Your Definitive Guide to Debunking Orbs: Lens Flares

Your Definitive Guide to Debunking Orbs: Lens Flares

As you may have noticed by now, tons of people are interested in photographing orbs and people online are constantly posting photos where they’ve captured something on camera that appears to be out of the ordinary, wondering whether or not they’ve photographed an orb. This post is dedicated to debunking orbs that are, in fact, a natural photography phenomenon known as lens flares.

The VAST majority of the photos that I’ve seen are not of a paranormal nature and are quite easily debunked by a single phenomena – lens flares. Not only are they explainable, they’re also extremely easy to replicate as I will be showing you here in this blog post.

Debunking Orbs: What’s a Lens Flare?

Lens flares are simply light that is being reflected through the multiple glass pieces within your camera lens when there is an outside light source (aside from your camera’s own flash) in the photo such as the sun, the moon, a lamp, fire, a flashlight, or even your own camera’s flash being reflected in a mirror. A modern camera lens is actually an assemblage of multiple lenses called elements and housed in a barrel, like so:

A lens flare is created when lighted reflects off of one or more than one of these many lenses. The more light you have your camera set to allow in, the more pronounced the flares will be. If you shoot with a lens hood, you can prevent the glare entirely.

Here are two of my engagement photos. One of them was shot specifically to use lens flares for a creative effect. In the other, the settings were changed to allow less light.

The result – lens flares:

lens-flares-on-purpose

No lens flares:

no-lens-flares
Flares Everywhere!
Once you start to notice lens flares, you can literally see them EVERYWHERE and debunking orbs becomes pretty easy. The photo below is a screen cap from a car commercial in which you will see several lens flares resulting from the sun in the top left corner of the screen.

commercial-lens-flare

They also appear frequently in commercials, TV shows and movies these days – much to the annoyance of some fans. JJ Abrams, for example, is notorious for his usage of lens flares in his movies. So notorious, in fact, someone created an entire YouTube video explaining how lens flares are created, all in the context of JJ Abrams movies.

Yes – lens flares can even occur in space. This is a photo snapped and posted to Twitter (from space) by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station of the sun setting over Earth’s horizon.

lens-flare-in-space

Lens flares can occur in any type of camera. The photo below was taken with my iPhone.

sun-glare

These photos were taken with my iPhone. I used an arrow to point out some of the less obvious flares that you might not notice such as the corona (the big circle around the light source -in this case, the sun) and the infamous “green orb” that so many people capture on their own photos and ask about later, as they tend to not notice it as they are taking the photo.

In the top right photo, you don’t notice the green orb because the angle of the camera has it “far away” so it’s very small, whereas the photo below it, it is “up close” so it appears much larger. The flares will be exaggerated and change shape depending on the angle you are holding the camera.

Orbs 1

As mentioned above, these can actually be caught on film as well, and I’ve seen people mistake them for real orbs or UFOs. In the video below, I show you how the “green orb” moves around with your camera.

Debunking Orbs in the Day Time

For these photos, I used my DSLR, which allows me a lot more camera settings (and contains a lot more lenses) than my iPhone, so you can get an entirely different look from the lens flares.

In the photo on the bottom right, I showed you how even light being reflected off of a reflective surface can still create a lens flare. That’s the sun reflecting off of my neighbor’s back window and into my camera. This can also occur with mirrors or any other shiny surface.

lens flares

Another bit that can show up in photos with a bright light source is light reflecting off of dust or insects in the air that you don’t notice until you’ve snapped the photo. The arrows below are pointing this out. I could actually see these floating around with my naked eye, but the camera exaggerates it quite a bit.

geometric-lens-flare
Below are a few more videos I made to show you how this can occur with various degrees of light and different light sources. The first two are from candle flames, and the last one is from the full moon.

Debunking Orbs in the Dark

Obviously the bigger the light source, the greater the flare, so if you were to do this same thing with a bonfire, for example, you would have a much greater effect.

