deleted series of Tweets, Michael Burry stated some intriguing opinions about Bitcoin and potential government interventions:

I don’t hate BTC. However, in my view, the long term future is tenuous for decentralized crypto in a world of legally violent, heartless centralized governments with lifeblood interests in monopolies on currencies. In the short run anything is possible – why I am not short BTC.

Burry claiming he is not ‘short’ on BTC means he is not betting that its price will fall significantly anytime soon.

One of the major reasons Burry feels governments could squash BTC is due to coming inflation as a result of more pandemic stimulus. “In an inflationary crisis, governments will move to squash competitors in the currency arena. $BTC #gold,” he said.  As you can sense by Burry’s words, he feels governments will do anything in their power to maintain control over their own currencies, and protect them at all costs, regardless whether it’s what benefits people most or not.

In his recent string of tweets he discussed Germany’s path to hyperinflation in the 1920s. He currently sees America’s economic trajectory to be similar to the post-World War I climate that eventually led to a 320% monthly inflation rate in the country.

If Burry is right about the upcoming inflation and the governments potential regulatory actions on BTC, this will be the 2nd time in recent years that he predicted a seismic shift in the US economy.

“People say I didn’t warn last time, I did, but no one listened. So I warn this time. And still, no one listens. But I will have proof I warned.” – Burry said in a tweet.

Modern Structures Are Failing

This inevitably brings up the discussion of our current way of life when thinking about our societal design. Does a capitalistic economy really create a world where people can thrive? Does it inspire big business and governments to think about people’s well being first? Or does it motivate them to think of profits first? Perhaps it’s our underlying worldview of competition and separation that causes us to create society in this manner? Either way, history over the last 30 years has shown us that financial crisis’ are happening at a faster rate, each time pushing more and more people into a lower socio-economic class while the few become richer. Aside from available spending money, think of how this affects people’s basic ability to survive and enjoy life.

COVID-19 served to make billionaires even bigger billionaires, while the average person struggles to get a job, feed their family and make basic payments. Is this a world we want to live in? Does this truly feel like what we’re capable of or are we being convinced to accept something because someone said so?

Are we really to support the idea that governments should regulate cryptocurrency, a means of exchange that is outside their control? What’s the motivation behind their regulation? As faith in our institutions crumbles year after year, is the culture within governance feeling their increasing loss of power over the people?

I don’t intend to write a lengthy piece deeply exploring the ins and outs of our economic model and why it’s not serving the people, I’ll save that for another time. I sense that the questions I’ve posed will already bring up thoughts and feelings within you that tend to ‘know’ our current ways aren’t working to help people thrive, perhaps that’s enough.

Where I’m curious to push the envelope a little further is in the question of why do we believe that we need currency and exchange to begin with? Why must our economies work the way we do? Have we really chosen to ask this question? Or have we accepted the limited and dishonest historical belief that “we tried everything else and this is best?”

A radical idea to consider I know, but one I invite you to imagine for just a moment. Given all the the incredible technology we have available to us today, can we really not imagine a society where money is not required? Given the emerging information in post material science that is telling us a different story about the nature of humans, can we honestly say we are simply competitive and warring animals still?

For just a moment, set aside the judgements someone might cast upon you for considering that we could live in a world without money, things like “that’s socialism!” or  “That’s communism!” If you were tasked with the project of coming up with a way to live in our world without money, how might it look? How would we go about creating that type of community?

Aside from what we’re commonly told, human beings are incredible, with extraordinary abilities to connect, build community and solve problems. If we changed the conversation from “that’s never going to be possible” to “how might we actually go about doing this?” that innocent little shift allows us to be open, sense possibility and activate our creativity, even if it means we aren’t going to take action right away.

I’ve been doing this sort of work and asking these questions my whole life – professionally for 13 years – I don’t hold the naive position that all of this can just happen on its own or that we don’t require deep questioning of our current worldview, I recognize all of this is necessary. What I am saying though is, if we don’t begin to think and explore down this path, we can’t ever make things ‘better.’

