Empath Sickness

May 27, 2011

Empath sickness is probably the most common problem found among practitioners of magic and naturally gifted psychics. It seems to be a problem among members of every single magical religion and spiritual group. If you haven’t yet suffered from it yourself, the odds are you’ve seen others talking about it online or within your own real life spiritual groups. It’s a fairly large problem within the community.

It’s also a fixable problem. There are techniques to manage empath sickness that, if used correctly, are 100% effective. Unfortunately though many ritual magicians, among both Pagans and Ceremonialists, believe that every single magical problem can be fixed through shielding or banishing rituals. So the advice given to anyone suffering from empath sickness, usually by people who have never suffered from it, is that they need to shield better. Shielding is at best a temporary fix for empath sickness and it causes a crapload of other problems. Typically the person suffering from empath sickness will stop shielding even before it starts to become ineffective, because their ability to function is hindered even more from the shielding than from the empath sickness.

Symptoms of Empath Sickness:

The most common symptom of empath sickness is a fear of crowds, also known as agoraphobia. In the early stages of empath sickness, the empath will just be uncomfortable around crowds, and then later they will be noticeably agitated by them. As the agitation and discomfort get worse, the person may start actively trying to avoid crowded places, and this is the point where it really starts to affect their day to day life. At its worst a person may become terrified of crowds, and may be averse to any action that would put them into contact with a crowd.

In the same way, an empath may eventually develop a fear of smaller groups. Usually an empath can manage everything okay if the group is small enough, but as their empath sickness gets worse, sometimes smaller groups can cause a problem too.

A person suffering from empath sickness may also have issues dealing with individual people, especially if they are very emotional. This usually won’t be an issue until the empath sickness has already progressed very far. At this point the empath may become a shut-in and start to avoid prolonged contact with anyone.

Someone suffering from empath sickness may also have issues dealing with certain places. This can be anything from a small area, like a house, to an entire city. How bad this symptom will be depends partially on how strong the energy is in the area, how combative it is, and how compatible it is with the empath.

What Causes Empath Sickness

As we all know, when we want to work magic we manipulate energy and move it in different ways. Energy doesn’t just appear when we do magic though. Energy is a force that exists through out the universe and which is in constant motion. Energy is always around us doing things.

Energy is also tied into emotion, and energy carries emotions within it. A person feels a certain emotion, and their body emits that type of energy. That energy then exists in that place for, usually, a short period of time. If another person walks into that energy, they absorb some of it, and that initiates the emotion within them to some degree. This is how empathy works. And everybody does this, not just magicians and psychics and empaths. Every single person on this planet is able to do this empathy trick to some degree. It’s how we intuit others feelings and it provides the basis for compassion.

An empath is someone who is especially sensitive to this information. They feel it much stronger than most others do. A person may be born this sensitive, or they may train themselves to become this sensitive. Being sensitive comes with a lot of advantages. An empath is better able to identify the specific emotions of another, they are better able to identify who the emotions belong to, and they are better able to quantify the severity of the emotion. Being able to sense energy at that higher level also aids in energy manipulation, which is what magicians do.

Part of the problem is that not all emotions are good. You may not want to feel someone else’s heartbreak or rage. Another problem is that too many emotions become difficult to handle. With a group of say a hundred people, not everyone in that group is going to be feeling the same way. One person may be in love, another excited, another on the verge of suicide, and so on and so forth. At least a few of those people are probably going to have very intense emotions. An empath is going to take all of those different emotions in at once. It’s a chaotic emotional experience where the empath is pulled in a lot of different directions at once and has no idea how to feel. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and after a while an empath is going to want to avoid it.

A lot of times places will work a lot like people. Different places have certain energies to them, and different cities have different energy themes. These energies will hit an empath much harder than a normal person. If it’s an energy the empath is compatible with, there probably won’t be much of a problem. However if they aren’t compatible with the energy, it can cause some degree of discomfort.

How Empath Sickness Develops

A person doesn’t just get empath sickness from being an empath. At first they’re usually fine. Then they start to show minor symptoms, and left untreated these symptoms progress and get worse. So why does empath sickness get worse?

Unless you’re born naturally empathic, you have to train yourself to be sensitive. There are also techniques you can use to manage this sensitivity, and these techniques go hand in hand with developing your empathy. Usually a person who is disciplined enough to train their empathic sensitivity is going to be disciplined enough to train the techniques they need to manage it.

Empathy however is something you’re going to end up using hundreds of times a day. It doesn’t have an on switch, it’s just always on. Every time you walk into a new place, or come near someone, your empathy is going to start up. The best way to train yourself in any magical practice is to practice it, and you’re constantly going to be practicing empathy.

Once you pass a certain threshold in developing your sensitivity, you don’t have to train it anymore. Just by existing, you’re going to get better and better and better at it. Its a magical ability that you don’t have to do any work to develop.

The problem is, those techniques that help you manage your sensitivity, they don’t develop themselves once they hit a certain threshold. You need to train those techniques in order to get better at them, and you need to be better at them so that you can keep up with your ever expanding empathic abilities. It’s sort of like a race where you’re always trying to make sure your empathic abilities don’t get ahead of your training.

This is why empath sickness, as a serious problem, is more common in naturally born empaths. Many of them never learned some of the energy manipulation techniques they need to control the sensitivity, and they’ve never had to show any discipline in developing those abilities. With people who have developed their empathic abilities, it’s still a problem, but those people usually figure out how to fix it after a while. Often times these types of people stop practicing magic all together, or life gets hectic and they don’t have as much time to spend on their magical practice anymore. They stop training the techniques, and the empath sickness eventually hits them.

Why Shielding Is A Bad Idea

The answer I always see given for how to deal with empath sickness is that a person needs to learn better shielding. That is not a solution to the problem. There’s a problem in the magical community where a lot of people seem to think that shielding and banishing rituals are the best solution for every problem, regardless of what that problem is. Look on any message board where people talk about their magical problems, and every answer will be shielding or a banishing ritual. I can probably write a whole article on this issue, but the people who give these sorts of answers usually aren’t very good at magic, or even practice it much. It’s the sort of answer that requires very little thought and less first hand experience.

