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New Age Old Wives Tales

Greetings U.S. military and government visitors!

The "New Age" is full of Gurus with hard-ons, and irate feminists with trust-funds. Over-fed fertility goddesses stuff their faces with organic bon-bons, while freaked-out singing cowboys, wishing they were Indians, bang on tom-toms. They all swoon together to the music of New Age Wayne Newtons. - The Pope-About-Town

Hello, I am Elerion V

Greetings from outer space. We have been trying to reach the people of your planet with urgent information for more than 50 years. We have recently discovered that there have been serious credibility problems with the people we have selected to bring our message to you. It seems that somehow, by some strange coincidence, every single person we have appeared to and given the task of informing the world of our intentions has been mentally ill, and therefore very few people take them seriously. We are currently developing more sophisticated screening methods and we hope to be able to select a sane human being to be our spokesperson, one who will be taken seriously. Like maybe we should make our presence known to CNN or something. We urge you to be patient, we will figure out how to get our message to the people of Earth.

Our names would be impossible for you earthlings to pronounce, so we take names from Marvel Comics and grade B outer space movies.

We have brought you technology which will enable you to resist the mind control rays from the HAARP Antenna, and other forms of government mind control, like TV. Our patented HAARP Antenna Neutralizer is guaranteed to block out mind-controlling rays, or your money back! For more details visit: Vortron CyberTech, Inc.

I do not have a physical body. I am currently inhabiting the body of some fat slob couch potato I found sitting at his computer. I don't like it in here. He was in the process of downloading porn and swilling down beer when I took over his body.

We have many helpful hints for your planet, for example:

We have figured out a way to get psychiatric patients to be more compliant with taking their medications. Simply give the drugs an outer space sounding name, like "Serenion", "Ulterian" etc. Tell the patient it is a Pleiadian drug. They'll gobble them right up, and stop all that annoying babbling. On my planet, we have drugs that make Thorazine seem like a refreshing pick-me-up

I have noticed several New Age channelers claiming to be in direct communication with aliens from Outer Space. For some reason, the aliens' names usually end in "ion" or "ian", no matter what part of the universe they are from. Isn't that odd? Here on earth, there are hundreds of different languages, yet in the vastness of outer space, they all appear to spell the same way.

A woman told me she was from "the Pleiades", so I asked her "Whereabouts in the Pleiades are you from?". I tried to explain to her that the stars in that constellation only look like they're close together from here, but they are actually billions of miles apart. It's not like the Pleiades is a neighborhood.


Pseudo-Spirituality for the Metaphysically Correct

Dedicated to "Light Beings" and "Old Souls"

The Patron Saint of Old Souls, Old King Cole:

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he.
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Tweedle dum, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers three,
Tweedle dum dee, dum dee deedle dee.

New Age Helpful Hint: The next time you go to a New Age bookstore searching for a soulmate and enlightenment, don't buy any of the expensive books there. They'll only end up collecting dust on your coffee table anyway. Instead, go to a yard sale and buy a stack of Harlequin Romance novels for about 50 cents each. You'll feel just as enlightened as you would have if you had bought a New Age book, and you'll have the extra added bonus of feeling clever for having saved money too! Use the money you save to buy some walking shoes, then get up off your fat ass and start exercising.

One day I was talking to a New Agey woman who attended one of my concerts. As we spoke I said something about making the wrong decision. She immediately felt the need, the duty, to correct me, and in the most annoying sing-songy voice, with a vacant, phony smile, she said matter of factly "There is no right or wrong." I replied "Well, I thought there was right or wrong, but maybe you're right and I'm wrong." She couldn't help but laugh, but quickly realized that I had proven her wrong, so she became upset, and walked off in a huff. She is the New Age movement, in a nut shell.

Several New Agey women have told me during conversations, in a scolding tone of voice, that they are "more non-judgmental". They judged me as being too judgmental, and felt the need to instruct me that "non-judgmental" is a superior way of being, in their judgment.

I am plagued by such women, they are the bane of my existence. Here is a little poem I wrote in their honor:


Take a big, fat statue
of the Buddha,
anoint his head
with olive oil.
Now sit on it,
jump up and down,
up and down,
until you reach.....

The New Age has become little more than a mass enabler for every form of dysfunction and addiction known to man. Aging Baby Boomers are going downhill fast, rendered prematurely decrepit by their addictions and unhealthy lifestyles. Their collective mid-life crisis has sent them into a mass panic, seeking solace and escape from their many illnesses, both physical and psychological. This provides a huge market for "New Age practioners" to ply their trade, selling modern-day indulgences to assuage the guilt of a guilt-ridden generation. There is a product to enable any of the self-destructive addictions that the fading Baby Boomers so stubbornly cling to.

There is a booming market for "abundancy" counsellors and "prosperity ministers", who take away the angst of old ex-hippies who sold out their 60's ideals for money. That way, they can pretend that selling out is actually a blessing from "god" or "the universe, rather than what it really is, which is SELLING OUT. Just like they sold out their ideals after 9/11, turning a blind eye to the nefarious schemes of the lying bastards in the Big Oil robber baron Bush regime and gave them carte blanche to subvert the U.S. Constitution, pollute the environment, and violate international law. All for an illusion of safety and security. "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." - Benjamin Franklin

Many of the "abundancy counsellors" I know actually base their nonsense on the words of Jesus, a man who said: "Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don't break through and steal; for where your treasure is, your heart will be there also."...When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." .... "Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."..... And - "And why ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the fields, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

According to the book Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn & Jack Felton one of the signs of a toxic religion system is materialism, where money is viewed as an indicator of spiritual strength.

A California New Age astrologer I know drives a big, gas guzzling SUV around the U.S. as she makes the circuit of "New Age fairs". She justifies her lack of concern about the extra pollution she adds to the environment by reciting a common mantra I hear among New Agers who have abdicated their environmental responsibilty, "Mother Earth can take care of herself, she doesn't need our help." How presumptious of the pseudo-spiritual dilettantes to pretend to speak for Mother Earth on matters of such importance, as if they are her confidants. The problem isn't that the earth will be destroyed, the problem is whether or not the earth will be a hospitable place for our children and other living creatures.

New Study Finds Air Pollution And Asthma On The Rise
Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003
By Bay City News Service

'This report shows us that air pollution has become a serious public health problem throughout California,' said James Corless, the policy project's California director.

According to the report, many of the air quality gains expected from clean engine technologies have been undermined by huge increases in the amount of driving, which is up 162 percent since 1969.

Officials are urging stronger environmental legislation and individual conservation efforts as solutions.

For tips about environmentally friendly household habits, visit the Air Quality Management District's Web site at

Statistics on SUV Pollution

According to the EPA, one of the most efficient things that you can do to reduce global warming pollution is to buy a vehicle with a higher fuel economy. Every gallon of gasoline that a vehicle burns puts 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The EPA has stated that choosing a vehicle that gets 25 miles to the gallon compared to 20 miles to the gallon will keep 10 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere over the vehicles lifetime.

Since SUV's are not considered to be in the same class as passenger cars, they are not required to abide by the same laws as the passenger cars. SUV's are included in the class with light trucks and thus, are not required to achieve the goal of 27.5 miles per gallon for passenger cars. But instead, they are to achieve a goal of 20.7 miles per gallon and some SUVs, such as the Ford Excursion, are not even considered light trucks and do not have to achieve any certain fuel economy level.

As SUV's are not required to maintain efficient fuel economy levels, they release much more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Below is a chart which examines the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere by several different types of vehicles:

As seen in chart above, bigger vehicles such as the SUV releases 2-3 times as many tons of carbon dioxide over the vehicles lifetime compared to smaller vehicles like the Honda Civic.

America, with only 5% of the world population, consumes 25% of world fossil fuel, 33% of world raw materials, and produces 74% of world hazardous waste. Americans don't care how we procure the oil and other natural resources, how many people around the world must die during wars for oil, or what damage we are doing to the environment, just as long as they can sit on their couches, watch TV and gobble down junk food in air conditioned comfort, or step on the gas in their SUV's on the way to Disneyland.

The Vietnam war was about oil too

I saw a magazine ad a few years ago for a "Crystal Vokda", the photo showed a bottle of vodka resting on a bed of quartz crystals, the ad said the vodka was filtered through quartz crystals. Trendy New Agers could guzzle booze in Yuppie bars while wearing their "tuned" quartz pendants, and pretend that they were imbibing some sort of mystical elixir, instead of what they are really doing, which is indulging in their alcohol addictions.

"American Spirit" cigarettes is one of the best examples of that phenomenon, I know many New Age nicotine addicts who smoke that brand. I hear them say all kinds of silly things about them, claiming that smoking those instead of Marlboros is "better" for you. And yet:

Additive-Free Cigarettes No Safer for Smokers: Study
Tue Dec 3, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Additive-free cigarettes such as the "American Spirit" brand are no safer to smoke than conventional filtered cigarettes, researchers have found.

"With some of these non-conventional cigarettes the perception is that they are safe, and younger smokers are maybe more likely to see them as viable alternatives--but our results suggest that this is not true," said study co-author Jennifer L. Malson, a graduate student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Malson and her colleagues at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore focused on the physical and psychological reactions of 10 healthy smokers when smoking a variety of cigarettes: including their conventional filtered brand and the American Spirit brand.

The authors note that the American Spirit cigarettes are made with whole leaf natural tobacco and are described by the manufacturer as "additive-free"--containing no chemical additives, preservatives or reconstituted tobacco.

Rick Sanders--president and CEO of the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, which manufactures American Spirit cigarettes, told Reuters Health that American Spirit cigarettes are not marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes but rather as a tastier option.

Sanders pointed out that American Spirit packaging and ads contain the following explicit health warning: "We make no representation--expressed or implied--that these cigarettes are any less hazardous than any other cigarettes."

July 29, 2003 Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - A study found that some brands of cigarettes deliver a much more powerful nicotine "kick" than others, adding to suspicions that manufacturers deliberately blend tobacco to boost the addictive effect.

Smoke from 11 brands of cigarettes was analyzed for a specific form of nicotine called "free base" that passes quickly into the bloodstream when it is inhaled.

American Spirit, a brand owned by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., topped the list. It was followed by the French brand Gauloises Brunes, according to the study by Oregon Health & Science University chemist James F. Pankow. Their free-nicotine levels were around 25 to 35 times higher than those of the lowest-level cigarettes.

The free-base form of nicotine occurs naturally, but some varieties of tobacco contain far more than others.

The study adds weight to claims that cigarette makers blend tobacco varieties to manipulate the nicotine potency and boost sales, as some industry critics have charged. The tobacco industry has long claimed that it blends tobacco to adjust for taste, not to increase nicotine potency.

Acid levels in nicotine largely determine how quickly it can be absorbed. Free-base nicotine is much less acidic than other forms and thus gets to the brain more quickly.

Previous studies had measured the acid levels in cigarette smoke to indirectly test for free-base nicotine. Pankow's was the first to directly test for the chemical, according to Neal Benowitz, a nicotine addiction expert at the University of California at San Francisco.

"This is important," he said. "It's been suspected that cigarettes are manufactured in a way that optimizes the free-base."

New Agers have been fooled by advertisements to believe that smoking "American Spirit" brand cigarettes is somehow practicing "Native American" spirituality. ( The real Indians I know prefer to be called American Indians.) I have seen one guy make a big show of "offering" smoke to "Grandfather" before he starts puffing away. Here's what REAL ceremonial tobacco use was about:

The Traditional Native American Tobacco Seed Bank and Education Project

” In the most common tobacco ritual, for example, celebrants take four puffs from a ceremonial pipe, one puff for each of the four directions. Another common ritual is to sprinkle sacred tobacco on the fires of a sweat lodge. Smoke in these rituals carries prayers to the Creator and is also a bodily cue to open the spirit. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the sacred tobacco ritual is the use of the leather pouch. Packed with sticky, tobacco and slung against the chest, the thin leather pouch may be the functional equivalent of a modern nicotine patch — which suggests that even thousands of years ago Native Americans had a sophisticated and relatively healthy relationship with nicotine.

American Indian Tobacco Education Network (AITEN) takes a stand !!

The American Indian Tobacco Education Network (AITEN) denounces the commercial exploitation of sacred ceremonial practices by the Santa Fe Tobacco Company in manufacturing their "Natural American Spirit" tobacco products. AITEN recognizes the products of "Natural American Spirit" as an obscene misrepresentation of the traditional, ceremonial and sacred purpose of the tobacco plant.

The non-American Indian enterprise promotes "Natural American Spirit" cigarettes by exploiting American Indian imagery and commercializing the traditional use of tobacco. AITEN denounces the exploitation of sacred symbols and ceremonial practices for the marketing of cigarettes and other products for financial gain and profit.

