- "The opposite of bravery is not cowardice, but conformity."
--Dr. Robert Anthony
- "What you hear repeatedly you will eventually believe."
- The most disturbing yet apt analogy to the human mind
is a blank computer disk. When we are born we have only two choices --
receive the necessary programming for the maintenance of life, or die.
But it is the great affliction of the human condition that the mind has
little or no ability to keep out the "bad" data in preference
of the "good." Just like the Internet surfer who may unwittingly
download a virus, the mind has little or no awareness of the false and/or
harmful information that penetrates its defenses. And in fact, human consciousness
is far more susceptible to corruption than computer files. Because unlike
these files, human beings have the innate need both to continuously learn,
and to form beliefs.
- >From the time you roll out of bed in the morning
you begin acting on your beliefs. In a matter of moments, you will have
made a number of choices that profoundly impact your life in ways you have
probably never imagined. And these choices are often based on tacit assumptions
that have little or no foundation in reality.
- Why do you brush and floss your teeth? Because you have
always been told that you have no choice. Toothbrushes, dental floss, and
fluoridated toothpaste are considered essential items for good dental health.
Likewise, the fluoride in your drinking water (which was added without
your consent) is, according to officialdom, a necessary preventive measure
against tooth decay. But what if I told you that the individuals with the
healthiest teeth and gums have never brushed or flossed their teeth or
drunk fluoridated water?
- It is has long been demonstrated that residents of non-Western,
undeveloped countries such as Kenya who stick to their native diets suffer
little or no tooth decay. Dr. Lendon Smith discussed this in his article,
"Nutritional Supplements, ADD & Children's Health." (Well
Being Journal Vol. 7, No. 3 ~ May/June 1988):
- Smith writes, "...Dr. Weston Price...went around
the world in the 1930s hoping to find the cause of tooth decay. He examined
the teeth of Masai in Kenya, Maoris in New Zealand, Aborigines of Australia,
New Guinea people, North Canadian Indians, Eskimos, and people living in
the isolated valleys of Switzerland. He found these people had decay-free
teeth if they stuck to their native diets. They retained their teeth. Skulls
showed perfect teeth with no crowding and no cavities. (In Western, developed
countries most of us have cavities, and after age 60 about half the population
is edentulous.) Once they had access to sugar and white flour, and they
deviated from their native diet, they developed cavities..." (Link:
- Consider the extraordinary financial (about $70 billion
a year) and human cost of tooth decay in the United States -- more than
40 million Americans wear full or partial dentures, and approximately 1/3
of Americans over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth. And our teeth
rot and die for the same reason we are chronically overweight and diseased:
we eat "foods" that were produced artificially in laboratories
and factories rather than grown naturally from the earth. Most of us have
been "trained" to eat this way all of our lives. In our publicly-funded
schools, we were fed meals in strict accordance with the Government decreed
"four food groups" -- heavily processed meat, dairy, starch,
and canned produce have long been the staples of public school lunches.
Throughout childhood, our parents, who only wanted the best for us, fed
us what was available at the neighborhood grocery store. In adulthood,
we have continued eating foods that we've always been told are part of
a nutritious diet. We have been eating ourselves to death for the last
hundred years or so because we make dietary choices based on fallacious
and/or limited beliefs.
- Why do you drink milk? Because, you think, if you don't
your teeth and bones will grow weak and brittle. But for many decades,
countless experts have questioned the wisdom of human beings drinking hormone
and chemical-laced bovine excretions. In fact, overwhelming evidence exists
that green leafy vegetables and other produce are the ideal calcium source
for both youngsters and adults.
- Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and colleagues write in their March
2005 paper "Calcium, Dairy Products, and Bone Health in Children and
Young Adults: A Reevaluation of the Evidence" (Pediatrics, 115:736-743):
- "We found no evidence to support the notion that
milk is a preferred source of calcium... Although milk and other dairy
products are reliable sources of calcium, many factors affect the availability
and retention of the calcium from these products. For example, the calcium
in dairy products is not as well absorbed as that in many dark green leafy
vegetables but has an absorption fraction similar to that of calcium supplements,
calcium-enriched beverages, calcium-set tofu, sweet potatoes, and beans.
