Book Review: Phenomena by Annie Jacobsen

Phenomena
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 26, 2017

Phenomena -The Secret History Of The U.S. Government’s Investigation’s Into Extrasensory Perception & Psychokinesis by Annie Jacobsen is an attempt to catalogue the “definitive history” of the Government’s research into a lot of the paranormal.

Despite the book giving many facts, the information itself isn’t as interesting, nor as incisive as they could be.  There are other books that take a much more fascinating and detailed approach than this one.

If you haven’t delved into this topic at all, this book does have some starting points.  But if you have reasonable experience researching this abstruse subject, then this is going to fall way below expectations.

For starters, the book could have been written in half the pages without Jacobson being so garrulous.  A sizeable amount of the additional information covered just wasn’t necessary.  Even if you grant that, the book still doesn’t cover many of the most important historical individuals nor events within this discipline.  A few glaring issues are the author merely a cursory glance at the work of Robert Monroe, Ingo Swann and Russell Targ’s work.  Also, highly suspicious is the fact that Edwin May, who is a crucial individual in this, is missing as well.  If that were it, that would be regrettable enough, but there’s more.

Despite Jacobson using a few hundred sources detailed in the “notes” section, she fails to use proper notation – using none at all! – within the book.  It is quite laborious trying to ascertain which footnotes in the back couple to the missing notation in the front.  It’s like trying to find a treasure with the entire treasure map having hundreds of x’s all over the place, and all you need is one.  If you WANT to delve into this book thoroughly and use this information for research, you would have to expend many hours trying to do what the author failed to do before.  Seeing as a plethora of sources were used by the author, why not be a professional and note where each one applies?

Apparently, the author’s other books were great, and I am willing to give this author another chance, but this book fails considerably.  It even recently became known to me that this book is being used for a TV series as well, which may or may not have influenced the author’s take on the phenomena.

Taking all into consideration, the inquisitive individual is far better off starting elsewhere on this subject.  There are quite a few books out there, one notable being Jim Marr’s Psi Spies, that should be a great starting point for anyone venturing into this subject.  Another researcher that’s been doing yeomen’s work into the field of consciousness and paranormal is Tom Campbell.  Campbell, who is a former physicist, worked with Robert Monroe in his nascent stages, and has been doing research into much of this for over 30 years.  Campbell has a few hundred youtube videos as well, some of which cover this very phenomenal as well.

For what it’s worth, while the author collates much curious data, the book just isn’t as keen as it could be, it’s not the “definitive history” that it was claimed to have and promoted to be, it’s far too garrulous for its own good, and doesn’t even do a decent job at undertaking proper footnotes.  Recommend readers to give this book a pass and begin elsewhere.

Make sure to do ample research because there are a LOT of avenues to follow within this entire topic, so be warned.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Dr. Kelly Brogan – Depression: Busting Myths & Finding Answers

TheBreakaway
Vid Source: SacredScienceDoc
Zy Marquiez
April 3, 2017

Dr. Kelly Brogan’s book, A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression, was one of the top 3 Books of the Year for 2016 at The Breakaway. The depth and scope of the information presented within that book was not unlike what Dr. Peter Breggin did in his quintessential Toxic Psychiatry.

Interviewed below, Dr. Brogan goes into many of the pervasive myths taking place within the field while offering her insights on issues within psychiatry.
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To learn more about alternative ways of treating depression and other conditions, visit us at http://www.thesacredscience.com/.

A few months ago we had the chance to sit down with Dr. Kelly Brogan, a NYC-based psychiatrist who’s offering a new approach to healing.

Trained in the ways of Western Medicine, but having seen first hand the way the system has evolved into what it is today, under the influence of pharmaceuticals, she is shining the light on some very important truths and turning everything we know about the topic of depression on its head.

The question “is pain and suffering a good thing?” might seem like something only the Dalai Llama would ask, but in our interview, Kelly discusses how going through tough times and hardships actually make us stronger, and equip us with the tools to combat even harder struggles down the line.

