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I want to share a short excerpt from a new fearism book in progress, hopefully it will come out this late autumn. The book is entitled: Fear, Law and Criminology: Critical Issues in Applying the Philosophy of Fearism co-authored by R. Michael Fisher, Desh Subba and B. Maria Kumar. This book started with the project I initiated earlier this year on creating a series of dialogues with Desh and Maria on a new sub-discipline I coined as fearcriminalysis... now to the excerpt from the Introduction chapter of the new book: 

 "Overall, on first glance upon the earth, too many people and other species are not protected enough from suffering. Humanity is still striving to bring safety and security to such victims; yet, equally it seems humanity is unwinding the sacred freedoms, rights and securities faster and faster each day. Oppression and violence growing rapidly is a symptom of such desecration of basic needs of so many. Nuclear (arms) development, global killer diseases, starvation, mass human displacements, global warming, extreme weather crises, and mass species extinctions with ecological deterioration are bringing new fears and insecurities to humanity. The future is more precarious by the day. Youth are particularly ‘hit’ by this reality, as we see stresses upon them overwhelming and youth suicide rates in many countries are skyrocketing.[i] Excess fear and insecurities grows—a “climate of fear” or a “culture of fear”[ii] have been pronounced by many critics as the no. 1 problem humanity has to resolve. Generally, people don’t feel trusting or safe! It is this very condition of growing insecurities globally that no doubt has motivated us as co-authors to apply fearism to law and criminology. Maybe we can begin to bring some new insights and solutions to these ominous problems.   

Safety and security as basic needs is like mother’s milk or apple pie. How could it not be a valuable thing (like love itself) to warrant being protected with the ethical fibre of our existence? The likeability and instinctual response to value safety and security is not what is in question here. Law, in principle, is primarily oriented to such protection, just as are government sponsored “vaccine” programs. Recent raging debates and a general loss of public trust in vaccines, that is, an increase in “fear of vaccines,” is a huge international topic and has analogous lessons for the debates and general loss of public trust in governance and policing as “fear of crime” and “fear of police” increases. Yet, as critical thinkers and co-authors we also have to question the ‘sacred cow’ so to speak. No “need” ought to be given such sacred status/privilege or priority that it becomes unquestionable in its reign, where no voice of critique can be raised. It is that moment when we are facing silencing. In that moment we are likely confronted not by argumentation of common sense or logical propositions for survival and wellbeing but something more like ideology. Philosophers typically sense ideology and challenge it before others. We sense “safety and security” today is being usurped from its good side, to becoming another football for dominant ideologies to compete—to win."[iii]


[i] Yip (2010).

[ii] See a summary of these concepts and reference literature on Wikipedia, for example, and/or see Fisher & Subba (2016), pp. ii, xxiv-xxv, xxvii, xxviii, 22, 55-57, 66, 67, 93, 104, 112.

[iii] It is beyond the purpose of this discussion in the Introduction to go into it, but many astute critics have argued that the major colonizing and globalizing ideology of neoliberalism is today greatly shaping economics, politics, education and culture (e.g., see Giroux, 2014). 

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The quote, "need to restore fearlessness to higher education" is a refreshing call, one that I cannot ever recall hearing in North America or the Western hemisphere for that matter. It comes from President of the Campus Contact (network) of 1100 colleges and universities both in the USA and Internationally. It is one of the largest such coalitions of promotion of higher education in the world. The President who said these words in a blog in 2016 is Dr. Andrew Seligsohn.

Seligsohn, talks of interviewing casually many in higher education today. "More than anything I hear fear." He writes of all the kinds of fears he hears people concerned about as priority in their campus lives, from students to top administrators. "Everyone is afraid," he wrote. And then continues with words that are gold to my ears: 

"... nothing is more destructive of the mission of higher education than fear....We need to restore fearlessness to higher education....We need to talk to each other [across our differences and conflicts and ideologies] about what would help us regain the fearlessness that makes higher education great." 

I highly recommend the rest of this article... 

FYI, as a resource (annotated bibliography), I have compiled most all of my publications since the mid-1990s on Education, Fear and Fearlessness in Tech Paper 77.doc, free for your download, and may this be used in educational institutions as well, because in the end we need to better understanding fear and fearlessness... not merely talk about them as words... as if we already knew everything there is to know about them. 



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Greetings great scholars!

Sequel to my upcoming book which will kickoff properly next month ending (An Invitation to Fearism: A Contemporary Philosophy), I wish to inform you all that all your ideas would be represented in the book. Thus, I would like to get the following from you:

  1. A good picture
  2. Good bio data with dates. Intellectual influence, and motivation should be stated.
  3. List of books published.
  4. Background to each book
  5. Summary of each book
  6. If the book is written in local language as the original name is given, let it be translated.
  7. Names of all articles that are emotive, especially with fear related concepts should be sent.

If you have any fearological ideology, theory or principle send it in.

  1. Fear related poems are equally welcomed for fearological analysis.
  2. Any fear motivated novel should be summarized. If possible, the plot should be sent.

The email is

Yesterday I closed my account in buying R. Michael Fishers World Fearlessness Teaching in 21st.....

I have most of his articles too.

I know this is a huge task but we can do it.

Am expecting much from all scholars here. We must work hard to properly situate and fix Fearism in the philosophical milieu.


Osinakachi Akuma Kalu

Have a Splendid Weekend

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There's a lot of interest in therapeutic and neurobiology and medicine circles these days, and for a few years now [1], around what Stephen Porges has entitled "Polyvagal Theory." It refers to the vagus nerve (autonomic system) and its net of interacting nerves from brain to heart and heart to brain, and other central body organs. 

A lot of people interested in the neurobiology of fear and trauma have taken to this theory and psychotherapists and psychiatrists are particularly interested. I have not given the theory much attention yet. I am always reluctant to get on the new bandwagon of the science of fear researchers and their positivist empiricism that biases their theories of explaining fear (and 'fear'). It is typically too reductionistic in itself as explanation of such a complex phenomena as "fear." The fearologist prefers to think in holistic-integral deep and broad ways before explaining "fear." But if we are to pay attention to all dimensions of our bodies and minds and our history as a species, then neurobiology has something to offer. So, let me quickly say what I hear this theory is about, based on Porges' description in a video interview "Polyvagal Theory: How Your Body Makes the Decision." There are many videos, articles and books on this topic now a days and many professionals and theorists who put their own spin on it as well--not, to say Porges would likely agree with all the interpretations and uses per se. 

Porges explains an evolutionary theory of Defenses, that is, of systems that have developed and evolved over hundreds of millions of years in vertebrates, and in particular in mammals. A major shift went on, a kind of transformation of mega-proportions in the operation of the brain and nervous system from reptiles to mammals [2], he says. We as humans, the theory goes, are still hard-wired like our mammalian cousins in the past with the Defense system being one of the most fundamental of our systems to remain rather strongly intact because of its "proven" adaptive value to survive. That said, the beauty of that system can also be a nightmare.

Dr. Stephen Porges

I have always argued that "fear" is part of DI or Defense Intelligence (part of Emotional Intelligence) [3]. We can utilize it and we can mature it and take more and more conscious charge of it as we evolve ourselves via new levels of consciousness re-setting the operational dynamics of DI, and allowing for more flexibility than mere "reflex" [4] I would also argue that this developmental evolutionary theory of consciousness (e.g., Ken Wilber's work) gives an essential nuancing to how DI and how "defenses" work--this is not something that I see Porges' neurobiolgical research includes, which is typical of most neuroscience and positivism that don't care much about consciousness (or "mind") soft-structure platforms because they are "invisible" and not so measurable easy like brain-nerve firings (e.g., the vagaus nerve complex). The exception I know to this is Bruce Lipton's work on cell biology and consciousness, including his understanding of the most basic Love vs. Fear dynamics in the ecology of cells and their relationship to the environment.

Nonetheless, as Porges points out in this brief interview, "fear" has its own operational platform of Defense, as if it has its own rapid-fire "mind" (i.e., brain-reflex wiring that is very ancient and powerful and still active in the neuroceptive regions of pre-consciousness autonomic activity, which are really unconscious). He says, this is essential because such defense decisions (instincts) are needed sometimes in an instant when in a particular context of some severe life-threat or potential life-threat. There's no time to think about it, is the argument, and that's why these rapid-fire decisions systems are biologically-based to hi-jack the higher thought platforms of the mid-brain and cerebrum. You may note, that lots of research on the brain's amygdala surfaced in the 1990s and onward telling us of this same basic notion about fear and our defense systems... but, Porges has merely fine-tuned this and looked more at the action of the autonomic system overall and the vagus nerve network in particular.

What the amygdala research emphasized is more the "fight-flight" responsivity of the defense systems we inherited. Where Porges' work focuses on the polyvagal network and its function--quite complex, and I won't do it justice here--but that it primarily moves bi-modally as meta-motivational patterns between "protecting" and "connecting" in the reptilian-mammalian architecture of the body/brain system [5].

Porges and his followers are interested in the notion of "safety" first [6] for self/system regulation (and rehabilitation and growth), as far as I can tell. And that is the role of safety from a neurobiollogical (vagal) point of view. They assert that the defense system is hard-wired for not just fight-flight but also "shut down" (or paralysis) process under severe threat--that is, under severe trauma. They call this fear as originary and thus natural and valuable. This shut-down may take place as a kind of "trance" and/or "dissociation" or "fainting." It is very powerful to protect the organism. It is sometimes the "chosen" 3rd of the fear responses mentioned by various authors talking about fear management: in hierarchial order of activation frequency is something like this: (1) flight, (2) fight and (3) freeze (i.e., "shut down" or "shock"). Porges notes that fear-immobilization has been largely ignored traditionally in psychological fear theories and especially ignored in medicine and psychology and therapy theories [6]. He is bringing this out to the forefront, and using his polyvagal theory to help understand more of human's behaviors when distressed, when triggered by painful memories, etc. The point being, is to see that "shut down" which may not look very brave or courageous socially, is incredibly "intelligent," natural and unconscious, and not a typical "rational choice"--but it can be the very best strategy in some situations of extreme violence or damage potential of such. So, the point is we ought not be down on this 3rd option and we ought to respect the natural archaic body and defense systems to enact in our best interest. 

However, like all the 3 options of fear-responses, so-called, they can be healthy responses and they can be "dissociated" or "inaccurate" and on "over-drive" creating more problems than one already has. In other words, the fear management/response of any of these 3 responses can be "irrational" and "pathological"--leading to breakdowns of the intelligence of the Defense system. We need to learn about these systems in a good "fear education" (as I call it) so we can work with them and overcome their down-sides and potential pathological enactments. I won't go into polyvagal theory (i.e., bi-modal meta-motivation theories) beyond this brief introduction. Unless people want to explore this on the FM ning. FYI, you may or may not recall that in my work, I have added 2 more fear-response options beyond Porges [7] and his followers: that is, (4) tend-and-befriend, and (5) fearlessness. 


1. Apparently the first article that had impact on the greater scientific community by Porges (a psychiatrist and researcher) came in 1994. I find that an interesting date historically in the research on "fear." It was around this same time that a great wave of interest came from MRI studies of the brain and studies of the neurobiology of fear, pinning down the brain centre called the amygdala as the place of storage and processing of "fear" from ancient times to the present. The mid-1990s was also the time when the first critics of the "culture of fear" were starting to get published and listened to in the social sciences (albeit, they began naming this phenomena a decade earlier to explain cultural, historical and political dynamics of the major role that "fear" plays, beyond individual psychology). 

