Tag Archive: CORE

Paul Myhill Publishes Joe McCord Letter on Facebook

Paul Myhill Puts Future in Hands of God

McCord Letter To Bill Driscoll re:Paul Myhill 2005

McCord Letter To Bill Driscoll re:Paul Myhill 2005

The Letter from Joe McCord to Bill Driscoll

Bill Driscoll and Paul Myhill:  co-inventors of the Protandim Recipe

Paul Myhill, one of Protandim‘s creators has this past hour published a letter which reveals certain facts that Lifevantage wish to smokescreen.

58 minutes ago, Paul Myhill said, as a way of admission, his future is in the hands of god….

For those that haven’t heard of it, Protandim is a plant based tablet that has unproven effects, but for which the MLM company Lifevantage make innuendo-based fantastic claims.

LazyMan and Money has a fantastic take on the whole scam.

Myhill In Hands Of God, says, My reputation, integrity, credibility and character - All are in God's hands.

My reputation, integrity, credibility and character – All are in God’s hands. – Myhill

In short, it’s snake oil, and a scam, just like many others from that cesspit of free market capitalism, Utah.

  • We’ve seen Google Treasure Chest for which Pacific Webworks and their promoters have been doubly hammered by Google and the FTC.
  • We’ve Canadian seen Jesse Willms who has been hammered by Google, Oprah and the FTC yet ran many affiliates through Utah.
  • We’ve seen near neighbours Monavie.  Same crap, just waiting to get the FTC knock on the door.  This is LazyMan’s take on them.  It’s scary stuff.

Roll on the FTC.  They’ve got to weigh in on these sharks soon.


 

Paul Myhill's Open Letter On Facebook

Paul Myhill’s Open Letter On Facebook

Rather than a comment, (which isn’t so taggable and relevant within search engines), here’s Myhill’s open letter (open – geddit?  – in the fullest meaning of the word).  Text follows below.

OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAR LIFEVANTAGE FAMILY

 

Needless to say, the company and I are not on good terms right now. Quite frankly, Doug Robinson’s email to the LifeVantage distributors is fraught with error and misrepresentation. In fact, he gave very little attention to me personally on this matter, hardly exchanging a word with me concerning it. He simply didn’t have the time for me.

 

It is very well documented that the company was founded on a pledge to give shares, and a percentage of profits, to the charitable cause that it helped to start – rescuing orphaned and abandoned children from being abused, exploited, trafficked and enslaved. This was my “Why?” for joining Bill Driscoll in starting LifeVantage in the first place . . . and it is a cause that he graciously took on as his own and championed also. I’m sure he’s getting many hugs in Heaven as a result of the 15,000 children who are free from slavery today because of our work together.

 

I will be more-than-willing to make public all that documentation, especially since it was all public information to begin with. This charitable pledge was also the basis for which I assigned my invention (not Dr. McCord’s invention!) to LifeVantage. As soon as Bill and I assigned the patent to LifeVantage the pledge was sadly taken out of company materials, almost immediately. I naturally felt quite betrayed. Again, I can provide full documentation supporting this and it can be easily verified in the public record – through company press releases, investor presentation materials, SEC filings, etc. My resignation letter was also a matter of public record and alludes to the fact that this pledge – which was foundational to the company and my very involvement in it – needed to be kept, otherwise it would represent a promise broken to the original founders and all of LifeVantage’s stakeholders. The erasing of the pledge from company materials was the main reason for my departure, which the original Board and transition management team can certainly attest to. I was quite the thorn in their sides, constantly verbalizing the need to keep the pledge. As such, there is no disputing the existence of the original commitment. It’s simply undeniable.

 

I have been quite clear in my communications with LifeVantage management that the company still owes the charity now known as Traffic Jam 100,000 shares as part of its original pledge to match the Founders’ donation of shares to that same charitable vehicle. This amount was supposed to match Bill Driscoll’s gracious donation of 100,000 shares that came in a couple of months late. I’m sure if he were alive today he’d be greatly disappointed that the company never followed through on that commitment . . . and other commitments. Bill and I had our differences, but I also owe it to him as my brother-in-arms to get his shares matched, as he fully expected would be done when he made his generous gift in the first place. I owe it to his memory and legacy. And I owe it to his family – to see more children rescued because of his gift and defense of the pledge.

