Dr. Jeffrey Kripal Explores the Erotic in the Mystical & Religious |369|

#81
I'm sorry K9!, I never mean to be confrontational with anyone and I apologize if I came across that way. The questionnaire I was talking about follows and is part of each near death account submitted to the NDERF website. I would also like to apologize for seeming to be a party to anything or anyone in particular although I appreciate all human beings. I spent many years in an atheistic frame of mind. When I first started reading about people who were having these experiences I thought at first they were probably totally imagined. But more and more accounts and books about them were published as well as in some cases miraculous cures occurred. I started to become thrilled by the possibility- life after death! So Jesus was telling us the truth after all! I will be sixty nine years old in a few months so the end of this life for me will be in a decade or so give or take a few years. Thanks to the NDE stories I've read I have no fear at all now of death. But I have made adjustments to the way I live to be more in compliance with the Gospel instructions.
Garry, it's not that you are being confrontational, but you clearly bring a particular belief system to how you see NDEs. That belief system is in keeping with what NDERF promotes, and I have no problem with NDERF (or you) having and promoting your own POV. Just don't call it science.
 
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#82
thx for this... interesting point. but I just don't think the #s support this. the actual #s for NDEs (and even the FREE #s for alien abduction
This attorney takes extraterrestrial contact seriously. Now he's helping ...) strongly suggest love and light rule over darkness :)
Darkness has nothing to do with evil. When we see evil and horrible acts in this world isn't it because of the light? In the dark we would not see this, so we need both. Light and Dark are oversimplifications of a wide spectrum of possibilities. They need each other to keep the constant of change, light and dark are catalyst. This is not my belief and is subject to change. I feel like the new age movement is doing a huge injustice with love and light, its unbalanced and simply not true its a distorted half truth
 
#83
Garry, it's not that you are being confrontational, but you clearly bring a particular belief system to how you see NDEs. That belief system is in keeping with what NDERF promotes, and I have no problem with NDERF (or you) having and promoting you own POV. Just don't call it science.
Beliefs are prisons, I'm actively curious.....and open to any ideas or theories brought forth
 
#84
Garry, it's not that you are being confrontational, but you clearly bring a particular belief system to how you see NDEs. That belief system is in keeping with what NDERF promotes, and I have no problem with NDERF (or you) having and promoting your own POV. Just don't call it science.
I can't/won't call my POV science, K9. But science as we know has been unable so far to wade through the unfathomably mysterious waters of consciousness. Even the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle failed to explain everything as it was expected to do. I won't call my POV religion either for, as we know, religious differences are at the root of much ungodly human strife. Better that I call them philosophical ideas emerging from earlier but still popular ancient philosophy. Ideas that another might nibble at as food for thought... or not.
 
#85
In the interview you mentioned Gloria Steinem being an operative of the CIA. I watched a video where she discusses this and it sounded to me like she simply received a grant from the CIA. I didn't catch where she became a operative or where the CIA was trying to influence a movement. I'm not sure that receiving a grant from the CIA influenced the movement anymore than say a grant from the Ford Foundation. (Not to defend the CIA or Gloria Steinem).
Here's a couple of sources on that: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-gloria-steinem-cia-20151025-story.html

"While popularly pilloried because of her paymaster, Steinem defended the CIA relationship, saying: “In my experience The Agency was completely different from its image; it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”


4 years an agent she says in the last one. IMO, once an agent, always an agent. And I completely agree with Alex, wth is the CIA doing in the culture-shaping biz?
 
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#86
I am curious by the light/dark NDE convo happening here. I don't fear sounding unintelligent by discussing something I am not knowledgeable about; I think that getting related to a topic and to others' viewpoints on the topic require authentic curiosity alone.

I have seen comparisons between NDEs, dreams and the use of entheogens. I do have plenty of experience with the latter two. It would seem that more than having to do with whether an individual is good/evil it is situational, as in, what is happening in the environs is every bit as important as what's happening internally in the individual. I can now predict when I will have nightmares pretty accurately depending on how much social media I've participated in--I had to get off FB altogether for this reason.

