It is filled with some VERY interesting info.
Here is the email and, if you want to checkout the "The New World Order Assimilation Dossier" go to this link:
Here's What You'll Learn...
* What the New World Order is really all about (it's absolutely NOT what you think it is)
* What is the purpose of the Illuminati? Again, it's not what you think...
* The #1 choice you have to make if you want to survive through the coming transition into this New World
* How your own "awakening" was manufactured.
* Why individuals like me are able to finally step "out of the shadows" and reveal this information publicly.
* How we manage to openly "initiate" new members under the guise of too-good-to-be-true marketing schemes like this one...
* The #1 reason revolutions occur and how this current revolution is unstoppable...
* Do you see a democratic society giving way to a police state? It's an illusion. (Why things are much different than they seem)
* The tipping point where society suddenly "leaps" into a new organizational structure - How this is happening right now at the highest levels.
* Information about me, the author, and my role
* Insider information about Illuminati societies never before revealed by any of the anti-NWO "authorities", truthers, paranoid conspiracy theorists, or internet media personalities.
* How the revolution was planned, and is being executed, by the Illuminati (and how all NWO resistors are simply unknowing puppets, playing their part)
* The secret modus operandi of the Illuminati which has been largely misunderstood by common citizens (until now).
* How you are likely carrying out our ultimate goal RIGHT NOW (and you're not even aware of it)
* The REAL Endgame of the New World Order, which completely contradicts all the silly "conspiracy theories" you've heard...
* Scheduled events that will happen regardless of who holds power in government or what happens in the world of finance.
* Year-by-year projections of what to expect regarding the impact on energy, food supply, environmental damage, and human health...
* Myths and illusions about the Illuminati – how Luciferianism, UFO-ology, and other distractions were planted and propagated through clever disinformation campaigns.
* How the Occult, astrology, numerology, and other mystical manipulations are used to control weak-minded individuals...
* A simple "TWO-WORD" explanation about the elaborate hoax of Illuminati control over the world found in mainstream conspiracy theories
* Why seemingly “Satanic” events like Bohemian Grove are just silly pageants staged to stir up fear and rumors...
* The real story behind the FEMA concentration camps and the 500,000 FEMA coffins on the side of a road in Georgia
* The real facts about globalization and international business expansion that began back in the 1970's
* What to expect as socialism (fascism) and libertarianism (freedom) increasingly collide through 2012...
* How the "house of cards" was set up and why it is now collapsing...
* The “Grand Deception” that has been orchestrated. How to see through it, and profit from it.
* Step-by-step breakdown of what to expect as the economic “perfect storm” rages through the financial markets: what to expect in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
* The psychological and behavioral stimulations that are being used to systematically “wake” people up. (Your jaw will drop when you discover how many people have come under our control recently)
* Charts and graphs expressing the “Mass Deprogramming” that occurred inside the "Illuminati Matrix" during the September 2008 stock market crash (and why it worked so well).
* How NWO-resistors are just as sheepish as people who are completely unaware of the New World Order
* The pieces of the puzzle you never put together about media connections to the freedom movement (you'll be dumbfounded as to how you never noticed this before now)
* Your role. What you need to do between now and 2012 to quickly ensure that you don't get sucked down into the deepest depression in history.
* Completely new perspectives on exactly how much abundance we have left in the world (HINT: it will motivate you to continue carrying out the ultimate goal of the Illuminati)
* Information about the Illuminati Lottery (an unadvertised program only for those obtaining this Dossier who are interested in learning about the benefits of joining one of the many semi-secret Illuminati societies around the world beginning to open their doors to the public)
All in all it's very interesting stuff.
My mind kept flowing in demented directions and landed on the idea of a web site called www.MichaelJacksonAutopsyPhotos.com I couldn't wait to get home and start building some sick and twisted site based around that theme.
Michael Jackson emaciated body isn't even cold yet and someone else has registered the web site name.
I'm not alone in my sickness.
= = =
Know someone who wants to know the secrets of
hypnosis, NLP and mind control? Steer them to
for the F R É É course on hypnotic language and
how to use it by Dantalion Jones.
Asking a favour? Talk to the right ear
If you are planning on asking someone to do you a favour, make sure you are speaking into their right ear.
Scientists have found we are much more likely to help someone out if they make the request in our right ear.
It is thought to be because info received through the right ear is processed by the left side of the brain.
This is more logical and better at deciphering verbal information.
Scientists in Italy tested this by asking 176 nightclubbers for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they spoke to the clubbers' right ear compared with their left.
The boffins debated keeping the findings to themselves so their friends didn't get wise to their right-ear begging ways, but eventually published a paper on the study.
Dr Luca Tommasi of the University of Chieti in central Italy, said the results confirm a right ear/left hemisphere advantage for verbal communication and that if you want to get something done - you should talk to people in their right ear.
"Our studies corroborate the idea of a common ancestry - in humans and other species - of lateralized behavior during social interactions, not only for species-specific vocal communication, but also for affective responses."
By Steve Paulson
Jun. 24, 2009 |
Robert Wright has carved out a distinct niche in American journalism. While his essays range freely across the political landscape -- from foreign policy to technology -- it's his meaty, book-length forays into evolutionary psychology and the sweep of history that have set him apart. Now his latest book goes after bigger game: God Almighty.
Actually, "The Evolution of God" never grapples with the most basic religious question -- the existence of God. Instead it charts the twists and turns of how God's personality has kept changing over the centuries, and specifically, how the rough-and-tumble politics of the ancient Middle East shaped the Abrahamic religions. The book is filled with richly observed details about the Bible and the Quran, though Wright wears his learning lightly as he guides us through several thousand years of religious history.
There's something to offend just about everyone in this book. Wright recounts in harrowing detail how the early Israelites, who'd been conquered and humiliated by the Babylonians, invoked Yahweh to wreak vengeance on their enemies. This is no God for the faint of heart! And he's no gentler on Christianity. Wright's Jesus is not the prophet of peace and love but a sometimes mean-spirited apocalyptic preacher obsessed with the approaching End Times. Islam's founder, Muhammad, comes across as much a warrior as a prophet, bent on annihilating his enemies when they cross him.
Despite all this religious mayhem, the book also shows a gentler side of the Abrahamic religions, especially when they manage to find common cause with their heathen neighbors and rival monotheists.
At first, "The Evolution of God" reads like another atheistic tract exposing the seamier side of religion. But then I came to Wright's account of the "moral imagination" and his surprising conclusion: He may not believe in God, but Wright thinks humanity is marching -- however wobbly -- toward moral truth.
In our interview, we talked about the bloody history of monotheism, what a mature religion would look like, and Wright's own spiritual awakening at a meditation retreat.
At the very beginning of your book, you describe yourself as a materialist. This raises an interesting question: Can a materialist really explain the history of religion?
I tend to explain things in terms of material causes. So when I see God changing moods, as he does a lot in the Bible and the Quran, I ask, what was going on politically or economically that might explain why the people who wrote this scripture were inclined to depict God as being in a bad mood or a good mood? Sometimes God is advocating horrific things, like annihilating nearby peoples, or sometimes he's very compassionate and loving. So I wanted to figure out why the mood fluctuates. I do think the answers lie in the facts on the ground. And that's what I mean by being a materialist.
What do you mean by the facts on the ground?
My basic premise is that when a religious group sees itself as having something to gain through peaceful interaction with another group of people, including a different religion, it will find a basis for tolerance in its scriptures and religion. When groups see each other as being in a non-zero sum relationship -- there's a possibility of a win-win outcome if they play their cards right, or a lose-lose outcome if they don't -- then they tend to warm up to one another. By contrast, if people see themselves in a zero-sum relationship with another group of people -- they can only win if the other group loses -- that brings out the intolerance and the dark side of religion. You see that in the world today. A lot of Palestinians and Israelis think they're playing a win-lose game. They think their interests are opposed and inversely correlated. In the long run, I think they're wrong. They're either both going to win or both going to lose.
