‘Magic Mushrooms’ ingredient may ease end of life anxiety…

 

A new study shows that psilocybin, the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms," may help terminally ill cancer patients get some relief from anxiety.
A new study shows that psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” may help terminally ill cancer patients get some relief from anxiety.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Terminally ill cancer patients may get some relief from a guided “trip” on the drug psilocybin
  • One to three months after taking psilocybin, patients reported feeling less anxious
  • Patients said their experience gave them a new perspective on their illness

(Health.com) — Terminally ill cancer patients struggling with anxiety may get some relief from a guided “trip” on the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin, a new study suggests.

The study included 12 patients who took a small dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — while under the supervision of trained therapists. In a separate session, the participants took a placebo pill, which had little effect on their symptoms.

By contrast, one to three months after taking psilocybin the patients reported feeling less anxious and their overall mood had improved. By the six-month mark, the group’s average score on a common scale used to measure depression had declined by 30 percent, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Can psychedelic drugs treat depression?

In follow-up interviews with the researchers, some patients said their experience with psilocybin gave them a new perspective on their illness and brought them closer to family and friends.

“We were pleased with the results,” says the lead researcher, Charles Grob, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Torrance, Calif.

Notably, the psilocybin did not aggravate the patients’ anxiety or provoke any other unwanted effects besides a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

Health.com: 7 types of therapy that can help depression

Grob’s findings are “important because he’s showing that you can administer these compounds safely to cancer patients with anxiety,” says Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore.

“They’re not substances that should be used recreationally or casually, but nonetheless it appears that we can conduct research with these compounds safely,” adds Griffiths, who was not involved in the study but has researched the therapeutic effects of psilocybin. (He and his colleagues are currently enrolling patients in a similar study that will use larger doses of the drug.)

Researchers investigating the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and other hallucinogens have been keen to demonstrate the safety of the drugs in clinical settings.

Health.com: Supplements for depression: what works

Psychiatrists and psychologists began exploring the effects of hallucinogens on the mood and anxiety of dying patients in the 1950s, but the research stopped abruptly when psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and other mind-altering drugs were outlawed in the 1970s.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a handful of small studies involving hallucinogens since the 1990s, but the field is still emerging.

Grob’s study is the first of its kind in more than 35 years. It was funded by private foundations and the Heffter Research Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that has been a major sponsor of the second-generation hallucinogen research.

The patients in the study were all close to death (10 of the 12 have since died), and they had all diagnoses of anxiety or acute stress relating to their prognosis.

“We were really looking for people who were really struggling with the predicament that they found themselves in,” Grob explains.

Health.com: What an anxiety disorder feels like

During the psilocybin sessions, which lasted six hours, the patients lay on a couch and listened to music through headphones.

Although they spoke only briefly to the therapists while under the influence of the drug, they continued to meet periodically with the research staff for six months to discuss their experience and to fill out questionnaires assessing their mood and anxiety levels.

“I think we’ve established good grounds for continuing the research,” Grob says. “That’s the goal right now, just to develop more studies.”

Acknowledgements:    Health Magazine 2011

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Growing old as a gay man – Growing old is not for sissies he said…

