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Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use”

Individual Publication Date: September 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Curtis Boehm

Word Count: 637

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

Abstract

Curtis Boehm is another son – alongside Jeremy Boehm – of the founder of Wagner Hills, Helmut Boehm. Boehm discusses: the story; main methodologies; experiences of individuals coming into recover; experiences of individuals helping those in recovery; evidence-based treatment; spirituality or religion; the “Higher Power” concept; the most tragic story; and the most heartwarming, uplifting story.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Curtis Boehm, God, Jeremy Boehm, Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use, recovery, theist, Township of Langley, Wagner Hills.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was the start of the story in finding recovery for you?

Curtis Boehm: I do not have a personal story of recovery. The start of my awareness of recovery was observing my father’s work, as he counseled men in recovery at a center he founded.

Jacobsen: What seem like the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada?

Boehm: In my experience, there are a handful of approaches:

Harm reduction aims to provide basic safety to those in active addiction, through access to safe injection sites and shelter, and aims to be a stepping stone towards more lasting levels of recovery.

Voluntary, informal groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Celebrate Recovery provide support for those seeking change in their lives. These are low-commitment, low-cost approaches to helping people in recovery to continue but are less effective for those trapped in active addiction

Residential programs require much more commitment and offer much greater help to those seeking holistic recovery. These are much more expensive to offer.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals coming into recovery?

Boehm: Common themes include self-defeating attitudes and behaviour, hopelessness, desperation, and suicidal ideation. It is also common for our men to not be able to communicate their feelings accurately or easily.

There is a willingness to “try anything” to get better.

There is often a willingness to surrender to others’ guidance since the self-determined path has not worked.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals helping those in recovery?

Boehm: Common themes include the desire to show compassion, the desire to relate with the experiences of the individual, and the communication of affirmation that a person has come to the point where they are ready to seek help.

Also there is often a sense of purpose or calling to the work of guiding those in recovery.

Jacobsen: How much does evidence-based treatment play a role in Canadian treatment?

Boehm: I am not familiar with this term. I can’t speak to it’s use in the Canadian context.

Jacobsen: How much does spirituality or religion play a role in Canadian treatment?

Boehm: The most effective recovery programs are faith based. My experience is that programs that invite those in recovery to examine their whole lives, paying attention to physical, emotional, and spiritual layers, are the most likely to lead to enduring recovery. The deeper questions behind the patterns of behaviour also have more to do with the inner spiritual realities of a person’s life than with the events or bahaviours.

Jacobsen: What is the role of the “Higher Power” concept, or even the concept of God, in some treatment systems in Canada?

Boehm: My experience has been working within a faith based, Christian recovery program. We encourage those in recovery to turn control of their lives over to God, surrendering their judgement and relying on God’s character and activity to bring them out of the destructive cycle of behaviour. God is a life-giving, unconditionally loving, forgiving master.

Jacobsen: What has been the most tragic story known to you?

Boehm: I have known several young men who died after overdosing.

Jacobsen: For a happy ending, what has been the most heartwarming, uplifting story of success in treatment known to you?

Boehm: There is a 26 year old man who has nearly completed 12 months of his recovery at the center where I work. His joy and success have been heartwarming and uplifting. He is going to represent the center on an upcoming fundraising trip. Also, he has taken on a level of responsibility in his role as a kitchen assistant and is rising to the challenges presented to him. His success is a really encouraging part of how I have come to think about the center where I work.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God. In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and GodIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and GodIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 4: Curtis Boehm on Recovery, Systems, Christianity, and God [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/curtis-boehm

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Humanism and Witchcraft/Tsav Allegations in Benue, Central Nigeria

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: African Freethinker

Journal Founding: November 1, 2018

Frequency: Once (1) per year (Circa January 1, 2023)

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 1

Issue Numbering: 1

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Individual Publication Date: September 21, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Dr. Leo Igwe

Author(s) Bio: Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

Word Count: 874

Image Credit: Leo Igwe.

Keywords: Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Africans, atheists, Benue, Leo Igwe, LGBTQ, Nigerians, Tsav, western anthropologists, witch persecutions.

*Please see the footnotes and bibliography after the article.*

Humanism and Witchcraft/Tsav Allegations in Benue, Central Nigeria

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) is organizing its first seminar on witch persecution and superstitions in Benue Central Nigeria. Benue is a hotbed of witchcraft imputation and witch hunting because belief in the occult force called Tsav among the Tivs is pervasive. To properly situate this historic event, a local advocate explains the significance of the meeting. He said: “This event is very important because it would allow us to understand the different perceptions of witchcraft and the various ways that alleged witches are persecuted in Benue state. AfAW is a humanist organization that campaigns to end witch persecution in Africa by 2030. As the advocate noted, “Witchcraft belief is a big issue in Benue! Everyone believes in it, and anything can be linked to it. As kids, it was normal to tag along this path, imbibe these superstitions and live in deep fear of occult forces”. 

Witchcraft is popular and entrenched because people are socialized to believe, and not question witchcraft claims from childhood. And as adults, they find it difficult to abandon the superstitious mindset. People pass on these irrational beliefs to their children, perpetuating the cycle of ignorance, unreason, and misconceptions. These misconceptions are not innocuous sentiments; they drive abusive treatment of suspected witches. Incidentally, it is not everyone that is a target witchcraft accusation and witch persecution. A local advocate further states, “The most vulnerable, the people most likely to be accused of witchcraft, are the elderly. Aged people, who are perceived to have lived long while losing family members, children or grand children; those considered different/unusual, like those with autism, including atheists and members of the LGBTQ community”.

In Benue, alleged witches are believed to cause illness, death, and accidents. They are subjected to horrific abuses. A local source told AfAW that the “accused are often treated as horribly as can be imagined, but this depends on the scale of social frailty and vulnerability. A person who has people who could stand up and defend them would be less at risk than those who seem to have none like widows or orphans. When accusations originate from within the family, the accused are worse off, the support base weakens and the protection cover quickly disappears. The stigma and name soiling do much damage. They make suspected witches lose their humanity”. Witch hunting ended in Europe centuries ago but this wild and vicious phenomenon rages in Africa. An advocate in Benue explains why this is the case: “Witch persecution persists because religions, traditional, Christian and Islamic use witchcraft claims to manipulate people and attract followership and patronage. Knowing the cultural depths of this supposed evil, there are mass healing centers and crusades where people go. In these places, people want to hear that an uncle or mother-in-law or a husband’s girlfriend is the cause of the instability in their lives and that something can be done about it. Religion feeds that want”. Witchcraft belief is used to scapegoat individuals; incite persecution and violence against an innocent family or community member. In a recent incident, some youths attacked an elderly woman after consulting a local diviner who confirmed that the woman bewitched a young man who had cancer. Angry youths attacked and destroyed the woman’s house. 

Family members were able to rescue the woman and took her to a safe location. In many cases, accused persons are not lucky. They are tortured to death or lynched by an angry mob. In some parts of Benue, witch hunters strangle or stone accused persons to death. They act with impunity. These atrocities continue because perpetrators are seldom punished. Victims of witch persecution and their families often reign to their fate because of the notion that justice would not be served or that efforts to ensure justice would lead to further victimization. The police expect victims and their relatives to come and lodge complaints before they could intervene in cases of witch persecution. Even when complaints have been lodged, the police often expect the complainants to bribe or mobilize them before they could arrest the suspects or investigate the incident. In situations where the cases are charged to court, the matter suffers so many adjournments. Victims or their families are forced to abandon their case.

On what could be done to end witchcraft accusations and witch persecution in Benue, a local source said: “Education could play a great part in changing the mindset of the people. Nowadays, any sickness is presumed to be inflicted through witchcraft. Maybe, people need to understand that there are other causes of diseases and misfortune that can be verifiable through scientific testing”. 

Indeed, education could loosen the grip of witchcraft and other superstitions on the minds of people in Benue. But the tragedy is that educated Nigerians nay Africans are part of the problem. Many educated Africans are witchcraft apologists. They defend and justify witchcraft as a codification of African science, philosophy, and logic. Like western anthropologists, educated Africans espouse an exoticized notion of African witchcraft. They propagate the stereotypic idea that, unlike westerners, witchcraft is not a form of superstition; that witchcraft is a demonstration of black power. This mistaken, prejudicial misrepresentation of African witchcraft will be keenly challenged, interrogated, and examined at this event in Benue state.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Differing Opinions Between Muslim Clerics and Born Again Christian Pastor Over the Hijab of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: African Freethinker

Journal Founding: November 1, 2018

Frequency: Once (1) per year (Circa January 1, 2023)

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 1

Issue Numbering: 1

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Individual Publication Date: September 21, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge

Author(s) Bio: Lucas is Assistant Editor African Freethinker/www.in-sightpublishing.com (Tanzania), a Lawyer, an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, a Notary Public Officer and Commissioner for Oaths.

Word Count: 462

Image Credit: Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge.

Keywords: Born Again Christian, Faustin Munishi, hijab, Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge, Muslim, Samia Suluhu Hasan, United Republic of Tanzania.

*Please see the footnotes and bibliography after the article.*

Differing Opinions Between Muslim Clerics and Born Again Christian Pastor Over the Hijab of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – East Africa.

(WhatsApp +255 766 151395/E-mail: isamwaka01@gmail.com.)

It has been a trending topic of discussion in social media in Tanzania as a result of the action of one Pentecostal church evangelist based in Nairob,i Kenya named as Faustin Munishi, in one of his preaching services through You Tube channel. Whereby, he did advise the president of the United Republic of Tanzania, her excellence Samia Suluhu Hasan, to stop her habit of using hijab to cover her head and hair while she executes her daily official duties. According to pastor Munishi, hijab is a symbol of Islamic religion, therefore, as a president, the act of using hijab to cover her head while performing presidential duties, it is like she is using such presidential platform to promote and spread Islamic religion. Furthermore, pastor Munishi stated that doing so is not good because the United Republic of Tanzania is a secular state. He additional urged that though people in Tanzania have a choice in faith and what to believe, but when a person is chosen to serve in the highest post in the nation like the presidency it is not advisable to put on some kind of clothes which may in one way or another link that particular individual to a certain religion or denomination because such situation may lead some citizens to start thinking that such concerned religion is being promoted through such highest office in the nation, while it is not the case.

On the other side, Muslim clerics in Tanzania in various occasions have come out and defending the habit of the president of covering her head with hijab. They insist that it is an Islamic good tradition that a woman head must be covered. The Muslim clerics in Tanzania encourages the president to continue to adhere to good Islamic standards which require women to cover their heads and hair with hijab.

All in all in these two opposing views, it can be settled that both sides have utilized their constitutional and human rights of freedom of expression be it to evangelist Faustin Munishi or the muslim clerics of Tanzania, and the right to freedom of religion and belief as well as the right of manifestation on what someone believes, together with the side of her excellence madam president, if hijab is part of Islamic teachings and instructions to believers, then madam president has all the rights to use it at whatever time she want because she is a muslim. Therefore, madam president has the right to manifest her religion at any place and at any time as her religion instructs.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use”

Individual Publication Date: September 15, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Jeremy Boehm

Word Count: 2,523

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

Abstract

Jeremy Boehm is a lover of music, art, and sports, and loves to spend time with his young family and animals on his hobby farm on Vancouver Island. Jeremy has a BA with theological and youth ministry emphasis from Calgary and furthered his education in counselling with focus on addiction for a second career in supporting those with substance use disorders. Boehm discusses: finding recovery; main methodologies; experiences of individuals coming into recovery; experiences of individuals helping those in recovery; evidence-based treatment; spirituality or religion; the “Higher Power” concept; most tragic story known; and heartwarming, uplifting story.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, God, Jeremy Boehm, Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use, recovery, theist, Township of Langley, Wagner Hills.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was the start of the story in finding recovery for you?

Jeremy Boehm: After a career as a minister for fifteen years, I had the choice to relocate to another job, or seek local work. The area was perfect for our family, and relocating pointed towards uprooting the life of our children. Instead, I brainstormed other fields, and considered the environment I had grown up in, at Wagner Hills in Langley, which is a therapeutic Christian community for the healing of those with addictions. Working in recovery introduced me to people who seemed stripped of the pretense, and social-status devices in the culture around me. I was enthralled with the authentic vulnerability, and bravery of individuals who felt they had lost everything. As I feverishly studied the neurology of addiction, and the habit-structures, reward-structures, and motivation-structures of the brain, I interacted with fresh and honest people who challenged my status quo. I had decided to end my use of caffeine a year previous, and discovered just how challenging daily-cravings, triggers, social pressure, and reinventing my life, minus caffeine, could be. While embarrassed to admit how challenging this struggle was, in light of the much more difficult-to-control effects of street substances, I began to understand the commonality that all people can relate to in a struggle with change, unhealthy habits, motivation. Then as I identified how other parts of my life were out of order, I began to see that nearly all of us can relate to putting too much importance on the wrong things in our lives. When we examine these things that we place too much importance on, it can be a struggle to redefine fundamental meaning in their absence.

With my new career, to educate myself, I read the ‘Big book’, and was shocked at how important the content is for our culture, so many years after its publication. I began to lose my prejudice against ‘AA’, and to lose my former assumptions about addiction. I learned that trauma was the common denominator in people I counselled, and that ‘alcoholism’ was not solved by improving self-control. I also began to learn evidence-based practices, to supplement the old-fashioned counselling I had seen practiced in churches, so my college-days love of psychology returned. However, I began to become disenchanted with what I began to understand as a cognitive solution for some who identified themselves as ‘insane’ in their addiction. From a neurological point of view, the damage substances like alcohol caused in long-term use, seemed to remove any hope in the power of a cognitive solution, even if there was one, since the neural damage from prolonged use could be devastating.  At the same time, I began to recognize the value in rational emotive behavioural therapy for myself, and in mindfulness exercises and the power of self-talk. I went on to study counselling and a world of help was opened to me. However, I began to see that there was a rift between knowing and doing. This took me back to my roots at Wagner Hills, where I studied the concept of ‘therapeutic community’, the technical name for a community my father founded for healing in addictions. People took part in a work-program, with a spiritual approach to long-term healing. The ‘doing’ rather than learning approach, proved to lead to more effective outcomes compared with those I encountered in ‘recovery.’ The focus seemed to be a key difference. My research in the neurology of focus and desire confirmed that successful outcomes were prone to come from refocussed desires, rather than repressed ones, and that the brain seemed to heal best from reinforcing happy healthy habits rather than fighting with bad ones. My growing appreciation for the very model I grew up with at Wagner Hills, led me to network with like-minded people in hopes of furthering this vision. I currently work in rehabilitation to support people’s mental health and in their substance-use disorder.

Jacobsen: What seem like the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada?

Boehm: A menu of mindfulness practices, and psychoeducation with forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (like SMART’s rational emotive behavior therapy), have merged, mixed, and are replacing the existing 12-step foundations that have existed for decades through the recovery world. Clinical practice also seems to be replacing a heritage of peer-to-peer counselling and support group forms, yet these groups and meetings still thrive, through pandemics and cultural shifts. The current approach seeks to replace a ‘spiritual solution’ that ‘works’ through ‘surrender’ and finding support among peers through a ‘higher power,’ with a clinical approach that empowers, and erases shame. In the medical world, a different approach has also shifted the culture of recovery entirely with the advent of ‘harm reduction.’ With the attitude of providing the greatest care and safety our society can give, to those with substance use disorder, safe-using supplies, and safe injection sites with safe-supply of medical-grade versions of street drugs. In conjunction with mass distribution of harm-reducing naloxone kits, and education to practice safety, this method aims to eliminate stigma,and put people first.

One aspect of harm-reduction is medication offered as a support for recovery. Many recovery and treatment centres utilize opioid replacement or opioid agonist therapy approaches alongside traditional abstinence-based programs. More progressive still, is a movement to normalize drug-use. In this thinking, substance-use is not viewed as a disorder at all, but is part of a  normal human experience to medicate pain and trauma with drugs/medications, as has been practiced over time. Harm reduction in this scope, aims to safely and freely supply drugs and medications of all kinds, for those who choose to medicate their trauma and pain with them.

The methodology of a recovery centre that asks participants to surrender their phones for social-detox, provide urine-test, participate in classes, and receive support in cessation from their ‘drugs of choice’, has undergone some significant disruption and changes in recent years, as these cultures and ideologies crash into each other. Prejudice, stigma and judgement can be found within those who attempt to help those with substance-use-disorder when conflicting ideologies clash, and people’s approach becomes polarized into camps, rather than listening to each other’s experiences and values. While spirituality has always and still plays a major part in the process, recovery centres have needed to modernize their approaches in ways that meet the standards set by health authorities. This has resulted in a reduced-emphasis for spirituality, 12-steps, abstinence, peer-counselling, therapy from past trauma, and a greater emphasis on evidenced-based techniques, and clinical practice, including counselling forms that deal with the practice of the here and now, rather than what happened in the past. The stereotypical revolving door has left some cynical of the results of recovery, while, on the other hand, the outcomes of opioid agonist therapies have left opponents cynical of a medical approach.

Many of the individuals I meet with who struggle with substance-use disorder, report that a treatment centre is their best option and, depending on what stage they are in, may report that they are working up their courage to attend one, again.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals coming into recovery?

Boehm: In the past, the theme of ‘surrender’ was a major emphasis of recovery. The thinking was that a person needed to come to grips with the fact that they couldn’t do it alone, proved by the fact that despite their attempts, they were still unsuccessful. The solution that was proposed, was that a person surrender to a higher power with the help of others around, and through a system of steps, a person evolved from blaming and denying, to supporting and giving their recovery to others. With research, modern counselling methods, and mindfulness practices, such as breathing exercises, and forms of distress-management, the current major theme replacing these past themes, is one of empowerment through skills and mental tools.

Based on my experiences with those in recovery, a timeline could be sketched to describe the landscape of those in stages of readiness for recovery, including the individual’s age, amount of attempts, emergencies, and deaths of loved-ones to addiction. Many that stuck with their programs had the motto, “It’s this or I die.” On the other hand, many young first-timers explained how the court, or a wife that didn’t really understand the situation, had forced them to ‘deal with’ something that they already had under their control. I never encountered someone who had been a part of the fad of ‘interventions’ that happened twenty years ago or so, but have heard many reasons for people entering recovery.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals helping those in recovery?

Boehm: Many have ‘been there’ and are helping others out of a lifestyle they had experienced and felt was horrible. Others, like myself, can relate to a life that can get in disorder, and find it important to support people in desperate circumstances. With the brain restructured, and pulled by the immense gravity of relapse, following long periods of substance use, outcomes can be very discouraging. Those of us in the world practice enormous self-care to persevere through the discouragement and tragedy we encounter. It seems that overdose is common, and even death seems to get less attention than ever. With these conditions, and the deplorable suffering for those we care for, many rely and trust in a higher power for spiritual sustenance, and learn many ways to self-care in a career that can easily lead to burn out.

Jacobsen: How much does evidence-based treatment play a role in Canadian treatment?

Boehm: Thankfully, I doubt there is a place where evidenced-based treatment isn’t practiced to some degree. I had heard that years ago, there were recovery centres that used 12-step models, exclusively. Only one book was provided – the big book. It is of course possible that such places still exist, but I am not aware of any. As research has informed the education and climate of recovery, punitive methods have thankfully disappeared, to be replaced with helpful trauma-informed models that understand core reasons that people use substances to cope with life.

Jacobsen: How much does spirituality or religion play a role in Canadian treatment?

Boehm: I would say that spirituality plays a major role in the roots of recovery in 12-step models and programs, nearly 90 years-back, and has informed substance-users that recovery is something that is not accomplished independently. The role of religion is that it seems to have offered a lot of funding, and support for the development of recovery centres. For example, I know my dad used to tour churches to tell people about the therapeutic Christian community he founded, and congregants would volunteer to financially support or visit Wanger Hills and serve there. Spirituality, as defined by 12-step groups, has always been inclusive, and has facilitated the resistance many have formed toward religions for various reasons. Practices such as prayer, played a major role. For example, AA meetings end with the prayer of serenity “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference. Prayer books often accompanied AA literature. The stereotypical setting for a meeting was a church, as churches often had free or cheap rental fees, big coffee urns, and demonstrate accommodating attitudes to those in recovery. Today, in recovery centres, Spirituality may include “Smudges”, and First Nations Spirituality is often honoured and encouraged.

Jacobsen: What is the role of the “Higher Power” concept, or even the concept of God, in some treatment systems in Canada?

Boehm: In a 12-step framed model, the role of the Higher Power, is the power to change for the person who feels powerless. The concept of God is the unconditional loving receiver of the rejected person who has broken every promise and provided pain to every relationship in their life. God is also the one person who can never be fooled, who stands as judge, but also as the one who forgives, and frees the person to forgive, to let go of their need to control others, to let go of their pain, and let go of the painful actions toward others, and can provides a new identity that can do good to those who were harmed. In a setting I worked in, I was surprised to see that videos from pastors and priests were viewed, along with other religious ceremonies. I encountered some in recovery who said “I’ll try it all, anything that works!” Other places focused more on breathing, meditation, and viewed religion and spirituality as a means to the end of sobriety. With this mindset, religion was used as a kind of evidenced-based practice. What I mean by this, is that if religion brought results, it was considered a positive therapy to add to the menu of recovery. At Wagner Hills, God is the centre of the programing and framed everything else. Music directed toward God frames each morning. Then through the day, clients work together with others, to act justly, value-people, and help to work for the world that God designed it to be. Focus on a relationship with the loving God, which when focussed on creates a love for others, diminishes selfish-destructive-desires, and is the essence of the actions and behaviour of everything practiced at Wagner Hills.

Jacobsen: What has been the most tragic story known to you?

Boehm: I supported a young person with mental illness, who had very little idea of the dangers of the drugs that he began to experiment with. He was found, sadly days after he died alone, and was missed deeply by friends he was so generous to. The inclusion of fentanyl in nearly every street drug, and the extreme-risk it presents, have made naive experimentation so lethal. In cases like his, he was gone, before I, or many of his friends, knew that he was even trying substances.

Jacobsen: For a happy ending, what has been the most heartwarming, uplifting story of success in treatment known to you?

Boehm: As a child, one of the most memorable clients from my fathers healing community for those with addictions, for obvious reasons, was a wonderful man who had one arm. He was so joyful, and played with my brother and me, with such enthusiasm, attention, and kindness, while he amazed us by throwing perfect spiral football passes. His joy was contagious, and still is, as he continues to help others nearly forty years later. I guess a good ‘heartwarming’ story should have a dramatic before-and-after story-arc, so the reader could fully appreciate the contrast of a changed-life. I have no idea what his ‘before’ story was, only that he was from a First-Nations background and must have arrived at Wagner hills to overcome addiction in his life. I think of this story, because it literally warms my heart to just think of him, and the joy he gave me and my brother, in his new found freedom at Wagner Hills. It is heartwarming to think that he is still giving that joy away today.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2). September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 3: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts, Praxis, and Stories (2) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm-2

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use”

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Stefan Oskar Neff

Word Count: 863

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

Abstract

Stefan Oskar Neff is the SMART Recovery Regional Coordinator for British Columbia. Neff discusses: finding recovery; the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada; experiences of individuals; helping those in recovery/those circumstances; evidence-based treatment; spirituality or religion; “Higher Power” concept; most tragic story; and a happy ending.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Japan, Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use, recovery, SMART Recovery, Stefan Oskar Neff.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was the start of the story in finding recovery for you?

Stefan Oskar Neff: The first moment was when my wife was visiting Japan. I was drinking, hiding. She came back from Japan because my wife is Japanese. She said to me, “Why did you have to hide the fact that you needed cash?” I said, “Because I needed cash.” She said, “You know, you can hide. You can lie, to me, and to your family, but you cannot lie to the universe to whatever you want to believe in. You cannot lie to yourself.” At that moment, she said, “I am going to be happy no matter what if you’re in my life or not. I’ll support you in whatever way that I choose to do.” But she said she would be happy no matter. That moment, a light bulb went on in my head. I knew it was my choice and 24 hours later; I made the choice not to ever touch alcohol. That was 6 years ago. I would say that is the starting point. It was when she had shared with me that she was going to be happy no matter what and it was going to be my choice.

Jacobsen: What seem like the main methodologies utilized in recovery systems in Canada?

Neff: I did not use any recovery system in Canada. I used communication by talking about my thoughts and feelings. To answer your question, “None.” So, I have to pass.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals coming into recovery/having those experiences?

Neff: The common theme is one is out of control of the substance use, is they’re losing connection with their family. They are getting – I was getting – tired of hiding, lying, and destroying my life.

Jacobsen: What are common themes amongst or between the experiences of individuals helping those in recovery/those circumstances?

Neff: A common theme – wow, the commonality is so similar to every individual that I’ve seen because I’ve seen thousands over the last four years. The common one is being out of control and that they cannot stop drinking, until they’ve taken responsibility. The common theme is trying to help the out-of-controlness and helping the individual wanting to change and wanting to stop.

Jacobsen: How much does evidence-based treatment play a role in Canadian treatment?

Neff: For one, evidence-based is a large part of the actual healthcare profession, as myself as the regional coordinator for SMART Recovery. For one, SMART Recovery is in every federal corrections institute across Canada going from BC all the way back East. That was implemented as a major program for the corrections institutes. That was done two years ago. That’s a big part, further dual-diagnosis and the addiction aspect of it. That’s large. You’ve got most of the healthcare professions in BC are using evidence-based SMART Recovery with 1-on-1 psychiatric as well as in-treatment, and their own treatment centres as well, as well as a small portion of the recovery centres across British Columbia. It is making a large impact from what I’ve seen over the last 3 years, as well as the Indigenous/First Nations as well. As an individual, I work with the training team with SMART Recovery. So, I see individuals working and training organizations for youth, Indigenous, and also the healthcare profession. So, yes, I’ve seen a large grow over the last 2 or 3 years.

Jacobsen: How much does spirituality or religion play a role in Canadian treatment?

Neff: Canadian treatment? A large part, I don’t know about that aspect. From what I know, it is a large part. I am speculating because I don’t know. What I’ve seen when approaching the recovery aspect of it, recovery centres, yes, I would say, “95 to 99% of it.”

Jacobsen: What is the role of the “Higher Power” concept, or even the concept of God, in some treatment systems in Canada?

Neff: I’ll have to pass on that one.

Jacobsen: What has been the most tragic story known to you?

Neff: The only tragic one is my own. But, with that being said, I had an individual coming to the meetings. Then he left SMART Recovery, and then he woke up one morning. His wife at the time found him; that he’d passed away. That’s the only tragic one I’d seen. I’ve seen other ones as well. Not, for example, personally, because I had a personal connection with this individual in the sense that I was working with him. That’s what I’ve experienced in my own life.

Jacobsen: For a happy ending, what has been the most heartwarming, uplifting story of success in treatment known to you?

Neff: An individual went to treatment for a full year. Then coming to SMART Recovery, before that, the individual was living in a car, homeless, at the brink of, basically, choosing between death and life, and making that choice to live, and then moving to treatment, then joining SMART Recovery for 3 years. Now, she is becoming a social worker and helping others with recovery.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Stefan.

Neff: You’re very welcome.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on RecoveryIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on RecoveryIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 2: Stefan Oskar Neff on Recovery [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/neff

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Complexity of Simplicity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: B

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: None

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Prof. Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Author(s) Bio: Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He is former Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia and Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies). He was the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb, and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. His YouTube channels garnered 20,000,000 views and 85,000 subscribers. Visit Sam’s Web site: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com.

Word Count: 1,758

Image Credit: Sam Vaknin

Keywords: chaos, complexity, design, DNA, intelligence, language, nature, Seth Shostak, SETI, simplicity, systems.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Republished with permission.*

The Complexity of Simplicity

“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.”
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Complexity rises spontaneously in nature through processes such as self-organization. Emergent phenomena are common as are emergent traits, both classes not reducible to basic components, interactions, or properties. Complex order is derived from simpler randomness or chaos, for example, but cannot be traced back to it in a linear, monovalent fashion (see note).

Complexity in nature does not imply the existence of a designer or a design. Natural complexity does not indicate, let alone prove the existence of intelligence and sentient beings. On the contrary, complexity in nature usually points towards a natural source and a random origin. Natural complexity and artificiality are often incompatible.

Artificial designs and objects are found only in unexpected (“unnatural”) contexts and environments. Natural objects are totally predictable and expected. Artificial creations are efficient and, therefore, simple and parsimonious. Natural objects and processes are not.

As Seth Shostak notes in his excellent essay, titled “SETI and Intelligent Design”, evolution experiments with numerous dead ends before it yields a single adapted biological entity. DNA is far from optimized: it contains inordinate amounts of junk. Our bodies come replete with dysfunctional appendages and redundant organs. Lightning bolts emit energy all over the electromagnetic spectrum. Pulsars and interstellar gas clouds spew radiation over the entire radio spectrum. The energy of the Sun is ubiquitous over the entire optical and thermal range. No intelligent engineer – human or not – would be so wasteful.

Confusing artificiality with complexity is not the only terminological conundrum.

Complexity and simplicity are often, and intuitively, regarded as two extremes of the same continuum, or spectrum. Yet, this may be a simplistic view, indeed.

Simple procedures (codes, programs), in nature as well as in computing, often yield the most complex results. Where does the complexity reside, if not in the simple program that created it? A minimal number of primitive interactions occur in a primordial soup and, presto, life. Was life somehow embedded in the primordial soup all along? Or in the interactions? Or in the combination of substrate and interactions?

Complex processes yield simple products (think about products of thinking such as a newspaper article, or a poem, or manufactured goods such as a sewing thread). What happened to the complexity? Was it somehow reduced, “absorbed, digested, or assimilated”? Is it a general rule that, given sufficient time and resources, the simple can become complex and the complex reduced to the simple? Is it only a matter of computation?

We can resolve these apparent contradictions by closely examining the categories we use.

Perhaps simplicity and complexity are categorical illusions, the outcomes of limitations inherent in our system of symbols (in our language).

We label something “complex” when we use a great number of symbols to describe it. But, surely, the choices we make (regarding the number of symbols we use) teach us nothing about complexity, a real phenomenon!

A straight line can be described with three symbols (A, B, and the distance between them) – or with three billion symbols (a subset of the discrete points which make up the line and their inter-relatedness, their function). But whatever the number of symbols we choose to employ, however complex our level of description, it has nothing to do with the straight line or with its “real world” traits. The straight line is not rendered more (or less) complex or orderly by our choice of level of (meta) description and language elements.

The simple (and ordered) can be regarded as the tip of the complexity iceberg, or as part of a complex, interconnected whole, or hologramically, as encompassing the complex (the same way all particles are contained in all other particles). Still, these models merely reflect choices of descriptive language, with no bearing on reality.

Perhaps complexity and simplicity are not related at all, either quantitatively, or qualitatively. Perhaps complexity is not simply more simplicity. Perhaps there is no organizational principle tying them to one another. Complexity is often an emergent phenomenon, not reducible to simplicity.

The third possibility is that somehow, perhaps through human intervention, complexity yields simplicity and simplicity yields complexity (via pattern identification, the application of rules, classification, and other human pursuits). This dependence on human input would explain the convergence of the behaviors of all complex systems on to a tiny sliver of the state (or phase) space (sort of a mega attractor basin). According to this view, Man is the creator of simplicity and complexity alike but they do have a real and independent existence thereafter (the Copenhagen interpretation of a Quantum Mechanics).

Still, these twin notions of simplicity and complexity give rise to numerous theoretical and philosophical complications.

Consider life.

In human (artificial and intelligent) technology, every thing and every action has a function within a “scheme of things”. Goals are set, plans made, designs help to implement the plans.

Not so with life. Living things seem to be prone to disorientated thoughts, or the absorption and processing of absolutely irrelevant and inconsequential data. Moreover, these laboriously accumulated databases vanish instantaneously with death. The organism is akin to a computer which processes data using elaborate software and then turns itself off after 15-80 years, erasing all its work.

Most of us believe that what appears to be meaningless and functionless supports the meaningful and functional and leads to them. The complex and the meaningless (or at least the incomprehensible) always seem to resolve to the simple and the meaningful. Thus, if the complex is meaningless and disordered then order must somehow be connected to meaning and to simplicity (through the principles of organization and interaction).

Moreover, complex systems are inseparable from their environment whose feedback induces their self-organization. Our discrete, observer-observed, approach to the Universe is, thus, deeply inadequate when applied to complex systems. These systems cannot be defined, described, or understood in isolation from their environment. They are one with their surroundings.

Many complex systems display emergent properties. These cannot be predicted even with perfect knowledge about said systems. We can say that the complex systems are creative and intuitive, even when not sentient, or intelligent. Must intuition and creativity be predicated on intelligence, consciousness, or sentience?

Thus, ultimately, complexity touches upon very essential questions of who we, what are we for, how we create, and how we evolve. It is not a simple matter, that. Moreover, it is safe to say that the scientific method cannot be gainfully employed to successfully tackle indeterminate complex systems (such as the brain, the Universe, the individual, and human collectives). It is questionable whether disciplines such as psychologyeconomics and even cosmology and “neuroscience” are, indeed, sciences.

Note

Admittedly, an argument can be made that organizational principles such as “time” and observational phenomena such as “chaos” reflect and arise from our limitations as (human, finite) observers and that reality is actually foundationally timeless and ordered. The stochastic may merely reflect our fundamental inability to grasp the deterministic, a boundary condition of our finitude, as it were.

Note on Learning

There are two types of learning: natural and sapient (or intelligent).

Natural learning is based on feedback. When water waves hit rocks and retreat, they communicate to the ocean at large information about the obstacles they have encountered (their shape, size, texture, location, etc.). This information modifies the form and angle of attack (among other physical properties) of future waves.

Natural learning is limited in its repertory. For all practical purposes, the data processed are invariable, the feedback immutable, and the outcomes predictable (though this may not hold true over eons). Natural learning is also limited in time and place (local and temporal and weakly communicable).

Sapient or Intelligent Learning is similarly based on feedback, but it involves other mechanisms, most of them self-recursive (introspective). It alters the essence of the learning entities (i.e., the way they function), not only their physical parameters. The input, processing procedures, and output are all interdependent, adaptive, ever-changing, and, often, unpredictable. Sapient learning is nonlocal and nontemporal. It is, therefore, highly communicable (akin to an extensive parameter): learning in one part of a system is efficiently conveyed to all other divisions.

Complexity Theory and Ambiguity or Vagueness

A Glossary of the terms used here

Ambiguity (or indeterminacy, in deconstructivist parlance) is when a statement or string (word, sentence, theorem, or expression) has two or more distinct meanings either lexically (e.g., homonyms), or because of its grammar or syntax (e.g., amphiboly). It is the context, which helps us to choose the right or intended meaning (“contextual disambiguating” which often leads to a focal meaning).

Vagueness arises when there are “borderline cases” of the existing application of a concept (or a predicate). When is a person tall? When does a collection of sand grains become a heap (the sorites or heap paradox)?, etc. Fuzzy logic truth values do not eliminate vagueness – they only assign continuous values (“fuzzy sets”) to concepts (“prototypes”).

Open texture is when there may be “borderline cases” in the future application of a concept (or a predicate). While vagueness can be minimized by specifying rules (through precisifaction, or supervaluation) – open texture cannot because we cannot predict future “borderline cases”.

It would seem that a complexity theory formalism can accurately describe both ambiguity and vagueness:

Language can be construed as a self-organizing network, replete with self-organized criticality.

Language can also be viewed as a Production System (Iterated Function Systems coupled with Lindenmeyer L-Systems and Schemas to yield Classifiers Systems). To use Holland’s vocabulary, language is a set of Constrained Generating Procedures.

“Vague objects” (with vague spatial or temporal boundaries) are, actually, best represented by fractals. They are not indeterminate (only their boundaries are). Moreover, self-similarity is maintained. Consider a mountain – where does it start or end and what, precisely, does it include? A fractal curve (boundary) is an apt mathematical treatment of this question.

Indeterminacy can be described as the result of bifurcation leading to competing, distinct, but equally valid, meanings.

Borderline cases (and vagueness) arise at the “edge of chaos” – in concepts and predicates with co-evolving static and chaotic elements.

(Focal) meanings can be thought of as attractors.

Contexts can be thought of as attractor landscapes in the phase space of language. They can also be described as fitness landscapes with optimum epistasis (interdependence of values assigned to meanings).

The process of deriving meaning (or disambiguating) is akin to tracing a basin of attraction. It can be described as a perturbation in a transient, leading to a stable state.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Vaknin S. The Complexity of Simplicity. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Vaknin, S. (2022, September 8). The Complexity of Simplicity. In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): VAKNIN, S. The Complexity of Simplicity. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Vaknin, Sam. 2022. “The Complexity of Simplicity.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Vaknin, Sam The Complexity of Simplicity.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity.

Harvard: Vaknin, S. (2022) ‘The Complexity of SimplicityIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity>.

Harvard (Australian): Vaknin, S 2022, ‘The Complexity of SimplicityIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Vaknin, Sam. “The Complexity of Simplicity.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Vaknin S. The Complexity of Simplicity [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/simplicity-complexity

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use”

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Jeremy Boehm

Word Count: 3,930

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Republished with interviewee consent.*

Abstract

Jeremy Boehm is a lover of music, art, and sports, and loves to spend time with his young family and animals on his hobby farm on Vancouver Island. Jeremy has a BA with theological and youth ministry emphasis from Calgary and furthered his education in counselling with focus on addiction for a second career in supporting those with substance use disorders. Boehm discusses: concepts of God; a malevolent or a benevolent monotheistic god; an indifferent god; trauma as the foundation for individuals coming to a lot of centres for recovery or programs for recovery; connection; and malevolence or indifference to benevolence.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, God, Jeremy Boehm, Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use, recovery, theist, Township of Langley, Wagner Hills.

Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, here today with Jeremy Boehm, he is the son of Helmut Boehm. He (Helmut) is the founder, or father, of Wagner Hills. This is in Langley, British Columbia. I wrote an article with an addendum two or more years ago. You sent me the longest email I have ever received [Ed. 10,000+ words.]. A lot of it was quite vulnerable and confessional in a healthy way. I emailed back relatively rapidly within the last week.

So, you agreed to talk, specifically, the concepts of God that arise in the context of recovery for individuals. You come from, not personally but, knowing some of the communal aspects and individuals who have a theist belief; and they find it helpful in their process of recovering from forms of substance use and/or misuse. So, what concepts of God tend to arise? And how do these arise over time?

Jeremy Boehm: The concept of God, I see a lot goes by different names. If a person is comfortable, with religion, faith, Christianity, and comfortable with the particular religion they grew up with, they would call that concept God or the name they had been given for it by their religion. So often, in different places of substance use/abuse, there is a background of trauma. A person from trauma may not want to remember the source of that trauma and in that case may have some real discomfort with the names and the terminology they inherited that remind them of that trauma. Now, the construct, the theistic construct, may be the same. It may even be a good and benevolent construct.

Some who would report that they didn’t believe in God may still have, in the back of their head, a latent, benevolent, theistic construct. They believe in something or someone cares for them, loves them, made the universe a beautiful place, even if that God made the universe a place with both awful and good in it. They feel that there is something out there that’s kind. Some people will name that construct “the Universe.” For example, I often hear the phrase, “The Universe stepped in and intervened.” It really is a kind personification to say that. Some people will use the name “Creator.” Some people “God.” Some people will avoid the issue. I find that the construct is latent, though. What I mean by latent, is that when people are really in trouble, that’s when this construct comes out.

For example, what I’ve heard from some who would identify themselves as atheist, is that when they were in trouble they reached out. I remember someone saying, “I, actually, confessed that I did, in this deep, deep dark place, reach out. I didn’t even know who I was reaching out to.” Or somebody who had a near death experience at my current work, recently said “I didn’t grow up with this. I grew up with a form of First Nations belief. But actually, I had a vision of Jesus, but, I guess, that was the one in my near death experience who I gravitated towards, or reached out to.”

So this way of relating to God, or not, is also a way of dealing with the trauma. The ‘AA’ way to deal with this difficulty in ‘naming’ or identifying God for those who have had a negative experience that taints their view of God, either by their parents, or abuse, or abuse in the church, you name it, and there are so many reasons, to have negative feelings towards religion, whether it be the Residential Schools, yes, there is every conceivable reason to have something against religion, and to have negative feelings toward the people who claim to practice it, who hurt other people. The approach of AA is to allow the individual to give the deity their own name and definition. “You name your higher power. It can be your cat if you want. You can name it whatever you want. You call the shots” and this can disarm the experience of encountering the higher power, AA talks about. This approach, takes the pain and trauma that have been associated with God, and pushes that aside, and allows people to experience the higher power as they feel comfortable with it.

What I witness in the people I work with in my current work place and from before, is that a majority of them are open to pray, and even are very open about their belief in God, and even, to a certain degree, are evangelistic of each other. What I mean by open, is that they will say, “Let me pray for you,” or, “Here, let me tell you what this is about.” They will fight, occasionally, about the character of that God, or who goes to heaven, but the character of the god I mostly hear about, is benevolent. I also witness that over time, the people who had gone through step work, or who had gone through some kind of a healing process, start to lose the negative images, what I mean by that is, that I think there are incredibly negative images of religion out there of, maybe, a divine punisher.

I think this is what I wrote to you about. That as a teenager, I had a very negative of God as a divine punisher. And I don’t think this construct had anything to do with my parents, or anything else, maybe just teenage rebellion contributed to me forming this construct of a divine punisher. The interesting this I’ve witnessed, is, this image of a divine bad guy out to punish us, slowly melts away as people heal, open their hearts, or open their minds, or whatever you call it, in prayer, and they allow this higher power to just reveal Himself or Itself. They find the openness to allow this being to being to reveal the character, apart from all the religion and negative imagery that was attached with that construct.

As a person finds more revelation or experience with God, I find that they’re experience is a lot like my experience was, and they will come to the conclusion that, “Oh, this isn’t a bad guy. This person cares. There’s love. There’s healing. There’s something really good here.” They get more and more comfortable with more of the terminology, which, before, maybe they didn’t like. They might even feel comfortable enough to explore doctrine and theology and other things they avoided at first because of the painful associations.

Jacobsen: I’m seeing two core concepts here of a god, which, on the surface if not at a deeper level, are diametrically opposed. On the one hand, as you phrased it, a “divine punisher,” on the other hand, a god who cares and loves for you, created a world of good and evil, but there’s a certain redemptive quality within that world as well. So, it’s less a divine punisher, and more a divine carer and nurturer.

Boehm: Benevolent, yes, something good.

Jacobsen: Are there any other manifestations, apart from those two, which you have seen arise in others? For instance, you alluded to one individual who comes from a First Nations background with an unnamed band who, in their own experience – religious experience, had Jesus as the imagery and experience. Are there other ones outside of the image of Christ, a sort of First Nations spirituality as a transition into the image of Christ, or the ones mentioned earlier between a malevolent or a benevolent monotheistic god?

Boehm: If I understand what you’re asking here, certainly what I encountered, especially from First Nations people who had been in a recovery centre where I worked experienced spiritual experiences differently than I had. For example, a bald eagle would fly over and they would report that this was a deeply significant and spiritual experience that came from their culture. So the timing of that eagle flying at that particular moment signified something important about that timing. Certainly, the significance of smudges and of ritual, I think ritual plays a very big part in religion and, to a certain degree, spirituality. But I don’t see religion and spirituality as the same thing. I make a divide.

I’m not the one who came up with this definition of the difference. I don’t know if I can put it very clearly at this time of day. But how I would differentiate these two, is that religion is something humans do, as a ritual to influence god or the forces of nature to work to their desired goal, so that might look, for example like the sacrifice of an animal, or a certain kind of dance to influence the gods to bring rain, or something. Whereas, spirituality is connecting in relationship to the deity, and sometimes this is in a posture of powerlessness, but of intimacy. So that’s how I would define Spirituality and religion differently. Spirituality is connecting; religion is practicing a ritual with the motive of trying to achieve something. Yes, I differentiate religion versus spirituality.

I think, getting back to your question, ‘Are there other forms there?’ Yes, I think what we receive as our ‘early programming’, from our parents, creates an image in those early formative years that has a profound impact on the whether we later think of God as benevolent or evil. Maybe, our parents communicate that God is good, while, on the other hand, abusing us. Or, the reverse might be true. To answer your question, there’s all kinds of things that we develop in our brains at an early age, that later form our expectations of what we will find in God. Those early years, build the brain’s framework of what spirituality and religion is, and then we populate that framework through our experiences.

I think this book that I was describing to you, Finding God in the Waves (Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science), really describes that well in terms of the neurology of it. I am really interested in the brain, which I’m sure is obvious, through the correspondence we’ve had so far. But, as is probably also obvious, based on how I have expressed my beliefs to you, I take a step further than the biological formations of frameworks of beliefs that are planted in a child, because I actually believe in a discoverable reality of God. I see a measurable reality in spiritual things, just like I think you can measure the realities of math, physics, and science and so on. In the same way I think you can find ultimate reality about our origin and Creator, and the all the rest. That is if you are, open to the higher power, and warm up to the idea, and let down the guard, set aside the negativity, relax the resolve, or whatever you want to call it, that pushes back against the idea or construct of God. The biggest part of this process is to allow that deity to separate itself from all of the human experiences of evil that have populated our brain with a bad impression or a bad feeling towards that deity, then the deity’s true colours will come through.

You have to be open to it, and let that experience happen. But in the instance that a person is open, I believe a person can uncover the reality of the true deity, the Truth that I understand. That’s what I see in my experiences of working with those is substance use disorder, in the work place. I see that there are lots of names, and lots of understandings and experiences of God. It’s easy to forget that Jesus is already a name that has been translated to English. The term Christ is a Greek word. All of these names, are names that people adopt from themselves to refer to the deity. The way that I see Jesus, as we have named him in English, is that God came down to help us understand who He really is. Back then, people were incredibly confused about what religion just as they are today. Jesus served people and that confused them. He lived in a culture that expressed racism toward its neighbours. His main opponents were ‘Pharisees’. These were people who held a concept of religious law that raised their own social status and provided them with power. When God presents Himself in the world, He’s not rich. He doesn’t hold the stereotypical kingship that people expected him too, in how they interpreted prophecy. He role-modeled this, this serving, this washing of feet, this dying on a cross, this love.

He says, ‘This is what deity is like. Eventually, all the world will know my name.” They won’t know my name because I had the fastest meme or the most powerful seat of rulership in the world in a major empire. Of course, there are much more powerful kings and famous people. It is because over time, people will come to know that the way Jesus lived was the character of the deity. That character is what, I think, will come out to someone who is searching. And those who are in substance use disorder are often searching very deeply for God and using substances or alcohol to medicate or soothe the pain that they wish God could heal. I think what I’ve said about Jesus isn’t a politically-correct thing to say. When I speak this way, some will only hear it said that everyone else is wrong. It will sound intolerant to say that there is a singular reality in spirituality as there is in chemistry for example. It can be offensive to say that only one thing is true. Could it say that someone’s spirituality isn’t true? It’s much easier politically to be subjective, and even to relegate the whole topic to one that can only be considered subjective. I don’t spend time arguing that one religion is right. I say that religions may point to truth. Instead I look for Spirituality that connects us with God, and the way that I derive the character of that God, is that He visited us and showed us. It may be hard to accept for many people that Jesus was God visiting us. To be fair, there have been many charlatans over time who have made false claims and deceived people. How a person like me, or like a recovering substance user, comes to these conclusions about God, has a lot to do with personal experience, learning history, and taking their time as they ease into the ideas. I don’t assume that everybody will come to the same conclusions that I have because everyone has their own experiences that influence their views. I understand that not all people will find the truth, because their experiences or desires, may not lead them to truth. They may choose to deceive themselves. A refusal to believe in climate change might be a good example of that. It can be comfortable to remain ambiguous about certain realities in an effort to dodge responsibility. Or they may have been deceived on a mass scale, or by simply not having the experience to discover the truth.

Jacobsen: Does anyone come to a recovery program with a sense of a belief in a god, but an indifferent god?

Boehm: I’ve asked people that. I am interested in the character of God people perceive. I am particularly interested in the perception of God people have when they come from abuse. Some of my personal experience in counselling people from abuse is just felt impossibly tragic.

Particularly in some of the most horrific abuse, I was interested in what people’s view of the deity was. Is their view of deity affected? Well of course, yes. But the strange thing was, that for some reason, some of those with the most tragic abuse could still imagine a benevolence creator. I don’t know why. For whatever reason, it seems that tragic abuse from a parent can somehow co-exist with a benevolent view of God. I suppose, in the same way that people believe that good and evil both exist, people can believe in a good god even while their neighbours are burned alive. They are able to see how evil and good can be at war, and can both exist. So yes, some people who come to a recovery centre, and who are deeply wounded from trauma, have a view of a God who doesn’t care. What is so interesting to me, is those who despite their experiences believe in a benevolent one. It’s really puzzling.

Jacobsen: At the outset of the recorded conversation, at least, you mentioned trauma as the foundation for individuals coming to a lot of centres for recovery or programs for recovery? What are the common patterns of trauma experiences and – let’s say – symptomatology around it, even qualitative symptomatology?

Boehm: That’s a good question, Scott. I don’t feel qualified to answer it, to tell you the truth. I think my experience is too limited. I could tell you what I saw, but I feel like that is much too big a question – as are all of these questions really. I’d be arrogant [Laughing] to say I am qualified to answer anything your asking, other than to speak from my experiences. I feel like my counselling and my clinical experiences were much too brief to say what the common experience is for trauma. Only that, “Yes,” trauma was present in so many cases and was a root pain that was medicated through substances and through other behaviours too. It feels like just about  every story included trauma. Here is an interesting part of the symptomatology. The consequences of using substances and alcohol to numb the pain, is that the use of these substances and the behaviour and consequences from the use create more consequences. So over time, the consequences of the medicating behaviour may be much greater than that of the trauma that lead to the behaviour. And in a few exceptions, I’ve heard that the addiction was the main problem-causer … in this person’s recollection, they didn’t have a painful beginning, but simply started drinking a lot at a very young age with their siblings and friends. Now of course, the neglect that could allow that to happen is a sort of abuse in itself, but this person perceived that they hadn’t begun to drink to cover pain, but that it was the alcohol from an early age that caused so many problems and so much pain. As I heard them, I wondered if it wasn’t both. A lot of people have a hard time remembering memories of trauma. They might blank out whole years or sections of life in their memory. But using alcohol and substances to numb pain is a very common means of dealing with pain, and in the perceived experience of a substance user, it is reported as a very effective way. There are other ways of course too.

