Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Indonesia Relief Effort

The Volunteer Ministers are asking for our help in their efforts to help in Indonesia at the site of the quake in Yogyakarta. Abour 4300 people are known dead, with at least 120,000 homeless in the wake of the disaster. If you want to go and help them, contact vm@volunteerministers.org or ihelpwestus@ihelp.org. You can also make donations via paypal to the vm@volunteerministers.org site. They hope to field a team of hundreds of volunteer ministers. They do whatever is needed to help, whether that is digging through rubble for victims, passing out water and food, giving first aid to the injured, identifying and burying the dead, or giving "assists" to the survivors to help them cope with loss and injury. Scientology Volunteer Ministers are always "doing something about it". Help us.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

NY Rescue Workers Detox Center

In 2002 Tom Cruise helped start the NY Rescue Workers Detox Center in Manhattan. Since then, 640 rescue workers have gone through the program. The detox program involves sauna and exercise (and vitamins) and I've seen photos of the "blue sweat" that comes out of their bodies in the sauna while on the program. More than 40 of the rescue workers from Ground Zero have died from the toxins to which they were exposed in their rescue and recovery efforts. Over 70% of the rescue workers have some form of health problem such as "WTC cough" as their bodies try to cope with the toxins they absorbed from the smoke and other chemicals in the air.

The program is free to those rescue workers who do it, although it costs about $5000 per person to deliver. Tom Cruise funded quite a bit of it initially, but of course they need more funds to continue operating. They're having a sponsored motorcycle ride on August 26th, led by Joe Higgins, a retired NYC firefighter and graduate of the program. To join the ride, contact hmdetox@aol.com (Jim Woodworth) or to organize a game to gather donations, contact Charlotte Anderson (charwah@msn.com). You can also make donations yourself.

For more info about the NY Detox center, visit www.nydetox.org/index.html.

Friday, May 12, 2006

May 10, 1950

Something important happened for humanity on May 10, 1950, and most people don't know it and couldn't associate that date with anything of significance to their lives. That was the date that the book "Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health" was published by L. Ron Hubbard. It's a date of signifigance now mainly to Scientologists, who celebrate it annually as one of the beginning dates of that new religion. Back in the last 1940's, Hubbard was doing research into the mind, that no one else had done. He went with what worked, as therapy, and built the system of Dianetics to help people help each other using it. The book swept the country, Dianetics centers sprang up everywhere, and Hubbard created the Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation to keep looking into the mind. When you look deeply enough into the mind (which he found was composed of mental image pictures), you eventually had to ask, "Who's looking at those pictures?" And he stumbled upon the human spirit quite by accident. By 1952 he'd pretty thoroughly researched the capabilities of the human spirit, which he recorded in a series of lectures in Phoenix and Philadelphia. Realizing that they were dealing with the human spirit directly, others then founded the Church of Scientology.

I attended my first celebration of the publication of this book on its 21st birthday, on a lark in 1971, at a hotel in Seattle, with a bunch of Scientologists I had only recently met. I was still in college then, and still doing street drugs. I wanted desperately to get off the drugs, but was pulled to them with a force that was hard to resist and that I didn't comprehend; it was hard to look at the various reasons why I was doing drugs.

The Scientologists rolled up their sleeves and helped me get off the drugs and get them out of my system completely, not just physically but spiritually as well. Dianetics, their old workhorse of mental technology, came to my personal rescue in the form of something called the "Drug Rundown". It helped break me out of the "woodenness" a word that perfectly describes my inability to reach out, to feel, or to communicate. Drugs lost their allure mentally and their hold physically -- and I became drug-proof for the last 30 odd years. I'm not a teatotaler, and I'm not an addict. I can have a drink with friends, and I can take a drug if I absolutely must for my health.

It would have been easier in today's world to get off the drugs I was on, with the tough and dedicated staff of Narconon available to help now -- back then Narconon was just getting going.

Actress Kirstie Alley has said that Narconon saved her life, twice. Once helping her break her addiction to cocaine, and once after she was poisoned. Narconon uses the techniques developed by Hubbard to help people get off drugs. It's not Scientology, but is workable de-addiction technology spun off of Hubbard's research into the mind. The recidivism rate of most drug rehab programs is around 80% meaning that the vast majority of those going through drug rehab slide back onto drugs. The recidivism rate of Narconon is extremely low, below 20%, last time I checked the stats. Ask any Narconon graduate. If you're interested in actual drug rehabiliation, Narconon is the way to go.

Narconon started in 1966 when Willie Benitez, an inmate, got hold of several Scientology books and started the first Narconon self-help group with other prisoners at Arizona State Prison. He could not have predicted it would become the tremendous force it is today in helping rehabilitate those on drugs and in prison.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time off -- for work?