 

Despite the implication made in Doug’s letter, I never approached the company to ask anything for myself. In fact, it was David Brown who suggested that I become a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the company with a job role that would give me a greater platform to share the “correct” company history and bring attention to the fine work of the Traffic Jam Campaign. It was through that process that compensation (as with any job) was sought to channel to Traffic Jam. I have quite a few emails that show that this compensation was for the purpose of supporting the work of Traffic Jam. I’m on record multiple times stating that I gave everything away . . . and would give it away again.

 

It is with great sadness that I write this on the eve of my Birthday – not exactly the “gift” I was hoping for . . . or hoping to give. Since 2008, I have been pleading with the company to correct its marketing materials – to reflect that Joe is not the “Inventor” or “Creator” or “Scientist behind” Protandim; that Protandim wasn’t “developed after 40 years of research;” and that it didn’t consist of a “laundry list” of 40 ingredients that Joe whittled down to the current formula. This is all simply untrue. I’m sure the company will try to put some sort of further spin on this now and try to convince people otherwise, but the truth is the truth and will always come out in the end. Darkness can’t hide from the light.

 

The CORE botanical formula I forwarded to Joe included the current five botanicals, plus one additional one – all in the EXACT same proportions/weights as the current formula (all 1/3 of the original to get it into one pill), but with Milk Thistle subsequently bumped up at my suggestion. The other ingredients were part of an “all-in-one” (multi-formula) addition to that CORE botanical formula that I developed. Given such indisputable facts (and that the initial patent was filed one month before we even met Joe), how am I NOT the creator? How is Joe THE creator? The simple email record, and even a letter from Joe himself, clearly show that the current company communications are downright false and misleading . . . and, in the eyes of many, perpetuate an ongoing fraud – one that the SEC and FTC should be made aware of.

 

I initially stated that “nobody lied,” desiring to give this current management team the benefit of the doubt and chalking it to human error and the discontinuity of company management in general. But then, month after month went by with the same erroneous materials still being widely distributed by the company, despite their own admission to me that Joe isn’t the creator. These same materials are on the company website TODAY. I just don’t get how a company can keep doing that, with full knowledge that the materials are sending the wrong message to current and new distributors. Many times I wrote emails (which I’d be happy to share with you) and each time nothing was done to take down the offending materials.

 

I’ll be glad to once again share that whole “Protandim Development History” with you, which is backed up by meticulous documentation, the full email record, plus personal notes and commentaries. It spanned over 20 blog entries. I’m an “open book.” I had nothing to hide. I shared it all.

 

I’m sure, though, that if I were to re-post Protandim’s development history, the company would claim that I was then “giving away company secrets” and would once again try to silence the true history of the product’s creation – MY creation of Protandim – that occurred for almost ten months before I even met Joe. The reality is that the company misrepresentations have gone on for so long now that they have no choice but to try to silence the truth. Just you wait and see. I can almost hear the “cease and desist” letter being typed up right now. And I can almost picture the new “watered-down” version of the history that the company will now come up with.

 

Doug mentioned in his letter that I found the company response unacceptable. Well, one of those unacceptable conditions was that I sign a new set of releases (to silence me telling the true Protandim story again) and that I pull down my “LifeVantage / Protandim Founder’s Page” on Facebook which, of course, would be in addition to my blog that was already pulled down. Do you see the common theme here? Silence. Silence. And more Silence. I’m a high-justice person who stands for truth and integrity and, despite the company trying to buy that silence by offering for Traffic Jam to be featured at convention, I told them that I couldn’t in good conscience do that. I’m not signing away my voice. My “Founder’s Page” stays. My voice stays. And my appeal to get the company to meet its commitments . . . stays.

 

Do you want a company of integrity? Well, then, don’t let them silence the truth any more. Protandim wasn’t an “idea” that Bill and I took to Joe. It was a full formula that even Joe stated in a letter was almost at its “final embodiment.” And the company’s charitable pledges to Traffic Jam wasn’t an “idea” that I just came up with. It was represented in multiple press releases and SEC filings and collateral materials. If you don’t believe me, go to EDGAR and check yourself for at least the SEC part of it.