The first issue with shielding is it cuts off your empathy. All of the cool advantages you get from being an empath go away, and now you’re expending energy and using magic to be a mundane person. However people who suffer from empath sickness don’t just start suffering from empath sickness. Many have been using empathy for years before this happens, and many were born with an empathic sensitivity.

When a normal person interacts with another, there are certain signals that help them determine how that person feels right now. Things like tone of voice, body language, and even verbal clues hidden in what they say. Empathic people though have an extra advantage. They’re able to sense their energy and get an idea of how the person feels. If a person starts talking to them and then starts pushing out sexual energy, that person probably has a crush on them. With such a huge advantage, empaths never have to bother to learn those normal signals and how regular people interact with one another, and many of them never do. Some used to be able to interact with others normally, but after years of being empathic they’ve kind of forgotten how.

If you take someone like that and cut off their empathic ability, they become unable to interact with other people. All of a sudden they don’t know how they should be acting in a social situation. They can’t tell if a person is flirting with them or just being polite. They can’t tell when a person needs to be comforted, or when a person is angry at them. A lot of times not knowing what to do will make them nervous in social situations, and this issue will only become worse after a few awkward moments. Eventually they may not want to be around people at all because they develop a fear of social interaction. This is why many empaths who have some success with shielding eventually stop doing it.

If you’re a practicing magician, shielding will also severely limit your magical ability. Not only are you expending energy to sustain the shield, but the shield makes it difficult and even impossible to manipulate energy outside of yourself, or sense what’s going on around you metaphysically. The worst thing any practicing magician can ever do is constantly shield.

The other problem with shielding is that it doesn’t stop a person from developing their sensitivity. You’re still going to become a better empath while shielding. This means your shield will be less effective, and the only way to fix this is to make your shield stronger. This means your shield is going to be pulling more and more energy off you, making you metaphysically weaker, and eventually it won’t be able to compete with your empathic ability at all.

So What’s The Solution

To deal with empath sickness you need to develop two abilities. The first is the ability to balance energy. This takes energy which is intense and instead focuses it in a calm way. That way the emotion can still be felt, but it takes the edge off it.

The second thing that needs to be developed is the ability to convert energy. You need to be able to take one kind of energy and turn it into another. In fact, eventually you should learn how to take dozens of kinds of energies and turn them into a single type.

This is easily done with simple energy manipulation. Pull energy into yourself, change it to another type of energy, and push it out. Pull energy into yourself and calm it, then push it out. You can pick up twenty different kinds of gemstones from any occult shop for $20. Each of these gemstones is going to contain a different kind of energy you can pull out and play with to your hearts content. You can also just sit and meditate and mess with the energy inside yourself.

It really doesn’t take much time, it just takes constant practice. Ideally you’d want to spend ten to fifteen consecutive minutes every day practicing. Realistically though, if you aren’t having any problems, fifteen minutes once a week should be enough to keep you well. If you are suffering from empath sickness, I’d suggest doing ten minutes or more every day at least until you’re feeling well.

Apocalypse Sometime or Other

May 7, 2011

When I’ve talked to people in the community, the apocalypse is a subject that comes up a lot. I’m sure you know which apocalypse I’m talking about too. It’s the big one that’s going to happen really soon that everyone’s talking about. The apocalypse is also a subject that causes some people a lot of worry and anxiety, so much so it starts affecting their life in a negative way, and its something that causes other people not to try to improve their life, because it’s all going to end soon anyways. I’m going to discuss the apocalypse and explain some things about it, and hopefully I’ll manage to quell some fears and relieve some anxiety for those of you who are afraid of what’s going to happen to us all real soon. If you know someone who’s worried about the apocalypse, you might want to give them a copy of this article or send them here. I’m not saying this article will completely quell their fears, but it may give them something to think about and help them to realize that what’s about to happen isn’t that bad.

Most of the people who are worried about the apocalypse are younger people. They tend to be in their teens or twenties. Most people, by the time they hit thirty, no longer really care about the apocalypse, or any kind of apocalypse, and usually won’t even entertain a discussion on the subject for long. This makes sense though. Younger people, after all, have a lot more to lose in an apocalypse. As we all know, at thirty years old your life is pretty much over with. By this age anything the world has to offer you’ve already had or its completely passed you by. If you haven’t realized your dreams by this point, they’re pretty much shattered. All that’s left to do is go to work everyday, come home, watch your body slowly fall apart, and wait to die.

I’m kidding of course. The real reason is that when we’re young our parents usually will protect us from finding out about apocalypses, because they’re old enough to know it’s not worth worrying about. Most of us don’t hear about the apocalypse until our teen years, and for most of us when we first find out about it, it’s really scary. But even if someone managed to be shielded from finding out about the apocalypse until they were eighteen, by the time they’re thirty they’ve lived twelve years unshielded. In a twelve year time span a normal person will have survived over four thousand different and unique apocalypses. After surviving the end of the world that many times, a person becomes desensitized to it.

I’m exaggerating a bit maybe, but not by much. There’s at least one major apocalypse every two or three years. In that same time span there are going to be several minor apocalypses. And I’m not even counting the frequent predictions made by mentally disturbed people, many of which can be found on the Internet, which are usually ignored by almost everyone.

Today, the day I’m writing this, is May 7, 2011. A person born on May 7, 1981 will be turning thirty years old today. Here is just a small sampling of the apocalypses this person has survived:

1982-3-10 – Jupiter Effect – In 1974 two astrophysicists published a book about an alignment of seven planets which would occur in 1982. In their book they theorized that these planets would have an effect on the solar winds of the Sun which would in turn cause a number of huge catastrophes on Earth. When the day finally came the only noticeable effect of the alignment was that tides were recorded as being a full 40 micrometers higher than usual.

1984 – Jehovah Witness Apocalypse – Since their formation, the Jehovah Witnesses have had a habit of making doomsday predictions. Their 1984 prediction was their ninth prediction and came just nine years after their last prediction in 1975. Jehovah Witness predictions probably aren’t as bad since the only people who worry about them are members of their church, and their church members have gotten used to failed apocalypse predictions.

