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Are Human Clones Real? Music Star Says He’s A “Second Generation Clone”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Recently, a popular rapper named Lil Buu claimed he is a clone who was cloned by a company called Clonaid. He ignited a debate, but the fact remains, human cloning has been a controversial topic for years, and it might have already been done.

  • Reflect On:

    Different types of cloning may exist, including the transferral of consciousness into another body. It could also have health benefits, but is it 'right?'

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the planet from working at CE for nearly a decade, it’s not to instantaneously dismiss a claim simply because it conflicts with what I currently believe. This has been a problem throughout history, in all fields, and it’s not a secret that intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by simply ridiculing aspects of our reality that simply don’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge.

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We’ve come a long way, and we now live in a world where labelling something as a ‘conspiracy theory’ is actually harmful and detrimental to moving forward. 9/11 is perhaps the best example we know, despite the fact that the US government still sticks to their official story while practically all of America has now seen through the cracks and lies. Another great example would be Edward Snowden. Prior to his leaks, mass surveillance was considered a conspiracy theory. UFOs are another one that is no longer a debatable topic–UFOs exist, the extraterrestrial conversation is the one we are having now, along with other metaphysical realities.

Revelations continue to make their way into the mainstream, and when the ‘global elite’ ridicule them, or label them as false without explaining why or presenting any evidence, it just hurts their agenda even more. So while we as a collective have been ‘had’ on so many different topics in the past, it’s exciting that many more of us are becoming aware of this, and we are now reacting. We are in the midst of great change. In today’s day and age, it’s vital to keep an open mind, allow your belief systems to be challenged, as new information that is backed by evidence is hard to ignore. We have to come to terms with aspects of our reality and the human experience that don’t resonate with us, so we can begin to change the story.

Ready To Read About Cloning?

This is why it might be a good time for an article on cloning, to simply challenge you to observe your reaction to something you may not believe. What was once considered ‘crazy’ is no longer so in so many areas, and perhaps this is the trend we are seeing with regards to the idea of cloning. For those of you who don’t know, cloning on animals has been done and repeated in labs. Experts are also looking at cloning to re-generate new organs that could replace faulty ones. Multiple universities intend to produce cloned human embryos in order to derive stem cells for medical research on diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases.

‘Dolly the sheep’ made headlines when she became the first (that we heard about) mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Prior to Dolly, several clones had been produced in the lab, including frogs, mice, and even cows. All of them had been cloned from the DNA from embryos. Scientists also recently cloned monkeys for the first time. So is it really hard to believe that it’s been done on humans?

UN Prohibits Human Cloning

Shortly after Dolly was cloned, the United Nations General Assembly gathered to create a declaration on human cloning, where Member states were called on to adopt all measures necessary to prohibit all forms of human cloning. 84 countries were in favour of the ban, 34 were against it, and 37 Member States chose not to vote at all. (source) It raises a number of philosophical questions, for sure, but how fitting was it for the UN to pose these sanctions during this time?

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Below is an excerpt from a Wikileaks document describing a meeting at the UN in 2008 with regards to human cloning, expressing that many countries believe “that any human cloning is unethical and an assault on human dignity, and transforms humans into commodities, devaluing human life and the relationship of human beings to each other.”

The document goes on to state,

An effort to ban reproductive human cloning, while being silent on “research” cloning, would suggest something less than total condemnation of all cloning and thus be inconsistent with the UNGA declaration. There can be no exception for “research” cloning, which would require the destruction of all cloned embryos: to attempt to justify it on the basis of potential benefits would take the ethically untenable position that human life can be created and destroyed for the convenience of others. And any effort to regulate “research” cloning would similarly be unacceptable since it would facilitate what the UNGA has already said should be banned.

So, as you can see, human cloning is a serious issue, and has been a serious issue for a while. For someone who has never heard of this type of thing, it might come as a shock that such discussions have taken place.

