Is global upheaval knocking at the door? (Red moons, ancient prophecies, and more)

Consulting Crystal Ball for Future of EarthAs a boy (1960s-70s) growing up in South in a  world of fundamentalist & evangelical Christians I not infrequently heard pulpit & TV sermons about “The End Times” (Eschatology). Later Hal Lindsey’s books (such as “The Late, Great Planet Earth“) appeared and with this Christian “future think” consumed millions who might not have otherwise ever even heard of such speculation. Lindsey’s peculation proved to be largely wrong but it was still good fun to mull over & debate. Of course, predictions were revised as they failed to materialize as one would expect.

There are, as you might expect, so many issues and problems connected with non-Jewish commentators & analysts trying to apply material written for Jewish audiences from a Jewish perspective (And even the earliest so-called Christian epistles and such on the subject were born in the early Jesus Movement which was Jewish in nature & outlook and led by Jesus’s brother, Yaakov aka “James” which later non-Jewish scholars & such made a mess of interpreting & applying).  You’ll find many books that make “course corrections” at https://biotheorist.wordpress.com/?s=books (Just drop down to the RELIGION/SPIRTUALITY section)

With all this said, there are interesting bits of thinking, speculation & “future think” that point to the fulfillment of specific prophecies in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel and others (including portions of the early Jesus Movement spawned “book of Revelations”) during the next 56 years. I’ve pieced these together and laid the more salient ones out below in the form of a simple chart of sorts.

And yes, anything done in the realm of eschatology is sure to be controversial and contested on everything from secular to religious-historical grounds to a blend of both. If what I’ve outlined below turns out to be very wrong so be it. To be honest, considering the horrific nature of various prophecies in the Tanakh and in early Christian writings I would much prefer being wrong than right.

 

Yom Kippur War 1967 ⇨ Regional Middle Eastern War (Exact timing unknown) ⇨ Fall 2063 (Gog-Magog War – Ezekiel 38-39) ⇨ 2070

 Ezekiel 35 war —> Fall 2015 = http://www.prophecydepotministries.net/2012/ezekiel-35-the-arab-israeli-war-before-ezekiel-38/

Gog-Magog war (Ezekiel 38-39) –> Fall 2063    

http://www.pray4zion.org/TheComingBloodMoons.html

Founding of Israel 1948 ⇨ 2070

116 years – 58 two year terms of office for Israel PMs [1 Enoch 90:5 -as interpreted by some biblical commentators & analysts as referring to prime ministers (shepherds) whose specific rule over Israel begins after its restoration which happened in 1948]

Click to access the Book of Enoch

From the destruction of the 2nd Temple – 70 CE ———–> 2070 = Davidic Messiah reigns/messianic age   

1,000 years

This bit of speculation on my SCRIBD webpage:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/208409502/2015-2070-Red-moons-ancient-prophecies-and-more

The 562 Project: Matika Wilbur’s ambitious project to photograph citizens from every American Indian tribe

self_portrait-Matika1

Professional photographer & fellow American Indian Matika Wilbur is busy doing something that is 100 years overdue: Photographing American Indians in ways that beautifully captures their spirit & joy & perseverance.  What she needs is funding — which you can help with by going to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matika/project-562-changing-the-way-we-see-native-america and giving.

Thanks heartily from “Choctaw Doc” (Dr. Anthony G. Payne – member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

My 2-17-2014 EXAMINER article on Matika and the 562 project: http://www.examiner.com/article/matika-wilbur-s-quest-to-photograph-citizens-from-every-american-indian-tribe

Better than sex?

Better than sex?

 Beauty

Sex is about sharing, giving and pleasure. Helping others involves all 3 and also gives a big payoff: Feeling good about yourself for doing good. Web Wizards has married the joy of working web magic with giving. Specifically, when you give us your biz we will donate 10% of what you pay us to help those who need a leg up in Africa (Uganda) through the nonprofit Compassion Care organization. You win by become a browser & buyer magnet & helping others; we win by helping make you successful & helping those in need; struggling African children win by getting badly needed food & clean water as well as the funds they need build & plant and become self-sufficient.

Web Wizards – help yourself and others win big by giving us the biz!

Call: 866-801-2317 (in the USA) or 1-509-997-0204

Email: Jim Haverlock at jim@web-wizards4u.com  

Send us an on-line message: http://web-wizards4u.com/contact.html

 

Looking for treatment options for ALS, heart disease, cancer or eczema?

The Wizard of  MusumenPUBLISHED AS: Stepping out from behind the curtain

Many know me as “Anthony the writer”. Many doctors and clinics and labs know me as “Anthony the theorist”.  Actually a more apt moniker might be “Anthony the behind the scenes guy” as so much of my work is on behalf of companies and individual docs who pay to get my ideas and handiwork and affix their name to it without any mention of my authorship.  All this ghostwriting, ghost-editing and ghost-theorizing has helped carve out a niche for me as, well,…a living, breathing ghost (The working world’s invisible man).

However, some of the ventures and projects I am involved with can now be divulged albeit sans key details that could be ripped off and exploited by corporate competition aka money grubbing predators and scavengers.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Like cancer ALS is a hellacious nut to crack on all kinds of levels. However, evidence has emerged that suggests the disease is influence by aberrant proteins called prions and disease progress reflects the spread of these prions in the central nervous system (CNS). As part of my consultancy work for Nova Cells Institute of Mexico I crafted an experimental combination drug and nondrug anti-prion regimen which was entrusted to NCIM’s affiliated MDs (which they then approved and began using). This plus NCIM’s proprietary primed stem cells and unique cytokine-protein intravenous product dubbed “Beacon Factor” has, since 2009, slowed progression to a crawl in many treated ALS patients  and has so far spared all of those treated from compromised respiratory functioning.  Of the handful who have died all of them simply went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up (“A good death” in many people’s book).

One ALS patient’s neurology team at Duke University commented that “Whatever these Nova Cells people have come up with seems to be working. They know their business”.

www.novacellsinstitute.com

Atherosclerosis (Arterial blockage): The challenge of reversing arterial blockage has intrigued and engaged me since the mid-1980s. In fact, back then I was working with a Tibetan herbal formula called PADMA 28 that had accumulated evidence (from lab studies and also  randomized clinical trials) that it significantly reduced players in the arterial plaque-building process. I was, in fact, so impressed by the science that I approached the company that had brought PADMA 28 into the USA from Switzerland (where it is Swiss FDA approved to treated intermittent claudication), Berkley Health Network (BHN – later sold and reborn as Pacific BioLogic, Inc.), and began sharing ideas concerning other applications and experimental uses. It didn’t take long before their principle technical people asked me to serve as a scientific advisor which I did. Later I did experiments in which I took a large group of guinea pigs and divided them into 2 groups: Both ate a high saturated & trans fat rich diet geared to produce artery clogging diet which resulted in significant arterial blockage. However, one also was given PADMA 28 in their chow which eventually reversed their blockage. It did this, I think, because it dropped serum lipids and triglycerides so low that their bodies began mobilizing fats and such from their arterial plague. It also countered arterial and systemic inflammation which is a player in the plaque-building process.

In the years since I have added dietary and other measures to the PADMA 28 (now marketed as PADMA BASIC®) to increase plague reversal. Since I am not a physician and cannot diagnose or prescribe treatments, I have entrusted my ever-evolving ideas & resulting regimens to licensed MDs and DOs for their discretionary use. What has emerged is simply this: Many cases have accrued in which people with significant arterial blockage have demonstrated reversal to the point whereby angina and other symptoms ceased.

Note bene: I have no commercial interest in PADMA in any of its incarnations nor in any firm or such that markets or sells it.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/158030311/TIBETAN-VASOACTIVE-HERBAL-BLEND-PADMA28

Cancer especially advanced metastatic malignancy: Back in 1999 Wake Forest University researcher Zheng Cui, MD, PhD showed that there are super cancer-fighting immune cells called granulocytes in young animals that could obliterate cancer in old ones (mice). Borrowing a page from Dr. Cui’s animal work I created a regimen in which I proposed that pooled granulocytes isolated from the blood of young folks would be given daily to advanced cancer patients over a 10 to 14 day period (But given only to those who have exhausted conventional cancer fighting treatments and whose cancer is spreading and is predicted to end their lives in short order).

This approach was entrusted to a group of Mexican hematologists including one of the leading ones in all of Mexico and was approved for experimental clinical use (with the number of granulocytes and the frequency of their infusions to follow a strict protocol I worked out). The types of cancer subsequently treated included prostate, breast, lung, stomach and colorectal.

There is a <1% risk of a graft v. host reaction even months after a treatment cycle is concluded which all the patients doing it were informed of as part of informed consent.

To-date all advanced, end stage cancer patients treated have responded favorably with no graft v. host reactions occurring at all. Half of those treated experienced partial remission and half, full remission. Some have been technically cancer free for many, many years now.

http://www.novacellsinstitute.com/articles/DONOR-GRANULOCYTE-BASED-TMT-SAVING-END-STAGE-CANCER-PATIENTS-April-29-2014.pdf

Eczema: Back in the early 1990s J.I. Harper, MD at the Hospital for Sick Children in London, England put an ancient Chinese herbal eczema tea to the test in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical involving children with eczema. The tea produced a tremendous diminution in itching, pustules, and scales, for example, while the children who sipped the placebo tea (the control group) did not significantly improve.

The herbs in the eczema tea were published but not the amounts of each. I decided to figure out this out carry out my own line of research. I recruited a large number of eczema patients – children, adolescents, and adults – mixed together the botanicals in varying proportions, and then gave out various versions. (Unlike the London study, however, I opted to use an encapsulated form as opposed to a foul-tasting tea).

It took over two years working at it part-time to arrive at the most effective combination for managing eczema, but effective it is! (My results paralleled those seen in the London-based clinical trials). And it’s not effective for eczema, but for other conditions in which certain species of free radicals and highly inflammatory substances called leukotrienes and prostaglandins play a role. The conditions which have shown a significant response to the eczema formula include asthma, emphysema, psoriasis, certain rheumatic conditions, and numerous neurological maladies.

I turned over the Eczema or E-Tea formula to a company I was consulting for at the time, Prestige Chinese Teas, in 1993. I’d known and collaborated with PCT founder and President Sunny Wong since 1986 and knew he’d so all he could to get E-Tea into the hands of medical consumers at a cost they could afford, which he did. I did not ask for and ever received any proceeds from the sale of E-Tea (as I did not want to add to its cost by doing so) and ceased to be paid as a consultant for PCT in 1999 when I left the USA to teach in Japan. As I anticipated, PCT has continued to make E-Tea available at a cost that is kind to consumer purse strings: http://www.teastohealth.com/skin.html

Sunny and his people have received many, many letters and statements from eczema patients, nurses and dermatologists down through the years attesting to E-Tea’s efficacy.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/197881290/Ancient-herbal-blend-turns-the-tables-on-eczema

There are many more vexing medical challenges I have tackled down through the years (as a theorist) and a whole litany of them which has been placed on my plate by doctors, companies and even sufferers seeking answers that I am currently working on. And while I “live and move and have my being” for the most part in the Shadowlands you may come across my solutions down the line — albeit you likely will not know I am behind it.

© 2014 by Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Can an ancient Chinese herbal blend turn the tables on eczema?

By

Choctaw Doc

HERB BLEND - FREE MSOne of the more rewarding aspects of natural products work is finding a viable treatment for a human malady; one which cannot be readily managed using standard pharmaceutical drugs. Thus was the case in 1990 with the discovery that a rather ancient Chinese traditional botanic formula produced noticeable improvement in atopic eczema in children. This observation was reported by J.I. Harper, MD, Department of Pediatric Dermatology, Hospital for Sick Children, London, England, in a letter published in the prestigious scientific journal, “The Lancet“. A list of ingredients employed in the Chinese tea was divulged, but not their proportions.

In 1993, a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial of the Chinese eczema tea and pediatric atopic eczema was performed by Dr. Harper and fellow researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children. Most of the children who drank the “real McCoy” (the experimental group) experienced a tremendous diminution of itching, pustules, and scales, for example, while those who sipped the placebo (the control group) did not significantly improve.

A subsequent one-year study was carried out, as described in this quote from a PubMed (medical database) abstract:

“The opportunity to continue treatment was offered to the parents of 37 children who had completed a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a specific formulation of Chinese medicinal herbs for atopic eczema. The parents elected for continued treatment in every case, and the progress of the children was monitored over the following 12 months. The aim was to achieve a substantial clinical improvement, and thereafter to reduce treatment frequency progressively while maintaining this benefit.

“At the end of the year, 18 enjoyed at least 90 percent reductions in eczema activity scores, and five showed lesser degrees of improvement. Fourteen children withdrew from the study, 10 due to lack of response, and four because of unpalatability of treatment or difficulty in the preparation of treatment.

“By the end of the year, seven of the children were able to discontinue treatment without relapse. The other 16 required treatment to maintain control of their eczema, but only four of these still required daily treatment. Asymptomatic elevation of serum aspartate aminotransferase to 7-14 times normal values was noted on one occasion in two children whose eczema was so well controlled that the therapy was stopped. Liver function tests were normal 8 weeks later.

“We conclude that Chinese medicinal herbs provide a therapeutic option for children with extensive atopic eczema which has failed to respond to other treatments. In the medium term, it proved helpful for approximately half the children who originally took part in our placebo-controlled trial.” (Sheehan MP-Atherton DJ, “One-year follow up of children treated with Chinese medicinal herbs for atopic eczema,” Br J Dermatol, 1994 Apr, Volume: 130, pp. 488 through 493).

Again, the herbs in the eczema tea were disclosed but not the amounts of each. I decided to figure this out and as part of this recruited a large number of eczema patients – children, adolescents, and adults – mixed together the botanicals in varying proportions, and then gave out various versions. (Unlike the London study, however, I opted to use an encapsulated form as opposed to a foul-tasting tea).

It took over two years working at it part-time to arrive at the most effective combination for managing eczema, but effective it is! (My results paralleled those seen in the London-based clinical trials). And it’s not effective for eczema, but for other conditions in which certain species of free radicals and highly inflammatory substances called leukotrienes and prostaglandins play a role. The conditions which have shown a significant response to the eczema formula include asthma, emphysema, psoriasis, certain rheumatic conditions, and numerous neurological maladies.

