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Adam A. Waterhouse (Southampton, United Kingdom)
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Recover Your Energy (New Perspectives)
Recover Your Energy (New Perspectives)
by Olive Hickmott
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go!, 12 May 2012
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This book is written in the style of a fairy story as "stories have direct access to the healing part of the mind" and contains within it a series of highly imaginative visualisations involving such things as magical magnets for removing negative energies, and healing waterfalls in which we are invited to individually wash each and every part of our body.

If you are looking for a balanced and sober explanation of ME or chronic fatigue, and conventional strategies for dealing with this condition, then this book will leave you feeling exasperated.

If, on the other hand, you are able and willing to suspend sceptical disbelief and enter into the spirit of the book by reading and engaging in the visualisations with an open, joyful, and playful mind; then you may find, as I did, that the results achieved far surpass your expectations. It really does seem extraordinary that these visualisations, so ridiculous and far-fetched from a certain point of view, can have the effect of dissipating an experience of fatigue that only moments previously had felt as solid as granite.

I do not know if this book would work for everyone, and I myself have experienced mixed results - sometimes the visualisation exercises have worked to dispel my fatigue and sometimes they have not. Still, the very fact that they have worked for me on some occasions, is an extraordinary thing in and of itself, and demonstrates the power of the mind and the power of imagination.

I would recommend this book to anyone with fatigue issues who feels that they have the necessary temperament and openness of mind to work with its approach.


Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
by Chris Hedges
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shocking and prophetic, 9 Jan. 2012
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This book makes for a powerful read to say the least. It points to the corruption at the heart of contemporary American society with it unchecked corporate greed and the ability of corporations to control the political system and the media and thereby to stifle any possibility of dissent. The chapter on corporate control of the university system was particularly shocking. The dominance of corporate control of the political system, academia, and the media, is coupled with a society that has lost the ability to question and think, and is more than content to be spoon-fed the lying propaganda of the main-stream media. The public's sense of what is truly important for their welfare and the welfare of their fellows is effectively transposed by the main-stream media into a preoccupation with the outcome of American Idol, and other such earth-shattering events. America society has become, in Hedges' apt words, an 'Empire of Illusion', and the long-term consequences of this for ordinary Americans can only be disastrous.


Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History
Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History
by Norman Finkelstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 1 Oct. 2011
This book is just fantastic. If you have ever had the experience of feeling unhappy about the media presentation of the 'conflict' between Israel and the Palesinians, and accepted views on Israel and 'anti-Semitism', but unable to clearly articulate your own thoughts, then this is the book for you. Finkelstein's analysis of these issues (in Part One of this book) is clear and rigorous, and leaves no room for doubts. He also possesses a very keen sarcastic wit which he uses to great effect in exposing the absurdities of Jewish and Israeli apologists using 'anti-Semitism' to try to counter legitimate and principled criticisms of Israel or the power and influence which some Jewish figures possess in America.

The second part of this book is very factual in nature and consists of a point by point rebuffal of the dishonest and disengenious claims made by Alan Dershowitz in his book 'The Case for Israel.' You do need a certain amount of dedication to read all of the second part, and the detailed appendices. Alternatively they can be used for reference as they provide very good factual material on Israel's human rights abuse. Appendix II also offers a very good 20 page summary of the entire 'conflict.'

I would heartily recommend this book for anyone who wants to clarify their thinking about this on-going and highly contentious 'conflict.'

N.B. The term 'conflict' is used in inverted brackets as it conveys the impression that the Palestinians bear a large burden of responsibility for the occupation and oppression which they have experienced. I do not accept this - the historical record shows that they have been willing to agree to a just settlement - and consider 'conflict' a misleading terms to use in this regard. I am just using it, in inverted brackets, as it is commonly referred to in this way.


20 Pairs of Howard Leight Individually Wrapped Laser Lite Ear Plugs (3301105)
20 Pairs of Howard Leight Individually Wrapped Laser Lite Ear Plugs (3301105)
Offered by WE-PRO
Price: £1.55

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware - poor design, 4 Aug. 2011
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My experience of these ear plugs is that I was unable to put them in my ear. They are so soft that they just won't push in. I cannot recommend this product and my purchase of twenty has just gone in the bin. I have a single pair of the MAX 1 and they seem to work better. You need to role them back and forth between your fingers into a cone shape before inserting them into your ear holes. They seem to do the trick.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2013 5:11 PM BST


Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money
Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money
by Richard M. Zwolinski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a practical and important book, 18 Feb. 2010
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Therapy Revolution is an intensely practical and compassionate book that attempts to enable those seeking therapy to become discerning customers of the services that they seek. It seeks to give the reader the knowledge to recognise the difference between good and bad therapists and therapy, and the confidence to demand the former and reject the latter. Points made in the book are illustrated with case studies giving examples of situations to avoid.

