Monthly Archives: July 2015


source of featured image:


I woke up suddenly Wednesday morning at 4:40 AM having been immersed in a dream that the tremendous volume of work that had been done heretofore by a veritable army of people had been finally knitted together, trussed up and basted like a big bird on the holidays, into a all-encompassing package of evidence and analysis into not only a very long documentary movie but also the visible part of a formal legal indictment that had finally won a victorious hearing in a formal court of law, and that one hundred or so “perps” had been lined up, some of them in absentia because their terms in mortal flesh had already ended.

It was a glorious moment; the peoples of the earth resounded with a joyous outpouring.

I do not suggest that I am competent enough or important enough to speak for that army of people.  Though I am one of them by simple signatory listing and some comparatively mild and tiny form of contribution, I am way up in the back row of the growing chorus of voices who said, simply, “I am convinced”.

Even today, in that dream, I was standing way back off the curb, in the sixth or seventh rank, of the swelling of people who craned their necks to see the small parade of grey prison busses make its way down the broad avenue, escorted by a fleet of police vehicles and MRAP SWAT trucks, parting a sea of cheering people like a tumbrel in Paris, to deliver its slow heaving clanking load to a long, laborious process of proceedings that ended in judgment and sentence.

I awoke from the dream before its ending, as is always the way, and the essential reality of the chilly air of the pre-dawn verified that, in fact it had been a dream.

If you’ve been paying attention, you can readily find the listing of indictees.  You can probably cite much of the hard-core evidence. You may be one of the many in the crowd of people on the streetsides or even in the preparation and assembly.  If you are ahead of me in that long line, you deserve the thanks and gratitude of the ages. I’ve read your web sites, your books… I’ve watched your videos. I’ve probably, at one time or another, posted them in some effort to give them wider public exposure. I’ve said for years that I no longer need convincing. I’ve asked as well what next step needs to be taken to make a simple dream a reality.

What is needed in order to get those tumbrels in that dream filled with one hundred perps to move from the court of public opinion and become a tight procession of six prison buses moving toward Pearl Street, about fifteen blocks and fifteen years away from the scene of the crime ?


“… While he served as a visa officer in the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for instance, he was obliged under threat of dismissal to issue visas to persons hired clandestinely by the CIA to become trained-in-the-USA terrorists. Most of these psychopathic thugs were clearly and legally unqualified to be issued visas. There is every reason to believe the “Visas for Terrorists” program remains fully operative today. It takes a lot of expendable terrorists to run a global terrorism op.

Springmann places his experiences both within the context of the historical roots of the U.S. Empire and within its current ongoing global destabilization project.

“This tale,” the author states near the beginning, “is a sordid sketch of backstabbing, disloyalty, double crosses, faithlessness, falsity, perfidy, sellouts, treachery, and betrayal.”

And that only covers the bureaucratic aspect. Even more sobering is his sketch of human rights violations: torture, assassinations, massacres including bombings of markets, invasions and occupations of countries, destabilization of nations and regions.

Then there’s the financial side: widespread criminality, resource theft, bribery, diversion of funds, illicit drug dealing and more.

Not to mention the flouting of international laws. This dimension includes gross infringements on national sovereignty, the casual violation of treaties and ho-hum everyday general lawlessness, risking even the threat of nuclear annihilation.

All this before taking into account the moral dimension, in which trashing the Ten Commandments is just an opening trifle…..” 

‘sense of outrage’

A Sense of Outrage

Image source:

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

There are enough active shooter scenarios going down lately that it’s all but impossible for one person to follow, investigate, deeply investigate and analyze them all.  Some of them seem to be, or have proven to be, hoaxes, or at least laden with jarring gaps in factual evidence and reporting so as to invite inquiry.

There are a growing number of bloggers who inquire, probe and analyze. It’s hard enough to make the rounds to see what they are saying and compare it to what the mainstream media are saying, or the governmental spokesepople have said at any given time or moment. These events also “play out” in the social media with heavy “gatekeeper” invovlement. 

But it has gotten to the point where some specialized service or institute or dedicated branch of investigative journalism could be devoted to the task. The latest — well, now, actually, second-latest — is the one in Chattanooga where gaps and discrepancies became evident almost immediately. There’s one that just popped up in Maine that strikes me as the real deal.

