Saturday, March 7, 1998
© Copyright 1998 by NewHeavenNewEarth
A buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes.
Another NHNE publication --
albeit more loosely knit than most
This Issue: 1014
Last Issue: 1035
This issue of Smorgasbord is sponsored by Helena Rocca who wishes to draw our
attention to the important work being done by THE FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION
THE FELLOWSHIP OF RECONCILIATION is comprised of women and men who recognize
the essential unity of all creation and have joined together to explore the power
of love and truth for resolving human conflict. While it has always been vigorous
in its opposition to war, THE FELLOWSHIP has insisted equally that this effort
must be based on a commitment to the achieving of a just and peaceful world community,
with full dignity and freedom for every human being. In working out these objectives
the FOR seeks the company of people of faith who will respond to conflict nonviolently,
seeking reconciliation through compassionate action. THE FELLOWSHIP encourages
the integration of faith into the lives of individual members. At the same time
it is a special role of THE FELLOWSHIP to extend the boundaries of community
and affirm its diversity of religious traditions as it seeks the resolution of
conflict by the united efforts of people of many faiths.
Would you like to sponsor an issue of Smorgasbord and help support NHNE in the
process? Send an email message to "firstname.lastname@example.org" and write "Sponsor
Smorgasbord" in the SUBJECT field of your letter.
"Honesty is the most needed and most rare form of love among human beings!"
From the Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos, "Unconscious
Interaction to Conscious Choice of Love"
NEWS FROM NHNE:
Special Report on the Y2K Problem
The New Earth Foundation Grant
NewEarthNet: New Members
New Advice for Couples
Gabriel of Sedona
MAJOR INTERNET RESOURCES:
Shroud of Turin Newsgroup
Earth Changes Mailing List & Newsgroup
Earth Changes TV
Worldwide Millennium Broadcasts
Findhorn Ecovillage Conference
The Dark Side of UFO Stories
Landfills of the Future
DNA & Nanoelectronics
Plastic Television Screens
New World Arrival Dates Revised -- Again
Archaeologists & Rocket Scientists
Dental Gel Dissolves Decay
Physicians Influenced by Drug Industry
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
What Went Wrong?
THE LIGHTER SIDE:
NEWS FROM NHNE:
If you are interested in being notified via email whenever changes have been
made to the NHNE website, simply go to the NHNE Home Page (http://www.nhne.com/)
and fill out the URL-MINDER form. In the meantime, here is a quick list of a
few recent changes/additions to our award-winning website:
Major Internet Resources:
Interesting Places on the Net:
The NHNE Bookstore:
Columns by David Sunfellow:
A new banner ad has also been added to the NHNE Home Page, which will allow like-minded
individuals and groups to advertise their websites through a link on our Home
Page. SENSE & SPIRITUALITY (http://nen.sedona.net/senspirit/) is our first
banner ad sponsor! Be sure and stop by and say hi.
SPECIAL REPORT ON THE Y2K PROBLEM
An NHNE Special Report on the problem with computers crashing when the year 2000
strikes (due to computer dating problems) is in the works. The report will explore
just how serious this problem is, and include a list of major Internet contacts
that are researching, debating, and working to help computers (and the people
who use them) make a graceful passage into the next millennium.
THE NEW EARTH FOUNDATION GRANT
March 17 is a big day for NHNE. This is the day I will be giving a presentation
to the board members of the NEW EARTH FOUNDATION, seeking a grant for NHNE. I
will post another reminder before the meeting but would like to ask all of you
to begin holding NHNE, myself, and the NEW EARTH FOUNDATION board members in
your prayers. Also, thanks again for the many wonderful letters of recommendation
that were sent on behalf of NHNE!
Two new members have joined NewEarthNet since the last issue of Smorgasbord:
LIFETOOLS is a workshop covering a broad range of knowledge, practices and tools
for leading a conscious, spiritual life. Whether just embarking on a spiritual
path, or a student of spirituality for years, you will benefit from Lifetools'
unique combination of information, processes and resources.
SENSE & SPIRITUALITY
(D. Patrick Miller)
SENSE & SPIRITUALITY offers unique resources for "finding your path
without losing your head" authored by D. Patrick Miller, a contributing
editor of Yoga Journal and a leading writer in the journalism of consciousness.
The site features the full text of Patrick's syndicated column "Sense & Spirituality" as
well as information on his books and over fifty published articles about contemporary
NewEarthNet, to refresh everyone's memory, is an NHNE-inspired and administered
network of high-caliber websites that are committed to personal and planetary
transformation. Member sites are either physically located on NewEarthNet, which
is based is Sedona, Arizona, or linked in from other servers around the world.
To find out how you can link your website into this dynamic network, and/or have
us help you create a website that presents your particular vision to the world,
please contact us at:
LETTERS ABOUT "SAI BABA"
Published Saturday, February 21, 1998
We received a pile of letters concerning our Special Report on Sai Baba. While
most of these letters applauded our efforts to bring to light the many serious
accusations surrounding Sai Baba, one thoughtful reader raised some issues that
I wanted to address here:
1. Shouldn't I/we have direct, personal experience with the people/events we
We do not have the time, money, resources, or even the interest to personally
investigate every controversial situation that comes along. Instead, NHNE draws
on the resources, knowledge, and experience of our growing network of truth seekers.