And you're saying these attitudes keep fluctuating back and forth over the history of religion. It's not just a gradual movement from less tolerance to more tolerance.
There hasn't been any smooth progression toward tolerance in any of the religions. If you look at the way human beings treated each other 10,000 years ago, it was not uncommon for members of one hunter-gatherer tribe to consider strangers as subhuman and worthy of death. I try to show that all the Abrahamic religions -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- are capable of making great moral progress by extending compassion across national and ethnic and religious bounds. But there has not been any kind of smooth progression.
Do you think religions share certain core principles?
Not many. People in the modern world, certainly in America, think of religion as being largely about prescribing moral behavior. But religion wasn't originally about that at all. To judge by hunter-gatherer religions, religion was not fundamentally about morality before the invention of agriculture. It was trying to figure out why bad things happen and increasing the frequency with which good things happen. Why do you sometimes get earthquakes, storms, disease and get slaughtered? But then sometimes you get nice weather, abundant game and you get to do the slaughtering. Those were the religious questions in the beginning.
And bad things happened because the gods were against you or certain spirits had it out for you?
Yes, you had done something to offend a god or spirit. However, it was not originally a moral lapse. That's an idea you see as societies get more complex. When you have a small group of hunter-gatherers, a robust moral system is not a big challenge. Everyone knows everybody, so it's hard to conceal anything you steal. If you mess with somebody too much, there will be payback. Moral regulation is not a big problem in a simple society. But as society got more complex with the invention of agriculture and writing, morality did become a challenge. Religion filled that gap.
But it's easier to explain why bad things happen in these older religions. You can attribute it to an angry spirit. It's harder to explain evil if there's an all-powerful, all-loving God.
The problem of evil is a product of modern religion. If you believe in an omnipotent and infinitely good God, then evil is a problem. If God is really good -- and can do anything He or She wants -- why do innocent people suffer? If you've got a religion in which the gods are not especially good in the first place, or they're not omnipotent, then evil is not a problem.
Why did monotheism first develop?
My explanation for Abrahamic monotheism is different from the standard one. I believe it emerged later than most people think -- in the 6th century BCE, when Israelite elites were exiled by the Babylonians who conquered them. The spirit of monotheism was originally a lot less sunny and benign than people claim. Morally, it got better, but at its birth, monotheism was fundamentally about retribution.
Israel was a small nation in a bad neighborhood that got kicked around. This culminated in the exile, which was humiliating. It dispossessed the Israelites. It's not crazy to compare the mind-set of the Israelites then to the mind-set of today's Palestinians, who feel humiliated and dispossessed. This kind of mind-set brings out the belligerence in a religion. You see that in the Book of Isaiah, thought to be written by so-called Second Isaiah. These are the earliest scriptures in the Bible that are clearly monotheistic. You get the sense that monotheism is about punishing the various nations that have persecuted Israel.
So you see a connection between the political power of a people and the god they believed in?
In ancient times, there was always a close association between politics and gods. The victor of a war was always the nation whose god beat the other god. But the specific political dynamic that monotheism reflected at its birth was Israel's desire to punish other nations by denying the very existence of their gods, and also envisioning a day when Israel's god, Yahweh, would actually subjugate those nations.
Does Yahweh become a tool for Israelite kings to consolidate power?
You see that especially with King Josiah. Israel was polytheistic for a lot longer than most people think. A lot of things factored into its movement toward monotheism. One was a king who wanted to eliminate domestic political rivals. Those political rivals would have claimed access to various gods other than Yahweh, so King Josiah wanted to eliminate them. He killed some of them and also made it illegal to worship their gods. That gets you to the brink of monotheism. I think the exile pushes you over. You have a very belligerent, exclusive monotheism, whose very purpose is to exclude other nations from this privileged circle of God's most favored people.
King Josiah comes off rather badly in your book. He's hugely influential in the development of monotheism, but also a brutal tyrant who tried to wipe out people with competing religious beliefs.
He was an authoritarian. By the standards of the day, maybe not an unusually harsh one. Politics were pretty rough and tumble in those days. He was a nationalist, populist authoritarian -- maybe a little bit like Hugo Chavez. It was a rejection of cosmopolitanism and internationalism. By our standards, King Josiah was a bad guy. He kills a bunch of priests who had the misfortune of not focusing their devotion exclusively on Yahweh. He cleans out the temple.
For people who claim that Israel was monotheistic from the get-go and its flirtations with polytheism were rare aberrations, it's interesting that the Jerusalem temple, according to the Bible's account, had all these other gods being worshiped in it. Asherah was in the temple. She seemed to be a consort or wife of Yahweh. And there were vessels devoted to Baal, the reviled Canaanite god. So Israel was fundamentally polytheistic at this point. Then King Josiah goes on a rampage as he tries to consolidate his own power by wiping out the other gods.
However, after the exile, monotheism evolves into something much more laudable and inclusive. Now the exiles have returned to Jerusalem and Israel is in a secure neighborhood. It's part of the Persian empire and so are its neighbors. So you see a much sunnier side of God, with expressions of tolerance and compassion toward other nations. This shows that monotheism isn't intrinsically good or bad. It depends on the circumstances in which it finds itself.
This gets pretty confusing for today's religious believer. There's a vengeful God in some of these early books of the Old Testament -- a God who at times says you need to wipe out people with different religious beliefs. But within this same sacred text, you can also read about a very compassionate God.
You're right, the contrasts are extreme. At one point in the Hebrew Bible, God is saying, "I want you to annihilate nearby peoples who worship the wrong gods." He says do not leave anything alive that breathes -- not livestock, women or children. Then other times you have Israelites not only tolerating a neighbor who worships another god but using that other god to validate their desire for tolerance. So they'll say to the Ammonites, "Look, you've got your god, Chemosh. He gave you your land. We've got our god, Yahweh, who gave us our land. Can't we just get along?"
You see this kind of vacillation in the Bible and also in the Quran. In both cases, it's a question of whether people think they can gain through peaceful interaction with other people. That's also the challenge in the modern world. Barack Obama gets this. So long as Israeli settlements are expanding, you're not going to convince Palestinians that they're playing anything other than a zero-sum game with the Israelis. Obama understands it's partly a question of perception. Muslims who feel disrespected -- whether or not they really are -- will fuel religious extremism.
Let's skip ahead to the next great monotheistic religion. Why did Christianity take root?
The doctrines we associate with Christianity probably took root a little later than most people think. There's reason to doubt that Jesus is the source of the stuff we consider most laudable in Christianity: universal, transnational, transethnic love. I think that is a product of people like the Apostle Paul, who, after the crucifixion, carried the Jesus movement into the Roman Empire. Paul wanted to build a network of churches. He was a true believer, but he went about this in a very pragmatic, businesslike way. In many ways, the church served as a networking service. That was part of its appeal. The network of Christian churches made it easier for merchants to travel from city to city in the Roman empire and do business.
Paul also made some good strategic choices. There were followers of Jesus who dictated that any non-Jews who became part of the Jesus movement had to be circumcised. Adult men had to be circumcised to join the church. This was before modern anesthesia, so you can see this would be a disincentive. Paul said no, and they don't have to follow the dietary laws either. They also developed an attractive doctrine of an afterlife. The Roman empire was in a way waiting for a church to dominate it. The more Christians there were, the more valuable it was to join that network. When Christianity reached critical mass, then its dominance of the Roman Empire became almost inevitable.
So later Christians, Paul among others, really institutionalized Christianity. What about the historical Jesus? What do we know about him?
It's popular to say he said the good stuff and not the less good stuff. I think it's the opposite.
He's typically seen as the great prophet of peace and love.