(See my pdf entitled “catastrophic crunch” for a sampling of offerings about the Chattanooga shooting incident.  Nothing here should be seen or construed as a criticism of anything there.)  The individual reader still has to have an active mind, a well-honed “crap detector” and some time.  catastrophic crunch

But the active shooter scenario is just one small focus.  The anniversary of the incident involving MH17 (as discussed here  and here) is another example.


“In times of terror, when everyone is something of a conspirator, everyone will be in a situation where he has to play detective.”

Walter Benjamin


If you’re a regular reader of Occurrences Foreign and Domestic, its source blogs, and other outlets I might not yet know about (hint, hint), then you are perfectly well aware that there is a whole host of events, people, industries, corporations, governmental agencies, politicians and more who deserve a greater degree of attention than they are geting or want. We live in the era of increased governmental transparency, we are told, when the reality is quite the opposite, when government itself is wholly engaged in surveillance, and when they are hastening to put all of their activities behind a locked barrier.

I’ve regularly suggested a coalescence, some collaboration, a congealing and coordination among like-minded individuals to hone and sharpen focus, improve efficiencies, etc. Many online centers of activity are regularly begging for financial support, spinning their wheels, fending off hackers and DDOS attacks, scrambling to add technologies (and pay for them) or otherwise looking over their shoulders.

Open question: Where is the best source for training and education in investigative journalism? Perhaps someone involved in the investigative trades could convene a panel discussion or online virtual seminar to help bloggers and citizen journalists get better, stay safe, and do more incivisve homework.


“All the clues are there in front of us, hidden under a veil, we cannot get the clue by searching for, we have to search for the veil instead.”


“All people, whether Aspie or neuro-typical are predisposed by their society to make guesses, jump to conclusions and then seek to defend those conclusions, regardless of logic or changing circumstance. This is sloppy, illogical thinking which may not hinder your life too much, under normal circumstances. But if you want to be a great detective, then such thinking will absolutely ruin your chances.”

Alexei Maxim Russell, Trueman Bradley – The Next Great Detective



“Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. began in 1975 as the brain child of a small group of reporters from around the country who wanted to share tips about reporting and writing.

A meeting was organized in Reston, Va., by essentially four people: Myrta Pulliam and Harley Bierce of the Indianapolis Star’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team; Paul Williams, former managing editor of Sun Newspapers in Omaha, who worked on the Boys Town expose; and Ron Koziol of the Chicago Tribune, who covered police and courts.

Others at that inaugural get-together were columnists Jack Anderson and Les Whitten; David Burnham of the New York Times; Len Downie of The Washington Post; Robert Peirce of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Jack Landau of Newhouse newspapers; Frank Anderson of the Long Beach Independent; John Colburn of Landmark Communications; Indianapolis attorney Edward O. DeLaney and former New Orleans reporter Robert Friedly.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which had passed resolutions supporting freedom of information, helped in the formation of IRE, including the design of the first IRE logo. A grant from the Lilly Endowment also helped IRE get started with a $5,278 bank account.

About 300 reporters attended the first IRE conference in Indianapolis a year after the Virginia meeting. For three days, experienced journalists offered advice in 90-minute segments on how to tackle everything from city hall to ethical problems.

The conference was significant for two reasons. Not only had a group of reporters and editors struck upon a highly successful model for sharing information, the organization voted to turn down a major grant from a non-journalistic foundation. The new membership was determined to rely upon the support of professional organizations and journalists themselves.

At the organizational meeting, Les Whitten asserted that what most characterizes the investigative reporter is “a sense of outrage.”

During the course of the meeting (and with the help of a dictionary), it was determined that the simplicity of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the resultant acronym, IRE, seemed to fit such an association.

Reporters and editors who had been investigative reporters or who had organized investigative teams were at the initial meeting in Reston. They remain the backbone of the organization, although professors, students, freelancers and book authors also have joined IRE.”


“Of course it’s very hampering being a detective, when you don’t know anything about detecting, and when nobody knows that you’re doing detection, and you can’t have people up to cross-examine them, and you have neither the energy nor the means to make proper inquiries; and, in short, when you’re doing the whole thing in a thoroughly amateur, haphazard way.”

A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery [For members only]

Includes tipsheets, a library of stories and story packs (collections of IRE and NICAR resources designed to help you approach certain topics and beats with an investigative mindset), a bookstore with printed and digital resources, listservs (mailing lists to exchange ideas, information, techniques and war stories with members and non-members), and a large collection of archived audio recordings from conferences, webinars and other training session.