In the case of Sai Baba, while I did not personally visit him in India, I did
draw upon sources who had, including Jed Geyerhahn who detailed his encounters
with Sai Baba AND invited people to contact him who wanted to verify and/or challenge
the accuracy of his story (JGeyerhahn@aol.com). In addition to Geyerhahn, I also
contacted people in London, India, and the United States who have been investigating
Sai Baba for many years, all of whom collaborated Geyerhahn's unflattering portrait
of Sai Baba.
The NHNE Special Report on Sai Baba provided a list of very specific charges:
sleight-of-hand, fraud, sexual indiscretions, misuse of power, abuse of women,
the death of six people who were killed in Sai Baba's room under very suspicious
circumstances, to name a few. If anyone can provide evidence -- either gathered
by themselves or others -- that these charges are not true, send them to us (email@example.com).
NHNE is not interested in spreading falsehoods of any kind and continues to look
to our growing network of like-minded seekers to help insure our stories are
fair, accurate, and reliable.
2. NHNE should not judge others.
While it is not NHNE's place to pass judgement and condemn others -- God, their
souls, karma, and earthly laws will do a good enough job of this without our
help -- we are committed to discovering the truth about the spiritual path, and
all claims of spiritual mastership. If a person is a true instrument of God,
they have nothing to fear from us, or anyone else who may challenge them. Their
essential goodness will endure all tests and win the hearts and minds of all
who challenge them. If, however, they are not the instruments of God that they
claim, then nature will take its course and the aspects of their lives, deeds,
claims, and teachings that aren't true, will, one way or another, crumble.
3. Divine beings can engage in behaviors that appear morally and ethically inappropriate
on the surface, but which are actually gifts from the master to the less evolved,
less aware initiate.
Authenic masters often challenge the moral, ethical and religious customs
of their day. Jesus healed on the Sabath, ate with sinners, overturned
of money-changers in the Temple, called religious authorities hypocrites (all
serious breaches of ancient Jewish customs). But he did so publicly. Believing
his cause was just and his beliefs and actions aligned with the divine, he brought
his cause out in the open. Other well-known masters, saints, and sages have done
the same. And they also came clean, publicly, with their own imperfections. Many
of today's supposed masters, on the other hand, defy moral, ethical, and religious
standards in private and when caught, deny or defend their behaviors with far-fetched
and evasive philosophical arguments. In my view, the "master" who engages
in immoral and unethical behaviors in private, and then scrambles to cover his/her
tracks with fancy philosophical arguments once they've been discovered, is more
likely a scoundrel, than a master.
LETTERS ABOUT "NEW ADVICE FOR COUPLES"
Published Monday, February 23, 1998
While many of you found this news update thought-provoking, some of you found
it suspiciously lopsided. Should all, or most of the blame for failed marriages
be laid at the husband's doorstep? Aren't both of the people involved in a marriage
relationship equally responsible for insuring its success? Primarily stressing
the husband's need to share power, and to a lesser degree, the wife's need to
bring up issues in a sensitive fashion, some of you thought the article focused
too much on techniques instead of what ultimately determines the success or failure
of all relationships: the heartfelt desire to join with another human being.
Others of you jokingly speculated on what husbands might be asked to do next...
"Without an openness to interdependence -- sharing of power -- no technique
is of much use other than to validate one's one willingness to try and resolve
a conflict. However, a willingness to move forward, is always necessary, no matter
how clumsy (without techniques, etc.). To teach a technique without the purpose
behind it, without getting to the essence, is merely teaching mind games and
if anything, increases anger. I would readily agree that too often we train technicians,
not counselors, and hence we have techniques which can be duplicated but very
LISTEN, DO, WANT TO DO
"So they first thought you had to LISTEN to what your wife wants and now
they think you need to DO what she wants. The next study will get closer to the
fact that you actually will have to WANT to DO what she wants..."
THE DATELINE SPECIAL ON "GABRIEL OF SEDONA"
Published Tuesday, February 24, 1998
One reader wrote:
"I watched DATELINE tonight. Do you feel that this was a accurate portrayal
of Gabriel? Would love to hear your reaction."
I believe the DATELINE special on Gabriel of Sedona was accurate --
as far as it went. DATELINE correctly reported that Gabriel has been
with members of his community (something he tried to deny, but was forced to
admit in his DATELINE interview); that he believes he WAS the Disciple Peter,
Alexander the Great, King Arthur, Martin Luther, Saint Francis, George Washington,
and IS the commander of a fleet of extraterrestrial spaceships and a messianic
prophet ("the vessel to bring forth Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation");
that he has warned both members of his community, and people in the larger city
of Sedona, that bad things would happen to them if they didn't accept him as
their spiritual leader; that Gabriel maintains a dictatorial influence over the
members of his community; that a growing number of people have been hurt by following
Gabriel's lead instead of their own. The DATELINE special erroneously reported
that Gabriel's AQUARIAN CONCEPTS COMMUNITY is "low-key, quiet and keeps
to itself." Along with maintaining several local cottage industries, Gabriel
and/or his followers have participated (sometimes very loudly) in public meetings,
written editorials in local newspapers, performed public concerts, and actively
sought new converts from Sedona and elsewhere. When Gabriel first began organizing
his community, his "compliment", Niann, delivered a letter to me telling
me that I should accept Gabriel as my teacher because I did not have the same
kind of direct access to God that Gabriel did. When I failed to respond to his
invitation, a letter was delivered to my former wife. Accusing me of being too
prideful to join them, they then attempted to woo Pamela by praising her for
her humility and declaring that she was a sister of their's -- also to no avail.
