10 Simple Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life

Stress is a major problem for many people — a hectic, stressful job, a chaotic home life, bills to worry about and bad habits such as unhealthy eating, drinking and smoking can lead to a mountain of stress.

If your life is full of stress, there are some simple things you can do to get to a more manageable level.

Now, your life will probably never be stress-free. That’s not desirable (even if it was possible) because stress is something that challenges you and helps you grow—when it’s at a reasonable level. But when stress gets too high, it causes you to be unhappy and unhealthy.

One of the keys to success is taking a realistic, gradual approach to change. How do you do it? One change at a time. Change one habit a month and gradually, over the course of a year or two, you will find you have made long-lasting changes to many things in your life.

Not all of these tips may work for you. Each person is different. Pick and choose the ones that you feel will be effective for you, and give them a try. One at a time.

  1. One thing at a time. This is the simplest and best way to start reducing your stress, and you can start today. Right now. Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. Clear your desk of distractions. Pick something to work on. Need to write a report? Do only that. Remove distractions such as phones and email notifications while you’re working on that report. If you’re going to review email, do only that. This takes practice, and you’ll get urges to do other things. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.
  2. Simplify your schedule. A hectic schedule is a major cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in your life to the essentials. Learn to say no to the rest — and slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Schedule only a few important things each day, and put space between them. Leave room for down time and fun.
  3. Get moving. Do something each day to be active — walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. It doesn’t have to be grueling to reduce stress. Just move. Have fun doing it.
  4. Develop one healthy habit this month. Other than getting active, improving your health overall will help with the stress. But do it one habit at a time. Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Quit smoking. Cook a healthy dinner. Drink water instead of soda. One habit at a time.
  5. Do something calming. What do you enjoy that calms you down? For many people, it can be the “get moving” activity discussed above. But it could also be taking a nap, or a bath, or reading. Other people are calmed by housework or yard work. Some people like to meditate, or take a nature walk. Find your calming activity and try to do it each day.
  6. Simplify your finances. Finances can be a drain on your energy and a major stressor. If that’s true with you, find ways to simplify things. Automate savings and bill payments and debt payments. Spend less by shopping (at malls or online) much less. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.
  7. Have a blast! Have fun each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Play with your kids — that can take your mind off everything and can be really hilarious. Play sports (with or without your kids). Board games are fun. Whatever you choose, be sure to laugh.
  8. Get creative. Throwing yourself into a creative activity is another great way to de-stress and to prevent stress. Consider writing, painting, woodworking, playing music, sketching, cooking or making pottery, interior design or building things.
  9. Declutter. Take 20 to 30 minutes and just go through a room, getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need anymore or find a better place for it. When you are done, you will have a nice, peaceful environment for work, play, and living. Do this a little at a time — make it one of your “fun activities.”
  10. Be early. Being late can be very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. Things always take longer than normal, so schedule some buffer time: extra time to get ready, to commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere, to attend a meeting before another scheduled appointment. If you get somewhere early, it’s good to have some reading material. 

The 7 types of rest that every person needs

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from people in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.

Have you ever tried to fix an ongoing lack of energy by getting more sleep — only to do so and still feel exhausted?

If that’s you, here’s the secret: Sleep and rest are not the same thing, although many of us incorrectly confuse the two.

We go through life thinking we’ve rested because we have gotten enough sleep — but in reality we are missing out on the other types of rest we desperately need. The result is a culture of high-achieving, high-producing, chronically tired and chronically burned-out individuals. We’re suffering from a rest deficit because we don’t understand the true power of rest.

Rest should equal restoration in seven key areas of your life.

The first type of rest we need is physical rest, which can be passive or active. Passive physical rest includes sleeping and napping, while active physical rest means restorative activities such as yoga, stretching and massage therapy that help improve the body’s circulation and flexibility.

The second type of rest is mental rest. Do you know that coworker who starts work every day with a huge cup of coffee? He’s often irritable and forgetful, and he has a difficult time concentrating on his work. When he lies down at night to sleep, he frequently struggles to turn off his brain as conversations from the day fill his thoughts. And despite sleeping seven to eight hours, he wakes up feeling as if he never went to bed. He has a mental rest deficit.

The good news is you don’t have to quit your job or go on vacation to fix this. Schedule short breaks to occur every two hours throughout your workday; these breaks can remind you to slow down. You might also keep a notepad by the bed to jot down any nagging thoughts that would keep you awake.

The third type of rest we need is sensory rest. Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations — whether they’re in an office or on Zoom calls — can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed. This can be countered by doing something as simple as closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day, as well as by intentionally unplugging from electronics at the end of every day. Intentional moments of sensory deprivation can begin to undo the damage inflicted by the over-stimulating world.

The fourth type of rest is creative rest. This type of rest is especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas. Creative rest reawakens the awe and wonder inside each of us. Do you recall the first time you saw the Grand Canyon, the ocean or a waterfall? Allowing yourself to take in the beauty of the outdoors — even if it’s at a local park or in your backyard — provides you with creative rest.

But creative rest isn’t simply about appreciating nature; it also includes enjoying the arts. Turn your workspace into a place of inspiration by displaying images of places you love and works of art that speak to you. You can’t spend 40 hours a week staring at blank or jumbled surroundings and expect to feel passionate about anything, much less come up with innovative ideas.

Now let’s take a look at another individual — the friend whom everyone thinks is the nicest person they’ve ever met. It’s the person everyone depends on, the one you’d call if you needed a favor because even if they don’t want to do it, you know they’ll give you a reluctant “yes” rather than a truthful “no”. But when this person is alone, they feel unappreciated and like others are taking advantage of them.

This person requires emotional rest, which means having the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on people pleasing. Emotional rest also requires the courage to be authentic. An emotionally rested person can answer the question “How are you today?” with a truthful “I’m not okay” — and then go on to share some hard things that otherwise go unsaid.

If you’re in need of emotional rest, you probably have a social rest deficit too. This occurs when we fail to differentiate between those relationships that revive us from those relationships that exhaust us. To experience more social rest, surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Even if your interactions have to occur virtually, you can choose to engage more fully in them by turning on your camera and focusing on who you’re speaking to.

The final type of rest is spiritual rest, which is the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose. To receive this, engage in something greater than yourself and add prayer, meditation or community involvement to your daily routine.

As you can see, sleep alone can’t restore us to the point we feel rested. So it’s time for us to begin focusing on getting the right type of rest we need.

Editor’s note: Fatigue can also be associated with numerous health problems, so please get checked out by your physician if it persists.

To learn more about Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith and her work, visit her website. This post was adapted from her TEDxAtlanta Talk. Watch it here:

Terence McKenna Explains Why Television Is The Most Dangerous Addictive Drug In Society

So much insanity is being broadcast into our society that people are beginning to crack and turn on each other.

Just this week we saw how the mainstream media nearly instigated angry leftist mob lynchings by misrepresenting a confrontation between some Catholic high school kids and a Native American elder.

Just a few days prior to that, those on the politically right side of the aisle were in a frenzy of outrage over the contents of a men’s razor blade commercial.

