Posts tagged with "book"

Pandemic Mental Health with Dr. Friedberg

On Saturday, September 25, Dr. Ahron Friedberg, distinguished Manhattan and Sag Harbor psychiatrist and resident, held a reading and discussion of his book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, in the home of renowned fellow psychiatrist and Hamptons resident, Dr. Mirjana Blokar. Attendees and discussion participants included prestigious neuroscientist, Dr. Heather Berlin, among numerous Mount Sinai colleagues and friends.

Dr. Friedberg explains, “The book shows that, of necessity, people can learn to adapt, even in the most difficult circumstances. Even though we can only see “darkly” we can call on resources we do have, in addition to those we can acquire to retain our sense of dignity and purpose. Through a Screen Darkly is a time capsule of how we struggled – and are continuing to navigate – a disease we do not fully understand.”

The book addresses the pandemic in phases, including I) Pandemic, II) Venturing Out, III) The New Normal, and IV) Life Simplified. The essays provide perspective on several subjects relating to mental health, including parenting, elder care, work life (losing jobs, finding jobs, choosing new work, commuting), loneliness, children, and dating. Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

“The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience,” states Dr. Friedberg. “In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.”

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg has also written Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading, co-authored with Dr. Jack Hischowitz, Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai, Between Us, A Father and Son Speak, co-authored with his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, and Psychotherapy and Personal Change; Two Minds in a Mirror, also written with Dr. Sandra Sherman.
Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

About Dr. Ahron Friedberg
Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the ‘Symposium’, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood

and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.
Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

Headphones illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Interview with Dr. Kraus

By: Skyler Johnson

Learning how to play an instrument can help with the development of the human brain, according to scientist, inventor and Northwestern University professor Dr. Nina Kraus. She outlines this research in her new book, Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful World. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Kraus about the book and her findings. 

  1. Can you go over, briefly, what your newest book covers?

My book is a retrospective of what my lifetime researching sound and the brain has taught me. It covers a wide variety of topics ranging from the brain of a musician, to the link between sound and reading, to the perils of noise, to the wonder that is birdsong, to the aging brain. And much more.

  1. How did you get into that sort of research?

As a child, I was fortunate, from a sound perspective, in two ways. First, I was exposed to music at a young age. My mother was a pianist and my favorite place to play was under her piano, listening to her beautiful music. Second, I grew up in a household where more than one language was spoken, regularly traveling between the US and Italy, learning to navigate two different linguistic worlds. These early experiences with music and language left a deep imprint. They stuck with me as I made my way through college, looking for a way I could channel my interest in sound into a career. After a few starts, I got hooked up with a lab studying how sound acquired relevance in the brain. In other words, how the brain itself is changed by sounds it hears! And the rest is history.

  1. How often should people be playing music? 

The benefits of playing music are many, and certainly the more you play the more it enriches your sound mind. However, my research has told me you do not have to be a professional to tune your brain. I would say you need to play (practice) regularly, though. At least a few times a week.

  1. What types of instruments should people be playing to gain the effects? 

As far as I can tell, based on my research and others’, it does not matter. Any instrument, including voice, is a boon to your brain.

  1. When did you first start playing an instrument yourself?

Age 5. Piano. I also play some guitar and drums.

  1. Did your personal experience with playing music influence your desire to start your research?

In a way, I think it did. I did not start my career studying music. That line of work got rolling some 15 years ago. At that time, my research was examining the role of sound processing on literacy in school-age children. That got me connected with teachers and other educators and I was starting to hear the same thing over and over: “The kids that do best in school tend to be the ones who play an instrument.” And that just seemed right to me on a scientific-gut level. I can feel, on a personal level, that my music playing has been good for my brain. Soon, I made some contacts with educators who ran music programs and wanted to know whether and how playing music affected the brains of their young musicians. And, so this whole new rewarding line of research was born. Who knows? If I wasn’t a musician myself, my research would have taken some other course.

Tracy Sugarman’s Works Offered at Auction

“AND ALL THAT JAZZ”! WORKS BY TRACY SUGARMAN – ARTIST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION

September 2021. Artworks by the American illustrator, Tracy Sugarman (1921-2013), who documented some of the most momentous events in American history, such as Mississippi’s Freedom Summer of 1964 (a milestone in the civil rights movement in America) and images of World War II, will be offered in Dreweatts Modern and Contemporary Art sale on October 12, 2021.

As well as encapsulating historical moments in a unique way, Sugarman illustrated hundreds of books and record covers in a career spanning 50 years. The group of works coming up for auction spotlights Sugarman’s work for the music industry. Between 1954 and 1959 he produced more than a hundred album covers for the record labels Grand Award and Waldorf Music Hall Records. These were later reissued on CDS.

His illustrations were published in hundreds of magazines and books, as well being shown as on TV (PBS, ABC TV, NBC TV, and CBS TV). He was in high demand as a multi-talented artist, scriptwriter, producer, and author and won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Art Directors Club in Washington, D.C. He was also a civil rights activist, something he also captured in his artworks.

While carrying out his commissions for the music industry he was given complete artistic freedom to create the works as he wished. Commenting he said: “I had been able to explore every medium from scratch-board to oils, from pastels to watercolors and seen them reproduced. I had captured Mahalia Jackson singing gospel and Knuckles O’Toole playing ragtime piano.” A work in 2007 marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with jazz and the works in this sale show how he creatively captures the spirit and energy of Jazz.

In the Studio (lot 301) in its bright red hues, communicates the passion and vibrancy of Jazz and music in general. Dark lines contrast the colour, creating the shapes of the figures, resulting in a simple, but powerful piece. It carries an estimate of £400-£600. Portrait of a Trumpet Player (lot 299) by Tracy Sugarman captures a trumpet player in full flow. Created in wax crayon, the raw image brings the paper to life. It is estimated to fetch £400-£600. The Thinker (Lot 300) in wax crayon and watercolor shows the creative process and thinking behind the creation of music. In rough strokes Sugarman conveys all of this in a minimal way, creating the impact by its very simplicity.  The work is estimated to fetch £400-£600.