“Blackstone’s Police Operational Handbook recommends the ABC of serious investigation: Assume nothing, Believe nothing, and Check everything.”

Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho


Tipsheets available at IRE (for members only)

Several of the most popular are listed here:

Story ideas and development

Investigating Local Government

Effective Information Mining on the Web

Project Checklist

(More than 5) Databases for criminal justice reporting

Investigative Reporting on a Budget: 8 Simple Rules

Investigating Nonprofits

The Art of the Interview

Policing the police: Uncovering law enforcement

Following the dollar in public spending – Vendors, Grants and Contracts


“Persistence is often a detective’s greatest ally.”

Lara Adrian, Taken by Midnight



These are open for public consumption; there are others for members only, for internal organizational news, as well as blogs built around ongoing conferences.


“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Raymond Chandler, Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories [Holy Cow! A seemingly-endless list of books I’ve barely heard of, all written by investigative journalists, many of  which I’d like to read (or at least a review)… [Laura of course has been in the news recently, as has her compatriots Gleen Greenwald and Edward Snowden).. IRE has a distinct “mainstream”. flavor.

Here’s their list of staffers:

That’s one resource. Are there others? Or better ones?


“I may not carry a detective’s badge, but I’m certainly the highest ranking member of Albatross Harbor’s neighborhood watch program. And like tilapia, I know something smells fishy when I taste it.” — Jarod Kintz


“… Unlike many professions, a degree in investigations is not a requirement to enter into this field. Competing against individuals with extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, security and investigations can be a daunting task, but many industry veterans certainly believe hitting the classroom can help jumpstart a career in investigations…..” 


“The general public have a warped view of the speed at which an investigation proceeds. They like to imagine tense conversations going on behind the venetian blinds and unshaven, but ruggedly handsome, detectives working themselves with single-minded devotion into the bottle and marital breakdown. The truth is that at the end of the day, unless you’ve generated some sort of lead, you go home and get on with the important things in life – like drinking and sleeping, and if you’re lucky, a relationship with the gender and sexual orientation of your choice.”

Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho


Every morning I wake to sunshine and birdsong (sometimes a little bit of morning fog). I rise to take my morning coffee. (There is always coffee. And my pantry is always full of good food. Make a note of that.)

Then I begin my work. I do this work on behalf of all of you, although I’ve never spoken of it before. But lately I’ve heard people wondering: why is it we are not more upset by the things that are going on in the world? In our own country, our own town? Why is there no generalized rage at the contempt for life displayed by those in power? Why are we so servile to the rich and corrupt? Why do we not swarm the streets in protest every day, demanding someone’s head on a platter?

Well, now I’ll tell you: It’s because of me. Every morning I actualize the consciousness that in most of you is only potential, and (I am convinced) it is this mighty force that continues to keep things in place. Which is good for me, because my life is truly fine (see above). It would be ungrateful and hypocritical of me to wish to upend the status quo, when it has given me everything I need and more. And so through this work I do I’m really just trying to give back to the universe.

But whenever things seem to be a fraying a bit at the edges, I start to worry. Perhaps I alone am not enough. More of you should be aware of the power you wield, and wield it consciously; otherwise at some point things could get bad, even for me. So I’ve decided to go public. I’ve decided to ask you all to join me in a single daily meditation (yes, that’s all it takes).

There’s no personal ambition here – I’m not seeking power or celebrity. And there’s no cost – I’m not in this to get rich; I am already rich, relatively speaking. I just want to keep the good life that I have. And from observing you closely every day where I work, where I live, and when I travel, I can see that you do too. Many of you have told me as much. Why shouldn’t you? You’re human! It’s that simple.

So now I invite you to join me in my daily practice. Here’s all you have to do. Repeat along with me:

Nothing in my life is changed by Euro-austerity and the humiliation of Greece.

Nothing in my life is changed by the latest mass shooting.

Nothing in my life is changed by the latest oil spill.

… the Chinese stock market panic.

… the mass deaths of migrants.

… the War on Terror.

… the War on Drugs.

… the acidification of the oceans.

… the suicide rate of children, transgender people, or soldiers.

… police assassinations.

… the disappearance of the Monarch butterfly.

