Tennis legend Margaret Court speaks out against transgender athletes, says LGBTQ agenda is “of the devil”

Thursday, January 02, 2020 by: Ethan Huff

(Natural News) While it’s becoming increasingly rare for self-proclaiming pastors and ministers to speak out against the LGBTQ agenda, one fiery preacher from Australia who’s also a former professional tennis player is boldly telling it like it is, no matter the consequences.

Margaret Court, who heads up Victory Life Church in Perth, recently delivered a message to her congregation about the transgender athlete trend, warning that it and the “LGBT rights” movement are both “of the devil.”

The 77-year-old tennis legend, who won a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles during her heyday, told her audience that athletes, both male and female, only stand to be harmed by their acceptance of this onslaught of perversion that’s washing over society like a tidal wave of wickedness.

“You know with that LGBT, they’ll wish they never put the T on the end of it because, particularly in women’s sports, they’re going to have so many problems,” Court proclaimed.

Court also specifically addressed the transgender targeting of children, warning that children as young as seven are being “transitioned” into “other” genders by child-abusing “parents” and “medical professionals.”

“It’s so wrong at that age because a lot of things are planted in this thought realm and they start to question, ‘what am I?’” Court stated from her pulpit.

LGBT is “not of God,” Court says

In the past, Court has delivered sermons condemning homosexuality as well, including loud-and-proud lesbian tennis players whom she says have a negative and corrupting influence on younger tennis players, not to mention their younger fans.

“You know, even that LGBT in the schools, it’s of the devil, it’s not of God,” Court is quoted as having stated, earning her plenty of condemnation from the Cult of LGBTQ and its “allies.”

Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam tennis champion, last year called for Court’s name to be removed from the Australian Open Show Court in Melbourne simply because she finds Court’s viewpoints on homosexuality and LGBTQ “offensive.”

But none of this phases Court, who’s repeatedly doubled down on her convictions and even become bolder in the face of persecution from the LGBTQ mafia.

“You have got young people taking hormones and having changes, by the time they are 17 they are thinking, ‘Now I’m a boy and really I was a girl.’ Because you know what, God made us that way,” Court has stated about transgender regret.

And the reason why the media, academia, and governments are going along with this perversion is because “the devil” controls these institutions, Court has further pointed out.

“The devil gets in and the media and the political, the education, TV – he wants to control a nation so he can affect people’s minds and mouths,” Court contends.

“I can go on television and if I say, ‘well, this is what the Bible says,’ well, it’s like opening a can of worms,” she further notes. “My goodness, you’ve let a torpedo off or something. No, it’s true, because they hate the word of God.”

Amazingly, Court has still been invited to attend the 2020 Australian Open as a special guest. Were she an American making such statements as an American legend, you can be sure she would not only be uninvited to such an event, but probably blacklisted for all participation in society, period.

“Evil-minded adults are trying to impose gender change on children as they are more easily persuaded without having the ability to understand the consequences,” noted one Breitbart News commenter in response to this news.

“Those promoting and enabling this to happen will be held to account once the damage they have done comes to light.”

To keep up with the latest news about what the Cult of LGBTQ is up to, be sure to check out Evil.news. (Click to Source)

Sources for this article include:

Breitbart.com

NaturalNews.com


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Prominent Italian intellectual accuses Pope of hating the West, aspiring to destroy it and Christian tradition

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Jihad Watch has frequently addressed concerns about Pope Francis and his efforts to ally with unsavory Islamic leaders and push for more Muslim migrants in the West. It is fortunate that not all Catholic leaders see eye to eye with the Pope.

For example, Cardinal Robert Sarah — prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — compared “the modern influx of Muslim migrants to the invasions of barbarian tribes that ultimately brought down the Roman Empire in a.d. 475.” Sarah also issued a warning which contradicts the Pope. He cautioned that “it is a false exegesis [interpretation of scriptural text] to use the Word of God to promote migration. God never wanted these rifts.” But this is precisely what Pope Francis has been doing: acting as a blind guide in preaching that it is un-Christian to oppose mass Muslim migration into Europe. Meanwhile, the Vatican remains walled up, and the Pope remains surrounded by security.

A prominent Italian intellectual has now kicked criticism of the Pope up a notch regarding his views about mass Muslim migration and much more. Marcello Pera, a non-believer and a “philosopher of science, former president of the Italian Senate, and close friend of Pope Benedict XVI,” asserted that the Pope “hates the West, he aspires to destroy it. … as he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

Given the globalist views of the Pope and his Islamic supremacist associates (which prompted Robert Spencer to refer to him as The Grand Sheikh Francis of al-Vatican), as well as his push for more Muslim migration, Pera makes a compelling case.

“Time for Pope Francis and the Vatican to wake up about Islam,” by William Kilpatrick, Lifesite News, January 7, 2020:

January 7, 2019 (The Catholic Thing) — In comments last year, Marcello Pera, a prominent Italian intellectual and non-believer, criticized Pope Francis for “openly going against tradition, doctrine, and introducing inexplicable innovations, behaviors and gestures.”

A philosopher of science, former president of the Italian Senate, and close friend of Pope Benedict XVI, Pera asserted that Francis had turned Catholicism into “a Church so outgoing that it can no longer be found anywhere.”

In an earlier 2017 interview with Il Mattino, Pera was even more outspoken. In answer to a question about “indiscriminate” welcoming of migrants to Europe, he replied: “Frankly, I do not get this pope, whatever he says is beyond any rational understanding. It’s evident to all that an indiscriminate welcoming is not possible: there is a critical point that can’t be reached.”

He continued: “If the pope … insists in a massive and total welcoming, I ask myself: why does he say it? … Why does he lack a minimum of realism, that very little that is requested of anyone? The answer I can give myself is only one: The Pope does it because he hates the West, he aspires to destroy it. … As he aspires to destroy the Christian tradition.”

Two years ago, most Catholics would have found that hard to swallow. But now, the idea that Pope Francis hates the West is beginning to seem plausible. It would explain much of what he says and does — his criticism of capitalism and colonialism, Amazonian initiative and, above all, encouragement of mass Muslim migration into Europe.

Does he also aspire to destroy the Christian tradition? Well, he rarely misses an opportunity to criticize traditional Catholics. At the same time, he seems intent on introducing exotic and decidedly non-traditional practices into the life of the Church.

The key word, of course, is “aspires.” Does Francis consciously desire to “destroy” the West and traditional Christianity (aka Christianity)? Or is he simply a well-intentioned do-gooder who doesn’t understand the consequences of his experiments?