People have become totally obsessed with their own beliefs, opinions and biases that their behavior is going completely unexamined. Their reactions to the latest news item are automatic and predictable.

The late iconoclast Terence McKenna pointed out that obsessive and unexamined behavior in pursuit of familiar stimulus (such as what we see with each moment of media outrage) is what drug addiction is about.

McKenna went a step further to say that television was the greatest drug ever introduced into society.

What else could persuade people spend an average of 5-7 hours a day sitting in front of the TV?

All the while consuming, in hypnotic states of mind, the scientifically crafted messages of corporate and government propagandists?

Here, McKenna expounds on the idea that television is a drug that is having negative consequences on individuals and on society at large:

“Unexamined behavior is what is alarming about drug addiction, that people behave like they are obsessed. Well on that scale, then, the most powerful drug of the late 20th century is television and propaganda.

“And the way in which we consume propaganda is amazing. I mean the most intelligent of us, the ones who hold ourselves most aloof, are probably junkies through and through when it comes to the media.” — Terence McKenna

He goes on to talk about how being able to see violence on tv has changed the nature of warfare, and that if we are to watch violence, we need to see real footage of it, rather than theatrical violence so that we can understand that we have a responsibility in creating a world in which war and violence is so prevalent.

Here he explains how similar watching television is to consuming a drug:

“In fact it is shaping our value systems in ways that are very hard for us to suspect or even detect. I mean television, for example, it’s a drug. It has a series of measurable physiological parameters that are as intrinsically its signature as are teh parameters of heroin or its signature.

“You sit someone down in front of a TV set and turn it on. Twenty minutes later come back, sample their blood pressure, their eye movement rate, blood is pooling in their rear end, their breathing takes on a certain quality, the stare reflex sets in. They are thoroughly zoned on a drug.” — Terence McKenna

Here he talks a bit more about the nature of addiction, TV, and our true purpose on this planet as human beings:

What do you think? Is television and mass media making people crazy?

Never Underestimate the Intelligence of Trees

Plants communicate, nurture their seedlings, and get stressed.

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Consider a forest: One notices the trunks, of course, and the canopy. If a few roots project artfully above the soil and fallen leaves, one notices those too, but with little thought for a matrix that may spread as deep and wide as the branches above. Fungi don’t register at all except for a sprinkling of mushrooms; those are regarded in isolation, rather than as the fruiting tips of a vast underground lattice intertwined with those roots. The world beneath the earth is as rich as the one above.

For the past two decades, Suzanne Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest & Conservation at the University of British Columbia, has studied that unappreciated underworld. Her specialty is mycorrhizae: the symbiotic unions of fungi and root long known to help plants absorb nutrients from soil. Beginning with landmark experiments describing how carbon flowed between paper birch and Douglas fir trees, Simard found that mycorrhizae didn’t just connect trees to the earth, but to each other as well.

Simard went on to show how mycorrhizae-linked trees form networks, with individuals she dubbed Mother Trees at the center of communities that are in turn linked to one another, exchanging nutrients and water in a literally pulsing web that includes not only trees but all of a forest’s life. These insights had profound implications for our understanding of forest ecology—but that was just the start.

Tree Whisperer: “I think that we’re so utilitarian with plants and we abuse them to no end. I think that comes from us having our blinders on. We haven’t looked,” says forest ecologist Suzanne Simard (above). Photo credit: Jdoswim / Wikimedia.

It’s not just nutrient flows that Simard describes. It’s communication. She—and other scientists studying roots, and also chemical signals and even the sounds plant make—have pushed the study of plants into the realm of intelligence. Rather than biological automata, they might be understood as creatures with capacities that in animals are readily regarded as learning, memory, decision-making, and even agency.

This can be difficult to wrap one’s head around. Plants are not supposed to be smart, at least not according to the rubric of traditions known as western thought. There’s also a case to be made that, while these behaviors are indeed extraordinary, they don’t map neatly onto what people usually mean by learning and memory and communication. Perhaps trying to define plants’ behavior according to our own narrow conceptions risks obscuring what is unique about their intelligence.

It’s a rich and fascinating debate, one that won’t be answered without a great deal more research—and that research ought to be conducted with an open mind to the possibility that plants have minds. Simard spoke with Nautilus from her office at the University of British Columbia about the horizons of her work.

To get the ball rolling, can you tell me about Charles and Francis Darwin’s root brain hypothesis?

Behind a growing root tip is a bunch of differentiating cells. Darwin thought those cells determined where roots would grow and forage. He thought the behavior of a plant was basically governed by what happened in those cells.

The work I and others have been doing—looking at kinship in plants, how they recognize each other and communicate—involves the roots. Except now we know more than Darwin did; we know that all plants, except for a small handful of families, are mycorrhizal: The behavior of their roots is governed by symbiosis.

It’s not just those cells at a plant root’s tip, but their interaction with fungus, that determines a root’s behavior. Darwin was onto something. He just didn’t have the full picture. And I’ve come to think that root systems and the mycorrhizal networks that link those systems are designed like neural networks, and behave like neural networks, and a neural network is the seeding of intelligence in our brains.

You’ve written that what makes neural networks so special is their scale-free character, which plant networks share as well. What does scale-free mean? Why is it so important?

All networks have links and nodes. In the example of a forest, trees are nodes and fungal linkages are links. Scale-free means that there are a few large nodes and a lot of smaller ones. And that is true in forests in many different ways: You’ve got a few large trees and then a lot of little trees. A few large patches of old-growth forest, and then more of these smaller patches. This kind of scale-free phenomenon happens across many scales.

You can smell the defense chemistry of a forest under attack. Something is being emitted and plants and animals perceive that and change their behaviors.

Do you see scale-free networks at the level of individual trees, too, in the interactions within a single root system?

I haven’t actually measured that, but there’s many things that you could look at. For example, root size. You’ve got a few large roots that support finer and finer roots. My guess is that they follow the same pattern.

What makes that configuration so special?

Systems evolve toward those patterns because they’re efficient and resilient. If we think of my forest, and the networks I’ve described, that design is efficient for transmitting resources among trees and how they interact with each other. In our brains, scale-free networks are an efficient way for us to transmit neurotransmitters.

There’s something so primally amazing about networks between and within trees having similar properties to the networks in our brains. In the case of our brains, we understand that there’s something about the structure of these networks that gives rise to cognition. What are some examples of plant cognition?

How do you define cognition? I’m asking because there’s a whole group of scientists who say we shouldn’t use that term because it means different things.

Would it be any better if I had used the word “intelligence”?

I’ve used the word intelligence in my writing because I think that scientifically we attribute intelligence to certain structures and functions. When we dissect a plant and the forest and look at those things—Does it have a neural network? Is there communication? Is there perception and reception of messages? Will you change behaviors depending on what you’re perceiving? Do you remember things? Do you learn things? Would you do something differently if you had experienced something in the past?—those are all hallmarks of intelligence. Plants do have intelligence. They have all the structures. They have all the functions. They have the behaviors.

