Posted on Leave a comment

Addiction In Medical Professionals

Source: Addition Center
Photo Source: Addiction Center
Doctors and nurses can be affected by addiction just like anyone else. If left untreated, this can lead to many negative effects for medical professionals and patients alike.

Substance Abuse In Health Care

Doctors and nurses account for one of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce.
Source: Addition Center
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Doctors and nurses account for one of the highest rates of addiction in the workforce. According to USA Today, “Across the country, more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction, mostly involving narcotics such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl.”

Like many other working professionals facing an addiction, there are many reasons a medical professional might turn to drugs or alcohol. They could be looking for a way to stay alert on an all-day or overnight shift or a way to escape the emotional pain from a day of hard decisions and upsetting outcomes.

What sets doctors and nurses apart from other professionals is their accessibility to highly sought-after drugs — because it’s easier for them to get the drugs, it’s easier to create or feed an addiction.

The rate at which doctors and nurses suffer from addiction may be high, but this subgroup of people also has a high rate of recovery when they get treatment.

Signs Of Addiction Within Medical Professionals

Recognizing drug or alcohol dependence in doctors or nurses can be difficult because many are considered to be highly functional addicts. This means that they are able to maintain their career, home life and substance abuse for a period of time without others noticing.

Common signs of addiction in doctors and nurses include:

  • Changing jobs frequently
  • Preferring night shifts where there is less supervision and more access to medication
  • Falling asleep on the job or in-between shifts
  • Volunteering often to administer narcotics to patients
  • Anxiousness about working overtime or extra shifts
  • Taking frequent bathroom breaks or unexplained absences
  • Smelling of alcohol or excessively using breath mints or mouthwash
  • Extreme financial, relationship or family stress
  • Glassy eyes or small pupils
  • Unusually friendly relationship with doctors that prescribe medications
  • Incomplete charting or repeated errors in paperwork

Why Medical Professionals Turn To Drugs of Alcohol

There are many unique aspects of a doctor or nurse’s profession that makes them more likely than other occupations to form a substance addiction.

A common reason that medical professionals may be tempted to abuse substances such as Oxycodone or Fentanyl is due to the easy access they have to powerful prescription medications that aren’t properly accounted for as they are administered. They also have an extensive understanding of the effects these substances have on an individual and this may motivate them to try to mimic these sensations in themselves in order to produce a high or euphoria.

Along with their unpredictable and exhausting work hours, medical professionals are required to make spur-of-the-moment decisions regarding their patients’ health and wellbeing. If they feel responsible for a certain outcome or come to regret a choice that was made, this can greatly affect their emotions and mental state, leading to substance abuse.

The Effects Of Addiction In The Workplace

An addicted medical professional is more likely than their non-addicted colleagues to cause an accident in the workplace or neglect patients’ health. They may be distracted on the job or abruptly leave important appointments or surgical procedures to use drugs.

Sometimes I’d be standing in the operating room and it’d look like I had the flu. So I’d excuse myself and I’d run into the bathroom, eat 10 [Tylenols with codeine], and in maybe five or 10 minutes I’d be normal again.- Richard Ready, former chief resident of neurosurgery at a prominent Chicago hospital, LA Times

Doctors and nurses suffering from addiction are not only putting their own health at risk, but also the wellbeing of patients in their care. It may be hard for a medical professional to accept they have an addiction, but the sooner that the addiction is faced head on, the better. This can help prevent accidents on the job or neglect of important signs of health issues in patients.

Medical Professionals Substance Abuse Statistics

20 percent – According to Journal of Clinical Nursing, approximately 20 percent of all nurses struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

1 in 10 physicians will fall into drug or alcohol abuse at some point in their lives, mirroring the general population.

Treatment For Addiction Among Medical Professionals

While doctors and nurses are in a highly-regarded and respected line of work, they are certainly not immune to addiction. Fortunately, there are treatment programs that cater specifically to medical professionals and offer them a fresh, healthy start.

There are a number of states that offer programs to help doctors and nurses recover from an addiction while ensuring they won’t lose their license or practice. These programs also help guide medical professionals through recovery and provide ways to avoid triggers once back in the workplace.

Aspects that addiction treatment for medical professionals will address include:

  • How to restore your career and reputation
  • The process of returning to a professional practice
  • Addressing licensing and disciplinary matters
  • Avoiding potential triggers in and outside of the workplace
  • Participation in monitoring programs
  • Establishing continued after-care

There is definitely reason for a medical professional to be optimistic while in recovery, as they share a much higher than average rate of maintaining sobriety after treatment.

The highest rate of success stems from being enrolled in a treatment program where the staff members are familiar with treating medical professionals and the challenges that come with this type of addiction. Not unlike programs that cater to law enforcement, fire fighters, and other first responders, these treatment programs are acutely aware of the addiction and recovery struggles which are inherent in the medical profession. They will work alongside you to get to the root of what caused your addiction and guide you through the process of restoring your health. If you are a doctor or nurse facing an addiction and need help finding a treatment center, please contact a dedicated treatment provider today.

During this week you read, NBC News, how McKinsey settled for their marketing role creating the opioid crisis and how they will benefit from the treatment center tasked with “curing” people from opioid addiction. What are the affiliations of treatment centers such as these? How are medical professionals becoming addicted to drugs? Why are these considered additions rather than “medical treatments”?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Surgery, Mutilators of the Flesh

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: Shidonna Raven – Garden and Cook, all rights reserved
You many contact us for re-publishing requests and citation information

Featured Photo Source: Unsplash, Katherine Hanlon


Philippians 3:2, ESV: “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.”

According to Stanford Health Care, “According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 48 million surgical inpatient procedures were performed in the United States in 2009.”

At some point during ones life surgery maybe suggested to you as a method of healing. As Christians or other believers of faith how does this reconcile with your faith / belief system. If you believe in God, have you given any thought about what the bible says about surgery and how one can obtain their healing: a true or different method of healing?

Indeed this bible verse gives us pause to think about the many ways and motives for mutilating the flesh. Wikipedia defines flesh mutilation as, Mutilation or maiming (from the Latin: mutilus) is cutting off or causing injury to a body part of a person so that the part of the body is permanently damaged, detached or disfigured. In fact many “medical” actions taken in the west today are riddled with profit of healing. Figures such as Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet have been vocal regarding the cost of health care in America and the poor health care outcomes that ensue sometimes leading to death often leading to chronic (constant) disease for many people, which leaves the body in a constant state of disease leading to other illnesses such as (suggested) cancer. This method of “treatment” is very profitable for today’s medical professional in America leaving him or her with a perpetual patient while the patient along with insurance companies and tax payers, depending on the type of insurance, to foot the bill.

Perhaps this is why this bible verse warns us to be cautious of those who mutilate the flesh. The flesh has been mutilated for many reasons throughout history including as a rite of passage for those of a certain age in certain cultures. So, there are many means and methods by which we should be cautions of these mutilators of the flesh.

So, where is the healing that God promises us. Jesus indeed healed thousands if not more. Some where healed by word; some by a little spit; some by a little clay ….all by faith. The mature Christian knows that faith is not some illusive feeling, but is translated into action.

James 2:14-26, New King James Version

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

We are reminded that God has give us all we need whether we find that in the power of healing foods or the power of ancient salt waters. There are many alternatives to “medications” and drugs as offered by the African state of Tanzania in the wake of COVID 19 (March 1, 2021 article on this site). We do not propose to have all the answers and invite you to share what you know and discover with us. However, we do believe that at the center of every healing is God. We do believe that your solution to healing should be a fact-based, well informed and researched solution not made in haste.

In fact Informed Consent (differ from state to state) is a law little know by many patients, which requires doctors to inform patients of all treatments available to them (which often do not include alternative medicines or treatments, which they maybe unaware of) and the results or expected outcomes of each treatment. Not just those that are mst profitable for the medical professional or organization.

What current diagnosis do you have? Why? What current treatment or medications / drugs are you taking? Why? What has been your health outcome? Why are people being diagnosed with terminal illnesses? Is it because the treatment can not produce positive outcomes and one should consider alternatives for a healing?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pregnant women ‘frequently’ coprescribed opioids, psychotropics

December 15, 2020
Source: Healio
Photo & Diagram Source: Healio

Pregnant women were “frequently” coprescribed opioids and psychotropic medications, researchers of a cross-sectional study wrote. These prescriptions sometimes led to antepartum hospitalization, they added.

“While we know that pregnant women with opioid use and co-occurring mental health conditions are at risk for adverse outcomes, less is understood about prescribing patterns of opioids and psychotropics among pregnant women,” Marcela C. Smid, MD, MA, MS, an assistant professor in the division of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Utah, told Healio Primary Care.

Among 958,980 pregnant women: 10% received opioids, 6% received psychotropics and 2% received opioids and psychotropics.
Reference: Venkatesh KK, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2020;doi:10.7326/M19-3249.
Source: Healio
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

“With increased attention to opioid prescribing over the past decade and the importance of addressing maternal mental health, we were interested in prescribing patterns and changes over time in this population,” she continued.