That’s a serious question, but it’s unnecessary to know the answer in order to raise a related question: Whatever the intention, do his policies and programs actually tend toward the destruction of the West and of Christianity?

I would say, “Yes, they do.” And I would argue, as Professor Pera does, that they “lack a minimum of realism.” Future historians may well look back upon our era as the Age of Unreality. And many in the Church have embraced this unreality as though it were a newly revealed Gospel.

Some Church leaders have been flirting with the idea of same-sex marriage, and some seem willing to believe that females can transition to males and males to females. Others, including the pope himself, seem to believe in the fantasy idea that the lot of the poor can be improved by getting rid of fossil-fuels — which may be the reason that they have also revived the fantasy of the Noble Savage. Because, minus the benefits of electric power, much of the world will be quickly reduced to a primitive level. In which case, we may all find ourselves praying to Pachamama and the rain gods for a good harvest.

The most dangerous fantasy, however, is the one that Church leaders have created about Islam. We are told that it’s a religion of peace, that it shares much common ground with Christianity, that Muslims venerate Jesus just as Catholics do, that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, and that the slaughter of Christians by Muslims can be attributed to a tiny minority who “misunderstand” their religion.

At the same time, we are taught that “Islamophobia” — an irrational fear of Islam — is a far greater danger than Islamic aggression.

Pera’s point is that these supposedly “irrational” fears are actually quite reasonable. He is mainly concerned with the fantasy that Europe can successfully absorb millions of Muslim migrants who don’t want to assimilate…. (Click to Source)


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TEPCO says new leak has spilt 20,000 litres of radioactive coolant at the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Plant: It is now almost 7 years since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared everything is “under control,”

Friday, 17 January 2020

Radiation-contaminated debris and soil are stockpiled for disposal near the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

Tokyo Electric Power Company says coolant has seeped out from an underground frozen soil wall built around its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The frozen soil wall came into operation four years ago. It was built to keep groundwater from flowing into reactor buildings. They were damaged by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdowns.

The utility firm, TEPCO, says it found coolant leaking at three locations from components that connect pipes in the wall. The company had noticed a reduction in coolant in its tank earlier this month and was searching for the cause. TEPCO says it believes 20,000 of 1.1 million litres of the coolant has leaked, but that this will not affect the operation of the wall. The company says it will replace the components in the wall and repair another leak that was found in December. nhk.org

Almost six years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe famously declared the contaminated water problem at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant “under control,” today it remains anything but.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) continues to face difficulties in dealing with water contaminated with radioactive substances at its crippled plant. About 18,000 tons of highly contaminated water remains accumulated in reactor buildings and other places. Abe made the  “under control,” declaration in September 2013 while Tokyo was bidding to win the 2020 Summer Games.
In reality, however, the situation is not under control even now.

In a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in June, one of its members, Nobuhiko Ban, told TEPCO officials, “I want you to show whether you have a prospect (for the reduction of contaminated water) or you have given up.” The water level did not fall as planned in an area of a basement floor at the No. 3 reactor building for two months. Asked why the level did not drop, TEPCO officials offered only vague explanations in the meeting. Ban made the remark out of irritation. Highly contaminated water that has accumulated in reactor buildings and turbine buildings is a major concern at the Fukushima plant. In addition to water that was used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, groundwater also has flowed into those buildings through cracks. The concentration of radioactive substances in highly contaminated water is about 100 million times that of the contaminated water that has been processed and stored in tanks.

Immediately after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant in March 2011, highly contaminated water leaked into the sea through underground tunnels. As a result, radioactive substances whose concentrations were higher than allowable standards were detected in fish and other seafood. After the nuclear accident, about 100,000 tons of water initially accumulated in the basement portions of buildings that housed the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and buildings that accommodated turbines. TEPCO has removed groundwater through wells.

It also created “frozen walls” in the ground by freezing soil around the buildings.
Using those methods, the company has decreased the flow of groundwater into the buildings and, as a result, the level of highly contaminated water has dropped there. Nine years since the nuclear accident occurred, the volume of highly contaminated water in the buildings has fallen to 18,000 tons. TEPCO aims to reduce the volume further to 6,000 tons by the end of fiscal 2020. Fairwinds.org

(Click to Source)


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The Eastern Gate in Prophecy

Approximately 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the Glorious Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 10:18–19; 11:23; 43:1–5; 44:1–2; 46:12). In Ezekiel 43, we read:

 “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.” (Ezekiel 43:1-4)

It seems reasonable to suggest that Jesus Christ will enter the Temple Mount via the Eastern gate in one of the most momentous events in the history of mankind (the Second Coming)!

The Eastern Gate
The Eastern Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) is one of eight gates built into the walls which surround the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Eastern Gate provides the only entrance from the East, and it is also the only gate that gives the most direct access to the temple mount. The Eastern Gate was destroyed during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy that “not one stone will be left on top of another” (Matthew 24:2). But sometime in the sixth or seventh century, the Byzantines rebuilt the Eastern Gate making it the oldest of all the gates to the city. In 1969, Jerusalem archaeologist James Fleming confirmed that the ancient gate is located right under the current Eastern Gate. While investigating the Eastern wall of the Temple, he suddenly fell into a mass burial site and clearly saw five large wedge-shaped stones set into a massive arch.

James Fleming’s photo from 1969 from inside a grave on the outside of the Eastern Gate looking at the arch of an ancient Eastern Gate.

The Eastern Gate was sealed shut, with fifteen feet of cement, in AD 1540–41 by order of Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The reasons for this remain unclear, however, it is likely that the Muslim Suleiman became aware of the prophecies which predicted the Messiah’s entrance through the Eastern Gate and, as a result, attempted to thwart the Messiah’s plans. And just in case a sealed entrance didn’t thwart the Messiah’s coming, Muslims even built a cemetery directly in front of the gate, thinking that a Jewish Holy man would never defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery.

However, little did they know, they were fulfilling prophecy by doing this. Ezekiel prophesied the shutting of this gate itself around 600 BC, more than 2100 years before Suleiman actually shut the gate:

 “Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.” (Ezekiel 44:1-2)

There are eight gates in modern Jerusalem, but only seven are open. The Eastern Gate, and it alone, has remained sealed just as the Lord proclaimed to Ezekiel over 2,600 years ago!