 2. This is not new as an insight nor a neurobiological fact, and it has physio-behavioral impacts of great significance in understanding humnan behavior in the past and today. The most explicit evolutionary theory of this deep structures of human motivation patterns came out of the research and theorizing of the "triune brain" concept of at least going back to Paul McLean's work, a very controversial theory that we are made up of an R-complex (Reptilian), M-complex (Mammalian) and H-complex (Human)--and, all three have their roles, and their attempts to dominate the behavior of an organism or system depending on the context. I found this in the late 1970s and was taken by what seemed a very logical brain/physiological (dynamic) explanation of behaviors and values sytems. Polyvagal theory is more or less interested in the same issues, the same hierarchical organization of these three brain platforms, albeit, Porges has his own way of naming and casting them. 

3. I am interested in a theory (Howard Gardner's) of multiple intelligences that ought to be part of our general awareness and certainly part of how we design systems that utilize the best of human potential along these lines of mulitple intelligences, e.g., cognitive, affective, relational, musical, existential, etc. The most popularized and "successfully" applied version of this has been the great attention to Daniel Goleman's work on emotional intelligence, which also bloomed in the mid-1990s (see note 1.) Again, there are critics of Goleman's theory and applications, and I myself have critiqued it several times over the decades. Mostly, there is not room in his theory for the deep structures of the evolutionary brain, as in McLean's or Porges' work, and thus, it leaves out the deep motivational phenomenology of Defense Intelligence as a core essential intelligence.  

4. My own theorizing on this for decades has been that the developmental levels (and fear management defense systems) increasingly via consciousness evolution are less and less fear-based themselves. Thus, fearlessness as a path is always a path of continual growth (under good conditions) of connectivity and more reflexive thus, less reactive defensivity re: mistrust or protectionism. 

5. There is a large universal body of research and phenomenological experience throughout recorded history that notes this bi-modality of human motivation (and a good deal of animal motivation, or even plants). Re: autonomic nervous system, Porges' polyvagal theory brings out the bimodality of parasympathetic nervous system vs. sympathetic nervous system. As well, the simplest (non-technical) expression of it is the only "two emotions" theory--what I have called meta-motivations of Love and Fear. The equivalency is that our basic "drives" as organisms move along a spectrum of Love at one end pulling us to connection, and Fear at the other end pulling us to protection (cf. Porges' theory). Now, with any extra investigation, I am now thinking of all the other theories that are ought there, prior to Porges', like John Bolby on attachment theory (based on two bimodal orientations of the baby: fear of abandonment and fear of enmeshment, of which the first is the pole of protection or defense and its problems, and the second is the pole of connection and its problems). There is also the bimodal theories of "Fear vs. Freedom" as a synthesis of many theories which I have seen brought forward by the Terror Management Theory folks, and, of course the earliest theory along this line (other than the ancient Love vs. Fear philosophies and theologies) is Erik Erikson's first stage of affective development which he named "Trust vs. Mistrust" --and, so there is a great interet in this bi-modal theorizing to explain human behavior, and Porges' theory is just the latest, with more neurobiological evidence that basically "proves" what was already known to be tested and true in human experience by the other critical observers. I'd have to think more about how Indigenous worldview (and "theories") of human motivation may also contribute here. Each of these theories has partial truths to add to the puzzle.

5. My own 'red-flags' go up when I listen to Porges and his followers and their excitement about this theory of "safety" first rhetoric and discourse--which can slide into an ideological protectionism in the name of "connectivity." A tricky thing to tease apart, and we have to use fearanalysis to sort it out re: what is fear-based motivation and what is not. To what degree is fearlessness operating? To what degree is a fear-based structuration operating in even the most positive and benign looking campaigns (even the current 'wellness' craze)? Educators and psychologists are now saying without this polyvagal "calm" (motivation for connectivity overcoming motivation for protection) there is no way children or adults can learn through teaching-connections, or no way compassion and empathy can occur. This is a highly problematic, oversimplified, discourse today, with political ideologies to examine in that such cannot be left only in the analysis of polyvagal neurobiology, no matter how much partial truths the scientists may have at their finger tips in arguing for "safety" first as foundational to basic moral-compassionate connectiing--i.e, what makes us mammalian (sometimes linked to a "feminine" perspective and/or the oxytocin of mothering and bonding processes). I won't go into my critique further here, as it is a long one, suffice it to say it involves how the State (elite) powers have mis-appropriated this "safety" (connectivity) first evolutionary and neurobiological predisposition into various uses to control people/organizations and also to construct "enemies" to be destroyed who may threaten that "safety" first need or motivation. Terror Management Theory (social psychology empirical research) has offered some of the very best analysis on this and how humans behave in inclusive-exclusive dynamics re: safety needs hooked to self-esteem needs at individual and collective platforms. Fear of course (i.e., extreme cousin in the form of terror) cannot be left out of the equation of understanding major ways humans behave. 

6. My own early study of ethology (animal behavior in the wilds) gave a lot of concerted attention to the "play dead" shut-down process of the nervous system and as a general behavioral strategy in many species. So, I would say the human psychologists and psychiatrists are much slower on picking up on this in general. 

7. Which is not to say that Porges has not taken this into account in terms of co-evolutionary face-to-face interactions, and a notion of "care" that brings about polyvagal homeostasis in mammals, especially humans. The "tend-and-befriend" is a feminist theory of fear-response by Taylor et al. not based on polyvagal theory as far as I can tell.

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[Image created from the book cover Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows, Peter Lang Publ. 2018; I added the details of the CAT and FAWN  components and 2-way arrows for this teaching blog version]


You may have seen the prior blogpost re: my book on Dr. Don Trent Jacobs' (aka Four Arrows') life and work as an activist-scholar and Indigenous holistic educator. I framed the book as an intellectual biography. I did not want to only create a biography nor merely an abstract intellectual overview of a scholar. I aimed in the book for another layer of reality and meaning that to me was more important than mere biographic facts, stories, or intellectual interests. I was looking to gather all I could from Dr. Jacobs' (Four Arrows') experiences and thoughts, his activism and his teaching, and make a powerful summary of it all in light of the context of a better understanding of Fear and Fearlessness for myself and for all others who read this book. The synthesis of his life regarding how he has studied Fear and Fearlessness with my own work ought to create a 'new' curriculum or what I call a liberational 'fear' vaccine (process). We really need this on the planet today. 

It is rare indeed to find an educator who gives so much attention to the topic of Fear. What is 'new' as a synthesis in this book is really exciting to me and I trust others will also find this to be so, however, beneath the layers of the 'new' is something revealed that is very 'ancient' and dare I say, universal to the human struggle to find the best ways to be in relationship with Fear. The way he points us is not merely a "psychology of fear" and that is what makes this critical educator very unique. He is more transdisciplinary, like myself, in approaching this subject. 

It is thus a book all about a holistic-integral approach to fear management/education, a point I make in my own work, whereby, any attempts at bravery, courage, fearlessness, etc. are all attempts at some kind of fear management [1] and transformation. And, as Dr. Jacobs and I see it, we really need a better fear management on this planet today.

Ancient CAT-FAW/N Dynamics: A De-Hypnotizing 'Fear' Vaccine (Process)

So, the 'ancient' part is what I wish to briefly introduce here as it takes shape from Dr. Jacobs' life and work, especially as it comes throught the most important finding in his scholarship, as far as I am concerned, and that is the finding that concentration is core to the processes and outcomes of fear management of any kind. In the book I overview in the Introduction his CAT-FAW/N model [2] , which took him 15 years to develop (and it is still evolving). And CAT stands for Concentration Activated Transformation, according to Jacobs. FAWN stands for Fear, Authority, Word(s) and Nature. I have in detail described this in the new book but more accessible immediately is my interpretation of CAT-FAWN Connection theory in a blogpost [3], where I suggest his model/theory is a praxis of Fearlessness and thus is a praxis of what I would add to my list of 'Fear' Vaccines (processes) [4] in the liberation work that I design and teach. 

This 'ancient' part of Four Arrows' (Jacobs') model/theory/praxis is represented on the book cover image as four arrows (triangles) around his portrait. These represent the colors of the most common Medicine Wheel in several Indigneous cultures in North America (Turtle Island). The CAT is placed in the image on his brain as controlling centre of his senses, perception and ultimately of how and where he puts his attention--that is, his concentration. The concentration is depicted nicely in this portrait photo taken by his wife the photographer Bea Jacobs. So this gives a little backstory to what my latest image adaptation is about. The significant point I am making with this teaching image is that the book is not just about a man named by the Lakota Sioux in ritual initiation with their community but about a universal context of the ancient Medicine Wheel--whereby, I believe this book has "good medicine" to offer a very ill modern and postmodern (Western) society, and, perhaps beyond that to the world.

My point, is that Four Arrows the man ought not to be the center focus of the book (only). That's only part of the picture. There is another layer of center focus that I bring out in the book and that is the "four arrows" as "four directions" as "four colors" (vibrations) --and, thus acting as an orienting model/theory/praxis as 'Fear' vaccine process. I took the liberty in creating this image to name the four colors and directions as Fear, Authority, Word(s) and Nature following the Jacobsian model. My interest is that readers and viewers will re-interpret the book's cover and this teaching image. I want them to see that the book is about the "fearless engagement" of "four arrows" and thus, of CAT-FAW/N itself. What does it mean to bring a context of "fearless engagement" [5] as a referent notion to the study of fear management/education, to Fearlessness, to the Jacobsian model? 

The de-hypnotizing component of the CAT-FAW/N model is based on many experiences in Four Arrow's life. It is also a professional and scholarly attained model, tested over the past few decades. Yet mostly, of interest to me right now is that it is a model that comes from the ancient (living and non-living) 'Ancestors,' a point I make in the Introduction of the book and which I have described in detail to some degree in De-Hypnotizing Technology blog on Four Arrows' work and my research on his work. He is a trained health psychologist, hypnotherapist and high-performance athletic coach for many clients. That's where he learned many things, including from his training free-roaming horses and competitions with them. But lest it not be forgotten that he learned his most powerful lessons on the origin of the CAT-FAW/N model from his Near Death Experiences and study and work with shamans in remote Mexico [6] and how he was transformed. He has been rightfully reluctant to call himself a "shaman" though he has not totally rejected association of his work with shamanic elements over the years [7]. 

At one level, I see much of the analogous relational transformative learning in Carlos Castaneda with shaman/warriors (e.g., Don Juan Matus) in his series of (non-fiction fictional) books in the 1970s-80, as with Four Arrows and Augustin Ramos. I think anyone reading my new book on Four Arrows will find it mystical at times as well as very pragmatic, logical and grounded. The diversity of areas and methodologies covered in this new book is enormous. However, the core of it is all about fear management/ education, about Fearlessness as a path and a standpoint of "fearless engagement" as the premise of how Four Arrows' comes to move in the world and teach. He clears the way of all dogmatism, and religion, of rules and regulations and any arrogance of "fearless" on this path. It is available, he suggests, to all who are capable and willing to pursue to knowing Fear better--to becoming "connoisseurs of Fear" as he says. CAT-FAW/N model and theory provides a way of engaging the "four arrows" of the "good medicine" required as we reassess our Dominant worldview in the context of a resurgence of the Indigenous worldview. All that is covered in the new book. 

If I have communicated effectively in this blog, I'll be heartened by those readers who do not take this as a book about "Four Arrows" only but about "four arrows" and the study of Fear and Fearlessness within a de-hypnotizing process. I have included in the prior blogpost the initial Introduction of Four Arrows' near clinical assessment of mass hypnosis that humanity is suffering right now (especially, those non-Indigenous and Indigenous moderns and postmoderns disconnected from the "old ways" of pre-point of departure worldview and values). This new book is all about assessments, diagnoses and interventions. Agree with them or not, my aim as author is to present them in interesting ways and to provoke further dialogues--and, yes, if we can find enough agreements on the assessment then we can find new ways to make holistic-integral interventions in the Fear Problem on this planet. 'Fear' vaccines are going to be very useful, and CAT-FAW/N is one of the most powerful, that, I have come across, no doubt. Indeed, still a good deal of work and development is required to make it even more efficacious to more kinds of people, leaders and organizations.  