The researchers analyzed United States commercial insurance beneficiary data for 958,980 pregnant women across all 50 states from 2001 to 2015. The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that:

  • 10% of pregnant women received opioids only;
  • 6% received psychotropics only; and
  • 2% simultaneously received opioids and psychotropics.

Opioid prescriptions were higher among those prescribed psychotropics compared with those who were not (26.5% vs. 10.7%), according to the researchers. From 2000 to 2015, they reported that:

  • The percentage of pregnant women who received morphine milligram equivalents (MME) of 50 or greater daily dropped from 29.6% to 17.3% among those with coprescriptions and from 22.8% to 18.5% among those without coprescriptions.
  • The percentage of women who obtained MME of 90 or greater daily declined from 15% to 4.7% among those with coprescriptions and 11.5% to 4.2% among those without coprescriptions.
  • Overall, psychotropic prescriptions rose from 4.4% to 7.6%.
  • The percentage of women who received opioid prescriptions without a concurrent prescription of psychotropics decreased from 11.9% to 8.4%.
  • The percentage of those who received opioids with coprescription declined from 28.1% to 22%.

Smid and colleagues also reported that women who were only prescribed opioids were more likely to have an antepartum hospitalization vs. those with neither prescription, as were women with coprescription vs. those prescribed psychotropics only. Compared with those only prescribed opioids, women with coprescriptions were more likely to exceed 90 MME daily and be prescribed two or more opioid agents for 30 days or longer. The number of opioids, along with the duration they were taken, increased with benzodiazepine and gabapentin coprescription.Marcela C. Smid

Even though researchers could not determine the appropriateness of any prescriptions or occurrence of overdose events, the analysis still yielded useful information, Smid said.

“These findings help us to understand that there are some women who received prescription medications that may place them at high risk of antepartum hospitalization, perinatal complications and ultimately death,” she said.

Smid said that future research should examine how maternal opioid use and mental health contributes to maternal morbidity and mortality. She also called for strategies to help pregnant women with their medical and mental health needs while avoiding serious complications.

Time and time again patients are mis-diagnoised, mis-medicated and / or over medicated leading to poor health outcomes and death with too little accountability and too much profit behind it all from the pharmacetuical sales people who offer medical professionals incentives to push drugs / medications upon their patients with little regard for their positive health comes and the patients underwrite the cost of it all. What medications do you take? Why? Has your health improved or have you entered into a state of chronic (constant) disease?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Consulting giant McKinsey allegedly fed the opioid crisis. Now an affiliate may profit from treating addicts.

Source: NBC News
Photos Source: NBC News

McKinsey’s wholly owned hedge fund affiliate, MIO Partners, holds indirect stakes in addiction treatment centers and a maker of overdose treatments.

Image: An arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills in New York.
Source: NBC News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

An arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills in New York.Mark Lennihan / APFeb. 8, 2021, 5:02 AM ESTBy Gretchen Morgenson

McKinsey & Co., the global consulting giant, agreed to pay nearly $600 million last week to settle allegations by 49 states that its work for large opioid manufacturers helped “turbocharge” sales of the drugs, contributing to an addiction epidemic that rocked the country and has caused more than 400,000 deaths.

The settlement is a black eye for the firm, which holds itself out as the preeminent global consultant advising corporations and governments. But because most of the money to be paid by McKinsey will go to state programs funding addiction treatment centers and recovery services, the deal may allow a McKinsey hedge fund affiliate to generate investment gains, an NBC News investigation has found. That’s because the firm’s wholly owned hedge fund affiliate, called MIO Partners, holds indirect stakes in addiction treatment centers and a maker of overdose treatment products.

In addition, investment records show, during the years McKinsey was helping opioid makers propel sales of the drugs, MIO Partners held stakes in companies that profited from increased usage.

The MIO investment records don’t provide enough detail to determine how much it has made or stands to make from opioid-related investments. But they show that MIO, which is run on behalf of current and former McKinsey employees, invested in companies that benefited during the rise of the opioid crisis and now holds stakes in companies that could profit from remediation efforts in the aftermath.

A McKinsey spokesman said it is “false and absurd” to suggest that the firm will benefit financially from the big state settlement. “McKinsey has no visibility into or control of how settlement money will be used by the states,” he said. In addition, he said, the hedge fund and the firm’s consulting business are “operationally separate,” and the firm’s past stakes in opioid makers through MIO were taken by outside investment managers whose decisions McKinsey doesn’t direct or control.

Source: NBC News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

DEC. 10, 201901:39

But Marianne Jennings, a professor of legal and ethical studies in business at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said the simultaneous operation of the hedge fund and McKinsey’s vast consulting business poses potential conflicts that aren’t easily remedied.

“On conflicts of interest, there are two ways to handle them — you disclose them and manage it or you don’t do it,” Jennings said. “I don’t know how you manage that unless you can show me there is absolute isolation of this fund. No matter how you slice it, you benefit. I don’t see how you don’t have an interest in that and input in that.”

MIO Partners oversees its investments with a staff and a 14-person board, regulatory filings show. Eight current or former McKinsey executives are directors, joined by six non-McKinsey directors, four of whom joined recently.

MIO’s management selects an array of investment managers to deploy its $14.6 billion. They make investment choices independent of MIO and are compensated by McKinsey, according to an independent study commissioned by the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, a federal watchdog that monitors the island’s budget. After MIO selects its investment managers, it may discuss individual investments with them, the study said.

McKinsey says the MIO structure is “not unusual.” But it is. Most large companies, including all the major consulting firms, hire third-party firms like Fidelity and Vanguard to oversee their employees’ retirement accounts. Those firms typically offer employees a handful of big-name mutual funds to choose from, letting them make their own investment decisions. The holdings of such mutual funds are transparent, while MIO’s stakes are more opaque.

Source: NBC News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

DEC. 10, 202004:32

Since 2010, Labor Department filings show, a retirement fund managed by MIO has amassed a $108 million stake in Deerfield Management Co., a $10 billion health care investment firm based in New York. Two top Deerfield executives previously worked at McKinsey.

During the years McKinsey’s hedge fund has invested with Deerfield, the firm has taken large stakes in opioid manufacturers, in distributors of the drugs and in addiction treatment facilities. In 2018, Deerfield’s many holdings throughout the sector led an anti-opioids group to label its strategy “a vertical integration of human misery.”

In 2017, for example, Deerfield was a 6 percent shareholder in Mallinckrodt, a major opioid maker that filed for bankruptcy protection last year after it faced enormous legal liabilities for the role critics accused it of playing in the crisis. From 2011 through 2016, Deerfield held a stake — at one point valued at $90 million — in Teva Pharmaceuticals, an opioid maker and defendant in national opioid litigation that it settled with plaintiffs, denying the allegations, in 2019. Deerfield also took stakes in two distribution companies ensnared in government-led opioid litigation: McKesson and Cardinal Health. Both companies have denied wrongdoing.

Deerfield didn’t respond to an email seeking comment about its investments in the opioid industry; the phone number listed on its website has been “deactivated.”

Source: NBC News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

October: OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty as part of $8 billion settlement

OCT. 21, 202001:30

In 2017, Deerfield Management agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had profited in trades while failing to prevent its employees from misusing material, nonpublic information. The agency alleged that Deerfield had received nonpublic information about coming policy changes at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and generated over $700,000 in profits. Deerfield neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

Adamis Pharmaceuticals, a company that develops products to treat opioid overdoses, may also benefit from opioid settlement funds. According to an SEC filing from last summer, MIO owned 26 percent of the company’s preferred shares; the stake was purchased through an outside investment manager.

The McKinsey spokesman reiterated that its third-party managers make their choices independently of MIO.‘Counter the emotional messages’

Investigators in Massachusetts last year released internal emails and other documents detailing McKinsey’s role in helping push the sale of opioids as a consultant for Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of OxyContin. McKinsey worked with Purdue for 15 years, starting in 2004, the states said. Last year, Purdue pleaded guilty to three felonies as a result of conduct spanning a decade — 2007 to 2017 — while it was working side by side with McKinsey. Purdue agreed to pay $8.3 billion.

Investigators said McKinsey designed Purdue’s marketing schemes, including a plan to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales at the height of the opioid epidemic. McKinsey also advised Purdue to maximize its OxyContin profits by focusing on higher, more lucrative doses and scheduling more visits by Purdue sales representatives to high-volume opioid prescribers. McKinsey encouraged Purdue to get opioid manufacturers to band together to “defend against strict treatment” by the Food and Drug Administration and worked with the company on ways to “counter the emotional messages from mothers with teenagers that overdosed in OxyContin,” Massachusetts filings show.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said of the settlement, “Our communities will receive substantial resources for treatment, prevention, and recovery services, and families who have seen their loved ones hurt and killed by the opioid epidemic will have the truth exposed about McKinsey’s illegal and dangerous partnership with Purdue Pharma.”

Image: Maura Healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey speaks to reporters at the State House in Boston on Jan. 25, 2016.Steven Senne / AP file
Source: NBC News
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

McKinsey said it believes its past opioid work was “lawful.” It said it agreed to the settlement “without finding or admission of wrongdoing or liability of any kind.”