It is a miracle how the Eastern Gate has survived for nearly 500 years of turmoil in Israel, and in spite of numerous well-documented attempts to open it. Four times in the last century an attempt to open the sealed Eastern Gate has failed…
The first attempt was on December 9th 1917 during the Battle of Jerusalem. Muslim leaders in control of Jerusalem wanted all, but one, of the gates in Jerusalem sealed to deter the approaching allied Expeditionary Army led by the British General Allenby. The one gate chosen to remain open just so happened to be the Eastern Gate. On the exact day the workmen were preparing to demolish the mysterious sealed gate, Allenby’s airplane flew over the city, telling the Arabs to flee. Miraculously, without a shot being fired, the opposing soldiers fled the city. The city was delivered into the hands of the Britain, and the gate remained sealed as Ezekiel had prophesied.

A second attempt was in 1967. King Hussein of Jordan, who had control over the ancient city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, decided to build a hotel for Arab pilgrims on a section of the Western Wall to close off the area to Jewish worship forever. The hotel was planned to be built over the Magreb Gate, which Moslems used to enter the Temple Mount. This meant another gate would have to be opened so that Moslems could still get to the El Aksa Mosque (on the site of the Jewish Temple Mount). King Hussein chose to open the sealed Eastern Gate. But, on June 5th of 1967, as the workmen prepared their air-hammers to shatter the huge stones sealing the Eastern Gate, an intimidating array of Israeli aircraft flew overhead. The Six Day War had begun, and the workmen put down their tools. At the end of the Six Day War, the workmen were unable to resume their project because the Jews had managed to recapture their ancient capital of Jerusalem. What a coincidence!

There was another failed attempt around this same time. When the Six Day War first broke out, some members of the Jewish military suggested catching the Jordanian defenders of the city off guard by blowing open the sealed Eastern Gate. But the leader of the group, an Orthodox Jew, had vehemently protested the idea, stating that “the Eastern Gate can be opened only when the Messiah comes.” After a heated debate, they launched an attack at the Lion’s Gate instead.

Back in October 31 of 1997 the Denver Post had an extraordinary news item which headlined “Israel plans to alter wall.” Here is an excerpt from the article:

 “Israel’s Housing Ministry wants to reopen a sealed gate in the wall ringing Jerusalem’s Old City…The plan to break through the 15-foot-thick stone wall – part of a project to build up the Jewish ‘Quarter and increase its population – also is likely to anger the Palestinians, who oppose any changes in Jerusalem’s eastern sector.”

Whatever came of this plan is unknown, but today, true to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the Eastern Gate remains sealed.

The gate will remain sealed until the day when the promised Messiah will enter into His Kingdom. Its sealing is clear evidence that we are living in the end times, and given the amazing accuracy of this prophecy, we have no reason to doubt it will remain shut until the return of the Lord as this prophecy reaches its fulfillment.

 “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:7-10) (Click to Source)


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China Just Escalated Their Brutal Persecution Of Christians To An Entirely New Level

 

Be very thankful that you don’t live in China.  Approximately one out of every seven people on the entire planet lives in China, and it has become one of the most dystopian societies that the world has ever seen.  Surveillance cameras, government spies and facial recognition scanners are everywhere, and the totalitarian “social credit score” system that is currently being rolled out is an absolute nightmare.  And the Chinese government is not content to simply control how people behave.  They also want to literally control what people believe, and the ongoing crackdown on the Christian faith has been absolutely brutal.  Over the past several years, scores of pastors have been arrested, countless underground churches have been shut down, and thousands of Bibles have been burned.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Chinese officials, and so they have now taken things to an entirely new level.

When the communists first came to power in China, it was a very dark time for Christians.  But underground churches started blossoming even in the midst of the persecution, and eventually there were a few decades where the national government more or less tolerated unsanctioned gatherings.  Today, it has been estimated that there are more than 100 million Christians in China, and it is being projected that China may actually have more Christians that any other nation on the planet by the year 2030.

Needless to say, the communists don’t like any threats to their power, and they see this underground movement as a very serious threat.

Under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the persecution of unofficial churches has steadily escalated.  This year they actually tried to ban Christians from gathering on Christmas, and a series of new regulations has just been introduced that requires “total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times”…

A new mandate entitled “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” has been approved by the CPC and is comprised of six chapters and 41 articles dealing with the organization, functions, offices, supervision, projects and economic administration of religious communities.

The new rules also seek to ensure that religious leaders support, promote and implement total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times.

So what does that sort of “submission” look like?

Well, in some cases officials have required churches to take down pictures of Jesus and replace them with pictures of President Xi Jinping.

Yes, this is how twisted things have become in China.

The new regulations also require all churches to “spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in all of their activities…

According to International Christian Concern, Article 5 of the new ordinance reads that “religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values ​​of socialism …”

In addition, Article 17 specifies that all religious organizations “must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in everything they do.

Any church that does not go along is likely to be raided and shut down at any time.

For example, Pastor Wang Yi once led one of the most important underground churches in all of China, but his church was raided and he was arrested.

And now we have learned that he has just been sentenced to nine years in prison…

Wang Yi, a leader in one of the most well-known Christian congregations in China, has been quietly sentenced to nine years in prison, according to a statement on the website of the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu Municipality.

The sentencing is the latest incident in an ongoing crackdown on organized religion in China. Early Rain Covenant Church, which Wang founded in 2008, attracted about 500 followers and was considered one of the most influential “underground churches” in China, operating independently of the state.

According to Chinese officials, Pastor Yi received such a harsh sentence for “subverting state power”.

Of course it isn’t just pastors that are being arrested.  Countless numbers of ordinary Chinese citizens have been swept up during the raids, and many are never seen or heard from again.

One Chinese Christian woman told the Los Angeles Times what happened to her when she was interrogated…

Li Chengju glared at her prison interrogator as he pressed her to renounce her Christian church and condemn her pastor.

Her captor warned she would not be so lucky as the pastor, who was locked in secret detention but at least might get a day in court.

“Look at you. You sweep the floors at church,” the interrogator said. “You think you’re getting a trial like your pastor? You don’t qualify.”

The way that the Chinese are treating their citizens is absolutely reprehensible, and unless they completely change course we should not be conducting any trade with them at all.

Sadly, the “five-year plan” that was launched in 2018 to indoctrinate churches all over China is not even halfway done…

The government calls its campaign “Sinicization” — a euphemism for turning faith into a tool for indoctrination in Chinese Communist Party ideology. The official five-year plan, issued in 2018, calls for inserting “patriotic education” and “socialist core values” into churches, revising the Bible and using church sermons to enforce party leadership and reject foreign influences.