One memorable and very telltale case involved a Vietnam veteran who presented with a rash and pustules over 90 percent of his body. The physicians at the V.A. center in Dallas were unable to effectively manage the condition, despite prescribing heavy doses of oral steroids coupled with liberal application of various topical drugs. I started this gentleman on one “eczema tea formula” capsule, 3 times each day for the first two weeks; then increased the dosage to two capsules 4 times daily. Within eight weeks of commencing the course of therapy, the rash and pustules had faded and essentially dried up. After another 3-4 weeks, he had virtually no visible evidence of what had been an almost three-decade nightmare.

One need only read about various skin conditions to realize the pervasiveness of this exasperating, debilitation dermatological challenge. For me, however, there is far more than a realization of how ubiquitous eczema is. As a boy I suffered from one of the worst cases of eczema imaginable. Even the steroid hormone, cortisone, didn’t help. Thankfully, my eczema went into permanent remission after age 5 or so, but I never forgot the more than three years I spent combating this nightmarish condition. And while it took me almost 36 years to turn my attention back to this human malady, the victory is no less sweet.

Nota bene: I turned over the Eczema or E-Tea formula to a company I was consulting for at the time, Prestige Chinese Teas, in 1993. I’d known and collaborated with PCT founder and President Sunny Wong since 1986 and knew he’d so all he could to get E-Tea into the hands of medical consumers at a cost they could afford, which he did. I did not ask for and ever received any proceeds from the sale of E-Tea (as I did not want to add to its cost by doing so) and ceased to be paid as a consultant for PCT in 1999 when I left the USA to teach in Japan. As I anticipated, PCT has continued to make E-Tea available at a cost that is kind to consumer purse strings: http://www.teastohealth.com/skin.html

 ©2014 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Sickle cell disease: Antisickling herbs

OPTIONS 7If any of you reading this has sickle cell disease or knows someone who does, this may be of interest. A few days ago, one of my female African-American Facebook friends asked if I had ever been involved in the research or treatment of sickle cell disease. This was my response:

In answer to your question: I have not been involved in doing any kind of work on sickle cell disease. However, I am aware of progress that has been made in terms of screening for potential new drugs as well as genetic engineering experiments. This kind of thing, however, is years if not decades away from any sort of approval (After Phase I and then phase II studies are completed and a consensus as to safety & outcome is reached in the scientific & medical communities). I assume you know people touched by sickle cell disease and are interested in “here and now treatments”. Well, there are some from the world of herbal medicine, many having originated with African traditional healers with some of these having undergone phase I/II studies. I ran across a review paper covering this at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/…/P…/pdf/TSWJ2013-269659.pdf. Check it out, as they say.

What intrigued me was the antisickling activity of a Nigerian plant-based formula called “Ciklavit” (Perhaps you are acquainted with it). I did some digging and came up with a Pharma firm in Nigeria that sells Ciklavit: http://onlineorder.neimethplc.com.ng/…/ethica…/ciklavit/

I was also impressed by the reports on the antisickling activity of dried Papaya leaves which is sold OTC and cheap here in the USA. Swanson sells bottles f it for a pittance at http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-premium-full…

Nota bene: I have no financial or other commercial interests in the Nigerian firm mentioned above nor Swanson vitamin company.

Choctaw Doc

A Post-Racial America? Think again!

SALON ARTICLE BY TIFFANIE DRAYTON - SCREENSHOTIf you harbor the notion that America is a land of racial equality prepare to be disabused of this. In “Goodbye to my American dream” (Salon.com) a bright, well educated, personable young writer named Tiffanie Drayton lays out how utterly un-post racial  America is (We American Indians also have experience with this, but that’s another story). In her insightful article Miss Tiffanie states:

My relationship with the United States of America is the most tumultuous relationship I have ever had, and it ended with the heart-rending realization that a country I loved and believed in did not love me back.  

Click the picture to your left or this link to read Miss Tiffanies’ wake-up call: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/16/goodbye_to_my_american_dream/

You can follow Tiffanie on Twitter at https://twitter.com/draytontiffanie (I heartily recommend you avail yourself of her comments, insights & sharing from the heart)

Jury nullification as a way to fight back against unjust, immoral-unethical or wrongly applied laws

Vintage Balance ScaleHow can you help fight back against unjust, immoral-unethical or wrongly applied laws? Let people know about “jury nullification” and, if you are called on to serve on a jury that involves an unjust or wrongly applied law, use it yourself.

This article lays it all out: http://www.exposingthetruth.co/peoples-law-nullification/#axzz2ejSFhFAF

Did the Almighty send an emissary to the ancient Cahokian (American Indian) people?

for-choctaw-doc-blogDo you believe the Almighty ever spoke directly to an American Indian tribe? I do not mean face-to-face but through an emissary. I do and will now share with you the particulars behind my conviction that God/HaShem/The Great Spirit did reach out to the Cahokian peoples (American Indians, yes, but their exact ethnicity much less language is unknown):

Long before Columbus and other 15th century European explorers & adventurers landed in North America, there was the Cahokia, a Mississippian American Indian “mound building” people who thrived from about 750 CE to 1300 CE with their biggest city being about 6 miles from present day St. Louis. My own tribe, the Choctaw Nation, has its roots in the Mississippian culture which naturally makes Cahokia of great interest to me.

To read the rest CLICK THIS LINK

Nota bene, my fellow American Indians: Prophetic Word: Restoration Promised to the First Nations of America

Reversing arterial blockage: Experimental regimen that worked for man facing amputation of his lower legs

Dr Payne at the Zeiss MicroscopeLast year (2012) I was contacted by a gentleman who had severe blockage in his legs and had been told by his physician-surgeon that he would need to amputate his legs below the knee. Naturally this chap was horrified at the prospect of living his life out of a wheelchair and/or on crutches and was frantic to know if there is anything, however experimental, that might help him avoid the surgeon’s knife. Apparently he had done a Google search and come across some of my health-related hypotheses (I have since 1986, been paid by various docs & researchers to spin hypotheses and provide novel ideas they could then pursue – or not).

I could not, of course, prescribe anything whatsoever as I am not a physician and lack the qualifications to get into such matters. However, what I did do is hand off an experimental regimen I originally developed in the late 1980s and had updated recently, along with the stringent caveat that much of my own work and that which informed it involved animal models of arterial blockage and I was giving him this with the strict understanding he would share it with his primary care MD and do what he said or advised.

I heard nothing from this chap for about 8 months and then got a call. It seems he was able to get his MD to endorse my handwork which he had followed religiously.  Long story short, the circulation in his legs had improved to the point that amputation was no longer on the proverbial table. Needless to say he and his wife of some 50+ years were overjoyed by his progress.

So here is what I shared with this guy – again, with the caveat it is experimental and unproved and should not be undertaken without the express consent & supervision of a duly licensed & practicing MD or DO.    

Dr. Anthony G. Payne

TO READ THE REST OF MY ARTICLE GO TO http://www.scribd.com/doc/161978171/Reversing-arterial-blockage-Experimental-regimen-that-worked-for-man-facing-amputation-of-his-lower-legs

PADMA: Scientifically validated Tibetan herbal blend

PADMA ARTICLE  COVER

Back in the 1980s I served as a scientific advisor to the firm (Berkley Wellness Network) that first brought the Tibetan vasocative product PADMA28 into the USA (BHN was bought by businessman Curtis Jaquot in the early 1990s and became “Pacific BioLogic, Inc.) In the mid-1990s I fed PADMA28 laced chow to guinea pigs with induced arterial blockage. Animals fed high doses showed a reversal of blockage.    

Note: I have no financial or other commercial interest in PADMA or any firm that makes, sells, markets, distributes or otherwise promotes it.

My 2007 article on PADMA 28: http://www.scribd.com/doc/158030311/TIBETAN-VASOACTIVE-HERBAL-BLEND-PADMA28

PubMed search results: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=PADMA+28

A little YouTube fun along the way

CHOCTAW DOC SHOW“THE CHOCTAW DOC SHOW” (7M:21S YOUTUBE VIDEO): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSsHJWvYbLo&feature=youtu.be

WELCOME TO CHOCTAW DOC’S CEREBRATORIUM (VERY SHORT VIDEO): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kveW1kW-t2I

ALTERNATIVES & OPTIONS (SHORT VIDEO BY CHOCTAW DOC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tR6iAHCcrc

“Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!”

At the tail end of Stanley Kubrick’s satirical and brilliant 1964 anti-Cold War movie “Dr. Strangelove” the wheelchair bound German scientist (played by Peter Sellers) manages to stand up and take a step or two forward and then excitedly proclaim, “Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!” (This was reportedly an unscripted improvisation on the part of actor Peter Sellers) People in the throes of extreme excitement, passion or even religious ecstasy sometimes yell out to God, their mate or, in the case of Dr. Strangelove, to his leader (The American President whom he not infrequently calls “Mein Fuhrer” during the course of Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece).

I suspect Sellers added the dramatic final touch not as an expression of the neurologic malady which landed his character in a wheelchair but, rather, as an upwelling of Dr. Strangelove’s impossible to suppress fascist sentiments and loyalty to Hitler.

In addition, I would offer a slightly different take on Dr. Strangelove’s outburst: I believe it was meant to represent the transcendent march of evil across time. That is, Seller’s was acting out the fact that evil, like death, haunts humankind and is impossible to totally suppress, manage or banish. Of course, we all know that those who do not resist and oppose evil not infrequently find their lives overshadowed by it.

The late writer-director-producer Rod Serling actually captured this theme very adroitly in a 1963 episode of the Twilight Zone titled “He’s Alive” (“He” being Hitler) that focuses on a “bush league Fuhrer” named Peter Vollmer.  

Of course, we all are cognizant of the fact that evil permeates the human experience and has countless modern day incarnations. It is certainly one wheel that gets reinvented without ever showing much wear or loss of perpetrators and victims.  Sometimes, though, the expressions are so continuous across time they appear to come out of some kind of historical-cosmic Xerox® machine. Click these links and reflect for a moment:

 http://weirdthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/skitched-20120111-150835.jpg

http://theheartthrills.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/north-korean-soldiers-drilling-2.jpg

OK, so evil is perennial. What we can do about it? Laugh at and ponder comic portrayals such as Seller’s, yes, but never make the mistake of viewing evil people as clowns or easy to control (A mistake many German pre-Nazi leaders made with respect to Hitler and his cronies). But above all learn everything we can about the nature of evil and its subtlest expressions and then work to expose and oppose them.

How do you kill 12 million people? Evil then and now: Recognizing & containing it by Choctaw Doc

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Sexting, Sex Tapes & Sexual Exhibitionism: Why have so many folks thrown caution to the wind?

VIDEO CAMERA - FREE MSCELL PHONE - Free MSTime flies. If you were around to see the debut of the classic comedy “Animal House” 35 years ago you are likely feeling a tad old. But like so many great movies, Animal House managed to both reflect and illuminate certain aspects of our culture. And in light of today’s headlines one is tempted to think some of our political leaders have been running their lives as though they live in the Delta Tau Chi fraternity house.

Who can forget Dean Vernon Wormer’s pointed comment to Faber College freshman & Delta Tau Chi member Kent Dorfman that “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”.

Given the middle-aged shenanigans of more than a few prominent politicians just in the past few years one can’t help but picture them standing in front of Dean Wormer and hearing:

“Old, horny and reckless is no way to go through life, son”

What gives with all these indiscretions? And let’s not just focus on big name powerhouse figures.  I mean, why are so many people of all ages, sexes and ethnicities posting sexually explicit photos and videos on the Web? I’m no prude by any means, but there is something deeply weird and unsettling about the seeming endless stream of people photographing and videotaping what they do behind closed doors and sharing it with the world.

Most are hardly adult movie star material and yet seem almost proud of their (ahem) shortcomings and imperfections. And while some might say it’s a good thing to strike a blow against the Madison Avenue world of plastic smiles & plastic bodies, I somehow do not think the antidote is for people to toss modesty to the wind and share themselves “warts and all”.  I’m sure some do what they do because they think highly of their “performance” and “mentally inflate” their assets. I suspect many if not most have become the butt of cruel putdowns and heartless jokes by Web browsers. I’m also sure some come to deeply regret their actions especially when confronted by a child, grandchild or other relative concerning something explicit they posted long ago and had hoped would somehow disappear with the passage of time (Apparently nothing posted on the Web ever does).

No doubt some of these self-styled sex performers suffer from body image & performance misperceptions if not delusions, but beyond this I have to wonder what else bedevils them. I’m not saying they all have personality defects or struggle with emotional or mental problems or sex addiction, but even so I am pretty sure at least a segment of them do what they do as an expression of narcissism, an attachment style disorder or mood disorder.

One expert on relationships and how reckless sexual behavior can endanger and even derail them, Rabbi Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach, wrote this in a 2011 Examiner article concerning the sexual antics of Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton:

These are all men who live with an unending craving for love and incessant need for attention, forever proving themselves, and therefore despising their very existence which involves an eternal feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness. Men who hate themselves this much and strive eternally for the validation of others harbor a secret wish that, in way or another, the inner torment will cease. That’s why they play Russian Roulette with their lives. Anything to dull the pain.

I think in some instances it boils down to something much simpler: In psychology it is well established that rewards (pleasure) derived from any activity makes people want more. This cycle of reward-reinforcement becomes a vicious, ever entrenched cycle for some folks. As they feed it over time they begin to feel helpless to resist and it becomes so normative they may not feel it is a problem (That is, until they get caught doing something that offends their mate or violates a local ordinance or state or federal law). Some become alienated from themselves and those who love and care about them.

To paraphrase a biblical observation concerning unrepentant sinning, their “conscience becomes seared”.

Oh, Choctaw Doc, you’re just conjecturing and in-a-way judging these people without any real evidence. Judging, no. Concerned about, yes. I could dredge up studies to buttress the mental health aspects of this “let it all hang out” social phenomenon, but prefer instead to share real life examples of what sometimes lies beneath the surface in some instances.