Money from the settlement will create the Massachusetts Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund “to expand access to opioid use disorder prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery options,” according to the state.

Recovery Centers of America, an addiction treatment company in which Deerfield Management invested $331 million in 2015 and 2016, operates addiction treatment facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states that were part of the McKinsey settlement.

Purdue Pharma offers $10-12 billion to settle opioid claims

Kevin Sneader, McKinsey’s global managing partner, said that in striking the settlement, “we chose to resolve this matter in order to provide fast, meaningful support to communities across the United States.”

“We deeply regret that we did not adequately acknowledge the tragic consequences of the epidemic unfolding in our communities,” he said. “With this agreement, we hope to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the U.S.”

McKinsey’s hedge fund has come under scrutiny before. In 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that the hedge fund held investment stakes in companies it had advised in bankruptcy proceedings. The proceedings require advisers to be unconflicted in their work, and rules bar them from having stakes in cases’ outcomes. In 2019, McKinsey paid $15 million to settle an inquiry by a unit of the Justice Department into whether it violated disclosure rules designed to prevent conflicts of interest in corporate bankruptcies.

And the 2019 study commissioned by Puerto Rico financial oversight board noted that MIO investments in that bankruptcy case “could be perceived as a conflict.”Gretchen Morgenson

Gretchen Morgenson is the senior financial reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

Pharmaceutical companies pump medicine commercials on TV, push medicines / drugs that have not undergone proper clinical trails to the medical professionals treating you giving them incentives such as speaking trips in Hawaii creating a drug epidemic such as the current opioid crisis and then invest in the treatment centers designed to “cure” you from medical professional and pharmaceutical industry addiction. And then they do it all over again. What medications / drugs do you take? Why? What are the details of the clinical trials? Was the pharmaceutical company fined? What were the overall health outcome for you including the side effects and the drugs for the side effects?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Neuralink Could Begin Testing Human Brain Implants This Year, Says Elon Musk

Source: Entrepreneur
Photos Source: Entrepreneur
Implants grafted into the brain and spinal cord seek to be able to correct paralysis and cure Alzheimer’s.

Neuralink Could Begin Testing Human Brain Implants This Year, Says Elon Musk
Source: Entrepreneur
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

ENTREPRENEUR STAFF  February 4, 2021
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Billionaire mogul and Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased that neurotechnology company Neuralink could begin implanting computer chips in humans later this year.

“Neuralink is working very hard to ensure implant safety and is in close communication with the FDA. If things go well, we may be able to do initial human trials later this year,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

The statement came in response to a comment from a user who asked him to participate in human testing:

“I was in a car accident 20 years ago and since then I have been paralyzed from the shoulders. I am always available for clinical studies at Neuralink,” wrote Hamoon Kamai, on the social network.

Source: Entrepreneur
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Days before, Musk assured that Neuralink already has a laboratory monkey with a chip implanted in its skull. “You can play video games” with your mind, said the owner of SpaceX.

The short-term goal of the Neuralink project is to solve brain and spinal injuries, while, in the long term, it would seek “human / AI symbiosis.”

New technologies are often presented in altruistic means. Elon Musk, himself admits that the very technologies that he is developing should be regulated. Which regulations would you like to see? By who? Do you think the FDA should be involved? Why? Why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Your Brain Has Been Hacked

About the future computer chip in your brain and what Elon Musk’s Neuralink has to do with it

The Unlikely Techie – Sep 11, 2020
Source: Medium – Better Programming

Image for post
Photo by Uriel SC on Unsplash
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Would you like to have a chip inside your brain? One that could increase your capacity to think, feel, and handle situations? If so, you don’t have to wait too much longer: Scientists have made significant breakthroughs in developing brain-computer interfaces. Would you sign up for a brain chip?

This August, Elon Musk presented a new iteration of the Neuralink brain implant. The goal is to give human brains a direct interface to digital devices, helping, for instance, paralyzed humans, allowing them to control phones or computers. The chip would pick up on signals in the brain and then translate them into motor controls. Neuralink’s technology is quite stunning. This tiny brain implant has more than 1,000 electrodes and will possibly one day allow a person to transmit neuroelectrical activity to anything digital.

This new technology is not exactly new. However, it surpasses current chips neuroscientists use as a standard today: The chip they use has 64 electrodes. While many in the field imagine using these neural interfaces to control a prosthetic limb or cure paralyzed people, Musk describes the overall project as aiming to “achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”

What is the premise here precisely? The mindset behind Musk’s interest and Neuralink’s mission goes way beyond finding a cure for paralyzed people and is best described by Arielle Pardes in Wired: “Machines with artificial intelligence are outpacing humankind. Ergo, implant computer chips in human brains to level up the species.”

The Frightening and Exciting Possibilities of Brain Chips

The goal is to merge brains and computers deeply through a brain chip that sends and receives information. One of the challenges is how the chip can fully function over a long time inside the brain.

The mammalian brain is an unfriendly environment for anything that is not a brain. Imagine it as a massive knot of wires that corrodes most metals over time. As with all organs and human tissue, the brain also fights off intruders and has mechanisms to protect its electrodes and cells. The protector of neurons in the brain is called glia. In addition to supporting and protecting neurons, these non-neuronal cells maintain homeostasis and form myelin. For the Neuralink device, this means that over time gliosis kills the electrode’s ability to record. Therefore, Neuralink scientists will have to find materials that won’t set off the glia cells to go nuclear on the electrode and won’t break down over time. If they cannot find these materials, chances are that a patient with a Neuralink device will have to have the device removed sooner than later.

Another challenge is how easily the implant is implemented and removed. One of the main selling points of Neuralink is that it is an easy-to-implant, non-damaging, long-lived cybernetic implant. Neuroscientists aren’t exactly sure how this implant could be implemented without damaging blood vessels and how it could remain in the brain over an extended period without doing so.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s say scientists and engineers overcome all of these obstacles and can implant a perfect brain chip inside your brain. Think of the frightening and the exciting possibilities, the two sides to this endeavor, as described by Jeff Stibel:

“The ability to communicate with others via thought, for example, is exciting, but giving others the ability to read your mind is frightening. Controlling a light switch or driving a car with one’s mind is exciting; the potential of others controlling your mind is frightening. It might be cool to have a perfect memory, but it would be terrifying if your memory could be hacked.”

The way we remember information is linked to our memory. Let’s take the self-reference effect. We have a tendency to encode information differently depending on whether the information given is implicating us in some way. I will always remember the name of your aunt Sarah — obviously, because I am a Sarah myself. What if my memory was altered? How would I process the information given to me now?

What I mean by to process is the conclusions I’d draw based on an altered memory. While it is relatively easy to detect and measure signals from the neuron, extracting meaning from the measurements is entirely different. How do these measurements and data derived correlate with human dreams, hopes, memories, and thoughts? Or as Adam Rogers put it: “The electrical activity of the brain happens while you are thinking or remembering, but it may not be what you are thinking or remembering. Just being able to sense and record that activity isn’t recording actual thought. It correlates, but may not cause.”

Furthermore, there is no consistent theory of consciousness. Which brings me to the heart of artificial intelligence research: We’re not sure what to aim for. We can’t fully explain what intelligence is and therefore lack a comprehensive model for algorithms to follow.

AI Doomsday and the Chip in My Head

Scientists determine whether something is possible (remember, the technology helping people control prosthetic limbs with their minds already exists). It is an engineer’s job to figure out how those ideas become a reality. But as so often, the question of whether we should create this technology takes a back seat. Which, I argue, is wrong.

As history unfolds, we as a world community do not determine the direction in which technology should develop: A few powerful corporations do. This means not only deciding which technology is worth developing but also what the goal of the development will be. But it cannot be in everyone’s interest that only a few decide what this goal should look like.

Let’s think about this future chip in our heads: The real driving force behind this project lies in one man’s fear of AI getting cognizant and looking to obliterate us. It may well be that his fear is well-founded. But what if he is wrong?

My fear is a different one: I fear corrupt individuals will utilize AI to do evil. Maybe my fear has already come to fruition.

Do you think these new technolgies like she and Elon Musk can be used for evil? What should be done? Have you spoken with your elected officials?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Tanzania banks on herbal remedy to fight coronavirus

Source: AA
Photos Source: AA
Locals relying on steam therapy infused with herbs, fruit to quash deadly virus

Kizito Makoye   |10.02.2021Tanzania banks on herbal remedy to fight coronavirus

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania

As hot steam mistily wafts from a pan, Tumaini Lucas briskly stirs a mix of herbs with a pointed cooking stick.

Soon she creates a tent above her head using a wet towel to let a torrent of vapors bounce on her face.

The 41-year-old entrepreneur, who lives in the Mabwepande area on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, is one of many in the bustling city who have embraced alternative remedies, including steam therapy, to fight infectious diseases such as the coronavirus.

“Steam therapy is the best way to flush off viral infections. It makes you feel good and fresh,” she said.


Lucas, who is originally from Tanzania’s northern Kilimanjaro region, said her family has always used culinary herbs to treat diseases, eliminate viral infections and keep germs at bay.