More works by Sugarman can be seen in the online catalogue, follow the link here

Darkhold Wasp Cover Artwork from Anthony Blackwood, Marvel Entertainment for use by 360 Magazine

MADNESS IS UNLEASHED – DARKHOLD: WASP × DARKHOLD: BLACK BOLT

The madness of the Darkhold will be unleashed on the Marvel Universe this fall beginning in DARKHOLD ALPHA #1! In this highly anticipated mystical saga, five heroes—IRON MAN, BLADE, WASP, BLACK BOLT, and SPIDER-MAN—will be recruited by Scarlet Witch to travel to Chthon’s dimension to stop him before he can invade Earth. But in order to survive there, each hero must first read from the Darkhold and let themselves be driven insane, leading to twisted new versions of themselves! These mind-melting adventures will unfold over a series of exciting character-focused one-shots including November’s DARKHOLD: WASP and DARKHOLD: BLACK BOLT!

Renowned colorist and writer Jordie Bellaire makes her Marvel Comics writing debut alongside rising star artist Claire Roe for a story that will make you shrink in fear in DARKHOLD: WASP! Scarlet Witch chose Janet Van Dyne for her ingenuity and strength, will she prove to be the lynchpin in the coming battle against Chthon or will she be consumed by darkness? After reading the Darkhold, Wasp’s entire life is subject to question but she has the power to reclaim her story…and fight back.

Critically acclaimed writer Mark Russell teams up with sensational artist David Cutler to brings you a scream-worthy story that will break an empire in DARKHOLD: BLACK BOLT! Black Bolt’s mighty voice is his greatest gift…and since childhood, it has been his greatest curse. Black Bolt thought he was signing up for a battle befitting a king but after reading from the Darkhold, he’ll discover the true battlefield will be his own mind.

“As a writer, it’s a joy to get to write a character who spends even more time inside their own head than you do,” Russell said. “So Black Bolt is a writer’s dream character and when I heard which other creators were involved with the series, I was totally on board, like someone who’d unwittingly bought a house in a really great neighborhood.”

Check out the covers for DARKHOLD: WASP and DARKHOLD: BLACK BOLT as well as Cian Tormey’s new “defiled designs” and enter the Darkhold if you dare when this strange and terrifying saga begins in September! For more information, visit Marvel.

THE DARKHOLD ALPHA #1

Written by Steve Orlando

Art by Cian Tormey

Cover by Greg Smallwood (Apr200834)

Scarlet Witch Cover by Greg Smallwood (Apr200835)

On Sale 9/22

THE DARKHOLD: IRON MAN #1

Written by Ryan North

Art by Guillermo Sanna

Cover by Valerio Giangiordano

On Sale 10/13!

THE DARKHOLD: BLADE #1

Written by Daniel Kibblesmith

Art by Tba

Cover by Juan Ferreyra

On Sale 10/27!

DARKHOLD: WASP #1

Written by Jordie Bellaire

Art by Claire Roe

Cover by Paul Renaud

On Sale 11/10!

DARKHOLD: BLACK BOLT #1

Written by Mark Russell

Art by David Cutler

Cover by Travel Foreman

On Sale 11/24!

To find a comic shop near you, visit Comic Shop Locator.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media for over eighty years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing, publishing, games, and digital media. For more information visit Marvel. © 2021 MARVEL

Image via Booksavvy Public Relations for 360 Magazine

Karen Gershowitz – Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust

Yes, You CAN Fit Travel into a Busy Career. It Just Takes Planning.

By Karen Gershowitz

I know what you’re thinking: Travel is opening back up and I’m itching to go. But when I’m drowning in deadlines and work and want to spend time with family and friends, how can travel possibly fit in? The answer is, with planning.

My career as a marketing researcher and strategist is intense. Yet in 5 decades, I’ve managed to travel to 90 different countries. Travel is my passion. Reducing or giving it up, even for work, is out of the question. These competing priorities have taught me to plan ahead and be creative.  I talk about some of the many ways I’ve done this in my memoir Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust.

At the beginning of my career, two weeks of vacation was the maximum allowed. I planned those weeks around long weekends to get the most out of them. Four vacation days became nine-day trips.

Another possibility I discovered is to rollover vacation time, allowing for a longer trip.  You might take one week the first year, then plan for a three-week trip the next. That strategy allowed me to go to Tanzania for a photo safari and then climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

If you can afford it, consider unpaid leave. I did that for a trip to Australia that took me across the globe when after the flight and recovering from jetlag, two weeks would have been whittled down to just over a week of satisfying travel. That extra vacation time is unlikely to change your career trajectory and will leave you with memories for a lifetime. Negotiating extra travel time when taking a new job is a great tactic, and in this post- COVID world where labor supply is short, now might be the perfect time. Two weeks is far too short to satisfy a travel itch. In negotiating for extra vacation time when changing jobs—four weeks in total—I only brought it up after we had settled on pay. The deal with my boss was that the month had to be split into three periods scattered across the year. That worked for the company; my absence didn’t stop any projects from proceeding. It also satisfied my desire for travel. 

You might also consider taking an extended break prior to starting with a new employer. time off between jobs. It’s a magical time with no stresses about what you’ve left behind. When I negotiated for four weeks of vacation time, I also negotiated my start date. I gave myself a full month, which allowed me to take three separate trips–Hawaii, Spain and Puerto Rico. I began my new position fully rested, with a clear head and excitement about the work. 

If you do find yourself with a quiet stretch take advantage of it. Rather than fretting about not having work or creating make work, scour the internet for last minute deals. Traveling to a lesser known place may lead to fabulous, unexpected finds. Years ago, I went to Venezuela at the last moment and discovered nearly empty pristine beaches and an Italian village in the Andes.