Social comment:
Originally posted;   20 OCTOBER 2010
We’re all getting older, right? And I guess we’d all agree that’s better than dying. But the gay world can be a harsh place for older gay guys. We put so much emphasis on looking young and hot, and having a beautiful body; it can turn the gay world into a scary place for men as we age.
Gay magazines and posters are always full of the buff and beautiful, often hairless which makes them look even younger. You don’t see that many images of hot-looking older guys, and a lot of men say they feel invisible in the clubs and bars when they reach a certain age.
There are of course, pluses and minuses to getting old. In general most people feel more comfortable with who they are as they get older, and there’s no reason for gay men to be any different. But the gay scene doesn’t tend to welcome the older homo.
Sometimes they get stuck with the “dirty old perv” label, as if being 50, or 60, or 70 suddenly means what was sexually normal before is perverted now. Sometimes they get laughed at, mocked, for trying too hard to fit in. And the common stereotype is that old gay men are inevitably lonely. But mostly, so reports say, they get ignored.
That seems a real shame. A lot of those older guys are the ones who fought hard to get us our rights. A lot of them watched their lovers and friends get sick and die around them. Our world and lives today would be a lot worse without all that hard work those guys did in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
What really seems to upset some younger gay guys is the idea that these men are still sexually active. This is not just a gay thing – it seems pretty widespread across our world.
Once you’re “old” (whatever that is) you’re not allowed to be sexual anymore. You’re not supposed to enjoy your body, or another guy’s, in the way that you did when younger. There seems to be this weird contradiction in the gay world, that when you’re young stresses sexual freedom and fun, but as we age, we’re supposed to shut down, or at least have the decency to do it in the dark, at home, away from where some pretty young thing might see and suffer shock.
But older men still have the desire for sex, and can still be very good at it. They should be, after all the practice they’ve had, right? And a lot of older gay guys actually aren’t that into twinks. When you look at the whole “Bear” phenomenon, you can see a group of men who tend to be older and very happy and comfortable with it, and they’re not running after boys in their 20s, they tend to like men around the same age. You can be 67 and still have a great sex-life – you’d think that piece of news would cheer young guys up, not make them wrinkle their noses in disgust.
But more importantly than that, older gay men are part of our community, they’re part of who we are, and they do deserve a bit more respect and welcome than they often get.
It pays to remember, every hot, toned, beautiful young 20-something will one day be old, wrinkly, not toned, and slower. One day we’ll be old too, if we look after ourselves. So getting in the habit of treating older gay guys kindly and inclusively isn’t just about being nice to others now, it’s about our own future. When you’re in your 50s or 60s, do you really want to be treated as an annoying sad old pervert? So let’s learn to be nicer now, and pass the habit on because we’ll all be old one day.

Studies link Vitamin D deficiency to cancer and psychosis…

Health Research:

Study refutes claim vitamin D is not beneficial to health

Studies Link Vitamin D Deficiency to Cancer and Psychosis

Image Credits: Bradley Stemke, Flickr.

A study published in the British Medical Journal indicates low levels of vitamin D are attributable to a number of serious illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The new study contradicts earlier studies published by the BMJ that claim there is insufficient evidence to support the claim the vitamin is beneficial to health.

In January of last year research led by Dr. Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland in New Zealand suggested vitamin D supplements are not likely to reduce incidence of certain conditions, such as heart attack, heart disease, stroke, cancer and bone fractures, Medical News Today reported.

Additionally, researchers from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon wrote for The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology said they were unable to replicate results reached by researchers claiming the vitamin addressed numerous medical conditions, including anemia, depression, pain and brain damage.

The most recent study analyzed data from eight population-based studies from Europe and the US involving 26,018 participants between the ages of 50 and 79.

“The team set out to determine whether there was an association between vitamin D deficiency and deaths from all-causes, CVD and cancer,” the MNT reported.

“The team found a link between participants with the lowest vitamin D levels – as determined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in blood – and death from CVD. This association was found in participants with and without a history of the disease.

“The team also found an association between low vitamin D levels and death from cancer among participants with a history of the disease. However, no such association was found among participants without a history of cancer, the researchers say, which indicates that vitamin D may be important in cancer prognosis.”

In addition to cancer and other serious diseases, British researchers discovered a correlation between low vitamin D levels and poorer function and mood in first-onset psychosis patients after the first year, MedPage Today reports.

“Vitamin D levels are extremely low at all stages of psychosis,” the researchers wrote. “Low vitamin D is linked to quality of life, mood, and cardiometabolic risk in established psychosis and highlights the need for holistic management of psychosis.”


SWARMS OF DARPA DRONES WILL RULE THE SKIES OF THE FUTURE

Will advanced military technology replace humans soldiers?
Swarms Of DARPA Drones Will Rule the Skies of The Future
The groundwork is being laid for a SkyNet type drone system to attack the enemy. The question is, who will be the enemy?

The nascent days of aerial warfare saw tethered hot air balloons launched for trench warfare reconnaissance. Soon airplanes took up the task, and the first air-to-air skirmishes were between handgun wielding lookouts blasting away from fragile canvas covered aircraft. The pace of fighting aircraft development exploded into a literal arms race and nearly a century later, we’re standing on the precipice of a science fiction reality where the lines between human and machine are being blurred, and might soon be erased completely.

Arguably the American effort has maintained air-superiority almost from the beginning. Now we find ourselves in the era of the fifth generation fighter which very well may be the last time a human physically flies into combat. The prevailing thought is that the next generation will be dominated by remotely controlled aircraft that are part of Artificial Intelligence “swarms” that will prowl the battlefield looking for targets to engage.

DARPA, the governments military research arm, is developing a project called the System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation, also known as ( SoSite).