Another word that can be slippery is “communication.” I would define communication as any exchange of information. That’s a very big umbrella; it can apply to, say, the co-evolution of berry coloration and bird tastes, so that over time berry color becomes more appealing to birds and correlates with nutrient properties. That’s communication—but we categorize that differently than we do the alarm calls squirrels give when a hawk approaches, or the conversation you and I are having right now. Where in that spectrum do plant communications fall?

Right in there. And we’re prisoners of our own western science; indigenous people have long known that plants will communicate with each other. But even in western science we know it because you can smell the defense chemistry of a forest under attack. Something is being emitted that has a chemistry that all those other plants and animals perceive, and they change their behaviors accordingly.

Putting science on that raises our own awareness that these plants are communicating just like we are. It’s just not a vocal thing—although some people are even measuring acoustics in trees and realizing there’s lots of sounds that we can’t hear, and that could be part of their communication. But I don’t know how far that research has gone. In my own work I’ve looked at the conversation through chemistry.

When you and I communicate, though, regardless of whether it’s through sounds or scents, there are still individuals involved who have internal models of the world. It’s a conversation between conscious individuals, rather than an exchange of information that takes place without some awareness of that information being exchanged. Does that type of communication exist among plants? I’m not trying to reinforce some hierarchy where one type of communication is better than another, but to understand the distinctions.

I think what you’re trying to get at is whether there’s a purposefulness to it.

A purpose, and also some locus to receive and direct that purpose. In the animal intelligence world, some philosophers now talk about pre-reflective self-awareness. The idea is that there’s a coherent sense of self, an awareness that you are you, that’s possessed by all animals by virtue of their having senses and some capacity for memory. The moment there’s perception and memory, there’s a self. Do you think plants have a self that is making those communications?

Those are really good questions. Probably the best evidence we have—and keep in mind that scientists have looked at humans and animals a lot longer than plants—is kin recognition between trees and seedlings that are their own kin. Those old trees can tell which seedlings are of their own seed. We don’t completely understand how they do it, but we know there are very sophisticated actions going on between fungi associated with those particular trees. We know these old trees are changing their behavior in ways that give advantages to their own kin. Then the kin responds in sophisticated ways by growing better or having better chemistry. A parent tree will even kill off its own offspring if they’re not in a good place to grow.

When you go and whack off the top of a plant, there’s a huge response there. It’s not a benign thing. Is that an emotional response?

That last example, of a mother tree killing her offspring if conditions are unfavorable, touches on what I was trying to get at. Does the mother tree know she’s doing it? Is there a choice? Can a mother tree choose whether or not to provide care, and then at some level does she know this?

We have done what we call choice experiments, in which we have a mother tree, a kin seedling, and a stranger seedling. The mother tree can choose which one to provide for. We found that she’ll provide for her own kin over something that’s not her kin. Another experiment is where a mother tree is ill and providing resources for strangers versus kin. There’s differentiation there, too. As she’s ill and dying, she provides more for her kin.

We’ve done lots of experiments where we adjust the health of the donor—the mother tree—versus the health of the recipient, the seedling, by altering levels of shade or nitrogen or water. It matters what condition each of them is in; they can perceive each other, and those decisions are made depending on conditions. If we suppress the health of the recipient seedling, the mother tree will provide more resources than if we don’t.

We focus mostly on a one-way thing rather than both ways. It’s hard to manipulate and measure big old trees; we’ve been trapped by the sheer size of trees and how they respond, how we can manipulate them and then measure their responses because they’re diluted against this bigger array of things going on with them. I think we should do those experiments—it seems crazy that it wouldn’t be a two-way perception.

Does a mother tree have a mental image of those seedlings? Of course, a mental image is a very animal-specific concept. But does it have some internal construct, however it’s represented? Is that the same thing as having a memory of the seedlings in the way I have a memory of, say, my cat? I can think about my cat right now even though he’s in another room, not because I’m perceiving him but because I have a mental construct.

You can look at the rings of a tree. The interactions with seedlings affect growth rates; they affect how much water and nutrients are taken up. People can reconstruct this and say, “Oh, this neighbor died over here in this particular year. This tree got released.” They can even compartmentalize those responses in certain parts of the tree trunk. Different plants have different abilities to do that, but the memory is housed in the tree rings of all trees. In conifers, they also house those memories in the chemistry of their needles. An evergreen tree, for example, will hold on to its needles for five to 10 years.

We know old trees change their behavior to give advantages to their own kin. A parent tree will kill off its own offspring if they’re not in a good place to grow.

In research on animal intelligence, there’s long been an emphasis—arguably it’s still there now—on non-emotional and non-affective forms of cognition. Now more and more researchers are also studying emotions, and realizing that those other forms of cognition, like memory and problem-solving and reasoning, are intertwined with emotion.

If you take the neurobiology underlying our emotions out of the equation, then problem-solving and reasoning don’t develop. With plants, most of the research I’ve read has been about the quote-unquote non-emotional side of things. Is there also emotion in plants?

I wish I knew more about emotion and affective learning. That said, let’s say you have a group of plants and stress one out, it will have a big response. Botanists can measure their serotonin responses. They have serotonin. They also have glutamate, which is one of our own neurotransmitters. There’s a ton of it in plants. They have these responses immediately. If we clip their leaves or put a bunch of bugs on them, all that neurochemistry changes. They start sending messages really fast to their neighbors.

Is that an emotional response? I guess it is. But I can hear my botanist side saying, “That’s not an emotion. That’s just a response.” But I think we can draw these parallels. It comes down to language again, to how we apply this language to look at these responses in plants.

I think bridging that communication gap is important so that people realize that when you go and whack off the top of a plant, there’s a huge response there. It’s not a benign thing. Is that an emotional response? It’s certainly trying to save itself. It upregulates. Its genes respond. It starts producing these chemicals. How is that different than us all of a sudden producing a whole bunch of norepinephrine?

Are there things we’re missing in plants because our concepts of intelligence are drawn from humans and from animals? There could be whole ways of being we don’t even have words for.

I think that we are. I think that we’re so utilitarian with plants and we abuse them to no end. I think that comes from us having our blinders on. We haven’t looked. We just make these assumptions about them that they’re these benign creatures that have no emotion. No intelligence. They don’t behave like we do, so we just block it out.

The other thing I’m going to say is that I made these discoveries about these networks below ground, how trees can be connected by these fungal networks and communicate. But if you go back to and listen to some of the early teachings of the Coast Salish and the indigenous people along the western coast of North America, they knew that already. It’s in the writings and in the oral history.

The idea of the mother tree has long been there. The fungal networks, the below-ground networks that keep the whole forest healthy and alive, that’s also there. That these plants interact and communicate with each other, that’s all there. They used to call the trees the tree people. The strawberries were the strawberry people. Western science shut that down for a while and now we’re getting back to it.

What other relationships are possible? What does it mean to be giving, to be empathic with the vegetal world?