Here are some tips for making whatever time you have enjoyable, worry-free and non-jeopardizing to your career.

  • Give everyone lots of advance notice if you will be gone for more than a few days.  No one likes surprises, least of all clients and colleagues. This gives them time to discuss what should happen while you are away.
  • Try to anticipate any issues, problems, or questions and make sure you’ve dealt with them before you leave. 
  • Update your boss and co-workers on any current projects in detail and in writing so they have a reference document if they need information. 
  • Make it clear that you will be unreachable during your away time (you don’t want to be brought back to “reality” while traveling).  If necessary, tell them wi-fi is likely to be unreliable where you will be staying.

For much of my career I have also traveled for business, both domestically and internationally. This allowed me to see the world while my clients paid for my flights and other expenses. If you are also lucky enough to travel for business, here are some ideas for how to experience the location beyond meeting rooms. 

  • Try to plan the trip near a weekend, then stay a couple of extra days. Or even plan your whole vacation in some desirable destination. I traveled for two weeks in Asia, following a meeting in Singapore.
  • Once virtual conferences become an option instead of a necessity, if you attend them and can choose, find ones that meet your needs and are in a destination you’d like to see. 
  • Ask local business associates what to see and do. Because they live there, they may have some great tips for restaurants and sites off the usual tourist routes.
  • Before going, look for events taking place while you’re there—concerts, ball games, walking tours, cooking classes, art or antique shows. 

I hate clichés, but where there’s a will, there’s a way really applies to fitting travel into a career. If you want it enough, plan ahead, don’t keep it a secret and enjoy every moment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Gershowitz, author of Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust, has been traveling since age 17 when she boarded a plane to Europe and stayed there for three years. She has since traveled to more than 90 countries, experiencing countless bold, once-in-a-lifetime adventures: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking atop an elephant in Thailand, hiking in the blistering heat of the Moroccan desert—and much more. While studying ceramics as an undergraduate at the Kansas City Art Studio, Karen proposed and received a grant to photograph ceramics studios, potters and their work throughout Japan. She later built a career as a marketing strategist and researcher with companies who sent her around the globe to conduct focus groups, interviews and meetings. She lives in New York City, but is a citizen of the world.

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dr. Ahron Friedberg – Through a Screen Darkly

Through A Screen Darkly Details Pandemic Mental Health Struggles

Dr. Ahron Friedberg’s Book Offers Context on CDC & KFF Data 

In his latest book, Through a Screen Darkly: Psychoanalytic Reflections During the Pandemic, New York City psychiatrist Dr. Ahron Friedberg portrays a range of individuals dealing with mental health issues related to the pandemic, providing context for these harrowing recent statistics:

The average share of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depression almost quadrupled from January 2019 to June 2021

  • 36% of adults report difficulty sleeping, 32% cited eating problems, and 12% reported increase in alcohol and substance abuse
  • Communities of color and essential workers are suffering disproportionately
  • Young adults, more likely to lose jobs and / or be in lockdowns, are also suffering disproportionately
  • Suspected suicide attempts have increased in teenagers, especially girls

Commenting on the statistics, Dr. Friedberg stated: Stress has physical as well as mental consequences. It weakens the immune system and increases the incidence of major depression as well cardiac and pulmonary issues.

Friedberg continues: I coined the term Post-COVID Re-entry Syndrome to describe the stress that people suffer as they re-enter the workforce, reconnect with friends and family, and attempt to resume some semblance of a normal life.

To manage this anxiety, Dr. Friedberg recommends: 

  • Taking a walk outdoors
  • Connecting with friends and family – safely
  • Self- Reflection

If symptoms become severe, he recommends consulting a trained mental health professional. Primary care physicians and clergy can also provide resource and emotional support.

The ultimate goal is to bolster your resilience, states Dr. Friedberg. In my experience counseling patients through the pandemic, I found that they had greater capacity for resilience than they realized. Deploying this resilience was their pathway to successfully managing their mental health.

Through a Screen Darkly offers practical examples of how patients coped with these conditions and (in many cases) found the resilience to get past them.

In addition to Through a Screen Darkly, Dr. Friedberg wrote Psychotherapy and Personal Change: Two Minds in a Mirror with Dr. Sandra Sherman. With Dr. Jack Hirschowitz, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, he wrote Flashing Seven: Seven Essential Skills for Living and Leading. With his father, Dr. Eugene Friedberg, he wrote Between Us, A Father and Son Speak. 

Through a Screen Darkly is available for purchase at amazon.com.

ABOUT DR. AHRON FRIEDBERG: 

Dr. Ahron Friedberg, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a practicing psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in Manhattan. At Mount Sinai, Dr. Friedberg served as Co-Chair of the Psychiatry Advisory Board and has helped develop and lead several academic and teaching initiatives including their Innovations in Psychiatry Symposium. Dr. Friedberg also directs the Symposium, a national meeting held annually at Mount Sinai. He has participated in clinical research as part of the Department’s Mood and Anxiety Program, which focuses on translational neuroscience and understanding resilience.

Dr. Friedberg has served twice as national President of the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians. He was named first Executive Editor of International Psychoanalysis.net, a highly regarded online psychoanalytic resource. In addition, he is an Acquisitions Editor of International Psychoanalytic Books, Book Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry, Editor of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis Academy Forum, elected chair of the International Council of Editors, Psychoanalytic Journals, as well as a regular contributor to Psychology Today.

His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including The Psychoanalytic Review, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Neuro-psychoanalysis, and Psychodynamic Psychiatry. Dr. Friedberg’s writing focuses on the treatment of anxiety and trauma, clinical technique, and the concepts of resilience, consciousness, and desire in psychoanalysis. He has received awards for excellence in writing, in addition to originality and scholarship.

For more information on Dr. Ahron Friedberg, visit his site.

