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An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,396

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Alix Jules is a Writer at Patheos Nonreligious. He discusses: secular communities and positive work; the proportion of African Americans who identify, not simply as secular, but as an atheist, in America; the slower trajectory for the black community compared to the white community in America in secularization; and communicating and socializing.

Keywords: Alix Jules, atheism, Catholic, intellectual trajectory, Patheos, secularism.

An Interview with Alix Jules on Background and Meeting an Atheist: Writer (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of the narrative or story provided before, or the personal ups and downs about the trajectory of world view, this has a lot of overlays. Some of them not necessarily stated explicitly, but they’ve come up in other conversations in personal journalistic work, for me, talking to other people in secular communities.

One of them has to do with the explicit and implicit bias, if not outright prejudice, against the secular from the nonsecular, from the religious. Sometimes, it can go the other way. That’s an internal conversation secular communities need to have about civility standards, providing dignity to even those one opposes.

However, in other conversations, we could find sectors of the secular community having conversations about inclusion, the inclusion of more women, the inclusion of more people of colour, not simply having the conversations, but actually doing things about it. In terms of American secular communities, for those who would like to help or include more people of colour, and more women, what would be a baseline recommendation? What has been some positive work that has been done?

Alix Jules: That is a tough one. I used to travel, talking about how we need to build bridges in the secular community. This was one of the first things I did in terms of outreach. My guidance then was first an explanation to these communities as to why it is so difficult to build these bridges.

Even though you’re an atheist- and you may be a white atheist, however you identify, ethnically- when you take a look at black atheists, or atheists of colour, and women, we still exist in a much broader context. This one thing that we share in common, may not be enough to bring us together. In fact, that’s what we’ve seen. If you consider that there was a much larger, much broader big-time atheist movement in the US. There’s been a lot of fracturing and factionalization.

I would argue, no, it’s just what someone would call “dividing lines” have been defining lines, all along. Just because you’re an atheist on those side of the tracks, doesn’t mean that you’re going to cross those tracks to come to see me. So, just saying that, “Hey, I’m an atheist now and we should all just come together and form a large community,” doesn’t work.

The first thing that I tell people is, “You’ve got to be cognizant of all the biases that still exist, even within your own community.” Even if we just say, “I’m a big atheist community.” But 98% are white males. That’s not necessarily inviting because there is the rest of who I am that is built, as a black person, or a person of colour, around the identity of being an atheist.

I have not been profiled in the US driving while being an atheist. I’ve been profiled driving while being black. I’ve been pulled over because I was black. I’ve been stopped in the street because I was black. I was followed in stores because I was black. I had to run away from groups of Confederate-wielding youth because I was black, not because I was an atheist. We have not addressed those issues within the larger context.

If you want me to meet you where you’re at, the first thing you have to do, not necessarily ideologically, but physically, is meet me where I’m at. You need, because of the issue of trust that just exists between these communities, plain black communities. Within those subsets, there are groups of atheists, humanists, et cetera.

First, you’ve got to break down that barrier, which in itself, is very difficult. You’ve got to show up on my other issues, what you would call “fringe issues” or what others have just called “identity politics”. Those “identity politics” allow me to vote, allow me to buy and purchase equally, allow me to scream and get heard when police are harassing me. That’s the first thing, is meet me where I’m at.

The second one is to realize that these what you call “fringe issues”, or what some call “fringe issues”, aren’t. They’re issues that define my humanity. I didn’t ask for them. I didn’t ask for them. I want them gone, as much as anyone else.

I often get into the discussion. “Why are we all so hung up on race? Race is a social construct.” Well, we live in a society. The beginning of the word “society” is S-O-C. It’s all a related social construct. It exists in society. We are social creatures. We are influenced by societal norms. You can’t say that you’re immune to them just because you’re an atheist.

Just like Christianity, there was magical thinking. In various religious thought and circles, there’s magical thinking. You can’t have the same magical thinking in the atheist community if you say that you are evidence-based. It’s incongruent. It doesn’t happen.

If you can look at me and say, “I understand that you have issues outside of Christianity, regardless of what the root cause is. If you take a big step back, yes, absolutely, in the beginning, when we take a look at how we even define what race is, you take a look at The Inquisition; how do we define bloodlines, and “the other”? Yes, it’s tied to race, but the racial construct is more tied to religion that most people will even acknowledge. Sure, I get that, totally.

But regardless of where it came from, where we are today being this is still my reality. Acknowledge the reality. You want to be an ally; you have to show up. Once you gain that trust, I’ll meet you where you want me to be.

2. Jacobsen: One thing pointed out to me. It was the notion, or the idea, or the reality of if in the African American or the black community in America, not religious, then not fully black, or African American. How does this play out in practical terms in the life of an African American male, or a black woman?

Jules: I can say that, for me, in my generation- I’m Generation X, if that means anything. Previous generations, it was infinitely more taboo to be non-religious. In fact, it was once you become a doubting Thomas, you become an Uncle Tom. That’s true.

We saw that in the ‘60s and ‘70s. You get a little bit of education from the white man. I’ll be blunt. You come back home and you’re doubting God. How dare you? It doesn’t matter who gave you the god. All those arguments just do not matter because the identity of being black, or African American, in the United States, is so tied to religion. It’s Moses. It’s Harriet Tubman. Her story is tied to lore, of course, or the meso-self of the Bible and the Christian Moses.

The fact that so much of the civil rights movement itself was enabled, to a certain extent, by black churches. Of course, you had really strong secular influences, as well, that just never got the attention as secular influences. It was “brethren so-and-so”, “pastor so-and-so”. We can’t ignore the truth that the church has played a galvanizing force in the African America community for so long. You just can’t undo that.

I think that was generational. “You say that you don’t believe. I say that you’re not black.” I think that’s changed. I think we’re changing. I think a lot of what we’re seeing, in the US anyway, is an artefact of the black civil rights movement, where we are beginning to see, even in the streets when there were significantly more protests, or significant more coverage regarding the protests.

I would talk to young organizers and they would tell me, “God hasn’t done anything for me. The church isn’t here. They’re not doing anything. Why would I believe in that?” So, there are challenges that we’re seeing with the younger generation, the Millennials and younger, that show a significant dip in religiosity in the African community. It’s significant. Even if it’s single-digit, 5%, 8%, 9%, that’s pretty significant given that when you take a look at their cohorts in different strata.

Whites, we’re seeing 70% religiosity, 30% “nones” or atheists, if you lump it all together. Even the Hispanic community was actually more or less secular than the white community. What we saw, at least if you use solid polls, is within the African American community, we saw about a 95% of the African American community identified as being heavily religious. That’s changed. It’s below 90%. I think it’s 80-something percent. That’s a big change. That’s a big shift.

The churches we still have, obviously, they’re strong church groups. That’s not going to go away but we’re not seeing the coherence to that identity as much. It is loosening. That, right there, has also, in the US, played a role in why we’ve seen it be so sticky. When you had your identity taken from you, stolen from you, and a new one given to you, or you created one and even the one that you created, you were told was ugly, and lazy, and dumb.

Again, many of those are Christian sentiments from the past and the South in the US that were just pushed onto the negro from about the 1600s all the way through to Jim Crow. It’s the reason why those stereotypes still exist, this identity that African Americans were able to cohere. Identity is complex. It just stuck. Yes, black is beautiful but black also includes this. Fortunately, we’re seeing that black identity is no longer monolithic. It’s wonderful.

3. Jacobsen: What would be the proportion of African Americans who identify, not simply as secular, but as an atheist, in America?

Jules: I think it’s still less than 1% It’s been a while since I looked up the numbers but it’s hovered around the 1% to 2%. It’s going to be low. It’s going to be low, but the ones that identify as “nones”, or say that– I think we’ve reached a tipping point in the US, as a whole, where secularism is just becoming significantly more wide-spread.

We are seeing the lashing out from the other side, especially the evangelical movement. They’re not happy about it. I don’t believe it’s in the death throes. I think we still have a few generations of them being there, but white evangelical children are not going to church anymore. They’re just not.

As that becomes more common, I think we’ll see more of that on the African American side. It’ll be slower but as those numbers really begin to dip, I think you’ll see more people identify as atheist. Even if they won’t call themselves atheist, they’ll know that they are. Just like me. I stayed in that bubble for years.

4. Jacobsen: Why is that trajectory slower for the black community compared to the white community in America?

Jules: I think one of them is the need for the church. The church has been there for childcare. It has been there for education. It’s been there as a safe haven. There’s a lot of reasons why the church exists in some communities, as well. Good and bad comes with the church.

The idea of community itself is necessary with the church. You have the moms. You have the grandmas, the aunts. “We’re going to see you in church, right? I’m taking her to church.” Continuously. It’s a conveyor belt system, to that extent. [Laughing]

Just wanting to continue to be part of that community. That community has, in numbers, been able to push the needle on civil rights movements where no other driving, massive force has. It is still going to be a little bit.

Jacobsen: I’m out of questions. I’m trying to think of another one.

Child: Dad.

Jacobsen: Is that your kid?

Jules: You heard that. Yes. She just ran in from one room to the other.