There’s two words that come straight to mind. One of them is responsibility. I think that modern society hasn’t felt a responsibility to the plant world. So being responsible stewards is one thing. And also regaining respect—a respectful interaction with those trees, those plants.

If you’ve ever read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, she talks about how she’ll go into the forest to harvest some plants for medicine or food. She asks the plants. It’s called respectful harvest. It’s not just, “Oh I’m going to ask the plant if I can harvest it, and if it says no, I won’t.” It’s looking and observing and being respectful of the condition of those plants. I think that’s the relationship of being responsible—not just for the plants, but for ourselves, and for the children and multiple generations before and after us.

I think this work on trees, on how they connect and communicate, people understand it right away. It’s wired into us to understand this. And I don’t think it’s going to be hard for us to relearn it.

Brandon Keim is a freelance nature and science journalist. He is the author of “The Eye of the Sandpiper: Stories from the Living World” and “Meet the Neighbors” from W.W. Norton & Company, about what it means to think of wild animals as fellow persons—and what that means for the future of nature. 

Media Blackout: Massive Gathering In Germany As RFK Jr. Exposes Bill Gates & Big Pharma

Children’s Health Defense Director and renowned lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently spoke to a very large crowd in Berlin, Germany in what was a gathering of of tens of thousands of people who came together to create awareness and protest against what Kennedy referred to as Bill Gates’ “bio-security agenda, the rise of the authoritarian surveillance state and the Big Pharma sponsored coup d’etat against liberal democracy.”

According to Kennedy, and many others around the globe, “the pandemic is a crisis of convenience for the elite who are dictating these policies… Fifty years ago, my uncle John F. Kennedy came to this city.

“He came to this land, because Berlin was the frontline against global totalitarianism. And today again, Berlin is the frontline against global totalitarianism.”

Media Blackout Massive Gathering In Germany As Rfk Jr. Exposes Bill Gates & Big Pharma

We also published an article written by Kennedy a couple of years ago that also provides more about Gates’ relationship with big pharma.

It’s hard to really know how many people showed up, but judging by the pictures it seems like a lot were in attendance. Mainstream media completely ignored the gathering.

According to Kennedy,

“This was one of 40 sites scattered around Berlin where where some 1.5 million people gathered around separate stages to evade police harassment and peacefully protest the alarming global rise of Medical & Digital Totalitarianism.”

If mainstream media covered a gathering of one thousand, they could make it a big spectacle and make it seem as the “majority” feel a certain way.

When they don’t cover something that threatens their and their partners interests, which in this case is big pharma, they can make it seem like it never happened, no matter how big the gathering is.

Mainstream media can make it seem as if the majority is the minority, and the minority is the majority.

Bill Gates has also recently been dubbed the ‘journalism gatekeeper.’ Not only does he practically own the WHO and Big Pharma, the same goes for mainstream media.

A recent Instagram post made by Kennedy expresses his feelings about the event, and the resistance the gatherings faced:

“Beneath the Siegesäule Monument where I spoke. This was one of 40 sites scattered around Berlin where where some 1.5 million people gathered around separate stages to evade police harassment and peacefully protest the alarming global rise of Medical & Digital Totalitarianism.

“As I said in my speech, the government strategy is to portray the protestors as right wing extremists or “Covid Deniers”(a euphemism, in the official narrative for Holocaust deniers) none of which is true.

“The government issued three proclamations declaring the protest illegal. Our Rapid Response team of lawyers successfully appealed each of these declarations in court.

“The Pharma-controlled main stream media blacked out all coverage the main event altogether-ignoring what were perhaps the largest crowds in German history. No main stream media covered this momentous gathering.

“The only media reports claimed only 38,000 people & showed clips of a staged incident where 100 riot police colluded in a false flag show with some 50 agents provocateurs in Nazi regalia near the Reichtag miles from our protest.

“The obsequious Pharmedia dutifully conflated that phony fascist Kabuki play with our peaceful democratic event to claim we were allied with violent far right extremists 6)World Futbol champion (1990)Thomas Bartholdi and his wife Britta Protest 7)German National Team Basketball Star Joshiko Saibou and Olympic long jump champion Alexandra Westore. 8)Organizer Attorney Marcus Haintz and program moderator Nana from Ghana. KP

Berlin Protest Covid 19

Below is a brief clip of him speaking I found on YouTube:

Why This Is Important

The number of activists from all walks of life, from all professions, including thousands of doctors and scientists who have been questioning actions that have been and are being taken by governments around the world for a long time is quite large and continues to grow.

Speaking of Germany, for example, More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19.

They also believe that the measures and actions being taken by governments worldwide represent a draconian totalitarian agenda that’s continuing to play out under the guise of goodwill. These are actions that are completely unnecessary, unscientific and even harmful according to them and many others.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal (source)

A couple of years ago, Kennedy explained the power big pharma has in the United States, let alone the world:

Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations.

Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined.

They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. (source)

The question is, why are so many people who share these opinions completely censored? Even when there are thousands of them, when it comes to covid the list of renowned doctors and scientists is quite long.

As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? – Edward Snowden (source)

I’ve written numerous articles expressing the feelings, opinions, research and data of many explaining why lockdown measures and more for covid seem quite ridiculous.

Here’s one of many that goes into the infection fatality rate, for example, the article linked above with regards to the more than 500 German doctors and scientist is another example. To read more of our coverage throughout this pandemic, you can click here.

The Takeaway

Why is there a digital authoritarian Orwellian “fact-checker” going around the internet that is censoring information that’s clearly not false?

Why are they censoring information that doesn’t fit the narrative of the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Why are the leaked documents from Wikileaks showing the influence that Big Pharma has within the WHO completely ignored?

Why does mainstream media constantly use ridicule, character assassination and words like “conspiracy theory” instead of actually addressing and countering the points being made by so many doctors, scientists and activists? Why can’t we have these discussions openly and transparently?

What is going on here?

Our world is going through a massive shift in consciousness, and the COVID-19 pandemic has and is serving as a catalyst for more and more people to start questioning exactly what is going on here instead of simply believing what they are hearing and seeing on their television screens.

This questioning and critical inquiry results in a perception shift, and the world people once thought was becomes something completely different. Not everything is as we’ve been told and taught, and in order to change things for the better we have to be able to identify and see the problem.

This is exactly the process we are going through, and the more we ‘wake up’ the more effort there is from those who are threatened by our ‘awakening’ to silence and control us.

We are living in exciting times! It’s great to see an event like covid spark such a massive gathering of people who desire a better and more transparent world for all. We saw similar things after 9/11.

Sweden’s Senior Epidemiologist: Wearing Face Masks Is ‘Very Dangerous’

Sweden’s top expert on the coronavirus has warned that encouraging people to wear face masks is “very dangerous” because it gives a false sense of security but does not effectively stem the spread of the virus.

“It is very dangerous to believe face masks would change the game when it comes to COVID-19,” saidAnders Tengell, who has overseen Sweden’s response to the pandemic while resisting any form of lockdown or mask mandate.

“Face masks can be a complement to other things when other things are safely in place,” Tengell added. “But to start with having face masks and then think[ing] you can crowd your buses or your shopping malls — that’s definitely a mistake,” he further urged.

