Rekindling an Archetype: DIY Knighting


My  son just turned eight and I decided it was time to knight him. No, seriously. His birthday falls on the day before the start of his school year and I wanted to meaningfully mark the occasion. It seemed to me becoming ready to start taking on deeper life lessons and preparation for maturity.

To be clear, I myself am not a knight of any official capacity whatsoever. So, what made me feel able to perform such a ceremony? Well, I’m his damn father for starters. Secondly, I realized on the day, if not me, who else? The answer was obvious. The inspiration was sudden and came on the back of a week of my own contemplation of the loss of Rites of Passage rituals in our contemporary culture.

This largely unnoticed phenomenon struck me as simply unacceptable and I sought the best remedy as I could come up with on short notice. The circumstances that brought about this mode of thinking started with a viewing of the classic 1981 film, Excalibur. The fantastical Hollywood rendition of the classic King Arthur story acted as a lightning rod for my own remembrance of youth and the necessity of hero myths. Without knowing from where or how they came to me, the Arthurian legends reemerged from a deep recess of my imagination. Not having considered him in decades, there he was again, like an old friend.

My head began swimming through what it all meant. After a refresher of the outline of Arthur’s life and his symbolic tales, the concept of the knight archetype emerged as the key to his meaning. The resonance of the Arthur legends magnify the presence of the noble Knights of the Roundtable. Here we have not merely the individualistic themes of strength, bravery, and honesty but the collective commitments to brotherhood, honor, and loyalty.

There was an urgent call to reset the principles of the chivalrous knight back into my own life. Not so much that these codes had no base in my life, but more to identify which held the firmest and which needed further crafting. I saw that in my own study of the Mystery School traditions of old as well as my physical dedication to the martial arts, the principles of the knights were not far from my day-to-day life.

The Knights of the Round Table

At the point of identifying with the knight, this invaluable tool of rekindling strong symbols and archetypes as a source of motivation, charged forth. We all are instructed to some degree by an inherited set of values and morals to live by. But words are just words. When expressed in the most visually dramatic form conceivable, words spring into life. I think of this as embodiment. When words are grafted onto actions in the world, be they in the manifest world of the world of imagination, this is where inspiration finds it’s footing. When ethical principles speak to us through the deeds of the hero, visualization and mirroring can do their transformative work.

The instructive lessons encoded into the hero tales of every culture serve a critical purpose in animating the minds of the young and impressionable with active illustrations of what it looks like to live by principle. Heroes are called into action, sometimes willingly, other times, unwillingly. But act they do, and by embodying bravery, determination, and honor, they achieve their mythic status.

It appears that these tales have been with us since the dawn of Civilization. Instead of boring lectures filled with “must” and “shall not,” someone got the bright idea to occult these teachings into super-hero stories. Carl Jung would hold that this impulse is born out of the Collective Unconscious. According to the theory, we are all born with the archetype of in this case, the hero. Because this figure already exists within us, it’s only a matter of activating its symbolism through words and images.

“The archetype — let us never forget this — is a psychic organ present in all of us. A bad explanation means a correspondingly bad attitude toward this organ, which may thus be injured. But the ultimate sufferer is the bad interpreter himself.”― Carl Jung, The Psychology of the Child Archetype

Over time, the figure of the archetype is reborn and outfitted to suit the day at hand. Convinced as I am of the importance of continuing to revitalize these vessels of truth, I began wondering who today’s heroes are. Multi-million dollar pro-athletes? Spoiled and extravagant pop culture stars? Computer-generated video game characters? With the increased psychological complexity and angst of Hollywood renditions of classic comic book characters, I’m still left looking back for a purer standard.

More troubling than the subjective suitability of contemporary examples of nobility in action was the utter lack of meaningful symbolic ceremonies. Speaking as an American, I can say that we are a culture poor in powerful Rites of Passage. I’m sorry to say Sweet Sixteen birthdays and the first drinks of alcohol fail to live up to my idea of an inspired demarcation. High school and college graduations are events to be endured with boredom. What else is there? A hazing given in a Fraternity or Sorority? The thought of my upbringing and the future of my children’s suddenly became depressing. Sometimes it takes a negative to motivate a positive.

The Black Knight

With a little bit of heroic thinking, I realized there’s something I could do to fill the void. If I want my son to have rituals for marking his growth and development into manhood, it was up to me to create them. To resurrect the image of the knight out of the distant past, obscured by a culture of superficiality and consumerism, I had to step forward and take up my rightful duty.

“This is the oath of a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table and should be for all of us to take to heart. I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth, I will never boast, but cherish humility instead, I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word, I will defend those who cannot defend themselves, I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises, I will uphold justice by being fair to all, I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship, I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them, I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help, I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven, I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.” King Arthur, Le Morte d’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table

For further study of the knight, a thorough consultation of the Tarot brings nearly every aspect of the persona to bear. Anyone with a basic knowledge of the symbolic cards would be familiar with the Royal cards associated with each of the four suits. The Knight cards signify energetic action, freedom and fiery purpose. The sons of the Kings and Queens, and the older sibling to the Pages, the Knights have been prepared well and are expected to seek out their destiny and claim it.