1. See, for e.g., Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America/Rowman & Littlefield.

2. I have taken Jacob's original model from his dissertation and 1998 book Primal Awareness and recently modified it with the /N for the Nature aspect which I believe is distinctly different in order of reality from F A W, and thus the /N signifies the entire model is underlain by Nature and comes from Nature as source. A few years ago he agreed with my adapted version, though he himself has not used it in his publications. 

3. See CAT-FAWN explained and another FM blogpost on "Indigenizing" Fearlessness

4. Re: prior writing on 'fear' vaccines see my FM blogpost 6 'Fear' Vaccines (book in progress). CAT-FAW/N is a 7th 'Fear' Vaccine recently added to the repertoire. 

5. In the book I make a comparable, parallel, case that "fearless engagement" for Four Arrows' is analagous (in part) to my own "fearless standpoint theory" which I believe is essential to better analyze fear management/education going on now and in the past and how to improve it substantially for the future. See Part 1 : FEARLESS, of the new book. 

6. I utilize here (and in the book) "shaman(ic)" with a due cautionary of contemporary (white man) mis-appropriations of these terms and traditions within an Indigenous context. I believe Four Arrows' has truly made a good effort for several decades to ensure his is not mis-appropriating (colonizing) the very Indigenous worldview he promotes at great length as a recognized Indigenous educator. Which doesn't mean that some Indigenous people and others have not criticized his approach and his mixed-blood heritage and background which is (potentially) inadequate to make him a "spokesperson" of the "Indigeneity" he teaches. I (as White guy) have followed the tracks of Four Arrows' careful situating of any of these Indigenous terms as best I can. I cover this problem in the new book, as does Four Arrows' in many of his writings. "Shamanic" however is still something very useful to understanding some of the phenomena Four Arrows and I discuss in the idea of CAT-FAW/N and de-hypnotizing technologies. He tracks out how the Indigenous Peoples, often had an intuitive sense of this de-hypnotizing as lived process, even though, apparently they have never written it down as a de-hypnotizing technology or theory or model as Four Arrows has. Clearly, beyond his scholarly naming and associating his name with this CAT-FAW/N dynamic, he'd be the first to declare it is not his model per se or anyone's but it belongs to Nature, to All Relations and to All Histories. He documents anthropologically (and otherwise) his experiences with shamans amongst the Raramuri Peoples of remote Mexico in the 1980s-90s, and especially of the 104 year old Augustin Ramos a most well respected shaman that he worked with there. This true story can be found in his dissertation and book that came from it, Primal Awareness: A True Story of Survival, Transformation, and Awakening with the Raramuri Shamans of Mexico (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1998). 

7. See his slide show video of his remote Mexico adventures and learning re: "Shaman's Message" on Youtube, as one example; his writing makes the connections continually re: the orgin of the CAT-FAW/N "vision" (shamanic-like and/or mystical) in a heightened state of altered consciousness when amongst Nature and the presence of shamans. My interpretation is that CAT-FAW/N theory is shamanically-imbued and offered to the world from the 'Ancestors'--a further explanation of this categorizing of his theory is in the new book. I treat CAT-FAW/N as a transpersonal "transmission" of teachings with all the shamanic overtones and undertones that I believe require due acknowledgement. I also respect that Four Arrows himself avoids any such direct suggestion of such. My assessment is my own based on studying his work and communicating with him, off and on, for the past 10 years. 

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Book Cover- [photo of Four Arrows by Beatrice Jacobs]

I  would like to share with you my new book soon to come out in July, 2018 (New York: Peter Lang). For an advanced look at the book's content see a short book video trailer and the FE brochure 2018.pdf (4 pp) I created here. Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs) is an FM ning member. Feel free to pass on these promotional materials to your networks and those you feel would be interested. Thanks.

I'll be writing more about this book on the FMning in future blogs. I'll leave you with one excerpted quote by Four Arrows (interviewed by me) from the book: 

"In my mind, this mass hypnosis syndrome, I now call Trance-based Learning (TBL) gone awry, is the only explanation that makes sense of how modern educated societies, especially, have rationalized their technologies of domination, their polluting of their own nest, and their addictions to ways of life that paradoxically destroy Life. My own vision of rehabilitation from this destructive path is that Fear and courage concepts are essential to understand as they drive learning and development in a 'good way' or 'bad way'....I offer an intentional transformation learning theory and critical praxis as an initiative to build a society and world that is able to resist and reconstruct current hegemonic fear-conditioning--the latter, which has unfortunately become 'normal' socialization--a 'culture of fear.'" (p. 2)

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Time Magazine Cover Image (revised by RMF)... Apr. 2, 2018

There's a churning of emotionalism and activism in America this year, especially this spring. I have posted a few blogs about youth (mostly in highschools) across America but also around the world, protesting "gun violence" in their schools and communities. They have picked various slogans and hashtags, but the one I think is most telling and interesting is "Fear has no place..." (and the usual term finishing that phrase, but not only one, is) "in our schools." Does this means American youth are protesting in record numbers publicly to say, "We want no fear in our schools? our societies?" --and, why are they not saying they want a "Fearless Society"? 

I have just completed a new Tech Paper 76.pdf "Fear has no place..."..": Youth movement for fearlessness in need of critique" which I would love if folks read and gave me feedback. In particular, I'd love this paper get out to youth who are in this movement and may we find ways to dialogue. 

Also see Photo I recently posted of the images, t-shirts, mugs and commercialization that has already quickly adjoined itself to the youth protest movement. I very much wanted to see this movement as a Fearlessness Movement (see my blog post "March Without Fear"

I really wonder where the "Fear has no place..." slogandia started? Maybe some of the readers here know. All I know is that, as a fearologist, this is the last thing to be voting for or marching up and down the streets for. Notice, I am not talking about the "gun problem" these young people are also addressing, but interestingly enough it has spread from there, the more concrete part of their activism, to an issue of "fear" (again, see the Internet and all the articles and images that have grown up around this notion of "Fear has no place in our schools" for example. 

As a fearologist, and as one who articulates and follows the philosophy of fearism, and philosophy of fearlessness, everything tells me that the narrow and shallow notion of "Fear has no place" is quite the wrong direction to go if we really want to be liberating youth, school cultures, and society as a whole. It's too bad that phrase is a 'viral' catch phrase but perhaps with time and more deep thinking, and informing of the movement by fearologists, a more congruent message can be applied. The basic starting point is not to try to get rid of fear. That is casting it out like a mis-placed thing. Fear is us, as the saying goes. I cannot help but think youth in America have been disillusioned and or so brain-washed in some ways (not all), that they are taking on the politically and ideologically fraught with problems view of the "conservatives" in American culture and politics--that is, with their Zero Tolerance policies and practices. The very discourse (unfortunately) of the rebelling youth today in America is sounding an awful lot like a discourse that is from the elders they have been oppressed by for so long--that is, a Zero Tolerance policy of excluding "fear" from schools and well, where does that exclusion stop. It is ironic that this youth generation protesting is also the most articulate and delightful in supporting inclusion (diversity-- equals difference and the Other). But when it comes to "fear" they are saying it has no place in American schools, communities, and societies. This is a contradiction and a basically 'wrong-headed' strategy and rhetoric. 

Again, this short blog is not my full argumentation re: the problem this declaration has brought forward. As a hint, I will say a much wiser declaration or wisdom comes from the elder African-American Black novelist Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature--where, she wrote about in her novel Sula on the very importance of Black People (generally, meaning the oppressed) to rather "make a place for fear" where it can be seen, worked with, and "controlled" (re: the character Shadrack in that novel)--and managed because it is known and studied and lived with in relationship because it is real. The African-American experience and guidance here is well worth looking at in terms of its contradictory message relative to the youth message today in America (and not only youth) of "Fear has no place...". Equally, in future writing on this, I'll examine Four Arrows' Indigenous-based theory of Fear [1] and why the native people and their worldview also are wise enough to know that the last thing we ought to be promoting anywhere are places where "fear" is not welcomed! It is rather astounding, on one level, that all the "fear-positive" literature and teachings since the 1990s in N.A. has had little to no uptake so it seems, at least, at this time for this youth movement [2].

I'll leave it here, with the dialectical thought that if one creates "no place for fear" likewise that is going to create "no place for fearlessness" --and, thus I see a lot of emotionalism and bravado in the new activism of youth today in America rather than true fearlessness. But that's not a put down or dismissing of the good spirit that is driving behind their efforts [3]--their peace, anti-gun, anti-violence anti-fear efforts... I applaud their heartfulness to find truth and justice, and yet, I am seeing how woundedness and trauma doesn't always analyze deeply enough the discourse of the oppressors--of the 'Fear' Matrix (culture of fear) that beseiges us all today--including youth in school cultures. 


1. See for e.g., Four Arrows (aka Jacobs, D. T.) (2016). Point of departure: Returning to a more authentic worldview for education and survival.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. 

 2. By "fear-positive" I am referring to literature from many disciplines and professionals, who have asserted that we need to shift from seeing fear as only negative to also seeing fear as positive, a gift and so on. For e.g., one of the most effective teachers of this has been de Becker, G. (1997). The Gift of fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence. New York: Bantam. 

3. On the positive-side, I could argue a "spirit of fearlessness" is motivating their call, their 'truth-to-power' discourse. Another view is that from a nondual standpoint argument that could be made, as a colleague Luke Barnesmoore makes generically in an unpublished essay "Fear and Fearlessness" (in his larger collection of essays "Nomadic Exploration of Critical Pedagogy") that: "I seek to emulate the Divine out of loving respect, not fear (which is a product of the potential for the Divine's privation in manifestation and has no place, in and of itself, in the eternal" (p. 7). Barnesmoore's argument is one from an absolutistic philosophy (spirituality) or what he calls the "Natural Worldview" of the "Nothing-Infinite Eternal and its emanations Force, Form and Consciousness" whose attributes inlcude Love, Truth, Reality, Beauty, Goodness, Unity, etc." Thus, arguably, one could take such a metaphysical principle and say that there may be wise truth practical and value in the rhetoric of "Fear has no place..." that the youth in America are manifesting in their own way, consciously or not. See Barnesmoore, L. (2018). Fear and fearlessness. Unpublished paper. A self-identified San Franciscan (California), Luke is currently a doctoral student in the Geography department, Co-Founder/Director of the UBC Urban Studies Lab, at The University of British Columbia, Canada.

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Philosophy of Fearism Won Three American Awards

After receiving the awards Subba who was overwhelmed with joy exclaimed:

"I have received these awards as a sign of acceptance of the "Philosophy of Fearism" by the Western world and I am lucky".

Born in Dharan, Nepal, Desh Subba the author of the "Philosophy of Fearism" is a philosopher, a poet and a novelist. Due to his employment, Subba has been living in Hong Kong with his family for two decades now. His scholarly prowess became eminent when he began to advocate for the "Philosophy of Fearism" in Hong Kong. At the initial stage of his voyage, his intimate friends who were poets, authors and those with philosophical background mocked him when he talked about the concept of 'Fearism' with them. But Subba never gave up; rather, he persisted in his mission of making "Philosophy of Fearism" an emerging paradigm in the contemporary time. He continued engaging in writing, rewriting, describing and explaining his concept of fear continuously for 17 years.

"Philosophy of Fearism" was already popular in North East India having been presented by Subba at the International Conference in Dharan, Nepal, a conference which was attained by 55 International Scholars from North East India.

