Archive | January 29, 2017

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

By Kelly Brogan, MD

Do you wear your baby?

Nurse your toddler?

Sleep in a family bed?

If you do, chances are you’ve been influenced by an obscure little book penned almost four decades ago.

Many of today’s Attachment Parenting principles were first brought to the attention of Western cultures through a slender volume titled The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost. Its author, the late Jean Liedloff, spent two and a half years living with a Stone Age South American tribe, observing them and recording their way of life.

The Yekuana Indians were unlike any people Liedloff had ever encountered. They seemed universally happy and fulfilled. Their children, especially, were remarkably calm and independent. In the entire time she stayed with them, she witnessed no sibling rivalry, no whining, and almost no crying, fussing or tantrums among their infants and small children. She was amazed to see older children and teens confidently performing difficult tasks and making mature decisions, without the defiance or recalcitrance so common in Western adolescents. In her own words: “Amazingly, the children never fought. They played together all day unsupervised, all ages, from crawling, to walking to adolescence. Not only did they not fight, they never even argued. This is not at all what we have been taught human nature is….”

Liedloff observed that in this culture, as in many other indigenous societies around the globe, children were treated very differently than in Western cultures. She began to develop a theory of human social development based on her observations. According to her, every human being is born with an inborn expectation to undergo certain natural social experiences. These begin with being held immediately after birth, and an extended in-arms phase in early infancy.

Liedloff called her theory the Continuum Concept, because she maintained that these experiences should come sequentially (in a continuum), and are necessary for the sustainable continuation of our species. Missing one or more of them, according to Liedloff, can cause an individual to have trouble integrating properly into society. And by extension, one would assume that a society that does not routinely provide these experiences to its members is likely to, eventually, break down.

You may be familiar with many of these Continuum practices as the basic principles of the Attachment Parenting (AP) movement, which Liedloff’s ideas influenced greatly. Several, like babywearing, extended nursing, and co-sleeping are, if not wholly embraced by Western society, at least becoming better known and more accepted. However, most Western parents who follow these practices agree that their families are still far from experiencing the ideal of human contentedness that Liedloff describes in her book.

Assuming that Liedloff’s observations are accurate, how can we continue to improve upon our parenting practices? In other words, once the honeymoon of infancy is over, what then?

Beyond Infancy

In examining The Continuum Concept (and related materials included on the book’s website) for hints on parenting children ages toddler and beyond, three main principles spring forth as very different from the way most of us were raised, and continue to raise our children:

The first principle is a profound trust in the child.

Caregivers in continuum societies understand that the child is an inherently “good citizen,” with an innate desire to please and an inborn sense of self-preservation.

“Nobody’s born rotten,” writes Liedloff.

“You just don’t have bad kids. There is no such thing. But we can make them bad. Ironically, the reason it’s possible…is because we are so social. Our social nature is such that we tend to meet the expectations of our elders. Whenever this reversal took place and our elders stopped expecting us to be social and expected us to be anti-social, or greedy or selfish or dirty or destructive or self-destructive…that’s when the real fall took place. And we’re paying for it dearly.”

Instead of warning the child to behave and laying out consequences for bad behavior, Liedloff advocates simply modeling the “good” behavior, and expecting the child to follow suit. If the child errs, he should be gently instructed to change his behavior, but he should never be judged negatively as a person because of his mistakes.

The second Continuum concept to keep in mind is that the child should not be the centre of attention.

Neither, however, should he be excluded from adult society. In Yekuana society, Liedloff observed that adults were available to the child as needed, but focused primarily on their own activities, not on their role as parents. This approach lets the child learn by direct observation and to begin participating in adult activities as he is ready, without the pressure of being in the spotlight.

Of course, this does not mean that one should never pay attention to or play with one’s child. It simply, in Liedloff’s words, “reflects an understanding of the child’s role as a learner in society.”

The child needs a mother who is confident and calm…a mother who knows what to do, and doesn’t ask permission from her child. If you’re pleading with her (or asking her to lead), then she’s got the power, and it makes her nervous because it means you’re not sure of yourself, and you’re begging her for acceptance (or direction). Any grown-up lady that pleads with a 4-year-old is not to be relied on.

Rather than following the child’s lead, Liedloff suggests telling her nicely but matter-of-factly what you expect her to do, without asking her permission or regaling her with choices or reasons. In other words, instead of saying, “Let’s go have some lunch now, OK? What would you like to eat?” tell your child “OK, now it’s time for lunch. Can you find the spoons? We’re going to have soup.”