Rider-Waite Tarot

“The Four Knights represent exuberance, the first taste of power, real freedom andthe ultimate defining stage of the young to mid adult years of the CourtCards. Their energy is masculine (females can also be represented by a Knight) excitable, infectious and outward. Full of ideas and promise, TheKnights are determined to make their mark. However, they are just findingtheir way in the world and are prone to making mistakes.” — Vivien Ní Dhuinn, Truly Teach me Tarot: The Knights Intro

My intent wasn’t to send my son out into the world to slay dragons at this stage but more so to initiate a role-playing towards future knighthood. And so, with a few simple props on hand, I constructed a simple knighting ritual. In the ceremonies of old, the initiate wore white to symbolize their innocence and purity. At the time there was nothing better than his karate gi, white for the exact same reason. I too, dressed in my own karate uniform. Because I have my own spiritual rituals and commitments, an altar was already dressed for the occasion. Also to my luck was the availability of historical oaths of knighthood, easily found on the Internet. With my references, I wrote up what I felt would be an appropriate oath for an eight-year-old to understand.

It goes without saying that a proper knighting ceremony requires a sacred sword to tap the shoulders of the boy, officially dubbing him as a knight in training. While not a full-length sword, I used a long knife that adequately fulfilled our purposes. With the addition of sage for a simple purification, I had everything I needed to carry out my vision.

Henry Clarence White’s Arthur in the Gruesome Glen

The timely urgency to mark this birthday made all the more sense when my research turned up the fact that back in the day, the making of a true knight happened in three stages. The first occurred at the age of seven or eight and was coined the Page phase. This initial stage was meant to instill the fundamental elements of obedience and courtesy, laying the groundwork for further instruction.

The second stage would have been marked between the ages of 12 and 14, sending the adolescent into the phase of the Squire. This period could be compared to an apprenticeship, in which the trainee was required to take on more responsibility, like care of the knight’s weapons and observance of other tasks. If the acolyte had proven themselves competent and dutiful by the age of 21, they became eligible for the conferring of full Knighthood.

The biggest obstacle I faced was to get my precocious son to agree to actually participate in this odd thing I sprung on him out of nowhere. At eight, his trust in his father is still fairly intact and he very curiously agreed. The production itself took no more than five or six minutes. Considering my lack of experience in the matter, I was satisfied with simply having accomplished the task.

From Boy’s King Arthur, N.C. Wyth

How much he understood the event or what if any impact it had on him, I can’t claim to know. Having previously involved him in the Boy Scouts as well as karate training, the concepts we talked about were not totally foreign to him. If nothing else, I reinforced ideas in a new, creative way. The most important thing, for me , if not for him, was that it was between the two of us. I got to own a moment and take personal responsibility for setting the standard and example of what knighthood was all about.

In a society of increasingly absent fathers and a disregard for the ancient mystery teachings, I took an oath towards the achievement of knighthood on that day right along with him. The time to reignite the guiding myths of old is now. The place to look for permission to do so is within each and every one of us. The call to adventure is our birthright — may our bravery not fail us.

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Why Freemasonry Should Change With The Times


Is  something wrong with Freemasonry? Should Freemasonry undergo changes? These type of questions have become increasingly common as Freemasons struggle to explain the decline in membership amidst the mounting pressure to modernize the order.

First and foremost, I want to admit that Freemasons claiming that Freemasonry doesn’t have to change and that there isn’t anything wrong with it aren’t wrong. Freemasonry doesn’t have to change and in fact, there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with it. Rather, it’s culture in general that has changed and thus created a necessity for change. If say, these cultural changes had not occurred then Freemasonry would be just as relevant as ever. However, culture HAS changed and those changes should be adapted to in order to spur the growth and continuation of the order.

Should Freemasonry Change?

Asserting the necessity for change implies that something is broken but outright stating that Freemasonry is broken would be disingenuous. Freemasonry isn’t broken but it has become quite dated and needs to change with the times.

A lot of Freemasons believe there is no need for change and assert that we should preserve the traditions of Freemasonry. The problem with preserving certain traditions of the order is that some of them are regarded as prejudicial in modern times. To continue those particular traditions is counterproductive to the tolerant and progressive beliefs that Freemasonry once prided itself on.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Change

From gradual changes in the Old Charges, the shift from operative to speculative masonry, the formal establishment of the order, the spread of Grand Lodges, countless changes in the content and structure of the degrees and rituals, the establishment of branches such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite, to Albert Pike’s revisions of the Scottish Rite. The history of Freemasonry is full of changes that benefited and even sparked resurgences in Freemasonry and it is, therefore, counterproductive to fear and reject changes in the order.

The Loss Of Interest

                        The graph above displays the loss of interest in Freemasonry over time. 

The loss of interest is reflected in the decline in membership that is echoed by various orders and institutions. This indicates a cultural change has caused these declines and therefore, only by adapting to these cultural changes could these declines be potentially reversed.

There are those who claim the order experiences periodic rises and falls and therefore, its current decline is of no concern as it will presumably rise again. That’s a misleading and speculative claim, not to mention that it doesn’t explain the declines corresponding in other orders that weren’t corresponding in previous times. There is also the fact that this decline has lasted longer than any of the former declines.

Here is a great article discussing some of the misunderstandings in regards to the membership statistics and what they could imply.

There are many cultural changes and Masonic regulations that could be the cause of these declines or at the very least, certainly aren’t helping the growth of Freemasonry. For example, the general loss of religion, the exclusion of women from Blue Lodge and its extended branches such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite, its exclusion of homosexuals in areas such as Tennessee and Georgia, it’s exclusion of nontheists, its separation of regular Freemasonry from Prince Hall Masonry, etc.