Yeah. But the fact is, the Sermon on the Mount, which is a beautiful thing, does not appear in Mark, which was the first written gospel. And these views are not attributed to Jesus in the letters of Paul, which are the earliest post-crucifixion documents we have. You see Paul develop a doctrine of universal love, but he's not, by and large, attributing this stuff to Jesus. So, too, with "love your enemies." Paul says something like love your enemies, but he doesn't say Jesus said it. It's only in later gospels that this stuff gets attributed to Jesus. This will seem dispiriting to some people to hear that Jesus wasn't the great guy we thought he was. But to me, it's actually more inspiring to think that the doctrines of transnational, transethnic love were products of a multinational, imperial platform. Throughout human history, as social organization grows beyond ethnic bounds, it comes to encompass diverse ethnicities and nations. And if it develops doctrines that bring us closer to moral truth, like universal love, that is encouraging. I think you see it in all three religions.
If Jesus was not the prophet of love and tolerance that he's commonly thought to be, what kind of person was he?
I think he was your typical Jewish apocalyptic preacher. I'm not the first to say that. Bart Ehrman makes these kinds of arguments, and it goes back to Albert Schweitzer. Jesus was preaching that the kingdom of God was about to come. He didn't mean in heaven. He meant God's going to come down and straighten things out on Earth. And he had the biases that you'd expect a Jewish apocalyptic preacher to have. He doesn't seem to have been all that enthusiastic about non-Jews. There's one episode where a woman who's not from Israel wants him to use his healing powers on her daughter. He's pretty mean and basically says, no, we don't serve dogs here. He compares her to a dog. In the later gospels, that conversation unfolds so you can interpret it as a lesson in the value of faith. But in the earliest treatment, in Mark, it's an ugly story. It's only because she accepts her inferior status that Jesus says, OK, I will heal your daughter.
But wasn't Jesus revolutionary because he made no distinctions between social classes? The poor were just as worthy as the rich.
It's certainly plausible that his following included poor people. But I don't think it extended beyond ethnic bounds. And I don't think it was that original. In the Hebrew Bible, you see a number of prophets who were crying out for justice on behalf of the poor. So it wasn't new that someone would have a constituency that includes the dispossessed. I'm sure in many ways Jesus was a laudable person. But I think more good things are attributed to him than really bear weight.
So you are distinguishing between Jesus and Christ -- Jesus the flesh and blood historical figure as opposed to how he was later represented as Christ, the son of God.
That's right. There's no evidence that Jesus thought he should be equated with God. He may have thought he was a messiah, but "messiah" in those days didn't mean what it's come to mean to Christians. It meant a powerful figure who leads his people to victory, perhaps a successful revolt against the Romans. But Christ as we think of Christ -- the son of God -- that's something that emerges in the later gospels and reaches its climax in John, which is the last of the four Gospels to be written. So the story of what Jesus represents in theology did not take shape during his lifetime.
Do you see Islam as essentially an offshoot of the Judeo-Christian tradition or as something fundamentally new?
Muhammad was trying to create a synthetic religion, drawing on the existing traditions of Judaism and Christianity. He says very nice things in the Quran about Christians and Jesus, though he can't quite accept the idea that Jesus was the son of God. He also made great overtures toward Jews. He established a fast that was essentially Yom Kippur. The ban on eating pork probably comes as a reflection of Judaism. There's every indication that he hoped to play a successful non-zero-sum game with Christians and Jews and draw them into a larger religion. He insisted that his God was their God. But it didn't work out. Apparently, not that many Jews bought into his mission.
In the standard telling, once Muhammad was ruling the city of Medina and he'd become a statesman as well as a prophet, some Jewish tribes betrayed him and were collaborating with the enemy. So there was a very violent falling out. And he expelled Jewish tribes and in one case killed the adult males. But there's no doubt that the origins of Islam are rooted in the existing traditions of Christianity and Judaism.
You make the point that the Quran is a different kind of sacred text than the Bible. It was probably written over the course of two decades, while the stories collected in the Bible were written over centuries. That's why the Bible is such a diverse document.
We think of the Bible as a book, but in ancient times it would have been thought of as a library. There were books written by lots of different people, including a lot of cosmopolitan elites. You also see elements of Greek philosophy. The Quran is just one guy talking. In the Muslim view, he's mediating the word of God. He's not especially cosmopolitan. He is, according to Islamic tradition, illiterate. So it's not surprising that the Quran didn't have the intellectual diversity and, in some cases, the philosophical depth that you find in the Bible. I do think he was actually a very modern thinker. Muhammad's argument for why you should be devoted exclusively to this one God is very modern.
Do you think it's been harder for today's Muslims to accept liberal interpretations of the Quran because it's linked so directly to Muhammad, while the Bible isn't so closely associated with Moses or Jesus?
Yes, and also because Muhammad spent a certain amount of his career as a politician and a military leader. There are parts of the Quran that are a military manual, which advocate killing the enemy. Of course, the Bible has these things too, but they're a smaller portion of the overall Bible. But when you look at that part of the Quran, it's much more subtle than a lot of people think.
Take the famous verse "Kill the infidels wherever you find them." Actually, it's a mistranslation. It's "Kill the polytheists." So it probably wouldn't include Christians and Jews. If you look at the verse in context, it seems that he exempts those polytheists who are on the side of the Muslims in this particular war. So all that passage says is "Kill the people who are enemies in this war." It's not fundamentally about religion. In this case and others, it complies with my basic argument: When people see themselves in a non-zero-sum relationship with other people, they will be tolerant of them and of their religion. Muhammad probably exemplifies that better than any single figure in ancient Abrahamic history.
Your book focuses on the Abrahamic religions. But aren't Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism actually more open to the idea that other religions can also be the path to truth and salvation?
Yes, it's not uncommon in Asia for somebody to be a little bit of a Buddhist and a little bit of a Taoist. It's certainly possible for religion to be non-exclusive. Parts of Buddhism are exemplary. In some ways it was the earliest religion to recognize the fundamental problem of being human. The challenge is to change the already existing character of a religion. The world is not full of Buddhists. And even Buddhist monks have gone on rampages. There is no religion that is always a religion of peace. But in Buddhism, you're seeing some very interesting developments. The Western, quasi-secular Buddhism is an interesting adaptation to a scientific age because it makes relatively few claims about the supernatural.
You've written a secular history of how religion has been used by various political movements to consolidate power. But you're ignoring the power of personal spiritual experience -- what some people would call revelation. Can you explain religion without acknowledging the importance of actual religious experience?
I do think religious experience has played an important part in religion. I think the Apostle Paul felt genuinely inspired. I myself have had profound experiences that could be characterized as religious. I certainly had some when I was young and a believing Christian. And I've had some since then. I did a one-week silent meditation retreat and had very profound experiences.
What kinds of experiences?
As the week wore on, the walls between me and other people and the rest of reality broke down a little. I became much less judgmental. I remember at one point looking at a weed and thinking, I can't believe I've been killing weeds because they're as pretty as anything else. Who put this label on weeds? And that's just a metaphor for what was changing in my consciousness. It was completely profound by the end of the week. Of course, a week later it wore off and I was a jerk again. But I think it was a movement toward moral truth. The truth is that I'm not special, and you're not special.
That is the key adaptation that religions have to make in the modern world -- to make people appreciate the moral value of people in circumstances very different from their own. That is a move toward moral truth. It's a fascinating feature of the world we live in that as technology expands the realm of social organization, its coherence and integrity depends on moral progress.
There is another way to understand religion. Certain influential people have intense and profound spiritual experiences, which are later codified and turned into systems of belief for their followers. Do you accept this distinction between spiritual experience and organized religion?
I'm against the idea that there was a golden age of spiritual experience, but then at some point organized religion corrupted everything. I try to show that shamans are as political as anyone and were as self-serving as modern religious leaders. At the same time, there are valid spiritual experiences. I've had them.
But you don't acknowledge that there's anything transcendent about spiritual experience -- any communication with a deeper, alternative reality.