Addiction to commercial tobacco products is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.

The American Indian Tobacco Education Network calls upon American Indian communities to stop the desecration of sacred tobacco use and protect communities from the harmful effects of commercial tobacco abuse. Our mission is to promote, support, and protect the health, traditions, and cultural values of American Indians as they relate to sacred tobacco use.l Join us as we take a stand against the tobacco industry by adopting the following policies:

  • Refuse to sell Natural American Spirit cigarettes and other products from the Santa Fe Tobacco Company

  • Refuse to accept funding, promotional items, or other contributions from the Santa Fe Tobacco Company

  • Refuse to grow sacred plants for commercial exploitation by the Santa Fe tobacco Company


Just when I thought that I had heard every flakey New Age-ism, this week I heard the lamest excuse ever concocted for indulging in food addiction and enabling obesity.

A friend of mine, after I mentioned that "psychics" are usually overweight, said "That's because fat cells hold higher energy." I was stunned. My friend had gained about 15 pounds recently, so I can see why he is in denial about his food addiction. But still, to go to such lengths to avoid dealing with one's obesity problem is over the top.

That's the lamest excuse since the ancient statues of fat woman were found in Malta. Like all New Age LaLa Land mythologizing, the reality is nothing at all like the fantasy. An excerpt from "The Death Cults of Prehistoric Malta", from Scientific American: "In Malta, however, the worship of corpulent images gradually blossomed into a consuming passion."

When a woman describes herself as having "goddess curves", that's her way of denying that she suffers from the serious medical condition of obesity.

"Fat cells hold higher energy", eh? That explains the sudden surge of enlightenment I feel when I walk past the Over-Eaters Anonymous meeting! And the warm glow around the bacon, lard and sausage section of the supermarket.

Obesity is a serious health problem, not a path to enlightenment. Sugar addiction is killing millions of children around the world, and destroying the Everglades and many other ecosystems.

Fat cells hold disease, not "higher energy":

Obese women have higher breast cancer risk
August 20, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters Health and Science) - Older women who are obese have a much higher risk of breast cancer because their fat cells release too much estrogen, researchers said on Tuesday.

The international study comparing obese women to women of normal weight confirms what doctors have long suspected -- that fat cells release the hormone into the blood, allowing it to help turn normal cells cancerous.

"There was clear hypothesis that the mechanism for the effect of obesity might be high blood estrogen levels, but no one has been able to test that directly," said Dr. Tim Key of the Cancer Research U.K. Epidemiology Unit at Britain's Oxford University.

The researchers, who report their findings in this week's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said they are good news -- giving women a way to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

"Women's risk is affected by many fixed factors -- a family history of the disease, the number of children they have, the age they have their children, when they start their periods and when they stop," Key said.

"But obesity is something that women have a level of control over. Put simply, maintaining a healthy weight avoids extra breast cancer risk for these women."

Obesity Epidemic Sweeping U.S.

BOSTON (Reuters) - Most Americans are too fat, are getting fatter faster, and aren't likely to get lean unless drastic changes are made in diet and lifestyle, participants at a Harvard University forum on obesity say.

A day after U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona called America's obesity epidemic "the terror within," the forum heard staggering data on the size and cost of America's weight problem.

"No part of the country has escaped it," Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health's nutrition department, said Wednesday as he showed how obesity had spread across the United States over the last two decades.

More than three in five Americans are overweight, and nearly one in three is obese, meaning they carry so much extra weight that their health is at real risk.

Obesity can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and several forms of cancer -- and it costs the U.S. health care system more than $90 billion a year to treat people who are overweight or obese.

CDC: Obesity Fastest Growing Health Threat in U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tobacco is the largest cause of death in the United States, but obesity and a general lack of physical fitness is rapidly catching up and needs to become a priority for the country's healthcare system, Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , said on Wednesday.

"We just recalculated the actual causes of death in the U.S. and we did see that obesity moved up very close to tobacco, and is almost the number one health threat," she said.

Study: Obesity Raising Disability Rate
Jan. 8, 2004

WASHINGTON - (AP) Disability rates rose sharply in the last two decades among those under 60, and obesity appears to be the main reason, according to a study released Thursday.

The Rand Corp. study - published in the journal Health Affairs - said the health of young Americans is getting worse. It found the number of people ages 30-49 who could not care for themselves or do other routine tasks increased by more than half from 1984 to 2000. Meanwhile, the elderly have become less likely to suffer such disabilities.

"We've always had the assumption that medical science is advancing and that people are getting healthier, but that is not the case," said Darius Lakdawalla, lead author of the study.

For those 30- to 39-years-old, the number reporting disabilities increased from 118 per 10,000 people to 182 per 10,000 people from 1984 to 1996. Among those 40- to 49-years-old, the number rose from 212 per 10,000 to 278 per 10,000 in the same period.

There were smaller but still significant increases for people ages 18 to 29 as well as those 50 to 59, the study found.

However, disability declined by more than 10 percent for those 60 to 69, the study said.

The leading causes of disability are mental illness and musculoskeletal problems - such as chronic back pain - which are linked to obesity.

The number of cases stemming from musculoskeletal problems and diabetes grew more rapidly than those from other problems during the length of the study. The proportion that were diabetes-related doubled. Obesity is a major factor in the development of diabetes.

The ballooning obesity problem isn't the only culprit, the study said.

The growth in disability could be the result of increased incentives to report disability and could be linked to advancing medical technology, the report said. Medical advances have saved people who normally would have died, but many end up needing help and going on disability.

Researchers warned that the increase in the disability rate could mean higher health care costs in the future.

The Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group, studied people between the ages of 18 and 69 using data from the National Health Interview Survey which gathers information from about 36,000 households annually. The data covered the years 1984 to 2000.

Support for the study was provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Institute on Aging.

Obesity is killing millions of children around the world, and adversely affecting the quality of life of millions more, and the epidemic is getting worse by the day. People who enable food addictions and obesity, people who set such a poor example for children to follow, are guilty of child abuse that is every bit as harmful as child sexual abuse.

CDC Issues Diabetes Warning for Children

NEW ORLEANS - Associated Press - June 14, 2003 - One in three U.S. children born in 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

The odds are worse for black and Hispanic children: nearly half of them are likely to develop the disease, said Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan, a diabetes epidemiologist at the CDC.

"I think the fact that the diabetes epidemic has been raging has been well known to us for several years. But looking at the risk in these terms was very shocking to us," Narayan said.

The 33 percent lifetime risk is about triple the American Diabetes Association's current estimate.

The implications are frightening. Diabetes leads to a host of problems, including blindness, kidney failure, amputation and heart disease, and diabetics are getting younger and younger.

If the CDC predictions are accurate, some 45 million to 50 million U.S. residents could have diabetes by 2050, said Dr. Kevin McKinney, director of the adult clinical endocrinological unit at the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston.

"There is no way that the medical community could keep up with that," he said.

McKinney said Narayan's procedures are valid and the estimates, being presented Saturday to the American Diabetes Association, are probably all too likely.

Diabetes, a disease caused largely by obesity and lack of exercise, has been an increasing worry for decades. From the mid-1960s to the mid-'90s, the number of cases tripled.

"These estimates I am giving you now are probably quite conservative," Narayan said in an interview before the diabetes association's annual scientific meeting here.

Doctors had known for some time that Type 2 diabetes - what used to be called adult-onset diabetes because it typically showed up in middle-aged people - is on the rise, and that patients are getting younger.

Globally, the World Health Organization has estimated that by 2025, the number of people with diabetes worldwide will more than double, from 140 million to 300 million.

"They estimated that by 2025, there would be close to 60 million people with diabetes in India alone. That's about the size of Great Britain or France," Narayan said.

It doesn't have to happen.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by losing weight, exercising and following a sensible diet.

A study two years ago found that walking 30 minutes a day most days of the week and losing a little weight helped the people most likely to get it cut their risk 58 percent.

Obesity Epidemic Set to Get Worse

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Obesity has spiraled into a worldwide epidemic affecting 250 million adults but a leading nutritional expert believes the worst is still to come.

Overweight adolescents are on course to fuel an even bigger global health problem as they mature into obese adults, he says.

"The younger generation, the generation after us, will be even more obese than we are, which doesn't make the future look very promising," Dr. Mikael Fogelholm said in an interview.

The chairman of the 12th European Congress on Obesity, which begins in Helsinki on Thursday, said the prevalence of obesity among adolescents has increased more rapidly than among the middle-aged population.

"We can't expect that the present generation will die and we will have a lean generation," added Dr. Fogelholm, who is also the director of the independent UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research in Finland.

A steady, and in some cases life-long, diet of high-fat fast foods and idle hours in front of the television and computer, has taken its toll on children.

"Most obese adults now had not been obese children," Fogelholm said. "They obtained their extra kilos (pounds) after they were 25 or 30 years old. But now we have more and more people who are already obese at the age of 10, 15 or 20.

"If the trend goes on, the future doesn't look better. It looks worse unless we can find a way to prevent obesity."

Along with expanding waistlines, being overweight or obese increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancer. In the United States, where over half of the adult population is obese or overweight, obesity costs about $93 billion a year in medical expenses.

Obesity and related conditions are second only to smoking as a cause of preventable death.

Study: Laziness Makes for Dangerous Fat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Everyone knows that lazing around can lead to a growing potbelly, but U.S. researchers say that couch potatoes build up dangerous pockets of fat more quickly than anyone thought.

But the good news -- or perhaps the bad news -- is that vigorous exercise can take it off pretty quickly, the team at Duke University in North Carolina reported Wednesday.

The team of experts looked at visceral fat -- that hidden flab tucked in among the organs. It is often invisible, but unlike an obvious paunch or heavy thighs, it is linked with insulin resistance -- pre-diabetes -- and heart disease.

Speaking to a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco, Cris Slentz said he was surprised at how rapidly fat accumulated deep in the abdomens of patients who did not exercise.

Volunteers who did no exercise had an 8.6 percent increase in visceral fat after eight months, while those who exercised the most lost 8.1 percent of their visceral fat, Slentz said.

"The results of our investigation show that in sedentary overweight adults, who continue to choose a sedentary lifestyle, the detrimental effects are worse and more rapid than we previously thought," Slentz said in a statement.

"We probably should not have been surprised since this simply mirrors the increasingly rapid rise in obesity prevalence seen in the U.S., where at present two out of three adults are overweight or obese."

Women gained fat twice as quickly as the men did, Slentz said.

Some Critiques of the Feminist/New Age "Goddess" Claims

From "The Death Cults of Prehistoric Malta"
By Caroline Malone, Anthony Bonanno, Tancred Gouder, Simon Stoddart, and David Trump.
(Scientific American, December 1993 pp. 110-117)

New archeological excavations reveal that as the ancient island societies suffered from environmental decline, they developed an extreme religious preoccupation with life and death. ...Traditionally, archaeological discoveries in Malta have been interpreted- or perhaps we should say misinterpreted- against a backdrop of broad conjecture about the significance of mother goddesses. Figurines fitting that general description date from the Upper Paleolithic era (about 25,000 years ago) to the dawn of metal-using societies in the Neolithic era. A few have been found in western Europe, but the yields have been much richer at sites in Egypt, the Levant, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and the Balkans. The most elaborate figures come from the islands of Malta in the third millennium B.C. Unfortunately, many of these figurines are far less informative than they might once have been because of the unscientific ways in which they were collected. The dating of the figurines is often inaccurate. The records of where and how they were situated are often incomplete, so we cannot know whether the figures were peculiar to burial sites, shrines or houses... The discovery of similar figurines at far-flung sites and from disparate eras inspired a long tradition of scholarly speculation about a widespread prehistoric religion based on the worship of the mother goddess. In the middle decades of this century, for example, some archaeologists tried to show that a cult of the Eye Goddess (so called because of eye motifs on Mesopotamian idols) diffused throughout the entire Mediterranean. More recently, claims have been made that the Balkans were the center of an Old European religion.

Most modern scholars appreciate that the early cults were radically different in each prehistoric society and that the cults of domestic life were distinct from the cults of death and burial. The example of Malta demonstrates that variation most emphatically. Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the cults generally involved simple domestic rituals; little effort was invested in religious art or architecture. In Malta, however, the worship of corpulent images gradually blossomed into a consuming passion...

The great number of figurines from both the temples and the ornate burial hypogeum of Hal Saflieni have fueled ideas (some plausible, some fantastic) about the supposed fertility cults and rituals of Malta. Some archaeologists have hypothesized that Maltese society may have been a powerful matriarchy dominated by priestesses, female leaders and mother goddesses. Those theories were always based on an implicit faith in the meaning of the artifacts- a faith as devout, in its way, as the prehistoric religion itself but lacking much scientific foundation.