Keep in mind, though, that taking the lead is not the same thing as taking control over your child. The parents Liedloff observed never forced a child to do chores. They simply modeled the behavior, and made sure the tools—like a child-size grater—were available to the child. When a child showed an interest, she was allowed to participate as long as she wanted to. It was simply expected that she would naturally want to learn how to do the tasks she observed the adults doing. By the time they are old enough to be truly helpful, Liedloff noted that continuum-raised children will simply and quietly obey requests for help from adults, reciprocating the respect they had been shown when they were little.

The question for modern parents becomes, “Past infancy, how do we continue to give our children the continuum experiences they need in the context of our own society?”


This leads us to the third principle: that a healthy human experience must include interaction between people of many different ages.

It is easy for Stone Age parents to be available to their children without making them the center of attention. After all, they live where they work, and their children spend most of their time freely playing with other children, both younger and older than they are. In fact, every person in their culture is able to model older individuals, and mentor younger individuals in turn. This allows for smooth passage from one stage of life to the next, and reduces or eliminates friction between generations.

In a society which divides its tribes into isolated nuclear families, where adults must often work outside the home, where children are not typically welcomed into the workplace, and where, from preschool to nursing home, our age segregation practices border on the extreme, is it even possible to offer our children—and ourselves—the experiences we apparently need to become truly fulfilled human beings?

Perhaps not to the extent that the Yekuana could. But just as many Western parents have resurrected the practices of babywearing and co-sleeping, why not reclaim the tribal experience as well?

Whether through conscious decisions or instinct, many parents are attempting to do just that—resurrect something of the primal, tribal human experience. In their own ways, they are seeking opportunities to connect with other families in ways that are more natural, organically developing and holistic.

Extended Family

For some families, tribe-building is as simple as staying in place or moving back to live close to extended family. A recent PEW study revealed that 43% of young people ages 18–31 are now living with their parents or other kin. This includes a growing number of families with young children, according to Carmen Wong-Ulrich of Baby Center Financial.

Granted, this is happening primarily as a result of economic pressure, rather than the desire for a more natural social structure. However, many of these families are discovering benefits to this arrangement beyond financial relief. “It was nice to rediscover a relationship with my parents as a parent. I don’t think our vision was ever, oh let’s go live with our parents again when we are older, but you know, it worked out,” commented one young mother who spent a year living with her parents while she and her husband saved up for a home of their own. Other parents report increased feelings of security, carpooling and other shared duties made easier, built-in babysitters, and family bonding as benefits of living with or near family members.

But for the majority of us, living near family is just not an option. What then?

Creating Your Own Tribe

Teresa Pitman’s classic article “Finding Your Tribe” offers one solution. First published in 2000, it has been republished many times since, inspiring parents all over the world to create modern “tribal” relationships with friends and neighbors. It the article, Pitman describes her relationship with her friend Vicki. Starting when their first babies were infants, the two would get together and help each other with household chores or prepare meals for both families to enjoy, while their kids had the benefit of unstructured play time with adults who remained in close proximity, but engaged in their own adult activities. It wasn’t until she read Liedloff’s book that Pitman realized she and Vicki had unconsciously created their own little tribal community.

Pitman points out that tribe-building involves much more than just scheduling regular playdates. You have to spend a lot of time together, and it’s important that it not just be all “visiting time.” Work together. Clean house, work on your car, do projects together, garden, prepare meals, or start a business together. Take care of the children’s needs as they need you; otherwise, let them alone to observe how you’re going about your tasks—or not, as they please.

She also cautions not to be too picky about whom you form your tribe with. Just like family, the people you find available may have some qualities that differ from your ideals. That’s OK; as long as you can respect each other’s choices and beliefs there’s no reason you can’t form a deep and lasting relationship.


It’s very common for parents of young children to get together frequently, and often these relationships result in lasting bonds between families. However, once the children reach school age, time spent together in this way often diminishes. Homeschooling families have a unique advantage in this regard. They are also better able to respond to children’s natural developmental patterns, and more likely to have the opportunity to interact with children of a larger age range than their schooled counterparts—an important aspect of Continuum ideals. In situations where homeschooling occurs between and around running a home-based business, children also get to observe and learn firsthand how the adult world operates in a way that was once a normal part of growing up, but is now no longer available to the vast majority of modern children.

That said, many homeschoolers still find their lives increasingly dominated by schedules and goals, especially as children grow older. If a tribal experience is truly your ideal, you might find yourself drawn to at least partial unschooling.

The School Conundrum

If homeschooling is not an option for your family’s situation, what then?

If you are brave and resourceful, you might consider organizing your own school or other institution.

This is what Natalie Cronin did. She started her home daycare, Under the Tinker Tree, out of a desire to provide her own children with an experience more closely resembling her ideals than would otherwise be possible. Luckily, her vision resonated with others in her community.