Dairy products... clearly increase the urinary excretion of calcium as
a result of their increased sodium, sulfur-containing amino acid, and phosphorus
- But despite the ever-growing substantive arguments against
the healthfulness of cow's milk for humans, Americans are eating and drinking
more dairy than ever. Today, dairy consumption in the U.S. is greater than
in 1970 -- over 600 pounds by each American per year. The dairy industry
nets countless billions each year in the USA, which is more than enough
to finance Goliath political lobbying and marketing campaigns to maintain
public perception that dairy is not only safe, but essential to life.
- When we don't know our actual choices, we cannot make
informed decisions, ergo no real "freedom of choice" exists.
Institutional officialdom and corporate monoliths shape our beliefs through
propaganda that distorts our perception of our choices. In the United States
(and most of the world) the scope of the deception is nearly unfathomable
-- almost all of our beliefs about ourselves and reality have been programmed
by people who never had our best interests at heart.
- In our purportedly "Christian" nation, many
people try to live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the
historic figure known as Jesus of Nazareth. But even if one accepts on
"faith" that Jesus was the Son of God and all of his teachings
were valid, one still faces the arduous, perhaps IMPOSSIBLE task, of discerning
what he actually taught. The language and meaning of the Gospels varies
dramatically from one interpretation to another. In the King James version
(translated from Greek), Jesus on the cross is quoted as saying, "My
God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" But in the Assyrian author George
Lamsa's interpretation of the Bible (translated from the Aramaic Peshitta),
Jesus says, "My God for this I was spared." The sentiment of
the two statements could not stand in greater contrast. Yet surprisingly
few Christians display any real skepticism toward biblical literalism and
"official" interpretations of the Gospels.
- What we call "the Bible" has passed through
many phases of sectarian modification and censorship. Yet many Christians
of every denomination unwaveringly regard it as "the word of God."
In fact, the dogma of most every institutional religion in the world has
been shaped by the hands of self-serving interests. Ancient myths are taught
as divine truth. Puritanism is promoted to instill fear and control behavior.
Spiritual teachings that originally exalted such concepts as unity, equality,
peacefulness, and forgiveness, have been corrupted by ideological concepts
of racial and nationalistic superiority, vengeance, and warfare.
- Spiritual nourishment outside of religion is also not
easily attained. Volumes of spiritual and "new age" literature
promote ideas that might seem very evolved on the surface, but may actually
create greater confusion and distress in spiritual aspirants. A common
theme in much of the literature is that both the external world and the
perception of oneself as an autonomous individual are illusory. These concepts
are heavily derived from Eastern thought systems that promote "non-duality"
as the ultimate truth. Many self-styled gurus extol these ideas while offering
little or no explanatory foundations -- they make statements such as "there
is no you," "the belief in self is false," "there is
only oneness and universal consciousness," and then leave it to the
aspirant to work through the existential quandaries on his or her own.
Should the message be that individuality itself is an illusion, or rather
that the false self -- the worldly personality built upon fear, insecurity,
and competitiveness -- can be shed for a much larger, more inclusive, invulnerable
identity that might be called "spirit"?
- Wherever we look for the answers to life's questions
both big and small, it is better to trust one's own internal compass than
to blindly accept the assertions of seemingly impressive "experts."
This is even true in the intellectually intimidating domain of "hard
science." In fact, many scientists believe fervently in things that
have little or no support in reality.
- The "consensus of leading scientists" tells
us that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago with a primordial "Big
Bang." But the underlying reasoning behind the Big Bang -- the belief
that cosmic redshift is a reliable indicator of distance, thus proving
an expanding Universe -- has, in the minds of Big Bang critics, been definitively
refuted. As far back as the 1960s, astronomer Halton Arp began documenting
instances where two or more galaxies and/or quasars were associated, or
even physically connected, in contradiction of the assumption that their
different redshifts meant that one should be millions or even billions
of light-years farther away than the other.