This open-source, modular-system framework is being developed to control the battlefields of the future.

The basic idea as seen in this video is that swarms of drones will be programmed and guided to a target by artificial intelligence ostensibly overseen by human controllers.

Cost and flexibility are the two advantages DARPA touts in it’s description.

“Open-systems architectures create common standards and tools for developing interchangeable modules and platforms that can be quickly upgraded and swapped out as needed. This concept enables distribution of key functions, such as electronic warfare; sensors; weapons; battle management; positioning, navigation and timing; and data/communication links, across a variety of manned and unmanned platforms.”

What they don’t reference is the elephant in the room. There is a well defined line in philosophy and common sense where you don’t allow an autonomous entity to possess the ability to kill. It is in fact the very first rule in Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. This precept was introduced in his seminal work I Robot and has been a major theme in science fiction and futurist thought for decades.

But now, we find ourselves facing the very real possibility of flying robots run amok. The debate about AI is raging in technology and philosophical cultures. Groups like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots have been actively exploring these possibilities and vociferously fighting to maintain the ideals that would prevent autonomous beings from being embed with the power to kill.

The other chilling possibility is that autocratic regimes would turn these systems against their own people. Despot mass murderers throughout history would have salivated at the thought of having legions of mechanical robots to unleash upon those who would resist their tyranny. History has shown time and time again that those who possess dictatorial power will mercilessly put down insurrections at any cost. We only need to look as far as the Obama administration’s extra judicial killings using unmanned vehicles to see that that line has already being crossed.

Are we that far away from a globalist one world government that uses technology grids and squadrons of flying death robots to conquer and subdue humanity? The thought is horrific, yet here we are, gazing into the abyss of that reality.


7 RISK FACTORS FOR AUTISM

It is wise to look at the compounding factors that have been strongly associated with increased autism risk
7 Risk Factors for Autism
Many people are aware that the number of cases of autism has been rising over the last few decades, but everyone is still fairly in the dark when it comes to knowing what puts unborn children at increased risk of developing the disorder. In order to better avoid this debilitating neurodevelopment disorder, it is wise to look at the compounding factors that have been strongly associated with increased autism risk.
Risk Factors for Autism

With a staggering statistic of 10 – 15% of all babies being born with some kind of neurodevelopment disorder, it’s no wonder we’re seeing autism as a looming epidemic. [1]The following 7 risk factors include both avoidable and sometimes unavoidable issues; but, the first step to protecting your unborn children is to be informed.

1. Mycotoxins

“Mycotoxins” isn’t a term many of us are familiar with yet, but there have been numerous studies on just what these substances are and how they can affect both animals and humans. The latest study which tested American breakfast cereals links mycotoxins found in the food to autism and also puts males at a higher risk for the disorder. [2] [3] So, what is this potential risk factor? Mycotoxins are mold by products found mostly in grains, coffee, wine, and pork. Even though many studies have been conducted over the years, the ballot is still out on the long term effects of mycotoxins. That doesn’t mean that mycotoxins aren’t a problem, just that they’re something you need to look out for.

2. C-Sections

A new study has stated that babies born via cesarean section rather than more traditional methods have a 23% increased chance of developing autism-related neurodevelopment disorders. [4] This statistic is especially important because of the fact almost one in three babies is born using this method in the United States. The reason why the study has sparked so much controversy is because many people believe that the increased risk can be attributed to babies born by C-Section are being delivered before their due date. On a similar note, medically-induced labor can also increase risk factors for autism spectrum disorders. [5] Even a few weeks can deeply affect a baby’s development, so it is vitally important for every new mother to consider every birthing option before committing to a C-Section.

3. Maternal Antibodies

An unfortunate risk factor for unborn children developing neurodevelopment disorders is something our own bodies create: maternal antibodies. These autoantibodies bind themselves to proteins that affect cognition and other neurological-related aspects of fetal development. As early as 2008, studies linked these autoantibodies to autism, and other studies have consistently found these types of antibodies in children with autism. [6] Scientists say that the next step is to figure out how to separate these antibodies and prevent them from affecting developmental proteins.