The trauma story occurs generationally. The substance-use provides enough consequences in the family to cause disturbance, I think, in the oxytocin systems in a baby’s developing brain, so that rather than developing a sense of safety, of being soothed by the parent, the baby adapts with the instinct to self-soothe when the cycles of attachment with the parent are interrupted. Those basic cycles in the first 7 months, as I understand it, are so disturbed when a mother and father, are involved in substance use disorder. And this has the effect of passing this trauma from generation to generation. I think I am repeating myself, so I think I should finish with that.

Jacobsen: When an individual has an indifferentist experience of a god or a malevolent experience of a god, both grounded in a sense of trauma in personal history, or collective, how are they making that spirituality, as defined before as connecting to something, rather than human beings trying to get something, manifest itself in a recovery setting? How are they making that connection when it happens in their own words?

Boehm: Yeah! I think it’s a brilliant question. I think it starts with, “What do I got to do? How do I have to bargain to get out of here, out of trouble, out of my addiction, out of whatever? I’ll do whatever to get out of this misery.” It almost always starts with “Help. How can I bargain?” That might progress to “I don’t have anything to bargain with. I don’t have any currency that God or the deity needs. There’s nothing I can bargain with. Why should He be particularly put out, if I hurt myself, or if I do what he wants or not, or anything? Is there anything I can do that would effect the deity anyway? There’s nothing I can do, or not do, that is bargaining material.”

Once they realize their “bankruptcy,” I think, this is the AA term for this, where they might express, “I don’t have anything I can manipulate or control God with. I am not an equal player in this relationship.” Then when they come to this conclusion, there are a lot of uncomfortable feelings that go on. I think the discovery of benevolence happens in that moment. And it feels like being wrapped up in your parents loving arms, and forgiven [Laughing]. You’ve done something really naughty and can’t undo it. They forgive you and love you, only because you’re you and because they’re them, and because of love, not because you are able to fix the situation, or make it up to them, or do anything to bargain with them for forgiveness. You can’t argue your way into being forgiven.

I think the transition from the religious side of it – “I am doing this to get something” – to the spiritual connection side occurs when the person hits that point of bankruptcy or surrender where they admit “I am hopeless. I can’t do this. I have no traction.” Following this, they arrive at, as I described in my letter to you, the identity of considering themselves as a “child of God”. They gain the sense that they are worth something, simply because God made them and loves them, and not because they do anything, or perform anything, or become moral, or have the ability to flawlessly follow all the religious rules. They transition from wondering, “Am I moral enough?” to recognizing, “I am loved.” At that point, they experience the benevolence of God and I think, they make a deep connection.

Some people hear the voice of God or have visions, and gain a sense of communion, and connection with God, just like people might do with their closest human lovers or family. They’re like, “Wow, I am present with God. I feel His presence.”

Jacobsen: Is this transition from malevolence or indifference to benevolence a fulcrum grounded on, basically, conditionality to unconditionality of a sense of love?

Boehm: Yes, I think that’s it, Scott. That’s exactly what I was trying to say. When you find out, you can’t meet the conditions. What could you do anyway? Especially, you feel helpless with substance abuse disorder and the hopelessness of being unable to change. There is such a vivid picture of helplessness, especially there. I believe that the transition to a belief in God’s malevolence occurs just at that point when a person realizes that God’s love is unconditional, it’s the love, that’s the ticket. Well put.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1). September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Portraits in Substance Misuse and Use 1: Jeremy Boehm on Concepts of God in Recovery (1) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/boehm

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2)

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Moya Byrne Merrin

Word Count: 868

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted January 2, 2022.*

Abstract

Moya Byrne Merrin is the Director of High Point Equestrian Centre. Merrin discusses: the care for the horses; sold; properties; the sport; centralized in Europe; and the types of horses that tend to work best for dressage.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, dressage, equestrianism, High Point Equestrian Centre, Moya Byrne Merrin, The Greenhorn Chronicles, Township of Langley.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: I know what you’re talking about. I’ve worked in restaurants. I am working at one stable. With this, I want to ask, more as the barn manager, about the care for the horses, e.g., the proper feed, the proper shavings, etc.  

Moya Byrne Merrin: That is shared information over years of experience and also with what is available to us: The internet, bringing in people, asking them what they use. What can we get? What is best for the horse? We do constant research. There’s always new stuff coming up. Vets, we listen to them. “Look at this,” especially when learning with more horses coming through. We can up this or cut that.

When it comes to feeding, very motivated to find what is the best way to feed. What is in their food? How is it processed? That is a combination of shared wisdom and internet research, and constantly educating ourselves, taking in horses and anything new, i.e., papers that have been researched and published, and trying to adapt with what is available. Hay, it always gets tested now. Steamers, this is proven to work.

We have seen it not only in horses who are old and had issues. But we can see the differences in the horses when they are working. The seizing is less, the coughing that they blow out, same thing when it comes to the modalities for keeping them competition ready. Everyone has their favourite, but we can also see what’s actually working.

We have the luxury of people coming in and saying, “Hey, I thought I’d get this into your corner.” They will come to the show and get set. We get to try these modalities. The horses will tell you what works. We can tell we’re feeding them write because their skin, hair, coat, changes, and also a change in attitude towards work and play. So, the same approach when it comes to keeping them fit and competition ready.

We share information with friends in different disciplines. “This works. This horse slept during it,” couldn’t be happier when it works. That’s pretty much [Laughing] what we do in our spare time.

Jacobsen: Others have sold their properties. How does this change the industry?

Merrin: There are properties very tight in this area. It keeps getting more expensive. What you get, there is a sense of unease. We are losing a lot of places that were not just for dressage, but for horses in general, keeping horses in general. It is far more lucrative to turn it into blueberries, Christmas trees, whatever.

Horses are for older ages. You are not so much working on the ranch anymore. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future of our sport in general, horse sport.

Jacobsen: What do you think, in terms of dressage compared to jumping, hunting, eventing, the sport?

Merrin: Dressage is a lot smaller in this area. It doesn’t attract a lot. It is deemed pish-posh and cold. That hasn’t been my experience. My personality would, probably, be more jumper. I came into contact with ladies in the sport. People who are incredible mentors for young girls. These girls drive big trucks and huge horses, and have them trained to move off the slightest push of a leg or a cluck.

I think that dressage in itself is a smaller community, but incredibly dedicated. It is the foundation. It is the basic thing. I have talked to jumpers. This is just dressage with obstacles.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] I like that.

Merrin: It is the foundation. We just take it to a next level. I think it is a personality type that is attracted to it. There is adrenaline, but in a very different way. We are trying to avoid the adrenaline. We are trying give the picture of harmony and piece. Trust me, there is adrenaline going there. Jumping gets the numbers, gets the sponsors, gets the “ooh” and “ahh.”

Dressage, as a growing sport, is hard to get the young people in it. A lot of the ladies, maybe, that is part of its image issue when it comes to being stuck-up and detailed-oriented. They like things a certain.

Jacobsen: Is it also centralized in Europe, mainly?

Merrin: North America is pretty strong, but yes.

Jacobsen: Which countries in Europe?

Merrin: Germany and France, Holland, the Dutch are a very strong team. Again, it is the basis of all training, of anything you want to learn and do. There are strong dressage roots. It is just elevated, when you go past the basics. “I just want to stick in this sport.” Dressage is Europe.

Jacobsen: What are the types of horses that tend to work best for dressage?

Merrin: It is arguable. Every horse should be able to do dressage. At the upper levels, at the Olympics, you will see mainly warmbloods, Andalusians are coming along. There have been horses bred magnificently able to do multiple disciplines, but, I would have to say, the warmblood. It is a generic term. The Hanoverian, there are a couple of breeds. Every horse should be able to do it. That’s one of the bragging rights about dressage.

Jacobsen: Moya, thank you.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2). September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 25: Moya Byrne Merrin on Horse Care and Dressage Horses (2) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-2

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: September 8, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Deborah Stacey

Word Count: 2,242

Image Credit: Deborah Stacey.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted July 7, 2022.*

Abstract

Deborah Stacey is the Founder & CEO of Horse Lover’s Math. Deborah Stacey is the founder and CEO of Horse Lover’s Math (HLM). HLM is an active website for kids ages 8 and up devoted to horses, math and science offering print and downloadable STEM resources and website posts and content that are free and open to everyone. Growing up horse crazy in the suburbs didn’t allow Deborah much opportunity to spend time with horses. She had to find other ways to feed her passion, which she did through reading horse books, drawing horses and watching every program and movie she could find. While in elementary school, she and a friend organized their own horse school, taking turns teaching each other about horses. They even had a chalkboard and gave lectures and tests. The fascination with horses remained strong through high school. After graduating, an opportunity arose to take English riding lessons near her family home. One day at the barn her riding instructor asked if she wanted to work as a groom at a small, private hunter and jumper stable outside of Montreal. She jumped at the chance. Around this time Humber College in Toronto started up a two-year horsemanship program. Deborah graduated with an Honours Degree in Horsemanship in the mid-seventies and went on to work with hunters and jumpers, at a hunter jumper breeding farm, and boarding stables with a focus on dressage. Years later, she had a family of her own and a daughter who loved horses. In school, her daughter struggled with math. One evening, in an effort to help her daughter understand a math word problem, Deborah changed the context from shopping for a bag of flour at the grocery store to buying bags of grain at a feed store. The math operations remained the same; price, decimals and multiplication, but the context changed, now it was about the real world of horses. Her daughter became curious. How much does a bag of oats cost? How does that price compare with beet pulp or sweet feed? She was engaged and she started asking questions. It was an exciting moment for Deborah to see what happens when a child who is struggling finds their passion; they become motivated, curious and open to learning. Using the math worksheets her daughter brought home from school as reference, Deborah started creating math questions based in the real world of horses. She began seeing math everywhere in her work with horses, and Horse Lover’s Math was born. You can find reviews on HLM Level 1 and Level 2, information on Teachers Pay Teachers on HLM Level 1 and Level 2 (Links). Leslie Christian, of Outschool, has been a collaborator with HLM. Stacey discusses: demographic differences; orders; starting the conversation; the cost-benefit analysis; and kids are taking away from these lessons.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Deborah Stacey, equestrianism, Horse Lover’s Math, mathematics, The Greenhorn Chronicles, Township of Langley.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: I wrote an article, recently, looking at another facet. I was thinking about it while I was gardening: the injuries of equestrianism. That’s a thing. As I found, 60%, according to government statistics, of injuries are just falling off the horse.

Deborah Stacey: [Laughing] Okay.

Jacobsen: They are mostly in the teen years, mostly girls. Teen years make sense because everyone is learning. Girls make sense because that is, probably, the biggest demographic for the industry.

Stacey: I know! It is such an interesting phenomenon. People have tried to explain why that is.

Jacobsen: I have heard one explanation, which is: In Europe, you find more boys out there because over in North America, especially in Canada; there is a cultural nuance of safe, nurturing environments where there is observation, care, training, to guiding girls in a safe environment. Where, in Western Europe, it is more of a survival of the fittest or has been more so in the past. They throw you on there. The boys survive. They become decent to great riders. That’s one hypothesis. I don’t have data to back that up. It has a certain intuitive narrative appeal.

Stacey: That demographic holds for the English disciplines, but the Western is where the demographic changes. There’s a lot more males involved there.

Jacobsen: That’s also another nuance. The difference between dressage and show jumping versus rodeo. Those are big demographic differences. Canada produces the best women show jumpers in the world: Erynn Ballard and Tiffany Foster are two of the top women in the world. [Laughing] I think, Erynn Ballard was #1 woman in the world for the first half of the year. Tiffany Foster will, probably, be the #1 woman in the world for the second half of the year [Laughing]. So, the injury research, minor, extraordinarily inconsequential to the injuries of the great riders. There are some data. I don’t how regular they are collected. So, they might be a little bit out of date from the Government of Canada or, at least, those who report them. Even the great riders, a decent hunk of them have almost had career-ending injuries.

Stacey: I would guess that that is more eventing and show jumping than dressage.

Jacobsen: 100%. I can’t say the name. But a good friend of mine, her sister fell off a horse and died. She is doing dressage now. I suspect dressage is a safer context to pursue a passion without having to pursue the PTSD from when her sister died. So, people have a myth or a misconception about equestrianism in that sense. They think it’s ultra-safe and just fancy people. But it’s like the misconception around cheerleading. Cheerleading, it has a 100% injury rate. You’re going to get injured.

Stacey: I believe you. I watched that Netflix series. I was blown away by that. I hear you. I can see how that is the case.

Jacobsen: So, we have these aspects to it. Anyway, for Horse Lover’s Math, if you’re thinking about applicability in a teacher context towards students, if they’re using your resources, how has the feedback been from them? How large are the class sizes and cohorts that they’re working with?

Stacey: I haven’t really received feedback from individual teachers. In order for Horse Lover’s Math to be officially promoted and featured by a school district, I have to approach the school district and make a presentation, which I have not done. So, individual teachers come across my resources and use them as they see fit. I can send you; I’ve got quite a few comments and reviews of homeschooling. It is a big market for me. With the pandemic, more families started homeschooling. So, that’s a focus of mine. It is homeschooling families. Homeschool Canada carries my books, for example. Rainbow Resource in the U.S., which services homeschool families and educators in general, carries my books.

So, I also sell downloads on a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. There have been some teachers who have left comments. [Ed. See links in the Abstract.].

Jacobsen: How is the distribution through those other networks? You’re not simply working through Langley.

Stacey: I’ve mailed books to Australia.

Jacobsen: Wow.

Stacey: I have print versions of the books. I sell downloads too. I sell more downloads than prints themselves, not surprisingly. I’ve come to the point where I let things grow organically. I am so grateful to have this project. It’s meaningful to me. Not only because I love horses, but, as we’ve just touched on, there are a lot of girls who are horse crazy girls. There is still a message that some girls are getting that girls aren’t good at math or STEM subjects. I’ve always been a feminist. Part of what I love about Horse Lover’s Math, it combines those two interests and passions. It is empowering girls and a love of horses. I continue to learn doing the research that I do. You, probably, know this as a writer and journalist.

In order to write something clearly, you really have to understand it. I enjoy that process, and enjoy continuing to learn, myself. So, not surprisingly, the sales or the distribution slows during the Summer. In the Fall, it picks up again. Then I put out a newsletter that is growing, which is, now, over 1,200 people. That’s not big [Laughing] for a newsletter in today’s social media world. I understand that. It’s growing. That’s the direction I want it to go. The website is now getting around 5,000 visits a month. That’s growing. So, I am glad about that. I just had my biggest order from Rainbow a couple of months ago. That was a total, between the Level 1 and the Level 2, of 135 books that I mailed out to them. That’s been my biggest 1-time order.

Jacobsen: Do you get 1-time orders that are modest in size, but are to ranches, barns, equestrian facilities, around the area?

Stacey: No, I haven’t. I think part of that is that they don’t just know about me. When Covid hit, I had been planning on approaching, going and visiting, these barns. As you said, Langley is the horse capital of B.C. There are hundreds, probably, of riding stables and offering lessons. I was planning on brochures and marketing stuff. Approaching and them, introducing myself, off showing what I have to offer, asking if they would be interested in including, maybe, a morning, often, they will have a week Summer camp.

Maybe, for one morning or one afternoon, that could be Horse Lover’s Math focused. I didn’t go ahead with Covid when that plan hit. So, I feel like things are opening up again. Certainly, they are. That’s on my future to-do list. So, my contacting you. That’s part of my exposing more people, trying to get the word out. That the resource is available. On the website, as I mentioned, the content, the posts, are free and open to everyone. Along with the workbooks, there are also worksheets. Three or four pages for download. Also, I’ve created crossword puzzles. One is a horses and math crossword puzzle. Another is a horses and science crossword puzzle. Also, cryptograms around the theme of horses.

One thing that I have learned, math is not just arithmetic. It’s reasoning. It’s pattern recognition. It is mathematical thinking. So, these cryptograms, while they’re not about numbers and plus-or-minus, it is mathematical thinking and reasoning. So, those are available for download. It’s like a $1.49 or something.

Jacobsen: Some of the areas of exploration in the first few months of doing this series. It is dealing with vulnerable populations, let’s say. The young, they wouldn’t be categorized necessarily as vulnerable and disadvantaged in a necessary way, but their age makes them properly under guardianship. So, vulnerable in that sense, but not in a mental degenerative sense or a physical incapability in another sense. It’s just they’re still developing. If we’re taking a context of teaching and mathematics for specified grades 4, 5, 6, with regards to equestrianism, how might some of these industries within Langley, even, integrate with one another to have programs together? Because I see a lot of separation among different communities.

It has been noted to me after doing some interviews, “Thank you for starting the conversation. This is so necessary.” It has me reflecting more on something that I didn’t even realize was a thing. Not simply the formal siloing of the different areas of horsemanship, that I could see as an amateur or a greenhorn. One thing I didn’t realize was the degree to which individuals who had been in the different industries for a long time don’t talk to one another.

Stacey: Is that because they are too busy within their own group? Or are you suggesting that there is some competitiveness between these different disciplines?

Jacobsen: I think it depends. The competitiveness, for sure, would be between barns in show jumping, eventing, etc., but on a more or less friendly basis. There’s, certainly, a lot of gossip. But I think between industries that have no necessary relation to one another or a competitive back-and-forth between one another in a formal setting such as FEI events. Maybe, as a consequence of it being a lifestyle, they are so enmeshed and dealing with the day-to-day maintenance, opening and closing of operations. Not having the energy or the focus to think creatively outside of their acreage.

Stacey: Maybe, part of that, too, is they don’t see the benefits for making that effort.

Jacobsen: Yes, what is the cost-benefit analysis of thinking of ideas, starting programs, reaching out to people who deal with equine therapy or veterans or horses vis-à-vis math? These are not necessarily on the dossier for the day about what time is hay, which horses don’t get hay and get cubes instead. These are much more immediate. Once that is done, by the time you’re done your day, you’re kind of tired.

Stacey: We all have a role to play. We’re also talking here about human nature. It’s not just within the equestrian community. You use the word “gossip.”

Jacobsen: Sure [Laughing].

Stacey: There is just the quintessential egoic mind games world at play.

Jacobsen: Certain times, I have seen very immediate, legitimate cause for concern and people helping one another. The floods were a recent example. People offering barns, stalls, apartments on their site, which are usually for workers, to help them make it through because their basement flooded through and their drywall is all worn out. All those things are great. The more subtle, long-term things that aren’t necessarily context dependent on the weather. Those sorts of networking. I think that’s a core part of what they’re saying about getting a conversation started because they haven’t said much beyond that, but they have said that a couple of times. It has made me think.

Stacey: That’s interesting, Scott. It makes me curious. I’m not expecting you to answer this right now. But it is another interesting question for you, to explore. What do they mean by that? What issues are they touching on? Where might this go? What is the need that they’re speaking to? I don’t really know. So, I am finding that an interesting anecdote.

Jacobsen: One issue breaking into two immediately across the country, probably different degrees in different provinces and territories: Where are the new farriers coming from? Where are the new generations of vets coming from? If you have rising land costs in Langley, as we have all experienced, rent goes up. Mortgage payments go up. All of it. It makes it more difficult with a large plot of land, trying to run an equestrian business. Yet, with that rise in cost, you still have to pay your staff. All the other fixed costs are there. So, even good businesses might have to sell the land, move elsewhere, similarly for core service infrastructure like vets, they might, if new and trying to start a business, might simply move somewhere else if it is easier to start a business.

Stacey: You mentioned, “Where are the new farriers coming from?” Is Kwantlen in Cloverdale still running their program?

Jacobsen: I haven’t looked into that, recently. I am aware of the program.

Stacey: I visited them a couple of times. I really enjoyed it. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember the man’s name who was running it at the time. They had a competition, where farriers from the States came up. They had a competition. He gifted me a box of different kinds of horse shoes, which I’ve used in one of my Horse Lover’s Math activities. Measuring the size, weighing, math, these kinds of things with the different sizes of horse shoes.

Jacobsen: So, I wasn’t aware of this until about a month ago. It took several months in the industry for someone, in passing really, mentioned that farriers have competitions. [Laughing] That’s fascinating to me. The fact your math stuff being integrated into that is also another testament to your work because it is showing the general observation that math, even basic math, is used in all aspects of the industries.

Stacey: Yes.

Jacobsen: What are you hoping kids are taking away from these lessons?

Stacey: More knowledge about horses and a love of learning.

Jacobsen: Deborah, thank you very much for the time today.

Stacey: Okay, thank you, Scott.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2). September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 8). The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 24: Deborah Stacey on Math in the Equine (2) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-2

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Interview with President of Christian Heritage Party

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal (Unpublished)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/01

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, tell us a little bit about your family background and how they have been involved in Canada and how that has an influence on your own political interests as a youth?

Rod Taylor: I was born in the States. Both my parents were born in the States. Dad was born in Colorado and mom was born in Maine. When I was growing up, we attended Quaker meetings. Dad was a pacifist. Both of them were involved in social works on various levels.

We moved around with Dad’s work. We were in Minnesota. That’s where I was born, or Wisconsin, New Jersey. I changed my school in California within the New York state. So, dad was a Conscientious Objector in World War II, spent time in jail for refusing to participate with the system.

That was an interesting time. He then was involved in my younger years with the Civil rights movement with Martin Luther King; not with him, but attended some of the marches and things, that Martin Luther King was involved in.

Later on in the ‘60s, we were in Salamanca, New York, where the Seneca Indians were being flooded off land, land that had been promised to them by George Washington. It was the longest-standing two years and had not yet been broken.

Dad was defending them trying to prevent the flooding from taking place, but was unsuccessful. That was our introduction to Indian or First Nation issues in the United States. Later on, I finished my school at a Quaker boarding school in California, by that time mom and dad were planning to move to British Columbia, which they did.

I joined them when I graduated from high school in Vancouver and in British Columbia. Dad got involved increasingly with various environmental issues and First Nations’ issues that occupied him for the most of the rest of his life up to May 2002.

But it certainly influenced our family’s awareness of some of the issues in the country and environmental issues as well. By the time I left home, my saw travelled a bit and saw the country, both The United States and Canada.

I trekked back and forth across the country a few times, worked on farms. I was in community living for some time there, into gardening. That’s where I met my wife. She was a Christian when I met her, had become a Christian.

A few years later after we were married, I became a Christian too. That certainly influenced the way I looked at the world. We moved to Smithers, BC, where I worked in a lumber industry. Then we moved out to Alberta for 12 years, worked on the railroad’s track maintenance for about six of those years.

We went to Bible School for couple of years at Caroline, Alberta. Then in 1987, we moved back to Smithers area, northern BC. The next 22 years, I worked in the lumber industry and during that time in 1997 was when we first got involved with Christian Heritage Party.

And so, my wife went to a meeting one night. I was working night shift at saw mill. The next morning, she told me about some folks that want to do something in defense of innocent human life, in defense of traditional family values and freedom of speech and those kinds of things.

She felt it was a good thing for us to get involved with and we did. We were busy building a house and I was getting the hang of my working career in the lumber industry and became quality control supervisor. I was involved first in the union and later on in management in the lumber industry.

So, we have been involved for quite a number of years. In 2001, we had in the previous couple of years been involved in helping to organize a provincial party, the BC Unity Party, which was a coming together of five center-conservative parties: The Family Coalition Party of BC, The BC Party, Social Credit, and one other one that basically came together and formed a single party and that ran as a provincial candidate in Buckley Valley-Stikine in 2001.

None of our candidates were elected, but it was a good experience for me. From that point, I have been increasingly involved in politics and especially a few years later. I became a candidate for The Christian Heritage Party.

I have run a number of times there and in 2008 I became the Deputy Leader of the party. So, I was working in a mill. It was a voluntary position as a deputy leader, but shortly after I took on the role of Director for the party, which allowed me to do promotional work for the Christian Heritage Party full time across the country

In 2014, I became the leader’s party.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] You’ve been married to Elaine for 41 Years.

Taylor: It’s for 42 Year now.

Jacobsen: 42 Years. Congratulations!

Taylor: Thanks.

Jacobsen: You have two children and four grandchildren. That might have changed in the past year.

Taylor: No, it’s still the same.

Jacobsen: What perspective does having children and grandchildren, in other words lineage, on the future of a nation for you?

Taylor: It’s important; we don’t live for ourselves. I don’t mean Elaine and me, but people generally don’t live for themselves. This is by experience; we are the inheritors of the work. The labor, the traditions, and culture and love and care of those who’ve gone before.

We can also have fraternities to participate in; they’ve got a type of world that our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren are going to inherit. There’s a lot of talk in the media or maybe in the parts of society that are leaving more focus on environmental issues.

There are talks about our environmental program, but about what a world we’re going to leave for our children in terms of pollution. Those types of things, which are certainly important. We have a legacy.

We have a planet. We want to pass it on in good shape, but we also have a little calm world environment. The society that our children and grandchildren will be living in. This freedom that we hope they will have the type of interactions they will have with their neighbors and those beyond borders to our international neighbors as well.

So, we have a short period of time as human beings. Even a strong person: but if we use a hundred years as an optimistic lifespan, 70 to a 100 years, we’re here for a short period of time. When we’re gone, we hope that we left a mark, and a positive mark, on the landscape; something that our children will appreciate.

Freedoms and opportunities that we can help create for them.

Jacobsen: Your personal values relate to not only thinking about future generations, but also standing for the innocent, the helpless, and freedom of speech. What’s the importance of these values to you?

Taylor: At some point, I’ll cross back into the world view. I have a Christian world view, but everyone has a religious world view and may not all call it that. But we believe that we are created for a purpose. That there is something beyond being born, punching the clock for so many years and being put into that dirt.

There’s the belief where God comes into play We have a responsibility. The opportunity to represent something beyond the 9 to 5 world. Something greater than the grief and struggle to maintain the physical existence.

So, for our children, we want them, and of course the children of this generation, to understand that they’re here for a purpose; something higher, we may name it your God, the opportunity to have positive interactions.

If we lived for ourselves then the survival of the fittest is the right way to live; get what you can, don’t worry about the other guy, find the ladder, enjoy all the things in life, and don’t worry about tomorrow, but our understanding of why we’re here is that God has put us here for His glory.

He has created mankind to have a relationship. He cares enough and that the creator of the universe cares enough to have a relationship with us and it’s ours to take. We are willing to participate in His plans.

Now, we can have a satisfying life if we want to live for ourselves which is over in a short period of time, but by cooperating with the One who has plans for us. We can be satisfied that we are contributing to an understanding of our fellow man, our children, grandchildren, and all others, but those who live around us.

If we give away human relationships, if we give away the value of human life, that is something beyond drawing your breath and pumping blood and tasting food for a short few years, then we have to look beyond that.

Otherwise, it could be a dismal existence. That’s why people who don’t think that way maybe tried to during their candidate experience as much as they can in this new year that we have here. That they don’t see something beyond the grave; we do believe there is life beyond the grave and soul.

We believe in everything from that promise. We have to look beyond our daily existence. Otherwise, we see around us in society, the plague and suicide. People trying to fill their soul as they’re trying to experience everything they can, whether it’s tasting things or feeling things or hearing things.

They’re trying to cram it all in. We believe that there’s things for us to experience beyond the grave that are far beyond what no one is supposed to experience here in this life.

Jacobsen: With that form of community, with that ultimate framework for a view on life, principles and values will be scripturally based, biblically based.

Taylor: That’s correct. I mean, we do believe that the Bible is God’s Word to man and that we are following – I don’t want to call it suggestions, but following – God’s directions. It is a way for us to safety, security, and happiness.

Ignoring what He has to say to us is basically ignoring the opportunity to be secure; so, I’m going to say no one inside agrees with that world view. Everyone has a worldview, but no one has a Christian world view.

We believe that when people ask us about the tie between our religious point of view and our political point of view. We believe that the things that God wants for mankind are good for all. So, it’s not a matter of trying to impose restrictions on people that will make their lives narrower and less enjoyable.

We want people to be free of disease. We don’t want people to be suffering. For instance, abortion is an issue we talk about a lot. There’s a lot of studies that show increased rates of breast cancer from abortion, especially in the first pregnancy.

So, when we are trying to save someone from some agony or an increase in depression or suicide following on a percentage basis, following abortion compared to those who fear the job or term, we think of broken home syndrome in this country.

It’s way out of control ever since the “No Fault Divorce” concept came in, but we think that imposes pain and suffering on children that they spend the rest of their lives trying to sort out when the two people that are most important in their lives – their mother and father – are no longer in a relationship.

We’re not saying that can always be avoided, but policies should lean towards encouraging families to stay together because it avoids pain. Those pains that are inflicted in childhood. Often, we see them come home in later life.

Children who’ve never witnessed a sustained marriage are probably more likely to fail in their own marriage. At times, they’re going to say, “My parents could not do it. So, maybe, it’s impossible to hold a family together.”

We take our guidance from the whole Bible. Itself is a big. It has lots of angles to it, instructions and important things, but first is to do to others as you would have them do unto you, love neighbor as yourself, honor God, have a reverence for the one who made you, and reverence and respect for your fellow human being.

If all of this is spiritual wisdom was followed, from man down to our society, if they lived according to those, we’d have a lot better society than we have today.

Jacobsen: With the foundation in Scripture in the Bible, in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the final moral precept, ethical precept, of the Golden Rule exists there.

This can be taken at multiple scales, not only at the individual level, but with respect to how one treats oneself, as how one treats one’s neighbor, how one treats people that they happen to come across in the street, their own family, their community, their province or territory, and the larger society.

Does this perspective with the ethical precept of the Golden Rule at all levels in society impact at the parties’ positions?

Taylor: Sure. I mean, first example that comes to mind, is when we as a society or as a government do not spend money that has not yet been earned by the children of the next generation, or is stealing their money or spending money that they didn’t give permission.

They didn’t get to elect today’s politicians, but they’re going to have to pay the bills tomorrow. So, that is one example on income. Of course, our intervention or our attempt to intervene in the protection of innocent human life.

the child in the womb is my neighbor. So, to see a life shortened is something we should intervene in on an individual level, that becomes a suicidal issue at an individual level. We can speak to people as individuals.

We don’t have authority to tell people what they should do and indeed the strength of our influence should be persuasion rather than caution. We as Christians, Canadians, who care about other Canadians.

We should be getting better at our powers of persuasion and another angle to this is the family. The broader wings of our relationships, but self-government. everybody wants to be independent.

But if we will have a true self-government as individuals and restraining ourselves as opposed to restraining someone else, if all of us have that and we were all doing unto others that we would have done unto us, we would need as many rules and regulations, court cases, and people suing one another.

That only happens because were trying to assert our rights over somebody else’s rights. If we were caring about each other than on that level, it’s a pretty high standard price to set to love others as we love ourselves, but your neighbor’s fence line or whatever it is.

If we were doing that, we would need far fewer rules and regulations than we have today – than frankly the rules and regulations we have today. The laws aren’t doing it as it seems to be in many ways becoming more lawless.

There is more anarchy and more people doing the wrong things and not caring about others. Here comes a point where you can’t hire enough policemen to make sure there’s no graffiti, to make sure things don’t get broken at night. If you do hire enough policemen to do that, you can’t afford them.

Secondly, how are you going to ensure society, the individuals that make up our society, don’t have the law written in their heart or don’t have self-governance? How would we know that the policemen or the judges that takes the cases are going to judge properly?

So, we need to become a nation of people who are governed from within. Then we’ll be able to find the right people to govern from without or to oversee the peaceful, prosperous, and connected society.

Jacobsen: That freedom to speak and those anarchic tendencies with a fraying of social ties in society. It can reduce the amount of peace in the society. This goes back at least 2,500 years to Plato, when he was writing about these kinds of things.

The party has talked about “the high cost of a bloated and unaccountable bureaucracy.” How does this impact the working class especially with respect to a “sovereign national debt and an unsustainable tax burden”?

Taylor: Good. The bureaucracy, everyone has seen it grow. The number of civil servants. It can keep expanding, trying to cover what we need. When people count on government to do everything for them and nobody does that, but when people want government to do everything for them, we’ve put our trash can on the street.

Now, what if we want the government to come into our house and clean our house and take the trash out to the street? You can develop levels of dependence that are unsustainable. If people watch over the lock in front of their own house’s door, that’s another example.

That you don’t need some entire government set of personnel. I’m not saying that’s unnecessarily a bad thing, but those are examples. If we become a society, or maybe we are already a society, that requires a government agency to ensure that we’re not polluting a stream.

It could even be more than one agency. Maybe, it’s a federal level, provincial level, or a regional district. Then I have officers, staff, and vehicles and as opposed to individuals saying, “I’m going to be sure that I don’t pollute a stream.”

Maybe, they got people that are doing a great job of that and one person who doesn’t care, but because of that one person we have to create a government department to look after that. Everybody has to pay for it. Those are some levels of family.

If families would stay together, a whole lot of problems would go away or would be reduced at least, whereas now you need the court system to deal with family break down and so on. You need social workers.

So, it’s back to the point of taxes are unaffordable. Obviously, we’re having deficit year after year It’s also happening in the household. I wouldn’t go on forever because someone will come and take your house, right?

We can’t spend money that we don’t have; we can’t at least on an annual basis because of the potential for some great natural disaster. We have to spend a little bit more one year then another, but you have to pay it back the next year.

You can’t do what we’ve been doing over and over again. Now, we have a debt of six hundred and twenty billion looking something like seventy-one million dollars a day in interest. So, the interest payments and to our other costs.

It goes on and on, but it hasn’t been curtailed except for a few years. Then all that was saved in over ten years’ time has been re-spent again. So, it’s best to find out what are the important things that we can’t do without that requires taxpayers to cover the cost and to read the taxpayer magazine.

There are numerous examples of things that money gets spent on. even if you went to empty your salaries, some of the costs are going to CEOs of Crown Corporations and things like that. it’s always ridiculous.

Why would politicians vote themselves for those kinds of salaries when the average Canadian can’t support themselves? Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that politicians would have the brass to do that, but that’s where we’re at today.

A rough answer to your question, maybe if you need to redirect the question or reframe it, if you do that then I could try again [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] So, with respect to that response about government bureaucracy, the national debt, the tax burden on the working class, and so on, what would the Christian Heritage Party of Canada do to remove what it deems unnecessary red tape and other obstacles to success?

Taylor: We would have our own cabinet. We’d form a government. You have to go through line by line on what can we do without. At any end, you have to make some decision what can we live without. We have to do it as a family.

We can’t afford this particular item this year or this month. We have to do without. There’s no other way around it. Unfortunately, the difficulty for politicians in making those tough decisions is your decision affects somebody else. Since you require the relics of those people, of at least of some of them to get re-elected, that’s the trend: the downward trend.

It’s easy to promise people things on the way into office and hard to deliver them. If you’re promising to cut taxes, you have to say “then what are we not going to buy?” So, Thomas Jefferson said, “Democracy will only last until the people discover they can vote themselves money.”

Essentially, that’s where we’re at today is it’s easy to promise things and the public seems to be practically unaware that what is promised with one hand is being taken on their back pocket with the other one.

So, it is a challenge. We believe as Christian Heritage Party Christians that we need to be honest with people. We can’t promise things and then not deliver them, and promising things that we can’t afford will not be practical either.

So, we’re focused on cutting. We would pay off the national debt; the existing national debt, we will pay it off a mortgage, So, we’d save so much a month. Our monthly bill monthly mortgage payment is going against the national debt.

We wouldn’t implement a mandatory balanced budget. So, that it would be illegal to make a budget that was going to be a deficit budget with, I suppose, the exception of horrendous natural disaster or war. There are times when you have to make an exception.

So, this trouble when the exceptions become the norm or what constitutes a natural disaster. That’s a national disaster that it would warrant breaking your commitments, right? Now, we may have to go line by line. Where do we cut?

Give me one example where we wouldn’t be spending money on gay pride parades and all. I mean, that’s a relatively small example, but even under the Conservative government $400,000 went to the gay pride parade.

For something that we think is lowering the standards for Canadians contributing to disease and dysfunction. We’re adding to national woes instead of building the country up. Right now, I wouldn’t be spending the money that the Prime Minister has spent flying to participating in gay pride parades.

There’s the couple of hundred thousand dollars right there that can be saved. So, there are places to cut funds. The court system needs to be sped up. Of course, you can’t do that whether you have to or not.

Everything has to be done in the line of maintaining. You can’t compromise principles. Right now, it’s taking sometimes a couple years for a murder trial. It’s on everything. If you have no evidence and no suspects, that’s a different story.

But when all the evidence you’re ever going to have is before you. Why should things drag out for years and tie up a lot of people’s time and energy? They’re criminal. If there’s an innocent person accused, they deserve to have their name cleared; if there’s a guilty person accused, they deserve to come to grips with what they’ve done.

In case of murder, you can never bring a person. The person, even the guilty party, can become whole again, can become a productive member of society again. We believe in restitution. So, I’m getting into that platform as opposed to how we’re going to cut cost, but victims of property crimes need to be made whole again if it’s possible.

If the perpetrator can contribute to that person’s window being fixed or their car being restored or whatever’s happened, the money that was taken to be replaced. That should be first and foremost. It might reduce the number of things that are happening to people.

There are a lot of areas where cost can be cut. I see sometimes various forms of wasteful spending in highway construction, not always, but we notice quite often there’s an extra bit here and there.

Where it seems common sense should be enough to guide the day, that the driver should be able to figure out how to get past a place without having to have two people tell him how to do it, but everything has to be weighed in the balance for safety, security, and cost-effectiveness.

Jacobsen: Now, with respect to the demographics of the Christian Heritage Party, who are they? What are their general demographic stances, e.g. age, ethnicity, and so on?

Taylor: We probably don’t have any graphs and charts to show that exactly. So, my comments are pretty generic. The party was started in 1987 and many of our original members are still with us. Some have gone to be with the Lord already.

There was a gap where the families of the original members maybe didn’t see the results. Some are waiting to see that before they get involved and partly this is the pace of life. So, I’m going to say that our demographic is certainly older than ideal.

We would like to have a surging group of young members. We do have new members. Some middle-aged and young people joining our party. We need the party to grow, but there probably was a gap between those who originally saw the vision for the party and those who are the beneficiaries of a Christian worldview.

Our society’s freedoms and prosperity are a result of God’s blessing on this nation. The honor that He has historically been given and His principles have been given up until now, but no one in society, whether they’re in a church or out of a church, recognizes that.

And so, our side has gotten busy and volunteerism has taken a hit. So, many people have won the benefits of the society. We’re working for it, but maybe either through busyness or lack of understanding they haven’t committed the time to it.

So, it’s a challenge for us as far as the backgrounds; our founding members were Catholics and Protestants involved in the founding and still are. I would say the original membership was a large contingent from some of the Reformed churches.

The Christian reformed and other reformed churches and that still is probably the case. I would say across the country there are many of our long-standing members and hard-working members come from that background.

I would say in recent years those joining the party have come from a variety of backgrounds, Catholics and various streams of Evangelical Christianity. So, what else would you to know about demographics if I touched on it?

Jacobsen: So, my sense is as described: as with global Christianity, you have a wide representation of nationalities and ethnicities, backgrounds, ages, of course, because not only thousands but hundreds of millions of people adhere to scripture to one degree or another claiming Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

The party will represent that to a degree. So, that will inform both the perspectives; the people that join, the values and principles, and the platform and the policies that the party adheres to and advocates for.

Taylor: Yes, and, of course, we want to appeal to and we believe that we can basically represent those who belong or who are currently in other faith groupings as well. Our policies are based on a Christian worldview, but now we believe that same worldview too.

We do believe in freedom of religion. So, we promote freedom of religion for all in this country who being any faith and that includes no faith or those who, for instance, would maybe classify themselves as atheists and think that they only look at things from a scientific point of view.

We believe of course that science comes from the Bible or science is proven in the Bible and God created all the scientific laws. The interactions of chemicals and living things, but we believe that atheists should be allowed to proclaim their lack of belief in God.

It becomes a type of humanist that they believe in mankind and some of the staunch radical environmentalists have put the Earth at the top of the pinnacle on a level of priority, things to be maintained.

Earth and animal life sometimes even human life, but it’s a different worldview. But we consider that also a religious worldview and that’s of course in many cases a religious worldview that’s being taught in schools today.

When this discussion for the challenge between secularism and the Christian worldview is many cases being fought out in the classrooms or in the boardrooms that control the classrooms; There’s a worldview being taught in classrooms that we think is a religious worldview.

We think it doesn’t belong here. It’s not helping kids, but they’re a section of society – or at least certain groups within that society have been able to frame the issue as religion opposed to science. After creationism, did God create the world? Or did it all just happen?

They teach that it all happened and that’s a religious worldview, which we don’t think that it’s helping our nation to have our children indoctrinated with that religious worldview – the non-God the God view or non-God thing.

But anyway, it is a challenge to ensure that our commitment to religious freedom. That we don’t get walked on in the process, which has been happening for a number of years. The freedom that we’ve enjoyed in this country is now being twisted into some form of compulsion to participate in the belief system being promoted in schools.

That’s where we have a concern and we need to be able to frame that issue. So, that secular society can understand why we’re concerned. They think that we want to impose something on them; they never realize it that they are much more so imposing a worldview on us and on our children.

Jacobsen: With regards to the CHP and pro-life policy, it is noted that it is the only pro-life federal political party.

Taylor: Yes.

Jacobsen: In addition to the advocacy, teaching, and espousal of Judeo-Christian principles and values, one nuanced point might be of interest to readers at some point maybe a month, a year, or 5 or 10 years from now reading this; some will hyphenate Judeo-Christian-Islamic values or principles. Others will highlight Judeo alone. Others will highlight Judeo-Christian together.

Regardless, you note Judeo-Christian principles enshrined in the Canadian Constitution. Why Judeo-Christian in early 21st century rather than Judeo-Christian-Islamic?

Taylor: Thank you for that question. Of course, you take the Old Testament the New Testament together, they are considered the written Word of God. The Old Testament is the Judeo worldview up until the birth of Christ.

Yes, Jesus was a Jew, was born into a Jewish culture and brought, in our point of view, the fulfillment of the Jewish concept of the Messiah and, of course, while there may be a disagreement that not all Jews have accepted that point of view.

Still it’s the same, it’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There’s a shared history right up to the birth of Christ at least. Of course, many Jews today are taking the next step as when he did in Jesus’s day and saying, “Oh! This is the Messiah,” which to us makes sense.

We think it’s the reality and that’s the reality we teach. Islam is based on a different prophet, the teachings of a different prophet; we disagree with the Islamic teachings. Now, of course, there are some pro-life points of view.

Finally, they also promote traditional marriage between one and one woman or between one man and four women. So, it begins to be a divergence there. But as far as sharing a pro-life value, we certainly support freedom for speech for Muslims in Canada.

As long as Muslims’ or any group’s teachings don’t result in attacks on others, then we’re fine with that, as around the world, there’s a lot of concern about Islamic terrorism. So, that’s a concern. I would find it a stretch to tie Islamic-Judeo-Christian worldview because there is a diversion on that one in many countries.

The Islamic focus is on killing Jews and Christians. We hope one day that that focus will be gone, but right now the teachings: it’s hard to relate to that and of course some of those are direct. They lean on direct quotes from the Quran in terms of not finding a Jew behind a rock and kill them and so on.

So, I don’t see how we would tie it together as a worldview. I certainly see how we can work together; those who are committed to protecting the family and protecting innocent human life. We would to work together and represent those values, and the freedom of religion.

I would have a hard time framing it as Islamic-Judeo-Christian, though. We believe in one God. That’s something that we share if there is only one God.

Jacobsen: In some of the ads for CHP, seven core point’s touched on. They are family values, traditional marriage, sanctity of life, free speech, freedom of religion, fiscal sanity, and accountable government.

I would like to explore each of those a little bit in some minor detail. So, in the order as presented, with respect to family values, these can mean different things to different people and different groups of local parties.

In general, though, within a Judeo-Christian worldview and set of principles, what are family values to you and to the CHP?

Taylor: Thank you. First of all, if we first recognize that the family has value, then there is value in the unit that we call a family. Now, Ontario passed the All Families Are Equal Act and, of course, they’re going somewhere different than when we say a family.

We are referring to husband and wife, one man one woman married with or without children. That’s what we consider a family. Now, there are situations where the husband dies. Then you have a single mother or the wife dies or there is unavoidable separation.

Then you have a broken family, still a family. It’s family with tremendous additional challenges. Every family has challenges. So, family values: there’s the value of having time together. There’s a value of mentorship, or fathers teaching their sons how to behave towards each other, how to behave towards outsiders, how to behave towards women.

There’s a value that is being passed on that is the value that other people have value. That you can play king of the hill in the backyard, but you have to care about other people if you want to have a life that it has its own dignity and value.

Mother’s teaching her daughters how to walk in a way that is purer; a way that protects that which God has given them. They have a special place, obviously. Mothers and women have a special place in our society, totally unrecognized.

Often, the value that the girls bring to the softening effect on what might otherwise be a selfish society. So, those are values: spending time together. Of course, all the things that parents do for their children: providing shelter, food, teaching them skills, teaching to read and tie their shoelaces.

All these details that go into the transference of skill, knowledge, and character one generation to the next. So, when we say family values, we also include, and most people understand when a Christian says family values we include, protection of innocent human life, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.

Those types of things. The scripture says to honor your father and your mother. That’s a family value not to disrespect them. Parents have a responsibility to their children whether if you like it or not.

In the night, when the baby cries someone has to see to that infant’s cries. It’s a family value to make personal sacrifices for the good of your family members and, of course, it extends beyond your family unit, but that charity begins at home.

Are there other specific questions about family values?

Jacobsen: That covers the gamut that would be requisite with the question. The next in that order: number two was traditional marriage. What defines traditional marriage to you? Why is it important? What makes it a foundation for society; civil society?

Taylor: Traditional marriage is one man and one woman committed for life. Why is it important? That is the source where everyone being comes from; you need one man one woman. Of course, brothers and sisters are not always from the same man and the same woman depending on circumstances, but we all have in our DNA and our genes that it is one man and one woman.

It’s put there by God. God created Adam and Eve; first man and first woman, put them together. There’s symbolism also in Christ being represented as the bridegroom, the husband, waiting for the bride at the church.

Those who allow him to be joined to him. There’s more of a spiritual or mystical parallel that God has designed the family. If we want His blessing on our homes, His peace, His provision and in our communities, we should be following His footsteps.

No matter what people claim as far as their lifestyle. Their acquired gender, whatever the gender leanings or whatever. Every one of them also came from one man one woman. Nobody got here any other way.

So, it is the building block literally of society. Our DNA reflects our lineage that goes back through one man one woman. Each of them came from one man one woman; each of them came from one man one woman till you come all the way back to Adam and Eve.

So, that’s between that and God’s direction. That’s good enough for me.

Jacobsen: Thank you. The third on that list was the sanctity of life. This might require some follow-up questions to suss out the nuances here because it is a topic of still deep discussion, not only contention, but nuanced discussion with probably too much stereotyping on many of the sides that are taken into consideration for it.

So, with respect to the sanctity of life, let’s start with definitions. What is sanctity to you? What defines life to you?

Taylor: Okay. Let’s set apart their definitions along those lines, sanctity – or being sanctified – is to be set apart, it’s special. What we’re saying here is that human life is special compared to animal life.

Most of us are meat eaters. Those who aren’t they consider all animal life sanctified, but we regard human life as made in the image of God according to the Bible. He made all the creatures. All plant life: the fish, the birds, and everything else, bugs, but human beings were the last creation.

He said it was good. So, He has made us in His image, which, of course, doesn’t mean everyone looks at some a cartoon stereotype of God sitting on a throne that we know can only vaguely imagine or dream about, but we’re made by Him.

That we have creativity. We have the ability to love, the ability to think and plan. We have the ability to design and interact with the design. We can take things and build things out of them. Of course, God made everything from nothing.

God made everything, but He’s given us stuff to work with. So, God brings us into the world; we believe that even at conception that in a man and woman there’s a child created and, under normal circumstances, goes through the cycle of life: is born, grows as a period of productivity, then midlife, old age, and hopefully is still finding a useful role even in old age as a mentor or something.

Then we pass from this Earth, and then we go to a better place if we know the Lord. So, in Canadian society, there is one stream of activity. God does not want us to cut off someone’s life at any stage, whether it’s a child in womb or a child in society – we’ll all agree – such as leaving a child in a hot car.

It dies. It’s terrible. You go to jail for that. But a few months earlier, you take a knife and cut a baby out of its mother’s womb and then it is somehow alright. Of course, what with euthanasia, that has now become so-called legal in Canada.

We think it’s still illegal in God’s eyes, but to end someone’s life prematurely before God has called them; we think that’s not our place to do that. So, sanctity of life: there’s another angle. It needs to be brought off that we’re made in His image for his purpose, for his pleasure.

We are human beings set apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, we have a special role It pleases God while we treat human life as with the same respect that it deserves.

Jacobsen: You mentioned euthanasia as well. What would the CHP do in terms of laws and practices for both euthanasia and abortion within Canada? What would be the stance in other words?

Taylor: If we had a majority government tomorrow, then a practical way to the end to abortion and euthanasia would be a goal. The reality is at this point in time our role is to provide persuasive influence.

Even if we have members of Parliament, a handful of members, we could only appeal to the deeper nature or the higher nature of fellow MPs. Even if you have a majority government, you have to educate the public on some things.

You can’t impose, but, on the other hand, there’s a responsibility to take steps to persuade. One of my concerns was Prime Minister Harper over the years when he said that if people wanted to reduce the number of abortions then you need to change hearts not laws.

In other words, he said I’m not going to do anything in that direction. That other people need to change hearts. You are the Prime Minister. You could at least speak to the young people and educate young people and encourage young people to consider the details, the facts.

So, there’s the education aspect of it. Here’s the practical steps we would be taking with abortion, this Parliament, the past Parliament, were unwilling to take the simplest steps that could be taken to outline gender related abortion killing of young girls at a higher rate than killing young boys because they want a boy.

Some have a girl killed by abortion. Most Canadians think that’s wrong. Of course, it’s a slice in the face of much feminist rhetoric. Here’s little girls being killed, then boys aren’t, but Parliament has avoided that question and is not willing to take it on.

So, we’ve introduced that legislation to have a specific thing that societies agree is wrong. We would want to defund that version. Why should so many people who have deeply held beliefs about it be forced to pay for it and to enable the ongoing slaughter of a hundred thousand babies a year while making abortionists rich?