In my experimental drug phase, of about 20 acid trips over several years I had one bad trip. I had seen a guy get stabbed at a party, which was the trigger. Probably was the worst night of my life b/c of that bad trip and it's burned in my mind as if I was as sober as a saint.

My assumption from these experiences is, if NDEs are somehow related to other altered states of consciousness an evil-doer in a good situation is as likely to have a love-n-light NDE as a dark one. I doesn't seem to me they are related or some kind of reward or punishment for good/bad life.
 
#87
My assumption from these experiences is, if NDEs are somehow related to other altered states of consciousness an evil-doer in a good situation is as likely to have a love-n-light NDE as a dark one. I doesn't seem to me they are related or some kind of reward or punishment for good/bad life.
I find it interesting that NDEs and UFO experiences tend to have many of the same after-effects, but it's much more acceptable to report a frightening UFO abduction than a frightening NDE. On the other hand, people tend to be much less open to the idea of positive UFO experiences... some of which are connected with anomalous healing and angelic beings, and they sound very much like blissful NDEs.
 
#88
The debates and arguments around morality, good, bad or even evil within the spiritual experience, remains a mystery to me. One thing Im certain of … a persons political persuasion has no relevance to this. Ive known many loving and caring individuals that are either very conservative or very liberal with their politics. Of course, Ive also known some super self centered types … regardless of their politics. Alexs story about his conservative friend that had passed was touching. For me that story demonstrates the importance of having a solid value system which a person can use to help guide their decisions in life. (Values like love, compassion and caring).
agreed... to me the takeaway is that most of us know the truth in our heart and manage to follow it. I think Jeff Kripal's claim about "non-self-reflective Christians" is ridiculous... and completely misses all the much more interesting/important points about the non-self-reflective atheist that dominate the liberal arts.
 
#89
Here's a couple of sources on that: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-gloria-steinem-cia-20151025-story.html

"While popularly pilloried because of her paymaster, Steinem defended the CIA relationship, saying: “In my experience The Agency was completely different from its image; it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”


4 years an agent she says in the last one. IMO, once an agent, always an agent. And I completely agree with Alex, wth is the CIA doing in the culture-shaping biz?
I think the evidence clearly shows her to be a lifetime actor:
Faux-Feminist's Ridiculous "Women Under Siege" Syria Map

It's sad to think about how she hijacked feminism... good cause tainted.
 
#90
I find it interesting that NDEs and UFO experiences tend to have many of the same after-effects, but it's much more acceptable to report a frightening UFO abduction than a frightening NDE. On the other hand, people tend to be much less open to the idea of positive UFO experiences... some of which are connected with anomalous healing and angelic beings, and they sound very much like blissful NDEs.
The 'anomalous healing' is particularly fascinating to me if you know of any links offhand, where I might learn more? Thanks!
 
#91
The 'anomalous healing' is particularly fascinating to me if you know of any links offhand, where I might learn more? Thanks!
Rey Hernandez, who was interviewed on Skeptiko about his organization FREE, talks about a little dog being healed during a UFO sighting. Chris Bledsoe was reportedly cured of Crohn's disease.

http://www.experiencer.org/ufo-healings-that-have-been-swept-under-the-rug/

Bud Hopkins: Hopkins stated "The question is whether we hear about healings.
We do sometimes, VERY RARELY, but they do turn up. And we don't know
what to make of them.” Quote by Preston Dennett in his book “UFO Healings”,
from a UFO Conference he attended where Hopkins spoke in Coronado, Ca in
1994.

Preston Dennett: His book, "UFO Healings: True Accounts of people healed by
Extraterrestrials", Wild Flower Press, 1996, presents 105 cases of Healings by
ETs.

This is the link to his book: http://www.amazon.com/Ufo-HealingsAccounts-People-Extraterrestrials/dp/092652433X
YouTube Link:

Rey Hernandez: My first ET contact experience was where my 16 year old dog,
NENA (“little girl” in Spanish), was completely healed in my living room from
a total paralysis she had suffered 12 hours earlier by a floating plasma energy
being. This healing was witness by my wife and I. This occurred on March 4,
2012

Joe Montaldo: In a recent interview I had with Joe he heard my story of my dog’s
miraculous healing and he informed me of two Experiencers he knows that were
cured by ETs of a spreading malignant cancer. Both were completely cured of
their cancers in 1 night.

