The elevator speech about TED is that I spent a year developing a program. During that time, TED got impacted by the skeptic force in the world and imposed a filter to qualify its talks. Not only were its new specs hazy, but no grandfather clause prevailed and two weeks before my program TED revoked a license with which I was in conformity. Losing my sponsors and funders, my event set me back some $40,000. I was willing to pay because we had a large world-wide audience poised to watch on Livestream. However, TED got Livestream to cancel it two days before the event.
My Olivetti equivalent, circa 2014, has been staring at me for a while now as I have been thinking about what to say about a great injustice that was done to me by the TED organization. Dealing with it could lead to the next big move humanity needs to make, which is to change its worldview. As per Craig Weiler, in What Really Happened at TED?, “The reason that the controversy struck such a nerve among intellectuals was that this dust up…was functioning as a proxy for a much larger controversy that’s been steadily pushing itself into the hallowed halls of science: the role of consciousness in physics.”
Here’s Craig about my planned TEDx event:
There were four speakers who TED singled out. Dr. Larry Dossey, who has written several books on alternative medicine and has had a long and distinguished career; physicist Russell Targ, author of many books on extra sensory perception who helped found the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, and was a pioneer in early laser development; anthropologist Marilyn Schlitz, author of many books and former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences; and Marianne Williamson, an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer who has just announced her candidacy for the 33rd congressional district in California.
It was pretty obvious at this point that TED had a very specific idea of what they would not allow. In a blog post the TED staff wrote:
“When we looked at the program as a whole, our assessment was that it didn’t meet the TEDx guidelines for solid science.”
It was an awfully vague reason for such a drastic action. It put Suzanne Taylor in an awful place as she scrambled to put together her event without TED at the last possible minute at great personal expense.
As I was puzzling over how to tell all, meandering around on Facebook I came across a deeply satisfying video of a conversation Bill Moyers had with David Simon, creator of The Wire. It hit our dysfunctional nail on the head.
David Simon on America as a Horror Show
“The horror show is we are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many many more will be marginalized and destroyed,” Simon tells Moyers. He blames a “purchased” Congress for failing America’s citizens.
See this 10-minute tidbit:
What could impact society enough to fix our broken government so that upward mobility applies to everyone and self-absorption gives way to a sense of mutuality? My ace in that hole has been the crop circle phenomenon, because we’d pull together as one if we established the reality of “the other.”
I’ve also been talking about other ways and means.
DOORWAYS TO ANOTHER REALITY: Peering into Inner and Outer Mysteries is a webinar series I produced and hosted for Evolver.
Most of us realize that a fundamental change is underway. DOORWAYS TO ANOTHER REALITY probes the deep changes that are happening now and looks at how we can be participating in them.
Then I wrote, Vital Mission! Will you join me?
After the first two DOORWAYS TO ANOTHER REALITY webinars, I am getting more than I bargained for. I am not just bringing some of my favorite people to an audience, but I am being impacted myself with some coherent sense about the cusp we are on between worldviews, and of where we might put our attention to best help the “conscious evolution” we so need.
Because of its branding as a platform for new ideas, I went to TED. I was granted a license as TEDx West Hollywood and given a year’s time to produce Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?, that I based on what the webinar series had delivered. Here’s the description:
“More for you is more for me.” – Charles Eisenstein
Our event, “Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?,” will illuminate the urgent need to change our fundamental value system or worldview to one in which humanity pulls together rather than separately. This view would supersede the current worldview where whoever has the most toys wins. The new view is based on what science tells us about a quantum universe, with everything being interconnected and all of us being interdependent. A new science-based vision won’t take hold, though, until people know and understand that there are more humane alternatives available. This is what our presentations will focus on. Our hope is that our presenters will impact the world’s thinking about how we interact as global community. They will demonstrate and propose action on how practical programs and technologies can be implemented in communities everywhere.
“Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” – Meg Wheatley
Why is TED so successful in drawing people to live events? It can’t be just to learn. We have TV for TED Talks, not to mention all the other info that comes to us from the tube. Coming to live events must be about mingling. We hope this will be the first of many TEDx West Hollywood events so that an activist community develops. Be prepared not only to be informed, but to share yourself as you engage with others.
Producers can’t make money on TEDx events, and I was OK with nothing coming in as long as nothing was going out. However, it didn’t turn out that way. I got stuck with an expensive bag, my little David crushed by TED’s Goliath. They said, “Sue us,” but, I was looking at a half million dollars to take my slingshot to court, with no proviso in my TED contract to recoup legal fees.