“I share my home with a dozen families a day, and we have a saying that ‘We’re all in it together.’ It was an interesting process…I was very upfront about [all my beliefs about childrearing], and people would come, and they were looking for people like me and I was looking for people like them…. [I’d tell them] we aren’t caring for just the child, we’re here for the whole family, and that’s really what it’s become. Our community has become so close. The parents contact each other after daycare, and we all live within a few blocks of each other—I have six families who live in the same apartment building as I do. So we really do have our own little community and we’re very supportive of each other.”

Pioneering a “tribal” style school for older children is more of a challenge than starting a daycare, but is certainly within the realm of possibility if enough parents in a given community are willing to devote time and resources to making it happen.

Institutional Tribalism?

If starting a school is not an option, you still may be able to integrate some semblances of a tribal existence into the fabric of your family’s life by carefully choosing amongst the schools, churches and other organizations in your area, and/or by advocating for more Continuum-friendly practices within the organizations you already belong to.

Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to change already existing conventions.

 “If you can’t homeschool, the first thing is to seek out alternative schools that have age mixing and aren’t so set on separating and segregating people,” advises parenting coach Scott Noelle, who corresponded extensively with Liedloff while she was alive, and now operates the Liedloff Continuum Network website.

“You can also look for a school that doesn’t grade children; that’s another way to separate people, by ‘good kids’ and ‘bad kids’ and A students and B students and so forth.”

Noelle adds that there are things you can do to protect your child from the less Continuum-friendly aspects of school life. “I encourage parents to let (their children) know that the school culture is like a game that they play, and there are parts of the game that are good to play, like learning and meeting new friends, but that we’ll have to tolerate other parts of the game that are not as aligned with our true nature, like grading for example. You can assure your children that the grading is just a game and we don’t have to take it too seriously. They do take it seriously—they forget that it’s just a game. So tell them, ‘I’m not too worried about [the game]. If what you’re ready for doesn’t align perfectly with their game then you may get low marks in their game, but I know you’ll blossom in your own time.’”

You may find yourself in the position of wanting to introduce elements of modern tribalism into an existing organization. This is challenging, but not impossible. If you want to do this, it’s usually a good idea to become an active, participating member of the group first, before attempting change. Then, frame your suggestions in a way that helps them meet existing wants and needs. For instance, you might volunteer to set up a program to help your organization’s single-parent families network with and support each other.

Intentional Communities

To some, the ultimate in modern tribe building may well be to start an intentional community based on Continuum and other natural living concepts. However, a quick search reveals very few existing intentional communities that openly base their values on Continuum ideals. (Heart-Culture Farm near Eugene, Oregon, is one.)

Why is this? Surely, there are enough families interested in following an attachment parenting lifestyle to warrant a larger number of communities specifically designed to support it?

Could it be that the very concept of an “intentional” community (at least, as most of us are likely to think of it) is alien to a Continuum worldview? After all, Liedloff herself noted that the Yekuana people were highly reluctant to sway anyone else’s opinion or influence their behavior. Yet most intentional communities are very specific as to what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Noelle recounts a personal intentional community experience which may shed some light on this question:

The Internet was making people more aware, and some people began discussing the idea of having a community of people…where the values were aligned with the Continuum Concept, which all of us were very passionate about.

So I wrote up a long and passionate post to this online community—right around the year 2000—“let’s go for it!” Somehow a lot of people got impassioned about it and we did start organizing. It led to a fairly sizable group of people from all over the world getting together for an organizational meeting.

We accidentally experienced tribe for about two days. We had this gathering in my hometown, Portland, Oregon. People had different travel schedules, and a number of people got there a few days before the big meeting. They camped out in our yard and we kind of had this village we created in our yard, and we were all just waiting and very optimistic. So we actually had this tribal experience, and I can only say it was glorious. It was just wonderful, the feeling of this expanded social circle where everyone is just sort of flowing together. The children had all these choices [of playmates]. They could play with one and when they were done they could play with another and if a child’s mom needed a break there was someone there to attend to the child. And we were living that way for a couple of days while we were waiting for this meeting.”

Then the meeting happened and everyone brought their agendas with them, and their particular attachments that things had to be a certain way, and we started to lose some of that being in the moment with each other. Now it had to be right vs wrong…

We might have weathered that, but I think ultimately a lot of us were recovering our humanity. The thing about community movements, is that people are attracted to communities because they’re failing in some way. I don’t mean that as a criticism. If people are succeeding at the whole separation game in society, they’re succeeding within the rules of that game, and they’re not motivated to change. It’s the ones who are failing who are like, “This doesn’t work for me, so I’m open to trying something new.” And they come across this idea of communitarianism, and they’re willing to try. But then you have a whole bunch of wounded people who are trying to lift each other up. And I could see that in this particular project, including myself and my wife—we definitely lacked the skill set to do that.