Chris Bledsoe: Chris Bledsoe and his wife are friends and Experiencers. They
told me of how Chris had a miraculous healing of his Crohn's Disease in one
day by his ETs.

Edith Fiore: Edith stated in her book, "Encounters: A Psychologist Reveals
Case Studies of Abductions by Extraterrestrials" the following: "One of the most
interesting findings that emerged from this work was the many healings and
attempts to heal on the part of the visitors... In about one half of the cases I've
been involved, there have been healings due to operations and/or treatments.
Sometimes the cures are permanent. At other times the conditions recur." Page
322 and 334

Jim Sparks: In his book "The Keepers", details how the ETs cleaned his lungs
from the toxic soot developed from a lifetime of smoking and gave him a little
package of the soot that was in his lungs.

Dr. John Mack: in his book "Abductions", Dr. Mack states "many abductees
have experienced or witnessed healing conditions ranging from minor wounds
to pneumonia, childhood leukemia, and even in one case reported to me first-hand,
the overcoming of muscular atrophy in a leg related to poliomyelitis." page 13, 45

Dan Wright: Manager of the “MUFON Abduction Transcription Project” stated
that according to his preliminary statistical analysis, 11% of physiological effects
caused by UFO cases are healing cases. "The Entities: Initial Findings of the
Abduction Transcription Project", pp 3-6

Leonard Stringfield: Leonard stated in his book "Situation Red" the following:
"Healing cases on record battle ufologists. More than a few who are looking
into new realms for clues of the UFO nature and source are now seriously studying
cases once dismissed as nonsense". p. 72

Jacques Vallee: Valle stated in his book “The Invisible College” the following:
“We find that phenomena of precognition, telepathy, and even healing are not
unusual amount the reports, especially when they involve close-range
observation of an object or direct exposure to its light.” p. 1975

Preston Dennett: His book, "UFO Healings: True Accounts of people healed by
Extraterrestrials", Dennett stated on page xvii of his conversation with a UFO
researcher, who wished to remain anonymous, the following conversation:
“I am a certified hypnotherapist and I work with abductees seven days a
week. I have many cases in my files where healing has occurred but people
are afraid to tell their doctors what happened to bring about the healing.”
 
#92
And I completely agree with Alex, wth is the CIA doing in the culture-shaping biz?
Am I missing something? Shaping culture seems like one of the more benign activities they might be involved in. This could be a very effective way to nudge societies happier?
 
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#93
I agree... there's a lot to unpack... and a lot of directions to take this... but I would suggest that Dr. Kripals strangely non-conspiratorial (given everything he's seen and done) worldview; in combination with his party-line liberalism (I'm truly stunned that he buys into the phony left/right political paradigm) limit him.

for example, if we're gonna really unpack this we have to start with Christianity. Kripal reaches an incredibly painful point of clarity re his personal experience with Christianity, but never really circles back with "ok, since I now know that's all bullshit, let me understand how it works and what purpose it serves."
I think people handle pain points in their religious experiences in various ways. Jeff combines a professional role as a academic researcher into religion as well as his personal experiences. I think he does a decent job of opening up thinking about religion in a way that is useful as a social good - but at the cost of having to manage a public disclosure of personal feelings. That's a hard line to walk, especially when he does rely on his personal experiences. He wants to be personally authentic, but there are risks. Maybe the new book addresses that problem in a useful way?

For example I wouldn't expect Kripal to go into Alvin Boyd Kuhn's critique of Christianity - except maybe as a special research project - and yet nobody dismantles the illusion the faith has created about itself in a more compelling way.

But maybe Kripal handles the realisation of BS at an intimate dogmatic level through his academic role - something the rest of us who are hurt and betrayed can't and won't do - not the least because we are not academics specialising in religious studies. Jeff wrote Comparing Religions, which is along the lines of Huston Smith's The World's Religions. A response to a pain point? Possibly. My deep disappointment with Christianity drove me to explore other traditions - but I am prepared to step outside the boundaries and find Kuhn - because I have no constraints imposed circumstantially.