The persecution of Christians is likely to get even worse in China, and this comes at a time when Christian persecution is on the rise all over the world.  This is something that many of us have been anticipating because of the times in which we live, but it is still horrifying to actually watch it happen.

As I close this article, I would like to share a message from Pastor Wang Yi that was posted on Facebook after he was arrested.  May his words inspire all of us to live every moment and to be the people that we were created to be…

“I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.”

“Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.”

“Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.”

“Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.”

“Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

– Pastor Wang Yi, “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” (Click to Source)


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Thousands Of Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water To Be Dumped In Pacific As Independent Testing Banned

The Japanese government is refusing to allow independent testing of contaminated water found in the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, which has been leaking ever since a tsunami and earthquake devastatingly hit the facility in March 2011.

The decision not to allow independent testing was allegedly arrived to over “safety concerns” in relation to the storing and transportation of the radioactive water.

Other organizations are not permitted to carry out tests of the water…If we are going to allow external organizations to test the treated water then we would need to go through very strict procedures and due process because that water is contaminated. If it is taken outside this facility, then there need to be strict regulations. – Hideki Yagi, a spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

However, independent environmental groups including Greenpeace and Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre (CNIC) assert that this is indeed a cover-up against the true level of contamination in the water used to cool three damaged reactors.

There would need to be lots of checks because there is a lot of water, but right now it looks very much to the outside world that they are trying to cover something up – as they have a long history of doing. – Hideyuki Ban, co-director of CNIC

Although the contaminated water is deemed too dangerous to test for potency, the government of Japan and TEPCO both regard it as not too dangerous to dump into the Pacific Ocean as they likely plan to do as soon as their storage tanks reach maximum capacity in the summer of 2020.

The amount of contaminated water at Fukushima is astounding. On top of an undisclosed amount, which we still don’t know the potency of, ground water continues to seep into the basement levels of the facility with an additional 120 tons accumulating every day, according to the London Telegraph.

The decision not to allow third-party testing of the contaminated water at Fukushima is not only causing the public to lose faith in the government’s ability to safely manage emergencies, but whether Japanese citizens can trust them to tell the truth about the dangers they face as a country.

Tepco has lost trust across society in Japan as well as in the international community, including in South Korea, and providing samples for analysis would be in their best interests – unless they are covering something up…so providing samples that could verify their reports on content would go some way to demonstrating their commitment to transparency. – Shaun Burnie, Senior Nuclear Specialist for Greenpeace

In 2016, the Japan government estimated the cost of the Fukushima disaster to be about 21.5 trillion yen ($188 billion), nearly doubled compared to their previous projection of 11 trillion yen in 2013.

In 2012, exactly one year after the disaster, 79.6% of polled Japanese citizens favored phasing out nuclear power altogether. This led to the then-prime minister Yoshihiko Noda announcing a plan to phase out Japanese nuclear power completely by 2040. However, current prime minister Shinzo Abe walked back that statement in 2016, announcing that Japan “cannot do without” nuclear power as anywhere from 3.1-4.7% of Japan’s electricity is supplied by nuclear. By 2030, the government that number to be between 20-22%.

Since Abe’s government took power in late 2012, they have given the green light to several nuclear power plants, including the Onagawa reactor which was also damaged by the earthquake on March 11, 2011.

They claim that the disposal of Fukushima’s radioactive water will have only a “small” impact on humans, but how do we know that’s true without independent testing? How do we know what impact the radiation will have on marine life, fish, and in turn, humans who eat fish caught near the dumping site?

The Japanese government and nuclear companies want you to believe that what they’re doing is completely safe, “but that has to be full of caveats because the way that information has been presented is confusing and not transparent so ordinary people do not understand and cannot make informed decisions,” says Azby Brown, lead researcher for Safecast Japan, a Tokyo-based group which monitors radiation. (Click to Source)


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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day -John 14:6 – Restored Name King James Version – January 19, 2020

John 14

Christ comforts his disciples with the hope of heaven
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in יהוה(Yahweh), believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
professes himself the way, the truth, and the life, and one with the Father
Thomas saith unto him, Rabbi, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Yahushua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him, Rabbi, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Yahushua saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
assures their prayers to be effectual
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
requires obedience
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
promises the Comforter
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Rabbi, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Yahushua answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh), whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
and leaves his peace with them
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Restored Name King James Version


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Christians Beheaded for Christmas, The West Goes Back to Sleep

by Giulio Meotti –

  • How much bigger and more extended must this war on Christians become before the West considers it a “genocide” and acts to prevent it?
  • The day after Christians were beheaded in Nigeria, Pope Francis admonished Western society. About beheaded Christians? No. “Put down your phones, talk during meals”, the Pope said. He did not speak a single word about the horrific execution of his Christian brothers and sisters. A few days before that, Pope Francis hung a cross encircled by a life jacket in memory of migrants who lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. He did not commemorate the lives of Christians killed by Islamic extremists with even a mention.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her priority will be fighting climate change. She did not mention persecuted Christians. Meanwhile The Economist wrote that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a passionate defender of persecuted Christians, politically “exploits” the issue.
  • “The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization [Hamas]. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference”. — Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, The New York Times, August 19, 2014.

Martha Bulus, a Nigerian Catholic woman, was going to her bridal party when she was abducted by Islamic extremists of Boko Haram. Martha and her companions were beheaded and their execution filmed. The video of the brutal murders of these 11 Christians was released on December 26 to coincide with Christmas celebrations. It is reminiscent of the images of other Christians dressed in orange jumpsuits bent on their knees on a beach, each being held by a masked, black-clad jihadist holding a knife at their throats. Their bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Libya.

On the scale of Nigeria’s anti-Christian persecution, Martha was less fortunate than another abducted girl, Leah Sharibu, who has now been in captivity nearly two years and just spent her second Christmas in the hands of Boko Haram. The reason? Leah refused to convert to Islam and deny her Christianity. Nigerian Christian leaders are also protesting the “continuous abduction of under-aged Christian girls by Muslim youths…”. These girls “are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents”.

Nigeria is experiencing an Islamist war of the extermination of Christians. So far, 900 churches in northern Nigeria have been destroyed by Boko Haram. U.S. President Donald J. Trump was informed that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed there since 2015. In one single Nigerian Catholic diocese, Maiduguri, 5,000 Christians were murdered. How much bigger and more extended must this war on Christians become before the West considers it a “genocide” and acts to prevent it?

