How totalism works

Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Gamma-Rapho/Getty The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one by Alexandra Stein was formerly an associate lecturer in social psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. She now teaches at the Mary Ward Centre. Her research focuses on the social psychology of ideological extremism. Her latest book is Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems(2016). I began my formal research in 1999, eight years after battling my way out of a secret, so-called Marxist-Leninist group whose leader controlled my life in its … Continue reading How totalism works

HUACHUMA – THE VISIONARY CACTUS FROM THE PERUVIAN ANDES

by Sergey Baranov, Contributor Waking Times Huachuama is the original name given to the various mescaline-containing columnar cacti native to the Andes and used traditionally in Peru for millennia for healing and divination. The cactus thrives at around 3000 meters ( 10,000 feet ) above the sea level and flowers between October and March with beautiful flowers gifting the lucky observer with a gentle scent. Its flower opens for just one day and closing over the next two days. After this the flower gradually dries out and forms a cocoon with new life-seeking seeds. Then it is the turn of the … Continue reading HUACHUMA – THE VISIONARY CACTUS FROM THE PERUVIAN ANDES

What Makes Me… Funny?

by  C. Brian Smith According to a sitcom writer, a linguist, a sexologist and 7 other experts in their fields In this installment of our “What Makes Me a…” column, we asked 10 people what makes them think of someone as a “real funny guy.” Tracey Sturgal, professor in communication studies at Marquette University: As a linguist, I’ve learned there are as many perspectives on humor as there are dialectal variations of English. And even though so much of what’s considered humorous is subjective, many have tried to analyze what is funny from an objective lens. One theory is the benign … Continue reading What Makes Me… Funny?