Jacobsen: Kids are almost like apparitions, sometimes. They just go in and out.

Jules: Yes.

5. Jacobsen: Aside from internal demographic, and inclusion, and dignity issues, and civility issues of the secular communities in North America, how can secular people, for want of better terminology, learn, potentially, some better social skills in communicating, in socializing, and in interacting with those who harbour more supernatural sentiments than them, in public, and in private? This has come up as an issue in some commentary.

Jules: I don’t know that there is a lot of work outside of the human dignity piece that is going to drive people together. One of the problems with not being able to bridge that first. If an outside group comes knocking on a black door, you wind up having the concerns about a white saviour. “Why are you here? Why are you trying to deconvert me? Why are you doing this?” Again, the trust issue is a significant issue. “Why are you trying to sell me this?”

Regardless of the fact that you were sold on the opposite message by the same person, or your core belief system. That’s really difficult. I think it still winds up being interfaith issues or interfaith initiatives. If you can find the white youth in the US, some of them- I know a lot of atheists have issues with churches and their acceptance of magical thinking, or just the acceptance of everyone, but those wind up being really fertile grounds for cross-cultural communication and “contamination”, in the best way.

I will drive down in some areas around here and I will see a huge “black lives matter” banner out front on the church. I already know that’s a UU church, right there, and they’re at least 70% white. I walk in there. Maybe it’s 90% white, but they’re taking the initiative to roll out the carpet and say, “Number one, I hear you. Number two, I acknowledge what’s going on. Three, if you want a place to be, here I am.” That’s something that UUs, Unitarian Universalists, have done well.

In fact, I guess it was in Ferguson, and during the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri, after the Michael Brown murder, and then again in Baltimore, after the Freddie Gray murder. The people that are out there, if they were white, they usually were carrying a UU pin or UU banner. If you are able to get close to them and build enough bridges there, sometimes it comes.

I have got a very quick story. A few years ago, we did- it was The North Texas Food Bank. They had what was called a “full on faith” week, where they would invite all these churches to work at the food bank and package food and ship food, et cetera.

One of my colleagues, Dr. Zachary Moore, found out about it, and said, “Wait a minute. Why aren’t we doing this as well?” He reached out to them. They said, “You’re not really a church. You’re faithless. It’s like, “Yes, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t do exactly the same thing. It’s not that we aren’t without charity, without motivation. We’re humanist as well.”

The first event that we went to, I want to say there were maybe 30 people that showed up, which I thought was a great number. We were there and we were mixing it up with other- Christians. Maybe five people, one person, in particular, asked me, “What church are you with?” I explained the organization that I was with. I said “atheist” and “humanist”. She said, “I’m not familiar with that denomination.”

Jacobsen: [Laughing]

Jules: Right. Exactly. I enjoyed the internal giggles for about a good 15 minutes, maybe, but as we worked together, as we were bumping into each other and helping each other, at the end of that, we were, “Where do we learn more about you all?” They had questions. I was probably one of the only black atheists there. There were maybe one or two more.

Even the black church members were very generous and wanted to talk. Some of them kept in contact. One of them is no longer Christian. She was like, “I knew I had questions but I didn’t know who to ask.” That’s one person that was able to leave religion and say, “It’s not that I hate religion. It’s just I don’t need it for what I thought I needed it for.”

That’s a great example of bumping into people doing service, and just being out where people are and having an atheist spin, a human spin. You don’t necessarily need to be competition. You just need to show them that you’re there, and you’re there to help. Sometimes it just takes that much, or at least, that’s a good first step.

6. Jacobsen: I think that’s a perfect place to end on. Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Alix.

Jules: You’re very welcome. It was fun. [Laughing] I get to go back. It’s been a very long work day. I was like, “Wait. What’s going on?” [Laughing] This was good, thank you. I appreciate the conversation.

Jacobsen: It’s one drop at a time.

Jules: All right. Yes, absolutely.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Writer, Patheos Nonreligious.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 8). An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Alix Jules on American Secular Communities, Positive Work, Secularization of Communities, and Communication (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/jules-two.

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Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 4,037

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Pascal Landa is the Founder and President AAVIVRE (Association qui Accompagne la Volonté des Individus a Vivre selon leur Ethique – Association that Accompanies the Will of those wishing to Live according to their personal Ethics). He discusses: early life, or his superhero origin story, some more.

Keywords: AAVIVRE, dying with dignity, early life, euthanasia, France, religion, right to die, Pascal Landa.

An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More: Founder and President AAVIVRE (Association qui Accompagne la Volonté des Individus a Vivre selon leur Ethique – Association that Accompanies the Will of those wishing to Live according to their personal Ethics) (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Pascal Landa: To backtrack a little bit. While I was the President of AAVIVRE, which I founded five years ago, I wrote two booklets. One is a new self-deliverance booklet in which I explain clearly, with all the precautions and so forth, about life being precious, that how, if one wants to end his life, he can do it easily, safely and with no investment. It is not difficult to do that.

I detail what we call “the plastic bag method” originally promoted by Dereck Humphry. It is the method where you inhale your own carbon dioxide which puts you into a deep coma and in a matter of generally less than an hour, kills you. The advantage of that is that everybody can get a plastic bag. Everybody can get a scarf to put it around your neck for comfort and scotch tape to make sure it is held in place. Everybody can take sleeping pills, which you do beforehand so that you are sure to sleep throughout the process.

The nice thing about it is when you take the bag off the person’s head, he looks like he is just gone to sleep and had an easy death. What is most important about that method is that most people are horrified about it, and that is essential because of those people who are horrified are clearly not people who are in a phase of their life where they are facing the fact that their life needs to end.

If you are facing, either through pain, or loss of consciousness, or knowing that you are going to be completely debilitated, you are no longer worried about the plastic bag. You are worried about being sure to end your life. I only sell the book to people who are members of an association affiliated to the World Federation of Right to Die with Dignity and any profit is used to finance the movement.

I have observed that experience myself many times while accompanying people. Frankly, the fear that you have of not being able to breathe is not right at all. You breathe easily. You are breathing your own carbon dioxide, but you are breathing and there is NO suffocation. You go progressively. First, you go into sleep because you have taken the right number of pills to go long-term into deep sleep. Then your breath becomes shorter and shorter until you are into a deep coma and you die.

That is good for people who can still manipulate things enough to be able to do that process, but it is not good for those people who are paraplegics, who are unable to physically handle their own lives. Therefore, the law is still needed for those who want or need to be assisted. In the last 35 years, I have spent probably 25 years saying we need a law called “the right to die with dignity law”.

Finally today, I have become aware that we were going the wrong path for legislation. We were going the wrong path because the opponents to our movement oppose us on two principles. The first principle is that a society of persons is a contract between people who live together. One of the foundation stones of that contract is, “Thou shalt not kill.” If we want a law that says we can kill, we are obviously stepping into the mouth of the wolf who is then able to say, “This is not the right way to go.”

However, there is a good way to go. The good way to go, as far as I am concerned, and particularly in Southern European mentalities, which are emotional rather than rational. Latins are a different type of society than the puritan, rather logical and strict mechanical societies that we know in America, in Australia, in England. In France and in Italy and in Spain, the mentality is such that- and it is not just playing on words. It reveals the real basic issues that rule those societies.

The right path is to write a law for the irreversible medical acts. Know that in France, one specialist out of two every year, gets attacked in court. One generalist out of ten, every year, gets attacked in court. All of that is because the powers of the medical profession have been trying to sell us the idea that medicine is a science, which it is not.

Medicine is not a science by the simple fact that drugs that operate on you and drugs that operate on me are going to act differently. We are, each of us, individuals. We are, each of us, different. So the act of medical caring is not just a mechanical process of distributing drugs or operating. It is primarily a human adaptation and accompaniment process. We know that psychology also plays a large part of human well-being or not well-being. Thus medicine is an art.

If we understand that medicine is an art, then we cannot guarantee the results. If we cannot guarantee the results, then we need to have a process when we do a medically irreversible act. A codified process for the amputation of an arm, a leg, the extraction of part of a liver, the extraction of whatever it is, the replacement of a heart ….something that irremediably changes a person’s life.

Several things qualify an “irreversible medical act”. One is that the person is going to change his life fundamentally, for the rest of his life. We need social accompaniment, but a doctor is not a social worker. We need a social accompaniment of that process. We need to guarantee that a diagnostic of the doctor is a good diagnostic. That means that we need to have a second opinion that confirms the first opinion. “This is what is going on and this is what the problem is.”

The third thing is we need to be able to offer, as a professional medical practitioner, a large set of solutions. One is to do nothing. The other is to amputate. The third is to try to treat with drugs but with the risk of having gangrene and dying. Et cetera.

One of the options that doctors often must face is there is that there are no treatment issues to your problem. I am thinking of sicknesses such as those in which you die of suffocation because your lungs cannot do it anymore, which are terrible deaths, or those in which you cannot control the pain anymore because drugs do not work. Despite all the false data and the statements of lobby paid researchers, we know that about 5% – 6% of painful situations cannot be dealt with at end of life. In those situations, one of the options must be assisted medical dying.

