Sunday, July 7, 2013

Elephants, Gorillas, and Blind Faith

Somehow, the Elephant has become mistaken for the Gorilla, so it is important that we now properly identify these large mammals and the roles that they play in the continuance of Blind Faith.  The expression “elephant in the room” refers to a large, looming truth that somehow everyone in that room seems to overlook.  It is so large that it becomes invisible.  How does this happen?  Does everyone believe that they are the only one noticing it, so they think that they must be mistaken because their peers are not commenting on it?  Does everyone assume that everyone else sees it, but chooses to ignore it, so they think that they must also ignore it? 
The elephant in the room refers to an obvious truth that no one is addressing.  Not to be confused with the 800-pound gorilla that refers to someone or something so large and powerful that it dictates the rules, similar to a Goliath.  This mammal is not to be challenged.  Unless, of course, there’s a David in the room. 
So how did these metaphors become mixed?  Why do people commonly refer to the ‘800 pound gorilla in the room’?  Possibly because of the Invisible gorilla test which was conducted by researchers to test the hypothesis of inattentional blindness.  Subjects were asked to watch a video and count the number of ball passes made between basketball teams.  At random points during the video, a person in a gorilla suit entered and walked behind the players.  The study reported that 50% of the subjects did not notice the gorilla.    Why?  Because of the complex relationship between what we are directed to focus on to the exclusion of all other variables in our field of perception.  The remaining variables outside of the directed focus are not consciously perceived, but when pointed out to the subjects after the study, these variables become obvious.  The subjects wonder, how could they have possibly not seen the gorilla?  It was so obvious.  It was right in front of them.  But they were so busy paying attention to counting ball passes that they failed to notice the most important and emerging situation in the room:  a gorilla.  No one expected to see a gorilla, so 50% of the subjects simply did not see it.  The possibility was blocked from perceptual processing; thus, the hypothesis of inattentional blindness was proven.  We become blind to everything other than what we are directed to focus on; we become blind to other possibilities, blind to even potentially life-threatening situations.  It’s almost like the sleight of hand of the shell game.  You don’t see what you think you see. 
Where does blind faith enter the room?  We have been taught all our lives to respect authority, to believe in the systems established for the betterment of society.  One by one, these systems, or gorillas, are being challenged:  the banking system, the real estate system, the Catholic Church system, the political systems worldwide, the cancer industry system.  What happens when these cages are rattled?  But wait a minute, there are no cages; the gorillas are out of the cages, they are in the room.  But we don’t see them.  Why? Because we are focused on other unimportant variables, we are counting the ball passes, we don’t see the sleight of hand.  The gorillas count on our blind faith to believe in their systems.  They count on us not seeing and not believing what is right in front of our eyes.  The gorillas count on inattentional blindness to their sleight of hand, which leads to blind faith in their systems.  They are the Goliaths; we are the Davids.
In going up against the Goliath of the cancer industry system, the elephant in the room is the fact that chemotherapy is an ineffective treatment for cancer. This is the large looming truth that everyone ignores.  Studies show that the aggregate effectiveness rate of chemotherapy is 3%.  Of course that’s an abysmal statistic, but we, the subjects in this study, are directed to pay attention to focusing on how many times the ball is passed between the teams.  We are directed to assist with this effort, and we are distracted from the 3% effectiveness rate by being directed to walk for the cure, and when walking isn’t enough, we are directed to run for the cure.  And through this sleight of hand, we are separated from our money as in the shell game, and we actually feel good about contributing to the pink gorilla.
So now these mammals and their roles become obvious, once the veil of blind faith is lifted and we are able to see.  We can no longer ignore the elephant in the room that is the abysmal failure of chemotherapy, a large looming truth.  We recognize the gorilla that is the cancer industry, the FDA-Big Pharma complex, so large and powerful that it dictates the rules.  Our inattentional blindness is healed.  We see the shell game for what it is: a dishonest sleight of hand.  The gorilla has to be put back in the cage, the elephant has to be led out of the room.  All the Davids who recognize the elephant and the gorilla, and who have already pierced the veil of blind faith are speaking out and gathering stones to overcome this Goliath. 
There are two things that are required to break through the phenomenon of inattentional blindness which the cancer industry Goliath has created:  knowledge and belief.  It is one thing to know that chemotherapy is ineffective; it is quite another thing to believe that chemotherapy is ineffective.  People who know the truth now have to overcome their blind faith and believe it.   
Know.  Believe.  Your life depends on it.


  1. Brilliant post Margaret. You have a gift.

  2. Great article! I'll share this on FB. How about starting a FB community page? :-)

  3. I have never read so much nonsense in my life. This article says as much as any child could say in a sentence. Why would you waste time writing all this? I am disgusted for you, this is truly gross.