Noelle suspects that being well funded could help such a project overcome this issue by allowing participants the security to work out their differences. “When you’re just in survival mode you get defensive, feeling like someone else’s needs may encroach on your own.”

Given this experience and others, it seems that this elusive tribal experience is not something to be sought as a goal, but something experienced naturally when people come together without goals or expectations, simply in the enjoyment of being together.

What about the Internet?

Many people these days are spending increasing amounts of time and energy on the Internet in hopes of connecting to like-minded souls. Without denigrating the very real value many find in their online relationships (this author included), it’s important to note that virtual reality is in many ways antithetical to a Continuum experience.

The Continuum concept is about more than the sequence of human development. It’s about the continuum of humanity across many lifespans, and the play of matter and consciousness amongst and between humans, other species, Mother Earth and the universe itself.

Children, especially, need to experience the world holistically through their senses—the real world with all their senses, not just a pared-down, wired-up virtual semblance with no taste or touch or smell. And believe it or not, we adults need this too. There is no virtual substitute for the connection one feels when one’s eyes meet another’s, or the sensation of a warm slice of homemade bread passing from one hand to another, or the volumes spoken in minute variations in a loved one’s smile.

Seeking Your Own Tribe

Cronin, Noelle and Pitman all offer excellent suggestions for developing the kind of comfort with ourselves and others that appears to be a prerequisite for a Continuum lifestyle.

  • Be honest about your feelings and needs, both to yourself and to others—if your children just aren’t up to participating in a play date on a particular day, it’s better to stay home than to force the issue.
  • Remember to breathe—you won’t connect well with others until you are comfortable and relaxed in your own space.
  • Reconnect with the natural world—even if you live in a city, just going for a walk and passing a tree is connecting and centering.
  • Spend a lot of time together.
  • Choose options that lead to partnership rather than separation and control.
  • Be open to relationships with people who are in different stages of parenthood or life, or whose habits or beliefs differ from yours.
  • Focus more strongly on how you’re connected with people than on how you’re different.
  • Unplug.

Above all, be open about the outcome. Allow your tribe to grow organically, from the inside out. Forget about your goals and focus instead on just the experience of being, right here and right now, with those you happen to be with at the moment. The destination is the journey itself.


Related Topics:

How the Left has taken Down the Family, Marriage, and the Nation*

An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma*

In the Absence of the Village, Mothers Struggle Most*

Traditions and Kinship Ties

Modern Parenting is Preventing Brain Development*

Today’s Parents Are Scared Of Everything*

Beyond Mass Control

Raising Children Off-Grid*

Making Living off the Grid Illegal is about Controlling You and Paying Them

Record Number of Parents Turn to Homeschooling*

The ‘Family’ Loses in the Latest U.N. Agreement*

British Family Courts: Protecting Children from the Baby Snatchers*

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

Schooled in Nature: There’s a way to Teach Children Without Colonizing Their Minds*


U.S. Veterans to Return to Standing Rock after Trump Move to Continue with DAPL*

U.S. Veterans to Return to Standing Rock after Trump Move to Continue with DAPL*

Veteran volunteers prepare for support missions and mobilization to Standing Rock

“In the past two weeks the turmoil and uncertainty at Standing Rock has increased significantly. We have continued to stay in contact with indigenous and camp leadership and have identified several areas where the Veterans Stand network can continue to serve the needs of the camp and local community.” said Veterans

And they have published a press release for medias and people. Read it below:


LOS ANGELES, CA : In response to recent aggressions and the passing of legislation which clears the way for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Veterans Stand is announcing that we will continue operations in support of the people of Standing Rock, the Water Protectors who have held the front lines, and the sustainability of our precious environment.

In the past two weeks the turmoil and uncertainty at Standing Rock has increased significantly. As we continue to monitor and stay in contact with the indigenous and camp leadership we see several areas where Veterans Stand and our network can continue to serve the local community.

In the spirit of service, and in the name of a free and evolutionary sustainable America, Veterans Stand is committed to ensuring that no human or civil rights violations go unchecked, that the voices of the people are truly heard, and that we leave behind a stable and unpolluted environment for future generations.

Respectfully, Veterans Stand Team

Veterans Facebook 

About Veterans Stand: Our mission is to unite citizens and all members of humanity through our shared military service; and to fulfill our promise to defend America from enemies, foreign and domestic, by combating the oppression of our fellow human beings and working to create a better future through continued sacrifice and service.


