By Don Bennett,
a very young age, I realized that there was "the truth", and there
was "people's interpretation of the truth". And there were a lot
of opinions masquerading as facts. I firmly believed that it was
in my best interest to know the truth. So since I had a keen desire
to know what was "the truth" (synonymous with "reality"), I had
to come up with a way of discerning it.
Here are the
criteria I use to find the truth of any given situation:
1. Seek the
truth though the Heavens may fall.
2. Use your
common sense, not someone else's.
3. Have no
biases. Easier said than done, but doable.*
4. Don't have
preconceived notions. (see #1)
5. Don't look
at things in isolation. Weigh both the positives and negatives,
and give them equal attention. Drinking alcohol has positive effects
on the body... but on balance the negative ones far outweigh the
6. Don't assume
letters after someone's name means they are more knowledgeable
than someone else... they can only know what they've been taught,
and curriculums can have agendas that are not in your best interest.
7. When someone
tells you something, ask, "What is that based on?" If they can't
give you an intelligent answer, take their statements with a grain
8. When someone
tells you a fact, remember that it may be only their opinion,
and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but everyone is
not entitled to their own facts. Don't accept someone's
facts as the Gospel truth in case they are not true. See #9.
9. Keep in
mind that people who disseminate information may have erroneous
"facts" based on their biases, prejudices, addictions, and/or
mis and disinformation.**
10. When you've
reached your conclusions, try with equal vigor to disprove them.
11. When dealing
with health issues, above all, look to Nature (i.e. how does the
body work). Nature always tells the truth. And adopt a philosophy
that squares with Nature.
And in general,
since no one health program or health educator has 100% accurate
information (due to being miseducated, ulterior motives, or arrogance),
it's best to take a multi-source approach to your education...
if you follow one particular program or person or couple, and
they have something less than 100% accurate information, you'll
be following some incorrect advice, and that can mean the difference
between getting and not getting a diagnosis of something serious
years from now. And don't be disheartened when you find conflicting
info, be glad, because you now probably have truthful information
in your possession.
is there so much conflicting information?
It also helps
to understand the "whys" of conflicting information.
For example: There are some health educators who recommend a vegan
diet, but it's not the healthiest of the vegan diets. So why do
they say that their diet one that contains a goodly amount
of cooked food with an emphasis on starchy foods and/or high fat
foods over fruit is the diet all humans are designed to
eat? There are two basic categories:
and miseducation. (And understand that "ignorance"
does not mean "stupid"; it means "uneducated".)
The health educator simply has erroneous information or missing
information. This often applies to new health educators who are
very enthusiastic about teaching what they've discovered (usually
because of their own recent positive experiences), but unbeknownst
to them, they haven't done their due diligence and have not done
enough research yet. Or they haven't applied the ethos of
science to the research they have done:
Open questioning, no authorities, no biases or personal preferences,
honesty, transparency, and reliance on evidence. But ignorance
and miseducation can also apply to those who have been teaching
for decades, and unfortunately for you, there are some educators
who are too arrogant or egotistical to adjust what they've been
teaching when it comes to their attention that some of what they
are teaching is inaccurate and needs updating. The adage, "Let
the buyer beware" applies to health information too.
2) A hidden
agenda. These agendas can even be hidden from the health educator's
own conscious mind, meaning, they are motivated by it subconsciously
without realizing it. Scenario A is an example of this.
a) If a
health educator is a staunch vegan, this can color his otherwise
good judgment, and he can choose to teach a vegan diet that
has the potential to garner the greatest number of converts,
and at the educator's core, this is the most important goal
for the sake of the animals. The fact that this diet isn't the
healthiest of the vegan diets cannot be heard by this person's
mind because of their biases and well-intentioned goals.
b) If a
health educator's goal is to help as many people as possible
because he really cares about people, this educator will usually
choose a diet that is way healthier than the typical Western
diet, but one that will be the most "doable". And
this is usually not the healthiest
diet, just a healthier diet.
Some people would say that this practice of "deciding for
others" is intellectually dishonest, regardless of the
educator's good intentions. So why don't these educators simply
offer people choices of diets and let the people make up their
own minds based on how important their health is to them? One
school-of-thought is to not give people choices, but to give
them one way to go, and to label it as the "best way"
as this will get you the most "takers". Another notion
is that if you offer someone something "better" and
something "best", but the person gravitates to the
"better" one and not the "best" one, this
sets up cognitive dissonance in the person's mind, creating
confusion, and it's a fact of cognitive science that a confused
mind will usually keep the status quo, which in this case is
the diet they've been eating, and this goes against this health
educator's goal of doing the maximum good.
c) If a
health educator's primary goal is to be popular and to garner
as big a "slice of the pie" as possible (largest market-share),
he will usually promote a diet that in some respects looks to
be healthier than the typical Western diet, but the diet is
full of "yes you can eat XYZ and still be ridiculously
healthy" or it contains some "you can have
your cake and eat it too" recommendations. The diet
may even be positioned as being "just as healthy as [the
healthiest diet]". But these are just sales tactics that
deal with people's potential objections and push people's psychological
buttons. And "profits-before-people" business practices
are alive and well in the health improvement industry, including
the raw food sector.
being driven crazy by conflicting information, I recommend first
thinking about and deciding how important your health is to you.
If you're okay with not having the best health possible, you'll
have more dietary and lifestyle options, and you won't be as bothered
by conflicting information. But if you do want the best health
your genetics will allow, and therefore the best odds of never
getting a diagnosis of something serious, your dietary options
are limited to the diet that humans are best suited to eat, and
therefore you'll need to deal with the conflicting information
to be able to get at the truth of the matter. And I hope this
article helps with that.
can do you great harm is what you know,
that just ain't so."
* For this
to work, your internal list of priorities must be in order. If
it's a health issue you're researching, and health isn't at the
top of your internal list of priorities, you may draw inaccurate
Deliberately misleading information made public in order to influence
and Reality - Truth or Consequences