1987-8-16 – Harmonic Convergence – The New Agers had their apocalypse in 87. The Harmonic Convergence referred to a series of major spiritual events that would take place over a two day period which would completely change the entire world. The New Age version of the apocalypse was actually a good thing. It was a positive change in the world that was going to make everyone happier or more enlightened or more spiritual or something. Instead of promoting fear and making people stressful this apocalypse gave people hope. However the Harmonic Convergence came and went, like every other apocalypse, and nothing really changed. It might seem like the Harmonic Convergence isn’t like these other apocalypses. After all it made people happy. Remember though that a lot of people built their hopes and dreams around this Harmonic Convergence, and some even built their lives around it, because they believed it was going to happen, and when it didn’t happen all of these things were crushed. When the Harmonic Convergence didn’t happen, people were hurt by it.

1988-9-13 – 88 Rapture – In mid 1988 a book, “88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988” was released predicting that the rapture would occur between September 11 and 13. The book had a huge marketing campaign behind it, probably so it could sell enough copies to turn a profit before the end times, and ended up being adopted by many Christian churches. Many Christians truly believed that they would soon be saved, and in preparation of the coming rapture aggressive attempts were made to convert as many people as possible.

1991 – Nuclear Apocalypse – The Cold War, which began in 1947, was constantly threatening us with a nuclear apocalypse. The two biggest players, the United States and the Soviet Union, were both nuclear powers, and every conflict, no matter how small, always brought with it the risk of a nuclear weapon being fired. The situation was made worse by a theory that the launching of a single nuclear weapon would cause a nuclear winter which would obliterate all life on Earth.

There are two things to note. First off nuclear weapons have been fired multiple times already, most of the time as tests, the most recent being preformed by North Korea. Twice these weapons have been used in war, against Japan, and a nuclear winter scenario has never occurred. In fact the long term negative effects of the Japan bombings have been less than what was expected. The second thing to note is that a nuclear winter scenario cannot occur because of the launching of a single nuclear weapon. Even if a nuclear winter were possible, in order for it to happen every nuclear weapon on the face of the Earth would have to all be launched at roughly the same place, and that place would also have to meet specific geographic requirements in order to create a nuclear winter scenario.

However by 1991 this became a non-issue as the Soviet Union collapsed without a single missile ever being fired by either side. Although both sides were willing to engage in actual conflicts through out the cold war era (such as with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 70s), neither side was willing to launch missiles, probably because of the devastation that would be caused in a retaliation strike.

1992-10-28 – Mission for the Coming Days – Lee Jang Rim was a Korean who immigrated to Australia. Once there he created a church, Mission for the Coming Days, which predicted that the second coming would occur at 9:00 AM on 10-28-92 at Sydney Harbor. By the time of the apocalypse Rim’s church had grown to over 10,000 members, many of which had donated all of their worldly possessions to the church in anticipation of the upcoming apocalypse. Prior to the date of the apocalypse Rim had embezzled 4.2 million dollars from the church and invested large portions of that money into bonds that wouldn’t mature until after the second coming. After the second coming failed to occur Rim and other church leaders fled the group and went into hiding. Rim was later arrested an spent two years in prison for embezzlement. Many of his church’s members had been cheated out of their life savings and several committed suicide after the apocalypse didn’t occur.

1993 – 93 Millennium Apocalypse – Many Christians believed that the second coming would occur in the year 2000. However the bible also speaks of seven years of tribulation preceding the second coming, and so the apocalypse would have to actually start seven years earlier in 1993. After 1993 came and went most just decided to forget about those seven years of tribulation. This way they could get worked up again over this same apocalypse in 2000, and 2001.

1994 – Jehovah Witness Apocalypse – After the 1984 apocalypse didn’t happen, the Jehovah Witnesses claimed they wouldn’t be making any more predictions. However they later recanted on this and predicted that the end was coming in 1994. In 1995 they claimed that the world didn’t end because man wasn’t yet ready for the end times, and wouldn’t be for a long time. This prediction, that the end was not near, has since put an end to Jehovah Witness predictions leaving them with an 0 for 10 record.

1996-10-28 – James Ussher Calculations – James Ussher was a 17th century Catholic Arch-bishop who made calculations about the date of creation and placed Christ’s birth 4000 years later. Ussher also believed that the end times would occur two thousand years after the birth of Christ, a date he placed at 10-28-1996. Ussher’s apocalyptic calculations were popular from the time they were created, but by 1996 they had established even more authority by virtue of being old. Obviously people in olden times were far more knowledgable, spiritually, then modern people, so their thoughts and predictions are far more true than any sort of modern idea. This is why we need to burn witches at the stake and stone to death adulterers.

1997 – Hale-Bop Comet – In 1996 an amateur astronomer, Chuck Shramek, took a photo of the Hale-Bop comet. The picture included a star, SAO141894, which Shramek’s computer could not identify because the user preferences in his program were not properly set. Shramek brought his discovery of an unidentified object following the comet to Art Bell and it became a regular subject of his radio talk show. Almost immediately professional astronomers debunked the UFO theory, but Bell had several remote viewers who had previously worked with him confirm that the object was in fact an alien spacecraft while Bell manufactured other forms of evidence. This UFO theory created a lot of speculation about the comet being the end of the world and the aliens coming here to try to save us, and it ultimately led to the Heaven’s gate mass suicide in March of 1997.

1997-12-17 Nidle Apocalypse – Psychic Sheldon Nidle predicted that 16 million spacecrafts and a host of angels would arrive on Earth on 12-17-1997 in order to destroy it. Apparently though at the last minute the angels decided to move Earth into a holographic universe, hiding it from the space aliens and giving it a second chance.

1998 – 666 apocalypse – Many churches predicted an apocalypse would occur sometime in 1998 because 1998 = 666 * 3 (the number of digits in 666). The actual number of the beast printed in revelations isn’t 666, but six hundred and three score and six, or 600 + 60 + 6, which is then simplified as 666 in normal speech. So the idea that we should multiply 666 times three because it has three digits doesn’t really make sense. This of course isn’t even considering the fact that the entire idea was silly to begin with.