Many other friends and aquaintances also received letters from Gabriel, some
of which contained threats of bad things happening if Gabriel's call was not
Gabriel and his community, in other words, are well-known in Sedona -- in both
public and spiritual circles.
While the DATELINE special did cover the darker aspects of Gabriel and his community,
it failed to mention the positive aspects. Gabriel and community are strong environmental
advocates, they are actively involved in local coops, health food stores and
recycling projects, they practice alternative health care, they are interested
in alternative sources of energy and education, and are sincerely seeking to
build a new, more spirit-filled and loving world for themselves and others. In
short, even though they add their own cult-like spin to everything, they believe
and support many of the things the growing planetary transformation movement
represents and champions.
Finally, DATELINE failed to mention that people like Gabriel wouldn't exist unless
they were meeting needs. Remove Gabriel, and someone else will fill the empty
spot -- perhaps someone worse. Personally, I believe it is important that all
of us have the ability to follow whatever spiritual path appeals to us, however
flawed it may be, so we can learn and grow. At the same time, I think it is also
important to shine bright lights on situations like Gabriel's so those of us
who are interested can clearly see what is going on -- and, by virtue of seeing
clearly, make informed decisions as to what kind of beliefs, and people, we invest
MAJOR INTERNET RESOURCES:
SHROUD OF TURIN NEWSGROUP
(Source: The Shroud of Turin Website, http://www.shroud.com/)
Looking for a way to stay current with the latest research on the Shroud of Turin
(http://www.nhne.com/shroud.html), ask Shroud researchers questions, and compare
notes with others interested in the enigmatic burial cloth? There's now a newsgroup
dedicated to Shroud research and discussion. Called "alt.turin-shroud",
the Shroud newsgroup "is created to provide an open Internet forum for discussion
of all aspects of the Turin Shroud -- scientific, art historical, historical,
religious, conservation-related, etc. It is unmoderated, but advertising, binaries
and off-topic posts are not welcome, in line with Usenet practice. Single brief
announcements of events or services related to the Shroud, for example new organizations,
books, websites, lectures, tours, and activities, will, however, be acceptable."
EARTH CHANGES MAILING LIST & NEWSGROUP
(Source: Peter P. "firstname.lastname@example.org")
There is a new mailing list for prophesied "Earth changes" called EARTHPROPHECY-L
. Available in regular (each email sent individually) or digest (all sent in
one email per day) form. You can subscribe by logging onto "www.spiritweb.org" & click
on "Apply For Membership" (it is FREE to join). Once you log into your
member account, you can subscribe by clicking on the Mailing Lists option & then
scrolling down to the "Prophesied Earth-Changes Mailing List" area & signing
EARTHPROPHECY-L is a public list covering prophesied spiritual & physical "Earth
changes", current planet-wide changes, ancient prophecy & modern predictions,
and the techniques used to foretell changes (psychic, remote viewed, visionquest,
dream, etc). In-depth discussions of specific predictions & news articles
fulfilling (or disproving) these predictions are also on-topic. A more detailed
description can be found at "www.spiritweb.org".
A newsgroup dedicated to Earth changes is also available. Called "alt.current-events.earth-changes",
the unmoderated newsgroup is open to a wide range of perspectives -- from spiritual
to scientific, environmental and survivalist. Or any others in between or beyond.
EARTH CHANGES TV
Speaking of Earth changes, now there's a television show that explores these
People all over the world are gearing up to celebrate the arrival of the new
millennium. Who are they and what kind of activities do they have planned? For
the latest news concerning all things millennium, "Everything 2000" is
the website to visit. Along with tracking organizations, movements, news, conducting
surveys, offering reviews, and selling products, Everything 2000 also has a calendar
of "mega-events". Here are a few of the events being planned to usher
in the new millennium:
Celebration 2000, the Party of the Century, will be based out of New York City's
JACOB JAVITS CONVENTION CENTER. The celebration will cover a series of events
designed to ring in the year 2000 through entertainment and education, and also
benefit those who will be our legacy to the 21st century: Our children. (212)
TIMES SQUARE 2000
The celebration begins at 7 a.m. EST, December 31, 1999, when the Millennium
arrives in the South Pacific. Giant television screens strategically placed throughout
Times Square will display images of people and their cultures from around the
world as the dawn of the year 2000 travels across the globe. The celebration
will continue until the New Year has been observed in all 24 time zones.