4. Placenta Abnormalities

A new study showed that placentas with abnormal structures were prevalent in children who had neurodevelopment issues like autism. Though most agree that it is too early to say that the presence of these structures is a direct cause of autism, many hope that it will become a routine procedure to check for any placental abnormalities at birth in order to help predict whether or not any child will have neurodevelopment disorders. Early intervention could be a crucial step in aiding a child with an autism spectrum disorder. The study also suggests that the placental abnormalities have genetic roots as to the cause. [7]

5. Smoking

Everyone knows the plethora of health issues and diseases that smoking tobacco products can lead to, such as respiratory issues, cancer, and more, but did you know that smoking while pregnant can also lead to autism in children? Women who choose to smoke while pregnant have an increased chance of birthing a child with Asperger’s (an autism spectrum disorder). [8] Though there is no direct link between smoking and autism, there is strong evidence for the link between smoking and Asperger’s, which is just another reason not to smoke while pregnant.

6. Air Pollution

Even though we know that air pollution can affect asthma and even the size of organs over time, new evidence suggests that certain particles can also lead to increased risks for autism. [9] Specialists do remain hopeful about this development, however. By reducing air pollution indoors and doing our part to help reduce outdoor air pollution as well, we may contribute to an overall healthier society.

7. Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are something I talk a lot about because they’re so prevalent and so harmful. Now, new research has found that males are four times more likely than females to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, which leads many specialists to believe that these disorders are hormone related. [10] This is where endocrine disruptors come into play. Endocrine disruptors can affect chemicals that are vital to the thyroid and other aspects of development.

One Final Thought

In order to protect the ones you love from developing autism, there may be positive steps you can take. Whether it’s avoiding endocrine disruptors or maintaining a cleaner environment in your home’s air quality, do what you can.

What are your thoughts about certain factors that affect autism development? Do you have a story to share? Please tell us in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

This article first appeared at GlobalHealingCenter.com.


#BLACKLIVESMATTER ‘PROTESTERS’ ATTACK INNOCENT DINERS, SPORTS FANS, SMASH UP RESTAURANTS, LOOT IN BALTIMORE

Idiotic display labeled ‘justice’ for Freddie Gray
#BlackLivesMatter 'Protesters' Attack Innocent Diners, Sports Fans, Smash Up Restaurants, Loot In Baltimore

Baltimore descended into chaos Saturday night as hundreds of people engaged in wanton violence and looting, prompting a police crackdown and ruining any chance of real or meaningful protest against police brutality in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray.

Rioters smashed up local businesses and parked cars, and attacked patrons:

Rioters intentionally targeted the Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards, where innocent American families were caught up in the trouble.

Other agitators encouraged a police crackdown by throwing rocks and attacking police vehicles.

While the gathering had started off peacefully, so called ‘protesters’ from the Ferguson riots had traveled to Baltimore blatantly to instigate chaos:

Some even encouraged looting:

Meanwhile, the President was laughing and joking about being a lame duck and having a “f*ck it” attitude at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, just 40 miles away:

In Ferguson and elsewhere, so called ‘protesters’, intent on narrowing the extremely broad problem of police brutality into an issue solely of race, have bizarrely targeted restaurants and diners, stirring up conflict and often bullying innocent people, including women and children.

The actions of these people will only encourage rational Americans to turn away in disgust, will provide the media with ample material to demonize all protest, and will exponentially WORSEN the problem of police authoritarianism.

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.


SHOCK VIDEO: UKRAINIAN NEO-NAZIS NAIL REBEL FIGHTER TO CROSS, BURN HIM ALIVE

US-backed militants carry out brutal execution
Shock Video: Ukrainian Neo-Nazis Nail Rebel Fighter to Cross, Burn Him Alive

Shocking video shows Ukrainian neo-nazi militia fighters carrying out an ISIS-style execution during which they nail a separatist rebel to a cross and then burn him alive.

WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE.

The authenticity of the footage is yet to be confirmed, although it seems chillingly real on first viewing.

The brutal murder was reportedly carried out by members of the Azov Battalion, which was converted into a regiment last year, making it a de facto part of the Ukrainian Army. The paramilitary group forms “the backbone of the forces fighting against the local self-defense militia advocating independence from Ukraine.”

Ukrainian nationalist volunteers have repeatedly been accused of carrying out “ISIS-style war crimes” during the conflict, including beheadings.

The clip shows a hooded man kneeling in a field as five Ukrainian militants stand around him while one reads a statement. The militants then grab the victim, who is gagged, and place him down on a wooden cross.

The man’s arms are taped to the cross and his hands are then nailed to the structure as he groans and writhes in agony.

The victim is then lifted up on the cross, which is planted in the ground before the militants light a fire at the bottom. The video cuts off at the point that the fire reaches the man’s feet and he begins to scream.