1998 Cayce Apocalypse – Psychic Edgar Cayce predicted that in 1998 a previously undiscovered underground chamber hidden beneath the Sphynx would be opened and documents inside would reveal the location of Atlantis. This would set off a series of events that would lead to the second coming. A chamber was discovered to exist where Cayce said it would be, although as of yet it still hasn’t been opened. Although a connection between Atlantis and Ancient Egypt can be made, I don’t see what either of those places have to do with the second coming.

1998 Second Cayce Apocalypse – Cayce isn’t the only person to make two apocalyptic predictions in the same year. Many times when a prediction fails to come true the predictor moves it back to a later date, and often times this date is later that same year. However Cayce may be the only person to have predicted two separate apocalypses would occur in the same year. More than likely though he simply forgot about his earlier prediction. This prediction involved the Earth gaining a new pole in the winter of 97-98, which in turn would lead to global catastrophes.

1999 – Criswall Apocalypse – The Great Criswall was a famous television psychic. In the movie, Ed Wood, he’s portrayed as an entertainer and charlatan who never believed in psychic abilities. The real Criswall though believed that he had been born with psychic abilities, and this is confirmed by statements he made to close friends. Criswall first became famous as a psychic due to making correct predictions on the radio. However Criswall also believe that once he started using his psychic powers to earn money they went away. After losing his powers Criswall continued to work as a television psychic by making up predictions. These predictions were often outlandish and Criswall was selling himself more as an entertainer than an actual psychic. At one point he did predict the world would end in 1999. Criswall also predicted aliens coming to Earth and intelligent life on Mars and all sorts of other absurd things, and by the time of his apocalypse prediction his psychic gifts had very little credibility with most people. By the time 1999 finally rolled around most people had completely forgotten who Criswall was, and most who did know him knew of him from the way he was portrayed in the movie Ed Wood.

2000-1-1 – Y2K – Everyone who was a teenager or older by the early 90s remembers the Y2K scare. Frighteningly though there are now children old enough to practice magic that don’t know what it is. In the early days of computers, memory was very expensive. The amount of memory it took to hold two numbers in a variable was actually significant back then, especially in systems used at companies like banks which may have tens or even hundreds of thousands of different records. Early programmers, realizing that the first two digits in a year rarely change decided to store years in two digit variables instead of four digit variables. So a computer that registered your birthday would register it as 81 instead of 1981. At the time computer technology was increasing at exponential rates, and it was figured that computers would be able to cheaply handle four digit year variables long before we reached 2000. By the early nineties this had already proven true. By then top of the line personal computers that were selling in the very affordable 1200+ range featured hard drives with hundreds of megabytes of storage space. Although these major companies had of course upgraded their computer systems, they had made the software backwards compatible. This way they were able to save money by just moving their old records into the new system instead of having to convert all of their old records to a new format. So a lot of computers out there still considered a year to be a two digit number and when 2000 hit the computer would incorrectly think it was 1900.

Of course newly developed systems would be immune to this problem. Windows 95 PCs, for instance, would not suffer from the problem. Even if this wasn’t the case though, for many systems this wouldn’t matter. I can still play my computer games on a C64 for instance, even if it does think that it’s 1911 right now. This problem was only ever going to effect computer systems which contained date sensitive information. It’s also important to note that by 1990, a full ten years before 2000, we had affordable technology that could handle four digit years.

As two thousand approached we got to the point that these systems would have to be changed over. The problem that some analysts noted though was that the computing industry, as it was, didn’t have enough manpower to convert even all of the most important systems by the year 2000. This meant we might have to make some hard choices about which important systems to keep online.

It also didn’t help that many people never understood the problem. The general belief was that once the year 2000 hit, no computer would still work. The bank wouldn’t be able to give you your money, the grocery store cash registers would no longer run, your PC wouldn’t turn on, and the machines that were vital for running our utilities, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, communications, and national defenses would all just stop. The machines we, as a society, had become dependent on would be taken away from us in one fell swoop, and after that it would be complete anarchy.

Of course what the doomsayers failed to realize was that the laws of economics would soon come into play and completely fix the actual problem which did exist. The reason why there wasn’t enough manpower in the computing industry to fix the problem was that there wasn’t enough jobs to support that much manpower. As the year 2000 approached and more and more companies began to have their systems converted more and more companies sprang up to fulfill this need, and those companies hired and trained more and more individuals to do the job. In a capitalist society whenever a need for something arises it almost instantly creates an industry to completely fulfill that need. In a free market so long as there is someone willing to pay for something there’s going to be someone else willing to sell it to them.

Of course all of the vital systems were fixed before the year 2000 hit, and many systems, like personal computers, were never at risk. Still, and despite contrary statements from major corporations, the government, and computer experts, there existed a large number of people who still believed that the computers would all stop working at the stroke of midnight on New Years day.

2000 – The other 2000 Apocalypses – Y2K was just one of many apocalypse scenarios predicted for 2000. Many more were introduced, some of which used Y2K as an element, some of which completely ignored it. The idea of the end of the world was largely based on the upcoming millennium, and a belief that it had been 2000 years since the birth of Christ. First off Christ’s birth is generally considered to have most likely happened around 4 BC. So by the time 2000 rolled around, the 2000 year anniversary had already come and went. Secondly there was no reason to believe that 2000 years would hold any special significance in regard to the apocalypse. Christ, nor anything else in any early Christian work, official or otherwise, ever stated that the world would end two thousand years after the birth of Christ, or that it would end in a multiple of a thousand years, or that the year that happened two thousand years after Christ’s birth would hold any special significance. If you remove Christ’s birth from the equation, the prediction becomes even more crazy. Now the year 2000 AD is just a arbitrary year. The only significance of 1 AD was the fact that it was the year Christ was born. If that’s not a spiritual event, 2000 years from that date is just 2000 years after a random day, and every single day is 2000 years after some random day.