Who are we to say when is the right time to say, ‘Deciding to die is the right option?” I am sure you would not want me to tell you when it is the right option for you. I can tell you that I do not want you to tell me what the right option for me. In fact, I want to protect you so that you can also decide that until every single cell in your body is dead, you are alive, and you want medical treatment. That is fine for you. But it is not fine for me.

Me I want the law to state that in a medical process of the irreversible act, that if a certain protocol is followed that guarantees all of the protection of the individual, then we should be in a situation where I can ask for medically assisted dying, and you, the doctor, can give me that prescription or do the actual injection if I choose it. That must be one of the options for care at end of life.

This is what happens in Switzerland. When you go to Switzerland, you provide a medical record that shows that you are in a terminally ill situation of one way or another. It doesn’t have to be terminally ill in the next six months. It just must be terminally ill. But remember, life is a terminal illness. We are all going to die. If we are in a situation where that is the case, and if the patient is not mentally disturbed, and is capable of making concious decisions, then he can choose to have a doctor prescribe a death giving cocktail, but only the patient can “open the valve” or drink the substance. It does not work for those who cannot even move a finger.

I am thinking of, for example, the young man who says, “She has left me. Life is no longer worth living because my sweetheart has left me,” or vice versa. Those kinds of situations are psychological situations where the person has not the required perspective to decide to die. We need, as a responsible society, to be able to determine those cases. Yet we must also be able to say, “You have the right to decide what is a life worth living and what is a life not worth living.” Only a well-codified process can allow this.

You should be able to die with your friends around you. I know a lot of people who like to play cheerful, joyful music. I have friends who said to me, “Pascal, I want you to drink champagne on the day of my death because it is the end of my life and I think everybody should celebrate the fact that I have had a good life.”

To make a long story short, I think that is one of the rights that we will have to recognize, and it is being recognized by more and more people. Unhappily, there’s a lot of issues with the way it is being recognized. For example, in America, they want you to sign off a list of situations in which you say you want to die. That is stupid. The one thing we know is that we do not know when or in what context with what situation we are going to die.

In the French law today, we have been able to get the right for terminal sedation under specific circumstances, and more importantly, the right for a person to say that he is not willing to accept certain types of medical treatment. That includes force-feeding and all treatments that do not pertain to his total recovery. But you can never anticipate, so anticipated directives, as we call them, are just a philosophical statement to guide the persons around you as to how you would like to end your life.

The real key is having somebody who is your person of confidence, a person with whom you have talked and who is going to be a valid person to talk with for the medical profession because the medical profession facing somebody dying has got a huge problem. The huge problem is that he can act like a professional, but he is being asked to make decisions as if he was the person. These are two different roles that require a dialogue and cannot be assumed by a single person.

What he needs is he needs a person to talk to. Often, the patient is no longer able to communicate correctly. What he needs is for the patient to have named somebody who is a person of confidence, who has his full confidence, and who is able to adjust the patient’s will to the real situation.

The real situation could be a car accident and to find yourself in a coma. Do we decide, because you marked on the questionnaire, “I do not want artificial respiration”, that we should decide to let you die? Even though if we give you artificial respiration for three weeks or even two weeks, you’ll be able to recuperate fully and then he’ll be able to live? NO!

We need to have somebody who is fully conscious, fully aware of the person’s wishes and desires, of course, and who can speak for the person. That seems to me more important than anticipated directives.

We must avoid, also, the bad path that codifies what the medical professional one has to do the multiple response questionnaire. Do you want us to do this? Do you want us to do that? Do you want us to do this?” That is ludicrous because the situation is in constant evolution. Those questionnaires only pertain to things that are black and white, but life is not black and white. Life is always specific to the individual, specific to the case at a moment in time.

Exchange and participation are essential. We know, for example, that a person going to see a doctor, when the doctor talks with him and has an exchange, he has 30% more chance of recovery than a person who doesn’t talk to his doctor because medical care is a mutual trust space between a practitioner who knows medical practices and a patient who knows himself. We also know that it reduces costs by 30%, as well, which is an impressive amount.

Last, of all, I think one of the important things we need to keep in mind is that end of life today represents somewhere between 60% and 80% of all medical expenses during your whole lifetime. That means that the end of life is big business for some people. We cannot let financial big business interests be above concerns for that a person that is supplicating that he wants to end his life because he has had enough, enough of suffering, enough of mental torture, enough of seeing those around him suffer, et cetera.

As a responsible society, we also must remember that a person who is in a situation of sickness or end of life, has tremendous pressures from external sources, the wife that tells the doctor, “I want you to keep him alive by all means because as long as he is alive, I am getting my pension. The day he dies, I get nil.” Or the kids who say, “Speed him up. I want to get that inheritance. I can use the money dads got better than he does. Look at what condition he is in.” I just gave examples, but there are millions of motivations.

As a responsible society, we must have a law that saves the individual from torture by the medical industry. End of life people today are test grounds for lots of medications. That is not acceptable unless the person says it is okay but often, they never ask the person or omit this experimental aspect for a proposed treatment.

Today in France, 30,000 people die because doctors, mostly by compassion, help them die. Even that is not acceptable because, first of all for 1% or 2%, we question the fact that is the right decision, but more important, is that they never asked the opinion of the person concerned, and there is no reason we should allow this, it’s like playing “god”. When you do not have the agreement or request of the person, it is called murder. If you ask the person and the person wants it, it is called assisted dying and compassion. Two different concepts.

The other reason is that as a society, we cannot let the medical profession be attacked permanently because people think that medicine is a science and not an art. If we develop a the protocol that protects the medical profession, we’ll find more and more medical professionals having human compassion, human interest in their patients, and doing their job which is helping us to live as well as we can, as long as we can, and in a state that is compatible with an individual’s will to live.

I think I have covered the three basic subjects. My own personal life is not interesting in all this except to say that perhaps I started this movement when I was 30, replacing my father as president of the association in France, and that I have done a successful IT career as an international director of IT while continuously being an active member of the right to die with dignity movement in France and internationally.

That shows that I am not interested in glamour. I just want that law, some day or another, to be enacted. I wrote a book on how to write your personal directives and how to designate the person of confidence so that people can read that book and know how to do that because it seems to be a difficult thing for people to do. It is a book written in French and if you turn the book around, it is in English because I am both a French and English speaker.

I think I have covered the law in France today. In 2005, the law allowed recognition for anticipated directives and the fact that a person you choose “personne de confiance” (person you trust) could be more important than the family as advice for the medical profession.

In 2016, it reinforced the law and said, “Directives are now an obligation for the medical profession and the person of trust is still an advisory, but a much more an important advisory than it ever was stated before.” Otherwise, the law used to say, “We cannot kill people. We can just put them in terminal sedation.” The 2016 law said, “Terminal sedation, the doctor does not have to wake up the patient regularly to check that he is not killing him.”

But terminal sedation today, as practiced in France, can take one day to one month, depending on the state of health of the individual. We think that is totally unacceptable. It is unacceptable for the individual because we cannot say that he is not suffering. It is unacceptable for the family and those around them because we know that they are suffering. We can see it clearly.

There’s still a long way to go but I think this road must pass through a protocol for irreversible medical acts and not a law for directing doctors on how we can kill people when they choose it. That will neither be accepted by the doctors, nor by the religious people, nor by the basic community, even though 90% of the French citizens all say, since about 30 years now, that they want legislation for the right to die with dignity.

Dying is not an easy thing. I am in the middle of writing a book on how you live the best way the last part of your life. Living at the end of your life is a tremendous adventure. At the end of your life, one of the things that happen, whether we like it or not, is you can no longer lie to yourself.

All our lives, we can lie to ourselves, and say, “Life, it is going to continue. I am not going to die,” or any other lies that we do for ourselves, but the one thing that you can no longer do when you are nearing death is you can no longer lie to yourself. That is a period when you can do a lot of progress in your own mentality and on your own awareness of life.

It is too bad you do not do it beforehand. So many people would rather act like the ostrich and keep their heads in the sand until the moment arrives. That is not acceptable, for me. If somebody else wants to live that way, I have no objections. A corner stone of the right to die movement is: We are not asking that others live the way we want to, we are just asking that we be able to live the way we want.

We defend also the person that wants to live until the last second of the last cell that survives in his body. One of the things that I wanted to do at one point was to attacked the state because in today’s life, today’s scientific community knowledge about organisms and their way of living, we are able to grow meat, we are able to grow skin, we are able to grow organs, we are able to create stem cells out of any other cell in the body. We can now, very recently, replace parts of the DNA. In fact, we could say that we shouldn’t ever let anybody die. We could keep a body alive forever. Is living being just a body and the cells that function? We do not think so.

An important issue that is being raised today by the right to die with dignity movement is what is the real meaning of life? Is the real meaning of life having cells that are alive or is the real meaning of life that of being conscious, being able to love, being able to have emotions? Those are the real questions that we must deal with as a society.

Do you have any other questions?

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder and President AAVIVRE (Association qui Accompagne la Volonté des Individus a Vivre selon leur Ethique – Association that Accompanies the Will of those wishing to Live according to their personal Ethics).