Tegnell has consistently spoken out against the use of masks, last month declaring that “With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport.”

“The findings that have been produced through face masks are astonishingly weak, even though so many people around the world wear them,” Tengell has urged.

“I’m surprised that we don’t have more or better studies showing what effect masks actually have. Countries such as Spain and Belgium have made their populations wear masks but their infection numbers have still risen,” the epidemiologist also declared.

Sweden, which didn’t enforce any mandatory lockdown order, has seen its coronavirus cases and deaths slow to a trickle.

“That Sweden has come down to these levels is very promising,” Tegnell has said, adding “The curves are going down and the curves for the seriously ill are beginning to approach zero.”

As Newsweek acknowledgedearlier this month, Sweden’s COVID-19 death rate is lower than those of Spain, the UK and Italy, countries which all imposed lockdowns.

Sweden’s GDP fall of 8.6 in Q2 2020 is also significantly less severe than the 12.1 average experienced in the Eurozone, leaving the Scandinavian country in “much better shape than the rest of Europe.”

Reference: Summit.news

The Most Expensive Hotel Room in the World Was Made For Elite Psychopaths

Situated at the top of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, the empathy Suite costs $ 100.000 per night and is reserved for elite guests. Its filled with creepy and disturbing art that hints to the possibly terrible things that happen in there. here’s a look at the most expensive hotel room in the world.

Take a second and picture in your mind the most expensive hotel room in the world. Did you picture pills, butterflies and medical waste everywhere? Probably not. Because you are probably not a psychopath. Well, the most expensive hotel room in the world is actually filled with pills, butterflies and medical waste. And dead animals. Because this place was clearly made for psychopaths.

The Empathy Suite of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas combines colorful, kiddie designs with pills and opioids. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to picture what this place was designed for. Here’s a top comment from a YouTube video touring the Empathy Suite.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst does the one-eye sign using a skull in Interview Magazine. That sums up everything you need to know about him.

Damien Hirst is reportedly the richest living artist in the UK with wealth estimated at £215 million. Throughout his career, Hirst was supported by extremely rich and powerful people such as Charles Saatchi, an Iraqi-British Jewish businessman who founded Saatchi & Saatchi, the world’s largest advertising agency in the 1980s.

Right from the start of his career, Hirst’s works revolved around the theme of death. One of his first “works of art” is a picture of him smiling next to a severed head. He soon became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including sharks, sheep, and cows) are preserved—sometimes having been dissected—in formaldehyde.

Hirst often combines his morbid subjects with Christian themes to create rather blasphemous works of art.

The piece titled God Only Knows features three dead sheep that are “crucified” the same way Jesus was crucified with 2 thieves
The piece titled God Knows Why consist of a sheep that was “crucified” on an inverted cross.
Adam and Eve under the table features 2 actual humans skeletons laying on the floor under empty bottles and random garbage
A close-up of one of Hirst’s many works made of dead flies

So, the people at the Palms Hotel saw this stuff and said: “We need him to decorate our most sumptuous spaces right now!”.

For starters, they bought a 60-foot sculpture made by Hirst titled Demon With Bowl.

Guests at the Palms Hotel can relax around a giant, headless demon.

If you’re wondering where’s the head, it exposed somewhere else. Here it is

The head of the demon is a separate piece.
One cannot simply book this room. One needs to apply.

So what makes this hotel room so special and exclusive? What kind of “profile” does it cater to? Just look at the pics and it will become obvious.

One of the many living rooms of the Empathy Suite.

The general theme of the suite is centered around pills and butterflies. They are everywhere, to the point that it is overwhelming. And, to regular readers of this site, this combination of symbols points strongly to a specific and horrific direction (which happens to be one of the occult elite’s secret obsessions): Monarch Programming.

The goal of Monarch programming (an offshoot of MKULTRA) is to create mind-controlled slaves through the use of trauma and heavy drugs. The main symbol used to identify this program is the Monarch butterfly. The room is all about drugs and butterflies. And, as they say, the devil is in the details.

Near the entrance is a medicine cabinet.

Why is there a medicine cabinet in the main living area? Because it is actually a “work of art” by Damien Hirst titled Vegas.

The dining room is also all about pills and butterflies.
The display in the dining room contains thousands of pills. It is another Hirst piece titled Money.

Across from the dining room is a massive bar.

The bar can seat over a dozen people. Guess what is under the see-through glass.
Medical waste.

The bar contains all kinds of tubes, syringes, pill wrappers, and other items associated with surgeries and medical procedures. Is that the type of stuff you want to be looking at while taking a drink? What if you looked up?

There’s dead fish above the bar.

On the other side of the bar are a massive balcony and a heated pool. The creepiness continues there.

The balcony overlooks Las Vegas is all about pills and butterflies.

Not unlike the rest of the suite, the multi-colored disks on the pillars give the area a pre-school, daycare kind of vibe.

The view is ruined by stickers of pills. Good thing you only spent $100,000/night to stay there.

Are you ready to visit the second floor? Just go up the butterfly stairs.

The staircase leading to the two bedrooms of the suite.

The bedrooms of the suite are in perfect continuation with the theme of the suite.

The main bedroom is also all about pills and butterflies.
The wallpaper is all about pills.

Another high-end amenity of the Empathy Suite is the “salt room” where one can partake in halotherapy. Surely, this place of relaxation is devoid of creepy symbolism? Wrong.

If you look closely at the wall, there’s a skull on the left and a butterfly on the right.
Are you relaxed yet?

In Conclusion

Even without knowledge of the twisted symbolism of the occult elite, the Empathy Suite sends off a disturbing vibe. The colors, the butterflies and the medical paraphernalia is reminiscent to the pediatrics section of a hospital. However, the generous seating areas (combined will all kinds of swings) just scream out “sex orgy”. The combination of the two = Epstein Island but in Las Vegas.

The fact that this suite is called “Empathy” is the cherry on the proverbial sundae. It is an ironic name. It is an example of the sick and twisted sense of “humor” of the elite. This place emits the exact opposite energy. In fact, it appears to be custom-made to disturb, traumatize and even terrify people who took drugs in there, and probably against their will.

Imagine young people who are drugged out of their minds and who are forced to dwell in that place. In that context, the most expensive hotel room in the world quickly becomes the stuff of nightmares.

11 New Symptoms Of The Collective Awakening

During the run up to 2012 the world was fascinated by the idea of the shift, that is, an awakening that first takes place within the individual, then radiates outward into our communities and societies at large, changing the world for the better.

At that time, attention was mainly focused around the personal dynamics involved in this, including the work of navigating the upheaval and turmoil that precedes inner peace and profound transformation.

Much of this shift was triggered by newfound awareness of the corruption and deception in our political and social institutions. The pain of realizing that the material world is built on lies left us with no place to go but inward.

Symptoms Of The Collective Awakening

We explored meditation and energy healing, radically altered our diets, opened our minds to different ways of thinking and relating to the world, embraced ancestral wisdom, and we fearlessly answered the call to purge, heal and connect.