Related Topics:

U.S. Military Veterans Asked Lakota Elders for Forgiveness*

600+ Water Protectors Facing Criminal Charges Unlikely to Receive Fair Trials*

Public Comment on DAPL is Now Open*

Two Major Pipelines Spill the Same Week Trump Advances KXL, DAPL*

Trump Signing Executive Order Forcing Continuation of DAPL and Keystone XL*

Standing Rock Council Approves Order to Evacuate Demonstrators*

Dakota Access Company Seeks to Block Pipeline Environmental Study*

A Flemish Priest in Syria, “Putin and Assad saved my life”*

A Flemish Priest in Syria, “Putin and Assad saved my life”*

The Western media coverage of Syria is according to Father Daniël Maes the greatest media lie of our time. - © Sjoerd Mouissie

The Western media coverage of Syria is according to Father Daniël Maes the greatest media lie of our time. – © Sjoerd Mouissie


The Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometres north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.”

Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

Father Daniel:“The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.

Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”

Interviewer: Sister Agnès-Mariam, the Lebanese-French prioress of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.

Father Daniel: “Sister Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.

When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”

Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.

Father Daniel:Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad: It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed. Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.

Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a ‘devil in holy water’, because as foreign minister, she deliberately worsened the conflict.

Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.

What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.

Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?

Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”


Related Topics:

Nun Exposes Syrian Chemical Hoax*

A Nun Asks Foreign Powers to Leave Syria Alone!

Syrian Catholics Denounce Western Media Biased Reporting on Aleppo*

Stop the International War of Genocide on Syrians Catholic Patriarch Demands*

Christmas in Damascus for Christians and Muslims*

The Christian-Muslim Ghost Town of Maaloula*

Muslims and Christians March against ISIL*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

In Spain a Restaurant that Charges the Rich and Feeds the Homeless for Free*

In Spain a Restaurant that Charges the Rich and Feeds the Homeless for Free*

A homeless woman in Spain sits with her belongings by the curb. | Photo: Reuters

A homeless woman in Spain sits with her belongings by the curb. | Photo: Reuters

According to estimates, there are about 40,000 homeless people in Spain, but official figures put it at 23,000. Another 1.5 million families live in shelter.

A Spanish restaurant is turning the tables on poverty by charging its breakfast and lunch customers extra in order to feed homeless patrons at dinner for free.

Appropriately titled The Robin Hood Restaurant, after the fabled medieval outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor, the establishment is run by a priest who says he simply wants to give people the chance to “eat with…dignity.”

homeless people eating a free dinner at the Robin Hood restaurant ...

homeless people eating a free dinner at the Robin Hood restaurant …

I want (homeless people) to eat with the same dignity as any other customer,” Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, 80, told NPR.

“And the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation.”

 Volunteers serve free dinner to homeless people at Robin Hood restaurant in Madrid. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Volunteers serve free dinner to homeless people at Robin Hood restaurant in Madrid. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

The restaurant, which opened in December 2016, is in Madrid, and is reportedly a hit not only with its customers but with the hoards of celebrity-chefs and other personalities who frequent it. According to the broadcaster, it has managed to “poach staff from luxury hotels,” and celebrity chefs line up to cook weekly.

Its dinner menu features items like mushroom consommé, roast turkey and potatoes, and pudding.

Over 100 people in need attend the restaurant nightly, NPR reported, and they are looked after in two shifts. For paying customers, lunch is booked through the end March.

 A dinner patron chats with Father Angel (right), who says that he wants homeless people to

A dinner patron chats with Father Angel (right), who says that he wants homeless people to “eat with the same dignity as any other customer.” Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Padre Angel, as he is more commonly known, has also converted a nearby abandoned church into a community centRE where patrons can hang out, watch television or even sleep.

According to The Homesless Worldcup, a social organization that uses soccer to reach out and help homeless people around the world, estimates there are about 40,000 homeless people in Spain, though official figures put it at 23,000. Another 1.5 million families live in shelter, the organization estimates.

A different restaurant in the U.S., in south Los Angeles, does something similar by charging its patrons what they can afford or up to $4.50, Business Insider reported.


Related Topics:

Immigrant Designer Goes From Homeless to Wealthy, Then Sells Everything to Help Others*

San Francisco Judges Dismiss 66,000 Arrest Warrants against the Homeless*

So ‘no one eats alone’ Muslim-owned Restaurant Offering Elderly and Homeless Free Meals on Christmas Day*

A Former Street Child in Mumbai Builds a Cafe-Cum-Library for Homeless Youth*

Homeless Are Being Abducted and Put into FEMA Camps*


Mobile Phone and Computer Searches by Police Becoming Normal in U.K.*

Mobile Phone and Computer Searches by Police Becoming Normal in U.K.*

This appears to be a clear case of product placement in order to soften up the public to  the introduction and use of Cellbrite by U.K. Police / Stasi.

What are the implications for national security SC /DV staff attending training run by the israelis?