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 8). An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Pascal Landa on Early Life, Some More (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/landa-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

 

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,400

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders and Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Global Secular Humanist Movement, and a columnist for Free Inquiry. He discusses: stories, religions, cultural differences, and science.

Keywords: Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Global Secular Humanist Movement, Ideas Beyond Borders.

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences: Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Three)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Also, Mohammed’s story in another respect, in a minor way. It is teaching Canadians that they also have secret service.

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: It is important to know about CSIS. I did an interview with her. I quoted this part of the interview as the title. It is a beautiful quote. Most Canadians do not know about it. It is important to know in a similar way.

For instance, by analogy, when people used to talk about these pseudoscientific categories of race, in terms of Caucosoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid, they were shown relatively clearly as pseudoscience in a similar way as Phrenology in psychology.

It is the ‘science’ of bumps on the head corresponding to traits of an individual such as intelligence or various personality aspects. In evolutionary theory, if you look at geographies over time, what they talk about more is, traits in a species that differ geographically along a gradient.

Those are called clines. I think in a similar way. It is looking at the stories common to us all. It is just the different ratios you’re going to get in different parts of the world. So, it is not going to happen as much in Canada. But it is going to happen in Canada.

Al Mutar: It already happened in Canada few times. There are definitely chances that it is going to happen more. Despite the signs of the world getting better, less poverty, less hunger, and so on, I do not see signs of extremism declining.

I would argue political extremism and polarization is on the rise.

Jacobsen: I agree.

Al Mutar: In Europe, you can see parties. Marine le Pen is in the parliament. You can see Jeremy Corbyn with the Far Left in the Labour Party openly saying crazy things. That can be perceived as antisemitic by many people.

While Canada remains a beacon of hope in some regards, the UK was a beacon of hope for many years. But it is not working well for them right now. There’s nothing in Canada that makes it immune to being a crazy place.

I have been to Canada many times. Yes, because of their geography and America being on South of them, it is different than America having South America on the South of them. It makes them an obscure place. They Canada enter Canada without a visa.

It puts them in a position that attracts fewer individuals from other parts of the world. They are lucky in that regard. But I do not if there is anything in Canada that makes them immune from really going through the deep end in terms of extremism.

Canadian is not that different from American DNA.

Jacobsen: You could have someone moving from Nova Scotia to Iqaluit. They are cranky because they are cold.

Al Mutar: [Laughing].

Jacobsen: “There’s not even a Tim Horton’s, eh? I don’t even know” [Laughing].

Al Mutar: Especially in big cities like Montreal or Toronto, or Vancouver, they look as American as they can get.

Jacobsen: Yes, different labels of companies and corporations.

Al Mutar: Yes, very similar, almost the same thing, it is almost the same diversity. I would say Vancouver is more Asian than the rest.

Jacobsen: The closer you get to Richmond for sure.

Al Mutar: That has always been my hypothesis, in a way, for extremism or resentment. Canada compared to America has a better welfare system. With the recent migration, Justin Trudeau accepted many Syrian refugees.

Jacobsen: That started with Brian Mulroney at quarter of a million per year.

Al Mutar: Many of the Syrian refugees, not negatively but, coming from the different country will not see the welfare system as a welfare system but as a way of life. As a result, it is possible that many will use the welfare system.

Because many are refugees and need time to move up in the economic ladder. As a result, the people who pay taxes in Canada will be angry. I can see that happening a lot in Scandinavia. Every time I go there and call a friend from Sweden or Denmark, social welfare is above what I would consider normal.

There is a lot of resentment from many Danish citizens, Norwegian citizens who say, “I work my ass off all the time. I pay 50% income tax,” which is crazy already and in America 30% considered insane.

“Then I am guaranteed this social contract. I will get education for my son. My neighbours’ sons will get an education. We have a social contract in which we help each other out. They are homogeneous. They know each other. They help each other. They form the social contract.”

Then there are people coming from different culture who do not even know the social contract. Because of the cultural difference, they will say, “I can live and not work for $5,000 per month. Cool!”

Especially in this age of polarization, they do not see themselves as part of the social contract. They see themselves Syrians who think, “Why the fuck should I pay for other people at 50% of my income? Why am I doing this? I do not know anybody. Most of my friends are Syrians. Why am I paying into this system?”

I am afraid Canada will have the same problem. That many Canadians will think, “I am working my ass off all the time. I am barely able to buy a house, maybe not even an apartment or condo. Then there are people who come from overseas and who do not pay taxes and then live on welfare.”

That is the right-wing rhetoric. There are many refugees who do not live on welfare. I am an Iraqi refugee myself. I do not live on welfare. I have a salary. I pay taxes as well. But that is the stereotype of living on welfare. They (the right-wing) can find examples that they can utilize. I am afraid that rhetoric will gain steam in Canada.

Where if you give Canada 10 or 20 years, you might have a Far Right party.

Jacobsen: It is usually 10 years after the US. There was a split with the People’s Party of Canada founded by Maxime Bernier splitting off the Conservative Party of Canada of Andrew Scheer.

Al Mutar: Yes, also, centre-left will be considered right-wingers by the far-left and centre -right will be considered cucks by the far-right [Laughing].

Jacobsen: It will be more egregious in America. We know the ‘news networks’ that will use that as political ammo for a right-wing narrative. In Canada, we have some similar ones. But they are too obviously bombastic and not big enough.

As well, Fox News tried to get a branch over here. It didn’t turn out well [Laughing]. It didn’t start. That kind of sentiment, at least among the portion of North American and Western European examples.

But it can be stoked by fanning those flames in, back to the example, Canada. I see some of it being used. For instance, there was a young Canadian woman. She was murdered by a refugee. So, that was used as a news story to demonize Syrian refugees as group.

One person does it. Therefore, the group is bad, which is the basis of xenophobia.

Al Mutar: Yes, I am afraid some of these groups will do it. Then we will face some bad consequences.

Jacobsen: Back to clines, gradients, as the analogy of phenomena, there are human universals. There are different ratios of people’s experiences. You lived in a liberal household. Yasmine Mohammed lived in a more fundamentalist household, especially with her mom. Honey I Married a Jihadi, basically [Laughing].

Al Mutar: [Laughing] yes.

Jacobsen: The experience of people. To bridge the gap with telling the stories across the language, culture, and religion divide, a good way to do this. It is looking at your own experience in 2010 of fear simply through going onto a religion forum or fora.

It is similar to the founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France, Waleed Al-Husseini, when he was in Palestine territories. He was in a coffee shop because he didn’t want to be home writing these blogs.

He got fond out and placed into a military tribunal and tortured for several months. I think the more common example, in either case of Canada or Palestine or others throughout the MENA region, is the social bullying, being afraid.

Al Mutar: Yes.

Jacobsen: People who are openly secular in Canada. If they work in a student union, in a campus, in a profession, if they are in a church community but lost their faith, they will undergo social bullying in the family, the community, at work, and in the school.

Those stories bridge the gap. A similar phenomena of bullying – public humiliation and so on – to prevent them from being open about their own beliefs. With the barrier, in the extreme cases, with death threats and actions following them, which make the threats legitimate, for the most part, there is the big hunk of sameness.

Al Mutar: One of the reasons why I prior to starting IBB that I started the Global Secular Humanist Movement was to make the people share stories of how much suffering they’re facing or persecution from different parts of the world and make them connected to each other.

People really realizing how they can inspire each other. The ways people can inspire each other. I get emails many times, mostly from individual from the Middle East but also from the West. They say, “Faisal, I saw what you have been through. You have courage to go through what you went through. You are inspiring me to do this for other people and pay it forward. Also, I am not afraid now.”

I always get questions from ex-Muslims in the region, who I always happy mentor. I have 5 activists who I always mentor on how to be safe. I always get the question, “So, my cousin saw me drinking beer. Should I apologize to him and say I will never do it again? Or should I own it?”

I try to listen to them and see their situation, ask them not to do something crazy, and figure out a way to survive until their cousin becomes more secular. I am constantly reminded that there are many people who are facing persecution because of their beliefs.

These people always are looking for stories to be inspired by. There were times when they were constantly thinking and reached a point of depression & defeatism. They need each other. We always need to pull them out and prove them again, and get them optimistic about life.

A life without goals and optimism is not a life worth living to me. It is torture.

Jacobsen: Shakespeare had the phrase, “Oh Friar, damned souls use the word banishment to describe hell.” No community is hugely painful for people.

Al Mutar: Of course, it is. We are social animals. We get our energy from other people. There are people who live on farms. But they get contact with other people, not as much as us in the cities. But they still have human interaction.

They cannot live by themselves because we need each other for survival and mental-social reasons.

2. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Faisal.

Al Mutar: Wonderful, thank you, Scott!

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0; Founder, Global Secular Humanist Movement.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 8, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 8). An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (July 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Stories and Cultural Differences (Part Three) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-three.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 1,857

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Stacey Piercey is the Co-Chair of the Ministry of Status of Women Sub-Committee of Human Rights for CFUW FCFDU and Vice Chair of the National Women’s Liberal Commission for the Liberal Party of Canada. She discusses: true self; newfound joy; changes in daily life; things to do on a Friday evening, a Saturday afternoon, and a Sunday morning; dating life now – difficulties, novelties, and amusing stories; and enough money, time, and access for an ideal life.