“My granny never went to the hospital when she got sick. She simply disappeared into the forest to pick some herbs, boil them and steam herself for half an hour to get the badly needed relief,” Lucas told Anadolu Agency.

As part of efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the Tanzanian government has shunned conventional medicines and is instead touting the use of traditional remedies, including steam inhalation to fight respiratory infections.

The East African country recorded 509 coronavirus infections and 21 deaths last May when authorities halted its testing policy. The move came after President John Magufuli cast doubt on the efficacy of Chinese-made testing kits, which he claimed returned positive results on samples taken on a goat and pawpaw fruit.


No more testing

Magufuli’s decision to stop testing, however, was widely criticized globally by public health experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centre for Infectious Diseases Control, which accused the president of promoting wild conspiracy theories with no scientific basis.

Steam therapy, which entails a concoction of herbs infused with ginger, lemon and neem, among other ingredients, is widely promoted and used in Tanzania as an alternative remedy to fight the highly contagious virus.

As nations worldwide bank on vaccines to fight the deadly virus that has killed more than 2 million people, Tanzania has shunned conventional medicines, and promoted traditional remedies, thus sparking debate about the effectiveness and safety of those remedies.

Magufuli, who is known for his hard-line pan-Africanist stance, provoked criticism when he branded foreign made vaccines “dangerous” while urging Tanzanians to use natural remedies, including steam inhalation.

He has largely eschewed mask-wearing and social distancing and claimed that God eliminated coronavirus in Tanzania, only to be accused by public health experts for contradicting global scientific consensus on best approaches to treat the virus.

Source: AA
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

False sense of security

But the move to shun conventional medicine has raised the hackles of local and international experts, who believe steam therapy may give a false sense of security to those who are likely to blindly follow instructions from their leaders.

Local experts debunked Magufuli’s bizarre theory, saying it could probably do more harm than good.

“Steam inhalation has undoubtedly been used as a home remedy to treat common colds and upper respiratory tract infections. The assumption that it can treat coronavirus is flawed and simply ridiculous,” said Kitapondya Deus, a public health specialist based in Dar es Salaam.

He said steam inhalation should be only a home remedy and not be used conventionally in hospitals.

Richard Walker, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Newcastle in the UK concurs with Kitapondya’s assertions. “Herbal remedies pose many risks, the mixture can be toxic or contaminated, thus interact with prescription drugs,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Power of neem

Not everyone agrees. Lucas, who has developed a deep faith in the healing power of traditional herbs and their ability to dispel conditions such as wheezing and respiratory distress in the elderly, believes there must be a consensus on the use of conventional medicines and traditional herbs.

“I strongly believe in the power of traditional herbs. They shouldn’t be used sparingly, instead they must be adopted as an important part of a treatment plan, along with conventional medicines,” she said.

Neem, known colloquially as Mwarobaini in Swahili and lemongrass, or Mchaichai, is known for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties and can be the best treatment for the coronavirus, according to Lucas.

She said a steam bath infused with lemongrass has the potential to stimulate the circulatory system thus encourage blood flow into the brain to get rid of any headache.

“Lemongrass works so wonderfully to me, it soothes my throat, clears my nose and protects me against any virus,” she said.

To improve the flavor of herbs in the mix, Lucas squeezes lemons and chops fresh ginger while gently tossing them into a boiling pan.

Lemon and ginger have strong antiviral properties that can sweat out a fever and kill the coronavirus, said Lucas.

“I honestly don’t understand why everyone cast doubt on the effectiveness of traditional herbs in treating modern day diseases like coronavirus. We must trust our indigenous knowledge of things,” she said.


Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

Where did the concept come from that drugs or chemicals are the primary source for healing? Alternative and non-western cures have been around for sometime. Indeed even in the west people seek alternative healings or medicine. Will you take the vaccine? If not how will you address COVID 19 and the pandemic?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Great Brain Robbery

Economic espionage sponsored by the Chinese government is costing U.S. corporations hundreds of billions of dollars and more than two million jobs

  • 2016, Jan 17
  • CORRESPONDENT, Lesley Stahl
    Source: 60 Minutes

Editor’s Note: The author of the original article “A Harsh Winter for Sinovel and China’s Wind Industry,” which was later attached to the phishing email in this video, wishes it known that he was not involved in a cyberattack against American Superconductor.


The following is a script from “The Great Brain Robbery” which aired on Jan. 17, 2016. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Rich Bonin, producer.

If spying is the world’s second oldest profession, the government of China has given it a new, modern-day twist, enlisting an army of spies not to steal military secrets but the trade secrets and intellectual property of American companies. It’s being called “the great brain robbery of America.”

The Justice Department says that the scale of China’s corporate espionage is so vast it constitutes a national security emergency, with China targeting virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, and costing American companies hundreds of billions of dollars in losses — and more than two million jobs.

John Carlin: They’re targeting our private companies. And it’s not a fair fight. A private company can’t compete against the resources of the second largest economy in the world.

theftmain.jpg
Lesley Stahl and John Carlin, assistant attorney general for National Security  CBS NEWS
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

John Carlin is the assistant attorney general for National Security with responsibility for counterterrorism, cyberattacks and increasingly economic espionage.

“A private company can’t compete against the resources of the second largest economy in the world.”

John Carlin: This is a serious threat to our national security. I mean, our economy depends on the ability to innovate. And if there’s a dedicated nation state who’s using its intelligence apparatus to steal day in and day out what we’re trying to develop, that poses a serious threat to our country.

Lesley Stahl: What is their ultimate goal, the Chinese government’s ultimate goal?

John Carlin: They want to develop certain segments of industry and instead of trying to out-innovate, out-research, out-develop, they’re choosing to do it through theft.

All you have to do, he says, is look at the economic plans published periodically by the Chinese Politburo. They are, according to this recent report by the technology research firm INVNT/IP, in effect, blueprints of what industries and what companies will be targeted for theft.

John Carlin: We see them put out the strategic plan, and then we see actions follow that plan. We see intrusion after intrusion on U.S. companies.

Lesley Stahl: Do you have a number of U.S. companies that have been hit?

John Carlin: It’s thousands of actually companies have been hit.

Lesley Stahl: Thousands of U.S. companies?

John Carlin: Of U.S. companies.

But getting CEOs from those companies to talk is nearly impossible because most of them still have business in China and don’t want to be cut out of its huge market. Daniel McGahn, the head of American Superconductor, is an exception. His firm spent years and millions of dollars developing advanced computer software for wind turbines that McGahn says China looted, nearly putting him out of business. He’s talking because he wants to fight back.

Daniel McGahn: I’m personally never gonna give this up. Too many lives were affected, too many families were damaged through this. We can never give up on this.

Lesley Stahl: You had to fire 600 people.

Daniel McGahn: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: Out of how many jobs?

Daniel McGahn: At the time we were almost 900.

Lesley Stahl: So how much did you lose in share value?

Daniel McGahn: Total loss is well over a billion dollars.

Today, his factory floor is largely silent, a shadow of this once thriving company.

Daniel McGahn: I think part of the strategy in all this was to kill us. So–

Lesley Stahl: They set out to kill you.

Daniel McGahn: To kill the company.

How can he be so sure? Well, his story begins when China passed a clean energy law in 2005, calling for the creation of mega-wind farms throughout the country.

The law made China the hottest wind power market in the world. So McGahn partnered with a small Chinese firm called Sinovel which was partly owned by the government. Sinovel made the skeletons of the turbines, and his company, American Superconductor, the sophisticated gadgetry and computer code to run them.

Lesley Stahl: They actually built the turbines.

Daniel McGahn: They make the turbine, we make the controls.

Lesley Stahl: And did they make these turbines with your brains in them for the entire country of China?

Daniel McGahn: Yes.

When he went into business there, China was already notorious for poaching American intellectual property. So he says he did everything he could think of to protect his technology from being stolen.

Daniel McGahn: We made sure that any software or any pieces of the code were restricted and used, were able to be accessed, only by a few people within the company.

Lesley Stahl: Once they got everything over there couldn’t they reverse-engineer it?

Daniel McGahn: We believe that’s what they tried to do. And what they learned was this encrypted protocol was in the way. They didn’t quite understand how it worked. And they couldn’t reverse-engineer it

Lesley Stahl: Everybody knows if it’s on the Internet, some brilliant hacker can get at it.

Daniel McGahn: It wasn’t accessible through the Internet.

Lesley Stahl: You kept it off the Internet?

Daniel McGahn: Yes.

Lesley Stahl: It sounds like you built a little fortress around your, your precious codes.

Daniel McGahn: We certainly tried.

Initially, business boomed in China for American Superconductor, with sales skyrocketing from $50 million-a-year to nearly half a billion.

Daniel McGahn: We were going through exponential growth. It’s what every technology company wants to get to, is this high level of growth. We were there.

Then, in 2011, his engineers were testing the next-generation software in China on Sinovel’s turbines. The software had been programmed to shut down after the test but the blades didn’t shut down. They never stopped spinning.

Daniel McGahn: So we said why. We didn’t really know. So the team looked at the turbine and saw running on our hardware a version of software that had not been released yet.

Lesley Stahl: That’s when you realized.