And so on…

More here:

The Cognitive Dissidence Mantra

by Christy Rodgers / July 15th, 2015 


“It takes a certain kind of man willing to work long, grueling hours in a career offering few rewards.”

Jon Michaelsen, Pretty Boy Dead


Source of quotes: 

wasn’t that special?

Well, wasn’t that special?

I took a week off because suddenly things were afoot.


Grexit lurked in the wings, things were being banned (with the help of death threats), and the debate about Jade Helm went silent (getting people to respond to the scenario laid out by the lady in those podcasts was like pulling legs off the multi-legged thing running around in the bottom of the tub… first you have to catch it, and then pin it down), and major off-‘net events loomed large.

[Wouldn’t it be nice if we could ban dual citizenships, major political influence by groups that represent less than 5% of the population, dum-dum bullets, and social engineering?] 

I had to accomplish the medical pivot that had been put in motion. I’d changed PCP’s and medical groups and, having arranged the transfer of medical records, all the first visits with multiple providers (and their required lab tests) were beginning to queue up like morning flights out of Logan.  I have succeeded in getting four done, with nine more in the wings. During one of those visits, I encountered the early July double issue edition of Time in the waiting room. “The answer issue” it was called, and it was a model in crunching data into meaningless mindless info-graphic crap fit for the few moments you can find waiting for your medical provider to call your name.

One of those medical visits was a long-overdue re-evaluation by  a physical therapist. Results are still pending, but the first phase is already underway: more routine walking and light exercise with ankle weights.  Being taught a series of dynamic stretching exercises comes next week. Vitamin D and calcium dosing is underway. Is this PMR or simply de-conditioning post-procedure? The tapering of prednisone continues. Cardiology comes into focus next week as well. One echo has been done and the one with contrast scheduled.

Having beaten the reaper several times at a cost of one million from the insurance company, I am not  going to back-slide and I am squeezing and pushing as hard as I can. I expect also to be able to incorporate formal mindfulness meditation and healing visualization regimens.

The mailman brought the DVD “Kill The Messenger” starring Jeremy Renner; my wife gave me the DVD by Dr. Wayne Dyer “I Can See Clearly Now” which will come into focus shortly, and four books from Barnes & Noble: “Weaponizing Maps”, “A Government of Wolves” and “Battlefield America” by John Whitehead, and Sibel Edmonds’ novel “The Lone Gladio”, which was noted on James Corbett’s NWO reading list ( ).

Stacked on top of all that was Peter Levenda’s “The Hitler Legacy” which looks incredibly interesting and also incredibly scary. My summer viewing and reading menu is filling in.

The week started off with the question of how the arrival of house guests was going to sync with my seven-year-old grandson’s birthday party but it worked out perfectly; we got to go see him discover the bike we bought him in the garage, as well as the junior custom low-weighted tractor his dad picked up in used but excellent condition in mid-state New York (complete with lawn-mowing and snow-plowing attachments and a dump-trailer his other grand-dad built him to hook on to it).  He backed it out of the garage and piloted it through the gap in the shrubs like a pro; we turned south to meet my sister and her husband arriving from over the mountain.

Three days with them trading tales of our upbringing, our parents, and the locations we were raised in, were spread among three nights out at restaurants. It was an extended OldFarts Tertulliana. The six-year Navy veteran with a top secret radioman’s rating whose term of duty got extended a little longer during the Cuban Missile crisis said we were going to have a civil war within a year. Three major revelations about my father came with those tales, and they were not pretty. They came as no great surprise, but were still startling and disconcerting. The man was more of a monster than I ever thought and the revelations confirmed my suspicions about a range of other topics. Well, wasn’t that special?  My father twice disowned me (to what purpose? separating me from his vast non-existent fortune? putting distance between me and the mis-perceived weighty hauteur of his lineage?).  I’ve just now finally returned the favor.  Now that he has left us— along with our brother— , the compartmentalization within the family has begun to break down and reveal more and more, and the healing continues.

After they left, the grandson and his kid sister came by to stay over for another Kindertotten Tertulliana.  I hooked up my keyboard synthesizer to the GarageBand in my Mac and they tickled the ivories for about 15 minutes, then played for a while, then watched TV and went to bed.

After Cheerios over “Jesse” in the morning, they went back home with their nana so I could finish up days worth of de-discombobulating maintenance.