Mental via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Interview with Radhia Gleis

By: Skyler Johnson

From Jonestown to the Manson Family, we as a society have been obsessed with the inner workings of cults. Every few years a new documentary explores the secret lives of a society of people much different than ours. But it’s not very often that you meet someone that doesn’t just explore what crimes a cult committed, but how a cult is formed. This is what Radhia Gleis, an ex-member of the Buddhafield Cult, attempted to do in her most recent book: The Followers, Holy Hell and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders. I got the privilege to interview Gleis about the book and her experiences. 

Can you tell us a little about the Buddhafield cult and how you became involved with them?

That is a complicated story, and although the documentary Holy Hell shows the frightening transformation of a beautiful little spiritual community into an abusive cult, the details of this thirty-year journey cannot be told in a hundred minutes, like I can in the book. Like the frog in warm water that slowly comes to a boil, it took twenty years for the teacher to develop into the narcissistic sociopath he eventually became.

My journey started back when I was in Catholic school. I was inspired by the stories of the Catholic saints and their transcendental experiences of the Divine. I took a comparative religions class in ninth grade. We were studying Hinduism when we came across a word in italics: Nirvana! I asked the teacher what this word meant. He said, “Some yogis in India, through a certain practice of meditation, experience God directly.” “Is that true?” I asked. “Apparently!” he replied. And from that time on I spent another twelve to fourteen years looking for Nirvana.

I never came across anyone who said that they experienced God directly until I met the leader, Jaime, and the group, who were practicing these kinds of meditation techniques, referred to as “The Knowledge.” The name Buddha-field has little or nothing to do with Buddha or Buddhism. It was just a nickname we called ourselves. We were closer to Hinduism, although we studied Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Christian Mysticism. Originally that was what the Buddha-field was about—practicing and staying devoted to that meditation practice and a simple life of service and devotion.

In the beginning Jaime’s sharing was always about the “Knowledge.” This ancient technique was introduced to the West by Prem Pal Rawat ji, AKA Maharaji. Jaime was never a disciple of Maharajji; he lied and conned a Premi (one of Maharajji’s followers) into giving him the techniques. Later, when it looked like his guru gig was taking off, Jaime changed the name from the “Knowledge” to the “Knowing” to claim it as his own.  Originally, he used to say, “Connect to God’s love,” but it did not take long before our sycophantic adoration of him fed his narcissism to the point of creating a malignant narcissist, and suddenly the narrative became “Connect to MY love.” 

What do you believe separates a religious movement from a cult?

Chapter 16 of The Followers, entitled “What is a Cult? It’s Complicated,” analyses the definition of a cult. It’s one of my favorite chapters. Certainly one of the more irreverent and humorous. My conclusion is, I’m not sure there is a separation. Or at least they have a great deal in common. One characteristic both share is the opposition to a Socratic method of teaching—a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions, to come to your own conclusions. Most religions regardless of their size are the opposite—non-Socratic. They’re more authoritarian and didactic or patronizing. Whether the group’s origin is based on a historical archetype such as Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, Mohammed, or L. Ron Hubbard for that matter, the ideology is used in many cases as a form of control and to establish order over a society (large or small). The ideology and its history of origin is usually interlaced with fantastic stories and myths applied to abstract notions of God that enlarge the premise, making it difficult to dispute.

If it’s a newly established philosophy from an individual, such as L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, or Keith Allen Raniere, founder of NXIVM, a multi-level marketing company and cult, the leader develops an exclusive and unique doctrine or dogma that suits the followers’ needs or desires at that place and time. The leader—usually male, usually white—creates, polishes, and purveys the doctrine to use as a tool for their own narcissistic supply. Some leaders rely on an established theme or a variation on a traditional theme, such as Christianity and the Bible. Jaime adapted his creed from mostly Hindu teachings, practices, and texts, then twisted it to make it his own to elevate his status. All social, political, or religious societies can be vulnerable to corruption. Power corrupts, and when we give anyone—a religious teacher, a boss, a CEO of a corporation, a political leader—too much power, it perverts the soul and feeds the narcissistic tendency in all of us.

Do you blame the government for not being able to prosecute leader Jaime Gomez, also known as The Teacher?

I never thought of blaming anyone, other than myself for not following my instincts and the other members of the group for not having the courage to come forward with the truth about what was happening behind closed doors. And I still don’t blame them; I understand why.  It’s complicated, and that is what the book is about. Why do we do the things we do? What makes people give up their will, their sense of right and wrong—give up their moral compass and family ties for a person or an ideal?

 As I said throughout the book, it was a collective deception. If one were to expect the government to step in, where does that stop? Step into what? Most of us had no idea the abuse was happening, and we had no proof or witnesses coming forward. We were all adults. The old saying, “One man’s religion is another man’s cult” applies. And we must be careful of using words like brainwashed.

The definition of brainwashing is the process of pressuring someone into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means. By that strict definition we weren’t brainwashed. We didn’t adopt radically different beliefs. Most of us were already on the path of beliefs Jaime “taught” before we even met him. And we were not physically forced, like prisoners of war. This is the common mistake when we say that someone is “brainwashed,” that takes the responsibility away from them as enablers.

I heard someone on a podcast discussing Holy Hell. She said, “…and what’s with that Radhia woman? She seems like she wouldn’t take shit from anyone.” We were following the Eastern religious practice of master-disciple relationship. And I signed on to that at the time. The “shit” that I was taking from Jaime was part of the discipline. The ego is the identity of self, and I believed you could not be one with God if there was a “you.” If there is a “you” and God, by the very nature of that duality, there is a separation. That’s why I never believed I was being coerced. I was a conscious and willing participant. I was eager to let someone challenge my ego in order to overcome that ego. Willing to override my instincts and insert myself into the practice whole-heartedly as part of the discipline. What a perfect scenario for a malignant narcissist to take advantage of! But I was exercising my beliefs at the time and would have been very pissed off if the “government” came in, having no understanding of my choices, and tried to take that away.

Do you believe there should be more restrictions on cult activity in the United States and abroad?