2001 – millennium Apocalypse – Apparently someone finally learned how to count. There is no year 0 AD, or 0 BC. Because the first millennium BC ends in 1 BC, that means the first year of the first millennium AD starts with 1 AD, not 0 AD. There for 2001, not 2000, was the start of the new millennium. Through out 2000 a lot of people pushed the whole ‘2000 was not the millennium’ thing, but that was so we could have two kick-ass millennium eve parties instead of just one. However some of the apocalypse predictors latched on to this and used it as a way to rehash some of the 2000 predictions that didn’t come true. Some even claimed this would be the year that Y2K would actually happen, which made absolutely no sense at all.

2001-9-11 – 9-11 – I figure this article has a good ten years before I have to explain what 9-11 was. A lot of people though noticed that there were four planes which crashed into buildings. Well, technically four planes involved, only three managed to make it to a target. There were also four horsemen in the apocalypse, and they flew in the sky. Obviously these two things were connected. This was the beginning of the end.

This idea was oblivious to the fact that the bible mentions quite a bit more about these horsemen. For instance one was pestilence, one was war, one was famine, and one was death. I guess a plane did crash into the Pentagon, so maybe that was war, and people did die, so that maybe covers death. There was no pestilence though, and the none of the planes caused famine either. Also numbers like four and six are really common numbers. Lots of things come in fours and sixes. A lot of these predictors like to yell that the sky is falling every time there is a four or a six.

September 11th was a really bad day for all of us in the United States. It was first time there had been an attack in the lower 48 states since the civil war and it left over 3000 civilian dead. A lot of people felt angry, scared, sad, and lost immediately following the attacks. As a nation, our morale was lost. A lot of people were ripe to be manipulated and could be easily convinced that this horrible act on US soil meant the end was near, so several public Christian figures, mainly certain televangalists, decided to capitalize on the tragedy and increase their parish by preaching just that. Many blamed the upcoming apocalypse on homosexuals and non-Christians. Oddly enough these leaders had taken an act of hatred and intolerance committed by another group, and used it as a way to preach even further hatred and intolerance against others.

2006-6-6 – Day of the Beast – Several church leaders preached that the world would come to an end on this day, either because of the rapture or the second coming, because this days date was 666. However 666 does not refer to the digit six three times as it is presented in a date. It’s not written as 666 in the bible. It’s written as six hundred and three score and six. That’s clearly the number six-hundred-and-six, and not the digits 6-6-6. Furthermore the actual date was 6-6-2006. Even if we allow that last six to be its own number and just ignore the zeros, we still have a two that hasn’t been accounted for. The mark of the beast wasn’t 6626.

2008 – Economic Collapse – Preceding 2008 there were signs that the US economy was headed for a fall, and most economists accurately predicted the current recession which was caused by a combination of increasing oil prices, years of over-speculation and over-inflation in the housing market which came to an end, and the poor choices made by several banks in giving out home loans. As the economy failed this brought about the failure of many other companies, like several American auto makers, and one huge ponzie scheme.

The thing is, economies have down turns every so often. Economies work on a cycle that constantly moves up and down. In the United States there was a big recession in the mid-80s. There was an even bigger one in the mid-70s. Like now times were tough during those periods, but people survived, as did the US government, and in time the economy bounced back and ultimately we had over twenty years of good stability following the recession in the 80s.

However with twenty years of stability many people have forgotten that we’ve been in recessions before. In fact people under forty-five weren’t even old enough to really be working during the mid-80s recession. So when certain people say this is the worst economic shape the United States has been in since the Great Depression, a lot of younger people buy into this. Also, remember, we recovered from the Great Depression too.

Certain fear mongers though, like Glenn Beck, decided to exploit this recession. The idea is that this isn’t a normal economic downturn we will recover from. Due to a variety of factors the United States economy is now at a breaking point and it will soon collapse followed shortly after by the US government. This will create a state of complete anarchy across the US. Due to the world economy, which was apparently also a bad idea since everyone knows isolationism is best the way to go (look how well that worked out historically for countries like China and Japan), the collapse of the United States will also bring about the collapse of all of the world economies. We will be thrust into a new dark ages like when Rome fell, except for the fact that the dark ages are a myth that never really happened and Rome didn’t so much fall as it was chipped away bit by bit over a period of centuries.

These fear mongers then spew their hatred at the people who they see as responsible for this happening. This generally includes liberals, unions, any kind of non-Christian, and at the bottom of the list wall street. Many also subscribe to conspiracy theories, like Beck’s beliefs in a secret illuminati with an agenda of creating a one world government. Beck would say that he’s only helping the American public by informing them, and even though it may be stressful and upsetting it’s important that they know what’s going on. However this sort of activity hurts the economy. Beck and his ilk in the media encourage people to be frugal, to take their money out of the stock market and invest it in stable commodities like gold, and to prepare for a major economic disaster. However a struggling economy needs people to be spending money and supporting and investing in businesses to grow stronger. When these fear mongers start screaming depression at the first sign of an economic downturn, people get scared and start hording their money, and this ultimately hurts the economy even more and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order for things to get better people need to start trusting in the economy again and putting their money back into it, but this is hindered by people like Beck who spend all day trying to convince them it’s only going to get worse and we’re on the precipice of the end times.

It’s been three and a half years now, and the economy has been getting better since 2009. We’re still in a recession but every day we see more and more improvements in the stock market and employment rates. It may be a few more years before we’re in the clear, but the economy is at least in an upswing now and things are only going to get better.

2008-9-10 – Large Hadron Collider Apocalypse – The Swiss built a large hadron collider, which was a one of a kind device that could be used for testing certain physics theories. It was a great leap forward for the study of physics, as a lot of physics that was previously theory or even pure speculation could now actually be proven or disproven with experiments. Unfortunately there are also those among us who fear that messing around with science to make ourselves less ignorant will one day cause us to accidentally destroy ourselves in our over ambitious quest for knowledge. Some of these folks came up with the idea that turning this collider on might create a black hole which could quickly envelope the entire Earth.

Despite the fact that every professional physicist that heard this idea instantly labeled it crap, and that multiple safety reviews performed at the bequest of the Swiss government also determined these ideas to be crap, the end of the world scenario was reported by large parts of the world media as if it were a real danger.