Keywords: Co-Chair, Liberal Party of Canada, Ministry of Status of Women, Stacey Piercey, Vice Chair.

Interview with Stacey Piercey onCommunity: Co-Chair – Ministry of Status of Women Sub-Committee of Human Rights, CFUW FCFDU; Vice Chair National Women’s Liberal Commission at Liberal Party of Canada | Parti libéral du Canada (Part Five)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s focus on the woman you are now. For those who have made a comfortable transition, what are the last parts of your true self to come forward and integrate with the new life?

Stacey Piercey: Well to truly understand where I am in life, you must realize in my mind, I am making up for lost time. When I presented as a male, there were many opportunities that I could not pursue in the past. While I was on this road of discovery, I was learning for myself who I was again. I was not available in many ways. Then I started to rebuild my life as a woman. My career lagged, but I was fortunate to have travelled so all was not lost.

I believe, my life is starting to reflect who I am. I have gone through some significant changes in just a few short years. I have my doubts and wonder what the future may hold. I have friends, but I don’t have that special someone in my life. I am terrible at dating, and I’m busy as an entrepreneur. To be true to who I am, I am re-establishing a career and home life that I consider to be mine, as it would have been as if I was born a woman.

2. Jacobsen: For those reading this at the moment or at some future present, what is the newfound joy in being your real self?

Piercey: Within the last while, I moved to Newfoundland where I grew up. It is familiar, yet I am having a different experience than before. Most of the people I knew from my past are gone, and I have lost touch with many from my travels. At the same time, I am meeting all new people from Newfoundland as the woman I am now. It is an excellent time to be here as I am getting grounded in what is familiar. It is a much quieter life, and it suits me just fine.

I did some living these past twenty years. I understand that now as I have had time to reflect. I am putting everything together that I was, and that I did. I see it for myself, who I have become. Funny how you are always the last to know. That transgender girl, human rights advocate, board room executive, former Judge and political candidate, plus everything I was before my transition is coming together fast. That person lives in St. John’s, NL and she has been around the block. I can say that I like who I am and where I am going in this life again.

3. Jacobsen: This may be banal or trite. However, some may wonder: how does everyday life change when you’re finally able to have acceptance, in general, within the culture as your true gender?

Piercey: My life took off when I accepted who I was. It was never about what other people or society thinks. I have my journey to live. I remember a time when I was ashamed of being feminine, and I would hide that part of me. I find it liberating to be myself. I don’t have to worry about a secret or that someone might expose me. That followed me for years. Then I found my way as a woman. I am more comfortable with myself, and I do have my confidence back.

I know that I did struggle with survivors’ guilt. For a while, I felt like one of the lucky ones that made it. Then I realized I was a trailblazer, creating the way for others to follow. I changed when I decide to live for those who couldn’t. Then I was happy that I woke up every morning and I try to see the sunrise every day. I don’t think about my gender anymore, and I am glad that is behind me.

4. Jacobsen: What do you like to do on a Friday evening, a Saturday afternoon, and a Sunday morning?

Piercey: I appreciate it when I get to unplug. I like listening to the radio, going for walks, and finding art. I have adventures, where I go out and do my thing. I go with the flow, talk to the people, and drift impulsively. That is the Trans girl; her street nickname was ”Mary Poppins,” and that was me, popping into different worlds, expressing different sides of myself. Her free spirit will rule me forever. She has a different life than most, that is the executive having fun and using her powers for good. I am always learning and growing as an individual. It amazes me what I stumble into at times.

5. Jacobsen: How is dating life now – difficulties, novelties, and amusing stories?

Piercey: As with dating, I am terrible at expressing my sexuality. I worry more about being taken advantage of, and therefore I am guarded. I have talked to some men, and I have been on a few dates in the past years. I’m just getting to know myself. I do wonder how does a relationship fit into my life. I know that it is where I am going, as I was married before. I have been thinking about who Mr. Right is, and I can’t wait to meet him. It will take a while for me to find someone to spend my life with and I am okay with that.

As for exciting stories, I think I managed to talk to someone for two weeks. It was nice to have someone to look forward to chatting too. I have lots of people that ask me out, but not anybody serious about a relationship. I did have a spell where I was getting hit on and asked out so much that I felt like prey. I became shy from all the attention. I don’t see it myself. I even dress down now when I go out to avoid such silliness. I meet so many people, as I run around town. I am honest in saying, I can’t wait to see on my calendar “Coffee with Husband 3:00 pm and don’t be late this time, or he will ask questions.”

6. Jacobsen: If you could have enough money, time, and access in the future, what would be your ideal life? How would you go about building it?

Piercey: This Newfoundland version of me is that of a writer and business owner. It is the life that I always wanted. I am rather new at it, and I haven’t received the benefits as of yet. I feel as if I am so far behind compared to my peers in many ways. Mostly though, I am starting a new career after some life changes. I have been building my ideal life, and I have been busy too. I like it, I walk out on the streets, and I know everyone. I feel safe in my neighbourhood, and I feel safe online too with the friends I made away. I have street smarts, excellent credentials and great potential.

I know many people in my new town. I see familiar faces everywhere, and I have some social groups that I joined that I like. In this next year, I will be putting together my business, finding associates and I am extremely confident I will be successful in this endeavour. I hope to have a great life as well to go with that.

7. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Stacey.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Co-Chair – Ministry of Status of Women Sub-Committee of Human Rights, CFUW FCFDU; Vice Chair National Women’s Liberal Commission at Liberal Party of Canada | Parti libéral du Canada; Mentor, Canadian Association for Business Economics.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 1). An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Stacey Piercey on True Self, Newfound Joy, and Daily and Dating Life (Part Five) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/piercey-five.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: July 1, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,701

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders and Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Global Secular Humanist Movement, and a columnist for Free Inquiry. He discusses: clever obstacles placed by governments; books being translated through Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0; and selection of who leads the conversations.

Keywords: Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Global Secular Humanist Movement, Ideas Beyond Borders.

An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0: Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What are the clever obstacles some of the governments are putting up or would potentially put up?

Faisal Al Mutar: One of the main things is the tracking stuff. These governments track behaviour. They are able to see what other people see. They can track the location and then be able to arrest the perpetrators. One of the other main things; that many, at least 100, people I know get exposed.

One of my writer friends, two months ago, is a Tunisian. Not through Al-Qaeda, but there were many extremist websites sharing her name and address on webpages, they said, “She is an infidel, kill her.” They do not say, “Kill her.” They say, “Do something,” with the implication there.

That way, Facebook cannot track them as easily. This is one of the tactics that the extremists use. I have had this happen many times to me. I “are less, because I live in the West. But there are days when I went to a chat room about religion. Somebody said, “What is your email? I would like to take the conversation to private.” It’s not smart. I know.

I think a guy has a device or something to get the IP Address from the email. He took it to a page. This is when I was living in Malaysia. He took it to a page and out my photo online. They said, “This guy this in this neighbourhood around here.” It got 10,000 likes.

That was in 2010/11. Lots of comments, “I am going to kill this guy.” I freaked out at the time, rightly so. Nothing happened. But I was scared for a week. Because the address put online was within three blocks.

Many of the people saying, “I am going to kill him,” probably lived in Indonesia and not Malaysia. This is the trouble people who consume our content may face death threats, being killed, and so on.

We, as an organization, in terms of dealing with translators is wanting to empower the translators. We want to pay for these people. Other than them working as an Uber driver. We would like them to get as much money as they get from Uber but from us – translating the most important ideas of the 21st century.

Some issues faced by translators, not all. Because of the blasphemy laws, the translator is afraid of translating the book, because they would be breaking the blasphemy laws. We had a translator who lived in Egypt.

He said, “Look, Faisal, I agree with everything. I love Steven Pinker. But I cannot translate it. There are blasphemy laws. I can be persecuted in my country, even though these things are not my ideas. I can be punished through blasphemy laws for translating.”

For example, they cannot make a contract with us. We have to work entirely on trust. They translate the book. We give them money. If there was a physical contract, their lives would be in danger. This has been one of the issues faced by us. It is looking for translators.

Most of our translators live in the Middle East. It is the policy that I take. One is the lower cost. Another is empowering those people over there. It has been a big obstacle. But so far, we have been really successful in finding really high-quality translators, who are so excited.

They are probably so much more excited than me. Because they are translators. They speak the same language. They recognize that many people because of language barriers, blasphemy laws, and so on, cannot access this stuff and need it.

It is about stopping extremism before it takes root. This is the idea behind IBB.

Jacobsen: By the way, 35 million people, that is the size of my country [Laughing].

Al Mutar: [Laughing] there are many people who speak Arabic. There are about 500 million people who speak Arabic, but not all of them are experts. It is good. One of our policies is generally not reinventing the wheel.

We are trying to improve the already existing systems. The people who are bloggers and have pages related to our cause. We are partnering all together to distribute each others’ content.

Jacobsen: It centralizes through an umbrella but decentralizes because it is distributed as a network.

Al Mutar: Exactly, yes. 