If you’re interested in learning about the true meaning of depression and how to treat it the right way, or what we may be losing by the death of the rites of passage, or why all mainstream media outlets said no to sharing the information in her new book “A Mind of Your Own,” even though it was backed by one of the biggest names in publishing, you should definitely watch this interview.

The knowledge she shares will change the way you think about what you or your loved ones have gone through, or are going through now, and more importantly, how to move forward in the best way possible…

2016 Breakaway Books Of The Year

BooksOfTheYear2016
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
March 8, 2017

A recent conversation with a close friend helped spawn this particular recommendation.  Following salient questions from my friend on what the best books of 2016 might be, the possibilities left me ruminating upon the answers.

Having reviewed 75+ books in 2016, it took a while to narrow down which ones were candidates for the best book in my opinion.  Each and every book had something to offer, although admittedly there were a handful which were quite a letdown.

Although most books reviewed here had something to offer, what follow are the best books considering the topics they cover.

The following books center around health and education.  These are the two most important topics considering they affect everyone.  Without both, we have nothing, and when both are had, the foundation for a better living is at least set.

Book#1:  A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression & How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Dr. Kelly Brogan [Review Here]

Why is this book important?  Because depression affects more than 30 million people within the United States and even more around the world.  What’s more, the information within this book has the potential to help millions if employed.

Having known a few people with depression, one of which was due to a vitamin deficiency, this topic is very near and dear to my heart.  Such information regarding a vitamin deficiency as the cause of depression will never make it out of the bowels of Big Pharma, after all, since such a simple solution wouldn’t make money. The book is  chock-full of insightful information that would help anyone with health issues, but especially those with depression.

In similar fashion to Dr. Peter Breggin’s Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Brogan not only absolutely eviscerates the depression is a “chemical imbalance” theory, but she also takes it one step further.  Dr. Brogan states that Depression is not a disease, it’s a SYMPTOM.  Following that very thread, if you treat a symptom, you can NEVER cure a disease, and maybe that’s the point.  By not having to address the core issue of depression, the pharmaceutical companies literally have 30 million people [and growing] to use as cashcows.  That’s quite a disturbing prospect.

The author buttresses her book with over 100 medical references that rip apart much of the nonsense Big Pharma expounds regarding psychiatric medication.

This book would supplement anyone’s library rather well.

Book#2:  Rotten To The (Common) Core:  Public Schooling, Standardized Tests & The Surveillance State by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Laurence [Review Here]

Public schooling within America continues to torpedo down the hill, with nigh no end in sight.  Not only does common core continue to consistently create epic failures as the United States features some of the worst public schooling statistics in the world, but the consortium continues to push method, rather than content.  But that’s not the most disturbing part.

In Rotten To The Common Core, Dr. Joseph P. Farrell & Gary Laurence both lay out concrete evidence that in disturbing ways the public schooling system couples directly to CIA MK-Ultra.  The authors touch lightly upon that, while also noting the disturbing implications of the growing Artificial Intelligence that’s going to be seen more and more in the future.

This book is pregnant with implications, and if you have children, or are in any way shape or form concerned about the future, you might want to take a gander at this.  A dumbed down future society is a troublesome prospect already.  But one that has been possibly molded by CIA MK Ultra Mind control, that’s also tied to the surveillance grid, and couples into Artificial Intelligence?  It almost seems like the script for a Hollywood movie.  Shades of Huxley’s Brave New World fused with Orwell’s 1984 to boot.

Book#3:  Eat To Beat DiseaseFood’s Medicinal Qualities by Catherine J. Frompovich [Review Here]

Catherine Frompovich has been putting out high quality work for quite some time.  Frompovich has also written on Vaccinations, Holistic Breast Cancer treatment, and more.

Eat To Beat Disease is a book everyone can put to use.  With diseases of all types increasing out of control, it’s time for a change, and this book provides the foundation for it in spades.

In Eat To Beat Disease, Frompovich details a bevy of information for individuals to take back control of their health doing what they already do – eating.  By using food as part of a common sense regimen, individuals of all types can attain great results.  This book has also helped me personally fine-tune some of my eating habits, and am definitely glad to have read it.  It’s a great reference book as well.

