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Was Mother Teresa a good woman? All of us get brainwashed about something

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) has been awarded sainthood by the appropriate Catholic apparatchiks. Just a decade ago, I would agree that she was one of the holiest people in the 20th century and so on. You can hear this statement everywhere so it must probably be true – like the statement that the Greenland is the world's largest island. Now, my opinions are closer to those of Florin M.

This episode of "Penn and Teller's Bullšit" – well, the video only shows 1/3 of an episode that focused on Mother Teresa – was an eye-opener for me when I watched it some 6 years ago. Christopher Hitchens was their most favorite "critic" and he is the #1 source for Florin, too.

Just to be sure, I appreciate Christianity for some of the roots of our civilization and even for some things it's giving our societies today. But if I am given at least some basic data and a sketch of her life and asked to evaluate her life impartially, I join those who say that she was an evil, cruel, corrupt de facto thief with lots of liars producing the P.R. for her.

She has demonstrably collected millions of dollars for herself, while claiming to help the poor. She was almost self-evidently excited to see misery around her, people who weren't as lucky as she was or who weren't abusing their environment as aggressively as she was. The money that she didn't spend on her material well-being was spent on religion which, in her case, basically meant on increasing of the power of herself and similar folks – and her ability to "earn" extra money in the future. Everything is compatible with the opinion that she depended on the survival of the suffering of many people and she was trying to make sure that the suffering would never go away.

Some of the poor could have been turned into strong enough believers so that they were truly happy to be exploited in this way, led to this "happy death" in her camps etc. But I still feel that they shouldn't have been. And there must have been others who didn't want anything of the sort.

Even seemingly "independent" thinkers get brainwashed about lots of things

This change of my views on her leads me to a much more general realization: Even people like me who are probably considered highly independently thinking – and I am sure that according to many, too independently thinking – often blindly adopt many myths that are often repeated even though it sometimes takes an hour of a "somewhat serious investigation of the topic" to understand why this generally shared wisdom is incorrect and often the opposite of the truth.

How many false beliefs like that are there? How many of them have brainwashed me or you?

Let's take environmentalism and global warming. I have obviously never been a staunch "ideological" environmentalist of any sort. My emotional relationship to the green groups was mixed during the late communism – you know, Greenpeace did say some correct things and they were in some sense a part of the anti-communist opposition – and shortly after the fall of communism, I adopted the views that they're basically dangerous nuts.

That's despite (or maybe partially because of?) the fact that in 1990, I went to a week-long voluntary job to help the trees in the Bohemian Forest. All the other participants and certainly all the "leaders" were full-fledged green activists. From my arguments about politics over there, I had no doubt that most of the greens were really driven by a fanatical hatred of capitalism and freedom. But I do know exceptions, too – and Czechia has actually seen numerous "right-wing environmentalists", too. In 1990, it seemed like I was the only one there who was trying to help the trees. All the others wanted to hurt Klaus and capitalism! ;-)

But there was this whole tower of "mainstream views" that were held well beyond the limits of the green movement. And I did buy lots of those. As a 10-year-old kid in the early 1980s, I did tend to be afraid of the complete nuclear destruction of the world. And I did pay attention to the questions "Will they survive through 2000?" which were meant to say that most species would go extinct before the year 2000 etc. When I see how the environments of the years 1985 and 2000 were similar – and they had to be – all this biodiversity propaganda of the 1980s looks foolish to me, too.

And even shortly after the Velvet Revolution in the early 1990s, I did trust the most "scientific" layer of the claims about global warming. The climate was warming thanks to the greenhouse effect caused by the man-made CO2 emissions. Up to the year 1993 or something like that, I had never studied the global temperature graphs carefully – or at all. I was imagining that these graphs resembled noiseless, approximately linearly increasing functions.

Well, the actual graphs didn't look anything like that, I figured out later in the 1990s, and I realized that I had to be much more careful about many of those claims, not just those screamed by the green whackos on the street. And the subsequent 20 years confirmed that. I am indeed confident that a vast majority of the widespread green ideology that has penetrated much of the society is composed of lies.

You know very well that I have very little doubt that the greenhouse effect exists and the man-made CO2 contributes to it, and so on. But when you interpret most of the short slogans in the most straightforward yet quantitative ways, you will construct statements that are simply not true. Even if there may be some true core underlying many of the green claims, they are effectively or morally lies. By this statement, I mean that if a typical thinking person tries to deduce more specific "consequences" of those statements, "consequences" that the authors of the slogans really want the people to think, most of these "consequences" will be unquestionably false.