But the keyboard remains plugged in.


In a move not unlike cleaning off my desk before a long holiday weekend, I’m going to lump a bunch of seemingly-disconnected mini-entries that are relevant to recent posts and past themes. They and their predecessors will still be here for your consumption over the long, hot summer.  May yours be safe, relaxing, healthy and productive.


You’ve probably become aware of the importance of the discipline of the harmony of spirit in my thinking and in my life.  Unable to “take it to the tatami”, I’ve at least been able to take it to heart and mind and learn more about it applies to everyday life. One of the better writers and practitioners in the field has two books, both of which fall into the bibliography for the e-book on how to use your mind. Thus it is with little surprise that I find her work presented by Jeff at his searchofpeace web site, and I’m going to post that link and let it serve as the first offering here: 


The Extended Mind: Recent Experimental Evidence

A GoogleTech talk (1:37:42) by Rupert Sheldrake




In the early 1990s, IONS posited a question in the midst of remarkably rapid increases in autoimmune and cancer disease research. As the steward of decades of consciousness science research, it asked, “Are we not actually hardwired to heal?” In other words, while we’re placing the lens of science on the healing response, shouldn’t we also examine the overlooked possibility of a holistic, internal self-healing system? Until then, research had focused on eradicating disease, zeroing in on separate physiological functions such as the immune and endocrine systems. On the street, a continental divide separated conventional science from the public’s acceptance of a mind-body healing connection. No widely accessible forums, neither books, television, nor mainstream media, fostered such awareness.

At the same time, the emerging field of psychoneuroimmunology—the study of the connection between the mind/brain and immune system—was too new and undersupported to help bridge the divide. IONS sought to lay the groundwork for a future medical model based on the whole human experience – the interconnection of consciousness and the body comprising a single “ecosystem” of health and wellness.

The Studies

Throughout the previous decade, IONS had collaborated on and assembled dozens of studies on spontaneous remission, placebo affects, and multiple personalities, a collection that identified some of the most compelling evidence of a mind-body healing connection. Then-Vice President for Research Brendan O’Regan initiated an exhaustive review of literature in these three areas. The review identified frontier researchers from around the world, including, among others

• George Solomon – Correlations between stress, personality, emotions, and outlook on autoimmune disease progression

• Robert Ader – Breakdowns in the immune system response of rats subjected to profound stress

• Norman Cousins – The “will to live” as placebo-induced recovery and “laughter therapy,” both demonstrating emotions influence on healing.

• Margaret Kemeny – Seminal work on Type C – or cancer prone – personality

• Jamie Pennebaker – Correlation between journaling, a stress-reducing form of emotional expression, and immune system activity

• Candice Pert – The body’s ability to produce its own “mood-altering” drugs, called neuropeptides, in response to pain, stress.


IONS’ “The Heart of Healing” study produced volumes of research data and anecdotes, which captured the collective imaginations of mass media and medical science at a time when autoimmune diseases and cancer dominated the international psyche. In October 1993 it became a six-hour Turner Broadcasting documentary, delivering the topic of mind-body healing to millions of living rooms. Cox News Service predicted it would be “the most taped, begged, borrowed and shared TV series of the year.” Along with an illustrated hardcover book, “The Heart of Healing” explored how culture informs our ideas about the nature of healing, presented leading-edge research on the mind-body relationship, and expanded views of human healing potential. At the same time, IONS research was also used in Healing and the Mind, Bill Moyers’ pivotal television series, while O’Regan’s work with Caryle Hirshberg and Marc Ian Barasch produced the milestone book, Remarkable Recovery. The New York Times called it “an alluring work of hopeful nonfiction.” Shortly thereafter, Andrew Weil went on to publish Spontaneous Healing: How to Discover and Enhance Your Body’s Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself – categorized by as a mass-market book.

These works went on to inspire others, generating a measurable shift in public behaviors towards mind-body medicine. That field of research swelled, and the National Institutes of Health established the Office of Alternative Medicine. In1997 total visits to alternative medicine practitioners increased 47 percent from 1990, exceeding total visits to all U.S. primary care physicians. (JAMA) And by 2009, 38 percent of American adults (and 12 percent of children) were turning to meditation, hypnosis, group support, biofeedback, mental imaging, and simple positive thinking to maintain health and cure illness. (NIH)

Most remarkably, “The Heart of Healing” project assembled the fields of psychology, biology, immunology, psychiatry, and anthropology to identify a healing system that later emerged as the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). While some were initially skeptical, the United States Public Health Service funded hundreds of research grants in the field of PNI. In 1985, Medline, the worlds’ largest medical database, cited no PNI listings but posted more than 100 between 1995 and 1997. New research is still being carried out, and there are several academic journals devoted to PNI.


