pts. 1/2 Understanding Demons
Adam Blai, a Church decreed expert on religious demonology and exorcism in the Pittsburgh diocese, discussed how demons operate, the trends happening right now among exorcists, and his push to educate people on the current paranormal craze, and the dangers therein. The profusion of paranormal-themed TV shows has led many people to suspect that if they are having an unusual experience it could be demon-related, but Blai has found that in the vast majority of cases it is not, and usually there is a medical or mundane explanation.
He characterized demons as fallen angels, though sometimes they can masquerade as spirits of the deceased in order to ensnare individuals into opening the door to them. Blai cautioned against communicating with the dead or "necromancy," as he believes it goes against God's plan. Demons can also manifest as dark smoke in different shapes and sizes, and if they appear in human form it will generally be misshapen or incomplete, he said. In contrast to many TV and movie portrayals, exorcisms typically occur in weekly sessions that may go on for months or even years before the possessed is freed, he detailed, adding that the person being exorcised is not restrained, and the most disturbing aspect tends to be the personal nature of the demon's manipulations.
pts. 1/2 Hacking of the American Mind
Professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, Robert H. Lustig, M.D., MSL, is the president of the nonprofit Institute for Responsible Nutrition, dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. In the first half, he outlined how the brain's neurotransmitters relate to pleasure and happiness, and corporations have manipulated this knowledge for their own gains. Pleasure, he explained, is short lived, and visceral, and in extremes can lead to addiction-- it is associated with dopamine, while happiness is longer lasting, more interpersonal, and connected with serotonin levels. "Corporations have basically hijacked our pleasure system in order to make us buy their junk," Lustig revealed. "They tell you, 'you're unhappy, you need this product,' and guess what?-- it makes you more unhappy."
One such example of this is the food industry purposefully adding sugar to many different products. The over consumption of sugar by the American public is a major contributor to obesity, and fatty liver disease (which leads to various metabolic disorders), he cited. One way to combat this is to do short fasts, he suggested, such as from supper to lunch the next day. Lustig also talked about how Silicon Valley has used psychological triggers, such as variable rewards or information, to keep people hooked on various apps, and websites, as well as their phones and devices.