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Organization Aims To Protect The Integrity Of Plant Medicines Worldwide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There’s an international organization called ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service) that is dedicated to challenges that come with the globalization of ayahuasca and other plant plant medicines.

  • Reflect On:

    Are plant medicines overused today? Are they being abused? Are they being used in the correct way as they were intended to be used?

Before you begin...

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By now, many people have heard of the psychoactive brew ayahuasca. Native to the deep jungles of the Amazon, ayahuasca has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples of South America. Within the last several decades, however, the use of ayahuasca has extended to westernized cultures and has initiated profound healing for many, sparking recoveries from various mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and addiction. Practices with this ‘plant teacher’ have been life-changing for millions, undoubtedly saving many lives.

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That being said, “Psychedelics were used back in a time when the level of consciousness of the planet was not as high, which helped give insight to shamans so they could share it with their communities. It was meant for use in extreme cases where heavy trauma or addictions existed and people could not use other ways to work through their emotional challenges. Here in present time, we use them in a western fashion as THE GO TO for moving through all of our challenges. I’m here to remind you that you have so much power and ability as a being that in most cases, you don’t need any of these things to evolve. I’m not suggesting don’t do it, I’m simply saying truly ask your heart what you want, and don’t get caught up in the grand allure and peer pressure.” – Joe Martino (source)

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Not everyone who is interested in working with this brew and learning from traditional knowledge holders are able to travel to the Amazon. Because of this, indigenous and non-indigenous practitioners with the best intentions have been bringing this medicine to western cultures in an effort to assist those who could benefit from taking it.

Ayahuasca and some other traditionally used psychoactive plants (such as San Pedro and Iboga) fall into a legal grey area in many countries. According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), no plants or concoctions made from plants naturally containing alkaloids controlled under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (e.g. mescaline or dimethyltryptamine (DMT)) are under international control. However, the INCB also states that governments at the national level can regulate these plants and preparations as they so choose.

The result is that there is a lot of legal uncertainty around ayahuasca, and most countries do not have specific laws regulating it. Some countries have some level of religious or cultural protection for practices with these plants such as Peru, Brazil, the US and Canada. However, the largely uncertain legal status of ayahuasca and other plants has led to prosecution of people working with them in dozens of countries.

Thankfully, there’s a dedicated international organization called ICEERS (The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service) that is dedicated to resolving these challenges that come with the globalization of ayahuasca and other plant practices, advocating for safe and responsible use, self-regulatory processes, and the respect of indigenous and cultural practices.

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According to Benjamin De Loenen, ICEERS founder and executive director, “These plants have been held sacred by indigenous communities for decades and even millennia, and along with their globalization has come a clash with the drug control system. A system that only came into being only during the last century. The lens through which this system looks at these practices is highly reductionistic – literally extracting DMT out of complex cultural systems – and often does not understand the important role they have played historically and can play currently in the benefit of communities.”

Many of the people who facilitate experiences with plant teachers are taking a huge risk and they can fall victim to drug control that is not based in evidence and human rights. In some cases, law officials have raided, arrested, and charged people who are doing this work and risking their livelihoods to assist those who are suffering or those who have a religious practice involving plant medicines.

Meet the Ayahuasca Defense Fund (ADF)

The ADF is an ICEERS program that works directly with those who are facing prosecution worldwide to assure the best legal strategy and defense for their case. The program advocates for sensible and tolerant legislation and public policy and educates and protects the global community by providing reliable information and resources.

ADF coordinator and attorney Natalia Rebollo stresses the importance of communities staying informed about their local legal realities and to be aware of trends, changes in legislation and outcome of cases.

“ICEERS has been in service of the global plant medicine community for a decade. We elevated our legal support in 2016 in response to the community’s express desire for more support. In this role I have seen firsthand the harsh reality of legal prosecution of people who have dedicated their lives to helping people. We have seen though, that these cases can be turned into opportunities for educating the judge and authorities about the important value of these plants and establish positive legal precedents,” she said.

How Does The ADF Help?

In a nutshell, the aim of the ADF is to work with defendants and their legal representation to understand the peculiarities of the legal status of these plants at international and local levels. By providing scientific evidence alongside information about the history of the use of plants by indigenous people of the world, the ADF supports defendants in painting a broader picture of how these practices are legitimate.

“B” is someone who was helped by the ADF (she shared her experience but asked to remain anonymous) and faced charges in the US related to receiving a shipment of ayahuasca. She shared the following statement about her experience:

“The ADF walked me through a very challenging, terrifying and complex process of proving my innocence in the eyes of the law after I brought ayahuasca, the master teacher plant to the United States. The ADF’s expertise was the key to getting my freedom back. With the wealth of their expertise, their knowledge about ayahuasca, their understanding of the law governing each country and with my innocent heart, we are changing the course of how the sacred plants are being seen by the US government.”

The ADF will not help just anyone who is facing trouble with the law, but has strict criteria to ensure that those who are sincere and using these plants with the best intentions are supported. They will not provide assistance to those who do not meet eligibility criteria around ethical and responsible work with ayahuasca and other plants.

B goes on to say, “The ADF is an advocate for the responsible and honorable use of plants. Their work is essential to taking the sacred teacher plants and their humble human servants out of prison. This work is of the highest importance. It is fundamental to spiritually advance human civilization, to heal the wounds of the heart and mind and to move the earth from a place of scarcity to a place of love.”

The majority of those who have had experiences with various psychoactive plants — including ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and iboga — know the benefits that are potentially life-saving to many who are struggling, and know the positive impact these practices have in reconnecting us to ourselves, our communities and the planet.

Like many advocacy programs that challenge the status quo, ICEERS’s legal defense work relies on community support to operate. If you wish to support the ADF and its efforts, please consider donating to their campaign to ensure their ability to continue supporting those who are risking their lives to serve others.

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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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.

An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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Exopolitics

New UFO Film Questions What The US Government Is Hiding

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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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.

The US recently released its highly anticipated Pentagon UAP report, but it wasn’t much more than a 9 page rundown of what has been known for decades. Regardless, for many, what was promising was that the UFO subject was being taken seriously again – and perhaps many more scientists might get involved.

For decades many have been warning about leaving UFO disclosure in the hands of a government that likes to use crisis’ or current events to expand its defense budgets. Further, why would we suddenly expect a government, who has been lying about this subject for 70 years, to suddenly come forth with the truth? What would inspire them to suddenly change their mind?

Perhaps it’s because the search for ET is an idea who’s time has truly come. We’ve reporting on this for over 13 years, and are mongst a community of researchers who have been encouraging humanity to look at the evidence for more than 70 years. It feels like an idea that human collective consciousness is more than ready to explore.

The impact the ET question has on our individual and collective worldview has the power to truly change the way we view ourselves and the meaning of life here on earth. Think of the implications answers to this question could have on how we set up and run our society as well. Technology, culture, collaboration etc – I spoke about this more in great detail in my extended interview for Greer’s. prior film Close Encounters of The Fifth Kind here.

Now, a new documentary from Dr. Steven Greer, directed by my good friend Michael Mazzola, seeks to explore what the films calls “the current government and media disinformation campaign promoting 3 big lies:”

1. We do not know what these UAPs/ UFOs are. WE DO.
2. Humans cannot make craft that can maneuver like UFOs. WE CAN and WE DO.
3. The UFOs are a threat. THEY ARE NOT.

Bold statements. Watch the film below and see what resonates most with you.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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General

PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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