Daniel McGahn: Realized something’s wrong. So then we had to figure out how did, how could this have happened?

To find out, he launched an internal investigation and narrowed it down to this man, Dejan Karabasevic, an employee of American Superconductor based in Austria. He was one of the few people in the company with access to its proprietary software. He also spent a lot of time in China working with Sinovel.

Daniel McGahn: And what they did is they used Cold War-era spycraft to be able to turn him.

Lesley Stahl: They turned him.

Daniel McGahn: And make him into an agent for them.

Lesley Stahl: Do you know any specifics of what they offered him?

Daniel McGahn: They offered him women. They offered him an apartment. They offered him money. They offered him a new life.

The arrangement included a $1.7 million contract that was spelled out in emails and instant messages that McGahn’s investigation found on Dejan’s company computer. In this one, from him to a Sinovel executive, Dejan lays out the quid pro quo, “All girls need money. I need girls. Sinovel needs me.” Sinovel executives showered him with flattery and encouragement: you are the, quote, “best man, like superman.”

Lesley Stahl: And did they say, “We want the– the source codes”?

Daniel McGahn: It was almost like a grocery list. “Can you get us A? Can you get us B? Can you get us C?”

Lesley Stahl: I’ve seen one of the messages, the text message, in which Dejan says, “I will send the full code of course.”

Daniel McGahn: That’s the full code for operating their wind turbine.

Dejan eventually confessed to authorities in Austria and spent a year in jail. Not surprisingly, the Chinese authorities refused to investigate, so Daniel McGahn filed suit in civil court — in China, suing Sinovel for $1.2 billion. But he suspected that China was still spying on his company, and that Beijing had switched from Cold War to cutting-edge espionage.

Lesley Stahl: So why were you brought in?

Dmitri Alperovitch: We were brought in because the attacks now continued in cyberspace.

McGahn hired Dmitri Alperovitch and George Kurtz, cofounders of a computer security firm called CrowdStrike, to investigate. They zeroed in on a suspicious email purportedly sent by a board member to 13 people in the company.

Dmitri Alperovitch: It had an attachment. A few people clicked on an attachment and that let the Chinese in. It was sort of like opening the front door.

Lesley Stahl: What do you mean they were in?

Dmitri Alperovitch: Once they clicked on that email and they opened up the attachment, malicious codes started executing on their machine and it beaconed out to the Chinese and basically let them right in to the company.

From that point they can hop to any machine and take any file that they wanted from that network.

By analyzing who the email was sent to, they were able to infer that the Chinese were after more than just computer codes.

Dmitri Alperovitch: They also wanted to figure out the legal strategy of the company now that they were suing Sinovel for $1.2 billion.

George Kurtz: Whenever there’s a big lawsuit we’ll see the Chinese government actually break into that company, break into the legal department and figure out what’s going on behind the scenes so they can better deal with that lawsuit.

Lesley Stahl: Now did you know at that time who had perpetrated the hack?

Dmitri Alperovitch: We were able to determine with great confidence that this was Unit 61398, part of the Chinese military that was responsible for this attack.

Unit 61398 is believed to be based in this nondescript building in Shanghai. It’s part of the People’s Liberation Army. And it’s charged with spying on North American corporations.

Dmitri Alperovitch: We estimate that there are several thousand people in this unit alone, this one unit.

Lesley Stahl: How active is this unit?

George Kurtz: It’s one of the most prolific groups that we’ve tracked coming out of the Chinese government. It’s unbelievable what they’ve been able to steal over the last decade.

Lesley Stahl: Like what? Give us a sense of the scope.

George Kurtz: Every industry, engineering documents, manufacturing processes, chip designs, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, you name it it’s been stolen.

In 2014, five military officers in the unit were criminally charged with economic espionage by John Carlin’s National Security division at the Justice Department.

John Carlin: These were officers in uniform and their day job was to get up, go to work, log on, and steal from a range of American companies. And you would watch, as we put in an exhibit in the case, the activity would spike around 9:00 in the morning. They get into work, turn on their computers, and start hacking into American companies. Then it calms down a little bit from about 12:00 to 1:00 where they take a lunch break.

Lesley Stahl: God.

John Carlin: And then it continues until the end of the day, 5 or 6 o’clock–

Lesley Stahl: And then they go home.

John Carlin: –at night. And then they go home, and it decreases ’till the next morning.

China has always denied that it conducts or condones economic espionage.

But in September during a visit to Washington, President Xi Jinping pledged for the first time that China would not engage or knowingly support cybertheft of intellectual property for commercial gain.

prez-xi-2.jpg
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama  CBS NEWS
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Dmitri Alperovitch: It’s the first time ever they’ve admitted that economic espionage should be off-limits and that they will not conduct it. Unfortunately, what we saw is that the very next day, the day after they were in the Rose Garden shaking hands, the intrusions continued.

Lesley Stahl: Wait, wait, wait, stop. The hacking has not stopped.

Dmitri Alperovitch: The hacking has not stopped. But one of the things that has happened is that the military units that have been responsible for these hacks have actually had their mission taken away from them and it was given to the Ministry of State Security, their version of the CIA. So, in effect, they said, “You guys are incompetent. You got caught. We’ll give it to the guys that know better.”

The director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center confirms that there is no evidence China has curtailed its economic espionage.

Lesley Stahl: There’s a lotta criticism out there among businessmen, and some people in the government, who complain that President Obama wags his finger at the Chinese but he doesn’t do anything.

John Carlin: Well I think it’s important that we do take, that we do take action. If we don’t do things like bring the indictment then we would be a paper, a paper tiger.

Lesley Stahl: You know, it feels like a pinprick, your indictment. They’re never going to be extradited. Is there talk of putting any sanctions on the way we did with Russia when they went into the Ukraine?

John Carlin: The bottom line I think has to be that we continue to increase the costs until the behavior changes. If it doesn’t change, then we need to keep thinking of additional actions, whether they’re trade actions or sanctions that change the behavior.

The government of China declined our request for an interview, but sent us this comment: “China has long suffered from massive cyber attacks …(and) firmly opposes and combats all forms of cyber attacks in accordance with law… groundless speculation, accusation or hyping up is not helpful…”

In Massachusetts, Daniel McGahn is rebuilding with much of his business now shifted to India. But adding insult to injury, Sinovel is now exporting wind turbines with his stolen technology, including one purchased by the state of Massachusetts using federal stimulus funds.

Daniel McGahn: So the U.S. government facilitated bringing the stolen goods into the U.S.

Lesley Stahl: And they’re here now?

Daniel McGahn: And they’re here now and it’s part of a–

Lesley Stahl: Up and running?

Daniel McGahn: Up and running.

Lesley Stahl: So Sinovel using the stolen source codes has sold wind turbines here in Massachusetts using to–

Daniel McGahn: –to the government of Massachusetts funded by the federal government of the United States of America.© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Lesley Stahl Lesley StahlOne of America’s most recognized and experienced broadcast journalists, Lesley Stahl has been a 60 Minutes correspondent since 1991.

What prevents China from hacking you and other individuals? How do you protect yourself against brain hacking? How do you prevent unauthorized brain chip implants that make brain hacking possible?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Misuse of a Biblical Doctrine

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The History of Christian Counseling and General Revelation

Samuel Stephens
Feb 23, 2018
Source: Biblical Counseling

Introduction

A movement cannot be rightly understood unless it is placed in the context in which it began and how it progressed – what we call history. History allows us to trace threads of ideas and themes through time. Within the movement and practice of Christian Counseling, a line of division surfaces as we look at sources of authority upon which counselors have depended through the years. This division occurs between biblical conviction and counseling practice. In this essay, I suggest that the integrative model of counseling, namely Christian Counseling, misses the mark concerning the search and identification of truth by abusing the biblical doctrine of general revelation. The field of Christian Counseling has consistently demonstrated a historical misrepresentation and biblical misapplication of this doctrine in an effort to provide a justification for the utilization of secular psychology.

What is Christian Counseling?