Everything is relative and should be handled on a case-by-case basis. We have laws to deal with child abuse, sexual abuse, kidnapping, and so on—whether committed in the context of a cult, a family, a traditional religion, or among strangers. Groups we may identify as cults are not by definition abusive or criminal. The general tenet of the Buddha-field was to live a healthy, virtuous life, practicing meditation techniques, exercising unconditional love and selfless service. We were a cult of love, and we weren’t harming anyone or imposing our beliefs on anyone outside our community. And had it not been for a narcissistic leader taking advantage of our innocence, we would still be living that life in that idealistic community. But if you’re a cult of hate and division, advocate violence or show potential to do harm, or attempt to force your beliefs on others, then yes; restrictions would be appropriate.

What types of people tend to get involved in cults?

In the third section of my book, I talk about several types of people who join cults. Except for sociopaths, I believe most human beings have a conscience that dictates a line in the sand that they will not cross. A place in their soul where their moral compass finally takes the wheel and says, Stop—no more. But that line is usually preceded by little gray lines that we step over before we reach that point. From my observations, I’ve identified three basic types of people who join a cult: the hummingbirds, soldiers on a mission, and the kamikazes.

Hummingbirds are browsers. They are like looky-loos, fluttering through the fanciful world of spiritual communities. They circle around the perimeter, not ready to commit fully, but if it looks interesting, they will hang around for a time. They don’t know what they want, exactly, but they are not satisfied with what they have. They are searching for a place to belong. They will hop over a few gray lines, but when the going gets tough—they’re out.

The second category of people who join cults, after hummingbirds, is a little more complex. I call these people “soldiers on a mission.” I admit I fit more into this box than the others. This group is for those who know what they’re looking for and they are willing to step over a lot of gray lines to get it. For fourteen years prior to meeting the leader and members of the group, I was on a mission to experience God Realization, Nirvana. And when I found someone who claimed he experienced that and could show me the way—I was all in. I was willing to do the hard work and jump over a lot more gray lines to reach my goal of enlightenment.

The third type of people who join cults are the kamikazes. They don’t seem to have a final line in the sand. They come to the abyss of reality and jump off. They can range from benign people who will follow their leader to the bitter end, regardless of facts or morals, to dangerous, destructive, blindly obedient devotees who will kill or die for the leader. Examples of the latter include the followers of Charles Manson; Timothy McVeigh and other domestic terrorists; or those willing to commit suicide at the behest of the leader, such as followers of Jim Jones or the Heaven’s Gate UFO cult; ISIS suicide bombers; or Japanese kamikazes.  

What types of people tend to create cults?

It would seem to me that one would have to be pretty impressed with themself to deliberately create a cult. That type of person would be your quintessential narcissist. It’s one thing to have a prayer or meditation group, a club or gathering of people who share ideas in a Socratic format.  And sometimes it requires a board or organizers or even instructors or teachers. But when one person takes on a leadership role and is allowed to adopt a non-Socratic influence over a group, that has all the makings of a dangerous escalation of corruption and abuse.

It’s important to understand that the narcissist and the followers have a feedback loop. Together they operate on a constantly reinforced message of perceived “specialness.” Narcissism demands to be fed; and when fed it grows, eventually subsuming followers in a toxic tidal wave that forces them to sink or swim for freedom.  It is up to us to recognize and protect ourselves by avoiding the narcissist wherever possible; withdrawing our fealty; or starving their insatiable appetite for self-aggrandizement. We must not expect or wait for them to change. They never will; and the more we feed them and let them get away with it, the more dangerous and powerful they become. 

Do you believe there are cults that don’t get the media attention they deserve?

I don’t know offhand which cults should get more or less attention because I’m not a part of them, so I don’t know their story. When you say “media,” what type are you referring to? The media landscape today is not the same as the media of yesteryear. Much of media business models are about sponsors and ratings, rather than straight journalism that presents factual news or in-depth investigations. They wrap information in partisan pundit opinions and shovel a mixture of selected facts, lies, and biased appraisals into a mini horror series in order to scare the bejesus out of us, because—that’s what sells.

And then there’s the Frankenstein of the internet. The amount of traffic to mainstream social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube has exploded since 2017. We find comfort in echo chambers provided by media and in social viewpoints that reflect what we already have been indoctrinated to think because it’s easier and more comfortable than taking in new information, especially if it conflicts with our preconceived notions.

In many cases social media is a rogue thought machine, with little or no filters, editors, or fact checkers. There are hardly any rules or decorum in this mock-journalism today. It’s a free-for-all. And social network platforms do not judge your beliefs. There is limited personal discernment, just algorithms designed to target your interests; so, if you’re posting or commenting on a topic, the platform’s algorithm will gladly send you more and connect you to other like-minded users to interject their latest toxins. Social media can have its advantages when trying to bring awareness, but it can also have a dark side—a recipe for abuse and exploitation.

Very often the complexities of a person or a group of people’s lives can end up as sound bites—fodder for the public’s entertainment and media profit. That’s why I wrote this book. As good as the documentary Holy Hell was, it was snippets out of thirty years of the lives of 150 individuals, each having their own experience. Don’t get me wrong, Will Allen, the filmmaker, did an amazing job telling the story. And the film opened up this important conversation. But when you put a person’s life in soundbites and leave the rest up to the viewer—strangers looking for entertainment at the expense of that person’s very personal, painful trauma—that’s the price you pay when it is put in the hands of the media. So to answer your question, I think it all depends on what media is telling the story and how thorough and sensitive the journalist or pundit is to the situation.

 Do you think the media tends to help or hurt cult activities?

I got a call from a friend one day who said she was driving in her car and heard two people talking on a podcast about me! It’s the weirdest experience to have perfect strangers talk about you on a public forum. I heard another podcast talking about Holy Hell. These two commentators saw the film and they were enthralled, giddy, like two mean girls in high school gossiping and judging about something they knew nothing about. I had to laugh because I get it. All they had was the snippets to make their conclusions and present their case to the court of public opinion. One woman on a podcast opened her episode with a caution to her listeners that Holy Hell was a “disturbing horror story and the leader was literally a hideous monster, and we were all stupid, brainwashed, sex slaves.” Whaaaat?