During the past five years, a new excavation at the site of the Brochtorff Circle on Gozo has uncovered important evidence about the prehistoric rituals of death...

On the ground surface, at the monumental entrance leading down into the caverns, another pit was also filled with human remains. Among them were many males whose body parts had been rearranged after being taken from some other burial place. Almost no grave gifts accompanied the bones. Small altars at either end of the megalithic pavement beside the burial pit may have been used for preliminary sacrifices and obeisances before the priest and the assembled mourning community ventured down into the foul, reeking caves of the dead... Unprecedented discoveries at the Brochtorff Circle have encouraged us to reconsider the whole basis of ancient cults and religions in prehistoric Malta and Gozo. As the old ideas had supposed, the worship of fertility may well have been a component of the prehistoric religion. But the recent findings argue that it would be a mistake to concentrate exclusively on any one facet or historical period: the prehistoric religion of Malta was not only an infatuation with fat females.... Cult activities seem to have reached a feverish pitch in the final phases of the Tarxien period around 2500 B.C. The society was becoming increasingly dominated by a religious hierarchy in which cult specialists or priests controlled much of the industry of the people. Vast amounts of human time and energy were invested in temple building, artistic endeavors and ritual feasts. The dead were honored within cults and linked to animals and human obesity. The people seem to have expended relatively little effort on the building of villages or domestic structures, on terracing or on farming methods. The obsession with the cults of the temples seems to have been complete. Such obsessions are dangerous, and so it proved to be on ancient Malta. By about 2500 B.C. the community of the temple builders had ceased to build and perhaps even to use the monumental burial sites prepared by earlier generations. By 2000 B.C. the entire culture had disappeared and been replaced by very different religious practices that favored cremation burials. The burial hypogea, the cult of the "fat ladies" and the other symbols of the living and the dead were completely abandoned.

The reality of ancient goddess worship is far different that the lala-land version that is marketed today.

The Evolution of Childrearing

Mothers in antiquity hallucinated female demons-Lamia, Gorgo, Striga, Empusa-who were actually grandmother alters in the mothers' heads, so jealous of their having babies that they sucked out their blood and otherwise murdered them.75 Even today peasant villages fear the outbreak of "angry, malevolent, dangerous" hallucinations that surround the newborn and threaten the mother and even keep the nursery room boarded up with the door barred to prevent the intrusion of dangerous spirits.76 All early societies invented sacrificial rituals wherein babies were tortured and killed to honor maternal goddesses, from Anit to Kali, vowing that, "although Mommy wants to kill me for having sex and making a baby, if I kill the baby instead [usually the first-born was sacrificed], I can then go on having sex and other babies with less fear of retribution."

The severely immature parents of the past felt under such constant threat for success by malevolent forces-maternal alters-that their own children were constantly being used as poison containers for their disowned feelings. As one informant in a contemporary rural Greek community put it, "When you're angry a demon gets inside of you. Only if a pure individual passes by, like a child for instance, will the bad leave you, for it will fall on the unpolluted."77 The dynamics are clear: the "demon inside you" is the alter, the "unpolluted child" is the poison container. A typical child sacrifice for parental success can be seen in Carthage, where archeologists have found a child cemetery called The Tophet that is filled with over 20,000 urns containing bones of children sacrificed by the parents, who would make a vow to kill their next child if the gods would grant them a favor-for instance, if their shipment of goods were to arrive safely in a foreign port.78 They placed their children alive in the arms of a bronze statue of "the lady Tanit...the hands of the statue extended over a brazier into which the child fell once the flames had caused its limbs to contract and its mouth to open...the child was alive and conscious when burned...Philo specified that the sacrificed child was best-loved."79

Child sacrifice was the foundation of all great religions, depicted in myths as absolutely necessary to save the world from "chaos," that is, from terrible inner annihilation anxiety as punishment for success. Maccoby's book, The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt, portrays the entire history of religion as dramas featuring a vengeful, bloodthirsty Sacred Executioner, demonstrating that the role of children, from Isaac to Christ, was to act as sacrifices for the sins of the parents.80 Behind even male gods demanding sacrifice are Avenging Terrible Mothers of Death, says Lederer-Belili, Inanna, Tiamat, Ishtar, Astarte, Lilith, Hathor-Sekhmet, Izanami, Chicomecoatl - all Mother alters in the brains of the new parents, demanding revenge for the hubris of daring to be a parent.81 The wealthier the family, the more children had to be sacrificed to the goddess, representing the infant's furious grandmother.82

Child sacrifices have been found from the beginning of human history: decapitated skeletons of early hominid children have been found, with evidence of cannibalism, as their parents ate them on behalf of the spirits of their life-devouring grandmothers;83 young children were buried with their skulls split by an ax at Woodhenge/Stonehenge;84 decapitated infant sacrifices to the Great Goddess were found at Jericho;85 early Arabians sacrificed their daughters to "the mothers;"86 the serpent goddess of the Aztecs demanded skull and heart sacrifice of children, including the eating of the children's bodies and covering themselves with their blood;87 Mayan and Incan sacrificed children are still being discovered in the South American mountains, along with children who have been killed by drug dealers to ward off revenge for their successful cocaine runs.88

75. Heide Wunder, He Is the Sun, She Is the Moon: Women in Early Modern Germany. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998; Elizabeth Hafkin Pleck, Domestic Tyranny: The Making of Social Policy Against Family Violence From Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

76. Janet Golden, "The New Motherhood and the New View of Wet Nurses, 1780-1865." In Rima D. Apple and Janet Golden, Eds., Mothers & Motherhood: Readings in American History. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1997, pp. 72-89.

77. Jan Lewis, "'Those Scenes for Which Alone My Heart Was Made.'" Affection and Politics in the Age of Jefferson and Hamilton." In Peter N. Stearns and Jan Lewis, An Emotional History of the United States. New York: New York University Press, 1998, pp. 52-65; Vivian C. Fox, "Poor Children's Rights in Early Modern England." The Journal of Psychohistory 23(1996): 286-306; Elisabeth Badinter, L'amour en plus: histoire de l'amour maternel (XVIIe - Xxe siecle). Paris: Flammarion, 1980.

78. Jan Lewis, "Mother's Love: The Construction of an Emotion in Nineteenth-Century America." In Peter N. Stearns and Jan Lewis, An Emotional History of the United States, p. 52.

79. Julia Grant, Raising Baby by the Book: The Education of American Mothers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998, p. 15.

80. Jan Lewis, "Mother's Love: The Construction of an Emotion in Nineteenth-Century America." In Rima D. Apple and Janet Golden, Eds., Mothers & Motherhood: Readings in American History, p. 58.

81. See Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: Psychohistory Press, 1976 for a breakdown of the socializing mode into four submodes.

82. Peter Petschauer, "Growing Up Female In Eighteenth-Century Germany." The Journal of Psychohistory 11(1983): 167-208; Peter Petschauer, "Intrusive to Socializing Modes: Transitions in Eighteenth-Century Germany and Twentieth-Century Italy." The Journal of Psychohistory 14(1987): 257-270; Bogna Lorence, "Parents and Children in Eighteenth-Century Europe." History of Childhood Quarterly 2(1974): 1-30; Raffael Scheck, "Childhood in German Autobiographical Writings, 1740-1820." The Journal of Psychohistory 15(1987): 391-422.

83. Ibid, p. 160.

84. Lloyd deMause, "The Role of Adaptation and Selection in Psychohistorical Evolution." The Journal of Psychohistory 16(1989): p. 365.

85. Lloyd deMause, "The Formation of the American Personality Through Psychospeciation." In Lloyd deMause, Foundations of Psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots, 1982, pp. 105-128; Gert Raeithel, "Philobatism and American Culture." The Journal of Psychohistory 6(1979): 447-460.

86. Lloyd deMause, "The Role of Adaptation and Selection in Psychohistorical Evolution," p. 365.

87. L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, "The Transition to Agriculture and Some of Its Consequences." In Donald J. Ortner, Ed., How Humans Adapt: A Biocultural Odyssey. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983, p. 112.

88. N. Eldredge and Steven J. Gould, "Punctuated equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism." In Thomas J. M. Schopf, Ed., Models in Paleobiology. San Francisco: Freeman, 1972.

Somehow I don't think Mother Earth would encourage or condone food addiction, obesity and lack of exercise as an ideal. The Goddess just might kick certain women right in their fat asses for using Her name to enable and promote unhealthy lifestyles.

Abdominal Fat May Up Breast Cancer Mortality
Dec. 3, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Excess abdominal fat may be related to a higher risk of death among some women with breast cancer, new study findings suggest.

The findings raise that possibility that shedding extra pounds might lower a breast cancer patient's death risk over time, the study's lead author, Dr. Marilyn J. Borugian, told Reuters Health.

She and her colleagues report the results in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In the study, a woman's risk of dying within 10 years of a breast cancer diagnosis rose in tandem with waist-to-hip ratio-but only for those who were postmenopausal and had tumors sensitive to estrogen. This means that the hormone estrogen fuels the cancer growth.

Among these women, those with the highest waist-to-hip ratios--the greatest amount of abdominal fat--were about three times as likely as those with the lowest waist-to-hip ratios to die. The finding was independent of body mass index, meaning that it was fat distribution, and not overall weight, that appeared key.

A number of previous studies have tied higher waist-to-hip ratio to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, or of dying from the disease--premenopausal women included, Borugian and her colleagues point out.

It's possible, the researchers speculate, that high levels of the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin could be at work. Insulin resistance and chronic elevations in insulin levels in the blood often go hand in hand with excess body fat, and the hormone has been shown to stimulate estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells. In addition, both insulin and fat tissue can spur the production of estrogen and other sex hormones.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, November 15, 2003.

Heavy Women Who Become Pregnant Face Greater Health Risks
Feb. 5, 2004
By Colette Bouchez
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDayNews) -- There are new reasons to control your weight both before and after you conceive -- particularly if you're heavy before you even try to have a baby.

Obesity promotes not only severe pregnancy complications in the mother, it also places the baby at high risk of health problems, including an increased chance of neonatal death.

That's the sobering news from a group of Swedish researchers who say that not only is it important to control weight gain during pregnancy, but to also get your level of body fat under control before you attempt to conceive.

"[We are hopeful] that knowing the problems concerning pregnancy and delivery associated with obesity could possibly motivate young women to prevent excessive weight gain," says study author Dr. Marie Cendergren. She is an obstetrician in the division of obstetrics and gynecology at Linkoping University, where the research was conducted.

The findings appear in the February issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Although Cendergren believes that reaching as close to a "normal" weight as possible before conception is the best way to avoid problems, she acknowledges this would be difficult for most women suffering from obesity.

However she adds that "a BMI below 30 significantly reduces risks," and she encourages women to aim for that goal. A BMI, or body mass index, is an indication of the level of body fat. A "normal" BMI ranges from 19 to 26, depending on height, Cendergren says.

Among the pregnancy problems cited by the study was an increased risk of preeclampsia, a potentially fatal form of maternal high blood pressure. Other problems include increased likelihood of Caesarean-section delivery; greater risk of shoulder dystocia (damage to the baby's arm and shoulder during delivery); fetal distress; stillbirth; and death of the child shortly after birth.

Although losing weight before pregnancy would help reduce the risk of all these problems, Cendergren suggests that for even greater insurance, all obese women should be under the care of a high-risk pregnancy expert.

"We must look upon these pregnancies and deliveries as high-risk pregnancies -- particularly the doctors dealing with them," Cendergren says.

New York University obstetrician Dr. Michael Silverstein says the study underscores the importance of watching your weight both before and after pregnancy. But, he adds, this is information most physicians have known for a long time.

"Whether the weight gain occurs before pregnancy or after conception takes place, if you are very overweight it is going to cause a litany of problems affecting both the mother and the baby," Silverstein says. Even something as routine as a pregnancy ultrasound -- to check for fetal growth and development -- can be difficult or impossible to accurately read when the mother is very overweight.

"I'm not certain if the excess weight is causing these birthing complications, or if the weight is keeping us from properly diagnosing certain conditions that we might otherwise normally see -- particularly those involving fetal distress," Silverstein says.

While he agrees that some obese women do require the care of a high-risk pregnancy expert, he also believes every pregnancy should be viewed in an individual light.

"A lot depends on the overall health of the mother. A very overweight woman who is in good physical condition may be of less concern than a woman who is moderately overweight but is in poor physical condition or is carrying more than one baby," he says.