The energy around this was very intense, but it inspired a tremendous sense of wonder and creativity.

But, as all things do, the flow in this new space began to ebb, and since around 2016 it has felt like a major regression happened, taking us back into the dense, murky energies of cognitive dissonance and willful ignorance.

So much so, that the last few years has had many of us wondering what the hell the point was in all of this. We began to doubt that our willingness to change had any real value in a world so hopelessly shipwrecked in the shallow end of the pool.

When 2020 began, nothing had substantively changed in the world around us, and for many of us, this muddled our sense of purpose and direction. Many of us fell back into old habits and old pursuits. Business and pleasure.

And then all of a sudden, boom! Here we are.

No denying it now, the train has left the station and everything is being exposed.

All of the darkness, depravity and evil that we’ve been collectively covering up and ignoring for generations is squealing and squirming in this flash of bright light.

The powers that be see what’s happening, they’ve revealed their hand, and they’re pulling out all the stops in order to maintain the illusion of control.

Indeed, we find ourselves in quite a vulnerable position, and since we’ve been quarantined from all of the distractions that’ve helped to blanket us from reality, we can no longer avoid the truth.

A new awakening is happening now, and this time it is global. We can no longer numb ourselves to this.

“We numb vulnerability — when we’re waiting for the call… This is the world we live in. We live in a vulnerable world. And one of the ways we deal with it is we numb vulnerability… And I think there’s evidence — and it’s not the only reason this evidence exists, but I think it’s a huge cause — We are the most in-debt … obese … addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history.

“The problem is — and I learned this from the research — that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can’t say, here’s the bad stuff. Here’s vulnerability, here’s grief, here’s shame, here’s fear, here’s disappointment. I don’t want to feel these. I’m going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin.” ~ Brené Brown

As the awakening rolls forward, it’s taking everyone with it. How it ends is anyone’s guess, and since we’re all along for the ride, it may be insightful to connect some of what we’re feeling to the bigger picture of the change that is coming our way.

Perhaps You Can Relate To Some Of These New Signs Of The Awakening?

  1. You see a clear connection between the chaos in the world and the inner turmoil you’ve been diligently working to transform.
  2. You just don’t do fear anymore. It no longer has the pull on you it once did. You know yourself to be spirit.
  3. You understand that the universe is mental, and that your thoughts are the most precious tools of creation. For this, you readily notice when your mind is slipping from the present moment and when it tries to engage you in fear. You have the power and determination to bring it back into alignment with your purpose and mission.
  4. You’re learning how to powerfully use your voice to contribute to the awakening and to help those who cannot speak for themselves.
  5. You don’t play sides, and you don’t choose a team. You watch, observe, and disengage when you see people acting out on agendas that are not their own.
  6. You see the futility and danger in belief systems, and you don’t bow to authority. You stay firmly grounded in what is real and what can be verified by your own experience. You are your own master.
  7. You give people of all beliefs the freedom to expose their fear, anger and confusion however it may surface. You don’t judge, debate, or try to correct people who don’t see the world as you do.
  8. You care for yourself first so that you may have more power to care for others.
  9. You deliberately work to foster connection between yourself and others, above and beyond the superficiality so prevalent in public discourse.
  10. You fully trust in this process and accept the fate of the world as part of it.
  11. You recognize that your most powerful task is that of letting go.

Final Thoughts

The stakes are incredibly high right now and the future of human freedom is at stake. This is not hyperbole.

The Great Reset [which is the New World Order] is coming our way, and while the globalists, central banks and international agencies would like to hijack this and steer us toward a new form of technocratic worldwide Orwellian slavery, the human race has never before had such a true opportunity to free itself from their chains.

It’s game on people, time to play your part.

Covid1984: The Groupthink Pandemic

Groupthink is all around us. Decision-making in government, in the media and at work. It’s slowly killing the world.

In the background of the most important events, the Covid-19 response and increasing tension and conflict in the world, it might be worth looking through some of this in a bit more detail.

I’ve experienced groupthink working for large organisations, most notably in my last job. We were tasked with investigating and solving complex problems. Some technical expertise helped but was not crucial to the role.

Critical thinking and balancing evidence and differing viewpoints was key.

Covid1984 The Groupthink Pandemic

Yet the organisation decided that this was no longer required and changed the whole operating model to a one-size fits all type of call-centre. This new high-risk approach was recommended to us by the outside consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) who were clueless about our business.

Those of us who were experienced in the role argued that the model wouldn’t work. But the organisation ploughed on regardless. It was obvious from day one that the financials didn’t stack up which they tried to deny and later concealed.

The executive largely ignored our concerns to start but then paid limited lip-service when the wheels started to come off. Anyway, in the end they offered us redundancy while employing fresh university graduates to replace us. As far as I know the place is still in denial and heading down the pan.

Groupthink is described as follows:

Groupthink is a term first used in 1972 by social psychologist Irving L. Janis that refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group.

People who are opposed to the decisions or overriding opinion of the group as a whole frequently remain quiet, preferring to keep the peace rather than disrupt the uniformity of the crowd’.

Groupthink is common where group members have similar backgrounds and particularly where that group is placed under stress, resulting in irrational decision outcomes.

These are the main behaviors to watch out for:

  1. Illusions of invulnerability lead members of the group to be overly optimistic and engage in risk-taking.
  2. Unquestioned beliefs lead members to ignore possible moral problems and ignore the consequences of individual and group actions.
  3. Rationalising prevents members from reconsidering their beliefs and causes them to ignore warning signs.
  4. Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonise out-group members who may oppose or challenge the group’s ideas.
  5. Self-censorship causes people who might have doubts to hide their fears or misgivings.
  6. “Mindguards” act as self-appointed censors to hide problematic information from the group.
  7. Illusions of unanimity lead members to believe that everyone is in agreement and feels the same way.
  8. Direct pressure to conform is often placed on members who pose questions, and those who question the group are often seen as disloyal or traitorous.

There are two further observations I made in the workplace, particularly relevant to groups going through major change or/and a crisis.

Firstly, they tend to swing from the status quo to the complete opposite. In our organisation, we definitely needed some changes and tweaks but we lurched towards a model which was completely unsuitable and unsustainable operationally and financially.

The other thing I noticed was our employers became control freaks. They started to talk down to us and our customers like children. They introduced office slogans such as ‘let’s crack on’ or ‘we’re all in this together’ and deflected from the problems of the disastrous reorganisation towards ‘celebrating diversity’ in the workplace. Critical thinking, creativity and expression were sucked out of the place.

The obvious analogy for all these behaviors is the response to Covid-19 when government ministers were collectively panicked into making extreme decisions on lockdown, using just one preferred source of ‘expertise’.

At the same time, they sidelined dissenters and independent experts who could have offered a calm, rational perspective and a targeted response to Covid-19.