I interact with many licensed mental health professionals who occasionally share specific cases that they have found especially troublesome or unnerving (They do not, of course, mention names or details that might reveal their patient’s identities). Here are but a few:

A woman in her 50s sought help with mood swings and eating binges. As her female psychologist dug into her life story, she was told about more than 3 decades of “sexual abandon”. Specifically, her husband had convinced her to “spice up their sex life” first by filming their bedroom life and posting these clips to various websites and, when the thrill wore off of this, pressured her into having sex with other men while he filmed this (“Cuckold lifestyle”). She felt “dirty”, “nasty”, “used” and was “plagued by endless intrusive mental images of degrading sex”. The funny (pathetic) thing was that her husband sent her to therapy because he felt “she has problems, but I don’t”. Yeah.

A young woman in her 20s sought help with depression and insomnia. One of the things her therapist discovered was that this lady was racked with guilt and shame over explicit photos and videos her boyfriend had posted on a very popular porn site. The boyfriend had long since taken a stage left and found a new victim…eh..girlfriend..and left this young woman to live with the torment “giving in” had spawned in her heart and soul.

Now these are just a few examples of the “real world” consequences of “airing one’s peccadilloes”. Many pastoral counselors, priests and rabbis feel the immediate and downstream spiritual damage is even greater and have plenty of their own horror stories that attest to this.

For those who are involved in the sorts of things I’ve shared in this article and have no shame, guilt or concerns, there is no way to convince you that your chickens may come home to roost down the line. Where there is no insight, there can be no realization anything is wrong or could go wrong.

For those who are or have been caught up in these activities and feel shame and regret and/or are experiencing compulsive-additive behavior, my advice is to get thee to a licensed, competent mental health professional who is experienced in helping people with these issues.

And finally, for those of you who are tempted to “play with fire” or who are already doing so but aren’t sure why and don’t feel you need professional evaluation, at least take a few free on-line psych & personality tests to see if you are depressed or have some other issue or tendency such as:

What is your attachment style?  This interactive survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is designed to measure your ‘attachment style’–the way you relate to others in the context of intimate relationships. When completed, the site will reveal your attachment style, and provide a brief summary of what is known about your attachment style on the basis of contemporary scientific research.

Attachment in Past and Present Relationships

Depression Screening Test by Ivan Goldberg, MD – -brief 18-question online automated quiz to help you determine if you may need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis
and treatment of depression

Cybersex Addiction Test

Internet Addiction Test

Partners of Internet Addicts Test

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Women)

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Men)

And here are some books and articles that I believe will prove helpful:

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious

Problems relating well to God & your fellow man? Your attachment style may be a major contributor

The dog you feed the most will dominate your life

Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Dr. Gail Dines

The Broken American Male: And How to Fix Him by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Marriage Builders® (Lots of free help on this website)

For those who have a problem or suspect they do, here are a few reputable sources of help:

If you live in southern California one highly regarded clinic that specializes in treating additions of all kinds including sexual is the Alternative Options Counseling Center. Call 562-921-5701 or 714-995-0359 (Outpatient primarily but “partial hospitalization” available for some patients)

Salvation Army (Residential) Rehab Centers (nationwide)

 A simple Google search will likely turn up at least a few qualified therapists and programs in your particular neck-of-the-woods.

 © 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

State sanctioned executions: What’s wrong with “Hang ’em high!”?

Prisoner Holding Cigarette Between BarsHardly a month passes without one US state or another putting a convicted murderer, rapist or what-have-you to death (It’s 7-26-2013 and Reuters just ran an on-line article titled “Alabama executes man advocates said was mentally ill” at http://reut.rs/13h21aj). While I understand where folks who view this as closure for the victim’s family or “just deserts” are coming from, I quite honestly detest the idea of the state possessing the power to terminate a life under any circumstances. History clearly shows how easy it is for governments to slip into abusing this sort of thing in the name of national security, the war on this or that real or imagined nemesis, or what-have-you. To my way of thinking no modern state should ever have the power to take from any citizen that which it can’t later restore.  I actually took this conviction and planted it squarely in a literary brainchild of mine that incorporates satire and humor to convey certain realities & truths.  You’ll find it on page 1 of my “FUP Manifesto” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/115383259/The-Fook-U-Party-Viva-La-Revolution.

Or if you are too busy, lazy, drunk or stubborn to click the link and find it, here is the salient entry:

Party Prime Directive: The (Seig!) State should never be able to take from anyone that which it can’t later restore if required or compelled, for whatever reason.

If you think this “excessively liberal”, imagine yourself awaiting execution in one hour’s time.   Or what if your daughter, son, nephew, niece or other blood relative were to be executed shortly? 

 

Is bias, corruption & hypocrisy now normative in science & medicine?

Signature:1aa0edd3f00ecb0adc8aa215f572f8061f81f2bd7ee14d34f53c48d50acdcb69SKEWED: BIAS, CORRUPTION & HYPOCRISY IN CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE & MEDICINE by Choctaw Doc

 HARM: A compendium of statistics & information  (Harm done by conventional health care v. AltMed practices & supplements)      Web address: http://bit.ly/N5xk3t 

NEJM editor: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published”

NEJM editor: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published”

The article below is reprinted in its entirety with permission of its author, Carolyn “The Ethical Nag” Thomas.  The original article can be readily accessed by clicking this link: http://ethicalnag.org/2009/11/09/nejm-editor/ 

 

NEJM editor: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published”

NEJM posterHarvard Medical School’s Dr. Marcia Angell is the author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It. But more to the point, she’s also the former Editor-in-Chief at the New England Journal of Medicine, arguably one of the most respected medical journals on earth. But after reading her article in the New York Review of Books called Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption, one wonders if any medical journal on earth is worth anybody’s respect anymore.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

Dr. Angell cites the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. She explains:

“Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose, and none of which were approved for children below ten years of age.”

Biederman’s own studies of the drugs he advocates to treat childhood bipolar disorder were, as The New York Times summarized the opinions of its expert sources, “so small and loosely designed that they were largely inconclusive.”

In June 2009, an American senate investigation revealed that drug companies, including those that make drugs he advocates for childhood bipolar disorder, had paid Biederman $1.6 million in “consulting” and “speaking” fees between 2000 and 2007.

“Two of Biederman’s colleagues received similar amounts. After the revelation, the president of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the chairman of its physician organization sent a letter to the hospital’s physicians expressing not shock over the enormity of the conflicts of interest, but sympathy for the beneficiaries: “We know this is an incredibly painful time for these doctors and their families, and our hearts go out to them.”

Biederman’s failure to disclose his Big Pharma payments to his employers ar Harvard (as is required for all Harvard employees) has been under investigation* for the past two years by Harvard Medical School, in as journalist Alison Bass describes this: “what must be the longest investigation in that school’s history”).

Dr. Angell’s article contains bombshell after bombshell, all gleaned during her tenure as NEJM editor. For example, on the subject of doctors who are bought and paid for by Big Pharma, she writes:

“No one knows the total amount provided by drug companies to physicians, but I estimate from the annual reports of the top 9 U.S.-based drug companies that it comes to tens of billions of dollars a year in North America alone.By such means, the pharmaceutical industry has gained enormous control over how doctors evaluate and use its own products. Its extensive ties to physicians, particularly senior faculty at prestigious medical schools, affect the results of research, the way medicine is practiced, and even the definition of what constitutes a disease.”

Revelations like this from medical profession insiders cast serious doubt on more than what’s printed on the pages of these medical journals.

Your physician reads these journals, treatment decisions are changed, care is affected, drugs are prescribed – all based on Big Pharma-funded medical ghostwriter-prepared journal articles from physicians who fraudulently claim to be the study authors. Then you walk out of your doctor’s office with a prescription for a drug that may or may not kill you, based on treatment protocols written by doctors like Biederman who are on the take from Big Pharma.

A very recent example of the sad reality over at the once-prestigious New England Journal of Medicine is their decision to publish a drug company-funded review article. This review attempts to discredit emerging research suggesting that many years of using Merck’s Fosamax or Procter & Gamble’s Actonel (both osteoporosis drugs in a class called bisphosphonates) could actually result in more leg bone fractures.

Not surprisingly, drug manufacturers of bisphosphonates are fighting back ferociously against this emerging (independent) research.  A Merck-funded review paper published in the NEJM on March 24, 2010 concludes:

“The occurrence of fracture of the subtrochantericor diaphyseal femur was very rare, even among women who had been treated with bisphosphonates for as long as 10 years.”

Sounds promising for Big Pharma. But if you look very, very closely, the article’s fine print confesses:

“The study was underpowered for definitive conclusions.”

You might justifiably ask yourself why a medical journal would stoop to publishing a meaningless scientific paper that the paper’s own authors admit lacks any conclusion. Even more troubling than a journal article that was itself bought and paid for by Merck, is the conflict of interest disclosure list at the bottom of this NEJM article.  It reads like a Who’s Who of Big Pharma.

Of the 12 study authors listed in the NEJM article, at least three are full-time employees of Merck or Novartis. Each one of the other nine admit owning equity interests in or receiving cash, travel expenses, or “consulting and lecture fees” from companies including Merck, Novartis, Amgen, Roche Nycomed, Procter & Gamble, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronics, Nastech, Nestle, Fonterra Brands, OnoPharma, Osteologix, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Sanofi-Aventis, Tethys, Unilever,Unipath, Inverness Medical, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, OSIProsidion, or Takeda.

Why is the New England Journal of Medicine or any other credible medical journal accepting for publication articles submitted by paid employees of pharmaceutical companies?

As a cardiac patient, I’m gobsmacked by what appears to be this systemic corruption of not only medical journals who continue to publish what they clearly know is tainted research linked to drug marketing, but of the very doctors whom patients trust to look out for us. Since my heart attack in 2008, I take a fistful of cardiac meds every day, and I have no clue which of them were prescribed for me based on flawed research or tainted medical journal articles funded by the very companies that make my drugs.

And worse, neither do my doctors.

Happily, there are other decent physicians out there who, like Dr. Angell, are just as outraged as she is. Her targets are not just guilty of unethical conflict of interest – they are criminals who should be charged with endangering our health while padding their wallets.

Read Dr. Angell’s article from the New York Review of Books, called Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption.

* NEWS UPDATE:  “Massachusetts General Hospital Discloses Sanctions against Three Psychiatrists for Violating Ethics Guidelines”, July 1, 2011:   The Boston Business Journal said today that three psychiatrists have been sanctioned for failing to adequately report seven-figure payments they received from drug companies.

Drs. Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer and Timothy Wilens disclosed the disciplinary actions against them in a note to colleagues. According to a copy of the note made public upon request by the hospital, the three doctors:

• must refrain from “all industry-sponsored outside activities” for one year

• for two years after the ban ends, must obtain permission from Mass. General and Harvard Medical School before engaging in any industry-sponsored, paid outside activities and then must report back afterward

• must undergo certain training

• face delays before being considered for “promotion or advancement.”

The three doctors have been under the political microscope since June 2008 when Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, began investigating conflicts of interest involving clinicians. Biederman and Wilens have since admitted to accepting $1.6 million from drug companies whose drugs they were promoting; Spencer took $1 million.

Senator Grassley said, according to an online version of the Congressional record:

“These three Harvard doctors are some of the top psychiatrists in the country, and their research is some of the most important in the field. They have also taken millions of dollars from the drug companies.”

See also: 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL READING

 SKEWED: BIAS, CORRUPTION & HYPOCRISY IN CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE & MEDICINE by Choctaw Doc

 HARM: A compendium of statistics & information  (Harm done by conventional health care v. AltMed practices & supplements)      Web address: http://bit.ly/N5xk3t 

 

The Paula Deen train derails yet again (A Southerner shares his thoughts)

Train 2 - free morguefileNo doubt you’ve come across more than a few TV segments or Web items or both on the many eye-opening episodes from Paula Deen’s past involving racially insensitive words and deeds  (The latest being a just released NY Times story at http://nyti.ms/12mBZaO). What I found troublesome in all this was the argument (rationalization) she offered a while back to the effect that the South she grew up in was in some ways a bastion of antebellum bigotry and thus by extension it is almost expected that folks who grew up in it would harbor such notions. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure this is true. In fact, I know this is true because I grew up in the South (Texas and Louisiana) during the very time Deen did. I am Southern born & bred and have ancestors on both sides of my family that go back to before the Revolutionary war in South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. My great, great grandparents and their offspring lived as citizens of the C.S.A. and some actually fought under the stars & bars as Confederate soldiers. However, my Euro-American father and American Indian (Choctaw) mother never used racist terms or tolerated racist jokes nor even once used the N-word. Not once. And while I heard this pejorative word tossed about by other Southerners as both a put-down of African Americans and as a way to defuse their own fears of (I gather) being upstaged by them, I wanted no part of it. So it follows that a Southerner can grow up around racist words & thinking and yet not wind up perpetuating them in word or deed. This lends me to be wholly unsympathetic to Deen’s attributing what she said and did in the past to exposure to what amounted to “acceptable bigotry”.

At this moment many of my fellow Southerners are rallying to Deen’s side and marshaling all kinds of arguments to excuse her past “sins” and in-a-way redeem her person and legacy.   From what I see they are well meaning people, not hood wearing types or sympathetic to these living anachronisms, though most seem unaware that forgiving Deen’s actions is one thing but trying to rationalize them is quite another.

But let me add this: Attacks on the person who is Paula Deen should not be sanctioned or perpetuated. Attack bad ideas and actions, not the person in the sense of interpreting their motivations or what they feel (None of us can pull this off when it comes to our own being much less anyone else, as most of this takes place at a nonconscious level and is not accessible to conscious processes in our brains).

Let us reject racist ideas and actions and any rationalizations meant to excuse them, but not act as if this reveals what is in the hearts of those who toss them about and by virtue of thus defines their character or very soul (Unless the doer flat out says that their actions stem from heartfelt beliefs and convictions and actually does reflect their soul of souls. Then we should pity them and pray they wise up).