Today we now know that there are many tools to help stimulate the healing response, and mind-body medicine research is keeping up the pace. For example, the department of defense is accelerating studies on alternative practices in wound healing. Integral practice programs are becoming more commonplace. Stress has become one of the fastest-growing areas of medical research. And survivorship programs that look beyond physical dynamics are sprouting up in major medical programs, including Sloan Kettering and Columbia. As these programs unfold, IONS continues to push the envelope in healing-systems research, looking for more tools and technologies that support human resilience. 


“Civilized” Medicine Dismisses Mind/Soul

For thousands of years, traditional, indigenous, and Eastern medical traditions integrated body, mind, and spirit as a whole healing system. When modern science emerged in the 17th century, it broke down the human experience into measurable components it could label, enshrining the physical body as a biological machine in what became the new model of “Western medicine.” Because the ethereal entity of the mind could only be considered, not recorded, it was associated with that inexplicable, intangible human essence called the soul. When Rene Descartes wanted to pursue his theories of a unitary mind/body system, Church officials limited him to the study of the physical world, instructing him to leave the soul to them. A few centuries after that, germ theory broke down the biological sciences even further, giving the immune system complete autonomy as a healing system.

For increasing numbers of healthcare consumers and professionals alike, the biomedical model has failed to offer a system for understanding the fullness of the lived experience. By the time the Institute of Noetic Sciences was founded in 1973, these frustrations had intensified the call for new research into a medical model that engaged the possibility of human transcendence in the face of illness and disease. The stage was thus set for “consciousness science” to come forward.

Consciousness Science Pushes for Mind-Body Evidence

The first attempts by modern medicine to reunite the mind and body in the laboratory occurred in the 1950s. In response to what a few scientists thought was a misunderstanding that the mind could manifest somatic (cell-based, biological) symptoms during psychological distress, the study of “psychosomatic medicine” was born (Alexander, 1950; Engel, 1977; Salk, 1962; Selye, 1976; Solomon & Moos, 1964; Wolf & Goddell, 1968).

The Institute of Noetic Sciences used this mind-body breakthrough as an invitation to introduce consciousness science into the field of medical research, and began studying the miraculous healings at Lourdes, France, and in Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia. It went on to collect evidence of “spontaneous” remission and regression of illnesses from as far back as 1846 – the first such recorded incident – until it had more than 3500 accounts from 830 medical journals in more than twenty languages.

By the 1980s, the study of psychosomatic medicine had revealed new sets of observations that cognitive processes, neurobiology, and the immune system were functionally integrated. IONS seized this “evidence-based” opportunity to push harder for scientific evidence; it initiated a program of research called the Inner Mechanisms of the Healing Response. Under the leadership of Brendan O’Regan, IONS’ then vice-president of research, this program identified formal research on the link between consciousness and health, which included the idea that consciousness-related factors (cognitive and emotional) might play a role in both wellness and the healing of disease. These endeavors helped give rise to a new formal medical discipline called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) (Ader, 1981; Rogers, Dubey, & Reich, 1979, Sklar & Anisman, 1979; Solomon and Amkraut, 1981, Stein et al., 1976).

PNI is the study of the body’s innate healing abilities. It is based on the premise that multiple factors – including psychological, emotional, genetic, endocrine, nervous and immune – affect immune functioning and hence resistance to disease. In other words, medical science was beginning to find its way back to the origins of health and healing: the connection of mind and body.

IONS Ushers Psychoneuroimmunology into Post-Modern Era

Throughout the 1980s, studies continued to reveal evidence to support the PNI premise. IONS bolstered this momentum in 1985 when it sponsored the first international workshop on neuroimmunomodulation (Pardes), where a new generation of scientists met to explore how the brain and immune system communicate with each other. IONS provided additional grants to support four subsequent meetings, which later shaped the first PNI professional society (Rabin, Laudenslager): 1) investigation into the relationship between hypnosis and aspects of the immune response (Locke, Olness); 2) conditioning and the immune response (Ader); 3) the role of a cognitive intervention in the immune responses of colon cancer patients (Levy); and 4) immune system changes in both healer and healee during non-contact therapeutic touch.