I've had several days to myself recently, with my fiancee gone on a business trip for a week. I enjoy the solitude and freedom: I can stay up til 2 AM on a whim now without anyone complaining! It feels like a vacation of sorts, even though I'm working away while she's gone, in silence and without all those annoying distractions. But I LIKE those distractions, and I like my fiancee, so it's a tossup whether this solo stint is better for my morale than just our normal dual life here. I find myself looking forward to our daily phone calls so we can catch up, even when there's not much to catch up on. "How are the cats?" "Fine. Crazy as ever."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Study Tech at work...

It's hard for us to imagine the difficulties that a college professor in Tanzania or Botswana or Mali faces compared to, say, a tenured professor in an American university. Yet they are trying, with very limited resources, to educate their students to be competent and able to excel in the modern world.

Applied Scholastics (developed by L. Ron Hubbard) is engaged in a broad program to teach African professors tools that they then use to more effectively educate their students. Here are two testimonials that express the hope and certainty that they achieve after completing only the first course in their program, called "Progressive Teaching Tools":

"I am excited to have completed my first course in the Applied Scholastics Master Training. I have attended several teacher-training programmes, but there is none that can compare with this one.

The instructors are wonderful people with amiable human reactions.

I can say without mincing words that I can now change my world, family, students and friends alike for the better.

God bless Mr. L. Ron Hubbard." ~ G.E. College Professor


"I have been a teacher for 25 years and I have taught in all the levels of education from the primary through secondary to tertiary institutions in my country, but I have always thought something was wrong with our achievements - both as teachers and learners.

Why, for instance, would children who come to school looking bright, enthusiastic and ambitious suddenly become sullen and vindictive against society? Why again would a child want to withdraw from school when he knows all the advantages education gives to people? I could not imagine.

Now, I know why. We have been putting all the wrong things into our educational system. It is amazing that anyone successfully passed through the system at all!

Browbeating anyone into learning is no way to teach. Our kids must first know why they are learning (i.e. learning for life) and then want to learn so that the knowledge they acquire can be useful to them and to society. Learning must be achieved 100% - not 99%. In fact, it’s as if we insist on better quality from our industries than we do from our schools.

It is time to change, time to begin to put in place measures that would ensure hundred percent learning." ~ B.A., College Professor

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Coastal Elk

One evening last week our chickens alerted us to the fact we had an animal wandering the yard. They make a great sustained racket of crowing and calling to each other when there is an animal, especially a predator, around their chicken run. When we checked it out, it was a fairly large coastal elk with nubby antlers just coming in. We've never seen them in our yard before -- our dogs usually scare off all the grazing animals, including stray cows, wandering horses, the timid deer, and the elk. This elk was as big as one of our horses.

When our dogs ran up to chase him off, he lowered his head and charged them. They quickly gave up and he ignored them after that. He came back the next day.

We are about ten miles from the Pacific ocean, which, as I understand it, is right at the eastern limit of the range of these coastal elk. We hope to see more....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Everything's blooming...

It's that time of year when everything seems to be blooming here on the timber ranch. The ceanothus (aka false lilac and tickweed) is flowering all over. That's not a good sign - ceanothus is considered a weed here. Wherever it grows is someplace that a fir tree isn't growing. We're always hacking it back. Here's some growing on a steep hill under some madrone:

We were surprised this year to see some trillium flowers blooming near our house. I had thought the flowers on trillium to always be white, but these have a pastel purple color to them that is wonderful. These only grow where it is cool and shady. The three big leaves make them easy to identify, even though the flower looks a lot like the wild irises that grow around here, which are also blooming now.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eli Lilly funds "pre-emptive" drug study

More Eli Lilly drugs foisted on kids as this NY Times article today details, Eli Lilly and the NIMH have been funding a drug study since 1997, trying to determine if it is efficacious to drug kids who are "at risk" of schizophrenia with anti-psychotics. The biggest result? The kids gained an average of 20 pounds. This drug being tested, Zyprexa, causes those taking it to get fat. So let's see -- you take a girl who is borderline schizo, and now you make her 20 pounds heavier. That's certainly not going to make her any happier, now is it?

Of course, this "study" was flawed in many different ways. First they couldn't find that many people who fit the category of pre-schizophrenic. Only 60 kids were tested, which isn't statistically enough to get a valid result no matter WHAT the results. 10 of the kids stopped taking the drug, some of them moved away - so basically you can't read anything from the numbers. It's just more bogus pseudo-science from Eli Lilly.

You can see where they were headed with it, though -- "Don't be leff out! Brought to you by the makers of Prozac -- a drug for you kids who AREN'T crazy -- yet. You, too, can be forced to take your prescription on threat of being kicked out of school and reported for child abuse."

For more info on the insanity that is psychiatry, visit CCHR -- the only effective group doing anything to try to contain the pseudo-science of psychiatry.