So, the next time you capture something on film that you’ve never seen before, ask yourself: Is there a sun/moon/lamp/mirror/window/candle/fire or any other possible light source in the frame or just outside it? If so, then you have most likely created a lens flare.

If you find yourself thinking, “But mine doesn’t look like these!” that’s ok – these are just a few of the myriad of examples of lens flares. Just do a quick google of “examples of lens flares” and weed through all the JJ Abrams jokes to find several additional examples. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to debunking orbs, and perhaps learned a thing or two!

When Psychics and Spiritual Teachers Feel “Off”

When Psychics and Spiritual Teachers Feel “Off”

Last week, my Facebook page received its 1,111th fan so I decided to celebrate with a giveaway of a handmade (by me) seashell pendulum. I’m happy to announce that the lucky winner of that pendulum is Lauretta Leinonen! Shoot me an email and I’ll give you all the details. 🙂 Be sure to follow the IMSP Facebook page AND join the group for future giveaways!

In the early stages of spiritual development, we all battle with balancing curiosity with vulnerability. We want to know about anything and everything having to do with spirituality and we seek answers from people who seemingly, by our young and underdeveloped sense of discernment, seem to know what they are talking about.

After all, they are a psychic – they have the ability to connect to things that we don’t, right? They have a much better connection to all things spiritual than we do, so we should probably listen to what they have to say.

The truth is, you are just as connected to spirit as they are and you are just as connected to your intuition – it’s only a matter of whether or not you listen to it. And in some instance, your intuition is practically SCREAMING at you to not put your  complete faith and trust in this person.

I know I have, and in those instances it’s been of the utmost importance that I listened to what my gut was telling me.

I met a guy once who fancied himself a spiritual teacher, of sorts. I was in the earlier stages of my spiritual development where I had been having experiences and epiphanies that were rapidly eroding away my former notion of reality. As such, my mind was quite open to learning new things.

This stage of your growth is a vulnerable one. While you’re openness is a gift, because it allows you to integrate new information, without a healthy amount of discernment, it leaves you extremely vulnerable to being fed a lot of bullshit. And depending on how you react to that bullshit, it can do a lot of damage.

Don’t believe me? It’s really not much different than how you are fed religion at an early age – when you don’t know much about the world – and you believe it, and then those beliefs shape who you become. And when you’re a part of a religion that is fear-based and heavily reliant on control, it can much more harm to your psyche than it does good.

Even though in this case you’re an adult, physically, you’re back in a child-like mental state where everything is shiny and new. And while you’ve shed old beliefs, you’re in the process of creating new ones that will potentially inform your view of spirituality from here on out.

So I met this so-called spiritual teacher. Some of the things he was saying seemed… out there… but so much of what I was learning already seemed “out there” and who was I to judge? I thought I’d at least listen to what he had to say.

Boy, did he have a lot to say. And the more he talked, the more the icky feeling grew in the pit of my stomach.

To say that this guy gave me the heebs would be an understatement. It was more like the robot from Lost in Space running around with flailing arms yelling, “DANGER WILL ROBINSON!”

He had his own Facebook page and website, with fans and followers. He had fancy charts and graphs that he created to demonstrate the things he was teaching, and he was very interested in sharing those things with me. Many of his ideas were similar to other spiritual stuff I had read, but some of it was still very much like the religious upbringing I’d had.

It almost felt like he’d taken spiritual teachings from here and there, and put his own spin on them, and it felt very twisted. The things he said made sense, logically, but just didn’t feel quite right.

I asked three separate friends of the intuitive persuasion to give me their psychic impressions of him, and they each confirmed my creeped out feeling.

It wasn’t that he was a bad person. It’s just that he had not done a good job of working through is own issues and taming his own ego, so although he may have actually been receiving real guidance, it was being filtered through a really bent belief system.

Fortunately, this guy was not nearly charismatic enough to build a cult, but if he were, it would have been a dangerous combination. One of the last times he talked to me before I blocked him, he told me that he’d been psychically informed there was going to be a pole shift in three months and where he lived was going to be underwater, so he was preparing to move inland. Surprise, surprise… it never happened. Though maybe he moved. I don’t know.