Party 2000 is a three day event to be held in Southern California on December
30, 31, 1999 through January 1, 2000. This "End Of The Century" Celebration
expects an attendance of 2.5 million people from around the world.
Sailing from New York to Alexandria, Egypt, CUNARD'S luxury liner is one of the
most touted celebrations of the Year 2000. Everyone from Bob Hope to former U.S.
President George Bush are reportedly going to be on board.
Fly through the time zones on the Concorde. One $70,000 tour, offered by API
TRAVEL CONSULTANTS, begins on Christmas Eve 1999 in New York City with stops
in Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles to collect passengers on the way to Christmas
in Hawaii. Other stops include Sydney, Australia; Hong Kong, Delhi, India; Masai
Mara, Kenya; and Cairo.
WORLD MILLENNIUM CHARITY BALLS
The Millennium Society is sponsoring 23 simultaneous celebrations around the
world, including the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Acropolis and the
Eiffel Tower. Each of these "celebrations of civilization" will be
linked via satellite to create a"round-the-globe," "round-the-clock" welcome
to the year 2000. Contact: The Millennium Society, 250 24th St., N.W. Washington,
DC 20037 USA. (202) 332-1999
In the year 2000, more than 300 million people worldwide are expected to participate
in the largest Earth Day ever. It will also be the 30th anniversary of Earth
JESUS MARCH 2000
To celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ, on June 10, 2000,
organizers are planning a global "March for Jesus" celebration. More
than 30 million people in 2000 cities are expected to participate in this procession
of prayer and worship. Each year counting down to the millennium, annual marches
are held on Pentecost weekend in anticipation of the Year 2000. Contact: March
for Jesus, P.O. Box 3216, Austin, TX 78764
The bimillennial world's fair, in Hannover, Germany is expected to feature the
state of the world through the theme "Mankind, Nature and Technology." Contact:
Expo 2000, Hannover D-30510, Hannover, Germany. Fax: 49-(511) 84 04-100
More than 10,000 athletes from 171 nations are expected to compete in the Games
of the XXVIIth Olympiad held in Sydney, Australia.
LEAP YEAR 2000
World Wide Leap Year festival.
Mayflower 2000 will sail in the spring of 1999 with an experienced crew of about
20 and around 10-15 passengers for a 66 day voyage to the "New World".
The Greatest Event in Maritime History will take place on July 3-9, 2000. President
Clinton will be joined by more than 50 nations and an anticipated fleet of 30,000
spectator vessels which will be spread ten miles through New York Harbor.
Beginning in Los Angeles and continuing around the world, Odyssey 2000 is a bicycle
rally that will cover 20,000 miles and cross 54 countries.
How many times have you received a warning from well-intentioned friends that
opening an email message entitled "Good Times", "Join the Crew", "Penpal
Greetings" or something else, would tear your computer to pieces with a
deadly virus? Is your computer, or anyone else's in danger? Is there a virus
that can infect your computer through an email message? The answer to these questions
is NO. Here are some words of wisdom from a company that specializes in virus
"Although there are thousands of viruses discovered each year, there are
still some that only exist in the imaginations of the public and the press. This
is the comprehensive list of viruses that DO NOT EXIST, despite rumor of their
creation and distribution.
"Please ignore any messages regarding these supposed "viruses" and
do not pass on any messages about them. Passing on messages about these hoaxes
only serves to further propagate them."
3b Trojan (alias PKZIP Virus)
AOL4Free Virus Hoax
Baby New Year Virus Hoax
FatCat Virus Hoax
Hairy Palms Virus Hoax
Join the Crew
Returned or Unable to Deliver
World Domination Hoax
Symantec Hoax Page:
(Thanks to Diane Luboff for forwarding us the URL to this website. I encourage
all NHNE readers to keep a copy of this list on hand so you can send it to whomever
sends you the next email message warning of computer meltdowns caused by reading
email messages containing "Good Times" or some other bogus title in
the subject field...)
REAL VIRUS THREATS
Now that we've got virus hoaxes out of the way, it's time to turn our attention
to real virus threats. Thanks to Allen Watson for forwarding NHNE this important
If you receive an email with a subject line of "FEAR," delete
WITHOUT reading it.
This is the most dangerous email virus yet! It will rewrite your hard drive.
Not only that, but it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer.
It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream
melts and milk curdles.
It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, reprogram
your ATM access code, screw up the tracking on your VCR and use sub-space
field harmonics to
scratch any CDs you try to play. It will give your "ex" your new phone
number. It will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer
and leave its dirty socks on the coffee table when there's company coming over.
It will hide your car keys when you are late for work and interfere with your
car radio so that you hear only static while stuck in traffic.
FEAR will make you fall in love with a hardened criminal. It will give you nightmares
about circus midgets. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with
Rogaine, all while dating your current partner behind your back and billing their
hotel rendezvous to your VISA card. It will seduce your grandmother. It does
not matter if she is dead, such is the power of FEAR. It reaches out beyond the
grave to sully those things we hold most dear.
FEAR will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the toilet seat up and leave
the hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will remove
the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, and refill your skim milk
with whole. It is insidious and subtle.
It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade
These are just a few signs. Be very, very afraid. AND PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE
TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!