Losing Our Religion

Religion is declining while secularism is rising
. It’s only a matter of time before nontheists outnumber theists. By excluding them, it does Freemasonry no good.

The majority of Masonic allegories are based on a religious narrative and therefore, it’s understandable that Freemasons of former times would believe that nontheists were incapable of relating to or appreciating its allegories. However, that belief is outdated and prejudicial in modern times. A nontheist is fully capable of appreciating the morality, philosophy, history, allegory, and esotericism of Freemasonry.

While concepts such as the ineffability of deity may not be of interest, a nontheist may fully appreciate and understand the concepts of duality and equilibrium or the esotericism of Freemasonry in general, such as the revealing of similarities in various religions and how it ties to astronomy or the depth of symbolism for the purpose of expression.

Women & Freemasonry

“The Freemasons’ attitude towards women seems extraordinarily out of date. They are outstandingly kind to their wives and to their female employees, who are far less likely to encounter harassment or disrespect from Freemasons than from many employers or higher business executives. But the Freemasons not merely exclude women from their own ranks but also refuse to have any dealings with any other society that accepts women.” – pg. 292 of The Freemasons, Jasper Ridley

There is a lot of disingenuous placation in regards to the admission of women into Freemasonry. For example, women are not able to join regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and thereafter join branches such as the Scottish or York Rite, but instead, are relegated to side branches that are often perceived as watered-down branches of Freemasonry. These branches are not regarded as equivalent counterparts nor do they contain the same level of substance. Despite what many Freemasons might claim, it’s simply not the same as regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and its extended branches.

It would do a great deal of good if women were allowed in all branches of Freemasonry, meaning regular and officially recognized branches of Freemasonry, not simply side orders.

The main issue with the admission of women into these regular bodies of Freemasonry is its opposition by Freemasons themselves. Freemasons, especially older Masons, will conjure an endless stream of irrational excuses and pseudo-arguments with hints of prejudice to prevent anyone from making progress in this area.

“Perhaps it is a sound instinct of self-preservation which makes the Freemasons exclude women; for by the year 2030, if not earlier, no one will believe that a society which excludes women, and consists solely of old and middle-aged men, can possibly exercise any influence in political or public life, either for good or for evil.” pg. 293, The Freemasons, Jasper Ridley

Interestingly, other groups have found a lot of success in allowing and encouraging the admission of women. Lions Club International is the perfect example.

“Lions Club International reported 20,000 new members last year after decades of decline. It has 1.35 million worldwide, says spokesman Dane La Joye.

Reaching out to women has been key, La Joye says. “Women are the fastest-growing segment of our membership today,” he says.” — USA Today

Lions Clubs International has experienced a gradual decline in interest that is echoed by other orders and societies. However, it also experiences dramatic upticks of interest that are NOT seen in other orders and has more general interest. For this reason, other orders should consider following the exemplary nature of Lions Club as its appeal to women has clearly shown a difference in membership, interest, and the general acceptance of people.

Homosexuality & Freemasonry

While the Grand Lodge of Tennessee and Georgia have enacted Masonic laws to forbid homosexuals from Freemasonry, most Grand Lodges do NOT support this decision and have urged both Grand Lodges to lift the ban on homosexuality. However, this ( as well as many other things ) affirms the outdated nature of the order and its dogmatic behavior.

The following quotation on the issue from an NPR article about this ruling is precisely the type of thing I’m referring to as dogmatic behavior in Freemasonry.

“Cook suspects that the debate in Tennessee will hinge less on sympathetic appeals and more on whether a ban goes against the founding principles of Freemasonry.” – NPR ( For Freemasons, Is Banning Gays Or Being Gay Un-Masonic? )

Race & Freemasonry

The issue of race in Freemasonry is complicated. While most Freemasons aren’t racist and welcome men of any color to their lodges, there are areas that won’t. This has been admitted and discussed in many posts that are inquiring about Freemasonry, such as this Reddit post.

The problem is obvious. There are men of differing races that want to join regular Blue Lodge Freemasonry and not Prince Hall Freemasonry. However, because of various stigmas and issues, it makes that endeavor problematic at the very least.

There will no tradition of PH or BL Freemasonry if Freemasonry does not survive. It’s in their best interest to preserve Freemasonry itself than to allow it to dwindle into darkness by separating variations of the order. If Freemasonry unites many of its variations and branches, it will do a great deal of good for the order.

Skull and Bones suffered similar reactions to their lack of diversity and progression. However, Skull and Bones decided to make some changes and have experienced positive results. Freemasons should not fear those type of changes as the pattern emerging is that making these type of changes has resulted positively.

Stop Blaming Millennials

Ironically, older Freemasons often blame the decline in Freemasonry on Millennials despite the fact that the decline in Masonic membership started before the Millenials were even born. There are also claims that the Millennial Masons are just too lazy and expect the degrees, rituals, and relative literature to be simplified to accommodate their needs. In truth, it was in the early and mid 90’s that most of the simplification of the craft occurred. For example, the abandoning of Morales & Dogma for A Bridge to Light with the admission that Morales & Dogma is a “tough” read and that “The vast majority of today’s candidates neither enjoy nor comprehend”, its complexity. (Rex R. Hutchens, A Bridge to Light, Introduction To The Revised Edition )

I’m a Millennial and I’ve read both Morales & Dogma and A Bridge to Light countless times. I don’t feel that Morales & Dogma is a tough read nor did I find it difficult to understand the Latin, Hebrew, Greek, or Egyptian references. In fact, I believe Millennials are better equipped to understand these references than past generations considering that we’ve grown up during the age of the internet and are used to researching things online at the click of a mouse.