The moral of this story is – always listen to your gut.

I had a reading a year ago or so with another guy who claimed that he was not a psychic, he merely channeled his higher self and it provided all of the information. I’d randomly found him on YouTube, and he had quite the following. I thought, “Oh ok. Why not? I’ll give him a shot.”

My first clue that this guy was full of shit – or at least full of ego – should have been when he told me that his “higher self” didn’t like to be wrong.

Red flag.

If You Don’t Want To Step On Toes, You’d Better Grow Wings

If You Don’t Want To Step On Toes, You’d Better Grow Wings

Exciting news! My first floor remodel is FINALLY underway. All it took was a little mercury retrograde. Hmm seems backward. lol. Typically they say not to start new projects during retrograde, as it’s a time to go back and refine things. Although, I suppose if a project was supposed to get started long before retrograde came into play, then perhaps finally getting it underway actually IS going back and refining it (and finishing it up).

And the great news is, it’s only going to take four weeks instead of the original eight. So, I only need to survive one month without a kitchen rather than two. 🙂 I mean, I enjoy sitting on the basement floor chopping vegetables to make chili in a crock pot and trying not to drop anything on the carpet because it would then be covered in cat hair… [/sarcasm].

So it’s with lots of banging and construction dust in the air that I write today’s post!


I wrote a post on Facebook the other day discussing how learning so much about human behavior had helped me to be better able to clearly define how much of the shit I find myself in on a daily basis actually belongs to me, and how much of it is being projected onto me by someone else.

I mentioned that many people struggle with finding clarity in these situations, which often leaves them taking responsibility for things they shouldn’t, or expecting others to take responsibility for things that actually belong to them.

We’ve heard spiritual teachers tell us over and over that WE are responsible for our own emotions. Not others.

I’ve written time and again many of my posts about taking responsibility for our emotions and to stop blaming others for making us feel a certain way.

We are responsible for our own emotions. Other people cannot make us feel anything that we don’t already feel deep inside. Their words and their actions are merely trigger points that set us off. Like poking a bruise you forgot was there.

When people don’t take responsibility for their emotions, they project the responsibility for those emotions onto others. 

“He hurt me. He said something mean to me.” “She’s not being nice to me.”

Sure, when someone says something that is intentionally cruel, it’s not nice and they are attempting to cross your personal boundaries. But you don’t have to believe it. And you don’t have to internalize it. And you don’t have to let it bother you, but you do. And when you do, you’re consenting to that feeling, perhaps because you have secretly fear it, deep down. And when you allow that, you are allowing that person to invade your boundaries.

There’s plenty of other situations where the person who is “not being nice” is actually being quite neutral, which provides a perfect mirror onto which a person can project their negative emotions and fears about themselves and see them reflected back, completely without any intent what-so-ever from the person they are interacting with.

In those situations, this person’s own insecurity is getting the better of them and they are quite literally creating your own drama. In addition to that, they are perceiving that their boundaries have been crossed, when they haven’t. It’s self-created. They may then lash out and attack the person who they perceive as crossing those boundaries and in turn, actually end up attempting to invade THAT person’s boundaries, and do the very thing that they were perceiving was being done to them in the first place.

If that happens to you, then what do you do? Most of my writing has been extensively focused on our projections of our own emotions, but today, this post is going to be about being on the receiving end of those projections.

Relationships: Are You Giving Too Much? 

I linked to an article on Elephant Journal about how mature men and women deal with emotional withdrawal that discussed a lot of the dynamics that occur in relationships where people aren’t taking emotional responsibility. One of the side-effects mentioned is that the people who interact with them on a daily basis have to walk on egg-shells so as not to trigger that person’s insecurities, creating an emotional tornado of projection.

The saddest part about this is that many people, particularly those who are empathetic, will practically bend over backward to try and alleviate this person’s self-imposed emotional suffering. This is not healthy for them, either. 