I will say, those podcasters inspired me to clarify what they thought they saw in the film. But if you don’t happen to have two and a half years and a lot of money to publish a book, the subjects in question are left with an indelible, distorted, and obscure impression of who they are talking about. Whether it hurts or helps—that’s a complicated proposition. Because it’s such a wild, wild West on the internet, and anyone can produce a podcast, YouTube channel, or social network—so we shouldn’t be surprised there are a lot of unprofessional “media” personalities out there, voicing their unqualified opinion. Cults are complicated, dangerous, and traumatizing—no one needs their kind of help. And it takes courage and confidence to tangle with the media.

What can we expect in your new book: The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders: How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania?

Expect a wild ride. I see so many people in a state of dis-ease, confused, frightened, and overwhelmed by what is happening in America and around the world today. And because of my twenty-five years’ experience in a cult, under the influence of a narcissistic leader, I get it on such a deep level. And like I do in my wellness practice, I conducted extensive research for The Followers from a myriad of scholastic books, articles, journals, and periodicals, but unless you’re a researcher or have a vested interest in this subject, who has time to slog through the academic material? Nobody! Except me. That’s sort of my schtick. I read, studied, digested all that material for you. But I knew if I were going to shine some light on the complexities of our present situation, I had to make it personal, humorous, raw, and entertaining as well as provocative. 

I definitely open the kimono, so to speak, in this book. I knew if I wasn’t real and honest, the reader wouldn’t trust me. Although the archival footage in the documentary Holy Hell on Amazon gives you real footage of the inside of the cult, the story is so much bigger than a 100-minute documentary could tell. I invite the reader to take a journey with me down the road of my life in the safety and comfort of their home, in hopes that they will learn from my experience and not have to take the same road. I have lived an extraordinary life. I’ve done things that most people can’t even imagine. On this journey you might laugh, you might cry, you might get angry, or you might find relief that you’re not alone. I invite you to go all the way to the end with me, even if you find some discomfort along the way. In my life I chose the road less traveled. I spent sixty-plus years in contemplative practice, and at the end of this book I promise I won’t leave you without some pearls from my experience to help you navigate this crazy world. The book The Followers, Holy Hell and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders is not a story about me per se, or some broken, gullible individuals, or the past; it’s a story about what’s happening todayto all of us. 

The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble but if you don’t like or have time to read, it’s also on Audible in my voice.

WHY I LOVE HEMINGWAY

My interest in Hemingway was piqued when I was 19. On a whim, I picked up Aaron Hochner’s book Papa Hemingway and never looked back. The anecdotes, the gusto for life that Hemingway showed, the jokes, and the intensity of the man captured me completely. After that, I read every biography published starting with Princeton scholar Carlos Baker’s seminal work, and then went on to the original sources: the short stories, the novels and the letters.

People invariably express surprise when they find that I, a woman, am deep into Hemingway lore and literature. The most common reaction is, “Oh God, he hated women, didn’t he? And he loved bull fighting and hunting. How can you stand him?” After 35 years of reading Hemingway, here’s what I’ve concluded about why I am such a fan and why I find him so relatable.

1.    Hemingway was complex. There is the surface and there is more. Just as his simple short sentences belie deeper messages, Hemingway’s persona of a bellicose he-man obscures the multi-faceted shy man beneath the facade. He was a macho icon and yet was far ahead of his time in writing about gender fluidity, women’s rights, and women as leaders. His character Pilar, a mountain woman, is a strong secondary heroine in For Whom the Bell Tolls. The 1927 short story, Hills Like White Elephants, deals with the issue of abortion with compassion and directness all without once mentioning the word and with Hemingway’s sympathies clearly resting with the woman. And in his exploratory The Garden of Eden, Hemingway wrote of gender identity and role changing, all unmentionable in his era. He was a brilliant, insecure, depressed alcoholic with mother issues, all of which made for a rich if not easy emotional stew. The man was full of contradictions and nuance—like all of us.

2.    Hemingway’s subject matter moves me. I hate bullfighting, war, hunting, boxing—staples of Hemingway plots—but those are not what I see when I read his works. A Farewell to Arms is about war, but it also is about friendship, love, sacrifice, and coping with grief when all is hopeless. And while For Whom the Bell Tolls is about the Spanish Civil War, it also is about two young lovers who for one snapshot in time have it all. For one moment, they have a beauty that can never be taken from them. Hemingway created images in crafted strokes and phrases, many of which have become clichés to the point of parody because they were that good at defining a feeling and were completely fresh when penned. “Did thee feel the earth move?” “The world breaks everyone and afterward, some are stronger in the broken places.” “Never mistake motion for action.” “Grace under pressure.” At bottom, Hemingway wrote about healing, devotion to a person or cause no matter the cost, loss, and love. The ending of For Whom the Bell Tolls slays me every time.

3.    Reading Hemingway reminds me that everything is about context. I mentioned bullfighting and hunting big game. Most of us hate both and view them as barbaric. However, as my history professor always said, you have to see behaviors in the context of their time. Those activities were not anathema in 1930. Eighty years from now, the consensus may be that killing animals for food is brutal, and that not having subsidized medical care for all is byzantine, and to not permit assisted suicide is cruel. Different sensibilities frame what we find unacceptable. Context is key, and Hemingway both shaped and was a product of his time like all of us.