Subba's efforts began to yield good results, as he pushed his idea to the limelight by translating in English "Philosophy of Fearism" was published in July 2014. Xlibris publication introduced his philosophy to the international world and later Nepalese language published by Kitab Ghar Kathmandu Publication. His other book: "Philosophy of Fearism-First East West Dialogue," which he described as, "Western and Eastern lens" is coauthored by a Canadian Philosopher, R. Michael Fisher. Soon after the publication of "Philosophy of Fearism," there was an international book competition. Competitors were invited from all over the world, and all English books were eligible. Subba, a courageous author filled the form and registered to participate. At the end of the competition, "Philosophy of Fearism" emerged the winner. "Philosophy of Fearism" gained more popularity and international recognition after winning three International Awards from the United States of America (USA). Interestingly, Desh Subba has become the first Nepalese to have won this International Award(s) and he is among the few writers across the globe to have won two International Awards within two months (National Indie Excellence Award on 18th May 2015 and New York Book Fest Award on 11th June 2015). For the National Indie Excellence Award, a total of 1, 200 (one thousand two hundred) competitors participated, Subba's book emerged the best. After receiving the awards Subba who was overwhelmed with joy exclaimed: "I have received these awards as a sign of acceptance of the "Philosophy of Fearism" by the Western world and I am lucky".

These awards have helped in promoting 'Fearism', on this Subba said: "It is the best medium to take Nepalese books to international market". Today, many researchers, authors and students from all fields of studies are researching on Subba's works on 'Fearism' on the Internet. After the first three International Awards, Subba has won seven more awards in Philosophy, Non-fiction and Spirituality/Religion, making a total of 10 International awards: a height that is difficult to imagine.

The main theme of his philosophy is that: all aspects of life are controlled by an emerging pattern of fear. He continued that positive utilization gives success, progress, development, pleasure and peace. While negative utilization gives terror, violence, anarchy, dictatorship and corruption. Subba observed that in the ancient times, inventions and the use of weapons, dwelling in the cave and worshipping of natural gods were as the result of fear. Every invention Subba said has its motivation from fear. As of the time of the publication of the news on his award on "Philosophy of Fearism', SARS and Ebola viruses were spreading with their emerging kinds of fear. It was during this period also, that the agitation among the International Organizations for the need to control global warming which was perceived as a threat to entire human existential conditions was at its top of discussion. The tension posed by the global warming necessitated the international communities to work assiduously to contend. The motivating factor for these International responses is the fear of death and extinction. Thus, "Philosophy of Fearism" is an emerging paradigm for how the problems of fear characterizing every extent can be managed.

It was published in Kantipur daily news paper, Nepal 11 August, 2015, news by Pradeep Menyangbo, translated by Desh Subba and edited by author Michael Eneyo.

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Fearlessness Movement: About Us

I just found this document I first created at the beginning of the FM ning (in Jan. 2015)--and, it still has all or many of the aspects I think would still be appropriate to today to remind us as FM ning members, more or less, what we are committed to. 


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'Philosophy of Fearism' Offers Treatment for Fear Patients

-an Interview with Desh Subba

 Desh Subba 

Some years back he wrote a novel 'Insult' that made him popular; he then brought out a non-fiction book 'Philosophy of Fearism.’ More than a decade later he is leader of the' Philosophy of Fearism' movement. Deepak Sapkota talks with Subba on the foundations of Fearism:

Deepak: You have written a book Philosophy of Fearism. You have said, world, earth, life and air of our breathing, and there is also fear; “everyone lives in fear.” Do you want to extend fear’s importance?

Desh: It is not my intention to extend fear. I didn't say live in fear. We are living in fear. I said live with the unveiling of the cover of fear. For those who are running breathless in fear, I told them to run with fearless breath. You can see businessmen, employees, in the name of progress and success, they are breathless in running. People of Nepal often rush like this. Abroad, also people are taking their breakfast and lunch while running in their cars. If they don't run at this modern speed they fear losing business, job and prestige. There is fear in our breathing air. If not fear why should we use mask? Fear comes together with consciousness and breath. We are doing many activities to save our breath. Fear is a giant.                                                                                                                                                     

Deepak: What is Fearism? Please tell us in simple language?

Desh: Fearism is a combination of life, consciousness, knowledge, fear and cognition. We always have fear of dying in starvation and disease. We have fear of accident, incident and some problems. To manage our life from these fears we are motivated to doing invention, construction, profession and employment. Philosophy of Fearism is a philosophical explanation of all these.

Deepak: You said, “Life is conducted, directed and controlled by fear.” How it can be? Life is impossible without fear?

Desh: Among all, fear of starvation is the highest. Is there any meaning dying by courage? We are conducted by fear. To rescue, it conducts to work, when working, doing carefully otherwise can dismiss. This directs and controls us. That's why I said, “life is conducted, directed and controlled by fear.”  In the life fear is everywhere.

Deepak: Fear can be the subject of thesis, study and research? How can it be 'ism'? People might say it is nonsense?

Desh: I never meant for 'ism' as some formula. I did not read it has length, width, height, area, volume, color and taste. Zero has 'ism'. Absurdly has 'ism'. You used insulted word; has air 'ism' too? Marx, Lenin and Mao has 'ism'. If we calculate in percentage, how many people have Marx, Lenin and Mao in their life?  How many percentages do you have? 7 billion people of earth, how many of them have? But fear is with everyone. Human to animal all has fear then cannot it be 'ism'? And how is it possible Marx, Lenin and Mao to be 'ism'? How strange is the game of words and beliefs? 7 billion people and animal have fear, how can it be nonsense? Logic of fear(ism) cannot be mere philosophy as baseless. It is empirical fact.

Deepak: What is the reason for a deep study of fear? What advantage for society?

Desh: All human beings live in fear. They are encircled by many fears. They feel it. They are living with the thorns of death, disease, damage, accident and problems. Because of fear they are terrified and doing killings. This forces me to do deep study. In this vast human disaster, I thought I can make a contribution toward something good being done? What are sources of their fear? What happens more or less due to fear? These kinds of thoughts were coming in my mind. I thought of the many accidents of the world. I came to the conclusion most all sources of many problems are fear. Since early civilization fear can be taken as negative but I asked how can it be made positive? Moral questions were in my mind. How to make comfort from it? Many questions were hovering inside me. Then fearism emerged as an idea. It is not negative as normal mass understand fear. The most positive things of life are due to fear. Balance of fear has leaded us to success. Life makes us happy and peaceful. Innovative parts of life are defined by fearism. 

Deepak: Fear is director of life, Universe, black hole of space, light, creator, seer, mystery, beauty, courage, super power, parent, law and god. End with God is fear. These are your many meanings of fear in your book. It looks very abstract isn't it?

Desh: It is not abstract, it is simple. It looks strange because nobody explained fear like this before, not from this perspective. Michel Foucault said, 'knowledge is power.' Doesn't it look strange too? Does to know about dying have power? Take the example of law, does not its main motive come from fear and create fear?  Nobody will follow law if it cannot create fear. Fear is a law, it is not abstract.

Deepak: After reading your book, readers may recognize they suffer from depression. Except fearful readers cannot see, listen and understand anything about fear. Is your book about creating fear?   

Desh: After reading philosophy of fearism, this does not take readers to depression but helps them to see they may be a fear patient. It helps to reduce depression, stress, and violence created by doubt and fear. It gives an idea of the source of depression, it offers reason and explanation and routes of fear so they can better manage fear.  

[Originally published in Friday entertainment paper March 27, 2015. It is sister news paper of second popular daily Nagrik news paper of Nepal. Interview was by sub-editor Deepak Sapkota. [Original in Nepalese, trans. to English by Desh Subba, editing for English, by R. Michael Fisher]

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My Easter Message:

In a certain way, young people today are asking society "We" (adults) a big question: and, I think it goes something like this... (above image)... or, in another way, "If you really love us as you say you do, why do you bring so much threat, trauma and fear into our lives?" Adults are being held accountable to answer... (analogously, a variation on this underlying implicit question: Why do you continue to maintain a "coping culture" over a "healing culture"?)...

This image is centered on an activist "peace" button I found a few years ago, and I began doing some art work with it in an community co-housing group in Courteney, BC. This is my latest art image I made with the button modified in this digital piece, using African art image (excerpt) behind and through it. I like the sense of a wheel of time or clock moving along...a sense of the future imposing and questioning the present and past...also I shaped the rectangle button into more an hour glass timer form...with the Western button image and question--a dilemma that is truly coming to the fore in today's society, as you'll see in some of my latest blogs as I am giving some space on the FM ning for youth.

Youth are feeling "terror" deep below the surface, if not on the surface, about their ever diminishing futurity. If we as adults/society ignore this... we'll only add to the nightmare they and all of us are going into...

The dilemma of this question on the button will not go away. I think it is an excellent stimulus for further dialogues and responses and I look forward to anyone on the FM ning writing and responding to this. Is it a fair moral question? Is it stated in the best way? What other ways could it be stated that may be also useful or interesting? 

Anyone who has followed my work since 1989 knows that the issue of Love vs. Fear and how we are to manage our societies best, is always in my thought and theorizing--a great philosophical dilemma, I think worth more attention than we usually give it. 


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March For Our Lives, centered in Washington, DC. leading Millenials' speakers, from 11 years old to teens of all kinds, shown giving voice, in numbers of hundreds of thousands, to their anger and frustration, their fears and hopes of the future ... and mostly showing they will no longer wait for adults to solve the problem of violence, trauma and social deterioration because politicians, community leaders, and adults generally have not done enough to make their lives safe and secure. The surface symptom of their battle centers on gun violence (especially in America). To see this movement and their rebellion in words, "without fear" and "enough is enough" and "never again" go to the four hour media coverage

To understand one core dimension of this problem that these children and youth are standing up for, is to understand that when the so-called "safe," "wealthy" and "privileged" youth are attacked by a mass murderer in one of their schools (e.g., Parkland, in Florida Feb. 14, 2018), then enough is enough and masses of organized protest happens. And it was a revolution and movement very evident, very rooted, very generationally based. Youth will not lay down any longer, so it appears, and watch their future deteriorate before their very eyes by threats of being killed in schools or traveling to school--by terror(ism) and the resultant fear from victimization and collective trauma, etc. They are speaking out they do not want their schools and communities to end up as militarized "war zones" [1] where just about anyone has a gun hidden away in wait for the next battle. This is not the fearful kind of lives these traumatized youth want to live. 

"The truth about youth... is that they have learned and been conditioned to trust humans less and less since the Boomer's generation of peace and love. Youth now face the great challenge of whether to continue down that road of fear and mistrust or turn their generations' perspective around. Without them on the path of fearlessness, we can be certain the result will be deadly." 

The protest of these youth of course has great historical ripples recently as I have documented the "No Fear Movement" in America (especially) since the early 1990s. I see this March for Our Lives as the culminating breakthrough and much needed, of what started as a commercialized "No Fear!" slogandia in 1990 in California when a few young entrepreneurs began to put No Fear! on just about everykind of clothing thinkable that youth were buying. This was a time of wars and especially the HIV contagion which shook so many people because of deaths from a disease mostly sexually transmitted and traveling through youth-based communities without anyone knowing the cause or cure at the time. 

The word "Fearless" was then a follow-up as the next branding term for many commercial products and advertising, all of which are meant to capture what the young people were wanting in their lives, as they were getting sick and tired of living in so much fear and terror. With more acts of mass murders through guns and terrorism attacks, etc. the world was just becoming more and more unsafe and it became harder to trust just about anyone. 