The end result is that they end up enabling the negative behavior and absorbing that person’s pain in the process, making themselves miserable.

This is why it’s so important to learn and understand your own personal boundaries, and what belongs to you and what doesn’t.

It is your choice as to whether or not you will take on the task of attempting to help such a person with their issues. You can’t help them all, or you’ll end up expending an exorbitant amount of our own personal energy, spreading yourself too thin. You end up not taking care of you, first.

So choose wisely, and healthily who you will help and how you will do it. Holding the space for healing others requires strength, dedication, and lots of unconditional love.

When It’s a Stranger and Not Your Loved One

You’ll encounter people on a daily basis who project their emotional insecurities onto you. But it’s your choice as to whether or not you will allow it. If you do, you’re taking responsibility for things that don’t belong to you and you’re allowing those people to cross your personal boundaries. If you uphold your boundaries and don’t take responsibility for the things they are attempting to project onto you, they’re probably going to think you’re an asshole, but guess what?

What others think of you is none of your business.

You can’t go through life walking on eggshells for the sake of other people. It’s just not feasible.

If you don’t want to unintentionally step on anyone’s toes, you had better grow a pair of wings.

But since I doubt either of us is going to make an evolutionary leap and become Birdman any time soon, our next best option is to stop taking on other people’s emotional baggage. It will certainly make you a lot lighter.

There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you and much of the time, it’s really not going to actually have anything at all to do with you. If you can begin to recognize that fact, and start to discern what actually is your baggage and what isn’t, life will become so much easier.

Discerning The Internet: Misinformation, Media Bias, Conspiracies, and Fake Quotes

Discerning The Internet: Misinformation, Media Bias, Conspiracies, and Fake Quotes

The internet is like the wild west of media. There are few laws, even fewer entities to enforce them, and plenty of people willing to break them.

Like never before, human beings have access to an unfettered amount of information, and they also have the freedom to contribute to that unfettered amount of information. And human beings are lazy fuckers. Oh yes, yes they are.

I think this is a HUGELY important topic among spiritual people for one reason: For people who are allegedly so concerned with finding the Truth, they sure do circulate an awful lot of bullshit.

That being said, it is of the utmost importance that each of us takes responsibility for detaching ourselves from what we WANT to be true, and get off our lazy asses to find out what actually IS true. Hold onto your hats, kids… this is gonna be a long one.

The Death of Journalistic Integrity

Generating content on the web has become a huge money-maker, because the more content you have and the more it gets shared, the more people visit your website and the more money you can charge your advertisers.

But creating content costs you money as well, because you had to hire people and pay them to create that content for you. So someone came up with a solution to that problem – allow ANYONE to contribute to your website, for free – in exchange for “exposure”!

As someone with a degree in journalism, this is one of the most horrifying things about the current internet age.  Major news websites, such as The Huffington Post, CNN, etc., allow practically anyone to contribute to their website.

That means your dumbass, mouth-breathing neighbor Larry, who can barely form a coherent sentence, can effectively become an arm-chair journalist and contribute to CNN.com as long as some interweb editor in a back room thinks what he is writing about will generate clicks to their website. All CNN will do is tag it with really tiny text up in the corner that says, “Not verified by CNN.”

Why does my story say “NOT VERIFIED BY CNN“?
Stories submitted to CNN iReport are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post. So we mark all iReports with the label “NOT VERIFIED BY CNN” to let you know that this story hasn’t been both checked and cleared by a CNN editor.

arm-chair-journalists

Not verified effectively translates to: “We haven’t put forth one ounce of effort to fact check this, nor will we, so it could be completely fabricated, but it doesn’t really matter because we put a disclaimer on it, which means it’s your fault if you believe everything you read on the internet.”

So what, exactly, does this result in? It means that stories from completely farcical news sites – such as the Onion – can make it into the mainstream internet news mill, and because nobody bothers to actually be discerning about what they’re reading on the web, many people will actually end up believing it.

believe-what-you-read-on-the-internet

Fake News Websites

One time I saw a story circulating from the Huffington Post about a UFO sighting. I thought it was interesting that a national news organization was reporting on a local UFO sighting (because they normally don’t) so I started doing some digging.