The day after Christians were beheaded in Nigeria, Pope Francis admonished Western society. About beheaded Christians? No. “Put down your phones, talk during meals”, the Pope said. He did not speak a single word about the horrific execution of his Christian brothers and sisters. A few days before that, Pope Francis hung a cross encircled by a life jacket in memory of migrants who lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. Last September, the Pope unveiled a monument to migrants in St. Peter’s Square, but he did not commemorate the lives of Christians killed by Islamic extremists with even a mention.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, one of the very few Catholic Church leaders who mentioned the Islamic character of this massacre, wrote, “In Nigeria, the murder of 11 Christians by mad Islamists is a reminder of how many of my African brothers in Christ live faith at the risk of their own lives.”

It is not only the Vatican that is silent. Not a single Western government found time to express horror and indignation at the beheading of Christians. “Where is the moral revulsion at this tragedy?”, asked Nigerian Bishop Matthew Kukah after the Christmas massacre. “This is part of a much wider drama we are living with on a daily basis”.

European leaders should follow the example of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who, in his first Christmas message to the nation said:

“Today of all days, I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that her priority will be fighting climate change. She did not mention persecuted Christians. French President Emmanuel Macron in his mid-winter speech was not even able to say “Merry Christmas”.

Meanwhile, The Economist wrote that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a passionate defender of persecuted Christians, politically “exploits” the issue.

Europe’s leaders failed to condemn the barbaric execution of Christians on Christmas Day: political correctness is corroding Western society from within.

At the beginning of December, another African bishop, Justin Kientega of Burkina Faso, said: “Nobody is listening to us. Evidently, the West are more concerned with protecting their own interests”.

“Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?”, wrote Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress.

“In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference”.

Where were the Western governments when thousands of young Muslims entered Syria and Iraq to hunt and kill Christians and destroy their churches and communities? The West did nothing and suffered for its inaction. The Islamists started with Christians in the East and continued with “post-Christians” in the West. As the French medievalist Rémi Brague said, “The forces that want to drive Christians out of their ancestral lands would ask themselves, why not continue in the West a work so well begun in the East?”.

There has been no outrage in the West about cutting off Christian heads, only silence, interrupted by “Allahu Akbar”, gunshots and bombs. The history books of the future will not look kindly this Western betrayal — depending on who writes them. The end of the Christians of the East will be a disaster for the Church in the West. They will no longer have anyone living in their own cradle of civilization.

What would we be reading if, for instance, Christian terrorists had stopped a bus, separated the passengers according to their faith, ordered the Muslims to convert to Christianity and then murdered 11 of them? The opposite just happened in Kenya. What did we read? Nothing. On December 10, the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab stopped a bus in northern Kenya, then murdered only those who were not Muslims. We Westerners are usually moved by the persecution of this or that minority; why never for our Christians?

The Christianophobia of the Muslim extremists who massacre Christians in Middle East and Africa is central to a totalitarian ideology that aims to unify the Muslims of the ummah (the Islamic community) into a Caliphate, after destroying the borders of national states and liquidating “unbelievers” — Jews, Christians, and other minorities as well as “Muslim apostates”. Nigeria is now at the forefront of that drama.

“Nigeria is now the deadliest place in the world to be a Christian”, noted Emmanuel Ogebe, an attorney.

“What we have is a genocide. They are trying to displace the Christians, they are trying to possess their land and they are trying to impose their religion on the so-called infidels and pagans who they consider Christians to be”.

The West goes back to sleep. “The West opened its borders without hesitation to refugees from Muslim countries fleeing war”, wrote the economist Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy. “This seemingly virtuous Western solidarity is nevertheless selective and discriminatory”. Persecuted Christians have been abandoned by the Western governments and public squares.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently been besieged by Muslims protesting a new law that would offer citizenship to neighboring non-Muslims fleeing persecution. Tarek Fatah explained in the Toronto Sun that the Muslim outrage on the new Indian law comes from the fear “that allowing citizenship to persecuted Pakistani Christians, Hindus and Sikhs would increase the non-Muslim population of the country and thus dilute their veto power they’ve exercised in India for the last 70 years”.

Where are the squares filled with Londoners or New Yorkers for the Christian refugees discriminated by the West? In the parts of Syria occupied by Islamists, Christians just spent a “special Christmas” — without chime bells or lights and with many of their churches turned into stables.

The Khabour, the Syrian region where Assyrian Christians lived, is now called “dead valley”. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, recently wrote:

“War in Syria has reignited. Once again refugees fill its roads in need of our compassion. Yet those from the ‘wrong faith’ won’t find it from the British Government. The UK’s resettlement of 16,000 refugees from the earlier conflict saw hardly any from the most brutalised minorities reach safety in our land. Of the refugees who came here in 2015 under the Vulnerable Persons Scheme, only 1.6 per cent were Christians. That’s despite this group being 10 per cent of the Syrian population”.

Muslims fill Western squares for their own; but for our persecuted Christian brothers, these squares remain vacant. (Click to Source)

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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California orders pastors to push LGBT activism… or else – transgender tyranny to become the rule of law

Thursday, January 02, 2020 by: 

(Natural News) The Golden State has decided to scrap the First Amendment with the passage of a new resolution that forbids religious leaders from opposing homosexuality from the pulpit.

Evan Low and three dozen other members of the California State Assembly were successful in passing ACR 99, as it’s officially called, which dictates that Christian pastors and others must affirm the religion of LGBTQ before their congregations, even when doing so violates their own beliefs and convictions.

With the help of Dr. Kevin Mannoia, Azusa Pacific University‘s current chaplain and the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, ACR 99 passed with flying colors, effectively stamping out religious freedom in California with the stroke of a pen.

“Mannoia recently testified before the judiciary committee in favor of ACR 99 and directed pastors and counselors to affirm LGBT behaviors,” reads a press release issued by the religious freedom group Liberty Counsel.

“In a letter submitted to legislators, Mannoia wrote, ‘On behalf of some Christian pastors and church leaders, I write to express various levels of support for the Resolution ACR 99 dealing with Conversion Therapy and LGBTQ persons,’” the press release goes on to state.

According to Liberty Counsel, Mannoia “has become a prop for the LGBT agenda by directing pastors and counselors to reject biblical views of sexuality and deny counseling for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.”

As we previously reported, so-called “conversion therapy” is under relentless attack not just in California but all across the country as LGBTQ activists push to eliminate the freedom of faith-based counselors and therapists to help people who don’t actually want to be LGBTQs.

“It’s really disappointing that he would put aside the truth of the matter just to gain some favor, perhaps a seat at the table of this discussion,” stated Roger Gannam, Liberty Counsel’s vice president of legal affairs, about Mannoia’s obvious fall from grace.