Lil Buu

This is why it caught my attention when celebrity/hip-hop artist “Lil Buu” gave an interview on Vlad TV stating that he is a second generation human clone who escaped from a cloning facility and that he was cloned by a company called Clonaid. According to him,

I was cloned by clonaid in Canada, my model number is 0112568…A lot of the memories from Clonaid were erased so that way the new gen can move forward with whatever new programming was made….They can remove a fragment of bone that’s located here (points to forehead, in between the eyes), and in this fragment of bone it stores all of your memories and consciousness, and with that, they can make a sufficient replica of yourself, a reproductive version of you including your memories, and you can be selective as to which ones you keep and don’t keep. This process has been around for quite some time.

This begs the question, is the same body required for the  transferal  of consciousness?

It’s interesting he mentions Canada because Wikileaks’ Julian Assange also confirmed this a few years ago. (source)

Clonaid actually made headline news all over the world when they announced they’d received a large donation to fun the cloning of a human child. Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, Ph.D. (scientific director of Clonaid) and a former chemist from Air Liquide were in charge of the operation, and for years the company was under regulatory suspicion and bombarded by media coverage. In 2001, she announced that a baby had been born, but following multiple lawsuits and controversy, no evidence of the human clone was provided, and mainstream media insinuated that the entire debacle had been a hoax. You can watch the press conference below when she decided to make the announcement.

Why would the Federal government, along with big governing bodies like the United Nations openly and publicly stress that human cloning is not allowed if it was not possible?

Here’s a statement from Bill Clinton during his presidency, regarding the establishments view on human cloning,

Our administration believes that there are loopholes that could allow the cloning of human beings….Therefore today I am issuing a directive that bans the use of any federal funds for any cloning of human beings.  Effective immedietley, no federal agency may support fund or undertake such activity. Of course a great deal of support and research in this area is supported by private funds, that is why I am urging the entire scientific and medical community, every foundation, every university, every industry that supports work in this area, to heed the federal governments example. I am asking for a volutary moratorum on the cloning of human beings…As we gain a fuller understanding of this technology…we must proceed with a conscious….(source)

The Raëliens

One thing used to ridicule Clonaid, who Kid Buu referred to as just one company, is the fact that they are headed up by what’s become known as a ‘cult.’ They’re called the Raëliens, and they believe that we are descendants of extraterrestrials, that we were created, in a sense, by intelligent extraterrestrials. They believe that Buddha, Jesus and many other similar figures are all messengers of this movement. Their purpose is to create awareness about the idea that if humans become peaceful enough, they will meet and be welcomed by these extraterrestrials. The Raëliens have had a long interest in human cloning for the purposes of extending human life.

This is no doubt interesting, especially if you are familiar with Collective Evolution. We’ve been creating awareness about UFOs and the extraterrestrial hypothesis since our inception. If you’d like to read our ET/UFO related articles, you can do so in the disclosure section of our website, here.

That being said, I’ven ever done any research on the Raëliens, and I don’t know much at all about them.

Ethical Questions

Obviously, there are moral issues and a number of questions to ask with regards to human cloning. The first thing on most people’s mind would be the question of, is it natural? Is it playing God? I don’t know, but what is natural? Perhaps it is in our nature to figure out how to extend and expand our material life. At the same time, I believe it’s important to have the recognition that we are talking about life and death at the material level, I do believe that the non-material aspect of ourselves (our soul) is something eternal.

The fact remains, this technology is out there and has been out there for a long time. It’s not uncommon to hear about new technology and developments fifty to a hundred years past their inception. New technologies are also subject to secrecy orders if the global elite decides to use them in any sort of way. All they have to do is justify it being a ‘national’ security issue and then they don’t have to tell anybody.

We don’t know much about cloning, the details, the possibilities, or how human consciousness and the human soul play a role. There are still many unanswered questions, but at the end of the day, it’s all about changing the human experience and exploring what we are capable of.  Perhaps we live in a world full of technologies that are far beyond what we can even comprehend? If these technologies can be brought out in order to benefit humanity, I’m all for them, but it’s really the intention and the consciousness behind that technology that determines if it’s at all necessary in any kind of way.