 

Ever wonder why the company took down all the archived press releases? Because it backs up what I’m saying and what I’ve been asking, not for myself, but on behalf of trafficked and enslaved children.

 

Given the erroneous wording in Doug’s email, I can only assume now that the company has chosen the issue of the 100,000 shares to try to discredit me – making it sound like I’ve been making selfish and unreasonable demands of the company – while at the same time trying to discredit the true history of Protandim’s development. Doug, of course, fails to mention in his email that the “great deal of material” that I posted on the Internet concerning “my view” of that development was 1.) Taken down by me as a sign of “good faith” and 2.) Was only posted in the first place after I reached out to the company multiple times beforehand – with no response.

 

I’m not sure how Doug can call it “my view” of Protandim’s development anyway, considering that it included hundreds of emails (that were copied or sent to dozens upon dozens of people) as well as a number of other source documents that were widely circulated. It’s not just “my view,” as demonstrated by the substantiated, well-documented evidence. Of course, if the company has its way, you probably won’t see any of that document and you’ll just have to accept Doug’s words that it was simply “my view” of events. Where was Doug during the development of Protandim? Who is he to challenge the clear evidence? Can he not see the patent was initially filed a full month before Joe even came into the picture? Does he not see whose name is on the patent?

 

For months, I’ve taken steps of “good faith” and have expected the company to do the same – to act in “good faith” to take down the erroneous marketing materials that were propagating that Joe was the inventor/creator of Protandim. Sadly, the company never reciprocated. The 100,000 share issue, unfortunately, has now become the easy point of contention that allows LifeVantage to not have to give credit to me for my invention. By making it so public and contentious, LifeVantage now has a convenient excuse to not have to include Bill and me in our rightful place in the company history. Something that should have been celebrated can now be easily swept under the rug because I’m the “bad guy” with “unreasonable” expectations who asked the company to honor its commitments. It now allows them to feel better about themselves somehow – for so long being negligent in getting the real story about Protandim’s development out there; for so long casting me in a “false light” by commission and omission; for so long keeping up the erroneous materials to the point of malice and great hurt.

 

Company of integrity, Doug says? How about keeping its original promises to match the founders’ shares to rescue children? How about keeping its original promises to give 10% of pre-tax net profits away for children and related humanitarian causes? How about filing an 8-K correction notice with the SEC every time the erroneous message of Joe being the “creator” went out? How about the promise to correct the development history while at the same time keeping up the offending materials that lead people to believe Joe was the inventor? How about David’s promise to “make it happen” for me to have a “Goodwill Ambassador” role with the company, to help further the purposes of Traffic Jam? How about the company’s constant encouragement for distributors to use the copyrighted material of ABC News for commercial purposes? How about all those big distributors who came over with down-lines allegedly “stolen” from Zrii? How about ALL the mentions of diseases when it’s clearly not permitted in the marketing of a supplement?

 

Integrity? Company of integrity? Actions speak louder than words.

 

This is a very sad day for me folks. The “petition” that Doug mentioned in his letter was merely me throwing up my arms in bewilderment and wondering why on earth the Board wasn’t fulfilling the matching pledge with a measly 100,000 shares when the evidence was so clear that 100,000 shares were missing (Believe me, I was asking for these shares long before the recent run-up in price). Even a math flunkey could see that the numbers didn’t add up and 100,000 shares were still owed. Instead of bringing the match to completion, with an amount of shares that pales in comparison to the fat stock options the executives are getting, they chose to make this big issue out of it. It could have been a cause for celebration. Instead, the company has chosen to create yet another public relations nightmare. I didn’t ask for that. They did it. And I’m baffled by it.

 

I started off with 5 million shares. Why on earth would I make all this fuss about 100,000 shares if it were not true? I’m a man of principle and the principle-of-the-matter is the shares are still owed. Gosh, by their reaction, you’d think I asked for the moon.

 

I merely responded by saying that I would put out the public information and ask distributors to let their voices be heard – for integrity and common sense. But somehow that’s now something portrayed as me being devious and destructive. Hello? Why would I try to destroy the stock of the company I’m trying to get shares from? Hello?