The veritable plethora of information within this book not only offers quality eating advice, but also features a common sense approach to tackling some of the most common ailments.  This book is really a well rounded book, and everyone that has disease, or is struggling with health should really make it a point to read it.

Honorable Mentions:

Finance, Rogue Networks & Secret Sorcery: The Fascist International, 9/11, and Penetrated Operations
by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D [Review Here]

The above book touches upon some of the more nefarious aspects of 9/11 in a way that most 9/11 researchers had not considered, and synthesizes previous information in a manner that’s as intriguing as it is disconcerting.  Highly thought-provoking through and through, this is a must read to understand many of the issues society faces today.

Food Forensics by Mike Adams [Review Here]

Food Forensics is an essential library in understanding toxins within foods.  If you want to know why people continue to get sick, read this book.  It serves as an excellent compliment to Catherine Frompovich’s Eat To Beat Disease.

What books offered you a lot of value/knowledge?  What were some of your favorites?  Make sure to share them below, we would definitely like to hear.

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Book Review: Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

quiet
BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 29, 2016

Quiet – The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is absolute fascinating read into the inner workings of the reflective introverts that populate society.

This book by Susan Cain delves into the paradigm that has been glossed over in the “Culture Of Personality”.

Cain begins the book outlining the fact that we as a society have transitioned from a Culture Of Character to a Culture of Personality, which thus left us facing myriad issues from which society still faces today.

The book even elucidates that the world personality was not part of our vocabulary until the 18th century and that “the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth.”  This goes to show that this notion is quite modern indeed.

Throughout the entirety of the book the author also enumerates countless examples of research and studies that have taken place which shows the notable differences between introverts and extroverts.  Its quite intriguing considering how wrong western culture has been about introverts over the last many decades, if not longer.

Even the school system has been tailored to fit the ‘culture of personality’ rather than the ‘culture of virtue’.  That has done a great disservice to many folks, because as the book mentions between a third to a half of all people are introverts, and yet school is not only geared to push the personality paradigm, but people that are introverts get run over by the system due to people thinking there’s something “wrong” with just wanting to do work by yourself, or perhaps in a less noisy environment that fosters greater inner growth for such individuals.

In fact, the book names a few examples where parents, or people, thought something was “wrong” with a particular individual, when that was just their nature.  Not only that, but introverts, in many facets, outdo extroverts due to their nature.  It’s not that there are inherently smarter than them, its that their process is more efficient in many ways.

Ironically enough, Cain mentions how “we perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types – even though grade-point averages and SAT intelligence scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.”

Cain also covers the interesting topic of the “Bus to Abilene,” which shows people’s penchant for following others who carry out actions – any actions.

The author also covers the topic of The New Groupthink.

Within her thoughts, she gives her concerns for the system, which is constantly giving precedence for group work – “team work” – all at the expense of the individual, as it claims that ‘creativity and intellectual achievement’ only come via teamwork.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The author covers facts that tackle this rather incisively.

This has taken place because America has wholly shifted en masse unfortunately to teachings that reflect the business community, rather than what’s best for the individual.  What’s worse, Common Core will only further these agendas in order to make sure everyone’s ready to help corporations make even more profits at the expense of true learning.  Let’s digress however.

Another example of how introverts shine is how top performers are often the ones that have the solitude that they require that isn’t available in many working environments.  When freedom of interruption is available, these people overwhelmingly perform better than in environments where excessive stimulation takes place, which hinders production/learning.

Other notions examined are the one of Deliberate Practice, which can only be accomplished by being alone.  This is when not only are tasks identified by individuals that are needed to be done, but when individuals push to raise their performance whilst monitoring their progress and adjusting accordingly in order to be able to achieve what needs to be done.

This not only requires deep motivation, but can lead to incredible mastery of subjects.  It does, however, require a great commitment in many cases if one wants to achieve true expertise.

The book also covers how many extroverts were behind what took place in the 2009 economic downturn, and how introverts wouldn’t have been as careless with money.  It also covers how people tend to link velocity of speech with knowledge, but how that is a big mistake.