So, that would be another thing in both BC and Ontario. Those two provinces, you can’t even find out the statistics about abortion, which is a violation of freedom of information. People’s taxes are being used for that and being called healthcare, but they can’t find out how many are being done, what reasons they are being done for, and what the demographics are in the end.

They can’t even find out the bad results. There’s a breast cancer link to abortion. These things are even being shared with people. So, women are undergoing abortions without having adequate information. So, they’re not even having informed choice.

Then we would come against coercion to have an abortion, which has been tried a couple times in the previous governments. But where many girls, sometimes about 60% have abortions because their boyfriend or husband or their parents or peers are almost compelling them to have an abortion.

We would take steps to, I suppose, put an end to that. That would free a lot of babies right away. On Euthanasia, we think it was a terrible ruling, a couple things need to happen; number one, government needs to start using the notwithstanding clause; federal government never has.

When the Supreme Court ruled that the law against assisted suicide was unconstitutional, that’s the ruling. These are nine fallible human beings; they’re not perfect. They never were perfect. The government did not have to accept that.

The government should have gone back to using the notwithstanding clause and stood up for protection of innocent human life, but the government didn’t. The government allowed the Supreme Court to set the stage.

Of course, there’s a lot of pressure in that direction already, but what many people or countries have not grasped is the extent to which the euthanasia bandwagon is being driven by those who simply want to cut hospital costs for old people.

It’s a known fact that elderly people consume a lot; in your final year, you consume more healthcare dollars than when you’re young and healthy. So, for governments that are struggling to make ends meet, it’s convenient when people’s health is failing to give them a way out because it frees up a hospital bed and saves money.

That’s a terrible reason to end somebody’s life, but it’s part of the driver there. So, one of the things we would do for both – Euthanasia and abortion – for doctors involved in surgery and for educators: conscience legislation.

Canadians, whether doctors, lawyers, or teachers, should not be compelled to do things against their conscience. No doctors should have to participate even in recommending an abortion when they know in their heart of hearts that they’re violating God’s principles.

No teacher should be forced to teach sexual perversion as an alternate lifestyle when they know that that is a violation of God’s will and as from your own conscience. Right now, we don’t have conscientious objection in this country. We need to have it. So, that’s one of the things the CHP would strive for.

Jacobsen: Thank you. What do you see as the state of free speech within Canada? Do you think it needs amendments or is it fine as is?

Taylor: Freedom of speech is under attack. Ontario’s past legislation that taking mother and father off government documents is ridiculous. I can’t think of a more ridiculous blurring of lines between reality and fantasy.

Jordan Peterson, University of Toronto (U of T), is fighting for his career because he refuses to use a new language to refer to people who he knows are men and women, or boys and girls, and he’s being told that he must be willing to use different pronouns instead of “he” and “her” or whatever.

He refused to do that. He is taking a principled and difficult to understand position. A teacher in British Columbia was fired for mentioning in class, in a casual passing manner. Of course, when another discussion mentioned that he was opposed to abortion, a complaint was filed by one student and that man has lost his job.

This is ridiculous, especially when he was right; but regardless, freedom of speech needs to be protected. Trudeau has introduced Bill C-16. He’s sitting in the Senate now. That makes it dicey to talk about sexual preferences, sexual lifestyles, so-called genders, transgender-ism, any of those things, and to make any statements that are not supportive of them.

For instance, speaking about the negative health impacts of the homosexual lifestyle, they could be under attack. We’ve seen that years ago already, where there were pint-sized Human Rights Commissions.

Alberta for being a so-called hate speech people. It was the accurate relaying of a research study done by a university regarding the health impacts of homosexuality and to not be able to discuss those things is absurd.

We need to fight for these things soon and quickly and effectively because once freedom of speech is gone. I look at it. Life is the top priority. If you don’t have life, then none of your other rights matter and freedom of speech is next.

Because if you don’t have freedom of speech, you can’t defend. But again, you have your other rights including the right to life. So, we need to have absolute freedom of speech. That is not the freedom to tell lies.

That is the freedom to express your opinion. Without that, of course, we regard this as almost demonic. I can’t or don’t want to say that there’s a spiritual struggle or attack against those who oppose our worldview and who oppose it aggressively and viciously.

But we find ourselves having to take this road to try to stop our free speech because when you have free speech you might persuade someone to think differently. But if you take away free speech, then you can coerce people like Hitler did, or Chairman Mao.

You can make everyone say the same things. Those you won’t say the things are out. They are either dead or in prison. Mary Wagner was arrested again for bringing roses into an abortion clinics’ waiting room and for the ladies offering prayer for them.

She would to be able to speak freely in her independence in her life. She’s denied that merit to Linda Gibbons earlier.  Linda has spent over ten years in jail for standing in front of that abortion clinic.

That’s the free speech right that’s being denied. Bill who went in the Gay Pride Parade in disguise and handed out some information there. No one agrees with his tactics, but he’s being sued for a 104 million dollars by gay rights people.

Even Prime Minister Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne have joined that [Laughing], the guy may not have a 104 dollars at any one time but anyway. The freedom to speech is definitely under attack.

Jacobsen: With respect to freedom of speech within a multi-party pluralistic democratic society, it seems like the glue. The grease of the wheels – so to speak – in terms of furthering discussion about topics between parties, between demographics.

With that threat to freedom of speech where people might feel offended, it is a two-way street. In a way, if you can’t tell someone what to say, in another way, then you can’t tell someone else what to say in return or feel in return to that.

So, someone can say something that is either pro-choice or pro-life, someone might feel offended by either position or they can respond with the opposing position, but to restrict either a pro-life or pro-choice position would be an illegitimate restriction on freedom of speech from your own perspective as the representative of the CHP.

Is that a fair representation?

Taylor: That’s fair. We don’t go around trying to interfere with those who have a different point of view. We would be able to offer our point of view and many of our positions are now represented by government. So, they have not only our approval.

We’re also paying for them as there comes a point where I shouldn’t be forced to pay for someone else’s stuff, for their – what I consider – faulty things. We elect to government. They do certain things, but, for instance, this goes into a slightly different realm.

But in political parties in the last election of 2015, because the Liberals and the Conservatives each got over 10% of the vote with parties which they spent respectively, the Liberals spent $43 million and the Conservatives spent $41 million during the campaign.

They will get 50% of that money back from the taxpayers. I’m not sure when they get it, though. So, $20 million dollars of taxpayer’s money is going into the Conservative coffers. The same amount going to the Liberal coffers.

They are able to use that money to promote not only the party, but their point of view. I’m not getting [Laughing] that money would we ever achieve that 10% threshold. So, we don’t receive the old money back after an election.

That’s an example of how it got off on the side track there, but I don’t like my money being used against me. So, when there was the send out with this electoral reform card, it’s a terrible card. The website is terrible. Their questions are terrible.

There’s questions with two answers and neither one is the right answer. At the end, they tell you you’re an innovator or you’re a guard or something like that. You wanted examples of waste of money, where we could cut a bloated bureaucracy.

That would be one right there, conducting those meetings across the country trying to give us Canadians the idea that we were being consulted and in the end they keep the cards close to their chest and do their own thing anyway.

But freedom, yes, I’ll give you a local example here. I’m on the Smithers Pro-Life Society for years and years. They’ve put billboards up in our area and for years and years somebody comes along at night and paints them over, tears them down, tries to burn them, or cuts them down, or pulls them down with the vehicle.

That’s not their property. It’s free speech. It’s also a matter of private property, going on someone’s private property and damaging something that belongs to someone else. So, we’re not running around pulling down their stuff.

The reality is some people feel so strongly about these issues that they then use any means. They don’t care if you get to say your speech because they don’t agree with you. They don’t want people to hear what you have to say.

So, another way of putting it is, you only have freedom of speech if people can hear what you’re saying. There are numerous cases of Pro-Life speakers at universities being shouted down to get rid of them.

It’s not the matter of standing there with signs and expressing their different opinion. It’s a matter of making so much noise that the person cannot speak. So, pretty much speech is important and if we don’t have it, we will have mob rule. We’re probably not far from mob rule in some cases.

Jacobsen: Now, I want to touch on the fifth point we’ve listed before, which was freedom of religion. What is the importance of freedom of religion in Canada? How does Canada’s freedom of religion provide a marker for the world in how to do things? What are we doing well with respect to it? What are we doing poorly with respect to it?

Taylor: Okay. As our Charter of Rights and Freedoms begins with the Preamble to Canada’s founding principles that recognizes premise, you’ve got a rule law. Such a statement by government, at one time, it was believed by all levels of government that there is a religious foundation to our society and to our laws and so on.

That foundation for the Government of Canada, it was a Christian foundation. It wasn’t a generic religious foundation. It was evident. They the name ‘The Dominion of Canada’ came from Psalm 73. The description, it was a specific reference to the God of the Bible.

But in our memory, there’s not been a persecution of a religious minorities in our memories. There have been in Canada, for sure, especially some of the First Nations. Certainly, you add these cultural practices that may have had religious connotations that were banned and so on.

But that’s not been a big part of our history. In China, you have the Falun Gong or along with Christians being thrown in jail sometimes even being sacrificed for body parts to be sold on the world market.

It’s a religious minority that the Chinese government does not want. As to what do we do in this country, I’m giving you some examples from other countries. Many of the Islamic countries. If you are a Muslim and you become a Christian, you are subject to the death penalty for that.

That’s now so far removed from what happens in Canada that it’s hard to even imagine, but any Christian can become a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, an atheist and walk the streets of this country. We’re not going to be thrown in jail for changing religion.

So, we have that level of religious freedom in this country. We have had, of course, with our churches; churches have been considered places where it’s accepted and expected that the teachings of a particular religion will dominate in all the Christian schools and so on.

That’s also allowed, but pressures are coming as in the places within the province of Alberta, wanting to force different standards on Christian schools than have been in the past, wanting to force in teachings about gay rights and positions that aren’t based biblically at all.

It’s a Christian school; it’s not a non-Christian school. So, that’s where freedom of religion and freedom of speech are mingling and mixing there. The one father complained because in Toronto his child had some other religious view being brought to them in class.

There are these places where there are schools that have Islamic prayer rooms, but they don’t have Christian prayer rooms. There’s a case in BC with cultural or religious practices of Aloha First Nations.

There was an activity in class and all the students were supposed to participate in it. Parents complained and, of course, that’s now how you’re being accused of racism or similar stuff; whereas, all the person was saying is that we have our own religious place.

We don’t need things imposed on us and schools. The foundation of the country is Christian religion. If there was ever an area of overlap in free speech and to not have anything imposed, to stand in Parliament and speak the name of Jesus, should be all right in my opinion, I’m sure it would take flak.

We would receive flak, but because of our foundation there is fiction for allowing Christian prayers and Christian references. The wall has affirmative Christian verses written on them. I do not fear the attempts.

It is going to be unsuccessful; the attempt to purge any religious statements from any public presentations. You can’t do it because we are all religious beings. I said even an atheist has religion. They will express that publicly. An atheist will get up and say there is no God.

That’s a religious statement. I would say it’s a challenge. It’s going to be a challenge. It already is for people in the Christian Heritage Party, but for all those who are involved in social activities or social activism of any sort.

Pro-Life or other activities to try to present our views in such a way that they can be understood and appreciated by society at large without stepping on toes and a lot of the challenges are unreasonable challenges.

People coming against you for having a manger scene, right? It is a pluralistic society. It’s a multifaceted society. We need to get along, but I honestly think the best way to get along would be to back up quite a few steps to where there is a respect for guidelines and commands that He’s given for all of us to have happy and successful lives.

Jacobsen: As we talked a bit on fiscal sanity, which is the sixth point, the proposition by implication is a solution to a problem; where fiscal insanity is the problem, fiscal sanity is the solution.

In brief, as we have touched on this a little before, what is the fiscal insanity of the current moment? What is the fiscal sanity proposition?

Taylor: Fiscal insanity here, cutting it short, is spending money we don’t have, pretending that money comes out of thin air [Laughing]. Yes, it does because of our banking system. Money is created out of thin air.

Money wanted to create or reduce debt, but to spend money that we cannot recover from our tax base and to do that year after year is fiscal insanity. To send four hundred thousand dollars to a gay pride parade is an example of fiscal insanity, we should promote the use of the Bank of Canada.

Right now, we’re borrowing from chartered banks, which are making a profit on the borrowing and when we have to repay them we’re repaying privately owned banks. We do have a government owned bank. It’s called The Bank of Canada.

We should be using it. Our national proposal is to use it for infrastructure renewal. We think they can go much beyond that, but that would be a place to start. So, provinces, municipalities, and Crown corporations that have need for, not wishful thinking but a need for, infrastructure renewal or development to be rail lines, optics, fiber optics, ports, canals, highways, sewage treatment, there’s a lot of airports.

Things where there needs to be a significant amount of money spent to achieve a long-range goal as we paid off over the years and will have a residual benefit for all Canadians that they would be able to borrow from the Bank of Canada interest free to accomplish those objectives.

It would put people to work. It would accomplish a real solid task. Is that any pie in the sky? At the end of it, you have an airport or you have a railway extension. They would. It’s not a grant from the federal government. It’s a loan.

So, as it’s repaid, the money would be retired for circulation. So, we wouldn’t have a long-range inflationary impact. So, we think that’s fiscal insanity to go on borrowing money and paying interest to China or to other international banks.

So, that they can use our interest payments to go build their world-class Navy. We think that is insanity. Things that are going on. Ontario is an example. Ontario is building wind farms when Ontario doesn’t need the power, paying extravagant amounts of money for wind and solar power when they have reliable and affordable power.

Then selling that power to the United States at loss or to go back at loss; now, that’s insanity. That’s doing things for political impact not for any common-sense objective. We would want to put an end to those kinds of things.

Paying doctors to kill babies then because we don’t have enough for our own people growing up in our country that we have to fast-track the immigration to try to bring in people that can fill the jobs because we’ve killed off a hundred thousand babies a year or formally knock off four million babies.

It’s not only moral insanity, but it’s fiscal insanity. Then we’re paying for the immigration benefits and all kinds of things that could have been invested in babies that should have been born here. So, many examples of the insanity. The sanity would be a small cabinet, reduced salaries for MPs, for bringing government employees at all levels into a pension regime that is comfortable to most Canadians.

Not having a special pension arrangement for MPs and government workers; those are the areas for improvement there. And to stop throwing money at political parties, but to raise their own money, that’s what we’re doing now.

We think if all parties were doing that it would reduce some of the clutter in the political world and probably get better results than now.

Jacobsen: Your final point was accountable government. Some of these statements prior imply what that means. As a general principle, what would make an accountable government? What would the CHP do to keep itself accountable if in government?

Taylor: That’s a good follow-up question. Accountable government, we find anything many Canadians feel that once a government is elected, then everybody wants your votes and wants your support and everything else, but once a government is in power they seem to do their own thing.

When same-sex marriage passed in 2005, I have no doubt in my mind that that would not have passed a national referendum, but it was overseen by government. They are accountable right now as Bill C-16 went through second reading, went to committee, they had no hearings; they didn’t want it to be discussed at length by the public.

So, they ignored the chance to have bill input and from people who have knowledge and wisdom.  Nobody held them accountable, we raised the question, but they carry on as if it’s their right. They have been elected. They have a majority government and so they’ll do what they want.

If you don’t it, it’s tough. So, how would the CHP keep ourselves accountable? Yes, that’s a good question. Basically, it goes down to human character; it goes down to the character of men and women who make the decisions.

If you don’t put something in place, for instance, if there is a federal recall, they still have it in BC. Recall and citizens’ initiative legislation, that was successfully used in turning back the HST. It was introduced by the provincial government. Although, it was quite a challenge to get the number of signatures required and so on.

I understand the former premier was part of that movement and succeeded in turning back something that the government had done on its own and unaccountably because it’s that they weren’t going to do it in the election.

Then since the election was over, they passed it. So, there’s an example and maybe some new additional emphasis that way federally could be implemented, e.g. first referendums and things that are difficult and costly to put into place.

Some people think we should have referendum on everything. I don’t agree with that. If we do elect a representative government, I’ll say that our party is committed to our principles. If attaining power was more important to us than principles, we would probably do what Conservatives have done and take a more moderate approach some of these issues.

We believe it’s important to protect innocent human life. These types of things. We’re going to tell people on the way in because if we don’t say it when we’re running for office we won’t have a mandate to do it once we’re elected.

Any government and any number of Parliaments. If they’ve told people they are going to do something, they should do it when they get in. So, other than the possibility of introducing some recall and initiative legislation on a federal level I don’t have a real strong answer for that.

Jacobsen: When I reflect on the conversation today, the core principles and values come from Christianity. In particular, biblical and scriptural firm interpretation with respect to values and principles. The core ones would be things including the Golden Rule.

Now, you have noted that there have been restrictions on freedom of speech, whether de-platforming, for instance, of people that are Pro-Life in terms of speaking at certain events – whether on campuses or elsewhere.

What relates those seems to me bias against what would be the majority of Canadians, it would be where the majority of Canadians are, if combining Catholics and Protestants, about 70% of the population, which is several million people.

Does bias or prejudice and bigotry against – not ideological differences based on argument and evidence and so not against ideas and principles and things within Christianity but rather against – individual Christians or sects of Christianity, groups of Christians? Does that seem to you an increasing trend in Canada over the last decade or two?

Taylor: Absolutely… The stakes are heating up in that way. The material points are becoming much more sensitive. Certainly, the trend that has become less tolerant of the Christian worldview. It’s a powerful trend. We’ve seen it always where someone doesn’t want to bake a cake for somebody or whatever.

The intolerance, I would say a lot of it begins with a movement. Some activism that usually results in a court case somewhere or a human rights case. That gets built into these government documents. For instance, the taking out mother and father, but then it gets into the education system.

Of course, that’s where the rubber meets the road, but the media – and it is not only the news media, of course, but CBC has been indoctrinator extraordinaire in this country for many years at our expense again.

My money being used to convince people that I’m wrong [Laughing]. Our money, our taxpayer money, being used to promote alternate sexual lifestyles, for motives or something like that. Then by the time when you get into the classroom, teachers are supposed to be teaching children, number one: there’s no God because evolution is the means by which we got here.

I could go down the road on environmental issues and carbon. There’s no sin except producing carbon, right? But then making it so that a teacher can’t even speak their own beliefs in the classroom and children being badgered to believe things that their parents don’t believe, by the time this generation that’s now in kindergarten and grade one graduate from high school and universities – unless there’s been dramatic shift – a lot of the freedoms will be left behind.

It wouldn’t take that long. Unless, we have a major societal repentance or awakening, which is possible. We pray for that. We work for that. But if the trend we’re on right now, free speech is being hindered dramatically.

When we lose that ability to speak the truth in our society, we can take historical examples. Germany collapsed in a short period of time, where the freedoms were gone in a short period of time and today we see them to be closing the doors, closing the gates all around us and trying to limit and restrict.

That’s why we’re speaking up urgently today to try to wake people up before it’s too late because once the freedom of speech is gone the government is free to enact laws and nobody dares say anything about it because they’ll be thrown into a cell and we don’t want to get thrown in the cell [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing] what political parties align in values most with your own?

Taylor: We share some things with the libertarians. We want smaller government and the difference is that we see there is a need for self-government. As a fair libertarian, you want to deal with whatever you want. That’s not our point. That’s not freedom.

That’s becoming a slave to passions and fads or whatever. But if it’s, for instance, libertarians want to be able to smoke pot. Then you’re becoming a slave to something else besides government, but when we do agree that government should restrict its reach.

We believe that we should protect people from harm. It should provide weights and balances. It has to be the intermediary between nations for international trade and security and things like that, but government should not try to be all things to all people.

It can’t be the sugar daddy for everyone that wishes their life were different. The government has to treat all people the same. That’s the second part of the Preamble De Chartres is Canada’s thought on principles that recognizes the supremacy of God.

We know that. But then the rule of law; So, the rule of law is to treat all peoples the same. If in this country, if you’re from one of the first nations, you aren’t treated the same as others; if you’re right now in one of the alternative sexual lifestyles, you can do and say things, e.g., a man who claims to be transgender can go into women’s washroom.

There’s no way to prove that he has a reason. It’s his own statement. But a man who says, “No, I’m a man,” could not. They may be the same person, but it was with this political correctness being afraid to call a spade a spade.

It was refraining of being afraid to call a man a man and a woman a woman. We’re getting into all kinds of crazy stuff. So, the protection for women and girls to have their privacy is being thrown away in order to placate something less than 1% of the population and is being done for political agendas.

Nothing is being done anything because the people are feeling uncomfortable. They’re making more than 99% uncomfortable to accomplish protocol objectives and we object to that and our right to say that is under attack.

Jacobsen: And any feelings or thoughts and conclusion about what we’ve talked about today?

Taylor: You’ve taken me on a good course through our party. Our publicly stated principles. I have enjoyed wandering over those grassy fields [Laughing] and rocky meadows wherever. Those are the main things that people need to know.

In my personal reflections, if I conveyed much except that I came from a place and I want people at some point to realize, especially those who may disagree with our points of view on things or may not want our points of view to be represented in Parliament, that I came from a place of being a non-Christian.

An atheist, basically, a person who was following my own will; everything that can be wrong in a person in his selfishness, self-centeredness, or whatever. As a young person, many young people do have a self-focus, but a change of place of realizing that there’s a whole lot more that we’re not here by accident.

We’re not here by our own efforts; we’re here for a purpose. I’m grateful that God rescued me from my narrow world view and introduced me to His view of whole of this planet we call Earth and our interactions as human beings.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak these things in the public square. We still have that freedom today; we need to maintain it. We don’t know what is the future that God has for us as individuals or as a party.

How many years we have on this earth? We’re here for a limited period of time. The party, we’ve been here for 30 years. We’ve never yet elected someone to office. We believe that is still possible. We work towards that. I totally work towards the end of having members elected and bringing our principles right into Parliament.

If that were to never happen, we still have the opportunity to speak truth to our friends and neighbors and in the political realm there is a platform from which we can bring truth, especially young people, many young people, are not getting at home.

Many of them do not go to church. They’re not getting it from the media. They are not getting it in the universities, not getting it from the courts. So, we have a unique opportunity to speak some things, to tell young people that they’re made for a purpose.

That God has plans for them, good plans for them and for this country if we will labor His footsteps and follow them, if we pay attention to the Golden Rule ‘Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.’

So, I do have hope that we can fulfill the plan and purpose God has for us. We don’t know exactly what that looks in Parliament, but I have a verse: ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not yet seen.’

So, we hope things that we have not yet seen. We work towards them. We believe that God has plans that are better than our plans. That we’ll be excited to see how He leads us and what He does in and through us in the years to come.

I have met not all the leaders, but most are not leaders of the parties but people who are involved in running their parties. Some of the smaller parties I have met the leaders. Other parties, I meet some of the operatives who help their party, the purpose of those meetings is to keep us all functioning within the guidelines of Elections Canada and maybe occasionally to have some feedback or input into how Elections Canada does their work.

There’s nobody else who’s standing up for Pro-Life issues, sad state.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, thank you much for this opportunity.

Taylor: [Laughing] I hope to meet you one day. Anyway, I’m pleased that you would take time to do this interview. I wish you all success in all the other endeavors, which, first thing, you must never sleep.

So, let’s stay in touch and God bless you and thanks again.

Jacobsen: I enjoyed doing this much. So, thank you much for your time, and I hope you have a good evening.

Taylor: Thanks a lot.

Jacobsen: Take care.

Taylor: God bless. Bye.

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Interview with First, and Only, Woman (Former) Canadian Prime Minister

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal (Unpublished)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018

*Interview in two sessions March 19, 2018 and May 22, 2018.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You require little introduction. In your own words, what was family life for you, e.g., the political conversations arising around the table? Was there influence on personal interest in politics early in life?

Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell: I grew up in a non-political family. My parents both voted. They were good citizens, but neither was involved in a political party. I am a black sheep of the family. I am the first member of the family to become involved in running for public office.

Jacobsen: That is interesting. You were a leader in student politics in high school too. One thing noteworthy in early life. You took on the name “Kim.” I note an independent streak. Someone who speaks and asserts herself.

Campbell: I was always an independent person. I was encouraged by both of my parents to go for if I wanted to do things and to take on challenges. I changed my name at 13 because of the trauma of losing my mother.

She thought of naming me Kim. She named me Avril, so I shared my first name with her in a way that was painful. It was my way of dealing with a great childhood sadness, to take a different name.

Jacobsen: In your earlier political career, some issues were more poignant to women’s progress and empowerment. They relate to issues of women’s reproductive health. Now, I come from a generation building on those successes.

The successes earned in an earlier time. My generation takes these for granted sometimes. What was the early environment in the fight for women’s rights, women’s reproductive health rights and, in particular, the right to abortion in Canada?

Campbell: It is tempting to consider the issue of women’s reproductive rights and access to abortion as resolved issues. In fact, they are not. These touch the heart of a number of issues, e.g., the right of women to have control over their own bodies and to have bodily autonomy.

In Canada, the law was changed in the late 60s to make abortion legal. The issue was accepted by a therapeutic abortion committee in a hospital. In those parts of the country, the woman decided on it.

In Quebec, where most hospitals were Catholic hospitals, no abortion committees were formed. When Dr. Henry Morgentaler created a freestanding abortion clinic in Montréal, there was no other opportunity for a woman to comply with the law.

Eventually, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the law. They supported Dr. Morgentaler. They said, “You cannot have a provision in the law, which says, ‘Doing X is criminal. Unless, you do Y if Y is not, in fact, available.’”

So, since 1988, the government considered some legislation and a provision in the law about abortion. The law was drafted as extremely liberal. In essence, abortion would be legal if it impeded mental, physical, or psychological health.

It did not pass. Now, we have no law. There are rearguard actions. It shows the difference between Canada and the United States. Religion is a bigger factor in American politics. America is more patriarchal than Canada.

There was interesting research by Environics Research. It has shown the growing divide between our societies. Canada is a much less patriarchal society. There are people in Canada who wish to limit access to abortion. They will work through funding or changing the law.

Stephen Harper had people in his caucus who wanted to restrict abortion. He refused to let the issue come forward. He viewed the court decision as settled law. However, people in today’s generation consider abortion settled law.

There are regional differences. There is access to health services and legal abortions in Canada. However, the issue persists. Your generation cannot pull the covers over your head and say, “We do not have to think about it anymore.” It comes back.

Jacobsen: I would not want to pull the covers over my head either [Laughing]. When it comes to this general fight, it is in an international context. If you take statements from organizations like Human Rights Watch, they firmly state, “Equitable access to safe abortion services is first and foremost a human right.”

If taking the international context, and if taking Canada with the unsettled nature of abortion in the culture, what steps should younger generations take when they apply the international human rights perspective within the Canadian legal tradition?

Campbell: Now, given the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada made in the R v Morgentaler decision, any interference with a woman’s right to abortion is seen to interfere with the life, health, and the rights to life and health of the woman.

There is a strong Charter foundation for the legislation. The debate takes place when people want to elevate the right to life of the foetus over the right of the woman to decide on carrying the foetus or not.

Thus, you or I might make the comment about the right to abortion and reproductive rights; the right to reproductive control as a human right. Others use the same terminology against us.

They say, “What about the right to life of the foetus?” For modern law, it has been the right of the women – of the living person – to decide on carrying the foetus or not. The Supreme Court of Canada recognized the possibility of some rights, which depends on the time of gestation.

In other words, whether the foetus can survive outside of the womb, these are issues to be considered rather than dismissed. You cannot simply say, “It is a human right.” Indeed, it is a human rights issue.

Many important research organizations analyzing social, political, and economic development of countries, including Pew Research, state one of the most important indicators of the social, political, and economic status of the country is the status of its women.

A key part is access to contraception, and safe and accessible abortions. The interesting thing is the rate of abortion declined dramatically over the last couple years.

If people have the right to abortion, it does not necessarily mean more abortions. Often, it will be accompanied by better contraceptive services. So, women will not want to run around terminating pregnancies.

It is a difficult decision for any woman. It depends on the circumstance of the conception. There is a bigger picture. There are ways in which people can control their fertility.

When they have access to those reliable mechanisms, then abortion becomes less necessary, it becomes a last resort in terms of conception and birth.

Jacobsen: Also, I noted this in conversation with major representatives of bigger abortion organizations, e.g. the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. I wrote on this as well.

You mentioned religion. Also, you mentioned a human rights perspective, which we both take on board. I do note the big split. One is the international secular human rights perspective.

Another is the traditional religious transcendental moral law perspective. It seems like the major divide. So, with respect to the latter position, the transcendental moral law perspective. Those would be “pro-life.”  The former would be “pro-choice.”

How much does religion, within Canada, play into the political and social perspective against the rights of a woman & for the “rights of the foetus”?

Campbell: Canada, in terms of our politics, is a less religious country. Canadians practice religion but are less religious than Americans. Religion is a much less salient factor in Canadian politics and public policymaking.

Different religions have different views. Some religions accept the primacy of the mother – of the woman – to decide whether she continues with the pregnancy. It’s her wishes and needs as always the most important.

Because in some religions, for instance, the Catholic Church takes that view, even in the case of preserving the life of the woman, abortion is unjustified. For many people, it is a repellant view.

Even among religions, there are different views on the lines, which means the rights of the pregnant woman versus the rights of the foetus. Those who follow religious views have a more non-existent or more restricted view of pregnancy termination.

They tend to be the most politically active because they fight against the status quo. There are those who have a religious faith, where the status quo in terms of abortion laws are consistent with their religious beliefs.

Jacobsen: Also, aside from women’s reproductive health rights, you are the only woman prime minister of Canada – the first and only.  You stand out. Also, you are the first woman president in high school of the student body.

You have notable areas, relative to life stage, of standing out as a woman leader. It continued into the present in various domains. One, how does being recognized, nationally and internationally, feel to you? Two, what additional social responsibilities come along with those recognitions?

Campbell: It is a positive thing if people take it as an inspiration to want to replicate the experience, or if people see it as something that inspires them to seek their goals and ambitions. I had an interesting experience in the 2017 International Women’s Day with the Daughters of the Vote.

The program brought young women to Ottawa from every constituency in Canada. They were excited to meet me. When they sat in their seats in Parliament, which belonged to members of Parliament, they see the excitement and the commitment of them.

They would return in their own right. It is important to acknowledge. I am happy to be a vehicle for it. It says, “This is doable.” It is not easy. Because I am the only one. However, it is not unthinkable now.

In the Summer of 1993, according to Gallup, I had the highest approval rating in their polling of any prime minister in 30 years. So, while I was governing, I was popular. However, there is a lesson too.

I have been interested over the past couple of decades in exploring the growing body of research in social and cognitive psychology helping understand why these barriers are difficult to overcome.

Why living in a society where leadership is gendered masculine creates a sense among men and women of an implicit attitude, visceral sense, leadership is male. That is, when a woman comes along in a leadership position, she creates a sense of discomfort, where something is not right.

There is only one way to change it. It is for women in larger numbers to occupy positions of power, influence, and prominence and reprogram people’s expectations. This can create new implicit attitudes, where people feel comfortable with women leaders.

It is a significant challenge. In my own speaking, and work at the leadership college, I acquaint people with the understandings of the difficulties there. Even women are inhospitable, they may exempt themselves from the stereotypes.

However, their visceral response will be negative to somebody who does not sound or look like somebody who has done that job before, even if that somebody looks like them. it is an ongoing challenge.

If my experience can help people understand the reality, and if I can be somebody who shows that first of all there is survival even if you do not succeed in the long run. It inspiring young people, young women, to go for leadership positions, or for young men to support them.

That pleases me. It is the role. I have chosen to play it.

Jacobsen: In a recent conversation with the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, he took on a different angle. One for post-prime minister duties, which was a focus on Indigenous youth: wellbeing, health, and education outcomes.

The Martin family Initiative examines the entire spectrum of the young person’s life in order to improve outcomes. This may help close the educational and health gap. Indigenous Canadians live 10-15 years shorter. They are a larger portion of the dropouts of the country too.

I noticed something about professional life for you. It is a focus on women. I want to mix those conversations today with a focus on Indigenous women leaders.

What organizations, women, or movements work to advance the Indigenous sub-demographic of women in terms of leadership?

Campbell: I have been in Edmonton. I met with groups of Indigenous women. The program at the college has strong Indigenous content. I have two main themes in professional work. These have been crucial to post-political life for me.

One is the advancement of women. The other is promotion of democracy and democratic values. In my youth, I was a Soviet specialist. I viewed with great alarm the resurgent authoritarianism, supported by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

I see this gaining influence in countries, where we thought there were successful democratic transitions. I am worried about the state of democracy south of the border. I am passionate about it. Because it is one a precondition to support the advancement of previously non-included people.

When it comes to Indigenous people and Indigenous women, there are different subsets of women who are more disadvantaged than others; for example, more disadvantaged than I might be as a white woman in Canadian society.

Being female was a problem, however, I had other ways. I am in the accepted majority, which is an established group in society. I was out of Canada for about 18 years. I did not address those issues as much with regards to Canada’s Indigenous women.

Certainly, with women around the world in the Horn of Africa and Africa generally, women in many other parts of the world are significantly excluded and disempowered in their own countries.

In Canada, since I have been back, this is part of my broader concern about the empowerment of women. The Daughters of the Vote program took 338 young women to Parliament, which had 70 Indigenous young women as part of the group.

It was a powerful part of the experience. Both for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. It was coming to understand the reality of our experiences. Our different experiences of Canadian life and citizenship. It is important.

Of course, the recommendations through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are something to provide a new agenda for Canadian governments and institutions at all levels. Am I specifically engaged in work to do with Indigenous women?

Not particularly, I include this in the general work for women. Interestingly enough, I was the first woman to be Minister of Justice. Anne McLellan was the second woman.

The current Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, is the third woman and the first First Nations person to be Minister of Justice. I know her. I have strongly encouraged her, to use her perspective to ask new and different questions as the justice minister.

It is an important part of expanding our ability to respond to people with realities, which are not on the agenda when making changes to law and policy.

Jacobsen: In the earlier part of the interview, you noted the empowerment of women was a key indicator of the health of a nation. So, the development and wealth of a nation by implication.

In other words, it becomes not only a moral right thing to do but also an economically correct choice. Also, you mentioned the patriarchal structure of other countries, such as the United States of America, but less so than Canada by comparison.

However, if you look at countries where someone like Vladimir Putin was recently re-elected in a “landslide victory,” apparently [Laughing], you have a way in which the Russian Orthodox Church is being held at the service of the government.

Thus, religion in this case, too, having a macho culture, a patriarchal culture, at the top and, therefore, throughout much of the country.

If we take the research on the empowerment of women, and if we look at a country where there is a patriarchal religion plus patriarchal leadership, it will lead to a lower quality of life with the reduction in the empowerment of women.

I mention Russia because of your speciality in the Soviet Union. What does this spell for Russia and other countries not taking advantage of the other half of the population?

Campbell: For all its size, Russia has a GDP the size of Belgium. It is an underperforming country. There are extraordinary women in Russia. When I spent three months in the Soviet Union in 1972, I was struck by women who carried the burden of the society.

They were excluded from the power structures. Only one woman was ever in the Politburo. In the Soviet Union, it was Yekaterina Furtseva who served briefly during Khrushchev’s time. In terms capacities and intelligence, there are brilliant women there. However, it is not a happy place to be a woman.

Russia is a politically, socially, and economically undeveloped society, even with its natural riches. It is a serious underperformer in its ability to create wealth. Putin creates problems through hybrid warfare. Clever people who commit cyberwarfare.

The sad thing: Putin is seeking power and dominance through hybrid warfare because he doesn’t have the power and dominance as a leading economy, except Russia is a source of fossil fuels and natural gas to external markets.

It is a hugely underdeveloped economy. Even though, it has talented people. It proves the point. This country is underperforming. Women do not have the same equality and opportunities, power, and ability to have influence on the policy of the country.

Because it is not a democracy. It is another huge problem. It is another factor holding Russia back.

Jacobsen: What trends throughout the world give hope? That is, a general trend towards greater equality for women and the traditionally excluded from mainstream society. An increase in general wellbeing over decades and, arguably, centuries, i.e., a trend of positive progress.

Campbell: The level of poverty has dropped dramatically. The level of education around the world and literacy has grown. There are places in the world where those are challenges. Firstly, what concerns me, the resurgence of authoritarianism, which is worrisome.

Typically, it has a kleptocratic underpinning as with Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Same with some of the other leaders. It worries me. Secondly, it is climate change. Our inability to tackle the challenge of global warming and climate change.

It is about ideas undermining people’s belief and faith in the capacity of democratic governments and institutions. If we do not meet that challenge, if we cannot respond to it and create global will and understanding, we will have a serious problem.

Thirdly, the ability of social media and the internet to become vehicles for massive campaigns of misinformation. It leads people to make judgments on erroneous understandings of the state of the world.

When Donald Trump tweets while campaigning about the terrible crime rate in the United States, crime was at a 40 year low. When you tell lies about when certain people behave in your country or certain movements/happenings, it is difficult.

It is hard for people to make considered decisions and choices in a democratic process, which will create governments able to move ahead with the capacity and stability necessary to protect human rights.

We created a monster. The response of the governments in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere to the role Facebook played in the American election in 2016 and the Brexit election in Great Britain.

The response of their parliaments. The concern they have for the ways in which Facebook and others collaborated with organizations of political campaigns. We may get some legislation and policy responses to this, which may remove those disruptive and negative influences.

However, it worries me. There are many ways in which we have created more effective ways of growing food. We have raised the level of overall wellbeing around the world. We have poverty, but the level of poverty is much lower before. Nonetheless, we have some major challenges.

At the end of the day, governance and the ability of governments to respond to these crises is absolutely fundamental. I see, certainly, south of the border a president trying to undermine people’s confidence in the democratic institutions. The same ones necessary to meet those challenges.

Am I happy about progress? Yes. Am I worried about the future? Yes. When we have those failures, they are accompanied by erosions in the rights of women. Therefore, women have nothing to gain by those failures.

We need to be very, committed to protecting our gains. Not only on our own behalf, but for the rest of the population.

Jacobsen: When it comes to the empowerment of women, it helps to have personal examples. Difficulties can arise, e.g., emotional difficulties, professional obstacles put in place deliberately or inadvertently such as through historical inertia.

When a young woman wants to achieve more in life, e.g., business, politics, trades, or theoretical physics, how can young women break barriers while also keeping in mind the likely difficulties?

Campbell: First, a young woman has more in support of these aspirations, which is good. Because, over the last few decades, we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Human Rights Act at the national and provincial level, and various legislation dealing with jobs and opportunities.

We have protections against being discriminated against based on one’s sex. Hence, it is hard for any organization to justify excluding women from having an opportunity to do things. In some cases, you mentioned the trades.

There are some places where trades organizations are seeking and encouraging women to training and join those fields. Because they provide good jobs and women are good at them. Socially, politically, and legally, the landscape is different than 30-40 years ago.

There is more institutional basic support for women’s aspirations. The bigger challenge is less the formal-institutional one and more the social one. It is less problematic compared to when I was a young woman because more women are doing non-prototypical things.

More women in public life, in medicine, in law, and in business. However, there are barriers. With more women, there is a greater sense of this as normal, which becomes part of the social values. The fact something changed over the last 20 years does not change the minds of people who are mature and have their values.

There may be an age difference in how people perceive whether women belong or do not belong in certain circumstances. We are beginning to understand the nature of cognitive bias, of implicit attitudes, of old social attitudes where women are seen as inferior or weaker.

It will vary in the field. Some places will be more difficult than others. The old attitudes die hard. There are generational reasons. Some areas have women better able to compete. However, this does not mean are no barriers.

Jacobsen: When I reflect on common examples, even a personal example, I worked in construction at 15/16. There were not many women there. If a woman wanted to start a construction company in concrete, they would probably have difficulty with the sub-cultural aspect of the particular industry.

The different values people bring forward. They should probably bear in mind the type of business. In medicine, women do not have as many difficulties there. Because there are more role models for the current generation too, as well as more institutional supports.

For those women less academically inclined but more business oriented, if they want to found or co-found a construction company, this can be a difficulty in terms of the interpersonal examples.

How can a woman not demand but command respect in how she conducts herself? While knowing, given the sub-culture based on personal experience, it may be more difficult.

Campbell: You might be surprised. There are a few women in construction. In fact, the Alberta Home Builders’ Association is a woman. She created a company wih her husband. However, he died. Then she became the sole owner.

It happens for women. In particular, when the husband dies, they take the company over. There are many companies started by women. People tend to find they like working with women: reliable and good to work with them.

It varies. There is variation. However, it is important to make visible the ones already doing it. It is not as rare as one might think. The more one can provide profile and visibility to women doing these things. Then the more one can bring down the sense that they do not belong.

I can think of two women in Vancouver. One woman who ran a major engineering company. Another had a major tugboat company. Both inherited the leadership of the companies from the husbands who died.

But they both became titans of business in British Columbia. Once they were doing it, they owned and operated the business, successfully. It is similar to the case with women in technology. You are, of course, aware of the man at Google who wrote women were not suited for technology sectors.

What was offensive about it, many of the modern pioneers in technology have been women. Yet, they have been dropped from the history. It is interesting now. Somebody will tweet a biography of a woman, who was one of the founders of these information technologies.

You ask, “How come I never heard of her?” Because nobody talks about her. Often, I have said, “If you want a more inclusive and diverse future, then you should have a more inclusive and diverse history. We should have a history containing people who we traditionally leave out.”

The representation is men or white men. Often, there is a misapprehension about women demonstrating their capacity, breaking terrible barriers. Sometimes, these outstanding women had allies. One woman’s neighbour encouraged her, even though the father did not want her.

These are the challenges, where the women are not there. First of all, we need to give profile to the women already there. Women have been doing these things for a long time.

Secondly, the interesting thing about business. At the end of the day, performance does count. One of the things that happens to women. Indeed, it happens to anybody seen as an outsider entering into a field.

If people are jealous and fear the newcomer will take their business, it will create sabotage. They will try to drive people out. Many people face this in society. It can be some people who feel entitled to run the shops and be in the fields.

It is having the ultimate protection against the social pushing back. One of the things women encounter. In many societies, in jobs primarily dominated by women, they are both low status and low pay.

Yes, there are more women doctors, but there is lots of sexism. Many male doctors feel that if women come to dominate the field then the field will be less prestigious. It has been traditionally, socially the case.

Many years ago, when I did a review of a book of the Eastern economies during the Soviet time, it was something interesting identified by them. In the Soviet Union, doctors had different ranks. The family doctor, the 5-year postsecondary training, were overwhelmingly women.

It was low pay and low status. People say, “Look at all the women doctors.” But all the specialists were men. There were more women. Often, when people do not let newcomers in, they are afraid the presence of them will lower the economic reward and status of the field.

Same with immigrants and people of color. However, women always faced this. The feminization of an activity will result in the diminution of pay and status.

Jacobsen: You mentioned a supportive husband for some women. Many young women and many young men want to become married and have kids. These are high level life goals for many people.

In terms of professional advancement of a woman through having emotional support with a supportive partner, husband, or civil partner, what qualities should a young woman, if heterosexual, bear in mind about the potential partner?

Campbell: If a partner is not able to rejoice in your success, and to appreciate and value your abilities, it is not a hopeful sign for a relationship. One allowing success for you. In many families, in some cases, some husbands put their own careers on hold.

Because they feel their wife is a superstar, Carly Fiorina. He was going to make this possible for her. There are many other examples of this. Of men willing to step back and looking after the kids, and other things, to permit the wife to succeed, not all men are super-driven for a career.

They want to do other things than play the dominant economic role in the family. It depends. In any relationship, in a sense, if a man feels diminished by the success and capacity of his wife or girlfriend, this becomes a danger sign.

As I say, I have been lucky. I have been comfortable and happy. I succeeded. My second husband was terrified of the implications of being prime minister. He did not want to be in the public eye. However, he did not think I should not do what I was doing.

He thought I was good at it; the right person to do it. The implication of public life concerned him. There are great men out there. If it is an issue, the notion of the issue going away is an illusion. Women should be cautious.

It is not a man being successful too. A woman may say, “You are successful. Why should you be jealous of me? You are leaping tall buildings in a single bound.” It may not have to do with the success of the man.

It may have to do with the rationale or the status of the man. It may have more to do with the sense of what a woman should be, in terms of validating them. The amount of air to breathe at high levels [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Campbell: This is something women and men have to deal with in life. The female partners relish their success and do not feel threatened by it. It is not always easy either way. However, it seems more common for women to find men having mixed feelings about it.

Jacobsen: Do the sense of mixed feelings come from family and social pressure?

Campbell: I do not know the answer to this question. My husband came from a traditional background. His father doted on his mother. His mother died young. However, his mother was not traditional. Yet, my husband is supportive of everything I do, Scott.

There is no problem at all. It is hard to tell. At the end of the day, research suggests parents do not have as much influence on their children, as much as some parenting books tell us. No matter what parents do, children will become one way rather than another. Love and support help.

My family was not interested in me going into politics or having a public life. The ways in which people form their attitudes is complex. People have a sense of justice at a young age. You do not know the source of it. However, they can see things.

The idea is creating a society where the values are articulated. Our values of respecting the individuality of every person, the capacity of every person, the dignity of every person, and hope this is reflected in relations between the sexes and in the relationships created by them.

I do not know if there is a simple recipe. Sometimes, men who are supportive of women develop with strong female role models, who feel women can do things. It is a complex question. However, people who develop with domestic violence and the casual use of misogynistic language, where women are portrayed as inferior.

It takes strength of character to escape it, to not be affected by it.

Jacobsen: What seems like the greatest emotional struggle in professional life? What can a younger woman take from it?

Campbell: The greatest emotional struggle, I do not see life as a struggle for me as such. It is making judgments of when to dive into the fray and when not to. Sometimes, it can be difficult. My instinct was to dive into it.

Probably, it was not always a good idea to do it. I do not see emotional struggle as capturing things. One the biggest emotional challenges was the defeat of 1993. My deep disappoint; my need to try and find my feet after it.

I was a non-prototypical leader. People wanted to blame me. Men are more likely to be given a second chance. Knowing this meant the end of the political career, it was difficult. I did not have an emotional breakdown. However, I was sad.

I could not do something, which I wanted to do meaningful things. I had to figure out how to do something in life; things valuable and meaningful to me. My sister’s view is the greatest legacy, for me, is the survival.

People say, “You have had the most consequential post-political life of any prime minister.” I am not sure if this is true. People say this to me. It is interesting to me. The way in which they express it.

When I was younger, I did not know how much of a post-prime minister life I had to fill up [Laughing]. It pleases me. I succeeded in overcoming the disappointed and finding ways to live. The bottom line: it is to go back and ask, “What matters to me? What is meaningful work for me?”

When I wrote my memoir, it was interesting how consistent I was in my life. Two things compelled me. One was the state of the world, e.g., politics, democracy, justice, and so on. Although, when I was young, I was not sure how I would integrate this in my life.

I wanted to be the first woman Secretary-General of the UN. It was the experience of seeing the destruction of the Second World War. Because it was recent in my youth. Both of my parents were in uniforms. It was a value. I kept this value.

It continues to be important to me. Another is the advancement of women. I got this value from my mother. The notion women could do anything but this was not a universally accepted proposition. There were barriers. They needed to be broken down.

I found ways of asserting those values. There is always a challenge in dealing with the sense of disappointment and sadness, when one door closes. It was, perhaps, the greatest emotional challenge of life for me.

It was find the equanimity in it. I did not expect to experience a nervous breakdown. However, the idea of feeling bad about something. You grieve a lot. It is not a sign of weakness. It is permission to recognize the loss. Then you can figure out the lessons of it.

One of the things in public life. You see it. [Laughing] Other people see it. They take school tragedies and others. Then they draw value from it. A sibling dies from a disease. Then they become committed to fundraising for a cure.

Our human tendency to build something positive on the foundations of tragedy and loss. It is a positive thing. Many people have to face it. I have to face it. It was an emotional struggle. The need to understand the experience and deal with the sadness.

At the same time, I had to earn a living [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Campbell: You have to continue. Certainly, you can see people who were hoping for failure. If you thought I did not belong there, then it will be discouraging to you, when I become strong in the case of loss.

This will dispel the view of me, as someone weak. [Laughing]. To the extent of not giving those people the satisfaction, it is a good incentive. If I was not strong, I would not deal with setbacks and disappointments.

However, I am resilient. I am going to lick my wounds. I am going to acknowledge the disappointment and ask the question, “What matters to me?” I can work to pursue those goals. A life without being in elected politics.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Mrs. Campbell.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Witch Persecution and Jungle Justice in Abia State

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: African Freethinker

Journal Founding: November 1, 2018

Frequency: Once (1) per year (Circa January 1, 2023)

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 1

Issue Numbering: 1

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Individual Publication Date: September 2, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Dr. Leo Igwe

Author(s) Bio: Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

Word Count: 462

Image Credit: None.

Keywords: Abia state, Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Amaegbuato, Amarachi Okechi, Leo Igwe, Messers Chijioke Onyele, Nkpa Bende, Umueghu, witchcraft accusation.

*Please see the footnotes bibliography after the article.*

Witch Persecution and Jungle Justice in Abia State

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) deplores the torture and dehumanizing treatment of Mrs. Amarachi Okechi from Umueghu in Amaegbuato autonomous community Nkpa Bende Local Government, Abia state. A video that is circulating on social media shows some youths flogging this woman while some people looked on. Family sources told AfAW that some persons accused Mrs. Okechi of witchcraft after a young girl took ill and the illness “defied” treatment. They claimed that Mrs. Okechi magically caused the ailment. Youths in the community accused her after consulting a local diviner who certified that Mrs. Okechi was behind the sickness. Mr. Okechukwu Chidirim led the youths who consulted the diviner.

A relative told AfAW that on Tuesday, August 23, some youths abducted Mrs. Okechi, tied her hands and legs, and flogged her at a public square. A part of the video shows where some blood was gushing from her head. They forced her to sleep outside until the following day. On Wednesday, August 24, the youths flogged Mrs. Okechi again; they hit her with sticks and stones. She sustained injuries, and had bruises on her head, hands and back. According to local sources, some family members tried to intervene, but the youths attacked and beat them up. The youths asked Mrs. Okechi to heal the girl or she would suffer a worse fate. They compelled the family of Mrs. Okechi to pay them the sum of 50,000 Naira. They claimed it was the money that they paid to consult a diviner. Messers Chijioke Onyele and Okechukwu Chidirim collected the money on behalf of the youths from the community.