Clearly, there are still a lot of unanswered questions with regards to this, and that comes as a result of a lack of transparency. What also attracts me to this is the fact that the ‘powers that be’ seem to be sharply against it, and I doubt this is due to moral/ethical reasons. Does the release of cloning technology threaten the global control structure similar to the way free energy would? Are there powerful interests being threatened here? What are the implications of cloning?

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New Billboards Aim To Raise Awareness About US Military Spending

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Just 3% of the annual US Military budget could end world hunger.

  • Reflect On:

    Is a world without war truly possible? Perhaps it's time this is a conversation we start to have and consider other ways of solving the worlds problems.

Sometimes the simplest things can have the most impact. In this case, it’s a billboard with a powerful message. Standing tall at the Southeast corner of Wells and James Lovell, across the street from the Milwaukee Public Museum for the month of February and again for the month of July, this billboard reads,

“3% Of U.S. Military Spending Could End Starvation On Earth.”

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately it’s true and it really shows where the priorities of those in charge of America’s worldly affairs lie. A group of Milwaukeeans and other US citizens have chipped in to put up billboards such as this one in an effort to raise public awareness about this huge elephant in the room that no one seems to be talking about or addressing — the insane amount of funds allotted to the US military budget. These billboards are certainly giving people something to talk about.

Let’s Talk Stats

In 2008 the United Nations announced that $30 billion per year could end hunger on the planet. As of 2019, the annual Pentagon base budget, plus war budget, plus nuclear weapons, plus the Department of Energy, plus the Department of Homeland Security and all other military-related spending totaled around $1.25 TRILLION. So if you are wondering where the 3% statistic came from, 3% of $1.25 trillion = $30 billion.

Organizations World BEYOND War, Milwaukee Veterans For Peace and Progressive Democrats of America have all contributed to the making this billboard possible.

“As veterans, we know that endless wars and the Pentagon’s corporate handouts do nothing to make us safe. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars that would be better spent on pressing needs like education, health care, and averting catastrophic climate change. Educating and reminding people of the true costs of war is a primary mission of Veterans For Peace. We are happy to be a partner in this effort by World BEYOND War.”–Paul Moriarity, President of Milwaukee Veterans For Peace

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There are billboards and other big ads going up in many cities across the world, including Limerick, Ireland, Alaska, Lansing, Michigan, Schenectady, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA. In the past ads were placed in Toronto, Canada, Syracuse, NY, Baltimore,  ML, Charlottesville, VA and many other places. This incredible organization has also put out ads through Facebook advertising all in an effort to get the conversation started about the possibility of a world without war.

World BEYOND War

This statement is from the World BEYOND War website:

World BEYOND War is a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace.

We aim to create awareness of popular support for ending war and to further develop that support. We work to advance the idea of not just preventing any particular war, but abolishing the entire institution.

We strive to replace a culture of war with one of peace in which nonviolent means of conflict resolution take the place of bloodshed.

World BEYOND War was begun January 1, 2014. We have chapters and affiliates around the world.

While public opinion has moved against war, we intend to seize this moment to crystallize that opinion into a movement that spreads awareness that war can be ended, that its ending is hugely popular, that war should be ended as it endangers rather than protects — and harms rather than benefits — and that there are steps we can and must take to move toward war’s reduction and abolition.

War is not ending on its own. It is being confronted by popular resistance. But too often that resistance takes the form of denouncing one war as unacceptable (in contrast to theoretical good wars), or opposing a war because it leaves a military ill-prepared for other wars, or rejecting a weapon or a tactic as less proper than others, or opposing wasteful military spending in favor of greater efficiency (as if the entire enterprise were not an economic waste and a moral abomination). Our goal is to support steps away from war and to spread understanding of them as just that — steps in the direction of war’s elimination.”

Is A World Without War Truly Possible?

Of course! Anything is possible and the fact of the matter is that most of us would much rather see a world without war, but we do not believe that there is anything we can do to stop it. Given the fact that over 50% of Americans believe that 9/11 was an inside job it certainly makes one wonder, how is it that the US is able to justify the ongoing wars that essentially started because of this event? Fear plays a huge role in this.