By the 1990s, the struggle was beginning to pay off: PNI research had discovered the anatomical link between the central nervous system and the immune system, and provided evidence that immune reactions could be learned and that they influenced behavior. PNI research then began concentrating on biological signaling – neurotransmitters and hormones talking to immune cell receptors. Once PNI began to delve into the cellular and molecular mechanisms where scientists could measure receptors and “second messenger” effects, even stalwart skeptical immunologists began to accept it.

The work of IONS coincided with and even validated this benchmark of acceptance with a six-hour television series called “The Heart of Healing,” produced by Turner Broadcasting. It provided an international audience of healthcare consumers with new language and a new narrative to assimilate mind-body perspectives and approaches into their understanding of wellness.

PNI’s full break into the medical mainstream occurred in the late 90s when science repeatedly demonstrated the health implications of stress on the immune system and published its results in established medical journals – ending the decade when stress became a household word and almost anyone paying attention knew about its connection to illness.

IONS’ Pivotal Role in a New Field of Study

Despite early skepticism and funding shortages, IONS’ bold early work exploring the role of consciousness in healing helped the mainstream medical community accept PNI as an established and credible medical science. The Institute’s persistence led to scientific evidence of a mind-body connection and a return to the wisdom of the holistic human experience. While PNI has a long way to go to establish acceptance and widespread support among all branches of the medical community and among health care consumers, it has ushered in a post-modern era of scientific research. PNI research continues at many major medical institutions around the world, where medical practices based on PNI research – including meditation, hypnosis, and imagery – are being offered as standard treatment protocols. 


How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains

“It’s more like “body-mind plasticity” than “neuroplasticity” because it’s not just the brain. The body is a holistic system.

There are about 4 input channels: stomach e.g. for recycling RNA, small intestine e.g. for absorbing water-based nutrition, the colon e.g. for fermentation of solid waste by gut bacteria, and the lungs e.g. for the absorption of airborne nutrition. There are a couple of output channels: solid waste elimination, liquid waste elimination, skin (sweat), and the lungs.”


Change Your Mind, Change Your Life 

Bodhin Kjolhede weaves metaphor and allegory together to explain the importance of meditation. He will deliver several tangible benefits of meditation that would go unrealized without personal experience.


How mindfulness meditation redefines pain, happiness & satisfaction 

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Dr. Kasim Al-Mashat teaches and presents on the use of mindfulness for creating healing, transformation, and peace. He is passionate about enhancing people’s sense of joy, authenticity, and presence. Kasim also teaches and speaks about the use of laughter and laughter yoga for improving wellness.

Kasim is a therapist with interest in fostering positive change in mental health both inside and outside the therapy room. He recently returned from completing a challenging six-month meditation retreat in silence, in a forest monastery in South East Asia.


Is There Scientific Proof We Can Heal Ourselves?

Lissa Rankin, MD explores the scientific literature, reviewing case studies of spontaneous remission, as well as placebo and nocebo effect data, to prove that our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.


Eric Barker, on “How To Learn a New Skill Quickly” 





You’ve been able to see that you can find numerous similar and likely repetitive or overlapping videos.  Take that as far as you want to go; stop when you’ve had enough. Return later for review, or further exploration.

With this final exception:

Mental Toughness 

Dr. Sean Richardson takes lessons learned from the professional athlete’s locker room to provide an overview of the subtleties of human brain & behaviour function to facilitate overcoming the normal & predictable human barriers to success.

See his web site here:

If you’ve gotten to this point, then you are, like a passenger in my taxicab, at your destination. This is your stop. Explore this fellow’s web site, watch his introductory video, look into his blog, check out his coaching services (hey, a $49 online starter session to look at and shape your goal package is a great deal), and there is more.

Are there others like this guy?  Oh, to be sure.

There is an entire industry in “coaching”, along with books, text books, degree programs, certification, etc.  And there are a lot of charlatans. But check out this guy’s credentials. He’s been there and done it. He has a doctorate in the psychology of excellence. He’s delivered results at the professional level.

If you can find quickly someone better than this guy….