AfAW is in touch with family members on how to ensure the safety of the accused. The life of Mrs. Okechi is in danger. She could be killed if the sick child eventually dies. There is an ongoing consultation on how to take her to a safe location. Mrs Okechi also needs some medical examination.

However, AfAW has been informed some youths are threatening to burn down Mrs Okechi’s house if anyone takes her out of the community. AfAW urges the traditional ruler and president general of the community to call the youths in the community to order, and get to end this show of shame. Community leaders should work to ensure that Mrs. Okechi suffers no further harm or abuse. The torture and maltreatment of Mrs. Okechi are clear cases of jungle justice and trial by ordeal. They are criminal acts. AfAW calls on the divisional police officer in Uzuakoli and the Abia state police command to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. State ministries for justice, women affairs and social welfare should synergize and help bring to an end witchcraft accusations and the barbaric treatment of alleged witches in the state.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Gail Greenough

Word Count: 3,318

Image Credit: Gail Greenough.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted September 1, 2022.*

Abstract

Gail Greenough is the CEO of Greenough Equestrian. She teaches and trains out of Creekside Equestrian near Calgary, Alberta. She was the youngest and first rider to finish with zero faults to win the gold medal at the 1986 World Show Jumping Championships, and the only woman and North American to do so. She joined the Canadian equestrian team in 1983. She won gold for the National Cup, the National Horse Show, the International Grand Prix, the National Grand Prix, and the DuMaurier Grand Prix. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Classics, Arts History, and Sociology, from the University of Alberta. Greenough has been honoured with the Sports Federation of Canada Achievement Award (1984), Edmonton Sports Report Association Amateur Athlete of the Year (1986), TSN Female Athlete of the Year (1986), Alberta Achievement Award (1987), and the Edmonton YWCA Tribute to Women Award (1988), and entrance into the Order of Canada (1990), the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (1994), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (1998) and the Jump Canada Hall of Fame (2006). Greenough discusses: the first inklings of becoming an equestrian; an actual career; Canadian society at the time; the experience of seeing very, very high-level jumping; gold medals; the greatest supports; rapport with horses; human behaviour and patterns; the more difficult aspects of a horses personalities; the gold medals; the Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Arts History, and Sociology from U of A; the more impactful or significant personalities in the Canadian show jumping world since its inception; his trademark trait or personality facet; the system of building U25 riders into riders for Canada; the quality of the horse and the matching of the rider; barriers; regrets; balance; support structures; international women riders; the men; punching above our level; familial feel; most dominant international show jumping team; the style of riding for show jumping; principles; equipment and safety; aspects of safety have changed; the leading edge, the cutting edge, of the training, the equipment, the safety and care; identify a young rider with a lot of talent; training others; and feel proud three international trainees.

Keywords: Alberta, Canada, equestrianism, Gail Greenough, horse sense, Ian Millar, principles, show jumping, The Greenhorn Chronicles, U25.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We are here with Gail Greenough. She is a distinguished international show jumper in Canadian equestrian history. So, to start, what were the first inklings of becoming an equestrian or interaction with horses in particular?

Gail Greenough: As a little girl, I did not grow up in a horse related family. I had two older brothers that played hockey. My father played hockey. I came from a very sports-minded family. I was one of those girls who loved horses and would do anything to be around horses. So for as long as I remember, I was always in love with horses.

Jacobsen: Was there a particular moment when you realized this could become an actual career and was formally a sport that you could compete in?

Greenough: Not really one particular moment, it evolved from Pony Club on up. I always wanted to make it my life. That was my dream. When I started jumping, all I wanted to do was jump for the Canadian equestrian team. I was very driven at a young age for sure.

Jacobsen: Do you think there’s anything about Canadian society at the time, latter 20th-century, that was a fertile time to be an equestrian to get into show jumping, etc.?

Greenough: It paralleled the growth of Spruce Meadows. Spruce Meadows was at its inception when I was 14-years-old, which is a time in an adolescent’s life where you choose directions. I was 14-year-olds at the first Spruce Meadows competition (13 or 14). I grew alongside with Spruce Meadows. As they grew, I grew. As a junior, I was able to compete in the international ing in Spruce Meadows and walk under the watchtower. They got international teams from Europe and England. I was able to watch the best riders in the world ride as a teenager.

That, probably, catapulted me. So, the parallel with Spruce Meadows growth would parallels my growth. I, probably, couldn’t have achieved what I achieved without Spruce Meadows.

Jacobsen: Recollecting back, when you had the experience riding and jumping with horses before seeing the world’s best, and then actually seeing them in practice, what was the experience of seeing very, very high-level jumping compared to what you had seen before?

Greenough: I was competing at lower levels. I was at the competitions at the same time, competing at a different level. I was able to absorb everything from the international riders and knew that that was what I wanted to do.

Jacobsen: For a lot of people who may not realize, you had a lot of success – gold medals and such – very early in life, in your 20s.

Greenough: Yes.

Jacobsen: It came rapidly, very tightly together.

Greenough: Yes.

Jacobsen: When did you realize, outside of the medals, that you were quite very good.

Greenough: I think as a junior jumper rider. I was fairly brave and fairly accurate. As we say in our sport, I had a pretty good eye for the distance to the jump. When I finished high school, I moved to California. I achieved a lot there. I learned how to go fast agains the clock with Butch Thomas. I went to college. Then I moved back to Edmonton to go to university and work with Mark Laskin.

My last year of university was my first team on the Canadian team. My horses were back East because that’s where everything was based. I was going to U of A. I really don’t know how I did that. I was on the planes a lot. It was the days before the internet. I would do Madison Square Gardens and the Royal Winter Fair with the team and try and get home and write final exams. That was complicated.

Jacobsen: What do you consider some of the greatest supports in getting that achieved?

Greenough: My family, my parents, my mother, my father, they were behind me 100%, as long as I went to school [Laughing]. For sure, my family and my brothers, my two older brothers, supported me and my dreams. I had really good coaches. I had John Weir, Mac Cone, Butch Thomas, Mark Laskin. First and foremost, I was matched with really good horses that brought me along in the sport. You are only really as good as what you sit on and only as good as the match between horse and rider. Not that I had easy horses, I didn’t. But definitely, I created really good rapport with the horses that I had.

Jacobsen: How do you develop that rapport with horses? How long does that generally take?

Greenough: It is a lot of time. It is a lot of time in the saddle and out of the saddle, and in the barn, knowing the personalities, establishing a relationship, a give-and-take. Every horse is different, just like human beings. Every relationship was different. You have to work together. It takes a lot of time. Some horses [Laughing], you click with quicker than others. Some relationships develop quicker than others. It is like human-to-human relationships or a human to any animal. You have to learn to listen to each other both ways.  

Jacobsen: What do you think are the main ways horses tune into human behaviour and patterns?

Greenough: I think if somebody is nervous around a horse; they pick up on that right away. So, as we say in our sport, you have horse sense. You just learn to read each other in the stall, mucking out the stall, doing waters, feeding, hand walking, a lot of work on the ground – groundwork. You establish your rapport.

Jacobsen: What do you consider some of the more difficult aspects of horses’ personalities to make that connection, where that horse is not easily making that connection with a horse or a rider?

Greenough: The horse would have a reason for it. It could be something from its past. If you take on a rescue dog, they have layers. Things you don’t know that have happened to them in the past. So, you have to develop a trust and a language between each other. You just do that through handling and working away, taking away, so you have a trust.  

Jacobsen: Of the gold medals that you have won in your history, what ones would you consider the most significant, personally?

Greenough: I’d have to say the World Championships. There have been other GPs that I have won that stick out in my mind. I won the Stuttgart Masters in Germany. A few double clears in Nation Cups, I am pretty proud of. I won the Halifax $100,000 2 years in a row on a horse called Simon Says. I have been in 4th, 5th, and 6th, in GPs with horses that jumped so well where those are more meaningful than the wins. You have accomplished something, but you didn’t get the red rosette for it.

But you really accomplished something in that round. That sticks out for me more than anything. Winning the Canadian championships on a horse called Lesandra in the early 2000s. I am pretty proud of that. I have been out of the top end of the sport for a while, built this young mare. She came along pretty quickly and won the Thunderbird Grand Prix two years in a row as a 7 or 8 year old, which is pretty unheard of. She was pretty phenomenal.

Jacobsen: Have you ever made use of the Bachelor of Arts in Classics, Arts History, and Sociology from U of A?

Greenough: [Laughing] Yeah, probably.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Greenough: I have an appreciation for it. In some social settings, it has come in handy for sure. You tend to be in those kind of settings among some pretty elite people in this sport. I’d say, “Yes, it has come in handy,” but school in general gives you a methodology of thought. My writing skills are better for it. My communication skills are better for it. I’d say that I have used my degrees well.

Jacobsen: Who would you consider some of the more impactful or significant personalities in the Canadian show jumping world since its inception?

Greenough: Ian Millar, our sport wouldn’t be where it is without Ian Millar. He has been the singlehandedly most impactful rider and developer of our sport in Canada, by far, by far.

Jacobsen: What would you consider his trademark trait or personality facet that makes him stand out?

Greenough: He never gives up until he solves the problem. He is a problem solver. He is so willing to pass on that knowledge to anybody who wants to listen. He is a great communicator. He is a great passer on of knowledge. He is, by far, a great rider and also as a coach. I ran a coaching business for a few years. This is well after I won the world championships. I wanted to learn that side of things to become a better coach. I worked alongside Ian at Millar Brooke (Farm) for a few years to learn the coaching side of things. He is amazing.

Jacobsen: How do you see the system of building U25 riders into riders for Canada compared to other nations in the Americas or the other continental regions as well?

Greenough: I think we’re catching up. I think it has not been as impactful as other countries. It is there. The system is in place. It is available to those who follow it. There is a ladder. There is a process. I think that is the most impactful thing, is that it is in place and available. Our numbers are smaller than other countries as far as riders. We don’t have the same number of riders. But we’ve always been a small, but might country equestrian-wise. We’ve won a lot of gold medals for a country that doesn’t have the same numbers of riders as, say, Germany or Ireland or even the U.S. For our small numbers, we do quite well. For shortages of good horses, we have many great riders in this country. It is just finding the good horses to match them. That’s the hard part.

Jacobsen: Outside of the quality of the horse and the matching of the rider, what would you consider barriers to entry or aspects where the industry could improve to make those chances even better, to leverage the small population of talent even further?

Greenough: It’s a dedication of quality of young riders earlier and the process of getting them going. Financially, it is inhibiting for sure. So, I think that’s always an issue. Money is always an issue. It is to find the good riders and seeing if you can get them going somehow, being creative in your ways of thinking. We are getting better at the breeding programs, a lot better. That is starting to show itself, slowly. It is starting to show itself in Canada.

Jacobsen: Are there any areas where there are barriers when you were going through the process of becoming an international rider that are, more or less, not necessarily entirely equitable, but more evened out?

Greenough: I was one of the few females riding on the international stage. It was definitely a European man’s sport at the international level. So, I was a bit breaking the glass ceiling for females to follow. “You can do it. We can do it. We can try.” I think that catapulted more females into the sport at the higher level.

Jacobsen: Do you have any regrets in any achievements that you did not attain in your history?

Greenough: I never competed in the Olympic Games. Either my horses were hurt or I was hurt, that’s a regret. I regret not having a family [Laughing], because I was focused on the next competition and the next year. I missed out on that phase of my life. Now, you see the girls doing both. It is hard. They do it. That impresses me. The top female athletes having families. It is very impressive.

Jacobsen: How do you think they achieve that balance between international show jumping fame and the intensity of the work there, as well as the balance with the family life? How do you think they’re achieving that?

Greenough: Major team behind them.

Jacobsen: Do you think other riders who would want that same balance, who did not have support structures – people, resources, etc. – in place, that they could attain them?

Greenough: You make a decision. If your decision is to ride at the top level, then you find a way to make it work. It is difficult for any female like a top female business executive would have the same issues as a top athlete. You look at Serena Williams. She is stepping down to spend more time with her family. It’s pretty hard to do both perfect. Females are strong, but, boy oh boy, it is hard to do both perfect. I think if you have achieved in the international sport as a female and then decide to have children. I think it is easier to let the international side go. If you have achieve many other goals, it is easier to let that part of your life go and attain that better balance.

Jacobsen: Of the international women riders you know, do you think most would like that balance?

Greenough: Yes, I think it’s natural.

Jacobsen: What about the men?

Greenough: Oh, who knows? [Laughing]

Jacobsen: [Laughing]

Greenough: A man’s life is easy. But, typically, what happens in this sport, you marry within the sport and have children within the sport, and the kids grow up in the sport. We all become one big family. I’m auntie Gail to many, many kids. Because we spend so much time together on the road. We all get to know each other pretty well. It is a nice group.

Jacobsen: Based on a prior response, do you think that’s even more exaggerated for Canadian show jumpers? So, per capita, we are punching above our level, but it is tighter because it is smaller.

Greenough: I think we punch above our numbers, yes.

Jacobsen: Do you think there is this faux familial feel more than other countries?

Greenough: No, I think it is the same. You are fighting for your country and fighting together. We have a large contingent of Irish people in Canada. They’re a pretty tight group.

Jacobsen: Which country, in the 2010s, even in the 2020s now, has been the, certainly, most dominant international show jumping team?

Greenough: I think Ireland has come along gangbusters in the last 20 years. At the worlds, it was Sweden. It was in Denmark. The Swedes, oh my God, on fire! They are on fire.

Jacobsen: When it comes to the earliest riders, I think it was in Mexico, three guys, e.g., Thomas Gayford, etc. Do you think that the style of riding for show jumping, in terms of training thought and approach to the sport has changed to the present, or are the principles much the same?

Greenough: It has evolved, tremendously. They were incredible. That team was incredible, the Mexico team. The style of riding has changed dramatically. The courses have changed. The horses have changed. It’s not even apples and oranges. It is apples and peanuts. It is totally changed. It is much more technical in every way. Even since my win at the world championships, the sport has evolved. If you don’t evolve… I coach and source horses. If you don’t evolve with the sport, you should pick something else to do; it has changed that much. Like any sport, it is continually evolving. You could ask the same thing about hockey in 1964 and hockey now. It is different. The athletes are different. The equipment is different, much faster game. It is a much faster game in the equestrian world too.

Jacobsen: What principles do you think would be the most significantly changed since that time in ’64?

Greenough: It is much more developed as a sport. So, principles, those guys had the same principles as us. They were determined and driven, as we are now. So, the principles have remained the same. The technicalities have changed.

Jacobsen: In terms of equipment and safety, those have changed too?

Greenough: Oh, night and day.

Jacobsen: What aspects of safety have changed?

Greenough: Safety cups for back rails and oxers. If the comes down on the back rail, they don’t fall down, the rail falls down. That’s a safety aspect. Different bridals have been developed, different mouth pieces, different boots, saddles, saddle pads. The care of the horses is extraordinary. We have acupuncturists, and chiropractors, and massage therapists. We have different care for their legs and different machines that we use, and ultrasound. Diagnostics has changed. We can tell right away if something is up with the ultrasounds, the X-rays, radiographs. The attention to detail is extraordinary. The horses get better care than we do: the feed, the hay, all of it.

Jacobsen: What would you consider some of the leading edge, the cutting edge, of the training, the equipment, the safety and care, of horses and riders?

Greenough: One thing that sticks out to me after what I just said is the training, getting the horses more rideable – broke, using a lot of rail work. I use a lot of rail work in my training instead of jumping a bunch of jumps. I do a lot of flat work over rails, establishing the connection with the horse that way, making them come forward and back, having them come off the leg, but not over jumps – just training over a flat, a rail, or different gymnastics.

Jacobsen: How do you identify a young rider with a lot of talent, a lot of horse sense?

Greenough: Somebody who is pretty relaxed in the saddle. Somebody who is coachable. Somebody who has a good comfort level around horses and confidence, dedication, determination, thinking in the long term and not the short term.

Jacobsen: Of those, what can you train? What can you not? What can you reinforce? What can you not?

Greenough: Certainly, it is easier to work with riders with more natural ability. It is a hard sport. If somebody doesn’t have the innate talent, it is difficult, like any sport, like hockey players. If they can’t skate well [Laughing], it is going to be tough going. Individuals, human beings are driven to, hopefully, to the sports that they excel in. I don’t coach at the lower levels. I coach pretty much elite athletes. They are fine if I am not there. If I cannot make it to a competition, they are more than capable. It is more of a collaboration. I work with them in specific training at home to get horse and rider ready for competition to do what I do now. I don’t really deal with the grassroots at all.

Jacobsen: Of those riders you have trained, which ones do you feel proud of, say?

Greenough: When I did train juniors, riders evolving, I’d have to say Amy and Jonathan Millar, Ben Asselin. Those would be the three. I’ve been under the saddle for quite a few years. I’m pretty proud of my coaching in general. I’m more excited than the riders are when they are successful. I take it pretty seriously. I’m pretty proud. I’ve coached the Olympic Games, young riders with the kids. I’m pretty proud of all that. Everything things of the World Championships. I’ve evolved with the sport since then. I also am on the High Performance Committee for the equestrian team. I’ve been doing that for many, many years. I’m pretty proud of what I have been able to contribute to that within equestrian Canada.

Jacobsen:  Gail, thank you very much for the opportunity and your time.

Greenough: Yes, thanks! Thanks for the interview.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 1). The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism. In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism. In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and EquestrianismIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and EquestrianismIn-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism.” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo. 11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 23: Gail Greenough on International Show Jumping and Equestrianism [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/greenough

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Deborah Stacey

Word Count: 3,194

Image Credit: Deborah Stacey.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted July 7, 2022.*

Abstract

Deborah Stacey is the Founder & CEO of Horse Lover’s Math. Deborah Stacey is the founder and CEO of Horse Lover’s Math (HLM). HLM is an active website for kids ages 8 and up devoted to horses, math and science offering print and downloadable STEM resources and website posts and content that are free and open to everyone. Growing up horse crazy in the suburbs didn’t allow Deborah much opportunity to spend time with horses. She had to find other ways to feed her passion, which she did through reading horse books, drawing horses and watching every program and movie she could find. While in elementary school, she and a friend organized their own horse school, taking turns teaching each other about horses. They even had a chalkboard and gave lectures and tests. The fascination with horses remained strong through high school. After graduating, an opportunity arose to take English riding lessons near her family home. One day at the barn her riding instructor asked if she wanted to work as a groom at a small, private hunter and jumper stable outside of Montreal. She jumped at the chance. Around this time Humber College in Toronto started up a two-year horsemanship program. Deborah graduated with an Honours Degree in Horsemanship in the mid-seventies and went on to work with hunters and jumpers, at a hunter jumper breeding farm, and boarding stables with a focus on dressage. Years later, she had a family of her own and a daughter who loved horses. In school, her daughter struggled with math. One evening, in an effort to help her daughter understand a math word problem, Deborah changed the context from shopping for a bag of flour at the grocery store to buying bags of grain at a feed store. The math operations remained the same; price, decimals and multiplication, but the context changed, now it was about the real world of horses. Her daughter became curious. How much does a bag of oats cost? How does that price compare with beet pulp or sweet feed? She was engaged and she started asking questions. It was an exciting moment for Deborah to see what happens when a child who is struggling finds their passion; they become motivated, curious and open to learning. Using the math worksheets her daughter brought home from school as reference, Deborah started creating math questions based in the real world of horses. She began seeing math everywhere in her work with horses, and Horse Lover’s Math was born. You can find reviews on HLM Level 1 and Level 2, information on Teachers Pay Teachers on HLM Level 1 and Level 2 (Links). Leslie Christian, of Outschool, has been a collaborator with HLM. Stacey discusses: background; an application of mathematics in different disciplines or areas of horsemanship; more advanced mathematics; Humber College in Toronto; no other precedent for this type of program; partnering with any other groups; and the equestrian educational series.

Keywords: British Columbia, Canada, Deborah Stacey, equestrianism, Horse Lover’s Math, Humber College, Leslie Christian, mathematics, The Greenhorn Chronicles, Township of Langley.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We are here with Deborah Stacey from Horse Lover’s Math. She is from Langley, British Columbia. Our meeting was interesting because I am doing interviews with equestrians. I started writing articles on equestrianism. One of them was on the horse capital in British Columbia called Langley, Township of Langley. I put a list of businesses, not complete, obviously, that I found. You contacted me and said, “You’re missing one.” [Laughing]

Deborah Stacey: [Laughing]

Jacobsen: “Mine!” I said, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” So, I added it. “Why don’t I interview you as well?” So, here we are today, in an aspect of equestrianism that I haven’t seen anywhere else, which is the application of the equine to math education with children, so, I have to take a step back and ask, “How did you get interested or started in horses?” What is your background there?

Stacey: This is something I noticed that I had in common with many of the equestrians that you’ve already interviewed. I was a horse crazy girl growing up. How does one explain that? I don’t know. But that was a passion of mine. I grew up in the suburbs. I didn’t have a chance to take riding lessons or be around horses any more than, maybe, once a year to go on a trail ride or something. I graduated from high school. I was living in Ottawa at the time.

I decided to take riding lessons. There was a stable not far from where my parents’ home. My home at the time, I started taking riding lessons. Probably just a few months after I started taking riding lessons, my riding instructor approached me, and asked if I was interested in working at a hobby farm, 10-horse barn, just outside of Saint-Augustin (Côte-Nord, Quebec), North of Montreal. I said, “Sure.” So, I packed my stuff and took the train, and arrived to Mrs. Fleet, who owned the farm. I had an apartment attached to the barn, attached to the doorway and led away from the tack room, and from the tack room into the barn.

She sent me into the tack room to clean tack. The next day, we were going to the show. I didn’t want to tell her that I didn’t know how to clean tack. I went in. There was a saddle soap can. I read the instructions on the can and cleaned the tack. So, that’s how I got going to actually living my dream. This was back in the ‘70s. At the time, I learned about a horsemanship course, a 2-year horsemanship program at Humber College.

I thought, “Okay, this would be a good step for me to take to try and catch up with people who have been with horses all their lives and already had this huge base of experience and knowledge.” So, I was accepted and went. In between those 2 years, I worked at a hunter-jumper breeding farm just outside of Ottawa. After I graduated, I worked at a country club North of Toronto. Then, at a certain point, when I was still looking after other people’s horses, and sharing an apartment with three or four other girls, I couldn’t see a future for myself.

My life took a different direction. Then in the 90s, by then, I, and my family, had moved out here. “Out here” being the West Coast, the Lower Mainland, I had my daughter, who was also a horse crazy girl. Not far from where we lived at the time, there was a farm, a barn, called Sunnyside Barn on 24th East of the King George Highway. She started taking lessons there. One thing led to another, I ended up working there, and eased my way back into the horse world. That’s where the idea for Horse Lover’s Math came to being.

I was helping my daughter. She was in elementary school at the time. I was helping her with her math homework. It was one of those boring word problems about apples or whatever. I thought to myself, “If I just change the context of this question to be about the real world of horses, keep the math operations the same, maybe, she’d want to know the answer.” It was like the light bulb went off. I began to see math everywhere in the world of horses. I started working on creating content. This was before InDesign, before individuals had the capability of creating their own website, before social media. Most of these things weren’t happening then.

I was trying to interest a print publisher in Horse Lover’s Math. I had accepted some articles and essays, and a short story of mine had received an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest magazine’s annual writers competition. I had that interest and experience, but I couldn’t interest a print publisher. So, I had to put it on the back burner. I never let it go. I knew it was a good idea. Then in 2011, I was at another turning point. I thought, “Okay, if I am ever going to make Horse Lover’s Math happen, now is the time.” As the universe would have it, a friend of mine, his daughter was a children’s book publisher. I had an in.

She agreed to meet with me. I brought with me the work that I’d already prepared. She was very supportive. She said that she’d never seen anything like it. But, her company didn’t publish this type of book. She encouraged me. She said if I had any questions, do not hesitate to contact her. When I left there, I said to myself, “Okay, you’re going to go for it.” I made WordPress courses to make my own website. I lean InDesign to lay out my own books. That’s how I got started.

Jacobsen: The general observation is an application of mathematics in different disciplines or areas of horsemanship.

Stacey: My elevator pitch is: I’ve researched the math curriculum guidelines for grades 4, 5, and 6. I create math content drawn from the real world of horses to meet as many curriculum goals as possible. So, for horse crazy kids, the motivation to learn is built in. I don’t organize the workbooks or the content around the math. It is around the horse information. So, in the workbooks for example, there could be questions about fractions in horse science, e.g., understanding horse height, or in sports, like the fractions around a thoroughbred racetrack.

So, what is motivating kids is their passion for horses, I’ve had comments. I did, as I’ve been working on this (this is before Covid), volunteer at my local elementary school to help out in the math classes, because my kids are adults. I wanted to be familiar with what kids are like today. I developed a Horse Lover’s Match math club, where I would have a group of kids. I went to different classes in grades 4, 5, and 6. I gave them my feel. I described to them what I would be doing. Anyone who would participate, we would meet in the all-purpose room at lunch on Tuesday, say. I developed these activities. Not sitting down, this is one thing I learned in this.

One section of the level 2 workbook is about mustang brands. The BLM in the United States, when they capture horses; they give them a freeze brand. They use the international angle system of brand. It is like a code. If you know how to read the code, you can know how old the horse is, where it was captured, and what their net tag number is. So, I developed these materials to teach kids how to do that and gave them actual examples and real photos of brands on horses necks, asking them, “How old is this horse?” etc. I really love that. I printed out pages. I brought it in from the math club. Kids didn’t really engage with it. They wanted to be standing up and moving, and doing things. That was a good lesson for me. I developed, at least, 10 activities for kids to do.

Then Covid hit, that particular part of Horse Lover’s Math has been put on hold. I am hoping next year to be able to approach home school groups, local elementary schools, and equestrian barns, where they offer riding lessons to kids with a half-day workshop for Horse Lover’s Math.

Jacobsen: How are you hoping to develop this into more advanced mathematics if at all?

Stacey: I’m not. I satisfied with grades 4, 5, and 6. Along with the workbooks, there is an active website. The posts are free and open to everyone. Another goal, I have, as I have shared with you; I was a horse crazy girl growing up. I didn’t really have the opportunity to become a good rider. So, in my mind, I had, “In order to have a career with horses. You’ve got to be a good rider.” You don’t, actually. You can have an academic career with horses, as we have touched on already. There are all these universities and colleges now doing research, who have professors and undergraduates. So, this is another goal of mine. For this to open the door for kids, so many kids by this crucial age group, they start to become closed to learning. The joy, the excitement, the fun of learning, which, I believe, we are all born with becomes shut down.

So many kids, “I don’t like math.” I’ve had so many kids tell me, “I didn’t even know I was doing math because the focus is on horses.” I’m hoping. My market, my target group, is very much a niche group. That age group and horse crazy kids, it’s not all kids. It’s not in the high school. I’m hoping that those kids by getting excited by learning will open the doors to them, who knows where it will lead. One of the sections on the website is courses and careers. So, kids can see that they don’t need to be a rider. They can be an equine science researcher. So, that’s a little side there.

Jacobsen: When you went to Humber College in Toronto, how did the horsemanship program compare then from now?

Stacey: That’s a good question. There is much more variety now, like I said. I wasn’t aware of these equine science programs and all of this research being done. It was the only one that I knew of, at Humber College. I’m sure there were ones in the States. I would assume, at that time. Even now, there are even high school programs incorporating equestrian subjects and learning. I think you mentioned one, because there is one based in Brookswood, perhaps.

Jacobsen: Maybe?

Stacey: When I took it, which was back in the ‘70s, there were riding lessons. There was in-classroom work. There was learning about anatomy and lamenesses. That sort of thing in the classroom. It was just a 2-year course. So, I think I was much more basic back then, than what is the variety of availability now. There is this area, which I find exciting, now. An area, which can be referred to as, natural horsemanship feel, like Pat Parelli, Jonathan Field, Josh Nichol, and Warwick Schiller. Their approach to training horses and how horses think, is so much different than when I was involved. It was one of the reasons I got out when I did. It was because I didn’t really like what I was seeing. There are places, universities and colleges, that have programs focused on natural horsemanship.

So, it has really expanded over the years.

Jacobsen: When you were first developing this…

Stacey: Yes.

Jacobsen: …you came across no other precedent for this type of program. Correct?

Stacey: No, and still now, if you Google “Horse Math” or “horses and math,” you should do that and see what you get. It still pretty well stands alone. As I have worked on it over the years, initially, I really tried to keep it restricted to math. I was having increasing trouble doing that. With the rising importance of STEM subjects, I, now, describe it as also being science. So, math and science, kids learn about math and science through their love of horses.

Jacobsen: Have you tried partnering with any other groups who, after you had done it, thought of doing something along similar lines?

Stacey: I haven’t tried partnering. One of the challenges things for me is it’s just me doing everything. Yes, it could be a reason to find a partner to help. Someone suggested, “Why don’t you try to find a publisher?” I could feel in myself. I didn’t want to lose control. You get a publisher involved. I didn’t want to give over that control. I do have a wonderful person who is responsible for the maintenance and backend of my website. I’ve had, initially, an illustrator because, along with photographs and some of my own graphics and drawings, each of the workbooks; I’ve hired an illustrator. I have partnered in that way. Beyond that, I haven’t found another group.

One thing I do is through my Google Alerts, periodically; I find different equine organizations. You mentioned equine therapy when we first started talking. I’ve come across articles of people who have an organization that focuses on at-risk youth or providing kids with the opportunity to be with horses in such a way that it encourages their confidence and competence. I will reach out to them and offer free downloads of Horse Lover’s Math content if they would find it useful for their organization. One early organization, which I contacted, we’ve stayed in touch. [Laughing] It has a great name: Detroit Horse Power. This is a young man named David Silver who started this organization, who has been a pony clubber and is a teacher. He started this organization to help inner city youth kids, primarily black kids.

Jacobsen: That’s fantastic.

Stacey: I don’t know if that is what you were looking for, but that is one thing I am actively doing. I just contacted a woman in Ontario. So, she and I are communicating. She’s excited about using some of the materials. She is going to let me know what she needs.

Jacobsen: At the periphery of the journalism, those tidbits of information become helpful for a journalist, as I do not have a team behind me, do not have institutional backing. This is not a paid position. These are things, I find, either intellectually interesting or consider important to present to a public intellectual audience. It doesn’t have to necessarily be restricted to people paying for an article, as it is a free outlet. Yet, the grade reading level can prevent a full comprehension of the written material. That, in a very direct way, restricts the people who comprehend properly the intended content. So, the way to buttress the reader and help them is to have it as a conversational presentation as well.

Stacey: Also, storytelling, some of these anecdotes, they’re stories. That is always an entertaining way of conveying information and draws people in.

Jacobsen: 100%, and also, this starts with, myself at, zero background knowledge.

Stacey: I read that! How did you get this idea that this was an area? I mean, now, you’re out cleaning stalls.

Jacobsen: So, today, we were at the FEI barns. I was cleaning stalls, doing landscaping and gardening, came back to home base and did more landscaping and gardening. That was the day. Basically, it’s whatever they need me to do. Yesterday, it was getting the sprinkler system set on 30 -minute timers [Ed. Staff as the timers for some of the sprinkler systems.] and setting three on at a time while doing second pickings for the stalls while doing stall fronts. Wherever you are needed, you go there. One of the biggest lessons from this industry. It’s a barn. There’s always work. I was in restaurants. I was thinking, “Money is not an issue. What can I do?”

I decided something that would be interesting. For one, it is the horse capital of British Columbia. For two, I know people that talk about horses all the time, want to try working with or around them. So, why not? I decided to just take that jump. My work experience, writing experience, my education, [Laughing] none of it has any applicability to this industry. It has turned out fabulously because it has melded so well into the independent journalistic work by me, especially because it is in Langley. There is a lot of opportunity to write about, learn about, extend a hand to people in saying, “Hi, my name is Scott. I do journalism. Would you like to talk about horses?”

Most of the people, most of the time, are very open to these things. It’s very lovely. Myself, I like this particular series because, as far as I know, this might be one of the first educational series of the journal, where it is very explicit: I am utterly ignorant and am going to have conversations with all facets and people, as much as I can, starting nationally, with equestrians. The conversations will be presented as follows: You’ll learn about the people, and then the industry. You’ll learn as I am learning in a lot of ways. So, the sophistication of my questions will develop along the way. Even in show jumping, names like Eric Lamaze, Erynn Ballard, Tiffany Foster, and Ian Millar.

These names meant nothing to me before. I had no idea who these people were. Now, I know. Now, I make the proper call for a horse, to move around a horse and not be nervous around them. Things everyone does. What are the differences between alfalfa hay, timothy hay, and local hay? Things of this nature. Or, simply, barns and keeping things clean for clientele. There is this whole aesthetic to equestrian culture. So, the short of the long has been what most people have been telling the whole time, basically. [Laughing]

Stacey: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: “It’s a lifestyle.” That explains most things because there are no transferable things, I had into this industry prior. You’re either a foot in the door phenomena and slowly getting in, or in 10-fingers and 10-toes. It’s all week. You don’t stop. That’s, more or less, without deep knowledge or presentation of the story; my mini narrative into the industry. I love it, despite the all-weather hard labour. I do love it. I am excited to see how the bits and pieces of knowledge and practical application begin to knit together with more full ranch work.

And, get this, I only (have) had a horse step on my foot, once!

Stacey: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: He was a boy, a colt in other words, no steel toe. I was lucky, in other words.

Stacey: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: My toe was completely mangled. I’ve heard of way worse. It took about two weeks to heal. You get used to that kind of stuff.

Stacey: Yes, it’s going to happen, in one way or another.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1). September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 1). The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo. 11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 22: Deborah Stacey on the Origins of Horse Lover’s Math (1) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/stacey-1

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3)

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: September 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 1

Section: A

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 26

Formal Sub-Theme: None

Individual Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Olav Hoel Dørum

Word Count: 4,109

Image Credit: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

Abstract

Olav Hoel Dørum was the Ombudsman for Mensa Norway. He is a Member of Mensa International. He discusses: professional medicine; the warmth of a childhood; absurd jokes and eccentric stories; a lack of formal religion; misuse or positive social use; common misuses of intelligence tests; common positive uses of intelligence tests; too much value on the I.Q. score; medical screening process; the causal or correlation pathway; some high-I.Q. types; Nietzsche; Jung; archival work; the last year-and-a-half; the era of singular, solitary genius; Norway’s relative high comfort and SES; the social mobility in Norway; societies where capitalism is leaned on too much or socialism is leaned on too much; a “deeper meaning”; the Gapminder Foundation; other favourite maxims of Kant; idea of a rejection of no saturation points as a definite referent; the benefits of “work ethic, social conscience, structure and reaction to crisis” in East-Asian cultures; and a harmonious balanced viewpoint.

Keywords: Christians, Donquixote Doflamingo, East-Asian cultures, Gapminder Foundation, geniuses, I.Q. tests, Jordan Peterson, Jung, Kant, LGBTQ+, Nietzsche, non-religious, Norway, Olav Hoel Dørum, Russia, Ukraine, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Western oriented cultures.

Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3)

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Did the history of professional medicine influence any of the professional decisions for you?

Olav Hoel Dørum: No. I did what I had a talent for and found enjoyable. My parents thought it was important I got educated but not in any particular direction.

Jacobsen: Were there any other influences than the warmth of a childhood family of encouragement and support?

Dørum: Not until I joined Mensa when I was 23. I met people who really inspired and motivated me, and I was given trust and responsibility. There were, and still are, many beautiful people with very different lives that each gave me something. An idea, a feeling, a perspective, a goal – something that gives you the little tickling gut feeling you would not want to be without.

Jacobsen: What are some of your more absurd jokes and eccentric stories?

Dørum: Our national gathering in 2019 had a flamingo and unicorn-theme. I bought a costume on eBay to wear during Saturday’s dinner. It was the pink feather coat to the character Donquixote Doflamingo from the manga One Piece. Look it up, it is quite the view. The ad said that some shedding may occur. The hotel staff can assure you that was an understatement. It was a trail of feathers from the elevator and to my room, in the nachspiel suit, in the bar and a significant amount in the banquet hall. Worth every cent and was one of the best banquets I have ever been to. The cleaning personnel certainly disagrees.

Jacobsen: Is Norwegian society marked by a lack of formal religion? I am aware of the huge humanist community there. They’ve had a great legacy contribution to the international secular humanist community.

Dørum: Religion does not play a noticeable role in either decision making or political views. Religion still has a unifying role in ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and public mourning after terror attacks but many religions are represented in these events – not just Christians. Very low percentage of people attend church regularly, roughly 12 percent attend mass once a month and roughly 50 percent are baptised. I would say that most if not all kinds of societal participation is non-religious. Some parts of the country are noticeably less tolerant when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and those parts tend to be more religious in general, but I think it has more to do with conservative views and generally low level of tolerance and not something that is a manifestation of religion.

Jacobsen: For the most part, given the conventional view on intelligence tests, are they more prone to misuse or positive social use?

Dørum: Positive social use. Most societies do not practice systematic discrimination in such a way that intelligence tests would be a useful tool. It surely has been misused by having ambiguous items, instructions that are specifically worded so that they are difficult to interpret correctly or questions with references commonly unfamiliar to the working class. The problem is that using intelligence tests with the intent to discriminate is that it is a low precision weapon. If the group you want to discriminate against has low reading comprehension due to lack of schooling and you want to use that against them, it will also hurt people you do not want to discriminate against but who also have low reading comprehension. It only works if you indiscriminately discriminate and extremely few are willing to do just that. Many countries also do not have a tradition for testing so the opportunity never arose in the first place.

Jacobsen: What are common misuses of intelligence tests?

Dørum: I have not seen any common misuse of intelligence tests itself, but there is an abundance of tests that piggyback on the credibility of professional tests and the term I.Q. Most people know that what you find online should not be taken seriously, but there are too many not very well developed tests that are sold to companies with the purpose of team building or recruitment. The validation data is usually not publicly available, contrary to professional psychological tests, so we only have the companies’ words that they work. We also have salesmen who are selling adaptations of professional tests to companies. The tests itself might be very useful in the right context, which is rarely recruitment.

Jacobsen: What are common positive uses of intelligence tests?

Dørum: To locate various forms, and the severity, of head injuries, in neuropsychiatric diagnostics (ADHD, Autism etc) and to identify or rule out intellectual reasons for learning difficulties or failure to adjust. Typically something an average person would never experience. The army uses cognitive tests to screen out those who fall below one standard deviation and who is likely to succeed in various fields. Some companies use intelligence tests during recruitment if that is crucial for the job – pilots is one example, but it may vary from country to country. You hear “general ability test”, “logical reasoning”, “ability test” and so on. They all mean more or less the same thing, general intelligence. The reason it’s branded as something else than intelligence tests is that the academic requirements for calling a test an intelligence test is very costly and lengthy. It’s cheaper to call it a “general ability test”. It’s also less controversial.

Jacobsen: There is a tendency to place too much value on the I.Q. score, as in a formulation of part of an identity around it. Plenty of others have noted this. I take this area as another aspect of the research into the communities. What seems like the factual, state of the matter, reason for this pattern, particularly among men who get media attention with some exceptions?

Dørum: First a quick explanation why exact scores do not matter. Psychological tests place you in a landscape. Scores are meaningful when you ask more fundamental questions like if a person is at risk of falling behind at school, need help to get employment or if a person has above average capacity for learning and understanding complex material. It does not matter if you score 120 or 133 on an I.Q. test, you’re a smart guy. What matters is if you score 96 or 117. Most tests are not very accurate beyond two standard deviations from the mean. The number of people you need to perform statistical analysis to build a reliable test is usually much higher than what is available.

I do not necessarily think people who place much value in I.Q. scores are different from other people who are equally passionate about a niche, but since I.Q. is more controversial they come off as eccentric or boasting. Most people have something they are proud of, which is used as a springboard to confidence in other areas. It is a very human thing to do. Vanity is a very old thing.

Many of those interested in I.Q. has no interest in cognitive functions as a field of study so they don’t understand the premises of the tools. I.Q. tests reflect something essential about the person taking the test so I understand why some might get a bit too carried away with I.Q. scores.

Jacobsen: Was the medical screening process requiring a cognitive test art of the autism spectrum disorder finding? How do you see the world differently than others – to what extent in the spectrum, for example?

Dørum: Most neuropsychological assessments use cognitive tests which taps into different mental abilities. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was originally developed as a cognitive screening tool and has continued to be developed with this purpose in mind. They do not calculate an I.Q. score because it’s not relevant for the assessment, but rather looking at differences between scores and certain profiles. I am not limited by my conditions in any significant way, which is what is commonly referred to as “high functioning” although many don’t like that because it suggests function level can be represented on a two dimensional scale.

I do not conceptualize the same way and seem to be more aware of how my inner picture is built up. If you read a list of 20 words that all share a common theme to someone: “Snow, fireplace, santa, food, jolly, reindeer, gingerbread”, and then asked if a certain word was on the list, most people would say that the word “christmas” was on the list. It is much more common for non-autistic people to not differentiate between a conclusion or interpretation and individual impressions or facts. I know what I have seen or heard, but I do not confuse that with what people have told me or what I feel or assume. I have many opinions but I am rarely emotionally invested in them. I do not feel a clear group identity and I have no understanding of tribalism or destructive competition. It’s easier to see the many sides of events and situations if you don’t feel you have something to defend.

Jacobsen: What is the causal or correlation pathway? Is intelligence leading to social and economic success, or is it social and economic circumstances leading to intelligence ‘success’, some third variable, or some circularity of the first two, etc.?

Dørum: Intelligence can be predicted at a fairly early age and manifests itself through increased capacity for learning, making sense of complexity, figuring out what to do and other things related to thinking, so it is definitely a major genetic component. The environment can help you utilize your genetic potential but you cannot create something that was not there to begin with. Negative stress has a negative impact on decision making, so those who struggle financially or live in poverty have a disadvantage by not being able to plan and act as rationally as they otherwise would have done, but that is social circumstances and not the underlying general intelligence we measure on I.Q. tests.

Jacobsen: Do you think some high-I.Q. types try to up-play the ‘dysfunctional’ for some more media attention? Tabloid news must gobble it up.

Dørum: I think those who feel they have something to say are the ones likely to respond when the media is looking for someone to interview. The motivation for making the case has a lot to say too. When journalists wrote about Mensa Norway prior to 2010, their main focus was on eccentric and a bit different kinds of people that have come together and found a community. Overall, the article gave a positive image of Mensa and its members but the last ten years or so the focus has been that it is cool and fun to be a member. I think articles reflect a trend in society and not so much about the members themselves.

Jacobsen: What about Nietzsche stands out the most about comprehension of human nature?

Dørum: He is not afraid to embrace thoughts that most people find very uncomfortable or straight out frightening. He once wrote “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” Suicide is an act that is universally condemned, and even considering committing suicide is seen as a sin or something many people reacts very strong to. It is perfectly understandable, as it has an unbelievably devastating effect on those you leave behind. Nietzsche understands that when you have found a way out, a solution to your suffering, even if the solution is terrible, you can endure if you know that you do not have to. There are suicide clinics in Europe that allows patients with uncurable diseases such as ALS (Amyotrofisk lateral sklerose) that significantly reduce quality of life while giving them a lot of pain, to die peacefully. Some research has shown that around 80 percent of those who get a “green light” from the clinic do not proceed to end their life. A way out gave them strength to continue. Nietzsche also said “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” People should seek to find meaning wherever they find it, but at the same time know that it is you who decides what is worth fighting for and how much you can afford to give. I think some of the reason we have such a strong reaction to suicide is that your family depend on you, and that life in general was incredible harsh and ruthless. It was necessary for our survival to find a way to cope that did not involve dying.

Jacobsen: How has Jung been helpful in making summative statements on human nature?

Dørum: He was one of the first to identify personality traits such as introversion and extraversion, which was very useful in an academic setting. I liked his relationship with spirituality. Religion is one example of systematic spirituality where you have a God and rules for how to live and some stories and tales to justify the rules. Jung focused more on the human need to have a meaning beyond materialistic needs. This was something he observed in his patients and it is reasonable to assume he was well educated in other cultures and religions as well. It resonates well with how humans see themselves in the cosmos. Even among those without religious identity there are very few that fully accept that life is entirely without meaning or that there is absolutely nothing immaterial that has some role to play in the development of the cosmos and those who experience it. There is no good way of telling if religion is a part of modern life because we once found it useful to develop something that brought order and meaning into a highly unpredictable and violent world, or if it represents an inborn need to have something bigger than humanity. Rituals seem to be important for mammals with a high level of intelligence, such as elephants, dolphins and apes. They are less sophisticated but we clearly see they react to death. Spirituality could be important for all intelligent life forms as they mark the beginning and end of life. With a tradition for art and music we can easily transform rituals into a form with religious associations.

Jacobsen: What kind of archival work in the past?

Dørum: Just ordinary archiving at public offices and organizations. Nothing special in particular. I really cannot make this interesting for the readers.

Jacobsen: Also, since I messed up with the interview on part 2, what has happened in the last year-and-a-half? (Sorry, by the way, for being dumb.)

Dørum: I have gotten a new job within IT and hosted an exchange student from Japan. It has without doubt been one of the best years in some time. I got to experience some aspects of having a family. From the very basics such as dinner planning and fun and interesting family activities on the weekend, to vacations and holidays. The experience is different from everyone as all have different motivation for bringing in an exchange student. The other host parents did it for excitement and curiosity, I did for sentimental reasons. Many thinkers, including Socrates, have said “know thy self”. I got to explore new feelings and new perspectives, and to know a different culture and your own culture a lot better.

Jacobsen: Is the era of singular, solitary genius gone? Marilyn vos Savant made a comment one time about ‘teamwork and dollars’ as the driver now.

Dørum: I think the era of singular and solitary geniuses was never there to begin with. As long as we have been able to communicate, both geniuses and scientists have exchanged knowledge and people have cooperated whenever practical. We see it today in various intellectual organizations and platforms on social media. Intelligence tends to seek intelligence. Any singular and solitary genius was more likely a product of lack of infrastructure and opportunity, not deliberate choice. 

Jacobsen: How does Norway’s relative high comfort and SES react in times of war threat, as in the case of Ukraine and Russia?

Dørum: Noticeable increase in cost of living, mainly food, fuel and electricity. I think it has been a shock for the Norwegian people that we are vulnerable in ways we cannot protect ourselves from. Trade assumes that someone wants to trade with you, which may very well not be the case if there is a shortage of food and energy. Ukraine and Russia produce about 10 and 17 percent of the world’s wheat, respectively, and Europe, especially Germany, are too dependent on Russian gas – mostly for heating. Norwegians are notoriously bad at securing their own finances and Norway is one of the European countries with most private debt. Debt is not bad if you invest it in property, but unsecured debt in forms of short loans make up a significant proportion of total debt. Some may be desperate or have reasonable cause, but I would be surprised if more than 10 percent use a spreadsheet to draft a budget. Life is good during continuity, but that is not what you should plan for. I follow the same rule for money as for riding a motorbike: “Dress for the slide, not for the ride”. 

Jacobsen: Has your family benefitted from the social mobility in Norway?

Dørum: Most have benefitted from social mobility in some way, but comparing generations is complicated since Norway experienced an overall increase in wealth post World War 2 like other industrial countries. You can easily stay within your class and experience a tremendous increase of wealth as the society gets richer and more advanced. The answer is “Yes, but I do not know by how much”.

Jacobsen: What happens to societies where capitalism is leaned on too much or socialism is leaned on too much?

Dørum: All European countries have their own variation of welfare capitalism. Inefficient bureaucracy and too many regulations consume resources that could have been spent elsewhere, or not collected. Since it often regulates private contracts and production – it can impede progression. On the other side: Too many financial obstacles and it makes it difficult for people to move upwards and lack of regulation is not a good thing either. But the biggest challenge is immaterial, it exists as political and philosophical reference points. When all you got is capitalism then everything becomes a market, when all you got is the state then everything becomes chaos that must be tamed by bureaucracy. Both systems will eventually lead to stagnation as the people continue to adapt the system to new situations, except in the way that matters. Economic systems define fairness and justice and sets a starting point for further progress, where any form of decline is seen as an unnatural setback rather than a natural change or a necessary alternative. We have a saying in Norway that “much wants more”. No one wants to settle for the reasonable.

Jacobsen: You mentioned a “deeper meaning” being found in the case of religious values and way of living, or political dogma as with political ideologies found in nationalism. Are these forms of escapism, in one sense, tied to a feeling of a “deeper meaning”? We see this in self-professed ignorant, somewhat discovery oriented, forms of biblical favouritism – via loose, improvisatory psychological textual analysis and stage performances – in Canadian society following a relative decline in religiosity compared to previous decades in the modest fame of Dr. Jordan Peterson.

Dørum: A part of that is probably escapism in the way that whatever you struggle with in your life can be seen as secondary to something bigger than yourself. Religion is more powerful than other isms, because it guarantees a personal reward instead of an unpaid sacrifice. Humans are territorial and collective in nature. Most people have a sense of belonging or identity which provides a robust foundation. We see how vulnerable rootless individuals become when they feel rootless, and that is why extremists and totalitarian regimes seek to eradicate traces of foreign cultures and the past. If people do not have cultural roots to attach themselves to, they will seek something else. Maybe all is just an extension of our need to be in a pack.

Jacobsen: What are some of your favourite, impactful statistics found through Hans Rosling’s research and the Gapminder Foundation?

Dørum: Level of education and child births. That people live longer make up a large part of population increase. We see that the fertility rate is dropping all over industrial countries, and when the level of education and wealth improves – their fertility rates drop too. It is the same as low average life expectancy in the past. If you lived to be 18 or 25 or something, you had a very good chance to live until the age of 60, 70 or 80. The child mortality was very high, so they had to get many children to ensure that some of them grew up.

Jacobsen: Any other favourite maxims of Kant?

Dørum: I like Kant’s approach to ethics. If an action is deemed right or wrong is determined by a set of rules instead of the consequences. I am not an absolutist, but I am a bit bothered that ethics and morality are too influenced by social concerns, political convenience or personal benefit. It brings in a form of relativism where we have very few intellectual defence against various forms of violence and destructive methods. Right and wrong should reflect something more than a simple majority’s rule. I have given it a lot of thought. It is not an easy balance, but I want to reserve moral exceptions for exceptional situations – not something that applies in everyday life. I value integrity and take ownership in my values. I should be careful to morally object to an action I accept to benefit from, or at least not pretend not to know what I am doing. You are not obligated to broadcast your views to everyone, but you should at least know what you stand for and how you will defend your interests and accept others to do the same.