Can the evidence “uncovered” be trusted/rigged by our friends?

See article docs and evidence presented here.

Over the past decade, Cellebrite – an Israeli technology company – has become the go-to supplier for British police forces wanting to crack phones.

‘In the past few years, mobile phone examination has been rolled out to local officers for investigating low-level crime on a mass scale’

The firm is contracted by the FBI and security services worldwide. It has quickly come to dominate the domestic policing market for mobile phone forensics.

“Mobile phone examination has become absolutely routine,” says Peter Sommer, a professor at Birmingham City University and digital forensics expert witness, who has observed its use in the investigation of high-level crime.

Police documents seen by the Cable back up Sommer’s assessment. They reveal that over the past few years, mobile phone examination has been rolled out to local officers for investigating lower-level crime on a mass scale. The types of crimes that can warrant a mobile phone search include the likes of assault, burglary and traffic offences.

Meet your local phone crackers

According to Avon and Somerset procurement records, the force uses a combination of in-house and external services to crack phones and digital devices. The South West Digital Forensics team consists of Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire, and Dorset police forces.

The team of data forensic investigators analyse phones, computers and digital devices for the four forces, focusing on serious crime, and predominantly deal with cases involving indecent material. According to a 2015 Inspectorate of Constabulary report, mobile phones related to low-level crime are investigated by local officers using downloading kiosks. A 2015 Avon and Somerset police document shows that during busier periods Sytech, a digital forensics company, has been outsourced equipment to assist with analysis.

Local connections

Leafing through procurement records, we found that Avon and Somerset Constabulary (A&S), along with at least 27 other police forces and the Home Office, has contracted with Cellebrite. Since 2014, A&S has paid it at least £47,760 for a number of contracts.

The records also show our local force bought the company’s most popular standalone hacking tool – the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED). Cellebrite’s technology can quickly crack through mobile phone passcodes, sweeping up text messages, emails, contacts, photos, videos, and GPS data in minutes, simply by connecting handsets to a laptop-sized device.

A&S has been typically reluctant to comment on its involvement in this fast-growing area of policing. Freedom of Information requests sent by the Cable asking for information on mobile phone examination were rejected on grounds that it would be too costly to retrieve the data, because it is not centrally recorded. The force also turned down our request for an interview, saying:

“We do not discuss, for operational reasons, ways in which we undertake investigations.”

So in a bid to better understand the police force’s actions, we pieced together the available expenditure data, reports and police records nationally. The jigsaw we’ve assembled – admittedly, an incomplete one – appears to show a troubling picture.

Unwarranted searches

In a North Yorkshire Police audit report we examined, the force found that 50% of a sample of mobile phones searched by district examiners – or local officers – lacked an authorisation warrant. This means auditors were unable to find proof that police had received permission to examine 50% of searched phones. The report concludes that, while the current setup allows for rapid examination of mobile phones, there is insufficient scrutiny of local police examiners.

The internal investigation also found that 26% of examinations undertaken from 2012 to 2015 were “serious crime types, for example sexual offences and murder cases”. The report stresses that district examiners should only investigate low-level crime. There were also cases where evidence was left unencrypted, increasing the risk of sensitive data being lost or misappropriated.

“Given the wealth of personal data they hold, it is extremely alarming that such a high rate of phone examinations lack evidence of authorisation,” Silkie Carlo, a policy officer at the human rights campaigning organisation Liberty, tells the Cable.

“It is wholly unacceptable that data extracted is left unencrypted, misplaced or even misappropriated.”

The audit report, Carlo adds, demonstrates that without standard safeguards, giving police such capabilities threatens both “our rights and our security”.

Millie Graham Wood, a legal officer at Privacy International, a charity that (as its name suggests) defends people’s right to privacy, calls our findings “concerning”.

They reveal “a worrying attitude towards examination of mobile phones, with investigations into serious crimes including sexual offences and murder cases undermined”, she says.

The documents show, Graham Wood adds,

 “that as increasing public funds are spent on fast-track systems to extract data from phones in non-serious crimes, the extraction is carried out by junior officers, who receive insufficient training and fail to provide a clear audit trail”.

Rolling out the technology

The picture in North Yorkshire does little to inspire confidence regarding our tight-lipped local force’s acquisition of Cellebrite technology. In 2015 the Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that “demand for digital downloading” at A&S was increasing, and that an unacceptable backlog had developed. According to the same report, A&S eased the bottleneck of digital devices waiting to be examined by creating easy-to-use “downloading kiosks… to speed up the process”, with an increasing number of officers being trained to use them.