We have to unpack Christianity, I agree, but there are multiple aspects here - The whole historic thing - how it sat within a number of communities of thought and belief - and to what consequence? The philosophical - the shaping of thought by the boundaries of dogma. The cultural - the impact of espoused values. The intellectual - how science and other fields were influenced. The political - relationships with power and wealth. The mystical - core precepts and how they were shaped or influenced by dogma. Kripal is better equipped than many to address a number of those - and maybe not so well positioned to address others - in a personal/professional capacity.

For me Christianity aggressively took on the role of gatekeeper of a culture's morality and metaphysics and then botched the job so badly most of us have sacked it. And now we are left with a mess we have to clean up. I'd like to hear Jeff's take on that. But on air? No. I live with a pragmatic silence about government policies I will break when I am no longer employed. For the moment I need the income. I think Jeff is in a similar situation.Having to manage your response is not a cop out. I think we need to be careful here and not put upon him a burden he cannot carry for the moment. Sure we can have the discussion/debate about Christianity, but take the numerous hints and clues that are implicit in Jeff's work at it is.

By the I mean that in a book like Authors of the Impossible resistance against the twinned tyrannies of religion and materialistic intellectualism - and the struggle to articulate a lucid 'third way' is exactly what the book's about. Same with Mystics and Mutants. The human spirit finds whatever line of least resistance it can to assert itself, and sometimes goes head to head [rarely a good idea]. Kripal is a real rebel - but he is also canny. Until he becomes a professor emeritus we will have to make do with that canniness.
 
#94
I think people handle pain points in their religious experiences in various ways. Jeff combines a professional role as a academic researcher into religion as well as his personal experiences. I think he does a decent job of opening up thinking about religion in a way that is useful as a social good - but at the cost of having to manage a public disclosure of personal feelings. That's a hard line to walk, especially when he does rely on his personal experiences. He wants to be personally authentic, but there are risks. Maybe the new book addresses that problem in a useful way?
well put!

We have to unpack Christianity, I agree, but there are multiple aspects here - The whole historic thing - how it sat within a number of communities of thought and belief - and to what consequence? The philosophical - the shaping of thought by the boundaries of dogma. The cultural - the impact of espoused values. The intellectual - how science and other fields were influenced. The political - relationships with power and wealth. The mystical - core precepts and how they were shaped or influenced by dogma. Kripal is better equipped than many to address a number of those - and maybe not so well positioned to address others - in a personal/professional capacity.
I don't think it's quite that complicated. Joe is either right or wrong:
Joe Atwill Takes on Covert Culture Shapers |354| | Skeptiko - Science ...

If he's right Kripal has to re-examine everything.


By the I mean that in a book like Authors of the Impossible resistance against the twinned tyrannies of religion and materialistic intellectualism - and the struggle to articulate a lucid 'third way' is exactly what the book's about. Same with Mystics and Mutants. The human spirit finds whatever line of least resistance it can to assert itself, and sometimes goes head to head [rarely a good idea]. Kripal is a real rebel - but he is also canny. Until he becomes a professor emeritus we will have to make do with that canniness.
agreed... that's why these were better books than his last.
 
#95
Hi everyone John here, coming from strong medical (cardiology & primary care provider) and Shamanic background where I’ve had the privilege of working with religious and spiritualists from my nonprofits travel in other parts of the world, new to Skeptico. My intro to myself may or may not matter to people but is only to impress I’ve had lots of other poured over discussions on these epic questions and ultra topics and would like this post to use and serve as future post in follow ups because So many of these posts of various podcasts often coalesce boiling down to the big questions and I watch people (people everywhere not just here) struggle with where we can hang our hat at least for now. Many thanks to Alex for having the balls to start this site, even if I don’t agree with everything, you are a true Spiritual Warrior. This is an excellent medium substrate from which already deep-thinking individuals can be elevated into higher evolved syntheses of data/comments/branching ideas if perhaps the following items below were inherently agreed upon, not as dogma or spiritual rhetoric but logic and human intuition and the data we currently have. Let’s start with the basics which I would greatly welcome challenges or concerns from:

1. Religion, as important as it once was in governing the masses, is man made, and at best only accurate people’s subjective perspective of experiences of Creator and/or Spirituality throughout history, and at worst is manipulated government-influenced text rewrites for various motives at various times. Further, human perception of events is already flawed as NONE of it was a pen flying in the air on a page written by God but rather man, allowing for all sorts of errors even if no malicious intent. Man made religion but Creator made Universe/existence. As for Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and the like if they were men actually existing great, if not, great. Period. They would want us to move on either way. So let go of Manmade religion for governing our life or word of God and let’s get very “Spiritual but not Religious”

2. Creator(s) itself is obviously a deduction through reason which the materialists physicists always left with a Catch 22 of answering the annoying repeat question “and what came before that”. Corks and Higgs Boson particle is only the start and we can play that game forever. So while a Creator is never able to be proven or disproven in this life reality, and no one can answer “who created the Creator”, it is baseline logical to accept mystery of Universe, existence, free will, and Creator as there and as to how/why/when it all plays out, we can assume in this reality that perhaps to know it and understand it fully that our heads would explode so better to not.

3. Afterlife is certainly a no-brainer given the evidence including hard verídical NDE experiences Hospital-verified despite the few good ones super far and few between. Remember, you only need a pen to float in the air once in a million times to make trouble for all of us, even if it never happens again, a scientist still has to own that one occurrence like it or not. There has NOT been a “randomized”event preplanned (the famous random number generator on the highest shelf in operating room when a patient dies, resucitated, sees the 5digit number popping up after moment of biological death and reports it to doctor once revived). But the one still that are there from American and European hospitals mentioned and confirmed while hooked on cardiac monitors past the clinical 3 minute timeline (when nothing is neuronally firing) and floating patient spirit sees the doctors’ spilling his coffee on someone, then is lucky enough to be revived and report it, is good enough for now. Give it 5-10 years we will get our random number generator number in the trauma room.

Bonus fact: NDE is fine either way as positive or negative experiences with plenty of reason to jump into how negative experiences come about and how they are okay and fine to accept just as the nightmare you may have tomorrow night (unintentionally)

4. So hopefully if the top 3 are easy enough to enlighten people to here, then what Alex has been hitting on in last few episodes about morality in afterlife and the different layers or realms, and how/if/could/should we be mapping it out, is where the real conversation should begin. Tibetan, Celtic, Jewish origins of Shamanism overlap with some animism and Druid speculation of this which is a place to start. And yes we reference religion despite it being completely Manmade because it records human experiences and patterns of observations over history. It’s not the word of God but certainly can serve as one collection of data points for this mapping of the afterlife.

5. Finally, what to do with the shitshow world with North Korea, genocide continued in parts of Africa I work, sex slavery in my mountains of South America, and the list goes on. Why do I still see this? What is a real world connection to all this spirituality we debate and the hell we allow to continue on earth? The simple answer seems to be to push all societies now to “treat others as you would want to be treated” and share and enforce basic universal human rights (regardless of what a tribes ‘culture’ accepts because culture counts for nothing when it comes to protecting human rights). We can start with the basic that you cannot rape, kill, enslave, force marriage, female genital mutilate, genocide, starve, deprive medicine/medical access and shelter. Of course WE all know this, my question is what do WE all do to push this. I mean actual action, and it does not need to be my getting on a plane going to a third world country every few months, but more clever low-resource methods using the internet since even poor parts of Africa have the worldwide web despite no running water. This may be too far a stretch for most Skeptiko audience, but spiritually it certainly seems at the top of the priority list. For this last point #5 I have some ideas and strategies of my own and would love people here’s interested to message me here if possible.

Yes, I’m aware mentoring a Chicago inner city boy from avoiding drug/gang life is important too, so Im not advocating third world intervention only. We all know there’s plenty of third world America too.