 

Conversely, I don’t believe the LifeVantage Board has acted in its fiduciary duty in this matter. I believe they are acting in a destructive manner. Why on earth would they bring about such a disruptive episode in the midst of such growth and promise? The missing shares are soooooooo obvious that they are missing from the match. I gave 200,000 shares. Bill gave 100,000 shares. the company gave 200,000 (matching mine) and, hello again, Bill’s shares didn’t get matched. 100,000 shares missing. You don’t need a mathematics degree to figure that one out. Why would the Board put so much at risk – the airing out of this laundry – instead of just issuing the shares to help rescue kids?! And celebrating it!

 

. . . Unless, of course, they were needing something to make me look “bad” or “unreasonable” so they don’t feel so bad about the incorrect company communications about who invented the product. And to release themselves from an obligation to correct that history in a way that celebrates Bill’s and my involvement.

 

. . . Now they can just quietly remove the “creator” tag from Joe and hope that nobody notices. Just like they did when they removed the “inventor” tag from him.

 

Doug’s letter concludes by asking distributors to not get involved in anything that “disparages” the company. Wow. I asked the company to honor its commitment with a measly 100,000 shares to stop 11 year-olds from getting raped 20 times per day; to stop 7 year-olds from having to shoot their parents before being forcibly conscripted into a child militia. Now, if any distributor goes along with supporting what is clearly in the public record, and honoring their own conscience to see the pledge fulfilled for children such as these, they are in violation of their distributor’s agreement. Seriously?

 

Looks like the strong arm of silence rearing up again.

 

My apologies for rambling on in this open letter. Obviously I’m a passionate person – the same passion that brought Protandim into being in the first place. And, obviously, I’m quite upset right now – not just by these events, but how they’ve now been represented in Doug’s email.

 

Unfortunately, it’s the distributors and the children who lose out because of the Board’s baffling conclusion and Doug’s irrational choice to send out his email. Quite wreckless, if you ask me. Certainly not acting in the best interests of the shareholders. They turned a public relations celebration into a public relations nightmare.

 

I apologize to all of you that it has come to this. It certainly wasn’t my intention.

 

I want you all to know that I love you all and do indeed wish you the best. I will STILL use my “Founder’s Page” on Facebook as a place of encouragement and, given this recent turn of events, as a place of clarity and truth.

 

Blessings,

Paul

 


So there you have it.  Since this time, Myhill has been sat on by Lifevantage (as it turns out a kind of double-blackmail) and then stated that the shares were the thing to buy.  Following this, Lifevantage have made public pronouncements about their charitable donations to Myhill’s charitable organisation(s) and there’s now, apparently,  a kind of Machiavellian sweetness and light between them.

But whatever:   the business is still a snake-oil pyramid scheme founded on flawed and discredited “science” and promoted by MLM-hopping get-rich-quick wide-boys.  For more on these recent developments and a fuller history of investigations into the topic, see a few of LazyMan’s postings here:

…….I won’t steal any more of Lazyman’s thunder and there much, much more on his site.  But from top to bottom, the volunteers and employees of all the charities financed by Myhill and/or Lifevantage should examine their hearts and ask themselves;

What value is there to a charity when it’s financed from deception?

So what if Myhill has had his photo taken with Elton John or whoever.

So what if Myhill plugs;

Paul Myhill Entertainer Plugs

Paul Myhill Entertainer Plugs

“Meetings getting scheduled with Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Slash, Myles Kennedy, and many more. The TRAFFIC JAM Campaign (Stop Child Trafficking & Slavery) will be rocking this summer!”

Our Prime Ministers and Presidents are often photographed with the pariahs of the world.  Elton is one of the world’s biggest self-publicists and spend-thrifts.  So is Gaga.  So, so what?  There is no validation there.

It’s still a charity founded on deception.  It may have good aims.  It may be correctly financed and regulated –  though Vogel has shed great doubts over this (See here, here, here, here and here).  But it is financed by a pyramid scheme based MLM using a product with no proven benefit as the bait on the hook.

When the PR folk at Lady Gaga, Timberlake’s et al label’s get wind of the deceptions surrounding Myhill, will the charity campaign still be a-rockin’?  Will all of Zoe Hamilton’s (a loyal Myhill fan/worker/volunteer?) networking work be for naught?  Let’s see.


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Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward.  There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence.  You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format.  You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that.  However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.