2. Jacobsen: Why start with Lying by Sam Harris? Why The Future of Tolerance, which is a conversation between Maajid Nawaz, former extremist, and Sam Harris, an inactive neuroscientist?

Al Mutar: There was no holy reason why we started with lying. It is a small book. We wanted to test the model with small books before moving to big ones. The reason why I think this book is important, whether we started with it or not.

Many people who live in authoritarian regimes, like my own, Iraq, live with a constant state of fear. They don’t trust anyone. My mom, who I adore a lot, lived through the revolution before the Iraq-Iran War, the Iraq-Iran War, the Gulf War, then the sanctions, then the Second Gulf War.

In a lifetime, she lived through all these things. Her generation who grew up in the 1950s. They live in a constant state of fear of each other. Because the neighbour may be part of the militia. As a result of the climate, there is a climate of lying.

You lie about how much money you make. If you are rich, you say you’re poor; if you’re poor, you are you’re rich. Because the whole of society is based on lies. Many of the things people talk to each other about are not true.

When I grew up, people ask, “Do you like Saddam Hussein?” Of course, I say, “Yes, I love Saddam Hussein.” I have to lie. This book by Sam Harris really explores many of these dimensions of really lying for survival to white lies if your girlfriend asks, “Do I look fat in this dress?”

It even asks if white lies are good for society or not. Even though, they are not detrimental in terms of consequences. I think the Arab audience will learn a lot by looking at the different dimensions of the concept of lying and white lies, and others.

As for Islam and the Future of Tolerance, it is the right audience, in my opinion [Laughing]. There are three things that I think people can learn from it. Number one, it is that you can have a civil discourse about one of the most complicated and also emotional cases of our time.

It is Islam, Islamism, and so on, in which it is so easy for emotions to run high and so easy for people to get defensive/offensive – to advocate for barbaric policies. It is so easy for things to go crazy. The fact two people come from two different sides of the world. A neuroscientist atheist who studied at Stanford and went with Buddhist monks.

Jacobsen: Being a security guard for the Dalai Lama.

Al Mutar: [Laughing] yes, being a security guard for the Dalai Lama, then writing a book about a call for the end of religion. Then there is Maajid Nawaz who grew up in a moderate family but gets radicalized.

His life mission became political from being a minority Muslim in Britain to being beaten up by neo-Nazis, being an Islamist and recruiting people to destroy his home country that he is born in, and into being jailed in Egypt.

Sam Harris went to overseas to study Buddhism. Maajid Nawaz went overseas to establish a Caliphate [Laughing]. These are people from completely different backgrounds.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: I am honoured to know them personally. They are able to maintain a civil discourse. Maajid is really trying to change the Muslim world from within. His point of addressing abrogation and extremism, and the diversity in the Muslim or the lack of it.

It is something many Muslims need to listen to the perspective. Hopefully, it is bringing the conversation together. This is an example of a conversation. I am hoping through the translation work getting the word out there is good.

I am hoping there will be Lebanese Christian and Syrian Muslim having a conversation. They can take the example of Maajid and Sam and people of different backgrounds into having their own conversations about the future of tolerance, whether about Islam or other subjects.

It is a region filled with civil wars and other conflicts.

3. Jacobsen: If we look at the mainstream conversation of the secular community in North America and Western Europe, more often, it’s led by men. There’s a number of reasons for that, at least arguments put forward about it.

Not in favour of it, but in terms of description. Would it be powerful to some of the audience, the 35 million or the 8-10% of people reached, via people like Harris and Nawaz but with a woman who was a former Buddhist and a woman who was a former Muslim?

Al Mutar: Sure, definitely, I am very honoured by some of the translators and the lead advisor in the Advisory Board, including a woman, Dr. Nadia Owediat. She has an incredible story and courage.

I am in favour of empowering. It is far more difficult to come out. It is so difficult to be a woman in the Middle East.

Jacobsen: That’s boilerplate.

Al Mutar: Add to that, it is to be an uncovered woman in the Middle East. If you are a woman who didn’t wear a hijab, you are also at a disadvantage because people think less of you. Some may see you as a prostitute, at least in some parts of the Middle East.

Others will be more liberal and more open-minded on that subject. Let’s say you’re an ex-Muslim, a liberal Muslim, and so on, through my organization, I am in favour of empowering these voices of courage and inspiration.

There are some new voices popping up in the Middle East including Manal al-Sharif. A Saudi woman who led the driving campaign. I saw her speaking at the Lincoln Center in New York There is Yasmine Mohammed travelling across the United States and Europe to give talks and not to forget, also, Ayaan Hirsi Ali who has been outspoken about this stuff.

We definitely need more. I think that we are definitely a community and need to help each other out in this regard. I am always looking for helping out. This is out of the organization. But as an individual, I have 400,000 followers on Facebook and 30,000 on Twitter.

I am always willing to retweet or share other voices, whether men or women, LGBT, and so on. Those underrepresented groups. I am a straight male. I am happy being one. But I am definitely in favour of getting these underrepresented voices more representation.

I do not know how much a retweet can help. But I am followed by many journalists and many people who book events and many organizers, and many CEOs. All of that. Just giving some exposure to them and hoping they will be picked up by someone else, it would be incredible.

I am doing my part. I am asking all of the others, not necessarily leaders as there is no leadership here but those, with influence to try to create more influencers. There are two reasons. Obviously, there is a collectivist reason.

We try to help each other out. Also, I think it is in the benefit of us as a cause and individually to help one another. For example, one of the main things I have been facing in North America. Whenever I talk about extremism, Al-Qaeda, etc., people say, “You have an accent. You’re from Iraq. It is too far. You do not know what you’re talking about. We do not have extremism here.”

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Al Mutar: They look at me as some sort of alien, as if I am from some foreign land. My issues aren’t relevant here. One of the best counterexamples to that is Yasmine Mohammed.

Jacobsen: Yes.

Al Mutar: She was married to an extremist guy. This was in fucking North America. She didn’t grow up in Egypt or Palestine. She grew up in Vancouver (Canada). This is in the context of North America.

People like her and others. Those who live and grow up here. They have been helping me as well. Because when I speak about extremism, I can speak about them with extremism here. I have been dismissed in the terms mentioned before.

I get a personal benefit, not simply the charitable benefit of helping these people out. But I get the benefit of saying, “Okay, my friend grew up in an extremist household.” If someone says, “You have a foreign problem,” I can reply, “No, my friend grew up here and had the same problem.”

In fact, I would argue that I grew up more liberal in Baghdad than Mohammed in Vancouver. My parents were more liberal. So, what the fuck are you talking about here? Extremism, as with IBB, is also beyond borders.

Now, most of the world is infected by it. There needs to be a holistic and global solution to this international problem of extremism.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Ideas Beyond Borders & Founder, Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0; Founder, Global Secular Humanist Movement.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 1, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two) [Online].July 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, July 1). An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, July. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):July. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar on Bayt Al-Hikma 2.0 (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, July 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/mutar-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 2,241

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. Iona Italia is an Author and Translator, and a Sub-Editor for Areo Magazine, and Host of Two for Tea. She discusses: personal background, and ethnicity and religion; Zoroastrianism; approximate global population; outside of Bombay; Ph.D. from Cambridge; reclusive caves of doctoral students; and 1694 and the Scottish Enlightenment.

Keywords: Areo Magazine, Iona Italia, Parsi, Zoroastrianism.

An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism: Host, Two for Tea & Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is personal background for you? How is ethnicity and religion intertwined in this backdrop?

Dr. Iona Italia: Parsi is the ethnicity. Zoroastrianism is the religion. It is ethnic religion. You cannot convert to Zoroastrianism. Your father must have been Parsi – it is patrilineal – for you to be Parsi and Zoroastrian. You can, obviously, also be Parsi and be an atheist, but you cannot be Zoroastrian. Unless you are Parsi.

The requirements are that your father was Parsi. It doesn’t matter whether or not your father was an atheist, but the requirements are that your father was Parsi and that you have had an initiation ceremony which we call the Navjote, which literally means “new flame” and which is usually performed in the ancestral homeland of Iran at around age 15, 16, but now in India, usually between ages 8 and 12.

I had it done originally in Karachi at age 8. You can have it done at any time in life. There is a famous example of someone who had his Navjote at age 70.

Once you have had your Navjote, if you are Parsi and you have had your Navjote, then you are a Zoroastrian and at that point, you can enter the Agiary. Obviously, you can enter to have your actual Navjote, but until the ceremony is done, you cannot otherwise enter the Agiary, which is the fire temple. We have a ritual garment. It is called the Sudreh Kusti. It is a cotton “wife-beater,” I rather irreverently call it, with a string belt.

The main worship that we do involves going to the Agiary, and then there is a ritual you follow with handwashing and various things. You wear this Sudreh Kusti and you undo the belt and you re-tie it, and as you re-tie it, you recite certain prayers. There are a few little gestures that go along with it, as well.

You tie and then you take off your shoes, you go inside, and there are a few other little gestures like touching the painting of Zoroaster, which we always have in the Agiary, and going into the place where the actual fire is, saying a small prayer at the fire, and putting a little bit of ash on your forehead. That is the main mode of worship. This is probably way more information than you need.