It is important to note that as a label Christian Counseling can refer to a wide spectrum of counseling approaches.1 A unifying drive of this counseling approach, however, is the effort “to integrate psychology and Christian theology.”2Everett Worthington defined Christian Counseling as:

[An] explicit or implicit agreement between a counselor who is a Christian and a client for the provision of help for the client, in which the counselor not only has at heart the client’s psychological welfare but also the Christian spiritual welfare.3

As a formative influence in the Christian Counseling movement, Clyde Narramore noted that “wise counseling requires that evangelical faith be carefully integrated with the theories, therapeutic methods and professional roles of the modern psychologies [emphasis added].”4 In his book Psychology and Theology, Gary Collins added, “The Christian who wants to understand and help change human behavior must have a good understanding of psychological techniques and knowledge in areas such as biological, cognitive, affective, social, and individual bases of behavior [emphasis added].”5 A theme found throughout Christian Counseling literature is an emphasis on the importance of professional credentials, the reliance upon social science, and a focus on assisting clients in overcoming spiritual maladjustments on their own.6

Integration: An Idea and Process

Christian Counseling cannot be fully understood without highlighting the concept and method of integration. According to John Carter and Bruce Narramore, Christian social scientists who study human behavior through the scientific method use the term integration to show a correlation between professional and scientific fields with Christian theology. They stated, “Most of these efforts are based on one essential philosophical underpinning—the belief that all truth is God’s truth, wherever it is found. This proposition is frequently referred to as ‘the unity of truth.’”7

Collins defined truth as “an abstract idea, a universal reality that exists and can be grasped by analysis or experimentation.”8 In the inaugural edition of the Journal of Psychology and Theology, Bruce Narramore argued that “the minister and psychologist are not the only ones caught up in this conflict. The theologian, the physician and the student of psychology and scripture all share concerns for the whole man. They know they cannot minister effectively if they neglect the contributions of related disciplines.”9 Within Christian Counseling, integration provided a clear path to discovering truth in which psychological science, in conjunction with Scripture, could present a “cohesive approach to the problems that confront us.”10

The Doctrine of General Revelation

Within the context of the broader Christian Counseling movement, general revelation has been used in such a way as to make available “pieces of truth that cannot be found in the Bible.”11 According to Bruce Demarest, general revelation had traditionally been “mediated through nature, conscience, and the providential ordering of history” for the sole purpose of providing “a universal witness to God’s existence and character.”12 Demarest continued, “Through the modalities of general revelation, man at large knows both that there is a God and in broad outline what He is like” (14). In the first volume of his Systematic Theology, James Leo Garett clarified, “‘General’ revelation is that disclosure of God that is available to all human beings through the created universe (nature) and in the inner nature of human beings (conscience).”13

Christianity has been recognized as a revelatory religion and some have gone as far as to say that Christian faith necessitates revelation. The doctrine of revelation distinguishes Christianity from pseudo-religions which have more in common with pagan philosophies.14The very concept of revelation also assumes the sinfulness of man and the fact that man is in spiritual bondage apart from God’s activity and self-disclosure. In Revelation and Reason, his landmark treatment on this subject, Emil Brunner noted that biblical revelation, both general and special, did not disclose “facts” or “something” but it unveiled and disclosed God himself.15

A Brief Biblical Witness

Psalm 19 and Romans 1 demonstrate the doctrinal significance of general revelation.16 In Psalm 19, King David exclaimed, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).17In his commentary on this psalm, John Calvin noted:

Scripture, indeed makes known to us the time and manner of the creation; but the heavens themselves, although God should say nothing on the subject, proclaim loudly and distinctly enough that they have been fashioned by his hands: and this of itself abundantly suffices to bear testimony to men of his glory.18

Not only did the heavens and sun address the glory of God, but each also revealed truth (Psalm 19:3). Peter Craigie noted that “as mankind reflects upon the vast expanse of heaven, with its light by day and its intimation of a greater universe by night, that reflection may open up an awareness and knowledge of God, the Creator, who by his hands created by glory beyond the comprehension of the human mind.”19

The New Testament contains a biblical witness to the doctrine of general revelation as well. Thomas Oden stated that a majority of theologians in the early years of Christianity agreed with the concept of general revelation as seen from the perspective of Paul in Romans 1­­–3 as the “universal revelation in the cosmos and human nature—along with a corresponding affirmation of human suppression of this revelation.”20 Romans 1:20 states that God’s divine characteristics “have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made . . . .”21See W. E. Vine and F. F. Bruce, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1971), 168. According to Vine, the Greek word translated understood (νοέω noeō) meant “to perceive with the mind, as distinct from perception by feeling.” The emphasis on understanding with the mind seems to demonstrate the clarity and purposefulness of God within the revelation of himself vis-à-vis creation.In his explanation of this verse, Dunn expounded upon the potential influences on Paul’s observations regarding revelation and truth:

[Paul] draws principally on influential Stoic ideas: that there is an innate rapport between the divine and the human because the divine logos immanent throughout the world is immanent also in man as the power of reason . . . however, it is Paul’s more Jewish perception of this divine relation which remains primary: what is known is an act of revelation personally willed by God (v.19b) in relation to a created order (v.20); and man is recognized as a responsible agent in face of this revelation . . . .22

Another New Testament scholar, Douglas Moo, generally agrees with Dunn’s assessment that general revelation was directed by God, revealed by God, and purposed to convey the glory and power of God. However, he viewed Paul’s presentation of truth in this passage, while derived from general revelation and accessible to both Jews and Gentiles alike, was still limited in scope. In itself, general revelation cannot provide salvation to sinners.23

Historical Perspective of General Revelation

The doctrine of general revelation has undergone scrutiny, served as the topic of debate, and has been used as a foundation for other church teachings.24Originating with Thomas Aquinas, theology came to be known as the queen of the sciences. Millard Erickson noted, “Until the thirteenth century, the term science was not applied to theology. Augustine preferred the term sapientia (wisdom) to scientia (knowledge).”25 As a scholastic theologian, Aquinas focused much of his philosophical musings on the idea of truth and knowledge, which included its definition, source, and purpose. He categorized truth in two realms one lower (nature) and one higher (grace). During the medieval period the church was in a unique dilemma where paganism and secularism, threatened the status of Christianity in the eyes of the common man. Instead of relying on Scripture as the authority of what is necessary for faith and practice, Aquinas chose instead to appeal to reason for an adequate defense of Christianity.26

From this effort, Aquinas formulated the concept of natural theology, which he later refined in his Summa Theologica. As defined, natural theology “is the attempt to attain an understanding of God and his relationship with the universe by means of rational reflection, without appealing to special revelation such as the self-revelation of God in Christ and in Scripture.”27Aquinas’ conclusion concerning natural theology was essentially a misguided attempt to create an apologetic from general revelation. This effect led the Catholic Church to place “Scripture and tradition next to each other” instead of recognizing the different natures, yet identical purposes, of special and general revelation.28Aquinas’ emphasis on the capability of man’s reason led theologians to view revelation as only necessary to explain “what is above reason.”29Therefore, Aquinas’ re-tooling of general revelation rested on two assumptions: first, that nature was wholly intact and yet only partially marred by the Fall of man (Genesis 3), and secondly that people had retained an integrity of reason and perception untouched by sin.

The Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century brought more developments to the doctrine of general revelation. However, instead of the parameters of this doctrine being expanded, it was narrowed. There was general consensus among Protestant theologians that man’s reasoning abilities were tainted and skewed by sin and thus were susceptible to error.30As early at 1524 A.D., Balthasar Hubmaier, a German Anabaptist theologian, published Eighteen Dissertations in which he included a section refuting a widely accepted view of general revelation. He wrote, “All teachings that are not from God are in vain and shall be rooted up. Here perish the disciples of Aristotle, as well as the Thomists, the Scotists, Bonaventure, and Occam, and all teaching that does not proceed from God’s word.”31This bold representation of general revelation was echoed by another well-known reformer, John Calvin. Calvin’s doctrine of sin, like that of Hubmaier, was sophisticated and took “into account that sinful men corrupt the gifts of understanding and scholarship God gives.”32The rationalism of natural theology committed error in that it denied man’s “dependence in our present state of sin upon God’s past revelations of himself.”33

While the Protestant Reformation brought about many positive changes, the adverse impact of natural theology continued on through the nineteenth century. In 1870 the Catholic Church “announced that God could be known with certainty from that which had been created through the natural light of reason.”34 The modern era of theological deliberation, from the late eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth century, was characterized as having combined the man-centered philosophies of the previous century with a broad interpretation of general revelation.

Theological Implications of General Revelation

The first theological implication regarding general revelation is in the categorization of theology as a “spiritual science” as opposed to a man-centered social science. By the late nineteenth century, the definition of science began to shift from an orderly, systematic study of a particular topic to becoming almost synonymous with the discovery of truth. Writing prolifically on the topic of science and spirituality, Abraham Kuyper noted that due to man’s sinful nature, the scientific method imposed upon the study of theology would invariably lead to error. In his Principles of Sacred Theology, he wrote:

Science is entirely different from truth. If you imagine our human development without  sin, the impulse to know and understand the cosmos, and by knowledge to govern it, would have been the same; but there would have been no search after truth, simply because there could have been no danger of relying upon falsehood as a result of investigation.35

Kuyper defended an idea of truth that inherently pointed to non-truth, while modern science depicted a “thirst after knowledge” which attempted to know everything that existed.36 Commenting nearly a century later on this topic, Carl F.H. Henry noted that it is hypocritical for modern science to demand that religion fall in line when the hard and social sciences constantly re-evaluate and re-assess the veracity of previous conclusions. A consistent characteristic of modern science is that it was always “subject to ongoing revision of its judgments.”37 Erickson agreed with Henry that sciences not based on biblical revelation could indeed err. As such, general revelation can only be accurately understood when held in distinction from man-centered disciplines. Millard Erickson stated, “In an attempt to be regarded as scientific, disciplines dealing with humanity [e.g. psychology] have tended to become behavioristic, basing their method, objects, and conclusions upon what is observable, measurable, and testable, rather than on what can be known introspectively.”38