What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default,  and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz.  In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room;  at least the recommended values for Windows 7.  You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.

Fast Install (added 24/11/11))

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route.  See Improving the setup experience.  I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!

Appearance

It’s a big green screen.  I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one.  It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road.  Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone.  But what’s it like beneath the surface?

Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.

Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.

Personally, I think it’s very, very dour.  I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages!  Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well…….    Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files!   No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.

I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.

Initial Investigation Ends

Well that’s it for now.   To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice.  There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a  3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile  apps for what they are.

Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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Foetus Products Shop Made Simple

Foetus Products Shop Open

Foetus Products

Foetus Products

In preparation for our next release, Spookhouse, I’ve set up a proper shop to sell it!  Our intention is to sell everything ourselves via this sole outlet. (Click image for the UK shopping site.)

The announcement is on the Crawling Chaos website here.

Kicking off the shop I’ve reworked (…er…shouldn’t that be ‘am in the process of re-working?…) all tracks from the two previous CD issues.  Finally I’ve had a decent handle of the articles…

Some have been substantially changed which may upset the purists, my current modus operandi being to imagine myself back then using the current software and equipment I now have at my disposal, then to change the existing 2-track recordings to best fit this basic idea.  After all, they’re already in the digital domain – so I may as well try and make them something like how I/we wanted originally, but was thwarted by technology.

In tandem with this, I’ve whipped out some jam and hidden parts in tribute especially to Paul, Jeff & Garry, because this was the core of many creations that appear on those two releases and turned them into something dark and tragic, as that’s how I currently feel about their absence from the planet.

As Steve Jobs once said,

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Close observers will spot the “new” tracks.  They are there to highlight our jollity, our bleakness, the tiny hidden gems of deftness in improvisational Jeff’s playing and Paul’s lyricism, the randomness of Gazza and the end that must come to us all.

All this stuff is competitively priced compared to the muffled output from the usual on-line stores.

Spookhouse

The Spookhouse design is currently being set.  Downloads from the CD will be available following the CD release.

Other Items

These will be released, mainly as download, for other artists wanting to contribute to to the Foetus Products collective sound resource.  This isn’t a joke.  We really mean it folks!

Technical

I’ve set it up using open-source software on the foetusproducts.co.uk domain.  All links are secure where they need to be using a SSL Certificate I bought from GoDaddy.com, as they were had a special offer going…!  It’s security level is the highest you can get (it uses a 2048 bit key), which means folks should have no qualms about their bank getting raided or whatever if they buy from us.

Users will have a choice of two financial transaction processors – PayPal and Google Checkout for which I’ve set up merchant accounts.  They’re ubiquitous and most people are familiar with their operation nowadays.  I thought about using Amazon, but they don’t currently process for digital items.

The reason that we’ve gone this route harks back to our (i.e. Crawling Chaos’s) independence of spirit – and because our returns will be on par to going the iTunes route, say, for distribution.  We lose about 10% commission in the transaction process compared to a lot more through online download stores.

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Curious Suicide

The Coroner and The Law

I’m often struck when reading the papers or news, to see the coroner’s verdict on someone’s death as:

Ending his own life “while the balance of his mind was disturbed”

Dennis and Flora Milner said they wanted to decide when to die

Dennis and Flora Milner said they wanted to decide when to die

Well they have to say something, it’s their job, but the phrase is very peculiar.  It is also very common, over 110k webpages!

Take this couple, the Milners, who were found dead in their home on the 1st November, 2009.  They look quite jolly, don’t they.  Would you say that the balance of their mind is disturbed?

Current UK law says that it’s OK to end your own life, but illegal to help anyone do it.  I’ve emphasised the word “current”, because not that long ago, when the spoken language of the people of Britain would be comprehensible to us here today, it was actually a capital offence to commit suicide!  In other words, if you failed to kill yourself, the State would that ensure you got your wish, by hanging you.  This all came from the Catholic and then later Protestant religions’ view of life and the hereafter.

This shows that the view of suicide is highly flexible!

New Economy

Angst

A common view, is as I stated at the top; that someone has a mental problem.  This is a tautology, of course. (Statement: ‘All people who attempt suicide are mentally ill.’ Question: ‘How do you know they are mentally ill?’ Answer: ‘Because only mentally ill persons would try to commit suicide.’) But more to the point, what is the mind?