A Bridge to Light is a simplified and more politically correct version of Morales & Dogma which is ironic, considering that the two major complaints Millennial Masons receive are that we’re supposedly expecting simplification and political correctness. I believe Morales & Dogma was and still is better at expressing and alluding to the meaning and historical narratives that the degrees are based on. Morales & Dogma does avoid the admission of particular things but is more forward and outright, whereas A Bridge to Light dances around particular subjects.

The Matter Of Transparency

The only major change that Freemasons have made that appears to be working is the act of becoming more transparent. This is a step in the right direction and beats embarrassingly silly “solutions” like telling older Masons to “smile more”. Trivialities of that nature aren’t going to do any good for Freemasonry when it’s in need of real changes despite an endless amount of good intent.

I’ve long believed that transparency is not only a principle but an obligation of Freemasonry.

“Rather than being a secret society, Freemasonry is a revealer of secrets.” — pg. 1, A Bridge To Light, Rex R. Hutchens

An Uncomfortable Truth

The perception that Freemasonry is failing has done a lot of damage alone and regardless of where you stand on the matter, doing NOTHING about it will only allow that perception to inform reality and therefore, the only answer is to create positive changes that will stimulate the growth of the order and break that stigma.

An important thing to understand is that saying Freemasons should fully accept women, men of any race, people of any sexual orientation to all branches and variations is only a radical idea to Freemasons. To most of our modern society, these ideas aren’t the least radical, which shows how much Freemasonry is lacking in its sense of moral progression. If Freemasons are so concerned with preserving tradition, it should preserve the progressive principles it was once known for.

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Internal Entities Exposing Hillary Clinton To Invoke Russian Conflict?


Hillary Clinton was listed as an insider threat in an Army training presentation on the best practices for handling classified material and maintaining operational security. According to officials, this was a mistake and the slide featuring Clinton was removed from the presentation. Interestingly, the others listed ( Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, David Petraeus, Nidal Hassan, Aaron Alexis ) are all identifiable as legitimate ‘insider threats’.

Was it a mistake? 

It’s been theorized that Hillary Clinton’s mishandlings of classified information are what inspired the slide featuring her as an insider threat. However, the first DNC email leaks exposing those mishandlings weren’t released until July 22, 2016, but the slide featuring Clinton was developed around seventeen months prior to those leaks.

If this wasn’t a mistake, what could have inspired the consideration of Hillary Clinton as an insider threat? Could it be because of Clinton’s various internal and international scandals or undisclosed association to the Russian Uranium Deal?

“As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” – Read More: New York Times

If it was a mistake, what’s the deal with various reports that the DNC leaks were an inside job to expose Hillary Clinton? For example, CNN reported on Oliver Stone claiming the DNC leaks were an inside job according to numerous intelligence experts he’s spoken with. Stone has been communicating with Edward Snowden a lot, too, for his film “Snowden”, so he may very well be capable of obtaining such intelligence.

This raises the question of why such a thing would occur. The only answer that can be alluded to is to invoke a conflict with Russia based on the perception being pushed to the masses. For example, Hillary Clinton threatening war with Russia if any more hacks occur and Vladimir Putin responding, claiming that “If it’s Clinton, it’s war.” That’s not to mention the blame of the hacks and various Clinton scandals being blamed on Russia by the mainstream media, going so far as to suggest that Clinton was poisoned by Putin and-or Trump.

Regardless of how this situation is analyzed, the emerging conclusion seems to be the invocation of Russian conflict.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign was sabotaged by the DNC to get Trump in place to create the illusion of conflict between Trump and Clinton. There’s some evidence to suggest that the Clintons and Trump were previously on good terms, from the strange call between Bill Clinton and Trump to the fact that the Clintons attended Trump’s wedding. Jeb Bush alluded to a conspiracy to place Trump in as a Clinton oppositional puppet.

It ultimately appears as a duel conspiracy to expose Clinton and to invoke a Russian conflict. The culprit, as Oliver Stone alluded to, must be internal entities, most likely the military industrial complex or intelligence agencies, to create a Russian conflict. This would also explain the incredibly strange statements of Trump invoking violence toward Clinton.

They, these eternal entities, seem to want to invoke a Russian conflict by using Hillary Clinton as a pawn and Trump is there to further escalate the matter. Whether or not Clinton is truly an insider threat or not to the military, may not even be true, but they appear to be using her to invoke this conflict regardless.


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Standing Presidents Have Lied About Their Health Before: There’s No Reason Hillary Clinton Wouldn’t Either


This isn’t the first time a high-profile politician has lied about their health issues. For example, a few standing presidents have lied about their health. Perhaps ‘Standing’ is an overstatement, though.

Woodrow Wilson’s Health Issues Were Kept Under Wraps 

“In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a severe stroke that left him incapacitated until the end of his presidency in 1921, an event that became one of the great crises in presidential succession. However, historian Edwin A. Weinstein notes that Wilson had a history of cerebrovascular disorders going back to 1896, sixteen years before his was elected president.” – Read More: Health Sciences Library 

John F. Kennedy Was Constantly Drugged To Avoid Exposing His Health Issues 

“President John F. Kennedy’s medical records reveal that he had suffered health problems since childhood, and used an arsenal of drugs, including painkillers and stimulants, to treat various medical conditions during his presidency.