So, I’m turning to a court of public opinion. Unhinging the backward force that TED aligns with could propel us to a worldview where we are interdependent and interconnected. Listen to David Simon and Bill Moyers for what we need and what we could get!!!!
In the what-ails-us department, I love this Richard Stine cartoon:
What I got for my money actually is quite beautiful. Here’s a sizzle reel of highlights from Ex TEDx West Hollywood:
Here’s a timeline of the milestones of the TED drama, from Craig Weiler’s blog, which was a go-to place during it all:
Craig wrote a book about TED’s actions that challenges the materialist viewpoint to which TED retreated: Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet
I’ve sent three emails to Chris Anderson, who owns TED, asking him to work with me to draw attention to my program that not only was removed from TED’s auspice but also was taken by TED from a public that was poised to watch it when TED got Livestream to revoke my contract two days before my event.
ABOUT WHAT TED DID
Critiques of TED during the controversy:
TED removes TEDxWestHollywood license: ideas that have ‘failed to gain scientific acceptance’ from KURZWEIL Accelerating Intelligence
Critiques of TED more recently:
TED: A Choice Point by Charles Eisenstein
TED aligns with Monsanto, halting any talks about GMOs, ‘food as medicine’ or natural healing by Mike Adams, Natural News
An Open Letter To TED’s Chris Anderson by Ken Jordan
Dear TED, Is It ‘Bad Science’ or a ‘Game of Thrones’? by Deepak Chopra, Stuart Hameroff, Menas C. Kafatos, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Neil Theise
The Psi Wars Just Went Nuclear on TED by C4Chaos
TED conference censorship row by Paul Bigness for The Independent
TED: A Postmortem… of the Censorship Debacle by LaVaughn
Statement on the Recent TED/Psi/Consciousness Controversy by Ben Goertzel
These are pages TED had open for commentary. Many thoughtful people, grateful for a focal point, spoke to the need for higher-order thinking. This dialogue can continue if we get this boat sailing again.
Tidbits from the camps that support TED – read them and weep:
Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne
Pseudoscientist Rupert Sheldrake Is Not Being Persecuted, And Is Not Like Galileo by Jerry Coyne (with 201 comments) (Craig Weiler’s commentary on this: Ugly, Hateful Bias from the Mainstream Press)
“The whole process of grappling with TED has been extremely painful, time-consuming and energy-draining but
this is a small price to pay for the many good things that are going to come out of it.These strange events in which we are all
caught up will, I think,prove to be of the greatest significance in the long run –the first serious breach in the dam of
rigid materialist thinking that has become such a major block to human progress.”
We booked another Livestream two days before the event and here are some comments:
Your videos from your Ex TEDx event are so compelling. The passion of all the speakers and the depth of feeling and understanding of the complexities of just being on this planet and being human were articulated so well. I loved that. And you looked so happy and beautiful. Bravo to you for pushing past the obstacles and getting the message out there that you wanted to express. I am so, so impressed. You are definitely an inspiration. –Mary Trunk
Wow!! It blew me away! I was thoroughly impressed throughout. Suzanne is just adorable! I watched the whole thing and then wished I would have attended in person. Oh well… Very uplifting, moving, and inspiring. There wasn’t a dull moment. Definitely going to get books by Dossey and Targ. I also love Brian Swimme, whose book Suzanne mentioned. What a bunch of lovely, well-spoken people. –Mark Ekdahl
You got great coverage and momentum due to the hassle you went through! It’s raising such awareness around the role of censorship and consciousness and human rights, dignity and depth. That message wouldn’t be out so much if you hadn’t taken on the role of going through the mill with it first! Thanks for that, from all of us around you. -Meredith Sands Keator
Thank you so much for this. I loved the heart felt messages each speaker had. It brought tears to my eyes. I am f’ing loving you more than ever. -Sabrina Allen
How incredible the Livestreaming was. I’m so sorry I had to miss the event. The speakers were off the charts, and, well, all I can say is: The name SUE Stream is aptly named. Great work. –Andrea Adler
Congratulations on a truly, amazing event you produced on Sunday…so inspiring in every way. –Dawna Schuman
Your event was a milestone in transmedia live events. You are a pioneer. –John Fellows
Can’t begin to thank you for the Livestream yesterday, and your insistence on making the event happen. I could not tear myself away from it — whatever other plans I had for the afternoon were forgotten It was delightful and inspiring and so, so much more. Much gratitude! –Tom Jefferson
Dear Radiant Suzanne – It was a glorious day, and I truly support and recognize the hard work, effort, charm, positivity and ingenuity that it took for you to make it happen. I was there for the full day, Sunday, and the event was an incredible opportunity to interface with some of the great thinkers (and doers) of our time in an intimate setting. You really pulled off something special. I look forward to what happens next. –Paula Stoeke