A second theological implication behind general revelation is that it is distinct from the process and idea of scientific discovery. The Greek word ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis) is used throughout Scripture and is most often translated as revelation, which denotes “an ‘unveiling’ and hence a disclosure.”39 Despite this connection, general revelation has been consistently subsumed under the pursuits of modern scientific exploration. Regarding the use of general revelation by the Christian counselor and psychologist, Gary Collins stated, “He [God] has revealed this truth through the Bible, God’s written Word to human beings, but he also has permitted us to discover truth [emphasis added] through experience, through research investigation, and through the insights that come through reflection, observation, and the words of books and sermons.”40 David Penley disagrees with Collins’ conclusions citing that this is an inaccurate view of general revelation. Christians cannot justify utilizing the social sciences by claiming they fall under the category of general revelation. He noted, “General revelation is not God revealing new things to us. He is revealing things about Himself that He also has revealed through special revelation in the Scriptures.”41 A correct understanding of general revelation precludes that God is infinite and man is not. To know God, He must make himself known.42

Christian Counseling: Context and Ideology

In one of the most comprehensive texts in the field of Christian Counseling, Gary Collins mentioned that man’s discoveries of “truth” in general revelation must be consistent with the Bible as revealed truth; however, he did not concede that psychological theory and methodology were based on anti-biblical presuppositions. He further concluded that counseling becomes ineffective and limited when counselors “pretend that the discoveries of psychology, neuropsychology, psychobiology, human genetics, and related fields have nothing to contribute to the understanding and solutions of problems.”43In this final section of the essay, it will be demonstrated that Christian Counseling has adopted an unbiblical concept of general revelation in order to justify attempts at integrating secular psychological models with Christian theological approaches to soul care.

A Modern Approach to Soul Care

The endeavors of philosophy and psychology have, in many ways, intersected with theology and the Christian church regarding the dealings, purposes, nature, and solution to the “basic problems of human nature.”44The early integration of philosophy with theology culminated in pastoral counseling becoming dominated by a scientific and psychological model. Modern trends in pastoral counseling have set it apart from its foundation as the biblical care of souls. In 1956, William Hulme stated, “In former days, the pastor’s counseling was oriented in pastoral theology [anchored in Scripture]; today it centers on pastoral psychology. The impetus for this new movement has come more from the laboratories of the psychological sciences than from the scholarship of theologians.”45

Among Protestants, practical theology no longer covered matters related to soul care and counseling but focused only on topics including preaching, missions, evangelism, and church government. When faced with issues that practical theology did not answer, pastors referred their congregants to the “secular experts” for help and counsel.46Carter and Narramore noted that while liberal pastors functionally abandoned theology for psychology in this area of ministry, conservative pastoral counselors, who were in the minority, were unaware of “the contributions of psychology to the understanding of personality” and therefore lagged behind their counterparts.47 Soon a small number of Christian psychologists began calling all evangelical pastors and counselors to embrace one another’s methods, both biblical and psychological, in an effort to construct a holistic integrative approach to soul care that would be acceptable to clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, efficacious to patients who were emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ill, while still remaining unapologetically Christian.48 Eric Johnson considered the 1960s and 1970s the “golden age of integration” where many Christian psychologists, mental health workers, and counselors largely favored the integration of faith and psychology. The key figures at the forefront of the Christian counseling movement held to a strong conceptual view of integration. Johnson noted that the task of what he labeled as interdisciplinary integration “ostensibly involves reflection of the propositions of modern psychology and the propositions of theology (and the Bible) in order for Christians to end up with discourse that includes both theological and psychological propositions and that is logically consistent with Christian faith.”49In an attempt to integrate, those who held to this approach divided the “revelations” of the Christian faith into two distinct categories. Special revelation involved theology as disclosed in Scripture while general revelation allowed for the study of sociology and psychology by humans in order to “discover” truth.50. Others affirmed that psychology, as a “scientific discipline,” not only had more impact on the church than any other theory, except perhaps Darwinian evolution, but that as a human-centered field of study similar to theology, psychology could “offer a great deal toward an understanding of the human race.”51 In identifying the objective of Christian counseling, Collins stated, “As a counselor, you are a change specialist. Your job is to help people deal with the changes that come into their lives and make changes that will improve their lives.”52However, this change is inconsistent to the concept of “change” as presented within the Bible.

The Search for Truth

The question of the nature of truth serves as the impetus behind the psychologically-informed Christian Counseling movement. The goals and methods of Christian Counseling are concerned with both psychological and spiritual matters. Christian counselors and psychologists hold that the Bible, however useful for spiritual matters, never claims “to be a textbook on counseling” and “never was meant to be God’s sole revelation about people-healing.”53The logical conclusion of this claim on the nature and source of truth was expressed by Stanton Jones when he suggested that Christian counselors had a duty to their clients to share any knowledge of psychological theory they had in their possession. He also seemed to suggest that to withhold such knowledge would make the counselor not only irresponsible, but even negligent.54

Two related assumptions are shared by those who engage the integrationist approach to Christian Counseling. The first assumption is that God is the source of all truth. Carter and Narramore defend this assertion by stating that all disciplines share a basic unity of truth and this unity serves as the legitimate basis for all attempts at integrating the Christian faith with professional, clinical, and theoretical psychology. The view that Christian theology shares subject matter and philosophic jurisdiction with secular psychology leads them to conclude that God is the source of the truth found in these two often opposing sources. They claimed, “If we believe that God is the source of all truth, we assume that there is no inherent conflict between the facts of psychology and the data of Scripture [emphasis mine].”55

The second assumption generally held within Christian Counseling is that man is able to know/discover all truth. According to Collins, science serves as the vehicle for studying and making sense of the natural world (via general revelation). In essence scientific methodology provides an illumination into the teachings and truths of Scripture in a way that man can grasp. A Christian psychologist must be a solid student of both general and special revelation and “continually test his scientifically derived facts against the revealed truth of the Bible.”56 Larry Crabb conceded this point by stating, “The Two-Book View (which is the implicit view behind much current thinking on integration) elevates the conclusions of empirical research to the same level of decisiveness as the conclusions of biblical study.”57

Historical Misrepresentation

Christian Counseling perpetuates the historical misrepresentation of general revelation by equating scientific studies and empirical data with God-given revelation. Concerning the use of general revelation in related literature, Deinhardt noted:

The importance and theological soundness of the stance taken on it is virtually ignored in the Christian counselling [sic] literature, in spite of the fact that it has a key role in determining what materials are to be included in theories of counselling [sic] and what methodologies will be employed in counselling [sic]. Moreover, to the extent it is mentioned, it is typically done so in a manner not representative of traditional evangelical theology. Instead, “all truth is God’s truth” is often used as a theological catch clause so-to-speak whereby one can uphold biblical authority, while in good conscience adding in whatever other “truths” one might deem worthy from other sources.58

In agreement with this assessment, Jim Owen stated, “Although ‘Christian’ psychology claims to integrate Scriptural truth with ‘discovered’ (i.e., scientific) truth, integration is not occurring; Integration is virtually impossible. ‘Christian’ psychology sets aside the historical-grammatical method of interpreting Scripture and replaces it with a hermeneutic centered on pathology.”59Jones views special revelation as an exalted gift; however, it is insufficient in providing what counselors need to fully understand human beings. Modern psychology, provided to man through general revelation, offers “legitimate and strategic” aid in helping the Christian therapist better understand human nature.60

Admitting that not all Christian Counselors and integrationists have adequately represented general revelation, Mark McMinn and Clark Campbell stated that this doctrine was “more authoritative on issues left unaddressed in the Bible” including examples given such as “constructing microprocessors or treating bacterial pneumonia.”61However, general revelation, as previously mentioned, is never referred to as an ambiguous truth that was to be discovered by “reasonable” men.62 General revelation was provided to man by God for the purpose of revealing man’s inherent sin, guilt, and need for reconciliation to His Creator. Scripture, as special revelation, brings explicit clarity to this relationship.63Henry, Revelation and the Bible: Contemporary Evangelical Thought, 19. See also, Packer, Ferguson, and Wright, New Dictionary of Theology. Pinnock stated, “The two species of revelation stand together in a complementary relationship. We should not forget that God is the source of revelation in both cases, and that two types of revelation work together to the same goal” (585).