“Everyone deserves respect in this discussion and dialogue about what kind of counseling should be allowed in California. But to join in a document as Dr. Mannoia has done, that really slanders the church and slanders good counselors and good patients. It’s unexplainable and it’s really inexcusable.”

ACR 99 isn’t about protecting human lives, it’s about criminalizing Christianity

While ACR 99 isn’t technically binding in the sense that it’s a legal obligation per se, it does fling wide open the door for anyone who violates it to be falsely accused of committing a “hate crime” – for which the penalties in many areas are growing increasingly steep.

The language in ACR 99 is further concerning in the sense that it links Bible-based counseling to depression, suicide, rejection, isolation, and even suicide “among LGBTQ and questioning individuals.”

So, you can imagine a hypothetical scenario in which a brain-addled youth who was previously indoctrinated at his public school goes in for biblical counseling on the matter, only to eventually take his own life. Rather than blame this suicide on the public school for damaging this poor child’s senses with its LGBTQ propaganda, the courts may blame the Christian counselor, based on ACR 99’s implications.

Again, this is a hypothetical scenario that, as far as we know, hasn’t actually happened in this manner. But it could, thanks to ACR 99’s discriminatory intent against Christianity and the Bible, which are in no way aligned with the LGBTQ agenda.

“There is no defined, taught, or organized system of therapy known as ‘conversion therapy,’” notes one Charisma News commenter about the deception of ACR 99.

“That term doesn’t exist outside of an invented boogeyman. We must remember, when ‘conversion therapy’ is cited, what is actually happening is the demonization and attempted criminalization of any sort of counseling that dissents from the orthodox stances of the homosexual lobby. It is purely political.” (Click to Source)

For more related news about the LGBTQ agenda, visit Evil.news.

Sources for this article include:

CharismaNews.com

NaturalNews.com


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Marketing Psychiatric Drugs to Jailers and Judges

Drug companies are courting jails and judges through sophisticated marketing efforts.

 
On a rainy Monday morning in April, more than a hundred sheriffs, doctors, nurses, and jail guards from around the country sat in a ballroom on the outskirts of Nashville, sipping on coffees and listening to Daniel Potenza, a psychiatrist from New Hampshire, describe one of their most vexing problems: treating schizophrenia.

The conference, on medical care inside America’s jails and prisons, had been put on by an organization that sets standards for treatment in correctional facilities. Potenza paced the stage, talking animatedly about a national mental-health epidemic that had burdened jails and prisons. He flipped to a presentation slide showing that nearly half of all inmates diagnosed with schizophrenia were “non-adherent,” meaning that they weren’t taking their daily medications as prescribed.

Then, Potenza suggested a solution: a single shot of long-acting antipsychotic medicine, whose effects last for as long as three months, administered to patients while they’re still incarcerated. To show how this might help, Potenza presented a hypothetical scenario in which an inmate with schizophrenia becomes eligible for release but is denied parole because a medical provider describes the person as non-adherent. Parole-board members might be willing to reconsider if they could ensure that the person would receive his or her medications as prescribed ahead of release. In some cases, a “treatment resistant” patient who is simply forgetful might agree to the shot. However, in some cases, a judge might order a shot to be administered without the patient’s permission.

Potenza didn’t recommend a specific drug, and he was presenting at the conference at his employer’s expense, having been invited by its organizers.  But if you looked inside the conference program, you would learn that the keynote address on schizophrenia had been underwritten by Alkermes, an Irish company that manufactures one of the long-acting medicines, Aristada. If you walked through the exhibit hall, you would see Alkermes banners hanging from the rafters, along with a booth of salespeople expounding on the benefits of the antipsychotic drug. An Aristada flyer they passed out featured two buildings—a guard tower surrounded by a razor-wire fence, and a community health center—with the slogan “Transition of care takes time.”

For most of the twentieth century, pharmaceutical companies expressed little interest in inmates. People in need of mental-health treatment often received it at state-run psychiatric hospitals. But in the 1950s and ’60s, states began shuttering many of America’s psychiatric hospitals, pushing patients toward treatment in their communities. Then, in the 1980s and ’90s, lawmakers passed “tough on crime” policies that dramatically expanded the nation’s corrections population. Taken together, those developments had the unintended consequence of turning jails and prisons into warehouses for the mentally ill. By 2005, more than a million adults behind bars had some form of mental illness, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The dramatic shift in American mental-health care presented new opportunities for pharmaceutical companies. Correctional officials are required by law to provide adequate health care, including prescription drugs, to inmates. They also have an imperative to try to make sure people have enough medication when they are released to tide them over until they can seek care on their own. Federal researchers have found that releasing inmates with a supply of medication, and connecting them to community-based treatment, has lowered the odds of recidivism. But by the turn of the millennium, psychiatric-drug prices were rising. As early as the 2000s, to help mitigate costs, local officials in some states, including Washington and Ohio, sought free samples of antipsychotic medications from pharmaceutical companies.

Since then, the relationship between drug companies and the criminal-justice system seems to have intensified: free samples to detention facilities; comped lunches during which jail and prison doctors learn about medications; and payments to physicians to tout certain medications at conferences for criminal-justice professionals, including those without health-care licenses such as sheriffs and drug-court judges. At recent conferences about correctional health care, Merck, Gilead, AbbVie, and other big pharmaceutical companies have staged “product theaters” or “education luncheons” that show how their products could help treat inmates. The criminal-justice system isn’t just a lucrative market because of current inmates; it also introduces incarcerated people to medication that they might continue using after they’re released. (The full cash price of Aristada is about $1,300 for a four-week shot. The drug is covered by Medicaid and Medicare but can still require hefty copays.)

Dr. Joseph Penn, the director of mental-health services for the Correctional Managed Care division of the University of Texas Medical Branch, which oversees treatment in many of the state’s jails and prisons, says drug companies have awakened to the potential market behind bars. “No other country incarcerates as many people as we do, and they realized, ‘Hey, that’s a whole market we haven’t tapped,’” Penn said.

Long-acting schizophrenia drugs, in particular, can be an effective medication for inmates who might otherwise resist treatment, potentially leading to a safer and more predictable environment for them and for the correctional officers on shift. Potenza, the doctor who presented at the Tennessee conference, told me that meetings with drug companies allow doctors like him “to understand the benefits, despite the amplification”—of a particular drug’s merits—“from the company reps.” And free samples of these drugs can make them more accessible.

