“I want to tell you about Omar, a 5-year-old Syrian refugee boy who arrived to the shore on Lesbos on a crowded rubber boat. Crying, frightened, unable to understand what’s happening to him, he was right on the verge of developing a new trauma. I knew right away that this was a golden hour, a short period of time in which I could change his story, the story that he would tell himself for the rest of his life.
Omar looked at me with scared, tearful eyes and said, “What is this?” as he pointed out to the police helicopter hovering above us. I said: “It’s a helicopter! It’s here to photograph you with big cameras, because only the great and the powerful heroes, like you, Omar, can cross the sea.”
Omar looked at me, stopped crying and asked me, “I’m a hero?”
Now, to Omar, the smell of the sea will not just remind him of his traumatic journey from Syria. Because to Omar, this story is now a story of bravery.”
The global refugee crisis is a mental health catastrophe, leaving millions in need of psychological support to overcome the traumas of dislocation and conflict. To undo the damage, child psychiatrist and TED Fellow Essam Daod has been working in camps, rescue boats and the shorelines of Greece and the Mediterranean Sea to help refugees (a quarter of which are children) reframe their experiences through short, powerful psychological interventions. “We can all do something to prevent this mental health catastrophe,” Daod says. “We need to acknowledge that first aid is not just needed for the body, but it has also to include the mind, the soul.”
This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.
As the old adage goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. This week, a man attending a rally for President Trump in Minnesota held up a sign with a photo of Trump, and one of his close friends from the past, convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein—and Trump’s reaction is incredibly notable.The image, which included the caption “Where is Jeffrey Epstein?” was apparently too offensive for Trump who told security to “Get him outta here. Go home to your mom darling, go home. Get him outta here. Out!”
Trump’s friendship with Epstein goes back years, and Trump has a history of speaking with admiration of the billionaire pedophile in interviews.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump said. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Epstein, who once was a member at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s golf resort in Miami, was convicted of soliciting sex with a 14-year-old girl and received a sweetheart deal from prosecutors. Not only did the billionaire get just 13 months in prison, but he was allowed out of jail on work-release.
There were at least more than three dozen other victims who accuse Epstein of raping and sex-trafficking them, and they were never able to have their day in court because of the deal. They are now suing the federal government in court for failing to follow the law by notifying the victims of the plea deal given to the billionaire sexual predator. The federal Crime Victim’s Rights Act requires victims to be notified of any plea deals before they are offered.
Well well well. At Trump’s Minnesota rally a protester held up a pic of Epstein and Trump with the words “who is Jeffrey Epstein?” When it was taken away he quickly brought out another one.
5:29 PM – 20 Jun 2018
Interesting-as soon as the protester showed up on TV, a FLOOD of posts about Epstein & Clinton started on Twitter. Maybe something is going to break. Maybe it’s the Weinstein defense since Dershowtiz is Weinstein’s lawyer. Whatever, Clinton is going to have to make a statement.
The prosecutor who approved the sweetheart deal for Epstein, former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, was later hired by the Trump Administration to serve as Trump’s Secretary of Labor. In a comment on the lenient treatment he gave Epstein, Acosta said, “Our judgment, in this case, based on the evidence known at the time, was that it was better to have a billionaire serve time in jail, register as a sex offender and pay his victims restitution than risk a trial with a reduced likelihood of success.”
To put it into perspective, Epstein was facing the rest of his life behind bars if the other more than three dozen victims—who were mostly underage—were allowed to receive justice for being pimped out by a billionaire pedophile. Instead of justice, he got a slap on the wrist, was allowed to keep turning his money over so it would not get moldy, and the prosecutor in the case was promoted to a cabinet position within the Trump Administration. Now, do you see why a protester holding a photo with Epstein’s face on it would get kicked out of the rally by Trump?
When billionaires are offered special deals while poor people spend the rest of their lives behind bars for such crimes, it should raise major red flags. The prosecutor, instead of being fired for cutting a deal letting off a pedophile whose assets could have been sold and given to the victims, got a promotion within the federal government. TFTP’s Matt Agorist detailed the nature of Epstein’s plea deal:
It should have been a textbook case that would have made the FBI look heroic for putting a serial pedophile behind bars. However, the opposite happened. Epstein agreed to a plea deal for one minor charge in 2008, and he ended up spending just 13 months in prison, out of the 18-month sentence he was given for “soliciting prostitution and procuring a minor for prostitution.”
In addition to the ridiculously light sentence, the Palm Beach Post reported that in exchange for the year Epstein spent in prison, “federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue allegations that he had abused dozens of other teenage girls, instead of allowing them to file civil lawsuits against Epstein.”
In an interview with Jim Jefferies on Comedy Central, Jordan Peterson seemed, for the first time in a long time, to be at a loss for words.