Theological Misapplication

Collins reimagines not only the historical but the biblical definition of revelation. His model “begins with the assumption that God exists and is the source of all truth. This truth is revealed through the Bible (disclosed truth) and nature (discovered truth).”64The biblical definition of truth is re-framed by Collins and Crabb in the form of expanded empiricism. Collins noted, “I would agree with Crabb that the Bible is our primary source . . . But the Bible does not claim to be a textbook on psychology. We can and must draw from nonbiblical sources if we want to intervene to bring about maximum change through counseling.”65

In his book, Psychological Seduction, sociologist William Kirk Kilpatrick argues that the good intentions of Christian integrationists often leads to the secular overtaking the sacred. He stated, “True Christianity does not mix well with psychology. When you try to mix them, you often end up with a watered-down Christianity instead of a Christianized psychology.”66 In differentiating Christian counseling from biblical counselors, Ed Bulkley noted that the “controversy centers on the issues of authority and the source of truth.”67 As has been shown, the misapplication of general revelation in order to affirm extra-biblical sources of truth is not a new concept when the Christian counseling movement was first conceived; regardless, as a movement, this approach was widely applied.68 Years earlier, Abraham Kuyper noted that truth that is scientifically established has come to be known as universally valid. However, Scripture never presents truth as a force that depends upon corporate agreement in order to retain its validity.69

Conclusion

While it is a vitally important biblical doctrine, general revelation has been at the center of theological debate throughout church history. Unfortunately, this doctrine has been often misrepresented leading to error regarding the nature, source, and application of truth itself. Through this essay, I have argued that those adhering to an integrationist approach to Christian Counseling have perpetuated an incorrect understanding of general revelation in an effort to utilize both secular psychology and Christian Scripture. Ultimately, integrative counseling functionally identifies and utilizes two different types of wisdom: one found in the Bible and one found in secular psychology.70 At the same time, modern soul care practices pay lip-service to the sufficiency of Scripture while simultaneously denigrating the inherent authority of the Word of God. A proper historical and theological understanding of general revelation recognizes not only its place as subservient to special revelation, but also that revelation is not synonymous with empirical inquiry, incidental discovery, or truth-making but instead demonstrates an active and purposeful unveiling of God’s nature and plan to those who are made in His image.

<a href="https://biblicalcounseling.com/multi_author/samuel-stephens/">Samuel Stephens</a>
Samuel Stephens

Samuel Stephens serves as the Director of Training Center Certification at ACBC.

How does one achieve true healing? How is “medicine” / drugs apart of healing? Or are drugs apart of addiction cultivation?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hacking Humans: How Neuralink May Give AI The Keys To Our Brains

Nov 18, 2020,07:40am EST

Jason Lau
Forbes Technology Council
Source: Forbes
Photo Source: Forbes

Chief Information Security Officer at Crypto.com, overseeing the company’s global cybersecurity and data privacy strategy. 

human brain and artificial intelligence concept
GETTY
Source: Forbes
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

When Elon Musk gave the world a demo in August of his latest endeavor, the brain-computer interface (BCI) Neuralink, he reminded us that the lines between brain and machine are blurring quickly.

Though Neuralink and BCIs alike are still likely many years away from widespread implementation, their potential benefits and use cases are tantalizing, especially as the technology eventually evolves from stage 1 applications, such as helping those with spinal cord injuries, to more complex ones, such as controlling multiple devices.

It bears remembering, however, that Neuralink is, at its core, a computer — and as with all computing advancements in human history, the more complex and smart computers become, the more attractive targets they become for hackers.

To be sure, the consequences of high-level hacking today are severe, but we’ve never before had computers linked to our brains, which seems a hacker’s ultimate prey.

Our brains hold information computers don’t have. A brain linked to a computer/AI such as a BCI removes that barrier to the brain, potentially allowing hackers to rush in and cause problems we can’t even fathom today. Might hacking humans via BCI be the next major evolution in hacking, carried out through a dangerous combination of past hacking methods?

To better understand how hacking the brain could happen, let’s first examine how the relationship between humans, computers and hacking has evolved over time.

1980s To Mid-1990s: Hacking Tech To Get Human Data

Though hacking has been around since the 1960s, the modern age started in the 1980s when personal computers — and then hackers — made their way into homes.

Hacking took advantage of new and emerging technology that was easily manipulated. Hackers’ treasure during this time was mainly personal and financial information, such as credit card details, and they leveraged technology to get it.

The 1992 film Sneakers — about a black box capable of breaking any encryption code, ensuring there were “no more secrets” — helped popularize and reveal some of the hacking techniques used at the time, such as infiltration, physical intrusion and backdoor access. During this time, computers were the conduit to human data.

Mid-1990s To Today: Hacking Tech Via Humans

As technology became more accessible, humans began storing more of their private, sensitive information within technology, which now held the keys to hackers’ treasure.

While the core theme of Sneakers was to use a black box to cryptographically decipher systems, social engineering was heavily used to gain access to the box — a tactic that has grown exponentially as hackers shift their approach. Instead of breaking into the technology itself, hackers began preying on the vulnerabilities of human behavior (the weakest link) to get into the tech we rely on to store our vital information.

This period has been dominated by phishing and all forms of social engineering — hackers’ psychological manipulation of humans to persuade them into doing the hackers’ bidding. During this period, humans have been the conduit to technology.

The Future: Hacking Humans Via Tech

Previous eras were defined by obstacles between hackers and their targets, which were in place due to the inherent physical disconnect between humans and technology. However, what happens when that disconnect between humans and tech is blurred? When they’re essentially one and the same?

This is a top security concern of BCI tech like Neuralink. The technology’s core promise — enabling the brain to communicate directly with computers — might also turn out to be its biggest security flaw. There would no longer be a separation between humans and computers that requires some form of authentication and judgment.

Should a computing device literally connected to the brain, as Neuralink is, become hacked, the consequences could be catastrophic, giving hackers ultimate control over someone.

If Neuralink penetrates deep into the human brain with high fidelity, what might hacking a human look like? Following traditional patterns, hackers would likely target individuals with high net worths and perhaps attempt to manipulate them into wiring millions of dollars to a hacker’s offshore bank account. Executives in boardrooms could be hacked into making decisions, resulting in significant financial consequences.

In a more alarming scenario, should a hacker take control of a large population of people, they could manipulate them to vote for a certain candidate, party or issue, covertly toppling governments and entire state infrastructures. And in the most severe scenario, hacking a Neuralink-like device could turn “hosts” into programmable drone armies capable of doing anything their “master” wanted. Autopilot software features in cars have already resulted in deaths; imagine what a hacked army of sentient beings could do.

Some Perspective

Though the above scenarios are far-fetched, and Neuralink may still be far off, it’s never too early to examine how the inevitable hacking could play out. Some experts believe that the singularity — the point at which artificial intelligence reaches that of human intelligence — will happen by 2045. And, as cybersecurity professionals know all too well, hackers are usually one step ahead of security protocols, so it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” they will attack a Neuralink-type device.

To be clear, technological progress is fundamental to human progress. It always has and always will be. BCIs hold tremendous potential for good. However, technological progress must be done thoughtfully, keeping in mind one critical aspect of the “human element” of security — ethics. I’m reminded of one of Sun Tzu’s strategic tenants, “悬权而动,” which says you should always “think deep and carefully deliberate” before you make your strategic move. Now is the time to develop a robust set of responsible big data, AI ethical frameworks and governance that companies must follow when developing such intrusive technology like BCIs.

Finally, for those aspiring to venture into the BCI space, I would like to leave you with some powerful words from chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who has had much of his career challenged by machines and AI: “We have free will, our machines do not. … We have to have human accountability, human ethics, built in from the start.”

Jason Lau, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Hong Kong
Jason Lau, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Hong Kong

Jason Lau is currently the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Crypto.com where he drives the global cybersecurity and information privacy strategy. Jason led his team to become the first cryptocurrency company in the world to have company-wide certifications in ISO 27001:2013, ISO 27701:2019, PCI:DSS 3.2.1 and to conform with the Cryptocurrency Security Standard (CCSS) and meeting the highest “Adaptive” tier of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and NIST Privacy Framework. Prior to this, Jason was a regional Cybersecurity Advisor at Microsoft, leading Microsoft’s cybersecurity and GDPR initiatives in Asia Pacific. Jason holds the title of Adjunct Professor of cybersecurity and data privacy at one of Asia’s leading business schools, and the regional lead, advisory board, co-chair and faculty member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Jason also sits on the advisory board of Tencent’s Finance Academy, advising on FinTech and cybersecurity ecosystem development in the region. Jason has over 20 years in consulting experience for Fortune 500 companies in the fields of management consulting, cybersecurity, IT governance, privacy and risk management, and holds certifications such as CISSP, CDPSE, CGEIT, CISA, CISM, CRISC, CIPP/E, CIPM, CIPT, CEH, CNDA, CSM, HCISPP and more. Jason was one of the first worldwide to achieve ISO27701:2019 Senior Lead Auditor and Senior Lead Implementer status, and is a ISO27001:2013 Lead Auditor a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP) and Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors (FHKIoD). Jason has won multiple awards including the “Cybersecurity Professional Award”, and “Outstanding Financial Technologist of the Year (Data Privacy)”, and voted a “Top 50 global thought leader and influencer on cybersecurity”, selected by industry peers into the “Global CISO 100” and most recently, Hong Kong Business Magazine Executive of the Year for Cybersecurity. Jason also sits on industry advisory groups and participates on various global security and privacy think tanks like the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, Centre for Information Policy Leadership (CIPL) and the Standing Committee on Technological Developments for the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong. Jason has over a decade in the Healthcare industry across 5 continents safeguarding highly sensitive Protected Health Information (PHI) for hospitals and healthcare providers, and is a certified HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Professional (HCISPP). Jason also sits on various industry committees on the ethical use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Jason holds a bachelor degree in engineering (Honors) and bachelor degree in commerce, and completed executive programs at Stanford and Harvard.

How do chips and brain hacking change the way we see intellectual property and personal privacy? Technology, medical marvels, machinery and human are increasingly blending and blurring lines. How do you impact the way you define humanity? What permissions are a must?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.