The execution, which was reportedly carried out near the village of Shirokino, came with a message from Azov fighters to pro-Russian rebels; “All the separatists, traitors of Ukraine and militia fighters will be treated the same”.

Pro-separatist hackers Cyberberkut, to whom the video was sent, responded by vowing that no Ukrainian Army or militia fighters would be taken alive in future.

Azov militants identify as neo-nazis and routinely adorn their helmets and uniforms with Nazi SS logos and swastikas, as seen in the image below taken from German television.

“Azov fighters do more than wave a Swastika-like flag,” writes Robert Parry, “they favor the Wolfsangel flag of Hitler’s SS divisions, much as some of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis still honor Hitler’s Ukrainian SS auxiliary, the Galician SS. A Ukrainian hero hailed during the Maidan protests was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera whose paramilitary forces helped exterminate Jews and Poles.”

Following last year’s coup d’état, Kiev also handed key positions within the newly formed government to members of the neo-nazi Svoboda Party, despite the fact that one if its top members, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, founded a think tank named the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre as an homage to the Nazi propaganda minister.

Despite their implication in war crimes and fascist ideology, on Monday, U.S. troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived at the Yavoriv training ground in Lviv to work with Ukrainian national guard battalions.

As the Telegraph reported last year, Kiev has thrown openly fascist battalions like Azov onto the front line in their battle against pro-Russian separatist rebels.

Despite their clear neo-nazi sympathies, Senator John McCain and others have repeatedly called on the Obama administration to arm pro-Kiev militants. Last month Congress passed a resolution urging Obama to send “lethal defensive weapon systems” to Ukraine.

Arming and funding bloodthirsty militants who carry out ISIS-style executions would be a repeat of Washington’s disastrous policy of doing the very same thing in Libya and Syria, a strategy that directly led to the growth of ISIS throughout the region. However, a Pew poll conducted in February found that a majority of Americans support doing precisely that.

The one hour video below exhaustively documents how neo-nazi militants were involved in both the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government as well as fighting on the front lines alongside post-coup Kiev forces.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.


Swarms of Darpa Drones will rule the skies of the future…

Fact or fantasy?
Will advanced military technology replace humans soldiers?
Swarms Of DARPA Drones Will Rule the Skies of The Future
The groundwork is being laid for a SkyNet type drone system to attack the enemy. The question is, who will be the enemy?

The nascent days of aerial warfare saw tethered hot air balloons launched for trench warfare reconnaissance. Soon airplanes took up the task, and the first air-to-air skirmishes were between handgun wielding lookouts blasting away from fragile canvas covered aircraft. The pace of fighting aircraft development exploded into a literal arms race and nearly a century later, we’re standing on the precipice of a science fiction reality where the lines between human and machine are being blurred, and might soon be erased completely.

Arguably the American effort has maintained air-superiority almost from the beginning. Now we find ourselves in the era of the fifth generation fighter which very well may be the last time a human physically flies into combat. The prevailing thought is that the next generation will be dominated by remotely controlled aircraft that are part of Artificial Intelligence “swarms” that will prowl the battlefield looking for targets to engage.

DARPA, the governments military research arm, is developing a project called the System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation, also known as ( SoSite).

This open-source, modular-system framework is being developed to control the battlefields of the future.

The basic idea as seen in this video is that swarms of drones will be programmed and guided to a target by artificial intelligence ostensibly overseen by human controllers.

Will the Jewish Messiah come soon – recent world events might give us an answer?

Ancient prophesies could be realised soon…

Op-Ed: Will the messiah come soon?
Jewish prophesies indicate that recent events in Yemen and the Ukraine have the potential of bringing about the messianic era. The blood moon set to occur this Passover suggests that something significant to the Jewish people could happen.
messiahSamuel anoints David Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Right as the Jewish people are preparing to celebrate Passover, Yemen appears to be heading into a protracted struggle between the Houthi rebels backed by Iran and a Sunni-led alliance headed by Saudi Arabia. Although I am no prophet and I am not a great rabbi like my ancestor the Vilna Gaon was, based on my understanding of the Jewish scriptures, it appears that the messianic age is near.

According to Arutz Sheva, a Jewish text known as the Yalkut Shimona states, “In the year in which the Messiah-King appears, all the nations of the world are provoking each other. The King of Persia provokes an Arab king and the Arab king turns to Aram for advice. And the King of Persia goes back and destroys the entire world. And all the nations of the world are in panic and distress and they fall upon their faces and are seized with pains like those of a woman giving birth and Israel is in panic and distress.”