Talking and debating is great, but transforming our spiritual prowess and curiosity into strong action and good intent for those who need hard action Is where true Spirituality is at. I welcome anyone interested to join me, this is the stuff we will take with us into the next life.


John
 
#97
The simple answer seems to be to push all societies now to “treat others as you would want to be treated” and share and enforce basic universal human rights (regardless of what a tribes ‘culture’ accepts because culture counts for nothing when it comes to protecting human rights). We can start with the basic that you cannot rape, kill, enslave, force marriage, female genital mutilate, genocide, starve, deprive medicine/medical access and shelter. Of course WE all know this, my question is what do WE all do to push this.
Hi John, compelling post. If above is the simple answer, why hasn't it worked yet? How will we be doing this pushing? Isn't 'pushing' a soft word for tyranny? Isn't 'the Golden Rule' what Christianity is based in? Do psychopaths and violent criminals secretly desire to treat others nicely?

As one small example, yesterday I heard a program about FGM (female genital mutilation). My first question, which of course went unasked by the program, what about male genital mutilation? In either case, why is it my business, or anyone's business, what other cultures choose to do inside their own tribes? FGM is a rite of passage to these folks who practice it, one can't just go in and strip away these things and expect that to be appreciated. In this particular program several positions were expressed for and against and in the against camp was the biggie, what always happens when we try to manage other folks' cultures. The practices have gone underground. Like abortion at one time in US, what happens then? It gets dangerous, a black market opens up, and nothing is solved. Cock fighting, dog fighting, drugs for weapons--all happening here underground, all illegal.

Don't deprive medical access or shelter? Sounds nice. Until that becomes forcing patients to undergo chemo they do not want, and other practices that are questionable as well, like vaccines. Like shoving the homeless in the psych wards. Where are the rights of the individual to be poor if they choose, to be unhealthy, to make bad choices on their own without a global Big Brother telling everyone who and how to be? Who gets to choose for the world how we will all live and for what purposes?

Just some initial thoughts.
 
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#98
1. Religion... They would want us to move on either way.
nice one :)


Bonus fact: NDE is fine either way as positive or negative experiences with plenty of reason to jump into how negative experiences come about and how they are okay and fine to accept just as the nightmare you may have tomorrow night (unintentionally)
agreed. I'm sure distressing NDEs are very difficult for some, but there are plenty of problems with positive NDEs:
152. Near-Death Experience After Effects Key to ... - Skeptiko

if we're gonna honestly look for a statistical, big picture, answer within the NDE literature then it's "light and love."


religion... records human experiences and patterns of observations over history. It’s not the word of God but certainly can serve as one collection of data points for this mapping of the afterlife.
nice.
 
#99
5. Finally, what to do with the shitshow world with North Korea, genocide continued in parts of Africa I work, sex slavery in my mountains of South America, and the list goes on. Why do I still see this? What is a real world connection to all this spirituality we debate and the hell we allow to continue on earth? The simple answer seems to be to push all societies now to “treat others as you would want to be treated” and share and enforce basic universal human rights (regardless of what a tribes ‘culture’ accepts because culture counts for nothing when it comes to protecting human rights). We can start with the basic that you cannot rape, kill, enslave, force marriage, female genital mutilate, genocide, starve, deprive medicine/medical access and shelter. Of course WE all know this, my question is what do WE all do to push this. I mean actual action, and it does not need to be my getting on a plane going to a third world country every few months, but more clever low-resource methods using the internet since even poor parts of Africa have the worldwide web despite no running water. This may be too far a stretch for most Skeptiko audience, but spiritually it certainly seems at the top of the priority list. For this last point #5 I have some ideas and strategies of my own and would love people here’s interested to message me here if possible.
what about:
what if the one pushed is:
- really old and about to die anyway
- a despicable drug addict & child mollester
- just a drug addict
- old, but not really old, and used to be a drug addict
- etc.