A historian who examined his medical records was stunned at the extent of the health problems that the seemingly vigorous president dealt with.

“There was hardly a day that went by that he didn’t suffer terribly,” presidential historian Robert Dallek, a history professor at Boston University, told ABCNEWS” – Read More: ABCNEWS

Franklin D Roosevelt’s Health Issues Were Hidden

“In July 1944, the eminent surgeon Frank Lahey wrote a confidential memo expressing his concern that President Franklin D. Roosevelt could not survive four more years in the White House. The public never learned of his assessment, and in April 1945 Roosevelt succumbed to a stroke just three months into his fourth term. Lahey’s memo, which appears in full below, has just been released by the Lahey Clinic.” – Read More: History.com

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images: Justin Sullivan

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American Trust In Media At All Time Low


Recently, I asserted that the U.S. political ruling class are losing their ideological stranglehold over the masses. Now, there’s some evidence to back that claim. American trust in media is at an all-time low and that can only be the result of the blatant and outright reckless media bias, censorship, and controlled interest of the media that’s continually being exposed, especially amidst the 2016 election.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.

Americans' Trust in the Mass Media

Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.

Republicans Fuel Drop in Media Trust

While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press. Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.

Trust in Mass Media, by Party

Democrats’ and independents’ trust in the media has declined only marginally, with 51% of Democrats (compared with 55% last year) and 30% of independents (versus 33% last year) expressing trust. Over the past 20 years, Democrats have generally expressed more trust than Republicans in the media, although in 2000, the two parties were most closely aligned, with 53% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans professing trust.

Trust in Mass Media Falls Across Age Groups

Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to say they trust the media, but trust has declined among both age groups this year. Currently, 26% of those aged 18 to 49 (down from 36% last year) and 38% of those aged 50 and older (down from 45%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.

Trust in Mass Media, by Age

In 2001, younger Americans (55%) were more likely than older Americans (50%) to express trust and confidence in mass media. This gap emerged again in 2005 when 53% of 18- to 49-year-olds had trust and 45% of those 50 and older expressed the same sentiment. Yet in the past decade, older Americans have mostly had more confidence than younger Americans, and this year, the gap between these age groups is 12 points. And 2016 marks the first time that confidence among older Americans has dropped below 40% in polling since 2001.

Bottom Line

The divisive presidential election this year may be corroding Americans’ trust and confidence in the media, particularly among Republicans who may believe the “mainstream media” are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign. However, the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.

With the explosion of the mass media in recent years, especially the prevalence of blogs, vlogs and social media, perhaps Americans decry lower standards for journalism. When opinion-driven writing becomes something like the norm, Americans may be wary of placing trust on the work of media institutions that have less rigorous reporting criteria than in the past. On the other hand, as blogs and social media “mature,” they may improve in the American public’s eyes. This could, in turn, elevate Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media as a whole.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.”  

Art Swift at Gallup 

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Guccifer 2.0 Leaks DNC ‘Pay-To-Play’ Donor List


“After addressing a cybersecuirty conference in London, notorious hacker ‘Guccifer’ shared over 500Mb of documentsdetailing 100,000 DNC donors contact info and donations. A large number of the largest donors received senior diplomatic or political positions following thge donations, ranging from UK Ambassador to Assistant Attorney General. The DNC released a statement pre-emptively claiming that this was the work of Russia (and reigniting Trump’s links to Putin).

Probably just coincidence…

Source: Magafeed.com

The dcoments contained detailed lists of 100,000 alledged donors, addresses, and phone numbers, and well as amounts donated…

Source: imgur

Here is the first cut of the alleged major donors on the leaked documents and the positions they received (via Magafeed.com)

  • #1 Matthew Berzun … Ambassador to UK
  • #2 Julius Genachowski … Former chairman to FCC
  • #3 Frank Sanchez…. Under secretary of commerce
  • #8 Kirk Wagner… Ambassador to Singapore
  • #9 Alan Solomont … Ambassador to Spain
  • #11 John Roos… Ambassador to Japan
  • #12 Nicole Avant… Ambassador to Bahamas
  • #13 Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe … Ambassador to the UN
  • #16 Steve Westly – CFO of California
  • #17 Don Beyer – Ambassador to Switzerland
  • #21 Don Gips – Ambassador to South Africa
  • #22 Howard Gutman – Ambassador to Belgium
  • #24 Cynthia Stroum – Ambassador to Luxembourg
  • #27 Mark Gilbert – Ambassador to New Zealand
  • #31 Norm Eisen – Ambassador to Czech Republic
  • #37 Bruce Oreck – Ambassador to Finland
  • #43 Tony West – deputy Attorney General
  • #45 Bill Kennard – Ambassador to EU


The DNC responded to the latest hack claim Tuesday through its Interim Chair Donna Brazile, who stated that the“DNC is the victim of a crime,” which she blamed on “Russian state-sponsored agents,” while also cautioning that the hacked documents were still being authenticated by the DNC legal team, as “it is common for Russian hackers to forge documents.” DNC pre-emptively published a statement in an attempt to change the narrative…


Once again blaming Russia (and Trump)… As RT reports, it’s not the first time that the name of Vladimir Putin has been brought up in the US presidential campaign, but this time the US president used this “argument” while openly campaigning for Clinton against Trump. The situation has become “really ludicrous and it borders on the ridiculous,” believes Gregory R. Copley, editor of Defense & Foreign Affairs.”