The way I see it, war is an absolutely archaic practice, and it blows my mind every time I think about it. Is killing one another with bombs, drones and guns really the best solution to solve the world’s problems? Of course it’s not! But unfortunately psychopaths run our world and convince us using fear tactics that war is happening to protect us. As long as we believe and buy into these lies and fear one another, the more these heinous acts of senseless violence will continue.

As the saying goes, “fighting for peace is like f@*king for virginity.”

Thankfully organizations such as World BEYOND War exist, to at least get the conversation started about war. Hopefully, enough fellow humans will eventually stand up for what’s really right, put down their weapons, cease fire, stop enlisting into the military, and stop supporting it. We have a lot more power than we realize.

If you’d like to support the World BEYOND War movement, or purchase a billboard please click HERE.

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‘The Event’ – What’s Really Happening & What You Need To Know About It

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    It is alleged by many in the spiritual community that something called 'THE EVENT' will play out that will either bring about a great awakening and the end of an era of struggle and captivity for humanity.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we always hear of events that involve humanity sitting around and waiting for something? Why is it that we never have to take responsibility for our part in something? We are here, not to wait for a saviour, but to take action within the self.

You probably have been hearing about ‘The Event’, in articles, vlogs and conversation. All around the internet are preparing people for what some are calling the ascension event that will suddenly wake everyone up and end all of the cabal behavior on the planet.

There’s a lot to say about this, and a lot of helpful info we can consider to bring ourselves to a point of understanding as well as practicality, i.e. what we can do. My intention here isn’t to burst any bubbles about this, but to bring us back to an authentic place within ourselves and also back to our intuition.

One final thing, over the course of the past 10 years I’ve not shared much about where I get my info, what I’ve been tapped into since I was younger, the practices I use and how I’ve practiced to truly develop some of these skills. I’ve kept more quiet because I personally like to fly under the radar; simply be myself, remain quiet and live the change and my truth. I don’t believe in having to be loud about our abilities to convince others of who we are. Tapping into intuition, having a strong connection 24 hours a day to my higher self, hearing beings, ‘downloading’ or visually seeing and connecting with peoples lives, getting consistent info downloads etc, these are all a natural part of my life but it’s not something that makes me or anyone else special. It’s simply part of developing it. Some of us may start with different ‘abilities’ more activated, but we can always develop things. CE wasn’t built the way it was simply by using my mind to figure things out, it took diligent conscious practice and intuition to know what was most serving for humanity and when. To take complex conscious ideas and make them reach a mass audience and create virality.

I share this because, we seem to be at a time where confusion is high, disinformation is even higher, and many of us aren’t truly practicing the information we are hearing about or learning. So I share this as what I’m about to convey below is important and I don’t wish to reduce the content to simply ‘I’ve done research,’ these truths come from deeper places. The same places you can access through heart based living and a solid connection to your higher self.

I believe we need to ‘cut the crap’ when it comes to all the identification with “I’m an intuitive,” “I’m an empath,” “I’m a channeller” etc, and realize we all have those abilities within us if we choose to awaken by practice. It’s time for true empowerment 🙂

What Has Been Said About ‘The Event’

First let’s begin with what’s being said. It is being called a breakthrough for the planet that will cause a number of different unfoldments. Some say the defeat and arrest of the cabal, resetting of financial systems, disclosure of ET’s, aliens coming to the planet, revelation of new and advanced technologies, new governments and political systems etc.

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It’s being claimed that on the non physical plane: there will be a “big wave or flash of energy and light coming from the Galactic Central sun going towards the surface of the planet”. (The galactic central sun is an object in the Sagittarius constellation.) The energy from the Central Sun will stimulate a flash or special kind of light from the Sun that permeates the earth and humanity, raising the frequencies of all living entities on the planet.

It is said that it will not be a major negative event but one that is positive. Some are even suggesting to prepare with several weeks of food and supplies as it may knock out our current infrastructures. It’s also being said that this wave of energy will be soooo powerful that it will literally fry people’s brains and make them go crazy.