It didn’t help that some physicists admitted that the black hole idea was a possible outcome. The problem was that everything is possible outcome of any act. Mathematically everything is possible, although many things are so improbable they will almost certainly never occur over the course of the entire history of the universe. There’s a chance that while pooping a black hole may fall out of your butt and envelope the entire world. It almost certainly won’t happen though, and the same can be said of turning on the Collider.

Even once if it was explained that although possible, the likelihood of the blackhole scenario was so low it would almost certainly not happen, some still latched on to that almost. After all if there was even the most miniscule of chances that this could destroy the entire world, it’s probably not worth turning on the machine considering the risk. By that logic though those people should never again poop.

Luckily the doomsayers didn’t manage to shut down the machine and the Collider was turned on. No apocalypse occurred.

Keep in mind this list doesn’t even include all of the major apocalypses. It’s just what I wrote up before I got bored writing about apocalypses. Don’t think that all of these apocalypse predictions are pointing to the fact that the world is in a bad place and so some sort of apocalypse must be coming. Actually apocalypse predictions have been fairly constant through out history. There were almost as many apocalypse predictions a thousand or two thousand years ago as there are today. There’s been a slight increase over the last century, but the increase is less than what would be expected considering the new methods of mass communication, like television and the Internet, that we now have available.

Of course the above examples are all kind of silly, and it’s hard to believe that any intelligent person could think that any of them would be true. This is unlike the apocalypse that will soon occur, which is based in a lot stronger facts. There are actually a few dozen up and coming major apocalypses, but let’s look at a couple of the most popular.

Global Warming – In the 1980s global warming was a hypothesis. Some scientists had an idea that the Earth’s temperature was slowly rising, and that this rise was due to the greenhouse effect. There was no evidence of this, and even the evidence of the rising temperatures was disputable. Many places that have had record highs in the last few decades have been keeping temperature records for less than a hundred years, and with every passing decade the instruments used to measure the temperature became more and more precise. Meanwhile urban environments tend to hold more heat (because of things like concrete) and so urbanization tends to create slightly higher temperatures in an area. Despite this the news media liked the idea of a global warming catastrophe and started promoting it.

By the time I was going to college global warming still hadn’t been proven. In fact not one of my college science professors thought it was anything but completely unfounded speculation, and that includes my Environmental Sciences professor. But then came Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth. This catapulted global warming into the public spotlight internationally. Since then there’s been a lot of talk about climate change, and how if we don’t make some major changes to fix things the world is going to end soon. There still hasn’t been any actual evidence of global warming though.

Gore’s film is filled with factual errors and half-truths intentionally presented in way which will mislead the viewer. Although Gore claims that global warming is based in science, what Gore espouses is more like religious zealotry. When opponents have asked to debate his views on global warming or suggested that the research needed to be peer reviewed, Gore has continually stated that we don’t have time to talk or properly study global warming. We need to act now, and apparently we need to do it based on faith that global warming is real. That’s not science, that’s religion.

Gore and many of his supporters have also stated that even if we’re unsure, we should still act, because if we’re right we’ll have saved the world, but if we’re wrong we won’t be any worse off. Well that isn’t true. Gore’s plan calls for trillions of dollars to be invested by the major world governments. This is money that could otherwise be spent on health care, law enforcement, education, or a number of other beneficial programs. Or we could just cut taxes instead and increase everyone’s quality of life. The third world nations are going to be hit even harder by Gore’s plan. The environmental restrictions Gore is asking for will limit their ability to industrialize themselves, and Gore is in turn damning these countries to poverty.

Gore meanwhile has an agenda. He’s already earned millions of dollars off of global warming through merchandise like his documentary. He’s also heavily invested in these alternative energy sources he promotes, and he personally stands to make a small fortune should the world governments adopt his global warming plans. Al Gore’s promotion of Global Warming is sort of like if the president of Texaco saying that in order to save the environment we all need to drive gas guzzling SUVs, and that we should only fill them with premium gasoline.

2012 – The Mayan Calander ends on December 21, 2012. Many people are predicting that the world will end, or that some great spiritual event will take place on that day. But here are some facts concerning the end of the Mayan Calander:

– Modern practicing Mayans place no special importance on that day.
– There was nothing in Mayan literature predicting an apocalypse on that day. In fact ancient Mayan culture didn’t have a concept of an apocalypse. That concept was only later introduced by Western settlers.
– There are however ancient Mayan predictions of events that are set to occur as late as the fourth millennium AD. This is more than two thousand years after the calander ends, and it shows that ancient Mayans believed that the world would persist past the end of the calander.
– The Mayans did believe that there were three worlds that preceded this world but were destroyed. According to Mayan beliefs, the calander begins on the day this world was created, and some have interpreted this to mean that the end of the calander will bring about the end of this world, and the creation of a new fifth world. The problem is for this to be true, the world would have had to of been created in 3114 BC. We know that, scientifically, the world was not created on that day. There also existed human civilizations that predate 3114.

People make apocalypse predictions for a lot of different reasons. Some genuinely believe the apocalypse is coming. Others want fame, or to steal money, or to sell merchandise, or even just to entertain people. However out of the billions of predictions that have been made in the history of the world, not one has every come true.

So if you’re stressed out about the apocalypse, any apocalypse, know that it’s probably not going to happen. Many apocalypses have already come and gone, and when we seriously look at the reasoning behind the predictions, it’s often silly and even sometimes absurd. Still before these predictions were proved untrue a lot of people strongly believed in them, the same way you strongly believe in an apocalypse right now. In fact you might want to try to look up some objective information about the apocalypse. You might discover that there is a great deal of evidence that it won’t happen.

Again and again with the past apocalypses we’ve already seen that these predictions are not harmless. They hurt a lot of people. Many people will get very upset and stressed out by them. They’ll have the quality of their life destroyed until the apocalypse happens. Some have become so upset that they killed themselves, and others have been cheated out of large sums of money. Apocalypse predictions hurt some people a lot.

Before you make an apocalypse prediction, or promote a prediction being made by someone else, you should really consider if what you’re doing is moral. You should understand that even if your intentions are entirely innocent, you can really hurt someone with a prediction, and people may even die because of it.