Just to be sure, I still believe many generally believed things that people with similar "general" claims about the widespread misconceptions tended to throw away. In the video above, Feynman said that the people's opinion that it's helpful to brush our teeth is an analogous mass delusion as the belief in witches a few centuries ago.

During the 2005 Sidneyfest, I didn't resist and asked Murray Gell-Mann about this particular incident. Murray – a life-long friendly rival of Feynman's – got extremely excited and started to talk about Feynman's teeth. Feynman was completely crazy not to believe in the toothbrushes etc. and his teeth were decaying completely etc., Murray defended his view that the widely believed things are often correct and Feynman wasn't exactly helpful in those situations.

I am spending much more time than an average person with a toothbrush every day. But I am not quite sure.

Let me tell you that my teeth have been heavily destroyed since the age of 10 when I spent about 40 minutes with a socialist female dentist. Most of my teeth surely have some filling or a crown (2), two or three are dead etc. But I already tend to believe that it would have been better off if I have avoided dentists throughout my life. Why? Relatively to the number of "fixes", the number of times when I had a toothache was tiny.

My private capitalist dentist was much less "aggressive" towards my teeth which I still like. But in Spring 2009, she wanted some root surgery on a (now dead) tooth that doesn't seem to pose any serious problems to me. This encouraged me to avoid dentists for quite some time. And when I've struggled with the yeast problems since late August 2012 – almost obviously in all other organs and not the teeth – I didn't feel that I should have been solving some details such as the teeth. Instead, what I wanted was to survive, at least for a few more years. In fact, I only saw the dentist less than 2 weeks ago on Tuesday (late August 2016), more than 7 years after the previous visit. I had to go there because a filling has dropped from a teeth – I "helped" it with a dental thread while using it.

What do you think was the result? A guy with dozens of fillings etc. who had an extra fix virtually every year hasn't seen a dentist for more than 7 years. Before the visit, I wished she would check the mouth, found one hole after the filling and nothing else wrong. She would fix the hole and I would be out in 6 minutes.

Sometimes I am an optimist. But there was a nonzero chance because I didn't have any toothaches etc.

What happened? Well, I came to to the dentist's office, we chatted for a minute because we didn't see each other for more than 7 hours. She checked my mouth, found the hole after the filling, nothing else wrong, fixed the filling, and I was out in 6 minutes! After 7 years. You know, this is a strong piece of evidence that the bulk of the previous drilling was just bullšit. I think that the socialist dentists just didn't like something on the surface of the teeth – perhaps some mostly harmless yeast biofilms – and that's why they were drilling. They shouldn't have.

The reduction of the rate of cavities per year was arguably more than a 5-sigma effect. I have been cleaning my teeth carefully with a toothbrush – because I believed that it may be needed and I still believe so. But I have my doubts about what actually helps. It seems plausible to me now that using coconut oil instead of the toothpaste may actually be more effective etc. and it has been a part of my occasional supplementary habits for 4 years.

But you know, when some people say that they may live their lives without seeing a dentist ever, I surely see their point. Even someone like me who has been included among the people with decimated teeth early on could live without a dentist for more than 7 years and it had apparently no negative consequences at all.

Let me also mention that I have eliminated cold – specifically, I mean a runny noise – from my life since late 2013. I just didn't have a full-fledged flu or cold that would fill my nose or sinuses or damaged my ability to speak etc. since 2013, for some 2.7 years. And that's despite the fact that around 2010 and 2011, for example, I had a flu or runny nose at least 5 times a year. It usually started exactly 2 days after I did some big laundry. A certain smell couldn't ever be quite eliminated from the clothes etc. I am sure that it was linked to the yeast, probably a Candida species. Those yeast cells were almost certainly necessary for the flu etc. to start, although they could have just created helpful biofilms for the viruses etc. to exploit. And those episodes of flu were very bad, e.g. when I was in Nice in June 2010.

Well, I've eliminated those yeast cells from my environment and basically from my breathing organs – mainly thanks to carvacrol (i.e. the oregano oil). For a few years, I have taken several oregano oil capsules a week and I have various oregano-oil-based sprays to kill these cells in my environment, nose etc., too.

This is the only treatment that seemed to have a striking, immediate positive effect. I continued to trust it (also because I saw several science articles with lots of citations) and I am satisfied. You know, some people may be skeptical but when I reduced the number of runny nose episodes from 15 in 3 years to 0 in 2.8 years, there's probably some reason that goes beyond fluctuations. The decrease of the rate is almost certainly in the "more than 5 sigma" territory, too.