I checked out the site that was cited as the source in the article. One look at the related stories on the website made it obvious that nothing on this website was real, and a quick look at the About Page confirmed it:

Empire News is intended for entertainment purposes only. Our website and social media content uses only fictional names, except in cases of public figure and celebrity parody or satirization. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

Arm chair journalists aren’t the only ones guilty of falling for fake news stories. The New York Times and The Washington Post have also run stories based on information collected from 100% fake news stories. It takes FIVE MINUTES OR LESS to figure out if this stuff is real, and today’s TRAINED journalists can’t even be bothered to do it in many instances.

How to wade through this bullshit: Always ALWAYS look at the “About” page of any alleged news site you are reading a story from. If it’s for entertainment purposes only, it’s definitely bullshit.  But there are other sites who offer no disclaimer at all, as noted in this article. So also take note of some of the other news story titles surrounding it. If one of them is something along the lines of, “Mother Gives Birth to Three-Headed Bat Baby,” it’s probably bullshit.

NOTE: The Gawker link is an ARTICLE because it is fact-based. If something is not fact-based, it is not an article. It is an opinion, also known as a column. And this means what is stated in it is not unbiased, fair, or balanced.

A good representation of what is “fake” and what is not:

The Rise of Sensationalism

Sensationalism: (especially in journalism) the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement.

In addition to the completely farcical news sites out there (you can find a list of the top offenders by doing a simple Google search for “fake news sites”) there are also several sites that allow you, the people, to contribute your own “news.”

As we discussed previously, this doesn’t necessarily work out well because of the whole no journalism training thing, bias, lack of fact checking, and being lazy fuckers.

People seem to fall for these types of new stories fairly often as well.

1b5b67c7e69a908227596f14ab09bb3a

A largely biased “news” site – and I say “news” in quotes because most of them are just some person who created their own “news” site so they can basically write whatever they want, regardless of how biased it is, or let anybody who is an arm chair journalist write for them – picks up a story that is based in truth, but adds their own not-so-true spin to it and changes the context slightly to make it a little bit more… exciting.

One of the more popular trends I’ve noticed in sensationalism these days is using the word “EXPOSED!” If you read that in a headline… just keep on scrolling. It’s most likely clickbait. 

sensationalism
I surely don’t have to explain everything that is ridiculous about the above example… and if I do… God help you.

One that keeps being regurgitated every few months is some form of this one:

1,500 Year Old Bible Confirms That Jesus Was Not Crucified. Vatican In Awe.

So what is actually true about this? There was a 1,500 year old bible found and the contents of that bible were not confirmed. The original story broken by the Turkish newspaper mentioned nothing of the Gospel of Barnabas.

Some other new site picked that story up and speculated that it COULD be the Gospel of Barnabas – a  book not included in the bible. The Gospel of Barnabas is not new, it’s been known about for quite some time, so discovering another copy of it is exciting from a historical perspective, but hardly a revelation.

So, some other asshole on the internet who wants this to be proof of whatever they might believe about history takes that story, omits the word “could,” writes up a sensational headline that portrays all of this as factual, shares it on Facebook and then it gets picked up and perpetuated by all of the other sites who do exactly this same thing and suddenly the Vatican is in Awe – or really pissed off, depending on which version you read.

It’s not exactly the truth. But boy did I see lots of people in spiritual circles sharing it like crazy… because they want it to be true.

its-a-trap

It fascinates me that a lot of the same people who are in the “you can’t trust the mass media” camp will turn around and put their blind faith in some random internet website, simply because it’s talking about a subject that they happen to agree with.

Just because you want it to be true doesn’t mean it is. This bible confirms nothing, and the Vatican is not in awe. And you have been DUPED.