Jacobsen: The idea of a rejection of no saturation points as a definite referent. This goes against most of the world’s ethical-philosophical systems. In that, these posit absolutes or a singular point for morality. Why is the reasoning reversed, as in absolutism in general, over the globe?

Dørum: I do not know if it is true that the premise for moral reasoning has changed. I see types of conflicts caused by a gradually more diverse society that were much less prominent a few generations ago. The world has always been affected by nations’ political, cultural and economic struggle for dominance. The methods today may be more peaceful in terms of human lives, but they are not more sympathetic in nature. People have never seemed to care too much with consistency. The outlines have become more vocal through the Internet that with great certainty tells right from wrong, but they have hardly changed. I have read various articles about modern morality and ethics. It is adapted to the 21’th century, but I do not see any fresh ideas.

Jacobsen: Is there a manner in which to take the benefits of “work ethic, social conscience, structure and reaction to crisis” in East-Asian cultures and the change towards LGBTI-rights, and the like, of more Western oriented cultures?

Dørum: East-Asian cultures are generally more conservative than western countries. A high context culture (cooperation, group-oriented and public image) impedes social progress since each family member represents the family. It is more difficult to break out and live your life as you should live it, if it negatively impacts your family’s reputation and receives negative attention. More people have to normalize LGBTQ and advocate LGBTQ-rights, but it is difficult without a minimum of open tolerance. The best way to change public opinions is through the exposure of different thoughts and ideas.

Jacobsen: How is humanism a harmonious balanced viewpoint for you?

Dørum: I care about what kind of people a thought system, being philosophical, political or religious, produces. You have evil and goodness amongst all kinds, but humanism has yet to produce the systematic oppression caused by religion and other ideologies. Humanism is not atheism – which is a lack of faith, but revolves around the idea that humans have an inviolable right to live in freedom and to seek knowledge through science. It is difficult to oppress without infringing on people’s right to freedom. Humanism is not anchored in a set of rules or perspectives on life, so it remains flexible, there is only an essence. I think that is useful as society continues to change more rapidly than previous points in history.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3)[Online]. September 2022; 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2022, September 1). Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3). In-Sight Publishing. 11(1). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 1, 2022.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (Winter). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 1 (September 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2022) ‘Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(1). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2022, ‘Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo. 11, no. 1, 2022, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Olav Hoel Dørum on Norwegian Socio-Culture and Talent: Former Ombudsman, Mensa Norway (3) [Internet]. 2022 Sep; 11(1). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/dorum-3

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

People with dementia are not witches, they need care and support

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/

Individual Publication Date: August 29, 2022

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: TBD

Words: 590

Keywords: Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Ann Soberekon, Leo Igwe, mental health, Nigerians, Port Harcourt.

People with dementia are not witches, they need care and support[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has urged Nigerians to stop branding persons with dementia witches because this mental health issue has nothing to do with the superstitious belief in witchcraft and magic. This statement has become necessary following a visit to Ann Soberekon’s family in Port Harcourt Rivers state. Ann Soberekon, a grandmother and retired lab scientist, was almost lynched by a mob in Port Harcourt following an accusation of witchcraft in December last year. According to family sources, Ms. Soberekon has dementia and is receiving some treatment at a local hospital. In December, she went to visit a relative but forgot her way back to her residence. For two days, she was missing. Family members did not know if she was alive or dead. They were making contact with relatives to ascertain her whereabouts when a family member got a call that a mob was about to lynch her in some area in Port Harcourt; they suspected that she was a witch. The family quickly sent someone who rescued and brought her home. Ms. Soberekon was lucky. She survived. Many people with mental health challenges who are accused of witchcraft seldom survive. They are usually beaten to death or lynched.

Family members said that Ms. Soberekon had bruises all over her body. When Ann was unable to trace her way back home, she started roaming the streets. Some youths accosted her, stripped her naked, and started beating her with sticks, banana leaves, and stems; they pelted her with stones. According to Ann, one pastor Jeremiah requested some salt. The pastor claimed that if he administered the salt to Ann, she would die immediately. The salt was not administered. But a family member claimed that they gave her some concoction.

In a video that went viral on social media, Ann Soberekon could be seen lying naked on the ground and responding to queries from the mob. Someone described her as ‘a strong witch’; they asked her to provide a list of her fellow witches. They claimed that she was returning from a witch meeting when she crash-landed while flying over an electric pole. Ann mentioned Prof Konya as one of her colleagues but that mob regarded the names she mentioned as some of the members of her witch coven. The crowd misconstrued Ann’s replies and regarded her statements as witch confessions, not utterances by a mentally unstable person. What a shame!

Following her rescue and return, the Konya family asked Ann Soberekon’s family to tender an apology for mentioning her name. When Ms. Soberekon’s family was not forthcoming with the apology, the Konya family used the police to arrest a relative of Ann Soberekon and detained her at the Central police station in Port Harcourt. The police later released her after a day. The family of Ann Soberekon later tendered a public apology to the Konyas. The apology was published in a local newspaper.

AfAW condemns the ill treatment and persecution of Ann Soberekon and other persons with mental health challenges in the country. There is no link between dementia and witchcraft fears and anxieties. Mental health problems have no connection with occult forces or demonic possession as popularly believed. Attribution of dementia to witchcraft is rooted in irrational fear, misinterpretation and ignorance of the cause of disease. People who suffer from mental health issues are not witches or wizards and should not be attacked or killed. People with dementia and other mental health problems are patients with health conditions. They should be treated with love, care, and respect.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 29, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/2022/08/29/people-with-dementia-are-not-witches-they-need-care-and-support/.

Image Credit: Leo Igwe.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Pesent. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Attack on Salman Rushdie is Indeed an Attack to Freedom of Thought and Expression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/

Individual Publication Date: August 27, 2022

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: TBD

Words: 332

Keywords: courts of law, East Africa, Isakwisa Amanyisye Lucas Mwakalonge, modern civilization, religious radicalism, Salman Rushdie, Tanzania.

An Attack on Salman Rushdie is Indeed an Attack to Freedom of Thought and Expression[1],[2]

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – East Africa.

(WhatsApp +255 766 151395/E-mail: isamwaka01@gmail.com.)

It is a shock to the world and to all civilized people for a recent incident of an attack on Salman Rushdie. International media have reported that Rushdie was attacked right on a stage while waiting for an interview in one of the academic forums in the United States of America, unexpectedly a person succeeded to get in and stabbed Rushdie perhaps with intention to assassinate him. It is really very sad for humankind to continue experiencing these cruel activities, actually this heartless action must not only be blamed but also cursed in all over the world especially by those believing in humanity. It is a disgrace that at this modern world yet there are some people who are still embracing fanatical-archaic ideologies of believing in butchering fellow human beings only because those whom they hate do exercise their rights of freedom of expression and freedom of thought…perhaps the thoughts which that criminal and fellow uncivilized ones did not like Rushdie to enjoy them.

It is easy to link this attack with religious radicalism, or whatever may be the case, still no one has the right to take someone’s right to life probably due to the differences on what someone believes or thinks. It should be clear that despite the differences in faith; yet, all human beings deserve to enjoy the right to life. It is not good to kill fellow human beings. Any attempt to either silence or kill Rushdie is an attack against human rights. It is an attack against modern civilization. It is an attack against academic freedom. It is an attack against enjoyment of the rights of freedom of thought. It is an attack against the right of enjoying freedom of expression and opinion.

For that case a culprit must be prosecuted before courts of law just like other criminals for an attempt to murder an innocent person, and the attack must be condemned all over the world because an attack to Rushdie is an attack against civilization.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Lucas is Assistant Editor African Freethinker/in-sightpublishing.com (Tanzania), a Lawyer, an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, a Notary Public Officer and Commissioner for Oaths.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 27, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/2022/08/27/an-attack-on-salman-rushdie-is-indeed-an-attack-to-freedom-of-thought-and-expression/.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Police: Bring to Justice Killers of Mgboebuba Nwankwo in Enugu

Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/

Individual Publication Date: August 27, 2022

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: TBD

Words: 1,452

Keywords: Advocacy for Alleged Witches, Agatha Mgboebuba Nwankwo, Awgu, Enugu, Leo Igwe, Mark Chukwuino, Mgboebuba Nwankwo, Okeke Kele, Remijus Nwankwo, Silas Okolie.

Police: Bring to Justice Killers of Mgboebuba Nwankwo in Enugu[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

On January 26, an advocate sent a message to the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) urging it to investigate a case of an alleged witch murder in Awgu in Enugu in Southern Nigeria. The message states: “Please investigate the allegation that a woman was killed as a suspected witch because her husband who lives abroad accused her of being the reason why he dares(sic) not return home anymore, suspected that she killed their son, and her daughter, suspected that she was the reason she could not attract a spouse. The proof of witchcraft was that she had a list of people who died in the village, a fact that is found in every home because people always kept a list of those they gave gifts to during funerals. The town is Awgu in Awgu Local Government of Enugu State, Nigeria. Your investigation may help to reeducate the villagers against witch-hunting”.

AfAW is not a police agency but liaises with the police and other institutions to bring justice to the accused. Through its network, AfAW found out that this middle-aged woman, Agatha Mgboebuba Nwankwo, was accused of witchcraft and subsequently killed by a local mob. On January 5, one Silas Okolie made a  Facebook post on the incident: “Sad: Villagers disgrace woman caught with ‘voodoo’ item. The worst happened in Awgu in early 2022 as Woman alleged to be perpetrating evil in the community was caught after an alarm was raised due to her ill actions. Stories have it that a paper was picked in her room that contained names of people she has allegedly dealt with and those she will still do including her daughters and new husband’s name. Lots of incriminating Items was(sic) found in her abode during a thorough search by the villagers. She was beaten mercilessly and sent to her creator. Parading someone (evil Doer) in the market or roadside is the worst disgrace anybody will ever receive in Awgu, Enugu State. The evil man does must surely live with them”.

Unfortunately, some of the people who commented on the post supported the murder of this innocent woman. One said: “Thank you Lord for exposing her”; while another noted: “They said it was even her daughter that saw the snake inside a bowl of water with some juju under her bed, and some names she wrote in a sheet of paper including her daughter name and her new husband to be, that she is going to kill them next week, whenever she killed them she will mark it, there was a man from Awgu that was found dead on a palm tree last month, they said his name was also among the list…that was how she was exposed to the world by her daughter, but thank God she has been killed and thrown away to the bush. May God always protect his children”

When contacted, Okolie confirmed that he made the post the same day that Agatha was murdered. But one of those who commented stated: “yes they killed her the day before yesterday”. Thus Agatha might have been murdered on January 3. Whether on January 3 or 5. This innocent woman is no more. The state police command and office of the National Human Rights Commission in Enugu have been contacted to look into the matter. Nobody has come forward to report the case. According to an informant the following persons need to be interrogated: Mr. Remijus Nwankwo – the husband in London can be interviewed by the investigators. His daughter, Chikwado Nwankwo was said to have found the alleged list. She was said to have been to a church that allegedly told her that her mother was responsible for her misfortunes and that she and the father of her four children were the ones who helped the villagers to discover that the mother and grandmother were the witches causing problems. Mark Chukwuino was alleged by the husband to be his uncle who sent him similar lists. Emmanuel Nwankwo Mba is the uncle of the woman alleged to have suspected that she also killed his wife with witchcraft and must have seen her attackers because she was allegedly killed near his home.

As an informant explained: I have just spoken to a relative who told me that he suspected his uncle, Mr. Mark Chukwuino, as the instigator because he had been threatening his wife. According to him, the uncle recently sent him a list of dead enemies allegedly compiled by his wife but it was typewritten and so no way to prove that his wife compiled such a list. The uncle then sent another handwritten list but it was not in his wife’s handwriting. He asked the wife to leave the family home and go and stay in a hotel for a while but she told him that no one runs away from his father’s compound. The uncle then phoned and threatened to send ‘ndu ogba ozi’ or messengers to force her out if she did not leave. He said that someone later sent him a video of how some people broke into his house and dragged his wife out and beat her to death. He promised to forward the video to me and I will forward it to you as soon as I receive it. I asked him if he has reported the murder to the police and he said that I must know how the police work in Naija. I do not know what he means by that but I know that it is believed to be an abomination for a family member to invite the police in matters that involve other family members. He said that he had been ill since he returned from a visit home last year but that he is better now and is working to save for his airfare back home to see what he can do”.

Both the police and the NHRC offices in Enugu have asked anyone who knew about the case to come forward and lodge a complaint. Almost three months after this horrific murder, nobody has come to report the case. If nothing is done to investigate the case, this grievous crime will fizzle out. Nobody will be punished. But all advocates should not allow this to happen. According to an informant, no one has come forward to lodge a complaint because most people in the community thought the woman was a witch and the punishment was in order. Others are afraid of the lives an safety. A member of the community who was contacted regarding the case said: “Mgboebuba lili amosu laegbuishi ndu ibe ayi. Ive ogbulu egbu kalikwalu. Shite la eka ada e nwayi (‘Chikwado’ la di e) o kelu igbuko ka eshilu chofuta ive o la eme. Ndu Awgu lo daide juwe ive oji egbushi ndu eka va du ucha, ya shi lo ndu ino e ive ya legbu. Eva ndu o kalaeke igbukwe kaligbukwelu. O gbuagakwalu madu, kalegbukwe tufu adaide. Eva mpam la mmam, okeke kele la nwae nwoke, onyebuchi adae nwayi la nwae dukota la ekwukwo ndu o gbugolu egbu. Oo ndu Awgu jikolu eka kpufute la orie Awgu, megbuo akaje, kpuluihia bia la uhumbele ezi nnae lo tigbuo ye, palu ozue ga gbavuo la ejo ovia du la nduegu ululor. (“Mgboebuba ate witchcraft and was killing our people. The number she killed was a lot. Through the efforts of her daughter (‘Chikwado’ and her husband) whom she was preparing to kill too, that was how it was discovered what she was doing. Awgu people caught her and questioned why she was killing innocent people who have clean hands, she said that her enemies were the ones that she killed. The names of the people she was preparing to kill were numerous. She had killed too many people and was going to kill more before she was caught. My father and mother, Okeke Kele and his son, Onyebuchi, his daughter, and his grandchild were among the names found in the book of the people she had killed. The people of Awgu joined hands to drag her to Orie Awgu marketplace, mocked her, dragged her to her father’s compound in Obugo village, and beat her to death, then they carried her corpse and threw it away in the evil forest at the farm settlement of her husband’s village, Ululor”).

The informant said that the deceased refused to reveal the names of others who were suspected to be in her ‘witch’ group. Hence they killed her. The state police command in Enugu should rise to the occasion and take all necessary measures to investigate the murder of Agatha Mgboebuba Nwankwo from Awgu and bring to justice all those who carried out this horrific crime.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 27, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/2022/08/27/police-bring-to-justice-killers-of-mgboebuba-nwankwo-in-enugu/.

Image Credit: Leo Igwe.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Pesent. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, In-Sight Publishing, and African Freethinker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,810

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Lesley Daldry is a client of Symatree Farm. She discusses: some moments of thinking about; horses as a young person; the family farm; horses something not needed at the time; finding Symatree; a natural relationship that develops; healing social environment with animals; the unspoken power of horses; a sensibility; adaptations to their behaviour; and Manitoban weather.

Keywords: Canada, equestrianism, horses, Lesley Daldry, ponies, Symatree Farm, The Greenhorn Chronicles.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted June 24, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Today, we are here with Lesley Daldry who is a client of Symatree Farm. So, when it comes to your background with horses, what were some moments of thinking about horses as a young person or having real-life experience with them, or ponies?

Lesley Daldry[1],[2]: I started off. My first experience was at a camp as a camper, eventually as a staff person. When I worked as a staff person, I also had a chance to spend a bit more time with horses. It was one of the first things to ride on the weekends. That was kind of my first experience, which wasn’t super eventful. I enjoyed it. I didn’t “ohhh” and ‘awe” over it. Coming out from there, I was looking to more of an opportunity to invest a bit of time in a new place. I had some life changes. I had a bit more time to do something different.

I was looking for something with animals and on a farm. I grew up going to a family farm and enjoying it. That’s how I came across Symatree.

Jacobsen: So, the family farm, itself, how many horses were there? How large was this place?

Daldry: Oh! The family farm, we had pretty much every animal but a horse.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Daldry: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: Were the horses something not needed at the time, or just something not part of the palette of the animals kept as a happenstance?

Daldry: They had horses once upon a time. It was before I was around. I spent time going there as a kid. They had horses before I arrived. I didn’t get to meet those horses. I don’t know why they switched out. I don’t know why.

Jacobsen: So, what is the jump there from the horses there to finding Symatree?

Daldry: They were somewhat connected. I had a really good experience on the farm. I enjoyed it. I loved being around the animals. It was part of who I am. I learned that my grandfather had a real interest in starting a horse ranch one day. He never did do it. But it was something that he wanted to do, which made sense to me why I was so drawn to Symatree.

I was timid with the horses in the beginning because I hadn’t been around horses in some time. Once I spent a bit of time with them, and felt more comfortable, which was great, I enjoyed the being outside and most of all the people there, and the horses. It has been a really interesting experience getting to know everybody and the horses, spending some time with them, and some of the things already talked about (off tape) in caring about the horses. I was learning something new and different. Yes, they have a real special energy to them.

The people, everybody is just absolutely lovely and encouraging and very boundaried and respectful. I’ve been a true new addition to being part of a family. It has been lovely.

Jacobsen: When people come there, I am told that they are drawn to particular ponies or horses, and some are drawn to them. It is sort of a natural relationship that develops before they learn about the horse’s or pony’s history. Was this a similar experience for you when coming there?

Daldry: Yes, but I cannot explain it, there is a drawing that happened, but I don’t really know how or why. But I think it changes with the person, and grows, as the person becomes more aware of who they are. I think different horses are drawn to different people, and vice versa, at different points in their life. Different emotions or different physically, I would say that I was definitely having experiences, where I was drawn to the horses. They were drawn to me, in different ways. It has evolved. I don’t think it has stayed the same over time. It is something that changes over time.

You need the energy exchange between person and horse, It, definitely, keeps things growing and moving.

Jacobsen: When it comes to the kinds of therapeutic interventions people can have, or a healing environment one can have with animals, have you ever had any other experiences other than those with horses? A healing social environment with animals, is this something similar with other animals, or only something with horses, formally?

Daldry: Definitely, only horses, I would say, I think, all animals bring some kind of healing energy to people, for sure. I would say that that kind of connection is very unique to horses. I find it very difficult to articulate. The other animals, there is definitely something there in terms of that calm and that bringing the heart rate down, and feeling sort of more congruent with who you are at that particular time.

Horses, I would say, it is a very unique exchange. I found it difficult, in many ways, to say, “Yes,” to this interview because it is hard to express it. Because it is such a unique experience. You can have it with other animals. For me, it is definitely the most potent energy exchange compared to other animals.

Jacobsen: When I was coming into the industry, I’ve been in it 8 or 9 months. Another interviewee referenced the idea of the unspoken power of horses, or ponies. That’s the kind of sense that I’m getting from your response. It’s not something that you can necessarily per terms to, but you can sort of give a reference to the inaudible. Things like “unspoken.” Because they are so large that they should be in charge of the relationship, but they are, sort of, letting you relate with them. They are kind of gentle in that way.

Daldry: Yes, the horses at Symatree, there is a variation in size. So, most of the horses are quite small. There are three different paddocks. There are the smalls, the mids, and the bigs. They all bring something to the table, not just size wise, but personality wise. It is very difficult to articulate. I think people really need to experience it to get a full understanding, because I think the experience for each person is going to be different. I don’t think it’s the same for everybody.

For me, it isn’t even the same every time that I am with the horses. It is different each time. I just think they are [Laughing] amazing.

Jacobsen: There’s also a sensibility of working with either one of the facilitators or the owner with the horses as well. Do you think that greases the wheels with the relationship of the horse too?

Daldry: I don’t really spend much time in a therapeutic sense, in a formal sense, with them. Definitely, the people who work there have a lot of experience in facilitating a relationship between a person and a horse. So, I would say that that is a very unique this to Symatree. I don’t think it exists in a lot of other places. They have allowed a lot of people to go to their edge of comfort and try something different, try something new, in a way that is super safe and very respectful, and very boundaried. They let the experience happen in the way that it is meant to happen. The people that are there are good when asking questions, growing and learning something new. I’ll just ask for guidance and go off and try it.

I find that really empowering because you have an opportunity to try something different and to experiment. You get instant feedback from the horse. It is never you independent because you are always in relationship, always in connect. Either with people or with horses there, it is even where you are standing in the yard or in a paddock. Wherever you are, it is like being part of a herd. Or where you move, so, the rest of the herd moves and adjusts to the move of the herd depending on its hierarchy and relationship within that particular paddock. You become a member of the herd in a way, which is really cool.

Because your movement, horses adjust and do what they need to do to be who they are, and to be part of the herd and to balance. It is a constant rebalancing that happens within the herd.

Jacobsen: How do you find their adaptations to their behaviour? Do you find them highly sensitive or more moderate in their body and behavioural tone?

Daldry: It really depends on the horse. Some are incredibly sensitive. You need to emit little energy for them to sort of respond to you. Other ones, it really depends. Most horses, it depends on my energy for that day, for my day, what I am bringing to that herd. They will respond, accordingly. If my energy is high or pretty low, for my happy place, everybody’s energy is working together. If someone’s energy is too high or too low, that’s horse or person. There’s a rejigging that has to happen to balance everything again. It really depends on the horse, the day, and the weather.

One thing that has surprised me over the years is seeing how things like weather really impact not only a person’s mood, but a horse’s mood, and their comfort level. That horses get irritable like people. They get happy like people do. There are a lot of parallels.

Jacobsen: How do you find Manitoban weather in particular? Because, for those reading this outside of Canada, parts of Manitoba are known for being very cold…

Daldry: …[Laughing]…

Jacobsen: …or volatile in the range of temperatures “available” to residents.

Daldry: Yes, it is definitely cold here in the Winter. That’s for sure. Summers can be incredibly hot. So, yes, there’s definitely something to consider there. Even just the way that the horses are, in the paddocks on hot days and rainy days sometimes, they will need to be inside the shelters. You need to go where they are to visit them. Some will come out. It definitely takes some adjusting. You have to adjust what you wear. I have to be very conscious.

When I am at the farm for half of a day or a full day the whole time, obviously, I have to dress for it and keep in mind how much I am moving, and adjusting for that. I’m sure some horses have some work to them. It is really interesting to see how much extra hair that they grow in the Fall and the Winter, especially, then they shed it all off in the Summer. It is amazing how they adapt to it. It really is. I used to think the cold was the worst for them. Actually, I think it is the heat, because they have so much fur.

Footnotes

[1] Client, Symatree Farm.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 21: Lesley Daldry on Experiences with Horses (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/daldry-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,635

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Moya Byrne Merrin is the Director of High Point Equestrian Centre. She discusses: foot in the door moment for the equine world; the industry looking now; finding people who are willing to do the hard labour; a common experience in equestrianism among managers and owners; and separation between haves and have-nots, growing income inequality, and worker insecurity.

Keywords: Canada, dressage, equestrianism, High Point Equestrian Centre, Moya Byrne Merrin, The Greenhorn Chronicles.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted January 2, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, today, we are here with Moya of High Point Equestrian Centre. We’ve had a chance to explore the facilities and discuss some of the issues facing the equestrian world at the moment. Your focus is dressage. Although, this is one particular professional area of equestrianism. There’s a wide range. However, each facet of equestrianism, I think, can provide a bit of a glimpse into different images of equestrianism as a whole. So, to get started, to give people an idea, what was your first foot in the door moment for the equine world?

Moya Byrne Merrin[1],[2]: My first in the door was my parents buying me a $500 horse. I was, probably, around 10-years-old. It kept me out of trouble. Then there was a bit pause. I was 28 when I began picking up horses again with a retired race horse, which was quite young and quite athletic. That started. I did not plan or foresee – my husband and I – an equestrian lifestyle. Where, we have ended up owning a facility and running & managing it, which does events and focuses on education.

Jacobsen: How is the industry looking now, in terms of dressage?

Merrin: We have a lot of support in our area. We have amazing trainers and access to them. People from the Interior come down and are willing to train here with coaches that are allowed to come in. We also bring in trainers from all around the world. There is a lot of support for the education and the shows. We a show series, which is a lower-level. It is called the schooling show. It is not rated. You are welcome to try your first ride. You are welcome to try the next level. It is a very fun atmosphere. We take the precautions and do the proper things.

We focus on the schooling and the education aspect of it. We sell out every show, prior to Covid. This has been something that we have been working on during Covid because there wasn’t any access to the rate shows. We couldn’t do this. We could do this safely on a smaller scale. We have had overwhelming response to our show series. It looks like the sport is thriving. But when you get to those bigger rated shows that cost a lot more, it thins out. It really does seem to be a divide between the professionals and the amateurs.

The amateurs used to make up the bulk of these shows. Now, it is about 50/50. People are finding out series more interesting, or cannot afford it.

Jacobsen: Staffing, this is an issue, not only in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, but also in the industry as a whole: Finding people who are willing to do the hard labour. So, the issue of finding quality labour in the midst of a pandemic and in a field requiring, simply put, hard labour.  

Merrin: So, prior to the pandemic, staffing has always been an issue, finding reliable, hard working staff that are willing to look beyond the immediate. It is never the same day in a barn. There are always things that come up and happen, and people will sign up to stall cleaning. That’s it. If you ask them to do anything else, they won’t listen. It is not in their job description. I don’t know if this people being more educated about or not, but people say, “This is not in my job description. I am not doing it”

Then you get these rare gems who either have horses and want to be here because they understand. They want to be a part of this. This is their long-term goal. Those are the ones that we have had the most success with; they’re flexible, adaptable, and hardworking. Either their parents have instilled it in them, “This is what you need to do to get a horse,” rather than simply going to Starbucks and getting a set course.

Yes, the barn work does offer more flexibility. But we tend to find a conflict between those who want to ride and compete, who really understand the sport, because those are the times where we need those people to work. [Laughing] That’s been tough. What I have found works fast is if they don’t actually ride, they want to simply be working with the horses, being around them, and in the lifestyle. They, sometimes, get the opportunity to take on someone else’s horse. So, they get the fix that way.

Between pay and the type of work, they find it difficult. The pandemic, actually, had more people out of work. They couldn’t go elsewhere. We had some really good people come in and just do it short-term because it is not a long-term profession. There’s no room here, in this particular facility, to work your way up. Previously, you could have worked your way to a management position. We don’t have that. We are very small.

Because we are a small operation. I don’t think that we’re alone in that. We find part-timers who are willing to come here for a few hours and to work hard. I am looking for a unique person.; So, it has been incredibly challenging.

Jacobsen: Is this a common experience in equestrianism among managers and owners (outside of dressage)?

Merrin: I have seen this on both sides. You can post for Fraser Valley barn help. Either the hours aren’t suitable for them. There’s not a lot flexibility for them. It, basically, comes down to pay. People want $20/hr or more for a job that doesn’t really require what a horse needs. But if it is only 4 hours of work, and if it only pays $20/hr, there are people who are worth it. For here, you earn it. If you work full-time here, and if you get good benefits, you earned it. But now, with the number of horses, you are working part-time. It is, maybe, 4 hours of work during the day and another 2 hours at night.

So, it is a bit of struggle for us. Elsewhere in the industry, I see find someone working 8 hours challenging. It is a lot of physical labour. They burnout. Career advancement is an issue. We don’t have it. You don’t see it. Unless, you are a trainer. Trains have the upper hand in that area. So, the labour thing will come back to life in this industry for sure. We have to pay more. That’s the reality there. We have to look after them.

Jacobsen: Some issues for larger scale aspects of the industry. The separation between haves and have-nots, growing income inequality, and worker insecurity cause issues for the industry as a whole. How is this impacting Canadian equestrianism as a whole?

Merrin: I cannot speak for Canadian equestrianism because we are unique. What I find is, people want a place to live and to work. If we can offer live-work, some of their work can be done here, then they could work elsewhere advancing whatever they do. Some of that problem is directly related to the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve). It won’t allow some forms of secondary, etc., etc. If you own your own property, getting the permit to have somebody else above your barn is incredibly impactful, everybody wants a suite in a barn. Yet, we’re not allowed.

It is getting the labour. Getting here, you need a car, and so on. A real advantage to have somewhere to work and live. A working student can live there and they will work for you. That used to be a very common thing. I don’t know if that’s so feasible anymore with the bylaws and the regulations. I can see it impacting our community. I don’t know if the job security in our industry is keeping up with the payment and benefits for any of these things, or if it can, because a lot of this stuff is done contract. “I work for you. You give me a lesson.”

“Training and skills, I get to be around your horse and learn how to do this.” I don’t know what the job security is; I know what our labour laws state. I used to be very careful. They can show up; they can quit. Here again, it is different. I really try to have communication and try to keep our staff very happy, etc. It is coming out and saying, “It is a crappy day. Let me help you.”

Most barn owners are trainers. If they are really good, then they can pick who works for them and then they can set the demand, “This is what the job is, and this is what I expect.” It is like interning. Which doesn’t give much financial reward, and depending on the people worked for can be a bit of slave trade, labour laws caught up with that, so did the kids and their parents. The independent worker just looking to do stalls.

Generally, we find the young motivated. They are great. They are here for a short-time. They are off to school, to get that trainer, to get to the next level. They are, usually, short and sporadic. If you get the older, seasoned worker, they, usually, have a vice or two. They’re immovable in their ways of working. You have to adapt to that. You to take your pick. I think that’s the same in any industry. I worked in the restaurant industry. Some are great, but are going to school or something. Then they are out of here. Then the seasoned, “I like to do these things this way.” They are honest, show up, and get the job done. “Okay, bye.” I think it is more of a gig industry.

It depends.

Footnotes

[1] Director, High Point Equestrian Centre.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 20: Moya Byrne Merrin on High Point Equestrian Centre and Equine Labour Shortages (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/merrin-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,689

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Will Clinging is the President of the Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada and the Vice President of the Western Canadian Farrier’s Association. He discusses: family connections to being a farrier; common story; first starting on a horse; to come back or rediscover; pivotal choices; differences between the education younger farriers might get now; and historical knowledge of the first farriers in Canadian society.

Keywords: Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada, Canada, equestrianism, farriers, The Greenhorn Chronicles, Western Canadian Farrier’s Association, Will Clinging.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted July 4, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, today, we are here with Will Clinging, the Vice President of the Western Canadian Farrier Association and the President of The Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada, which is the National Association that’s been newly formed. I’d like to start off with a narrative arc focusing on some of the background. You can only answer as much as you feel comfortable with, but it lets people know a little bit where you’re from. So, were there any family connections to being a farrier?

Will Clinging[1],[2]: Yes and no, many generations ago… I’m from Ireland. I do have blacksmiths in my lineage on my father’s side, but not that I would have ever net any…they were long gone before I was born.

Jacobsen: What about horses for yourself? A lot of people who are trainers or riders, a common story is starting when they were single digit age with horses or with the pony club, for instance.

Will: Yeah, I’m probably not too far off of that. My mother rode when she was young. When I was a kid, we had a couple of ponies and a horse. So, that’s where I learned to ride. I didn’t ride from the time I was probably 10 years old until the time I was 20. And then I rediscovered it.

Jacobsen: What was that feeling when you were first starting on a horse? Do you recall?

Will: As a child? No, I had no idea. Marginal terror, probably, and the total lack of understanding or control or knowledge, but just get on and go for it and hope for the best – which didn’t always happen.

Jacobsen: Why did you decide to come back or rediscover in the 20s?

Will: That’s a good question. I spent my teenage years growing up in Surrey. I wanted to be a carpenter, actually. I spent a couple of years building houses and hated every minute of it. And it was suggested to me that, maybe, I should go to college and take a couple of courses on agriculture because my dad was involved in agriculture, more from an agribusiness perspective. So, I thought, “Why not?” I took a couple of courses at the University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack. I really enjoyed it. Then I entered into a two-year diploma program in livestock production. That led me to working on some ranches in the interior and that kicked off my equestrian or my horse career. That was in 1994 and here we are in 2022. I’m still in the horse business.

Jacobsen: If you could take a moment to envision back to that period of 1994 to the time in 2022 now, are there any points in that career trajectory where you would have made a modification to pivotal choices?

Will: I just wanted to be a cowboy, whether that was sort of romance from my childhood reading Westerns or whatever. When I was a teenager in high school and graduating, I actually had no concept that being a cowboy was really a thing, and then having gone to college to study agriculture. You realize that actually ranching and beef production and cowboys do exist. It sort of just became this thing that I wanted to do. And, I guess, if I hadn’t chosen that, I don’t know where I would be honestly because I’ve really spent almost my entire adult life working with horses, probably, because of that first decision to take a course. I don’t even know what it was, and then a night course at Fraser Valley College on agriculture. It just sort of opened all kinds of doors that seemed a lot more interesting than living in Surrey, building houses. Then getting onto the ranches, it was a whole different experience. One that I wasn’t really familiar with, but I just loved it. You’re outside. You get to work with livestock. It was a whole different perspective that I just kind of found easy and comfortable. It really guided the rest of my professional career in a variety of different aspects, but they all come back to horses at the end. I’ve been a cowboy. I’ve been a farrier. I’ve been a horse trainer. I’ve been a cowboy. So, I have kind of been bounced around back and forth between those careers, but, at the end of the day, it’s still really all been about horses. This is going on a long time now.

Jacobsen: Do you notice any differences between the education younger farriers might get now compared to, say, two decades ago?

Will: I would. I would say that when I started, I didn’t really have any education. It was just what I learned from other cowboys that I worked with; and there were definitely shoeing programs that you could go to, but they were all short in duration. A couple to three months, it was all sort of hands-on. If you didn’t work with somebody, you didn’t learn anything. And nowadays, with the internet access to information, the ability to travel, and the popularity of the horse industry, it’s changed a lot in the last 25 years. Natural horsemanship, you’ve got horsemanship clinics. You’ve got more shows. It’s had a far broader public image. It’s got a lot more people into it. The education now, the colleges that teach farriery have expanded. The programs are longer, there’s far more in-depth knowledge that’s expected. Then the last, probably, 10 years with YouTube and the internet, webinars, and YouTube videos, the amount of knowledge that young farriers have access to is really almost endless.

It’s mostly a self-guided path of education. But this is definitely a trade that if you’re into it, it’s easy to get into it because now you have access to things that you didn’t have access to 25 years ago. But if you’re not into, you don’t last very long. So, I would say that now is probably the best time ever to be a farrier if you’re interested in professional development, education, competition, and certification. There’s an endless limit to what you can learn and how you can share that knowledge or use that knowledge. The farrier industry is quite regional and being where I am on Southern Vancouver Island. It’s not like living in rural British Columbia or Alberta or other parts of the country. There’s a real value placed on the animals here. There’s a high expectation for care for the horses, but not such a high expectation for performance.

A lot of adult amateur riders here that have the resources and the facilities and the care and the love and all of those things that go into making good horse people. We’re really fortunate here. So, there’s a high expectation for knowledge and skills. In other areas, they don’t have access to the same type of clientele. Therefore, the demand for knowledge or professionalism or education isn’t as great, but, in this trade itself, really it often becomes a very personal journey on improvement and how good a job you’re doing. There’s a lot of heritage involved. There’s still quite a few farriers that make all their own shoes. There’s a real pride in the craftsmanship that they bring to the trade handmade tools. It’s one of the oldest professions in the world. We still make our living with a hammer and a piece of steel and heat. So, the technology hasn’t affected the fundamentals, but the access to information, knowledge, science, research, imaging, and the study of mechanics and movement is really quite astounding in where it has come. So, if you’re interested in becoming a good farrier, there’s really an endless amount of information that you can access. If you’re not, you’ll end up probably not staying in the industry very long because it just becomes a hard way to make a living.

Jacobsen: Is there any historical knowledge of the first farriers in Canadian society? Where is an organization devoted to them? Is there a particular individual or school of people known?

Will: From an organized farrier perspective, the WCFA has been around for probably 40 odd years. There was a small group of farriers in the Fraser valley that sort of assembled and created this association, guys like Randy Blackstock and others. They just had this thought that, maybe, they should organize. They’ve helped improve the industry and the trade and really they were thinking far beyond their time because, historically, farriers have not worked well together. They’ve often considered themselves to be in competition with other farriers and only a limited amount of business. So, they didn’t always get along. I would think that that dynamic has changed a lot. There are a lot more horses. They’re used much more for recreation than they are for work.

The people that can afford horses in the Fraser valley or on the island or in much of Canada. They can afford their horses and those farriers that are of any good quality are all so busy that we’re actually trying to give clients away rather than trying to argue with our competitors about pricing and service because ‘I can do a better job cheaper if you hire me’; none of that really happens anymore. So, the farrier community has become a far broader community I would say regionally, nationally, and internationally. On my Facebook page, I have probably 500 farriers from all over the world that I’m friends with; and I message with, and I would think that most other farriers that are involved in the community would say the same thing. It’s really astounding where I can message a farrier in the UK and ask for some advice and then get a message back fast within relative to the time zones, but the sharing of information is unbelievable. It wouldn’t really have happened if it hasn’t been for those associations that started out 40 years ago with the goal of trying to bring the community together. But in Canada, who did it first? I honestly couldn’t tell you. It is before my times.

Footnotes

[1] President, Association of Farrier Trainers of Canada; Vice President, Western Canadian Farrier’s Association.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 19: Will Clinging on Canadian Farriers (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/clinging-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,929

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Nozomu Wakai is a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Artist with specializations in guitar, production, composition, and design He studied Jazz at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. He has worked with Mari Hamada. His first album was “Requiem for a Scream.” He produced a 2015 EP “Anecdote Of The Queens.” Wakai’s project, DESTINIA, began in 2014. He is signed with Ward Music. He discusses: growing up; extended self; family background; youth with friends; education; purpose of intelligence tests; high intelligence; extreme reactions to geniuses; greatest geniuses; genius and a profoundly gifted person; necessities for genius or the definition of genius; work experiences and jobs held; job path; myths of the gifted; God; science; tests taken and scores earned; range of the scores; ethical philosophy; political philosophy; metaphysics; worldview; meaning in life; source of meaning; afterlife; life; and love.

Keywords: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, HELLIQ Society, Japan, Japan Mensa, life, Nozomu Wakai, views, Ward Music, work.

Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)

*Please see the references, footnotes, and citations, after the interview, respectively.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you were growing up, what were some of the prominent family stories being told over time?

Nozomu Wakai[1],[2]*: My family on my father’s side was Christian, and my parents often told me the story of how my grandfather named me after a letter in the Bible. My mother’s side of the family came from the northernmost part of Japan, Hokkaido, so I remember hearing stories about the Ainu, the northern folklore of Japan.

Jacobsen: Have these stories helped provide a sense of an extended self or a sense of the family legacy?

Nozomu: I think that both the fact that my name was taken from the Bible and the fact that I am a northerner had a great influence on the formation of my self-identity. In Japan, both Christians and northern folk are surprisingly minorities.

Jacobsen: What was the family background, e.g., geography, culture, language, and religion or lack thereof?

Nozomu: My family was a very normal middle-class family. The only thing that was unusual was that we were a little more westernized than other families, partly because my father had studied in France. My father was often transferred for his own reasons, and we lived in various places in Japan during my childhood. I think my parents were not very religious. They were very Japanese. I think I had more religious and philosophical views from my childhood.

Jacobsen: How was the experience with peers and schoolmates as a child and an adolescent?

Nozomu: I moved to many different places due to many job transfers, but I was able to make many friends in all of them, and my social skills were very high. I had a lot of general knowledge about the world before I became an adolescent, so I spent a lot of my adolescent years with adults through music, sports, and art. I felt like an incredible kid around them, and I did a lot of pretending. lol.

I guess I spent more time having fun than others because I hardly ever studied growing up.

Jacobsen: What have been some professional certifications, qualifications, and trainings earned by you?

Nozomu: The only qualification would be a black belt in karate. I took music seriously until I started in high school. I even won second place in a big competition. I thought I could make a living at it. Until I got injured. Then I started playing music in high school, became a professional, and went on to music college and majored in jazz. But what I do now is heavy metal artists. I am also a professional graphic designer, although I am not qualified. I’ve been good at drawing since I was a little.

Jacobsen: What is the purpose of intelligence tests to you?

Nozomu: One of the ways to look at myself. Something like a puzzle is also a hobby.

Jacobsen: When was high intelligence discovered for you?

Nozomu: I think I was probably in elementary school when I was first discovered. In my time, there were intelligence tests and only students who scored exceptionally high were supposed to let their parents know. I became aware of this again on my own in 2019 when I developed a severe form of Hunt’s Syndrome. I was concerned about my cognitive and thinking abilities, so I took an intelligence test to see if there were any deficiencies. That gave me the numbers.

Jacobsen: When you think of the ways in which the geniuses of the past have either been mocked, vilified, and condemned if not killed, or praised, flattered, platformed, and revered, what seems like the reason for the extreme reactions to and treatment of geniuses? Many alive today seem camera shy – many, not all.

Nozomu: This is my opinion, but people feel “interest and awe” at the same time for things beyond their understanding. They also have “admiration or jealousy” for things that they understand and that are above their own level. This is my experience and observation of the human psyche. When there is an “extraordinary talent,” there is a corresponding “extraordinary reaction. I suspect that if there is a high level of awe and jealousy, it will be frowned upon, and if there is a high level of interest and admiration, it will be praised. As can be inferred from the foregoing, when flaunting obvious talents, one must be prepared to be mentally exposed to negative reactions. I can see why it would be wiser not to flaunt it if you don’t have to. Well, I’m a musician and an artist, so I can’t help it, and there is a catharsis to both slander and praise that can’t be explained by logic alone.

Jacobsen: Who seems like the greatest geniuses in history to you?

Nozomu: Leonardo da Vinci, I think. There are many great thinkers, but I feel that Leonardo da Vinci is a step above the rest in that he also possesses an indefinable “sense” of artistic talent. I feel that Leonardo da Vinci is one step ahead of other great artists and genius. It’s just my personal preference, though.

Jacobsen: What differentiates a genius from a profoundly intelligent person?

Nozomu: It’s like the difference between hardware and software, I guess it’s hard to compare. I think the concept of genius is what we call specs in computers. A profoundly intelligent person can be reached if he or she has the right specs, but not a genius. However, a genius cannot be a profoundly intelligent person if the genre of his or her work does not match the specifications.

Jacobsen: Is profound intelligence necessary for genius?

Nozomu: Genius is a different concept than intelligence or knowledge, so intelligence or knowledge is something you may or may not have. That’s why there were geniuses with intelligence, and there were others like Mozart who could not be figured by intelligence.

There are geniuses who can think freely without being bound by anything because they don’t have the filter of intellect or useless knowledge. Sometimes, such factors are the reason why we cannot arrest geniuses who are inclined to do evil. Because their imagination is completely different from that of ordinary people.

Jacobsen: What have been some work experiences and jobs held by you?

Nozomu: I have been a professional musician since my late teens. At the same time, I have also been working professionally as a graphic designer and advertising planner, which was my side job, since my mid-twenties. As an interesting part-time job, I used to imitate a detective and get paid for solving problems.

Jacobsen: Why pursue this particular job path?

Nozomu: As mentioned, I was obsessed with karate and planned to make a living at it. When I got to high school, I started playing heavy metal and was hooked. I had no musical experience, but I mastered it like crazy, and three years later I ended up touring all over Japan with a small band and management company came along. When it came time to go to college, I was torn between art and music, so I decided to go with music. I could draw very well in art from a young age, and my high school art teacher strongly recommended art, but I chose music, which was a little less my skilled, and went on to a music college. As for design, I didn’t make enough money after I started playing music professionally, so I used to design flyers. I started designing flyers a lot, and then I started getting work from big companies, and I became a professional.

Jacobsen: What are some of the more important aspects of the idea of the gifted and geniuses? Those myths that pervade the cultures of the world. What are those myths? What truths dispel them?

Nozomu: Archimedes jumped out of the bath and ran around the city screaming in his nude joy, Da Vinci dug his own grave and dissected it, and so on. All these stories, along with the myths of greatness, are anecdotes of geniuses that would be impossible for any ordinary person to imagine. I think it’s all because they are too focused.

They can’t stop their ideas and senses on their own. But I guess any eccentricities are trivial in front of the results that amaze everyone.

Jacobsen: Any thoughts on the God concept or gods idea and philosophy, theology, and religion?

Nozomu: All of them have various effects on people, such as uniting many people, shifting responsibility for something, giving a core to one’s thought, and so on. They are all very useful and useful things. I am impressed and think it is very wonderful. And any person can have a reason for death and life. And any person can have a reason for death and life.

Philosophy, theology, or religion. It may be the best of the wisdom of life that people have created. If all this is in the hands of God or Buddha, then our understanding of what they rightly are in this dimension would be beyond our ability to reach.

At this point, I think the limit of what we can do is to philosophically discuss what their existence is. I don’t know the answer, but as long as we are facing it, there must be something.

I may be making music by turning these ideas of life and death derived from philosophy, theology, religion, and God into general events and further into lyrics and sounds.

Interestingly, God and the devil appear frequently in heavy metal lyrics. On the other hand, there are many bands that express their views in their music within their own musical tastes, with some questioning the existence and significance of each.

When you think about it, heavy metal itself is really close to religion and philosophy. Convenient, isn’t it? lol

Jacobsen: How much does science play into the worldview for you?

Nozomu: Science is one of my strong interests in the challenge to this world. To figure out what is ungraspable, even though in reality there is some answer. I’m not a party to solving the riddle, but I am very interested in the answer. In what kind of space and how do living things, including human beings, repeat themselves as life? I think it is interesting that there are also parts of history that are closely related to astronomy and medicine, although they are generally antithetical to areas such as God and religion. I think it is only through the concept of science, which includes natural science to a greater or lesser extent, that things that are not concrete, such as God, thought, and art, which are unknown, can also gain form. In this aspect, in my world, both God and science are factors that govern our life and death as human beings.

Jacobsen: What have been some of the tests taken and scores earned (with standard deviations) for you?

Nozomu: In the tight test, IQ 140 on the FSIQ with WAIS III (SD 15), FSIQ 156 with WAIS IV (SD 15). WAIS IV may not be an official result, though, since the time period from WAIS III was a bit shorter. Both had low verbal IQ. Perception and processing speed seem to be superior.

Jacobsen: What ethical philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Nozomu: I am sympathetic to the stance of relating morality to free choice, as Immanuel Kant thinks.

The idea of a categorical imperative derived from free will in the metaphysics of human ethics is an indicator of my personality.

However, as a human being, I have unfinished weaknesses, so I just keep it in a corner of my mind.

Jacobsen: What social philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Nozomu: I can understand social philosophy objectively, but I don’t think it has much influence on my way of life. I find it somewhat difficult to identify with any of the ideologies, and perhaps because I am an individualist, I am not interested in discussions from the perspective of society.

Jacobsen: What political philosophy makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Nozomu: In a world as complex and intertwined with diverse ideologies as modern society,

I think the act of questioning the nature of politics is necessary.

However, since I’m not in a position or position to think about politics, I don’t think I am greatly affected by it.

Jacobsen: What metaphysics makes some sense to you, even the most workable sense to you?

Nozomu: This is a subject of particular interest to me in philosophy. I think it is an individualism, though not a complete one. However, I do acknowledge the existence of objects even before recognition, and as for the existence and concept of God, I have yet to even determine my own interpretation of it. I believe that the confirmation of the existence of all things, life and death, consciousness, God, etc., are the “destiny” of man since time immemorial to be discussed.

Jacobsen: What worldview-encompassing philosophical system makes some sense, even the most workable sense to you?

Nozomu: I believe that philosophy is a mediator between man and the absolute other, nature and society. Between all people and things in the world, all value judgments about nature and society are based on a particular worldview, large or small. It has the attributes of the world that is other to the individual, but it is alien to the world as an objective entity, and in that sense it exists within the individual. So from the side of the world, which is the absolute other, it is a conception subordinate to the individual.

Of course, I ‘m the same way. I think the reason we are discussing all philosophies is because there is a philosophical system that encompasses the world view. So in that sense it is of great significance to me personally. Unfortunately, I am a heavy metal musician, not a philosopher, so I don’t have the knowledge to absorb all the philosophies. I never studied philosophy, only read a few books when I was younger. It would be nice to study philosophy properly if I had the chance.

Jacobsen: What provides meaning in life for you?

Nozomu: To face one’s self. To “burn your life hard,” to use a literary expression.

As Nietzsche said, “the meaning of life is to live authentically and powerfully, creating one’s own goals and values.” So, I continue to search for it and do what I have to do. I am free to do what I will.

I have a side of pragmatism and nihilism in me, but I think Nietzsche’s words are a good description of the meaning of life in today’s society, and I share it.

Maybe it’s because Japan is a particularly non-religious country.

Jacobsen: Is meaning externally derived, internally generated, both, or something else?

Nozomu: Good question. I think it’s both. Nietzsche said something like value is a commitment between the world and yourself, and I believe it is generated on both sides if either side has it.

Jacobsen: Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, why, and what form? If not, why not?

Nozomu: I don’t know whether to believe it or not, since it’s the next point we’re debating whether it’s there or not, and it’s there in spirit, but I think it is. Unfortunately, I can’t prove it definitively because I’m not dead. It is similar to the problem of proving God.

So, what exactly would be nice is if consciousness continued to exist in the spiritual realm after the death of the physical body. That would be more interesting and easier to write songs about. lol

It would be interesting to see a future where the possibility of multiple dimensions is scientifically proven and philosophical views of the afterlife are substantiated by science. It will be a real next step for all of us.

Jacobsen: What do you make of the mystery and transience of life?

Nozomu: The universe had a beginning, and whether by necessity or by chance, the life of man was born, and I exist today in the midst of it. For some reason, while I was seriously playing heavy metal, I am now being interviewed on a philosophical note. Life is so much fun! If it’s a predetermined destiny, it’s fun, if it’s a total coincidence, it’s real entertainment.

And all this is happening in the span of a few decades. It is a mystery and a miracle. If it were possible, I would love to live forever and see everything in the universe.