The Swedish study looked at nearly 3,500 pregnancies in morbidly obese women -- defined as a body mass index over 40. An additional 12,698 women with a BMI between 35.1 and 40 were also part of the study. All were compared to pregnant women with a normal BMI, falling between 19.8 and 26.

The result: Women with a BMI greater than 40 were at significantly heightened risk for preeclampsia; stillbirth; Caesarean delivery; instrument delivery, (such as forceps); shoulder dystocia; meconium aspiration (a newborn breathing-related procedure), fetal distress; early neonatal death; and large-for-gestational-age -- a problem that can lead to other birth complications.

Although women with a BMI between 35.1 and 40 also were subjected to the same risks, the incidence was notably lower. Indeed, researchers say the lower a woman's BMI, even by just a few points, the lower her risk of problems.

According to Cendergren, the risk of gaining excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy is as detrimental as being very overweight going into the pregnancy.

To learn more about obesity and pregnancy, visit The March of Dimes. Or visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for the very latest guidelines on controlling obesity.

Obesity, Poor Nutrition Threatening Kids' Health
Feb. 10, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Like other modern, wealthy nations, the UK is facing a conundrum that could have a huge impact on the country's future health -- what to do about a rising population of overweight, yet often poorly nourished children.

Obesity and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, especially among lower-income children, are growing health threats in the UK, according to Dr. Roger Harris of Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry in London.

As in the U.S., he told Reuters Health, obesity is probably the biggest concern. Childhood obesity often persists into adulthood, where it is linked to higher risks of major ills such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

The effects of obesity can start to emerge in childhood as well; the rate of type 2 diabetes -- once seen almost exclusively in middle-aged and older adults -- has jumped among children and teenagers. And some studies of obese children have uncovered early signs of heart disease.

According to Harris, poor feeding habits beginning early in life are contributing to the obesity problem -- as well as to a number of nutritional deficiencies. Writing in February's Archives of Disease in Childhood, he points to inappropriate weaning of infants, and young children's sugar-laden diets as major culprits.

Harris said that too many children, especially in inner cities, are at risk of iron deficiency because they don't receive iron-enriched foods as babies and continue as children to subsist on "convenience" foods that lack the mineral and other nutrients.

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, a condition that impairs the blood's oxygen-carrying capacity, causing symptoms such as fatigue. In young children, iron deficiency may also delay the development of language and motor skills.

For both breast- and bottle-fed infants, experts recommend that parents begin to introduce iron-enriched rice cereals and other foods around the age of 5 to 6 months. Harris said that delaying the introduction of foods, or "late weaning," often results in iron-poor diets that persist into childhood.

"The end result of late weaning is that babies stay on larger amounts of milk than they need rather than experimenting with food, and so become iron deficient," he explained.

In addition, Harris said, many toddlers and children have high intakes of juice and junk food, which helps promote obesity. It's common, he notes in the report, for children to continue bottle-feeding far beyond the age of 1 -- a habit that is thought to fuel weight problems, as children can easily down large amounts of calorie-packed liquids when they opt for a bottle over a cup.

The UK government has taken notice of childhood obesity and poor nutrition. Harris pointed to the government-funded "Sure Start" program that is trying to improve nutrition and exercise levels among young children in inner cities.

He added, though, that welfare rules should be changed to allow low-income families to get assistance in buying iron-fortified, higher-protein "follow on" formula intended for older babies. Research in inner-city Birmingham, Harris noted, showed that these formulas largely prevented iron deficiency among 18 month olds.

SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, February 2004.

Physically Fit Kids Stay Physically Healthy
Dec. 31, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Kids who are less physically active and have excess body fat have more sick days, new research reports.

These findings suggest that eating right and getting exercise affect more than just kids' waistlines, study author Dr. Panagiota Klentrou told Reuters Health.

She and her colleagues found that fifth graders who were physically fit and spent more time participating in sports activities reported fewer days of cold or flu symptoms than inactive kids did.

In contrast, kids who had more than 25 percent body fat reported more sick days than kids carrying around less extra fat.

Klentrou, who is based at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, said she hopes these results provide parents with an additional incentive to encourage good habits in their kids.

Although being overweight and inactive may often seem harmless in kids, those habits can affect how much time they spend at school, Klentrou said. Slim and active kids "will lose less school, because they are going to be healthier," she said.

During the study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Klentrou and her colleagues asked 29 boys and 32 girls between the ages of 10 and 11 how often they exercised, tested their body fat, and gave them logs to record how many days per month they spent with cold and flu symptoms. Children also completed running tests to measure their physical fitness.

In an interview, Klentrou explained that exercise may keep kids healthy by providing a constant source of moderate stress, strengthening their body systems and enabling them to ward off bacteria and viruses. "If you don't challenge the systems, they get sloppy," she said.

Excess body fat, in contrast, may weaken the body because fat requires resources that get diverted from the body's infection fighting machinery, she noted.

Based on the results, Klentrou recommends that parents try to encourage kids to be active every day, eat a healthy diet, and lose weight if they are obese.

SOURCE: Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2003.

Obesity Increases Risk of Pregnancy Complications
August 11, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The results of a Danish study confirm that women who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant have an increased risk of a number of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Moreover, by including only women in late pregnancy who had normal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) results, the researchers were able to show that the relationship between weight and pregnancy complications is seen regardless of maternal glucose levels.

"To our knowledge, ours is the first study in which this has been performed," Dr. Dorte M. Jensen from Odense University Hospital and associates write in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The team looked at pregnancy outcome and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height and weight, in a study of 2459 Danish women who were glucose tolerant, indicating the subjects had normal glucose levels.

In analyzes that were adjusted for other potential risk factors, the risk of complications due to high blood pressure, cesarean section, induction of labor and delivery of an abnormally large infant significantly increased in overweight (BMI, 25.0-29.9) and obese women (BMI, 30 more) compared with normal-weight women (BMI 18.5-24.9).

"Pregnancy complications related to maternal BMI is a growing problem," the investigators write. "Traditionally, intensified obstetric surveillance has been restricted to obese women with glucose intolerance, but it is evident from the current study that obese women with a normal glucose tolerance also represent a high risk group," they add.

SOURCE: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, July 2003.

Study Links Sugary Foods to Birth Defect Risk
Dec. 3, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who eat lots of foods that tend to make blood sugar soar may be more likely to have a baby with birth defects of the brain or spine, a new study suggests.

These foods, known as high glycemic index foods, include white bread and other highly processed grains, potatoes and soft drinks. Researchers say the finding, seen predominantly among obese women in the study, adds to evidence that a problem in blood-sugar control might be involved in neural tube defects.

But they also caution that the research is only one step in understanding how the birth defects arise, and it's unclear whether the foods, per se, are the culprit. "These are new results that need to be repeated and pushed further," study leader Dr. Gary M. Shaw, of the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program in Berkeley, told Reuters Health.

Neural tube defects such as spina bifida arise in the first several weeks of pregnancy, when the brain and spine are beginning to take shape. One nutritional factor in this early period--a woman's intake of the B vitamin folic acid--is known to affect the risk of these birth defects.

There is also evidence that a mother's obesity or diabetes might raise the risk of neural tube defects, suggesting a role for maternal blood sugar levels.

Among more than 900 California women in the new study, those who ate more foods with a high glycemic index around the time of conception had a higher risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. The link was strongest for obese women; those who ate the most high glycemic index foods had four times the risk of having an affected baby as obese women who ate the fewest.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The glycemic index measures how strongly and quickly blood sugar rises after a person eats carbohydrate-containing food. The sugars in foods with a high index are quickly digested and absorbed, creating a surge in blood sugar levels. In contrast, the carbohydrates in foods like fiber-rich whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and some dairy products typically cause a slower release of sugar into the blood.

According to Shaw and his colleagues, the new findings are in line with evidence suggesting that problems in blood-sugar control may contribute to the development of the birth defects.

He also stressed that eating a balanced diet with enough folic acid remains the best advice for cutting the risk of neural tube defects. Foods rich in the vitamin include fortified grains and breakfast cereals, leafy greens like spinach, and orange juice.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition November 1, 2003.

Obesity among Swedish school kids on the rise
Jan. 26, 2004

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - The global obesity epidemic has caught up with even fitness-obsessed Sweden, with the number of overweight Stockholm school children nearly tripling over the past 14 years, according to a Stockholm county report.

The report, titled "Stockholm Childhood Obesity Prevention Project", or STOPP, is the first of a two-part project expected to conclude in 2005 aimed at finding ways of reducing overweight and obesity among Swedish children.

"We want to see if it's possible to stop the fat development," professor Claude Marcus, the author of the report, told AFP Monday.

Sweden has traditionally been among the world's healthiest nations.

"That is no longer the case," Marcus said. "What we found here was really shocking."

Compared to a similar study of about 4,000 children conducted 14 years ago, 23.7 percent more Stockholm pupils are overweight today than in 1989.

Monday's report also revealed that Stockholm school children exercise about 5 percent less today than they did just two years ago when the project began, and that girls are getting less exercise than their male classmates, Marcus said.

Hospitals Burdened by Obese Patients
Dec. 18, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals are buying expensive new equipment such as reinforced toilets and oversized beds to treat the growing number of severely obese patients, according to a survey released on Thursday.

Novation, a group-purchasing organization for hospitals and other health-care institutions, found that hospitals are seeing more severely obese patients, people who are overweight by at least 100 pounds.

The group quoted 80 percent of hospitals as saying they had treated more severely obese patients in the last year than ever before, with 17 percent saying they had remodeled to accommodate the largest patients.

"We are finding that hospitals across the country are buying more large-size beds, larger blood pressure cuffs, wider, reinforced wheelchairs and larger versions of other basic supplies to adjust to patient needs," Jody Hatcher, senior vice president of Novation, said in a statement.

More than 30 percent of U.S. adults are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This translates to 59 million people.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more. BMI is a measure of weight versus height, and serious health implications such as heart disease kick in at BMIs of 30 and above. This can mean being as few as 30 pounds above desired weight. But as obesity becomes more common in the United States, so does extreme obesity.

Web sites such as offer furniture to accommodate people weighing 500 pounds and more, while has a line of oversized caskets.

Wausau Hospital in Wausau, Wisconsin, told Novation it spent $200,000 this year to remodel rooms, order special equipment and train staff to deal with extremely obese patients.

"We've had to buy special, longer surgical gloves and even needles and syringes," said Kent Demien, director of materials management at Wausau. "Standard equipment becomes obsolete on many of our larger patients."

Demien said many patients or hospital visitors are too heavy for a wall-mounted toilet, which can handle up to 300 pounds. The hospital plans to replace them with pedestal commodes that can support 2,000 pounds.

The Novation survey polled administrators from 69 U.S. hospitals representing small, rural hospitals and large urban centers.

States Look to Combat Obesity With Laws
Dec. 22, 2003

By ROBERT TANNER, AP National Writer

Fighting to shed a few pounds and control that waistline? For the soaring number of Americans who are becoming dangerously overweight, states and cities across the country want to help.

With the U.S. Surgeon General calling obesity an epidemic, legislators nationwide are offering measures to encourage healthy food choices and ban the worst temptations.

Few ideas have become law yet. But states have considered scores of bills this year that would, among other things: get kids exercising; warn restaurant eaters about fat, sugar and cholesterol on the menu; and, ban sugary sodas and fattening chips from school vending machines.

In a Louisiana experiment, the state will pay for a few government employees' gastric bypass surgery - or stomach stapling - to see if it reduces health care costs. >"As a country, we have to wake up. We are in an epidemic," said Nevada state Sen. Valerie Wiener, who has had her own battles with weight but now is a champion weightlifter.

She heads a state committee gathering data on obesity, and how the legislature, food companies, the health care system and schools can act. "We're all paying the price," she said. Under the laws that have passed, states will:

_Test the BMI - body-mass index, a ratio of height to weight - of students in six Arkansas schools, and send results home. Pediatricians say regular tests like this should be performed nationwide to track children at risk of becoming obese.

_Ban junk food from vending machines in California. New York City, in an administrative decision, banned hard candy, doughnuts, soda and salty chips from its vending machines.

_Require physical education programs in Louisiana schools, and encourage it in Arkansas and Mississippi. Though once a staple, such daily classes are now only required by state law in Illinois; other states let local officials decide or require exercise less often.

Public campaigns aimed at getting people to change their eating habits also remain popular. Billboards across West Virginia, featuring photos of bulging stomachs and couch potatoes, exhort people to "Put Down Chips & Trim Those Hips." Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio, Texas have started "get fit" drives.

The statistics show the need for such efforts. The number of obese adults has doubled in 20 years, and is now up to nearly 59 million people, or almost a third of all American adults.

