Large photo

In ancient China, women who resisted polygamous marriages were first crashed between millstones until they were almost dead. Then dogs were allowed to devour them alive. Few women resisted polygamous marriages in ancient China.

Home | Index of articles

---

St. Louis, Missouri: Canada will try to convict polygamist with 27 wives some of them from Utah

John S. Brown 503 Oak Ridge Drive Stlouis, MO 63101

Trial begins Tuesday for polygamist Winston Blackmore, charged with one count of polygamy.

Hildale • How does Alvin Barlow regard the prosecution of Canadian polygamist Winston Blackmore?

To answer the question, Barlow walked to a bookshelf in his home here on the Utah-Arizona line. He picked up a copy of "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith." He turned to pages 49 and 50. The pages discuss the need to obey the government, but with a caveat.

"The law of man promises safety in temporal life," the final sentence says, "but the law of God promises that life which is eternal, even an inheritance at God's own right hand, secure from all the powers of the wicked one."

Barlow believes Blackmore, who is married to two of Barlow's daughters, has been obeying God's law.

"His conduct, in my estimation, is certainly not criminal," Barlow said. "Although there are statutes passed, they are not equitable and just."

Observers in two countries will be watching whether man's laws prevail against Blackmore. He and a co-defendant, James Oler, go on trial Tuesday in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Each defendant is charged with one count of polygamy and faces up to five years in prison.

There have been no successful polygyny prosecutions in Canada since 1899, according to researchers there. The law, as well as Canadian immigration and gender politics, are all factors in why Blackmore, who with 27 wives has been the most visible Canadian polygamist, is being tried now, said Melanie Heath, an associate professor of sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

"You can say, sociologically, [the prosecution] fits into a broader debate going on within Canadian society about what are acceptable practices?" Heath said.

Blackmore, 60, was born and raised in Canada, but Utah has played an important role in his life. Utah figures to play a role in his trial, too.

Priesthood holder

His community in Bountiful, next to Lister, B.C., was a congregation of what eventually became the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Relatives called him "Wink."

After his father died in 1974, Blackmore, according to a history he gave in 2016 at a Sunstone symposium in Salt Lake City, traveled to Hildale and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz., where he received "priesthood training" from Leroy S. Johnson, then the leader of the polygamous church there.

Johnson installed Blackmore as the bishop of Bountiful in 1980, he said.

Johnson died in 1986 and was replaced by Rulon Jeffs. He, Blackmore and others formed what became incorporated as the FLDS.

As bishop, "Uncle Wink," as he was known, was the ecclesiastical leader in Canada, gave teens and adults career advice and helped them find jobs, and advised parents on how to raise children and manage households.

Blackmore also accepted young people from the congregations in the United States and provided them with jobs and guidance.

Business records entered into Canadian courts, according to news reports in that country, suggest many people worked for Blackmore's logging and trucking businesses for long hours and low pay. But Ron Rohbock, a former FLDS member who worked for church leadership, said many young people went to Winston because he was more liberal than the American leaders, especially the Jeffs son who was a school headmaster and successor — Warren Jeffs.

Blackmore allowed dancing and dating, Rohbock said. Rohbock's own daughter ran off to Canada three times, he said.

"It pissed Warren off that people were migrating to Winston and not to him," Rohbock said.

Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated what was going on in Bountiful. According to The Canadian Press, the RCMP in October 1991 completed a 13-month investigation and recommended polygamy charges against Blackmore and another man. British Columbia's attorney general did not file charges because of uncertainty over whether the polygamy law violated religious freedom protections in Canada's constitution.

At least a handful of Blackmore's 27 wives are from the FLDS community on the Utah-Arizona line. As of July, Blackmore had 145 children, and many of them are U.S. citizens.

In June 2002, it was Bountiful that split.

Rulon Jeffs called Blackmore and excommunicated him. The church president was ailing from a stroke and would die three months later.

Multiple accounts say the person really operating the FLDS then was Warren Jeffs, who told his father what to say as he excommunicated Blackmore over the telephone. It was one of several moves Warren Jeffs made in that era to eliminate rivals and consolidate power.

Congregants in Bountiful were forced to choose between following Blackmore or sticking with the Jeffs family. Many chose the latter, including Blackmore's co-defendant Oler. He became the FLDS bishop after Blackmore.

To this day, there remains an FLDS congregation living side by side with Blackmore and his family and followers in Bountiful.

After the excommunication, Blackmore became a vocal advocate for the rights of polygamists and insisted that the child sex abuse committed by Warren Jeffs was not the norm. He went on CNN and allowed camera crews and reporters into his home and community.

"Blackmore has admitted to practicing polygamy in a very public way, including allowing National Geographic to conduct a documentary in Bountiful," Heath said.

Blackmore's prosecution, according to Heath, who studies families, gender and sexuality issues, may be Canada's "Tom Green moment." That's a reference to the Utah polygamist who was prosecuted with bigamy and rape of a child after coming out as a polygamist on television shows like "Jerry Springer."

Public pressure to do something appears to have swayed prosecutors to file charges, she said.

By day and by night

In 2009, Blackmore and Oler were charged with polygamy for the first time. The charges were later dismissed over questions about whether a special prosecutor was properly commissioned. The charges were refiled in 2014.

In the past few years, Canadian law has become less tolerant of polygamy. In 2011, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled the ban on polygamy was constitutional. Although the ban violates the religious freedom of fundamentalist Mormons, the court said, that violation is outweighed by the inherent harm polygamy does to women and children.

In 2015, Canadian lawmakers passed the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. Among other things, it banned immigrants found practicing polygamy.

Stephen Kent, professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, who studies alternative religions and has published articles on polygamy, said Thursday that concerns about polygamous immigrants has put pressure on prosecutors in British Columbia.

"If you're going to enforce the law, the criminal law that's made polygamy a crime, then you have to do it consistently against all groups," Kent said. "Blackmore has been very public about his practice."

The bench trial could last four weeks. The judge is likely to issue a verdict a few weeks after the trial.

Besides the multiple investigations and charges, the government also has pursued Blackmore for taxes on what is says is $1.7 million ($1.28 million in current U.S. currency) in unreported income.

At the 2016 symposium, Blackmore was exasperated by his country's pursuit of him.

"And those suckers are after me by day and by night," he said. "I've got to go another round with them."

Blackmore's lawyer is Blair Suffredine, a former member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. In an interview Thursday, he said the government must show there was a marriage and a conjugal relationship between Blackmore and the women.

"He's not going to deny his faith," Suffredine said, "but, as a lawyer, there may be some arguments I make about what the [prosecution] does or doesn't prove."

Oler, who is suspected of having four wives, was acquitted in February of a charge accusing him of taking a 14-year-old into the United States to be married. In that trial, Oler had no attorney, though the judge appointed a lawyer to make arguments generally favorable to the defense.

Zelpha Chatwin is from Colorado City and is Blackmore's eighth wife. Like Barlow, she turns to her faith to explain who she regards her husband and his trial.

"My family and I are simply trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the best of our knowledge and ability," Chatwin said in a written statement. "We are also well aware the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not of this world and persecution follows all who truly seek to implement it into their lives."

The statement later said: "I believe the Canadian people are a wonderful people and try their best to do the right thing, even if it doesn't sit well with my family's lifestyle choices. I want say, God Bless Canada and may it stand true to its values and principles."

---

Naturally occurring Ngn2 promoter activators from Butea superba

Abstract

Neurogenin2 (Ngn2), an activator-type bHLH transcriptional factor, promotes differentiation of neural stem cells into neurons by transcription of pro-neural genes. To find neural stem cell accelerators from the extract library of natural resources, we used a two-step screening including a Ngn2 promoter reporter gene screening and differentiation assay screening of neural stem cells. A reporter gene assay that can detect Ngn2 promoter activity by luciferase expression was constructed using C3H10T1/2 cells. Using this primary cell-based screening, Butea superba was found to include Ngn2 promoter activators from our tropical plant extract libraries. Bioassay-guided fractionation of this plant extract led to the isolation of 18 natural products, including pterocarpans and isoflavonoids. Dehydromaackiain (1), formononetin (6), (−)-variabilin (13), (−)-medicarpin (14), rothindin (17) and ononin (18) showed 1.8–2.8 times higher Ngn2 promoter activity at 5 μM compared with control. Of active natural compounds, 3′-methoxydaidzein (3) showed promotion of neurite outgrowth of C17.2 in a secondary screen. 3′-Methoxydaidzein (3) increased mRNA expression of pro-neural transcriptional factors (Ngn2, Ngn1, NeuroD2), a mature neuron-specific enzyme GAD1 and a pro-neural neurotrophic growth factor neurotrophin 3 (NT3) in C17.2 neural stem cells.

---

Large photo

---

On some men, butea superba extract has a profound effect after just few dosages. It can kickstart testosterone tone for weeks on end. Users should watch out for signs of testosterone overdrive such as deep heartbeat with the slightest sexual thought.

----

New Washoe City, Nevada: Ethiopian women whipped in brutal rights passage ceremony

Israel K. Pereira 2159 Wescam Court Washoe, NV 89701

A tribal ceremony during which young women are whipped in order to show the sacrifices they make for men is revealed in a series of photographs.

Members of the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia believe the elaborate scars demonstrate a woman's capacity for love, and if they fall on hard times later in life it allows them to call on those who whipped them for help.

Women are whipped as part of a Rite of Passage ceremony for boys, when female family members declare their love for the young man at the heart of the celebration.

After the ceremony the boy becomes a man, and is allowed to marry.

The brutal tradition is known as Ukuli Bula, and was captured by photographer Jeremy Hunter. Instead of fleeing, women beg men to whip them again during the ceremony, held in the Omo River Valley.

For men, male decoration is simpler with the exception of their facial painting which denote status and progression up the social ladder.

A key element of the ceremony is the whipping of young women who are family members or relatives of the boy undertaking the Rite-of-Passage.

The women trumpet and sing, extolling the virtues of the Jumper, declaring their love for him and for their desire to be marked by the whip. They coat their bodies with butter to lessen the effect of the whipping which is only carried out by Maza - those who have already undergone this Rite-of-Passage.

Some whipping appears to be tender, others more aggressive. But once whipped, the girls proudly show off their scars - as proof of their courage and integrity. It ís a kind of Insurance Policy.

The ceremony tends to unite the family and is a demonstration of the women capacity for love, and in later life - perhaps when they've become widowed - they will look to the boys who whipped them years before to request help.

The scars on her back are said to be proof of her sacrifice for the man, and it is therefore impossible for the man to refuse her needs in hard times or emergencies.

Hamar women of the Lower Omo Valley, Southern Ethiopia willingly submit themselves to be whipped during the ceremony of Ukuli Bula .

It indicates their courage and capacity for love, and is a form of insurance policy. Should they fall on hard times in later life, they will look to the boy who whipped them to request help.

To the south of Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, lies the tribal animist area. It stretches from Addis all the way to Lake Turkana, formerly known during colonial times as Lake Rudolph, which borders Kenya.

The italian historian Carlo Conti Rossini has described this part of Ethiopia to be a Museum of Peopleís as there are at least eight major tribal groups living here - numbering around 200,000,

who until recently were largely untouched by outside influences. But change is on the way, not least the impact of global phone technology - and the development of the countryís mineral resources by the Chinese.

The annual flooding of the Omo River has been the life-support for the tribal people of this region. For centuries the powerful flow and huge rise and fall of the river have provided up to three harvests a year for the indigenous peopleís staple crop - the highly nutritious SORGHUM

But in 2006 President Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia commissioned the construction of the tallest hydro-electric dam in Africa. The project was never put to tender, the tribal groups never consulted,

and conservation groups today believe that the dam will destroy an already fragile environment as well as the livelihoods of the tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.

One of the most spectacular ceremonies in the Lower Omo Valley is the UKULI BULA ceremony of the Hamar tribal group; itís effectively a Rite-of-Passage from boy to manhood. And marriage.

To reach manhood, Hamar boys must undergo two rituals: circumcision and a leap over the bulls. This determines whether the young Hamar male is ready to make the social jump from youth to adulthood.

After a successful bull-jump - always naked - the Hamar boy, now a Maz - a mature member of the society - may get married.

At every ceremony around two hundred members of the Hamar (also spelt Hamer) participate in this life-changing event.

---

Rose Hill, Illinois: Optimal sex and Torture

Glenn E. Dumont 202 Carter Street Rose Hill, IL 62432

Optimal sex up to an advanced age, and if necessary, aided by vascular and neurotropic agents like Pfizer’s Blue, yohimbine, dopaminergics, or testosterone enhancers like tongkat ali and butea superba, very much is a concern of modern civilisation. In medieval and ancient times, people were quite content if they were not tortured to death (never mind the optimal sex, thank you). An amazingly high number of people in medieval and ancient times (let's avoid designating them as ancient civilizations) were brutally tortured to death, often for the entertainment of onlookers. This included all mentally ill, and all enemies of rulers or ruling elites. Public torture is an extremely effective political tool. Not for the extraction of confessions, though. But torture one poor victim cruelly to death, and every onlooker will get the message: do not challenge authority!

Egypt's Torture Doctrine (YouTube 7:30)

---

Channeling tens of millions of refugees to Europe can kill feminism and Europe. It can do so reliably in the span of two decades. And to aide it is low risk political activism for people with a lot of money. Suited for Qatari and Russian billionaires. Just finance humanitarian efforts, such as rescue vessels on the Mediterranean, or life vests for those who board in Libya.

----


Feminism, by creating artificial scarcity of sexual resources, is responsible for much of the deadly infighting among men, as well as male suicides.

Large photo

----

Houston, Texas: In pursuit of mental health’s holy grai

Christopher S. Minton 3628 Payne Street Houston, TX 77062

Lunacy. Madness. Demonic possession. Black bile. Such archaic notions of mental illness have given way to clinical terms. Now we have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, social phobia, depression. But as scientific as they sound, each of these disorders, by medical definition, is nothing more than a cluster of symptoms with any number of potential causes.

A diagnosis such as major depressive disorder is about as telling as fever. All kinds of things can cause a fever: bacterial infection, meningitis, flu. Similarly, depression may be triggered by anything from hormonal imbalances to the activation of specific genes, or a history of child abuse. When a patient has a fever, a doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment after trying to diagnose the cause. In most cases, however, psychiatrists have no surefire way of pinpointing the roots of a patient’s despair. Treating mental illness is a shot in the dark.

But what if doctors could order lab tests and scan patients for dozens of known causes of mental illness? What if they could offer a precise diagnosis – such as “chromosome 3p25-26 depression” – using a classification system largely based on the biological signatures of these disorders? Imagine if a doctor could give a patient this advice: “Go directly to brain stimulation treatments – do not try medications, do not go for psychotherapy. They won’t work for you.”

Psychiatry may be on the verge of such a breakthrough, one that could shake the foundations of the diagnostic system. A growing number of specialists, with a Canadian team at the forefront, are joining forces with researchers who study genetics, the hormonal, metabolic and immune systems, and how the brain works. They’re putting aside a century’s worth of theories, and delving into the biology of mental disorders on a scale never before seen. The aim is not just to broaden our understanding of mental illness, but to overhaul how we diagnose and treat it.

An overhaul can’t come soon enough. One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime. Many will suffer for years, cycling through one ineffective treatment after another.

Julia Marriott, of Ancaster, Ont., knows how that feels. She had 15 years of psychotherapy and tried more than a dozen different antidepressants, but nothing gave any lasting relief. She chokes up when she talks about hiding her mental illness from her daughter, who was 8 when Ms. Marriott’s depression took hold.

Most nights, she says, “I would just go to bed and hope I didn’t wake in the morning.” In all, trial-and-error treatments consumed two decades of her life, says Ms. Marriott, now 66. “I’m not big on self-pity,” she adds. “But it was awful.”

Diagnostic models and a focus on symptoms

The ability to predict which treatments will help individual patients is the holy grail of psychiatry, but the quest has been challenged by the field’s silo mentality. For more than a century, psychiatry has ping-ponged between biological explanations and theories about the unconscious forces that drive our emotions and behaviours.

As early as the 1860s, some psychiatrists theorized that mental disorders were illnesses of the brain. But brain dissections were too crude to reveal consistent abnormalities linked to mental illness. Theories got far-fetched. In the 1940s, Austrian psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich became famous for his eureka moment that the mentally ill were deficient in “orgone energy.” The “cure” involved sitting in a closet-like “orgone energy accumulator.”

By comparison, Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic approach was genius. Freud, a neurologist by training, was the first to propose concepts such as repression and denial. He theorized that any mental illness could be treated by resolving unconscious conflicts among the ego (the inner realist), the superego (the moralist) and the id (primal instinct). Decades after his death in 1939, Freud’s theories dominated the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Eventually, it was posited that Freud’s theories mainly helped the “worried well,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, recent past president of the APA and author of the newly published Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry. In 1980, psychiatrists in charge of the DSM’s third edition rejected all unproven causes of mental illness. Instead, they drew from the latest clinical data to define and classify mental disorders based on symptoms alone – a practice that continues.

Since then, however, psychiatry has not kept pace with advances in other areas of medicine, according to Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. Unlike medical definitions of heart disease, lymphoma or AIDS, psychiatric diagnoses are based on a consensus about symptoms, “not any objective laboratory measure,” he wrote in a searing blog post in 2013. “Patients with mental disorders deserve better.”

Recent studies have reinforced the idea that the diagnostic system falls short. In a study published in February, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found consistent brain changes in thousands of mentally ill patients, whether diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction or anxiety. All showed similar grey-matter losses in brain areas associated with high-level functions such as concentration and decision-making, noted the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry. In a 2013 study, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital detected shared genetic glitches in the mentally ill across diagnostic categories.

A steady stream of findings like these could leave psychiatry’s classification system in shambles. After all, if schizophrenia and bipolar disorder look the same in brain scans and molecular tests, are they, in fact, distinct illnesses? Could they be different manifestations of the same genetic condition, or subtypes of an as-yet-unnamed brain disorder? To find answers, psychiatrists need to look at the bewildering science of mental illness in new ways.

Dusting for depression’s fingerprints

Canada, it turns out, is leading the way, through a multiyear study called the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). It brings together clinical psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, molecular scientists, neuroimaging specialists and experts in bio-informatics, who use computer algorithms to analyze complex data such as genetic code.

Part of the mission is to identify as-yet-unnamed subtypes of depression. But the ultimate goal is to shorten the path from diagnosis to the right treatment. “This is not just a study,” says Dr. Sagar Parikh, a University of Toronto psychiatrist who is working on CAN-BIND. “This is a program to transform depression treatment.”

CAN-BIND is following a model used in breast-cancer research. In the mid-1980s, researchers divided cancer patients into groups: those who got better with treatment and those who didn’t. Scientists analyzed thousands of biological traits to find markers that set patients apart, using computers to crunch the data.

In patients who got sicker, researchers found high levels of HER2, a protein that stimulates tumour growth. The finding led to new drugs to block the action of this protein. Since then, life expectancy for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer has increased 30 per cent.

In much the same way, CAN-BIND is dividing patients with depression into two groups – responders and non-responders to a selected treatment. Depending on the study phase, patients receive antidepressants, or psychotherapy, or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to activate specific parts of the brain). Researchers are combing through patients’ biological and psychological makeup, acting on the hunch that different types of depression may respond to different treatments – and leave distinct fingerprints.

The CAN-BIND model is like a game of Clue, Dr. Parikh says. The “murderers,” “weapons” and “crime scenes” in Clue – three variables involved in solving the mystery – correspond to the study’s three research areas.

The first area involves a psychiatric evaluation that takes into account factors such as substance abuse, early childhood trauma and recent life stress; any of these may affect biological systems such as brain function. The next area uses brain imaging to find abnormalities. The third covers blood tests, which may detect proteins produced by specific genes, disruptions in metabolic or hormonal function, or signs of inflammation. (Some researchers believe that inflammation due to an overactive immune system may trigger mental illness.)

Results from the battery of tests are fed into software sophisticated enough to find patterns among thousands of patient variables. The idea is to uncover clues that can be used to predict whether a specific treatment will work for future patients. Hypothetically, Dr. Parikh says, “the best predictor of a treatment working might [prove to] be a combination of a sleep disturbance, together with an underactive part of the brain, combined with one protein that is off.”

Similar studies are under way in the United States, but CAN-BIND is the first to pull together this many variables in a collaborative effort of nearly a dozen universities and research centres. The same model can be adapted to study other mental illnesses, researchers say.

The “big data” approach is a radical departure from the usual hypothesis-driven studies, which typically focus on a single research question. Dr. Parikh acknowledges that CAN-BIND is a “fishing expedition.”

Dr. Lieberman, the former APA president, cautions against pinning too many hopes on studies like CAN-BIND. As with any fishing expedition, he points out, “you could end up not having caught anything.”

One woman’s victory

Despite great leaps in neuroscience and genetics, psychiatrists still don’t know why one-third of patients with depression – or half a million Canadians each year – don’t get better with standard treatments. Ms. Marriott fought depression with everything she had. After years of psychotherapy and antidepressants, she tried light therapy, vigorous exercise, mindfulness courses, fish oil – “anything that might work.” But she could not escape the crushing feeling that everything was “black, negative and pointless” – except during episodes of mild mania. Occasionally, she would get the sudden urge to redecorate: “I would give away a perfectly good couch and then buy another one.”

Ms. Marriott’s official diagnosis is “major depressive disorder with a hypo-mania component.” She grew up watching her mother, who had bipolar disorder, spend most days in bed. One wonders whether their shared genes had something to do with Ms. Marriott’s unsuccessful treatments. So far, there are no diagnostic tests to answer questions like this. Eventually, however, Ms. Marriott did find an effective treatment. In 2012, she became a patient in a study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; each treatment lasts about three minutes and feels “just like a woodpecker is pounding on your upper forehead.”

Since her last round of brain stimulation in December, 2013, Ms. Marriott has been depression-free. She says she feels like her “pre-age-40 self” – interested in seeing friends and eager to travel to places like Mexico and Botswana. Once more, she is capable of feeling “excited, happy, touched and sad – all those normal emotions.” She emphasizes the sense of security she feels in knowing that, if she starts to relapse, she can go for another round of therapy. Getting the right treatment, she says, “has totally changed my life.”

Biology on the fritz or something more?

Early findings from the CAN-BIND study will be released later this year. In the meantime, preliminary results from a multicentre U.S. study suggest that brain imaging has the potential to predict whether a depressed patient will respond to a specific treatment. Patients underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which use a radioactive sugar to create images of brain activity. Researchers found that depressed patients who responded to psychotherapy had sluggish activity in the insula, a brain region involved in emotion and self-awareness, unlike those who did well on antidepressants.

Brain imaging would be an expensive treatment-selection tool. But if new studies make a strong case that brain scans lead to more successful treatment, they may not be out of reach for average patients down the road, says Dr. Jeff Daskalakis, chief of the mood and anxiety department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

“It costs a lot of money to miss a diagnosis,” notes Dr. Daskalakis, who is working on the CAN-BIND study. In Canada, the cost of mental-health services combined with lost productivity and income due to untreated mental disorders is estimated at nearly $30-billion a year.

Still, researchers emphasize it could be years, if not decades, before brain imaging or blood tests become reliable, let alone practical, tools. And that’s assuming their studies net big fish.

For now, we are left with the same big questions that have baffled physicians and philosophers for centuries: Is mental illness simply a matter of biology on the fritz – a physiological problem that can be solved as soon as scientists crack the code? Or is the anguish of each patient also a unique expression of the sense of isolation and dread that may strike any of us at our core?

In mental illness, unlike other diseases, life events are refracted through our subjective perception in ways that can damage our mental and physical well-being. In his book, Dr. Lieberman uses himself as Exhibit A. After surviving a home invasion at gunpoint in his early 20s, his youthful mind chalked it up as “a thrilling adventure.” Years later, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, after an air conditioner slipped out of his grasp and fell to the street below. For months, he was tormented by the thought that he could have caused someone’s death. He lost his appetite, had trouble sleeping, and played the incident “over and over in my mind like a video loop.” But he was the same person who had escaped from the home invasion without psychological scars. He explains, “You can have something that is purely experiential and yet it produces enduring symptoms.”

Even if scientists come up with blood tests to screen for mental illness, the lived experience of a mental disorder will remain highly personal. For these reasons, mental disorders, in turn, will remain “existential diseases” that require compassionate care as well as effective medical treatments, says Dr. Lieberman.

The new approach to studying mental illness may be compatible with this philosophy. The strength of a project like CAN-BIND, says Dr. Parikh, is that it integrates many specialties and ways of looking at the problem. “That’s the real beauty of it.” Researchers are no longer determined to prove that a single treatment will help every patient. Instead, he says, the question has become: “What is the best fit?”

----

Why is sex so important? Because life is so full of shit, that without sex, it's just not worth living.

----

Chattanooga, Tennessee: Company Releases 'Child Love Dolls' to Stop Pedophiles

Marvin D. Brown 3029 Raver Croft Drive Chattanooga, TN 37403

A company has released 'child love dolls' to provide a safe sexual outlet for pedophiles.

Snopes

Could you look into the validity of a supposed new company that will be marketing “love dolls” for pedophiles?

ORIGINS: On 13 April 2015, the entertainment web site Celebtricity published a hoax article reporting that a former sexual molestation victim had started a company to produce lifelike male and female “child love dolls” that pedophiles could have sexual relations with in place of molesting real children:

Buck Dobson knows what it is like to suffer at the hands of pedophile. He was repeatedly molested at age 10 by his 19-year-old-sister and says the scars have never healed. However, the abuse inspired Dobson to spend most of his adult life working to cure pedophilia. For years, Dobson tried to rehabilitate pedophiles within the Colorado prison system and through Christian outreach programs, but Dobson said his efforts failed.

“Look, you can’t change a pedophile’s sexual-orientation, and that’s what it is, an orientation, any more than you can a homo or heterosexual’s,# Dobson told Christian Family Daily. #You can try to get a pedophile to refrain from touching kids — and that sometimes works — but these people desire children and that desire is deep inside their genes. So why try to fix something unfixable?”

Instead, Dobson is starting a company that will create and market life-like male and female child and baby love dolls that pedophiles can molest and have sexual relations with.

“#These dolls will feel and smell just like real children and have all the naughty parts,”# Dobson said. “#Pedophiles are gonna love them.”

Unlike many “satire” sites operating on the Internet, Celebtricity occasionally posts real news stories in addition to its fake news pieces in an effort to confuse readers. That strategy seems to have worked, as many readers have shared this “news” about “love dolls” for pedophiles as if it were a factual account. Nonetheless, Celebtricity‘s disclaimer reveals the nature of that site:

Celebtricity.com is a combination of real shocking news and satirical entertainment to keep its visitors in a state of disbelief.

In January 2016, life appeared to imitate fake news, as stories emerged that a company is, indeed, producing dolls similar to the ones previously described. Shin Takagi owns Trottla, a company that produces anatomically-correct child sex dolls that he says are manufactured in order to help pedophiles control their urges. “I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically,” Takagi told The Atlantic.

“We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes…. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”

However, the Celebtricity entry clearly falls into the category of “satire” rather than “real shocking news”: In addition to the fact that the article is missing key information (such as the name of the company putatively planning to release these “love dolls”), the image accompanying the article was swiped from the web site of French artist Lauren Curet, who creates detailed miniature child dolls from polymer clay as artworks rather than as sexual playmates for pedophiles.

----

Many men who are good in making money are total failures when it comes to spending it. If you have money, buy love, and the best sex ever. If you have money but no sexual desire, start with buying tongkat ali and butea superba. Both of the finest quality.

----

Boston, Massachusetts: Penis size may increase by 2 inches with one injection

Robert S. Gutierrez 4264 Gerald L. Bates Drive Boston, MA 02215

As discussions about sex increase, age old beliefs about intercourse, orgasm and satisfaction in bed are being talked about more. One of the most highly debated concepts is the difference caused by the size of a man’s penis to the overall experience.

But this doesn’t stop a lot of men from seeking to increase the size of their penis, and they employ various techniques from diet to devices and even potentially harmful measures. In this situation, a surgeon has stepped in to introduce a new method which can increase the size of a man’s member by two inches in circumference.

All it takes is a simple injection and a procedure that lasts only for 10 minutes. There’s not even need for a recovery period, as people can just get back to work after the process. The idea is to draw blood from a person’s body and inject it into their penis to increase size.

The only precaution to be taken after this is not having sex for few days, and this procedure was inspired by Botox as well as a treatment used in sports where muscles are revived by injecting a person’s blood back in their own body.

So as long as the girth of the penis goes, this simple new procedure seems to be a major boost.

----

To understand life, you first have to understand death. This is why we include images of death. The best we can hope for, is that death will be comfortable.

----


You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.

Large photo

----

New York, New York: Saudi Police Crack Ethiopian Prostitution Ring, Distilleries

Bruno K. Collins 3071 Oakwood Avenue New York, NY 10018

Saudi police busted an Ethiopian prostitution ring and two distilleries in Riyadh, a newspaper reported Friday.

The prostitution ring was headed by an Ethiopian "infected with AIDS" and two of his brothers who employed several female compatriots in a brothel which also housed a distillery for the illegal brewing of alcohol, Al-Riyadh said.

The Ethiopian had previously been expelled from Saudi Arabia for pimping but managed to return on false papers, the paper said.

The police bust a second distillery run by four Indians with no residency papers and seized pornographic films on the premises, it said.

Authorities arrested last December 29 African prostitutes, some of them with AIDS, who entered the oil-rich Gulf state under the guise of pilgrims to Mecca - RIYADH (AFP)

----

Buying tongkat ali

By Sam Sanare

Updated: 2016-05-12

Tongkat ali is a root, and as such, it consists mostly of cellulose. Cellulose is not a pharmacologically active substance. The pharmacologically active ingredients only form a very small part of the root.

The raw root, whether powdered or chipped, is not fit for human consumption. This is not just the case because humans cannot digest cellulose but also because the raw root often is infested with fungi and bacteria, some of which are harmful. This is absolutely normal for anything that grows underground. Is there anything humans would pull out of the soil and consume uncooked?

Raw root powder is commonly sold in Malaysia as well as in the US, both in brick-and-mortar shops and by Internet retailers.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with root powder or chipped root, as long as you know how to handle it.

If you do not buy a ready-made extract, you have to prepare the root powder or chipped root as your own extract. This can be a liquid extract or a dry one. If you prepare a liquid extract, you will have to consume a lot of fluid to get a proper dosage. Producing your own dry extract will take a lot of time.

Root powder in capsules is nonsense because one should not ingest raw tongkat ali root, even not if it is packaged in gelatin capsules. The most likely effect of ingesting raw root powder is diarrhea, caused by salmonella bacteria. And if you are unlucky, you get a strain that causes typhoid fever.

Tongkat ali is so bitter, and tastes so lousy, that the only way one can ingest a proper dosage is to get it down as quickly as possible. Capsules of dried tongkat ali extract are a good solution because extract is concentrated, and you can swallow the tongkat ali without tasting it.

The only problem with dried extract in capsules is that you are easily cheated. It is very difficult to check yourself whether you actually get tongkat ali extract, or just tongkat ali root powder, or something else altogether.

Tongkat ali root has to be boiled, and before being boiled. Use about half a liter of water for 50 gram of root powder or chipped root. 50 gram of root powder or chipped root will yield about 2 normal dosages, or a single dosage for an experienced user or a bodybuilding athlete.

I know what I’m talking about because I did make my own extract. I did so because I am a suspicious character, and so that I could write about it.

I used 500 gram of chipped root, soaked in 5 liter of water for 24 hours. I brought the whole thing to a boil, and then filtered the water. I then left the 5 liters of water for almost 2 days on an electric stove with heat control (about 50 centigrade) until I got a thick sap. I further heated the sap in an electric oven (about 40 centigrade) and then got a rather hard crust. Working this crust through an electric coffee mill, I ended up with about 10 gram of powdered extract. Which means: an extract of the strength 1:50. 10 dosages out of 500 gram.

I discussed this extraction process with two German pharmacists and the assistants of a plant analytical laboratory of a university. They all assured me that mine has been a proper extraction process.

There isn’t much technology to preparing water-based extracts. The solvent has to be water, and just water, otherwise the result would not be an aqueous (water) extract. In proper extracting facilities, they have integrated machines that speed up the evaporation by doing it under high pressure, or by other means. Some companies that sell such evaporating equipment have patents on these machines.

But if a website claims that they have patented the extraction by water of tongkat ali, then that’s bulls. They just want you to believe that their extract is special (so that you won’t buy somewhere else), and that it justifies an inflated price.

Tongkat ali has been researched well, though not in full. But one thing is certain: the traditional use is as an aqueous extract (extraction by water, as in tea or coffee), and that way, it has been used in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years.

Other extraction possibilities would be by ethanol (alcohol) or chloroform, and a plethora of other chemical solvents. But such extracts have only been tested recently, and only one thing is clear: their LD50 values are much worse than those for aqueous extract. I would not experiment with tongkat ali extracts in which the solvent has been anything but water.

Extract strength is another critical topic. I know from my own experiments that 100 grams of root yield a dried extract of 2 gram. So, 1:50 seems to be genuine strength of an aqueous extract.

Of course, 1:100 sounds much sexier. But who is to check on such claims? Even if a new trader should decide to proclaim that his extract is 1:1000, who is going to examine whether the claim is true?

A 1:100 extract, or one that is proclaimed to be 1:1000, doesn’t necessarily contain more active ingredients. In order to turn a 1:50 extract into one that is 1:100, I really just have to discard half of the 1:50 extract. I can do so by passing it through a smaller mesh, which will just remove the coarser part of the ground crust I got from drying the aqueous extract.

Thus, turning a 1:50 extract into a 1:100 extract means just that they sell half the extract, probably for double the price. It says NOTHING about the efficacy of the extract.

Furthermore, there are justified suspicions that what is sold as 1:100 extract may only be root powder. I have seen documents on the FDA website (www.fda.gov) that show that people marketing 1:100 extract capsules have just applied for a registration of tongkat ali powder in capsule form, not of extract in capsules. To see these documents on www.fda.gov, please use their search engine and enter the search term “eurycoma”. The scientific, Latin name of tongkat ali is eurycoma longifolia, and official documents deal with the plant under this name. Do not search for “tongkat ali”, as this will not get you to the FDA correspondence about the product which is sold as 1:100. A search for the combined name, “eurycoma longifolia”, doesn’t seem to work well on the FDA site. It is best to just search for “eurycoma” only.

I also cannot recommend purchasing from Internet spam sites.

Their expertise is not tongkat ali but Internet marketing. They know how to force their own site(s) to the top of search engine rankings, and then hunt sales commissions from the manufacturers whose products they promote. This is why the information they provide is not their own but just taken from other sites (like mine) and then more or less reworded.

I believe that it makes sense to buy tongkat ali or tongkat ali extract at the origin. From a company whose product is tongkat ali, and not from a company whose product is Internet marketing, and who will sell any merchandise for which they can get a high search engine ranking.

Tongkat ali meanwhile is a rare plant. A few hundred years ago, it grew all over Southeast Asia. But in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, deforestation has become so widespread that governments were forced to put a total stop on removing anything from forests. In Thailand, the export of anything composed of wood requires special permits. And in Malaysia, tongkat ali has been proclaimed a protected plant that cannot be harvested in the wild.

That only leaves one legal country of origin: Indonesia, or, more specifically, the forests of the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo).

I obtain my own supply of extract from an Indonesian wholesale company on Sumatra, and the extract used in the tongkat ali trials I conducted were from the same source.

----

Why does this site show photos that depict brutality? Get real, man! Because reality is brutal.

----

York, Pennsylvania: The Vamp in the Veil: Is she a Saudi princess - or a prostitute?

Donald I. Voll 4305 Saint James Drive York, PA 17403

As the High Court is gripped by wild tales of cocaine, sex and the occult, what is the truth about Sara Al Amoudi?

She arrives at the High Court in London each morning in a black Rolls-Royce Phantom with a personalised number plate bearing the initials ‘HRH’.

As cameras flash, a team of Middle Eastern security guards descend from a Range Rover to help her cross five yards of pavement to the building’s revolving front door.

Some are entrusted with her handbag. Others look after her £50,000 diamond-encrusted luxury Vertu mobile phone.

A snappily dressed flunky named Mohammed pushes a wheelchair, in which she occasionally chooses to park her derriere.

This regal creature, who invariably has her face veiled, always wears a black burka, sometimes with gold silk stitching or a jewelled trim.

Underneath, you can catch a glimpse of designer shoes with five-inch killer heels. Occasionally, she stretches out an arm to reveal a gem-studded Rolex and a wristful of gold jewellery.

The apparently wealthy woman calls herself Sara Al Amoudi. She claims to be 31 years old, though others say she’s 43.

She has dark brown hair, greenish eyes and appears to wear a lot of make-up.

Oh, and for most of the past month, she has been at the centre of one of the most sordid and downright surreal court cases in living memory.

This regal creature, who invariably has her face veiled, always wears a black burka, sometimes with gold silk stitching or a jewelled trim.

Underneath, you can catch a glimpse of designer shoes with five-inch killer heels. Occasionally, she stretches out an arm to reveal a gem-studded Rolex and a wristful of gold jewellery.

The apparently wealthy woman calls herself Sara Al Amoudi. She claims to be 31 years old, though others say she’s 43.

She has dark brown hair, greenish eyes and appears to wear a lot of make-up.

Oh, and for most of the past month, she has been at the centre of one of the most sordid and downright surreal court cases in living memory.

Yet as the high-stakes civil proceedings have progressed, the ‘Vamp in the Veil’ case has grown increasingly strange and sleazy.

On Wednesday, for example, Ms Al Amoudi attempted to prove that she is incredibly wealthy — and presumably therefore does not need to defraud anyone — by insisting, under oath, that she spent almost £1 million on perfume in just a few weeks.

‘I have a problem with shopping,’ she declared. ‘In the past two months, my perfume, only the perfume … $1.4 million (£912,000). I can show you the pictures.’

Earlier, key players in the case were accused of conducting illicit sexual affairs, concealing addictions to drink and drugs, and prostituting themselves, more of which later.

Then there is a dark back-story involving a dead former business associate — and alleged ex-lover — of Al Amoudi, who is accused of dabbling in the occult with her at the Cliveden estate in Berkshire, scene of the Profumo scandal, again more of which later.

At the centre of these dizzying claims and counter claims there sits a huge unanswered question: Who exactly is this woman?

For, as proceedings have progressed, it has become apparent that no one — least of all Judge Sarah Asplin, who must decide the eventual outcome of the extraordinary trial — is entirely sure.

For example, several acquaintances have told the court that for years Al Amoudi has described herself as a Saudi royal.

One, an elderly hereditary peer called Lord Mereworth, who met her several years ago, said she had talked to him of being the estranged wife of King Abdullah, the country’s monarch.

‘I understood she was married to the king of Saudi,’ he said.

Yet in her own evidence to court this week, Al Amoudi — who has produced no credible birth, marriage or other document confirming her identity — denied having made such a claim.

A former boyfriend once told reporters that she spoke of being Osama Bin Laden’s daughter, claimed to be a friend of Kate Moss, and talked of dating two Hollywood film stars — Irish former hellraiser Colin Farrell and Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix — as well as former Arsenal footballer Freddie Ljunberg.

However, there is no evidence of her having any link to the Bin Laden family, and none of the supposed celebrity acquaintances will admit to having anything to do with her.

A few years ago, in a successful application for a £4 million mortgage from a bank, that was shared with the court, Ms Al Amoudi allowed the bank to assume wrongly that she was the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Yet the Ethopian-Saudi billionaire’s legal representatives, who were in court all week, have issued a formal denial of paternity.

At various other points, she has told acquaintances that her father is Mohammed bin Aboud Al-Amoudi, the super-wealthy owner of the Intercontinental Hotel in Jeddah.

But the businessman’s representatives have vigorously disputed that claim, too.

Then there is the question of the source of Ms Al Amoudi’s apparent wealth. In legal papers, she has claimed to be a Saudi-born heiress, married at 13 and exiled from the country in the Nineties because of an adulterous relationship.

After arriving in London almost two decades ago, she says she has existed thanks to a £100,000 weekly allowance, sent by her family in the form of suitcases filled with banknotes.

Yet one of the two plaintiffs in the fraud case, 56-year-old property developer Amanda Clutterbuck, a well-preserved blonde, alleged this week that Al Amoudi earns her crust as a high-class prostitute, who for years worked from a £750,000 flat, with two sisters, yards from Harrods.

‘Far from being Saudi Arabian princesses, they were all prostitutes,’ she said, claiming that the women would trawl Harrods in search of clients.

Asked about that allegation in court, Al Amoudi claimed ‘in the name of Allah’ to be ‘a good Muslim woman’.

Certainly, there are questions about how rich Ms Al Amoudi actually is. In court on Tuesday, she claimed that her wealth was genuine, citing her expenditure on perfume as evidence.

‘I’m afraid I’m addicted to spending money and get through enormous amounts of cash,’ she said. ‘I can easily spend £50,000 to £100,000 in one spree.’

Yet the very next day, despite her luxury cars and huge entourage of employees, she suddenly declared herself ‘broke’, telling the judge: ‘I don’t have anything!’

It was a typically odd moment in a surreal three days during which Al Amoudi gave evidence to the court.

She had agreed to remove her veil in court, but sat behind a wall of document files, so that her face was invisible to most of the onlookers.

During hours of rambling testimony, at times she talked so softly that she could barely be heard; at other times she raised her voice and broke into hysterics or tears.

Often (but not always) she adopted a heavy Middle Eastern accent.

On several occasions, Al Amoudi insisted she could barely understand proceedings and needed to speak through an interpreter — only to break into eloquent English moments later.

At one such point, the court dissolved into laughter when the opposition counsel thanked her for suddenly being ‘fluent in English again’.

Things were similarly odd during Ms Al Amoudi’s last brush with the law, a 2010 trial at Southwark Crown Court when a former boyfriend, Swedish male model Patrick Ribbsaeter, stood accused of assaulting her driver.

Back then, she appeared in a bejewelled burka to give evidence for the prosecution, who claimed Ribbsaeter was a ‘gold digger’ after her money. Following his acquittal, he claimed Al Amoudi’s devout appearance during the trial was a facade.

During their short, volatile relationship, he claimed, ‘she didn’t wear the burka as a rule — she wore designer clothes,’ many of them revealing.

Al Amoudi also frequented upscale London bars, restaurants and nightclubs. ‘She was drinking champagne every night,’ he said.

‘She had a lot of issues … who knows what the truth is about this strange woman?’

One person who claims to know the truth is South London furniture dealer Negat Ali, who came forward after seeing Al Amoudi’s unveiled picture in the Daily Mail and told the court she knew her of old.

The ‘Vamp in the Veil’ is not a royal or even a Saudi, Ali claimed: she is an Ethiopian who later lived in Yemen and Dubai, she insisted.

Ms Ali, who is originally Ethiopian but now works in Battersea, claims to have met Al Amoudi in 1985.

She then ran into her again by chance in 1996 at the London strip club Stringfellow’s, where they were attending a ‘ladies’ night’.

The two women went on to share a flat in Bayswater, she said.

In 2000, Al Amoudi fell pregnant and gave birth to a daughter at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, Prince George, was born this week.

That daughter, who is now aged 13, is at boarding school.

Ms Ali claims that she lived with Al Amoudi for several years — during which time the infant was used to seek maintenance payments from a variety of men — before they fell out over an alleged unpaid debt of £500.

Ms Ali suspects the ‘Vamp in the Veil’ is not actually a Muslim and uses her burka as a disguise during public appearances to prevent old acquaintances, and clients, from recognising her.

Al Amoudi’s barrister, for his part, accused Negat Ali of being a disgruntled former servant trying to settle an old score with claims that are entirely untrue.

The nuts and bolts of the court case revolve around a disputed property deal.

The plaintiffs, Ms Clutterbuck and her partner Ian Paton, allege that Ms Al Amoudi cultivated their friendship over several years.

She then carried out a ‘very accomplished’ face-to-face fraud, convincing them to sign over six properties to her as security for a major future cash advance.

They say she claimed to be hugely wealthy and willing to act as a partner helping to secure finance on a deal to buy properties worth £170 million on Hans Place in Knightsbridge.

Al Amoudi allegedly told them she could secure a loan of £46 million from contacts in the Middle East. In exchange, they signed over to her the titles to six London properties.

But the massive loan never materialised, and now the couple want the properties, which are worth £14 million, to be returned.

‘I thought I was living through an Alfred Hitchcock film, in which reality seemed to be totally distorted,’ said Ms Clutterbuck — who counts the Duke of Gloucester among her social circle — recalling the moment she came to believe she had been conned.

Al Amoudi, for her part, claims that Paton signed over the flats to her in order to repay debts he owed her from years as a crack cocaine addict.

She claimed Mr Paton had been her ‘lover’ for around a decade, taking millions of pounds from her over this time.

Mr Paton has denied ever sleeping with Ms Al Amoudi and says he has never taken crack cocaine.

As is common in civil proceedings, the case, which continues, will be decided by Judge Asplin, not a jury.

Crucial to the eventual verdict will be Sara Al Amoudi’s love life. In court, Ms Clutterbuck and Mr Paton’s barrister identified a string of men to whom she is believed to have been attached during the years she claims to have been conducting an affair with Mr Paton.

They include a man known only as ‘Sammy’, who is the father of her child, and one Gerald Jerko Zovko, who is believed to have been married to Al Amoudi until he was killed in Iraq in early 2004 while working as a private security contractor.

His vehicle was hit by rocket- propelled grenades in the town of Fallujah, and his mutilated body was then dragged through the streets by a mob.

Then there is Cliff Besley, an Australian triathlon champion who, the court was told, was introduced as her fiancé at business meetings in 2008, and an alleged boyfriend called Ryan Bish.

Another man, still in her life, is Lord Mereworth, an 83-year-old divorced, heirless and apparently very wealthy hereditary peer, who lives in Pimlico, South-West London.

He appears to have become entranced with Al Amoudi after meeting her a few years ago. They have dined together at the House of Lords, and he agreed to give evidence in her support.

During cross-examination, in which Lord Mereworth denied that she had ever proposed marriage to him, he claimed to be convinced of her legitimacy.

‘I may have been misled, who knows? But I still trust her,’ he said.

The final player in this extraordinary soap opera is an acquaintance of Amanda Clutterbuck, a man named Elliot Nichol, with whom Ms Al Amoudi appears to have had a lengthy affair.

Mr Nichol, who died of alcohol poisoning in December 2009, is said to have been obsessed with the occult. He would speak with Ms Al Amoudi on a mobile phone that had a number ending in 666 — which is popularly associated with the devil.

In the run-up to his death, Nichol was living with Al Amoudi at properties in central London and on the Cliveden estate in Berkshire, Ms Clutterbuck told the court.

‘At Christmas 2006, Mr Nichol phoned in an almost totally incoherent state, singing at the top of his voice: “I am drowning in Vuitton handbags and Cavalli, we’re thinking of floating them down the Thames.” ’

The ‘Vamp in the Veil’ denies being with Nichol at the time of that call.

As with almost everything about this mysterious woman, the truth is hard to ascertain. Now a judge will have the unenviable task of sorting fact from fiction in this most modern tale of greed and guile.

----

This site contains photos of brutality. Semantically and philosophically speaking, the photos are not brutal. What is brutal is the depicted reality.

----

Home | Index of articles