WORLDWIDE MILLENNIUM BROADCASTS
(Source: EVERYTHING 2000, Matt Markovich)
When the dawn of the year 2000 breaks on the morning of January 1st, there will
be two ways to view it. You can do so in person as part of a flotilla of cruise
liners and chartered sailing ships located at the equator on the international
dateline. Or, you can be in the comforts of your own home watching it on TV as
part of an estimated worldwide television audience of two and a half billion
Television studios around the world are announcing plans to air live
24-hour worldwide millennium broadcasts. Producers of two of these
shows were boasting
of this "shared experience" as they promoted their programs to television
programming executives at a recent convention in New Orleans.
"It will be an international festival of human creativity that will celebrate
our differences and a sharing of a common humanity," says Zvi Dor-Ner, executive
producer of "The Millennium Day" Broadcast. Fifty networks from 50
countries have formed the Millennium Consortium to produce the broadcast. Dor-Ner
is a veteran documentary producer for public television station WGBH in Boston,
which along with PBS and the BBC is spearheading the broadcast.
Dor-Ner's concept calls for each participating country and network to produce
a live segment with an appropriate message to the world to be broadcast near
midnight in the country of origin. The 24-hour broadcast would circle the globe
with each country passing off the hosting baton to a neighboring country in the
next time zone.
"I don't want to do 24-hours of pop-the-cork celebrations, I want to take
a look at our world over the last 100 years and look to the future," says
Hal Uplinger, executive producer the Millennium Television Network. Uplinger's
concept calls for a studio host and central control located possibly in London.
Like a ringmaster of a high tech circus, the host will toss back and forth to
celebrations in various time zones - not necessarily focusing in on activities
surround midnight celebrations.
"We have commitments from the top 10 countries with televisions in use which
make up 73 percent of all the televisions in the world," says Uplinger,
who is known for producing Live Aid. He is recruiting five or six major sponsors
for his broadcast. Plans call for broadcasters to take all or part of Uplinger's
program in exchange for advertising time his network would sell.
Both producers believe the audience for a 24-hour millennium broadcast
will surpass anything previously viewed on worldwide scale. While Uplinger
is making plans
to open his broadcast with dawn's first light at the equator, Dor-Ner is going
one step further. "We are talking with NASA and plan to open the show from
space where the astronauts in MIR will see the sun first at the moment of the
FINDHORN ECOVILLAGE CONFERENCE
OCTOBER 17-24, 1998
(Source: Robert Gilman, CONTEXT INSTITUTE, http://www.context.org)
FINDHORN is returning to the theme of ecovillages and sustainable communities
for their major fall conference this year. Diane Gilman was a key organizer for
the October 1995 FINDHORN Ecovillage Conference (http://www.findhorn.org/edu/eduecoconf.html
and http://www.findhorn.org/press/eco.html) and this new conference promises
to be another delight AND movement milestone.
The official title is, "Creating Sustainable Community -- Here, There & Everywhere," and
the speakers include Hazel Henderson (noted futurist and economist), Satish Kumar
(editor of Resurgence), Stephen Gaskin (founder of THE FARM in Tennessee), Robert
Gilman (CONTEXT INSTITUTE) and many others from the growing edge of sustainable
community development -- all of this in a magical setting (northern Scotland)
where a wonderful community is hard at work making the vision real.
You can find out more by visiting:
THE DARK SIDE OF UFO STORIES
(Thanks to Rob May for alerting us to this story)
In March of last year, hundreds of people reported seeing mysterious lights over
Arizona. Since then, endless theories, news stories, and television specials
have speculated on this mystery. What really happened? How thoroughly did the
various news and documentary organizations research this story? How credible
are the principle "authorities" claiming that some kind of extraterrestrial
presence was/is behind the lights? Here's a story that provides an inside look
at how sloppy reporting, suspect experts, and gullible viewers help create many
of today's sensational stories:
(Source: SI ELECTRONIC DIGEST, Matt Nisbet, 2/27/98)
It appears the powers of thousands of alleged psychics failed to predict misfortune
and financial ruin at the nation's first psychic phone network. On February 2,
INPHOMATION INC, the company that operates PSYCHIC FRIENDS NETWORK (PFN), filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, based in Baltimore, Maryland,
listed liabilities of $26 million and assets of $1.2 million. Launched in 1990,
INPHOMATION pioneered the use of "900" phone lines, spawning ubiquitous
late night and Saturday afternoon infomercials. The 30-minute infomercials were
hosted by singer Dionne Warwick, and were supported by a network of 2000 psychics.
Estimated revenue for the company in the early 90's totaled close to $125 million,
but in recent years competition and mismanagement combined to put Inphomation
Despite the recent bankruptcy of PFN, the psychic network industry is booming.
Analysts predict the industry to rake in annual revenues from $1.4 billion to
2 billion by the end of the century, a dramatic increase from $620 million in
1994. Networks like PSYCHIC READERS (PRN), PSYCHIC BELIEVERS NETWORK (PBN) and
PSYCHIC ENCOUNTERS charge upwards of $4.99 a minute, potentially turning a 30-minute
call into a $150.00 bill.