So what are you choosing to do? Accept the world as it is today? Or are you open to imagining a world where people can truly thrive?

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

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China To Expand Weather Modification Program & Make A Large Portion of Their Climate Artificial

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    China has publicly revealed plans to drastically expand an experimental weather modification program to cover an area of over 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles) -- more than 1.5 times the total size of India.

  • Reflect On:

    How long have weather modification programs been in operation? What are and have been the consequences of such activity?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

What Happened: China announced that it’s planning a rapid expansion to its weather modification program. Most people probably didn’t know that China even had a weather modification program. The changes include modifying the climate in an area that is more than one and a half times the size of India, covering an area of over 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles). In fact, China has been modifying their weather for decades and they’ve used the technology at local levels as well. They were quite open about modifying the weather for clear skies ahead of and during the 2008 Olympics.

According to the Guardian,

The proposed enlargement is on a scale that could affect regional weather patterns. The cabinet said it wanted to extend the artificial rain and snow programme to cover at least 2.1m sq miles (5.5m sq km) of land by 2025. The long-term plan envisages that by 2035, the country’s weather modification capabilities would reach an “advanced” level and focus on revitalising rural regions, restoring ecosystems and minimising losses from natural disasters.”

It’s not just China that has engaged in such activity, it was used by the US during the vietnam war (Operation Popeye). General Electric started to conduct their first weather modification experiments in 1946. In 2012, Iran accused Israel and the United States of modifying their climate for warfare purposes, and did so again in 2018. According to then president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez prior to his death, “The US Navy launched a weapon capable of inducing a powerful earthquake on Haiti. This time it was only a drill, and the final part of it is destroying and taking over Iran.”

How long has this been going on for? A United States government document printed at the request of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in November 1978 states,

Weather modification is generally considered to be the deliberate effort to improve atmospheric conditions for beneficial human purposes. Not all weather modification activities, however, have been designed to benefit everyone, and have been used for purposes of war….In addition to specific research programs sponsored by Federal agencies, there are other functions related to weather modification which are performed in several places in the executive branch. Various federal advisory panels and committees and their staffs -established to conduct in-depth studies and prepare reports, to provide advice or recommendations, or to coordinate weather modification programs – have been housed and supported within executive departments, agencies, or offices.

Dr. Michel Chossudovsky, a University of Ottawa Emeritus Professor of Economics writes in an article he wrote on his website:

The significant expansion in America’s weather warfare arsenal, which is a priority of the Department of Defense is not a matter for debate or discussion. While environmentalists blame the Bush administration for not having signed the Kyoto protocol, the issue of “weather warfare”, namely the manipulation of weather patterns for military use, is never mentioned.

The US Air Force has the capability to manipulate climate either for testing purposes or for outright military-intelligence use.  These capabilities extend to the triggering of floods, hurricanes, droughts, and earthquakes. This comes directly from one (of many) of their documents.

Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence  purposes. The ability to generate precipitation, fog, and storms on earth or to modify space weather, … and the production of artificial weather all are a part of an integrated set of technologies which can provide substantial increase in US, or degraded capability in an adversary, to achieve global awareness, reach, and power. (Weather as a force multiplier: Owning the Weather In 2025)

The practice today is referred to as “geoengineering” and climate change/global warming seems to be the justification for it. But as with many other topics, with crises’ like COVID-19 and terrorism, for example, in my opinion they always seem to be used for purposes other than what the pubic receives as justification.

Below is a video of then CIA director John O. Brennan giving his support for weather modification programs.

Many universities around the globe are now working on large scale artificial intervention technologies to alter the Earth’s climate in response to climate change. Yale is one, for example, and Harvard is another. These programs involve a host of interventions, one popular one seems to be the idea of spraying particles into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the planet, as explained by Nature in 2018 when Harvard researchers announced they were going to start conducting experiments. Typical particles used to spray into the atmosphere and reflect sunlight away from earth would be; Sulphate/Sulphuric Acid/Sulphur Dioxide, Titania, Silicon Carbide, Calcium Carbonate, Alumina, Silica, Zinc Oxide.