In summing up this thinking and behavior, I’m reminded of these observations from Dr Malcolm Kendrick and Lord Sumption about the response to Covid-19. Dr Kendrick here:

We locked down the population that had virtually zero risk of getting any serious problems from the disease, and then spread it wildly among the highly vulnerable age group. If you had written a plan for making a complete bollocks of things you would have come up with this one”.

And Lord Sumption writing in the Mail on Sunday:

The Prime Minister, who in practice makes most of the decisions, has low political cunning but no governmental skills whatever. He is incapable of studying a complex problem in depth. He thinks as he speaks – in slogans.

These people have no idea what they are doing, because they are unable to think about more than one thing at a time or to look further ahead than the end of their noses.

The BBC – A Case-Study

A large organisation which has a high opinion of its news service. But of course, the reality is the opposite. There are so many groupthink case-studies but the BBC is as good as any, particularly in terms of making a bollocks of things.

The executives at the BBC and some senior correspondents will no doubt be aware that they run a politicised agenda of bias and misinformation on a grand scale. Outsiders who’ve researched their coverage will recognise this too. But this won’t be obvious to the vast majority of BBC employees, the victims of groupthink.

This came across in some of Andrew Marr’s incredulous reactions to Noam Chomsky’s observations about the media during their interview:

Andrew Marr: How can you know I’m self-censoring?

Noam Chomsky: I’m not saying you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you say. But what I’m saying is if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

I believe the foreign affairs reporting of the BBC is where this problem stands out most. Real expertise and impartiality has been completely absent from any reporting I’ve seen in recent years.

First, while not unusual in this profession, most journalists employed by the BBC will have a degree. Typically, when you look at today’s ‘top’ BBC journalists, many have attended the elite universities which tends to create a culture of like-minded people of similar backgrounds. This has been identified as one cause of creating groupthink.

Also, the younger journalists will be impressionable within the BBC hierarchy to the views and ways of the senior house-hold name journalists.

It’s sometimes said that there aren’t specific rules within the BBC and other media stating what a journalist can and can’t report and write and they generally don’t knowingly mislead. But they will learn almost instinctively to self-censor and operate within a set of unwritten, unspoken rules and a strait-jacket narrative.

The other problem in foreign affairs reporting is that BBC journalists and most others rarely visit the warzones. On Syria, they typically report from Lebanon or Turkey only occasionally venturing into a government or relatively safe terrorist or Kurd held area. So unlike previous conflicts, such as Bosnia where I remember at least a tiny degree of balance, journalists seldom see what is actually going on.

Under the pressure of deadlines they rely on dubious sources such as Al Qaeda terrorists and Bellingcat and pre-determined assumptions which conveniently slot in with the anti-Assad narrative of the BBC and establishment.

Recently, some grave doubts emerged about the OPCW report on the Douma incident, a huge story which has wider implications.

The investigations of Robert Stuart into a likely previously staged incident involving BBC journalists was swept under the carpet. Both matters have been ignored because the BBC have no way or will to refute evidence which goes against their bias.

On the other hand, the BBC are more than happy to provide extensive coverage to more allegations against Russia and Trump from anonymous sources, providing no background or balance within the overall of climate of related allegations which have collapsed or are unproven.

And in recent days the BBC has provided coverage on Hong Kong which looks like it’s come from a script.

It’s well known BBC journalists are silent on malpractice. We saw this with the Jimmy Savile scandal and decades of sexual abuse. This attitude is similar to what I experienced with my employer who were very vocal and proud of their anti-bullying and mental health policies. Yet when the staff were surveyed anonymously, bullying rates were through the roof.

The other obvious signs of groupthink within the BBC, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis, is dumbing-down and its slogan-filled website written as though their readers are idiots.

Another strong theme is a preoccupation with race and diversity, American affairs and general tittle-tattle, to the detriment of more pressing matters such as the longer-term and wider impact of the world’s current problems.

Covid-19 and our response to it is probably the most important event of our lifetime but there’s barely a peep about whether the response is necessary and proportionate. Instead, this totally rational viewpoint is only ever mentioned in the context of BBC articles about Covid-19 ‘conspiracy theories’.

Many of the examples I’ve described neatly fit in with groupthink behaviors and experiences I encountered in a large organisation.

But I think the biggest groupthink problem is with senior BBC journalists. Ultimately their lazy arrogance has trickled down to the newer journalists and so over time, wrong behavior has been normalised throughout.

The BBC ‘Grandees’

A few months ago Huw Edwards made some comments about accusations of bias directed towards the BBC, defending the corporation and journalists. These are some of the specific comments he made which to me showed a complete lack of understanding of the concerns people have.

The BBC is not, to put it politely, run like some newspapers, with an all-powerful proprietor and/or editor making his or her mark on the tone and direction of the coverage […] BBC News is a rather unsettling mix of awkward, contrary and assertive people who (in my very long experience) delight in either ignoring the suggestions of managers or simply telling them where to get off. That’s how it works.”

Around this time, I also recall Edwards arguing on Twitter on the subject and he said that it was ridiculous to say that journalists within the BBC were willfully misleading the public. His Twitter opponent replied that this was not what he had said and was simply stating that the BBC had fallen victim to groupthink. Edwards just couldn’t get his head past this, while continuing to attack and misrepresent BBC critics.

This defensive attitude and stereotyping of critics is classic groupthink behavior in which he, Nick Robinson and others have taken part.

I used to admire John Simpson and in the 1980s he visited Iran post-revolution. He wrote a book of the visit which I enjoyed. But in recent years, he has shown that he doesn’t understand modern geo-politics and like the BBC can only assess it in terms of the ethno-centric British view on the world and our influence.

In this President Putin press conference he asked the most ridiculous question imaginable which confirms he’s lost the plot. His question was about Russian behavior in the world and whether Putin wanted to create a new Cold War.

Putin wiped the floor with him pointing out the hundreds of NATO bases and numerous wars which put Simpson’s aspersions into their rightful place.

Jeremy Bowen is another who has lost his way. I saw a recent report from him from the position of a Christian militia unit fighting terrorists in Syria.

Again, BBC arrogance was on full display. His report made generalised comparisons between him meeting Serbs in Bosnia in the 1990s and these Syrian fighters, clearly indicating that he doesn’t listen and is not interested in Syrian views on western complicity and the White Helmets.

In the usual group-speak he described the Syrian Government ‘the regime’ and Al Qaeda as ‘rebels’. His report simply rubber-stamped the BBC coverage of the whole conflict.

This arrogance is typical of journalists who rely on their past achievements, creating an air of gravitas to impress their audience. The reality is his reporting is based on no substance and outdated and lazy assumptions.

The Madness Of John Sweeney

Ex-BBC nowadays, John Sweeney’s arrogance is off the scale. These days he spends his time on Twitter attacking lockdown sceptics, like Peter Hitchens accusing him of ‘killing’ his Mail on Sunday column readers with his views on Covid-19 lockdown.

Sweeney is off his trolley but the reality is he probably always was as this clip during his BBC days shows.

This behaviour, extreme as it is, certainly suggests groupthink played a big part somewhere in his career.