It was a REALLY powerful event. I loved it. I wish adults were required to continue going to school past 12th grade and were all required to hear info like what you presented. I have been wanting to bring something like this to the westside to a wider audience! Bravo and congratulations! -Nikki Striefler
Bless you Suzanne, I pray a complete day of rest and relaxation comes soon. You are a miracle that never ends! -Gary Sinclair
I want to thank you for such a fabulous day yesterday! It was such an inspiration to hear such stimulating thoughts about our world and universe. I want you to know that I really did get a lot from each one of your speakers. You accomplished something very special with this event. I’ve been to many, many seminars and I have never experienced anything like this one, with so many diverse voices moving us into this new and profound paradigm. Thank you for making such a personal investment and making sure this wonderful event happened. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. Blessings to you. -Kimberly Jentzen
Your mailbox should be full full full of praises, accolades, etc! AND certainly I’m one on that list also! Your choice of speakers (each leading to the next, all great), entertainers and place could not be surpassed! The TED group will get a run for its money in no time! There’s room for both so please continue on! You are so good at this.. and, for those on the team, great choices! Big hug! -Vanya Foster Rohner
You did a fabulous job Suzanne… hope others pick up on the informality you chose to ride in on… excellent! The dam will break and the flood waters will circumvent the old structure. These videos will continue to gather hits when cut and released… saw it all. Thank you… the gesture of getting up and running with the ball will outlast all the rest and gives TED notice that they should make space for ideas that are bigger than their public image. Get em champ. –Jim Channon
I want to thank you from my heart for yesterday’s Livestream broadcast. It was wonderful to connect in and hear people talking of all the same things I feel and think about in my life. Like-minded souls are hard to link with where I live as I’ve been ousted out of my group in this rural community. This really served for me to have a day of needed fuel. Many, many thanks. –Jacqueline Lizotte
What an AMAZING conference!!!! As good as IF NOT BETTER than a TEDx! You have the warrior wisdom and courage to set your sites on you highest goal of highest consciousness- and you always pull the trigger!!!!! I am still so filled with love from our time together- what a magician you are In blessings of you and your presents…a big fat thank you for including me. -Josie Kelly (speaker)
I watched your event and you guys did a great job. I think I could feel the ambience and it was better than what you would have had if your original plan had gone thru. I was hoping you’d bring in a big tank and have one of the microwave-toting dolphins that hoax some of the circles speak to the gathering, but I guess the logistics for that would have really been almost insurmountable. Good thing it’s the 21st century and the Pope can’t put you under house arrest or worse. Or discover the Spanish have decided to make YOU a part of their inquisition. You look and sound like this event really charged you up instead of wearing you out. I’m sure you must feel a little bit of the latter, but you’re bouncing around like a squirrel, honey. Lots of energy and positive vibe. If it was the late 50s or early 60s, we’d say, “Suzanne must be taking her Geritol!” Your audio and video feeds worked well, and your presenters did a terrific job. Where do we sign up for the Kickstarter dealie? [note: It was suggested we recoup costs that way.]Hearty congratulations; that was a fascinating set of presentations. Targ was really great. I saw Graham Hancock’s presentation a couple of weeks ago, I think, but watched it again and got more out of it. Marianne was preaching the gospel with some passion, and that woman with the frame drum rocks. Josie did a fine guided tour of mindfulness that shows that there is actually plenty of time available to practice it. Daphne kept me interested with her use of body language and how she used her shawl or tunic or whatever that was to her best advantage. I am getting better about admiring age-appropriate women, and her looks and presentation reinforced the new leaf I’ve turned over! A great closer. I hope this is just the start of your new career and there will be more of these soon! Continued Hugs and Proud-To-Know-You Slobber. -Andy Ridinger
Put me on your crowdfunding project and I will send to 5,000 people!!!!! THANKS for putting this on!!!!! -Bob Banner
I sure felt a lot of love for you yesterday as I watched you ‘doing your thing’. You looked great and the production was first class. What a valiant push to make this thing happen. Great line up of speakers, I could feel lots of fun and love in the room. You deserve the new age purple heart. You’re an inspiration. Give my love to the gang and tell them how proud I am of what you all accomplished. –Steve Morey