I have a lot to say about all of this.

First, A Note On Channeling 

From what I have gathered, most people are learning ‘channeling’ information about this from various sources or beings out there. This of course is a real thing and completely possible, but there are caveats that we often don’t consider. I’ve experienced some very good, very talented channellers who are tapped right in to authentic stuff, then again I’ve also seen the opposite.

In a lot of ways I have always steered people away from channeling. Mainly because it takes a level of mastery to truly understand and feel out what one is tapping into. Not only that, much of the time the information you can get from your higher self is more than enough to keep you rolling, and it has nothing to do with channeling. Your connection to your higher self is constant if you practice. The desire to jump deep into channeling can sometimes come from an egoic desire to want to see the future, know the future or even in some ways.. have a ‘super power’ of sorts. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this, but more so that this can be what pushes us to want it. Like I said above, of course there are many authentic channellers out there as well.

Over the 10 years I have been exploring and observing different channellers, I’ve noticed a lot of the same thing. Repeating the same stuff over and over again, repeating vague and often obvious things, noticing that the channelled info is simply coming from the mind of the channeller and not actually from another being or source etc. From a personal point of view, my message has always been about going within, instead of focusing so much attention on getting information like this from outside ourselves.

From a listener point of view, there is general curiosity which is a beautiful thing, but sometimes we also start jumping into the idea of wanting to know what’s going to happen, being aware of the future and what’s coming… so as to control things or be able to prepare. This can be helpful at times, but it can also be a source of getting us stuck or limited. It also resembles a faith based, religious-like mentality where we take word of what is to come, and then act on that, without ever checking how we feel inside. The way I’ve practiced over the years is, my primary source (85% – 90% of where I get my information like this) is from my own self or higher self, my secondary source would be corroborating information with various sources out there like other people, channellers, intuitives etc etc. I feel this is a more ideal course of action as it asks YOU to develop your own knowing and connection with & to your higher self. This is part of an authentic path towards shifting consciousness when we take action and make the necessary changes from within.

The Reality Of What’s Happening

I made a film several years ago called The Collective Evolution III: The Shift. It is all about the shift in consciousness taking place, what’s going on and where humanity is headed. It’s presented in a way that can be passed across any group; those that view things through science, spirituality or who are on the fence. The purpose of the film was to bring these understandings to a grounded and practical space, where much of the human experience exists at this time. In the film, I go into great detail about the cosmic ray portion of the shift, which much of The Event refers to. I’d recommend watching the film for further understanding, but will also elaborate below.

The shift we’re experiencing is ongoing. MANY waves have already hit our planet and are still coming. This has been happening for years and it is PART of what is causing so many of the changes we are seeing today. Shifts in the way people think, shifts in how our world works, insurgence of equality, the calls for changes in our financial systems, political systems and so forth.

These waves have been happening for decades and have been intensifying as we go. They are made up of cosmic bursts from our sun, the galactic sun, surrounding stars and so forth. All cosmic waves carry unique energies with unique signatures and information. This information carries the ability to evolve thought, ideas, DNA, change energy signatures and so forth. But it’s also important to note that this energy has be ‘throttled’ in a sense, through our agreement, and for good reason. More on this in a second.

THE EVENT is following the same path as many other claims like this. It makes this shift in consciousness about ONE thing, ONE moment and so forth. Much like we did with 2012.

How cosmic rays affect our earthly lives and conscious evolution. *From CE3: The Shift

Many claim “nothing happened in 2012” because they were looking for something physical and were looking for something HUGE to happen. Yet energies did in fact shift in big ways in and around the 2012 dates many were talking about. But they also shifted in ways prior to that, and after that as well. This shift is a process and one that will continue to unfold over time little by little. Yes many of us are wearing a bit thin as this intensifies, but this simply means we have work to do and it might be harsh to accept but if I’ve witnessed a prominent practice in the overall spiritual movement it’s not practicing what we preach. “I know that information already!” But are you doing it?