Oh, and making a deal with the devil for that might be a good idea. Heavy metal and the devil go hand in hand.

Jacobsen: What is love to you?

Nozomu: I can’t be definitive because there are so many things in my life. There may be more kinds than eros and agape and philia or eight, like the ancient Greeks.

Ultimately, I think “love” is something that is neither physical nor mental, something that is as close as possible to nothingness, something that is beyond the philosophical realm.

I think that love is something that is not physical or mental, but unfortunately I don’t have enough ability to reach that realm.

I can’t go beyond the realm of the typical TV romances and romantic comedies.

Oh,,,, sometimes it becomes suspense or mystery. That’s scary.

Yes, I can’t be a rock star without being popular with men and women. I just realized that. So, I live with a lot of love. Thank you.

Footnotes

[1] Member, HELLIQ Society; Member, Japan Mensa.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.A (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)’In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.A., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.A (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Conversation with Nozomu Wakai on Life, Work, and Views: Member, Japan Mensa (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/wakai-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,864

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Betty Asseiro is an experienced mentor. She has been part of the team, running programs, developing programs, taking horse pictures, facilitating events and helping to take care of the horses! A key member of the team, Betty helps keep us all on track both in and out of the paddocks. Currently studying addictions and youth correctional counselling, Betty skillfully applies her combination of experience and education to plan and run the variety of youth programs we have in the best ways possible. She discusses: story with horses; kind of horse; her name; a naming kind of rule; involved with Symatree; the positions and the responsibilities; youth with issues; a very lucky and privileged position; anger; this internalization of the anger; horses being forgiving; and the intuitive nature of working around horses.

Keywords: addictions, anger, Betty, Canada, Dakota, equestrianism, The Greenhorn Chronicles, Kathy, mentor, Symatree Farm, youth.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted June 14, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: This is Betty from Symatree Farm. The stories that I’m gathering are early life stories. People get started very early in life with them. Or they have been around them and then they rediscover them later in life. What has been your story with horses?

Betty: I never left horses, but I definitely went on to a different path and came back to working with them. So, when I was very young, my mom loves horses. My mom is Kathy, the founder of Symatree Farm. So, we had horses boarded. We were always around them, and then when we moved out to the country. Obviously, it was around them. I was living on the farm, and then I took a bit of a different path in university and was in the city a lot, and then ended up coming back and now working with them. I have my own horse and I am just really appreciating them and working with them in a new life not as a little kid.

Jacobsen: What kind of horse do you have?

Betty: She is a just grey mare. She’s a mix of a bunch, but an absolutely amazing mentor. I feel like she’s really my partner in what we do.

Jacobsen: And what’s her name?

Betty: Her name is Dakota.

Jacobsen: And is that named after North/South Dakota or something else?

Betty: Honestly, we have a naming kind of rule that we follow. So, for our newest horses and for the horses that aren’t doubling as our personal horses, and just kind of equine mentors for the general public primarily, we let people on Facebook name them. They all vote. But with our horses, we find a name that we like for every single letter of the alphabet, and then we narrow it down to the top, like three or four, and then we’ll ask the horse. We’ll see which one in training and stuff they seem to respond to. That’s how we choose our names.

Jacobsen: How long have you been involved with Symatree?

Betty: I have been involved with Symatree on and off. I was always there as a kid. I would help out, but I have been involved as a facilitator and really working on the farm for the last four years.

Jacobsen: How did you start at Symatree in terms of the positions and the responsibilities? How’s that grown over time?

Betty: I came back to the farm as an assistant, so I was just helping out in the programming that Kathy and Barb were doing at the time and just found that I really loved it. I loved working with the kids. My interests started to grow. So, I asked to take on more responsibility. I started thinking about running camps with the kids that I was pretty passionate about working with, and then through school I started learning more. I got an education that really supported what we do here. So, I began working with all our youth and teen contracts that come through child and family services. So, that’s how I stepped into the role as lead youth facilitator working with all those contracts and working with those support teams.

Jacobsen: Who are the majority population of youth with issues, whether addictions or otherwise, coming to you?

Betty: I primarily work with youth who are like 7 to 13. They all come through child and family services. So, normally, the youth is struggling or is not open to going to therapy. So, they’re looking for a service provider who will make the child feel comfortable and who will get the child to think about their strengths and get the child a little bit more open to speaking to an adult and thinking about their feelings, and then usually enter talk therapy following that. I stay on the support team as a person they feel really comfortable with and a place that they feel really safe and they can kind of reset during the week.

Jacobsen: Now, as far as I know in psychology and psychiatry, and so on, individuals who are of mature age, after a time that brain is pretty well formed. So, any addictions or behavioral patterns or problems that they may have had up to that point may, more or less, be pretty well ingrained for the duration of their life without substantial intervention. For youth, up to age 13, you have sort of a very lucky and privileged position because the brain is still forming significantly, and so you get to see probably a lot more rapid change, a lot more flexibility cognitively and emotionally, in the young. What are some of the changes that you noticed in the youth coming to you and working with you over time?

Betty: I think that’s a really great point. That’s why I feel so lucky to be able to work with the youth that come, so that we can work together to get onto a path that’s going to feel a lot more comfortable for them as they get older. A lot of the kids that I work with start out very much with a lot of anger and a lot of frustration about their situation and not being able to share their feelings or have a sense of safety. So, being able to provide a safe place with the horses who are completely non-judgmental, if the child is angry, they’re allowed to say to the horse, “I’m feeling really angry today. I don’t want to be your friend.” The horse is going to say, “That’s okay for today and when you feel better I will be here,” and the child can come back to the horse the next week and say, “I feel like I can be your friend today. I’d like to be around you.” What working with the kids is all about is building friendships because kids are motivated to be friends with horses, I found they see this huge animal. They think, “Wow! They’re so cool.”

As soon as they find out, they can be the horse’s friend they go, “Okay, I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen.” So, the change that you see is the motivation and the real hard work that they put in to make sure their energy is right and make sure that they are really thinking about the words that they use and thinking about how if they scare the horse; they can make their friend feel better. I think that’s the power of horses because they are so forgiving. It allows the kids to have a space to experiment with their energy and with their words and that healthy experimentation is how they’re going to build healthy coping mechanisms for the future.

Jacobsen: The one emotion coming out in the last response was anger and those youth who are mainly dealing with anger tend to be boys. Is that the majority population of young coming to you?

Betty: I work with both. I find that the boys are a lot more externally angry and, oftentimes, the girls internalize that anger. Instead of lashing out to others, it’s lashing out on themselves. So, it’s a different way of feeling that frustration and feeling misunderstood.

Jacobsen: So, this internalization of the anger. Is this a manifestation of a depressive state in the girls when, maybe, it comes off in sarcastic comments or things of this nature?

Betty: It can definitely come across as very shut down, unwilling to even make eye contact, pretending to be disinterested in the horses, and kind of making sarcastic comments. In working with them, a lot of times, it can also come across as giving up really quickly. So, they’re asking the horse to follow them, and the horse turns to eat grass. They drop the lead line. They say, “It doesn’t matter. No, I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s not going to work.” They give up, or they whine, and say, “Oh, I can’t do this. I’m never going to be able to do this. Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. The horse hates me…”

Jacobsen: Wow! That’s a lot.

Betty: Yes, that’s a lot of times how you’ll see that expressed.

Jacobsen: You mentioned the horses being forgiving. You did not say forgetful. So, I want to clarify. I mean I’ve only been in the industry about eight months. So, are the horses forgiving because they are forgetful, or are they not forgetful and still forgiving?

Betty: I believe that the horses are not forgetful and still forgiving. I have absolutely seen kids come back as teenagers who came when they were eight years old for like a summer camp. They come back as a teenager with a school group. They come back to visit with their family. The horses remember the people just as much as the people remember them. No matter what their experience was together. If the person comes with a new energy, if the person comes in with positivity, the horse is going to respond to that.

Jacobsen: When I talk to horse people, a lot of the language is around sense, feel, experience; the intuitive nature of working around horses. So, are horses in general very sensitive and intuitive to the “energy” the person around people around them is giving off?

Betty: I definitely think so and I think that’s something that’s absolutely magical about working with them and working with kids because a kid can come in and they are angry, they had a really rough car ride coming in and they come into the arena with big energy. They want to work with a quiet horse. Big energy and a shy animal aren’t going to work in a logical sense, but the kid is not their anger. The kid is not a bad day at school. If they come in, and they take a breath, and they breeze past their driver, and they breeze past me, and they go to talk to that horse more often than not, that shy horse will kind of look at the child. They’ll wait until the child’s energy is genuine. If the kid says, “I had a really bad day. I want to talk to you about it,” they can walk up to that horse and talk to that horse about their bad day, they can raise their voice when they’re talking about it and that shy horse will stay with them because they’re not angry at the horse. They’re simply expressing themselves and the horses realize that that’s okay. That’s not who they are underneath the anger that they’re feeling in that moment. They’re wanting to genuinely just be a friend. They’re looking to have the horse as a friend. That’s a relationship that they can share no matter if the child is sad in a moment or angry in a moment.

Footnotes

[1] Mentor, Symatree Farm.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 18: Betty Asseiro on Symatree Farm (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/betty-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,287

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Cindy Waslewsky went to Stanford University and competed on the Varsity Gymnastics and Ski Teams. She earned a B.A. in Human Biology in 1982. She earned a Diploma in Christian Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, and a BC teachers’ certification from the University of British Columbia in 1984. She was the President of the Squamish Valley Equestrian Association. She is a certified English and Western coach. Waslewsky is co-owner of Twin Creeks Ranch. She discusses: horse maintenance; and clientele connection to horses.

Keywords: Canada, Cindy Waslewsky, equestrianism, Greenhorn Chronicles, Steve Waslewsky, Twin Creeks Ranch.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Recording accidentally start a tad late, after the formal interview began, Steve Waslewsky joins the interview later.*

*Interview conducted January 2, 2022.*

Cindy Waslewsky[1],[2]: We can hot walk a horse in a circle, so that the shedrow goes in a circle. So, you can hot walk your horses undercover. That’s great if a horse is colicky or something like that. You need to monitor and walk the horse. You’ve got a space right there outside the stall to do that. So, we have crossties there and huge tack rooms that are insulated and one of our staff members lives in a suite that’s off that same barn. She’s a single girl. She worked at North Shore Equestrian Centre before she came to us, so a good experience that she’s got into the vet tech program starting January. And then across from the barn, we have two suites there, again staff. One’s a single fellow who does basic out maintenance. We have lots of equipment. So, he’ll harrow the arena, clear the trails. He’ll check the water lines, of course, with this cold snap, getting frozen lines working again and plowing snow. All that kind of stuff. Then to the left of his suite or to the right of his suite is a young couple, she works in the barn. Her partner is an IT guy and he works from home. So, when we had this bad weather, he was out helping Kira in the barn and then, as I said, Kayla who has the four kids. The partner was up helping the barn too, so we had extra help.

So, having everyone live on the property, they walk out. Because they’re feeding at seven in the morning. They’re feeding at noon. They’re feeding at five. They’re feeding at nine. So, to drive back and forth would not be very efficient, but you can go out there and feed at seven in the morning and then go in and warm up or have breakfast, come back out and start doing stalls and at 9:30, turn some of the horses out, some are in what we call “in-and-outs.”

When people contact us, I would say about almost half our stalls are now in-and-out because what my husband did is he created more in-and-outs off the back of the bar, and tried to make as many of the in-and-out stalls. Every other stall is an in-and-out because you don’t want the run, the pen, to be the same width as the stall; that’s too narrow. They can get cast and things like that. So, what you do is if one stall has an in-and-out, the next stall that horse gets led out to a paddock outside the next one’s in-and-out, where they can run in and out at will; and the next one we lead them out. So, we have good, generous paddocks. Every horse has a paddock. They get turned out no matter what. If pouring rain, they’re out for half the day. When they have this freezing weather, they were out for almost one o’clock in the afternoon, and then we brought them in for their lunch because the water was freezing. Even if we gave them a bucket, it was frozen before they needed it when they got fed their lunch. You cannot feed a horse without water available to them. They need water.

So, that was a limiting factor. So, we bring them in at one o’clock, and then have the lunch inside. Normally, we’ll keep them out as much as we can keep them out and in the spring and the fall. In the summer, they could be out 24 hours a day. They have more room in a paddock than they do in a stall. They can see their neighbor, but they each get their own feed in a feeder that’s on the rubber matting. So, the thing doesn’t fall onto the crusher. The gravel stuff that they’re living on and they have auto waters as well. We took out all the hog fuel and put in crusher which is a blend of different kinds of sand and fills so that it’s firm. That gives the horse something firm and doesn’t harbor fungus because we’re living in the Pacific Northwest.

I grew up in California, didn’t have rain and mud fever. All these other different kinds of fungus. You see on horses up here. But up here, you’ve got to be very careful that they have a blanket on; they’re going to be out in the rain, so that they don’t get damp and get a fungus on their back called ring sore. You can’t even then put a saddle on if they get too sore. You got to stay on top of those things. So, anyway, we have staff living on the property. We have options of in-and-out stalls. Ones that you lead horses out to paddocks and back in again, and then we have a couple of what are called loafing sheds, which means it’s a shelter. We have two Icelandics that love to be outside in the snow, rain. They love to be outside. They have a shelter where they can get out of the weather, but they’ll be standing outside most of the time. We do have a stall for them if the weather is really bad or the water starts freezing. We can bring them inside if we need to do that. But they love being out, they’re shaggy little guys and they love being outside.

On our property, we have the main indoor arena. We have dressage letters up. We have some jumps. We have show-quality jumps. We don’t set up often because they’re heavy to lift in-and-out. We have other jumps that are easily put in-and-out for lessons and for people to practice on, but we have a multi-disciplined barn. In other words, we have people who like Western and English. In Western, you might have reiners. You might have pleasure. You might have trail horses.  In English, you might have dressage, hunter, jumper, and just simply pleasure trail horses. We tend to have more older riders with a few younger people who this is the first horse that they’ve brought in here. People, of course, are somewhat price conscious because it’s really expensive owning a horse. It’s getting more expensive because we’ve seen costs skyrocket. We have voluntarily just increased the rates and wages for our workers. We do the same thing in a per diem: this is how many horses you have, this is how much you get per horse to clean and feed them for the day.

Now, if you have 31 horses, that’s too many stalls to do for one person, which it really is, then we say you get a secondary worker. Then they get paid for the stalls they do; and you get paid the primary wage. So, it all works out. Our staff have three primary stock barn staff people. They make up their own schedule. They talk together. They work it out. Some are at school. Some have kids. So, they work together and make up a schedule that works for them. They cover for each other. They make sure everyone’s okay, and then we have another fellow, Hank, who does maintenance. Like you, he can jump into the stalls. He can do stall work. He can do buckets. He can bring the hay down for them. He does maintenance. So, he’s there if anyone’s sick, if anyone needs a hand, and if something happens like a pipe breaks or anything happens; they call him. So, they have that as well as my husband and I who live on the property as well.

Jacobsen: Is Steve available right now as well by the way?

Cindy: Yes, Steve’s just upstairs. He’s not a chatty person. If you had specific questions for him, he’d be happy to answer them. He, like I said, does a lot of the maintenance. We mix our own footing for the arena. We mix footing for our paddocks. We use crusher for it and for all the roads. We also have three and a half kilometers of trails, which he put in with his own GPS lining up through the woods and clearing out trails, putting culverts in and then putting landscape cloth and then crusher on top. So, a nice trail that you would see at Alder Grove Park or Camel Valley Park. We have some half kilometers of trails here on the property. So, as you saw on the web page, we have a round pen, a main indoor arena, a second indoor arena, which is like the lunging arena that we have. It’s a 72 x72, so it’s a nice 20-meter circle with a coverall. Then we have three and a half kilometers of all-weather trails, so it’s not muddy. They’re a good footing. Trees fall down, branches fall, things happen with these storms we’ve had recently. We go out and clear them off. Then we have a half-mile sand racetrack.

Now, the racetrack is not what you would see for training race horses; the inside rails are out. So, it’s basically a recreational track. We still harrow it. We keep it maintained. You can go out there. You can just walk around the track, trot, or do a little gallop. Sometimes, I’ll take students out. We’ll do a slow canter contest and then the fastest walk contest. We’re trying to train our horses to have good gaits for us to be out hacking on trails and such, and have them in control. We do our hay storage, like this year there was a real crisis for hay because of the fires, the drought, Covid, and then, of course, the flooding came along. So, hay is difficult. We bought a B-train load, which is a truck and a big trailer following it. A B-train load in the Fall, and then we put a deposit on another B-train load from the same hay supplier up North because it’s good quality professionally grown hay.

Steve with his background in animal physiology and nutrition will be happy to advise boarders on good nutrition for their horse, but, as you probably have found, everybody’s an expert. Quite frankly, it’s interesting. Even when he went to UBC, lots of feed studies on pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, cows, but not many good feed studies on horses. So, you still see kind of a backyard approach, “Oh, I’m going to get the beet pulp,” or, “They’ll get their weight up.” The beet plants, just saw this cheap pulp stuff and get rid of it by giving it to horse people saying, “Here’s some empty calories for your horse.” It’s great for hydrating your horse because you soak this pulp and some people do that to try to put weight on the horse, but I would question their more scientific knowledge of the digestive system of the horse.

We can advise borders. But if they want this, that, or the other thing, we accommodate them because that’s not livestock to them. That’s not even a pet. That horse is their child. You’ve seen that. Have you not? These women and guys, often, their kids are grown up and gone. These horses are their family. They’re their children, very important to them. So, horse boarding is a very unique business. They really think you’re taking care of people’s horse; we’re taking care of people by taking care of their horses.

Jacobsen: Talking to clientele while working, certainly, individuals who own one or more horses feel as if the horse is a part of their own family. Also, a common sentiment I find among those in the equestrian industry with only a few months out of my belt granted, is the sense of a lifestyle.  So, you either dive into the deep end first; or it’s a foot in the door phenomenon. Where, once you start getting into it, more or less, you don’t leave. Unless, you’re forced to leave due to finances or some other catastrophic circumstance. People love it. It is their lifestyle.

Cindy: I have adults coming to me for lessons who have always wanted to ride. Now, they’re close to retirement. They now have the time. They have the money. Some of them don’t have the health anymore. So, we make sure they’re on a horse that suits their limitations. You’ll see this all the time. People come to me. They might take some lessons. Hopefully, they do take a good number of lessons and really learn horsemanship, ground manners, training techniques, and then get a horse.  When they get that horse, they get because the worst thing is to be over horse; to get a horse that’s a little too much, a little bit too athletic, too high energy, too high maintenance, not as well trained and needs more training. If you don’t get someone with that knowledge, then you get a horse that becomes somewhat dangerous for that rider. Unfortunately, that horse then doesn’t always get a good chance with the next owner either. They get kind of labeled. They’ve developed some bad habits. I always say a horse is kind of like a dog. Get a dog and train that dog, an ill-trained dog, an insecure dog, or an aggressive dog is not a happy dog. Indeed, it could be a danger to a person, then you might have to put down the dog because an incident happens. I’ve seen that in the horse world as well with horses that are great animals, but have not had the best riding and training at some point in their life. It is human made problems in the horses that the good trainers have to go in and try to fix.

Footnotes

[1] Co-Owner, Twin Creeks Ranch.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 17: Cindy Waslewsky on Operations at Twin Creeks Ranch (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/waslewsky-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,852

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Wes is a Professional Trainer & Coach for Riverlands Equestrian Centre. He completed an internship at Landgestuet Celle (Hanovarian State Stud) in Adelheidsdorf, Germany. He has worked as a professional rider for McLean Reitsport in Tonisvorst. He has worked in Wellington, Florida for Alexandra Duncan and trained with Juan Matute Sr. He discusses: economic barriers; the demographics per discipline; new rider; people will enter into the industry and then drop out; the industry now in Canada; quality and cleanliness and orderliness of facilities; geldings and mares get 15×15 stalls and stallions get 15×20 stalls; boarding and room for a horse; base costs for improved quality of life; training with various individuals within the industry; a session; tack up; and to Riverlands for a lesson.

Keywords: Canada, Dressage, Greenhorn Chronicles, Riverlands Equestrian Centre, Wes Schild.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted December 30, 2021.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Are there economic barriers? Although, I don’t know if that’s necessarily true because the demographics note the incomes of people who ride horses generally are about middle class. They are ordinary people in general. But getting into the industry, getting a horse, getting equipment, paying for boarding for the first little bit, etc. is that a barrier at the outset for getting into the industry?

Wes Schild[1],[2]: I think it depends on when you’re probably getting into the industry; I think it might be a little bit tougher as a child or a young teen to get into it just because there is a greater expense. Then again if you were just to go and be on some other sports team, there’s a lot more to owning a horse. Then you have to have someone that can help care for it or you have to board it out. So, I think that also slows down, why people don’t do it.

Jacobsen: How do you find the demographics per discipline within the equine – dressage versus jumping versus hunting, etc.? What tends to attract the most participants in Canada?

Schild: I would probably say jumping definitely would be your number one.

Jacobsen: What might be the reason for that?

Schild: I think if you go from people that are getting into it at a younger age. Show jumping has more appeal to it. For someone that’s just standing back and watching it; you get the idea of what’s going on. You see that someone’s riding the horse. They get to gallop the course. They’re jumping fences. It looks fun. It’s exciting. Whereas if you are looking back from a distance, again, and watching a very basic dressage test happen, you might not understand exactly what’s happening. So, someone to see the jumping is definitely more interesting. So, I think that’s where people lean to first; they want to get into jumping first. And then, maybe, once they’re in riding for a while and have a better understanding of it, they start to look to dressage because they understand that actually dressage is the basics to all riding. They need a really good solid foundation in their flat work and in their dressage work to be an excellent jumper. And then, of course, you would find out that if you’re riding with someone reputable or your trainer. Those top riders are all working on good flat work and dressage to make these top jumping horses.

Jacobsen: How long does it take for a horse to become acquainted and comfortable with a new rider?

Schild: I always say to my clients here when I’ve helped them in the past look for a new riding horse and there’s a new partnership being started up; I always say about a year. It takes a while for you to learn the horse and how they think and how they act and how they react to different situations. It’s a partnership, so it’s about building trust with your new partner and that that takes time and patience and help from a coach or a trainer.

Jacobsen: Is there a period at which people will enter into the industry and then drop out? So, hypothetically, a young teenager, parents put them into some equestrian discipline. They have a horse. They train, take part in competitions or some casual events for five years, and then they drop it at 17. What is a common scenario one would expect in a decent hunk of the equestrian world in Canada?

Schild: I would say that’s right. I would say if you were to look at a lot of the young riders that, maybe, ride from the time they’re 10 to 18 or whatever; they do that while they’re in high school and have the time, the ability, and, probably, their parents support, hopefully, to be able to do the sport. I would say around that age is when you start to see people fizzle out of it. I think it’s mostly because they’re going off to start post-secondary education. Or they need to start working full-time. They just can’t afford to do both things. There’s not enough time to do both things. So, I would say that’s probably when most fizzle out of the sport, but I would also say I know quite a few who have stopped riding then, and then maybe go on to post-secondary education, and then start a family, or whatever, and then return to riding in their early 30s, and continue on.

Jacobsen: How many people are in the industry now in Canada?

Schild: That’s a good question. I don’t actually know the answer.

Jacobsen: Okay. How important are quality and cleanliness and orderliness of facilities for proper equine activities?

Schild: Well, I would say it’s very important. That’s actually one of the biggest things that I took away from being in Europe. Some of the facilities that you go to over there are almost like military. They expect very high standards of cleanliness and respect and order for horses and riders. And here at our facility, I do the same; I make sure that everything’s very clean and organized. Everything’s very proper because it makes for running the business and the horses and the clients and everything just such a way nicer atmosphere to come to work every day when everything has a place and is organized. People know where things are; and it makes the day just run that much smoother.

Jacobsen: Your stalls are noted as 15×15 and 15×20. 15×20 for the stallions. So, geldings and mares get 15×15 stalls and stallions get 15×20 stalls. Why do the stallions get slightly bigger stalls?

Schild: There’s really not a huge reason why here we made them a little bit bigger. It’s only because stallions sometimes tend to be inside a little bit longer than you would like a mare-stallion for turnout purposes anyways. Luckily at our facility, we have quite a few paddocks that are built correctly and tall enough and are safe enough to put stallions out in so that there is no risk of them hurting themselves or getting out and trying to get to another horse. But the person who designed our facility wanted to make those stallion stalls just a little bit bigger because, like I said, if you have times where the stallions might not be able to go outside, it’s nice for them to have a big stall inside that they can move around and they’re quite comfortable in.

Jacobsen: For boarding and room for a horse, so gelding, stallion, to mare, where most people have a small ranch to the upper echelons of standards of care in Canada or even Europe, what is the range of costs people want to be looking at here?

Schild: Definitely out in the West coast, now, you’re looking roughly most places now about 1,000 dollars a month for a stall, and then that can go up or down depending on the facility and what the facility offers and what’s included in your board. If you go down to – let’s say – Florida, for example, I know lots of facilities down there that you’re looking probably closer to like 1,800 a month to 2,000 a month. That’s, of course, done in US dollars, but I would say at most good facilities now you’re looking around a 1,000 dollars a month.

Jacobsen: What can be added onto those base costs for improved quality of life for the horse?

Schild: So, for example, at our facility, some of the add-ons, there would be different types of quality of hay that you can get. With your board, you have just local grass type hay that we grow here on the farm, but then some horses need more protein or more energy in their diet. So, we also can bring in straight alfalfa. We have timothy, so that would be an extra cost. We have an automatic horse walker, which is really good for horses that need rehabilitation. Or we use it as a strength and exercise program every morning. So, all my competition horses go on the walker before they go to their turnout fields, so that would be an extra cost monthly. Those would be some of the type of things some facilities have. Treadmills or water treadmills, again, that would be an extra charge that would add on. Also, we have a massage therapist and chiropractor that come monthly. So, if that’s something that you want done for your horse, that’s just an extra add-on to your monthly bill here, and then they get massaged. They get a chiropractor treatment done.

Jacobsen: How much is training with various individuals within the industry? So, they have the basic level of training to become a coach to training with someone who has been on the national Olympic team for a particular country?.

Schild: You mean for a lesson price wise?

Jacobsen: Certainly.

Schild: Again, it totally depends on who you’re training with; a lower-level coach, you’re, probably, looking for around 75 dollars for a session. Then upper level stuff, you’re probably looking somewhere around 200 dollars for a session.

Jacobsen: For a session, how long does that last?

Schild: Generally, 45 minutes to an hour.

Jacobsen: Okay. Does this include tack up?

Schild: No, if you are having a session, your session begins at, let’s say, three o’clock. You’d be expected to be tacked up and ready to ride for three o’clock, and then you would ride with your coach from 3:00 to 3:45.

Jacobsen: So, let’s say, someone comes to Riverlands for a lesson, what will be a standard pre-lesson lesson and post-lesson series of procedures for them?

Schild: Well, for most people that come for lessons here, they have their horse already here, so they’re in a program with me. They would come. They would have their lesson time. They would get their horse tacked up and ready to ride. They would go into the indoor or the outdoor riding arena and warm up for probably 5-10 minutes before I come into the arena, and then we normally would have probably a five-minute little chat about what they’re feeling, what they want to work on, if they have any questions or concerns, and then we go into more of a detailed warm-up where I have eyes on them and the horse. We work through the warmup. Then we go into more of what I call the work for the day or the competition riding. So, we figure out what we’re going to work on, and we put the horse through some type of lesson plan and then there’s always breaks in that, of course, to give the horse time to recover and recuperate. Then we would do the cool down session and we always end the lesson with thoughts on how the lesson went; the good, the bad, and what we need to work on and their takeaway, their homework, for whatever. The next couple days until I see them again.

Footnotes

[1] Professional Trainer & Coach, Riverland Equestrian Centre.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Image Credit: Wes Schild.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 16: Wes Schild on Expense, Show Jumping’s Appeal, and the Industry (2)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/schild-2.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 30.E, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (25)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com

Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,826

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Dana Cooke is the Director of Equestrian Activities at Kingfisher Park Equestrian. She was a member of the Canadian Bronze Medal team at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She is an “A” level Pony Club graduate and an Equestrian Canada Level 1 Certified Coach. She discusses: earliest inklings; Canadian bronze medal team in Lima, Peru; the feeling in anticipation; selection criterion for the Canadian Olympic team; 5-star; eventing versus jumping; financial barriers; the prices going up; and profit.

Keywords: Canada, Dana Cooke, equestrianism, Greenhorn Chronicles, Kingfisher Park Equestrian, Lima, Olympics, Peru.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

*Interview conducted January 7, 2022.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Okay, so, I will begin at the beginning. So, you performed at very high levels in the equestrian world. You are at Kingfisher Park Equestrian now. So, there’s obviously a story before the start in Kingfisher Park Equestrian. So, what were some of the earliest inklings of being around, or riding, horses for you because the people start at different ages and their paces of development are also different?

Dana Cooke[1],[2]: My parents originally were from Vancouver. They moved out to a little town called Merritt, which is about three hours north of Vancouver. My mom was a schoolteacher and I think my father was working. I can’t remember who he was working for at the time when he first stepped out. They had bought like a little piece of, probably, a 20-acre piece of property outside of town and friends there decided to keep some horses there. People started a little pony club around the corner, so my brother started pony club. My parents just bought like two kinds of 500-dollar sale horses. They didn’t know really anything about horses. My brother started this pony club. I started watching him ride and stuff. I was like little; like those photos of me with a pacifier in my mouth sitting on a horse and one of my brothers boarding for lessons. Once I was old enough, I also joined the pony club. My mom met my stepfather. He is, actually, a cowboy and literally chases cows for a living. He has worked for several different ranches like those in Nicola Valley. He likes to break horses and stuff like that. So, I got into a little bit of rodeo because my stepdad. This is what he did. I did a little rodeo. I did a little pony club. Then probably by the time I was eight or nine, I started jumping and just then stuck with the more equestrian side of things; English style and Western. When I was in kindergarten, I think, or my early elementary school years, we had to write what we want to do when we grow up. I said I wanted to go to the Olympics. So, here I am.

Jacobsen: You were on the Canadian bronze medal team in Lima, Peru for the Pan American Games. You have your eyes on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Dana: Yes, absolutely.

Jacobsen: What is the feeling in anticipation of heading in that direction and being so close when you’ve been aiming for that for so many years?

Dana: Well, it’s exciting, but it’s also a little bit like disbelief because you work so hard for it. It’s a dream for so long. It’s still also three years away, so it feels like forever away. With the Pan Am, it’s the same. In the Pan Am, it’s a little bit interesting because the path that I took the Pan Am. I planned it out like three years prior: how to get her there and make sure she was qualified. I was like, “I’m going to get this horse there,” which I did. like I have a little bit of the same philosophy, same planning, but I’m, actually, hoping to have, maybe, two or three horses qualified as opposed to just having one. But yes, it’s a weird feeling; you get excited about it, but you also can’t really get hung up on just getting qualified for the team and just making the team because it can run your life, which is a great thing. Also, things go wrong. So, it’s also a bit disappointing when it goes wrong. So, you’ve got to have other goals and other dreams and plans going on simultaneously if that makes sense.

It’s exciting, but I try not to get too hung up on just making the team because it’s disappointing when you don’t make it. It’s really disappointing when we don’t make it. So, it is exciting, but there’s a lot of pressure that comes with it.

Jacobsen: What is the selection criterion for the Canadian Olympic team in any of the three major areas of equestrianism?

Dana: Honestly, they, usually, come out what our actual criteria is; usually, it’s the fall or winter prior, so usually the November-December of the year before we get a selection like they’ll get sent out to all the high-performance riders, what you need to do to qualify to be on the team. Then we have to declare to our National Federation, which is Equestrian Canada, to tell them that we want to be selected or we want to be included in the selection process. So, it’s just for the Olympics, which is run at a 4-star level, at least across countries 4-star level. Usually, you and your horse have to be qualified at the fourth CCI 4-star long level. Actually, being qualified at the CCI 5-star long level is the highest level of sport; it’s actually a level above the Olympics. To have the best shot at it, you would like to have a great result out of 5-star going into it. But I believe that in this past Olympics we had to have a qualification at the 4-star long level.

Jacobsen: What would count as a 5-star? What is the contextualization there for someone without the expertise in the field?

Dana: So, the 5-star is the highest level in in eventing. It would be… trying to think of one good equivalent would be in like a different sport… It’d be like doing a full ironman, like it is compared to doing just a triathlon. It’s the dressage. It’s more technical and the test is longer. The cross country, the jumps are bigger, of course. It’s also more technical than the levels below it. The course generally takes significantly longer, and then the show jumping again. It’s more technical. It’s a larger show jumping track than you know the levels below it.

Jacobsen: How did you get into eventing versus jumping?

Dana: Well, pony club is actually based in the eventing. That’s where they started with everything. When you’re in pony club, you can go down different avenues; you can go down just the dressage avenue, or you go down the show jumping avenue, or you could go down eventing one. Whichever avenue you choose, it used to be like an all-around type. It’s an organization, but it’s also a bit of an education as well. So, you could focus on the whole thing and eventing would be like an all-around type of thing. So, that’s where it started. Honestly, I love the cross country. Which if you ask any event clutter, they’ll all say the same thing that they’re in it for the cross country. We have to do all the other things, but we learned to enjoy the dressage, or at least get good enough at it. We learned to love the show jumping as well, but the cross country is really why we do it.

Jacobsen: For the sport, especially at the higher levels, I have come across some commentary of financial barriers to it. Is that a common thing, or is that more an urban myth?

Dana: No, it’s common. Horses are expensive. Everybody says, “Oh, you have horses.” There’s so much money in horses and the money is literally in the horse, like the care of it, the feeding, maintenance, the veterinary, the farrier, competing; it’s expensive. I tell people all the time the cheapest part about owning a horse is the purchase price. It doesn’t matter whether you get it for free or you spend 500,000 dollars on it; that’s the least amount of money you’re going to spend on that horse. And after that, it’s expensive. That’s why a lot of us, especially the upper-level riders, have reformed syndicates because most of us can’t afford to do it on our own. I’m lucky enough that I have the owners of Kingfisher to support me, but they could only support me so much. So, trying to bring other people into the sport and to want to be a part of it, there’s a lot of people that want to be a part of your team and your sport and your journey, but they also can’t afford to own the whole horse, so they have the option to own a share of the horse and pay for a share of the expenses – which makes it actually a lot more affordable to them and to us as riders. So, it is expensive.

Jacobsen: Are the prices going up?

Dana: Yes. The horse purchase prices, some of them. Yes, it’s going up. I wouldn’t think that it’s changed in the last two years. It doesn’t change that much, but absolutely the care of them and competition costs and travel costs, absolutely. That has definitely gone up.

Jacobsen: For the industry to become profitable for an individual, or for a syndicate, or for a business, or for farmers, stables, etc., how do North Americans make the bulk of their income to sustain themselves versus Western Europeans?

Dana: Well, most have teaching businesses. We teach a lot of lessons. Europe, there are a lot more equestrians for disciplines, all of them. There, it’s definitely part of their culture; whereas, that’s not here in the US, so it’s a lot easier to get owners in Europe, but it actually is a lot more competitive. Because if you’re not doing a good job with that horse, they’ll take the horse and give it to somebody else. So, you have to stay quite competitive with those horses. So, here, you’ll find a lot of people start out getting the thoroughbreds, which are fine. You can find some really good thoroughbreds, but majority of them are not as competitive in the dressage. They’ll, maybe, have a little bit of a flatter jumping style. So, they might not have the best show jumping records. They generally are great cross-country horses, but not always the most competitive in the in the other two phases. But they’re more affordable to buy. So, you definitely see a lot of people starting out with that.

In Europe, they do have teaching and riding businesses like they do here, but I think probably a little bit easier to build up a little more clientele because it’s part of the culture. I haven’t spent that that much time actually living in Europe; not that I’ve lived in Europe, but I haven’t been there long enough to actually really see the difference. But my coach is Australian. He lived in England for a long time. He had a teaching business, but it was more of a riding business. He had competition horses, so it’s just a different style. He would have 12 horses going at any given time. So, you don’t see that as much here in the US or in North America in general.

Footnotes

[1] Director of Equestrian Activities, Kingfisher Park Equestrian.

[2] Individual Publication Date: August 22, 2022: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022: https://in-sightpublishing.com/insight-issues/.

Image Credit: Dana Cooke.

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)[Online]. August 2022; 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2022, August 22). The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1). Retrieved from http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E, August. 2022. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2022. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E. http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 30.E (August 2022). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E. Available from: <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2022, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)’, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 30.E., http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 30.E (2022): August. 2022. Web. <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 15: Dana Cooke on High Performance Equestrianism (1)[Internet]. (2022, August 30(E). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/cooke-1.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and can disseminate for their independent purposes.

Prof. Vaknin on Gut Feelings and Intuition

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/08/09

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about gut feelings and intuition.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What differentiates intuitions from gut feelings if at all?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: Gut feeling is immediate and nebulous. Intuition takes longer to form and feels more precise, incisive, and certain.

Jacobsen: How much of knowledge is filtered, processed, and prefabricated non-consciously and then presented to a conscious arena/awareness for decision-making?

Vaknin: There are three types of intuition.

Eidetic Intuitions

Intuition is supposed to be a form of direct access. Yet, direct access to what? Does it access directly “intuitions” (abstract objects, akin to numbers or properties — see “Bestowed Existence”)? Are intuitions the objects of the mental act of Intuition? Perhaps intuition is the mind’s way of interacting directly with Platonic ideals or Phenomenological “essences”? By “directly” I mean without the intellectual mediation of a manipulated symbol system, and without the benefits of inference, observation, experience, or reason.

Kant thought that both (Euclidean) space and time are intuited. In other words, he thought that the senses interact with our (transcendental) intuitions to produce synthetic a-priori knowledge. The raw data obtained by our senses -our sensa or sensory experience — presuppose intuition. One could argue that intuition is independent of our senses. Thus, these intuitions (call them “eidetic intuitions”) would not be the result of sensory data, or of calculation, or of the processing and manipulation of same. Kant’s “Erscheiung” (Sic!) — the “phenomenon”, or “appearance” of an object to the senses — is actually a kind of sense-intuition later processed by the categories of substance and cause. As opposed to the phenomenon, the “nuomenon” (thing in itself) is not subject to these categories.

Descartes’ “I (think therefore I) am” is an immediate and indubitable innate intuition from which his metaphysical system is derived. Descartes’ work in this respect is reminiscent of Gnosticism in which the intuition of the mystery of the self leads to revelation.

Bergson described a kind of instinctual empathic intuition which penetrates objects and persons, identifies with them and, in this way, derives knowledge about the absolutes — “duration” (the essence of all living things) and “élan vital” (the creative life force). He wrote: “(Intuition is an) instinct that has become disinterested, self-conscious, capable of reflecting upon its object and of enlarging it indefinitely.” Thus, to him, science (the use of symbols by our intelligence to describe reality) is the falsification of reality. Only art, based on intuition, unhindered by mediating thought, not warped by symbols — provides one with access to reality.

Spinoza’s and Bergson’s intuited knowledge of the world as an interconnected whole is also an “eidetic intuition”.

Spinoza thought that intuitive knowledge is superior to both empirical (sense) knowledge and scientific (reasoning) knowledge. It unites the mind with the Infinite Being and reveals to it an orderly, holistic, Universe.

Friedrich Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto discussed the religious experience of the “numinous” (God, or the spiritual power) as a kind of intuitive, pre-lingual, and immediate feeling.

Croce distinguished “concept” (representation or classification) from “intuition” (expression of the individuality of an objet d’art). Aesthetic interest is intuitive. Art, according to Croce and Collingwood, should be mainly concerned with expression (i.e., with intuition) as an end unto itself, unconcerned with other ends (e.g., expressing certain states of mind).

Eidetic intuitions are also similar to “paramartha satya” (the “ultimate truth”) in the Madhyamika school of Buddhist thought. The ultimate truth cannot be expressed verbally and is beyond empirical (and illusory) phenomena. Eastern thought (e.g. Zen Buddhism) uses intuition (or experience) to study reality in a non-dualistic manner.

IB. Emergent Intuitions

A second type of intuition is the “emergent intuition”. Subjectively, the intuiting person has the impression of a “shortcut” or even a “short circuiting” of his usually linear thought processes often based on trial and error. This type of intuition feels “magical”, a quantum leap from premise to conclusion, the parsimonious selection of the useful and the workable from a myriad possibilities. Intuition, in other words, is rather like a dreamlike truncated thought process, the subjective equivalent of a wormhole in Cosmology. It is often preceded by periods of frustration, dead ends, failures, and blind alleys in one’s work.

Artists — especially performing artists (like musicians) — often describe their interpretation of an artwork (e.g., a musical piece) in terms of this type of intuition. Many mathematicians and physicists (following a kind of Pythagorean tradition) use emergent intuitions in solving general nonlinear equations (by guessing the approximants) or partial differential equations.

Henri Poincaret insisted (in a presentation to the Psychological Society of Paris, 1901) that even simple mathematical operations require an “intuition of mathematical order” without which no creativity in mathematics is possible. He described how some of his creative work occurred to him out of the blue and without any preparation, the result of emergent intuitions.

These intuitions had “the characteristics of brevity, suddenness and immediate certainty… Most striking at first is this appearance of sudden illumination, a manifest sign of long, unconscious prior work. The role of this unconscious work in mathematical invention appears to me incontestable, and traces of it would be found in other cases where it is less evident.”

Subjectively, emergent intuitions are indistinguishable from insights. Yet insight is more “cognitive” and structured and concerned with objective learning and knowledge. It is a novel reaction or solution, based on already acquired responses and skills, to new stimuli and challenges. Still, a strong emotional (e.g., aesthetic) correlate usually exists in both insight and emergent intuition.

Intuition and insight are strong elements in creativity, the human response to an ever changing environment. They are shock inducers and destabilizers. Their aim is to move the organism from one established equilibrium to the next and thus better prepare it to cope with new possibilities, challenges, and experiences. Both insight and intuition are in the realm of the unconscious, the simple, and the mentally disordered. Hence the great importance of obtaining insights and integrating them in psychoanalysis — an equilibrium altering therapy.

Kazimierz Dąbrowski’s theory of positive disintegration (TPD) posits that angst (existentialist tension and anxiety) not only induces growth, but is a necessary condition for it. Disintegrative processes are desirable. The absence of positive disintegration results in a fixated state of “primary (not secondary) integration”, without true individuality. One’s developmental potential, especially one’s overexcitabilities (abnormally strong reactions to stimuli) determine the potential for positive disintegration. Overexcitability (OE) is a heightened physiological experience of stimuli resulting from increased neuronal sensitivities.

Like Jordan Peterson, Dabrowski regards suffering — including the self-inflicted kind — as a key to both progress and healing. Personality shaping depends on socialization and on peer pressure (second factor). Strict unthinking and unwavering adherence creates robopaths (von Bertalanffy). Disintegartion requires countering social signalling and pressures which, I suggest, are mostly detected intuitively. Intuition, therefore, plays a key part in the regulation of these processes.

IC. Ideal Intuitions

The third type of intuition is the “ideal intuition”. These are thoughts and feelings that precede any intellectual analysis and underlie it. Empathy may be such an intuitive mode applied to the minds of other people, yielding an intersubjective agreement. Moral ideals and rules may be such intuitions (see “Morality — a State of Mind?”).

Mathematical and logical axioms and basic rules of inference (“necessary truths”) may also turn out to be intuitions. These moral, mathematical, and logical self-evident conventions do not relate to the world. They are elements of the languages we use to describe the world (or of the codes that regulate our conduct in it). It follows that these a-priori languages and codes are nothing but the set of our embedded ideal intuitions. This is why we can be pretty certain that the language of mathematics is inadequate and insufficient to capture reality or even the laws of nature.

As the Rationalists realized, ideal intuitions (a class of undeniable, self-evident truths and principles) can be accessed by our intellect. Rationalism is concerned with intuitions — though only with those intuitions available to reason and intellect. Sometimes, the boundary between intuition and deductive reasoning is blurred as they both yield the same results. Moreover, intuitions can be combined to yield metaphysical or philosophical systems. Descartes applied ideal intuitions (e.g., reason) to his eidetic intuitions to yield his metaphysics. Husserl, Twardowski, even Bolzano did the same in developing the philosophical school of Phenomenology.

The a-priori nature of intuitions of the first and the third kind led thinkers, such as Adolf Lasson, to associate it with Mysticism. He called it an “intellectual vision” which leads to the “essence of things”. Earlier philosophers and theologians labeled the methodical application of intuitions — the “science of the ultimates”. Of course, this misses the strong emotional content of mystical experiences.

Confucius talked about fulfilling and seeking one’s “human nature” (or “ren”) as “the Way”. This nature is not the result of learning or deliberation. It is innate. It is intuitive and, in turn, produces additional, clear intuitions (“yong”) as to right and wrong, productive and destructive, good and evil. The “operation of the natural law” requires that there be no rigid codex, but only constant change guided by the central and harmonious intuition of life.

Intuition is a topic that concerned many philosophers throughout the ages.

IIA. Locke

But are intuitions really a-priori — or do they develop in response to a relatively stable reality and in interaction with it? Would we have had intuitions in a chaotic, capricious, and utterly unpredictable and disordered universe? Do intuitions emerge to counter-balance surprises?

Locke thought that intuition is a learned and cumulative response to sensation. The assumption of innate ideas is unnecessary. The mind is like a blank sheet of paper, filled gradually by experience — by the sum total of observations of external objects and of internal “reflections” (i.e., operations of the mind). Ideas (i.e., what the mind perceives in itself or in immediate objects) are triggered by the qualities of objects.

But, despite himself, Locke was also reduced to ideal (innate) intuitions. According to Locke, a colour, for instance, can be either an idea in the mind (i.e., ideal intuition) — or the quality of an object that causes this idea in the mind (i.e., that evokes the ideal intuition). Moreover, his “primary qualities” (qualities shared by all objects) come close to being eidetic intuitions.

Locke himself admits that there is no resemblance or correlation between the idea in the mind and the (secondary) qualities that provoked it. Berkeley demolished Locke’s preposterous claim that there is such resemblance (or mapping) between PRIMARY qualities and the ideas that they provoke in the mind. It would seem therefore that Locke’s “ideas in the mind” are in the mind irrespective and independent of the qualities that produce them. In other words, they are a-priori. Locke resorts to abstraction in order to repudiate it.

Locke himself talks about “intuitive knowledge”. It is when the mind “perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas immediately by themselves, without the intervention of any other… the knowledge of our own being we have by intuition… the mind is presently filled with the clear light of it. It is on this intuition that depends all the certainty and evidence of all our knowledge… (Knowledge is the) perception of the connection of and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy, of any of our ideas.”

Knowledge is intuitive intellectual perception. Even when demonstrated (and few things, mainly ideas, can be intuited and demonstrated — relations within the physical realm cannot be grasped intuitively), each step in the demonstration is observed intuitionally. Locke’s “sensitive knowledge” is also a form of intuition (known as “intuitive cognition” in the Middle Ages). It is the perceived certainty that there exist finite objects outside us. The knowledge of one’s existence is an intuition as well. But both these intuitions are judgmental and rely on probabilities.

IIB. Hume

Hume denied the existence of innate ideas. According to him, all ideas are based either on sense impressions or on simpler ideas. But even Hume accepted that there are propositions known by the pure intellect (as opposed to propositions dependent on sensory input). These deal with the relations between ideas and they are (logically) necessarily true. Even though reason is used in order to prove them — they are independently true all the same because they merely reveal the meaning or information implicit in the definitions of their own terms. These propositions teach us nothing about the nature of things because they are, at bottom, self referential (equivalent to Kant’s “analytic propositions”).

IIC. Kant

According to Kant, our senses acquaint us with the particulars of things and thus provide us with intuitions. The faculty of understanding provided us with useful taxonomies of particulars (“concepts”). Yet, concepts without intuitions were as empty and futile as intuitions without concepts. Perceptions (“phenomena”) are the composite of the sensations caused by the perceived objects and the mind’s reactions to such sensations (“form”). These reactions are the product of intuition.

IID. The Absolute Idealists

Schelling suggested a featureless, undifferentiated, union of opposites as the Absolute Ideal. Intellectual intuition entails such a union of opposites (subject and object) and, thus, is immersed and assimilated by the Absolute and becomes as featureless and undifferentiated as the Absolute is.

Objective Idealists claimed that we can know ultimate (spiritual) reality by intuition (or thought) independent of the senses (the mystical argument). The mediation of words and symbol systems only distorts the “signal” and inhibits the effective application of one’s intuition to the attainment of real, immutable, knowledge.

IIE. The Phenomenologists

The Phenomenological point of view is that every thing has an invariable and irreducible “essence” (“Eidos”, as distinguished from contingent information about the thing). We can grasp this essence only intuitively (“Eidetic Reduction”). This process — of transcending the concrete and reaching for the essential — is independent of facts, concrete objects, or mental constructs. But it is not free from methodology (“free variation”), from factual knowledge, or from ideal intuitions. The Phenomenologist is forced to make the knowledge of facts his point of departure. He then applies a certain methodology (he varies the nature and specifications of the studied object to reveal its essence) which relies entirely on ideal intuitions (such as the rules of logic).

Phenomenology, in other words, is an Idealistic form of Rationalism. It applies reason to discover Platonic (Idealism) essences. Like Rationalism, it is not empirical (it is not based on sense data). Actually, it is anti-empirical — it “brackets” the concrete and the factual in its attempt to delve beyond appearances and into essences. It calls for the application of intuition (Anschauung) to discover essential insights (Wesenseinsichten).

“Phenomenon” in Phenomenology is that which is known by consciousness and in it. Phenomenologists regarded intuition as a “pure”, direct, and primitive way of reducing clutter in reality. It is immediate and the basis of a higher level perception. A philosophical system built on intuition would, perforce, be non speculative. Hence, Phenomenology’s emphasis on the study of consciousness (and intuition) rather than on the study of (deceiving) reality. It is through “Wesensschau” (the intuition of essences) that one reaches the invariant nature of things (by applying free variation techniques).

Jacobsen: Is this a large part of intuition and/or gut feelings if inclusive of the filtration, processing, and prefabrication, of information from physiology — the body — too? I do not necessarily mean extensive amounts of time — could be fractions of a second — from input to presentation to consciousness (conscious awareness).