It is not like church, where there is a service. We do have a few servicey-style things, but mostly you go in and it is like visiting a shrine. You go in, you say your prayers, and you sit for a while, if you feel like it, or not, and you leave.

Zoroastrianism was the ancestral religion of Iran until the Islamization of Iran in the 8th century. When Islam arrived in Iran and everyone was converted by the sword, a group of Zoroastrians, so legend has it, got into a boat and fled to India to the Gujarat coast, where they settled. They agreed that they would follow the Indian customs, wear the Indian clothes, eat Indian food and have weddings after sunset, which is a Hindu thing – if they could follow their religion. The Parsis are mostly settled in India now, for more than a millennium, and mostly in Bombay. That is a little tale, maybe rather too long an answer about Parsis and Zoroastrianism.

2. Jacobsen: When was Zoroastrianism originated? What’s the – if known – definitive point?

Italia: It is not known. It probably predates Judaism. Whether or not it predates Hinduism is unknown, it is one of the oldest world religions.

3. Jacobsen: What is the approximate global population at this point, in terms of the Zoroastrian diaspora?

Italia: It depends if you count Iranians as ancestral Zoroastrians, as some people do. I said that you cannot convert, but there is an exception, which is if you are Iranian, so some people are attempting to revive this in Iran, which is why Armin [Navabi] wanted to talk to me. [Please note: Armin and I discussed this here, https://soundcloud.com/user-761174326/episode-028-armin-navabi-the-battle-for-iran, from around the 32–53 minute marks).]

If you do not count that, then the population is small. We have always been a tiny, tiny minority. We have always been a small group. Probably in the 8th century when the Parsis arrived, there were probably only 4,000, 5,000. I think now there is around 100,000. Half are in India, and the other half are in the diaspora.

4. Jacobsen: Outside of Bombay, where else do you find those who have that form of ethnic/religious background?

Italia: The majority are in Bombay. There are a few scattered around elsewhere in India. Then there are some small diaspora communities in London, I know there is one in Toronto, and, for example, there is a small community in Texas. There is one in upstate New York, which I have visited. I have been to the temple in upstate New York. That is the only diaspora community that I visited, in fact.

5. Jacobsen: In the UK, when you did your Ph.D. in Cambridge, did you happen to meet some of the diaspora there, as well?

Italia: No. I did not meet anybody in Cambridge, no Parsis. [Please note that I met many other people!]

6. Jacobsen: Is part of that a consequence of being in the reclusive caves that doctoral students put themselves in when they are doing their research and their work?

Italia: I was, at that stage, not interested in exploring that side of my heritage. My parents died when I was young. My father died in 1980. After I came to the UK, and my parents died, I was 11 at this stage, and I went to boarding school. I had a complete break from that entire side of my family. I grew up with no Indian relatives, with no Parsi relatives.

I was at boarding school. In the holidays, I spent time with my much older sister. She was 19 years old, my half-sister on my mother’s side, who I did not consciously meet until that stage, and with a few aunts, and a few times with non-relatives also assigned by the state. I left that entire culture behind at that stage. I rediscovered it much, much later.

7. Jacobsen: What was your doctorate question or research? What was the answer or the findings?

Italia: I did my doctorate in English literature, so we do not have a question, like that. I do not know if that is a social sciences thing.

I did my undergraduate degree in English literature. I did my Ph.D. on 18th-century periodical essays. I began my writing on women writers from the period, so I looked at five journalists. Then I later, after I finished my Ph.D., expanded it into a book. I looked at ten journalists for the book. I had them all in sexed pairs, so there were one man and one woman in each, as the feature of each chapter.

Journalism as we know it began in the 1690s, in 1694. Before that there were broadsides and pamphlets that were issued in response to specific events, so they were like one-off flyers. What we would think of as a periodical, is a regular publication, those began coming out in 1694. I will not go into the whole history.

There was a reason for the specific date. The things that I was interested in were not news reporting. They were essay periodicals, as they were called. Later, I also looked at magazines, which were basically social and political commentary. The writers that I looked at approached that in an especially witty way. They usually had pseudonyms. They invented backstories for themselves. They wrote in the voices of these sometimes ludicrous figures.

One of them, for example, wrote as “Miss Mary Singleton, Spinster.” They wrote about how they conceived of their role as social and political commentators, which was a new role at that time.

At first, my approach was more of a feminist approach, so I was interested in women writers. Four of them women and one was probably a woman. We cannot tell because men did often write under female pseudonyms, too, in this period. Women writers negotiated that and represented themselves. [This doesn’t make sense—maybe the tape is unclear? I’d leave it out.] Later, I was more interested in, in general, how writers saw their role during this period when journalism was beginning.

I looked at the period in London from 1694 up to 1770. It is in London, the main chunk of the Enlightenment period in the UK, in England. The Scottish Enlightenment got going a little later towards the end of the period. This is the core period of the English Enlightenment.

8. Jacobsen: Two questions: Why 1694? Why did the Scottish Enlightenment take a little bit longer to get online?

Italia: 1694 was the lapse of the licensing act, which meant that the government was no longer pre-censoring printed material. Up until 1694, you could not publish things without having them first pass the government censors. That made it impossible to run a newspaper. That was one thing.

The other thing was some major technological innovations that made it possible to print off more copies of one thing at once. If you’re printing a book, then it doesn’t matter so much if it takes you six months to print off 500 copies because the book is not going to go out of date, but you cannot run a newspaper that way. You must be able to print enough copies at once.

There were technological innovations. Also, before the licensing act lapsed, the government had control of all printing presses, as well. If you wanted to print something, you had to get it past the censors and then get the government to print it on their press. Once that ceased to be the case, people started buying their own presses. Then they were able to create their own journals.

As for the Scottish Enlightenment, I do not know that it took longer to get going, as such. It is that these things tend to be virtuous circles, where you have people who are influential, and they encourage others. Then you get a burgeoning group of thinkers and writers. A similar thing happened, for example, with the Lunar Men in Derby in the 1760s.

That is what happened in Scotland, in Edinburgh, and in Aberdeen from about the 1770s onwards. There were some Scottish people also involved in the English Enlightenment, but who were based in London. I am talking about a Scotland-based Enlightenment when I talk about the Scottish Enlightenment.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Host, Two for Tea; Sub-Editor, Areo Magazine.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Dr. Iona Italia on Parsi and Zoroastrianism (Part One) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/italia-one.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 20.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Sixteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019

Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,156

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract 

Dr. James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ is an Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He discusses: IQ gains as not necessarily g, or general intelligence, gains; racial differences and definitions in intelligence research; and ethnic groupings, species, and getting to the roots of the research regardless.

Keywords: ethnicity, g, general intelligence, intelligence, IQ, James Flynn, morals, political studies, race.

An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence: Emeritus Professor, Political Studies, University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand (Part Two)[1],[2],[3]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Why are IQ gains not g gains, that is, general intelligence gains?

Professor James Flynn: Simply because IQ gains over time have occurred on all IQ subtests and have not been greater on those subtests that are of the greatest cognitive complexity. However, I do not think that the fact that IQ gains fail to particularly load on g (or cognitive complexity) is a reason to discount their significance. IQ gains on subtests like vocabulary (among adults), matrices, block design, classification, should be very important even if gains are equivalent on other less demanding subtests like digit span, which mainly tests rote memory.

G has an appeal as a concept of intelligence. It shows that individuals who do well on IQ tests beat the average person more and more as problems become more cognitively complex. If you and I were to sit down and say, “What would be one of the characteristics of intelligence?”, we would probably reply, “The person who is intelligent can beat the average person more on complex problems than easy problems,” wouldn’t we?

This mistakenly leads to the conclusion that IQ gains are not really “intelligence” gains and must lack significance. I am not going to get into defining intelligence, but certainly gains on vocabulary are highly socially significant no matter what has happened to other cognitive skills. If you really want to see why IQ gains have not been as significant as they might be, you would do better to focus on the fact that universities are doing such a bad job of educating.

I have a book coming out this year, in September, called In Defence of Free Speech: The University as Censor. At present, universities spend as much time censoring as teaching. Anyone who has unpopular views on race or gender or practically anything is banned: they can’t speak on campus, they are not read, they are derided ignorantly.

In my book, I detail all the things I learned, precisely because I read Jensen, and Murray, and Lynn, and Eysenck. It is wonderful when you encounter a highly intelligent, highly educated opponent, who takes a point of view contrary to your own. You must reassess your arguments. You often find that you have been simplistic, and that arguing with these opponents teaches you ten times as much as you knew when you were naive.

Let us go back to our friend, g. The is overwhelming evidence that cognitive abilities, even when taken individually, are significant. This is true of individual skill in all areas. If we studied drivers in New York, or in Boston, some would be better drivers and some worse drivers. We could rank driving tasks in terms of complexity. We would probably find a “g pattern: that the better drivers bested the average person the more as the complexity of skills rose. I am sure that the better and the worst drivers would not differ much on the simple task of turning on the ignition. But note that the presence or absence of the g pattern would tell us nothing about the causes at work, not even as often thought whether the causes were environmental or genetic

For ordinary city driving, the better drivers would start to forge ahead of the worse ones. This would become more pronounced if you looked at driving around the cities on beltways: that is one of the first things elderly people give up. There are so many cars coming in so many directions and changing lanes. Many elderly people who still drive will not do beltway driving. The better group would be much better at it. Finally, there is the question of parallel parking, which is the part of the driving test most people fear. The better group might better the average person most of all on that.