No, I do think the experience I had at that meditation retreat was transcendent. It removed me from the ordinary trappings of mundane consciousness. There is a moral axis to the universe. If we don't make moral progress, chaos ensues. If only in that sense, we are tethered to a moral axis. It raises legitimate questions as to whether the whole system was in fact set up by some being, something you could call a divinity.
It's really interesting to hear you say there's moral truth. That's not the kind of thing we usually hear from someone who calls himself a materialist.
Maybe not, but materialism has gotten a bad name. You can be a materialist and still believe that some larger purpose is unfolding through the history of life on this planet. And you can think of the source of that purpose -- however hard it is to conceive of that source -- in favorable terms. You can use the term "divine," if you want. I do believe there's evidence of some larger purpose unfolding; you'd think religious people would like that. On the other hand, I take a very skeptical view of the claims to special revelation that religions make. You would think my account of religious history would be to the liking of atheists and agnostics.
So we can believe there's an underlying moral truth without believing in God.
The phrase that philosophers use is "moral realism." Do you think morality is in some sense a real thing out there? It's a very elusive question. What I feel sure of is that there's a moral axis to the universe, a moral order, without believing in God.
Are you also saying we can be religious without believing in God?
By some definitions, yes. It's hard to find a definition of religion that encompasses everything we call religion. The definition I like comes from William James. He said, "Religious belief consists of the belief that there is an unseen order and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting to that order." In that sense, you can be religious without believing in God. In that sense, I'm religious. On the God question, I'm not sure. But I can call myself religious and have a fully scientific worldview.
You write, "Religion needs to mature more if the world is going to survive in good shape -- and for that matter, if religion is going to hold the respect of intellectually critical people." How does it need to mature?
You can't believe the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. There's a whole list of things that are not compatible with modern science.
That's obvious. But some people would also say the idea of a personal God does not square with the scientific worldview today.
It's not a logical impossibility that there's a personal God out there. It's not even quite impossible that God intervenes when the scientists are not measuring stuff, when nobody's watching. But if you're going to have a religion that's broadly reconcilable with a scientific worldview and going to win acceptance among intellectual elites, then it's not going to involve an interventionist God. There are certainly people who find tremendous reassurance and guidance from religions that don't involve a god of any kind, and here I'm thinking about secular Buddhism.
Or you have a Christian theologian like Paul Tillich who tried to get away from an anthropomorphic God. He talked about God as "the ground of being."
Of course, he got accused of sugarcoating what was in fact something like agnosticism or atheism. It's easier to get reassurance by thinking there's some powerful being looking out for you than for something called "the ground of being." But for my money, if you're interested in hanging on to some kind of religious worldview that's viable in the modern world, you have to make that effort. I haven't tried to work out any detailed program here. It's something I'd like to think about in the future.
At the end of your book, you say the great divide in modern thinking is between people who think there is some divine source of meaning -- a higher purpose in the universe -- and those people who don't. Is this different than the usual dichotomy between believers and atheists?
It's a little different. I'm trying to get members of the different Abrahamic religions to realize that if they want to have an enemy, there's a bigger one than each other. I don't want them to declare jihad on atheists, but it might be good for them to realize, in the modern intellectual battle, they all have something in common: not only a specific Abrahamic God, but belief in a transcendent source of meaning. And I'd like to add that there are a lot of other people who don't subscribe to your notion of God, maybe not to any notion of God, who do believe in a transcendent source of meaning and a larger purpose that's unfolding.
As opposed to the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, who famously said, "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless."
I think he's wrong. But it's not surprising. Physicists don't think much about the animate world. So he probably hasn't given a lot of thought to the human condition and the direction of human history. But I'd say even the realm of physics -- just the weirdness of quantum physics -- should instill in all of us a little humility. It should make us aware that human consciousness, designed by natural selection to do really mundane things, is clearly not capable of grasping some ultimate things that are probably out there.
-- By Steve Paulson
An "interesting" book ...
Dr. David Kessler, 58, says that when he looks at a huge plate of French fries, he knows that if he starts eating them, he won't stop until he's wolfed them all down. Yes, even the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, who once oversaw the nation's health, struggles to eat well like the rest of us.
In his new best-selling book, "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite," Kessler, a San Francisco Bay Area pediatrician, explains why certain foods loaded with fat, sugar and salt exert such a pull, despite our best intentions to avoid them. As he discusses the biology that leads to scarfing down a plate of fries, he delves into such puzzles as why the French fry binger is more likely to remember the pleasant stimulation of the fries' salt, fat, texture and flavor than the stomachache and self-recrimination that follow it.
The former dean of medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco, Kessler, who is also a lawyer, contends that the American food culture, including our mores about when, where and how often we eat, plays a large role in fostering what he calls "conditioned hypereating." He argues that the government, food industry and individual diner all have parts to play in combating that plate of fries. While Kessler is not offering a weight-loss solution or proposing some chimerical healthy eating plan, his book strips away the allure of some of the most appetizing and unhealthy foods. I spoke with Dr. Kessler about why so many of us can't eat just one.
What do you think is the biggest misconceptions about why people overeat?
That it's a matter of willpower, that you can just use self-control. I think a lot of people don't understand why it's so hard to resist food.
What is going on in the brain when you start thinking about a very desirable food, like a potato chip or a chocolate-chip cookie?
The power of food comes not only from its taste but from that anticipation. That anticipation is based on prior experience, learning and memory. Something's going to set off that anticipation, those thoughts of wanting.
When I'm flying into San Francisco airport, as soon as the plane hits the ground, I start thinking about Chinese dumplings at the airport food court because I've been there before. It creates that arousal, that slight anxiety. And what does that do? It grabs our attention. It occupies our working memory. Our brains get activated. We can now look at the imaging of which circuits and areas of the brain get activated, and we see in millions of people that anticipation results in excess activation of the amygdala, part of the brain's reward circuits.
What happens once you start eating?
In people who have a hard time controlling their eating, their brain circuits remain elevated and activated until all the food is gone. Then the next time you get cued, you do it again. Every time you engage in this cycle you strengthen the neural circuits. The anticipation gets strengthened. It's in part because of ambivalence. Do you ever have an internal dialogue? "Boy, that would taste great. No, I shouldn't have it. I really want that. And I shouldn't do it."
That sort of ambivalence increases the reward value of the food. It increases the anxiety, it increases the arousal, it keeps it in working memory. We're wired to focus on the most salient stimuli in our environment. For some people it could be alcohol or illegal drugs or nicotine or sex or gambling. For many of us it's food.
Are you saying if you give in to the craving and eat whatever the desirable food is, it's more likely that you're going to do it again?
It's basic learning. When you get cued, the brain gets activated. There's an arousal. There's increased dopamine. That dopamine focuses your attention. It narrows your focus. Of all the stimuli in the environment, why does that chocolate-chip cookie have such power?
We're wired to focus on the most salient stimuli. What do I mean? If a bear walked in right now, you're going to stop focusing on this interview. It's part of being human. It's what's made us successful as a species. You make food hyper-palatable with fat, sugar and salt. It's very stimulating and it becomes the most salient stimuli for many people.
What makes a food hyper-palatable? Even if you like apples, you're probably likely to eat one and not gorge yourself on four more. Where if you like nachos, you might eat way more than you had intended to when you started. What is the difference between these foods?
It starts with how many chews there are in a bite. If you take a stimulus and you get a sensory hit and it disappears, what do you do immediately next?
You take another bite.
Yes. We're eating, in essence, adult baby food. Twenty years ago the average chews per bite was about 20, now it's two or three. The food goes down in a whoosh and it's very stimulating. It's layered and loaded with fat, sugar and salt. It's as if you have a roller coaster going on in your mouth. You get stimulated, it disappears instantly and you reach for more.
Of fat, sugar and salt, which is the most potent in this way?