It is written in a personal and friendly style which adds to its readability and warmth. The author makes reference to his own extensive experience as a therapist which helps a great deal. He takes a practical view of the purpose of therapy, whilst also demonstrating an appreciation of the wide range of problems for which individuals can seek therapy.

My only slight reservation about the book is its insistence on a particular model of therapy involving a treatment plan. This is a qualified reservation as I think that the advice to patients to insist upon this approach to therapy is probably good and sound advice to anyone wishing to ensure that they are not 'taken for a ride.' I do, however, think that there may be good and responsible therapsits out there who do not work with a treatment plan simply because the theoretical appraoch they adhere to doesn't recommend this. However, it has to be acknowledge that the absence of a treatment plan does leave the patient very vulnerable to exploitation and in a rather powerless position in terms of assessing the effectiveness of their treatment, as case studies given in the book make clear. Additionally some patients may prefer the more structured approach that a treatment plan would allow for.

I would thorougly recommend this book to anyone considering therapy. It will also be of great benefit to anyone training or practising as a therapist or counsellor in order to identify possible weaknesses in their practice and to get an idea of the type of service their patients should be able to hope and expect from them.


Child Protection (SAGE Course Companions series)
Child Protection (SAGE Course Companions series)
by Eileen Munro
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent book, 27 Jan. 2010
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This is a really excellent book on Child Protection. Don't be deceived by its small size. The clarity of writing and the quality of analysis is impressive. I would recommend it to anyone on a social work course, or anyone else with an interest in issues of child protection.


Charles Murray and the Underclass: The Developing Debate (Choice in Welfare)
Charles Murray and the Underclass: The Developing Debate (Choice in Welfare)
by Charles Murray
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, 15 Jan. 2010
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If you want to read a book about the arguments and counter-arguments about single-parenthood then this is the book for you. The book consists of two essays written by Murray, and eight responses from a variety of academic (four in response to each). Murray's arguments appear to have some credibility to them, but the academics make light work of pointing out the flaws in most of his points in their responses.

Murray is on a crusade against the evils of 'illegitimacy', as he perceives them. He does a good job of packaging his concerns in such as way as to make them sound reasonable and not just an expression of religious conviction and/or prejudice. However, his seemingly reasonable argument against 'illegitimacy' on the grounds that 'communities need fathers' quickly comes unstuck when it is pointed out that many married mothers get divorced, while many single mothers get married. If he was really concerned about children having a male role model in their lives then surely he would want to consider that too, yet strangely he seems not to (and not to care too much when this flaw in his argument is pointed out to him.)

I enjoyed this book a great deal, and was impressed by the insight and compassion of the respondants to Murray's clever sounding but ultimately flawed arguments.


The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World
The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World
by Michael Nagler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A brave an important book, 15 Jan. 2010
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This book provides a comprehensive examination of the theory and practice of nonviolence from one of the leading peace scholars in the world today - Michael Nagler. He first examines our addiction to violence and then tries to offer a set of alternatives in its place.

He describes what he refers to as 'integrative power' which is the power of an appeal to the humanity and decency of others, as an alternative to the threat power of force, or the bargining power of monetary exchange, and gives examples to demonstrate its potency and effectiveness (including, but not limited to, Gandhi and Martin Luther King).

There were aspects of his thesis which I wasn't quite sure of. He tends to make quite a lot of sweeping claims without offering any empirical evidence as to their accuracy, seemingly on the basis of his own beliefs and convictions. However, the book is well worth a read and the reader can decide for themselves how much of it they choose to accept.