4.    And finally, all of our heroes have failings and Hemingway had his share of bad behavior—perhaps more than his share. He was jealous of his rivals due to his own insecurities. He could be a boring part-time bully, particularly when drinking. He was an inconstant husband and a mercurial father. He discarded people who helped him on the way up. And yet–-he was generous to selected friends and writers. He was kind to his animals whom he treated like family members. He was gentle and supportive personally and financially to employees of his Cuban household. He was a mimic and story-teller who presented life in technicolor to his sons. He was truly brave in both wars. He was committed to his craft and even when suffering health ravages including the after effects of two plane crashes, seven or eight serious concussions, and alcoholism, he sat down to work almost every day to write something of value, something new that had never been attempted. There is a nobility in that. Like all heroes from John F. Kennedy to Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi to Winston Churchill, the warts are there along-side the accomplishments. The international braggart jostles for position next to the mid-western artist, alone and unassuming in his writing studio. The serious thinker morphs into a silly prankster in his letters to family and friends. The mean-spirited diva twists into a gracious and humble supporter of others to his own detriment in a sudden pivot. As Hemingway wrote in For Whom the Bell Tolls, “I know now there is no one thing that is true. It is all true.” It is the combination of the dark and the light of the same man that molded the whole. Hemingway was a shapeshifter, like we all are to some degree.

Archibald MacLeish once said that he only knew two men in his life who could empty the air from a room simply by entering it—Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. He added, “Hemingway simply could not stop people from talking about him.” That continues to be true today and is part of why I love Hemingway. The well of getting to know him never runs dry.

Christine M. Whitehead

Lawyer and author of the novel Hemingway’s Daughter

Visit Christine’s official site.

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Stephen Gilles image via Daphne Diluce at Roar Creative Media for use by 360 Magazine

Stephen Gillen Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Stephen Gillen is an bestselling author and established entrepreneur who has gained success with his biopic “The Monkey Puzzle Tree,” alongside various business, media, and film projects. Looking towards the future, Gillen is soon to release his highly-anticipated book, “In Justice, Love, & Honour.” He also recently signed a worldwide TV deal with Film Volt, in which his The Stephen Gillen Crime Files channel will be broadcast on all major platforms. 360 Magazine sat down with the author to discuss the creation of his latest text and other upcoming projects.

What has working with someone so closely related to in the historic incident, namely Joseph Loney?

It was great working with Joseph to get a real human feel behind this story of what the real-life fallout and struggles translated to for everyone involved. It can be the small or big things, it’s all relevant in such a massive, emotional, historic and trauma-driven story. I want to know, feel and understand what it was really like, and to pinpoint the details and exclusive parts of the story not known or perhaps published. That [way] I can not [only] do justice to everyone involved and the victims, but [also] translate it authentically and with the right information and emotion for my readers. For me, having a real expert experience of what it is to live lives like this and what these characters would have been feeling, was a fascinating expose of everything that went on. I understood the ‘humanness, challenges and fears’ of the people behind this unbelievable story. It was always a great privilege and each had an amazing story in their own right.

Did you always have an interest in history, or did something about the incident concerning Fredrick Sewell and his band of robbers particularly pique your interest in the subject?

The story actually came to me through Joseph Loney, who contacted me because of his great love of the story I wrote about my life, “The Monkey Puzzle Tree.” We started talking over time and the more I understood about his journey and his father’s journey linked with Fredrick Sewell and the history surrounding it, I began to see what a massive narrative it was. Not just because of the historic angle and what actually happened, but [also] how the journeys of the main characters were incredibly linked in paradoxical and emotional ways. There were unbelievable links in this story – like Fredrick Sewell, Joseph Loney Senior, and Gerald Richardson (the policeman killed) were all the same age, but [each] ended up in a way you would never imagine. Fact really is stranger than fiction, and as I crafted this story, I cared very much about [what] all the characters went through and how they all ended up. This is one of the many elements that makes it an un-put-down-able read, which at the moment is being highly desired by the world’s top publishers.

What has it been like signing with Global Aggregate Film Volt for your channel?

It was a great moment. We have always worked so hard, and I have such wonderful people around me, like Daphne, my partner, and the rest of the team. It was good to then be invited in to do the awesome work … together at Film Volt. Mark is a cool guy, well respected, and very influential in the industry. He has a very strong and talented work ethic. We’re very similar in ways, so for all of us involved in the partnership with such a connected and influential worldwide distributor, it offers us great opportunities for the future to do the fantastic work we are all focused on together.

I have a very unique history, skill set and experience/profile, so [I] am [an] individual in this space and for what we are shaping on the Crime Channel. My crime channel, called ‘The Stephen Gillen Crime Files,’ is now in the process of being on all major TV platforms around the world. We aim to consistently deliver raw, highly produced and coveted content that will really add value and make the difference to audiences and people’s lives around the world. We have a world class team behind us now to make that happen and [are] committed to really raising the bar in content creation. With such a massive reach to such vast audiences, the future is very exciting.

What do you plan to discuss on your worldwide crime channel? Are there any specific cases you want to shed more light on?

We have many great and riveting formats under development, [that are] really out of this world and well-formatted. I’ll be continuing interviewing my YouTube model ‘The Big Shift,’ which interviews big name global crimes [and] many high-ranking organized crime figures and mobsters. But, we have other out of the box enthralling shows [too]. They are being released very soon so can’t say too much. But what I can say is [that] they are very professional throughout and crafted to entertain a wide scope of audiences in the genre, [the show is] very gripping and appealing to all. Most are really emotionally charged, which will really pull in, shock, and excite audiences. Other are focused on redemption and atonement, real hard-hitting, true stories that are amazing. [These stories] aim to be targeted, [and] to bring light, learning, closure and information to people so [that] these awful events may not happen again and there is improvement [for the] next generations. Other formats will be cliff hangers and work with viewers ‘outside the box,’ in the way this genre usually works. We want to thrill, shock, inform, improve and entertain as much as possible, focusing on the unbelievable stories that people really want to watch and hear about. It’s going to be content not to miss, I promise you.

How long did the process of researching for “In Justice, Love & Honour” take?