The rapid growth in psychic networks can be attributed to the merger of traditional
belief in psychic power with the explosion of the mass media. It began in 1984,
when the FCC deregulated the amount of broadcast time stations could allocate
advertisements. With the average American watching four hours of television a
day, entrepreneurs recognized a captive audience, and the infomercial was born.
The marketing potential for psychic networks is almost unlimited. On most networks,
at the beginning of each call, psychics take the names and addresses of callers
to be added to mailing lists, and to be used as leads for a variety of products.
Along with hotline numbers and personal testimonials, psychic network infomercials
tout psychic accessories ranging from tarot cards to fortune-telling eight balls.
The World Wide Web is the next frontier for psychic marketing, with websites
charging $25 and up for email readings.
It may be a bull market for psychic network revenue, but there appears to be
a growing undercurrent of discontent. Callers are frequently frustrated by per-minute
charges that include time charged for network introductions and delays caused
by recorded profiles, menus of psychics, and signups for free newspapers. Customers,
enticed by promises of ten free minutes of calls, often receive their bills with
the application of the incentive a mystery.
The most troubling charges levied against the psychic networks are that they
market to minorities and individuals with lower levels of income. It seems odd
that networks prefer to use almost exclusively African-American celebrities like
Billy Dee Williams, Phillip Michael Thomas, Dionne Warwick, LaToya Jackson, and
Nell Carter as hosts. Masquerading as a phone psychic, writer Stephen Glass published
a first-hand account of his experience with a psychic network in the February
issue of HARPER'S MAGAZINE. According to Glass' tabulations, over 74% of his
callers were African-Americans and close to 85% said they were having money troubles.
In a twist of irony, the psychics who man the phone lines are starting
against the corporatization of their "ancient art." An August 1997
MIAMI HERALD investigative report revealed that psychics' wages at PRN from June
'96 to May '97 fell from $19.20 an hour to $15.00 an hour. Stephen Glass in his
HARPER'S article wrote that some psychics were upset over the networks' marketing
to minorities and lower income individuals. Other psychics complain that the
networks are hiring "phony" psychics. As one self-proclaimed mindreader
told the MIAMI HERALD "I feel they're hiring people just to get money and
the vast majority are not psychic at all and are making things up just to keep
people on the line. It gives us a bad name. It makes me ashamed of what I have
SI ELECTRONIC DIGEST is the weekly email news update of the COMMITTEE FOR THE
SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL (CSICOP.)
LANDFILLS OF THE FUTURE
(Source: EUREKALERT, 2/16/98)
A recent study conducted by Robert Ham, emeritus professor of civil engineering
at UW-MADISON and one of the country's leading landfill experts, discovered that
much of our garbage, under the right conditions, moves quite nicely toward oblivion.
Using information from this study, Ham has started a new project to design "landfills
of the future." In partnership with a Wisconsin waste-management company
and Montgomery Wattson, an engineering consulting firm with a Madison office,
Ham is creating a full-scale demonstration that will promote degradation of waste
in landfills, forming methane gas for use as an energy source. "There are
some landfills in the country putting out enough energy to provide electricity
for 10,000 homes," Ham says. The approach could allow the majority of waste
that decomposes quickly to disappear while safely sealing away the rest in a
capped landfill, he says. Ham says the country should be doing more to eliminate
long-term problems with garbage.
DNA & NANOELECTRONICS
(Source: EUREKALERT, 2/13/98)
Researchers at the TECHNION-ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY have used strands
of DNA, the biological molecule that makes up genes, to assemble tiny particles
of silver into a conductive wire 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The research,
reported in the February 19, 1998 issue of NATURE, is an important step toward
the next quantum leap in electronics miniaturization. The nanocircuits of the
future will consist of wires, transistors and other components with dimensions
measured in billionths of a meter. (One nanometer or a billionth of a meter,
is about the length of five carbon atoms laid end to end.) By packing many more
components closer together, scientists could produce computer chips that are
much faster than today's, and far more sophisticated.
PLASTIC TELEVISION SCREENS
(Source: REUTERS, 2/15/98)
CAMBRIDGE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY (CDT) said it would unveil the world's first plastic
TV display on Monday, a move which could eventually see the demise of the standard
television set. CDT has developed light-emitting polymer (LEP) technology, which
it calls "plastic that glows". CDT hopes this thin, flexible LEP technology
will lead to the production of flat panel display screens for use in mobile communications,
computers, consumer electronics, and ultimately as an alternative to the cathode
ray tube. The company hopes to able to eventually produce TV's as thin as picture
frames which can be hung on walls.