You may not like what the mass media reports to you, but stuff like this from sites like this are full of just as much shit:

Before Its News

Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

Yeah – anyone. Including your dumbass neighbor Larry, can contribute to this site and “report” on what’s going on around them… or just regurgitate something they read on the internet that has no basis in reality what-so-ever. And anyone can become completely misinformed about their world. It’s whatever…

conspiracy-keaneau

How to wade through this kind of bullshit: Once again, check out the about page and see who is allowed to contribute and what the editorial approval process is.

Check for sources! Check for sources! Check for sources! If there are NO sources linked within a “news” article, then it is unverifiable. If the source is another site that similar to any of those that we’ve already talked about, then it’s probably not true. Google the subject matter yourself and look for non-news related information such as books, encyclopedia entries, etc. Google the names of people being quoted.

If an article is citing scientific evidence, it should link back to the original, peer reviewed scientific study published in a reputable publication. If it doesn’t, it’s suspicious.

If they say something along the lines of “Russian scientists” but don’t list any names of said scientists, or only refer to them by their last name, don’t trust it. You can’t verify it.

Oh, and by the way – Examiner.com? Same deal. Some writers on there are decent and source their articles well. Others, not so much.

Intentional Bias

The vast majority of websites and blogs out there are, for all intents and purposes, biased.

Bias: Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Any site that only focuses on one side of an issue without giving the same amount of “unbiased” coverage to the other side is biased. Fox News. Biased. MSNBC. Biased. In5d. Biased. Spirit Science. Biased. Natural News. Biased. Yep. All of them. Biased.

Why? Because they were created by people who wanted to share their own point of view.

Some of the stories they publish are great, helpful, and insightful. But some of them are extremely one-sided. And this one-sidedness, even if it is meant to combat the “dark side” as they see it, does nothing but drive us into further separation and make the gap between us larger and larger. And the rise of self-reported “news” is sitting in the driver’s seat.

Just like the spiritual saying says, “Take what resonates and leave the rest.” Well, what resonates isn’t always what’s true – sometimes it just fits your belief system, so in that case, you have to learn to recognize the bias in these articles.

How to Wade Through The Bullshit: If an article title shows a clear and present hatred toward some subject or thing, it’s most likely biased…

natural-news-bias-2

Article #1: What’s wrong with this?

  • Sensational photo with quotes “Liar! Liar!” shows clear bias.
  • Attempts to connect two negatives together to smear the character of the subject in question (this is a combination of a non sequitur argument and an ad hominem, because you are led to believe that the prior incident automatically casts doubt on the new one even though the two are not necessarily related – and that’s only assuming that either of them are actually true).
  • Additionally, it is very clear that the person who wrote this not in favor of abortion, which makes it biased. Which is fine, but you, the reader, have to recognize that this information will come through a somewhat slanted filter.

Article #2: What’s wrong with this?

  • Sensationalism is present once again with “chopping up human babies” as well as an obvious bias against abortion.
  • “Office Depot says chopping up human babies is not hateful” – this is what is called a Straw Man fallacy.

Article #3: What’s wrong with this?

  • Once again, “Shady Libertarian front group” is an ad hominem which attacks the character of the organization and not the subject at hand.
  • “Industry shill” is also an ad hominem.

Article titles such as these rely on eliciting an emotional response from readers rather than presenting factual evidence, for the purposes of increasing click-throughs and shares.

This type of sensationalism preys upon people who are not self-aware enough to look inward at their emotional reactions and actually counts on the readers simply responding from an emotional trigger-based response rather than a rational one. This is point-blank manipulation. 

The secondary end result is that it creates an ever-widening chasm in communication and understanding from people on both sides of the issue. This type of irresponsible “journalism” is literally tearing people apart and keeping them apart, pitting the people against one another. 

Whether or not you agree or disagree with abortion is not the issue, but rather the fact that they are using your emotional attachment to the subject to manipulate your behavior. The sad thing about all of these is that they could have been represented in a very fair way and still make their argument. But instead, they’ve chosen to completely dismantle any shred of credibility that may have existed in favor of smear tactics.