Vaknin: There is no question that input from the body is crucial to the formation of intuitions. The sensa (sensory inputs) are only one part of it. Autonomous reactions — such as heartbeat or perspiration — also figure into the equation. As we try to make sense of these corporeal data, we often come up with a heuristic or a narrative and most of the time we perceive the outcomes of these attempts as gut feelings or intuitions.

Jacobsen: When something feels wrong to an individual, how is this justifiable in considering the “something” as wrong in and of itself, or wrong in interpretation of an individual (more likely than not a fallible individual)? Are there moments when these feelings of wrongness about something are themselves inaccurate — following more generally from part of the last question?

Vaknin: Intuition is wrong as often as right. It is a shaky foundation for decision making. But it is a reliable signal that further research and investigation are called for.

Intuition should not be confused with either emotions or cognitions. They are an amalgam of both but they are a form of anxiety reaction, a variant of hypervigilance.

Jacobsen: When someone is trying to force-fit a relationship, a friendship, a marital situation, a professional arrangement, why is this a sign of inauthenticity, a fake?

Vaknin: Authenticity consists of being yourself even when you adhere to social strictures, norms, and mores or when you are trying to meet expectations and obligations. Feeling good about your choice to conform and act responsibly, reliably, and predictably (ego syntony).

If the sum total of an engagement with others causes you acute discomfort (ego dystony or dissonance) — this is a sign that you are betraying yourself somehow and, therefore, being inauthentic.

Watch “Being is Slavery, Nothingness is Freedom (Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness”, FIRST LECTURE)”

Watch “Relationships Always Fail, Inauthentic (Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness”, SECOND LECTURE)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFvRcB1MOWM

Jacobsen: Grandiose claims are made all the time. Those claims too good to be true. Why are the “too good to be true” more likely to be false than true?

Vaknin: Splitting is an infantile psychological defense mechanism: the baby divides the world into all good and all bad. Of course, this is counterfactual: there is good and bad, right and wrong, helpful and obstructive in everything and in everyone.

So, “too good to be true” is an outcome of splitting coupled with magical thinking (the delusion that your willpower or thoughts affect reality even without any commensurate action). It is the offspring of a pathology of impaired reality testing.

Jacobsen: Why are we prone to believing things people say far more often than not, when people lie all the time in little and big ways?

Vaknin: This is known as the base rate fallacy. This cognitive distortion aims to resolve a cognitive dissonance: I know that people lie but I want to trust them all the time in order to feel safe.

It stems from the same pathological roots which involve grandiosity magical thinking: other people are all good and can be always trusted because I am all-powerful and immune to harm as well as all-knowing and so, I cannot be conned.

Trusting other people is the optimal strategy when you are the omniscient and omnipotent master of the Universe: investing in research and investigation would be wasteful.

Jacobsen: Should we make decisions immediately based on gut feelings and intuitions or over a reasonable amount of time making incremental, moderate changes/decisions based on increasing feedback from the processes colloquially called “gut feelings” and “intuitions”?

Vaknin: We should definitely listen to gut feelings and intuitions. They are telling us that something has gone awry with the way we perceive reality. This alert bears careful investigation and research.

But I would not act on my intuition or gut feeling unless and until I have delved deeper into what it is that is nagging at me.

Jacobsen: How can intuitions and gut feelings, ultimately, save us from our conscious delusions?

Vaknin: Intuitions and gut feelings are a poor guide in this sense because, as I said, as often as not, they turn out to have been wrong. Some intuitions are delusional!

Shoshanim: Thanks so much for the time and opportunity, Prof. Sam (Wise Gamgee).

Shoshanim’s Shoshanim: I have an intuition that you actually mean it this time!

Previous Electronic ‘Print’ Interviews (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Narcissism in General

(News Intervention: January 28, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Cold Therapy (New Treatment Modality)

(News Intervention: January 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Giftedness and IQ

(News Intervention: February 2, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Religion

(News Intervention: February 11, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Science and Reality

(News Intervention: April 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on the Gender Wars

(News Intervention: May 21, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Psychological Growth

(News Intervention: May 24, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Structure, Function, Society, and Survival

(News Intervention: May 26, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

(News Intervention: May 28, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Genius and Insanity

(News Intervention: June 1, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Freedom of Expression

(News Intervention: June 10, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Misogyny and Misandry

(News Intervention: June 20, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Victimization and Victim Identity Movements

(News Intervention: July 27, 2022)

Previous Interviews Read by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

How to Become the REAL YOU (Interview, News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 26, 2022)

Insider View on Narcissism: What Makes Narcissist Tick (News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 29, 2022)

Curing Your Narcissist (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 31, 2022)

Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: February 3, 2022)

Thrive: Your Future Path to Growth and Change (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: May 25, 2022)

Previous Interviews Interpreted by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Your Narcissist: Madman or Genius? (Based on News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: June 3, 2022)

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

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Prof. Vaknin on Victimization and Victim Identity Movements

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/07/27

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about victimization, victims, and victim identity movements.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What defines victimization? What defines a real victim in contrast to a fake victim?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: Victimization involves the denial of the self-determination, identity, self-actualization, rights, and boundaries of a person without their express consent and collaboration.

Jacobsen: What makes victim identity movements, in fact, movements?

Vaknin: When victimhood becomes an organizing and explanatory (hermeneutic) principle, a determinant of the victim’s identity, and a socially binding force centred around grievances; prosocial or communal grandiosity; entitlement; conspiracism (paranoid or persecutory delusions); aggressive engagement or, on the other end of the spectrum, schizoid withdrawal; dysempathy; defiance (reactance); and contumaciousness (rejection of expertise and authority) — we have on our hands a victim identity movement.

No one is a victim. We may end up being victimized — but it doesn’t render us victims for life, it doesn’t brand us.

Jacobsen: Some studies in British Columbia, as you have noted, found some victimhood movements have been hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths. How does this muddy the waters of the real justice movements and make them ineffectual?

Vaknin: This was not the only study to have unearthed this very disconcerting undertow. We are beginning to wake up to the reality of what Gabay et al. call (2020) Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood, TIV). “professional” or “career” victims with emphasized narcissistic and psychopathic tendencies find new homes (“pathological narcissistic spaces”) in these social justice upswells.

It makes it difficult to tell apart legitimate evidence-based grievances from entitlement-fueled manipulative and counterfactual claims.

One helpful way to distinguish the two is by noting that narcissists and psychopaths are destructive, not solutions-oriented. They thrive on negative affects such as anger and envy and are loth to invest in the routine and tedious chores attendant upon rectifying wrongs and building a better world.

More here: Victimhood Movements Hijacked by Narcissists and Psychopaths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBpxFxMAztA

Jacobsen: What have been extreme historical cases of this going awry, as this phenomenon has been historically cyclical, including one close to ‘home’ in 2004?

Vaknin: Nazism is a victimhood movement gone awful. And, to a lesser degree the white man’s grievance movement implausibly headed by Trump is a more recent example of such subversive dynamics.

Jacobsen: What is the typical arc of development of victim movements?

Vaknin: The sociologist Bradley Campbell suggested that we have transitioned from a culture centred around dignity to one based on victimhood.

Learn more by reading Habermas, Fukuyama, and Foucault. All justice-seeking movements start with grievances (injustices). They decry and seek to remedy and reverse individual transgressions (eg, the narcissistic abuse online movement) or societal and cultural biases (implicit and explicit), discrimination, and suppression.

The victims organize themselves around exclusionary identity politics and intersectionality and this orientation results in grandiosity and entitlement, in other words: in growing narcissism. Increasingly more aggressive, these movements often become psychopathic (defiant and contumacious) and demonize the Other.

Left-leaning victimhood movements centre around entitlement and reparations claims on the majority, on social institutions, and on history. Right-wing movements are conspiracy-minded and avoidant, but also more violent.

Narcissists and psychopaths gravitate to such movements in order to obtain narcissistic supply, money, power, and sex. They become the public faces and the media darlings on these hapless victims, having hijacked their legitimate complaints and demands.

Jacobsen: How much of the online content on narcissism and psychopathy is garbage (worthless or worse) now?

Vaknin: About 90%. It is not only worthless (wrong), it is dangerously misleading and entrenches a lifelong self-defeating and self-aggrandizing victimhood stance even as it demonizes and mythologizes abusers.

Jacobsen: What is the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV)?

Vaknin: A series of two studies by Israeli scholar Gabay and others, published in 2020. The authors provided this abstract:

“In the present research, we introduce a conceptualization of the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV), which we define as an enduring feeling that the self is a victim across different kinds of interpersonal relationships. Then, in a comprehensive set of eight studies, we develop a measure for this novel personality trait, TIV, and examine its correlates, as well as its affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences. In Part 1 (Studies 1A-1C) we establish the construct of TIV, with its four dimensions; i.e., need for recognition, moral elitism, lack of empathy, and rumination, and then assess TIV’s internal consistency, stability over time, and its effect on the interpretation of ambiguous situations. In Part 2 (Studies 2A-2C) we examine TIV’s convergent and discriminant validities, using several personality dimensions, and the role of attachment styles as conceptual antecedents. In Part 3 (Studies 3–4) we explore the cognitive and behavioral consequences of TIV. Specifically, we examine the relationships between TIV, negative attribution and recall biases, and the desire for revenge (Study 3), and the effects of TIV on behavioral revenge (Study 4). The findings highlight the importance of understanding, conceptualizing, and empirically testing TIV, and suggest that victimhood is a stable and meaningful personality tendency.”

Read an analysis of these studies here: “The Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood: The Personality Construct and its Consequences” (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886920303238):

https://www.psypost.org/2020/12/researchers-identify-a-new-personality-construct-that-describes-the-tendency-to-see-oneself-as-a-victim-58753

Another interesting study:

“New research provides evidence that narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism — maladaptive personality traits known as the “Dark Triad” — are associated with overt displays of virtue and victimhood. The study suggests that people with dark personalities use these signals of “virtuous victimhood” to deceptively extract resources from others.”

(“Signaling Virtuous Victimhood as Indicators of Dark Triad Personalities“, was authored by Ekin Ok, Yi Qian, Brendan Strejcek, and Karl Aquino, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, American Psychological Association, May 2020).

Jacobsen: What are the primary signifiers of narcissists and psychopaths who have or might hijack legitimate victimhood or justice movements looking for money, power, and sex?

Vaknin: Ironically, these usually are prosocial or communal narcissists. They often “control from the bottom” (emotionally blackmail by being self-sacrificial). So, the infestation of victimhood activism by narcissists and psychopaths is the tip of a submerged iceberg of ersatz altruism.

Some narcissists are ostentatiously generous: they dedicate time and other resources to social justice movements and to activism, they donate to charity, lavish gifts on their closest, abundantly provide for their nearest and dearest, and, in general, are open-handed and unstintingly benevolent. It is a form of virtue signalling. How can this be reconciled with the pronounced lack of empathy and with the pernicious self-preoccupation that is so typical of narcissists?

The act of giving enhances the narcissist’s sense of omnipotence, his fantastic grandiosity, and the contempt he holds for others. It is easy to feel superior to the supplicating recipients of one’s largesse. Narcissistic altruism is about exerting control and maintaining it by fostering dependence in the beneficiaries.

But narcissists give for other reasons as well.

The narcissist flaunts his charitable nature as a bait. He impresses others with his selflessness and kindness and thus lures them into his lair, entraps them, and manipulates and brainwashes them into subservient compliance and obsequious collaboration. People are attracted to the narcissist’s larger than life posture — only to discover his true personality traits when it is far too late. “Give a little to take a lot” — is the narcissist’s creed.

This does not prevent the narcissist from assuming the role of the exploited victim. Narcissists always complain that life and people are unfair to them and that they invest far more than their “share of the profit”. The narcissist feels that he is the sacrificial lamb, the scapegoat, and that his relationships are asymmetric and imbalanced. “She gets out of our marriage far more than I do” — is a common refrain. Or: “I do all the work around here — and they get all the perks and benefits!”

Some narcissists are compulsive givers.

To all appearances, the compulsive giver is an altruistic, empathic, and caring person. Actually, he or she is a people-pleaser and a codependent. The compulsive giver is trapped in a narrative of his own confabulation: how his nearest and dearest need him because they are poor, young, inexperienced, lacking in intelligence or good looks, and are otherwise inferior to him. Compulsive giving, therefore, involves pathological narcissism. In reality, it is the compulsive giver who coerces, cajoles, and tempts people around him to avail themselves of his services or money. He forces himself on the recipients of his ostentatious largesse and the beneficiaries of his generosity or magnanimity. He is unable to deny anyone their wishes or a requests, even when these are not explicit or expressed and are mere figments of his own neediness and grandiose imagination.

Some narcissists are ostentatiously generous — they donate to charity, lavish gifts on their closest, abundantly provide for their nearest and dearest, and, in general, are open-handed and unstintingly benevolent. How can this be reconciled with the pronounced lack of empathy and with the pernicious self-preoccupation that is so typical of narcissists? The act of giving enhances the narcissist’s sense of omnipotence, his fantastic grandiosity, and the contempt he holds for others. It is easy to feel superior to the supplicating recipients of one’s largesse. Narcissistic altruism is about exerting control and maintaining it by fostering dependence in the beneficiaries.

The People-pleasers

People-pleasers dread conflicts and wish to avoid them (they are conflict-averse) — hence their need to believe that they are universally liked. Always pleasant, well-mannered, and civil, the conflict-averse people-pleaser is also evasive and vague, hard to pin down, sometimes obsequious and, generally, a spineless “non-entity”. These qualities are self-defeating as they tend to antagonize people rather than please them.

But conflict-aversion is only one of several psychodynamic backgrounds for the behavior known as “people-pleasing”:

1. Some people-pleasers cater to the needs and demands of others as a form of penance, or self-sacrifice;

2. Many people-pleasers are codependents and strive to gratify their nearest and dearest in order to allay their own abandonment anxiety and the ensuing intense — and, at times, life-threatening — dysphoria (“if I am nice to him, he won’t break up with me”, “if I cater to her needs, she won’t leave me”);

3. A few people-pleasers are narcissistic: pleasing people enhances their sense of omnipotence (grandiosity). They seek to control and disempower their “charges” (“she so depends on and looks up to me”). Even their pity is a form of self-aggrandizement (“only I can make her life so much better, she needs me, without me her life would be hell.”). They are misanthropic altruists and compulsive givers.

All people-pleasers use these common coping strategies:

1. Dishonesty (to avoid conflicts and unpleasant situations);

2. Manipulation (to ensure desired outcomes, such as an intimate partner’s continued presence);

3. Fostering dependence: codependent people-pleasers leverage their ostentatious helplessness and manifest weaknesses to elicit the kind of behaviours and solicit the benefits that they angle for, while narcissistic people-pleasers aim to habituate their targets by bribing them with gifts, monopolizing their time, and isolating them socially;

4. Infantilization: displaying childish behaviours to gratify the emotional needs of over-protective, possessive, paranoid, narcissistic, and codependent individuals in the people-pleaser’s milieu;

5. Self-punishment, self-defeat, and self-sacrifice to signal self-annulment in the pursuit of people-pleasing.

Jacobsen: What, historically speaking, can be done to combat these Cluster B bad behaviours connected to some social movements?

Vaknin: As the grievances of these movements are addressed, they become a part of the establishment. This is when the hard work begins: the labors of writing laws, regulatory oversight, politics, negotiations and compromise, and the tedium of perseverance and routine.

These newfangled demands on the psychological and logistical resources of the movement and its adherents drive narcissists and psychopaths away: they are unaccustomed to and reject the hard slog and the often Sisyphean undertakings of public policy.

Shoshanim: Thanks so much for the time and opportunity, Prof. V.

Shoshanim’s Shoshanim: V for Victim or V for Vaknin? Just kidding. Thank you for suffering me yet again!

Previous Electronic ‘Print’ Interviews (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Narcissism in General

(News Intervention: January 28, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Cold Therapy (New Treatment Modality)

(News Intervention: January 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Giftedness and IQ

(News Intervention: February 2, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Religion

(News Intervention: February 11, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Science and Reality

(News Intervention: April 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on the Gender Wars

(News Intervention: May 21, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Psychological Growth

(News Intervention: May 24, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Structure, Function, Society, and Survival

(News Intervention: May 26, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

(News Intervention: May 28, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Genius and Insanity

(News Intervention: June 1, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Freedom of Expression

(News Intervention: June 10, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Misogyny and Misandry

(News Intervention: June 20, 2022)

Previous Interviews Read by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

How to Become the REAL YOU (Interview, News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 26, 2022)

Insider View on Narcissism: What Makes Narcissist Tick (News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 29, 2022)

Curing Your Narcissist (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 31, 2022)

Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: February 3, 2022)

Thrive: Your Future Path to Growth and Change (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: May 25, 2022)

Previous Interviews Interpreted by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Your Narcissist: Madman or Genius? (Based on News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: June 3, 2022)

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Submissions Call: “In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal”

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/07/16

In an article last month, I examined the various publications available of some of the high-I.Q. societies. The result was a listing of longstanding high-I.Q. publications with others newer and published either irregularly or intermittently.

Regardless, the world of the highly intelligent has been an interesting journalistic research project for the last few years. The list of publications from the research were the following:

1. Mensa World Journal.

2. Thoth.

3. Telicom.

4. Vidya.

5. Leonardo.

6. Phenomenon.

7. Gift of Fire.

8. Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.

9. Deus VULT.

10. USIA Research Journal.

11. GENIUS: Proceedings and Publications of the GENIUS High IQ Network/GENIUS: Journal of the GENIUS High IQ Network.

As I hold ownership, editorial, writer, and contributor status for a variety of publications, with capacity depending on the outlet, I like looking at publications’ content, style, font, contributors, and the like. It’s fun. I like words

Now, since the high-I.Q. communities have been so nice to me, I figure a kindness in return seems worth it. For In-Sight Publishing’s main journal, or the main one, basically, off the ground while the others sit in limbo, In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, I am inviting participation from those self-same communities.

So, kindly, I invite members of the high-I.Q. communities to submit materials as they deem fit for review. The details for this section of submissions; this is a call for submissions to Section B of the journal:

Submission Guidelines (B)

Material

  • Contributor status access restricted to undergraduate students, graduate students, instructors, professors, and experts. Each submission considered on appropriateness of grammar and style, comprehensiveness, coherence, and originality of content.

Scope

  • Depending on the issue, the accepted submissions consists of articles, book reviews, commentaries, poetry, prose, and art.

Submission

  • It must not have publication or pending publication elsewhere. For exceptions, sufficient reason should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief along with the material. For written scholarly material, it must be in 12-point font, Times New Roman, 12-point font, single-spaced, 6-point after spacing, and with APA or MLA formatting. Length of material ranges from 500 to 7,500 words. Material should be sent to the following:
  • Scott.Douglas.Jacobsen@Gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you. Some lenience permitted for republications from these communities depending on the material. When submitting, you will be corresponding with me, personally, so one-on-one to make your publication come out right.

P.S. Those publication were sifted through a listing of non-defunct high-I.Q. societies, 84 reduced to the active ones, from the World Intelligence Network website:

1. The Cogito Society

2. The International High IQ Society of Nathan Haselbauer

3. The Deep Brain Society of Anna Maria Santoro and Vincenzo D’Onofrio

4. Mensa Society of Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill

5. The High Potentials Society of Max Tiefenbacher

6. Intertel of Ralph Haines

7. The Top One Percent Society (TOPS) of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

8. The Colloquy Society of Julia Cachia

9. The CIVIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

10. The Glia Society of Paul Cooijmans

11. International Society for Philosophical Enquiries/International Society for Philosophical Inquiry (ISPE) of Christopher Harding

12. The Triple Nine Society (TNS) of Richard Canty, Dr. Ronald Hoeflin, Ronald Penner, Edgar Van Vleck, and Kevin Langdon

13. The AtlantIQ Society of Beatrice Rescazzi and Moreno Casalegno

14. The EpIQ Society of Chris Chsioufis

15. The IQuadrivium Society of Karyn S. Huntting

16. The Society for Intellectually Gifted Individuals with Disabilities of Nathaniel David Durham/Nate Durham with assistant Lyla Durham

17. The Encefálica Society of Luis Enrique Pérez Ostoa

18. The Greatest Minds Society of Roberto A. Rodriguez Cruz

19. The Mysterium Society of Greg A. Grove

20. The Sigma II Society of Hindemburg Melão

21. The Mind Society of Hernan R. Chang

22. The Infinity International Society (IIS) of Jeffrey Osgood

23. The Sigma III Society of Hindemburg Melão

24. The Milenija Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec and Mislav Predavec

3.13 Sigma to 4.8 Sigma

25. ISI-Society of Dr. Jonathan Wai

26. Epida Society of Fernando Barbosa Neto

27. SPIQR Society of Marco Ripà

28. Vertex Society of Stevan M. Damjanovic

29. Epimetheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

30. HELLIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

31. Prometheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

32. Sigma IV Society of Hindemburg Melão

33. Tetra Society of Mislav Predavec

34. UltraNet Society/Ultranet of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

35. GenerIQ Society of Mislav Predavec

36. Mega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

37. Omega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

38. Pi Society of Dr. Nikos Lygeros/Dr. Nik Lygeros

5. Sigma to 7. Sigma

39. Mega International Society/Mega International of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

40. OLYMPIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

41. PolymathIQ Society of Ron Altmann

42. Sigma V Society of Hindemburg Melão

43. Ultima Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec

44. GIGA Society of Paul Cooijmans

45. Sigma VI Society of Hindemburg Melão

46. Grail Society of Paul Cooijmans

47. Tera Society of R. Young

(I will be updating this list with more research now, and more updates coming out of the high-I.Q. communities.)

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Free of Charge: or, Landmarks in Secular Humanism

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/22

New frameworks for Secular Humanism will be required when pillars of the international community continue to enter a renewed era of besiegement. Not even necessarily directly as a consequent of the comprehension of the philosophical lifestance of Secular Humanism or of the associated philosophies related to them, where many philosophies crosslink with it, including non-theist religious.

It’s a natural outgrowth or organic consequent of neglect from monocultural views of social ideologies and religious frameworks as political tools. Think of a local context news item, you will find attempts at ‘regression’ inasmuch as history as a directionality outside of human affair vis-à-vis human affairs.

Any net vector of human history amounts to an in-practice sum over all human choices in a manner of speaking. Which seems, on first principles, the primary summation of secular humanist, eupraxsophist, philosophy, then every other empirical fact and scientific theory become the inventory of other principles taken into account, naturalistically.

The humanist manifestos and declarations for a century or so have proclaimed issues of their generations with a sense of urgency followed by a restatement — with future adaptations — of the philosophical premises, becoming less parochial, more inclusive, and more refined.

No comprehensive analysis of the humanist manifestos seems to exist, so a conversation or a series of educational conversations seemed apt with regards to Secular Humanism. A recent text with Dr. Herb Silverman was produced with this in mind entitled Free of Charge.

The attempts at aforementioned regression are not new. They represent a continuance of historical inertia with increased fervour based on changes in fundamental demographics, nationally and internationally.

The observation of legislative siege against international secular human rights and scientific frameworks based on the premises of singular transcendentalist moral frameworks comes an observation of functioning on the defensive — an accurate observation.

Individual religious hierarchs observe a retreat of the laity from faiths on most levels of devotion and continue a longstanding work of putting forth a counter-wave in legislation against the desires of the majority of the population in many cases. Nothing new under the Sun, or the Moon, here.

The only novelty is the degree to which anti-dogmatic processes have freed women and the historical underclasses while buttressing notions of equality for all under a common law and representative government.

The “counter-wave” merely reflects a state of fear, not panic, on behalf of hierarchs who, in prior moments, could rely on utter lifetime devotion — from womb to tomb — to a monocultural religious or political lens.

Future adaptations of Secular Humanism and philosophies in the same epistemic and ontic relational net will merely need to envelop these counter-waves with the long view in sight, as the scientific referents and universalist ethics seem to appeal to more of the global population than not. Otherwise, or if there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be such strident international revolt against repression.

Free of Charge was developed with this in mind.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Prof. Vaknin on Misogyny and Misandry

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/20

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about misogyny and misandry.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Misogyny and misandry, what defines them?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: Misogyny and misandry are forms of inverted gender dysphoria, actually. It is hatred, resentment, and revulsion brought on by the opposite sex. It encompasses all aspects and dimensions of the hate figure and in this sense, it is akin to racism.

Jacobsen: Historically, how have misogyny and misandry manifested in partnerships, in individual social settings, and in cultures at large?

Vaknin: Misogyny has been the patriarchal organizing principles of all societies from the agricultural revolution to this very day. It permeated all institutions, from the family to the Church to the state.

Misogyny was mainly intended to restrict the freedoms of women in order to prevent them from procreating extradyadically and thus secure the intergenerational transfer of wealth to the male’s rightful offspring.

Misandry is the reaction of some waves of feminism in the past 150 years or so. It is visceral and bitter, but not nearly as organized and institutionalized as misogyny.

Recently both are on the increase.

Jacobsen: As you note in several productions, there are obvious cases of a ‘rollback’ of women’s rights in the United States through murmurings of repeals of Roe v Wade and in state legislatures, in Russia with the (re-)legalization — in a manner of speaking — of domestic abuse, in Afghanistan with women confined to the home, in Ethiopia with sexual violence (by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces), in Turkey via withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, and in online hate groups comprised of resentful, bitter, anomic, hopeless, potentially mentally ill, batches of men in MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way), Black Pillers, Red Pillers, Incels (Involuntary Celibates), generic male supremacists, PUAs (Pick Up Artists), MRM men (Men’s Rights Movement), TFLers (True Forced Loners), and so on. These men, young and old alike, seem composed of anomie, despair, and porcelain, transmogrified into contempt for the Other. Do these seem like a disunified variegated ‘wave’ of anti-women sentiments and acts by men online and offline around the world?

Vaknin: Some men are fighting back against what they perceive to be the ominous usurpation of rights and powers by women. They are also aghast at the way women have appropriated stereotypical male behaviors, such as promiscuity.

The counter-movement started off in disparate groups but now has coalesced into an agenda that is promoted by lawmakers all over the world. The backlash is fierce. Men are still the gatekeepers in most countries in the world. This doesn’t bode well for women. Legal rights and access to services such as healthcare and educations are being rolled back and freedoms are curtailed.

Women are bound to be radicalized by such counter-reform. They are likely to become way more militant and masculinized. They are shunning men in growing numbers and resorting to male substitutes even when it comes to procreation: donor sperm and IVF.

Jacobsen: What seems like the psychology of the men with the authority to impose these ‘rollbacks’ in legislation and socio-cultural life?

Vaknin: This is a state of panic, both moral and operational. Inter-gender morality was imposed by men in order to preserve the “purity” of women and their role as domestic comforters-in-chief. As power shifted from men to women, this ideal has been shattered.

Moreover, women emulate aggressive, ambitious men. In multiple studies, women described themselves in exclusively masculine terms. They have been taking away men’s jobs for well over a hundred years now. They are way more educated than men so men feel absolutely threatened, very much like a species going extinct.

Men who react adversely to the ascendance of women and the emergence of a unigender world via legislation and politics are anxious, sociosexually restricted, narcissistic (but not psychopathic), insecure, and, in some cases, with a conflicted sexual and gender identity.

Jacobsen: What seems like the psychology of the men in these international, disparate online groups, who even create their own lingo, patois?

Vaknin: These are rabid misogynists who have created an ideology around their deep-seated, irrational, and pathological hatred. They have primitive defenses, are highly narcissistic and even psychopathic, and tend to externalize aggression. They tend to hold grudges and grievances, ruminate and fixate, and be vengeful and hypervigilant.

Jacobsen: You agree with First Wave Feminism and Second Wave Feminism, and disagree with Third Wave Feminism and Fourth Wave Feminism. What defines them?

Vaknin: First and second wave feminisms (in plural: there are many schools) were focused on leveling the playing field and fighting abusive and exploitative practices such as prostitution and pornography.

Starting with the suffragettes, they focused on the franchise (the right to vote), equal wages, access (to healthcare, education, the workplace, daycare), revising the dress code (“rational dress”), the right to own and dispose of property, and converting marriage from indentured bondage to an intimate, hopefully lifelong equal partnership.

The third wave was a psychopathic outgrowth. While claiming to be inclusive and permissive, it was a defiant and reckless attempt to “empower” women by eliminating all boundaries, conventions, and mores of any kind in all fields of life.

What women have garnered from the confluence of the three waves is that they should make their careers the pivot of their lives, avoid meaningful, committed relationships with men, and pursue sex as a pastime with any man.

Ironically, the third wave played right into the hands of predatory men (“players”) who took advantage of the newfangled promiscuity while assiduously avoiding any hint of commitment or investment. Third wave feminists internalized the male gaze (“internalized oppression”) and pride themselves on being “sluts”.

The fourth wave of feminism is focused on real problems such as sexual harassment, rape, and body shaming as well as intersectionality (discrimination of women who belong to more than one minority). In many ways, it is an offshoot of second wave feminism.

Jacobsen: Even within these four waves of feminism, what seem like the most laudable portions and the most contemptible parts of each?

Vaknin: First, second, and fourth wave feminisms are legitimate movements which have improved and strengthened societies around the world by integrating women in the social and economic fabrics of their milieus.

The third wave was utterly destructive. It hijacked the feminist message and precipitated the gender wars which are threatening to undo the accomplishments of the first and second waves.

Moreover: corporate interested coopted the messaging of the third wave to encourage women to remain single and promiscuous in order to encourage their participation in the labor force and thus convert them into consumers.

Jacobsen: Since history cannot be rewritten in actuality, though can be erased and rewritten in records, what might Fifth Wave Feminism incorporate as lessons from the previous four to correct course from the clear antipathy between the sexes — maintaining the proper equalitarian victories and jettisoning the improper inegalitarian losses?

Vaknin: Feminism needs to fight the patriarchy and its discriminatory practices — not men. It needs to recognize that men and women are equal, but not identical. It needs to encourage women to adopt boundaried sexuality and the formation of intimate partnerships, cohabitation households, and families with men (or women, if they are so inclined). It needs to expose the way business and the third wave end up disempowering women like never before.

Jacobsen: How can science on sex and gender clarify the fact from the fiction, as the sea floor of these waves — so to speak? Something to set limits on conversation based on reality in contrast to discourses entirely in the realm of fantasy.

Vaknin: I dealt with this at length in the interview I gave you about gender wars https://www.newsintervention.com/prof-sam-vaknin-on-the-gender-wars/

Jacobsen: How might such a fifth wave grounded in science inform international human rights discourse, national legislation, sociocultural lives, families, and individual self-identification?

Vaknin: Women are not a minority. Numerically, they are a majority. Their situation is reminiscent of apartheid in South Africa and needs to be tackled with the same tools: nonviolent resistance; truth and reconciliation; a peaceful and consensual transfer of power; an integrated society with no discrimination or subterfuge; equal rights and obligations while recognizing the uniqueness of each constituency.

Shoshanim: Thanks much, Prof. Samuel.

Vaknin: You are very welcome. May we both live to see the day men and women love each other the way they should.

Previous Electronic ‘Print’ Interviews (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Narcissism in General

(News Intervention: January 28, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Cold Therapy (New Treatment Modality)

(News Intervention: January 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Giftedness and IQ

(News Intervention: February 2, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Religion

(News Intervention: February 11, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Science and Reality

(News Intervention: April 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on the Gender Wars

(News Intervention: May 21, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Psychological Growth

(News Intervention: May 24, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Structure, Function, Society, and Survival

(News Intervention: May 26, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

(News Intervention: May 28, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Genius and Insanity

(News Intervention: June 1, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Freedom of Expression

(News Intervention: June 10, 2022)

Previous Interviews Read by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

How to Become the REAL YOU (Interview, News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 26, 2022)

Insider View on Narcissism: What Makes Narcissist Tick (News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 29, 2022)

Curing Your Narcissist (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 31, 2022)

Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: February 3, 2022)

Thrive: Your Future Path to Growth and Change (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: May 25, 2022)

Previous Interviews Interpreted by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Your Narcissist: Madman or Genius? (Based on News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: June 3, 2022)

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Americans More Skeptical of the God Concept Than Ever

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/19

Belief in God in the United States, probably in the Western world generally, is at an all-time low. Between 1944 and 2011,the belief in God in the United States remained above 90%. In 2017, it dropped to 87%.

Now, with changes in the religious and theistic landscape of American society, we are watching the erosion of theistic belief on the order of millions of people per year. The number is now 81%.

Atheists, agnostics, and the like, have been and continue to be an increasing demographic in the United States. The most likely groups to witness this decline are Democrats at 72%, young adults at 68%, and liberals at 62%.

Interestingly, no change appears to have happened to married adults and conservatives. These reflect more dramatic changes in the attendance at religious services in the United States. Less than 50% of Americans are explicit members of a church, mosque, or synagogue, and 36% having confidence in organized religion.

Most American citizens have doubts about the existence of God, while 19% have no belief in God. These shifts appear driven mostly by the young.

With files from Gallup

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

International Introductory Review of High-I.Q. Publications

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/15

*Updated June 15, 2022.*

*If not included/missed, and if wanting inclusion, please send an email to Scott.Douglas.Jacobsen@Gmail.Com, then I can include the publication in the listing. I want everyone included in the international community here.*

High-I.Q. societies continue to give a modicum of fascination to me. Whenever I think the trail ends, other people come forward and present new information and material. In general, where one finds individuals with numerical, spatial, verbal, or reasoning talent, or all of the aforementioned, one tends to find individuals in professions demanding intellectual facility. When others want, typically, a digital community, a safe space for communication, correspondence, and the like; the high-I.Q. communities give such place for quiet felicity in interaction with the like-talented.

Publications, in this sense, provide a platform for the members to show talents, interests, thoughts, and productions. A short-form list of found publications will be listed at the end of the article. This resource will be built on the listing of non-defunct societies listed in” World Intelligence Network Addendum I — Non-Defunct Societies Membership” with some extensions. The purpose is to catalogue some high-I.Q. publications for individuals curious about the high-I.Q. communities and as a piece of personal curiosity. The prior non-defunct societies, as follows:

1. The Cogito Society

2. The International High IQ Society of Nathan Haselbauer

3. The Deep Brain Society of Anna Maria Santoro and Vincenzo D’Onofrio

4. Mensa Society of Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill

5. The High Potentials Society of Max Tiefenbacher

6. Intertel of Ralph Haines

7. The Top One Percent Society (TOPS) of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

8. The Colloquy Society of Julia Cachia

9. The CIVIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

10. The Glia Society of Paul Cooijmans

11. International Society for Philosophical Enquiries/International Society for Philosophical Inquiry (ISPE) of Christopher Harding

12. The Triple Nine Society (TNS) of Richard Canty, Dr. Ronald Hoeflin, Ronald Penner, Edgar Van Vleck, and Kevin Langdon

13. The AtlantIQ Society of Beatrice Rescazzi and Moreno Casalegno

14. The EpIQ Society of Chris Chsioufis

15. The IQuadrivium Society of Karyn S. Huntting

16. The Society for Intellectually Gifted Individuals with Disabilities of Nathaniel David Durham/Nate Durham with assistant Lyla Durham

17. The Encefálica Society of Luis Enrique Pérez Ostoa

18. The Greatest Minds Society of Roberto A. Rodriguez Cruz

19. The Mysterium Society of Greg A. Grove

20. The Sigma II Society of Hindemburg Melão

21. The Mind Society of Hernan R. Chang

22. The Infinity International Society (IIS) of Jeffrey Osgood

23. The Sigma III Society of Hindemburg Melão

24. The Milenija Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec and Mislav Predavec

3.13 Sigma to 4.8 Sigma

25. ISI-Society of Dr. Jonathan Wai

26. Epida Society of Fernando Barbosa Neto

27. SPIQR Society of Marco Ripà

28. Vertex Society of Stevan M. Damjanovic

29. Epimetheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

30. HELLIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

31. Prometheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

32. Sigma IV Society of Hindemburg Melão

33. Tetra Society of Mislav Predavec

34. UltraNet Society/Ultranet of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

35. GenerIQ Society of Mislav Predavec

36. Mega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

37. Omega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

38. Pi Society of Dr. Nikos Lygeros/Dr. Nik Lygeros

5. Sigma to 7. Sigma

39. Mega International Society/Mega International of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

40. OLYMPIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

41. PolymathIQ Society of Ron Altmann

42. Sigma V Society of Hindemburg Melão

43. Ultima Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec

44. GIGA Society of Paul Cooijmans

45. Sigma VI Society of Hindemburg Melão

46. Grail Society of Paul Cooijmans

47. Tera Society of R. Young

The overlay following this listing will incorporate descriptive commentary for some societies based on the listing followed by newer resources outside of the previous listing:

1. The Cogito Society

No found publication for The Cogito Society.

2. The International High IQ Society of Nathan Haselbauer

Duly note, Nathan Haselbauer is deceased. He committed suicide. The International High IQ Society appears functional with some provisions for members regarding correspondence and discussion, while no formally listed publication, as follows:

When you join IHIQS, you get a membership certificate and you can become a part of our online community to participate in forum discussions, learn from top experts, connect with intelligent people and advance yourself.

We have a private online forum at our website and are available on Facebook as well as LinkedIn and Instagram. We currently have no offline events, but other members may well live close by. As long as you “kick the ball and not the player”, you will find yourself in an open-minded environment where you are allowed to kick the ball quite hard.

You do not have access to a representative publication. You have access to a private online forum, Meta/Facebook discussions, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

3. The Deep Brain Society of Anna Maria Santoro and Vincenzo D’Onofrio

A publication, Profondamente (DeepBrain Society Magazine/DeepBrain Magazine), is listed with the Executive Editor, Anna Maria Santoro. Contributors are not remunerated for submissions. This may be a pervasive fact with high-I.Q. society publications. Two issues have been published: 2010 and June, 2012.

4. Mensa Society of Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill

Mensa World Journal is the flagship international publication of ‘Mensa Society’ or Mensa International. It replaced the International Journal in 2013.

5. The High Potentials Society of Max Tiefenbacher

There is a listed point or not to a Society Magazine. However, finding a hyperlink to such a point of reference is not present, perhaps, this remains only accessible to members. I hold no formal memberships in any high-I.Q. society, as I take this as an independent journalistic endeavour. Thus, a publication or magazine may exist, though the access may be restricted to members and not the general public.

6. Intertel of Ralph Haines

Intertel has a flagship publication, Integra. Its members are encouraged to contribute to it. They state, “Because members of Intertel are so geographically widespread, communication is very important. All members are encouraged to contribute to Integra, the Journal of Intertel, published ten times a year. In addition, regional newsletters are published periodically, and many members correspond via e-mail or a growing variety of online forums. There is an annual gathering (this year in Prague), and the various regions schedule social activities.”

7. The Top One Percent Society (TOPS) of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

Termite is the official publication of TOPS. It appears as if limited to members.

8. The Colloquy Society of Julia Cachia

A flagship publication does not appear available. However, a series of articles are open for reading to an interested community.

9. The CIVIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

No individual publication appears to exist for The CIVIQ Society. However, its umbrella World Intelligence Network’s flagship publication is Phenomenon.

10. The Glia Society of Paul Cooijmans

Thoth is its flagship publication. The Glia Society website states, “The journal “Thoth” is available only to members and appears in digital format. It guarantees absolute freedom of speech and has no editorial changes or censorship of any kind. Thoth is filled with members’ submissions, and occasionally contains material by others.

Thoth has a variable number of pages of A5 size. Images are frequently included.

Thoth is named after the Egyptian moon god, who weighed the hearts of the deceased to determine if they would be admitted to the hereafter or, if the examination was failed, torn apart by a monster. Thoth is also the name used by the future Grail Society member.”

11. International Society for Philosophical Enquiries/International Society for Philosophical Inquiry (ISPE) of Christopher Harding

Telicom is its flagship publication. It has a robust presentation online as a provision for its membership. This appears to be — out of the 11 examined so far — one of the more publicly well-presented publications.

12. The Triple Nine Society (TNS) of Richard Canty, Dr. Ronald Hoeflin, Ronald Penner, Edgar Van Vleck, and Kevin Langdon

Vidya is the official publication of the Triple Nine Society. It states, “Vidya content is exclusively provided by members. There are personal stories and experiences, semi-scientific articles, puzzles, pictures, poems, news about the society — and everything in-between. Below are some articles that will hopefully give you an impression of the diversity you can expect in TNS. And they are good reads, too.”

13. The AtlantIQ Society of Beatrice Rescazzi and Moreno Casalegno

Leonardo is the official publication of the AtlantIQ Society. It has 48 issues to date. It amounts to a multi-society publication hosted on the new AtlantIQ Society website. They state, “These are the issues of the new Leonardo — the magazine of the AtlantIQ Society, STHIQ Society and the Creative Genius Society — and the previous AtlantIQ Society Members’ Magazine issues. They are freely readable and downloadable by everyone.
This is a multimedia magazine: you can click on photos and links to know more about the article you are reading. 
You can easily read the magazine after clicking the image links and going full screen (click the square button in the lower right side of the preview window).”

14. The EpIQ Society of Chris Chsioufis

A magazine connected to EpIQ Society via the IQ Nexus is IQ Nexus Journal.

15. The IQuadrivium Society of Karyn S. Huntting

No discernible publication exists for The Iquadrivium Society.

16. The Society for Intellectually Gifted Individuals with Disabilities of Nathaniel David Durham/Nate Durham with assistant Lyla Durham

No publication appears to exist for The Society for Intellectually Gifted Individuals with Disabilities.

17. The Encefálica Society of Luis Enrique Pérez Ostoa

No discoverable publications for The Encefálica Society.

18. The Greatest Minds Society of Roberto A. Rodriguez Cruz

No found publication for The Greatest Minds Society.

19. The Mysterium Society of Greg A. Grove

No apparent publication for The Mysterium Society.

20. The Sigma II Society of Hindemburg Melão

No apparent flagship publication for this society, though under the rubric of the Sigma Society. Sigma Society website has a database of articles relevant to its international community of about 200+ members.

21. The Mind Society of Hernan R. Chang

No formal publication exists for Mind Society. However, the society exists a means by which members can communicate with other members without affiliation with other societies.

22. The Infinity International Society (IIS) of Jeffrey Osgood

Its publication exists under the rubric of IQ Nexus, where IQ Nexus Journal amounts to the journal for The Infinity International Society and others.

23. The Sigma III Society of Hindemburg Melão

No apparent flagship publication for this society, though under the rubric of the Sigma Society. Sigma Society website has a database of articles relevant to its international community of about 200+ members.

24. The Milenija Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec and Mislav Predavec

No apparent publication at this time. Nonetheless, Ivan Ivec retired from test construction. Mislav Predavec may be different.

3.13 Sigma to 4.8 Sigma

25. ISI-Society of Dr. Jonathan Wai

The Isi-s Discussion Group, WIN Board: WIN, and IQ Nexus forum, exist for communication of members. No formal publication found at this time for ISI-Society.

26. Epida Society of Fernando Barbosa Neto

No publication at this time.

27. SPIQR Society of Marco Ripà

No flagship publication at this time. In fact, membership considerations are suspended at the moment.

28. Vertex Society of Stevan M. Damjanovic

Zero publications for Vertex Society.

29. Epimetheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

A section of the website states “Termite.” This may be a reference to the aforementioned publication Termite for TOPS.

30. HELLIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

No individual publication appears to exist for The HELLIQ Society. However, its umbrella World Intelligence Network’s flagship publication is Phenomenon.

31. Prometheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

An interesting and distinct setup for The Prometheus Society. They have a primary forum discussion group entitled The Fire List. It is open to Prometheus Society members and subscribers. Its flagship publication is Gift of Fire published 0 to 10 times per year available to members and subscribers.

32. Sigma IV Society of Hindemburg Melão

No apparent flagship publication for this society, though under the rubric of the Sigma Society. Sigma Society website has a database of articles relevant to its international community of about 200+ members.

33. Tetra Society of Mislav Predavec

No discernible publication for Tetra Society.

34. UltraNet Society/Ultranet of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

An online Meta/Facebook group discussion exists with administrators and moderators as Christopher Michael Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Langan (brother of Mark Langan, Jeffrey Langan, and Colter Langan, and son of the late Mary Chappelle Langan-Hansen), Dr. Gina Langan, Torbjørn Brenna, Freidank Eike, Erin J. Morgart, and Laney Ellis. No formal publication appears to exist.

35. GenerIQ Society of Mislav Predavec

No publication discernible for GenerIQ Society.

36. Mega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society or Noesis is the flagship publication of the Mega Society.

37. Omega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin

A section of the website states “Termite.” This may be a reference to the aforementioned publication Termite for TOPS and for the Epimetheus Society.

38. Pi Society of Dr. Nikos Lygeros/Dr. Nik Lygeros

Its journal appears to be Perfection.

5. Sigma to 7. Sigma

39. Mega International Society/Mega International of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan

Noesis-E and Ubiquity were publications of the larger non-profit organization The Mega Foundation of the same individuals.

40. OLYMPIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis

No individual publication appears to exist for The OLYMPIQ Society. However, its umbrella World Intelligence Network’s flagship publication is Phenomenon.

41. PolymathIQ Society of Ron Altmann

No discernible publication

42. Sigma V Society of Hindemburg Melão

No apparent flagship publication for this society, though under the rubric of the Sigma Society. Sigma Society website has a database of articles relevant to its international community of about 200+ members.

43. Ultima Society of Dr. Ivan Ivec

No found publication.

44. GIGA Society of Paul Cooijmans

A members-only publication named Nemesis is active.

45. Sigma VI Society of Hindemburg Melão

No apparent flagship publication for this society, though under the rubric of the Sigma Society. Sigma Society website has a database of articles relevant to its international community of about 200+ members.

46. Grail Society of Paul Cooijmans

G is the publication, unpublished to date.

47. Tera Society of R. Young

Minds that Matter is the publication with one issue in October, 2014 by Editor Moira Greyland.

The shorthand of this listing of 47 with publications can be cut down. The total of 47, in reality, has about 21 discernible publications. While, within a little bit of analysis, these have plenty of replication. So, even further, the 21 would, in fact, be fewer. To start, those 21 would be the following:

The Deep Brain Society of Anna Maria Santoro and Vincenzo D’Onofrio has the publication Profondamente (DeepBrain Society Magazine/DeepBrain Magazine).

Mensa Society of Lancelot Ware and Roland Berrill has the publication Mensa World Journal.

Intertel of Ralph Haines has the publication Integra.

The Top One Percent Society (TOPS) of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin has the publication Termite.

The Glia Society of Paul Cooijmans has the publication Thoth.

International Society for Philosophical Enquiries/International Society for Philosophical Inquiry (ISPE) of Christopher Harding has the publication Telicom.

The Triple Nine Society (TNS) of Richard Canty, Dr. Ronald Hoeflin, Ronald Penner, Edgar Van Vleck, and Kevin Langdon has the publication Vidya.

The AtlantIQ Society of Beatrice Rescazzi and Moreno Casalegno has the publication Leonardo.

The EpIQ Society of Chris Chsioufis has the publication IQ Nexus Journal.

The Infinity International Society (IIS) of Jeffrey Osgood has the publication IQ Nexus Journal.

Epimetheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin may have the publication Termite.

HELLIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis has the publication Phenomenon.

Prometheus Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin has the publication Gift of Fire.

Mega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin has the publication Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.

Omega Society of Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin may have the publication Termite.

Pi Society of Dr. Nikos Lygeros/Dr. Nik Lygeros has the publication Perfection.

Mega International Society/Mega International of Dr. Gina Langan (formerly Gina LoSasso/Gina Losasso) and Christopher Langan/Chris Langan/Christopher Michael Langan have, or had, the publications Noesis-E and Ubiquity.

OLYMPIQ Society of Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis has the publication Phenomenon.

GIGA Society of Paul Cooijmans has the publication Nemesis.

Grail Society of Paul Cooijmans has the publication G.

Tera Society of R. Young has the publication Minds that Matter.

Yet, when looking at these 21 without replication and with more recent activity, we find 10:

  1. Mensa World Journal.
  2. Thoth.
  3. Telicom.
  4. Vidya.
  5. Leonardo.
  6. Phenomenon.
  7. Gift of Fire.
  8. Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.
  9. Perfection.
  10. Nemesis.

Even eliminating ones only meant for once new membership arrives or has clear presentation to the public or to the membership, we have fewer in number with 8:

  1. Mensa World Journal.
  2. Thoth.
  3. Telicom.
  4. Vidya.
  5. Leonardo.
  6. Phenomenon.
  7. Gift of Fire.
  8. Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.

Others with an honourable mention with three issues intermittently published in the last couple of years, or so, are Deus VULT of CatholIQ Society with Domogoj Domo Kutle/Domagoj Kutle BScEE, Dalibor Marincic MEng, Patrick O’Shea, PhD, Mislav Predavec, Stephan Wagner Damianowitsch, Iakovos Koukas PhD, Thomas Hally, Phillip Power, Kirk Raymond Butt, PhD, DTh, Eick Sternhagen, PhD, Sandra Schlick, PhD, Ivan Ivec, PhD, Dalibor Marincic, MEng, and Patrick O`Shea, PhD., and USIA Research Journal of United Sigma Intelligence Association (formerly United Sigma Korea) with Bryan Kim/YoungHoon Bryan Kim/YoungHoon Kim and Ian Bott, and GENIUS: Proceedings and Publications of the GENIUS High IQ Network/GENIUS: Journal of the GENIUS High IQ Network of The GENIUS High IQ Network with Iakovos Koukas and Daniel Pohl.

Deus VULT listed as a semi-newsletter in the first issue and as a journal in the latest issue. USIA Research Journal listed as published irregularly. GENIUS: Proceedings and Publications of the GENIUS High IQ Network/GENIUS: Journal of the GENIUS High IQ Network with four issues: “Gnorizon,” “Logicon,” “Thymicon,” and “Noemon,” standing for science/knowledge, logic/philosophy, art/literature, and intelligence/psychology, respectively. If incorporating these with the list of 8, we have 11 active high-I.Q. publications with variations in provisions, rarities, frequency, length, style, content, and tone:

1. Mensa World Journal.

2. Thoth.

3. Telicom.

4. Vidya.

5. Leonardo.

6. Phenomenon.

7. Gift of Fire.

8. Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society.