I published a paper called "Deconstructing the Vanilla Milkshake" with my colleagues at Washington State University. We asked: Is it the sugar, is it the fat, is it the flavor? Sugar is the main driver, but when you add fat to, it's synergistic. So it's more potent.
But it's not any one substance. Nicotine itself is only a moderate reinforcer. But add the smoke, throat scratch, crinkling of the cellophane pack, color of the pack, imagery that was created 40 years ago that it was cool to smoke, emotional gloss of advertising, and what did we end up with? We ended up with a deadly addictive product.
So I give you a package of sugar and say, "Go have a good time," you're going to look at me and say, "What are you talking about?" But I add fat, I add texture, I add temperature, I add color and I add flavor. I put it on every corner and say, "It's socially acceptable to eat any time." I say, "You can do it with your friends. You can do it at the end of this day. You can relieve any tension." We're eating in a disorganized and chaotic fashion. And we're being bombarded with the cues.
We make food into entertainment. We make it into a food carnival. Go into a modern American restaurant: the colors, the TVs, the monitors, the music. You do it with your friends. We've taken sugar and added all these multiple levels of stimuli. What do we end up with? Probably one of the great public health crises of our day.
Doesn't fat make food easier to swallow without much chewing?
Absolutely. It also enhances the sensory aspect in multiple ways. I used to think that I was eating for nutrition. I was eating to satisfy myself, to sustain myself. We're eating for stimulation.
How has the scientific understanding of overeating changed in the last few decades?
Many people still think the reason that they keep on gaining weight is their metabolism. There may be some contribution of metabolism to body weight but it's relatively small. What's really driving consumption is what's going on in your brain.
Going back through the 1960s, weight was relatively stable. It was flat over an adult lifetime. You gain a few pounds from ages 20 to 40. You level off. You'd lose a few pounds in your 60s and 70s. But weight was relatively flat throughout your adult years.
Now, decades later, weight continues to increase, even in the adult years. But what's most striking is that you enter your adult years -- just look at the weight of 20-year-olds -- when you begin your adulthood, you're much, much bigger on average.
We used to think our bodies would regulate our weight, that there was a set point. That's why if we went on a diet we would gain it back, because we had a predetermined weight. But if that were the case we wouldn't all be getting bigger and bigger.
There may be what's called a settling point. But a lot of that settling point is driven by how your brain reacts to these cues and how sensitive you are to responding to your environment. The availability of food affects your settling point. There's no predetermined genetic set point.
Why are diets so prone to failure?
The reason diets don't work in the long run is if you have that old circuitry, that old learning, and you respond to those cues. Sure, I can take you out of your environment. I can give you meal replacements, or you can white-knuckle it, and for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, resist eating a lot of food, and you can lose weight, no question about that.
Now your diet's over. I put you back into your environment. You still have that old learning, that old circuitry. What's going to happen? You're going to get bombarded with the cues again and you're going to gain it back if you have not laid down new circuitry and new learning on top of that old circuitry.
What do people who struggle with overeating have in common?
Loss of control in the face of palatable foods and a hard time resisting foods; a lack of feeling full and a hard time stopping eating; a preoccupation or thinking about foods between meals. Even when you're eating certain foods, you're thinking about what you're going to eat next.
Do those people who experience what you call conditioned hyper-eating experience more pleasure than other people?
No! That's interesting. It's not that there's greater pleasure. It's just that they have greater sensitivity to the cues, greater thoughts of wanting, and that stimulates and activates their brain.
So their anticipation is greater?
Yes. Absolutely. And it's much harder for them to resist. They don't taste food any differently than anyone else but they have a much greater struggle with the anticipation of food.
When you talk about this being conditioned, do we know if some people were born with this capacity, or if it was just created over time by their environment, or are we not really sure?
We don't know which one weighs more heavily, genetics or the environment. But if you look at 2-year-olds, they compensate for their eating. If you give them more calories at lunch, they'll eat fewer calories for the remainder of the day. By the time these kids are 4 and 5, they lose the ability to compensate. Given the exposure to fat, sugar and salt when they're 3, 4 and 5, the reward pathways of the brain take over and hijack the normal body's homeostatic mechanism to regulate itself. It used to be that 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds compensated, and fewer of them compensate today. That kind of change suggests environmental forces, that learning has a profound consequence.
When you think about it, we're conditioning the brains of millions of our kids and that conditioning, that neural circuitry laid down after exposure to highly palatable foods, lasts a lifetime. It has profound consequences not only for the individual but also for public policy.
Why do you think there's so much guilt, shame and blame when it comes to talking about overeating? Because people don't understand their own behavior?
I didn't understand my own behavior and I was commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. I regulated food. I was trained as a physician. I didn't realize: Why does that chocolate-chip cookie have such power over me? Is it something about that chocolate-chip cookie? Or is it how my brain encodes that representation of that chocolate-chip cookie?
What do you think the government should be doing to regulate the food industry to create a better food environment?
The government has two major roles: greater education and certainly greater disclosure. When you recognize that the food that's being sold is hijacking the brains not just of adults but of kids, that has implications for school lunches, for vending machines in schools and farm subsidies.
What part of that is up to the individual?
I think individuals have to protect themselves. You have to understand your brain's being activated. You have to understand when you walk down the street that you're being bombarded. You have to understand that these are false signals. It's going to seem like you're hungry all the time.
The thoughts of wanting to eat overwhelm you, whether or not you're hungry?
Absolutely. Those thoughts of wanting are very real to me. My brain's being activated, the raw pathways to the brain are sending : You know you want that food!
This might have been a good adaptive strategy in the past. But now it's backfiring, right?
Those who can focus on the most salient stimuli for food when there was a scarcity of food would remember the location, they would remember the cues, they would be able to get the food to survive. Just think about it: Take a bird, an insect. How are they going to find the food? The location, the cues, being able to have their brain wired so that those cues trigger where the food is. That's very much an adaptive strategy for survival.
Do people of all sizes and weights have this tendency to overeat?
Absolutely. Our data suggests that a greater percentage of obese individuals and overweight individuals have this. But a significant percentage of lean people have it. If you say to them -- "Do you have a hard time resisting? Do you think about foods? Do you have a hard time stopping?" -- a significant percentage of lean people say, "That's me."
The question is, how have they stayed lean? For many of them the fact is, they're in torment. It's a constant struggle. Others have laid down new learning, and that's made it easier. They develop rules for themselves that they follow. Then, you're not constantly eating in a chaotic, disorganized way. You're not constantly being cued. Your brain's not being constantly activated. But those rules have to be unambiguous, and they're not easy to follow.
In the end, they have what's called a critical perceptual shift. They look at food differently. How do you really cool a stimulus? How do you decrease the anticipation of the food, the power of the food to activate, to grab attention? The answer to that is you view the stimulus differently.
If you look at a huge plate of fries and say "That's my friend, that's going to make me feel better, I want that," that's only going to increase the level of anticipation. You look at that huge plate of fries and say, "That's not my friend, that's going to make me feel pretty crummy in 20 minutes. I don't want that," and you internalize that, then you can decrease the anticipation.
But if you have any doubts, if you have this back-and-forth debate in your head -- "Boy that's great. I shouldn't have that" -- that only increases the anticipation more.
What's the great success with tobacco? Did we change the product? No. We changed how the product was perceived. It used to be perceived as something that was glamorous, something that people wanted to do that was cool. We changed the perception, the social norm. It's now viewed as a deadly, disgusting, addictive product. Where it was once positively valenced, as scientists call it, we made it negatively valenced.
But isn't the problem with that comparison is that it's the quantity of food that makes it bad for your health. If you could just eat a few bites of nachos, it wouldn't be that bad. So how can you look at a plate of nachos like it's a cigarette?