If the premise of an article begins with an assumption and the remainder of that article is spent attempting to prove that assumption by using circumstantial evidence, then the article is most likely conjecture, at best and you should not place much stock in it. 

What do I mean, exactly?

Look at it this way: In a criminal investigation, the police typically cast a wide net and look at any and all possible suspects. They then narrow down those suspects based on evidence.

The articles we just talked about do the opposite. They pick one person or group and immediately begin building a case against that person or group without looking at any other possibilities.

In a criminal investigation, more credence is given to direct evidence than circumstantial evidence.

Circumstantial Evidence: Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact—like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference.

On its own, circumstantial evidence allows for more than one explanation. Different pieces of circumstantial evidence may be required, so that each corroborates the conclusions drawn from the others. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more likely once alternative explanations have been ruled out.

Therein lies the problem with many of those articles similar to the ones we just discussed as well as conspiracy theories – they do not take into account the fact that much of the evidence being used to support them is circumstantial, and could in fact be explained by something else. These other explanations are generally not ruled out using a scientific process, but rather flatly denied or largely ignored and other circumstantial evidence is often used as “proof” that the others are true. This is also a combination of several logical fallacies we already discussed above, such as a non sequitur, straw man, and even begging the question.

Here’s an example of two national news anchors using every tactic we just discussed above and being blatantly called out for it:

Once again, it doesn’t matter where you stand on any of the issues being addressed, sensationalism and propaganda are being used manipulate your view based on your emotional response, even going so far as to flat out deny empirical evidence.

Propaganda: Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

This is a classic public relations tactic. How do I know? I’ve worked in advertising and public relations for ten years. Public Relations was founded on the principles of crowd psychology. In other words, it was created specifically for the purpose of controlling your perception and was developed based on the way humans think.

Does this mean that your mind is literally being controlled? Well, only if you’re lazy enough to allow it. So no, mind control isn’t possible unless you willingly allow it through gross negligence and willful ignorance or flat out denial of factual, scientific, and empirical evidence. Consider this your wake-up call.

And before attempts to question, “Well, what is a fact, really? Everything is subjective, anyway and science is really based on a bunch of educated guesses anyhow,” you need to first understand these things:

Now, moving on…

Who Said That? 

Lastly, but not least, fake quotes. Oh my god…. the fake quotes.

abe-lincoln-internet

albert-einstein

There are so many blatantly false quotes floating around on the internet, it will make your head spin.

fake-pope-quotes

Sorry folks, Pope Frank did not say this. Not even close. I saw a “news article” touting similar misinformation that also came from the same site I noted above who was floating the 1,500 year old bible article. There’s plenty of shit to read there, nearly all of it fabricated, because remember? It’s being written by your dumbsas, mouth-breathing neighbor, Larry. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Snopes it, people! SNOPES! DO IT!

And by the way – it’s also pretty hilarious to look at Pope coverage from Before It’s News as a whole, because half of it is all “Pope Frank is the greatest Pope Ever! He says everyone is saved!” and the other half is “Pope Francis is a child molesting member of the Illuminati. He says Christians don’t exist outside the Catholic Church.”

I implore you, good humans of the internet – PLEASE STOP READING AND SHARING THESE THINGS! Do your part to prevent misinformation. Be responsible media consumers.

Buddha is another one of those poor religious figures who is constantly being misquoted. In fact, there’s an entire website dedicated to clearing them up called Fake Buddha Quotes.

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Of course, they’re not always quite as obvious as these, which were clearly created sarcastically – at least I hope.

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While we’re at it – Facebook and Your Privacy

No, pasting something into your Facebook status and posting it on your wall will not change a damn thing that Facebook has access to. You agreed to Facebook’s terms of service, including their privacy policy, by creating an account and using it.  YOU AGREED!

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Terms of Service: Rules which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service, which often includes user rights, expectations, accountability for online actions and behavior, and privacy policy outlining the use of personal data.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news – but pretty much every website, social network, and smartphone app that you use uses your personal data in some way, shape or form. Mostly for marketing purposes. How do I know? In some instances, I have worked for those companies and helped write those terms and conditions.