Choctaw Doc

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

   

 

Neither a “Roman at the games” nor a supporter of those who play at this be

ROMAN HELMET - FREE MSWhere you have competition, you have losers and those who seem to revel in their loss. Pretty much everyone reading this knows how the Romans flocked to the Amphitheatrum Flavium better known as the Coliseum (starting around 80 CE) and were thrilled to see gladiatorial contest losers being dispatched and were reportedly especially happy when enemies of the state were served up to the Angel of Death in the goriest way possible. Today this competitive impulse is vented and satisfied in sports stadiums and contests of every description. And….on TV and in movies, in science and medicine, in academia, and in pretty much every endeavor or undertaking you can name. It is almost as if the road up is paved with the wounded, fallen, and discarded.

I personally think we all get more mileage out of cooperation than competition, which is actually a cardinal expression of our social nature. But we still compete. In academia, the term “publish or perish” wasn’t coined as a joke but as a reflection of the cutthroat competition that researchers, scholars and professors keenly feel. Today it is almost commonplace to read about retracted papers whose underlying studies include fraudulent or plagiarized data or information, which I suspect arises when researchers and others feel the only way to “stay afloat” is to take “shortcuts to glory” (Something that when exposed oftentimes sinks the very careers the perpetrators hoped to sustain and grow). The website “Retraction Watch” is actually devoted to airing these kinds of failings from the world of published research.

What concerns me isn’t that people make bad choices, we all do at one time or another after all, but rather that some folks seem to revel in seeing the “perpetrators” thrust into the spotlight and made to endure a seeming unending barrage of shame and denunciation. Some even anticipate bad times for not only people who wonder off the straight & narrow, but for those who are unconventional or are doing things that could be perceived or interpreted as crossing some real or imagined legal or regulatory line by the powers-that-be. Some seem to salivate at the very prospect that an ill wind will blast those they disagree with or oppose into obscurity…or worse.

Those who take this particular low road are IMO the modern day equivalent of those Romans who clamored for the destruction of those who had violated Imperial law.

So why do people, especially cultured, educated souls, seem to thrill in what amounts to an exercise in cruelty? Has their sense of competitiveness and the need to be right taken on a pathological dimension? Do they find that the only way they can feel better is by stepping on and then over the careers and lives of those they feel duty bound to hurl stones at? Do they have little or no empathy, at least for those they disagree with or oppose? Is it intolerance or ignorance at work…or both? Maybe it is all of this and more, at least in some instances. Let me share what I think motivates at least some of these “professional stone throwers”.

It is my contention that the mechanism (if you will) at work in those who either predict doom for their real or perceived nemeses (“worthy targets”) or who work towards this end, is the same one that animates the cruel actions of terrorists who behead their helpless victims. In 2005 I touched on this in an analytic article I titled “Terrorist beheadings and other forms of inflicted, violent death: Are victims aware of what is happening around them after their heart and lungs have stopped working?” (which you can access at http://bit.ly/142hi4Y)

 It will take only a few salient lines to spell out my spin on this: 

…there is an element of “enlightened self interest” in our curiosity and even fascination with dying and death. When we ask “What did that poor soul experience?”, we are in some way seeking in the death of others some idea of what we might sense or think or visualize as we go through our own final, irreversible “systems failure”.

So there you have it. As I see it some, perhaps many “stone hurlers” – I refer specifically to those who engage in ad hominem attacks on people or classes or groups of people instead of challenging faulty or flawed ideas, or who make suppositions with regard to what underlies poor or bad choices as though they are privy to seeing into their being (quite a feat when you consider most mental processes beneath consciousness and are not accessible to us) – do so (in part) to both existentially anticipate and experience the suffering they predict or facilitate for those they oppose. Of course, if their target winds up in hot water, rehab, prison or the cemetery, there is the ego-gratification of being able to say (either bluntly or ever so diplomatically) “See, I told you so”. By virtue of this they feel justified in the rightness of their particular stone hurling activities and encouraged to continue doing so. Society is not better for it, for successful cruelty has a way of attracting imitators and supporters and then of being further reinforced until it becomes “a self-evident truth”.

How should we deal with stone hurling and other forms of depersonalizing cruelty? The faulty thinking, choices and ideas that underlie such actions should be brought to light, dissected and challenged. But under no circumstance should this include attacks on the character or worth of people who have “played a Roman at the games” or supported those who do so. And, last but not least, we should strive mightily to meet and supplant heartless, cynical or even cruel actions on the part of others with exceeding kindness, cooperation, forgiveness and mercy whenever possible.   

Choctaw Doc

© 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

 

Recommended Supplemental Reading

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will by Heidi M. Ravven, Ph.D.

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood, Ph.D.

The Illusion of Conscious Will by Dr. Daniel M. Wegner  

  

The dog you feed the most will dominate your life

AGNES OF GOD - AMAZONIn 1985 the Broadway hit “Agnes of God” was released as a movie directed by Normal Jewison. Marshall Fine tendered this review on Amazon.com:

This Broadway hit gets a solid film treatment by director Norman Jewison, but that can’t make up for the weaknesses of the script (which were as true onstage as they are here). Jane Fonda plays a chain-smoking shrink sent to a convent to do a psychological evaluation of a novice (Meg Tilly) who gave birth to a baby and then killed it in her little room. Was it a virgin birth? A miracle? And what of the bloody stigmata that seem to spontaneously appear on her hands? Fonda also finds herself clashing with the Mother Superior (Anne Bancroft) over the line between faith and science. But writer John Pielmeier can’t flesh this out beyond an idea; in the end, the solution is a disappointingly earthbound one that even the strong acting in this film can’t elevate.

OK, so the film isn’t flawless and has garnered more than its fair share of “1 or 2 thumbs down”. With this said, I like this flick. Why so? In-a-word it lays in the fact Agnes the novice nun somehow manages to interact with the world thorough a lens of innocence. That is, the unjaded aspects of her being for the most part dominate her day-to-day existence and how she perceives life and those around her.

Hollywood nonsense, you say? I might have agreed with you if this were early 1999. But not afterwards. What changed for me? I spent more than four years in Japan living and teaching classes of Japanese young people from pre-school through doctoral level plus many corporate classes filled with adult working professionals. What I discovered was that virtually all the young folks were, well, in some ways “Agnes of God” like. Mind you, I was aware that there were exceptions and many expats I shared sake and chat with were quick to point out their bad experiences with pretty jaded Japanese characters. But on-the-whole even they agreed most Japanese people they had encountered while teaching and in society at-large exhibited less of the cynicism and sheer nastiness that appeared commonplace back in the US and the West in general (Some of these expats came from the UK, New Zealand and Australia).

My then girlfriend and later (2001) wife thought I was seeing her people through rose colored glasses. This changed once we moved from Japan to southern California in early 2003. Having left being the corporate world in Japan (18 years work for a major multinational corporation in Tokyo), she pursued her long held dream of becoming a marriage and family therapist. This journey took her through the MS in Counseling program at Cal State Fullerton (she graduated with honors) and internships at a number of places including the Salvation Army residential program in Anaheim. While doing an internship at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, she happened to counsel a number of Japanese students who had come to the US in order to obtain specific educational credentials in an English language environment. What she discovered — and made a point of mentioning to me — is that her Japanese charges were very “unjaded” compared to the American students she counseled. Maybe my glasses were not so rose-colored after all.

At the very least, there seems to be at least a modicum of real world evidence that my original observation was spot on: The Japanese were and are on-a-whole less jaded (“more innocent”) than Americans.

Were Americans less jaded in the past? It seemed that way to me when I was a youngster. TV and movies in the late 1950s into the 1960s tended to reflect a certain un-worldliness (Less cynical, less nasty). This began to go out the window with the advance of the sexual revolution, Vietnam and all that entailed, and the general rejection of authority and conventional ways among many young folks of that era (including moi).

Can we ever recapture what we lost short of embarking on a 2nd childhood (individually and collectively)? Is the genie out of the bottle for good? Is there any way to truly be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves” (Rabbi Yehoshua’s admonition). Good questions, I think. We American Indians (Choctaws) have a saying that goes like this: “The dog you feed the most becomes biggest”. By this token if we as Americans feed ourselves on jaded & cynical things such as pornography, greed, pride, and other vices then the dogs that will steer our sled (lives) will be these vices. On the other hand, if we feed virtues and starve vices, well, we just might find ourselves less jaded and “wicked”. And while we may not become a nation of “Agnes of God” characters or even Japanese-like, we could inch a little closer to it.

Choctaw Doc

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

How do you kill 12 million people? Evil then and now: Recognizing & containing it

Color photo from TIME, Inc.

Color photo from TIME, Inc.

Dr. Anthony G. PayneMy good friend Jim Haverlock recently asked, “How do you kill 12 million people?” He was,  of course,  referring to the Shoah or Holocaust. He wasn’t asking about the nuts & bolts of pulling off mass executions but, rather, how did so many ordinary and even extraordinary men and women willingly take part in Hitler’s Endlösung (Final Solution). This is a question that has intrigued and haunted me since early boyhood actually. In fact, as part of my quest for answers I read all of Nazi propaganda minister Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels diaries as a young man plus vol. 1 of “Mein Kampf” (Vol. 2 was unknown when I was a youngster), watched archival film of the Nuremberg & Doctor’s trials, and read just about every substantive book on Hitler, the Nazis and fascism that existed at the time (And everything worth reading on the subject since as well). As anyone reading this who ever took a course in World History knows, both Hitler and Goebbels stressed the use of propaganda and the “big lie” as integral to the creating and sustainment of the Greater Germania they envisioned. And both were extraordinary in their zeal and abilities to forge a monolithic state predicated on a shared national myth, and induce the German people to embrace it via lies, artful use of imagery and symbols, fear, rewards and appeals to entrenched biases that went back not just decades but centuries (Particularly in the case of antisemitism which sadly had its roots in early Christian teachings especially the Hellenized spin on Jesus and his message crafted & promulgated by Saul of Tarsus aka St. Paul. Learn more by reading Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity  by scholar & historian Dr. James D. Tabor).

One place to turn for insight is historian Dr. Daniel Goldhagen’s books plus those of psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo. They do a smashing good job of laying out the historic, sociological, psychological and economic forces, currents and mechanisms that set the stage for the rise of the Nazis and then sustained them once they were in power.

But, even after you’ve read and mastered these works and others like them you likely find yourself still perplexed by the fact so many people down through the millennia and especially during the heyday of fascism could ignore and in many instances take an active hand in wanton cruelty. After nearly a lifetime of studying human cruelty and complicity in cruelty and evil I know there is no simple answer to “why”. Certainly lack of empathy or reduced or impaired empathy for targets/scapegoats is vital to evil and, yes, lies play a powerful role as well, but there is so much more that works to foster wickedness than lies and people’s failure to detect them or act on them or neglect to search them out and deal with them. However, with this said it certain behooves Americans to be vigilant and to call out wrongs and evil as soon as they come to light.

Things are complicated by the fact that evil and good rely on similar mechanisms and tools to govern (God, too, relies on these – see my op-ed piece on this subject titled “Hitler & HaShem at http://www.healingcare4u.org/hitler-hashem.pdf). Heaven knows our government has used lies of varying magnitude to govern across the years of our country’s existence. Probably Nixon and his “Imperial Presidency” took this to a whole new level and set certain wickedness in motion that has grown in scope to this day. In theory, yes, a super crisis or series of crises could lead to martial law and suspensions of Constitutional guarantees. During the Civil War (or as it is better known where I came from, “The War for Southern Independence”) Abraham Lincoln threw many folks who questioned his administration and policies into jail and kept them there, thanks to his having suspended the writ of habeas corpus. However, people rebelled, the press raised hell and the Supreme Court ultimately undid some of the more egregious acts of hegemony. I think any move to contain social disorder by imposition of a police or ultra-authoritarian state would, at the very least, result in the formation of tens of thousands of militias and resistance groups across the land that would make keeping the lid on the pot problematic if not impossible.

Naturally, best to act now and prevent a quasi-police or full-fledged police state then try to overthrow one that is in-place. Keeping our representatives working and honest is certainly part of that.

While no one has knows the full rhyme and reason behind human evil and its various incarnations, it helps to be aware of and reject ideas, movements, and acts that arise from and feed evil: Among them being intolerance, the marginalization and dehumanization of others especially minorities and other vulnerable groups, and unquestioned belief in authority figures and an unwillingness to call them out when they violate the very civil virtues and Constitutional guarantees they are charged with upholding.

I would add this: Although I’ve been a democratic socialist since 1985 I find some ideas and notions articulated by conservatives and even some right wingers of merit. As a Southerner whose ancestors go back to Revolutionary War times (and beyond) in South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi, and whose paternal and maternal forbearers lived under the Stars & Bars (Confederacy) and in some instances fought for the C.S.A., I inherited a mix of ideas and notions, some worthy of consideration if not embrace, others that had no substance when they were articulated long ago and never will.  Of those that I deemed worth hanging onto was the longstanding Southern distrust of a powerful central government running everything including many aspects of people’s everyday lives. Although you might think a democratic socialist would welcome an all powerful centralized government, I emphatically do not. History shows all too clearly that the concentration of power in the hands of strongmen leads to abuses and skullduggery of the worst sort. Actually there are at least a few liberal thinkers who would prefer to see a decentralization of power in the US and other countries, and even the break-up of powerhouse countries into small nation-states (Especially those that are unstable or might become so and with this attempt to retain order and stability by imposition of a police or authoritarian state). I’m sure a world comprised of small, less powerful nations, say, the size of Switzerland, would by no means avoid many of the ills that plague major powers today, but I can’t help think they would have less influence and thus less ability to work evil in the world. And for those that do, their neighbors could form temporary confederations and impose various kinds of sanctions or, when regrettably necessary, military containment (Hey, sometimes the only way to stop a thug is send in the police).

But until power shifts from Washington to the states (if it ever does), best to keep an eye on the politicians on Capital Hill and do everything possible to keep our representatives working, honest and limited in the evil they can do. The same applies to the press and other so-called sacred American institutions.

Dr. Anthony G. Payne (waxing philosophic from his porch swing)

RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING

My spiritual watering hole website: http://summerclouds.weebly.com/

Why does God allow evil (Theodicy)? See Are you an atheist, religionist, deist, fideist or ???

CBN video presentation “God & Hitler”: http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/churchhistory/godandhitler/index.aspx

Restoring Abrahamic Faith by Dr. James D. Tabor

The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by Dr. James D. Tabor

The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity by Rev. Jeffrey J. Bϋtz

How Jesus Became Christian by Barrie Wilson, Ph.D.

Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D.

Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Why is America so messed up? Blame the Founding Fathers & Disney!

CONSTITUTION - free MSPETER PAN - FREE MSDo we live in a messed up culture or what? Congress is gridlocked (aka constipated) and Wall Street seems to have terminal IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome – alternating constipation & diarrhea). It looks like virtually everything is illegal or soon will be which surely is linked to the phenomenal growth of the prison industry.  And single folks, they flock to on-line dating services where they find legions of married people looking for “afternoon delight” or its equivalent. People in general are now so jaded and fearful that just about anything from a sour look to a bag of skittles and a bottle of iced tea qualifies as a deadly threat.  And the boxers in the ring – that’s you and me folks – are so punch-drunk we longer hear the bell, see the canvas… or even care.  To hear the most vocal among us we are either one step from becoming the Fourth Reich or else on the slippery slope to some form of communalism or communism or some ism no one seems to favor or else believes signals the advent the “End Times”. I’m pretty sure if an extraterrestrial intelligence actually visited this veil of tears it would not conclude we are “Mostly Harmless” and would stick a quarantine beacon in high orbit to warn off other space travelers.

So how did we wind up so utterly messed up? I’m sure you have your own pet theories and suspicions. Me? I think it all started with the Founding Fathers and then Disney. Yep, the Founding Fathers and Disney. You see, those venerable Übermensch who founded our empire..uh…republic, elected to write some nonsense about our being entitled to pursue happiness. The problem is, they didn’t posses a roadmap to happiness or anything like it, nor did they seem to have the remotest idea  what exactly it is or would even look like (Albeit some folks tried heartily to achieve it by abusing every vice known to humankind). But then came Walt Disney and his cadre of mythmakers and propagandists who spoon fed us Baby Boomers (as well as those who had the misfortune of following in our wake) versions of reality in which all wrongs are righted; the Princess, puppet turned human, talking cricket and exceedingly cute fawn and most of her family beat the odds and lived; and the wicked witch and all those like her ultimately get theirs, and everyone somehow lives happily ever after. Now what do you think happens when you fill impressionable kids with notions of being entitled to pursue happiness and then feed them a steady diet of Disney films as though it were some kind of  magical roadmap? Why, hell yeah, you get a bunch of disappointed, anxious, spoiled, conceited neurotics who spin their wheels and fritter their lives away trying to dull the pain of not having a Disney-esque life, family, job, or future. Most wind up chucking their St. Whatever statue out their car, van, truck or armored personnel carrier window, and placing one of St. Al (Al Bundy) or St. Sam (Kinison) in its place.  This pathetic existential state naturally gives rise to a host of evils such as drunkenness, cheating, sexless relationships, career burnout, road rage, shoplifting, hoarding, running over the neighbor’s dog, tossing litter out of vehicle windows, overeating and fudging on income tax returns.  In the end, many find themselves wondering if happiness is something only those in the local cemetery found and this by making a permanent stage left.

Is there hope for this messed up state-of-affairs? There is. Forget the pursuit of happiness and instead pursue loyalty, faithfulness, virtue, and honesty. And toss all those Disney DVDs in the rubbish bin and make a point of exposing your children and/or grandchildren to stories that do not necessarily end with everyone living “happily ever after” but do teach them something about sacrifice, hard work, persistence, set-backs, tolerance, righting wrongs and doing what is good and right, as well as championing justice and equality for all while steadfastly resisting injustice and inequality in whatever guise. At least this way they will not be looking for a Disney world or Disney ending that will never come, though if they hang on and keeping doing what’s right and virtuous they might just get pretty darn close.

Choctaw Doc (Philosophizing from his porch swing)

 Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.  

 

Female sexuality: Just when the waters seemed to have cleared a little

Young Woman with Her Hand on Her Belly and Man Beside Her WritingSigmund Freud once said something to the effect that the one thing that truly eluded him was deciphering female behavior & sexuality (I read all his works by age 12 or so but still wrestle with some aspects of his claims & insights). I must admit that the range of plasticity in women — much culturally & socially influenced if not determined — is daunting (Men, by contrast, often seem like trolley trains on a one-way track). Now comes yet another book that is sure to confound any attempt by anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists and others to solve what Freud could not: http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/memoir-female-lust I have come to the tentative conclusion that the best recourse is surrender — as in starting one’s 2nd childhood early and returning to those simplier, less confused days when everything was explained or solved by 30 or 60 minute TV shows & news specials as well as movies & mini-series. Either that or go mad and adopt a “Laugh In” or Timothy Leary spin on reality.

Getting stem cells to target using magnetic means

MAGNET - FREE MShttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716144037.htmSteering Stem Cells With Magnets

http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(04)00010-6/abstract  – My 2003 paper titled “Using immunomagnetic technology and other means to facilitate stem cell homing” (Medical Hypotheses, Elsevier UK)

Abortion: Is there a point at which it becomes a moral or ethical “misstep”?

QUESTION - FREE MICROSOFTIf you belong to a faith tradition or religious perspective that views the fusion of sperm and egg as marking the advent of a human life, you are probably very unlikely to modify your stance. As one who grew up in the Bible belt among Protestant fundamentalists and evangelicals (upwards of 90% of my family), I know where you are coming from. There is black & white, with grey being a species of unacceptable compromise that is akin to bedding down with evil incarnate.

If you happen to belong to the “B & W’ contingent, perhaps you buttress your antiabortion convictions like many aspects of your most cherished religious beliefs with borrowings from the world of science and medicine, however tenuous some of these may be. As you may know or at least have heard, many religious beliefs are not testable and thus lie outside the purview of science. For example, the religious concept that every human has a soul or spirit imputed by the Almighty at conception or thereafter is not something that can be tested and verified or refuted using the tools of science. There is no laboratory assay that will disclose or measure something that is held to have no material substance as we know it and which is not physically manifest in cells or tissues or such.

For religionists who hold that ensoulment (i.e., spirit is imputed) occurs at conception, and (who) refuse to consider even slightly modifying this perspective in light of contrary biblical reasoning, there exists an impasse that cannot be readily breeched (If at all). When enough people embrace such a spin on what constitutes viable human life, their collective influence on the direction state and even federal legislation takes is felt (Some would argue disproportionately so). Of course, the courts have weighed in to keep even majority sentiment from what they conclude impinges on or overrides the Constitutional rights of the minority.

Many scientists regard the convictions of those who hold that viable human life begins at conception or during the very early stages of development as both presumptuous and naive. Many religionists and theologians agree. Among those who happen to hold fast to a belief that a fertilized egg is entitled to full status as a viable human, the use of blastocytes or very early stage embryos constitutes a species of murder. Some even go so far as to decry those who take exception to their faith-based beliefs as being immoral or amoral.

Does the truth lie somewhere between the strictly secular and the sacred? Most of us probably harbor a feeling that somewhere in all this – lurking in the facts of biology and the world of polemics and logic, ethics and religion – there is an answer that will win the day. If this is the case, it is quite obviously going to take time for such a truth to fully emerge.

Many have asked me, “What is your spin on what constitutes viable human life?” Being as I have a foot in both worlds – which is to say religious belief and science – it seems logical to suppose that I would be able to offer up a “faith and science-friendly” opinion as to when viable human life begins. Well, yes, I do have something to offer up for consideration though the only thing I can be 100% certain of is that my opinion will be contested by people on both sides of the “great divide”. With this in mind, here is my spin – informed by biology, of course.

The heart begins beating at three weeks of gestation and the first neural reflex is manifest at eight weeks (and consists of hand withdrawal in response to stimulation of the fetal lip region). During weeks 9-13 the first brain waves appear and are discernible using special medical instrumentation.

Given that death is defined (in part) as a cessation of both heart and brain wave activity, one could argue conversely that to be alive in any meaningful sense beyond mere biological existence (A petri dish bearing a cell culture has biological existence, after all)  begins when both heart and brain are operational – week 9 onwards.

Interestingly, in my own faith tradition which is informed by lines of moral & ethical reasoning in Rabbinic Judaism, the fetus generally becomes a viable human life after day 40 of gestation. In the ancient Jewish context, the fetus is deemed to be little more than water until “quickening” occurs, about 40 days after insemination. “What Do Orthodox Jews Think About Abortion and Why? By Judith Shulevitz – Orthodox Jews on Abortion. If we take week 9 as our bench mark — the heart and brain being recognizably functional – then the fetus would be deemed viable from about day 63 onward.

 Applying this definition of when human life becomes viable, it follows that embryos from conception to week 9 or so are “pre-viable” or “proto-viable.”

Now is this to say that embryos prior to week 9 are “fair game”? Say, that we can create embryos strictly for the purposes of harvesting their tissue and/or stem cells for medical research or other applications? These embryos aren’t viable, so why not? Well this brings us full circle to religious and ethical concerns. Rather than belabor that in this op-ed piece, I would direct readers to an excellent treatment of this subject in this posted article: Jewish Virtual Library – Abortion

OK, so we don’t create embryos to harvest, how about using intentionally aborted fetuses as a source of tissues or embryonic stem cells for research or medical application? As one fellow actually said to me, “Hey, Doc, they are going to die anyway, so why not get some good out of them for sick and ailing people”. To my mind, this comes uncomfortably close to the arguments advanced by physicians and scientists who performed hideous experiments on human subjects in Nazi concentration camps. This very line of reasoning was, in fact, used as a defense by some of the physicians being tried for war crimes in the 1946 “Doctor’s Trail” in Germany). Granted, there is a world of difference between elective abortion and the intentional dispatch of life at the hands of doctors (such as the late Nazi “Angel of Death” Dr. Josef Mengele and his ilk) who abandoned universally acknowledged medical ethics in the service of the state. But even so, harvesting aborted fetuses from any source does strike many folks in America as constituting a form of callous utilitarianism that can’t help but bring to mind some of the most egregious polities and activities in the Nazi bio-state – or perhaps the fear that our country is headed in the direction of making prophecy of the classic sci-fi film “Soylent Green” – or both. And even if the intentional abortion of a fetus before week 9 were universally embraced as morally and ethically acceptable – in no way offensive to humankind or the Almighty – there remains something hauntingly “predatory” about utilizing material from intentionally terminated “pre-viable” human material.

All things considered, it seems unlikely that access to abortion will prove a genie that can be returned to the proverbial bottle (This side of the US becoming an authoritarian or police state run by pro-life factions at all levels, that is – something the majority of Americans would vehemently oppose). And while restrictions on the direction embryonic stem cell research and use takes will likely continue to be a legislative and ethical tug-of-war between various factions, a return to an outright ban on government provided/sanctioned embryonic stem cell lines seems unlikely. This leaves what is being played out now at the political level:  That is, the fact many state legislatures such as my own native state of Texas in 2013 are leaning towards placing considerable restrictions on access to abortion services. This gambit may succeed especially in states dominated by a traditionally conservative majority although I predict any such this legislation will be eventually overturned by the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional.

Perhaps my life-at-9-weeks-on criteria should be thrown into the abortion access deliberations mix. Let’s revisit it:

Given that death is defined (in part) as a cessation of both heart and brain wave activity, one could argue conversely that to be alive in any meaningful sense beyond mere biological existence (A petri dish bearing a cell culture has biological existence, after all)  begins when both heart and brain are operational – week 9 onwards

Of course, I am not actually advocating that my definition (above) be transformed into new legislation or such that is imposed on all women across the land. But for women who come out of conservative faith traditions what I have laid out might help them in deciding at what point-in-time during a fetuses’ development abortion constitutes an ethical or moral misstep. For those who find my approach reasonable, use of a “morning after” pill constitutions no sin nor does an abortion prior to week ten (10) post-conception.

In the final analysis, the whole matter comes down to personal choice informed by the unique constellation of social and life factors & players that characterize each woman’s life.

________________________________________________________

© 2013 by Dr. Anthony “Choctaw Doc” Payne. All rights reserved.

Links to Choctaw Doc’s main web & blog sites (Free information & articles galore)

for-choctaw-doc-blog

CHOCTAW DOC ON ABOUT.ME: http://about.me/ChoctawDoc

ALTERNATIVES & OPTIONS (SHORT VIDEO BY CHOCTAW DOC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tR6iAHCcrc

“THE CHOCTAW DOC SHOW” (7M:15S YOUTUBE VIDEO): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VVBKk-venc&feature=youtu.be

 

CHOCTAW DOC’S CEREBRATORIUM: https://biotheorist.wordpress.com/

CHOCTAW DOC’S LINKED-IN PROFILE: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/choctaw-doc/24/126/207
CHOCTAW DOC/SUMMER CLOUD’S SPIRITUAL WATERING HOLE WEBSITE: http://summerclouds.weebly.com/
CHOCTAW DOC’S SCRIBD PAGE: http://www.scribd.com/ChoctawDoc

More spiritual than religious? Perhaps a messianic God-fearer?

PATH UP - MORGUEFILEAccording to various polls a great many Americans consider themselves more spiritual than religious, and more than a few are disenchanted with organized religion and do not hold clerics in especially high esteem. If you belong to this fraternity you have landed on the right doorstep. CLICK TO READ MORE

Is cooking the main culprit behind the arterial blockage seen in the Horus mummies study?

Assorted fruitDuring March of this year (2013) a paper appeared in the journal The Lancet titled “Atherosclerosis across 4000 years of human history: the Horus study of four ancient populations”. You may have seen something about this among the many news articles and blurbs posted across the Web on the heels of this paper’s publication. If not, check out Science Daily’s excellent lay level piece on it at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091537.htm

 You can read the paper in its entirety at   http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/pdfs/S014067361360598X.pdf I perused it right after it came out and would like to share my thoughts on a possible culprit behind the arterial blockage that bedeviled the ancient peoples represented in the Horus study and which has cast a long shadow over modern populations as well (The fabled “Iceman“ Ötzi showed evidence of atherosclerosis too albeit he had a genetic predisposition and evidence of a chronic infection, namely borreliosis or Lyme disease).

CLICK THIS LINK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE

 

 

Rebooting your life: “The Big (not so easy) ‘Reset’ Button” by Jim Haverlock

BOOT BUTTON - FREE MSJim Haverlock’s “The Big (not so easy) ‘Reset Button”

 

 

An office supply store has in their advertising a “large red easy button” that serves as an inspiration for this short message.