I have to say, I so appreciate the youth movement today of children and teens, and seeing such masses united on the streets, are no doubt a revolutionary change ... trailing and necessarily built on the young adult movements of Occupy in 2011, of Black Lives Matter, of the women's and #Me Too movements --all led at a time of total frustration by so many people, especially post-9/11 and especially with elitism and facism growing rampantly, and especially the levels of violence everywhere. The trauma and fear has led too many young people to be paranoid. If you listen to their talks at the March for Our Lives, you'll hear this comment about fear, and how they want to live "without fear" in their daily lives, but I was pleased they didn't just throw around the arrogant slogans of the past, of "No Fear!" or "Fearless" ... no, they were more talking about how paranoia was now their norm, and their ghost, living with it everyday, they have simply seen too much too close and they are hurting and grieving and ducking bullets. They do not believe most forms of adult management of fear (or guns) is doing much good at all. They don't want to live in a war zone in their communities and schools anymore. Of course, the marginalized youth and adults in America have been saying that for decades, and so have the wartorn countries of the world, and refugees. But now it seems, the tide has come in, and the scales of intolerance to living in paranoia have flipped. And it is damn well time! Good for all youth for being intolerant of an insane normalization of fear/paranoia [2] that has occurred in the world in the last century especially. 

But youth need assistance from adult allies to be successful in their goals to overcome the terrorism, the toxic fearism-t, and paranoia in societies. I invite adults and youth on this FM blog and elsewhere to join dialogues and actions to help the cause. There is so much good knowledge and wisdom available throughout the world's fearlessness teachings and non-violence movements to provide wise guidance for youth and everyone. It is obvious the March for Our Lives has tapped into some of those experiences of nonviolent protest but there is much more too. There is quality information on the faults of oppressive adultism and how it makes youth's concerns secondary. It is there. I have worked with some others, to make this available. Let me know how I can help (r. michaelfisher52 [at]gmail [dot] com). 

p.s. it seems my prediction in the late 1980s is coming true--it will be fear that unites the most people for the common good, not love ... love comes into it but fear is the major driver for liberation--and, fearlessness is the meta-motivation more invisible in joining the natural telos of Fear towards Love .... 


1. Eventually, more or less, the truth is going to come out in these youth protests, and actions. The truth is, that America is a warring country, always has been, and wants to dominate the world. You do that by "guns" of one kind or another. So, within the domestic sphere of society, school culture, urban realities, guess what... guns are everywhere because people for the most part are so afraid and so think war is the answer. America can truly change if youth rebel and don't stop... on this way to making countries everywhere give up on the war strategy as primary in fear management (i.e., safety and security management)... of course, we need lots of other strategies to handle the conflicts going on, which are real, and in which some take up arms to try to win.  

2. This is like an "addiction to fear" which is arguably characteristic of what many critics call the "culture of fear" phenomena.




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Is the WHO organization spreading more fear dis-ease than it is preventing, while playing out their worst fears re: Epidemics?

This blog is all about the intersection of Health & Wellness and Fear. I see many research and career opportunities for people studying fear(ism). Here are 4 examples from one small local Alberta newspaper (March 16, 2018) [1] that show this intersection. I also know, in the West at least, there is a lot more available dollars and funding in the Health and Medical Field than any other field and they are likely to be more interested in fear and its impacts. There is a readiness for fearism studies awaiting. Now, to the four examples, and my brief critiques: 

Example 1: WHO is seemingly in its policies so overly exuberant to prevent disasters regarding "new" or "old" viruses and bacterial epidemices it has, according to this newspaper article (above) named "Disease X" as its priority. You have likely heard of Zika, SARS, Ebola, etc. but WHO has decided to name the worst epidemic disease before it is known. There is something really weird about that, even though they will tell us, as in this article, their rationale is to pre-prevent as much as possible the "next" outbreak that could threaten us. WHO is becoming like this major "security" company, organization, dominant voice and player in the role of fear and disease. Yes, as I read this article they want us to be afraid of the next unknown big killer disease before we know what it is. That's weird, and seems on the point of extreme dis-ease (fear-based) way of operating and making policies about world health. Even if their intention is good, which I trust it is, their means of getting there is dubious and I think adds more fear on the planet, and more fear adds more distress to people awaiting and trying to avoid getting sick from anything. More fear, more distress and worry, and guess what, one's immune system goes down in functioning because it is on chronic altert (worry mode) and that creates more susceptibility to infections. WHO is not paying attention to their own dysfunctional logic to create this "Disease X" as the unknown big killing epidemic disease. By calling it the unknown disease, listen to what the reporter of this article writes, and others will too as they spread the news of WHO and its listed "Disease X": "The WHO said Disease X could come from anywhere and strike at any time" and goes on to say (citing a scientific adviser to WHO) "it is likely the next big outbreak will be something we have not seen before" and don't know how to treat and people will not be immune. On and on this newspaper article goes creating the fear of the unknown in all of us over something we don't know will happen but probably will, according to experts, and they are sure good at creating the worst case scenarios and then try to convince us we should trust WHO because they are so on top of protecting us or will try to do so... etc. As I say, this is a type of totalitarian thinking and authoritarian politics to health and wellness, that the world doesn't need, it only breeds more fear. This is a primary case, on a global scale, of fear appeal advertising at its worst. It creates dependency and fear of the unknown everywhere and anytime; it creates ghosts in our minds and lives, and this chronic fear distress is a fear-disease itself being spread by a global organization (WHO) that is supposed to be improving our health, not compromising it(?). 

 Example 2: ADDING HOPE TO FEAR(S) is about how to best boost people's motivation to be well, healthy, happy, while at the same time warning them of health risks. Adversting in the field of what is called "Health Education" or "Health Communications" is a topic of research and debate. The question and concern is how much "fear" should be induced to motivate people, and when is it too much or better to add "hope" (for e.g.) to create empowerment in the consumers of these advertisements and educational programs to promote well-being? This next article gives some research, and sides in favor that "Fear will get attention, but it is better to provide them with possible solutions." I won't give more details, but this article is pointing to research that is the exact opposite of the WHO strategy (above), thus, a contradiction in the health field as our health experts themselves may not be following their own research and best practices and advice(?)

 Example 3: Love and Fear debate is ongoing, and Desh and I have written about it in our book (Fisher and Subba, 2016), and I have done research on this debate for 28 years.  In this popular article the author opens with the lines: "Reject fear, choose love" --although, it is easier said than done. If we all did it the world would be a fantasy utopia and health and wellness and good relationships would abound. What the article does not analyze, other than an individual making a committed choice to follow love even when fear pulls them in the opposite direction, is the full nature of the Fear Problem in the first place. Because, it raises the issue about why love, if it is so great, hasn't kept us as a species out of the spiraling down the drain into major crises where clearly fear is ruling not love. My point, "fear" no matter how you look at it, isn't just a "choice" and that begins a whole other philosophical, psychological, historical, theological, sociological inquiry. Fearism is one more additional mode of inquiry into this debate, and of course, the author of this article doesn't mention fearism as a new perspective in the study of fear. Unfortunately, this binary simplification "love vs. fear" (as a choice) is really kindergarten education, better than nothing, but it leaves out more than one can imagine--or, more than I'd like to see be left out of our basic fear management/education on this planet. I can say, there is an huge amount of popular interest, writing, workshops, and teachings about love in relationships, and I am glad (somewhat) that fear is recognized as a most powerful, if not the most powerful, "emotion" in relationships that can be useful or be destructive. Trying to just replace by choice fear with love, however, is fallacious and reductionistic--it will work perhaps "a little" but not a lot. And, we need a lot more understanding about the nature of fear. Although, as I say that, I know there is a great swarm of advocates who will disagree and say "no you are wrong, we need mor understanding about the nature of love." Who is right? I say, and Desh and I have said, we need a dialectical methodology of fearism to study the love vs. fear problem. [see Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.)

  Example 4: Pain Reduction: Fear Reduction is an article about the new research in medicine showing that use of opioids (e.g., methadone, heroine, etc.) cause worse symptoms regarding pain and anxiety problems than are helpful. The opioids are addictive and actually damage the biological systems own resilience to pain and fear. I suggest this is a great teaching to us all, and a critique of the field of Medicine overall, and a metaphor. Too much trying to take pain and fear away (as they are like twins), is not going to help in the long run. Of course, my complaint about the "pain" and opoid studies and the way the media covers this research, is that there is not enough talk about the fact that "fear" with "pain" is what the real problem is, and instead of just getting chronic pain (addicts) "off opoids" is not a solution but a moving the furniture around in the room. What these fear-patients need (a term Desh prefers, as does Feariatry, which we are working on), is attention on "fear" as the core of their problems, along with pain that goes with it. That's the larger discussion needed, is to look more closely at pain management within the context of fear management--then, we can really move forward as a society, and doctors who prescribe pharmaceuticals can readjust their paradigm of treatment, and truly follow the Hippocratic Oath they took in med schools, that is, to "cause no harm" in trying to help. Again, I believe there is a larger metaphor and teaching that goes to apply here to all of society, not just the field of medicine. Parenting and schooling and socialization in a culture of fear, a risk-avoidance society, etc. is the real problem. We end up teaching children, against their nature, to "fear pain" rather than truly come to understand it, themselves, and manage pain better: and, I could say the exact same thing with fear. Let's move this agenda of fearism forward because there are openings in the culture now, more than ever, to really find this new paradigm, perhaps it is a Fearlessness Paradigm, that can liberate.   



1. All articles are excerpted from ; (March 16-23, 2018), for educational purposes only. 

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Dialogue on Fearcriminalysis (Part 3): R. Michael Fisher, B. Maria Kumar and Desh Subba

[This is third, and last of the Fearcriminalysis series of dialogues. If you haven't already read the earlier ones, I recommend you do, but it is not necessary to understanding a good deal of what is in this dialogue. For the Pt. 2 go to: Perhaps a small book will be published one day on this topic using these initial dialogues as a basis. Enjoy, -rmf.]

"Crime is down... but fear is up!"  - R. Michael Fisher

In Fisher, I wrote [1]

"Political leaders and authorities (like the police force) in Canada have been heard on CBC radio interviews in the past few years making remarks that have stuck with me: for e.g.,  the Vancouver Chief of Police was asked about the problem of violence in the city and he said (paraphrasing), ‘It isn’t the violence that is the real problem for the police force. It is peoples’ fear of violence that is creating more enforcement problems that we don’t have the resources to handle.’ The Hon. John Havelock, Alberta Justice Minister, recently (1998) reported on CKUA radio, that after tougher legislation against violence and more legal clout for the victims and society in general, he is pleased to announce statistics indicate ‘crime is down.’ However, in the next breath, he reports that ‘fear is up’ and the governments’ citizen response lines are bursting with complaining calls because people don’t feel safe anymore and governments need to do something more about all the crime and violence. In the May 6, 1997 edition of the Calgary Herald, a male Alberta judge remarked: ‘A climate of fear has started to pervade this city at night’" (Fisher, 1998, p. 5).

Fisher: From the above quotes, you can see I have long been interested in Fearcriminalysis, even though I didn’t call it that back then in the late 1990s. I was aware that crime and its effects are not merely physical but psychological and sociological. The research concept and phenomena called the “fear of crime” is one of the biggest and hottest topics, at least, in the West, as it is present in a lot of the criminology and social sciences literature.

In a policing Newsletter from the U.S. National Institute of Justice [2], the authors write about how concrete crime negatively impacts people but “Behind the immediate, concrete losses of crime victims, however, is a different, more abstract crime problem—that of fear. For victims, fear is often the largest and most enduring legacy [trauma] of their victimization….For the rest of us—the not-recently, or not-yet victimized—fear becomes a contagious agent spreading the injuriousness of criminal victimization….Of course, fear is not totally unproductive. It prompts caution among citizens and thereby reduces criminal opportunities….Thus, reasonable fears, channel in constructive directions, prepare society to deal with crime. It is only when fear is unreasonable, or generates counterproductive responses, that it becomes a social problem. This paper explores fear as a problem to be addressed by the police….it turns to what is known about the efficacy of police strategies for managing fear, i.e., for reducing fear when it is irrational and destructive, and for channeling fear along constructive paths when it is reasonable and helpful in controlling crime” (pp. 1-2).