You're exactly right. You can't demonize food. We need food. So how do you control it? Tobacco was easy compared to food. Some people -- and I'm not advocating it -- become vegetarian. That makes it easier. They look at animal fats and proteins and say, "I don't want that." Some people look at food and say, "That's highly processed, I don't want that. I want real food." Some people look at large portions and say, "I don't want that, that looks disgusting."
I'm not a food purist. Don't get me wrong. If you want to go into Kentucky Fried Chicken and have three chicken strips, that's fine. If you want to eat a hamburger and it's 500 calories, that's fine. It's when you take that 500 calories and make it into 1,000, 1,500 or 2,000. That's where the real damage is done.
But how is laying down new learning or creating rules any different than the call to have willpower?
Rules can help calm down the brain activation. If you say to a smoker, "You can't smoke for the next four hours. It's impossible," that's calming. On a plane, no smoker opens the emergency exit mid-flight and says, "I need a cigarette." It's because they know it's impossible. It cools down the stimuli.
I got to the point where I said, "I'm not going to eat French fries because I know if I eat them, I'm going to finish all of them." There's just no way I'm going to be able to resist. And now when I look at French fries I don't have thoughts of anticipation. My brain doesn't get activated, because I've been able to internalize that rule and I follow that rule and it becomes automatic.
Is that the best way to make super-tempting food lose its power over you?
It's a very important question. Now that we know the brain is becoming activated and hijacked, the question is, What's the best way to cool off the stimulus? Do you want to take away the cue entirely and not expose the person? Or do you want to expose the person and say you can't eat it, and decondition that way? We don't have the science yet on what's the best way, the most effective way, to cool the stimulus.
It also depends on what kind of state you're in. Once that old circuitry is laid down, if you stress me, if I'm fatigued, if I feel deprived, and you put that chocolate-chip cookie in front of me, I'm going to eat it.
Other times, if my super cortical control, my frontal lobes are working, I'm not stressed, I'm not fatigued, I'm not deprived, that old circuitry is not going to show its head. It's part of being human. We haven't explained that to people. There are times when we're going to fall off the wagon and we'd be less than human if we did not.
And that's OK?
It's the way it's going to be. It's not perfect. Once you have that old circuitry, that old learning there, it's going to show its head sometimes. And we just have to recognize and accept that there's nothing wrong with it. It's just the way our brains are designed. When we're stressed, when we're cued, the reward value of food increases. In some instances, we're eating just to calm ourselves down. It's very real.
What people need to do is to recognize what's driving their behavior. It's not that they can be perfect and never engage in that behavior, but if they know what's driving that behavior, then they can at least take steps to plan for it and make it less harmful.
Isn't the food industry's entire business model built on catering to, and encouraging the kind of hyper-eating you're describing? Can we really expect them to change any of their practices?
It does go against their business model. But where I think that it crosses the line, where we can expect and should expect them to show some corporate citizenry, is to control portion size. The fact is, once your brain gets stimulated, you're going to eat everything in that package. As they make the package bigger, we're going to consume more. Knowing that, at least they can put some brakes on.
The other thing is greater disclosure. Just taking fat, sugar and salt and putting it in a lot of different forms, a lot of different colors, and selling it constantly, doesn't contribute to the nutrition of the nation. Maybe that's asking for more than we can expect. You know the joke in the industry: "When in doubt, just add bacon and cheese to it."
-- By Katharine Mieszkowski
(Also known as way to f*** up your life.)
Type 1 Thinking Errors: Unwilling to Accept Responsibility
• Denial. The individual pretends it didn’t happen, and might even try to fool himself into thinking it didn’t happen. If he denies it ever happened, maybe it will go away.
• Shifting the Focus. The individual tries to turn people’s minds and attention onto something else, and distract them from the real issue.
• Blaming Others. The individual blames the problem and his own behavior, on someone or something else.
• Blaming the Victim. The individual blames the victim, as though he wasn’t at fault, and somehow the victim brought it on him/herself.
• Intellectualization. The individual tries to use ideas and intellect to sidetrack issues and out-think the opposition, finding excuses and explanations.
• Innocence/Playing Dumb. The individual acts as though he didn’t know it was wrong or against the rules, or pretends he didn’t know better.
• Rationalization. The individual finds reasons, explanations, and excuses for what he did.
• Justification. The individual find reasons to explain the “correctness” of what he did, as though it was okay.
• Minimization. The individual downplays the importance of what happened, or its meaning.
• Dismissal. The individual disregards, ignores, or brushes aside what happened or other people’s feelings as though they don’t matter.
• Angelic Thinking. This is a victim stance, in which the individual portrays himself as a wonderful person, incapable of breaking the rules or harming someone.
Type 2 Thinking Errors: Self Defeating
• Catastrophic Thinking. The individual magnifies the impact of negative experiences to extreme proportions.
• Hopelessness. The individual assumes that nothing will ever work out, and that things will always go wrong.
• Over-Generalization. Something goes wrong in one situation, and the individual applies it to all situations.
• Black-and-White Thinking. The individual sees things as “all-or-nothing;” things are either one way or the other.
• Oughts, Shoulds, and Musts. The individual feels life ought to be a certain way, or he should do something, or things must go the way he wants them to.
• Negative Predictions/Fortune Telling. The individual predicts failure in situations yet to happen because things have gone wrong before.
• Projection. The individual makes negative assumptions about the thoughts, intentions, or motives of another person, which are often “projections” of his own thoughts and feelings about the situation.
• Mind Reading. The individual feels that others should know how he feel or what he wants even though he doesn’t tell them.
• Labeling. The individual labels himself or someone else negatively, way, which shapes the way he sees himself or that other person, often for simplistic reasons.
• Personalization. The individual treats a negative event as a personal reflection or confirmation of his own worthlessness.
• Negative Focus. The individual focuses mainly on negative events, memories, or implications while ignoring more neutral or positive information about himself or a situation.
• Avoidance. The individual avoids thinking about emotionally difficult subjects because they feel overwhelming or insurmountable.
• Emotional Misreasoning. The individual draws an irrational and incorrect conclusion based on the way he feels at that moment.
Type 3 Thinking Errors: Narcissistic
• Life is too hard. The individual feels that life is just too unfair, and somehow owes him more.
• Entitled. The individual feels as though he deserves good things, even if he doesn’t have to work for them.
• Victim Stance. The individual feels as though he’s the victim of the whole world, and that he’s the one who’s been harmed.
• Grandiose. The individual feels as though he’s better or more important than other people, or others should and do look up to him.
• Revenge. The individual feels as though he’s been wronged and is allowed (or entitled) to get his revenge.
• Personalization. The individual feels as though the rules are applied only to him, instead of everyone, and that people and things are against him personally.
• One Upsmanship. The individual feels he has to do better than everyone else, and show everyone that he’s the best.
One of 10 Cognitive Thinking Errors? 
And what to do about them.
Based on the work of Aaron Beck and others, in Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David Burns outlines 10 common mistakes in thinking, which he calls cognitive distortions.
1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING - Also called Black and White Thinking - Thinking of things in absolute terms, like “always”, “every” or “never”. For example, if your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure. Few aspects of human behavior are so absolute. Nothing is 100%. No one is all bad, or all good, we all have grades. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “Has there ever been a time when it was NOT that way?” (all or nothing thinking does not allow exceptions so if even one exception can be found, it’s no longer “all” or “nothing”)
* Ask yourself, “Never?” or “Always?” (depending upon what you are thinking)
* Investigate the Best-Case vs Worst-Case Scenario NLP Meta program
2. OVERGENERALIZATION - Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations. For example, you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat: “She yelled at me. She’s always yelling at me. She must not like me.”