But despite having benefits for detention facilities and prisoners—free drugs, more information about new treatments—these marketing efforts have raised worries among criminal-justice advocates that drug companies could influence both the prescribing habits of correctional doctors and the choices of non-health-care professionals such as sheriffs and drug-court judges. A recent ProPublica analysis found that doctors who accepted money from pharmaceutical companies for top brand-name drugs were more likely to prescribe those companies’ medicines than doctors who did not. And Dominic Sisti, a medical-ethics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, worries that nonmedical professionals might not be able to analyze drug companies’ marketing messages the way doctors can. “It’s a sales pitch,” Sisti said.

Potenza said that audiences should “apply a keen eye as to anything that is biased.” Dr. Brent Gibson, the chief health officer for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, which organized the conference at which Potenza presented, said in an email that Alkermes and other sponsoring companies do not have input into presentations like Potenza’s. “We do reserve the right to not accept financial support from a corporate entity that is in conflict with our mission, but we do not feel that is the case with pharmaceutical companies that offer medications that can be useful in the correctional setting,” he wrote.

While drug companies have long marketed to people in a position to help patients make decisions, critics say their efforts in the criminal-justice sphere are particularly troubling because the patients involved, being incarcerated, may not feel that they have as much of a say in their own health-care decisions.

John Snook, the executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a group that calls for better mental-health treatment, said, “If you’re a jailer, and someone says, ‘We’re going to provide you with a solution that gets regular levels of therapeutic medicine to a population that’s difficult for you to control’”—in the form of samples of psychiatric drugs—“that’s going to be extremely attractive.”

But David Fathi, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, expressed concern about whether this kind of marketing, aimed at jailers and judges rather than incarcerated people themselves, further diminishes the agency of prisoners, who are disempowered in nearly every facet of life behind bars. Even in cases where incarcerated patients elect to take a psychiatric drug, he said, it may be a choice made under duress, knowing that they may be medicated against their will if they refuse. “If you know you can be forcibly medicated, can you really make a free and noncoercive choice about medication?” he said.

Geoff Mogilner, a spokesman for Alkermes, said, “We expect healthcare professionals to utilize their independent clinical judgment to continually assess, with their patient’s input, how a medication is working and to recommend the medication that works best.”

Alkermes, which manufactures drugs for conditions that are disproportionately found behind bars—such as schizophrenia and alcohol and opioid addiction—is among several companies that have embraced the criminal-justice system as a source of customers. Starting in the early 2010s, Alkermes promoted Vivitrol, a treatment for opioid-use disorder, to correctional facilities. The treatment, generically known as naltrexone, had previously been used for alcohol-use disorder, but the drug floundered. When Alkermes recast it as a solution to the opioid epidemic, the company directly lobbied jailers and judges on the shot’s merits, selling the promise of the drug despite scant evidence of its effectiveness compared to competing treatments like buprenorphine, one of the active ingredients in the brand-name drug Suboxone. In closed-door meetings, Alkermes disparaged Suboxone as a “black market” drug that was illegally abused inside correctional facilities, according to a report from The New York Times. The company’s marketing practices received blowback. (Alkermes has pointed to studies it says offer further evidence for Vivitrol’s effectiveness. In some cases, the company has pushed back against criticisms. Earlier this month, in response to a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration, the company responded that it was taking steps to be “fully compliant” with federal regulations.) Alkermes accomplished its goal: People received Vivitrol while behind bars, and kept using it once they were released. Today Vivitrol is widely available in treatment facilities across the country, in part thanks to this early push.

Drugmakers introduced long-acting schizophrenia shots more than 50 years ago as a way to infuse consistency into psychosis treatment. But some psychiatrists and mental-health advocates were skeptical because of concerns about extended exposure to side effects such as sleepiness and low blood pressure, and because the shots seemed like “an attempt by psychiatrists to impose their will on patients,” according to a paper by Ahsan Khan, a psychiatrist at Saint Louis University, and colleagues.

As long-acting antipsychotic drugs improved, along with their public image, drug companies thought they could reinvigorate the market. In July 2009, the Food and Drug Administration approved Invega Sustenna, a long-acting, injectable form of an earlier antipsychotic pill made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen brand. Abilify Maintena, from a Japanese company called Otsuka Pharmaceutical, followed four years later. Then came Aristada, green-lit in 2015.

Within the multibillion-dollar schizophrenia-drug market, the makers of all three drugs are seeking to cast long-acting injections as the future of schizophrenia treatment. A 2015 study by the University of California, Los Angeles, found that patients who were given such injections were more likely to adhere to treatment and see reduced symptoms over a 12-month period, compared to those taking the same medication orally. But there’s also a chance that side effects will last longer than with the pill form, and that’s one of the key reasons some psychiatrists still start with the pill.

Recognizing the importance of detention facilities in the mental-health market—approximately 15 percent of state prisoners experience serious mental illness, more than three times the rate found in the total U.S. adult population—drugmakers are, to varying degrees, marketing the long-acting drugs to criminal-justice audiences.

Janssen, whose schizophrenia drug leads the market, offers free samples and financially supports advocacy groups aimed at keeping individuals with mental illnesses out of jails. Last year, the company won approval from the FDA to market Invega Sustenna as a treatment that can keep schizophrenic patients out of jail. Before then, Janssen could market the drug’s ability to treat schizophrenia but not make further claims about how it might help incarcerated populations.

Once it got the additional approval, Janssen rolled out video testimonials of formerly incarcerated individuals receiving injections, including a 31-year-old woman identified only as “Tanara” who was incarcerated after a fight with a neighbor. Tanara explained that the injection allowed her to not worry about missing daily pills for schizophrenia and helped her get a steady job as a peer-support specialist after she was released.

Kaitlin Meiser, a Janssen spokeswoman, said free samples allow doctors to “familiarize themselves with the medicine and for patients to try the medicine and determine if it is the right fit for them.” But she noted that the company does not have any “concerted” efforts to specifically educate correctional doctors through the use of paid speakers or free meals.

Otsuka’s criminal-justice efforts appear more limited. Public records show that psychiatrists who have worked in corrections have received payments or perks from Otsuka, but Robert Murphy, a spokesman, said the company’s marketing does not specifically target the criminal-justice system. It has offered free samples of Abilify Maintena to just one correctional system, in Maricopa County, Arizona—and that was on request. He also said that Otsuka has not made “any payments for meals or speaking fees at any meetings or conferences where the audience was doctors or individuals who work with jails, prisons, or courts.”

Aristada, a relative newcomer in the antipsychotic-injection sector, trails behind Invega Sustenna and Abilify Maintena. As Alkermes seeks to catch up, it has provided the treatment in 40 correctional facilities in 18 states, offering free samples to many of them. And it has paid doctors to speak at criminal-justice conferences about its potential, as well as designing advertisements that depict people reentering society thanks to the shot. Two doctors told me Alkermes paid them to participate in focus-group panels where they were asked by company representatives about how to market the shot to criminal-justice officials.

Mogilner, the Alkermes spokesman, did not answer specific questions about the company’s marketing and sales tactics but noted that they are, to a large degree, no different from other companies’ efforts. He wrote in an email that Aristada can offer people leaving prison or jail “consistent and sustained” treatment during “the often-challenging transition back to the community.”

Corrections officials don’t have to exclusively prescribe Aristada in exchange for free samples, Mogilner added, or continue prescribing the shot after the samples run out. “We work to educate healthcare professionals and other stakeholders with whom they work about the treatment of schizophrenia in diverse settings of care, including criminal justice healthcare settings, community mental health centers, and hospitals,” he wrote. “No one medicine is right for every patient.”

Several health-care officials and practitioners told me that free samples of long-acting antipsychotic shots have helped their patients in the criminal-justice system access helpful drugs that would otherwise be too expensive for them to offer. “Funding is always an issue,” Rachel Waddell, a nurse practitioner who treats inmates in a 662-bed jail in Rapid City, South Dakota, told me. The jail has provided samples of Aristada to 10 inmates but hasn’t accepted payments from drug companies, or perks such as free lunches. “With Alkermes, we don’t have to jump through hoops.”

Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, have not taken perks or payments from drug companies, but they have accepted free samples of long-acting shots from Janssen, Otsuka, and Alkermes. Grant Phillips, the medical director of Maricopa County’s correctional-health services, said that nearly 120 inmates are on long-acting shots and that they work well. More than half of those are ordered by judges, he said, but judges leave it up to doctors to decide which product is best for their patients. The medication consumes a fifth of the total pharmacy budget for a jail population of about 7,500.

While some jail officials see mostly an upside in drug companies’ marketing efforts, others say it’s more complicated. Jeff Gromer, the former warden of the Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said he hasn’t accepted perks or consulting payments, but he has given samples of Aristada to 16 patients since 2018; their symptoms stabilized while on the drug. “When you put someone with anxiety and paranoia in [a jail] environment, it gets hard for them to cope,” Gromer said. “When they can’t cope, there’s behavioral problems such as self-harm or aggression toward inmates or staff, or hiding in their cell.” Still, he’s wary of Alkermes’s efforts to reach patients by marketing to criminal-justice officials overseeing them. “Alkermes’s hope is that the prescription is continued once they’re out of custody, and they’re going to get paid for that,” he said. (Alkermes didn’t comment on Gromer’s characterization.)

Penn, the doctor working with Texas prisons, said his system does not accept samples from drug companies at all and restricts the perks or payments doctors receive. While patients in Texas prisons are sometimes prescribed long-acting antipsychotic drugs—typically as a last resort—Penn expressed concern, noting that “there’s not much literature” on them yet. Though more company-funded studies are emerging, he hasn’t seen enough “good head-to-head studies of the medications,” he said.

Alkermes and other drug companies have marketed not only to jailers but to judges as well. Earlier this year, at a conference for drug- and mental-health-court professionals in Maryland, Alkermes sponsored a closed-door promotional session about using long-acting shots in a court setting. Featured at the session was Richard Jackson, a former psychiatrist at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and Ernie Glenn, a magistrate in Bexar County, Texas, who had helped defendants in his court get access to long-acting antipsychotic shots. While Glenn had received no payments from Alkermes, the company had paid Jackson more than $250,000 between 2015 and 2018 for speeches, travel and lodging, and meals, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’s open payments database. (Jackson also received $252,608 in payments from Otsuka from 2015 to 2018, and said he has continued receiving payments from drug companies in 2019; it wasn’t immediately clear whether Alkermes was one of them.) The conference program, as in the conference in Nashville, directed people to learn about Aristada at Alkermes’s exhibit booth. “It wouldn’t matter to me if the info was sponsored by one company or all the companies, so long as the info about the medication gets out to the public,” Glenn later told me.

“A lot of people in corrections … they’re not even aware,” Jackson said of long-acting injections. “If you’re not getting educated, you’re not using them, there’s no way it’ll ever be afforded to those prisoners.”

Judge Robin Faber, who presides over a Miami-Dade County court division that aims to divert inmates into mental-health treatment, has not been the target of marketing by Alkermes or any other pharmaceutical firm but said he sees the potential of long-acting drugs in his sixth-floor courtroom. One sweltering afternoon in early September, a young man named Chris Sellers took off his orange cap and slouched into the back of Faber’s courtroom. (Sellers’s name has been changed; Faber, Sellers’s lawyer, and Sellers allowed The Atlantic to sit in the courtroom, which isn’t open to the public, on the condition that his real name not be used.) Faber was reviewing Sellers’s medical records.

“You look good,” Faber said. The first time Faber had met Sellers, several months earlier, Sellers had recently been arrested for stealing a $20 T-shirt. Having looked at his records, along with his initial health assessment from a doctor, Faber felt Sellers’s nonviolent offenses were linked to untreated mental illness, and decided to require treatment instead of incarceration. At the time, to ensure that Sellers received his medication, Faber ordered an involuntary shot for his schizophrenia. Faber believed that Sellers would reoffend without it—and hoped that it would break his cycle of incarceration. As Faber continued reviewing the records, he noticed that Sellers had since received another long-acting shot. “That’s probably helping a lot,” Faber said, agreeing to keep Sellers on the treatment regimen instead of sending him to the Dade County Jail.

After Sellers’s hearing, Faber told me he defers to doctors regarding which medications patients should get. Ernesto Grenier, a psychiatrist at Jackson Health, the medical provider for three of Miami-Dade County’s jails, is often the one choosing those drugs.

When I spoke with Grenier, he told me that Jackson Health prohibits free samples from pharmaceutical companies. But, on occasion, Grenier has listened to pitches from Otsuka, Janssen, and Alkermes. From 2016 to 2018, he accepted food or drinks from the three companies 22 times, for a total of $949.92. He said he does not typically prescribe Aristada—which he considers less proven than some other drugs because it is newer—and dismissed the notion that free lunches or drinks from any drugmaker might have influenced his care. “They all say theirs is the best,” Grenier said. “We choose medication based on the patient.” (Click to Source)


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