Childhood obesity has tripled, with one child in six considered obese.

As the pounds add up, so do the health care costs, because obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and deaths from cancer - among other ailments.

West Virginia found that, for state employees, costs for obesity have more than doubled since 1995, rising from $37 million to $78 million, now nearly a fifth of the employees' $400 million health plan.

Texas proposal to limit school children's access to snack and soda vending machines died after the state soft drink association complained. Most of the 80 or so obesity-related bills around the country also failed to pass.

"It's difficult to want to tackle something like this, something as huge as this," said Weiner, the Nevada lawmaker. She plans to bring together people from the food industry and the public health community to work with lawmakers.

The federal government is acting, too. The Bush administration urged insurance companies to offer premium discounts to people with healthier lifestyles. It has started giving grants to cities to target unhealthy habits. More immediate changes are brewing on the state and local level.

In West Virginia, the state agency that insures public employees has started offering exercise benefits and diet counseling, in addition to the state's advertising campaign.

"If we don't get a handle on this, this generation of kids coming up will have a shorter life span than their parents," said Nidia Henderson, wellness manager at West Virginia's Public Employees Insurance Agency. "That's scandalous." -

The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity



By Johnny Asia

[ Inspired by my visits to Omega Institute, the world's hippest singles club, and old age home for the New Age. ]

Mankind looks forward to the new Millennium with either eager anticipation, or a sense of impending doom. (Or, in my case, both!) People are running scared into the waiting arms of world religions, like rats clinging to pieces of wood in a shipwreck. These religions have done nothing to alleviate any of mans' inhumanity to man. Indeed, they have been used to justify avarice and rapaciousness, all in the name of "God". These religions seem to have been developed in order to subjugate the individual, to force compliance to the status quo, and to control human sexuality.

Those among us who are more intelligent and aware know that the supposed safety and solace offered by these religions is nothing more than mass hysteria combined with wishful thinking. We who are better educated and less gullible have no safety net to provide us with shelter during the coming storm. We rebelled against this hypocritical society and rejected the cruel God of our clueless fathers, and rightly so, but a void was left which had to be filled. We had to provide ourselves with answers to the nagging questions which still plagued our thoughts. We had to have a sense of belonging to a transcendent reality. We had to compensate for the feelings of low self esteem that this sick society instills in its' members. We had to express the creativity which had been stifled by our forced conformity to this perverse and vulgar society. To those ends we developed our own belief systems, combining a nostalgia craze for earth based religions of the Stone Age with futuristic speculations of the Space Age into the so-called "New Age".

These new beliefs are no more useful or beneficial than the discredited beliefs of our parents. These new beliefs are driven by the same dysfunction and fueled by the same enabling and denial as the old ones. Combine various personality disorders, dysfunctional "magic thinking", compulsive behavior, and addictions, with grade-B outer space movies of the 50's; 60's , Marvel Comics, and psychotropic drugs, the LSD craze of the 1960's, the Beatles and Beach Boys tripping out and seeking far-out experiences in India with the Maharishi, add the delusional teachings of the obese "mystic teacher" Madame Blavatsky and her followers, and there you have the recipe for the "New Age". (Blavatsky had an inordinate fondness for eggs fried in butter -- every morning of every day she compulsively consumed a huge calorie-binge of a meal, until she was so morbidly obese that she had to be winched on board a passenger ship!}

"Neo-Vedanta" arose partly as a countermissionary movement to Christianity in nineteenth-century India. Having lost a significant minority of Indians (especially among the outcast "Untouchables") to Christianity under British rule, certain adherents of the ancient Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism retooled their religion to better compete with Christianity for the souls not only of Easterners, but of Westerners as well. Adopting such distinctively Christian missionary practices as providing education and health care to the poor, they set up successful missionary organizations in India (e.g., Vivekananda’s Ramakrishna Order with its Ramakrishna Mission; Yogananda’s Yogoda Satsanga Society, established in 1917)

An interesting account of how conditions in nineteenth-century India gave rise to neo-Vedanta can be found in R.C. Zaehner, Hinduism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962),

In 1920 a Hindu missionary effort was launched in America when a charismatic "neo-Vedanta" swami, Paramahansa Yogananda, was invited to speak at the International Congress of Religious Liberals in Boston, sponsored by the Unitarian Church. After the Congress, Yogananda lectured across the country, spellbinding audiences with his immense charm and powerful presence. In 1925 he established the headquarters for his Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) in Los Angeles on the site of a former hotel atop Mount Washington. He was the first Eastern guru to take up permanent residence in the United States after creating a following here.

In accord with Self-Realization Fellowship religious belief, Yogananda is considered not to have died, but to have passed into a state of mahasamadhi, a Sanskrit term that refers to a yogi's final conscious exit from the body. Of course, the newspapers reported it differently. On March 7, 1952, after giving a speech at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to welcome India's visiting ambassador, the 59-year-old Yogananda dropped dead of a heart attack.

When the Baby-Boomers rejected the religions of their parents, they didn't get rid of their need to believe in something "supernatural", something miraculous to replace the fairy tales of Christianity and Judaism that they were taught as children. Instead of believing in nothing, they started to believe in ANTHING!

The "Area 51" UFO/Alien conspiracy craze seems to have taken the place of sightings of the Virgin Mary and other religious apparitions. The low budget and poorly made sci-fi movies of the 50's and early 60's made a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of young Baby-Boomers. The eerie, synthesized sound effects of those goofy movies formed the basis of "New Age" music, and the visions of little green men continue to haunt the imaginations of scared girls and boys, who are now dysfunctional make-believe grown-ups.

Modern day Joan of Arcs are no longer visited by the Blessed Virgin, but by sadistic little space-men who kidnap and sexually abuse women aboard space ships in ways unheard of, even in among sadomasochists. The dreaded Incubus and Succubus of the Dark Ages have nothing on these high-tech perverts from Outer Space. Men are also claiming to have been abducted by aliens and painfully probed by various sharp objects. A thriving industry of New Age books, "channelers" and so-called "hypno-therapists" are capitalizing on the reign of "The Terror from Beyond Space", (the title of a 50's sci-fi movie). Overweight psychics and chain-smoking holistic practitioners sell comfort and solace to bewildered Baby-Boomers who seek answers to life's questions from imaginary visitors from outer space.

Personally, though, I had rather endure being molested by Martians than to have to listen to "New Age Music", (such as it were). Musical charlatans and snake-oil salesmen such as Yanni, John Tesh and Kitaro perpetrate this amateurish hoax on their credulous and unsuspecting fans, who are lulled into illusions of escapism. The false sense of spiritual well-being provided by the "New Age" becomes a trap for the lazy and complacent seekers of instant bliss. They have succeeded in jumping out of the frying pan of their parents religion, into the fire of a pseudo-spiritual Hollywood version of the Kingdom of Heaven. They have booked a cruise, and gone on a metaphysical Club Med vacation.

7 Things You Didn't Know about Tibet
by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

author of Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West

1. "Shangri-La" is a fictional name for Tibet. James Hilton invented the name in his 1933 novel Lost Horizon, which was made into a film by Frank Capra in 1937. "Shangri" has no meaning in Tibetan; "La" means "mountain pass." The name is apparently a garbling of Shambhala, a mythical Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. "Shangri-La" quickly came into common usage as a place where all that is good and true is preserved. After U.S. planes bombed Japan in the famous 1942 Doolittle Raid—immortalized in the film Thirty Seconds over Tokyo—news reporters asked President Roosevelt where the planes had taken off from. He replied, "Shangri-La." Roosevelt later authorized the presidential retreat in Maryland, now known as Camp David; its original name was Shangri-La. Today, Shangri-La is the name of a chain of resort hotels and so is associated with beaches and free drinks.

2.The most widely read book about Tibet was written by an Englishman who claimed to be a Tibetan lama, despite the fact that he had never been to Tibet and did not speak a word of Tibetan. The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa was the publishing event of 1956. It purported to be the autobiography of a Tibetan lama who, at the age of eight, underwent the operation of the third eye, in which a hole was drilled in his forehead to allow him to see auras. Such a procedure was not known in Tibet. A private detective eventually tracked down the author of the book, Cyril Hoskin, the unemployed son of an English plumber. The Third Eye was a bestseller in Europe and America. One enthusiastic reader even attempted to perform the operation on himself using a dentist's drill. Mr. Hoskin went on to write eighteen more books as T. Lobsang Rampa, with sales of over four million copies. (The "T." is for "Tuesday".)

3. Tibetans have never heard of their famous religious text The Tibetan Book of the Dead. What is known in the West by that title is a short Tibetan work, the Bardo Thodol, meaning "Liberation through Hearing in the Intermediate State." It is a mortuary text, read over a dead or dying person to help him or her escape from rebirth or, if that's not possible, to have a good rebirth in the next life. It is an example of a genre of similar texts used in one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. It became the most famous Tibetan text in the West after Walter Wentz, a wealthy American Theosophist, traveled to India in the 1920s, and commissioned a translation. Wentz then added his own commentary, transforming the Tibetan mortuary text into a Theosophical treatise. The text has lived on through several reincarnations, including one by Timothy Leary that uses the Tibetan text as a "flight plan" for an acid trip. Leary's book (The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead) is best remembered for the line "Whenever in doubt, turn off your mind, relax, float downstream," which was lifted by John Lennon for the song "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the Beatles' 1966 album, Revolver.

4. Here is something for the initiated: The most famous of all Buddhist mantras, om mani padme hum, does not mean "the jewel in the lotus." It means instead, "O Jewel-Lotus." Nineteenth-century European scholars of Sanskrit misread a vocative ending as a locative ending, thus thinking that the jewel (mani) was in the lotus (padme). The mistranslated mantra took on a life of its own, probably because of its sexual symbolism; for instance it has been the title of scores of books, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with Tibet or Buddhism. The mantra is actually a prayer, calling upon the bodhisattva of compassion—of whom the Dalai Lama is the human incarnation—who is depicted holding a jewel and a lotus in two of his one thousand hands. One of his epithets is thus (Mr.) Jewel-Lotus, so the mantra could be roughly translated, "O, Mr. Jewel-Lotus. Please give us a hand."

5. The most common Western name for Tibetan Buddhism, "Lamaism," is considered a disparaging term by Tibetans. At the end of the nineteenth century, both England and Russia wanted to add Tibet to their empires. Europeans typically justified colonialism by portraying the colony as a culturally deficient land that needed to be saved from itself. So Tibet was depicted as an irrational place with superstitious people living under the yoke of corrupt and evil priests. The religion of these priests, Westerners claimed, was not an authentic form of Buddhism and so did not deserve the name, instead they called it "Lamaism." Western scholars depicted true Buddhism as a religion of reason and restraint, filled with deep philosophy and free from the confines of ritual. In fact, such a pure form of Buddhism never existed in Asia, and was to be found only in the libraries and lecture halls of Europe and America.

6. Because Tibet never became a European colony, it remained—and for many, continues to remain—a land of mystery for the West. In the nineteenth century, it was fashionable to account for the whereabouts of anyone who could not be located by saying that he was in Tibet. Some claimed, for example, that Jesus had spent his lost years there. Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, said that the "Mahatmas," masters who preserved the ancient wisdom of Atlantis, lived in Tibet. And in "The Adventure of the Empty House," Sherlock Holmes accounts for his whereabouts during the years following his apparent death after plunging, with Professor Moriarty, over the Reichenbach Fall, by telling Watson, "I traveled for two years in Tibet, therefore, and amused myself by visiting Lhassa, and spending some days with the head lama. You may have read of the remarkable explorations of a Norwegian named Sigerson, but I am sure that it never occurred to you that you were receiving news of your friend."

7. Tibet was not a non-violent society, even after the Dalai Lamas assumed secular control in 1642. The fifth Dalai Lama assumed secular power over Tibet only through the military intervention of his Qoshot Mongol patron, the Gushri Khan, whose troops defeated the Dalai Lama's rival, the king of Tsang. Tibetan armies fought wars against Ladakh in 1681 and against the Dzungar Mongols in 1720, and made numerous armed incursions into Bhutan in the eighteenth century. Tibetan troops fought against invading Nepali forces in 1788-1792 and 1854, against Dogra forces invading Ladakh from Kashmir in 1842, and against the British in 1904. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth Dalai Lamas all died young, with some or all rumored to have been poisoned, and the thirteenth Dalai Lama survived an assassination attempt by his own regent. Many Tibetan monks fought bravely against the Chinese invaders in the 1950s.

Lopez, Donald S. Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. May 1998.