Many people find it hard to imagine starting over again. Whether it’s after a divorce, the loss of a loved one, or the development of a physical disability, it can be hard to even think of leaving the house again, much less address the changes that a person’s life will inevitably undergo.

Click to read the rest of Jim’s insightful story

 

Your mind as universe & what you can do to change it

MIND - UNLOCK - FREE MSDo you like it when a new way of looking at a situation or phenomenon comes to mind or is introduced to you by someone else? If your answer is “yes” then you probably will enjoy what I am about to share.

Back during junior high I was riveted by Einstein’s General Relativity and the unified, very cogent spin it offered on gravitation. Before your eyes glass over rest assured what I have to share does not get into physics but, rather, borrows something from it you will readily understand and (I hope) appreciate.

Einstein described gravity as a geometric property of what is called spacetime. Picture spacetime as a trampoline, and then mentally set a heavy object on its surface, let’s say a bowling ball. What happens?  The bowling ball produces an indentation in the trampoline fabric or curvature. This is what the sun and earth and other objects in the universe do to spacetime.  If one increases the mass of an object then the curvature increases. This very brief YouTube video does a smashing job of graphically illustrating this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoaOHvy5AcA      

Now I want to analogize this to human psychology. Here is how:

We are all born into this world with anything but a tabula rasa or blank slate. In addition, to built-in brain circuits (modules) that favor survival as well as give rise to and sustain all kinds of behavioral propensities, there is evidence of stored memories including elements of language acquired in utero and emotional and mood wiring at unconscious as well as conscious levels.

 Using the spacetime analogy, the trampoline fabric in this instance is affect (mood, emotions and affective logic circuitry) as it animates and informs most non- or un- conscious and conscious brain processes. This fabric is studded with various objects – bowling balls or planets or whatever image tickles your fancy – which are variously non- & un- conscious as well as conscious predispositions, drives, et cetera.

With this picture in mind, let’s say you reach adulthood and spend a great deal of time engaging in helping others, say as a volunteer or medical professional or cleric. This feeds the objects on the trampoline that both feed & inform charity and altruism which grow and by so doing dwarfs other objects (pursuits, needs, desires, etc.) and eventually produces enough deformation in the fabric to bring smaller nearby objects into orbit (or subjugation, as it were). The same process is true of people who, say, feed their sexual appetite or conversely, starve it (Perhaps 20% or more of marriages in the US are sexless according to some experts. While this may reflect large numbers of people with attachment or other personality disorders, it may so reflect neglect of one dimension or object in the sexual constellation of self and the feeding of others, say cyber-fantasies).          

So of what real world good is there in knowing this? In-a-word your universe consists of objects whose size and influence reflects your focus or conversely neglect. So if you something is wrecking your peace or that of your marriage or professional life, sketch out your universe and see which aspects (objects) are being overfed or underfed. Then focus on shrinking or conversely growing them.

How to do this? It really is simple but this is not to say easy. Change your behavior,… your conduct. The rest of you will follow suit if you do so and stick with it.

Don’t believe remodeling your personal universe can be done in this way? Go to Amazon or whatever shopping website you prefer and search out “Strangers to Ourselves” (subtitled “Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious”) by Dr. Timothy D. Wilson (Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia). If you are in a rush after receiving this insightful tome, turn to chapter 10 and read it in its entirety.      

TO READ MORE ON ATTACHMENT DISORDERS GO TO http://bit.ly/Xjqsja

SUPPLEMENTAL READING:

University of Pennsylvania Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor in Sociology Dr. Randall Collins classic work “Interaction Ritual Chains” (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)  

From a review of Dr. Collins seminal work by Gary Alan Fine that appeared in Social Forces
Volume 83, Number 3, March 2005 pp. 1287-1288 | 10.1353/sof.2005.0029

“Simply put, Collins argues that interaction rituals produce emotional energy, the gathering of which is a central motivating force for individuals. Affect is the engine of social order. Those interaction rituals that are most effective in generating emotional energy are the ones that bolster institutional stability. We seek emotional energy the way that felines seek catnip—it gives us a buzz. Collins stands athwart the cognitive turn in social psychology, finding affect where others find thought, and indeed valuably devotes a chapter to demonstrating the various ways in which thinking must be linked to emotional entrainment.”

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/social_forces/v083/83.3fine.html     

AFFECTIVE LOGIC: http://affect-logic.com/5.html

EXTENDED BEING: http://extendbeing.weebly.com/

Summer Cloud’s Watering Hole

© 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Do natural algorithms account for the origins and evolution of life?

ALGORITHM - EXAMINER ARTICLELet’s step into a time machine of sorts or a “Wayback Machine” (to borrow from one of my favorite boyhood TV series “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show“) and take a trip back to 2003. During May of that year a paper appeared in the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals titled “Minimal-cell system created in laboratory by self-organization” [October 2003, vol. 18, iss. 2, pp. 335-343(9) Elsevier Science)]. This quote is from the introduction…. Click to access full article by Choctaw Doc on Examiner.com

Papers by Choctaw Doc

PAPERS BY CHOCTAW DOC PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNALS MEDICAL HYPOTHESES (ELSEVIER) & MEDICAL HYPOTHESES & RESEARCH (RESPECTIVELY) + A LETTER PUBLISHED IN SCIENCE

Nota bene: Much of my work down through the years could not be published anywhere as it would compromise proprietary use by those I worked for/with.       

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17055180

 Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(4):828-31. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Exploiting hypoxia in solid tumors to achieve oncolysis.

Payne AG.

Abstract

Chemo- and radio-resistant cancer cells within solid tumors undermine the effectiveness of these approaches to achieving oncolysis. These resistant cells and clusters of cells typically thrive at low oxygen tensions and are reliant on anaerobic metabolic pathways that churn out lactate. This hypoxic state is one that can be exploited and in this paper a novel method is advanced involving tumor cell infiltration by bifidobacterium species which should bring about prodigious lactate synthesis; concomitant blocking of its enzymatic degradation by urea as well as export (from the cell) by use of quercetin; depletion of ATP using exogenous thyroid; and compromised oxidative catabolism of free fatty acids and amino acids via oral intake of l-hydroxycitrate, melatonin and nontoxic NDGA. This “anaerobic pathway cocktail”, it is hypothesized, will bring about a profound reduction in intracellular pH and a compromised state of cellular energetics sufficient to effect oncolysis.

PMID: 17055180

Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(4):880-1.

Ciliary neurotrophic factor: its possible role as a stem cell homing beacon in neurological diseases and disorders.

Payne AG.

PMID: 15694712

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15082095

 Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(5):718-20.

Using immunomagnetic technology and other means to facilitate stem cell homing.

Payne AG.

Abstract

If stem cell therapy is to be maximally effective, it is vital that progenitor (stem) cells get to the target tissue(s) and/or organ(s). Three methods of facilitating stem cell homing to target tissues are explored in this paper: (1) cobalt compounds such as cobalt phthalocyanines could be magnetically delivered to target tissue(s) and/or organ(s), and then subject to a brief pulsed magnetic field or ultrasound exposure suitable to induce mild hyperthermia with the result being the synthesis of cytokines that are chemoattractants to progenitor (stem) cells; (2) ferromagnetic nanobead particles could be tagged with antibodies specific to the target tissue(s) and/or organ(s) and infused into patients, followed by introduction of progenitor (stem) cells tagged with antibody-bound magnetic nanoparticles. This should result in passive attachment (stem cells to tagged tissue or organ); and (3) Reticulose, which stimulates the synthesis of the stem cell chemoattractant IL-8, could be magnetically guided to target tissue(s) and/or organ(s).

PMID: 15082095

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19200662

 Med Hypotheses. 2009 May;72(5):548-50. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Experimental regimen targeting the ependyma slows disease progression in four patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

 Payne AG.

 Abstract

In this paper the author proposes that at least some forms of sporadic ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) arise due to the effects of neurotoxic compounds synthesized by defective ependymal cells in the brain. These cells produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that is laden with neurotoxic compounds that bring about motor neuron die-off. Evidence is garnered from various animal studies to demonstrate the toxicity of CSF taken from ALS patients and by virtue of the proposed mechanism (defective ependymal cells). In addition, a regimen created by the author is introduced; a regimen that has been used by four (4) sporadic ALS patients since 2005 resulting in what appears to be a slowing of disease progression. All four patients have significantly outlived best estimates of their survival tendered by their neurologists.

PMID: 19200662

 Science. 2005 Jan 14;307(5707):208-9; author reply 208-9.

Inflammation and life-span.

Payne AG.

Comment on

Inflammatory exposure and historical changes in human life-spans.Finch CE, Crimmins EM. Science. 2004 Sep 17; 305(5691):1736-9.

PMID: 15662728

 [ABSTRACT]  [Free Full Text PDF]
[3]        Anthony G. Payne: Effecting Oncolysis by Depleting Intracellular
Glutathione, Boosting Oxidative Stress, and Reducing IGF-I.
pp. 247-252.

 [ABSTRACT]   [PDF]
[6]        Anthony G. Payne* [2005] Beneficial Effects of Subcutaneously Injected
Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells on Cerebral Palsy and Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and a Posited Mechanism.
  pp. 497 – 501.

[ABSTRACT]    [PDF]
[3]        Anthony G. Payne* [2005] Preventing Metastasis and Achieving Oncolysis in
Solid Tumors by Inhibiting Specific Metalloproteinases and Manipulating Key
Metabolic Pathways.
pp. 553-565.
[ABSTRACT]    [PDF]
[2]        Fernando Ramirez, David A. Steenblock, Anthony G. Payne* and Lyn Darnall [2006] Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy. pp. 679-686.  

 

EXTENDED BEING (Hubpages article)

FROM DR. PAYNE’S ARTICLE “EXTENDED BEING” on Examiner.com

“The quiet punctuated by the flow of water in that aqueduct made it possible to experience not just quiet and relaxation but more so (for me anyway) a unique situation in which conscious thoughts and awareness dipped and other things came to light. One of these was a dynamic running “mental clip” (representation) of Kaoru that was interacting with me at a very subtle level. There was a spoken and unspoken dialog going on. I realized that part of her was alive within me but not solely as memories and warm associations; there was a dynamic sort of circuit at play which was influencing not only my thoughts and mood but also some elements of my personality, i.e., I was being influenced by specific personality traits she exhibited that I found appealing and was even internalizing some of them (And while mirroring and mimicry mechanisms were undoubtedly involved in this process, there was seemingly more to it than this). She had become part of the “we” that is “me”!”

CLICK TO ACCESS MY HUBPAGES ARTICLE: http://anthonypayne.hubpages.com/hub/Extended-Being-The-You-That-is-Many

EXTENDED BEING WEBSITE: http://extendbeing.weebly.com/

EXTENDED BEING: Connective-dynamic circuits twixt thou and emotionally significant others

FROM DR. PAYNE’S “EXTENDED BEING” on Examiner.com

“The quiet punctuated by the flow of water in that aqueduct made it possible to experience not just quiet and relaxation but more so (for me anyway) a unique situation in which conscious thoughts and awareness dipped and other things came to light. One of these was a dynamic running “mental clip” (representation) of Kaoru that was interacting with me at a very subtle level. There was a spoken and unspoken dialog going on. I realized that part of her was alive within me but not solely as memories and warm associations; there was a dynamic sort of circuit at play which was influencing not only my thoughts and mood but also some elements of my personality, i.e., I was being influenced by specific personality traits she exhibited that I found appealing and was even internalizing some of them (And while mirroring and mimicry mechanisms were undoubtedly involved in this process, there was seemingly more to it than this). She had become part of the “we” that is “me”!”

CLICK TO ACCESS EXAMINER ARTICLE: http://www.examiner.com/article/extended-being-1 

EXCERPT FROM DR. PAYNE’S MORE DETAILED INTRODUCTION TO “EXTENDED BEING”:

“Extended being involves the creation of dynamic, largely affective neuro-subroutines that are, in effect, a form of dynamic connectedness or connective circuit between individuals; circuits that incorporate the other, their image (sighted people), mannerisms, attitudes and other significant aspects of their person and conduct; circuits that are fed by as well as facilitate and enhance certain aspects of socialization, behavior and self-awareness as well as distinctly human consciousness; circuits that predominately operate in our pre/unconscious and influence judgments and choices and etc. made there, as well as conscious thought flow and content, mood, and actions.  But circuits, too, that mean that part of our being is operating external to our bodies (It is not that this circuit exists in the sense it can be detected and measured outside us but, rather, that our emergent sense of being, the “we” that us, includes the other and experiences him or her as both an internal reality and an external, connected one. This circuit is reinforced and additional content added while in the other’s presence and may be diminished during their absence, but is unlikely to be extinguished entirely even when the emotionally meaningful other ceases to be a part of our life for whatever reason).” 

Click this link to read “Extended Being” in its entirety: https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/extended-being-by-dr-anthony-g-payne.pdf 

EXTENDED BEING WEBSITE: http://extendbeing.weebly.com/

HYPOTHESIS: Two ways in which cytomegalovirus carrying male germ cells may play a role in the genesis of autism spectrum disorder

Recently a paper was published showing that 33 of every 10,000 children born to older men (40 years of age or older) have autism spectrum disorder compared to 6 of every 10,000 children born to younger men (<30 years of age). Excerpts from a report in Nature News titled “Male biological clock possibly linked to autism, other disorderswill help flesh this out:  

“In a study of more than 100,000 people, along with records about their parents’ ages, Avi Reichenberg at King’s College London and his colleagues found that 33 out of every 10,000 offspring of men 40 years or older had autism spectrum disorder—a 475% increase compared to offspring of men younger than 30, who fathered afflicted children at a rate of 6 per 10,000 (Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 63, 1026–1032; 2006). This association is now being tested in a larger study, says Reichenberg. A study this September showed a similar but less pronounced association of parental age with bipolar disorder (Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 65, 1034–1040; 2008).