Like North Yorkshire police, A&S rolled out mobile phone examination to local officers in a bid to speed up examinations – a move likely to present oversight challenges. The questions raised in the North Yorkshire report around authorisations, data security and proportionality need to be addressed by A&S – and all other forces. Graham Wood adds that it is unclear “what process is in place to inform suspects that their mobile phones have been examined, what happens to data extracted and deletion practices”.

‘Cellebrite’s UFED device can be used to extract data in the field, with no need to return to a lab or police station

But procurement records make clear that the training of greater numbers of officers and the provision of mobile phone examination kiosks are being rolled out across forces nationwide. In a bid to handle the ever-growing volumes of digital information, police forces are streamlining how they go about examining mobile phones and devices.

West Yorkshire Police, for instance, has trained more than 150 officers in how to examine mobile phones for “low level” crime. According to police guidance, crimes that can attract such searches range from traffic offences, to intent to supply, to assault.

Durham Police, meanwhile, reports that 90% of mobile phone searches are now conducted by local officers. And City of London Police says that examination is undertaken by “frontline officers… generally in the first custody detention period”. Cellebrite’s UFED device can be used to extract data in the field, with no need to return to a lab or police station, ensuring that, the firm says, “a suspect’s phone can be examined before [they have] a chance to destroy or erase data”.

Unlocking our lives

None of this proliferation is in itself surprising. With the explosion of mobile phones, portable digital devices, and cloud-based storage, police and security services have been expanding their technological arsenal in order to glean as much information as possible for investigative purposes. Mobile phone examination is, understandably, instrumental in investigating crime.

Beyond mobile phone examination, Cellebrite and its competitors also sell cloud-based hacking gear, granting police increasingly easy access to every part of our digital and online lives. Without a pushback, as the cost of surveillance and examination devices plummet, police forces are beginning to deploy them with far greater frequency for more mundane objectives. In the eyes of the state, seizing and examining equipment in relation to a criminal offence is legal, even for low-level offences, if a device may hold evidence and authorisation is granted.

But as mobile phone forensic capabilities are rolled out in the Bristol area and beyond, there are serious legal and ethical questions around proportionality, the extent of searches, and the lack of an audit trail – as the North Yorkshire police report makes clear. The passing of the government’s ‘Snooper’s Charter’ is still fresh in the mind. Silence on the part of police, such as A&S’s refusal to engage with this article, does little to garner public confidence amid growing state surveillance – and will rightly make critics more vocal.

“Privacy International calls for greater transparency, and for rigorous systems to be put in place to ensure technology is not abused or misused by the police,” says Graham Wood.

She adds that urgent independent oversight is needed “into the necessity and proportionality of downloading kiosks in police stations”. Given that most people now carry a full computer’s worth of information on their person, these seem like sensible demands.

Cellebrite’s global reach

Cellebrite says its technology is used by law enforcement, Special Forces, tax authorities and other agencies in 60 countries. In early 2016, during a legal case between the FBI and Apple, it was suspected that the FBI had hired Cellebrite to break into a suspect’s iPhone; however, this was later ruled out by the Washington Post. But for the Israeli company, which neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, the coverage hurled it to international prominence.

In the U.S. there are moves to install ‘textalysers’ – Cellebrite technology – which can be used by police to check whether a driver was using their phone at the time of an investigated incident.

Cellebrite is keen to market itself as an ethical company, claiming that it only supplies products to respectable law-enforcement agencies. However, as recently reported by news organisation the Intercept, the Bahraini government has got its hands on Cellebrite cracking gear and used it to spy on political activists who have been tortured in its custody.

The troubling trickle-down of phone-cracking technology


Related Topics:

A Self-Described Passionate Zionist in Charge of U.K. Government Cybersecurity*

Everyone Who Can Now See Your Entire Internet History, Including the Taxman…*

U.K. Bill Hands vast Surveillance Powers to Police and Intelligence Agencies*

U.K. just Passed the Most Invasive Surveillance Law in the Democratic World*

E.U.’s Top Court Rules against Mass Surveillance*


‘Stop Soros’ Movement Sweeps Europe*

‘Stop Soros’ Movement Sweeps Europe*


By Jamie White

A new initiative called Stop Operation Soros (SOS) is launching in the Balkan nation of Macedonia to counter the influence of globalist billionaire George Soros.

The founders of the group called on all “free-minded citizens” to join them in the “fight against one-mindedness in the civil sector, which is devised and led by George Soros,” reports a Slovenian newspaper.

Soros-funded non-government organizations have monopolized civil society in Macedonia and used their influence to suppress dissenting views, said SOS cofounder Nikola Srbov.

“The Open Society Foundation, operating under the Soros umbrella, used its funding and personnel to support violent processes in Macedonia,” he said in a press conference Tuesday.

“That is unacceptable and goes beyond the principles of civic organizing.”