A scholarly history of western myth-making and romance over the question of Tibet. It's a thought-provoking corrective to much of the hogwash about Buddhism perpetrated by both western interpreters and Tibetans themselves. Lopez, a leading scholar of Tibetan Buddhism reveals a complex country and its spiritual history in this scholarly analysis.

Lopez's inquiry into the West's mythologizing and romanticizing of Tibetan culture offers a stimulating counterpoint to . Lopez is intent on disclosing the evolution of our "notions" about Tibetan Buddhism, impressions that have helped raise awareness of Tibet's plight under Chinese rule but that now threaten to serve as conceptual prison detrimental, in the long run, to helping free Tibet. Proceeding with care and precision, Lopez reveals the extent to which scholars have behaved like intellectual colonialists, mining the treasures of a foreign belief system to bolster their own. He makes this point with great finesse in his rigorous discussion of the various English incarnations of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a mortuary text little known in Tibet yet renowned in the West as a classic guide to life. This sort of "radical decontextualization" has been applied to all aspects of Tibetan culture, fueling our foolish fantasies of Shangri-La. Someone had to burst the bubble of pop Tibetology, and few could have done it as resoundingly as Lopez.

Prisoners of Shangri-La is a provocative analysis of the romance of Tibet, a romance that, even as it is invoked by Tibetan lamas living in exile, ultimately imprisons those who seek the goal of Tibetan independence from Chinese occupation.

"Lopez lifts the veil on America's romantic vision of Tibet to reveal a country and a spiritual history more complex and less ideal than popular perceptions allow. . . . Lively and engaging, Lopez's book raises important questions about how Eastern religions are often co-opted, assimilated and misunderstood by Western culture."--Publishers Weekly

"Proceeding with care and precision, Lopez reveals the extent to which scholars have behaved like intellectual colonialists. . . . Someone had to burst the bubble of pop Tibetology, and few could have done it as resoundingly as Lopez."--Booklist

"Fascinating. . . [A] provocative exploration. Lopez conveys the full dizziness of the Western encounter with Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism."--Fred Pheil, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

"A timely and courageous exploration. . . . [Lopez's] book will sharpen the terms of the debate over what the Tibetans and their observers can or should be doing about the place and the idea of Tibet. And that alone is what will give us all back our Shambhala."--Jonathan Spence, Lingua Franca Book Review "Lopez's most important theme is that we should be wary of the idea . . . that Tibet has what the West lacks, that if we were only to look there we would find the answers to our problems. Lopez's book shows that, on the contrary, when the West has looked at Tibet, all that it has seen is a distorted reflection of itself."--Ben Jackson, Times Higher Education Supplement

Tibetan Buddhism in American Popular Film

by Eve L. Mullen


[1] Many contemporary American popular films are presenting us with particular views of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Unfortunately, the views these movies present are often misleading. In this essay I will identify four false characterizations of Tibetan Buddhism, as described by Tibetologist Donald Lopez, characterizations that have been refuted by post-colonial scholarship. I will then show how these misleading characterizations make their way into three contemporary films, Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha. Finally, I will offer an explanation for the American fascination with Tibet as Tibetan culture is represented in these films.


[2] Tibetan religion and culture are experiencing an unparalleled popularity. Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan history are commonly the subjects of Hollywood films. Being in the American spotlight, however, means being subject to the sound byte culture in which we live. Quick quotables, rapid montages of images, and the crafting of simple stories are commonplace as the manners in which media consumers in America are accustomed to receiving information both in contexts of fictional entertainment and nonfictional news. Simplified, deceptive constructions of Tibet permeate our culture. To what ends are such presentations crafted? Why is the American public so accepting of these new craftings, and why do we now fall prey to the orientalism of the past and salvage paradigms refuted by post-colonial scholarship decades ago? To begin to answer these questions, this paper will: first, examine new age orientalism in the case of Tibet as Tibetologist Donald Lopez characterizes it; second, explore orientalist themes in the commercialization of Tibetan Buddhism in the American films Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha; and third, offer an explication based on a psychological model of the commercial creators of such popularizations and the American society which consumes them.

[3] We are not the first to witness crafted presentations of Tibetan culture. James Hilton's Lost Horizon was first published in 1933 at a time of violent upheaval in the Western world. The extreme popularity of the novel and subsequent film of 1936 indicates a wish existing among the people at that time: it is no surprise that a down-spiraling civilization faced with its own horrors and impending world war would embrace a story of an idyllic, utopian civilization peacefully hidden among the Himalayas, where both social and physical ills were nonexistent and where eternally youthful citizens knew nothing of the waste brought on by violence. This civilization was Hilton's Shangri-La, a fictional land reflecting Hilton's understanding of the Tibetan Shambhala as a mysterious nation of esoteric people who occupy a "hidden" region on the highest plateau in the world. Now, in the last decade of our century, we again see the fantasy land of Shangri-La and nostalgia for a lost culture making popular appearances, this time not in the context of a Western world war, but amidst the near-extinction of Tibetan culture itself. Films focusing on Tibetan culture and history such as Little Buddha, Seven Years in Tibet and Kundun provide movie-goers with Shangri-La. We are shown perfect Tibetan heroes and despicable Chinese villains. The lamas, Tibetan Buddhist monks, often are portrayed as beatifically smiling, superhuman beings. And the Westerners featured in our popular stories are inevitably depicted as authority figures, heroically rescuing the doomed culture of Tibet. To what wish in ourselves do these phenomena speak today?

[4] Orientalism is defined briefly as Western distortions, purposeful or not, of Eastern traditions and culture, distortions which ultimately can be patronizing or damaging to the studied cultures. In the field of religion, orientalism often is considered a dead topic, its scholarly perpetrators, inaccurate portrayals and gross generalizations having been denounced starting decades ago in post-colonial scholarship. In "New Age Orientalism: The Case of Tibet" written for Tibetan Review in May, 1994, renowned Tibetologist Donald Lopez, however, recognizes persisting elements of orientalism in the field and describes what he calls "new age orientalism" in Tibetology (16-20). In order to identify in contemporary American film the new age orientalism of which Lopez speaks, Lopez's four clearly defined characteristics of orientalism in scholarly writings are essential. First is the classic orientalist play of opposites, in which Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism, emerging as objects of European and American fantasy, are treated as polluted, derivative and even demonic in opposition to an original root tradition, in this case the ancient Sanskrit texts of India, pure, pristine, authentic and holy. Western scholars projected the West's own past history onto these objects of study, thus setting up the Indian past as something to be recovered and salvaged as valuable to the West. The East's past was assumed to represent a pristine version of the West, resulting in what James Clifford and Edward Said identify as "nostalgia for ourselves." This play of opposites still operates in new age orientalism; the positions, however, are changed, creating anew the fantasy land of Shangri-La. Tibet becomes the perfect civilization, pristine, timeless, harmonious and holy as the home of true Buddhism and a true utopia. The Tibetan people become superhuman, perfect citizens under a perfect leader. The new opposition becomes China the invader, godless and demonic, despotic and polluted. Chinese soldiers become subhuman murderers following the orders of subhuman leaders. The rescue roles are still in place, as well. However, this time the contemporary goal is not the rescue of the East for the West, but the rescue of Tibet from China, the East from the East.

[5] The second of Lopez's characteristics of orientalism in the case of Tibet is the self-aggrandizing of the rescuers. The Tibetans themselves become voiceless non-agents in their own struggle for independence or survival. Instead, the Western rescuers are allowed to be the heroes of the Tibetan cause, edifying the American self-portrait as one of a strong, moral champion nation in which equality and justice are forever upheld. As this portrait raises western heroes, it damagingly lowers the Tibetans to a position of monopolized voicelessness.

[6] Aggrandizement of the rescuers facilitates the third and fourth of Lopez's characteristics for orientalism; third is the gaining of authority or control over Tibet, and fourth is the justification of that authority. The orientalist at once transforms the Tibetan people into non-agents and points to their non-agency as justification for taking control. In general terms, this means control over Tibetan culture, religion, art, and history as areas of academic study and of philanthropic preservation and control over Tibetan survival in exile. Yet this process is not limited to academe and philanthropy. Examples of new age orientalism pervade contemporary American films in which Tibetan history, images of Tibet, and the Tibetan people are scrutinized and utilized. Let us now turn to the most visible and popular of these films, Seven Years in Tibet, Kundun and Little Buddha.

[7] All of Lopez's characteristics of new age orientalism are found in recent feature films focusing on Tibetan religion and history. American films are perfect mediums through which to project, both literally and psychologically, the orientalist play of opposites, rescue paradigm, Western authority over the East, and the justification of that authority. -Read the entire abstract

The Dalai Lama is merely a glorified pope for the metaphysically Correct.

From the Salon article, His material highness

Supporters of the Dorge Shugden deity -- a "Dharma protector" and an ancient object of worship and propitiation in Tibet -- have been threatened with violence and ostracism and even death following the Dalai Lama's abrupt prohibition of this once-venerated godhead. A Swiss television documentary graphically intercuts footage of His Holiness, denying all knowledge of menace and intimidation, with scenes of his followers' enthusiastically promulgating "Wanted" posters and other paraphernalia of excommunication and persecution.

While he denies being a Buddhist "Pope," the Dalai Lama is never happier than when brooding in a celibate manner on the sex lives of people he has never met. "Sexual misconduct for men and women consists of oral and anal sex," he has repeatedly said in promoting his book on these matters. "Using one's hand, that is sexual misconduct." But, as ever with religious stipulations, there is a nutty escape clause. "To have sexual relations with a prostitute paid by you and not by a third person does not constitute improper behavior." - - more about the Dalai Lama, , that idealized and romanticized glorified substitute pope figure for rebellious children of American Christian parents. He's just as clueless as Jerry Falwell.

A Review of "Orphans of the Cold War":

The U.S. for years, during the 1950s and 1960s, backed the Tibetans with arms, military training, money, air support and etc. The operation failed. Tibetans were killed, but China's hold over Tibet was never shaken. By the end of the 1960s, the effort ended, leaving the Tibetans embittered and abandoned. CIA provided an annual subsidy of $180,000 to the Dalai Lama from late 1950s through the 1960s. A new book "Orphans of the Cold War" by John Kenneth Knaus, a former CIA operative, says in 1951 the Truman administration tried to persuade the Dalai Lama to leave Tibet for exile. Later his flight into exile wasn't voluntary. Knaus found that the CIA's subsidies to the Dalai Lama lasted, from about 1951 until 1974. By 1969, "the decision had already been made to abandon Mustang [the headquarters in Nepal for the Tibetan guerrillas] for operational and not geopolitical reasons." CIA misled the Tibetans into thinking they had American support for an independent Tibet. - Los Angeles Times 6/16/99

I. The Feudal system in Tibet

-- Backward social system and harsh economic exploitation.

The society of old Tibet under feudal serfdom was even more dark and backward than in Europe in the Middle Ages. The three major estate-holders -- officials, nobles and upper-ranking monks in monasteries -- accounted for less than five percent of Tibet's total population but owned all the farmland, pastures, forests, mountains and rivers, and the majority of the livestock. The serfs and slaves, accounting for more than 95 percent of the population, owned no land or other means of production. They had no personal freedom, had to depend totally on the manors of estate-holders for livelihood or act as their family slaves from generation to generation. They were subjected to the three-fold exploitation of corvee labor, taxes and high-interest loans and their lives were no more than struggles for existence. According to incomplete statistics, there were over 200 kinds of taxes levied by the Kasha (the former local government of Tibet) alone. Slaves had to contribute more than 50 percent or even 70 to 80 percent of their labor free to the Kasha and estate-holders, and over 60 percent of the farmers and herdsmen were burdened with similar high-interest loans.

--Rigid hierarchy and savage political oppression.

The "13-Article Code" and "16-Article Code" of old Tibet divided the people into three classes and nine ranks, enshrining social and political inequality between the different ranks in law. These codes explicitly stated that the life of a person of the highest rank of the upper class was literally worth his weight in gold, while that of a person of the lowest rank of the lower class was worth only the price of a straw rope. Serfs could be sold, transferred, given away, mortgaged or exchanged by their owners, who had the power over their births, deaths and marriages. Male or female serfs belonging to different owners had to pay a "redemption fee" if they wished to marry, and their children were doomed to be serfs for life. Serf-owners could punish their serfs at will. The punishments included flogging, cutting off their hands or feet, gouging out their eyes, chopping off their ears or tongues, pulling out their tendons, drowning them and throwing them down from cliffs.

-- Theocracy and the fetters of religion.