I've recommended the oregano oil sprays to other people and several of them got "immediately well" when a flu was apparently getting started. Such "small miracles" have occurred repeatedly.

Obviously, I told a few sentences about Candida etc. to my dentist, too. She said she always knew I was "contemplative" but also concluded that I was "into alternative medicine". This is funny. I obviously understand why a science-trained professional would make this conclusion about me. On the other hand, my methods to decide about the effectiveness of many things are very different from those of the believers of "alternative medicine". I think that most of them are mindless anti-science simpletons. And they believe lots of wrong if not crazy things. Their method to find "cures" is so sloppy that I would say that it doesn't work. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

From my viewpoint, the efficiency of carvacrol in fighting the yeast isn't any "alternative medicine". It's biochemistry just like any other. When low-immunity (HIV-infected, cancer sufferers during a treatment etc.) patients in hospitals suffer from a systemic candidasis – Candida yeast cells all over their body, which is often lethal – they may be treated by *azoles such as ketoconazole (I won't discuss nystatine). It seems to have some negative effects.

But there exist – in my opinion totally trustworthy – research papers saying that carvacrol is about just as effective as the same amount of ketoconazole in breaking the yeast cell membranes (composed partly of ergosterol, a relative of our cholesterol which we need in animals' membrane walls). And it seems more natural, free of known negative side effect. So of course I prefer carvacrol (oregano oil) over ketoconazole. My problems with the yeast became so widespread over the organs that I would have accepted a treatment with ketoconazole or anything like that in 2012. But no one had offered such things to me. Except for a throat doctor who found a clear mycosis on my tongue in Spring 2013, the doctors would diagnose me as a healthy man (and told me to see a dentist instead, in 2012-2013, which I said was irrelevant – and I think that by now, it has been proven I was right). But I just wasn't a healthy man. So I was basically forced to investigate what to do, whether it may be treated, and I found out in the literature that the *azoles and carvacrol etc. were effective. The latter was easier for me to obtain.

If you have indications that the yeast cells could cause lots of seemingly minor or cosmetic problems to your health (swollen gums around crowns where the yeast like to live, red rashes on skin at many places, small scars that don't want to heal, broken toenails powered by a fungal problem, athlete's feet, jock itch, unexplained and completely unprecedented episode of a week-long impotence, a gout that you had never had before and you will never have it again, "water" in your ears that just doesn't want to go away and you can't hear fully for a few days, a white tongue, white stuff almost "gluing" a boy's foreskin to the penis, skin looking purple under the fluorescent light bulbs' light, and I could continue with symptoms I have known but largely eliminated – which is why I haven't mentioned the by far most frequent yeast-related symptom among ordinary men and women LOL, those in the vagina), I recommend you e.g. the Now Foods Oregano Oil capsules (taken in the middle of a food, not more than 1-2 times a day); OregaSpray (edible) for general disinfection of your environment but even a way to kill a coming flu etc. (Sinu Orega is a special oregano-oil-based treatment for sinuses but it is less concentrated); and I recommend you to replace various oils with coconut oil (which is also good for cleaning teeth, as a skin cream, also sunscreen, treatment of hair, good for eating, cooking, baking...) etc. There are various alternatives but I don't want to make this blog post complicated. Carvacrol – the majority of good oregano oil products – dissolves the ergosterol i.e. yeast membranes and they just decay away instantly.

OK, this was a huge technical digression about my health.

Let's return to the more general point. There are many wisdoms that are being repeated all the time and you haven't verified them – even though you have the intellectual capacity to do so. Intelligent people should start to do this stuff. We should assertively verify lots of "frequently repeated wisdoms" whose proofs or justifications are actually unknown even to intelligent people like you.

In some cases, you will find out that the general wisdom seems right and the evidence is real. In others, you will find out that the generally shared wisdom is a mass delusion, a misconception. It is sometimes based on no evidence, sometimes on deficient evidence, and sometimes on whole disciplines of "science" that isn't real science and the people who are doing these things are either incompetent or dishonest.

Even though, unlike Feynman, I still believe that the toothbrushes help the mankind or the average person to preserve the health of their teeth (although I can imagine that for a large subset of the mankind, toothbrushes may be useless, indeed), I surely agree with the general claim by Feynman's that there are lots of beliefs that are taken for granted even though they shouldn't be – which means that the public's progress towards the scientific thinking hasn't been so spectacular since the Middle Ages.

The idea that Mother Teresa was an ethically exceptionally good woman is one of the examples that don't need any real "science" to be debunked. Some knowledge of what she was doing and how she was feeling about various events around her are enough to see the light.

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