(Source: CNN NEWS, Patricia Kelly, 2/18/98)
Could artificially intelligent robots signal the end of the human race? Some
Swiss scientists say such a threat may be closer than we think. Their doom and
gloom talk was prompted by one of their own creations: an autonomous robot that
learns from its environment. Within a few minutes, the microprocessor-based robot
can learn not to bump into a barrier. No one programs the robot's actions, and
its creator isn't exactly sure how it will behave in any given situation. Within
10 years, they predict that similar but more advanced machines, equipped with
artificial intelligence, will be as clever as humans. Soon after, they say, the
man-made objects could become more intelligent than their creators -- and capable
of taking over. "Next century's global politics will be dominated by the
question of should humanity build ultra-intelligent machines or not," said
Hugo de Garis, who's already created an artificially intelligent machine. "In
fact, I'm going so far as saying there will be major warfare between these two
major groups, one saying building machines is the destiny of the human species,
something people should do and the other group saying it's too dangerous," de
Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics -- the science of comparing
biological and computerized brains -- agrees that thinking robots could
be dangerous. "I
can't see any reason why machines will not be more intelligent than humans in
the next 20 to 30 years and that is an enormous threat," Warwick said. De
Garis speculates that the robots might soon tire of their human creators. "We
could never be sure these artellects, as we call them -- artificial intellects
-- wouldn't decide that humanity is a pest and try to exterminate us, and they'd
be so intelligent they could do it easily," de Garis said. Warwick has even
gloomier premonitions. "We're talking in the future the end of the human
race as we know it," Warwick said. The day when robots no longer do what
we want them to may already be here. De Garis' machine quickly decided it was
camera shy and refused to be filmed by a CNN crew. Shy or not, only time will
tell if these artificially intelligent machines will evolve enough to bring about
Moral Dilemmas Concerning the Ultra Intelligent Machine
By Hugo de Garis
(Thanks to CNI NEWS for this link)
NEW WORLD ARRIVAL DATES REVISED -- AGAIN
(Source: FOX NEWS, 2/17/98)
Experts say linguistic and physical evidence is mounting to show that the first
Americans migrated from Asia not 10,000 or 20,000 years ago but as many as 40,000
years ago. Researchers said today the first people to make the trek across what
is now the Bering Strait from Asia into Alaska may have arrived even before the
last Ice Age covered North America with glaciers. The discovery of a site apparently
12,500 years old in Monte Verde, Chile, has thrown the archeological world into
an uproar. The site itself is 1,300 years older than the oldest known previous
site, and it is 10,000 miles away from the onetime land bridge between Asia and
Alaska. Unless the settlers went dashing straight down to Chile, they must have
been on the continent for tens of thousands of years, researchers said.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS & ROCKET SCIENTISTS
(Source: CNN ONLINE, Paul Caron, 2/12/98)
The mysteries of ancient Angkor are being reclaimed from the dense jungles of
Cambodia, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Angkor was a huge city,
built by ancient Hindus and Buddhists, that at its zenith in the 12th century
was home to more than a million people and covered an area the size of Los Angeles.
Today, most of the ruins, located in northern Cambodia, are hidden by jungle.
But scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, using three different types
of radar images taken from a plane flying over the area, have been able to pinpoint
previously unknown sites that are changing the way archaeologists understand
Angkor. John Stubbs, vice president for programs at the WORLD MONUMENTS FUND,
a nonprofit organization, said "The real story here is a collaboration between
archaeologists and rocket scientists who actually know very little about each
other's trade, working serendipitously to break new ground." NASA plans
to use a similar radar system on a space shuttle mission in 1999, hoping to map
about 80 percent of the Earth's surface in unprecedented detail.
DENTAL GEL DISSOLVES DECAY
(Source: BBC NEWS, 1/8/98)
The pain of the dentist's drill could be a thing of the past for many patients,
with the development of a gel which dissolves tooth decay. The treatment, which
has been pioneered in Sweden, is said to be painless and preserves healthy tissue.
The product, called Carisol, is the brain-child of the firm MEDI TEAM. It is
about to be tested by 1,000 dentists throughout Sweden. Two ingredients are mixed
to make the gel. The gel contains three amino acids which are combined with a
weak solution of sodium hypochlorite. Dentists mix the two ingredients together
to make a red gel which is then applied to the affected tooth. In less than 30
seconds the solution eats away a layer of decayed area and the cavity can then
be scraped out. The combination of two chemicals means only dead tooth is removed.
Researchers say that so far the gel has preserved healthy tissue and resulted
in less bleeding from gums. However Irene Herrmann, the manager of clinical research
at MEDI TEAM, warns the breakthrough may not see the end of dentist's drills
entirely. "For many cavities such as those underneath fillings, some drilling
will still be needed. But even in those cases, the drill will usually only be
used to remove tissue in the least sensitive areas, far from the nerve," she
said. Decay can be easily scraped away after the gel is applied. The treatment
could reduce chance of further decay. The hypochlorite dissolves the existing
decay while the amino acids coat any living matter, preventing it from being
PHYSICIANS INFLUENCED BY DRUG INDUSTRY
(Source: Eurekalert, 1/7/98)
Researchers examining the effect of financial conflicts of interest have found
a strong association with authors' published positions on the safety of a type
of heart medication and their financial relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The results of the study are published in the Jan. 8 issue of THE NEW ENGLAND
JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. The researchers examined the positions of authors in 70
articles published from March 1995 to September 1996 about the safety of calcium-channel
blockers and manufacturers of competing products. The investigators found that
96 percent of the supportive authors had financial relationships with manufacturers
of calcium-channel antagonists, as compared with 60 percent of the neutral authors
and 37 percent of the critical authors. The researchers also found that supportive
and neutral authors were more likely than critical authors to have financial
interactions with manufacturers of competing products (87 percent and 53 percent,
respectively, versus 37 percent). In addition, 100 percent of the supportive
authors, as compared with 67 percent of the neutral authors and 43 percent of
the critical authors, were found to have financial interactions with at least
one pharmaceutical manufacturer.
