May 19, 2015

Shadows Before Suicide

I've always found the theme song from M*A*S*H to be darkly compelling. Beautiful and melodic, it is an oddly seductive paean to ending it all. Reading the latest from the marvelous Gaby Petris, it occurs to me that for many people, Teal Bosworth Scott Swan's relentless obsession with suicide has a similar allure for many of her followers. She is far more dangerous. When she speaks of suicide as, not only painless, but blissful, she does so without tongue in cheek. Hers is a kind of siren song pulling her many suicidal followers closer and closer to the rocks.

I want to show you a precarious vortex that is massing around the teacher Teal Swan. Within it suffering people seeking an answer are circling. I want to communicate a sense of its dangerous undertow. That pulls people in. And under.

I first became aware of Gaby's writings, when her first post on this topic was recommended to me in a comment on my last post on teal. It is also must reading. When I learned that she was working on a more in-depth piece, my only question was, how can I help? Together, Gaby and I sorted through screenshots we've both collected of Teal Tribe discussions about the suicide option, and about the 22 year-old triber who recently took his own life.

When I really delve into the patterns of teal's communication with her flock, the picture that emerges always proves to be so much worse than I'd thought. I am eavesdropping, I know, as I look at these snapshots of Teal Tribe conversation. I am not a tealer or a triber. I am an observer, a rubbernecker, watching accidents occur in slow motion. And it is an awful thing to see the train coming and be so unable to stop it.

Teal Tribe is brimming over with creative, intelligent, even brilliant, people. Many are also wounded and vulnerable. And, far too many are suicidal.

May 2, 2015

In Which Michael Shermer Finds the Time

As I noted here, Rupert Sheldrake challenged professional skeptic Michael Shermer to a debate in 2003. He accepted. And now, a mere twelve years later, that debate will take place.

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, who was caught giving critiques of  Sheldrake's work without reading it, agreed to debate Sheldrake... if only he could find the time.

In March 2003, Dr Sheldrake challenged Shermer to a debate, which he accepted, and several times and venues were suggested, but all were rejected by Shermer. As of 2009, the debate has still not taken place.

Well, better late than never. The dialogue, hosted by, commenced on May Day with opening statements from both thinkers.