And the News Media, which indulges and even sometimes promotes these predictions in order to gain ratings, should be ashamed of themselves.

Film Review: The Crazy Rulers of the World

May 1, 2011

I’ve been trying to find this film for over a year now. Unfortunately there are no entries for it on Amazon, Ebay, or Google Shopping. I don’t think it’s ever aired in the US either. I finally managed to obtain a grainy copy which someone in the UK recorded on to their personal PAL dvr. It’s low quality but I can watch it on my computer and so I’ve finally gotten to see this documentary. I really hope this eventually gets released in the US, especially since a lot of British documentaries with a lot less interest get released out here.

The movie, The Men Who Stare At Goats, is a fictional story but it’s based on facts about the US military and intelligence agencies which were uncovered by Jon Ronson and John Sergeant. Ronson authored a book detailing his research, also titled The Men Who Stare At Goats, and he and Sergeant produced the documentary film The Crazy Rulers of the World based upon the same research. The book and documentary were later used as inspiration for the George Clooney/Ewan McGregor film, and in fact the real life counterparts of several characters and events are seen in the documentary.

The documentary aired in the BBC and was split into three episodes of about fifty minutes with each episode exploring a different theme. The documentary featured Ronson as the presenter and interviewer who sometimes interacts with his subjects in a semi-gonzo style which is common among modern documentary films. As the name suggests, the documentary is meant to be critical of the Bush administration which, at the time of its release, was continuing to allow these unorthodox techniques to be used in military use and intelligence gathering. However the attacks against the Bush administration are rather weak and thankfully few in number. It seems as if Ronson’s original intent was to attack the Bush administration with this documentary, however during the course of his research he became more convinced about the effectiveness of the techniques being employed, which restricted his ability to attack the Bush administration for continuing to use them.

Episode 1: The Men Who Stare At Goats

The first documentary explores where these New Age military programs originated and how they came to be so embraced by several different parts of the US military. However in the course of this research Ronson hears about a special forces soldier who is rumored to have once stopped the heart of a goat by staring at it, and the episode then becomes focused on finding out as much information as possible about this soldier and determining if this even really happened or if it is just a rumor.

The origins of the New Age military program trace back to a document known as the New Earth Battalion Field Manual which was written by Lt. Colonel Jim Channon who was portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the Men Who Stare at Goats. Unlike the movie though Channon never led a New Age based division of soldiers, although he was offered such an opportunity and turned it down. While serving in Vietnam Channon noticed that many of his soldiers in combat were intentionally firing high and missing the enemy. Channon believed that people who were attracted to US military service were typically noble and heroic individuals who lacked cunning, and that this was a major factor in the US’s defeat in Vietnam. Post-Vietnam Channon spent several years studying the California New Age movement in an effort to figure out a way to develop a better and more cunning soldier.

The documentary also explores how Channon’s New Age philosophies and theories came to be so well embraced by so many high ranking individuals within the US military. It has a lot to do with the psychological impact of the loss in Vietnam and I found the whole explanation to be fascinating. The entire New Earth Battalion Field Manual, once a classified military document, is now available to the general public. I’ve seen some reviewers claim that the book was a failure since the manual seems geared towards New Agers and Channon never took into account his target audience while writing it, and that typical military officers would not take the book seriously. This episode shows how completely ignorant about the military and full of crap those reviewers are as it shows how great of an influence Channon’s field manual had on the military and explores why so many officers were so quick to embrace it.

The best parts of the episode though are the interviews, the best being the two interviews that were done with New Earth Battalion soldier and martial artist Peter Brusso. At one point Brusso manages to psychically project fear into Ronson when he asks Ronson to strangle him. Brusso is a large man, a martial artist, and military soldier so its only natural that anyone would be intimidated and a bit afraid if asked to attack him. However Ronson is ridiculously scared, even after several reassurances from Brusso, and after having had attacks demonstrated on him by Brusso in a previous interview. After Ronson finally does strangle Brusso, Brusso just taps him on the upper chest sending energy through his body and causing him to tumble on to the floor. It’s a very cool video taped demonstration of energy manipulation by a man who has mastered it for combat situations.

Brusso is also the inventor of the predator. This is that weird weapon that Clooney uses on McGregor at one point in the movie. However despite what is implied by both the documentary and the movie, the predator is actually a series of similar weapons which work in a similar way all developed by Brusso (I learned all this from Brusso’s website where he sells these things, and I so want some of these now). The predator is actually used by deployed US soldiers, and it was developed to take advantage of both pressure points and the chakras in order to quickly debilitate and inflict the most amount of pain upon its victim. It’s also such an odd weapon that it isn’t covered by most existing weapon laws, so at least right now people are free to carry this thing wherever they want. Brusso is filmed giving some real life demonstrations of the weapon both on military soldiers and Ronson.

Episode 2: Funny Torture

I didn’t care much for this episode, and based on the subject matter I don’t really think it will be of much interest to practitioners. The episode deals with the military’s use of music for torture, interrogation, and to modify behavior. The episode was initially inspired by a news article that reported that Iraqi detainees were being forced to listen to Barney the Purple Dinosaur songs repeatedly as an interrogation method.

The episode traces the origins of the musical techniques being used by the US military, and once again this leads back to Jim Channon and research he did for his New Earth Battalion Field Manual. They then show how the technology was first employed against the Branch Dividians in Waco, and how it is now being used both in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

The episode also tries to draw a connection between the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and these unorthodox and experimental forms of interrogation. This is mostly speculation with the only evidence of a connection being that one of the soldiers convicted of the torture claimed to have been acting under orders from superior officers within the Fort Bragg psi-ops division, which is a New Earth Battalion influenced division of the military and also the division of the military which is responsible for these music experiments.