206. Rick Archer From Buddha at the Gas Pump on ... - Skeptiko
Ram Dass tells this story of Neem Karoli Baba sending him on a mission with this one woman to go deliver this medicine to these children. They get to a pass and a guard stands there and says, “Pay me. Bribe me. Give me a bribe in order to get through the pass.” And Ram Dass says, “Hey, we can’t bribe this guy. That would be dishonest. That would be immoral. We can’t do it.” And his friend, his Dharma sister says, “Are you nuts? We get this medicine down to these kids and they’re not blind. We don’t get it down there, they’re blind. We pay this guy a few rupees. What do we care? We’ve got to get this medicine down there.”
 
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Yes, an opportunity for the first major lesson in in how to approach the world’s struggle with basic human rights— false equivalencies and letting the “perfect ruin the good”. This was certainly not intentional on your part but a major talking point for my seminars whereby a hint of grey gets to fog the obvious.

Forget chemo for the moment, as for one, being a medical provider, unless in North Korea, chemo patients around the world choose to continue (whether pushed by over eager doctors or families that’s a fair point) but at least the accession is there. No, we must be wise in hindsight seeing gross lack of vaccination, normal saline for simple dehydration pediatric deaths, lacks of cervical cancer screening watching young women needlessly die, the list goes on. Think big.

As for FGM, I always feel guilty publicly discussing this one because of my vast background where I’ve been and what I’ve done it’s not really a fair fight for the other person. The friendly easy way to put it simply is circumcision, will never ever ever ever amount to FGM and the long term problems it causes women on physical/emotional/social status levels in addition to 1 in 6 baby girls dying from septic infection. Show me the last time a baby boy died of sepsis from circumcision in the US in the last couple years (you won’t).

Let me enlighten with my next point for my friends interested in “culture vs. Human right issues” in third world.... there is none. Culture counts for shit when Dealing with the basic universal human rights aforementioned. This is where I appreciate a guy like Alex when dealing with being a humanitarian accepting people of all background but not tolerating the bullshit. Of course when I’m in the Middle East if in some backass rural area “stoning women” was just part of the old Sharia way. It’s not that I have a problem with decent Muslim people I know, it’s that I’m not retarded in this bullshit politically correct ‘walk on eggshells’ climate we created. And the very worst part is these local indigenous leaders KNOW our bullshit politically correct culture and use it against us quite intelligently.

I thank whatever Creator that does exist that my own team’s work with local indigenous leaders, either by manipulation or genuine reasoning, helps stop the practice/ideology of FGM and push the other common sense basic human rights. In fact, I feel God doing a cartwheel every time I get it done.

Sorry not to be harsh, but it’s better to set the record straight with course corrections early on so we all at least head in the right direction even if veering off a little bit. The reason I reference Alex is because I know how he thinks given his interviews and posts and while I’m not exactly where he’s at and he’s not exactly where I’m at and there a some differences, what matters is we’re both headed in generally the right direction.

John










Hi John, compelling post. If above is the simple answer, why hasn't it worked yet? How will we be doing this pushing? Isn't 'pushing' a soft word for tyranny? Isn't 'the Golden Rule' what Christianity is based in? Do psychopaths and violent criminals secretly desire to treat others nicely?

As one small example, yesterday I heard a program about FGM (female genital mutilation). My first question, which of course went unasked by the program, what about male genital mutilation? In either case, why is it my business, or anyone's business, what other cultures choose to do inside their own tribes? FGM is a rite of passage to these folks who practice it, one can't just go in and strip away these things and expect that to be appreciated. In this particular program several positions were expressed for and against and in the against camp was the biggie, what always happens when we try to manage other folks' cultures. The practices have gone underground. Like abortion at one time in US, what happens then? It gets dangerous, a black market opens up, and nothing is solved. Cock fighting, dog fighting, drugs for weapons--all happening here underground, all illegal.

Don't deprive medical access or shelter? Sounds nice. Until that becomes forcing patients to undergo chemo they do not want, and other practices that are questionable as well, like vaccines. Like shoving the homeless in the psych wards. Where are the rights of the individual to be poor if they choose, to be unhealthy, to make bad choices on their own without a global Big Brother telling everyone who and how to be? Who gets to choose for the world how we will all live and for what purposes?

Just some initial thoughts.
 
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