Soros set up the Open Society Foundation in in the 1980s with the stated goal of helping former Soviet bloc countries transition from communism, but in reality, the foundation is used to destabilize governments and foment discontent within countries.

And Macedonia isn’t the first country that’s turned against Soros.

Earlier this month, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that the Hungarian government would begin cracking down on any organizations linked to Soros.

“In every country, they will want to displace Soros,” Orban said in December.

“In the coming year, Soros and his forces will be squeezed out.”

In 2014, Soros openly admitted on CNN that the OSF was involved in the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s government, which resulted in Russia banning Soros and his NGOs from the country the following year, calling him a “security threat” to the former Soviet nation.

“It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state,” reads the Russian press statement.

As nationalism continues to rise around the world fueled by President Trump’s election, it’s reasonable to assume that this won’t be the last instance a European country kicks out Soros and his shadowy groups.


Related Topics:

‘Stop Operation Soros’ Movement begins in Macedonia*

Soros Partners with MasterCard to Profiteer from his Engineered Mass Migration*

Colour Revolutions? Soros-Funded Groups Back Anti-Trump Women’s March*

Soros Kicked out of his Own Country*

Eliminating Alternative Media: Soros and Gates behind Facebook’s “fake news” Detector*

Soros: Western Society Must Fall Before One World Govt Can Be Established*

Soros’ Money behind the Transgender Agenda*

Soros gave Clinton step-by-step Instructions on how to Tackle Albania Unrest*

600+ Water Protectors Facing Criminal Charges Unlikely to Receive Fair Trials*

600+ Water Protectors Facing Criminal Charges Unlikely to Receive Fair Trials*

By Freshet Collective

On Jan. 27, attorneys representing the first 10 water protectors arrested in actions against the Dakota Access Pipeline in early August 2016 renewed their motion for a change of venue, on grounds that the state did not adequately respond to the motion and is not taking basic steps to assess bias among jurors.

The requested change of venue would move the trials to a different county, outside the reach of negative media coverage and hostile community perception. The motion was filed on Jan. 19 and denied by North Dakota District Judge Cynthia Feland on Jan. 24, who claimed that “a fair and impartial jury has already been impaneled and seated” and that “it would be nonsensical for the court to say it cannot be done.”

The motion renewal filed Friday by North Dakota attorney Chad Nodland stated:

“It appears that the state’s strategy is to simply delay discovery, charge people based on collective action and not individual acts which can be established by admissible evidence, and then hope for a conviction from a jury overwhelmingly biased towards law enforcement and the state.”

A randomized survey conducted by the National Jury Project concluded it is highly likely that the more than 600 water protectors facing criminal charges in the coming months will not receive fair trials from petit jurors impaneled in Morton and Burleigh Counties. The survey found that 77% of the juror-eligible population in Morton County and 85% of the juror-eligible population in Burleigh County had already decided the defendants were guilty.

A substantial number of of the surveyed population have connections to law enforcement, the oil industry, landowners and others who have been affected by the protests.

Many respondents made statements indicating that they perceive protesters as a threat to community safety and described the water protectors as “eco terrorists,” “criminals” and “idiots” who “hopefully all freeze to death.”

North Dakota State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson has made incendiary verbal and written comments about DAPL defendants that have been aired in local media markets, characterizing water protectors as “people from around the world [who have] come to intentionally commit crimes for political purposes and have North Dakota taxpayers pick up the tab.”

The actions of county and city authorities have also contributed to an atmosphere of prejudice and fear in the general public. There have been “reverse 911” calls to warn residents to avoid certain areas Morton County deemed “unsafe” due to prayer circles and demonstrations. Elected officials called for economic boycotts and advised local businesses to deny service to those they suspect connected with the Standing Rock encampments. North Dakota GOP lawmakers also introduced bills to crack down on demonstrators by restricting the use of face masks and protecting drivers from liability if they injure or kill a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a public road or highway.

Diane Wiley, president of the National Jury Project Midwest, said that “most juror-eligible residents … have prejudged or at a minimum are negatively predisposed against the protestor defendants” and that “it is next to impossible to expect that jurors holding these attitudes and predispositions, and living in such an atmosphere, can impartially weigh the evidence in the cases.” In Wiley’s 43 years of jury pool research, this is the only time she has found “100% recognition of the issues involved in a court case.”


Related Topics:

First Water Protector Trials Set for January as another ND Pipeline Leaks*

Two Major Pipelines Spill the Same Week Trump Advances KXL, DAPL*

Trump Signing Executive Order Forcing Continuation of DAPL and Keystone XL*

Trump to Privatize Native Land*

Dakota Access Company Seeks to Block Pipeline Environmental Study*

Public Comment on DAPL is Now Open*