LOVE COULD BE THE CURE FOR WHAT AILS YOU
By Jill H. Lawrence
[Editor's Note: The following column was posted in Joel Metzger's ONLINE NOETIC
NETWORK (ONN). Lawrence's article is based on a study mentioned in Dr. Deepak
Chopra's best-seller, "Quantum Healing."]
An antidote to a diet of pork rinds, ice cream and Ding Dongs? Is it possible
that something is so powerful that it neutralizes the artery-clogging effects
of a junk food diet?
Such a thing exists and it was discovered in Ohio. Back in the 70's, researchers
at OHIO UNIVERSITY were feeding rabbits a diet of pure junk food. They were seeing
if a diet high in fat and low in fiber would block arteries and create heart
According to best-selling author, Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD, most of the rabbits
did develop heart disease. Most, but not all! One group of rabbits in one of
the laboratories showed amazing tolerance to the diet. In fact, the rabbits in
this particular lab developed 60% fewer symptoms than all the other rabbits at
the other lab sites around the campus.
Researchers were extremely puzzled at this anomaly and naturally investigated
to see what was different. They wondered if the rabbits at this one laboratory
were being slipped carrots instead of potato chips and weren't really being fed
the deadly diet.
But that was not the case. These rabbits were indeed being fed the junk food
diet, just like the rest of the bunnies in the experiment. But they were getting
something additional that the other rabbits weren't getting.
That something extra they were getting was... Love. It's true. It turned out
that the student who had been assigned to feed the rabbits in this laboratory
loved animals. And so each time they were fed, the student would loving take
each rabbit from the cage and would stroke it and croon to it and tell it was
a great little bunny! Then he would return it to the cage and feed it the heartcrippling
fare. His routine was the same every feeding: first he gave them love, then he
gave them junk food!
The researchers doubted that such a simple act as petting and loving could be
powerful enough to override the ravages of the destructive diet. So they tried
the experiment again - this time treating a group of rabbits with love while
others were treated neutrally. The follow-up studies were replicated many times
but all the results were always the same. The rabbits that got love added to
their diet profoundly benefited. It was like being given an inoculation against
heart disease, despite the diet.
It's not much of a stretch to leap from rabbit to human being. If love benefits
rabbits, it certainly benefits human beings.
A four year study done at the University of Chicago proved love helps people
be more creative and to flourish in life. This particular study focused on 210
exceptionally talented high school students between the ages of 12 and 17. The
point was to determine how the quality of their family life affected their creativity
The study proved that creative intelligence blossoms best in families that are
intellectually stimulating and emotionally supportive. The gifted children who
came from families that were both supportive and challenging turned out to be
the most happy and alert. These kids who felt loved also had the most confidence
and curiosity to experiment with learning as well as to follow where their interests
And if that isn't enough to prove the case of love conquers all, think about
this sobering statistic. Twenty-three percent of unmarried men between 45 and
54 years of age will die within the next ten years vs. only 11% of married men.
Without love in their life, these men face double the death rate.
It all seems to prove that love is the answer no matter what is the question!
Jill H. Lawrence is a columnist, Executive Editor of THE SHIFTING TIMES NEWSMAGAZINE,
national speaker, radio personality and seminar leader. She can be reached at "RubySlipp@aol.com" or
by calling her at (330) 478-8895.
Joel Metzger's ONLINE NOETIC NETWORK (ONN) (http://www.wisdomtalk.org/)
publishes frequent interviews with the pioneers of new thought and
enables members to correspond
by email with these well-known experts. Membership is $25 and all ONN members
receive email, about three articles a week, including feature articles, essays,
interviews, creative works, question and answer correspondence, and the ONN listserv.
You are invited to join his free samples mailing list. For more information,
write to: "ONNJoel@wisdomtalk.org"
THE LIGHTER SIDE:
Seems a fire started on some grassland near a farm in Indiana. The fire department
from the nearby town was called to put the fire out. The fire proved to be more
than the small town fire department could handle.
Someone suggested that a rural volunteer fire department be called. And though
there was doubt that they would be of any assistance, the call was made. The
volunteer fire department arrived in a dilapidated old fire truck. They drove
straight towards the fire and stopped in the middle of the flames. The volunteer
firemen jumped off the truck and frantically started spraying water in all directions.
Soon they had snuffed out the center of the fire, breaking the blaze into two
easily controllable parts. The farmer was so impressed with the volunteer fire
department's work, and so grateful that his farm had been spared, that right
there on the spot he presented the volunteer fire department with a check for
A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain what the department
to do with the funds. "That should be obvious," he responded, "the
first thing we're gonna do is get the brakes fixed on that stupid fire truck."
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