Banned TED Talks — banned by TED? Really?

banned-TED-talksWhen I heard that there were TED Talks that were banned, I never assumed that TED (who’s mission is: “to offer free knowledge & inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers”) was the one banning them (or pulling them out of mainstream view). When I heard that the talks included Sarah Silverman, Eddie Huang as well as Graham Hancock, I could kind of figure out why. Those are names that became famous for saying what others wouldn’t say or for doing things others wouldn’t do, (along with genuine talent, brilliant thinking & various accomplishments too of course). But when I heard that Rupert Sheldrake was included in that bunch, it really made me suspicious. It made me think that maybe there was content that higher powers didn’t want us to hear or know. [When I say ‘higher powers,’ I mean people that are ego-maniacs & want to control the population with what we collectively consider power: ownership, inheritance, knowledge, fame, resources or money. When we collectively no longer consider those things or types of people powerful, they won’t be. Until then, we play the collective game. The important thing, is to remember it’s a game you chose to go along with, by agreeing to the rules — living within the rules, modeling yourself after the rules — you have agreed to play.]

Relaxing into life & letting go, being open to various possibilities, giving up a false sense of control, not pretending to know it all — make a great number of people quiver (not just TED, which is why they banned some of their own videos). When dogmas are challenged, or the beliefs people hold dear are perforated, they lose their footing. They panic. They create enemies (in order to justify their dogmas & beliefs). And to be clear, we all do this in various ways about various things we believe in to get us through our day-to-day lives. But why do we need dogmas, beliefs, or things we want to feel certain about to get us through our lives? (Both religion & science fans are included in that question.) Why do those concepts feel like good footing or a powerful structure for us? What about those ideas or thoughts allow us to feel secure? To feel secure, like we know what’s going on, or have a handle on things?

science dogmaWhat if Rupert Sheldrake was right, & we could just say, everything is always changing.  And we could be lighthearted about it & flexible — open to possibility. What if we became more fluid, more all-encompassing, more all-embracing & unconditional? For many, it’s a scary thought. They think with real openness, equality & freedom, the world would go mad! They’d think we would be living in a crazy world, where anything goes, & life is chaotic. Well, it already is! And maybe it is, because we are so fixed. Unbearably rigid to the point where we cause our own suffering & ruin. We are bound to concepts & ideas & beliefs that aren’t working for us. How do I know they aren’t working? I can look at lives in general, I can see how people eat-up entertainment & are always starving for distraction. As well as the need to medicate or mask everything — as they search for lasting peace, love & joy outside of themselves, in things that could never give them what they truly want.

I can also look back at TED Talks & review the 5 most watched TED Talks to date (updated by TED on November 8, 2012). Almost all of them deal with the very subject that Rupert Sheldrake is addressing & mentioning: “everything depends on evolving habits and not on fixed laws”, “thinking less dogmatically can open things up” & “our minds are extended beyond our brains”.

“The fact that I was banned actually confirms what I am saying…”
— Rupert Sheldrake

There is a lopsided way in which we are living, where the material aspect of life is the be-all, end-all. Thinking & living like that doesn’t allow much room for play. And please don’t say “We live in such a creative playful time! Look at the artists & the creators of our culture, as well as the opportunities for them!” As a ted censorshipprofessional artist or creative person, I know all too well how orchestrated it is. And as for our culture, there isn’t a democracy. We can talk about the government & law & rights & all sorts of things, & wind-up at a dead end. I see a culture of people wanting to be happy & looking for fulfillment in the mass accumulation of things (or select prized things & positions). I see people desperate for approval & a place to belong. And lets not forget the billions working at jobs they don’t love, but feel like they have to take that sort of work on (in order to play the game we all created).

There has to be an easier way. And as I experiment with the words Ease or Effortless in my life, I begin to see more & more that I was sold a bill of goods. I was sold junk concepts that never worked, never felt right, & never gave me a sense of real freedom or joy. The more I look into “not everything depends on fixed laws”, the more I bravely step into the unknown; the more I feel free; the more life feels universal, connected & unlimited — instead of individual, separate & fixed.

Embedded below is the talk by Rupert Sheldrake that TED disapproved of. (Just listen to the clapping & praise Sheldrake got after his talk at the TED conference. Now why would they ban it? It was obviously greatly approved of by the TED conference itself. –Interesting.) And below the video, is a letter that Sheldrake wrote to TED in response to TED’s actions & comments regarding his talk.

Rupert Sheldrake
March 18, 2013

I would like to respond to TED’s claims that my TEDx talk “crossed the line into pseudoscience”, contains ”serious factual errors” and makes “many misleading statements.”

This discussion is taking place because the militant atheist bloggers Jerry Coyne and P.Z. Myers denounced me, and attacked TED for giving my talk a platform. I was invited to give my talk as part of a TEDx event in Whitechapel, London, called “Challenging Existing Paradigms.” That’s where the problem lies: my talk explicitly challenges the materialist belief system. It summarized some of the main themes of my recent book Science Set Free (in the UK called The Science Delusion). Unfortunately, the TED administrators have publicly aligned themselves with the old paradigm of materialism, which has dominated science since the late nineteenth century.

TED say they removed my talk from their website on the advice of their Scientific Board, who also condemned Graham Hancock’s talk. Hancock and I are now facing anonymous accusations made by a body on whose authority TED relies, on whose advice they act, and behind whom they shelter, but whose names they have not revealed…

[For the uncensored full scoop on Eddie Huang’s TED experience, in his own words, Click Here. For more information about the Sarah Silverman TED situation, Click Here. To watch Graham Hancock’s banned TED Talk, Click Here. If you would like to see a full lecture of Rupert Sheldrake’s titled Science Set Free, Click Here.]


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