When we look at these two groups, how useful would it be to derive a g factor? It would be disastrous to assume that since g is influenced by genes the better drivers were somehow a genetic elite. G would tell you nothing about causes. For example, you may discover that the people who are the worst drivers are new arrivals in New York City who have had no experience in beltway driving. You also find that in their town, you just drove into a parking space and didn’t have to know how to come in on a parallel park.

On the other hand, we might find that none of this is true. We might find that they were equally experienced, and then we would say to ourselves, “I bet there is a genetic factor. Perhaps some of these people are better at spatial visualization. Perhaps some of them are better at information processing. Perhaps some of them are better at manual dexterity.” Our minds would go in the direction of skill influence by genes. But it would depend on the case. You must approach each case with fresh eyes, and not be hypnotized by g.

I am quite sure that any two groups can be differentiated by genetic factors, and that this would affect performance. For example, if one group was a lot taller than another, it would affect their basketball performance. But you must take these cases one by one.

I looked at black/white IQ differences in Germany. Blacks in America fall further behind whites the more cognitively complex the task, which leads some to infer that they are lower on g and are genetically inferior. But then you study Eyferth’s children in Germany. These were half-black and all-white children left behind by black and white Ameican servicemen in post-war Germany. The g pattern had disappeared. There was no tendency whatsoever for the half-black kids to fall behind more and more as you go up the complexity ladder.

That seems to imply that this group difference has something to do with culture. The first thing that comes to your mind is that these half-black kids were raised by white German women. There was no real black subculture in Germany after World War II. The black subculture element is totally absent. Then you go to someone like Elsie Moore.

She did a wonderful study in the 1980s. No-one, of course, will repeat it again because of political correctness. She had, as I recall, it was something like 40 kids – or maybe it was 48, that sounds more like it – all of who were black. Half of them were adopted by black parents of high SES and half of whom were adopted by white parents of high SES. At the age of eight and a half, the black kids adopted by white parents of high SES were 13 points ahead of the black kids adopted by black parents.

Elsie Moore called the mothers and kids in. She found that white mothers were universally positive. “That is a good idea. Why don’t we try this?” The black children came in with their black foster mothers. The mother was negative. “You are not that stupid. You know better than that.”

It became quite clear that even though both sets of families had elite SES, there was something in black subculture that found it unwelcome to confront complex cognitive problems. Once again, by the age of eight and a half, the black children adopted by whites of high education and SES were 13 points above the blacks adopted by blacks

You can say, “Is that evidence enough?” It is not enough, of course, but it does tie in with the German data. There, black subculture was absent, and the g effect was absent. In America, black subculture is thriving. Even the black children being raised by white parents, as they grew up, would tend to merge into the black teenage subculture, the “shopping mall” subculture.

My main point is that we must approach all this with an open mind. I am not saying that Jensen’s concept of g does not pose interesting questions. It does, but it cannot be taken as an automatic piece of litmus paper as to when one group is genetically privileged over another. Both options must be open.

I think that a genetically influenced g effect occurs between individuals. I think that when you have sexual reproduction, the higher cognitive abilities are more at risk of “damage” than the lower ones. You can imagine that would be true. You have two siblings. If one had bad luck, he will have more deleterious recessive genes paired. This may damage complex cognitive skills more than less complex ones. The bad luck twin will probably be below his brother more on Raven’s than on rote memory. I published this opinion recently and Woodley took notice of it. Do you know who Woodley is?

Jacobsen: I have heard that name before, but that is about all.

Flynn: He’s a very prolific British researcher, very good indeed. I supplemented my remarks by saying that it was interesting that the higher cognitive abilities were the ones that would have come along latest in the human evolutionary history and, therefore, they might be more fragile in the genome. Woodley is now pursuing this possibility

The concept of g shouldn’t be dismissed. Whenever anything describes a phenomenon in intelligence, we must probe for its causes. It is terribly sad that it is gotten side-tracked: into a debate over whether the fact one group falls further behind another as cognitive complexity increases is an indication that they’ve got to be genetically defective.

As you know, I have done research with Bill Dickens that showed that blacks gained on whites about 5 points in the generation between 1972 and 2002. This correlated with evidence from educational tests, as well. What are we going to say if they gain another 5 points? Are we going to conclude that the g pattern is not as pronounced as we once thought it was? That would fly in the face of evidence in its favour. So, g, to me, is an interesting concept for research but it is not the be all and end all of what we do when we do intelligence research.

2. Jacobsen: Racial differences also lead to some questions around definitions. For instance, is it a scientific category, race? In other words, is it proper to even talk, in a modern scientific context, about the category “race” when talking about intelligence?

Flynn: I do not have much patience with that. I see that as an evasion of real issues. Imagine that a group of Irish came to America in about 1900. Of course, the Irish have not been a pure race through all of history, but they have much more in common in terms of heredity than they do with Slovaks.

These Irishmen in America settle in a community down by the Mississippi. You will find that when the children send them to school, some Irish kids will do better than others; and the ones who do better will, on average, will grow up to buy more affluent homes.

Thus they divide into two groups. Below the railway tracks near the Mississippi, where it is not so nice, you will have what we used to call “shanty Irish”. Above the railway tracks, where things are much nicer, you will have what we used to call “lace curtain Irish”. If you compare these two groups, you will find an IQ gap between them that has a genetic component.

You can try to dismiss this by repeating the mantra “They are not pure races.” Of course, they are not pure races. They are sociological constructs that have a different sociology because of somewhat different histories. But it still makes perfectly good sense to ask whether there would be a genetic difference in IQ between the shanty Irish and the lace curtain Irish.

When individuals within a group compete, genetically influenced cognitive skills are involved. Some people, as I have said, will do better at school and, on average, they will have a better genetic endowment. It will not be a huge gulf. American children from parents in the top and bottom third of SES tend to have an IQ gap of 10 points; and perhaps 5 of these may be genetic rather than environmental.

I hope this cuts through all of this nonsense. Also, the “irrelevance” of race seems to be special pleading. If we cannot talk about blacks as a “pure race”, and that disqualifies grouping them together, how can we have anything like affirmative action? The answer will be, “Well of course they are not a pure race. But they identify themselves as black, and whites identify them as black, and despite the fact that they are a social construct, they get the short end of the stick.”

If you can compare blacks and whites as to who gets the short end of the stick, you can also give them IQ tests, and you can also ask yourself as to whether in the histories of these two peoples, there has not been sufficient genetic diversity that one has built up an advantage over the other.

The causes of the black-white IQ gap are an empirical question. It has nothing to do with the stuff about pure races. There are groups that are socially identified as different, groups that identify themselves as socially different, groups that have histories that could conceivably lead to a genetic gap between them. You have got to look at the evidence.

It is an evasion. You ignore the fact that there are no pure races when you say, “more blacks live in poverty.” Why drag it in when you compare races for genetic differences?

3. Jacobsen: What about the shift in the conversation in terms of talking more about species rather than races, and then looking at different ethnic groupings? So, it is doing it within what probably are more accurate depictions than terminology such as “race”.

In terms of reframing it within a more modern scientific context, in terms of having species, and then having different groupings, as you noted, it is with ethnic groupings with different histories, rather than talking about races.

Flynn: That is fine. I have no objection to that, but it is not going to make anything go away, is it?

Jacobsen: No.

Flynn: There are still going to be 10% of Americans who self-identify as “black” and virtually all whites will identify blacks as “black”, and then we will still have to ask the question, “Do black and white at this point in time differ for cognitive abilities entirely environmentally?” I do not see how any verbal device will change this

There used to be academics who said that since humans share 99% of their genes with bonobos, you could dismiss the notion that genes have something to do with intelligence. The significance of this was exactly the opposite. If one percent difference made a huge difference in intelligence, then if racial groups differed by 1/100 of a percent, it might create the IQ gap difference that we see today.

I haven’t found any argument yet for sweeping the race and IQ debate under the carpet which is anything but special pleading. I do not think these arguments would be used in any other context whatsoever. They are used in this context so that we can all say, “We do not have to investigate these matters. We can pat ourselves on the back.” When actually, we should feel scholarly remiss.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Emeritus Professor, Political Studies, University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 22, 2019: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2019: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

[3] Image Credit: James Flynn.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two) [Online].June 2019; 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2019, June 22). An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A, June. 2019. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2019. “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 20.A (June 2019). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2019, ‘An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 20.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 20.A (2019):June. 2019. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Emeritus Professor James Robert Flynn, FRSNZ on IQ, g, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Species, and Affluence (Part Two) [Internet]. (2019, June 20(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/flynn-two.

License and Copyright

License

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.in-sightjournal.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  All interviewees co-copyright their interview material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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