9. Deus VULT.

10. USIA Research Journal.

11. GENIUS: Proceedings and Publications of the GENIUS High IQ Network/GENIUS: Journal of the GENIUS High IQ Network.

Not everyone, clearly, but it’s a start — there you go; well done to all, and to your communities, as such, murmurs in the void with some eyes watching and comprehending.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Stains Upon the Stains

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/13

Richard May (“May-Tzu”/“MayTzu”/“Mayzi”) is a Member of the Mega Society based on a qualifying score on the Mega Test (before 1995) prior to the compromise of the Mega Test and Co-Editor of Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society. In self-description, May states: “Not even forgotten in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), I’m an Amish yuppie, born near the rarified regions of Laputa, then and often, above suburban Boston. I’ve done occasional consulting and frequent Sisyphean shlepping. Kafka and Munch have been my therapists and allies. Occasionally I’ve strived to descend from the mists to attain the mythic orientation known as having one’s feet upon the Earth. An ailurophile and a cerebrotonic ectomorph, I write for beings which do not, and never will, exist — writings for no one. I’ve been awarded an M.A. degree, mirabile dictu, in the humanities/philosophy, and U.S. patent for a board game of possible interest to extraterrestrials. I’m a member of the Mega Society, the Omega Society and formerly of Mensa. I’m the founder of the Exa Society, the transfinite Aleph-3 Society and of the renowned Laputans Manqué. I’m a biographee in Who’s Who in the Brane World. My interests include the realization of the idea of humans as incomplete beings with the capacity to complete their own evolution by effecting a change in their being and consciousness. In a moment of presence to myself in inner silence, when I see Richard May’s non-being, ‘I’ am. You can meet me if you go to an empty room.” Some other resources include Stains Upon the Silence: something for no one, McGinnis Genealogy of Crown Point, New York: Hiram Porter McGinnis, Swines List, Solipsist Soliloquies, Board Game, Lulu blog, Memoir of a Non-Irish Non-Jew, and May-Tzu’s posterous. Recently, we released an ebook, here (hyperlinked).

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Where does the original book’s title Stains Upon the Silence start? Who coined it? What is the idea behind it?

Richard May: Please allow me to quote one of the innumerable people who do not know Richard May/May-Tzu viz. Richard May/May-Tzu at the beginning of our second interview:

Richard May[1],[2]*: I think the expression that “each word is a stain upon the silence” originated with Samuel Beckett, who may have implied that his words were less true and beautiful than silence. The silence of pure consciousness in the moment is suggested to and by me, but not necessarily meant by Beckett, analogous to sunyata, the Buddhistic void.

“ — Something for no one” anticipates that the book is unlikely to immediately be made into a hit TV series or become a popular film. Only the subset of the general population with both fairly high cognitive ability and a degree of “right-brainedness” and/or appreciation of artistic creativity are likely to value the work. These two factors probably have a correlation of about zero (0). So this is not a large potential audience.

Jacobsen: Its structure seems almost ‘damn-it-all’ as if not there, though discernible in snippets. What is the intended “structure” if any of Stains Upon the Silence?

May: I just arranged material which had been published in Noesis, and, hence in some sense vetted, sequentially in what appeared to be to me an not entirely random order by meanings. But each writing was done separately and independently of the others, so in fact there is only little order.

Jacobsen: You were the second person to earn a perfect score on the verbal section of the Mega Test of Ronald Hoeflin, the first being Marilyn vos Savant (Marilyn Mach vos Savant), which permitted entrance into the Mega Society. A theoretical 1-in-a-million high-I.Q. society based out of the United States of America, primarily, though international if considering an online environment for readers and contributors to the journal, Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society. You are the Co-Editor with Ken Shea of Noesis. Even with these, for the most part, as you note, you have avoided the media. Why avoid the media?

May: I have little respect for the rather biased main stream media today. I have no desire to be famous. How does it enhance me if I have, or imagine that I have, millions of drooling fans and even less privacy? Some may use media attention to make money, which is a different matter. My persona or false personality should not be propped up, especially by strangers or by imaginary ‘friends’ on Meta or whatever.

Jacobsen: With these decades of avoiding the media when intermittent opportunities arose for you, when I asked for In-Sight Publishing, why accept the interview(s)?

May: Your interviews with Rick Rosner had been published in Noesis, so I thought you probably would not do a drive by shooting.

Jacobsen: The interviews, so far, carried into 11 sessions, which shows commitment and patience from you. Why stick it out?

May: Maybe these interviews are my children, pathetic from a normal perspective, I suppose. But at least I don’t have to change their diapers. The shit remains right where it is — in the interview. I don’t have to pay their college tuition either. And I don’t need to have the Nature inspired delusion that I am my genes and will somehow live on in my progeny.

Jacobsen: Our first formal book production became Stains Upon the Stains. Why choose this title?

May: If my writings are stains upon the silence, then my commentary on the writings would be stains upon the stains, if I’m lucky.

Jacobsen: What can readers future-past or past-future ‘expect’?

May: My hope, of course, is that this will all be made into a major motion picture that no one will go to.

Jacobsen: Thanks, Chard.

May: I’m only a shard of chard now. But thank you and you are very welcome.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Canadian Pastor Bruxy Cavey Alleged Sexual Assault Cases Continue

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/12

Bruxy Cavey (57), disgraced Canadian pastor, has been charged with sexual assault against an adult female. Cavey is a pastor of one of the largest churches in Canada, The Meeting House. It has 20 campuses across Ontario. The charge came May 31.

In March, Cavey was requested to resign from post as a pastor of the church in March of 2022. The March request came after an independent investigator found Cavey had a years-long sexual relationship with a member of the church.

The church investigator stated the prior relationship was “sexual harassment” and an “abuse of power.” Detective Jeremy Miller, Hamilton Police Service, stated the unit received a “publication ban.” This means some information cannot be released to the public.

Cavey came voluntarily to the police station. He was charged and released. He will appear in court on June 27. The alleged assault happened off church property in Hamilton. Days after resignation, two more allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against Cavey.

In a June 6 press release, the Hamilton police believe more victims may be extant. Cavey considered the first accusations as true and “an extramarital affair.” No statute of limitations exists for criminal charges brought on sexual assault in Canada.

Consent in Level 1 sexual assault, as brought to Cavey, means the abuse of trust, power, or authority.

With files from Religion News Service

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Ride On Time in Triumph: Canadian Equestrianism and Injuries

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/11

Injuries remain common in all sports. Each comes with statistical tendencies in injury rates and severities. Equestrianism harbours its own unfortunate cases, even among the most accomplished riders in the sport’s Canadian history.

Not a lot of up-to-date information exists on the rates of injuries in the 2020s for equestrians, however, the Government of Canada has some statistics from 1996 archived. I could be wrong here. At the time, 48.1% of injuries were children 10-to-14 years of age. For riders, this, probably, makes sense as those are the ages many youths enter into horse riding.

As with anyone entering a sport for the first time, injuries will occur. 76.5% of all equestrian injuries were women. Again, this makes a lot of sense, as most of the riders are women in Canada, if agglomerating the participation numbers over all age cohorts. Those with more experience in the industry would be able to provide plausible reasons as to the injuries occurring in the summer (40.9%), the weekends (46.9%), and between 12:00 and 20:00 (62.2%).

These statistics seem to tell a story of summer weekends between 12:00 and 20:00 as the most likely time for injury, especially amongst 10-to-14-year-old girls. The majority of these injuries (62.1%) happened when the rider fell from the horse. As someone new to the industry, this is commonly stated. It’s dangerous to ride a horse. If you ride, you’re going to fall. If you fall, you’ll likely get hurt. Regardless, take some Advil and get back on the horse, the day is still here, and long.

In the industry, in equestrianism, in Canada, the risk of injury is high. Yet, as I have witnessed in working in the industry, the people, mostly women — who tolerate me (lucky me), remain devoted to the activity. They love riding. They love horses, particularly theirs. They love the social life. They love the art and sport of horsemanship. In Canada, one could, with a neologism, legitimately quip, “The art and sport of Horsewomanship.”

As stated in the first article entitled “Canadian Equitation Equation Introduction: Langley, Horse Capital of B.C.,” the major players in the history and active communities of equestrianism can be catalogued rather tightly: “Amy Millar, Eric Lamaze, Erynn Ballard/Erynn L. Ballard, Ian Millar, James Day, James Elder, Jill Henselwood, Laura Balisky (Tidball-Balisky/Tidball), Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Mario Deslauriers, Michel Vaillancourt, Nicole Walker, Thomas (Tom) Gayford, Tiffany Foster, Yann Candele.” I am happy to include others. Neither snubbing nor ignoring, merely an organic development of knowledge from a base zero.

Others exist. Yet, the aforementioned comprise a close-knit listing of the country’s best in class over a span of several decades, as noted by Olympic participation, for example. The natural question in a brief look at statistics more than a quarter of a century old: “What about the most accomplished riders?” Indeed, they have experienced extreme injuries, several of them. The biographical data may be disparate for some.

Nonetheless, these individuals will partake of a natural consequence of riding horses for a long time and jumping at the 1.60m level. One could infer: If jumping higher, then falling farther, so injuries being more severe when occurring.

By the way, equestrians state things in a particular patois. They have a world unto themselves, thus a lingo, too. In this manner, most Canadians would state 1.60 metres as “one point six zero metres.” Equestrians say, “A metre sixty.” Language always gives people away. Horse people, in this way, have a consistency with everyone else, in nuanced speech acts and patterns delineating a linguistic culture.

Let’s look at them alphabetically from first name, as presented above:

Amy Millar does not seem to have suffered a major injury when looking into popular reportage. Unless, naturally, or of course, I am missing a narrative. The only period of requiring time away from riding appears to be giving birth (son, Alexander; daughter, Lily).

Eric Lamaze, as some commentators note, looks as if deserving of a book devoted to his professional narrative. The death of Hickstead with an acute aortic rupture at competition, the cocaine basis for rejection in competing with an overturn of the decision by an arbitrator (and cold medication, diet pills, and cocaine, in a later occasion), the Olympic medals and comebacks, the battle with brain cancer, and, most recently, the announcement of formal retirement in March of 2022, can set some points of future reflection and writing. As this particular article’s foci are injuries, he was out for three weeks from a foot injury with aggressive surgery involving screws at one time, which seems minor to other eventualities of personal choices, in some considerations, and happenstances of unfortunate fate, in others.

Erynn Ballard/Erynn L. Ballard, in May of 2013, fell and broke a collarbone and damaged a shoulder joint. This resulted in nerve damage and a nearly paralyzed arm. Within one year, she returned. Another story of triumph amongst Canadian equestrians.

Ian Millar, “Captain Canada,” had an accident at his farm in Perth in October, 2020. He was 74-years-old. When riding a young mare that reared her hind legs, came down hard and spun around, Millar went through the air, landed, and the mare came down on him 3 times. He suffered major blood loss in his left arm above the elbow. He reported seeing nerves and muscles in the injury. He returned after treatment to his home in about 6 hours.

James Day harbours an incredible equestrian pedigree in Canadian show jumping history. To his credit, as far as I can find, I do not see a history of a major injury for Day.

James Elder, similar to Day and of the same pedigree, I cannot find an explicit story — perhaps, due to the historical nature of the accomplishments and legacy — about an injury.

Jill Henselwood, similar to Day and Elder, did not acquire a major injury in the midst of performing in a basic review of some online resource. For a period of her career, Henselwood had significant luck, by some reportage.

Laura Balisky (Laura Tidball-Balisky/Laura Tidball), first Canadian and youngest woman to win both the ASPCA Maclay Medal Final (1980) and the AHSA Medal Finals, does not seem to have a significant injury on the records in a simple examination of records.

Lisa Carlsen, as another without an apparent record of injury, seems to have come out unscathed in the major injury department of Canadian equestrians.

Mac Cone appears to only have an injured horse hindering career progression on the record.

Mario Deslauriers did not appear to suffer a significant injury. In fact, he simply appears remarkable for returning after 33 years to the sport.

Michel Vaillancourt did not suffer from a major injury. However, his father, in fact, died from an accident in 1971, where his mount fell on him, which seems particularly tragic for a young man.

Nicole Walker had an incident, according to her, of ingesting coca tea, which lead to a drug test resulting in cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine identification. A Prohibited Substance under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, this resulted, eventually, in Canada’s disqualification from the 2020 team spot at Tokyo. Panam Sports accepted the coca leaf consumption claim. She suffered a more serious professional injury of the knee. She tore the ACL or anterior cruciate ligament, had minor tears of other ligaments, and fractured the fibular head. She recovered by 2021 and has been competing successfully. Another rising story of success and triumph.

Thomas (Tom) Gayford has been a historical figure, as with James Day and Jim Elder, as highly successful figures in Canadian show jumping. However, as with Day and Elder, I cannot find a significant injury of the gentleman. Although, one can find lots of medals.

Tiffany Foster, when schooling an inexperienced 6-year-old mare, attempted to teach the mare to jump a line of small jumps measuring about one metre in height, or a cavalettis, slower than before. Something bad happened. Next thing Foster knew, she woke up, face in the sand with “searing pain” — then unconscious again. She awoke strapped-up in an emergency room in a local hospital. She had a burst fracture at the T-6 vertebrae, loose bone particles floated around her spinal cord. An 8-hour surgery led to “a plate, six screws, six clips, and two titanium rods inserted, and [her] spine fused from T-2 to T-10.”

Yann Candele, as with others, does not appear to have suffered a major injury, while being a successful international show jumper for Canada.

Injuries don’t always happen to equestrians. When they happen at the highest level, they tend to be significant and require weeks to months of reparative work. All this analysis side-steps the lifelong issues, potentially, sitting before all equestrians with issues of the hip, back, and elsewhere, due to the strain on the body from riding. These side-stepped issues are not pins, screws, bolts, and titanium plates; they’re gradual erosion of the body in an all-consuming, entirely demanding professional sport. Others can be examined of prominence in equestrianism in Canada, and more in-depth research can be done. Nonetheless, all this says, “It’s a lifestyle.”

Life lesson: Apparently, injuries are common at all levels, sometimes highly damaging physically, with international show jumping as a do-or-die sport; bottom line, equestrians make a ‘beast of burden’ do something almost civilized, somewhat human-like, with an ever-present risk of bodily damage at all stages and ages.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Temporary Suspension of Random Arrival COVID-19 Testing in Canada

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/11

Randomized arrival testing at Canadian airports will be suspended (on the prior mandatory basis). Only unvaccinated travellers on June 11 forward will require testing upon re-entry into Canada.

Previously, fully vaccinated travellers were subjected to randomized testing too. It amounts to a pause on the random arrival testing between June 11 and July 1. July 1, the randomized testing, presumably, will begin once again.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos’ spokesperson, Marie-France Proulx, stated, “…this is the only way we have of detecting new variants coming into the country, given that provinces and territories are no longer doing any PCR testing.”

Airports, with these changes, can dismantle testing sites dedicated specified in particular spaces at airports. The three-week period permits to shift to off-site testing of COVID-19.

Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault said, “It’s going to make sure that the airports flow more quickly. The airports aren’t designed to be mini health care centres and so this will help with staff, it’ll help with congestion… So this is a good step in the right direction.”

With more widespread vaccination, especially among Canadians, and a vaccine-induced immunity to the virus, a widespread testing regime may become less necessary, according to public health experts. The removal of upon-arrival testing sites will reduce clogged airport systems and delays at airports.

However, the Government of Canada has defended the arrival testing program on the grounds of finding novel variants of the coronavirus, potentially, entering into the country and tracking the number of COVID-19 cases coming into Canada.

A major concern for all parties has been Toronto Pearson International’s hours-long waits as of recent. Staff may be overburdened in the midst of this. Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has expressed this concern of delays. This will become worse, if kept up for the busy summer months.

The Canadian Government has hired 800 Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) screening officers to process this deluge of passengers. Opposition Conservatives urge the Government of Canada to drop vaccine mandates. These require travellers to give proof of vaccination. Passengers are required to show proof of vaccination, which the Opposition Conservatives disagree with as a policy.

Vaccine mandate is still required for federal employees and transport workers. Some claim this is resulting in staff shortages for airports.

With files from CBC News

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Prof. Vaknin on Freedom of Expression

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/10

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about freedom of expression.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Freedom of expression is a paper right in most places of the world. It is listed in international rights documents and in national constitutions. Yet, one could ask, “What is the ‘free’ part of freedom of expression?” It depends on the society and the culture, and the person. So, to open this session, what is a proper framing of rights, responsibilities, obligations, and privileges in societies, i.e., an accurate frame or definition to ground practice of free expression?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: Freedom of expression, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, is a feature of individualistic societies. Where collectivism reigns, this amalgam of rights is subordinated to the greater good.

Ironically, utilitarianism inexorably leads to limitations on these freedoms intended to protect the majority against the incursions of disruptive or even destructive minorities.

Yet, even in anarchic polities, freedom of expression cannot be abused to spread panic (crying fire in a crowded theatre), life threatening misinformation (re: the COVID-19 pandemic), or to threaten the wellbeing and lives of others (e.g., virulent racism, or calls for eugenic culling, or victimization). Only anomic civilizations in decadent decline countenance such toxic speech acts.

Jacobsen: Which countries and parts of the world seem the freest regarding freedom of expression?

Vaknin: It is a surprisingly mixed bag including perennials like Denmark and Finland, but also surprises like Argentina and Slovakia.

But freedom — all freedoms — are on the decline everywhere, besieged by populism, profound mistrust of authority and of expertise, anti-intellectualism, anti-elitism, anti-liberalism (anti-“progressivism”), and the dominance of rapid dissemination technologies such as social media.

Ochlocracies (mob rule) are regaining ground all over the world, led by authoritarian, proudly ignorant, and defiantly contumacious and reactant narcissistic-psychopathic leaders.

Jacobsen: Which nations and regions of the world seem the least free regarding freedom of expression?

Vaknin: Again, the rankings are counterintuitive. Canada, for example, is less free than Uruguay and the USA is languishing with Peru somewhere at the bottom of the upper third.

Jacobsen: How did (and does) the internet change freedom of expression or the access to free exchange of words, ideas, and philosophies, or simply disjointed randomly emoted thoughts?

Vaknin: In the internet age, the distinction between raw information and knowledge (structured data) is lost. The internet is a huge dumping ground for half-baked truths, rank nonsense, misinformation, propaganda, hate speech, speculation, and outright derangement. Even where vetted and reliable information is available, it is unprocessed and out of context.

No single technology has harmed free expression more than the internet. It has created a problem of discoverability (locating quality content in a sempiternal tsunami of trash) and allowed mobs to form and to ominously suppress speech by sheer force of numbers (the cancel culture is the latest example of such transgressions).

All semblance of civilized, informed speech is now lost even in academe. Social media were deliberately constructed by engineers and turncoat psychologists to polarize aggressive speech and cement confirmation bias (silos of like-minded people in echo chambers).

Jacobsen: Following from the previous question, is this net good or net bad?

Vaknin: Bad by a long shot.

https://videotranscripts.dk/ (Transcripts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpvv_ooqJik (The True Toxicity of Social Media)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY79nDYjW94 (Malignant Egalitarianism)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvuRmP3KP1g (The Need to Be Seen)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgjOH0kDErw (A-social Media: Fracking Mankind)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVprI6_P8GE (Plugged-in Documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2rKrWNWkS0 (How to Fix Social Media)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIElARjRGTo (Social Media as the Big Eye)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NTwxAJDMTo (Metaverse: Conspiracy or Heaven?)

Jacobsen: One camp will claim complete freedom of expression in social media will be a net good because the liars and defamers will be overwhelmed by more reasonable voices and evidence. Another camp thinks there should be sharp restrictions on particular types of speech, electronic communication, and so on. Those are two big ones. A third believes in outlawing social media altogether, so stringently binding or making illegal social media for some people if not most or all. It’d be similar to acquisition of a firearm in much of the world, getting a driver’s license, qualifying as a surgeon or an accountant, and such. You have commented on this. With social media, what should be done for or against freedom of expression, if anything?

Vaknin: Social media are utilities and should be subjected to the same regulatory oversights that other media and monopolistic utilities are under.

Additionally, owing to the addictive nature of social media, laws should be passed to restrict their use and to monitor the content posted on them.

Self-regulation is a myth on Wall Street as it is in tech valleys around the globe. Where money rears its head, morality and restraint and the public interest go out of the window.

Crowdsourced regulation is the dumbest idea ever. Majorities are forever silent and conflict-averse. Ask the misnamed Mensheviks who were actually the overwhelming majority and yielded to the equally mislabeled Bolsheviks who were more ruthless and vociferous and better mobilized.

Jacobsen: What does social media and internet use do in mild use and in chronic use to the mental health of individuals and groups?

Vaknin: The evidence is unequivocal (see the studies by Twenge et al.): the more extensive the exposure to screens, the longer the screentime, the higher the prevalence and incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders, especially among the young (under 25) and among seniors over 65. There is no such thing as “mild” or “moderate” use: the effects commence at the first moment of use.

Jacobsen: What do trends of expression and outcomes among users of social media tell us about individual psychology and mass psychology, and social media in general?

Vaknin: By far the biggest problem social media use has fostered is what I call “malignant egalitarianism”.

Malignant egalitarianism is threatening our existence as a species. Until about 10 years ago, people — even narcissists — had role models they sought to learn from and emulate and ideals which they aspired to.

Today, everyone — never mind how unintelligent, ignorant, or unaccomplished — claim superiority or at least equality to everyone else.

Armed with egalitarian equal access technology like social media, everyone virulently detest and seek to destroy or reduce to their level their betters and that which they cannot attain or equal.

Pathological envy (egged on by instruments of relative positioning such as “likes”) had fully substituted for learning and self-improvement. Experts, scholars, and intellectuals are scorned and threatened. Everyone is an instant polymath and an ersatz da Vinci.

But, this is just one of many vile side effects and byproducts of social media. Watch my videos on the topic (see links above).

Jacobsen: How will the Metaverse, and associated developments, in the 2030s affect relations between people?

Vaknin: Is the Metaverse the ultimate dystopia, an escape from reality, or the promised technological heaven? I summarized my views in this interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NTwxAJDMTo.

Jacobsen: If the goal is mental health for most people most of the time, what are the most efficacious policies and laws for governments to enact, and for individuals and families to practice, regarding social media and the right to freedom of expression?

Vaknin: Limit usage time (clocks embedded in the app will terminate use after 2 hours);

Only real life friends and acquaintances would be allowed to become online friends;

Identity verification would be mandatory for various types of content;

Introduce an accreditation system for experts, gurus, and coaches online;

ScholarTube for vetted, evidence-based knowledge provided by real-life academics or experts;

Curation of most content prior to its release (the contemporary Wikipedia model as distinct from the original crowdsourcing mess).

More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2rKrWNWkS0 (How to Fix Social Media)

Shoshanim: Thank you, Dr. Shmuel.

Vaknin: You are always welcome, shoshanim!

Previous Electronic ‘Print’ Interviews (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Narcissism in General

(News Intervention: January 28, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Cold Therapy (New Treatment Modality)

(News Intervention: January 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Giftedness and IQ

(News Intervention: February 2, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Religion

(News Intervention: February 11, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Science and Reality

(News Intervention: April 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on the Gender Wars

(News Intervention: May 21, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Psychological Growth

(News Intervention: May 24, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Structure, Function, Society, and Survival

(News Intervention: May 26, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

(News Intervention: May 28, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Genius and Insanity

(News Intervention: June 1, 2022)

Previous Interviews Read by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

How to Become the REAL YOU (Interview, News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 26, 2022)

Insider View on Narcissism: What Makes Narcissist Tick (News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 29, 2022)

Curing Your Narcissist (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 31, 2022)

Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: February 3, 2022)

Thrive: Your Future Path to Growth and Change (News Intervention Interview)

Prof. Sam Vaknin: May 25, 2022)

Image Credit: Sam Vaknin.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Canadian Equitation Equation Introduction: Langley, Horse Capital of B.C.

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/04

*Updated June 4, 2022.*

Equestrianism in the Township of Langley remains a stable staple of community, competition, education, industry, recreation, and sport. Dozens of businesses devoted to the art of horses, equestrianism, the equine: Equitation (horsemanship) writ broad. As a formal independent journalistic research project in person, the introduction into the industry requires on-the-ground experiential depth, extensive interpersonal interactions with every person involved in all facets, and integration with the theory and praxis of working with and knowing horses & their people, which began in late 2021 working from the bottom with zero background in education or careers to buttress entrance into the discipline. The necessary embarrassment of a steep learning curve and arduous manual labour to become acquainted with the sensations and experiences of working around the equine and equestrians. Nothing prepares for it; a world unto itself and, in a manner of speaking, a community unlike most others, though seemingly disparate while networked.

This is a terse introduction to the horse capital of British Columbia: The Township of Langley. A more thorough presentation will be delivered in future articles. In some sense of the term “fundament,” a fundament of Langley is recognition of this as a land of hippophiles in British Columbia. Those thoroughly bred in family/blood lineages warm to the equine. Its businesses, clubs, equestrian centres, equestrian facilities, farms, horse riding schools, ranches, places for instruction, und so weiter, are manifest, plentiful, which makes sense of the moniker: The Horse Capital of British Columbia. Even with a simple search, you can witness the vast number of networked enterprises.

These are the names emerging for Langley alone: Milner Downs Equestrian Center (2005) Ltd, Sacred Equestrians, Los Vientos Equestrian Centre, High Point Equestrian Center, Westcott Equestrian, Greenhawk Equestrian Sport — Langley, Louisa Nicholls Riding Instruction, M & M Connemaras Horse Farm, Cornwall Ridge Farm, Priority 1 Equestrian, Ponte Equestrian Estates, Sunshine Equestrian Centre, Langley 204 Horseback Riding, Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies, Thunderbird Show Stables, Park Lane Equestrian Centre, Thorbrooke Equestrian, Cartwright Equestrian, Willow Creek Equestrian Centre, Elysium Equine Ltd, Double 4 Equestrian Centre (double 4 equestrian), Footnote Farm, Excelsior Stables & Nicki Muller Training, Sunny Riding Stables, Windsum Enterprises Ltd, Martinoff Equestrian, Langlee Acres, Shelley Lawder Dressage, Equine Studies Canada, Namastables, Sierra Stables, Equidice Stables, Windsor Stables, Thunderbird Show Park, Silver Fox Horse Sales, Epona Stable and Farms Ltd, Sterling Stables, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, Highliner Stables Ltd, Pacific Country Stables, Villa Training, Perneill Training, Dog & Pony Shop, Campbell Downs Equestrian Centre, Papalia Training, Twin Rivers, Hideaway Stables, Hazelmere Equestrian Center, Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities, Stepping Stones Riding & Horsemanship, Triple M Farms, Flightline Farm Arabians, Ponies 4 You, Vintage Riders Equestrian Club, Hit Air Equestrian Canada, OSJS, Glen Valley Stables, The Tack Addict, Denham Stables, Ponder Park Stables, Langley Riders Society, Short Stirrup Stables, October Farm, Highbury Dressage, Jump Start Stables, Gloucester Downs, Laughing Stock Ranch, Skyline Equine, Alliance Training & Stud, The Grene Wode, Bekevar Farms, Willow Lake Farm & Stables, Hobbit Hole Farm, Twin Creeks Ranch, Dreamscape Farm, Adiva Murphy Horsemanship Centre, Rebel Equestrian, EnJ Equine First Aid Training, Freedom Farms livestock, Thunderbird Tack Shop, Unbridling Your Brilliance, Willow Acres, Sycamore Hills Equestrian, Pinto Miremadi Horsemanship, Keepsake Farms, WestMoore Dressage, Dog & Pony Shop, Iron Gait Stables, Hutter Sport Horse Auctions, Thorbrooke Tack, Mia Sheldon Horsemanship, Horse Council BC, Kingdom View Equestrian, High Country Horseshoes, Thunderbird Livestock, BZ Built, Wise Equine Veterinary Services Ltd, Dares Country Feeds, and Stampede Tack & Western Wear, Horse Lover’s Math, probably others.

If not included in the above listing, and wanting inclusion, please let me know (Email: Scott.Douglas.Jacobsen@Gmail.Com), my research is not comprehensive; I’m new to the industry, and know little, even nothing, have mercy on me. The introductory examination to some equestrianism in British Columbia will begin with the Township of Langley while emphasizing those with publicly accessible records via a website, typically. The staggering breadth of one municipality’s horse community extends to other municipalities and across the country — let alone internationally — into a single question, “Where to begin with horses?” Naturally, one at a time, I like a challenge — should be fun.

Canadian equestrianism harbours several household names on the national and international stage: Amy Millar, Eric Lamaze, Erynn Ballard/Erynn L. Ballard, Ian Millar, James Day, James Elder, Jill Henselwood, Laura Balisky (Tidball-Balisky/Tidball), Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Mario Deslauriers, Michel Vaillancourt, Nicole Walker, Thomas (Tom) Gayford, Tiffany Foster, Yann Candele, and many others. Some of these names — e.g., James Day, James Elder, and Thomas Gayford — span back as far as 1968 as a team in show jumping at the Olympics in Mexico City. By the way, all three extant, alive.

While equestrianism can be considered a pursuit for fun, as in a hobby, for most individuals who enter into the discipline, this can slowly, almost inevitably, become a “lifestyle,” which seems like a common phrase in conversation with a number of equestrians, including interviews. It envelops them, as if slowly surrounded by the warm embrace of a horse’s equivalent of a hug. Among other tidbits given by them, to me, when not attempting to force a positive or a negative image of equestrianism, horsemanship, at all levels, remains pluripotent.

Horsemanship seems as if a means by which to show talent relative to one’s class, to integrate one’s flow and feel with a ‘beast of burden’ to perform civilized almost human-like actions, to socialize in a community of others with similar sensibilities and sensitivities, to make a living passing on knowledge to next generations, to create a safe and nurturing environment for girls, women, and the elderly who wish to get on the saddle, et cetera. Even the simple act of tacking up, getting the horse ready, you can watch the gossip, the chit-chatter, and natural activities of a community in love with a lifestyle — fair enough.

All the way to international FEI events and Longines rankings representing the best in class in the world, including several Canadians. Whether small family farms to middle sized ranches to professional equestrian facilities, or carriage tours, or the media sensations about the toings-and-froings of various prominent personalities in community, Canadian equestrianism appears singular (“unto itself”) in many ways. Langley, as one provincial capital, of horses seems like a natural starting place to begin an introduction into equestrianism, so to a community unto itself and, potentially, unlike most others.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Prof. Vaknin on Genius and Insanity

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/01

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about genius and insanity.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Delusions remain ubiquitous. Delusions in conspiracy theories found in 5G, backmasking, Big Pharma, chemtrails, free energy suppression, Holocaust denial, New World Order-ism, QAnon, and so on. Delusions formalized in cults. Delusions in religious discourse, organization, and practice. Delusions promoted in quack ‘medicine’ with acupuncture, alternative ‘medicine,’ anti-GMO movements, anti-vaccination activism, aromatherapy, chiropractory, conversion therapy, faith healing, homeopathy, naturopathy, psychic surgery, Reiki, reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine, and such. Delusions in anti-intellectualism with creation ‘science’ (e.g., the variants of Creationism and Intelligent Design), global warming denialism or even alarmism in some respects, God of the gaps-ism, ‘holy’ text literalism, homeschooling, paranormalism, quantum woo, und so weiter. Delusions in bigotries and prejudices including anti-Semitism, or racist ideologies bound to politics or religion (e.g., white supremacist KKK, black supremacist Nation of Islam, and the like). Delusions in social and political cure-alls for societies’ ills — panaceas, e.g., American commitments to the idea of every problem having a solution. Then there are those who took a permanent lift-off from terra firma and detached from reality altogether, e.g., or a case study, the person running the “Sam Vaknin Scum Antichrist” YouTube channel — an apparent idiotic crazy (read: demented screwball) person. You know the deal. We’re on the same page in the identical book here. There’s a thin line, as has been observed before, between true genius and real insanity. What factors set the distinctions between insanity, on the one hand, and genius, on the other?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: The problem is that both madness and genius involve the ability to reframe reality in an unexpected way (i.e., provide insight) either by gaining a synoptic or interdisciplinary vantage point — or by radically departing from hidden underlying assumptions.

The scientific method is designed to tell the two apart by applying the test of falsifiable predictions. Both madness and genius are theories of the world and of the mind and, like every other type of theory, they yield predictions which can then be tested and falsified.

Most of the predictions yielded by insanity are easily and instantly falsifiable. Most of the predictions garnered by genius hold water for long stretches of time and, even when falsified, it is only in private cases or in extreme conditions. Thus, the theories of relativity falsify Newtonian prediction only on vast scales with incredible energies.

Jacobsen: What are the easiest means by which to distinguish a genius from an insane person?

Vaknin: Psychopathology is rigid. It is unyielding, not amenable to learning, nauseatingly repetitive, constricting, and divorced from reality (impaired reality testing). The genius is immersed in the world even if he is a recluse, he learns and evolves all the time, his mind is kaleidoscopic and vibrant, ever expanding. Insanity is mummified, genius is life reified.

Jacobsen: Is high intelligence required for true genius?

Vaknin: If by intelligence you mean IQ then the answer is a resounding no. The adage about perspiration and inspiration applies. But, more importantly, genius is the ability to see familiar things in a fresh, unprecedented way. Imagination, intuition, and the ability to tell apart the critical from the tangential are the core constituents of genius — not intelligence.

What intelligence does contribute to genius is alacrity. It is a catalyst. It speeds up both the processes of theorizing and of discovery.

Jacobsen: What happens to an insane person who happens to have high intelligence too?

Vaknin: He is likely to construct theories that will pass for genius, especially among laymen. The intelligence of the gifted madman serves to camouflage the lack of rigor and the delusional, counterfactual content of his creations. Rather than catalyze disruptive discoveries, his intellect works overtime at the service of aggressively defending a manifestly risible sleight of hand. It is not open to any modificatory feedback from the environment. The madman’s intellect is solipsistic and moribund.

Jacobsen: What happens in the mind of a genius who slowly deteriorates into an insane person?

Vaknin: He visibly transitions from cognitive flexibility to defensive and hypervigilant rigidity (confirmation bias). His work becomes way more easily falsifiable, sometimes even with mere Gedankenexperiments. He repeats himself ad nauseam. He becomes grandiose (cognitively distorts reality to buttress an inflated and fantastic self-image).

Jacobsen: How do fake geniuses cover for their lack of insight, ingenuity, intelligence, etc.?

Vaknin: They copy and plagiarize. They imitate a real genius’s structured thinking and work. They are good at promoting themselves and getting credit where none is due. Most of these frauds are actually intelligent, but dark personalities (subclinical narcissists, subclinical psychopaths).

Jacobsen: Is true genius more inborn, innate, native to the individual or more honed, refined, developed extrinsically?

Vaknin: We know that IQ is responsive to environmental stimuli. The analytic kind of genius (IQ above 140 or 160) is by far the most studied because it is the most facilely measurable. There are no studies that rigorously link it to heredity. On balance, anecdotal evidence clearly suggests that genius is acquired and can be inculcated at an early age if the child is subjected to rigorous training and a regime of positive and negative reinforcements.

It would behoove us to make a distinction between polymath or synoptic genius and “idiot savant” type of one-track mental acuity (think “Rain Man”). The latter form definitely is neurological and, probably, with a pronounced genetic contribution.

Jacobsen: Some mental disorders, including schizophrenia, appear mostly heritable. Is it the same for various states of insanity in general?

Vaknin: We don’t know enough, not by a long shot. Certain mental illnesses present with structural and functional abnormalities of the brain that are very likely to be genetically coded for: schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder. Other mental health issues run in families, so a genetic component is indicated: Borderline Personality Disorder and psychopathy, for instance.

Jacobsen: Which five individuals seem like true geniuses in the modern world to you? I do not mean rich, famous, well-cited, and the like; even though, they may be rich, famous, or well-cited, etc., as a consequence of successful implementation of aspects of their genius.

Vaknin: Versatile polymaths included Einstein (of course), Richard Feynman (see my interview on Chronon Field Theory), Noam Chomsky, George Steiner (whom I had the pleasure of knowing), and Adolf Hitler (who regrettably turned his considerable gifts to the dark side).

Jacobsen: Do you consider yourself a genius?

Vaknin: Yes.

Shoshanim: Thank you, once again, for your time and the opportunity, Prof. Vaknin.

Vaknin: OK, Shoshanim!

Previous Electronic ‘Print’ Interviews (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Narcissism in General

(News Intervention: January 28, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Cold Therapy (New Treatment Modality)

(News Intervention: January 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Giftedness and IQ

(News Intervention: February 2, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Religion

(News Intervention: February 11, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Science and Reality

(News Intervention: April 30, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on the Gender Wars

(News Intervention: May 21, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Psychological Growth

(News Intervention: May 24, 2022)

Prof. Sam Vaknin on Structure, Function, Society, and Survival

(News Intervention: May 26, 2022)

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

(News Intervention: May 28, 2022)

Previous Interviews Read by Prof. Vaknin (Hyperlinks Active for Titles)

How to Become the REAL YOU (Interview, News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 26, 2022)

Insider View on Narcissism: What Makes Narcissist Tick (News Intervention)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 29, 2022)

Curing Your Narcissist (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: January 31, 2022)

Genius or Gifted? IQ and Beyond (News Intervention Interview)

(Prof. Sam Vaknin: February 3, 2022)

Thrive: Your Future Path to Growth and Change (News Intervention Interview)

Prof. Sam Vaknin: May 25, 2022)

Image Credit: Sam Vaknin.

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Prof. Vaknin on Chronon Field Theory and Time Asymmetry

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): News Intervention

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/05/28

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin (YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Google Scholar) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (Amazon) and After the Rain: How the West Lost the East (Amazon) as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, international affairs, and award-winning short fiction. He was Senior Business Correspondent for United Press International (February, 2001 — April, 2003), CEO of Narcissus Publications (April, 1997 — April 2013), Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician (January, 2011 -), a columnist for PopMatters, eBookWeb, Bellaonline, and Central Europe Review, an editor for The Open Directory and Suite101 (Categories: Mental Health and Central East Europe), and a contributor to Middle East Times, a contributing writer to The American Chronicle Media Group, Columnist and Analyst for Nova Makedonija, Fokus, and Kapital, Founding Analyst of The Analyst Network, former president of the Israeli chapter of the Unification Church’s Professors for World Peace Academy, and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (1979–1982). He has been awarded Israel’s Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978), among other awards. He is Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia (September, 2017 to present), Professor of Finance and Psychology in SIAS-CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies) (April, 2012 to present), a Senior Correspondent for New York Daily Sun (January, 2015 — Present), and Columnist for Allied Newspapers Group (January, 2015 — Present). He lives in Skopje, North Macedonia with his wife, Lidija Rangelovska. Here we talk about the Field Theory of Time, time asymmetry, and chronons.

*Previous interviews listed chronologically after interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You earned a Ph.D. based on a dissertation entitled “Time Asymmetry Revisited” from California Miramar University (previously “Pacific Western University”). “Revisited” is a recurring term, whether on the physics of time or the psychology of narcissism. So, let’s revisit the early 1980s, what was the inspiration or practical purpose of a doctorate in physics from 1982–83?

Prof. Shmuel “Sam” Vaknin: In the 1970s, the second law of thermodynamics has emerged as a major explanation for the Time arrow: entropy inexorably increases and its unidirectional growth determines Time’s exclusive trajectory, from past to future.

This tautology (after all: entropy increases in time!) dominated physics. It provided no insight into the nature of Time or reality (correlation is not causation or any other necessary linkage).

In 1982–3, I met Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize winning genius, in Geneva a few times for long evening reveries in a lakeside shed owned by a common friend (the late Dudley Wright).

One evening, Richard, tired of my diatribes, said: “You are insisting that Time is a nonreducible elementary theoretical entity. If it is so, surely you could derive all of physics from this one single underlying process or thing?”

And this is what I set out to do in my dissertation.

Recently, Eytan Suchard et al. took my work and ran with it and were able to derive every single theory and equation in all fields of physics from my original, way more primitive, thesis.

Jacobsen: Why study time in particular?

Vaknin: Time is the only bridge between physical reality and the human mind. Many scholars — Einstein included — went as far as suggesting that Time is nothing but a mental artefact, a reflection of our inability, as finite creatures, to perceive reality in its totality. Others, starting with Newton, regarded time as ontic.

In my work, Time is the field of all potentials. Only the mind (a sentient intelligence) can witness the becoming of these potentials. This harks back to the observer in some interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.

Jacobsen: What were other research possibilities, in physics, of interest at the time?

Vaknin: I did a lot of work in thermodynamics and quantum physics. But I became disenchanted with the latter as it began to resemble metaphysics.

Jacobsen: Why is time symmetric at one scale of existence and asymmetric at another one?

Vaknin: A directional time does not feature in Newtonian mechanics, in electromagnetic theory, in quantum mechanics, in the equations which describe the world of elementary particles (with the exception of the kaon decay), and in some border astrophysical conditions, where there is time symmetry.

Yet, we perceive the world of the macro as time asymmetric and our cosmology and thermodynamics explicitly incorporate a time arrow, albeit one which is superimposed on the equations and not derived from them. The introduction of stochastic processes has somewhat mitigated this conundrum.

Time is, therefore, an epiphenomenon: it does not characterize the parts — though it emerges as a main property of the whole, as an extensive parameter of macro systems.

Jacobsen: What is the point at which time divides between asymmetric and symmetric, even if artificial and not truly real?

Vaknin: No one knows. The emergence of time in macrosystems is one of the greatest mysteries of science.

Jacobsen: What are chronons?

Vaknin: In my doctoral dissertation (Ph.D. Thesis available from the Library of Congress), I postulate the existence of a particle (chronon). Time is the result of the interaction of chronons, very much as other forces in nature are “transferred” in such interactions.

The Chronon is a time “atom” (actually, an elementary particle, a time “quark”). We can postulate the existence of various time quarks (up, down, colors, etc.) whose properties cancel each other (in pairs, etc.) and thus derive the time arrow (time asymmetry).

My postulated particle (chronon) is not only an ideal clock, but also mediates time itself (same like the relationship between the Higgs boson and mass.) In other words: I propose that what we call “time” is the interaction between chronons in a field. The field is time itself. Chronons exchange a particle and thereby exert a force which we call time. Introducing time as a fifth force gives rise to a quasi-deterministic rendition of quantum theories and links inextricably time to other particle properties, such as mass.

“Events” are perturbations in the Time Field and they are distinct from chronon interactions. Chronon interactions (i.e. particle exchange) in the Time Field generate “time” (small t) and “time asymmetry” as we observe them.

My work is, therefore, a Field Theory of Time. The Universe is observing itself. It is the only privileged observer and frame of reference, which restores intuitive (Einsteinian) determinism to physics.

The idea of atomistic, discrete time has a long pedigree in physics (Descartes, Gassendi, Torricelli, among others). More recently, Boltzmann, Mach, and even Poincare all toyed with the concept. There was a brief flowering of various speculative and not very rigorous, almost metaphysical or numerological models immediately after the introduction of quantum mechanics in the 1920s and 1930s (Palacios, Thomson indirectly, Levi who coined the neologism “chronon”, Pokrowski, Gottfried Beck, Schames, Proca with his “granular” time, Ruark, Flint and Richardson, Glaser and Sitte).

Oddly, luminaries such as Pauli, de Broglie, and especially Schroedinger were drawn into the fray, together with lesser lights like Wataghin, Iwanenko, Ambarzumian, Silberstein, Landau, and Peierls. By now, everyone was talking about minimal durations (somehow derived from or correlated to the mass or some other property of each type of elementary particle), not about time “atoms” or a lattice. This subtle conceptual transition between mutually-contradictory notions caused an almighty and enduring confusion. Is time itself somehow discrete/quantized/atomized — or are our measurements discontinuous?

Ever since the early 1960s and especially during the 1990s, there have been several attempts to build on the work of the likes of H. S. Snyder (Physical Review 71, (1) 1947, 38) to suggest a quantized spacetime or a Quantum Field Theory, Tsung Dao Lee’s work being the most notable attempt. More recent work with relativistic stochastic models led inexorably to discrete time

P. Caldirola postulated the existence of a chronon (1955, 1980): “An elementary interval of time characterizing the variation of the particle’s state under the action of external forces”. He calculated chronons for several types of particles, most notably the electron, both classical and in (nonrelativistic) quantum mechanics.

In 1982–3, I proposed that chronons may be actual particles — more about my work HERE. A decade later, in 1992, Kenneth J. Hsu suggested the very same thing (though without reference to my work). He postulated sequencing cues delivered to particles by captured chronons. Like me, he hypothesized the existence of various types of chronons (“large” and small). Chronons, wrote Hsu are also involved in the catalysis of events. Finally, like me, Hsu also posited a field theory for the flow of chronons. In 1994, C. Wolf again suggested the existence of time atoms (Nuov. Cim. B 109 (3) 1994 213).

In 1993, Arthur Charlesby suggested that particles have an intrinsic discrete time property and that time (interval in the presence of relative motion) has a “quantized nature”. This dispenses with the need for a wave concept as a mere mathematical expedient in the case of individual events (though still useful in contemplating continuous relative motion). This notion of “proprietary” or “individual” system-specific time as distinct from a “systemic”, overall Time was further explored by Alexander R. Karimov in 2008.

In the same year (1993), Sidney Golden published a paper in which he claimed that “quantum time-lapses are … an essential feature of the changes undergone by the energy-eigenfunction-evaluated matrix elements of statistical operators that evolve in accordance with an intrinsic temporal discreteness characteristic of strictly irreversible behavior.”

A year later, in 1994, A. P. Balachandran and L. Chandar studied the quantized of time in discretized gravity models with multiple-valued Hamiltonians. Ruy H. A. Farias and Erasmo Recami (2010) applied a quantum of time to obtain startlingly impressive consequences regarding the treatment of electrons (and, more generally, leptons), the free particle, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom in both classical and quantum physics, in effect proffering a discretized and surprisingly powerful and useful quantum mechanics. Strangely, their work had very little resonance.

Quantized time has been used to suggest solutions to a panoply of riddles in physics, including the K-meson decay, the Klein-Gordon equation, and the application of Kerr-Newman black holes to electron theory, q-deformations and stochastic subordination (“quantum subordination”), among others (R. Hakim, Journal of Mathematical Physics 9 1968, 1805; B. G. Sidharth, 2000, Alexander R. Karimov,2008; Claudio Albanese and Stephan Lawi).

Jacobsen: With the interactions between the chronons in a field creating perturbations for the creation of the idea of the Time Field, the argument implies the 4-dimensionality of space as space-time comes from the perturbations in the Time Field based on the interactions of the chronons in the field exerting a force. So, in a sense, chronons’ interactions in the Time Field produce the temporal dimension, where without the chronons’ interactions in the Time Field; time would not pass because time would not exist in the first place. What is the apparent time asymmetry in this context?

Vaknin: Timespace can be regarded as a wave function with observer-mediated collapse. All the chronons are entangled at the exact “moment” of the Big Bang. This yields a relativistic QFT with chronons as its Field Quanta (excited states.) The integration is achieved via the quantum superpositions.

Another way to look at it is that the metric expansion of time is implied if time is a fourth dimension of space.Time may even be described as a PHONON of the metric itself.

A more productive approach may involve Perturbative QFT. Time from the Big Bang is mediated by chronons and this leads to expansion (including in the number of chronons.) In this case, there are no bound states.

Chronons as excitation states (stochastic perturbations, vibrations) tie in nicely with superstring theories, but without the baggage of extra dimensions and without the metaphysical nonsense of “music of the spheres”. Perturbations also yield General Relativity: cumulative, “emerging” perturbations amount to a distortion (curvature) of time-space. Both superstring theories and GRT are, therefore, private cases of a Chronon Field Theory.

Jacobsen: Have there been other advancements on these ideas since 1983?

Vaknin: Eytan H. Suchard’s Work

Interacting particles with non-gravitational fields can be seen as clocks whose trajectory is not Minkowsky geodesic.

A field in which a small enough clock is not geodesic can be described by a scalar field of time whose gradient has non-zero curvature. The scalar field is either real which describes acceleration of neutral clocks made of charged matter or imaginary, which describes acceleration of clocks made of Majorana type matter.

This way the scalar field adds information to space-time, which is not anticipated by the metric tensor alone. The scalar field can’t be realized as a coordinate because it can be measured from a reference sub-manifold along different curves.

In a “Big Bang” manifold, the field is simply an upper limit on measurable time by interacting clocks, backwards from each event to the big bang singularity as a limit only.

In De Sitter / Anti De Sitter space-time, reference sub-manifolds from which such time is measured along integral curves are described as all the events in which the scalar field is zero. The solution need not be unique but the representation of the acceleration field by an anti-symmetric matrix is unique up to SU(2) x U(1) degrees of freedom.

Matter in Einstein-Grossmann equation is replaced by the action of the acceleration field, i.e. by a geometric action which is not anticipated by the metric alone. This idea leads to a new formalism of matter that replaces the conventional stress-energy-momentum-tensor. The formalism will be mainly developed for classical but also for quantum physics. The result is that a positive charge manifests small attracting gravity and a stronger but small repelling acceleration field that repels even uncharged particles that measure proper time, i.e. have rest mass.

The negative charge manifests a repelling anti-gravity but also a stronger acceleration field that attracts even uncharged particles that measure proper time, i.e. have rest mass.

The theory leads to causal sets. Spacetime exists only where a chronon wave-function collapses. Work still to be done is to replace particles by strings of collapse events. The theory in its quantum form is of events and not of particles.

The theory has technological repercussions and implications regarding “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy”.

Jacobsen: Have there been any experimental results supporting the theoretical framework, even the basic claim of the existence of chronons?

Vaknin: None. The theoretical framework emerged less than 5 years ago. But there are some technological implications and even an application for a patent in the USA ( https://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20200130870&IDKey=58760C759BBB )

Jacobsen: As a Field Theory of Time, as the field itself is time or events in spacetime equate to perturbations in this field of time, if true, what does this leave — a la Feynman — for future paths of the development of time asymmetry, chronons, temporal field theoretic considerations, and integrations of the Field Theory of Time into a GUT (Grand Unified Theory) and a ToE (Theory of Everything, which you consider inevitable or have “no doubt” about its arrival — eventually)?

Vaknin: Chronon Field Theory is a GUT/TOE. It is parsimonious (Time is the only entity and also the only principle of action). Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AEEwYcWUuc

Every potential in the field, once observed (“collapsed”), is an aspect of physics: mass, momentum, force, particles, symmetry, energy, field coefficients, fine structure constant, gravity, etc.