Mind

People have struggled since the dawn of self-comprehension about “the mind”.  Descartes said “I think therefore I am” which is as good as anything.

Nichiren, the Buddhist monk has said many things, usually by quoting other previous Buddhist scholars and the like, and with an alarming number of references to the concept of “mind“, “self” and “existence“.  For instance, quoting Dengyo he states,

“The two phases of life and death are the wonderful workings of one mind. The two ways of existence and non-existence are the true functions of an inherently enlightened mind.” – Nichiren, The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life

Which is all fine and dandy if you’re not depressed, isn’t it?  If you are feeling down, it’s as dust to the wind, isn’t it?

But the truth of what Nichiren is saying is that it encapsulates one’s concept of “self”, regardless of whether you are up or down with your life.

And surely, by knowing oneself, even if you are suicidal, then your mind is never disturbed because at that point you have a very clear idea of “self”?

Suicide Types

Disappearance/Appearance

Value

There are various forms of suicide, neatly classified on this Wikipedia entry.  What is clear to me, is that there are, in essence, only two types of suicide, and they both to varying degrees are to do with a lack of value to life, not a disrespect of it.

  • Respect is a concept based in honour and subservience.
  • Value is a concept that is transferable across many human activities and we all have a good idea of it’s meaning that is far removed from any concept of society, duty, kinship and a host of other things based around law and natural justice.

The first is when one perceives no value in one’s own life.

Here, I’m separating life and existence into two different things, much as all the world’s major religions do.  (Most religions, in one way or another, have at their core the premise that when you die, in the physical sense, that you “go” somewhere else afterwards).  In such a case, a person may be fed up with their lot and end it all for one of the reasons that Wikipedia lists.  For example, men with families like myself, when getting their pension statement will jokingly say amongst themselves that “I’m worth more dead than alive!”.  The truth is that this is a truly valid reason that many suicides will use and is a far closer statement of the reality of many in the Western World’s lives than they care to admit.

The second is when a person sees no value in other’s lives.

Such examples could be:

  • A soldier in Afghanistan
  • A soldier in WW1 or WW2
  • A suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • A kamikaze pilot in WW2

 

Grieving Woman

We must remember that so long as war exists on earth there will be some danger that even the nation which most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war . . .
I hate war . . .
Let those who wish our friendship look us in the eye and take our hand.
© Gettty Images https://tinyurl.com/looceef

In each of these cases, the potential for that person’s own death is there precisely because they set aside for an undefined period, any value of the person’s life they are going to kill, even though there’s a good chance they too will die.

By doing this they wrap up my first reason within the second.  It’s impossible not to!

Of course, they justify their reasons under the flags of patriotism or peace and the promise or expectation of a “better life” either elsewhere for themselves or their families or country.

Country-Person, Person-Country?

Nationalism and native land

Nationalism and native land

But what is the point of committing suicide for a country or a belief system like a religion?  These are temporary constructs of our human minds.  As Nichiren said;

There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. – On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime – The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume 1, page 4

and here;

It is like the case of a person who in a dream sees himself performing various good and evil actions. After he wakes up and considers the matter, he realizes that it was all a dream produced by his own mind. This mind of his corresponds to the single principle of the essential nature of phenomena, the true aspect of reality, while the good and evil that appeared in the dream correspond to enlightenment and delusion. – The Entity of the Mystic Law – WND1, page 418

So what we have is our own mind.

  • Who is to say whether it’s mad or bad?
  • Who is to say that life itself is a true reality, because every single thing we see with our eyes and perceive with our other senses, is actually processed information by, and a product of, our own mind!

This last is pure physics and logic.  We live, and see things just like TV.  A TV picture is just dots on a screen.  Our mind converts them into news, trees, people, porn.  But there’s nothing there, only dots.

Similarly with Great Art.  It’s just paint splodges.  It’s our mind that makes the Mona Lisa enigmatic – not even Leonardo’s – it’s our own mind that does it!!!. Just like the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

Life and Love

Soldier Love

Love

So who can put any suicide under any form of disdain?  Who can dare compare the suicide of a soldier (usually dressed up as medals and bravery, and they are brave, make no mistake) dying for his or her concept of patriotism with the suicide of a spurned lover, dying for their own concept of life and duty?