What is interesting to me is that this policing report is totally appropriate to today, and yet it was written and published in 1988—that’s 30 years ago. The authors then conclude the report with two basic findings: (1) “Society does not yet systematically collect data on fear. Consequently, our map of fear—its levels, trends, and social location—is sketchy. Nonetheless, its main features are easily identified” (p. 2), and (2) “Fear of crime is an important problem in its own right. Although levels of fear are related to levels of criminal victimization, fear is influenced by other factors” and they suggest research shows that “the current strategy of policing [in general]  does not result in reduced fear. Nor does it leave much room for fear reduction programs in the police department” (p. 6).

My first question to you Desh and Maria: Do you think anything has substantially changed in criminology and policing strategies in your countries that has improved the situation of fear as a social problem as brought forward in this report from 1988? Explain your answers.

Subba: It is very interesting to hear words like: “fear of crime,” “collection data on fear,” “map of fear.”
They are to me beautiful words for a Fear Dictionary. These are new phrases in my knowledge. They seem to follow nicely after the word and conceptual field of Fearcriminalysis. I seek to learn more about these.

Fisher: Desh, you in your own unsophisticated way made your own Map of Fear(s) in Figure No. 21 in your 2014 book, where you began a very basic map/model of “sources” of fear to humans but yes, it would be a next step to find ways to map geographically, politically, etc. the way “fear” exists and moves on the planet [3]; the field of “geography of fear” is making some strides in this but that information is still new and hardly anyone is practically using it, especially in police forces, at least not that I know of.

Kumar: I feel that the report of 1988 is still relevant even today because there is no substantive relief in mitigation of fear. In regards to the reduction in fear of crime generally, there seems to be no change in status but rather, unfortunately, the quantum of fear appears to be on the rise.  

Subba: There now is another new phrase “quantum of fear.” Wonderful.

Fisher: Yes, I agree it is a term that catches the imagination. I’d like Maria to explain why he chose that particular phrasing.

Kumar: Good query Mr. Subba and Dr. Michael! I mean this phrase by two aspects:
1) Literal: as it means amount or quantity. A sort of an idea to quantify fear just like the way ‘intelligence’ is measured in terms of IQ with the help of Simon-Binet tests, so that we may also devise a Fear Quotient (FQ).

2) Psychological: Juxtaposed to Ian Fleming’s Quantum of Solace (QS), which refers to comfort level during tense moments, Quantum of Fear (QF) means the opposite, i,e., tense moments during comfort. When QS stands at zero on 0-9 scale, love and fellowship simply doesn’t exist. On the other hand, if QF stands at zero, fear doesn’t exist, and the world is simply overflowing with love and fellowship. That’s an ideal.

Therefore, a fearologist’s pragmatic endeavor inter alia ought to be the study of how to bring down higher QF levels to the lowest level possible, if not zero, of course, within the understanding and framing of a context of fearism-t as you both have articulated. Concomitantly, this would be a condition of the higher FQ.

Fisher: A good challenge for fearology alright. Indeed this sounds worthy to me, a Fear Quotient measure and quantum of fear. Sounds like a whole other conversation we ought to have someday. I have argued that like we have developmental lines that are measurable, e.g., re: multiple intelligences as Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist argued; he said, we have a cognitive intelligence (CI), a moral intelligence (MI), an emotional intelligence (EI), aesthetic intelligence (AI), etc. Then I believe we ought to have a Fearlessness line of intelligence or defense intelligence (DI); it would be similar to Fear Quotient, if not homologous.

Kumar: Back to my point. Normal crimes of 1988 had normal fears. Now different crimes like that emerging from cyberspace are dangling over our heads.

“fearism-t (toxic form) is the core issue at hand. All crime in one way or another is going to add fearism-t to the social fabric and destroy social trust—and, fearism-t is basically the more subtle form of terrorism.”   -R. Michael Fisher

 Fisher: The everywhere and nowhere kind of fear atmosphere since cyberspace was generated is definitely taxing us in new ways.

 Subba: I have listed this in my 2014 book “Cyberphobia- fear of computers or working on a computer” [4] but now in this context of Fearcriminalysis discourse beginning, I can see this psychological disorder from the DSM-IV manual must change to include the larger sociocultural and political implications, all of which advance the quantum of fear, as Maria suggested. In my book I neglected to mention cyberterrorism directly, but I say “The [new] modern fears are the products of new inventions for the protection from fears and avoiding fears….Some fears have been minimised, but many new fears have been added. It is moving around in a full circle [cycle]. We are entangled with it.” [5] In general, “the world’s become the victim of a great fear. To rescue the world from such quicksand, its sources have to be identified and they have to be reinterpreted” through a fearist perspective/lens [6]….

 Fisher: And mapped as the 1988 authors above point to, we need better research to entangle the Fear Problem and cycle of Fear analytically, never mind emotionally and philosophically. I think Desh you said it well in your evolutionary and historical mapping of the Fear Ages. Your sixth age is “Cyber Fear Age,” in which you begin that description of that age based on Prof. Dr. Gobinda Raj Bhattari whom you quote: “Cyber has a big role in transplantation of psychological fear and [an] even bigger role to wage psychological wars,” [7] like cyberterrorism.

 Kumar: I agree with Desh, that the quantum of fear high levels, which police forces and military and governments generally come across, are due to three interrelated complex factors: 1) Technological 2) Socioeconomic and, 3) Legal. For example,

  • With the advent of CCTV/AI/robotics, privacy of the individual is at stake. Fear of being watched is ubiquitous. There are the threats of identity theft, computer frauds etc. that pose new fears, adding accumulatively and qualitatively, not merely quantitatively, to traditional fears.
  • As Hawking noted, socioeconomic inequality increases with the accumulation of much of wealth in a few hands, thereby leading to more economic uncertainties and insecurities like joblessness and to the rise of a new vulnerable class called the precariat. So, again more crimes, accompanied by fears and we get that cycle of fear that Desh referred to. Like Macbeth’s fear of ghosts, people tend to nurse feelings of fear, more through imagining shadows than actual crimes but the crimes are still there and increasing in complexity and interrelationships.

  • To regulate technological proliferation and its repercussions, senators naturally happen to come up with more laws, creating and defining new crimes, hence more fears.

I feel that this is the general cycle of Fear scenario. But the problem is that the society seldom recognizes that police alone cannot tackle every crime and fear. Criminogenic factors lie elsewhere like in socioeconomic environment, socializing processes, psychological makeup, international relations among countries, unbridled enactment of laws, unnecessary curbs or restrictions on lifestyles etc.

Fisher: Thus, the need for the whole society to take responsibility and develop a good fear management/education programming everywhere, so that citizens at the foundation of society can become more response-able to handle safety and security needs, as well as initiate desires for a quality of life that no longer feeds on and depends on the cycle of Fear, but rather grows based on a Fearlessness Paradigm.

Kumar: For example, recent news points out that crime in Holland is declining so much that their prisons are being closed up. I think fear might have also diminished in Dutch society commensurately. It may reveal new realities if we can check up the state of these reports over there [8].

Fisher: One perspective on this is that Holland has overall promoted an advancing critical consciousness and evolution of thinking that few countries have. I’m not sure why that is, but some studies show this progressive thinking there. Which doesn’t mean they haven’t other kinds of problems too, because they do. I do agree they can serve perhaps as an image of possibility, a model, to some degree. I didn’t know it’s particular effective reforms to reduce crime and fear, improve safety, as you mention Maria.

Subba: I think Fearcriminalysis will be a hard conception to be listened to by others, especially in policing but there are some good signs slowly happening like in the UN Peace Keeping forces recently in Sudan, where fearism is being introduced. However, for all of us promoting this shifting consciousness regarding the role of fear, it is going to take time. It will be slow. Recently I gave an interview in Sewa Ro talk show. I said "Geeta" [i.e., Bhagava Gita] says "without expecting good result just do work." Similarly Marxism says "do labour." Why do work ? It is not mentioned. Cause and effect is popular word in Philosophy. Beyond cause and effect, there is more cause. I mean when we do work, we get wages. Work is cause and effect is wages. Behind work there is more cause, and that is fear. This fear motivates in a positive way to explore the world creatively and make it a better place with less excess fear and anxieties. In relativity theory, there must be a base. Without a base relativity cannot exist. Fear is the base of all cause. All activities are relatives of this phenomena. 

When society and governments are enlightened with a new idea, the new idea explores new solutions. Fearcriminalysis is like that, we just have to keep doing the work, without expecting good results, at least not right away.

Back to Michael’s earlier question, I do agree with Maria that fear of crime and fear of violence is becoming a hottest topic everywhere not only in Canada. Particularly the climate of fear in Canada is different, I suspect, than in Nepal. Major fears are similar but minor fears not similar. Nepal never faced fear of terrorism much but we certainly faced fear of civil war. The form of civil war encourages a trend of terrorism almost more so. I’ll tell you what happened in my home country Nepal. In 1995, allies of the communist parties put 52 demands to Congress government. Allies of communist party became Maoist later.

Nepali Government ignored their demands, underestimating them. That time communists didn't have even a rifle. Government thought they are powerless, can’t do thing. This was big mistake. If government, try to come to positive dialogue, try to listen demands, even if they cannot solve all conflicts with opposition groups, they can begin to be more positive and cooperative to avoid greater problems with security issues later. Because of government’s arrogance 12000 people directly lost lives and billions lost in values property. 

Rise of crime and terrorism must be closely related to civil war of Nepal. Nepal has not done anything much about the growing fear. There is no data of fear, maps or good analysis. There is an insidious climate of fear, unemployment, disease, poverty and all contribute to a sense of national hopelessness. Natural climate and weather crises cannot be easily changed. But a social climate of fear is not unchangeable. 

Fisher: Thanks for the history lesson in Nepal, which is probably like a lot of other countries under similar political, economic and historical challenging conditions. What stands out for me from this 1988 report, which I believe is still totally relevant, at least in the West, is that fearism-t (toxic form) is the core issue at hand. All crime in one way or another is going to add fearism-t to the social fabric and destroy social trust—and, fearism-t is basically the more subtle form of terrorism.

And terrorism I define in a much broader way than do the legal justice and state security discourses. It is not merely a political or ideological act against society or the state authorities. Terrorism is a psychosocial process whereby someone (e.g., criminal), who is already terrified and been so terrified by others, whether they know they are or not, acts out means whereby they spread their terror to the rest of the world. In a way, they are “sharing” their fear/terror and the wounding underneath it. In a way, they are looking to get attention from others, from authorities, even from the police. Sure they also want power, but who doesn’t?  

However, most terrorism exists not in the ‘big’ criminal acts of blowing up a bomb in the public square or kidnapping and killing journalists or government people or hi-jacking a plane, but terrorism has its roots in and more subtle form in fearism-t. The ‘small’ acts of someone who is afraid spreads their fear through lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, scaring, and/or other forms of abuse, some which is nearly impossible to pin down and label so clearly. It is even more subtle how fearism-t spreads fear contagion and how the quantum of fear increases so rapidly. One example of the benign spread of fear that I detest is when people in the community you live, and this happened to me living in Carbondale, IL in the USA the past nine years, tell “stories” and spread “news” as if they are helping out to avoid crime, or bad weather like tornado’s as possibilities. Yes, there is always a possibility of some horrible event and we should be cautious. But they would send me and the community members emails about the next warning, and the next possible and there was a crime here and so on. After awhile, this scared me too in deep almost somatic unconscious ways I didn’t want to be scared over.