Read More At Zerohedge.com 

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The Conspiracy To Hide Hillary’s Health Issues

By Sean Davis via The Federalist

The only completely ludicrous conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health is that there’s nothing wrong with it.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a problem. A truth problem, to be specific. No, not the problem of being completely incapable of ever telling the truth, although that is a problem. The truth problem I’m talking about is the Clinton campaign’s inability to tell believable lies.
“But why not just ask the Clinton campaign to tell the truth?” you might ask. “Wouldn’t that be easier?”
Maybe. But these are the Clintons. If you’re a Clinton, you lie. It’s what you do. Expecting them to not lie is a fool’s errand. But given the amount of time the Clintons have spent in politics lying to the public–somewhere in the neighborhood of three decades–they really ought to be better at it by now.

For those who’ve been living under a rock, people have been asking questions about the aging Democratic nominee’s health ever since a potentially life-threatening blood clot near her brain was discovered after the former Secretary of State suffered a serious concussion that sidelined her for several weeks. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clinton blamed that concussion for her alleged inability to recall details about her lawless e-mail server scheme.

Here are a few headlines that captured the rough tenor of coverage of Hillary’s health woes over the past few weeks:

  • CNN (Aug. 24, 2016): Clinton’s health is fine, but what about Trump?
  • New York Post (Sept. 4, 2016): Dr. Drew loses show after discussing Hillary’s health
  • Washington Post (Sept. 6, 2016): Can we just stop talking about Hillary Clinton’s health now?
  • Sarah Silverman (Sept. 8, 2016): “I think anyone bringing up her health is a f***ing a**hole”

The wheels officially came off the bus on Sunday when Hillary Clinton seized up and passed out on camera. Suddenly, asking questions about her health no longer indicted you as an un-person who should be sent off to the re-education camps.

Clinton’s bout of unconsciousness was the catalyst for a whole host of lies from her campaign about her health. Unfortunately, the lies didn’t really make any sense to those with the neural capacity to recall the old lies that were issued right before all the new lies.

Let’s take a look at all the different, and contradictory, explanations we’ve had for Hillary Clinton’s health problems over the last week, going back to her nearly unwatchable coughing attack on September 5:

1) She’s fine.

2) Okay, maybe she coughed a little, but it’s just allergies.

3) Calm down, she just tripped at that 9/11 memorial event.

4) Okay, maybe she didn’t exactly trip, but she overheated because it was so hot outside.

5) Okay, maybe it was only 79 degrees and she was in the shade, but she was totally dehydrated and stuff.

6) On second thought, she has a really bad case of pneumonia.

7) Actually, she’s “feeling great” now and not contagious so we’re going to make a spectacle of herhugging a kid in the street.

8) Yeah, about that not contagious thing: the whole campaign pretty much caught the plague from Hillary.

9) Hillary Clinton feels so great right now that her campaign just canceled two days of events.

10) She’s fine.

Not only do these explanations not jibe with each other, they don’t jibe with the video of Hillary seizing up and getting thrown into a van, either. When your lies contradict each other and reality, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re a really bad liar.

Was Hillary’s coughing attack caused by allergies or by a crippling bout of pneumonia? Did she just kind of stumble, or did she completely freeze up? Did she get overheated in the shade at 9:30 in the morning when it was 79 degrees outside, or not? Was she really ill and incapable of walking, or was she totally fine an hour or two later? Was she so healthy that she could head over to the home of her newborn granddaughter and hug a random child on the street, or was she ill enough to require the cancellation of numerous campaign events? Was she not at all contagious, or had her entire campaign team come down with the same strain of the Black Death that required her to be dumped into a van “like she was a side of beef?”

See, those can’t all be simultaneously true. The thing about a good lie is that it doesn’t contradict your old lie. A good lie doesn’t crap all over the lie you just told five seconds ago. A good lie doesn’t saw off the limb that your idiot supporters just climbed up. Pro-tip: if you’re going to claim your candidate has a highly contagious infection that caused her to pass out (after exhausting a bunch of other absurd excuses), don’t send her to the home of her vulnerable newborn granddaughter, then have her hug all over a little kid on the street while declaring how great she feels, then suddenly cancel a bunch of her events because she’s so ill. I know politics in 2016 are insane, but is it too much to ask that our politicians at least try to peddle some internally consistent lies?

Hillary has a history of serious, ongoing medical problems, including deep vein thrombosis. Because of her condition, she is required to take a powerful blood thinner with serious side effects. These facts are inarguable. By her own admission, her health problems impacted her ability to remember key details about her work as Secretary of State. They sidelined her for several weeks. These are demonstrable facts.

Something is wrong with Hillary Clinton’s health, and her campaign is not being honest about it. And the longer her team lies about what’s happening and stonewalls simple questions that deserve answers about the condition of a major presidential candidate, the rumors and the speculation are only going to get worse. Right now, the only completely ludicrous conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton’s health is that there’s nothing wrong with it.