- The Big Bang theory was always hampered by the problem
of "inhomogenity." Raw subatomic -- or preatomic -- material
exploding outward at nearly the speed of light would produce an evenly
distributed cloud with no force present to generate cosmic structure. But
in fact, we observe cosmic structure everywhere we look, and the distribution
of matter is profoundly uneven. Astronomers see great "voids"
where no galaxies are apparently visible for many millions of light years,
and they see great concentrations of matter, both of which falsify the
inherent, logical "predictions" of the original theory. Nevertheless,
mainstream astronomy and science media almost always refer to the Big Bang
as if it were an unassailable FACT, and no real challenges exist. (For
background, see Scientists See Nothing - Call it Parallel Universe
- In the world of medicine, the pervasive mechanistic view
of the human body, combined with the savage self-interest of Big Drug companies,
has led to the present situation where almost half of all Americans take
at least one prescription medication. This might not be so bad, if the
FDA were not perfectly content to approve drugs that kill people. After
the lid was blown on the Merck/FDA Vioxx scandal, in which untold numbers
of Americans died due to FDA's cover-up, Dr. Richard Horton, editor of
the highly respected medical journal the Lancet, publicly stated: "In
the case of Vioxx, the FDA was urged to mandate further clinical safety
testing after a 2001 analysis suggested a 'clear-cut excess number of myocardial
infarctions'. It did not do so. This refusal to engage with an issue of
grave clinical concern illustrates the agency's in-built paralysis, a predicament
that has to be addressed through fundamental organizational reform....with
Vioxx, Merck and the FDA acted out of ruthless, short-sighted, and irresponsible
- Big Drugs' ability to buy important officials is further
demonstrated by the case of Sir Richard Doll, a British epidemiologist
whom Monsanto paid under the table for more than 20 years. Sarah Boseley,
health editor of The Guardian newspaper, writes:
- "Sir Richard Doll, the celebrated epidemiologist
who established that smoking causes lung cancer, was receiving a consultancy
fee of $1,500 a day in the mid-1980s from Monsanto, then a major chemical
company and now better known for its GM crops business.
- "While he was being paid by Monsanto, Sir Richard
wrote to a royal Australian commission investigating the potential cancer-causing
properties of Agent Orange, made by Monsanto and used by the US in the
Vietnam war. Sir Richard said there was no evidence that the chemical caused
cancer." See http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/dec/08/smoking.frontpagenews
- Every year, the amount of money drug companies spend
on "direct-to consumer advertising" for prescription medications
increases, along with their profits. Despite the long list of "potential
side effects" enumerated with every sales pitch (which include everything
from brain hemorrhages to chemical castration), the campaigns are ridiculously
deceptive. Super-fit, attractive actors in their 40's and 50's are shown
popping cholesterol and blood-pressure medication, because for them, "diet
and exercise aren't enough." In truth, diet and exercise usually ARE
enough -- just ask 91 year-old Jack LaLanne -- and the drug companies know
this. But lies that are repeated ad nauseam through the mouths of pretty
people are easy to believe.
- Above, I have enumerated only a few examples demonstrating
that it is best to be skeptical of one's own programmed beliefs, no matter
how "obviously true" they might seem. Even the habit of brushing
one's teeth will come into question for any person who is empowered with
all of the necessary information to make an informed choice. The point
of this essay is not that one should reject every "official"
message (although it is easy in this time and place to reach such a jaundiced
viewpoint). Rather, given the ease with which humans, both individually
and collectively, can slip into insanity, it cannot be advisable to accept
the consensus opinions of others as "truth," no matter how powerful
or accredited such people might be.
- The word "skeptic" has been terribly misrepresented
and abused in recent years. The word literally describes a person who habitually
and thoughtfully questions widely accepted beliefs. People who call themselves
"skeptics" tend to do this quite rarely -- in fact, most spend
all of their time DEFENDING widely accepted beliefs (as long as such beliefs
are endorsed by scientific or governmental officialdom), while attacking
those who genuinely seek out alternative perspectives. Perhaps the highest
goal a human being can have is to become a genuine skeptic, to refine his
discernment and expand his base of knowledge using every possible resource
available. When one develops the habit of true skepticism, one can unleash
the shackles of the world's programming and begin taking his first steps
toward an authentic and empowered life.