Because I want to assess things without all of other people’s fear on top—even if they are trying to be helpful. I found that kind of “news” unhelpful, and I felt a bit bad being critical of their tactics because they argued they were being good responsible citizens helping to warn others. They defended their position when I challenged them. But something was really out of balance in those communities of “do gooders” as they are kind of like the first-warning responders for a community.

Well, it is hard to say they were bad or doing crime in any way. At least, not from a normal position of examining their behavior. However, from the critical consciousness of attempting to slow down or stop the quantum of fear cycling, that is, the climate and culture of fear, there is a moral and just reason that these tactics should be challenged and stopped if necessary. Yet, only Fearcriminalysis could really make a good case against what these people are doing. Law is useless, and police wouldn’t even touch such a case as being illegal or against bylaws of the cities.

To its credit, in part, Law, at least in the West, has long been attempting to create more and more definitions of forms of “abuse” and making them illegal. But we simply can’t make a law against every abuse and harder still is then trying to enforce it. Because so much abuse and hurting takes place in private homes and relationships that are part of families, workplaces, school systems and everyday interactions in neighborhoods.

So what do you two think of calling “fearism-t” what it is, that is—the foundation of terrorism? Would law and criminology and policing be open to this idea? Wouldn’t it help better frame an understanding of the social problem of fear that the 1988 report described? What do you think?

Kumar:  Yes, I think so. We may call fearism-t as the foundation of terrorism. Art of War strategist Sun Tzu said, ’kill one and terrify one thousand.’ And this tag line has become the unfortunate fundamental base of terrorism. One of the main objectives of terrorism is to spread fear.

Fisher: And, to do it with the minimum of resources and greatest efficacy. I think every good military leader would say something similar; even if they may sound less radical and extremist than a “terrorist” type. We know counterterrorism is an accepted and rationalized part of most every form of government, no matter what ideology and political stripes or histories—the tactics of terrorism and counterterrorism are fearism-t when you boil it down to the basics. Much conflict and out-and-out war is based on it. That’s where the problem is deep rooted and no one side can claim to be the ‘angel.’ All contribute their share to the social problem—the Fear Problem. If police forces and criminology as a whole, including Law, could begin to see their contribution to fear production, even when they may think they are not doing so, then that would at least be an admission to start the journey of recovery from this mess.

Kumar: A terrorist by nature is a sadist. There may be a good thief, good cheat, good fraudster, good drunkard etc., but not a good terrorist. Because he wants to see others stricken by fear, panic, terror and so on. The easiest and worst way to realize his motive is to get media to sensationalize through publicity his thoughts, words and deeds, however minor it could be - like issuing threats and warnings, burning of an unclaimed bike or a simple hoax. This kind of attention of public threatening becomes oxygen for which terrorists survive, strive and thrive.

Law, criminology and policing also endorse this view in that the law itself defines terrorism in terms of such and such an act that causes extreme alarm, over-awe, anxiety, fear, threat, panic etc. Criminology looks at terrorism as a serious crime because it is an embodiment of genesis of terror and the power that accompanies it.

Coming to the proposed premise of Fearcriminalysis, I also concur that it will certainly help better if we can create an understanding of the social problem of fear. Ultimately, we have to keep asking: What causes a terrorist to wage their kind of ruthless and barbaric war against the society?

A young Fearologist team may someday be lured by this dialogue to do something creative. We can do more work on family and society terrorism.    -Desh Subba

Subba: Right. This is the philosophical “cause and effect” issue that a philosophy of fearism can analyze probably better than other ways, and other philosophies that have not given such attention to fear and its role.

Kumar: To my mind, one of the main reasons appears to lie in economics, much like the Marxian view of economic determinism. As one economist professed, poverty anywhere in the world is a threat to prosperity everywhere in the world. We see many of the terrorists are a disgruntled lot, on the move to avenge the society. As has been known, no one is more dangerous than the one who has nothing to lose. Persons of such background are likely to form a major chunk of terrorist cadres, who don’t hesitate to use any nefarious means to achieve their objectives.

Therefore, one of the efforts on the part of fearologists should be to explore and plot how the potential perpetrators of terrorism could be identified so that the steps to thwart the prognosis of infection could be taken before hand.

“Policemen should not get panicky themselves. Don’t use unnecessary force and don’t create further panic.”

-B. Maria Kumar

Fisher: Yes, that’s a great challenge for fearologists, terrorologists, traumatologists, victimologists and criminologists—for starters—who have to learn to work collaboratively in the future. Then we have to get research accomplished and good critical thinking into the hands of the people on the front lines “fighting” the battles of crime and trying to maintain civil life and order. I am also optimistic that “the people” will, for better or worse, take “order” into their own hands if the authorities don’t. On the better side of that, are civil protests for new laws and policing policies and security priorities. I am thinking of the recent walkout of 1 million school students in America because they believe the gun laws in the US are not working for them, not protecting their schools from mass gun murders, etc. Yet, sadly, such protests are not accompanied by an improved fear management/education, which needs to happen below the Gun Problem, which is a Fear Problem at root. Why are people carrying guns around in the first place? There has yet to be the critical awareness in students, faculties and/or in the media and public leaders that cover and discuss these protests that what our societies need is to “fight for” an improved Fear Quotient or Defense Intelligence as I call it in my writing. So much still to be done educationally. Unfortunately, guns and violence and terrorism that is ‘big news’ and dramatic gets all the attention and resources, and fear management/education and the problem of fearism-t, gets left behind in the shadows and denied importance.

Subba: I agree with Michael that terrorists are already terrified and sharing their fear/terror within victimization. That’s a dangerous situation when they start carrying deadly weapons. In my view terrorist are victimized by some community, government, race, religion. According to them they are suffering from injustice. In the primary stages they had no rifles like Maoists of Nepal. Slowly gathering they get support from their group and grow and add technologies and economic support to their goals. This is the problem. When a small problem grows without good interventions, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to solve later. Mix up and conflict with many sources like political, international game, economic, ego, jealous, hatred, revenge. It makes the problem very big. Through terrorist attacks they want to draw attention, collect support, take revenge, create dramatic explosions, nurture hatred and fear, etc. 

Like our dialogue as example, there needs to be open ideas and follow through with respect and actions. Sometimes human beings become so hard. They keep a permanent pillar of protection around their heart, and they don’t want to move. When they start to move, then there are chances to solve the problem. If it cannot be solved, the problems over time, one day, they become a fire that burns the earth and all that remains are ashes in our hands. 

Fisher:  We need to think not just in short-term, but long-term effects to everything we do. I want to change the course of dialogue just a bit. “We are not bad, we are frightened.” – Jeanne Segal, a progressive spiritual psychotherapist [9] wrote in 1985, and it is one of my all-time favorite quotes to provoke critical thought. It is 33 years ago. Wow. I have used it often in my publications; but no one, to my surprise, ever seems to get the grit and importance of what she is claiming as a potential truth or working hypothesis.

I would like either of you to respond to this in the context of our rich discussions of what Fearcriminalysis might be, and regarding our terrorism discussion here. Go for it.

Kumar: Yes Michael! You have very thoughtfully caught hold of a clever observation made by Jeanne Segal. How I interpret it is that she put forth her assertion as an anti-thesis to what Burke quoted long ago. He stressed, ’the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ He felt that bad things continue to happen as long as the people including the good, do not oppose the bad. Since evil is ignored, it grows further and spreads farther. So, in a way the so-called good men also come to be treated as bad. But Jeanne refutes saying that it doesn’t mean such people are bad just because they couldn’t oppose bad things. They are also good but they are not in a position to put up resistance since they are too frightened and forced to remain hapless and helpless without being allowed to take a step forward externally but they are intrinsically still imbued with righteous virtues that inspire. Their condition is like the truth that unfolds slowly. As Churchill said, ’A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.’

The fight against terrorists is going on across the world and millions and millions of people, though not explicitly seen or felt due to unseen reasons by way of being put to fear or whatever, continue inspiring millions of policemen to take on the evil triumphantly. That’s what Jeanne’s quote implies, I suppose.

Fisher: From the first dialogue on Fearcriminalysis in this series I began with, “I  am intrigued by the long standing traditional ethic in law, be it judges or police officers that they are to do their duty ‘without fear or prejudice.’ Easier said than done.” From what you are saying above Maria, there has to be a realistic adjustment of ideals. Whereby we have to realize that people, including police, will at times be too fearful in certain situations, conditions, contexts, to apply law as it should be applied, and to do what Burke would have wanted in a humanistic and democratic society—that is, that we not act unnecessarily from our fear or terror, and panic and thus end up not making the best or most just responses. From what I understand it has long been part of criminal law to assess the “illegal” acts of the accused under the law, not only assessing judgement and/or penalties based on the letter of the law, but also on psychological circumstances. If someone was, arguably, so fearful due to reasonable cause in a situation, the judge will give them less of a sentence or even let them off the hook of the crime.

Now, if we had police training and civilian education from the start that taught us how to develop the highest Fear Quotient or Defense Intelligence, then arguably when under stresses we would nearly all respond so much better, more just, more lawful, more democratic. Research on people in emergencies shows, if I recall, that on average only about 10% or so actually can lead, operate intelligently and flexibly in such times and not let fear overwhelm them, at least during the critical period of required action. Maria, I know that you have written on important psychological principles that ought to be taken into account in your book on law and order, which is translated into English, could you share a bit of that material as it is relevant to this series.  

Kumar: In my 17th book [10], Application of Psychological Principles in Maintenance of Law and Order, I was covering a number of broad topics but fear was in this discussion. As we all know, policing involves interactions with people. Policemen or policewomen are supposed to deal with behaviours of various types of people during the course of their day-to-day duties, and at the time of emergency operations. Therefore, handling situations by a psychological approach does matter most in any enforcement activity and it is incumbent on the police to take recourse to psychological skills and techniques in the interest of quality policing.

So I have dealt with policing in this book exclusively from a psychological perspective touching upon topics ranging from common sense to crowd behaviour, stress management to human management, persuasion to negotiation, police-public relations to attitudinal aspects, morale-motivation-discipline-welfare-leadership on the part of policemen to interrogation etc. From our dialogue’s point of view, relevant are some excerpts from my book such as the following four items:

1).Controlling Panicky Situations

Regarding panicky situations, police should be extra-cautious. The origin of panic should be found out and eliminated. In such circumstances, the police commander himself should not get panicky as a rule. Rumor mongers should be identified and dealt with sternly. There should be public announcements through public address system and media. It should be made by the way of explaining the facts. All efforts are must to restore confidence in the public. Panic stricken people could be given proper clarification about realities. And the most important part is to uplift morale and give courage to policemen under the command of police leader.

2).Handling Panic 

  • Find out the origin and eliminate it.
  • Announcements to be made through public address system by explaining actual situation and an assurance should be given to the panic stricken in order to uplift their spirits and confidence levels.
  • Rumor mongering should be stopped.
  • Peace Committee meeting should be convened and cooperation of the people should be sought.
  • Take the panic stricken people along for clarification of the realities at the very source of panic. 
  • Instill courage and confidence into law enforcement officials under command. 
  • Divide the whole force ( contingent) into sections and entrust different officers to handle different areas to ease fears.
  • Immediate foot and mobile patrolling by armed police and fixed pickets in hypersensitive areas will alleviate public fears. 
  • Policemen should not get panicky themselves. Don’t use unnecessary force and don’t create further panic.
  • Restore communication. 
  • Panic creators should be dealt with sternly.