Continuing on here, yes, bigger events will continue to take place and mass ‘traumas’ will be experienced as we are challenged with big time change, but we won’t bite off more than we can chew. (I say traumas to describe what will feel like very tough times for many people as we realize, en masse, things like the existence of a cabal, how we’ve been systematically manipulated our entire lives, our spiritual connection hindered on purpose etc. This will be tough until we work through it all. Hence traumatic feelings.)

Humanity often feels like we are victim to things we experience. Energies, beings, events happening, other people etc, but we choose and agree to things and take them on as we are ready for them. This doesn’t mean that being ready for it won’t cause some pain, the idea isn’t avoiding pain. With pain we often get growth. Suffering comes when we choose to ignore the growth that can be presented to us through pain.

I know that idea doesn’t sit well with some of us but ask the question, where does sitting with pain and holding onto it forever lead us? Even from a logical perspective, the answer is to work past it and grow from it, as lingering only creates more suffering.

It has been 10 years since I founded Collective Evolution and began working in the consciousness space. During that time I have created a conscious media and education company (CE), 4 films in the consciousness space and have met many spiritual teachers from around the world for interviews, as friends and so forth. I also have diligently practiced exploring consciousness through sober means, developing my intuition and so forth. In my courses I spread the message of authentic change from within that is built around truly shifting your consciousness so your connection to self and your way of being is automatic, not built on acting from belief systems.

From this space I share simply that the overwhelming feeling points to the fact that humanity is on a journey, one that may be slow at times, but challenges US to be the ones that take action. We must take action from within to shift ourselves; it’s through that space within ourselves that we begin to take action to shift our external world.

Much like we see when we do EVERYTHING for someone and never challenge them to do their own work and suddenly they don’t quite learn and aren’t empowered in their own way, we are on that journey with the shift we face personally as well. Although it’s tempting to view a single event as something that will come in and do the bulk of the work for us, this isn’t going to happen simply because it doesn’t serve us. This is a gradual process.

We’re here to do the work within ourselves. Yes, energies will come in and assist with that process as the sun and central sun act as a purveyors of evolution, but it’s also up to us. Beings are already watching and assisting closely in slowing down many of the energies coming in due to the fact that they are a bit too intense for our consciousness at the moment. This is primarily because many of us aren’t actually practicing what we are learning. We read books, learn about things and then go on living in the same old ways. We don’t shift our diets, we don’t practice meditation or presence, we don’t disempower the ego and we don’t live from our hearts, even though we know this will lead us to a thriving world.

Partly this happens because our current world is intense. There is a lot of work being done to keep us stuck, keep us distracted and so forth. But this is simply presented as an added challenge, to help build our strength within ourselves. We CAN DO IT, otherwise we wouldn’t have bit off this much. Remember that.

Don’t Wait, It’s Now

More than waiting or focusing on a single event, look at what we have right here, right now – in our world and within ourselves. This is truly all we have to focus on, and as you have intuitive feelings towards other things, follow them. But remember to not get fixated on events, dates and promises that claim to come in and take care of everything for us. NOW is most important. Our financial systems, political systems, technologies and so forth will shift and evolve as we do.. it’s not one before the other. Remember quantum physics? We determine our external reality based on how our consciousness projects our world. How do we project a thriving world if we don’t do the internal work first to shift our consciousness? Our outside world simply reflects us. For it to shift, we must do so first.

Are you doing what you love in your life and living from a space where you follow your hearts desires? Are you practicing the observation of the ego and continually shifting from egoic consciousness to heart based living? Are you practicing meditation to reduce over-thinking and more presence? Are you treating others in a way you would want to be treated.. as much as you can, not just sometimes? Are you choosing to empathize and understand where people are at and why vs judging them and calling them names?

All of these things are ways to move towards living in the heart. It’s about going from the mind, to the heart.