On a June 19 episode of The Jim Jefferies Show, in which he was the focus of profile, Peterson was asked if he thinks if “making people bake a cake for a gay wedding” was a good idea. Obviously, Peterson said that he did not think it was a good idea. Jefferies than asked if people should be able to deny making a cake for a black couple. Peterson again said they should be allowed to not make a cake for a black couple but added, “that doesn’t mean it’s right.”
Following this, the Australian comedian—best known as the comic who uses the C-word the most—illustrated to the contentious University of Toronto psychology professor how the civil rights movement made our society better, and then asked Peterson if he thought that it wasn’t right. Peterson took a few seconds to consider this before admitting “maybe I was wrong about that.” You can watch the exchange below, the full interview is further down.
Meanwhile, in other news, the 12 Rules author has launched a $1.5 million defamation lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University and three of its employees regarding the Lindsey Shepherd debacle. The free speech warrior says that the three university employees criticizing him (which included Hitler comparisons) in a private meeting with Shepard was defamatory to him and they should have anticipated their remarks going public.
In the meeting three superiors dressed down Shepherd for showing a TVO clip of Peterson, saying that in showing the professor who gained fame for not using transgender pronouns she created a “toxic environment.” Shepherd recorded the meeting and leaked it to media causing thousands of pounds of ink to spill from the pens of pundits across the country.
Shepherd launched her own lawsuit against the school a little over a week ago. She claims that her battle with the school has left her unemployable in academia.
According to Global News, the university has indicated it will be fighting Peterson’s lawsuit.
It may sound like an incredibly bold statement, however, Dr. Bergman will discuss exactly how 97% of diseases can be prevented and cured. The belief system of the medical allopathic model of healthcare is beginning to shift to a vitalistic approach to healing that supports the body’s natural systems. It’s time to change the world and it begins now.
If you believe in the paranormal you might not be surprised if you hear stories of deceased loved ones appearing during the night, huge explosions heard just as someone is drifting off with no obvious cause, and other peculiar occurrences. But what if you don’t?
My interest in the paranormal started with an impromptu coffee with a colleague, Chris French, who researches reports of paranormal experiences. He told me stories of countless people who had recounted such events. These experiences tended to start while lying in bed. Then something unusual would happen – perhaps a demon would appear or the environment would seem strange or there would be a sensed presence. The person having this experience might also report being glued to their mattress, tarmacked into the bed, totally unable to move.
It’s unsurprising that people who experience such things might interpret them as paranormal. But certain phenomena such as sleep paralysis provide an alternative to paranormal explanations for such occurrences. Hence my interest in the subject, as a sleep researcher.
When we sleep, we cycle through different stages. We start the night in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep – which gets progressively deeper. We then cycle back until we hit rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep we are most likely to have vivid dreams. At this stage we are also paralysed, perhaps as a safety mechanism to stop us acting out our dreams so that we don’t end up attempting to fly.
But during sleep paralysis, features of REM sleep continue into waking life. Those who experience it will feel awake yet might experience dream-like hallucinations and struggle to move. This experience is pretty common, occurring in around 8% of people (although estimates vary dramatically depending on who we are asking). It’s even possible to induce sleep paralysis in some people, by disrupting their sleep in specific ways.
Certain researchers, French among them, believe that this explains a huge number of paranormal accounts. Information about sleep paralysis is finally seeping into public awareness, but we now need to understand more about this common complaint.
Sleep paralysis aside, how else are sleep researchers helping to explain paranormal experiences? People sometimes describe experiencing huge explosions during the night which simply can’t be explained. There is no sign that a shelf has fallen down or a car has backfired. There is no one playing the electric guitar next to their head.
Again, this can be linked to our sleep – this time explained by “exploding head syndrome”, a term coined relatively recently by the neurologist JMS Pearce. When we fall asleep, the reticular formation of the brainstem (a part of our brain involved in consciousness) typically starts to inhibit our ability to move, see and hear things. When we experience a “bang” in our sleep this might be because of a delay in this process. Instead of the reticular formation shutting down the auditory neurons, they might fire at once.
As with sleep paralysis, this phenomenon is also under-researched. For this very reason, in 2017 my colleagues and I joined forces with BBC Focus and Brian Sharpless, a leading expert on this phenomenon, to collect data on this topic.
Imps and ghouls
Finally, what might scientists make of precognitive dreams? We might dream of a friend we haven’t seen for years only to have them call us the very next day. French thinks science can provide an explanation for this too. Referencing work by John Allen Paulos that focuses on probabilities, he explains how such an occurrence may be surprising on any single day, but over time, quite likely to occur.
Researching my book, I spoke to Mrs Sinclair, who is 70, and lives alone. She told me about what she had thought was a ghost living in her house, an imp throttling her during the night and other things that had left her petrified. Having scientific explanations provided her with immense comfort and she no longer believes in paranormal explanations for the things that she experienced.
Our hope is that scientific explanations of paranormal experiences might help others by lowering anxiety. Decreasing anxiety has also been hypothesised as a potential method by which to reduce sleep paralysis. So, perhaps providing more information about these unusual experiences might even mean that things are less likely to go bump in the night.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone