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The short video below explains what happens when there is a gap in border defence.

This is a real eye-opener. Also note what the border guard says about women in the first part of the video:

Q. Whose fault is it that, for nearly 20 years, border fences between the US and Mexico were not completed because they were not funded?

A. Politicians.

President Trump was right to sound the alarm on weak US borders in 2016 and he is correct in continuing to do so now.

Please circulate this tweet so that people understand what is really happening along the southern border of the United States.

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Warning: some readers might find the second half of this post disturbing.

A lot of confusion surrounds the Florida school shooting that took place on Valentine’s Day 2018.

One thing is certain: gun control is once again the current topic.

A case in point is Philip Mudd:

a deputy director for the FBI’s national security branch and an ex-CIA agent, Philip Mudd has interviewed terrorists and is considered a counterterrorism expert.

Mudd also loathes President Donald Trump, which is useful information in reading what he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. From USA Today:

“I have 10 nieces and nephews who are talking about bump stocks,” he said. “We’re talking about legislation. A child of God is dead. Cannot we acknowledge in this country that we can’t — we cannot accept this.”

He continued before breaking down in tears: “I can’t do it, Wolf, I’m sorr… — We can’t do it.”

Mudd’s emotional response came after Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. At least 17 people were killed.

On February 16, a contributor to the CBTS_Stream board on Reddit, a Q discussion site, posted part of a page from the 1990 book, Behold A Pale Horse, written by William Cooper, a distinguished US Navy intelligence veteran. More about him in a moment.

For now, note the following from page 225 of the book (image courtesy of CBTS_Stream):

Mudd’s crying on television is designed to hype up the call for gun control. His mention of God is a particularly cynical move.

Reports say that the suspect in the shooting is a white supremacist. Seems strange for someone whose surname is Cruz.

Once again, the media has hauled out the white supremacist tag as they so often do when a light-skinned person commits a mass shooting.

Psychotropics

What we should be asking is if this young man was taking prescription SSRIs — psychotropics — for a mental health disorder.

On October 9, 2017 — eight days after the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas — the mental health watchdog, CCHR International, published an excellent article on psychotropics and mass shootings. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

This is the introduction to the article:

Twenty-seven drug regulatory agency warnings cite psychiatric drug side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation; 1,531 cases of psychiatric drug induced homicide/homicidal ideation have been reported to the US FDA; 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, yet there has never been a federal investigation into the link between seemingly senseless acts of violence and the use of mind-altering psychotropic drugs.

The first part of the article discusses Stephen Paddock’s prescribed Valium use.

The FDA does not receive many reports of homicide/homicidal ideation links to psychotropic drugs (bold emphasis in the original here, purple highlight mine):

… according to the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system for drug side effects, over a 10-year period, the FDA received 1,531 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide attributed to psychiatric drugs, 40% of which were reported by medical professionals. The FDA admits that only 1-10% of drug side effects are ever reported to MedWatch, so taking a medium range of 5%, the number could easily be 30,620 cases of homicidal ideation/homicide attributed to psychiatric drugs.

Regarding the concept that psychiatric drugs could not have been a contributing factor in a case where the perpetrator was involved in extensive planning or preparations, we look to the definition of “homicidal,” which includes homicidal ideation, a similar concept to the  “suicidal ideation” black box warning on antidepressant drugs:

Homicidal … may encompass a broad variety of ideation and behaviors. They may range from globally aggressive thoughts… to a specific lethal plan with available means to carry it out.”

Emergency Psychiatry journal

The article acknowledges that these drugs can help many people, however, some patients will go off the rails.

The FDA gets so few reports of drug-linked homicide (ideation) because law enforcement is not required to test for the presence of these drugs:

There have been 65 high profile acts of senseless violence, including mass school shootings, mass stabbings, and even the intentional crashing of a commercial airplane, committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 357 dead and 336 wounded. Drug proponents argue that there are thousands of shootings and acts of violence that have not been correlated to psychiatric drugs, and that is exactly the point. They have neither been confirmed nor refuted to have been connected to psychiatric drugs, as law enforcement is not required to investigate or report on prescribed drugs linked to violence, and media rarely pose the question.

This is what happened in New York State, where the state Senate attempted to require such testing :

The New York State Senate recognized the lack of reporting correlating mind-altering psychiatric drugs to both suicide and violence as far back as 2000, when the senate introduced a bill which would “require police to report to the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), certain crimes and suicides committed by persons using psychotropic drugs,citing “a large body of scientific research establishing a connection between violence and suicide and the use of psychotropic drugs.”

It never passed:

Unfortunately that bill stalled out in the finance committee, yet if that bill had passed, a reporting system would be in place to determine the extent to which violence is committed by those under the influence of mind-altering prescribed drugs.

These mass shootings are Russian Roulette on the American population:

With millions of Americans being prescribed psychiatric drugs, it’s apparent not everyone will experience violent reactions to the drugs, besides which, violence is only one of many documented side effects of psychiatric drugs.   But what the drug regulatory agency warnings confirm, is that a percentage of the population will. And no one knows who will be next.

Scopolamine

There are also natural, non-prescription drugs that present a universal danger. One such drug is scopolamine, known as ‘devil’s breath’, which comes from a beautiful flowering tree in Colombia.

A light dusting of it removes a person’s free will. The victim agrees to do the perpetrator’s bidding. Afterwards, the victim might not remember a thing.

In 2012, the Daily Mail had an excellent, if horrifying, article on the power of this drug, based on research from a Vice.com reporter who travelled to Bogota to find out more:

The Mail‘s article says, in part:

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug – also known as hyoscine – causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.

In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master’s grave, where they were buried alive.

In modern times, the CIA used the drug as part of Cold War interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum.

However, because of the drug’s chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.

The tree [is] common around Colombia, and is called the ‘borrachero’ tree – loosely translated as the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.

It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.

Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country’s torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.

Scary.

Conclusion

The question with mass shootings is NOT gun control or even bump stock control.

The real question, which nearly everyone is ignoring, has to do with psychotropic drugs.

Footnote on William Cooper

Cooper’s Behold A Pale Horse is 500 pages long, but nearly half of that is supplementary documentation. One of those documents is something no one should ever read, yet millions do.

The premise of the book is that, since 1917, there has been a plan to bring about the New World Order by getting the population to believe there is extra-terrestrial life then instilling fear in people about it to the extent that they will willingly do the state’s bidding. That’s a real stretch.

However, it makes one wonder if this is why a lot of Democrats are so interested in ETs, including Hillary Clinton and her campaign supremo John Podesta.

Anyone who thinks there are UFOs will enjoy Cooper’s book. Disclosure: that excludes me.

However, what is of interest is Cooper’s interspersing of historical elements about the American government and intelligence agencies, such as the page highlighted here.

What Cooper wrote must have been true, because his life was often in danger. In his autobiography at the beginning of the book (p. 33), he describes being forced off the road by a black limo in the hills of Oakland, California. The same limo ran into him again a month later, causing Cooper to lose a leg. That happened in the 1970s.

People who read the book commented on the CBTS_Stream thread cited at the top of this post.

Someone wrote:

They trailed him and harassed him for years. When Clinton was president they sicced the IRS on him on some “tax evasion” crap. He denied any of it was legit. They sent armed officers to his house one day to take him in. He probably knew he’d never get out once they had him, and a gunfight broke out (supposedly). Apache County sheriffs deputy killed him. I don’t remember if his wife and daughter were home. Daughter was about +/-4yrs old when they killed him. I don’t know what ever happened to them.

Another added:

In July 2001, Cooper predicted a large scale terrorist attack would occur in a large metropolitan city (for purposes of garnering worldwide attention) and he specifically said it would be blamed on Osama Bin Laden, not that he was psychic but because he knew the dark side (deep state) of government. The Apache Co. Sheriffs Dept. came for him on the fifth of November in 2001. He died the next day from his wounds suffered in the previous evening’s gun battle.

Wikipedia tells us about his death in Arizona:

As Cooper moved away from the UFOlogy community and toward the militia and anti-government subculture in the late 1990s, he became convinced that he was being personally targeted by President Bill Clinton and the Internal Revenue Service. In July 1998 he was charged with tax evasion; an arrest warrant was issued, but Cooper eluded repeated attempts to serve it. In 2000, he was named a “major fugitive” by the United States Marshals Service.[6]

On November 5, 2001, Apache County sheriff’s deputies attempted to arrest Cooper at his Eagar, Arizona home on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment stemming from disputes with local residents. After an exchange of gunfire during which Cooper shot one of the deputies in the head, Cooper was fatally shot. Federal authorities reported that Cooper had spent years evading execution of the 1998 arrest warrant, and according to a spokesman for the Marshals Service, he vowed that “he would not be taken alive”.[1]

I feel sorry for William Cooper. It must have been awful to have been so caught up in the Deep State. It does things to the mind.

President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Last year, he gave a presidential address to both houses of Congress on February 28. The format was very similar to the State of the Union address.

Here is his address in full:

The White House site has a transcript. Stephen Miller, his speechwriter, did a formidable job once again. Miller is highly inspirational.

Most of President Trump’s speech follows. I have interspersed it with tweets of text and reactions, especially from Democrats.

Special guests

Beforehand, Trump welcomed his special guests privately in the Oval Office. He mentioned all of them in his address. They were ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Supervisory Special Agent Celestino Martinez, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert for her work during Hurricane Harvey, Staff Sergeant Justin Peck who rushed to save an officer stricken by an IED blast in the Middle East, police officer Ryan Holets and his wife Rebecca for adopting a baby born to a drug addict, three employees from Staub Manufacturing to highlight the new tax plan, two sets of parents who lost children to gang violence, Otto Warmbier’s parents who suffered deeply after their son needlessly died shortly after returning from North Korea, Ji Seong-ho who also suffered at the hands of the North Koreans, firefighter David Dahlberg who rescued 60 children from a California wildfire and 12-year-old Preston Sharp who has organised the decoration of 40,000 veterans’ graves with American flags and red carnations.

The guests sat with First Lady Melania Trump:

The address

Early in his address, President Trump set the tone for his review of 2017:

He said (emphases mine below):

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania. Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder. Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonusesmany of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”

And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.

Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why …

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

Trump then spoke about healthcare:

He then spoke about the importance of getting trade deals that are fair to the United States, ending with:

He outlined his plan for infrastructure:

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

The next topic was safety, security and gangs:

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again

He spoke of America being compassionate:

Then came the sentence everyone will remember:

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear. Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

The next topic was immigration. Trump explained that his plan has four pillars: 1) an amnesty for 1.8 illegals whose parents took them to the US at a young age, 2) the wall and more border agents, 3) an end to the visa lottery and 4) an end to chain migration.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Then it was on to defence:

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight. Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior. Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.

Also:

So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

And:

I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

Then, Trump discussed North Korea:

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.

Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all.

Here is a photo of Otto Warmbier before he left North Korea. (Background: Warmbier’s parents had contacted the Obama administration, which claimed to have been trying to do something to get him released. Mr Warmbier rightly thought that much more could have been done.)

Trump had one more North Korean story. This, too, is incredible:

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the world.

That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her …

And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.

They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them

It is hard to see what people object to in that speech. I will have reactions from both sides of the aisle and the media on Friday. Here’s an interesting fact:

For now, it is easy to see why Trump won the 2016 election.

He really does care about Americans and America.

It makes no sense other than to people who are sick in the head. More on the Democrats on Friday.

This short video, despite the robotic voice, explains that First Lady Melania Trump is concerned about opioid abuse and brought the issue to prominence in her husband’s administration:

Thank you, Mrs Trump, for your interest in families and in children’s health.

A few days ago, and by chance, I happened across a 2016 documentary called Hell Across The Border, by Walid Shoebat’s Rescue Christians organisation.

WARNING: The following is not for children, impressionable adults or those who have recently suffered trauma.

If you do not know who Walid Shoebat is, he was a radicalised Muslim until 1994. He has since become a Christian. Also:

As a member of the PLO I was involved in terror activity, and was imprisoned in Jerusalem for three weeks. In prison, I was recruited to plant a bomb in Bethlehem as a result of which, thank God, no one was injured. My mother was an American and my father a Palestinian Arab. My parents sent me in 1978 to the United States to study at Loop College in Chicago Illinois. There I was recruited at a hotel “Terror Conference” by Jamal Said, a founder of the IAP (Islamic Association of Palestine) and Imam at one of the largest mosques in Chicago. The IAP was a forerunner to today’s Hamas terror organization and also to the terror front group CAIR (Council for American Islamic relations). This was in the early 1980s when I was being trained for Jihad activities in the USA along with many other young foreigners as well as US citizens. The Imams were the prime recruiters for terrorism then as they are still today and terror conferences are held all over the USA to this day.

And:

Now that you have brief details of my background, I would like to offer my expert opinion, if you can call me an expert – but perhaps an experienced former terrorist would be more appropriate.

This brings us to Hell Across The Border, a documentary that is nearly three hours long. I was startled to learn of the barbarity that takes place in Mexico. Walid’s son Theodore interviewed participants at length.

At the end of April, I wrote a few posts about MS-13, the gang that developed from partiers from El Salvador who emigrated with their parents to Los Angeles in the 1970s to a fearsome, satanic international menace.

Shoebat’s documentary takes us further into the whys and wherefores of not only MS-13 but also Mexican drug cartels and their deep reach into Mexican society:

This is a very well made documentary. Any Christians who want to make factual films would do well to pick up on cinematography and sound mixes from this video, which is very professional. The people who put this together did a stellar job. It’s much better than any production shown on television or at the cinema.

The film intersperses many Catholic images of sanctity with gang-led bodily dismemberments. Starting around the 40-minute point, we hear various interviews from two Latino law enforcement officers in Los Angeles, an ex-gang member who served multiple prison sentences in California, a Catholic priest in Mexico and the Mexican spokesman for a citizen’s self-defence group.

The cinematography is stunning both in its brutality and its beauty. The viewer sees contrasting images of churches and statues with bloody beheadings. One hears Gregorian chants contrasted with folk songs. The second half of the documentary features monarch butterflies enjoying their freedom while self-defence troops patrol highways and farms south of the border of the United States.

For these reasons and more, the film is shocking. I had to take frequent breaks when watching it.

That said, I strongly recommend this to anyone who is ignorant of drug cartels, associated gangs and empathetic to drug use and revisionist ‘Mexican’ culture. I put ‘Mexican’ in quotes, because what is being put forth is not quite the truth, as the Latino law enforcement officers explain in the film.

A whole cult has developed around Mexican culture and the Aztecs. When I took Spanish classes at university a few decades ago, our history book did not glorify the Aztecs as martyrs. Events were presented objectively. They were no saints. Nor were the Spanish conquistadors.

However, over the past few decades or so, revisionist history has made the Aztecs out to be peaceful victims of the conquistadores.

The film demonstrates that each was as bad as the other. The Latinos in the film attest to that.

A summary of the documentary follows. Start at 40 minutes in for the subtitled dialogue.

The Aztecs had a female deity, Tonantzin, who was a Mother Earth goddess. One day in 1531, Mary — the mother of Christ — appeared as what has become known as Our Lady of Guadelupe to a man named Juan Diego.

Tonantzin had a special temple dedicated to her. Our Lady of Guadelupe made her appearance at the same place, on the hill of Tepeyac, not far from today’s Mexico City.

In recent years, Tonantzin has come to represent violence and evil in the form of Santa Muerte, Holy Death. Her veneration was a clandestine one initially. Some say it opened up in the 1940s. Others date it later, around 1965.

Whatever the date, the cult around Santa Muerte grew and grew. The law enforcement officers in the film, both of whom are devout Catholics, say that Santa Muerte is actually a satanic goddess who not only represents the opposite of Our Lady of Guadelupe but is also the closest to the Aztec Tonantzin.

The film shows statues of Santa Muerte. Most represent her as the Virgin Mary but with a skull instead of the saintly, pure face of Jesus’s mother.

In addition, various rituals have developed around Santa Muerte and satanism. The law enforcement officers and the ex-gang member said they had seen evidence of them not only with MS-13 but other gangs and cartels.

The ex-gang member recalled that he went to a house where he was to pick up some drugs. The men in the house told him to go to the garage. He did so and found a body on the floor surrounded by candles and satanic emblems.

One of the law enforcement officers said that a Catholic priest called him to report that the Eastertide Paschal candle from his church had been stolen. The law enforcement officer received a tip off, went to the designated address, and found the candle there. The residents nonchalantly told him he could take it back to the church. They had performed their ritual. The law enforcement officer said that there were cannabis joints all over the floor.

He also went to another gang member’s house where every room was painted black. There were pentagrams, upside-down crosses and other satanic emblems on the walls.

Some gang members wear pentagrams along with their tattooed affiliations. Pentagrams also circulate amongst gang members in prison.

Homosexuality is also rife among gang members. The ex-gang member related a story of young gang prisoners raping an older prisoner who was unable to fight them off. The ex-gang member took matters into his own hands and dealt with the young prisoners in a violent manner to end the brutality.

The two law enforcement officers said that the Latino pro-Aztec satanists oppose the Catholic faith, not that of the Protestants. That is because they oppose Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance to the Aztec in the 16th century — in holy opposition to their goddess.

This opposition manifests itself in several forms. Gang members desecrate and steal from Catholic churches. Gangs forbid their members from attending Mass and receiving the sacraments. Gangs also desecrate Catholic cemeteries. They have even exhumed bodies for satanic rituals.

A young law enforcement officer said that when cartels make an agreement with each other, a young woman has to be mutilated in order for the deal to be satanically blessed. This involves cutting her facial lips and genital labia. How horrible is that?

It is also common for gangs to drink the blood of those they have murdered, in an animalistic know-your-prey way.

All of this occurs in Mexico, other Latin American countries and, now, the United States.

One of the law enforcement officers cautioned against any religious sympathy for gang members from El Salvador with tattoos of their country’s name. He said that El Salvador was named for Christ — The Saviour — however, to gang members, El Salvador is merely a national identity, nothing more. These men — and their female accomplices — are not the good Catholics average Americans think they are.

The ex-gang member said that he and his fellow members are not allowed to read the Bible or to attend church services. He said that one of his fellow prison inmates had a satanic bible. The ex-gang member himself prayed to Satan at one point, asking him for a better life. He said he felt bad having done such a thing and admitting to it on film.

He said that he converted to Christianity when he finally realised that Satan would not bring him a better life. He started thinking about the Ten Commandments and how Satan’s commandments are the complete opposite for each of them.

One of the law enforcement officers said that, with the revisionist thinking about the Aztecs — heavily promoted in schools and Mexican culture, including in the US — it is not unusual to find strange murders. He cited a murder of a nun by a priest. He said the priest was a satanist. Unfortunately, he explained, it is not unusual to find Mexican or Mexican-American satanists in the Church as well as in the legal and medical professions.

He explained that priests in Mexico sometimes have to go into hiding.

Monstrance stisidore-yubacityorgPriests who can circulate freely must be careful how and when they display certain items, such as a monstrance, which is particularly valued in gangland satanic rituals.

Prison chaplains, even in some American prisons, must also be careful about distribution of Holy Communion. Gang members steal the hosts for desecration rituals.

Those people following the revisionism on Aztec culture adhere to an Aztec calendar with all the Aztec pagan feasts and rituals. These are not folk feasts or rituals, even if they are portrayed as such. They are bloody. The film shows animal and human sacrifices. This is not unlike voodoo. The law enforcement agent said that certain aspects of Santería and Macumba have been incorporated into modern Aztec ritual sacrifices.

For these reasons, the law enforcement official said he was sorry to see Mexican-American students recruited to join MEChA — Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán — which, he said, promotes Aztec revisionism. The ex-gang member deplored it, too, saying that he has the impression that MEChA’s attitude is:

If you’re not brown, you’re not down.

The law enforcement officer said that Mexican governments have historically wanted to destroy the Catholic Church, even though 98% of Mexicans consider themselves Catholic. He said that most of the Mexican presidents have been Freemasons who despise the Church. He mentioned Plutarco Elías Calles‘s anti-religious Calles Law, which was in force between 1926 and 1938. Incidentally, the Calles Law brought about the Cristero War, a peasant uprising against the government that lasted for three years (1926-1929). The Calles Law was, sadly, successful in bringing down the number of priests in Mexico from 4,500 in 1926 to 334 by 1934.

The middle of the film had a brief interview with a Catholic priest in Mexico who said he had to be very careful about his daily activities. He said he knew of fellow priests who had gone into hiding or who were killed by gangs.

The second half of the film focusses on the Autodefensas, armed civilian self-defence teams that protect farmers, farm workers and their families from gang violence.

Jose Vazquez Valencia, the current spokesman for the Autodefensas, explained how they originated to fight off the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacán, the centre of avocado and lime growing in Mexico. In one battle, they were able to kill 60 Templars.

The Knights Templar, Vazquez said, extort millions of dollars from landowning farmers there each year. If a farmer cannot afford to pay — sometimes $1m per annum — the Knights Templar abduct women, especially girls, from the family home. Sometimes they kill whole families, from babies up through grandparents. In one instance, they murdered then buried one family in a pit along with three of their farmhands: 18 people.

In another video, Vazquez tells the horrific story of the village that somehow got on the wrong side of another criminal group, the Guerreros Unidos. Members abducted a 14-year old boy, cut his heart out and brought it to the village square, where everyone had to turn up to watch a satanic ritual with the heart. Guerreros Unidos then forced the villagers to leave their homes — for good. Otherwise, the gang threatened to decapitate the local women! Skip the first few minutes of the video. Vazquez appears at 3:36:

Returning to the film, this is how the vigilante groups — the Autodefensas — came to exist.

José Manuel Mireles Valverde, a physician from Michoacán, is considered to be the Autodefensas founder. He was their initial spokesman. In 2014, he was arrested and jailed for allegedly violating Mexico’s federal firearm and explosives law. Although the attorney general dropped charges against him last year, Mireles remains in jail.

Jose Vazquez Valencia, the current spokesman for the Autodefensas, says that some of these vigilante groups vary by state. In the state of Michoacán, they work well. However, in other Mexican states, they have been compromised either by the government or the cartels.

He also said that the relationship between state governments and the cartels varies. In some cases, the government controls the cartels. In other states, the cartels control the government.

The activities of the Guerreros Unidos illustrate this well:

The capture of an alleged Guerreros Unidos financial chief in October 2014, for example, revealed that the group allegedly spent close to $45,000 a month to pay off local police in the municipality of Iguala alone. These local ties could make it more difficult for Mexican authorities to target the group.

I would like to call your attention to three articles that Walid Shoebat wrote about this unbelievably horrific development in Mexico. Although those interviewed in the film say that these gangs are anti-Christian, Shoebat says that there is a syncretism involved, some of which comes from fringe American preachers. He has evidence that there are pseudo-Catholic and pseudo-Protestant crime organisations.

In November 2015, no doubt while his son Theo was busy interviewing the men who participated in the film, Walid said that the Templars are a pseudo-Protestant cartel. People must not be deceived by the Christian window dressing of any of these criminal syndicates. Read ‘BOMBSHELL: There Are Massacres Of Christians Happening Right Now That Is Worse Than What ISIS Is Doing And Is Carried Out By Psuedo-Christian Cults’ in its entirety. These death cults are now in the United States. The FBI is warning people not to get drawn in by something that purports to be religious but is, in fact, satanic ritual.

In April 2016, Theodore Shoebat wrote about the type of people entering the United States via Mexico. Although the title mentions Muslims, the article discusses the ease the cartels have in crossing the border (emphases mine):

The nations of the West have been quite weak with their borders in so many disturbing ways. The US, for example, makes it difficult for good people to enter the borders, but easy for evil people to get through the borders. We have Mexican cartel agents entering with ease into the US, but [as for] good Mexicans who want to flee from the oppressions of the cartels, it is very difficult for them to enter legally.

This is hardly the way crossing the border was portrayed in a 2017 Super Bowl advert with the young mother and child. Of course, they were met with a wall. I have other evidence — the subject of a future post — which says that cartels control every border crossing. No one gets through without their approval.

Theodore’s article also discusses the aforementioned Guerreros Unidos, who, the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) says are among the primary drug distributors in the Midwest — especially in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.

The final article, from May 2016, introduces the film. In ‘Actual Human Slaughterhouses Are Being Conducted Where Masses Of Human Beings Are Being Ritually Slaughtered’ Walid Shoebat says that at least 250,000 Mexicans have died in these murders:

And if we include all the unreported sacrifices, the death-toll probably doubles. Mexicans and the Pope can forget blaming Trump and start blaming themselves for allowing the leaven to slowly fester into their Christian culture.

Also:

Cults can occupy entire states. And we are not speaking of a primitive people here, but a decay to primitive paganism, the Mesoamerican paganism, that was continually pushed for decades at university campuses.

Walid concludes:

To the Vatican that blames Donald Trump, we say, behold, the fruits of your slumber. The Pope’s visit to Mexico withheld the truth on the ground and was nothing but photo ops with complete silence.

To the American addict, behold, the fruits of your addictions.

To all the Mexicans who thought that a ‘peace deal’ can be struck with drug pushers, preferring Santa Muerte over our Lady of Guadalupe; narcocorridos songs over the classical, sublime and rustic Son Jarocho behold, the blood which is on your hands.

To a world that thinks it is simply a “drug problem”, behold, the fruits of your myth, busted at the seam. The problem is your godlessness.

Please join me in praying that people turn to Christ so that this horrific, bloody ritualism stops. And please tell youngsters in your care that drugs harm the mind and the soul. If the West hadn’t such an appetite for drugs, Mexico and the US wouldn’t be in this predicament.

Last week, I posted two lengthy articles on MS-13: one looking at the present day and another at the gang’s history.

Two other articles about them intrigued me, summarised below. Emphases mine.

Ingenious Honduran structure

I mentioned on Friday that MS-13 became established in Honduras when illegals who were part of the gang in the United States were deported during the 1990s — the Clinton years.

The Honduran MS-13 structure has become highly sophisticated since then. In May 2016, InSight Crime published an article, ‘Is Honduras’ MS13 a Drug Trafficking Organization? An Obscure Fugitive May Have the Answer’.

The ‘obscure fugitive’ is one David Elías Campbell, who is also known as ‘Viejo’ or ‘Viejo Dan,’ and, by a leader of MS-13 in San Pedro Sula, as ‘Tío Sam’.

San Pedro Sula is the second largest city in Honduras. The MS-13 operation there is quickly integrating itself into society.

In 2013, using gang money from extortion, drug dealing and hired assassinations, Campbell started a trucking company, Delca, which has a fleet of heavy goods vehicles equipped to haul fertiliser, large shipments of which could hide drugs.

Campbell has made trips to the United States, Panama and Colombia. When Honduran police arrested him as part of their Project Avalanche, he managed to escape:

Their allies included former and current high-level members of the policeCampbell escaped, reportedly with the help of a police commander, who goes by the alias “Monga.”

MS-13 also bankrolls local politicians with the hope of seeing them get elected at national level:

The MS13 also sought political cover and a means to assert influence over the national government. The group allegedly financed the campaign of Jorge Neftalí Romero Mejía, the mayor of Talanga, a municipality near the capital, La Tribuna reported. Investigators told InSight Crime the gang’s long-term plan was to see their mayor take a seat in congress.

MS-13 donates to the city:

The relationship continued after the elections. Authorities played for InSight Crime telephone intercepts of conversations between Porky [Alexander Mendoza, a top MS13 leader in San Pedro Sula] and the mayor discussing, among other things, a tractor the MS13 was giving to the municipality.

MS-13 also owns a hospital!

They have become financially sophisticated at money laundering and diversion:

the MS13 created a more sophisticated financial wing, Honduras authorities say, included a gang member with a Master’s in finance. They managed a large list of employees, and even paid out Christmas bonuses to members and collaborators such as the police. They bought properties, moved into new residences and became leaders in the transport industry, paying more money to their drivers than rival companies, the Honduras investigators said.

“They had the best drivers,” one investigator told InSight Crime.

The Honduran MS-13 works closely with the one in El Salvador, including with any leaders currently in jail.

Gang leaders have made it tricky for investigators to unravel who is in charge of the Honduran operation. Alexander ‘Porky’ Mendoza directed authorities to Campbell, but other investigators say there is no proof Campbell is an MS-13 member. (He became involved with them during his youth as a small time drug dealer.) Furthermore, telephone intercepts reveal that Porky is the real leader.

It is possible that MS-13 operates a type of honorary membership system, because the gang in El Salvador designated three new members in 2015 who are clearly too old to go through the rigours of what the normal MS-13 members have to in order to be initiated: murder and the 13-second beatdown, which I mentioned on Friday.

Whatever the story is with Campbell, he is well placed to take the Honduran MS-13 into:

the world of transnational criminal organizations … His movements, supposed efforts to contact large-scale wholesalers in Colombia, and his trucking company suggest that he has the infrastructure and wherewithal that has been missing in the gangs to make this leap.

Imagine. MS-13 could be transporting drugs and other items all over North and South America.

MS-13 in North Dakota

In 2015, the Los Angeles Times published an article — ‘Drug explosion follows oil boom on North Dakota Indian reservation’ — concerning the tribes that comprise MHA Nation: the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara.

MHA Nation is a huge reservation that is three times the size of Los Angeles. Because it has traditionally been a low crime area, it had only 20 law enforcement officials and a handful of investigators. There are approximately 4,000 Native Americans living there, but with the oil boom, thousands of outsiders, too.

The Bakken Oil Fields have brought prosperity not only to North Dakota but especially to MHA Nation. Individuals and families receive royalty cheques that oil companies pay them for use of the land they have inherited. The royalty amounts vary, but can be as much as tens of thousands of dollars a month, the LA Times says. Unfortunately, enough younger tribal members are using the money to buy meth and other drugs, making narcotics a lucrative operation.

Authorities found heroin on the reservation for the first time in 2012. In 2013, MHA Nation flew in Guatemalan gang experts who taught them how to identify members of MS-13! This is incredible not only for the reservation but also the quiet, rural, truly Midwestern state of North Dakota:

One of the experts, Francisco Foppa, said he noticed MS-13 tattoos on people in a Wal-Mart in Minot and the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge at the MHA Nation’s capital in New Town. “It was alarming to see people with those tattoos on the reservation,” he said.

Authorities have not arrested any MS-13 kingpins, but the gang’s presence is palpable and many speak about it in whispers.

MS-13 is strong enough and scary enough that I question whether I should speak out at all,” said a former tribal leader who requested anonymity out of fear of reprisal. “They’re vicious. Just like any ripe feeding ground, they have competition, but obviously they are the big bad wolf. They are the ones that are the most terrifying.”

The rot spread to Montana, North Dakota’s neighbour. Residents in Roosevelt County had just passed a bond enabling the increase of jail space.

An FBI initiative, Operation Winter’s End, resulted in arrests and indictments in 2013. It established that the drug dealers had ties to Mexican gangs. Still, the problem persists.

On March 5, 2015, the FBI opened its fifth agency in the state:

Special Agent in Charge Thornton states, “The office in Williston is a welcomed addition to our presence in North Dakota. The opening of this office is in response to the unprecedented growth in population and economic activity associated with the oil exploration and production in the Bakken region and the corresponding increase in criminal activity. The FBI will be in a better position to effectively address these issues in this region of North Dakota through this new office. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with our local law enforcement partners in the region through this permanent presence.”

I knew North Dakota well at one time, and all of this is just unthinkable. I am not alone. The LA Times reports:

Mary Eleanor Fox, a 66-year-old silver-haired matriarch of a large family, said she never thought she’d see the day most of her grandchildren would be addicted to the sort of drugs she’d once only heard about “in the big cities.”

Sadly, some babies are born addicts. Mrs Fox’s family has experienced the tragic phenomenon:

Her daughter, Jackie Powell, a robust 47-year-old with a quick smile, was forced to quit her job and become a full-time mom to her two grandsons — ages 1 and 2 — who were born addicted to methamphetamine.

Their father, Powell’s son Mason Fox, struggles with his meth addiction. Their mothers grapple with the same. Amelia Reed, mother to the youngest, first tried meth nearly five years ago and says she’s addicted to “the devil’s drug.”

“Now my first son was born with it,” Reed said. “I was pregnant and selfish and wouldn’t stop doing it.”

Reed receives oil royalty money from land she inherited on the reservation, and says the monthly checks made it easy for her to drop at least $400 a month for her habit.

An article dated March 25, 2016 from the Montana paper, Havre Daily News, ‘Mexican drug cartels hit north-central Montana’, says:

International crime cartels are selling hard drugs along the Hi-Line and the FBI has confirmed the Mexican border is the most “prevalent route” by which drugs are arriving in the U.S. and, consequently, into Montana.

An agent with the Tri-Agency Safe Trails Task Force, who prefers not to be identified by name, said cartel members have been selling methamphetamine, heroin and opioid pills along the Hi-Line since before the Bakken oil boom started in 2007. But the flood of people and high oil wages opened the floodgates of drugs and outside dealers. The drugs have spilled out of the Bakken, down the Hi-Line and into Hill County.

A local, who has spent time around drug dealers and who asked not be identified, talked about a methamphetamine dealer in Havre.

The Havre dealer met regularly in eastern Montana with a cartel member to buy meth that would be sold along the Hi-Line, the person said. The out-of-town gang member who was selling meth to the local dealer, according to the testimony, was short in stature, spoke “little English” and had a tattoo of the number 13 on his face

One possibility is the gang MS-13

But there are other Sureños gangs that sport the number 13 in homage to the Mexican Mafia, La Eme (The M):

Another possibility for which cartel the out-of-town drug dealer belonged to is the South Side Sureños …

Whichever cartel the drug dealer was from, he wanted to make sure the Havre dealer and their partner was trustworthy. He made a reference to decapitation if they weren’t, the person said.

This is a huge problem for what was a law-abiding region of the United States:

The Montana National Guard Counterdrug Program will receive a 60 percent funding hike, according to a press release issued last week by Sen. Jon Tester’s office.

The increase is partly in response to pressure from Tester to National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank Grass to help fight “organized and transnational drug trafficking and smuggling” in the Bakken region.

By the time Tester had written Grass about allocating money to fight the increased crime in the region — Tester tells Grass that “arrests in all crime categories in Bakken counties increased by 80 percent”— he had long known how dire the situation in Montana is.

Montana authorities have identified the big players there as being from the Sinaloa Cartel. That said, overall:

A local Task Force agent confirmed that cartel members have gone beyond the Bakken and landed in Hill County. He added that they are anything but inconspicuous.

“They come to this area and they’re a big fish in a little pond and they stick out,” he said.

He said cartel members “target” the Indian reservations.

“I don’t know why that is,but it may have something to do with the drug transportation pipeline,” the agent said. “One of our main pipelines here is the Yakima. We just had a big case that we took down and one of those guys was part of the cartel. He was an illegal immigrant” …

The folks who want to do harm to this country will go to the weakest link in the chain, and if the weakest link in the chain is north of Havre or north of Plentywood or north of Bismarck, North Dakota, or wherever, that’s where they will go,” Tester said.

Senator Tester thought that border security was essential to put a stop to this:

Tester said Tuesday during an interview at Fort Belknap Indian Reservation that he knows how important border security is. That’s why he’s against reducing border patrol agents by 300 as President Obama’s 2017 budget would do

“All I know is that if they’re replacing people with technology on homeland security, we need to see that plan. … I’m not opposed to having the best technology on the northern border if it saves money. In fact, I encourage them to do that. But that’s not the story I heard. The story I heard is they are reducing the people and the equipment isn’t anything more than what they would do under normal budget circumstances,” Tester said.

Tester’s office said the senator “would like to see increased security along the southern border,” adding that that is the reason he voted for the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that provided for increased border security. The bill made it past the Senate but was never taken up in the House of Representatives, the statement said.

If President Donald Trump had explained his rationale for ‘the wall’ using these types of examples during his 2016 campaign, more people would have got on board with it. That was the one sticking point I had with it.

Having done my reading for these posts, I now think it’s a good idea.

Trump is now explaining it better:

However, ports will also have to be better secured, as a result.

When it comes to gangs: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Tomorrow: Big Pharma makes big money from illicit drug addiction

As far as most Westerners are concerned, there is no greater evil than tobacco, especially where athletic prowess is concerned.

An issue of Tobacco & the Elderly Notes from 1998 examplifies the anti-tobacco stance with its feature which deplores past sports stars advertising cigarettes. Yet, my post yesterday showed that a number of top athletes enjoyed their smokes and still went on to break records during their satisfying careers.

I wonder what the editors of Tobacco & the Elderly Notes would think of the increasing drug use prevalent among high school, college and professional athletes? Is that a better proposition than tobacco?

I used to support the legalisation of cannabis until I saw what it did to a friend of ours. He never quite recovered from his use of skunk during the 1990s. What started out as recreational led to divorce and estrangement from his child, by now an adolescent. Even now that he’s gone straight, he’s still irritable, excitable and paranoid.

For those my age and older, it’s impossible to get the old strains which are now so last century. Every variety of cannabis on the market today has some psychotropic element to it. It’s no longer a case of a happy or sleepy high. It’s affecting people like our friend adversely.

Furthermore, use of other drugs, including K2, is on the increase by athletes.

College athletes and marijuana

Recreator has a series of excellent graphics and NCAA statistics which everyone should have a look at.

It will surprise many.

The survey is taken every four years. Results published are from the 2013 survey.

More than 20% of athletes smoked dope in 2005 (21%), 2009 (23%) and 2013 (22%).

One quarter of male athletes smoked it in 2013 versus 17% of women athletes.

Use by NCAA division statistics are as follows: Division I is 16%; Division II is 20% and Division III shows a significant 29%.

Statistics for marijuana use by sport revealed that 46% of lacrosse players smoke. Next are swimming (32%) and soccer (31%), followed by football (23%) and, finally, basketball (19%).

A 2012 article in Time on American football players states (emphases mine):

What is surprising is the frequency, proliferation and seeming constancy of the confessed drug useESPN The Magazine‘s Sam Alipour begins with a detailed scene of an Oregon football player, fresh off this year’s Rose Bowl victory, kicking back by rolling a joint. The unnamed player (there are many unnamed sources in the article, which isn’t surprising given the content) estimates that about half of the team smokes marijuana on a regular basis. The magazine also cited interviews with 19 current and former Ducks going back a decade and a half who put that number at between 40 and 60%.

The article states that, even more unusual is that, generally speaking, some football players get high before practice — or a game.

It used to be that such activity could harm one’s chances for a professional career. Today, it’s less of a problem:

For many athletes, the only downside to being caught using marijuana is a drop in their draft status, but there is an interesting catch-22 in which NFL scouts and executives assume that because so many athletes have used marijuana, they don’t believe those who claim they haven’t.

An article on draft picks on NFL.com, also from 2012, looked at the same ESPN Magazine report that Time did. We learn the following:

Four out of 10 draft-eligible prospects from the 2012 class failed at least one school-administered drug test for marijuana; two in 10 failed multiple times, per a CBS Sports report from April.

“About 70 percent” of prospects at the combine admitted to using marijuana, per an ESPN report.

NFL players

The NFL.com article considered the ESPN report alongside three marijuana-related arrests in the Detroit Lions that year:

Lomas Brown, now an ESPN analyst, claims at least 50 percent of NFL players likely smoke marijuana, according to a report in the Detroit News

“I just don’t think you’ll be able to curb this,” Brown told the newspaper.

In Brown’s eyes, this is actually an improvement. Brown claims up to 90 percent of players league-wide smoked marijuana when he began his career with the Lions in 1985.

K2 — undetectable — popular with youths and pros

Three years ago I wrote about the dangers of synthetic drug K2, which is widely available and legal. It is sold in filling stations and malls.

K2 looks like a little packet of potpourri and all packets say ‘not for consumption’.

ThePostGame has an excellent article on the increased popularity of K2 with athletes, from high school to professional level.

K2 is smoked and mimics cannabis. It is also undetectable in drug tests:

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were 14 cases of K2 exposure in the 48 states plus the District of Columbia in 2009. In 2010, that number exploded to 2,888. Already this year, there have been nearly 1,000. In the last four months alone, 151 Navy sailors have been accused of using or possessing the drug.

The U.S. Naval Academy expelled eight midshipmen last month for using K2.

Jay Schauben, director of the Florida Poison Control Center, warns:

The possible side effects include significant hallucination, cardiac effects, seizures, rapid heart rate, hypertension, severe agitation, passing out, and panic attacks.

Anyone who takes K2 is playing Russian roulette.

Secondary school use

ThePostGame‘s article opens with a profile of an 18-year-old K2 user who committed suicide. David was a notionally all-American boy living with his mother and father. He ended his life just after attending a high school graduation party. His parents had no reason to believe their son was using any sort of unusual substance until his girlfriend spoke with them a few days later.

My aforementioned post from 2012 recapped a drowning incident involving a 19-year old high school football player in Florida who took K2 with a friend. He didn’t want to go home and the friend left him alone, never imagining the youth would drown himself in a nearby creek.

University use

Athletes at university level like K2 because drug tests cannot detect it. Consequently, it is being heavily marketed on campuses all over the US:

“We’re receiving more reports of its use in the athlete population,” says Frank Uryasz, director of the National Center of Drug-Free Sport … ‘We’re getting reports from colleges, where athletes are asking about it.”

One such report to the Drug-Free Sport hotline, from an NCAA athletic trainer, reads:

“Three student-athletes were breaking apart cigarettes, mixing it with K2, rolling it back up into papers and then smoking. One young man, who had NO past medical history, had a seizure and lost consciousness. He was found outside the dorm by campus security convulsing. His heart rate was elevated above 200 for enough time that he was admitted for 24 hours of observation … When asked why he did it: “I didn’t think it would be that much of a rush, I had no control over my body in that I could see but could not talk or speak.”

Just because they are young and fit does not mean that university athletes are immune to harm from K2, especially when combined with another substance:

Performance-enhancing drugs may add yet another layer of risk. “If you combine these products and steroids, I can’t begin to predict the negative consequences,” says Anthony Scalzo, director of toxicology at St. Louis University. “If you add these stresses to the heart, someone’s probably going to have a heart attack from it.”

NFL use

One pro explained his drug-taking strategy:

I go straight weed in the off-season,” one NFL veteran told ThePostGame.com on condition of anonymity. “Then, in-season, when they test, I go to [K2].”

It is highly possible that within the next few years we might see unexpected deaths in fit athletes — including professionals — using K2.

And people rail against tobacco and nicotine!

When is ‘Wesleyan’ synonymous with John Wesley?

Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that Wesleyan University in Connecticut is a Methodist institution of higher learning.

In recent weeks, two news items about the university have hit the headlines (H/T: Stand Firm).

On February 23, 2015, ten students and two visitors were hospitalised after overdosing on a pure crystalline form of MDMA known as Molly. At the time the Hartford Courant reported the story, what happened was still a mystery. One student told the paper:

I don’t understand why so many people were doing Molly that night, at one time.

There’s a lot of alcohol, there’s a lot of weed on campus. I’m not necessarily in contact with anything harder than that.

Some of the students had attended an on-campus rave at the social house of the university’s Eclectic Society.

Wesleyan’s president Michael S Roth pleaded with students not to use illegal drugs. Quite rightly, he said:

One mistake can change your life forever. If you have friends who are thinking about trying these kinds of drugs, remind them of the dangers … These drugs can be altered in ways that make them all the more toxic. Take a stand to protect your fellow students.

Yet, Roth was less sensible in his sanction of one of four male fraternities, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE). The university’s administration told them they would all have to admit women or be closed down with the frat house left empty. All Wesleyan students must live on campus.

It is unclear what the other four frat houses have done, but DKE claim that they were given three years to admit women until the university accelerated the transition. The Daily Caller tells us they have decided to file a lawsuit.

The irony is that Wesleyan has specialised, identity-specific housing, so why not allow fraternities the same politics? The Daily Caller reports:

For instance, the Women of Color house caters to non-white females, the Womanist House is for students “committed to the issues of Wesleyan women,” and the Turath House exists for Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim students.

Most spectacular of all is the Open House, which defines itself as (we are not making this up) “a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k [spelled out in full on the university’s website], Polyamourous [sic], Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities.”

But we can rest easily, because Wesleyan University fully commits its students to Community Standards. We should all be happy (not) to see that, whatever else goes on there — crystalline MDMA, cannabis or sexual violence in a safe house — this policy appears in bold on their website:

Smoking Policy

In order to limit exposure to environmental smoke, the University prohibits smoking in all residence halls, program houses, apartments, and Wood frame houses, as well as within 25 feet of university residences.

Why does the ‘w’ in ‘wood’ need uppercase?

As for the university’s name, many readers are under the impression that once Wesleyan always Wesleyan, that is, Methodist.

And we would be wrong, because the website tells us (emphasis mine):

Ties to the Methodist church, which were particularly strong in the earliest years and from the 1870s to the 1890s, waned in the 20th century. Wesleyan became fully independent of the Methodist church in 1937.

Goodness me — 1937.

Today, Wesleyan University expresses pride in being

a New England liberal arts college that is far from traditional.

Isn’t that the truth!

Advice to parents — please read university websites in full before going on name alone.

The Puritan Board forum has a good discussion on mind-altering drugs and the Bible.

A member asked why Scripture is silent about these substances. Another long-time forum member, Steve Rafalsky, who attends a Presbyterian Church of America in Astoria, Queens, replied with much to say on the topic. And, no, the Bible is not silent on the matter.

Rafalsky took drugs in the 1960s and became a Christian when he saw how destructive the counterculture lifestyle was. His comments come highly recommended, particularly to readers under the age of 50.

In commenting on the 1960s and the legacy of that decade, Rafalsky says, in part (emphases mine):

That drug culture killed a lot of people, and drove many others mad, and influenced the mental and spiritual consciousness of collective humankind by opening a terrible Pandora’s box – an interdimensional gateway, if you will – allowing direct demonic influence to enter the archetypal human heartlands by means of these sorcerous drugs. Many pagans are aware of these things (though not from the Christian view which discerns the evil), but most of the Christians not, which will be a grave handicap in maintaining holiness in the church, seeing as we are growing so lax in letting the world into our sanctuary.

The United States changed forever. This is happening in Europe, too:

… much as Tolkien’s “shadow of Mordor” encroaching upon all of Middle Earth, or the days of Noah where “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually . . . [and] the earth [was] filled with violence through them” (Gen 6:5,13) – and what was once a relatively pleasant world (and country, for those in America) to live in, became increasingly hostile and unjust, and the culture Babylonian, that is, seductive by means of its arts, entertainments, luxuries, comforts (while multitudes elsewhere languished in misery and want). The world became more beast-like with its wars everywhere, emerging police states even in the supposedly civilized West. Ethnic groups now fostered hatred toward other groups (cf Matt 24:7 – “nation shall rise against nation”, which in the Greek is ethnos shall rise against ethnos – people groups against people groups), and social fabrics increasingly disintegrated.

This odyssey / pilgrimage to the Heavenly home now became a trek through a gauntlet of violence, and not only that, but due to the increasing wickedness the Almighty meted judgments upon this Babylonian entity. The stench of the blood and pain of 96,000,000 babies murdered in the womb (in America alone) over the brief period of 41 years, along with the celebrating all manner of sexual perversions and sin drew from Heaven great wrath, and the days were to become hard.

Some of the Puritan Board’s younger readers think this is an overstatement, however, Rafalsky is writing a book which he will self-publish about a reformed drug user who backslides and then finally sees the horror of what it is before returning to the Church.

Rafalsky has a lengthy blog post, also on Puritan Board, which parents, guardians and youth pastors might find useful. In it, he addresses the many mentions of mind-altering substances and those who administer them.

Scripture, he says, used the following Greek words in ancient translations concerning drugs and those who administer them:

With regard to pharmakeiaBAGD 2nd Edition says, that in Rev 18:23 the meaning is “sorcery, magic”, and in Rev 9:21, “magic arts”. It also gives usages in many other classical and LXX readings, but for brevity I’ll limit it to the NT usage, and will in the following citations also.

Concerning pharmakon – drug – in classical use (it’s not used in the AV NT) there are 3 meanings: 1) “poison”, 2) “magic potion, charm”, and 3) “medicine, remedy”. These are on page 854a of Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker’s, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd Edition.

Pharmakos – “poisoner, sorcerer, magician”. These entries were all found on page 1917 of Liddell and Scott.

He explains that ‘sorcerer’ and ‘magician’ in this context are not the way we understand them today, but in Revelation are used to denote:

one who administers or uses a certain class of drugs to “enchant”, to cast a psychic spell upon by use of these drugs and accompanying demonic power. It doesn’t mean a deceiver – a liar – generally or even figuratively, but specifically one who uses sorcerous potions. Liars / deceivers are already classed separately in this listing. Likewise in Rev 22:15 where a similar Greek word, pharmakos, is used for sorcerer, with the same meaning as pharmakeus in 21:8, again with liars / deceivers named separately. In these verses the usage clearly refers to drug-using-and-promoting people, so at the very least it is quite possible pharmakeia / sorceries in Revelation 18:23 – “by thy sorceries were all nations deceived” – refers to drug-related activity and not deceptive practices.

To those who doubt the meaning, Rafalsky cites an additional source (underscore and emphases in the original):

Consider this item from The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol 2, p. 558,

. . . pharmakos, magician (Rev. 22:15); pharmakeus, mixer of potions, magician (Rev. 21:8); pharmakeia, magic, sorcery (Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21; 18:23). The basic word pharmakon does not occur in the NT, but its meaning of medicine, magic potion, poison gives the underlying idea of the words. Potions include poisons, but there has always been a magical tradition of herbs gathered and prepared for spells, and also for encouraging the presence of spirits at magical ceremonies (cf. possibly the final sentence of Ezek. 8:17: “They put the branch to their nose”). Sorcery is classed among the works of the flesh in Gal. 5:20. [underlined and last bold and italicized emphases added –SMR]

He goes on to mention instances where hallucinogens are used in non-Christian religious rituals and explains:

we are confronted with a class of drugs that “induce magic spells” or, to put it in other words, whose affect in the consciousness enable the user to have profound mystical / spiritual experiences, as well as to come into the presence of spirit beings. This is not all of their possible effects, but enough to get us started in our examination. This is Biblically-defined “sorcery” – pharmakeia …

He adds:

when Scripture speaks in Revelation 9:21 of men refusing to repent of their “sorceries” (pharmakeia) in the time of the sixth trumpet and its judgments, and in Rev 18:23 of the judgment of the harlot Babylon for (among other things) her “sorceries” (pharmakeia) which deceived the nations – those centuries prior to the latter half of the 20th might not have understood the meaning and significance of the “sorceries” written of here, for sorcery and magic arts then were practiced in the dark, away from the view of society, hidden in all its aspects due to its evil nature, widespread condemnation, and severe penalties.

How true. But, what about recreational drugs, we ask? Rafalsky states:

People smoke or ingest marijuana to attain a psychological or psychic “high” – an elevated and enhanced state of consciousness – though some would deny calling this “high” as much a pharmakeia activity as a more spiritual awareness, or not even that, but only a psychological high, or simply an enhancement of the senses . To deny that pharmakeia can involve enhanced physical sensation and pleasure through this psychic “high” – to the exclusion of overt occultism – as well as said occult activity, is an attempt to dissociate their sinning from pharmakeia activity. But this is taking refuge in lies. We must recognize that to use sorcery to indulge in sensory pleasure is as much one of its activities as the seeking of psychic, occult, and spiritual experience.

He also points out (emphasis in purple mine):

The widespread acceptance of “getting high” – “the relative innocence of this harmless substance” (if used moderately, so the reasoning goes) – has made it seem like harmless fun indeed. Many argue on this basis and will not even hear the exposition of Scripture. It has been said that such exposition is “stretching the meaning of the Greek words” – even though the meaning is clear and unequivocal. There is no stretching of the meaning of pharmakeia; its lexical import is precise: illicit drugs used to enhance the awareness of the flesh, its senses, and its state of mind or consciousness, quickened to these ends by a psychic energy not the Holy Spirit, but such as enables souls to be influenced by the demonic, or, if they are closed to this possibility, to be influenced by the demonic while completely unaware of it – thinking their “fun” state is just a super lark. Though the demonic influence is there, affecting their psyche, and they [are] blind to it. That’s a dangerous deception. Some call this, “Reefer madness hysteria.” The watchman on the wall is but called to cry out the danger approaching. We are responsible for heeding the cry.

He sums up scriptural references to drugs this way:

What we see is that there are different “levels” of Biblically-defined sorcery: occultic, spiritual, psychic high, and sensual pleasure. The enhancement by means of psychedelic agents constitutes them all pharmakeia activities.

This also includes most forms of cannibis, with the exception of those which have the THC removed, and, therefore, the high.

Rafalsky goes on to deplore the laxist attitude of Christians and clergy who say that there is nothing wrong with mind-altering drugs. On the contrary, he posits that taking them is spiritual fornication, which Scripture condemns. Of the 1960s, he says (emphasis mine):

There was an event (the term now used for military-scale biological, chemical, or nuclear events) that befell the entire world through the drug-energized sixties generation in America, as this potent counterculture permeated the nations of the world through its music, literature, art, film, and other culture-bearing vehicles. These nations and cultures of the world were leavened from within by the exciting new consciousness of the sixties and the Woodstock spirit exported into them, but it was a Trojan Horse filled with the denizens of Hell. Its impact was, in the psychic realm, the equivalent of a massive nuclear detonation. The “fallout” of this “detonation” came in the presence of malign spirits and their influence upon the new thinking: it became (seemingly) obvious to all that real vitality was not to be found in the Christian faith but in the relativity of postmodernism – the validation of everyone’s subjective truths and beliefs – and thus was the world made ripe for satanic deception on an unprecedented scale.

And:

The damage done is irreversible. The timetable of the Sovereign God is counting down. Across the non-Western world Christians are already under severe duress, persecution increasing daily. And the signs are that a groundswell is building up in the West – the mystery of iniquity and lawlessness – and that He who restrains it will not restrain it for long (2 Thess 2:6 ff.).

There is much more. Rafalsky might sound alarmist and heavy-handed, but he was immersed in the drug culture 50 years ago and know whereof he speaks.

The term ‘recreational drug’ only became part of popular parlance around that time. Yes, there were certain groups of people who used them before, but they were small subsets of society. During the latter half of the 20th century we saw an explosion in drug use. In the 21st century, we are now seeing legalisation of substances which have no place in a Christian lifestyle.

I would highly recommend Rafalsky’s research and thoughts, although they might need to be expressed differently to a young person.

That said, he proves that Scripture has much to say on the prohibition of mind-altering drugs.

My last few posts have looked at the history of LSD — here, here and here.

It is useful to read these entries before moving on to this final instalment in the LSD story.

LSD refuses to die, despite all the real-life mental illness and deaths associated with its use and abuse. Just as in earlier North American experiments from the late 20th century, it is still seen as a beneficial drug.

Alcoholism treatment – Norway (2012)

Most people who know something about alcoholism know that, for decades, an alcohol abuser can enter any number of hospitals for detox treatment.

This one-off treatment used to be rather onerous, albeit effective. I knew someone who went through a three-day detox with the appropriate non-hallucinogenic drugs in the 1980s. Today’s regimen sounds better, as described by a German discussing his friend who used it to effectively detox from GBL (emphases mine):

So to finally quit, he went to an hospital, told the doctors everything about his habits and they decided to put him in a detox program. He got Clomethiazol (192mg capsules), 4 times a day with decreasing dose. He was in the clinic for 5 days, the doses went down very fast. He didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms at all, only a bit of sweating in the first night. As i visited him, he was quite happy and had neither psychic nor physical problems. No craving at all. Since then, he is clean of GBL and has no intention to do it again. He is doing an ambulant therapy, where he talks to a doctor every week.

So if you have the possibility and the need of detoxing from GBL in a hospital, I can only tell you to do it this way. He told his boss he had some minor illness and only missed 3 days of work without anyone there knowing what was up (even though he went to work on GBL for several months). He didn’t have to do anything in the hospital, he was just lieing around in bed the whole day.

(FYI: The same detox is used on heavy alcoholics. Clomethiazol is used to keep your body safe in this time.)

Nonetheless, a group of Norwegian scientists wants to use LSD to treat alcoholism. Medical News Today recaps their research published in the March 8, 2012 issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Excerpts from Medical News Today‘s article follow. It begins by mentioning the experiments done from the 1950s through the 1970s. The Norwegian researchers looked at the six most promising studies from this time period:

The authors of this new study, Teri Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen, researchers currently affiliated to the Department of Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), suggest the reason that medical interest in LSD gradually waned was probably while the earliest studies showed promising results, they also had design problems …

So they took a closer look at six published experiments that they regarded as having scientifically sound methodology and put them through a rigorous quantitative meta-analysis. Those trials had randomly assigned patients to receive either LSD or a comparison treatment.

Between them, the six studies totalled 536 volunteer patients, mostly men, who were all receiving alcoholism treatment. The trials had taken place in the US or Canada between 1966 and 1970.

Hmm. How many of them were servicemen, one wonders?

Once again, as in the 1960s, the researchers trotted out the false notion that LSD is anodyne with no side effects:

Krebs and Johansen conclude that their results unambiguously show that LSD helped patients heavily addicted to alcohol and made it less likely they would relapse: “a single dose of LSD had a positive treatment effect that lasted at least six months”, they write.

Yet, the existing non-hallucinogenic three- to five-day detox with Clomethiazol lasts a lifetime.

Never mind. The researchers from Norway made rather ambiguous statements:

“There has long been a need for better treatments for addiction. We think it is time to look at the use of psychedelics in treating various conditions,” they urge.

The authors say they don’t know how LSD works to treat alcohol addiction. They explain that we know the drug is non-toxic and non-addictive, and that it has a “striking effect on the imagination, perception and memories”.

And we know that it interacts with a particular serotonin receptor in the brain. Perhaps it stimulates the “formation of new connections and patterns”, thereby creating an “awareness of new perspectives and opportunities for action,” they speculate.

‘Opportunities for action’? What does that mean? Furthermore, they admit their ignorance on the exact interaction of LSD with the brain. Yes, that sounds like a well-researched rationale for treating alcoholics with it (irony alert).

Their argument falls further with the results achieved in these six studies. They are far from stellar and they involve continuing treatment. The researchers also advocate a ‘full’ dose, which when first performed decades ago resulted in mental illness and schizophrenia in a number of cases; American servicemen who participated in these experiments in Maryland are now attempting to find out what they were given and in what doses. Yet, the Norwegian researchers purported:

In all of the studies, the results showed that the patients who received the full LSD dose fared the best.

“On average, 59% of full-dose patients showed a clear improvement compared with 38% in the other groups,” say the authors.

The patients who received the LSD dose were less likely to relapse into problematic alcohol use, and were more likely to abstain altogether.

The greatest improvements were during the first few months of treatment. This wore off with time. Perhaps this suggests repeated doses might work better.

The mind boggles, especially when a safe detox treatment already exists.

However, it will come as no surprise that one of the principal centres of LSD experiments provided the studies to the Norwegians:

The Research Council of Norway financed the study which was conducted during a research stay at Harvard Medical School.

It was at the Harvard Psychedelic Drug Research Center where Timothy Leary and other CIA contractors, including Henry ‘Harry’ Murray worked.  Murray experimented on Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, in the early 1960s.

One can only hope the Norwegian government takes this no further. The same mistakes will no doubt be made, especially with ‘full doses’.

There is nothing new under the sun and this proves it.

Depression – UK (2014)

I have written before about Professor David Nutt from London’s Imperial College.

Nutt is the main personality from the medical world promoting drugs and condemning tobacco and alcohol, placing them next to heroin in terms of toxicity and fatality.

Nutt’s chart tells us that he considers LSD to be the safest of drugs with ketamine — often resulting in bladder replacement — coming second.

His research has been all over the UK media for several years. There are many television presenters and journalists who believe what he says and advocate illegal drugs over tobacco and alcohol on daytime programmes. One example is Matthew Wright, host of Channel 5’s morning show The Wright Stuff.

Nutt was a medical adviser to the previous Labour government until he was dismissed for spurious statements, one of them being that ecstasy was safer than horse riding.

He continues to press on with his advocacy of illicit drugs and, along with Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, hopes to restart LSD and other hallucinogenic experiments in the UK in 2015.

An Observer article dated October 5, 2014 has the story. Excerpts follow:

Next year, if all goes to plan, a dozen patients with clinical depression will be invited to a UK laboratory and given psilocybin – the psychedelic ingredient found in magic mushrooms. Over the next four or five hours, many of these volunteers will experience dream-like euphoria as colours, smells and sounds become more intense, perception of time distorts and their sense of self dissolves. Some may feel a surge of electricity through their bodies, sudden clarity of thought or hilarity. Others may experience anxiety, confusion or paranoia. These hallucinogenic effects will be short-lived, but the impact of the drug on the volunteers could be long-lasting ...

Nutt and Carhart-Harris have already used MRI scanners to study changes in the brain while 15 volunteers took psilocybin. A similar study on 20 volunteers given LSD has just finished.

This article also mentions the ‘moral panic’ that caused LSD experiments to cease in the 1960s. I feel for those participants whose lives have been ruined as a result. It was much more than ‘moral panic’ — it was irreversible mental illness and experimenting with other harmful hallucinogens which had to stop.

Nonetheless, Nutt maintains:

It led to a lot of people believing these drugs were more harmful than they were. They are not trivial drugs, but in comparison with drugs that kill thousands of people a year, like alcohol, tobacco and heroin, they have a very safe track record and, as far as we know, no one has died.

Yet, many over-50s will have read of reports from the late 1960s and early 1970s when people did die from an LSD overdose. There is a fine line between saying that, technically, the drug is not toxic and acknowledging the effect that LSD has on the brain, which can differ from day to day and dose to dose. Addiction Blog explains. Excerpts follow (although I disagree with the tone of the article which seems to put forward the idea that, essentially, LSD is safe):

Cases of fatal overdose on acid are possible, but rare. Emergency room and EMS data supports the claims that, while not often, deaths can occur when a person takes LSD. This is particularly true when it is mixed with alcohol. Cases of acid trips have been reported where overstimulation of the nervous system triggered heart attack, stroke or respiratory failure. Again, these cases are rare.

A number of deaths can be indirectly linked to ingestion of acid. The actual causes of death however are not always from the actual drug itself. Some people who take LSD die because their minds trick them into doing dangerous things. And LSD-related deaths generally occur due to suicide, accidents, and dangerous behavior. Also, there is the possibility that poisonous additives may have been mixed with the drug, amplifying its danger and unpredictability …

The question you may need to ask yourself, is it really worth the risk?

Yes — that is the essential question.

Back now to Nutt and his current studies. He and his colleagues are working with the Beckley Foundation headed by:

English aristocrat Amanda Feilding, the Countess of Wemyss and March. After taking LSD in the 1960s she became fascinated with its potential for creativity and enhancing understanding.

Her foundation supports and initiates research into psychoactive substances – including LSD, magic mushrooms and cannabis, a plant used in medicine for thousands of years. “By prohibiting research into this category of substance, because of a social misconception, we are depriving suffering ill people from a potential treatment which has a very long history,” she says.

Like the Norwegian researchers, the Imperial-Beckley Foundation people admit they do not understand how LSD works on the brain, either:

The mechanisms of LSD are still poorly understood. It seems to mimic some actions of the brain chemical serotonin, which is involved in memory formation, mood and reward, but how it triggers such powerful altering effects isn’t clear.

It is incredible, then, that they can claim it is the safest drug around — moreso than tobacco and alcohol.

The article adds:

The Imperial/Beckley MRI research showed that brains of volunteers on LSD become less organised and more chaotic, while parts of the brain that would not normally communicate with each other link up. In this disorganised dream-like state, the brain is open to new leaps of creativity and flights of fancy. Dr Carhart-Harris believes that hallucinogens may temporally “loosen” the rigid structures of the brain, which have developed as we age. An acid trip is a bit like shaking up a snow globe. This loosening could help the brain break the cycles of addiction and depression.

That sounds as if the outcome is highly unpredictable — from person to person, from trip to trip.

One also wonders whether certain parts of the brain are not meant to link up. I would also question the irresponsible use of phrases such as ‘new leaps of creativity and flights of fancy’ as well as ‘shaking up a snow globe’, both of which makes hallucinogens sound vaguely harmless.

The article goes on to discuss magic mushrooms and skunk.

Would Tobacco and Alcohol Control agree? That is the big question I would like to see answered.

What follows are comments from the few Observer readers who disagree, at least in part, with Nutt and Co.

treebear1: … In my experience it doesn’t make passive individuals. Quite the opposite.

Milesawayfromhere: … In my experience there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach in these matters – they are very good for some people and very bad for others and in most cases underlying problems that were there before the drugs are the real issues. Humans just vary massively and you can’t be generally psychologically prescriptive for all of them when it comes to psychedelics. A practitioner with experience and a well-trained eye should be able to tell who would benefit and who would not after only a few sessions of psychotherapy in advance … For example most people who take Ibogain for addiction issues are already struggling with a multitude of other issues anyway. You can either paper over the cracks with prescription drugs or face the issues full on. The latter will not always be pretty.

Vincent Tayelrand: Suffering from depressions most of my life I have followed this growing trend to treat mental illnesses with psychedelic drugs for many years and have spoken to many people who went through these (illegal) programs.

It is not a sure cure for all, especially where depressions are involved

For some it can be a life changing, even life saving, reset of the brain, but for most nothing actually changes for the better in the long run.

It would be nice for a change if we put some money into research aimed at preventing depresion related mental illnesses instead of making billions by treating these patients with dangerous drugs.

TheyCallMeMrBlack: The health benefits? I took a lot of all this s[tuff] in my twenties and I can tell you there are no health benefits. There are however a lot of health issues awaiting users.

It is incredible that we are still talking about hallucinogens as we were in the late 1960s. It is even worse that so many young users (see the rest of the comments) agree with Professor Nutt.

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