Who Owns Death?: Capital Punishment, the American Conscience, and the End of Executions
Who Owns Death?: Capital Punishment, the American Conscience, and the End of Executions
by Robert Jay Lifton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly insightful book, 14 Jan. 2010
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I can honestly describe this as a book that changed my life, although perhaps not in quite the manner that might be expected. Prior to reading this book I felt passionately hostile towards capital punishment in America. It seemed to me to be the ultimate abberation and hypocracy that the country that prided itself as a champion of freedom could do this to its citizens. I felt sympathy for the plight of at least some of those who found themselves accused of murder (rightly or wrongly) and who were facing the death penalty; and deep hatred, distrust, and animosity towards those who supported this cruel and inhumane practice.

At the same time I was dimly aware that my attitude was at least a little unbalanced. I knew that there were many ordinary folk in America, the UK and elsewhere who supported the death penalty, and I knew that it was unhealthy and unbalanced for me to be hating them so much on account of this....

From the outset this book expresses understanding and compassion for the families of murder victims who may support the application of the death penalty to the person who (allegedly) murdered their loved one. The authors acknowledge that they would probably initially feel similarly if someone were to murder one of their friends or relatives, but that on reflection they would take a principled stand against such a course of action.

Rather than villifying those who support the death penalty, the authors seek to understand them and why they think as they do, looking in turn at different groups involved in the death penalty process. It also seeks to understand the point of view of people within each group who were against the death penalty, or ambivalent. The result is an astonishing analysis and insight into the motivations that lie behind these differing points of view. The reader is enabled to develop compassion and understanding for all participants, and to appreciate the emotional toll that the death penalty process has on everyone involved in it. The reader is led to the unavoidable conclusion that the death penalty inflicts suffering not just on the alleged perpertrator, but on everyone involved in the process from the prison wardens to the members of the jury.

One of the many insightful conclusions reached is that support for the death penalty is frequently based more on support for the idea of the death penalty - as an expression of zero tolerance towards evil - rather than towards the reality of applying the death penalty to a particular person. When it comes to the latter people tended to be far more equivocal, especially when the option of life inprisonment was suggested as an alternative option.

One of the many things that this book taught me was the value of trying to understand the point of view of people who think differently to me about these sort of subjects. A few years after reading this book there was a very sad case of a man from Bristol who had become intensely jealous and distrustful of his wife while on holiday with her in Greece and had thrown his son out of a balcony before jumping out himself with his daugter in his arms. His son was killed, but both he and his daugher survived. It transpired that he had a history of mental health problems.

I was working in Bristol at the time and a colleage of mine said he believed in the death penalty and thought the man should be executed. Rather than feeling offended and rushing to contradict him as I might have done before reading this book, I chose to try to gently sound him out on the matter. "It won't really stop that sort of thing from happening" I said. "No it won't" he said, his tone immediately softening.

For me this book was far more than just a book about the death penalty. It was a case study in how it is possible, and vastly preferable, to try to understand other people's points of view when they are different to one's own, rather than condemning them because they happen to see the world in a somewhat different way.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2011 1:36 AM BST


A Great Deception: The Ruling Lamas' Policies
A Great Deception: The Ruling Lamas' Policies
by Western Shugden Society
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

24 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and insightful, 9 Jan. 2010
"With a role for every occasion - holy man, politician, international statesman, simple monk, pop icon, Buddhist Pope, socialist, movie star, autocrat, democrat, Marxist, humanitarian, envirnomentalist, Nobel Peace prize winner, nationalist, Buddha of Compassion, communist, God-King - the Dalai Lama weaves a complex web of religion and politics that entraps his audiences wherever he goes. Nobody has seen anything like it. People are easily swayed by the historical mistique of Tibet and its 'God-King', and feel captivated and convinced by his charm." (from the final chapter)

What emerges from this remarkable and insightful book is that in spite of the huge success that the Dalai Lama has enjoyed in terms of charming and inspiring audiences around the world, he has been extremely unkind to some of the people closest too him.
Having failed to make any meaningful progress in terms of gaining independence for Tibet (or autonomy under Chinese rule) he decided to settle for what he considered to be the next best thing - to try to unite all Tibetan Buddhists under one umbrella, with himself as head.

Tibetan Buddhism is divided into four distinct traditions: Gelugpa, Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma. The Dalai Lama's efforts to unite them under one umbrella took place in two distinct phases. The first of these started after he first arrive in Dharamsala in India from Tibet in 1959. At this time he tried to get the Gelugpa, Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions to dissolve their separate identities and to agree to come together as a single form of Buddhism. This would be equivalent to asking the different forms of Christianity in Britain to dissolve their separate identities, and it should come as no big surprise that this proposal was met with alarm and rejection from the Lamas of these traditions (the Gelugpa tradition maintained a neutral position at the time). A great deal of disharmony and conflict followed culminating in an assasination in 1976.