In a nutshell, the narrative her team has chosen for her is the only narrative that’s not even remotely supported by the evidence. Something is wrong with Hillary Clinton’s health, and everyone knows it. If Hillary Clinton’s campaign doesn’t want to tell the truth about what’s really happening with her health, the least it could do is come up with is some more believable lies.”

The contradictory nature of Clinton’s campaign statements, the blatant media bias, and controlled behavior of it only vindicate alternative media outlets and entities which have been raising concerns about her health long before any of the recent incidents mentioned in the above article.

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U.S. political ruling class losing their ideological stranglehold amidst 2016 election


It’s business as usual in the states but the sheer audacity of these media outlets, politicians, and campaign staffers have shattered the perceivable semblance of the political arena.

From the various scandals of Hillary Clinton and her careless disregard of protocol to the general absurdity of the Clinton puppet ( Donald Trump ) who masquerades as an opponent of Clinton to the ignorance of the herd, it’s an endless circus of absurdity and insanity.

The idea that Clinton is using Trump as a plant to win the presidency isn’t as fringe and conspiratorial as one might think. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the 2004 election, in which Bonesman John Kerry lost the election to Bonesman George W. Bush.

Speaking of the Bush family, Jeb Bush has suggested himself that such a conspiracy exists.

The Clinton campaign is misguided and threatens the fabric of American politics on either side of the spectrum. Her speech against the ‘Alt-Right’ and direct mention of Alex Jones is an example of how much ideological control has been lost due to their sheer inability to control perception.

On one end, the smear campaign against Trump comes to bear associations with the Alt-Right to belittle Trump as being a conspiratorial “truther” type but this backfires when Hillary gives them the unnecessary exposure that only damages their campaign. The Alt-Right and alternative media, in general, find this to be “botched but legitimizing” recognition and it only provides them with even more exposure and ideological control.

Now, it’s more difficult than ever to hide these things. The media bias and censorship of the 2008 election was blown off for the most part, but it’s different this time. Alternative movements and media have gained an unprecedented level of traction and are beginning to win the war of perception and dissolve the ideological subversion of the political class.

The upper echelon of the U.S. political arena is damaging its own internal and international integrity. Of course, the military industrial complex is aware of this problem; probably out of the sheer necessity for self-preservation, which is the real reason Clinton was listed as a potential insider threat in that security briefing.

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Vladimir Putin on DNC leaks: ‘Does it even matter who hacked this data?’


“Vladimir Putin said the hacking of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails and documents was a service to the public, but denied U.S. accusations that Russia’s government had anything to do with it.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin said in an interview at the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’

U.S. officials blame hackers guided by the Russian government for the attacks on DNC servers earlier this year that resulted in WikiLeaks publishing about 20,000 private emails just before Hillary Clinton’s nominating convention in July. The documents showed attempts by party officials to undermine her chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, and led to the resignation of the head of the DNC, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.” – Read More At Bloomberg

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Rivers, Rituals and Thresholds


Jeff Wolfe

 I’ve been doing something different with my hour lunch at work. It started when I lost my private office to a shake-up of the company floor plan. This was not a good thing in my case as I had become accustomed to my privacy, taking full advantage of being able to close a door. With the studies I carry on with at various times throughout the day, a closed door makes all the difference. In my secrecy, I was easily able to perform a simple ritual like Liber Resh Vel Helios, a daily observance of the sun as it makes its way from East to West. This is a tricky thing to pull off in public. With a personal office, it was a cinch. Once reseated in a classical open-space, call station environment, I had to find a way to continue my solar adoration in a suitable fashion. It forced me to do what I should have done much sooner. Go outside.

Obviously, there’s no better way to channel the Sun’s energy than by allowing myself an unobstructed view. As it turns out, my company office is located a few blocks away from a great nature trail. And so began a new ritual. At the noon hour, while my coworkers scurry off in packs to hip restaurants, I slink out alone into the woods. It’s all very sad, anti-social, and loner guyish ­- except it’s not. Not entirely, anyway.

I’ve made a commitment to this ritual and it’s best done alone. The reality is, the time spent in silence, communing with nature is very conducive to my inner well-being. A daily opportunity to quiet the noise of technology and human stimulation is a must for me. Unlike extroverts, who draw their energy from other people, I find too much interaction with others to be draining. I recognize it makes me “weird” and keeps me out of the social loops, but I’m honest enough with myself to recognize how far back my weirdness goes. Playing a social game with in-crowds does nothing to grow my spirit. Not that I’m advocating an isolationist stance, which can be equally damaging. I find that I am having the best experience when I carve out time away from the human pack to attune to my own inner playground.

With summer waning, I began thinking about my journey. Doing the same thing repetitiously can often make a physical space dull and trivial. In this case, the act of ritual has a way of making me hypersensitive to my environment. Specifically, in spaces which I’ve deliberately chosen and are not merely happenstance. My morning and noon rituals happen in the same place throughout the work week. My altar space at home goes a long way in creating a devotional atmosphere of purpose and comfort. Working away from it is never quite as natural or centered. But what I began to discover about this newer environment is that the wilderness has its own effect on my consciousness.