To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Catch yourself overgeneralizing
* Say to yourself, “Just because one event happened, does not necessarily
mean I am (or you are or he/she is…[some way of being])”
* Investigate the Big Chunk vs. Little Chunk NLP Meta program
3. MENTAL FILTER - Focusing exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting, aspects of something while ignoring the rest. For example, you selectively hear the one tiny negative thing surrounded by all the HUGE POSITIVE STUFF. Often this includes being associated in negative (”I am so stupid!”), and dissociated in positive (”You have to be pretty smart to do my job”). To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Learn to look for the silver lining in every cloud
* Count up your negatives vs your positives - for every negative event,
stack up a positive against it. Make a list of both negative and positive
character attributes and behaviors.
* Investigate the Associated/Dissociated NLP Meta program - seek to be associated in positive and dissociated in negative.
4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE - Continually “shooting down” positive experiences for arbitrary, ad hoc reasons. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences. The good stuff doesn’t count because the rest of your life is a miserable pile of doo-doo. “That doesn’t count because my life sucks!” To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “So what does count then?” “In what way?”
* Accept compliments with a simple, “Thank you.”
* Make lists of personal strengths and accomplishments
5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS - Assuming something negative where there is actually no evidence to support it. Two specific subtypes are also identified:
* Mind reading - assuming the intentions of others. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check it out. To beat this one, you need to let go of your need for approval - you can’t please everyone all the time. Ask yourself, “How do you know that…?” Check out “supporting” facts with an open mind.
* Fortune telling - anticipating that things will turn out badly, you feel convinced that your prediction is an already established fact. To beat this, ask, “How do you know it will turn out in that way?” Again, check out the facts.
* To beat this cognitive distortion:
o When the conclusion is based on a prior cause (for example, the last time your spouse behaved in this manner s/he said it was because s/he felt angry so s/he must be angry this time, too), ask yourself, “What evidence do you have to support your notion that s/he feels…” “How did you arrive at that understanding” “What other conclusion might this evidence support?”
o When the conclusion is based on a future consequence (”I’ll die for sure if she keeps harping on this…”) Ask yourself, “How does this conclusion serve you?” and “If you continue to think that way… [what will happen to you]?” and “Imagine 5 years from now…” (Future Pace)
6. MAGNIFICATION & MINIMIZATION - Exaggerating negatives and understating positives. Often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negatives understated. There is one subtype of magnification/catastrophizing - focusing on the worst possible outcome, however unlikely, or thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just uncomfortable: “I can’t stand this.” To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “What would happen if you did [stand this]?”
* Ask yourself, “How specifically is [this/that/he/she] so good/too much/too many/etc. or so bad/not good enough/too little/etc.?”
* After asking question b., ask yourself, “Compared to what/whom?”
7. EMOTIONAL REASONING - Making decisions and arguments based on how you feel rather than objective reality. People who allow themselves to get caught up in emotional reasoning can become completely blinded to the difference between feelings and facts. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* NLP Pattern Interrupts and new anchors are the most powerful state changers - interrupt anything negative: “X makes me mad” “How does what I do cause you to choose to feel mad?” Interrupt: “How could you believe that?”
8. SHOULDING - (Necessity) Must, Can’t thinking. Shoulding is focusing on what
you can’t control. For example, you try to enlighten another’s unconscious - they should get it. Concentrating on what you think “should” or ought to be rather than the actual situation you are faced with will simply stress you out. What you choose to do, and then do, will (to some degree, at least) change the world. What you “should” do will just make you miserable.
To beat this cognitive distortion
* Ask, “What would it feel like, look like, sound like if you could/did or could not/did not?” or, “What would happen if you did/didn’t?” or, “What prevents you from just doing it then?” or, “What rule or law says you/I SHOULD?” or, “Why should I?” or, “Could you just prefer instead?” or, “Why SHOULD I/YOU?”
* Investigate the Match vs Mismatch NLP Meta program
9. LABELLING and MISLABELING - Related to overgeneralization, explaining by naming. Rather than describing the specific behavior, you assign a label to someone or yourself that puts them in absolute and unalterable negative terms. This is a logic level error in that we make a logic leap from behavior/action (”he called me a name…”) to identity (”therefore, he’s a jerk”). To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask yourself, “What could be a better way of looking at this that would truly empower you/me?” or, “Is there another possible more positive meaning for this?”
* When you recognize you are labeling or are being labeled, ask, “How specifically?” Example: “How specifically am I a jerk?” - which will evoke behaviors rather than identity.
* Remember who you/others are in spite of behaviors: “Even though I failed the test, I’m still a worthy person.”
* Investigate NLP Logic Levels
10. PERSONALIZATION & BLAME - Burns calls this distortion “the mother of guilt.” Personalization occurs when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. For example, “My son is doing poorly in school. I must be a bad mother…” and “What’s that say about you as a person?” - instead of trying to pinpoint the cause of the problem so that she could be helpful to her child. When another woman’s husband beat her, she told herself, “lf only I were better in bed, he wouldn’t beat me.” Personalization leads to guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy. On the flip side of personalization is blame. Some people blame other people or their circumstances for their problems, and they overlook ways that they might be contributing to the problem: “The reason my marriage is so lousy is because my spouse is totally unreasonable.” - instead of investigating their own behavior and beliefs that can be changed. To beat this cognitive distortion:
* Ask, “How do you know [I am to blame]?” “SAYS WHO?”
* Ask, “Who/what else is involved in this problem?”
* Ask yourself, “Realistically, how much of this problem is actually my
* Ask, “If there was no blame involved here, what would be left for me/us
to look at?”
* Investigate the NLP Self/Others Reference Meta program
These 10 cognitive errors are all habits of thinking that are deeply ingrained. The good news is, like any habit, these patterns of thinking can be broken and discarded through awareness and practice.
= = =
To that list of empowering thinking, I’d add the Ecology Test. Whenever confronted with some fact or opinion, just think “Will this serve me/us well”?
It’s a good test of toxic thinking.= = =
John Phillips and Joseph Bennette
Captive Hearts: Captive Minds, by Madeleine Tobias and Janja Lalich, Hunter House, 1994; pgs 101-103
Take Back Your Life Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships, by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David Burns, M.D.
Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement, by Anthony Robbins, Joseph McClendon
Encyclopedia of Systemic Neuro-Linguistic Programming and NLP New Coding, by Robert Dilts & Judith DeLozier
Richard Bandler is known worldwide for his ability to captivate audiences and to change people's lives for the better. His insights into the human mind have undeniably ignited the worldwide phenomenon of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and catapulted and transformed the field of personal change forever.
Conversations with Richard Bandler recounts professional and personal revelations between Richard Bandler and a young NLP practitioner and Bandler protégé, Owen Fitzpatrick, who is on a quest to discover the real-life application of what Bandler defines as "personal freedom," or what is truly possible for the human mind. With conversations covering diverse topics as happiness, heartbreak, rejection, compulsions, and perfectionism, the dialogues between Bandler and Fitzpatrick uncover the solutions to complex issues including depression, social anxieties, phobias, and more.
Presenting never-before-heard insights from Richard Bandler on the field of NLP, plus specific exercises to ignite effortless change, and numerous anecdotes from past clients and personal stories, Conversations with Richard Bandler offers a way to think and live in a radically different way.
About the Author
Richard Bandler's books have sold more than a half a million copies worldwide. Tens of thousands of people, many of them therapists, have studied his blend of hypnosis, linguistics and precise thinking in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Bandler is the author of Trance-formation, Using Your Brain—for a Change, Time for a Change, Magic in Action, and the Structure of Magic. He coauthored Frogs into Princes, Persuasion Engineering, The Structure of Magic II, and Magic in Practice.
Owen Fitzpatrick is a psychologist, hypnotherapist, coach, and cofounder of the Irish Institute of NLP and the youngest licensed NLP master trainer. Fitzpatrick has helped thousands of people with a wide range of problems and is one of Europe's top motivational speakers. He is the host expert on a primetime Irish television show, Not Enough Hours.
NOTE: Okay, I have to admit that I'm a bit twisted and my reaction to this story proves it.This lady LEGALLY scammed people from the Christian right in her quest to write some good fiction. A part of me admires her for her guile and genius.