An Illusion Of Sanity

BBC Dateline is a current affairs TV panel discussion which I occasionally watched. The panel which changed regularly were seemingly well qualified with foreign writers and journalists which included Russia or Arab affairs experts.

Sitting around that table they gave the impression of people who knew what they were talking about.

However, when you listened carefully to what they were saying, there was very little substance. Their arguments, all based on a simple premise that Russia/Syria are bad, the West is good, tempered with a little occasional criticism of western policy to give the illusion of balance.

Occasionally you would have a more pro-Russia expert on but with the prevailing consensus of the rest of the panel, his or her views would be ridiculed. It got to the point any dissenting panel member started to self-censor to sound more credible, perhaps to remain on the panel. This is the dilemma for any progressively minded BBC guest nowadays.

Peter Hitchens who complains the BBC never invite him on, appeared on Good Morning Britain (GMB) recently. As is normal with many GMB debates, the discussion on Covid-19 descended to retorts and abuse and was simply not the forum for Hitchens to get across his well thought out points on the big picture.

But I don’t think he would have fared any better on the BBC. The BBC create an illusion of civilised, intelligent discussion but the reality is there is no substance, depth or balance. The crucial discussion points about Covid-19 or conflict in the world don’t get a hearing. The premise and the rules are already set in stone before the guests arrive.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why the world is in its current madness and on the brink of serious conflict.

Groupthink in government, the media and the general public is probably a key factor as this represents the thinking culture alongside and below the psychopaths and war criminals who pull the strings.

It’s almost impossible to break this cycle by chipping away at it. But it’s possible a large event connected to Covid-19 or a major war will be the catalyst which might shock us out of our distorted view of reality.

In the meantime, independent commentators and ex-MSM like Peter Hitchens, Anna Brees and Tareq Haddad, are putting their careers on the line and self-interests aside. We can only encourage others employed by the BBC and other media to be brave and do the same.

Certainly, the consequences will be far more disastrous doing nothing and not speaking up.

In the sudden, new founded willingness to demonstrate on the streets perhaps those participating might be better reflecting on who and what the real enemy is.

Party politics, Brexit and Black Lives Matter really don’t matter.

Groupthink, escalating world conflict, All Lives Matter, including Syrians, Libyans, Palestinians and Blacks,(including those outside of US,UK and Europe) together with the post-Covid-19 march to an uncertain ‘new normal’, are the issues which matter right now.

The War On Cash, Covid-19 Edition

The digital “toll”

It doesn’t require too dark an imagination to realize the gravity of the concerns over the digital yuan.

China is a true pioneer when it comes surveillance, censorship and political oppression and the digital age has given an incredibly efficient and effective arsenal to the state.

Adding money to that toolkit was a move that was planned for many years and it is abundantly clear how useful a tool it can be for any totalitarian regime.

The War On Cash, Covid 19 Edition

The ability to track citizens’ transactions, access their financial data, control and freeze the account of anyone that presents a potential threat, it all opens the door to the ultimate oppression: total control over private resources, over people’s livelihoods and their capacity to cover their basic needs.

But we don’t even have to wait for the first signs of abuse of the system. As part of the government’s covid relief spending packages, digital vouchers were loaded to Chinese citizens’ smartphones to encourage them to spend in their local stores.

According to Dr. Shirley Yu, visiting fellow at the London School of Economics:

“Digital coupons allow the Chinese government to trace the usage of these coupons,” and they “allow the government to know which sector is most helped, who uses it and where money is actually spent”.

Of course, if the government has access to data that allows them check if their policies were well transmitted and if the money was spent as they intended, they can also use that data to check and trace any transactions for any other purpose.

Xu Yuan, a senior researcher with Peking University’s Digital Finance Research Cen­tre, highlighted the regulatory benefits of making all cash flow in society traceable.

“In theory, following the launch of the digital yuan, there will be no transaction that regulatory authorities will not be able to see – cash flows will be completely traceable,” Xu said in an interview.

“Of course, this thought is scary enough on its own, but it becomes infinitely more terrifying when those that control the system have a very long track record of abuse and blatant disregard for basic rights and liberties.

“It could never happen here”

That’s probably the most oft-repeated argument in our “civilized” western democracies, right before some terrible governmental abuse of power takes place, or before some new restrictive law or overarching regulation gets passed that limits individual citizens’ rights.

A lot of people thought that the PATRIOT Act could never get passed, that banking secrecy would always be respected, and that there’s no way we’d ever see a global economic shutdown by decree.

By comparison, a digital fiat currency is not really that far-fetched.

In fact, about 20 central banks apart from the PBOC are already actively working on it. As for the possibility of digital currencies and payments systems being enforced, most central bank officials and politicians in the West seem to be quite confident.

In a recent interview, Philadelphia Federal Reserve bank president Patrick Harker said a real-time digital payments option was “inevitable”, while the chief of the Bank for International Settlements also recognized that central banks will need to issue their own digital currencies soon.

During the corona relief debates in the US, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, advocated for the stimulus payments to be distributed thought a digital dollar wallet.

The so-called ‘FedAccount’ program, with the Federal Reserve responsible for overseeing it, would offer free bank accounts to receive money and make payments.

As for the EU, for many years there has been very strong support for the development of a digital single market.

According to a recent European Parliament Briefing,

“There is no pan-EU retail payment method to date (other than cash in euros), as there is no European card scheme. This is a source of concern for the European Central Bank (ECB)…. Thus, the ECB is calling for a European payment strategy to change this situation.”

This is by all accounts the next step in the centralization and integration plan of the Union, and this couldn’t be a better time for it to materialize.

Given the decline in public trust after the EU’s handling of the corona crisis, financial “integration” could be a valuable tool to tie the members tighter together and to force all citizens into a common digital economy, centrally planned and managed.

A fork in the road

So, if we accept that digital currencies are inevitable and arguably their emergence has been accelerated by the corona crisis, the real question is who controls them, who issues and distributes them, and who determines their value.

We stand at a historic crossroads and the answer to these questions can determine the kind of future we’ll wake up to. It can be a very bleak one, if the power remains with governments and centralized institutions.

In this scenario, money will retain all the flaws and vulnerabilities of today’s fiat currencies, only its digital nature will amplify them to an unimaginable extent.

The privacy violations of today will become simply unstoppable, a mere fact of life, while disastrous monetary policies, like negative rates, so far only cushioned by the individuals’ ability to sidestep them through physical cash, will be forcibly and uniformly transmitted throughout the economy.

On the other hand, the future could instead be bright, if we take the other path, towards decentralization, free competition and individual financial sovereignty.

If we instead choose to break the state monopoly of money and allow private digital currencies to compete, a myriad of different solutions will emerge to serve a myriad of different needs.

Savings can be accommodated though physical gold-backed digital currencies, real assets can be tokenized to facilitate and secure physical property sales, specialized cryptocurrencies can offer privacy and untraceable transactions.

Far from a pipe dream, many solutions like these already exist, while others are in the making. There is therefore a choice about what kind of future we want and it is us, as individuals, that must make it.

By Claudio Grass, Hünenberg See, Switzerland