Research for ‘In Justice, Love & Honour’ took around six months to research, but possibly longer as even when I was writing, there was other important bits of information I needed. It was a real emotional journey… My family tell[s] me [that] when I’m writing not only do they not see me, but [also they] can’t talk to me I’m just so immersed in the characters, story arcs, plots and narrative. It’s how I write and why the writing is always so powerful, it’s a[n] emotion process that is finely woven and really burned, translated and detailed in a masterful and human way on the page. I also feel a lot of responsibility, and really work tirelessly for it to be as cleverly-crafted as possible for my audience and readers.

What do you anticipate reader’s reaction to “In Justice, Love & Honour” will be like?

I know they’ll be blown away by the detail of the characters, the emotion, the masterful weaving and moving plots, the descriptive and well written writing structures and the burning humaneness carv[ing] right through it. It is not just a massively historic, true story, but an amazing and riveting character study as you are emotionally gripped by these unbelievable characters that jump from the page. Part of the allure and uniqueness of this book is, of course, I live deep in this world and [have] travelled through most of the things these characters did from a very deep angle. So, I have great value as experience [in] the internal things going on as a person goes through these unbelievably crazy and breathtaking events. It certainly is a path less trodden and my main goal was to go to the heart of it in a way no other author could as we can only go as deep as we have been before. This certainly adds a massive uniqueness to everything in this unbelievable story. The world’s top publishers seem to think so too, as they are excited and pushing hard for the chance to be the one to publish and bring it to mass audiences. It is a great privilege to do it and I’m sure it will be a roller-coaster ride for all.

Find out more about Stephen’s story and the opportunity to get a signed copy of his book HERE.

*Photos and book cover design: Daphne Diluce

Hurricane symbol illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The 2021 Hurricane Report

Author and climate scientist Bill Pekny says the 2021 hurricane season began early this year, and the forecast is to be active all season long. He explains how this compares to previous seasons, why it is the way it is…and why we shouldn’t assume hurricanes are worsening.

The 2021 hurricane season is upon us again. And according to Bill Pekny—who has an extensive background of tracking hurricanes and studying science—says it’s living up to its preseason prediction of being an active, but not unprecedented, year.

“These days there is a lot of unwarranted fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe,” says Pekny, author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59). “This is a misconception driven by the fact that we measure storms in terms of economic damage.”

“We continue to build more and more high-dollar homes, hotels, and resorts in high-risk coastal areas,” he explains. “When hurricanes do make landfall, they naturally create more property damage with higher price tags. In other words, the real culprit is more development, not more hurricanes. People just conflate these two issues.”

He says the experimental reality is that hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico areas, are not trending worse in either frequency or intensity over “climatological” (30 year) time scales. The same is true on a global scale. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded, “Hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years.” And, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data shows there has been “no increasing trend in tropical cyclone or hurricane numbers.”

Pekny says storms have intrigued him all his life. (“As a young scientist back in 1969, I had the truly unique experience of flying into the teeth of one as a RADAR meteorologist/crewmember with the renowned U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters,” he notes.) What he’s learned is that, despite great strides in the technology that allows us to track and measure storms, not much has changed with respect to the storms themselves.

Still, from the much shorter-term “weather” perspective, this looks to be an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic basin, says Pekny. Here is his latest check on tropical cyclone activity this season in the northern hemisphere as of July 19, 2021:

Pekny’s analysis of hurricane season

Basin – Named Storms – Names Storm Days – Hurricanes – Hurricane Days – Major Hurricanes – Major Hurricane Days – Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)

N Atlantic (Includes Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico) – 5 – 13.75 – 1 – 1.50 – 0 – 0.00 – 12.8

NE Pacific (out to Hawaii) – 7 – 20.00 – 2 – 6.75 – 1 – 2.75 – 34.9

NW Pacific – 3 – 8.50 – 1 – 1.00 – 0 – 0.00 – 7.0

N Indian – 2 – 6.00 – 2 – 3.25 – 1 – 1.50 – 13.8

Total – 17 – 48.25 – 6 – 12.50 – 2 – 4.25 – 68.5

Source: Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Meteorology Project

It’s been a fairly active hurricane season to date, at least with regard to the number of named storms (17 this year, as compared to the historical average of 14.1, at one-fourth of the way through the six-month hurricane season).

In terms of another cyclone metric—Named Storm Days—there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of short-duration tropical storms (those lasting less than two days). Meanwhile, storms lasting longer than two days have not shown a noticeable increase. The long-lasting storms are the most devastating ones.

Another metric around intensity/severity is Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE. It is a measure of the kinetic energy of hurricanes, and is directly tied to sustained hurricane windspeed. Over the long haul, ACE has been trending downward, and it’s no different this year—relatively calm in terms of kinetic energy.

Only one tropical storm in the North Atlantic basin, and not even a hurricane-level storm at that, has made a meaningful landfall this season. It was Tropical Storm Elsa, which earlier this month dumped a significant amount of rain as it passed northeasterly over Florida and then up the Atlantic seaboard before dying out.

What determines how active this hurricane season will be?

Common ingredients in the recipe for hurricane development are a combination of a weather disturbance and thunderstorm activity as seeds for a tropical storm; warm ocean water to power the storm; and low vertical wind shear to prevent the storm from breaking up as it traverses the ocean. Those conditions, and especially the expected continuance of low vertical wind shear in the North Atlantic basin, favor hurricane development throughout this season.

In other words… “Be prepared for another active hurricane season, just like last year,” says Pekny.

About the Author:

Bill Pekny is the author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary. He holds physics M.S. and B.S. degrees from Georgia Tech and DePaul University, plus graduate study in physical meteorology and numerical analysis at Florida State University and the University of Utah, and a visiting scholar appointment at the Ginzton Laboratory of Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Bill’s career in science spans over 50 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and the aerospace industry.

His career highlights include: Project Stormfury with the U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters; applied atmospheric physics and meteorology research; LASER RADAR development; new product testing in various atmospheric environments; aviation optics and electronics; global climate research; and more.

For more information, please visit: Two Climates.

About the Book:

A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59) is available from major online booksellers.