If you want to know how scammers work you can download "The Psychology of Scams - Provoking and Committing Errors of Judgement" at no cost.= = =
Some hoaxes are stupid. Some are weird. Some are boring. And some are completely freaking evil.
For the past six months or so, a blogger called April's Mom has been keeping hundreds of readers on the edges of their seats, awaiting the birth of her baby girl. In her first post, A.M. explained that prenatal testing had diagnosed April as having a potentially fatal form of brain damage. A.M. bravely decided not to abort, and to raise April herself. Her blog was filled with inspirational Christian quotes, messages, and songs, because A.M. had been born again earlier in her life.
Her blog is now closed to uninvited readers, but this page is still accessible for some reason. Her tags include "the ugly side of blogging", "oh the medical jargon", and "holoprosencephaly" (I assume this is what afflicted April).
She provided extremely detailed medical information about the progress of her pregnancy and April's chances for survival, and reflected on her fears for the future.
Those in the pro-life community were strongly drawn to her; some even sent gifts and letters of support to a Chicago-area P.O. box. They sweated out her pregnancy alongside her. Her optimism, faith, and pluck were irresistible, and made the end of the story even more heartbreaking.
Last Sunday, April Rose was born at home. Though she appeared physically healthy, she died within a few hours. Her mom posted black-and-white photos of the newborn.
This was her mistake. At least one reader instantly recognized the swaddled, adorably scrunchy-faced infant as a reborn doll manufactured by Bountiful Baby. (As dolls creep me out in a big way, I have no idea what a "reborn" doll is, and the website slogan is kind of unsettling: "Where Dolls Become Babies!")
A very small amount of digging revealed that April's Mom was 26-year-old Beccah Beushausen. She promptly confessed to a hoax and apologized to her readers, but continued to lie. In fact, about the only truthful thing she has said so far is that she lives in Illinois. She said she was a social worker, but is not licensed as one in the state of Illinois. She also pulled out the Kaycee Nicole defense, explaining that this really did happen to her - she lost an infant son - just not in the way she described.
She hasn't committed any crime, so Beuschausen is free to mind-freak lots of other kind strangers. Beware.
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If you want to know how scammers work you can download "The Psychology of Scams - Provoking and Committing Errors of Judgement" at no cost.
I hesitate to call the following a "conspiracy theory". It's more like "completely clueless and misinformed rambling." An elderly woman caller to a Canadian radio show, who gives free all-day seminars in Vancouver, had this to say about vaccines and the NWO:
She began her rant by saying that most of us are completely ignorant of history and what's going on around us. She must educate the masses before it's too late.
- "There is absolutely nothing scientific about vaccines. If it's true that being exposed to a little bit of a disease makes you immune to it, why do you get a cold and then get another cold later on?! A vaccine has no antibodies! So how can it help your immune system?" She seemed to believe that all viruses contain live viruses, and that you will contract any disease the vaccination is designed to prevent. Like many anti-vaccination hysterics, she does not fully grasp what vaccination even is or how it works.
- "We have an explosion of autoimmune diseases, which happened after we started shooting all these vaccines into children. Now if you were going to do genocide, where would be the best place to start?"
Host: "Um, with children...?"
- All flus, most enzymes, and HIV/AIDS come out of U.S. labs.
- Patenting vaccines and gene sequences is wrong, because they are natural. It's an Illuminati plot. The host gently tells her that THEY didn't exactly push this through; there were many court battles involved, but she's already halfway through the next part of her spiel by this time.
- "The dumbing down of America is being done with vaccines." Viruses in the vaccines attack the "mylar sheath", and cross the blood-brain barrier to cause brain inflammation/encephalitis. Most vaccinated infants die in hospital, thanks to vaccines. (I don't know where she's been living; Canada has low infant mortality rates)
Whew. Sorry about the babies, but this a relief. I don't even have a Mylar sheath. Oh wait, yes I do. Oh well. I'll just go to MEC and get another one.
The woman finally tired of educating the igner'nt masses about the evils of innoculation, and moved on to the "Illuminati agenda".
- "When Russia reorganized its elite, they did it through secret societies. The Masonic orders. They are everywhere. They have literally infiltrated every organization, and are Trojan horses within those organizations."
She promises that her next free seminar will tie together HAARP mind control, chemtrails, laser weapons that incinerate people, and many other skeins of the Illuminati agenda.
- Martial law is months or weeks away. "It will be like Stalin's Russia, or that guy in Chile, what was his name?"
"Yeah, yeah. Pinochet."
You've been warned, folks. Protect those Mylar sheaths by exposing yourself to viral diseases without any protection! Watch out for those Russian Freemasons!
Authors Loraine Lau-Gesk (University of California, Irvine) and Joan Meyers-Levy (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) investigated consumer attitudes toward emotional ads. They discovered that people's responses are affected by factors such as the amount of mental energy or attention they are able to devote to the ads as well as the physical layout of the advertising.
"Although under some circumstances consumers may respond more favorably to ads that feature positive rather than negative emotions, this is not always the case," the authors explain. "Instead, how favorably consumers respond to ads depends on whether the amount of mental resources they devote to the ad is comparable to the amount of such resources that are needed to optimally appreciate and understand key aspects of the ad."
When consumers are interested in an ad, they are better able to devote mental resources to thinking about it, the authors explain. Therefore advertising aimed at interested consumers can tap into more complicated emotions, such as bittersweet nostalgia, anxiety, and guilt.
In contrast, disinterested consumers react to less nuanced messages. "When ad recipients lack much interest in an ad and therefore expend minimal mental resources processing it, the favorableness of their response to the ad depends primarily on the favorableness of the ad's emotional appeal," the authors write.
"Ads that convey positive emotions by depicting uplifting events, outcomes, or people will not always enhance persuasion more than ads that feature downhearted or agitated emotions," the authors write. "While more upbeat ads may be more persuasive among consumers who lack much interest in and expend few mental resources considering the ad, this may not hold true for more interested and involved consumers who invest considerable mental resources thinking about the ad or its product."
My thought are filled with phrases like "get a life", "move out of your parents basement" and "too much free time".
StarGate Girls Post 2/8
In this music video, four Spice Girls are dancing
on top of an octagonal platform that tops a
black cuboid which is stored inside an Illuminati pyramid.
Notice the funhouse mirror-like fractalization
of the light/energy emanating from within the pyramid
as our godesses dance atop the octagonal stargate.
To show they are truly mistresses of their domain,
the Spice Girls collectively envision and upload images
of men onto the stage by plugging in to some kind of
As if all of this symbolism wasn't overwhelming enough,
Baby and Sporty Spice sync-wink a hello
that says we're looking in exactly the right direction.
The all-seeing eye!
Notice the bullseye targeting Scary Spice's third eye.
Baby Spice also entering cosmic consciousness.
Four girls, sans Geri take their positions at the
four midpoints of the pyramid and project
their intentions onto the holographic stage to
manifest men who shapeshift, bending to the
will of the Spice Girls.
So we already have multiple conspiracy theories
linking up together...Illuminati, shapeshifting,
hivemind...could it get any weirder? Apparently, yes.
Sporty Spice as an enlightened Buddha
radiates a white glow.
The media never forgets to exploit sexual symbolism.
Notice the way your mind automatically processes
this next image without thinking. It is a sublimi-nipple!
Don't forget to throw in the snake from the
garden of Eden for our Eve to overcome.
Most interesting of all is our central figure in this
stargate conspiracy narrative, Baby Spice, seen here
captured in metaphoric amniotic fluid.
...rocking devil horns.
To finish this psychedelic trip, we see the
StarGate girls channel their collective spirit energy
through the apex of the pyramid and let the light
burst out through the top, symbolising orgasm
or ascent to cosmic consciousness.
Very, very disturbing.