It takes just as much bravery for a young girl to walk into a market place and blow herself up as it does for a soldier to run across open ground through a field of enfilading machine gun fire.

And it takes the same bravery for a spurned or deceived lover to end their life when they’ve been through all the options in their own mind, using all the logic at their disposal and deduced that a new, different life for themselves in the next existence is a better option than the current life, especially if, as I said earlier, they consider the value of their life to be greater when they are dead!

To go through all these acts of certain death takes the same amount of courage from everybody, in that I see no distinction.

In this story, a very good Agatha Christie type of mystery, transported into the modern era in a multi-cultural ghetto that explores the social conflicts and mores from many angles, not least the personal, the social, the political, the economic and the cultural clash angles, one of the characters, Hassan, says,

‘Fucking love, ain’t it, messing with you, makes you unable to think clear.’

And that’s about the sum of it.

Let there be light

Let there be light

For the love of a woman, a man, your children, a country, a religion, a promise of a better future;  these are all good and valid reasons for a suicide.

Question?

Now can anyone tell me a valid reason to oppose someone’s suicide?

Answers must be logically consistent.  When you’ve got them, then either reply here or write them on a piece of paper and shove them up your arse.

I really don’t care.  It’s my blog space and I’ll say what I want.

 

Somewhat Related:

You may pile up dung and call it sandalwood, but when you burn it, it will give off only the odour of dung. You may pile up a lot of great lies and call them the teachings of the Buddha, but they will never be anything but a gateway to the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.

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Mandelson: Expenses Morals and Postal Flowers

Peter Mandelson

Peter Mandelson

As MP’s expenses come to the fore again, Peter Mandelson spoke on Radio 4 this morning and did his usual self by not explaining anything and being perfectly unclear about everything!  Listen hear here!

Thank god the interviewer cut him off.

The question was “Have you got much sympathy with MPs who’ve claimed under one set of ‘rules’ and now might have to cough-up under a changed set of rules” (my wording)

“Of course…but…” said Mandelson

“…these are the last painful and expensive throws of an old and discredited system…”

Flower Shop

Flowers and Pot Plants

The trouble is that Mandelson’s flower bills for his office/department are over £24,000 per annum.  When news of this started coming out, Darling’s Treasury flower bill of ~£3000 was cut to zero but the Business Dept.’s of Mandelson has remained the same. (see Government departments ran up £780,000 flower bill)

That’s  the painful truth.  And as the most disadvantaged in society, dependant on the State for their well-being, are now coming into the firing line as the cause of society’s ills, it’s a truth that deserves repetition.

As the money given to bankers to pay for their bonuses (~£1.2 billion!) goes out, consider the £3 billion stolen from the Post Office worker’s pension fund by the State in a ‘pensions holiday’ since 1994.  These Post Office employees are now having to suffer because as part of the Royal Mail’s super-imposed business ethic, it has to recoup the missing Pension money from it’s business at the same time as it’s core business changes and it reacts accordingly.

Now, the focus is on the Post Office worker who must change and not go on strike to ‘save the company’!

  • Q. Who is in charge of pushing these Post Office changes?
  • A. Mandelson
Having a Millstone around one's Neck

Having a Millstone around one's Neck

I think a few more ‘rules’ need changing.  If the Royal Mail was not hamstrung by the Pensions millstone round it’s neck it could compete equally with the piss-poor Home Delivery Network owned by the odious Barclay brothers who have their own idea of democracy on their little island fiefdom.

Without the millstone, Royal Mail could have expanded it’s network of local offices as collection and despatch points for the country’s expanding home shopping bonanza.  Instead, it’s closed many down because reduced investment made them un-economic.

The Dept. of Business is a fool’s paradise of blinkered short-sightedness, completely devoid of morals and common sense.  Mandelson though, is no fool.  He knows exactly what he’s done and is doing.

I think he’s borrowed one of Dr Who’s perception filters because of the way that people’s focus shifts as their gaze falls upon him.

Further Reading:

Home Delivery network

The prime problem for HDNL is that they have few offices and don’t deliver out-of-hours which is no use for normal consumers, the majority of whom work 9-5.  Consequently they are cheap so mail-order companies will use them…

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