Religion and monasteries "commanded the highest respect" in old Tibet with its theocratic socio-political structure. As the sole ideology and an independent politico-economic entity, they enjoyed immense influence and numerous political and economic privileges and had control over people's spiritual life. The upper-class monks and priests were Tibet's principal political rulers and also the biggest serf-owners. The Dalai Lama, as one of the heads of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and concurrently the leader of the local government of Tibet, had all the political and religious powers in his hands. The former local government of Tibet practiced a dual clerical and secular officials system, in which the monk officials were senior to the lay officials. According to the 1959 statistics, of the 3.3 million kai (unit of measurement for area used by the Tibetan people, 1 kai=1/15 hectare) of cultivated land in Tibet, 1.2144 million kai were owned by monasteries and upper-class monks, accounting for 36.8 percent of the total cultivated land, while aristocrats and clerical and secular officials owned 24 percent and 38.9 percent, respectively.

The Drepung Monastery owned 185 manors, 20,000 serfs, 300 pastures and 16,000 herdsmen. According to a survey conducted in the 1950s, Tibet had more than 2,700 temples and monasteries and 120,000 monks, or 12 percent of the total population in Tibet, and about one-fourth of the male population were monks. In 1952, Lhasa had an urban population of 37,000, of whom 16,000 were monks. The widespread temples, numerous monks and frequent religious activities consumed a huge amount of manpower and the greater part of material wealth in Tibet, greatly hindering the development of the productive forces there. According to the American Tibetologist Melvyn C. Goldstein, religion and the monasteries were "extremely conservative" and "played a major role in thwarting progress" in Tibet; "This the universality of religion as the core metaphor of Tibetan national identity will be be a major factor underlying Tibet's inability to adapt to changing circumstances."

-- Low level of development and a precarious life.

Cruel oppression and exploitation by the feudal serf-owners, and especially the endless consumption of human and material resources by religion and monasteries under the theocratic system and their spiritual enslavement of the people, had gravely damped the laborers' enthusiasm for production, stifled the vitality of the Tibetan society and reduced Tibet to a protracted state of stagnancy.

Even in the middle of the 20th century, Tibet was still extremely isolated and backward, almost without a trace of modern industry, commerce, science and technology, education, culture and health care; primitive farming methods were still being used; and herdsmen had to travel from place to place grazing their livestock. There were few strains and breeds of grains and animals, and some of them had even degenerated. Farm tools were primitive, grain yield was only 4 to 10 times the seeds sown, and the level of both the productive forces and social development was very low. Deaths from hunger and cold, poverty and diseases were commonplace among the serfs, and the streets in Lhasa, Xigaze, Qamdo and Nagqu were crowded with beggars of both sexes, young and old.

Imperialist invasion brought more disasters for the Tibetan people, and deepened the social contradictions in Tibet, making it go from bad to worse. From the middle of the 19th century, China became a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, and Tibet, just like most other parts of the country, was invaded by the Western powers. In their invasions of Tibet British imperialists made no scruple about burning, killing and looting, secured many privileges through a number of unequal treaties, and carried out colonialist control and exploitation by wantonly plundering Tibet's resources and dumping their goods on the Tibetan people. At the same time, they fostered their trusted followers from among the ruling class and groomed their agents. Weighed down by the internal and external double oppression and exploitation, the masses of the serfs fared worse and worse, driving them constantly to present petitions to the government, flee from the land, refuse to pay rent or offer corvee service and even raise armed revolts. Danger lurked on every side in Tibet and "the theocratic system is declining like a lamp consuming its last drop of oil."2 Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, once a Kaloon (council minister) of the former local government of Tibet, pointed out in the 1940s several times that if Tibet "goes on like this, the serfs will all die in the near future, and the nobles will not be able to live either. The whole Tibet will be destroyed. "3

Notes 1. Melvyn C. Goldstein, A History of Modern Tibet (1913-1951): The Demise of the Lamaist State, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1989-1991, pp. 37 and 2.2. Dongka Lobsang Chilai, On the System of Theocracy in Tibet, Ethnic Minorities Publishing House, 1985. Translated by Chen Qingying, pp.72-73.3. Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, A Great Turn in the Development of Tibetan History, 1991

This guy Slim Spurling is hilarious, except that he's serious about these preposterous "dimensional shift products"!
(I wonder if he's related to Sy, president of "Hair Club for Men"?)

This site is about adjusting to different dimensions.
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Slim: In Provincetown, in the Cape Cod area, last year one of our associates had been playing the Harmonizer with the Environmental Clearing tapes and also using the Lift Light Rings. I will be going up there in July to see exactly what she was doing. She reported that they had the best whale watching in clear water, more seaweed, and more of all kinds of fish, more than the local fishermen had ever seen there. There may be an application here in cleaning offshore waters. Hopefully, we can begin to clean up lakes and rivers with this technology.

LE: We realize that only medical doctors can make any kind of health claims, but is there anything that you would care to say about the personal use of this technology be individuals who have reported to you?

Slim: In our personal research we find that there is a relief of aches and pains and discomforts of all kinds. As for making a statement for other people we are told that the energy from this technology "makes them feel good." People can interpret that any way they like. I only talk about my own personal experiences with these devices. Everybody else can make up their own mind.

LE: Can you differentiate for our readers between the different devices?

Slim:L The Coil acts like a vacuum cleaner in removing negative energy on one end. The other end of the Coil has a positve effect that it puts out.

LE: How does that differe from the Feedback Loop?

Slim: The Feedback Loop pulls out negative energy and immediately puts back positive energy.

LE: And the Harmonizers?

Slim: The Personal Harmonizer (which people wear around their necks) surrounds the body when you wear it, radiating about five feet in all directions. The (larger) Environmental Harmonizer has a radius of about one hundred feet and is used for air pollution clearing. This one can be sitting on the table at home and will tend to keep the air stable and reduce the effects of electromagnetic pollution.

"Our goal is to elevate the grizzly to the kindred state of the whale and dolphin...."

Grizzly People is a grassroots organization devoted to preserving bears and their wilderness habitat. Our goal is to elevate the grizzly to the kindred state of the whale and dolphin through supportive education in the hopes that humans will learn to live in peace with the bear, wilderness and fellow humans.

Grizzly People Founder Timothy Treadwell, (co-author of "Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska") has lived peacefully with Alaskan grizzlies since the late 1980s.

From The Official Leonardo DiCaprio Web Site

It's likely that by living with these Grizzlies, Mr. Treadwell is attempting something no human has ever done before. Sure, past indigenous people lived in the open wild, but they were always armed. The only defense Treadwell has is his wits. He had a can of bear mace, but no longer carries it.

April is the month for us to reflect on the state of our environment and what better way to do so than to interview someone at the height of environmental activism. Someone who lives, breathes and carouses with wild nature itself.


So I take it a lot has happened since the book was published?

Absolutely, a lot has happened since that book was published because I've increased the length of time and I've become closer with the animals. Not to say that I specifically try to get close to them, but in my living with them they have opened up to me more.

Timothy Treadwell's films of close-up encounters with giant bears brought him a bounty of national media attention. The fearless former drug addict from Malibu, Calif. -- who routinely eased up close to bears to chant "I love you'' in a high-pitched, sing-song voice -- was the subject of a show on the Discovery Channel and a report on "Dateline NBC."

A self-proclaimed eco-warrior, he attracted something of a cult following too. Chuck Bartlebaugh of "Be Bear Aware,'' a national bear awareness campaign, called Treadwell one of the leaders of a group of people engaged in "a trend to promote getting close to bears to show they were not dangerous.

"He kept insisting that he wanted to show that bears in thick brush aren't dangerous. The last two people killed (by bears) in Glacier National Park went off the trail into the brush. They said their goal was to find a grizzly bear so they could 'do a Timothy.' We have a trail of dead people and dead bears because of this trend that says, 'Let's show it's not dangerous.' ''

Treadwell and his girlfriend were interviewed a few months ago. They claimed that the bears communicated telepathically and were guiding them to some mysterious destination...........


Bear Mauling Kills Grizzly Advocate, Friend
Oct 8, 2003

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - An advocate of grizzly bear protection and his camping companion were mauled to death by one or more bears in a remote part of Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve, officials said Tuesday.

Killed were Timothy Treadwell, 46, and Amie Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, California, said the National Park Service and the Alaska State Troopers.

Treadwell was the founder of Grizzly People, an organization devoted to the protection of grizzly bears and their habitat. According to the group's Web site, Treadwell's practice was to travel to bear country without weapons.

Treadwell, a former drug addict, was featured on the Web site of actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. According to a biography on the site, Treadwell beat his addiction by spending time in the Alaskan wilderness, where he developed his fondness for bears.

The co-author of a book entitled "Among Grizzlies: Living with Wild Bears in Alaska," Treadwell appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman and traveled the country to lecture on the bears and their environment.

It was the first fatal bear attack in Katmai for at least 15 years, the Park Service said. The park is known as one of the world's premier sites for viewing huge brown bears, the coastal cousins of grizzlies, as they feast on salmon.

The deaths were discovered when an air-taxi pilot flew to the site Monday afternoon to pick up the campers. He found the campsite damaged and a brown bear atop what appeared to be a human body, eating the remains.

When park rangers and state troopers flew to the remote site to recover the bodies, they had to kill two aggressive bears that were threatening them, officials said.

The service had cautioned Treadwell for several years about his bear-safety practices, spokesman John Quinley said.

Treadwell made a practice of getting within inches of the animals, but the Park Service recommends a 50-yard distance, he said.

Sounds of bear mauling recorded on tape
Rachel D'Oro, Associated Press
Published October 9, 2003

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The graphic sounds of a deadly bear attack in the Alaska wilderness were captured on tape, revealing a wildlife author's final, frantic screams as he tried to fend off the beast, authorities said Wednesday.

Trooper Chris Hill said the tape suggests a video camera was turned on just before Timothy Treadwell was attacked at his campsite. His girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, was later mauled to death by a bear. The recording is audio only, and the screen is blank for all six minutes.

``They're both screaming, she's telling him to play dead, then it changes to fighting back. He asks her to hit the bear,'' Hill said. ``There's so much noise going on. I don't know what's him and what might be an animal.

``It's pretty disturbing. I keep hearing it in my mind.''

The remains of Treadwell, 46, and Huguenard, 37, both of Malibu, Calif., were found Monday at Katmai National Park and Preserve on the Alaska Peninsula. Treadwell was known for approaching, even touching, bears in the wild.

An air taxi pilot who arrived to pick up the couple contacted the National Park Service and troopers to report a brown bear was apparently sitting on top of human remains in the camp.

A ranger shot and killed a large brown bear when the animal charged at them through the dense brush. Troopers and rangers later killed a smaller bear apparently stalking them.

Hill said he was stunned by what he heard on the tape.

``The audio starts while he's being mauled and ends while he's being mauled,'' Hill said.

Treadwell may have heard a bear and asked Huguenard to turn on the camera, which was found with the lens cap on and packed in a camera bag, Hill said.

Troopers recovered video and still photography equipment as well as three hours of earlier video footage from the site, across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island.

Much of the footage is close-up shots of bears. Some scenes show bears no more than a few feet from Treadwell, co-author of ``Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska.'' Others show a more timid Huguenard leaning away as bears come close to her on the bank of a river.

Rebecca Dmytryk, who oversees an animal rescue organization in Malibu, recalled other video footage of Treadwell before his death that showed him in a streambed near an older bear he nicknamed ``Quincy.''

``Quincy, do you remember when you stood over me? You were so hungry, and you should have eaten me, but you didn't. Thanks for not eating me, Quincy,'' Dmytryk recalled him saying to the bear in the clip. ``If Quincy had eaten me, good, 'cause he's a nice bear.''

Fearless Grizzly Activist Tempted Fate -- and Lost

Timothy Treadwell's fatal mauling was no surprise to some who say he lived recklessly.

By Steve Hymon and Jia-Rui Chong, Los Angeles Times
Oct. 13, 2003

By his own account, Timothy Treadwell barely survived his first summer camping in Alaska's wilderness.

He had no idea how to pitch a tent, stay dry or cook for himself. He brought a sleeping bag several sizes too small.

Treadwell, 46, persevered and spent the last 13 summers living among the immense creatures. Friends took to comparing him to Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey.

He also had many critics, who say he broke park rules, harassed wildlife and believed wrongly that he had a spiritual kinship with the bears. They had long predicted his demise if he didn't change his ways.

Treadwell was undeterred. When a Times reporter asked him in 1994 if he was afraid of the bears, his answer was: "They wouldn't hurt me."

Whether or not Timothy Treadwell had a special connection with the bears is doubted by experts, who say the animals merely tolerated his presence, and he contributed little to the body of knowledge about them. His friends say he taught more people around the world about the bears than any serious researcher ever could.