 3).Rumor Handling /Public Opinion/Propaganda

 Counter the rumors

  • Truth to be told to the people if it has positive effect.
  • Mischievous elements who spread rumors should be detained. 
  • Denial of rumors through public announcements, tv, loud hailers, newspapers, radio etc.
  • Disinformation technique.
  • Preemptive arrests rumor mongers.
  • Police intelligence to be activated.
  • Deploy persons of credibility to counter rumors.
  • Administer vaccine against fake news.

 4).Media to be Used to Help Police 

 Create positive opinion amongst public 

  • Boost police image 
  • Contradict rumors 
  • Caution people against criminals 
  • Identify the missing/ absconders
  • Help people understand police better 
  • Promote public trust in police 
  • Help people during natural calamities 
  • Act as check on police efficiency and against police inertness 
  • As source of information! [10]

 Subba: I have curiosity to read Maria’s books. It seems attractive and useful to cure fear problems. It will be inspiring and a motivational source for some governments, communities and leaders. I think a young Fearologist Team might be lured by this entire dialogue to do something creative. We can do more work on family, society terrorism. What we are discussing is based on international terrorism often. Terrorism has multiple aspects and we have to look from more than one lens. One lens cannot see everything obviously. We have to be more alert. 




  1. Fisher, R. (1998). Culture of ‘fear’: Toxification of landscape-mindscape as meta-context for education in the 21st Technical Paper No. 7. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
  2. Moore, M. H., & Trojanowicz, R. C. (1988). Policing and the fear of crime. Perspectives on Policing, No. 3, 1-7.
  3. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris, p. 66.
  4. , p. 338.
  5. , p. 20.
  6. , p. 65.
  7. , p. 42.
  8. Go to:
  9. Segal, J. (198 ). Living beyond fear: A tool for transformation. Hollywood, CA: Newcastle, p. 88.
  10. Go to:
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As The Guardian Newspaper says about this protest in the US earlier this week: 

" [Student] Demonstrators hope to maintain a sense of national urgency around the need for gun policy reform, in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting at a US high school." And, the basic walkout was 17 minutes from their regular classes, as organizers of the demonstration want that to be symbolic of the 17 youth gunned down in the Parkland, FL school recently. 

I would call this great! I'm glad youth are taking action in public. I'm glad they are challenging their politicians through civil action. I also watch as a fearologist the entire event. And, nowhere can I find easily that the students or the organizers, or the media that are reporting on their civil action, that the students are learning more about fear management/education. I've always said the Gun Problem is a Fear Problem. It's too bad that message has not been included in the protests and the media coverage of the protests, and it reminds me, sadly, of how far away we are with dealing with the real root of the problems of violence! 



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I have long been an advocate of not denying the "mess" the world is in and where we are likely heading--crises one after another are mere symptoms of a larger looming disaster ecologically and in every other way--we will be challenged big time!. Some before me and after will raise this awareness in a fearlessness fashion, beyond denial and fear. I think one of the most powerful critiques of what has happened to the human-Earth relationship in the last 10,000 years or so, is the analysis of worldview(s). My own upcoming book on the work of Four Arrows, an Indigeneous-based social transformer [1] and others, like the new dissertation of Sepie (2018) from New Zealand [2], are critical sources of helping us understand the problem of worldview(s) and how to change our intimate relationships with them. We tend to swim in our worldviews that have been imposed on us and that we adopted very early in life without critical consciousness of the impact of that adoption. It takes a life-time of hard work and study and thinking critically to unravel the layers of the dominant worldview that has "taken us on." This critical analysis is even more crucial when the dominant worldview happens to be a paradigm of fear, that is, ruled by fear (and not in a good way)! At least, that is what the Indigeneous, the Feminist, the Matrixial, the Integral, the Fearlessness and the Postcolonial worldviews offer as a critique, more or less explicit, of the colonial worldview that dominates much of modernity and beyond. But that's another blog for another time. 

What I wish to share here is a few quotes from a mixed-blood Maori doctoral student in the field of geography [3], and one that has done an enormous amount of research in the dissertation which I have glanced at. Sepie (2018) does an outstanding synthesis of vast literature across fields, and cultures, and time, and has offtered a new pedagogical framework for a planetary futurity that is healthy, sane and sustainable. She says she is looking to be part of a growing movement, a near invisible one, of geographies of hope, that is, some force with actual academic useful things to offer humanity in its struggles.

She doesn't talk a lot about fear nor mention fearlessness or fearless as concepts (or paradigms) for her imaginary, however, I particularly am inspired to share bits of this dissertation because of the Indigenous-based, Motherline-based, Earth-Elders-based, decolonising worldview she articulates and challenges the dominant colonising worldview--and, mostly I am thrilled to find an Indigenous-based scholar (they are rare; [4]) who has acknowledged the integral thinking and writing of Ken Wilber, an American integral philosopher who's work has greatly influenced my own, and my philosophy of fearlessness and fearism. Okay, a few short quotes from Sepie (2018), 

p. i - In pursuing planetary futurity, I engage with these [many and diverse] voices in order to trace a path toward a renewed Earth community [ethic]....I outline a pedagogical framework for worldview transformation, as a component of necessary decolonisation and rematriation processes." 

p. 1 - "Such times of crisis call for a radical shift in conceptual focus, one that pushes the human imagination to create differently." 

And finally, I love her radical surprise, when after listing all gratitudes to those who supported her research, she writes: 

"My gratitude is also extended to those who did not support me – in this endeavour, or in general. I thank those who did not believe in me, who forgot or ignored our mutual obligations as humans-in-relation, who withheld assistance in times of need, and who sometimes deliberately conceived of obstacles, often seemingly insurmountable, for me to overcome. Just as the stone in the river becomes smoother through turbulence and its story becomes infinitely more interesting, this resistance has added innumerable and valuable layers to my experience in life, despite its acquisition via discomfort. Thank you for the contrast: for reminding me to remain open and to be without fear, to be tenacious, to speak my mind and live in accordance with my values, to remember courage in the face of adversity, and, for whatever the reasons, known only to you, contributing what you had to give. Thank you for teaching me, even if it was ultimately to take a different turn. Without you, also, this work would not be what it is." (p. viii) [bold added for emphasis]

Now, that's practicing the "gift of fearlessness" the Indigenous gratitude way... wonderful!  


The importance of "imagination" or what I often refer to in my work as "imaginary" expansion is worth highlighting here. I particularly, have taken a radical shift of focus (like Subba et al.) toward understanding the nature and role of fear and fearlessness in the worldivew and crises humans have created. I have uniquely among my colleagues in fearism, taken the integral theory and imaginary on as ontological and epistemological grounds for a holistic critical approach. Sepie (2018), makes reference to her encounter with Wilber's integral-transpersonal perspective in a footnote (citing A Brief History of Everything, 1996 written by Ken Wilber): 

"Some of the greatest thinkers I have encountered (in print, alas, far more than in life) are skilled at novel innovation or insight by the careful cultivation of specialisation and generalism, or a balance of span and depth thinking, undertaken in equal measure. This is a quality I admire in Harvey, among others. My concept of span and depth balance is interpreted from the essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” by the philosopher and political theorist, Isaiah Berlin (Berlin et al. 1997, pp. 436-498), and has also been developed via the work of transpersonal and integral theorist Ken Wilber (1996)." [bold added for emphasis]


1. Soon to be published: Fisher, R. M. (2018). Fearless engagement of Four Arrows: The true story of an Indigenous-based social transformer. NY: Peter Lang.

2. Sepie, A. J. (2018). Tracing the motherline: Earth elders, decolonising worldview, and planetary futurity. Unpubl. dissertation. Aotearoa, NZ: University of Canterbury. [geography]

3. Thanks to Dr. D. T. Jacobs (aka Four Arrows) for sending me this dissertation.

4. I am referring to a quote in Meyer, M. A. (2008). Indigenous and authentic: Hawaiian epistemology and the triangulation of meaning. In N. K. Denzin, Y. S. Lincoln & L. T. Smith (Eds.), Handbook of critical and Indigenous methodologies (pp. 217-232). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 222-24.






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THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF AD (there are many of them), THAT SHOW A DISTORTED VIEW OF "FEARLESS" in the World's Fearlessness Teachings throughout history. Corporate branding, through ignore-ance and arrogance, will use any term or concept, regardless of its true meaning and history and sacredness, as merely cheap forms of promotion for profit. This ad typifies what I have been critiquing for decades. And, what is worse about this one is the blatant "luxurious" (meaning expensive upper class and upper middle class type of elitism) excess that is associated with "fearless" as the last thing we ought to be supporting on this planet! 

The Fearlessness Movement is not elitist but populist and open to all no matter what their incomes and background education. Any exclusivity of this calibre like this institute is to me the regression of late capitalism and its sickness. For a critique of mis-uses of "fearlessness" and "fearless" in educational discourse see Fisher (2015, 2016). 



Fisher, R. M. (2015). Educative criteria for using the terms "fearlessness" and "fearless." Technical Paper No. 55. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. 

Fisher, R. M. (2016). Problem of branding "fearlessness" in education and leadership. Technical Paper No. 59. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. 


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R. M. Fisher: Concerned About the State of 'Fear' Studies -2018

Hi Folks, I am offering my latest technical paper here on the FM ning. It is one that is crucial to all my work in fearology, fearanalysis, philosophy of fearism, etc. The conceptualization of 'fear' (with ' marks) is not an insignificant gesture to distinguish it from the contextual discourses on fear that fill the mind and libraries of humanity. So rare few in my experience have acknowledged the postmodern and integral meta-contextual framing for 'fear' and thus are always attempting to reduce my work into their context of fear. 

'Fear' Studies, 12 Years Later: Progress and Barriers

                                              - R. Michael Fisher,[1] Ph.D.

                                                 ©2018  Technical Paper No. 74


Fear became an evocative object/subject of the author beginning in late 1989. The massive and mediated (post-9/11) assertion of Terror(ism) into humanity’s experience and thought has spurred the author’s work to the point in 2006 of publishing “Invoking ‘Fear’ Studies” in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. Much has changed dramatically in the world and in the interest, across disciplines and in the populist communities, in regard to how to negotiate a relationship with fear(ism) and terror(ism). This article is the next-generation ‘Fear Studies’ invocation for curriculum theorizing in a postmodern and post-traumatic era. The purpose is to validate the growing significance and complexity of the Fear Problem and the many authors who contribute to better understanding it and undermining it.


[Author’s note: This article was turned down by the so-called progressive Journal of Curriculum Theorizing by the one reviewer and the editor because it did not, in their view engage the ‘canon’ of work that exists in the field regarding emotions, etc. And, my whole argument is that my work is not within the context of emotions, it is rather a meta-context beyond that reductionism, and so all their advice to me to integrate other literature on emotion was totally not what this article is about. As the one reviewer wrote, “while the author’s work is quite valuable, I feel that he leaned a bit too much on his own ideas without the complication of those ideas across fields in general or within curriculum studies in specific.” Clearly, the reviewer and editor wanted a totally different kind of article and couldn’t stand my own work as ‘leading-edge’ re: ‘fear’ (not as mere emotion). This is a sad statement on the conformist, clique-like conservativism that has invaded even the progressive wings of educational curriculum in the last 12 years. I now would add this very response of JCT as one more “barrier” to the progress of ‘Fear’ Studies in the future!][2]



[1] Fisher is co-founder of In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989- ) and Research Institute (1991- ). He is also founder of the Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education ( and is Department Head at CSIIE of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. He is an independent scholar, public intellectual and pedagogue, author, consultant, researcher, coach, artist and Principal of his own company ( Currently, he is developing The Fearology Institute to teach courses. He can be reached at:

[2] Personal communication, Rob Helfenbein, Mar. 9/18.

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