Group brainstorming electronically is also delved into, as well as the fear of public humiliation and how large of a role that plays a role in interactions between introverts and extroverts, how important temperament is, as well as the intricate subject of highly reactive children.  Also the topic of pseudo-extroverts is also covered.  This is important, because many people who seem rather extroverted, are in fact incredibly introverted.

If you’re a teacher, a leader, a manager, or any person that needs to know the inner workings of how introverts and extroverts interact on a daily basis, and how to take advantage of each of their strengthen, then this book is definitely for you.

Book Review: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

thetippingpoint
BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 21, 2016

Malcolm Gladwell is an interesting author of a few thought-provoking books.

In Blink, which was his best book by far, Gladwell did an exceptional job of buttressing his thesis with some very convincing evidence.  David & Goliath was a strong book, but not as strong as Blink.  And in Outliers, his work was even a little less convincing in relation to his main proposal.   That’s just my take on it.  Your mileage may vary.

The Tipping Point , is actually my least favorite of them all.  This is because the strong data that made his other books strong was just missing here.

In this particular book Gladwell seeks to argue that at times resounding change in society is driven by three major factors in an epidemic-like fashion: the people involved, the context of the situation and the idea.  This particular foundation was not only sensible, but very practical.

Even though one can see his thesis taking place in many of his examples, the constellation of examples he used could have been much stronger.  Yes, the reader can see how each example in the book could couple with a his main thesis.   The issue is, however, that his thesis would have stood stronger if he provided better examples.

Overall the ‘epidemic’ of change that can take place with the right convergence of elements that the author argues does seem to have a place at least in certain portions of societal change.  That in and of itself is quite fascinating because on paper, many times when people expect wide-ranging change to take place, it doesn’t.  What the author notes serves to at least explain why some changes did work, and some of those changes didn’t.

However, with that said this particular book is not one of those that an individual ‘has’ to have.  If you appreciate his work, and find it quite fascinating, then by all means go ahead.  The book wasn’t a complete let down after all.  It just could have harpooned his main thesis a lot more precisely.

Book Review: Unmasking The Social Engineer – The Human Element Of Security by Christopher Hadnagy

unmaskingthesocialengineer
BreakwayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 11, 2016

“You see, but you do not observe.  The distinction is clear”
– Sherlock Holmes

The Social Engineering topic is a subject that’s as fascinating as its concerning.

Social Engineering is a tool that is used to influence individuals/people to take specific actions.  These actions could be positive or negative depending on the intent of the social engineer.

This topic came of extreme interest to me after reading the book  Tavistock Institute – Social Engineering The Masses by Daniel Estulin.  In that particular book, the author deals with Social Engineering, but at a large scale where it is the goals of institutions to influence cultures/nation states et al, and not in a positive way one might add.

Unmasking The Social Engineer – The Human Element Of Security by Christopher Hadnagy deals with Social Engineering at an individual level, which is greatly appreciated since nigh nobody touches this topic, but its adverse effects are innumerable.

In this particular book the author does an exemplary job of outlining many of the instances and subtle, or no so subtle idiosyncracies that will end up influencing how people feel, one way or another.  If a particular individual is savvy enough, these behaviours will help that individual become a better communicator, and possibly a better person.

On the flip side of that, this particular skillset can also be used for detrimental purposes.  This is why the author notes that its vital for people not only to know how emotions couple with social engineering techniques, but how one can use them for positive and defensive circumstances.

Many people feel a bit recent about there being a book such as this on how to influence people, and rightly so.  The author tackles that concern rather trenchantly:

“We can’t defend properly without knowing how to attack.  If the first time you get punched is your first real fight, it will most likely end badly for you.  That is why people take lessons in how to fight and defend themselves.”[1]

Hadnagy makes it a point of making sure the reader understands that the techniques employed in the book are vital to becoming a better communicator, but more importantly, a better listener, which will inherently increase the quality of life.

Unmasking The Social Engineer is a veritable crashcourse into a kaleidoscope of abilities that are the disposal of people if they realize the effects that can be expected from individuals.  Many of these effects take place through what’s known as amygdala hijacking.