Some Key Reflections

  • When it comes to beings/aliens, remember that in many ways they are just souls having an experience and they may or may not have had experiences as humans. Their advice sometimes may be missing some key details on what it means to be human.
  • Beings are not ‘above us’. Aliens are not ‘above us.’ We don’t need to bring the mentality in that humans are some primitive culture, as this brings about judgement most of the time. We are all just having experiences, and in many ways we teach things to these other beings just as they teach us.
  • What can you do right now to practice living in your heart and make that a daily state of being?
  • Getting or hearing information from outside of yourself is great, and it’s part of how we use one another to learn. Are you checking within yourself about whether or not things are true? How does it feel for you when you know it’s true?

 

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Pictures Showing How The Advertising Industry Exploits Women

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In recent years, the world of fashion and advertising has distastefully blurred the lines between right and wrong, creating a pronounced grey area of supposedly acceptable imagery which includes everything from BDSM and rape to abuse, aggression, and underage perversion. And this phenomenon can’t simply be narrowed down to ‘artistry’ when the symbolism is so blatantly sexist and even morbid.

I mean, is it appropriate for 4-year olds to have a lingerie line, never mind to be photographed in them? I have a 2-year old niece and while I think it’s adorable for her to have cute bathing suits, I would never allow her to wear something provocative in any way. It’s heavily insinuated that Americans are just uptight when it comes to sex, and in many respects this is true, but there is a line that must be drawn when it comes to children that culture cannot influence.

So while Luis Paredes, the publisher of The Lingerie Journal, may blithely assert that “while Americans may be shocked, the line of clothing wouldn’t cause a ripple in Europe,” the reality is that we are looking at the exploitation of children. We may have antiquated views about breastfeeding and sex, to be sure, but sexualized images of children are in a whole different ballpark, and considering the UK’s current heavy investigation into pedophile rings being attended by high government officials, maybe these ads should be causing some ripples.

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Kylie Jenner, an heiress of the Kardashian clan, has received heavy media attention over her recent lip injection (to each their own), but it was this particular photo shoot that brought her under major scrutiny. The cover image for Interview magazine features Kylie in a wheelchair. Why?

Kylie-Jenner

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Shot by Steven Klein, the shoot is supposed to be reminiscent of work produced by Allen Jones, a British pop artist famous for his controversial sculptures of half-naked women on all fours and in other submissive positions being used as human furniture. Quite objectifying. (You can view the full gallery here.)

These next few images highlight the absurdity of advertisements today, switching the sex of the subject (or should I say object) in the ad to underscore how ridiculous and demeaning their roles truly are. Thanks to Lauren Wade from Take Part for creating these images.

Sisley ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2006

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen sexual abuse in advertisements and it definitely isn’t less upsetting when a guy takes her place. The disturbing tone of this ad is hardly surprising considering it was shot by the infamous Terry Richardson, who carries a string of sexual misconduct allegations with models under his belt. I mean the guy himself said, “It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow. I don’t have a hole in my jeans for nothing.”

Tom Ford for Men ad, photographed by Terry Richardson, 2007

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Well we certainly know that sex sells, but why is this appropriate as an advertisement, yet women are still being shunned into bathroom stalls to breastfeed their babies? It’s easy to see how much less appealing this is with men’s breasts instead.

American Apparel ad, 2010

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Wondering what the purpose of this ad is? You’re not alone, since this is a product that is clearly marketed to women. But these images really come as no surprise. American Apparel CEO Dov Charney was unceremoniously dismissed from his position in December of 2014 because of the A.A. board’s “ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct”  — which includes (but is not limited to): holding an employee as a personal sex slave for eight months, sexually harassing multiple models and employees, assaulting a store manager, using ethnic and racist slurs with staff, and masturbating in front of a reporter in a 2004 Jane magazine article.

American Apparel ad, 2007

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If this really is an ad marketed to women, what kind of message is it supposed to send? This image is pretty standard for the company though, considering they once featured then-CEO Dov Charney in bed with models in one ad and having his crotch licked in another. How did it get this far to publication? Even with a male on display it’s pretty disturbing, but at least brings some humour. Interesting that one is sexy and the other comical.

Marc Jacobs ad, photographed by Juergen Teller, 2008

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What do you think this ad is trying to illustrate? Why would a brand use a wrinkled bag to market their products?