“Spontaneous mutations can arise in both sperm and eggs. As women age, for example, they have an increased risk of delivering a child with Down’s syndrome and other disorders caused by large-scale chromosome problems in eggs, such as trisomy. But unlike eggs, sperm arise from stem cells that continuously divide—about 840 times by the time a man is 50 years old (Cytogenet. Genome Res. 111, 213–228; 2005). The theory is that the chances of mutations increase with each round of DNA replication—a process that could underlie estimates that the mutation rate in males is about five times that in females (Nature 416, 624–626; 2002).

“Any mutation you can think of occurs more frequently in the sperm of older men,” says Sebat.

For a very long time it was thought mutations associated with the passage of time was something primarily peculiar to the ovum (A woman’s unfertilized egg). The belief that the genetic material in male sperm was somehow spared age-related mutations was driven home to me by a stem cell biologist I interacted with from 2008 to 2010, who was convinced that the male body had mechanisms in place that help insure that few if any mutations wound up in mature male sperm in healthy males regardless of age. This struck me as wishful thinking and I was quick to lock horns with this chap over this. Now comes tentative evidence – again, the results of the study just announced (above) – that would appear to vindicate my position. Although it is always fun to be right, I got to wondering what other players besides normal aging might be producing mutations in at least some men’s semen that set the stage in their progeny for the development of autism and other neurological conditions. The first thing that popped to mind was pathogenic microorganisms – especially viruses.  A quick check of published research brought up one particular bit of research that seemed to signal I was on the right track:   

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3143078/pdf/2042-4280-2-7.pdf – “Detection of human cytomegalovirus in motile spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells in testis organotypic culture”

 The long story short with respect to this study is that it found HCMV in male germ cells from semen samples (91 fertile and 47 infertile men) and in testis tissue culture.  There was a decrease in the number of immature germs cells that is believed attributable to the HCMV.  In short, the presence of the HCMC in a man’s reproductive tract – and, mind you, 50-80 of every 100 Americans harbor the HCMV according to the CDC – tosses a monkey-wrench in the genetic apparatus of sperm resulting in infertility.  There are undoubtedly other viruses that populate the male reproductive system including others of the herpes family that may well have a similar effect.

What if the genetic changes go beyond infertility? What if HCMV produces genetic mutations in fertile men’s sperm? Some of these, I conjecture, could set the stage for producing autism in children they father.

Now – and here is where my off-the-cuff theorizing gets really interesting – what would happen if a HCMV-infected spermatozoon fertilizes a female ovum? In some instances it becomes activated and effects varying damage to one or more developing fetal tissues/organs including the brain and even generates defects severe enough to result in miscarriage. However, what I propose is that most HCMV transmitted to a fetus at conception by an infected male germ cell (sperm) is latent (inactive)and winds up in various tissues though primarily the CNS [The virus preferentially infects neurons probably brain stem & progenitor cells too (This is the case in mouse models of CMV infection)].  Though not active in the sense it produces clinical symptoms it could conceivably cause subtle neurologic changes and damage that is later manifest as autism spectrum disorder (One murine study notes: “Infection of neurons may tend to become persistent by evasion of immune reactions, anti-apoptotic effects and neuron-specific activation of the e1-promoter, presumably causing functional neuronal disorders. It has also been shown that CMV infection in developing brains may become latent in neural immature cells”. These effects were observed in active infections. However, it may affect subtle genetic damage in neurons in a child’s developing brain though the virus is latent or largely inactive).

This body of conjecture is testable. And, if it turns out HCMV is damaging some men’s germ cell DNA in ways that set the stage for autism (and possibly other neurologic disorders) in children they father and/or the virus is being passed on to zygote (by the male gamete) and ultimately the embryo’s developing CNS where it sets the stage for the development of autism or other neurologic disorders years after birth, testing for the HCMV’s presence in semen and (when determined to be present)  interfering with the HCMV in the man’s reproductive tissues by treating with extant antiviral drugs are measures that might reduce the likelihood the virus will wreck biologic havoc either in the developing embryo or later in the developing baby or child.

I hope some enterprising grad student or researcher transforms my ruminations into suitable bench experiments and runs with it.       

Additional Reading: This paper titled “Neuropathogenesis of Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Disease Mechanisms and Prospects for Intervention” delves deeply into technical issues I only touched on above as well as prevention and treatment aspects of HCMV infections.

 © 2012 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved. If you are a grad student or researcher who runs with one or both of the ideas articulated above, please let me know what you do and the outcome: attachi-mailbox@yahoo.com  

You can access this hypothesis as a PDF document by clicking this link:  http://www.healingcare4u.org/articles/HYPOTHESIS%20-%20HCMV%20and%20autism%20-%209-9-2012.pdf  

Eradicating cancer: Metabolic monkey wrenching including use of autophagy inhibitors

On 9-6-2012 ScienceDaily ran this article:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120906074249.htmAcidic Microenvironments in Tumors Aid Tumor Cell Survival, Researchers Find

 Here is a link to the full paper(Cancer Res 2012;72:3938-3947. Published Online First June 19, 2012) for those interested in perusing this: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/72/16/3938.full.pdf+html  – Chronic Autophagy Is a Cellular Adaptation to Tumor Acidic pH Microenvironments

Interestingly, my Metabolic Oncolytic Regimen (original body of theory – 1990 — various permutations since) is based on lowering pH in hypoxic regions of solid tumors to lethal levels: http://www.healingcare4u.org/The%20Metabolic%20Oncolytic%20Regimen%20(Revised%202011).pdf

However, as the paper in the Cancer Research Journal (link above) signals, tumor cells in acidic regions adapt and survive by chronically activating autophagy pathways. Thankfully though, this can be circumvented by use of autophagy inhibitors:   

http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/autophagy/BenSahraAUTO6-5.pdfThe combination of metformin and 2 deoxyglucose inhibits autophagy and induces AMPK-dependent apoptosis in prostate cancer cells

http://www.jbc.org/content/281/46/34870.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2557039/

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/cell-biology/cell-biology-products.html?TablePage=104899425 –List of Autophagy inhibitors (Sigma Chemical) including N-acetyl-cysteine

http://www.tocris.com/pharmacologicalBrowser.php?ItemId=296970&Type=Inhibitors – Autophagy Inhibitors – Tocris Bioscience

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are autophagy inhibitors.

http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v30/n7/fig_tab/nbt.2285_T2.htmlTable 2: Autophagy inducers and inhibitors for cancer treatment

This line of work & reasoning suggests that a marriage of the MOR (or a similar “metabolic anti-tumor monkey wrenching” approach) with one or more autophagy inhibitors should deliver a death blow to at least some solid tumors. 

 

 

 

Dark times and the allure of evil solutions

http://exm.nr/NyCcj4 by Choctaw Doc

HYPOTHESIS: Seminal fluid compounds absorbed through mucosal tissues help protect against & remediate bone loss

OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Is there a link between the liver and GI tract & osteoarthritis? Find out in this FREE video!

As people age a combination of subtle liver problems and the activity of specific microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract can trigger the development of osteoarthritis or make existing OA worse. What can you do to determine if these or other problems such as a sulfur deficiency are turning your body into an “OA factory”? You’ll find answers to these questions plus information on remedies and treatments (including use of your own stem cells) in ”Treatments for Osteoarthritis”, a free video featuring physician & stem cell expert Dr. David Steenblock. Just click this link to watch this highly informative and insightful video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgu2ocTL7ko  (The video runs 12 minutes: 28 seconds) 

No charge consultations: 1-800-300-1063 (9 am to 5 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday)

CLICK TO ACCESS “DAVID STEENBLOCK” ON WIKIPEDIA

Dr. Steenblock’s Clinic:The Road to Healing Starts Here

HARM: A compendium

HARM: A compendium of statistics & information  (Harm done by conventional health care v. AltMed practices & supplements)     
 
Web address: http://bit.ly/N5xk3t 

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious

Take a moment and read through the eight book quotes below.

“Today, concern about man’s alienation is expressed by many: by theologians and philosophers who warn that advanced in scientific knowledge do not enable us to penetrate the mystery of Being, and do not often widen the gulf between the knower and the reality he tries to understand…”  CLICK TO READ MORE

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Stimulating Proteasome Activity in Motor Neurons to accelerate degradation of misfolded proteins

http://bit.ly/wcr7bP  Nota bene: Three (3) people with ALS who began using this regimen on their own have reported experiencing significant weight and energy gains plus enhanced muscle strength. All 3 have been on this regimen for more than 5 months as of 3-26-12.

Regimen subsequently improved with users reporting additional gains. 

COMPLEMENTS: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770900022X

ALSO: Messed up cellular “garbage disposal system” found to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease (And Nova Cell’s BEACON FACTOR coaxes lysosomes to do their job!)

KNOW YOURSELF — BETTER: Free on-line tests (Empathy-systemizing, Attachment style, moral foundation, implicit biases, etc.)

How Does Your Mind Work?  Psychological tests developed by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Sally Wheelwright, and their team at the University of Cambridge, England, can give you insight into the way your brain functions. Take the tests to find out your EQ (empathizing quotient) and SQ (systemizing quotient.)

Romanticizing/Pragmatizing Test (RQ/PQ)

What is your attachment style?  This interactive survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is designed to measure your ‘attachment style’–the way you relate to others in the context of intimate relationships. When completed, the site will reveal your attachment style, and provide a brief summary of what is known about your attachment style on the basis of contemporary scientific research.

Attachment in Past and Present Relationships

Marriage Builders® Forms and Questionnaires – Tests & effective intervention methods developed by one of America’s most successful marriage & family therapists, Dr. Willard Farley, Jr.

What are your moral foundations? (On-line Test) – This test is designed to explore the kinds of moral foundations you use when making judgments about what is right and what is wrong

Personality, Leadership, and Self-Esteem – This test is designed to explore your personality, leadership preferences, and your sense of self-worth

Implicit Association Test – The “Implicit Association Test” offers one way to probe unconscious biases. In this 10-minute test, you will be presented with words or images and asked to respond as quickly as possible.

Depression Screening Test by Ivan Goldberg, MD – -brief 18-question online automated quiz to help you determine if you may need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis
and treatment of depression

Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale

Online Psychological Tests

Cybersex Addiction Test

Internet Addiction Test

Partners of Internet Addicts Test

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Women)

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Men)

Know Yourself Tests – PSYCHOLOGY TODAY  – Career Health IQ Personality Relationships

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

EXTENDED BEING WEBSITE: http://extendbeing.weebly.com/

MLM under the microscope: Free e-book by Jon M. Taylor, M.B.A., Ph.D.

http://www.mlm-thetruth.com/research/case4and-against-mlm/

Green cemeteries: An alternative to environmentally-unfriendly burials!

  Most of us naturally resist thinking about our earthly demise and the “disposal” of our remains. We Baby Boomers likely tend to harbor hope that we will somehow cheat death — or at least put it off for 100 or more years. Whether you happen to live 100 years or more, one day you will “pay the piper” — that is, kick the bucket, buy the farm, cash in your chips, etc. For us American Indians death is simply a matter of changing worlds. We trust that the Great Spirit/HaShem/God is not a jack booted thug intent on consigning most people to some sort of eternal torment for missteps committed during a handful of years or decades but, rather, is intent on reconciling most of humankind to himself. You may disagree — which is something we American Indians respect — though I personally am hard-pressed to understand people who promote a theology which portrays God as a judge who (to be honest) differs little from those who populated the “People’s Courts” in Nazi Germany. Be that as it may, I am here to place before you something more pragmatic — more “here & now” – namely how you will dispose of your mortal remains. Many will opt for being embalmed and buried in an airtight coffin that is sunk in a concrete jacket so as to minimize deterioration through time. This is a personal choice, though there are powerful arguments against this — if only because embalming fluid and such has a deleterious impact on the local environment. If you are open to an alternative — something ”green” — consider having your mortal remains disposed of in a green cemetery (If it could be pulled off I’d argue for the establishment of burial platforms much like my Plains Indian ancestors and brothers utilized in various localities. There is something inherently appealing about raising a body up to meet the world above and beyond IMO):

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3947912/ns/us_news-environment/t/texas-cemetery-offers-green-burials/

http://www.greenburials.org/FAQ.htm – includes a list of green cemeteries

http://www.ethicianfamilycemetery.org/ – for my fellow Texans & interested others

Nota Bene: I have no financial or other ties to MSNBC or the Ethican Church or the Ethical Family Cemetery.

Copyright 2012 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved but spread it around anyway.

From “Native American Spirituality: A Walk In The Woods” by Rainbow Eagle

Spoken by Ogala Lakota leader Crazy Horse to Chief Sitting Bull (September 1877) – four days before Crazy Horse was murdered.

“Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again and be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separation. A world longing for the light again. I see a time, long after the skies have grown dark and ugly and the water has become bad smelling. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind at that place will gather under the sacred tree of life and the whole earth will become one circle again”

“In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry the knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.”

“I salute the light within your eyes, where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one”   

Pg 76, “Native American Spirituality: A Walk In The Woods” by (Choctaw Nation Member) Rainbow Eagle   

ALSO CHECK OUT: http://summerclouds.weebly.com/ 

How one man turned adversity into opportunity

Jim Haverlock has seen more peaks & valleys than most of us. Athlete in HS and now scooter-bound due to multiple sclerosis. Millionaire owner of a furniture chain who went broke, worked out of his car for a time,  and now runs his own virtual business and provides web building & optimization services too. Abandoned by his wife after he was misdiagnosed as having ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) — but now (in his seventies) sharing love & life with his “African Queen.”  Dreamed of being a missionary as a young man — tabled this — and fulfilled this calling more than five (5) decades later by founding a nonprofit charitable organization called Compassion Care! If this has you wanting to know more about “The Life & Times of Missionary Jim” — just click this link:  

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/jims-story-heart-of-a-missionary-edited-spin-july-15-20113.pdf

 

The long-term unemployed: Maybe it is high time companies placed compassion above logic when hiring

Back in the early 1980s, while working towards a graduate degree in biological anthropology, I held down a full-time job as EDP Operations Manager for a major portable oil rig manufacturer in Dallas (Texas.) When I joined the firm I had two computer operators and two data entry operators helping run a two (2) shift data processing operation. Our IBM computer was state-of-the-art for its time and primarily used to process financial, accounting, inventory and engineering data for company divisions throughout the US and overseas.  