One of those researchers is David W. Keith. He’s a professor of Applied Physics for the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) who seems to be in support of these interventions and working on them. A few years ago he stated that as a result of this type of wide-scale intervention “You may end up killing many tens of thousands of people a year as a direct result of that decision.” (source) We cannot forget about the environmental and ecological impacts as well. These could be catastrophic as so many other human interventions and developments have been.

According to a 2015 paper published in Current Science, by Dr. Marvin Herndon, PhD., a nuclear chemist and geochemist, we are already seeing the impacts.

The abstract reads as follows:

“In response to an urgent call through an article in Current Science for assistance to understand the geological association of high aluminum mobility with human health in the Ganga Alluvial Plain, I describe evidence of clandestine geoengineering activity that has occurred for at least 15 years, and which has escalated sharply in the last two years. The geoengineering activity via tanker-jet aircraft emplaces a non-natural, toxic substance in the Earth’s atmosphere which with rainwater liberates highly mobile aluminum. Further, I present evidence that the toxic substance is coal combustion fly ash. Clandestine dispersal of coal fly ash and the resulting liberation of highly mobile aluminum, I posit, is an underlying cause of the widespread and pronounced increase in neurological diseases and as well as the currently widespread and increasing debilitation of Earth’s biota. Recommendations are made for verifying whether the evidence presented here is applicable to the Ganga Alluvial Plain.”

The idea that this type of activity has already been happening is not novel. “In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.” –  World Meteorological Association (2007)

Final Thoughts: This article presents a tidbit on weather modification and doesn’t really address more than the tip of the iceberg. I do not think geoengineering is a necessary and healthy climate change intervention. In fact, I believe it’s completely unnecessary and we should really be looking at ways to change the way we generate energy and clean up our planet. I find it odd that so much political focus is put on CO2, yet hardly any on deforestation, for example. I also find it irritating that I’ve come across so many great solutions that can help our planet thrive yet they never see the light of day. Today, it seems the “solutions” chosen are the ones that really don’t do much but simply put more power, control and money into the hands of the “one percent.”

That being said, I believe the climate change crisis is like many others, it’s being used, abused, and in many cases “made up” and capitalized on for ulterior motives, however I’m not quite sure what those motives are. You can read more about my thoughts on “climate change” in articles I’ve published previously on the topic, here and here.

This type of activity (geoengineering) has serious consequences for both environment and health and it’s something that seems to be flying under the radar of many people. Furthermore, it’s always been categorized under the “chemtrail conspiracy” title which has detracted from a very real phenomenon.

I find it odd how a supposed solution to combat climate issues is to create more environmental and health issues, because it seems that’s exactly what this type of spraying will, can and does do. Our environment is already heavily saturated with heavy metals and pesticides, this should be our main focus along with cleaning up our water systems and restoring our ecosystems. Unfortunately focusing on these issues threatens big industry, and various corporations and political powerhouses can’t really benefit from it and would go out of business if actually necessary changes were implemented.

What can we do about it? I’m not quite sure what the answer is. Our world is filled with greed, ego, and the lust and desire for power and control. Many major ‘happenings’ are done so in a clandestine manner, there is so much going on in our world that the masses are completely unaware of. Our only source of information seems to be mainstream media networks, and they seem to be masters and controlling human perception. At the end of the day, it’s great that humanity is ‘waking up’, becoming more aware, voicing their concerns and asking more questions. Human consciousness is shifting to the point where, eventually, no human being will take part in these types of programs. This is why such measures, like geoengineering are always done under the guise of goodwill and presented as a necessary solution. It’s because human beings have good hearts, and many of us just wants what’s best for the whole. If we do not think we are doing something good and necessary, we’re probably not going to do it.  This is where propaganda comes in

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. – Edward Bernays (Propaganda 1928)

Thankfully large portions of the human race are starting to “see.” This is a great sign and a necessary step we move along the journey towards a better human experience that ultimately will come from a shift in human consciousness. It’s happening now.

Dive Deeper

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

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

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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