Treadwell wasn't the only person watching grizzlies in Alaska. In Katmai National Park and Preserve - one of his favorite stomping grounds - 69 commercial operators offer bear-viewing excursions, according to park records.

The park, like much of Alaska, has a lot of bears. State wildlife officials estimate that there are 30,000 to 40,000 grizzlies, also known as brown bears, living in Alaska, compared to a population of 1,000 to 1,400 mostly in the northern Rockies in the contiguous United States.

What set Treadwell apart was his insistence on camping near the bears and wanting to interact with them.

Officials at Katmai National Park say they have nothing against people hiking or camping in bear country, but they worried that Treadwell had crossed the line.

Did Treadwell have a special connection with the bears? Not all bear researchers thought so.

"I've been working on bears for a long time, and more and more I'm convinced that most of the credit for bears and people getting along goes to the bears," said John Hechtel, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who specializes in bear-human interactions.

Bears along the Alaskan coast are well-fed because of the area's salmon runs. The salmon attract an extremely dense population of bears. So, the challenge for the coastal grizzlies isn't dealing with people - it's competing with other grizzlies for food.

Treadwell spent his summers camping in several parks in Alaska, but Katmai National Park, in the southwest corner of the state, became a favorite. Almost from the start, though, National Park Service officials worried about his behavior.

In 1998, according to the park service, Treadwell was issued a citation by park rangers for storing an ice chest in his sleeping tent - a dumb move in bear country. Rangers also found boxes of Coke and canned fruit outside his tent. On another occasion, he was ordered by rangers to remove from his campsite a portable generator, a device prohibited in wilderness areas.

Treadwell also frustrated rangers because he refused to carry a can of pepper-like spray to deter a charging grizzly. Nor would he put electric fences around his tent.

Deb Liggett, outgoing superintendent of Katmai National Park, became sufficiently concerned about Treadwell that she took him for a cup of coffee in Anchorage several years ago. "I told him that if we had any more violations from him, we would petition the U.S. magistrate to ban him from the park," she said.

When park rangers and state troopers arrived at the scene, they killed two bears that they say charged them. A necropsy of one of the bears, a 28-year-old male adult, determined that it had fed on the bodies, said National Park Service spokesman John Quinley.

Biologist Larry Van Daele of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wrote a report on the mauling. The report, according to the Anchorage Daily News, concludes that Treadwell had set up his tent in thick brush smack on top of a bear trail. "A person could not have designed a more dangerous place to set up a camp," Van Daele wrote.

Treadwell begins his book, ``Among Grizzlies: Living With Wild Bears in Alaska'', by describing his being shot at by drug dealers and his having taken an overdose of illegal narcotics that only CPR and an Emergency Room could bring him back from. From the beginning to the end of the book he talks about his addiction to and abuse of alcohol. When he reaches the point of the book at which he sets out to live among Alaskas wild Grizzly Bears and describes the many times that he was charged by irate Grizzlies for having come within ridiculously close proximity to these bears in his attempts to kiss them on the nose, etc, it is clear that his interest in bears is simply a continuation of a long progression of suicide attempts disguised as "experimentation". At the end of the book he tells us that of all the bears he came to know during his stays in the Alaskan wilderness, the one he "loved the most" was the one bear that had tried most seriously to kill him.

Scientists who study Alaska brown bears said they had been warning Treadwell for years that he needed to be more careful around the huge and powerful twin of the grizzly.

"He kept insisting that he wanted to show that bears in thick brush aren't dangerous," said Chuck Bartlebaugh of "Be Bear Aware," a national bear awareness campaign.

The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roller Empire

Fundamentalist Christians are in control of the White House, and U.S. foreign policy. God help us all!

Sri Chinmoy, unmasked

Chinmoy is just one of the many pale imitators and dark imposters who have come out of the woodwork since the 60's, preying on their credulous followers like so many spiritual vampires. According to many of his former disciples, Chinmoys' "super human" feats of strength have been revealed to have been hoaxes, and are completely unverifiable.

Links to information and testimonials regarding
sexual misconduct and spiritual abuse by Sri Chinmoy, former devotees of
Sathya Sai Baba, former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Baba, Demon possessed Charlatan

Accounts of victims of Sai Baba's sexual molestations

Movies showing Sai Baba cheating his so-called "miracles"

Salon article: Sai Baba, Pedophile

Millions of people worship Sai Baba as God incarnate. More and more say the Indian guru is also a pedophile. Read the Salon article: Untouchable?

Championing Psychological Freedoms in
Cults, Corporations, Nations, and Families

The Natural Law Party

Including insider secrets, personal stories,
scandals, news archive, and more

Hagelin & Quantum Theory: Holding on by a Superstring
from Nature, Vol. 359, Christopher Anderson, Sept. 10, 1992

Physicist running for president is accused of distorting science to fit guru's ideas

To those who want science to play a larger role in politics, John Hagelin is a reminder that such a development may be a mixed blessing.

Hagelin, a quantum physicist trained at Harvard University, is running for U.S. president as the candidate of the Natural Law Party, whose motto is "bringing the light of science into politics." He and a supporting cast of local candidates will appear on the ballot in at least 35 states. (More than 300 people ran unsuccessfully under the party's banner in the British parliamentary election in June.)

He is by all accounts a gifted scientist, well-known and respected by his colleagues. He is a co-developer of one of the better-accepted unified field theories, known as the flipped SU(5) model. In May, he received an award for young innovators named after Jack Kilby, inventor of the integrated circuit. And his political platform is eminently sensible: practise only those social and economic policies that are supported by scientific data.

However, there is another side of Hagelin that disturbs many researchers. Hagelin is a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, best known as the guru who taught the Beatles about transcendental meditation (TM), and is on sabbatical from Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, where students practise mass meditation as a way to ease many of the world's ills, from crime to stress. The home of the Natural Law Party is near the university and most of its members embrace the Maharishi's teachings.

Hagelin has been investigating a scientific mechanism to explain how TM can influence world events. The answer, he believes, lies in extending the grand unified theories of physics to human consciousness.

In the past several years, Hagelin has worked on integrating the SU(5) model, which does not include gravity, into the four-dimensional heterotic superstring model, which is currently considered one of the better prospects for a grand unified `theory of everything.' Everything, in this case, may even include human consciousness. Two-page advertisements, with row after row of partial differential equations, appear regularly in U.S. newspapers describing how the theoretical physics work of Hagelin and others explains the impact of TM on distant events. Hagelin often lectures on SU(5) and other unified field theories to both scientific and nonscientific audiences, mixed in with a lengthy discussion of TM.

Not surprisingly, the linkage of SU(5) with TM infuriates his former collaborators. It is hard enough, they complain, to win scientific support for any type of unified theory. "A lot of people [Hagelin] has collaborated with in the past are very upset about this, " says Jorge Lopez, a Texas A&M University physicist. "It's absolutely ludicrous to say that TM has anything to do with flipped SU(5)."

John Ellis, director of CERN's theoretical physics dept., has asked Hagelin to stop mixing TM and SU(5). "I was worried about guilt by association," Ellis explains. "I was afraid that people might regard [Hagelin's assertions] as rather flaky, and that might rub off on the theory or on us."

Physicists are not the only scientists to take issue with Hagelin's mix of science and politics. One plank of his party platform calls on presidential candidates to undergo an electroencephalogram (EEG) brain scan that would purport to reveal their neurophysiological qualifications to hold office.

EEG scans, in use since the 1930's, "show the orderliness of the brain," he explains. "Science correlates that to intelligence, creativity, moral stability and broad comprehension." He says that he has had his own brain scanned (he claims an exceedingly orderly brain, in the top 1 per cent of those tested) and will release the results when his competitors do. EEGs, he says, "give us a look under a candidate's hood."

Jonathan Pincus, chairman of the neurology dept. at Georgetown University, says that researchers once hoped the results of EEG tests might somehow correlate to intellectual qualities. Although EEGs have remained an important tool for spotting neurological disorder, he says, "they have nothing whatsoever to say about a person's moral fibre."

Hagelin himself cites work by E. Roy John, director of the Brain Research Lab at the NYU Medical center, to back his claims. But John says that Hagelin is "overselling" the technique. EEG brain scans have been shown to correlate to "a large number of subtle malfunctions," from senility to substance abuse, he says, "but qualities like moral stability and intelligence are simply not measured."

Even the Kilby award is a bit of a mystery. Few have heard of it, perhaps because it was created 3 years ago by the N. Dallas Chamber of Commerce to draw attention to the area. Truman Cook, a chemical engineer who is a member of the selection committee, says that a member of the selection committee who practises TM proposed Hagelin for the award.

Meditation and Its Side-Effects in Therapy

This article, by Alberto Perez-De-Albeniz and Jeremy Holmes, reviews 75 scientific selected articles in the field of meditation, including Transcendental Meditation among others. It summarizes definitions of meditation, psychological and physiological changes, and negative side-effects encountered by 62.9% of meditators studied. While the authors did not restrict their study to TM, the side-effects reported were similar to those found in the "German Study" of Transcendental Meditators: relaxation-induced anxiety and panic; paradoxical increases in tension; less motivation in life; boredom; pain; impaired reality testing; confusion and disorientation; feeling 'spaced out'; depression; increased negativity; being more judgmental; feeling addicted to meditation; uncomfortable kinaesthetic sensations; mild dissociation; feelings of guilt; psychosis-like symptoms; grandiosity; elation; destructive behavior; suicidal feelings; defenselessness; fear; anger; apprehension; and despair.

Washington traces New Age thinking back to the dawn of the 20th century, when a mysterious renegade Russian aristocrat named Madame Blavatsky appeared in America claiming that man was descended from spirit beings rather than apes, as Darwin claimed. This is an intriguing story of theosophy, the movement she founded, which spawned competing gurus and sects, evolving over the course of the century into the New Age.

The Theosophical Society has ties to antisemitism in Germany pre-holocaust. Few realize it was the Theosophical publishing houses which printed many of the antisemitic tracts which so influenced the people, and Hitler, who was converted to antisemitism through a tract.

Every generation has its charismatic spiritual leaders, its gurus. Some are true saints while others conceal unspeakable depravity. Anthony Storr, Oxford professor of psychiatry, analyzes an interesting array of gurus and finds many commonalities among them--an isolated childhood, a need for certainty, a demand for obedience. He also elucidates aspects of this psychological profile in various intellectual, artistic, and political figures of history. This eye-opening book invokes a larger issue: in our search for guidance and truth, when and why do we cross the line from reasoned inquirer to unquestioning follower? --

Though the title may seem sensational, the book is a well-researched, enlightening introduction to a serious subject. Singer is a clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley who has interviewed several thousand former cult members and testified about cults and their "thought reform" tactics; Lalich is a professional writer and former cult member. The strength of Cults in Our Midst is its clear explanation of the nature of cults, how they operate, the threat they pose to individuals, families, and society, and how others can help cult survivors escape and recover. Many types of cultic relationships are considered, from tiny religious or occult groups to the "large group awareness training" programs that have infiltrated workplaces. The book makes key distinctions between New Age ideas and the cults that use these concepts and between types of persuasion, from education to propaganda to cults' manipulative "thought reform."

Johnny Asia at WDST radio in Woodstock, New York, December 2003
On the left is bassist Alan Murphy (formerly with John Scofield) .

"If you want to know what the future of music sounds like..listen to Johnny Asia, then you'll know!"
- Dom Minasi, - Jazz guitar legend Dom Minasi's ASCAP Audio Portrait

All About Jazz chose Dom Minasi's CD, "Goin' Out Again" as one of the Best Jazz CDs of 2002.

"Imagine a composite of guitarist Johnny Smith and saxophonist Eric Dolphy and you've got a good idea where Dom is coming from...." - Bill Milkowski

Kingston Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004

Listen to some REAL other-worldy music!

Johnny Asia at

"Asian Hoedown" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Himalayan Sunrise" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Planetary Hymn of Pure Joy" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Dancing with Angels on Clouds of Joy" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Music of the Spheres" LoFi | HiFi | Download

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"Melancholia" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Remembrance" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Flight of Angel Birds" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Punk Funk for Monk" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Blues from the Future" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"The Bull Kills the Matador" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Through the Purple Portal" LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Big City Blues " LoFi | HiFi | Download

"Folk Funk" LoFi | HiFi | Download

Johnny Asia and the Woodstock Quantum Ensemble

"Johnny's music is universal in the truest sense of the term. It embraces the musics of this world and anticipates those yet to be discovered in the future. In a concert at Pauline Oliveros Foundation's Gallery at Deep Listening Space, Johnny's riveting performance transported the audience across time to places MTV can only dream about." - Joe McPhee - What they say about Joe McPhee

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