In respect to that, as the author concerningly notes:

“When the emotional processor [the amygdala] kicks into high gear, the logic center processors [neocortex] get almost turned off and blocked.  Adrenaline, hormone levels, and blood pressure rise, and our memories become less efficient.  We begin to lose our ability to communicate effectively, and we turn to a form of autopilot to make decisions.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

To add additional grist for the mill, Hadnagy further notes:

“Our brains are hardwired to mirror the emotional content we see from those around us, so it is logical to say that if the social engineer can show mild sadness signs, those signs will trigger empathy in the person they are dealing with.  Once empathy is triggered, and if those social engineer’s words and story create an emotional bond with those words, then the rational and logic centers in the brain shut down momentarilyThis leaves the full processing power of our brain focused on the emotional center, so as a decision is being made based on the request, what is reasonable goes out the window.”[3] [Bold Emphasis Added]

Those facts, along with other salient points, are a large reason of why individuals need to be cognizant when their emotions might be subject to be played like a fiddle.

Another great aspect of this book is that Hadnagy references the work of Dr. Paul Eckman, who has been at the tip of the spear in the area of emotional behaviour and individual idiosyncracies.  Two books that couple well to this book are, Emotions Revealed, and Unmasking The Face.  While these books obviously do not need to be read in order to understand Unmasking The Social Engineer, but they offer extreme depth in this abstruse subject for those interested in delving deeper into this intriguing pool of psychological/physiological data.

The book showcases various components of an individual’s behavior repertoire, and synthesizes it all in an easy to understand matter that’s very pragmatic.

Taking into account the totality and depth of this book, this should not only be compulsory reading for those interested in the intricacies of social engineering, but should be something that everyone should make a point to learn given the vital aspects it plays within safety and communications.

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Sources:

[1] by Christopher Hadnagy, Unmasking The Social Engineer – The Human Element Of Security by Christopher Hadnagy, pg. 204.
[2] Ibid., pg. 166.
[3] Ibid., pg. 173.

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Other Suggested Reading:

Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Mass Control – Engineering Human Consciousness by Jim Keith
Emotions Revealed by Dr. Paul Ekman
Unmasking The Face by Dr. Paul Ekman and Friesen
Snap – Making The Most Of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma by Patti Wood

Book Review: Emotions Revealed – Recognizing Faces & Feelings To Improve Communications & Emotional Life by Paul Ekman

emotions-revealed
BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
July 5, 2016

Paul Ekman, who is also author of the landmark book Unmasking The Face – A Guide To Recognizing Emotions From Facial Expression, has been at the tip of the spear in regards to the topic of emotions and behavioral psychology.

In Emotions Revealed – Recognizing Faces & Feelings To Improve Communications & Emotional Life, Ekman speaks at length throughout the book about the extensive research he has conducted throughout his life in respect to the emotional behaviour individuals display, and also offers ways of ascertaining whether those individuals are carrying deceit or not.

The book Emotions Revealed couples extremely well with Unmasking The Face because the former provides ample emotional data for reading/understanding individual behavior, while the latter offers dozens of visual examples of these emotions – happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and sadness.

Ekman in Emotions Revealed  helps individual glean information in a manner that is reasonable and easy to follow with the photographs used, and the exercises to carry out, which helps individuals seep within the mind of another potential person.  This aids individuals in the comprehension of how others would behave in many emotional-charged situations.

The author states in the preface to the second edition that his goal is to ‘help people improve four essential skills’, which are:

First, becoming more consciously aware of when you are becoming emotional, even before you speak or act.
Second, choosing how you behave when you are emotional, so you achieve your goals without damaging other people.
Third, becoming more sensitive to how others are feeling.
Fourth, carefully using the information you acquire about how others are feeling.

Knowing the goals the author had in the beginning of the book, it can be said without equivocation that the author did a trenchant job at fulfilling his goal.

Not only did Ekman provide individuals throughout the book with extensive data that merges with his central goals, but he also carries it out in a clear and direct manner.

This book is indispensible in the field of emotions and behavior and it is an essential tool to understanding how people behave.