The walk itself became a part of the ritual. The more I thought about it, the more significant it became. Exiting the building I work at takes me down a hill towards a housing area. Along the side of the street is a clearing that descends a few feet further down. It’s right at the moment I step off the pavement that I’m aware of putting all the trappings of society behind me. It’s a subtle thing but a clear shift at the same time. As the earth levels out I’m brought to a narrow, tree-lined pathway. The river that defines the area flows along the side. It’s along this path, fully cloaked from public view, that I stop to perform the Resh ritual. It’s a simple set of prayers and visualizations but it quickly brings me back into the head-space I start my days with. Once completing the adoration, I come out of the path into another small clearing that brings me right up to a crossing of a sinuous river.

If the transition from pavement to earth marks the first shift in consciousness, the crossing of the river is felt even more prominently. In Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the fourth aspect of The Departure is described as Crossing the Threshold. In this case, a makeshift bridge of fallen tree trunks and branches allow passage across the watery divide. At some point, it occurred to me that crossing a body of water has ancient symbolic meanings. This was quickly verified when I referenced Egyptian, Greek and even Biblical sources.


                 Rivers played a key role in the life of the ancients, going all the way back to Mesopotamia.

Rivers appear in the Mesopotamian text as sources of life, boundaries, paths to the underworld and also forces of destruction. The rivers and seas of the ancient near east were, presumably, the best route for travelling to remote places. The farthest journeys of the ancient world were made by boat. The cosmologies of these river faring civilizations reflect their dependence on the rivers. The textual descriptions of how the dead travel to the afterlife, an otherwise distant and inaccessible place, also reflect the reality of river dwelling peoples. Egyptian and Mesopotamian texts describe the journey after death as crossing a river.Whether traversing the river of the heavens, the Hubur, the ‘Infernal River’ or travelling the Nile to Abydos, death in the ancient near east was a supernatural journey to another shore.”

                                                               Ra In Solar Boat: Wiki Images

Symbolizing rivers as a dividing line bridging life on earth into the underworld would continue into the religious cultures of Egypt. As written about in the Egyptian funerary texts, the “River of Death” acted as a portal into Duat (the midway point between earth and the afterlife) where the souls of the dead would face many challenges on their way to the afterlife.

I found this metaphor of the river as a passageway to the underworld fascinating in relation to my daily walks. One of the most iconic rivers of ancient mythology is the river Styx. It was along this river that the dead had to pay the ferryman, Charon. A coin was placed into the mouth of the corpse to ensure safe transport into Hades. As a haunting side note, if you were poor and couldn’t afford the ferry, you’d be condemned to wander the river banks as Wraiths for eternity. Best pay Charon his fee.

Physical death and spiritual rebirth, through waters of purification; is that what I have been experiencing? Probably not but the intent of the totality of my workings is surely pointing me in that direction. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The four rivers depicted in the Biblical account of the Garden of Eden have become a topic of research for those who consider Eden to have been a physical rather than metaphorical place.

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.” (Genesis 2:10–14 KJV)

Coming into contact with these powerful myths reassured me that my intuition about my own symbolic crossing of an otherwise mundane river, had some anchoring. But there is still more to the journey after its crossing. The wooded pathway continues on along a trail, always straddled up to the river. As the walking continues I’ve had the sense that the woods could represent areas of my own consciousness. In that way the deeper I went in, the lower I plummeted into the depths of my subconscious. A more straightforward way to interpret the journey is simply the distance and separation placed between myself and the pressures of the workday.

I take the trail to the remotest bank of the river where I can make use of a large downed tree to sit on. It’s there were I take my refuge for the rest of the hour to eat my lunch and take in the sounds of the flowing water. Those mental spaces sat at river’s edge are contemplative and reflective of whatever issues or ideas that are current. Sometimes I bring a book. One day, a family of deer were grazing through and one in particular came out to observe me sitting there. I remained motionless as we shared a long space of time staring out at each other. It was the only time I saw a deer in the woods this summer. Recently, I utilized this time to plot out a list of all my major intentions and goals on paper. Most often I sit in the quiet and let thoughts come and go. I’m sure there are a hundred other practices I could incorporate there.

Of course, there is always the walk back to work, or in Campbell’s Hero’s Journey terms, The Crossing of the Return Threshold. I don’t consider any single lunch hour escape to signify a complete and deeply felt Hero’s Journey. But what if I added all the hours of the summer spent out there? It’s hard to measure the cumulative effect all that reclaimed time has had on my psyche. I just know that it was revelatory in its practicality and simplicity.

By the continual repetition of this walk in and walk out of the woods, I realized that I had formed a brand new ritual on top of the basic script that had been handed down to me.

This simple daily jaunt completely changes the character of my day. Although it’s not the completely transformative vehicle that my morning rituals contain, it most definitely reinforces the concepts and goals that metaphysical work aims to achieve.

I find it a great way to reclaim a sliver of personal time, freed from the atmospheric constraints of the soul-crushing culture of corporate America. The powers of earth, trees, wildlife and water help to stabilize my inner-world and Hermetically reseal my protections against false realities.

The vital and cool thing about this is that the nature trail is completely available to anyone who happens to live or work in the area. Despite that fact, I’m usually the only one that takes advantage of its splendor. It’s a life choice. Just like the rituals I practice. Actions, behaviors, beliefs and choices that hold no meaning for the vast majority of people, have a profound meaning and significance for myself. In that way, I get to claim those spaces as my own. At this point, I have made my own personal relationship with the elements living there. There’s a price to be paid for choosing solitude and inner-growth over companionship and tagging along with in-crowds. But truthfully, I’m more worried about who I might be if I didn’t make that choice.

Photography by Jeff Wolfe

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