These images only provide a glimpse at broad the spectrum of degradation toward women present in advertising and if you think the images itself are enough to make you ponder, imagine what goes on at these shoots or even at the castings.

Charlotte Waters was a 19-year-old art student when she contacted Terry Richardson for a shoot, having only heard he was a good connection to make and work with. “He had me unbutton his pants, and he took his penis out, and it was all completely downhill from there.” She said in an interview with Vocativ. He even went as far as ejaculating on her face. 

Sara Ziff, founder of advocacy group Model Alliance, was also 19 when her agency sent her to Richardson. “It was supposed to be for a mainstream fashion magazine, but when I arrived, he unexpectedly asked me to pose topless,” she says. “I felt pressured to comply because my agent had told me to make a good impression because he was an important photographer who shot for all the major magazines and brands.” On HuffPost Live, Ziff exclaimed, “[Richardson] will ask you to take your clothes off at the casting, and in some cases, give him sexual favors.”

Model Alliance is Sara Ziff’s effort to establish fair labor standards for models working in the American fashion industry. She hopes to protect working models from exploitation, especially from sexual abuse, and to improve the lot of its members in terms of pay and working conditions. It has drawn up a “Models’ Bill of Rights.”

Model Alliance was inspired by Sara’s time working on the documentary Picture Me

Sara had this to say about the documentary in an interview with Fashionista:

[“Picture Me”] was on the festival circuit in 2009, and it was really at Q&A discussions for the film that we started talking about the need for a union, like the equivalent of the Screen Actors’ Guild, which is now SAG-AFTRA, for models. Models would come to these screenings and get really emotional talking about bad experiences they’ve had, and the film became this organizing tool to raise awareness publicly, but also within the industry. We wanted an existing union to extend membership to models, but when it became clear that that wasn’t possible, I was crazy enough to take it upon myself and start up from scratch, which people warned me not to do, but I also was studying labor and organizing in college.

The majority of models start their careers before the age 16, with most working unchaperoned and far from home. This creates an unconscionable environment of coercion, where the incentive to get hired (and remain employed) is enough to keep most girls quiet. Sara Ziff talks about her own experience with this firsthand at the age of 14:

When I entered the business as a 14-year-old schoolgirl, I was routinely asked to do topless shoots and pose seductively. To this day, in an industry dominated by minors, there is no policy of informed consent for jobs involving full or partial nudity. A recent survey shows that 86.8% of models have been asked to pose nude at a casting or job without advance notice.

Girl Model is another documentary exposing the terrifyingly young age at which some models start working. The film follows 13-year-old Siberian-born model Nadya Vall on her quest to become a model, accompanied most of the time by Ashley Arbaugh, the American modeling scout (and former model) who discovers her.

In my opinion, to be successful and thrive in the fashion industry, you need to have a sound idea of who you are as an individual and what you stand for, and unfortunately, most girls who are recruited at 14 or younger are still discovering who they are and what their place is in the world. This makes it easier for agents and scouts to shape them into who they think they should be, almost inevitably promoting a mental instability and dependency on those around them.

This article can only provide for you a different perspective on the reality that certain individuals in the fashion industry must face. Like with all things in life, there are great things about this industry and there are terrible, but it just seems that most of the ‘bad’ has been swept under the rug, with little to no attention being paid to the bigger fallacies presented by advertising companies.

Images like these allow us to see the toxic leaks that are trickling into our society, helping us to be more critical about what we are ingesting visually and more proactive in learning more about a massive money making machine that bombards us with a skewed view of the world from all sides.

Stay critical and stay aware, it helps to shift perspectives and ultimately the industry.

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/07/09/what-if-fashion-objectified-males-same-scary-way-it-does-females

http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/oh-god-whats-happening-close-personal-terry-richardson-model/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/fashion-ads-treated-men-and-women-same_n_5589243.html

http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2012/feb/01/sara-ziff-models-workers-rights-group

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/feb/13/ugly-truth-fashion-model-behavior

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/06/terry-richardson-interview.html

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