Realizing that this tactic had failed the Dalai Lama did an abrupt about-turn, and, from 1978 onwards, started seeking to dismantle his own tradition, the Gelugpa, and to become an adherent of all of the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism, in a newly discovered spirit of (supposed) 'inclusiveness' and 'non-sectarianism.' This probably sounds very nice to most people. However, there are several problems with his position:

1) From a Buddhist point of view his position is wrong. Tibetan Buddhism teaches that spiritual progress can only be made by following one tradition purely, and developing faith and reliance upon one Spiritual Guide. If we want to dig a well we will not be able to do so if we stop digging one hole and then move to another. In a similar way we cannot make spiritual progress if we try to do the practices of many different traditions simultaneously.

2) The Dalai Lama's motivation for offering this advice is not even a sincere belief in the 'inclusiveness' (mixing of different beliefs) that he advocates. His motivation is the wish to see all Tibetans united under one single religious umbrella. In so far as he wants this so that they can continue to have a strong sense of shared indentity, even in exile, this is to some extent understandable. However, he could still be criticised for using religion for nationalistic ends, and he would certainly have no right to do anything more than suggest this as an option for people to agree with if they wished.

3) The way in which the Dalai Lama has pursued his vision of 'inclusiveness'/ mixing of the different traditions, is by seeking to persuade Gelugpa's to abandon their faith in a Buddhist deity called Dorje Shugden. The prayers of Dorje Shugden emphasise the value and importance for Gelugpa pratitioners of maintaining the purity of their own tradition by not mixing their teachings and practices with those of other Buddhist traditions.

Although the Dalai Lama does, in a sense, have the right to offer this 'advice' if he so wishes, he has no right to offer it as anything more than just advice, and must accept that not everyone will necessarily choose to agree with him. He did in fact start out by offering this advice in the spirit of gentle encouragement and on 18th July 1980 said: "I am not saying Gyalchen [Dorje Shugden] is not an authentic deity, but in any event, for those who mainly rely on Palden Lhamo [another Buddhist deity] of Gyalpo Kunga [a non-Buddhist deity], whether it be a great master or a monastery, it does not bode well to worship Gyalchen.'

4) However, in the manner of a school teacher getting increasingly cross and angry with naughty school-children who fail to behave, the Dalai Lama became increasingly shrill and desperate in his pronoucements; culminating in 1996 with the claim that Dorje Shugden was in fact an evil Chinese spirit who was damaging the cause of Tibet and threatening his life. He then went on to try to ban the practice of Dorje Shugden among Tibetans.

The degree of pain and heart-ache that the Dalai Lama caused Tibetans, who felt loyalty towards both him as their political leader, and towards their spiritual masters from whom they had received the advice to worship Dorje Shugden, can scarcely be imagined. In one documentary covering this issue several elderly monks interviewed stated that they dearly wished that they had died before these pronouncements had been made.

He has caused so much pain and heart-ache, and has divided Tibetans, who traditionally regard each other wish great warmth and affection, among themselves. He has been so cruel and mean towards the people he is closest too. "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul" could be aptly applied to the Dalai Lama. He has achieved phenomenal success in raising the public profile of Buddhism, and even in terms of increasing the public's appreciation of the value of Buddhist teachings on love, patience, forgiveness, and compassion, and yet he has comprehensibly failed to practise those teachings himself with respect to many of those who have shown him the greatest of kindness. Would we admire a man who was fantastic company with his friends at the local pub, but treated his wife and children with cruelty and contempt? Then no more should we admire this charming but phenomenally deceptive man.

Read this book, and find out the sad but sobering truth about present-day Tibetan Buddhism. There is a core of profound beauty and wisdom to be found within Tibetan Buddhism. Sadly it has been corrupted by the political motivations and wounded-pride of its most famous representative. The purpose of this book is to try to bring an end to that state of affairs so that Buddhist Dorje Shugden practitioners, and others, can practise their faith with confidence, and offer the fruits of their profound meditation and spiritual practice to the whole world.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2011 3:14 AM BST


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