Persia is the ancient name for Iran and the totalitarian dictator of Iran has just provoked Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by an Arab King, prompting him to turn to Aram, whom Jewish scholars interpret to be Edom (Rome representing Europe and the US). Bloomberg reported that Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Adel al Jubeir stated that their response to Iran backing the Houthi rebels that took over Yemen was coordinated with the United States, in other words Edom or Aram.

If the rest of the prophesy plays out, then Iran will respond to the Arab king by trying to destroy the entire world. Interestingly, as we speak, Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. They declared themselves to be the Farsi Empire and they are making moves to take over the entire Middle East from Yemen to Syria to Lebanon and Iraq. According to the Twelfth Shia ideology that guides the ideology of Ayatollah Khamenei who is the true ruler of Iran, Israel is to be destroyed before the mahdi’s (Shia messiah’s) appearance and the clerics ruling Iran believe that Khamenei is the one mentioned in a centuries old Hadith who will prepare for the mahdi, World Net Daily reported. It is critical to note that this existential threat to Israel’s right to exist emanating from Iran causes Israel to be in “panic and distress,” as Netanyahu’s speeches testify to.

Other clues that the messiah may soon come have appeared as well. According to my ancestor the Vilna Gaon, “When you hear that the Russians have captured the Crimea, you should know that the times of the messiah have started and that his steps are being heard. And when you know that the Russians have reached Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off because it means that the messiah is about to come any minute.”

Russia has already invaded the Crimea. The question is, when will the Russians reach Istanbul? Already, there is a cause for Turkey to get involved in the Crimean crisis. Crimea is ethnically divided between two minorities, Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group that opposes Russian annexation, and ethnic Ukrainians. According to a report in Open Democracy: “The annexation of Crimea by Russia is widely seen as a huge step back for the Crimean Tatars, who won the right to return to their homeland only in 1989, long after Stalin ordered the NKVD to deport them to Central Asia en masse in 1944. Despite winning moderate self-autonomy and property rights after Ukraine became independent in 1991, the achievements of the past two decades are now precarious at best. Reports of kidnapping, intimidation, and criminal investigations continue to emerge from the recently-occupied peninsula.”

The plight of the Tartars could prompt Turkey to get involved in the Crimea crisis and if they do that could lead to the realization of the Vilna Gaon’s prophesy. Already, Reuters reported that Turkey offered a $50 million loan to the Ukraine in order to help them better protect the persecuted Tartars. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, “We have expressed our support for the territorial integrity, political union, and sovereignty of the Ukraine including the Crimea in every platform. We also wish for the continuation of Ukraine’s stance on protecting the rights of all ethnic and religious minorities, especially Crimean Tartar Turks, who have proved their loyalty to their country during this crisis.”

Erdogan has repeatedly warned that the instability in the region could have implications, even though at this time Turkey continues to develop trade relations with Russia. While the Turkish government’s ties with Russia have so far caused Turkey to refrain from taking strong action, Turkey’s membership in NATO could force the country to stop its balancing act between supporting the Tartars while trying to maintain ties with Russia should the tensions between the West and Moscow intensify.

Aside from the Vilna Gaon and Yalkut Shimona prophesies, NASA reported the appearance of a tetrad of lunar eclipses otherwise known as four blood moons with four dark suns. The first ones occurred on Passover and Sukkot of last year. The second pair is scheduled to occur this Passover and Sukkot this year. Such a rare heavenly phenomenon has only occurred three other times in human history. According to the Times of Israel, a tetrad of lunar eclipses occurred following the Jewish expulsion from Spain and the discovery of the New World in 1492; the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; and the Six Days War in 1967. It does not take a rocket scientist to ponder, will something significant to the history of the Jewish people happen this year, especially given Jewish teachings claiming that the messiah is more likely to come during the months of Tishrei and Nissan?

In every generation, Judaism teaches that there is a potential for the messiah to come. According to the Jewish belief, G-d can bring the messiah in any generation but it also has some deadline and there are things that lead to the messiah coming in the end of days. Whether this period of time is an era with great potential for the messiah to come or actually the events leading up to the deadline, we don’t know. We don’t know if it is the last generation when the messiah will come regardless due to a specific deadline or whether we are living during a generation where there is a great chance for the messiah to come but he may actually end up coming in another era.

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