The episode of course uses these new forms of musical ‘torture’ as an attack against the Bush administration and US military for using them, but it’s really hard to get behind an attack like that. I can sympathize with the Iraqi detainees who were forced to listen to Matchbox 20 at normal volume over and over again, but at the same time I’ve worked in a retail store and I know exactly how horrible this sort of torture is. The whole point of these interrogation methods is that they’re trying to develop ways to get the information while not inflicting any physical pain or lasting emotional or physical trauma. At some point these coercive techniques have to cease to be inhumane, and once we’re employing a technique that will not physically hurt someone or result in any lasting emotional or physical effect, I wonder why is this something that is inhumane to use against an enemy captive? It seems to me like this is the perfect compromise where the military is able to get the intelligence information it needs in order to do its job, protect the nation, and keep soldiers as safe as possible, and meanwhile although the enemy may have been made discomfortable and mentally manipulated, no physical or lasting psychological harm was done to them.

The major failing of this episode though is that they never figure out what exactly the military is doing with these songs. It’s discovered that it can’t be sleep deprivation, at least not entirely, which was suspected in Waco. Although theories are offered up regarding subliminal messages and mind control, exactly what is currently being attempted in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay is never discovered.

The one really interesting part about this episode though is that it briefly looks at the development of the development of non-lethal weapons for military and law enforcement use, and once again this is traced back to those influenced by Channon’s field manual. Demonstrations are shown of several exotic non-lethal weapons, those demonstrations are just really cool.

Episode 3: Psychic Footsoldiers

The third episode deals mostly with the remote viewers which are currently being used by several US federal agencies, including the FBI and CIA. I was really hoping this episode would be as good as the first, but unfortunately it failed, and this was largely due to who Ronson chose to focus on.

Although Ronson interviews several remote viewers that have worked for the US government, he focuses on Prudence Calabrese and Ed Dames. Calabrese was mentored by Courtney Brown who in turn was mentored by Dames. All three of them are a bunch of twits largely concerned with remote viewing aliens and involved with Art Bell, and its really the focus on these three which ruins the episode.

Dames was actually trained by the US military in a now defunct program to create inhouse remote viewers. Following the closure of the program Dames left the military and then broke his military confidentiality about the activities of the New Earth Battalion in order to gain publicity around himself and sell courses he taught on remote viewing. This may be the reason he jumped onto the alien bandwagon, especially considering the fact that Art Bell was one of his early promoters. Dames is not well regarded by other members of his military program and the New Earth Battalion and is seen as something of a traitor for exposing secret military information in order to promote himself.

Although the US government doesn’t currently employ inhouse psychics, since 9-11 individual agents have been authorized to hire psychics and remote viewers in order to gain intelligence. Prudence Calabrese is one of these psychics employed by the FBI, and she honestly has no right receiving tax payer money for her services and the only reason the FBI probably chose her is because of her connection to Dames. The incorrect remote viewing predictions of Calabrese and her mentor Brown were partially responsible for the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, and other psychics Ronson interviewed warned him against Calabrese or assuming that she was a representation of all of them.

And Ronson did interview some other remote viewers, including one which was very well-regarded by all of the other government employed viewers he spoke to, and who had implied that he once managed to accurately remote view what the trigger mechanism on a Chinese nuclear device looked like. If I could have seen a demonstration of that man remote viewing, this would be a much more glowing review.

Instead the only demonstration we get is from Calabrese. Calabrese is tasked to remote view the answer to a question Ronson secretly wrote down which regarded the suspected suicide of a CIA scientist due to being experimented on with LSD against his will. It does seem as if Calabrese accurately answers the question, however Ronson’s later investigations reveal that the LSD had no effect at all on the scientist in question, and he was instead murdered by CIA members because he was planning to go public about the illegal and lethal torture he had been involved with in Europe.

Watching Calabrese’s demonstration and keeping a close eye on what is happening, Calabrese doesn’t develop the information herself but is actually getting some information from Ronson. Since the complete demonstration from beginning to end isn’t shown, it’s unclear how much information Calabrese gained from Ronson. It also isn’t clear if Calabrese was using cold techniques that Ronson just happened to be overly susceptible and oblivious to, or if Ronson was intentionally trying to lead Calabrese in order to get a successful demonstration for his documentary. It does seem as if it might be the later though, since when Ronson is leading Calabrese she seems to be trying to stop him and disagree with him. This may be a tactic which is employed to make the reading seem like less of a cold read, but it’s also very likely that Calabrese was trying really hard to make sure that her video taped demonstration didn’t look like a cold read to potential clients.

Another section of the film deals with project MKUltra and specifically a CIA scientist who mysteriously committed suicide one day. During CIA investigations following the Watergate scandal it was determined that the scientist was secretly given LSD without his knowledge and the suicide was then believed to have been a result of this bad trip.

This fits really well with the documentary’s themes of mind control and unorthodox experiments that end up going too far. However after investigating what happened it’s revealed that the LSD had no effect on the scientist, and his death had nothing to do with LSD and mind control experiments conducted by the CIA in the 50s. Instead he was involved in illegal torture in Europe, and was murdered by other CIA operatives because he was most likely about to go public with this information. It’s an interesting story, and probably worthy of its own documentary, however once the LSD and mind control angles are removed it no longer really fits the theme of this documentary, and was probably only included because the research was already done and Ronson inadvertently tied this story into his material on Calabrese.

The rest of the film focuses a lot on Calabrese and her claims that she has been threatened and now fears for her life after talking with Ronson. Calabrese’s confession about her involvement in the Heaven’s Gate suicides is treated as some major revelation and secret when its not. Calabrese’s involvement is fairly well known and easily verified, and although other psychics didn’t outright inform Ronson of this, they did everything in their power to help him make the connection. One psychic mentioned a scandal he didn’t want to talk about concerning Calabrese, that it had something to do with the Hale Bopp comet, and that she had, for publicity, been photographed wearing a Star Trek uniform. Does it take a genius reporter to get that information from someone and think that maybe they should try to research any connection Calabrese may have to Heaven’s Gate? Even as I watched the interview I thought, this has to have something to do with Heaven’s Gate, and I’m far from being a genius reporter.

A couple good interviews aside, the episode fails to provide anything of real substance for a magical practitioner. Once again I really would have liked to have seen a remote viewing session with one of the better remote viewers rather than just seeing the Calabrese session. In fact I could’ve done without the whole Calabrese story. Concentrating so heavily on this one bad apple that wormed her way into the system somehow takes the focus away from what really interested me about this episode, the remote viewing being done for the US government.