Don Bennett, DAS
At 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
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
But WHY 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.
So before 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 have 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 conclusions.
Deliberately misleading information made public in order to influence
and Reality - Truth or Consequences
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