As the firm grew my department got busier and as a result needed to hire additional personnel. I made a point of seeking out qualified people who basically had been passed over by local businesses. In the span of a year or so my staff grew from four to thirteen with most being minorities (like myself.) The systems engineering group that interfaced with those of us in operations were almost exclusively middle-aged white men and women, most of whom did not readily welcome my diverse crew into the fold as-it-were.

Did I hire people of color simply because I was a minority myself (American Indian)? Not at all. The fact is I felt what I was doing would in some small way help offset unwritten policies that had constrained the hiring of qualified minorities.   

What is interesting is that with the passage of time the all white systems crew and my racially, ethnically and religiously diverse operations group began moving from a guarded, formal “business only please” level of interaction into a warmer comfort zone characterized by friendly banter and even playful joking. This was exactly what I had hoped for and anticipated.

The director of MIS (Management Information Systems) for the company, a former NASA systems analyst who had moved into corporate management after leaving the space agency, was so impressed with how much of a family the entire information systems department had become that he held it up as a model to higher-ups including the board of directors.

Of course, young working professionals sometimes seize more lucrative opportunities elsewhere, a reality that was visited upon my department when my third shift computer operator was offered a fatter paycheck and shorter commute by a competitor.  I was sad to see her go but plowed ahead and began running ads in local newspapers and trade publications. Soon my mornings were filled with conducting interviews.

Now hang in with me – I have a point to make which ties into an egregious practice at work in companies across this Great Recession-ravaged nation.

During the course of conducting interviews a middle-aged gentlemen came through my office door clutching his resume. After handing me a one page summary of his impressive qualifications he told me straight up that he had lost his job when his former employer closed its doors and had been unemployed and interviewing for over six months. It took little time to realize why so many firms were not quick to snap this chap up: He had worked his way up into middle-management and was thus “overqualified” (AKA ill-suited) to fill a computer operator’s job. The logical thing to do was send him on his way. After all, if hired he would likely seize the first management job offered him and leave me back at square one – filling a slot on third shift.

This kind of logic undoubtedly had persuaded other prospective employers to quickly show this graying bespeckled soul the door. But I was less concerned about doing the logical thing then the human thing. So I hired the guy on-the-spot. It was a move I never regretted as he did the work of any 2 operators of my staff, went the extra mile when asked, never belly-ached and never missed a day’s work.  And he worked at the operator’s job for many years before finally moving on (Which means the company more than got its “money worth” out of him.)

Oh, and he was white – but still a minority to my way of thinking. That is, he belonged to the chronically unemployed and seemingly unemployable.  Which brings me at last to this: An article was posted to The Lookout blog earlier today (7-14-11) titled “Down but not out: Voices of the long-term unemployed.In it writer Zachery Roth shared this:

  • We asked whether employers were wary of hiring readers when they found out how long they’d been jobless — a form of discrimination that appears to have been on the rise lately. “Very much so,” replied Susan W. “As if it were my fault I was unemployed, regardless of the fact that I had put out hundreds of resumes and applications.”
  • An enormous number of older readers said they think their age is part of the problem for employers. Paula S., from Acworth, Georgia, who said she was “sixty-something,” described “two eye-opening experiences of blatant age discrimination . . . . One twenty-something supervisor asked me if I had ever thought about coloring my hair . . . . Another manager told his assistant with the door open when I showed up to complete an application and interview: ‘We can’t hire any more old people.’ “

I was in my mid-twenties when I hired that middle-aged seasoned computer pro to be a third shift computer operator (He was 55, the age I am now.) In hiring him I placed doing the human thing over the logical thing. I can only hope that some of the people trying to fill jobs across America will come across this account and then take it to heart and do likewise.

  Dr. Anthony G. Payne

Mind expansion: Recommended Reading

Books - free MS photoPurity of HeartALL THE BOOKS LISTED BELOW ARE ONES READ & RECOMMENDED BY CHOCTAW DOC

CRITICAL THINKING

 

You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself  by David McRaney 

Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Ph.D.

Snake Oil Science by R. Barker Bausell, Ph.D.

The Scientist As Rebel by Freeman Dyson

Any and All Books by James Randi

Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine  by Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D.

Ignorance (How It Drives Science) by Dr. Stuart Firestein

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre, M.D.

A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What NeuroscienceCan and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves by Robert A. Burton, M.D.

 DEEP ECOLOGY

Deep Ecology: Living As If Nature Mattered by Bill Devall & George Sessions

Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century by Bill Sessions

Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization by Christopher Manes

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

FICTION (with a powerful message)

House of Earth by Woodie Guthrie

HEALTH & MEDICINE (including stem cell medicine)

Click this link to access Dr. Christopher Centeno’s new 52 page e-book titled “The Stem Cells They Don’t Want You To Have” (FREE download): http://bit.ly/NPlVmZ

Snake Oil Science by R. Barker Bausell, Ph.D.

The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness by Jerome Groopman, MD

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD

Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine  by Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D.

 HISTORY/POLITICS

1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History) by Eric H. Cline

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Mataxas

Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower

Xenophon’s Cyrus the Great (The Arts of Leadership & War) edited by Larry Hedrick

Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers by Filip Muller

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Dr. Stephen Greenblatt

The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths by Leonard M. Scruggs

Slavery Remembered: A Record of Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives by Paul D. Escott

Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity by Dr. Daniel J. Goldhagen

Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr.

The Face of Imperialism by Michael Parenti, Ph.D.

The Rich And The Rest Of Us: A Poverty Manifesto by Travis Smiley & Dr. Cornel West

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by Bernard Bailyn

Narrative of the Life of David Crockett of the State of Tennessee by David Crockett

HUMAN NATURE & PSYCHOLOGY

Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, James H. Fowler, PhD

You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself  by David McRaney     

The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will by Heidi M. Ravven, Ph.D.

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood, Ph.D.

The Illusion of Conscious Will by Dr. Daniel M. Wegner

What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by Daniel Bergner

A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What NeuroscienceCan and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves by Robert A. Burton, M.D.

The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions by Drs. Jaak Panksepp & Lucy Biven

The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer, Ph.D.

50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True by Guy P. Harrison

Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban, Ph.D.

Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower

Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Dr. Gail Dines

Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto by Anneli Rufus

The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D.

The Biology of Belief by Dr. Joseph Giovannoli

Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning by Viktor Frankl, M.D., Ph.D.

Faces in the Clouds by Stewart Guthrie, Ph.D.

 RELIGION/SPIRITUALITY

Purity of Heart by Rev. Bert M. Farias [In “Purity of Heart” Rev. Farias eloquently states things which, I daresay, most mainstream and even many Charismatic and neopentecostal congregations either gloss over, tiptoe around or mangle (oftentimes resulting in their landing in the thorn patch of profound legalism). Two thumbs up and kudos to Rev. Farias, whose ministry website is http://holy-fire.org/]

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Mataxas

Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Finding Sanctuary (Monastic Steps for Everyday Life) by Abbot Christopher Jamison

Breakthrough Faith: Living a Life Where Anything is Possible by Larry Sparks

PSALM 83, The Missing Prophecy Revealed – How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower by Bill Salus

Sooner Than You Think: A Prophetic Guide to the End Times by Sid Roth

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection by Benedicta Ward

Jesus’ Words Only (Free in its entirety on-line) by Douglas J. Del Tondo, Esq.

My spiritual watering hole website: http://summerclouds.weebly.com/

The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity by Dr. James D. Tabor

Blood Kin of Jesus (James and the Lost Jewish Church) by Kenneth Hanson, Ph.D.

Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity  by Dr. James D. Tabor

The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity by Rev. Jeffrey J. Bϋtz

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan, Ph.D.

How Jesus Became Christian by Barrie Wilson, Ph.D.

Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Dr. Robin R. Meyers

The Bible Against Itself: Why the Bible Seems to Contradict Itself  by Dr. Randel McCraw Helms

Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D.

The Ancient Roots of Christianity: A Native American’s Look Through Christianity by my fellow Choctaw Nation Tribal member, Rainbow Eagle

God and His Demons by Michael Parenti, Ph.D.

The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the mysteries of the Hidden Messiah by Michael L. Brown, Ph.D.

The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? by David James

The Rainbow Covenant: Torah and the Seven Universal Laws by Michael Ellias Dallen, Esq.

Faces in the Clouds by Stewart Guthrie, Ph.D.

Rats in the Cosmic Laboratory: Is God A Scientist? by Dr. A. G. Payne

Hitler and HaShem (The Almighty) by Dr. Anthony G. Payne

Heart of a Missionary by Dr. A.G. Payne

The Spiritual Aspect of Holistic Medicine by Dr. A. G. Payne

Religion is not about God by Prof. Loyal Rue

The Secret Origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan

Spiritual Evolution: A Scientific Defense of Faith  by George E. Vaillant, M.D.

The Undercover Philosopher by Michael Philips

Why We Believe What We Believe by Andrew Newberg, MD and Mark Robert Waldman

 “WALKING AROUND THINKING ABOUT STUFF”

Extended Being (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

EXTENDED BEING WEBSITE: http://extendbeing.weebly.com/

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine  by Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D.

“Living Longer, Yes! But, Living Well?” by Choctaw Doc

Fascination with Dying and Death as Participation by Choctaw Doc

Is an attachment style problem complicating or undermining your life? (Examiner article) by ChoctawDoc

Dark times and the allure of evil  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

The Spiritual Aspect of Holistic Medicine

The foundation of holism or holistic medicine rests on a triumvirate — body, mind and spirit. Actually, as the mind is an expression of the various regions of the brain — a species of the physical — we are really dealing with body/brain and spirit. The former, of course, has been probed and explored using the tools of medicine and science. No one questions their reality. Spirit, on the other hand, by most definitions is non-material, and thus lies beyond the purview of science; that is, one cannot demonstrate spirit using a gas chromatograph, scanning electron microscope, or any other tool in the armamentarium of science.

But what of the effects of spirit? If it exists, should we not be able to detect its effects on the physical realm? This is a question which now occupies many philosophers, some scientists and physicians, and many laypeople.

One very often cited manifestation of spirit lies in the realm of answered prayer. Numerous studies have been carried out in which patients with a given affliction were divided into two groups: One received prayer (experimental group) and the other (control group) didn’t. The prayers were offered off-site and no one involved in the study knew who was being prayed for and who wasn’t (double-blind).

The bottom line of many of these studies is that prayer appears to have made a significant difference in the relief or cure of the malady or affliction in the experimental group, while those in the control group had no appreciable change in their condition. The rigor of these studies has been found wanting by countless impartial investigators. That is, flaws in study design, methodology and/or execution have basically invalidated the findings of these clinical trials.

What of the healings connected with religious shrines, such as Lourdes? There have been approximately 69 healings connected with Lourdes which have met the Catholic church’s criteria for a bona fide miracle — 69 out of the hundreds of thousands of petitions for healing. This is not statistically significant. In short, the numbers do not support the notion that the rate of recovery/healing at Lourdes is greater than would be expected to occur as a result of normal processes. (One can expect a certain percentage of even incurable illnesses to suddenly and inexplicably go into remission. These recoveries happen to non-believer and believer alike — and hence appear contingent on natural and not supernatural mechanisms.)

I know what many of you are thinking — “Leave it to a skeptical, non-believing blankety-blank science guy to trash our sacred beliefs.” If you are nodding your head in agreement — you are dead wrong. First of all, I am a believer. I also believe that God hears and answers prayer — and even heals people. Well, wait a minute, isn’t this contradictory or hypocritical, given what I wrote above? No, indeed, for I do not allege that my beliefs are based on hard science nor the manifestations of spirit, or God so physically evident as to permit measurement or quantification. In fact, those who believe that spirit, God, or any aspect of the supernatural can be demonstrated in a controlled study or lab experiment invite upon themselves the unenviable task of proving their claims. (It is always incumbent on those who propose the existence of something which can be physically detected and, thus measured, to do just that.) And I, for one, do not believe that they will ever garner any substantive proof. Why?

Consider this: In virtually every religious tradition God requires that humankind both apprehend His existence and relate to him via faith — a conviction based not on the physical and demonstrable, but on sheer belief. If God were to reveal Himself in the lab or clinical trial setting — say, by answering the prayers for healing in an experimental group at rates which exceed chance — the need for faith would be dispensed with. We could base our confidence, our belief in the spiritual and a First Cause (God) on the hard data provided by the study in question.

This, of course, would make God the author of a serious contradiction and would obligate most major religions to toss out many of their principle doctrines concerning the nature of the deity, the need for faith as a requisite for apprehending the divine, et cetera. It would also raise serious questions as to the reliability of revealed truths about God (oral and written traditions).

Since I do not believe God would ask one thing (faith) and then reveal Himself in a concrete, scientifically demonstrable fashion, I am not surprised or dismayed that laboratory experiments and clinical trials do not turn upon any credible data which stands up to scrutiny. I also realize, however, that there are some who believe that faith isn’t the only requisite to apprehending God or the supernatural and will continue to carry out studies aimed at catching a glimpse of the divine in action.

In my opinion they are wasting both time and money, but should they one day prove to be right — if they do incontrovertibly demonstrate the efficacy of prayerful supplication (to God) in healing a given malady — skeptic and believer alike will be making some rather profound changes to their distinct perspectives. This isn’t beyond the pale of possibility. I think, however, that such definitive proof will in some ways weigh more heavily on the religionist then the agnostic or skeptic.

While the debate rages and the studies plod along, what role then should the spiritual play in healing/medicine? I think most physicians — even diehard atheists — at the very least accommodate a narrow species of “spirituality,” in the sense of encouraging hope and making use of patient expectation to afford relief, if not cure.

In holistic medicine, on the other hand, the spiritual element more often takes on a different character and importance. The holistic medical community plays host to wide range of spiritual beliefs, including American Indian, New Age, Buddhist, Christian. As long as this spirituality is not called “scientific” or “hard science-based,” or makes claims which can be tested using the tools and methods of science, its place in the patient care repertoire of holistic health care practitioners remains a matter of personal prerogative. And doesn’t faith and personal prerogative lie at the core of human spirituality?

In the final analysis, I think we will find that the substantiation of faith begins and ends on one’s knees — and in one’s heart — and not in the laboratory.

Copyright 2011 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

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