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If you don’t like the things that you gave Facebook access to when you joined it, you have one option – stop using it. Same with pretty much every other site on the internet. Or…OR… you can just not upload anything to the internet that you wouldn’t want anybody else to know about…

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But one thing is certain – you can stop pasting “Better safe than sorry is right. Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy. Better safe than sorry,” into your Facebook status.

It’s kind of ironic that people will take the time to read that, and copy and paste it, but they STILL WON’T TAKE THE TIME TO GO AND ACTUALLY READ FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY POLICY

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No, Facebook is also not a part of some conspiracy to censor your or anyone else’s UFO photos, holistic news articles, or whatever subject matter you happen to be posting about that you’d like to paint them as a villain for.

Why? Because the 1.19 BILLION monthly active users (that’s 1/7 of the world’s population) of Facebook are uploading more than 30 BILLION pieces of content  (that’s over four times the world’s population) to Facebook every. Single. Month. No company on the planet has the man power to moderate that amount of content. NOBODY. That is why Facebook is considered a community, and you, the user, are given the ability to flag content that you deem inappropriate. That reported content then goes to a moderator who works for Facebook and that person will make the decision to remove it or allow it to stay based on the rules of use outlined in the Terms of Service that you never read.

If your piece of content violates those terms of service, it will be removed and you will be notified by Facebook that your content has been removed, and which specific section of the Terms of Service were violated.

So the next time you see a picture or video (that doesn’t involve pornography of some type) that says, “Share! Hurry up and get this out! Facebook is trying to remove it!” you can safely continue scrolling.

News flash! YouTube works exactly the same way. So does Twitter. So does every other social network.

I hope you walk away from today’s very lengthy post feeling somewhat smarter and better equipped to deal with the daily barrage of internet bullshit that gets hurled at you on a daily basis. You may even just want to walk away from it entirely, and if so… I don’t blame you.

Discernment – or – The Top 6 Things You Should Tell To Fuck Off

Discernment – or – The Top 6 Things You Should Tell To Fuck Off

In a previous post, I went on a mini rampage about fear-based bullshit. Make no mistake about it, I have an exceptionally low tolerance for fear-mongering. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Fear is just. Not. My. Thing.

When I read something – be it a spiritual book or a blog post or some channelled message, I want it to leave me feeling inspired, empowered, full of love and ready to take on anything. That’s how I know it’s coming from a good place.

I’ve said before as well that my sniff test for any information I come across is, “Does this smell like love, or does this wreak of fear?” and that’s my mechanism for discernment.

Anything that remotely looks like fear – I’m like, “Nope.”

That being said, there are a certain few things that tend to fall into that category, so without further pomp and circumstance, here’s my next #Fuckit15 post – the top 6 things that make me say, “Fuck off”:

1. If something or someone tries to make you dependent on them. E.g. “I’m the only person who can save you/fix you/love you/communicate this information to you”… FUCK OFF.

2. If something leaves you feeling afraid. FUCK OFF!

3. If something leaves you feeling like you need to be rescued. FUCK. The fuck. OFF.

4. If something leaves you feeling powerless or that you are not in control of your life. Fuck off.

5. If something leaves you feeling unworthy. FUCK. OFF.

6. Doomsday predictions, evil aliens, evil entities, demons, the devil, hell, evil -period., negative entity attachments, black magic, the boogey man, things that live under your bed and go bump in the night, the monster in your closet, incubi, succubi, reptillians, galactic wars and the goddamn tooth fairy if she’s acting like bitch… FEEEEECK. FUCK. OFF.

Who needs it? Why do you need it? Why would you want it? Why do you cling to it?

Especially when there’s SO MUCH LOVE! Just sitting there waiting for you to SEE it.

 

Surrender. To. Love.

 

“But what about the Lucifer Experiment and the Illuminati–”

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